State department aide overheard Trump checking on Ukraine scheme
The show we at nine eastern on. MSNBC thank you for joining us this hour on this Friday night I will tell you. There are a bunch of moving parts in the news right now and we're just going to take it one piece at a time. One step at a time with the full and full hearted expectation that more news will break over the course of this hour. You know it will. I mean that has generally been our experience on Friday nights over the course of the trump administration but today and tonight already it has just been relentless. So let's just jump in. We've got a whole show prepared. I'm sure it's all about to go out the window. Obviously obviously today was the second public hearing of the impeachment proceedings against President Trump. We're GONNA talk about that in detail tonight in terms of the latest news though I do. I need to mention that as soon as the public hearing wrapped up today with US ambassador. Marie Ivanovich immediately thereafter. The Impeachment Committee started taking a closed door deposition opposition from another new witness. The public airings like the ones we saw ambassador Ianovich today. Those are supposed to be the sort of second phase of the Impeachment Schmidt proceedings but apparently as more of the story is becoming known to the public and to the investigators and as more witnesses are coming forward. You you know. The impeach committees are having to sort of figure out what to do with new folks who are relevant to the investigation that they're still proceeding leading with so they're discovering new witnesses there then arranging testimony from these new witnesses and in order to do that. They're basically going back behind closed closed-doors to take initial closed-door depositions from these new witnesses before deciding whether they too will go on to be part of any public proceedings so he ovonic Donovan wrapped today at this public hearing but then immediately after that the impeachment committee the Intelligence Committee but also foreign affairs and oversight they went back behind closed stores at the Secure Conference Room at the Capitol to take a closed-door deposition from David holds now David Holmes is a career Foreign Service officer. We heard about him for the first time though not by name at the first public impeachment hearing that happened this week when ambassador Bill Taylor broke. This surprise is news last Friday. A member of my staff told me of events that occurred on July twenty six in the presence of my staff at a restaurant called president trump and told him of his meetings gave the member of my staff could hear president trump on the phone asking combat leaders sunland about the investigations toll president trump the Ukrainians were ready to move forward. Following the call with President is it in trump that member of my staff ambassador. Solomon what president. Trump thought about Ukraine responded that president trump cares more about the investigations of Biden which Giuliani was pressing for at the time. I gave my deposition on October. Twenty second I was not aware of this information. And I'm including it here for completeness so we learn of that story just a couple of days ago and ambassador Bill Taylor's testimony at the first impeachment hearing right. It's kind of a dramatic. Reveal a member of his staff coming forward to tell him something. That ambassador didn't know about before which is that. There had been a phone call between president trump personally ambassador. Astor Gordon saw land. Who called the president from a restaurant in Ukraine on his cellphone on July twenty six the day after president trump had that call with the Ukrainian president that's the call that has basically led to these impeachment proceedings in that call on July twenty? Six Taylor's staff member says he was able to hear the president on that phone enquiring personally about those investigations that he was pressing Ukraine for. Well there's been a quick turnaround in terms of running that story to ground and so now today that staffer that was referenced and Bill Taylor's testimony two days ago. That staffer has now been brought to Capitol Hill and today he gave his closed door deposition and credit to CNN's excellent congressional correspondent Manu Raju. Who was first to obtain a copy of the opening statement that David Holmes gave in that closed door deposition? Today you can see it here. It's a obviously a photocopy of a folded sheet that contained his his opening statement Manu Raju attain the CNN. Posted it and it's a doozy. I will warn you. There's a couple of swears here eventually. I'm going to say the swear words but if you're disturbed by knowing they are you know they're coming. I let me read you. What David Home says is basically his explanation as to why he's coming forward at this late point point in the process? He says quote as the current impeachment inquiry has progressed. I have followed press reports and reviewed the statements of Ambassador Taylor and Ambassador Ianovich based on my experience. It's in Ukraine. My recollection is generally consistent with their testimony and I believe that the relevant facts were therefore being laid out for the American people however in the last week or so I read press reports reports expressing for the first time that certain senior officials may have been acting without the president's knowledge and they're dealing and suggesting that the only evidence being elicited visited the hearings was hearsay. I came to realize home says that I had firsthand. Knowledge regarding certain events on July twenty six that had otherwise is not been reported and that those events potentially bore on the question of whether the president in fact had knowledge that those officials