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The News Roundup For January 17, 2020


1:31:38 hr | 7 months ago

The News Roundup For January 17, 2020

"This is one A.. I'm todd's Willik in Washington the historic impeachment trial president trump began with the swearing in of senators six Democratic presidential candidates debate in Iowa. Virginia tips the scales els in favor of the equal rights amendment. But will it wind up in the Constitution and Major League baseball hands out punishment after the Houston Astros cheated during the two thousand seventeen season and playoffs. It's the domestic our news. Roundup joining me in studio to talk about the week's top headlines carol-lee she's correspondent with NBC. The News Carol. Great to see you. Jonathan Tamari is national political reporter with the Philadelphia Inquirer. PHILLY's Fan. Thanks maybe he is. Maybe he isn't and neutral professionally neutral from Billy Emma Green from NPR NEW YORK. She's a staff writer with the Atlantic. She covers politics and policy and religion. Emma Emma great great to have you things for having me well as I said folks. The impeachment trial in the Senate has officially begun the charges against the president of the United United States abuse of power obstruction of Congress. Chief Justice John Roberts was sworn in on Thursday to preside over that trial. The house impeachment managers enters walked the articles of impeachment across the Capitol to the Senate in a rare ritual. This week the Washington Post called it. The world's slowest missile heading toward the Senate floor the speaking of those impeachment Managers House Speaker. Nancy Pelosi name them to do the job of prosecuting. This case in the Senate Carol who who are these managers are there any surprises there. There were There seven house managers A couple of them were expected. Obviously Adam Schiff. WHO's chairman of the Intelligence Committee? jerrold Nadler Chairman of Judiciary Committee Hakeem Jeffries who's the leader of Democratic Caucus and then there were some who were couple of freshmen Ashman Sylvia Garcia. She's on the Judiciary Committee. But she kind of came out of nowhere surprise she's and the other freshmen is Jason Crowe who's one one of the quote Unquote National Security Freshmen. That were elected In the last congressional elections and and then you have a couple folks who stood out during being the questioning of the during the house Hearings and the VAL demings Is One of them from Florida And then another person who another congresswoman who worked on Who Actually has a lot of knowledge about impeachment who worked Nixon And that impeachment was involved in the Bill Clinton's impeachment and and so you have kind of this this mix and you can see what the speaker was aiming at which is some season folks As well as some of the younger folks to try to give a good representation Asian of her caucus. Emma does this team. That Pelosi has chosen. Tell us anything about how the trial might go. Well when Pelosi announced her choices for the impeachment managers she really emphasized that she selected people who had courtroom and litigation experience. Who would be comfortable in that? Let's setting because the people she selected the burden of this entire process is on their shoulders. They really are the seven people who are are responsible for making the case before the Senate the other thing that she really seemed to emphasize but didn't make this quite as explicit as that. These are Democrats who represent the future of the party. The represent the makeup of the party they come from all over the country from Texas and Colorado California New York doc and they also represent different ethnic backgrounds different points of view from within the Democratic Caucus so with those two pieces the courtroom experience the answer and this diversity. I think Nancy Pelosi was both trying to make sure these were people who can bring a strategic in for the Democratic Party but also symbolically considered represent who the Democrats are now. We also learned earlier today. HOW PRESIDENT TRUMP IS GONNA stack his legal team? We have pat simple on the White House. Counsel Jay Secolo uh-huh trump's personal lawyer wanted his personal lawyers a Ken Starr famous for Bill. Clinton's impeachment Robert Raya former independent counsel and Jonathan Tamari. A lawyer named Alan Dershowitz. Yeah we've heard of him. I mean he's obviously been a hugely prominent attorney for a very long time. Now up to the durst GONNA do for for the president on the Senate floor. Well I mean. He's been one of his most outspoken defenders for a long time. Now and he's a guy who is we know the president likes people can go on TV and make the case in a compelling way in that medium and he's someone who's been doing that for a very long time and He's a combative. Well known. litigator gator and and look the President Lakes again people can go on TV and he likes famous names and Dershowitz checks a lot of those boxes. Carol the question of whether there will be witnesses in this trial on the Senate floor there are forty seven Democrats in the Senate you need fifty one to do anything and that means for Republicans could would compel the Senate to call witnesses Mitch. McConnell has said he's not interested in many Republicans and we'll talk about more of them have said they're not interested what Republicans are now l. saying something different about whether they would want additional witnesses or additional evidence well it seems that the Republicans at least have a are unify a a unified front on witnesses in the sense that they're not going to support witnesses. Vote on witnesses. In the first phase of the trial island they would kick it to after opening arguments which begin on Tuesday and where it goes from there remains to be seen Susan Collins put out a statement statement there are some Republicans who have said that they are interested in hearing from witnesses particularly John Bolton former national security adviser and perhaps now at least on the democratic side. love Parnasse. The associate of Rudy Giuliani Susan. Collins has said she is interested in hearing during witnesses a sheet checking the polls back home. What she's doing that's making her break with the rest of Republicans? Well she has a history of this also I mean. She supported witnesses in the Clinton trial. Roland then voted To vote voted to it. And and so she. She's that there's that piece of it and then there's also She is looking at her election. And she's not the only one I mean. Mitch McConnell this is all a political calculation by the majority leader on you know trying to balance his caucus. Doc is in the sense that there are some who really want witnesses. There are others who it's just not gonNA be politically beneficial for them to take these sorts of votes and then there's the White House and they've been all over the map on this. The president has said he wants a trial he wanted to show and now he's saying he doesn't want that And so I think Susan Susan Collins is looking back home as are several other Republican senators. Now when we talk about witnesses in new evidence this trial is about to get started as new evidence is as emerging and it did this week. Democrats released text messages. voicemails photos shared between left Parnassus and indicted