Mitt Romney breaks with GOP and votes to remove Trump from office

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

You believe that Donald Trump is is unfit to serve as president and should be removed from office. I do believe he should be removed from office. That's the vote that I will take an in just a short while if this means the end of your our political career broad shoulders to be able to to whether personal changes in my in my career political or otherwise. But what I don't have is the capacity to ignore my conscience the first time in American history sitting. US Senator voted to convict and remove president of his own party. Republican Senator Mitt Romney Utah Shocked. I gotta say just about everyone me as much as anyone without announcement and vote today before he did that before he decided trump was guilty of abuse the power given interviews the Atlantic's McKay coppins talking about his rationale. He said that this is the last place he wanted to find himself quote. I did not want to get here. In fact. He said that heard the reason he wanted. Former national security adviser John Bolton to testify about what president trump had told him was quote. I had the hope that Bolton would be able to say something it's to create reasonable doubt so I wouldn't have to vote to convict to talk more about Senator Romney's vote to android with a guy who got that big interview. McKay coppins staffer of the Atlantic and Neil Cacho former acting solicitor. Sir General in the Obama Administration who co-authored an opinion piece in the Times today titled This will come back to haunt trump and his enablers. Kayla me start with you a remarkable ccable moment in politics often. We don't surprise us because it's like well everyone's GonNa just do. What the partisan incense here? What was your sense of talking to him about what this meant and how he got there you know? I have to say that when I was told by his office that he was willing to talk to me yesterday and that he would reveal his vote. I went there with the assumption that he would probably be telling me he was gonNA vote to acquit. That wasn't to say I was. I wasn't open to the possibility. Maybe I think I actually said on your show last fall that I thought of all the Republican senators. Romney was the biggest threat to vote to convict. But you know I watched this kind of wrathful. Aw response from the right over. The last few months directed at him and I kind of expected him to be cowed and have like a bunch of excuses for why he had decided to to vote to acquit instead. He was very kind of almost indignant about what he saw as the president's misconduct he was dismayed by by his party. Ready and what. What's become of it and you know one thing that was remarkable to me was the degree to which he was talking about? Very personal issues of conscience and faith faith morality. He told me you know. I'm a fellow Mormon. And he was talking. He was quoting scripture to me quoting from hymns kind of talking about how he had he had had to pray eight for wisdom throughout this ordeal and so this really was something that was very personal for him and something seemed really committed to kneel. You wrote today about History history haunting the Republican senators or even in the near term being haunted by this. But what do you mean by that. Why do you think that's the case as opposed to it being consigned the memory hole like so so much that happens in our in our political world? Yeah I think that the GOP is now like the grand old cover party. And I think there's kind of three structural girl features that if I were publican outside of Romney I'd be really worried about number one. Is that seventy five percent of Americans wanted witnesses and seventy five percent of Americans. I think the president. That's something wrong in Ukraine. And that's even though we're so bitterly divided as a country so many Americans share that same core belief. The second is is the Democratic Party which has been told from the start impeachments assure loser the president keeps saying it and the like and they did it anyway. They did it despite the cost. Because has like Senator Romney they thought it was the right thing and third underappreciated and this is also the role of The folks in the Federal Government People like Dr Dr Fiona Hill and colonel of inman and the brave whistle blower all of whom came forward to say. Hey this is a real problem those three things together. So let's say to me if the president continues doing this stuff. He's going to face those three problems again. And then there's one other thing which is a consequence of the president's own legal arguments he said it to the Senate to things he said number one that there weren't any first-hand witnesses and the house should have gotten them and number two he said. Let the voters decide in November. Those two things together say the House tomorrow should be subpoenaing Bolton and gone launching a full-scale investigation. And that's what the president's President's own lawyers said should be done and so yeah. I'd be really worried if I'm the president I'd be worried about every senator who enabled this cover up McKay Don Jr. in Europe somewhat predictably tweeting about how Mitt Romney should be expelled from the GOP that he's now officially a member of the resistance and should be expelled and then of course Romney's niece Ronna Romney mcdaniel. Who is the chair of the? GOP said this is not the first time I disagree with Mitt. I imagine not be the last. The bottom line is president trump. Did nothing wrong. Republican Party's ladies more united than ever behind him. I got to imagine everyone's GonNa Watch the predictable kind of nuclear reaction that they will get from from from trump and the Republican party on this well. That's that's the whole point that's the strategy and that's been the strategy from day one that Donald trump goes after Mitt Romney when he steps out of line not because he he thinks he's going to be able to intimidate Mitt Romney necessarily because he's sending a message to all the other Republicans who might consider stepping out of line. I will say that you know when I was talking to Romney. He was bracing for this political backlash yesterday and he said Look. I know this is going to be really bad. I know that the vast majority of my party is lined up behind trump. He told me when he he's in airports. Every walk down the street random people will shout things at him in call him a traitor. Tell him he ought to be ashamed of himself and that was before he took this vote. So you know the the backlash is going to be by kind kind of deliberately. A spectacle to try to make an example out of Mitt Romney and I think that's part of the reason that Romney it'll be interesting to continue to watch him both both how he reacts to that and and how he kind of weather is that because while I do think there's GonNa be a lot of anger from the White House presidents allies the grassroots. I'm not actually sure that his Republican colleagues in the Senate are going to be quite as vicious and and you know Romney wants to show that you can do this. You can take this so you can stand up to trump and continue to resist. Do Your job. The president also of course tweeting a as I said earlier kind of nonsensical video targeting Romney I also I also wonder Neil and this is sort of different calculation but but but folks in the civil service I mean this seems to be key so many of them wrist stuck their neck out to go to go testify. We we know that there were people in the administration some political mostly civil servants. who were saying this is wrong? This is wrong. We shouldn't be doing this and I wonder what today means for them as well. In terms of restraining the president going forward so two things I just with respect to the conversation you were just having it so striking to me that this is the same person who evidently said something according to CBS opponents head is going to put on a pike and that led all the Republican senators to freak out when representative Schiff made that argument. But now that's exactly what's Howard's to Romney. We don't hear any of the any of that back and then with respect to the federal bureaucracy. I think you're absolutely right. You could take two different lessons from at one is it. Didn't work but I think the lesson that dead there is being taken in America. I'm starting to hear it from people in the federal government including when people who've seen some bad stuff and haven't come forward yet is the truth has got to come out. If the truth keeps coming out then the president is going to be stymied and all of the horrible things that he's trying to do and so I think this is going to be a lesson that's going to empower future whistleblowers. It's not going to hold them back And I certainly encouraged anyone with information to come forward McKay coppins and Neil Cacho. Thanks Janet from raking time tonight.

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