were using the levers of our diplomatic power to induce due to the new Ukrainian president to announce the opening of a particular criminal investigation at that point that I made the observation to ambassador Taylor that the incident I I had witnessed had acquired greater significance which is what he reported in his testimony earlier this week. So that's why homes are saying. This is why I'm coming forward. I I realized that you know what I know. I thought it was just consistent with what you've already heard but then I realize I actually know something that other people don't and that other people are saying hang isn't the way this all went down. You need to know about this thing that I know now. As to the delight twenty six call the way built. Bill Taylor described it in his testimony. Today's ago I think actually sort of underplays it compared to what David Holmes is just described the impeachment committees today at least as far as his opening statement. But we've got that now and again what he's describing here in time. This is late July. July twenty fifth president trump makes that call to the Ukrainian president right. We've all seen the call notes. It's from that led to the impeachment inquiry the day after that a delegation of US officials including ambassador. Gordon Sunland the trump donor guy who was assigned assigned to be ambassador to the EU and the president inexplicably reassigned him to go work on Ukraine. Instead Ambassador Golden Gordon Donlan and this witness who testified today David Holmes. They went into a high level meeting with the Ukrainian government and crew including a meeting with President Zelinski. Just one day after President's Alinsky had that call with President trump trump and at that point home said he hadn't himself had a readout as to what had happened during the coal the previous day between trump and Dolinsky but he says Dolinsky Linski the following day at his meeting said that quote President Trump had three times raised some very sensitive issues and that he would have to follow up on those issues issues when they met in person. Home says quote not having received a readout of July twenty fifth call. I did not know what those sensitive issues were home says quote as I was leaving the meeting with presidents Alinsky. I was told to join another meeting with Ambassador Sunlen when that meeting ended. The two staffers accompanied Ambassador Sunland out of the presidential administration. The station building and into the embassy vehicle ambassador Sunland said he wanted to go to lunch. I told them Bassett or SAMBA. I'd be happy to join if he wanted to. Brief me on his meetings. Things are discuss other issues. Ambassador Sunland said I should join. The two. Staffers joined for lunches. Well the four of us went to a nearby restaurant and sat on an outdoor terrace. I I sat directly across from Basseterre Sunland and the two staffers set off to our sides. At first the lunch was largely social ambassador. Sunland selected a bottle of wine that he shared among the four of us and we discussed topics such as marketing strategies for his hotel business. At which point I interject with narrator narrative voice your tax payer dollar's at work embassador talking about marketing strategies for his hotel business with all of these foreign service officers and embassy staffers. But then here's the part that Bill Taylor brought to the attention of the impeachment committees quote during the lunch ambassador. Sunland said that he was going to call president trump to give him an update ambassador. Sunland placed the call on his mobile phone and I heard him announced himself several times. Along the lines of Gordon Sunlit for the president it appeared that he was being transferred through several layers switchboards and assistance then noticed ambassador. Someone's demeanor change. I understood that he had been connected. To President. Trump while embassador sunland phone was not on speakerphone. I could hear the president's voice through the earpiece of the phone. The president's voice was very loud and recognizable and ambassador. Sunland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time presumably because of the loud volume I heard ambassador. Sunland greet the president and explained that he was calling calling from. I heard President trump then clarify that ambassador sunlen was in Ukraine ambassador. Sunland replied yes. He was in Ukraine and went on to state date that President Zelinski. Forgive me here. I went onto state. The president's Alinsky loves your ASS. I said I wasn't isn't GonNa say the swear word and then I just did. I'm sorry homes continues. I then heard president trump. Ask so he's going to do the investigation ambassador assange replied that he's GonNa do it. Adding that presidents Alinsky will do anything you ask him to. Even though I did not take notes on these the statements. I have a clear recollection that these statements were made. I believe that my colleagues were sitting at the table also knew that ambassador Sunland was speaking with the president which which would mean there are two more witnesses. Who can attest to the fact that this happened? David homes then described some of the other things that happened on that conversation. He could overhear between Gordon. Insulin and president trump including naturally a a reference to the Kardashians. Long story we'll talk about that some other time but then there's this he says quote after the call ended Ambassador Sunland remarked that the president was in a bad mood as ambassador. Sunland stated is often the case early. In the morning I then took the opportunity to ask ambassador Sunland for his candidate impression of the president's views on Ukraine in particular I asked Ambassador Sunlit if it was is true