Gordon Sondland testifies as Mick Mulvaney alludes to a conspiracy theory


Coach every weeknight will give you updates and analysis into the incredibly fast moving impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump in a few minutes. We'll be talking to everyone. I'm David Chalian the CNN political director this is the daily DC impeachment he basically gave his side of the story about what was going on behind the scenes over the past several months while told name probably most listeners have never heard of him many journalists have not considered him to be a key player before this entire inquiry sorta issues right here because today he went on the hill and testified under oath sort of to protect himself a little bit saying when I was sworn in as passenger in the package of materials that I received as told what I needed to focus on was Ukraine that was a year ago before any of this stuff came up so surprising development that you saw in his prepared statement when he was going in to testify this morning Yeah Gordon Sunland right not a hell the president clearly in that phone call we all read the transcript it was about Biden now Gordon Sunland testimony today says it was more about it became the number one issue he's important here because he was one of the players that was talking with Rudy Giuliani talking with Donald Trump talked I have to listen to what the President says and a big trump donor fundraiser comes from sort of his world of hotels more than a world for CNN reporter and producer Marshall Cohen. Welcome to the podcast thanks for having me Marshall so today big big witness up on Capitol Hill so what when you when you read through that opening statement what stood out and what questions if you were on one of these diplomacy yeah as hill note though he noted today he's donated to Democrats and Republicans but definitely a big time huge donor to the trump inauguration oh he said clearly I'm an appointee of the President I take directions from the president but I am here to tell the truth that's in his statement and gene the ambassador to the e U Sunland who is a critical I think Jose critical position in the entire directly tie this to buy in a way that could be legally troubling but I was really struck by the fact that Gordon Sunlen trump appointee trump donor members of the administration were trying to get something from the new Ukrainian president and different people had different views of what that was. Committee's would you WANNA be asking it you know it was it was interesting statement long lengthy it seemed it seemed like he was trying to come off as very even handed he was there on the ground in Europe he had not only worth noting Ukraine not me you now on the part of his portfolio well and that's that's actually one of the you know it's kind of weird they're not e- you but it's important and that whole defense was look the president cares about this issue I take orders from the President Fire Ukraine story that is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry so I when I get from you why is he such a critical witness and what was the most eruption and it was more about helping us take a look back at what happened in two thousand sixteen you know sort of trying to make sure that they don't with the Ukrainians about investigations into corruption all of the issues that are now at the heart of what Democrats are looking at here did not totally toe the trump line you know he was not one hundred percent there he did not give trump's talking points behind closed doors what was the biggest way he did not to the trouble and how would you say is the biggest break well one of them would be that he said in no uncertain terms that military aid to Ukraine should never there have been withheld period full stop for any reason for any reason and the reason that he thinks it should never been withheld and it's in his testimony is because they need that aid to fight Russia so that's a big part of this too now the aid was held up at the direction of the president himself and we're learning more and more about that today even but that's a big break because you've heard the White House saying yes the aid was held up that's totally acceptable sunland about his thinking when he was told to work with Giuliani what went through his totally normal nothing wrong with it and now this key player is saying on the hill that should have never happened and do we have any sense from writing misinformation and budging into a process the has no role in but he said that they were uncomfortable essentially and a bit confused signed to give any insight into that he speaks to that now he did not condemn Giuliani in the way that some of the other witnesses have come in and said that Giuliani was but at the end of the day Sunlen says when the president asks you to talk to Rudy Giuliani you work for the president you call Rudy Giuliani and is not in lockstep with Donald Trump right now the White House said in no uncertain terms this INCRI is illegal and unconstitutional the administration had no intention whatsoever of cooperating in any way with this inquiry. Oh that's a great point David also highlights the fact that he twenty did and Is there any sense why he was testifying at all I thought I thought the White House made clear to the hill that was about his personal reputation or do you think he was trying to carve out some defenses for that he was doing more today to protect Gordon Sunlen or to protect Donald Trump was he do you think his mission was administration and they are testifying so that's a big break and when you read through what he said as we learn more reporting of what he said is your takeaway Marshall All and we are not cooperating but Gordon sunland other people that have come on the hill this week more people that will be on the hill next week work for the trump quote unquote everyone's going down underneath him right so it's in everyone's interest to coalesce around a legally defensible strategy but there were breaks trump over all in this impeachment inquiry I think it's converging bit you know because in one scenario if if if trump goes down and I was acting in the best interest of the United States which of course is his sworn duty as an ambassador representing the United States that's another question I have Marshall is about how Gordon Sunland perceived or dealt with this issue of the of Ivanovich who we know who was detailed to Ukraine who was Samir early dismissed and actually sort of against the grain of many people in the State Department in the diplomatic circles in the country with trump he did not go in there you know it it looked I it based off what we read it did not look at all like trump's defenses that he is giving to the cameras it read as more of a factual assertion of this is my understanding of it this is why I did what I did I thought talented diplomat with strong expertise and was an important part of US policy that is a huge difference if you ask felt that she was being recalled for reasons other than her job performance right there was a real politics at play here and I'm wondering did sunlen addresses Rudy Giuliani if you ask Donald trump they say that she is a total partisan hack who hates donald trump and is trying to undermine his administration she denies that there's no proof that that's true and you know it was interesting irate she says she was actually trying to remember to create an ad like this one visit pure winning dot com slash CNN visit Mba dot com or India to get started today in twenty fourteen over this and so she says I'm working on the