Listen: President Trump, President And Joe Biden discussed on The 11th Hour with Brian Williams
"Tonight our lead story is the president's own words what he said out loud with all of us listening that seemed violate his oath of office and seemed to some Democrats ads at least to be enough for an article of impeachment right then and there what started as a story about what the president told you crane about having the Biden's investigated has has exploded out from there tonight new breaking stories about the actions of our diplomats overseas the actions of Rudy Giuliani overseas the firing of our ambassador acid to Ukraine and there's a new whistleblower this time inside the irs Aka the keepers of the president's taxes all of it as has the eleventh hour gets underway on Thursday night well good evening once again again from our NBC News headquarters here in New York and has we bring day nine eighty seven of the trump administration to a close yet again tonight we are. Orien- brand new territory all of us that is because today in broad daylight with cameras rolling and helicopter waiting for him the president said and something out loud roundly believed to be impeachable here is California Democrat member of Congress Ted Lieu. There is more than enough evidence right right now to draft articles of impeachment. Here's Berkeley law professor Orin Kerr what if a president committed an impeachable offense on TV from the South Lawn John and no one in his party cared. I worry way me we may be about to find out here's how the always proper New York Times puts it quite simply tonight tonight. In their headline on the web trump publicly urges China to investigate the Biden's and that is indeed what we heard the president residents say well. I would think that if they were honest about it that sort of major investigation into the vice very simple answer they should investigate the by because because how does a company that's newly formed and all these companies if you look in by the way likewise China should start an investigation into did about because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with with Ukraine I I haven't but certainly something we could start thinking about that right trump's call for the Chinese to investigate the Biden's it comes as he is facing impeachment charges for pushing the Ukrainians to investigate the Biden's while withholding military aid from the Ukrainians passed passed by Congress as that investigation moves ahead new reporting about the administration is emerging tonight the New York Times says trump's diplomats pushed Ukraine to commit to who inquiries into political rivals the Washington Post writes that a former diplomat tells house investigators that Ukrainians gave Rudy Giuliani bad information formation about the Biden's The Wall Street Journal's on the board they revealed trump ousted a US ambassador to Ukraine after complaints from Giuliani and others also also from the Washington Post. There's apparently another whistle blower and irs complaint involving the audit of either the president's or vice president's is tax returns. Today we saw the first witness and the impeachment inquiry appear on Capitol Hill Kurt Volker who resigned last week as trump's point man in Ukraine Ukraine was interviewed for over nine hours closed session by house investigators about his dealings with Ukrainians and his dealings with trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani Liani New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt and his colleagues write that Volcker and Gordon dishonest the United States Ambassador to the European Union quote drafted a a statement for the country's new president in August that would have committed Ukraine to pursuing investigations sought by Mr Trump into his political rivals. The Washington Post says Volcker told how staff that he tried to caution Giuliani that his sources including Ukraine's former top prosecutor were unreliable reliable and that he should be careful about putting faith in the prosecutor's theories and the Wall Street Journal reveals that one reason trump ousted are us US ambassador to Ukraine had to do with assertions from his friend Rudy Giuliani that she was quote undermining him abroad and obstructing efforts to persuade to Kiev to investigate former vice president Joe Biden. Meanwhile trump is ramping up his attacks on the Democrats. Here's what he said to an audience of seniors seniors during a Medicare themed event in central Florida Today. If you want to drive them crazy just say eight more years or twelve years in sixteen sixteen do it good you'd really drive them into the Looney bin and that's why they do the impeachment crap because they know they can't beat US fairly. That's the only reason that they can't win. They can tonight a source tells. NBC News that the White House plans to send a letter to Speaker Pelosi as early as tomorrow and they'll say that they won't turn over any documents related to the Ukraine until the house votes to officially open an impeachment inquiry yesterday. House Democrats said they plan to subpoena the administration for those records. Democrats Democrats will hear from their second witness tomorrow when Intelligence Community Inspector General that makes him the I C I g Michael Atkinson testifies justifies behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee. It's a lot as we say every night and here for our leadoff discussion on a Thursday night Robert Costa hoste national political reporter for the Washington Post moderator of Washington Week on PBS Joel Kovin White House reporter for the Associated Press Mile Wiley Former Assistant Austin US attorney for the southern district of New York now a university professor at the new school here in New York and the aforementioned Michael Schmidt Pulitzer Prize winning Washington correspondent for from the New York Times good evening to all of you really appreciate your stepping forward to help out our conversation and our fact-finding here Michael. I'd like to begin with you whose idea yeah was it to present Ukraine with a pledge in effect tying their agreement to look into the Biden's with with our agreement to loosen up military aid by the way to protect them from Russia that was approved by Congress well. That's what we're trying to figure out moments ago. Capitol Hill releasing new text messages and email messages that were exchanged between Volker and Giuliani