that the president did not give that the president did not that the president did not give a shoot about Ukraine. He didn't say shoot ambassador. Embassador sunland agreed that the president did not give shoot about Ukraine. I asked why not an ambassador. sunlen stated that the president only cares about quote the big stuff. I noted that there was big stuff going on in Ukraine like a war with Russia Ambassador Sunland replied that he meant big stuff off that benefits. The president like the Biden investigation. That Mr Giuliani was pushing. The conversation then moved on to other topics again. That's from the opening statement from Foreign Service Officer David Holmes which is obtained and first published tonight by CNN. That witness both corroborating the testimony Moni. We've heard thus far from witnesses ambassadors Bill Taylor and Marie Ivanovich but also directly quoting the president in a conversation in which the president appears to have been checking up on his men in Ukraine to inquire as to the progress of these investigations into the bias that he was leaning on that foreign government to provide them the president pressuring that foreign government to do those investigations of course because of the domestic political benefit. He thought they would provide him here at home. And that of course is the core issue issue for which the president is now being impeached. David Holmes is testimony and presumably any further corroborating testimony on this matter that we may get from those other two alleged witnesses Mrs who were sitting there listening to that call as well or maybe even from ambassador. Gordon Sunland himself who is scheduled to testify next week. That testimony I mean it all puts the president squarely and personally in the role of not only running this operation for which is being impeached. But personally checking again on its progress as the pressure campaign was at its apex. So that's all happened. That's all come out tonight. Since since the Ivanovich testimony at this dramatic hours long hearing today I should also tell you that tomorrow. There's GonNa be another closed door deposition for the first time I an official from the White House Office of Management and budget is going to be testifying from good reporting I in the Wall Street Journal and also in the Washington Post. We believe that the official. Who's going to testify tomorrow? Morrow from Owen will be able to describe what appears to have been a strange process inside the White House in which somebody decided the career expert officials in charge of tracking something like military Ukraine. Those career expert officials were taken out of the process of releasing or holding the military aid to Ukraine. Those career officials were replaced instead by trump political appointee who had been the executive director of the Wisconsin. Jason Republican Party until now there has been no public reporting. Excuse me until now. There has been public reporting but no testimony to the impeachment inquiry that the reason the White House may have had to do that. The reason they may have had to take those career technocratic expert officials out of that policy process and instead installed their political appointee is because of a belief by the career officials that the president putting this hold on the military aid for Ukraine is something that was actually illegal. That is why the White House apparently had to take out of the loop these career officials because this career officials knew and expressed the view that that would be illegal legal so they had to take those people out of the mix and instead stick a political appointee in there. Who apparently would be happy to do it so that career Oh mb staffer is going to testify testify in a closed-door deposition tomorrow? I don't know if we're going to get an opening statement from that official the way we did from David Holmes tonight but stay tuned tuned. Impeachment is not stopping for the weekend. It's not even stopping tonight but we are starting to recognize consistent sort of dynamics namic at work in the way the president tried to pull off this scheme the way public officials public servants. Who would have who wouldn't wouldn't go along with it? Had to be taken off the job or otherwise sidelined so this scheme to pressure Ukraine for the president's benefit could go L. ahead. I don't know if you had a chance to watch George Kent testimony yesterday but would you agree with his rather frank assessment at if you fight corruption and you're GonNa Piss off some corrupt people. Yes and your efforts fighting corruption to advance policy interested you anger some of the crop leaders in Ukraine gene. Yes was one of those people prosecutor general Yury. Let's Hanko yes I believe. So and was Mr Lukashenko among others who coordinated with Mr Giuliani to peddle false accusations against you. As well as the Biden's yes that is my understanding and were these mirrors also amplified by the President's son Donald Trump junior as well as certain hosts on Fox. Yes yes that is the case in the face of this smear campaign did colleagues at the State Department tried to get a statement of support for you from Secretary Repub Pale. Yes were they successful. Did you come to learn that. They couldn't issue such a statement because they feared it would be undercut by the president. Yes and then. Were you told that you had done nothing wrong. You did not enjoy the confidence of the president and could no longer serve as ambassador. Yes that is correct and in fact you flew home from Kiev on the same day. As the inauguration of Ukraine's new president and that's true that inauguration was attended by a three hope become known as the three goes embassador. sunlen Volcker and Perry wasn't yes three days after that inauguration