real stuff you're twisting for your political goals and it looks like it got her punished did sunlen address dismissal I mean in the opening statement of course you know he he's he's been testifying for the whole day obviously it's a secret deposition so I'm he may have been asked about it I don't think in aggressively work at the corruption issue in crane what she says the real corruption issue eruption had sort of become this euphemism right Donald Trump has used the word corruption clearly pushing this newest message that we're hearing from the administration they want to focus and they want the country to focus on the fact that they were pushing Ukraine in to investigate corruption broadly and then potentially also investigate any ties to Ukraine and corruption and the two thousand sixteen election this really next year's g seven is going to be held at trump property will do emoluments on another podcast perhaps but he then took questions and obviously reporters goes to that whole unfounded conspiracy theory that Donald Trump and his conservative allies have been pushing that somehow this DNC server might the news today we have so much more to get to C. N. N. justice correspondent Jessica Schneider is going to join the conversation we'll be right back statement that was made public that he addressed a decision to recall her Marshall this is just one slice of the in the control of Ukraine and maybe it was Ukraine and not Russia who actually hacked and interfered with two thousand sixteen election which again is cents is going to be here from the trump administration as it relates to that phone call between trump and Dolinsky take a listen itself as a headline because we don't usually see administration officials anymore taking reporter's question exactly in that briefing room he went there of course to make the announcement about all have anything to say about that through Uganda under the boss how did he handle her. He praised Ianovich you know and and said that she was a very other countries where participating the support of Ukraine and whether or not they were cooperating in an ongoing investigation with our department of Justice that's completely legitimate so what do you think jess about welcome back to the daily DC Impeachment Watch on David Chalian Marshall Cohen is still with me and stepping up to the Mike here is C. N. N. justice correspondent Jessica Schneider whose detail in Ukraine because in the past we've heard that Durham the US attorney in Connecticut leading this as well as bill bar have talked with the foreign governments of Italy Way Mulvaney he's making the case here and the three point he laid out that he clearly thinks are legitimate reasons to hold up eight right so mick Mulvaney help from the Ukrainian government that's something we actually haven't heard from the Department of Justice so I it's interesting to see if Ukraine might be giving three factors again I was I was involved with the the process by which the money was held up temporarily three issues for that the corruption in the country whether or not actually led by John Durham the US attorney in Connecticut to get to the origins of the Russia investigation by the FBI. It's interesting that their time to mean please investigate Joe Biden where you've is there she's been on Ukraine for years there is real serious corruption in Ukraine they had an entire revolution has not wanted to believe that because he doesn't want to believe that Russia had any role in making him president so really the fact that Mick Mulvaney is put and can't get enough of the NBA sign for NBA League pass to gain access to every game being played across the association every night with all new ways to watch through the NBA at the Ukrainians hacked the DNC and framed Russia and the DNC hired this company crowd strike to set up the the fact fact that Russia meddled in the two thousand sixteen election in fact on the day that the DNC was hacked he put out a statement that said the DNC it is not founded by any of the intelligence agencies who said very clearly this was Russia interfering but of course donald trump since twenty seventeen when this all came out he hacked itself okay and so he's never really believed in this and so- Ukraine comes into the picture because as the conspiracy theory goes shing this that is going to be the administration's new narrative what was interesting at the end there he also tied it to the ongoing probe By the Justice Department any information into this underlying probe Marshall just because you're you're so expert in this obviously having worked on the Russia investigation as well why would you go Jay investigation of the origins of the Russian medication I mean I think a lot of it does stem from what the president believes and trying basically to use this DOJ review to unearth some information that might undermine the Russia pro I just think and could pro- but he's okay defending that eight pursuing some conspiracy theory is part of the reason that as an wants and what the president wants and what he wants to believe as well he look let's just be totally honest about this he's never unequivocally accepted Australia I believe the UK is well and now they're saying we want Ukraine's helping this to inbar is going to be bar has gotten or we've asked bar to get frame job that's totally false it's been rejected actually in court in Roger Stone's trial criminal case so that's where Ukraine comes into it and they're all to this unbelievably fast paced story as well Just I wanNA start with you actually the White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney went into the briefing room today that out of questions around Ukraine and impeachment and I think we got maybe the clearest signal yet at what the to what the real issues are here once again now we have the president's chief acting chief of Staff interjecting this conspiracy theory again and bring it to the fore have you here Nancy Pelosi on the time line here for the impeachment agree Mitch McConnell has said he'd like to have a child impeachment inquiry is the conversation Donald trump had with Zielinski where he did inject Biden into that conversation which was full of asks to the Ukrainian President or demand as if you will for whether a visit or eight or what have you and and Mick Mulvaney was not part of that conversation so the fact that he wasn't let's just back here mulvaney worked so hard from the podium today to separate out the Biden thing because well that's what the heart of the impeachment matters looking into that would really be that he had about Ukraine aid never involved Biden or Barista never mentioned I just like well what does it matter the one conversation that matters as it relates to this when Mitch McConnell in a CNBC interview suggested he would follow Senate rules and actually hold an impeachment trial but it seemed to cause a lot of speculation. I still don't have answers to those questions but keep in mind you know this isn't totally Mitch McConnell showed a run when it gets to the Senate this is a trial crane as Mulvaney Inc today the justices into that I g investigation why would you crane if we just went through an unfounded conspiracy theory be part of a D was held up somehow would be a justified reason I know the larger investigation is legit but this piece of it all right crane would seem to be an illegitimate part of it and but will that will be presided over by the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court John Roberts so while McConnell Ken sort

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