Listen: Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine describes "alarming" Ukraine pressure campaign
"But I to politics and yesterday's major moment in the house impeachment inquiry William Taylor. US charge d'affaires to Ukraine laid out his opening statement regarding president trump and Ukraine fifteen pages of detailed careful testimony that asserted there was a quid pro quo between the White House and Ukraine regarding investigating the Biden's including Taylor's testimony that President Trump wanted Ukrainian president alinsky quote in a public box by making a public statement about launching such an investigation so let's dive into this joining us from Washington we have Mike Willis senior reporter for the hill talks we'll talk about us with the latest from Congress so welcome to on point Hello Megan thanks for having me well so first of all tell us a little bit more about what Taylor has offered in his testimony how much more detailed in giving us from what we've known over the past couple of weeks well based on the opening statement which leaked very early in this process it was just a few minutes after he went into the door and it was very clear that he wanted this out there and it's quite damning testimony as you said that trump wanted a foreign country to open investigations into his political arrivals and and he leverage to things to try to get that done and you know in Short Donald Trump and his allies have said that there is no quid pro quo they said it over and over again over the course of of this month long investigation Bill Taylor said very clearly that no yes there was and here's the evidence that lays out how this happened and as you said again he took very meticulous notes he has delivered those the State Department and there's no doubt Congress and Nancy Pelosi Adam Schiff we're gonNA WANNA get their hands on those documents as well that will offer a you know a lot more detail than just the fifteen page opening statement which is always seen to this point but you know th this puts this trump in a box I think that that is the lansky would be in a public box trump is now in a box it's his word against a career diplomat and and he's taking all these notes and if he delivers them to Congress then you know buckle up we we got we've got a fight on our hands now Mike let's dig into this a little bit more because I mean for example simple Taylor goes into quite a bit of detail regarding what he calls any regular policy channel effectively run by Rudy Giuliani and ambassador Somboon I mean we haven't seen this level of detail about the activities of Guiliani Guiliani in sunland before have we know we you know we've heard whispers about it we have heard testimony suggesting as much you know when Marie Yovani Bitch was here just last week she was the former US ambassador to Ukraine she was removed moved in May over concerns Giuliani was running sort of a shadow state department was trying to pressure foreign leaders you know to to do too Venditti investigations that would have helped trump's campaign so very politically motivated it would seem and and her testimony was also fairly damning but it wasn't and delivered in this much detail at least we've seen the transcripts we think will come out later but we haven't seen the transcripts and so we don't know exactly what was said so to say that we haven't that no one has delivered this type of detail we don't know the answer but certainly it hasn't been made public and that is why everybody sort of in you know in an uproar this week can and if you listen to the Democrats coming out of Bill Taylor's deposition yesterday they you know they seem to say that this is the smoking gun without without using those words you know they said this is this the the most damning testimony that we've heard so far someone described it as a sea change in the in the process and and Stephen Lynch from Massachusetts should this could actually accelerate the process because the Democrats now have exactly what they need. Well let's listen to a little bit of that reaction that you're talking about Mike here's freshman congressman and eleven a Democrat from Michigan his what he said all I have to say is that in my ten short months in Congress Avenue Right and this is the most disturbing day in Congress so far now Mike Lewis in the language of a career diplomat Matt usually they are very careful right not to assert not to inject politics into statements like this but I was quite taken when Taylor writes that he felt that this sort of informal channel this informed policymaking channel was actually acting in opposition to long standing US policy I mean my sense is that for a diplomat those are pretty strong words extremely strong words and what you're seeing you know yes the career diplomats are usually very careful they don't like to get involved in the politics and that's to their advantage obviously these guys serve under you know various administrations of both parties and they want to be seen as new Bolton it neutral arbiters of of US foreign policy and not let the politics encroach on it any of that you know that's an important element of the State Department and it's why they seek to remain sort of autonomist but what you saw even going back to the Maria Vich testament Oni she was very kurt about the detrimental effects that this whole episode is having on the State Department is that are you know. It's an Rosen of morale People think that Mike Pompeo the secretary of State is leaning too far towards trump and not defending the the career diplomats enough and that's why these guys are coming up to you know they're defying the blockade that trump