in a meeting with president trump. Are you aware that the president designated these three Amigos to coordinate bordenave Ukraine policy with Rudy Giuliani Cincinnati. Become aware of that. This is the same Rudy Giuliani. WHO orchestrated a smear campaign against you? Yes and the same Rudy Giuliani. Who during the now infamous July twenty fifth phone call? The president recommended twos Lewinsky in the context. Six to the two investigations. The President wanted into the twenty sixteen election. And the Biden's yes. Yes so yeah they needed you. Know they need the the career official at the White House budget office. Who realizes they're going to do? They're trying to do an illegal hold on military aid to Ukraine. Yeah they need that official out out of there instead putting a political appointee he'll do it similarly. They need ambassador. Maria Vich thirty thirty three year. Foreign Service inveterate serious person right. They need Marie Ianovich Patriot out of there so they pulled together this kind of Kabbalah all of slime merchants to cook wild false allegations against Maria Vich and they use that as the way to get out of there and then once she's out of there they instead dead. Install the president's guys to move in and make sure that Ukraine gets the full brunt of the pressure campaign that they've got to get trump those investigations to help them for twenty twenty. And there's the president on the phone to one of those guys. I'm getting my investigations. Yes Sir your President Mr President they gotta give you anything you want. I could. That's what he wants to know because that's the big stuff that's the big stuff that benefits him and that's what he's using Ukraine for and so yeah. Of course you've got to get somebody like Marie Ivanovich out of there. She's he's not gonNA play. These reindeer games. Are you got to get the real ambassador out of there. You gotta get her out of the way so your guys can come in and take that situation in. Take that situation over. In order to pull off the scheme to upend everything. The United States is doing in accordance with US policy and US interests in that country to instead. Ed Turn it all to the president's domestic political benefit. The last time you were in Ukraine was may twentieth of this year. Right yes in his opening statement ambassador Taylor said he took charge and Ukraine on June seventeenth. Yes therefore there was almost. Oh stay one month gap between the time you departed and when Taylor took over right yes yes during that time on May twentieth anyth- Ambassador Sunlen Rick. Perry and others came to the inauguration of President Dolinsky right and during that gap in time ambassador Sunlen visited the White House along with others and got directions from president trump to talk to rudy those. Those were his words. talked to rudy about what to do in Ukraine right. That's my understanding in other words. Isn't it the case that your departure and the one month gap between the time you left and went ambassador. Taylor arrived provided the perfect opportunity community for another group of people to basically take over. Ukraine policy. Isn't that right. Yeah Ambassador you'RE GONNA have to speak a little louder into the mice. Yes yes yeah. They had to get her out of there. They had to run this smear campaign against her get her yanked out of there so that the trump guys who are willing to take direction from Rudy Giuliani and take direction from the president about getting those investigations allegations and in the case of Gordon silent by his own admission the guys who are willing to tell Ukraine that they weren't gonna get their military aid unless they call that stuff up. Those guys had to get in there which meant ambassador. Maria Vich had to get out if you had remained ambassador to Ukraine. Would you have recommended to the president of the United States that he asked the new Ukrainian president to investigate. And I'm quoting from the transcript here crowd strike or the server now. I would repeat once again that the US the US intelligence community has concluded that it was the Russians. Okay Inter so investor if you hit and remained as ambassador and not been summarily dismissed the would you have supported a three month delay in congressionally mandated military aid to Ukraine. Now ambassador best if you had remained as ambassador of Ukraine would you recommend to the president that he asking new president of Ukraine to quote. Find out about Biden's son. I have no more questions. Yield back the balance of mytalk. Yeah she wouldn't have done any of those things she wouldn't have stood for any of those things so they had to get her out of there. which would have worked perfectly? Except for the fact that what people like that people who have been run roughshod like that people who've had to be ejected from the normal course so that the president's guys could come in and do what the president needed to be done regardless of whether it was illegal the people who got ejected from that process whether the career staffers in the budget office or the career ambassador and the embassy those people are real people who are alive and who will respond to subpoenas when lawfully subjected to compulsory process by an impeachment proceeding seating. There were a couple of other things that were either brand new at this hearing today or that intruded on the hearing from outside. They were both big surprises. In in one of these cases it made me get up off my couch and jump up and down and call everybody that I know of those instances coming up. Stay the last time tonight hey. MSNBC listeners it's me Chuck Rosenberg this week. On the oath I sit down with Roberta Jacobson when the former United States ambassador to Mexico on a day to day basis Canada and Mexico affect