and other senior State Department officials Israel's to try and shed more light on how this statement actually came about what was it that led these two career diplomats to raise the idea hi dear with Ukrainians that they needed to say publicly that they were going to investigate this company linked to Biden Son and two thousand sixteen election to make it all sorts of simple. I know there's a lot here. We just have to come back to the July. Call it was July call between the president and the president of Ukraine in which these investigations came up August was the way that it started to move forward. They were talking about locking the Ukrainians in publicly to doing this. Just saying it to the president in a phone call was not enough the US wanted them to commit to it on the record. That's what the president didn't wanted. He wanted these investigations. He used his State Department to do it Jovan. It looks all kinds of bad of course the specificity. The granularity has been in terms of the Miller report. This era we're living in that has been bad to tell the central tenets of the story but but this much we know that this pledge notion apparently falls between the phone call and the releasing of the military aid and that furthers the bad look correct yeah absolutely and just the speed with which this is coming forward the fact that we already now as of tonight are being able to look directly at these text messages this information exchange between the State Department between Ukrainian officials. It's all just developing so much faster than the Mueller investigation did which the president in a really difficult spot spot here because you know that was a months-long years long process where there was a lot of back and forth you had people outside the White House weighing in you had the president's inside outside legal teams were working together to come up with strategies and in this case you really just have the president kind of the single body the single person communicating trying to dictate tate strategy here and holding sessions the one we saw on the South Lawn today where the president sort of repeated that incredible moment from the two thousand sixteen campaign where he said you know Russia. Are you listening coming up so we'd love Hillary Clinton's emails and here you had the president standing there in the public eye on the southbound of the White House saying Hey China. Maybe you can help me out to I'm going to read something from mutual friend of ours. Barbara mcquade former US attorney in the state of Michigan she wrote today. This habit of committing crimes comes in plain sight is intriguing trump is practically daring us to call him out for soliciting foreign influence into our election which is a crime. I accept the air. This is a crime my does she speak for you are absolutely speaks for me and you know moreover remember for that in the Muller report one of the things that Robert Mueller said was two hundred and seventy one contacts between the trump campaign and Russian operatives and on that day that Joe mentions when he said publicly. Hey Russia love to see those any emails als if you can find those thirty thousand emails that that is the day that the the agency that was interfering in our election ramped up its activity which is to say that in addition to it being a clear campaign finance violation and I would argue that if you crane was a smoking gun which it was which it is that China now and what Donald Trump did a howitzer that he it was it was plain central public unabashed and it is also an abuse of authority remember member than an impeachment. We do not need a crime. Even though we have one here I would argue that actually just using the office to who advance your personal interests as opposed to the interests of the country and in this case with China not just Ukraine crane with China not just Australia that Donald Trump is saying help me with my personal political problem helped me with my my personal political problem and one thing that we should know and I just want to note this the Kiev post which is independent journalism in the Ukraine which as far ars I can tell is quite respected. Source of independent information wrote a piece making clear that the non-profit non-governmental non-governmental anti corruption community was adamant about getting rid of the prosecutor. The Donald Trump wants to open open the investigation on because not just Joe Biden but other countries in Europe had been and abroad were insisting be essentially had gotten rid of so we have a constitutional crisis if we do not have a a Senate as as well as a house that is willing to take this up as the constitution tells us it must Robert Costa. Let me throw you an audible in the interest of transparency since we've been on the air have been handed this what thirty page packet of information including but not limited to text messages from the entire. US team over in Ukraine rather than me reading cold names. I haven't seen and information I don't know I know. You've had a few minutes to look through them. What kind of material have the Democrats released tonight. What the most important information text messages from Mr Volcker that reveal he he was in touch with the White House about having Ukraine take some kind of investigative action in order to secure a meeting with President trump and perhaps to get that military aid so you see the transactional nature of these discussions with Volker with president trump members of his administration with the Ukrainians and that's revealed field in an explicit way in many of these text messages and now Robert a tougher question because it has to deal with the times we're living in and it's about the Democrats arguably Joe Biden in the Biden campaign have allowed Donald Trump to tell his story and their family only story this week period end of sentence and paragraph. That's banned wear the Biden. Narrative has been coming out every ten minutes from the White House similarly tonight. You'll note at the top of our broadcast we quoted. Ted Lieu saying among the many people who said today the president just oust handed US language of an article of impeachment and he did it on live television today next to the helicopter. We can't throw you to the press conference that we saw today at five or six eastern time with the speaker and with Adam Schiff Speaker had an event in Florida shift had an event in Chicago.."