is trying to put on these witnesses on the documents and they're testifying you understood peanut but they're sort of friendly subpoenas right the State Department says you can't you can't testify the Democrats issue a subpoena and they come in there singing like birds and you gotta think that they are I to protect the institution because you know Bill Taylor doesn't seem to have any any kind of legal involvement in this he's he's not under scrutiny for any of this it's threatened quit over it so it's not like he's trying to save himself in this case he's trying to save the institution that he spent his life working for now a little bit more about that public box heart because again it's the level of detail here which is so eye-opening that Taylor says that Ambassador Sunland the US ambassador to the European Union said that told him that everything was dependent on everything in a meeting with the president the four hundred million dollars in assistance that it was all dependent on the Ukrainian president making this announcement making an announcement about investigating that company Berea Samoan the Biden's and that President I wanted Alinsky in a public box by making a public statement about ordering such investigations and later on we even read that they had discussed Zelinski going on in order to do this that's right yeah you know and that that part was not a surprise because if you look at the text messages that were released a couple of weeks ago that was Kurt Volker it was the former US envoy to the Ukraine and he came up testified he gave Congress of a series of text messages between himself Gordon saw online and Bill Taylor and they revealed very clearly the Volcker and saw them we're both could pressing Zilenski to make that public statement and they were sort of dangling meeting with the donald trump to get what they wanted so for bill tailored to come up to Capitol Hill and kind of amplify that message was not a surprise he provided some more details but the the episode didn't change and so you know that that part's not a surprise and so on of course came up and testified just last week he said that he had right regretted making some of those offers he he didn't deny them but he did say there was no quid pro quo directly with the US military aid and so there was a discrepancy there between Bill Taylor and Gordon Song and one of the things that most striking out of yesterday was that a lot of Democrats seem to think that on the was not was less less than opened less than sincere in his testimony and some of them want Gordon on to come back and testify again and to iron out some of the discrepancies with Taylor's testimony so we'll have to see you know does this prolong the process now if if previous witnesses have to come back doesn't accelerate the process as Stephen Lynch because they have the smoking gun these are all kind of balls in the air and questions that we have looking forward all right well let's hear belief briefly from tape from a couple of Republicans about how the reacting to the release of of Taylor's testimony or is opening statement yesterday here's Florida Congressman Matt Gates a Republican insisting that the democratic reaction to Taylor's testimonies overblown the president has been very clear that there is not this new kitchen aid to any future election activity and the most important factual development actually I understand came from questions from congressman Ratcliffe he asked will is there any Ukrainian who we can point to add any moment in time who knew that this aid was even on a hold first of all Mike can we point to you you creatine who knew that this aid on hold it seems like Taylor's opening statement says we can yes there was opening statement says that we can now he's not naming names just yet but I'm sure that the questions that were asked after the opening statement was made and so we'll have to await the the transcripts but you know the Democrats counter again the smoking gun with Taylor goes back all the way to the to the whistle blower to the transcript that the White House itself released between Donald Trump and presidents Alinsky of your testimony and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney who was on TV last Thursday and seemed to suggest yes there was a quid pro quos so you know as as the accumulation continues as the the statements come out they seem to be pointing in that direction and the Democrats at this point it just kind of say you know they're taking for granted that this has happened and now the question is how do we react to their beyond the question of whether this did in fact happen and is Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell speaking with CBS's Nancy Cortez yesterday the president has said that you told him that his phone call talking about that you'll have to ask I don't recall any conversations with the president about that phone call Mike Lewis we've just got about thirty seconds here so when you hear Mitch McConnell trying to take a half step back there while also supporting the president what does that mean it means that he's being very consistent you know he he's been he's he has been critical the president in certain on certain issues you've seen it on the most recent Syria troop pullout but he's been very careful not to go after the president on anything he is up for reelection twenty twenty and the base is still much behind Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell is going to need them both to get legislative things done and to get reelected is a senior reporter for the hill speaking to us from Washington my thank you so much thank you make me happy agree with you"