more citizens of the United States than perhaps anywhere else the world. Roberta Jacobson has spent her professional life in service to the United States. In her case by advancing its interests abroad responsible for the operation of the the US embassy in Mexico and for the crucial relationship with our large and vibrant neighbor to the south. It's very much bringing America to the world and and bringing the world back to America. Please join me for that conversation with. Roberta Jacobson the former United States ambassador to Mexico. That's this week on. MSNBC's news the oath available now wherever you get your podcasts. About an hour into today's dramatic impeachment hearing an external event intruded fruited upon the hearing about ten. Am this morning eastern time when the president himself made a statement online attacking ambassador. Marie Ivanovich even S.. She testified and that of course is sort of the president's Mo right this is one of his favorite ways to derail the news when things are not going his way. He just grabs the nearest third rail and says something so outrageous deliberately outrageous that people in good faith and in good conscience can't ignore it and people stop stop talking about whatever was going on in the news that he was trying to distract from an instead they turn to the president's latest outrageous statement and talk about that if this president was the pony and he had to be reduced to one trick that would be his one pony trick like. That's the closest thing. He has to a superpower but when the president trump tried that standard one trick pony trick today in the middle of Maria versus testimony. It went wrong for him and a couple of important ways bester. You're showing the courage to come forward today and testify. Notwithstanding the fact you urged by the White House or State Department not to notwithstanding the fact that as you testified earlier. You're the president implicitly. Threatened you in that call record and now the president real time is attacking you. What effect do you think that has on other witnesses? Willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing. Well it's very intimidating dime designed to intimidate is it not. I can't speak to what the president is trying to do but I think the effect is to be intimidating. Well I want to let you know about Astro that some of us here take witness intimidation varies very seriously part of the reason. This standard trump attention trick of saying something outrageous. Diverting everybody's attention from what was going on to instead pay attention to whatever latest outrageous thing he has said or done part of the reason. I think this went a little pear shape for the president. Today is number one because impeachment hearing is not a news cycle. It's a real thing and the president may have just earned himself. A new standalone article of impeachment today for witness intimidation by having the goal to do this in the middle of public testimony. That was in part about the way the president has mistreated and used this distinguished career. Foreign Service Officer. Who had never done anything wrong? That's one of the president's not used to like you know accountability accountability so that was hard the other reason it went wrong for the president today though is just Karmic. Bad timing because within the hour of that happening in that that hearing room a jury sitting in federal court in Washington. DC finished up. Their deliberations filed back into a courtroom and handed to the judge. This verdict this verdict sheet. These two pages are the verdict sheet. They handed over to the judge today. This verdict against the president's most longstanding political adviser Roger Stone and as you can see there on the verdict sheet the jury was asked to consider seven. Felony counts against Mr Stone. Their decision on those counts was guilty. Guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty and in some ways this verdict. It's sort of tempting to see it as yet. Another trump campaign campaign figure go into prison or at least a waiting at least another one of them awaiting sentencing after being convicted or pleading guilty of felony charges. I mean there's a lot of them now right you are going to name a wing after them. At some point I mean everybody from his National Security Adviser to his campaign chairman to his deputy campaign chairman to his foreign policy adviser to his lawyer. This guy too you mean. It is tempting to just add this news. Seven Count Felony conviction today to the pile but it was also impossible to avoid the fact today that the AH The felony for which Roger Stone is facing the most jail time of these seven felonies which he was convicted today the one for which he's looking at a potential twenty year. Maximum prison sentence sentenced is the crime of witness. Tampering was count seven today against Roger Stone. A violation of eighteen. US Code Section fifteen. Twelve B subsection. One we the members of the jury unanimously find Mr Stone guilty counts seven witness tampering among the most damning evidence in the mullahs report in volume told the Miller report was the evidence. The the president had tried to tamper with witnesses in the Russia case including Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort and others and the special counsel said he couldn't bring criminal charges against the president for that behavior or anything else but the impeachment inquiry is not constrained in the same way so within the hour that the president resident is hearing from the head of the impeachment inquiry about how seriously how very very seriously those committees take the crime of witness intimidation. A here's his longstanding political adviser being convicted in a criminal court of witness intimidation so