President President Trump, Donald Trump, Joe Biden discussed on Skullduggery
Michael Issacov's chief. Investigative correspondent for Yahoo News. And I'm Dan Kleinman Editor in chief of Yahoo the news you know. I suspect that a lot of our listeners cannot comprehend where Republicans are coming from on this impeachment. Debate that watching the hearings. They find them mouthing talking points that seem out of joint with what the evidence is. So you know. I'm been really interested in in hearing king who's usually reasonable guy who can talk talked to members on both sides of the aisle you know who kind of has a certain upbeat optimistic side to him that that seems out of joint in the time we're in how he could come down as such a staunch defender of the president. Yeah it's fascinating and you know as you said he's pragmatic he's like Machine Paul and away comes out of that Nassau County machine and you know that was a era when politicians they could fight and they could fight dirty and they could be partisan but they were also transactional you know. They wanted to get stuff done and so they did deals. They were dealmakers trump right. Yeah and maybe that maybe so you know I imagine that there's probably in some ways some kind of cultural affinities between trump and And King although King I think has working class roots. Not Trump. They do both. I'm from Queens. But it's GonNa be fascinating to hear him. Talk about. Trump is interesting because you know he. He has been a fairly moderate member of Congress but in the trump era like just about all of them. He's been kind of lockstep defending this president. Yeah I I should point out that there is a consistency. See there in the sense that he was one of only five Republicans who voted against impeaching Bill Clinton. So you know this may be as he sees is it part of a larger philosophical framework. The dangers all right impeaching a president and overturning. The results election right. There's one thing thing for standing up for a principal like that. It is another thing if you are defending this president's conduct all the way through you know beyond the question of impeachment so it'll be interesting to see whether he makes any kind of distinctions especially this week when we have some really momentous testimony coming coming up but I think we've all been anticipating Gordon Sunland. Who was the ambassador to the European Union who was trump's guy on the ground around Ukraine? Who was pushing for the investigations into the Biden's supposed Ukrainian interference in the two thousand sixteen election? He he kind of when he first got up there and testified in closed doors. He denied that he was aware of any linkage between the Demand for investigations and the suspension of military aid. He had to amend his testimony once but then we got this. Even more damning testimony testimony from David Holmes. The State Department official who was there in the Kiev restaurant when Sunlen gets the phone call from President President Trump and then tells everybody there. President trump doesn't give a shit about the Ukraine. But he does care about those investigations. Negations into the Biden's yeah. I love that detail and that quote because it seems to be somewhat at odds with a lot of the Republican talking talking points from last week's hearings in which they said well. That phone call was all about corruption. The president wants to investigate corruption because corruption in Ukraine part of one of his foreign policy. Goals that we clean up all those corrupt countries That surround Russian Federation. I also love the fact that at least as reported in the New York Times that sunland actually held up the phone in this Ukrainian restaurant for everyone to listen to what Ed trump was saying. It's just a great image. Yesterday he is he is at least up to now Silane is the pivotal witness in this investigation. According to a national security official. WHO's also testified? This week to Morrison Samland spoke to trump about all of this for as many as six six six times. And you know the thing that we don't know is what those direct conversations between trump and silent were about and whether trump trump directed sunland to deliver the quid pro quo to the Ukrainians which silent has said that he delivered at the sidelines of of a meeting in Warsaw in September first but we have not heard testimony about how that came to be and whether it was a direct order from trump That will be a bombshell Alif. If that we should David Holmes the State Department official who was there in Kiev restaurant who heard the phone call. Who heard what song and said after the phone call is is going to be testifying at the end of the week after Sunland so That will be pretty gripping as well but let's get right to Our guest for for the day. Peter King Okay. We are here so now with Congressman Peter King of Long Island who just announced after fourteen terms. He's not going to be running for re election in Congressman. Welcome to skulduggery Michael Great to see you again. Good to be here so let's start out. Why are you leaving the house now? It was a tough decision mainly unle. It ended up being family anytime. Politician says `specially indicted or something some pictures going to appear basically. I'm not a big vacation occasion guy and I've been down here twenty years. You know. Twenty eight years four days a week and I spend most of my time children grandchildren and my daughter and my daughter-in-law two minutes my house. So that was a good part of my life and she found out in September she and her husband and the kids have to move to North Carolina and so and also also she was in politics. I was in politics. We used to conspire and collude together. And that sort of kept us going and I guess the tipping point came when when I was trying to make Christmas reservations to visit my grandchildren. I can't do it because we have no idea