A new story from CNN's The Daily DC
This historic impeachment inquiry. Today wraps up the seventh week of this fast-moving saga and I have two incredible guests. Tell me process what's already happened. And what is likely to happen in the weeks to come in a few minutes. We'll be talking with Mark Mazzetti Pulitzer Surprise winning investigative correspondent at the New York. Times marks also is CNN contributor. But I I'm joined by my colleague. CNN political correspondent. Abbie Philip. Welcome back to to the PODCAST. Thanks for having me so Once again I feel like We've done something wrong to piss off the house. Democrats who seem to drop transcripts every day as as we are about to sit down and record this podcast so we are now sitting with piles of paper of two. I would argue two of the most critical transcripts In this entire impeachment agree. You have Fiona Hill. Who worked in the White House and was not on the July twenty fifth call but was the first person that had worked in the White House that had come before the committee to testify about her experience? She worked for John Bolton the National Security Advisor directly and had Ukraine in her portfolio And we have the transcript of Lieutenant. Colonel Vin men who we know was on the July twenty fifth. Call listening thing in from the situation room and his transcript came out today to now again. We learned a lot of what the news of what these folks had to say to. The committee The days that they testified. But we now see a more context here and deeper Detailed descriptions of what they told the committee. Can I just get your top line initial all sort of like thought that what has popped you of what you've seen here while I do think and I've been feeling this way for a long time. There is an element of what everybody everybody. So far has testified to which is the feeling that this proposed quid pro quo that was unfolding as related to Ukraine was is incredibly damaging to you not to US foreign policy beyond it being inappropriate beyond it being unseemly potentially illegal they. They also felt that it was dangerous in a lot of ways because of how it emboldens Russia. I also think that what Fiona Hill does is because because she worked in the White House and she's kind of in a little bit of a higher echelon in terms of White House officials. She has some visibility into what the senior administration ration- official of view of this whole thing was and she speaks directly to the role of chief of staff. Mick Mulvaney all of this. She makes it very clear. That that Mick Mulvaney Dany was supportive of the idea that the meeting and that the aid would be contingent on the investigations into Biden and 2016. That is an extraordinarily narrowly important development. Because I think it brings it closer to the president which is what has to happen this investigation. So far we've gotten a lot of atmospheric expunge Getting closer and closer to the president will make this The connection between what we're hearing and whether the president should be impeached over it more clear in the minds of people along glad you bring that up about proximity to the president because as you know. The president spoke to reporters today as he wants to do on the South Lawn of the White House and one of the people we know spoke to directly to the president about this notion of a quid pro quo. Was Gordon Sunland. The ambassador to the U.. And he came came out of that conversation with a clear directive from the president that there was no quid pro quo yet He went back as we know this week. Revised his testimony testimony. And I think pretty clearly put forth A scenario where he his testimony now is that he believed there was a quid. Pro Quo at play Despite despite what the president's specific words were to him I now want you to hear how the president responded to reporters when asked about sunlen changing his testimony. It's the money. Let me just tell you I. I hardly know the gentleman. But this is the man who said there was no quid pro quo. And he's still says that and he said that I said that and he hasn't. Jj testimony so this is a man that said. As far as the president is concerned there was no quid pro quo everybody that specified even the ones that are trump haters. They've all been fine. They don't have anything. Do Things here that I want you to please one. I hardly know the gentleman. Please address that. I go sorry to this man you you know this is Donald Trump's version of that me from Kiki Palmer that I don't even know this guy if I saw him walking down the street but Donald Trump had a close enough relationship to doc to Gordon. Sunland that keep in mind. The conversation that he's referencing in that clip happened basically in the middle of the night. The Gordon Sunland had a close enough relationship. Asian ship that at some point between. Let's say midnight eastern time and six am eastern time. He had a conversation with the president of the United States on the phone. In which the president said there was no quid pro quo. But what's really what Sunlen is describing the details of what he's describing is a quid pro quo. That's the difference between what's going on on and trump keeps claiming that just because he didn't use the words it didn't happen but that's not actually what is being described. Trump is doing classic trump here. which if you listen to his words exactly exactly what he's saying he says someone's testifying? I say no quid pro quo. He hasn't changed any testimony about what I said. No I know what someone changed his testimony about what he perceived to actually be happening yes and what. He actually carried out as the person who said that. He was in charge of this Ukrainian policy policy so the president. This is the Republican argument right at this moment. which is that the words quid? Pro Quo did not come out of the president's mouths. I think unreasonable people would would would question whether that is a legitimate defense. Because if in fact people were actually carrying out a quid pro quo in their policy and in what they were asking the Ukrainians for it doesn't matter whether or not those words were used and the fact that president trump is doing what he did to his former personal attorney. Michael Cohen and to Paul Manafort his former campaign manager in both cases claiming he doesn't even know people who say things that are not favorable to him. It just goes to show that he clearly views San Lind's revisions as a problem for him. One more thing before we go to break and bring market. I want you to hear another piece of sound from the president today about his acting chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and whether he would like he'd be okay with him Going up to the hill to testify as you know He did not show up to testify and this was the president on the South Lawn. Today I don't want to give credibility to a corrupt with John. I've loved that Miko Up. Frankly I think do do great. I'd love to go. I'd love to have almost every person. Go Up when they know me what I don't like is when they put all these people that I never met before abby well there was a time when the White House was saying that the real problem with what's going on on the hill is that it's happening behind closed doors and our people aren't being asked has to testify and we don't have representation from lawyers and now it is. The whole thing is just illegitimate and I don't even want to give give it legitimacy by having Mulvaney go out there and testify I actually do think that It's a real question why the White House hasn't tried to put more witnesses that might tell a favorable story for the president On Capitol Hill. Why haven't they pushed harder for some of those people to testify and it could be because they're concerned that maybe it's not going to actually turn out that away? If Mick Mulvaney testifies Fiona Hill has implicated him. In all of this and I think the president's trump's comments today really just indicate that he's aware that there's danger there especially also moving gave a press conference in which he said. Yeah we asked for political quid pro quo. So he's going to have to explain that to. Yeah I mean the reason. I think that these these people are not going up to testify to tell a story that would be advantageous to the administration is because the facts make that very hard to do. Yes exactly okay. Abby you stay right there we have so much more to discuss We're GONNA take a quick break. When we come back we will be joined by Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times right after this break?.