that all being spat out of the volcano by the news. God's at the same time today wasn't very dramatic thing but immediately after that happened in the head while the hearing was still buzzing with what had just happened there in front of their eyes. We then got a brand new piece of information about the president's behavior here and the president's motivation here that had never been voiced before this is the thing that made me get off the couch and stand up and start calling everybody that I know that's next. We've got a lot to come tonight. Stay with us so this was new today today noon today and fascinating to me last night on the show you might remember. We talked about how this pressure campaign against Ukraine for which president trump is being impeached. The campaign was designed to get the government in Ukraine to announce some kind of investigation into Democratic presidential front runner. Joe Biden and because you can't put too fine a point on it with with these guys even if you try. The specific demand was that Ukraine needed to announce this Biden investigation publicly. They didn't need to just start an investigation. They needed to announced announced. They were doing so so of course. It would have maximum damaging or embarrassing political effect. But actually put that quote back up there on the screen again from Bill Taylor's testimony because it wasn't just an investigation of Joe Biden that he that the president wanted announced by Ukraine. Right it was also that he. He wanted an announced investigation from Ukraine of Twenty Sixteen election. Interference two thousand sixteen election interference by Ukraine. He while an investigation announced into that two thousand sixteen election interference by Ukraine is not a thing it did not happen. It was Russia that interfered in the two thousand sixteen election to benefit Donald Trump. It wasn't Ukraine so last night on the show. We tried to find in the wild some trace some explanation for where that weird sort of backwards theory about the two thousand sixteen election might have come come from I mean the whole. US intelligence community says it was Russia. The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee just a few weeks ago said it was Russia more than a dozen Russian intelligence officers currently indicted by the Justice Department. Because it was Russia it was Russia. So where is this weird thing coming from. That trump is pursuing in this pressure campaign in Ukraine. This insistence by him that it wasn't Russia that interfered in two thousand sixteen. It was Ukraine. That did it well as of last night as I mentioned on the show last night the incidents as we know of in the wild where that strange thing might have come from was documented in this. FBI interview report from Trump's deputy campaign chair Rick Gates Rick Gates explaining leaning to the FBI under penalty of perjury. That the argument that it wasn't Russia it was Ukraine. That argument was spread in the first instance in this country by Donald Trump's now now imprisoned campaign chairman Paul Manafort. And where did Paul Manafort get that theory that he started spreading in this country. Well what Gates told the FBI is that that he was parroting it. From a guy named Kalinic Constan columnist who manafort had worked with in Ukraine for years. Kalinic is somebody who the FBI says is is affiliated with Russian intelligence agencies so this theory that trump was demanding that Ukraine needed to provide him men announced investigation about one of the Biden investigation announced but he wanted this other investigation announced to best as we can tell this other thing he wanted. A- An announced Ukrainian investigation into this weird claim that it wasn't Russia. It was Ukraine that interfered in our last election. That claim appears to have originated with Russian intelligence elegance. Russian intelligence gets fed to trump's former campaign chair exit lots of dealings with pro-putin elements in the world. Right he's now in prison but it goes us from Russian intelligence to Manafort one spreads. It Giuliani admits that he's been talking to Manafort about strategy on this whole campaign that he's been running for the president in Ukraine but at that chain of command sort of make sense right. Russia wants to muddy the waters. Russia wants to blame somebody else. Russia doesn't want to be held to account for what they did. Well that's what we knew as of last night then knocked me over with a feather. This happened today now. Are you familiar with these allegations of Ukrainian interference appearance in two thousand sixteen election ee. I mean there have been rumors out there about things like that but there was nothing hard at least nothing that I was aware of. There's nothing based in fact. I support these allegations nations. Yes and in fact who was responsible for interfering in meddling in the two thousand sixteen election while the US US intelligence community has concluded that it was Russia's ambassador rebounded. which are you aware that in February of two thousand Seventeen Vladimir Putin himself it promoted this theory of Ukrainian interference in the two thousand sixteen election? You know maybe I any that once and have forgotten but I am not familiar with it. Now let me show you a press statement that President Putin made in a joint joint press conference with Viktor Orban of Hungary on February second of twenty seventeen where he says second as we all know during the presidential residential campaign in the United States the Ukrainian government adopted a unilateral position in favor of one candidate more than that certain an oligarchy certainly with the approval of the political leadership. Funded this candidate or female candidate to be more precise now. How would this