when we're getting out. It was December twelve minutes the twentieth dollars. Because you're going to be voting on impeachment peach mint and also the timing that to go to government shutdown in the twenty first. That's when the government's GONNA run out of funding. So I I mean that's no problem to anybody else and who cares. You can't get a plane ticket home. I figured after twenty eight years I should be able to go see my grandchildren so that just convinced me. It's going to be just more of that over the next three years because I I would expect here reelected next year so anyway just personal decision. I felt it's been more time. Have more freedom of movement. I am seventy five. Maybe seventy nine at the end of my next term but actually my wife is in good health so I wanted to take advantage of it and go on to great things. I'm not going to retire from the world of life and soon a get a job. Maybe several jobs see what I can do. Stay active so congressman. We're GONNA get to impeachment We just mentioned. I guess golf mentioned second ago but before just one follow up on this which is a lot of members of Congress when they retire. They say they want spend more time with their family. But some of them also say that they're leaving in part because of what's going on in Washington the partisanship that nasty tone and it's just not as fun and edifying as it used to be. Is that any part of your calculation for leaving now. No I really wasn't in being in the minority in either. I mean all these things you love to have an easy life down here where both parties love each other and we had a solid majority and they'd be champion of all these committees. He's no I To me just being here it was it was the majority or the minority. Obviously one is better than the other but both emigrate no. That wasn't I met I I never took any of this stuff that personally anyway. As far as whether some guy likes me doesn't like me or whether the yelling easier we can get more done if there was more tranquility but that was not a reason one of the reasons we WANNA talk to. You is because you are one of the few. Moderate Republicans left. At least. That's been your image over the years I'm sitting here in your office. I see pictures of Bill Clinton Richard Nixon George Bush Barack Obama. You're a guy who clearly has gotten along with and worked with people on all sides yet. We are in this polarized moment right now which a lot of people blame on president trump and see him as a exceedingly polarized figure. We want to understand because you have have defended the president on the Ukraine allegations. You've indicated you have no intention of voting for his impeachment or based on what. Yeah so I think we want to understand a little bit. You know how somebody with your moderate record has come down where where you have in defending president trump yeah and really is suspending. The constitution same reason. I voted against bill. Clinton's impeachment to me and this is really a traditionalist I Is the reason that we went from seventeen ninety two to one thousand nine hundred eight. That's what I'm used to track soon six years without having a successful impeachment and even then you still have your hat a success right. So He's Andrew Johnson in eighteen sixty six and then then. Yeah Yeah Bill Clinton. So it's two in over two hundred years and to me. This is the nuclear option. This is the death sentence to undoing election. Which really is the highlight of democracy is certainly an odd? Because we're not a parliamentary system. The country comes together. VOTRE president to undo that you need more than Dan Sexually Oval Office and you need more than a phone calls. I think was appropriate anyway but he is not a basic you really think the phone call was appropriate. It was okay to ask. Ask a foreign leader to launch an investigation of your political rival Joe Biden. I would make the argument that it was almost responsibility to do with the fact. That Biden is an opponent is SP secondary as president. If you'll giving aid to weigh a country which has been rooted in corruption and where there's been allegations especially energy companies being involved in corruption. And you have the fact that To make sure there is no corruption and you know there was significant evidence. When you have the vice president's son getting over a million dollars basically no show job where he has no experience energy no knowledge of Ukraine at the time when Joe Biden? It's supposed to be investigated. Listen we went almost three years investigating Russia and there was zero evidence of collusion. Everybody's that was appropriate and Hillary Clinton in using a bit of spy the phone information from Russian intelligence you have the FBI and the CIA abusing their powers on collusion. There wasn't on there was far more evidence of a Conduct with Joe Biden was Donald Trump. Right we'll let with Joe Biden himself former vice president did anything table acting in any way evidence. Further his son's interest as opposed to US national security interests and the foreign policy adopted did by the US government Donald Trump because President Obama refused to give weapons to Ukraine and Donald Trump. As we start with that now on this for instance if you other vice president in you know your son is getting a million dollars from a corrupt company in a corrupt country and your job is to root out corruption and you don't do anything about it and raises serious okay mismanaged. It should be investigated an error judgment may be for not do anything. But maybe words investigations but any evidence of wrongdoing by Vice President by the certainly the evidence of conflict of interest. And that's why have investigation find out. How far is that up to the Ukrainian government to invest show? This is a conflict of interest is of interest I by Biden because it's their company company. PRISMA was Ukrainian company. and to me..