theory of Ukraine interference in the two thousand sixteen election? BE IN VLADIMIR PUTIN'S INTEREST I. Well I mean president. Putin must have been aware that There were concerns in the US about Russian meddling in the two thousand sixteen elections and what the potential was for Russian meddling in the future so classic for an intelligence officer to try to throw off the scent and create an alternative narrative that maybe might get picked up and get some credence an alternative narrative that would solve his own wrongdoing. Turns out this thing. That trump has been spinning thinning. This weird thing about Ukraine during the election I want you to announce an investigation into that. He's spinning that exactly. The way the Vladimir Putin has been spinning it and the way that Russian intelligence was feeding it to his now imprisoned campaign chairman who was talking to Rudy Giuliani about strategy in this campaign. I mean and that was just like an interstitial thing that came up at a quiet moment today man. What's next joining us now here on etc congressman? Jim himes he's a member of the Intelligence Committee Sir. I know it's been a big long tiring exhausting day and thank you for being here. I'm just talking about working at thirty rock today. Not even what you've been doing Let me just ask your impressions of the second hearing today with Ambassador Bridge well. It's SORTA hard to summarize in ten seconds right. I mean it was just a stunning hearing airing first and foremost because I mean the ambassador. What US startling profiling courage and it was amazing? I'm so this leads to the second thing. That was pretty amazing. Is that you know just as the Republicans are falling all over themselves not to attack her. You know to to thank Urfa. Her service boom outcomes the presidential tweet where he says everywhere she went. Anything screwed up. Blame Somalia blaming all. You just can't make this stuff up but really the story that's told today is a story of this isn't just a bad phone call. This is a three four or month effort with a very clear goal to get it to get an investigation of the Biden's going It started with her before her firing right. Because these these these second array gangsters and Ukraine and Rudy Giuliani. Were spreading these rumors in Ukraine. You know well before she ultimately was told to come home in terms of sort of what we learned that was new and new perspectives perspectives. That we got today that we couldn't we the public couldn't get without hearing from these witnesses. I was really struck today when she said like basically I understand why they wanted me out of there or now like I didn't understand it at the time but I can now see now that I can see the larger scheme that was at work. What I don't understand is why they didn't just remove me for no reason why they had to try to destroy me why they had to smear me and us all make an lovey all these false accusations against me and her even to this day sort of bewilderment and sadness over over that is something that I found very effecting but I also I don't know if you know the answer of the committee has some sort of theory as to why she had to be humiliated and destroyed instead of just taken out of the way? Well I don't think it's any more complicated than the inside of Donald Trump's brain. I mean today really put into Into relief that line and chairmanship brought it out that line about In the transcript where the President says Lukashenko. WHO's a very dirty guy? This is the guy who started the whole lie and by the way admitted that it was a lie that there was a do not prosecute list a very dirty guy. He's talking him up in the transcript saying Greek right and then of course about The ambassador Ianovich says it's a she's a bad woman. Some things are going to happen to her. I mean it's just it's a complete inversion of any recognizable moral code. That's the inside of Donald Trump's head in terms of what happens next year. Obviously the the inquiry appears to be expanding the closed-door deposition that happened today With David Holmes a person who overheard this conversation which the president was enquiring about these investigations nations. Tomorrow there's going to be another deposition office of Management and budget career staffer who we can. We think we know from open source reporting was sort of taken out of the loop around military eight on Ukraine wants so embassy. Staffers decided it might be illegal to do that. Hold it seems like however fast you guys are wanting to go on the intelligence committee. You're getting more witnesses because more people we're coming forward as the story comes out that's right and I mean today was important with this new witness in the new the new deposition because look the facts here aren't in dispute the long campaign to get ah investigation of the Biden's done that involved withholding military aid that involved dangling that we've known that no one's denying that the Republicans aren't tonight. They're just they're just saying it's okay right but what the piece that was missing that began to fall into place. Today was a riff on the Watergate thing you know what did the president say. When did he you say we haven't actually known who the president talked to other than Alinsky right so today we learn about this phone call where Donald Trump is enquiring about his? His investigation in San Luis ain't going. It's going to happen and by the way they'll do anything you want. That is an remember ambassador sunland coming before the committee next week. So that direct connection to the president. That's that's what's developing now. Can you tell us about any time. Horizon in terms of how long public hearings will go on for. Well you know. Our hope was that we might begin to wind him up towards the end of next week or around there. Because if you think about it. I'm pretty sure. The speakers is committed to getting this process done hopefully by the end of the year ish. If you sort of it worked through all the testimony what you share needs to do you know. You're you're already struggling to make that Timetable but again. You just don't know what's going to happen. The other big piece here of course is Rudy. Giuliani Rudy Giuliani. Is the other half of this thing. He's running around Ukraine. You know smearing and ambassador. God only knows what sort of business deals he was pursuing and because he won't appear in in contempt of Congress and we'll we'll we'll deal with that down the road. It's going to take some time to know that all that that other half of the story here congressman. Jim himes the House Intelligence Committee. So it's great to have you here. Thank you all right. We'll be right back. Stay with US joining us now. Is Somebody who I am. Honored to have have here on set. Somebody who I should mention has deep knowledge of presidents and impeachment. Tom Brokaw covered president. Richard Nixon's final year in the White House as he tried to Outrun Watergate he later anchored. NBC nightly news during the impeachment of President Clinton Thomas now a senior correspondent for NBC News. The also the author of a new book called the fall all of Richard Nixon. A reporter Remembers Watergate. Talk about good timing. Search great to have you here. I would like to say that I was so pressing I saw this coming and in fact it it was not due to come out until later in November but we thought maybe we ought to get it out right now because there are things in here that have application to now. But there's been a lot of change as well do you. I feel like we over. Extrapolate from the Watergate example to understand the current impeachment. Or do you feel like it does have separate and unequal in so many ways Richard. Nixon was in office for throw full year when most of the samples go under prison. We have the tapes or looking at it and yet they couldn't quite get the apparatus going but they were very meticulous us about it and when they finally got around to the Supreme Court saying you've got to give up the tapes by then a Bairo position was in on the hill and ready to initiate impeachment. But he in fact resigned before all of that happened. The other thing is different than we're on the air two or three times tate. We weren't on twenty four seven. It wasn't that kind of constant thing going on watching today for what it's worth. I thought the most dramatic moment was cheap shots at the president made about her and her experience in Somalia. I've been one of the most dangerous places in the world. It was a home Black Hawk down and for kind of saw. Throw that off. Here's a guy who goes home tomorrow. Law Go at night and she was out on a really tough places but at the same time. You have to remember that impeachment. There's a procedure that the rest of the country also has a voice in and I think this situation now is hard for a lot of people to kind of Parse it. You know what what's going on there. Isn't that how they always do business. So my own judgment is that I think there has to be one more hand in the cookie jar coming out with a whole kind of stuff that are the visible to everyone else and they know that he has done something not just dramatically wrong but something against the best interest of this country in terms of the the way it's playing Out Obviously we're it's early in the process that we don't know how early we just heard Congressman himes saying that. The aim is to try to finish this entirely by the end of this year. We're already pretty deep into November. So we don't know how long this process is go on for but we at least at this point the Republicans not really defending the president on substance of what he did but instead and complaining about Adam Schiff trying to complain about the means by which the increase being conducted. I I mean they're parallels there in terms of Watergate or is this a a new approach that the Republicans are taking devising every time you have a new approach. The situation is different circumstances. You work as Bill Clinton case for example a President Nixon was going to be found guilty. There's no question about it but he lashes full era which is a reminder that I keep making the people but he was able to hang in there because the country doesn't give up their president's easily This guy for whatever we think about him so has a loyal core of will show those rallies and the the big big changes. What we're doing right here in terms of the three twenty four seven? Everybody's got something to say and everybody however inconsequential they may be has the place on that big big billboard people kind of have to listen to it so there's a lot of sorting out yet to go here but I always believed in the NFL theory the unforeseen we'll liquor quite what that's going to be. But we're in for a long tumultuous time it's going to be a test of this country quite honestly about what they have in mind for our future and for our system of governing and. I think everybody has to say about that first. Tom Brokaw is the author. Most recently of the fall of Richard Nixon. Nixon reporter Remembers Watergate. Tom's honor thanks. We'll be right back. Stay with us. How was your day? They do it for us tonight. We will see you again on Monday when I'm sure I'll be just as overwhelmed. The meadow show weeknights at nine eastern on MSNBC S. NBC. New Meet the press that Chuck Todd Cast. It's an insider's take on politics. The two thousand twenty election more candid conversations with some of my favorite reporters about things. We usually discuss off camera. Listen for free wherever you get your podcast.