Soviet born businessman and Rudy Giuliani. Trump's personal lawyer others were in those exchanges to Parnassus was working hand-in-hand with Giuliani to pressure Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden and this week left went on. MSNBC talked to racial motto and told her exactly what he was up to. What do you think is the main inaccuracy or the main lie? That's being told that you feel like you can correct. The president didn't know what was going on President trump know exactly what was going on. he was aware of all my movements I wouldn't do anything without consent. The Rudy Giuliani or the president. Emma we will get into do what left part is has to say and why it may be important in the Senate if senators choose to hear him But refresh our memory. What's his role in all of this? So he is one of two people who have essentially emerged as Rudy Giuliani's players in Ukraine. who were really trying trying to facilitate some back room backdoor dealings In this whole affair with President trump trying to get that investigation into Hunter Biden underway. And what's so striking about the information that emerged this week from those documents. That House Democrats released released is that the exchanges between love Parnasse and Rudy. Giuliani suggests that they were aware of scheme to have. The ambassador are to Ukraine. Marie Ivanovich not only removed from her office which we know was a goal of the trump administration but actually having her followed and so this this really brings a new level higher stakes to what Rudy Giuliani was doing in Ukraine and how he was coordinating with life partners and and also specifically white president trump new. Did he know that there was this ambassador from the United States who is being followed in Ukraine And I think that kind of evidence was exactly what Democrats were hoping would come out in these proceedings because it becomes harder and harder to deny the president's involvement in everything that unfolded in Ukraine. Okay Jonathan does it. Put Real pressure on Republican senators to change their tune about evidence and witnesses. I think it it does put pressure at least on those swing senators Susan Collins that we discussed at least to hear more evidence to hear these witnesses Sworn under oath where it's not a media interview It certainly shows that there's more to this story than we even heard during the house investigation so I do think puts pressure on them to to listen. To the witnesses it undercuts undercuts the main argument that we heard In the in the House that well. Maybe the president wasn't aware these people were freelancing. I do think there'll still be a lot of Republicans who say even with all this evidence they still don't find it at impeachable offense but it makes it harder to say. Nothing happened. David emails us to ask can't McConnell be excluded needed from voting on impeachment since he perjured himself by saying he's not impartial. I'll take that one. I've covered the Senate. David The answer is no Mitch. McConnell cannot be excluded he is a senator and there's no one around to exclude him maddening as you may find that proclamation that he made on television. We're going to talk a lot more about impeachment. We're going to talk about the Chief Justice John Roberts after a short break I'm speaking with Caroliina. NBC News Jonathan Tomorrow With The Philadelphia Inquirer and emigrant with the Atlantic. And we'll get back to the round up in a moment but let's give some attention to the new inductees of the rock and Roll Hall of fame. A lot of major pop icons are on this year's list it includes legendary singer. Whitney Houston Rapper. Notorious B I g breath and the DOOBIE brothers more bands. Well Hall of fame. Artists are chosen by an international voting body of people in the music industry. Here's Whitney Houston's hit how will I know released going way back folks all the way to nineteen eighty five eighty like me as pop. Dj Right there. It's news roundup. I'm todd we're like this is one A. This message comes from NPR sponsor legalzoom. It's easy to make the same old new year's resolutions resolutions. That won't stick so change it up this year US legalzoom to do something impactful in your life for over nineteen years legalzoom has helped more than four million people all providing resources for resolving your personal and business legal needs legalzoom is into law firm so you can count on their network of independent attorneys for advice more information mation available at legalzoom dot com slash. NPR Peter Sagan. I hope you're enjoying this very serious. NPR podcast that provides important information action presented in a respectful way. When you get tired of that try wait wait? Don't tell me the NPR show so unlike NPR were kind of amazed it's on NPR. Dr Wait wait. Don't tell me from. NPR listen now. We're talking about the week's top domestic news Carol Lee of NBC News Jonathan Tamari with The Philadelphia Inquirer and Emma Green with the Atlantic and before the break Jonathan was talking about whether left Parnasse his revelations in his media tours. Where's putting any real pressure on senators to hear more evidence or witnesses? Carol you had some thoughts well I think the Democrats have a interesting dynamic here too because of he has a bit of a credibility problem in the sense that he was indicted on trying to put foreign money into US politicians and he has since been sort of rejected by the president. WHO SAYS I don't even know the guy even though he's pictured with him and so that's not true he does know him you obviously yes And so their argument is that he you know is trying to settle scores or he has he wants to later sentence. Or whatever and that he's not necessarily A A great witness and you saw the speaker sort of try to address that yesterday in the sense that she emphasized that his testimony was backed up by the documents that the House I had that they've released publicly and I think you'll see an increasing emphasis on documents documents and not Emma another witness who may not suffer the same credibility problem is former national security adviser. John Bolton is the Senate going to hear from him. All of this depends as we discussed before on on whether or not Democrats can recruit for senators from the Republican side to support the introduction of new witnesses. And I do think that there is a lot of instability in the situation. At the moment we've had indications from Utah. Senator Mitt Romney that he would be interested in hearing being from John Bolton Susan Collins someone who might possibly go in that direction also Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and there are some wild cards as well. Cory Gardner in her from Colorado's facing a tough re-election bid who made potentially decided to move with Democrats Lamar Alexander of Tennessee who is about to retire but the name of the game here is about whether Democrats can get Republicans to say. It would be worthwhile to hear from John. Bolton who who has come out and said explicitly not only that he will testify but that he has quite a bit of significant information about trump's role in this whole affair and was intimately involved knowledgeable of what was unfolding in Ukraine other estim- Testimony in the House singled out John Bolton among others as an eyewitness us and a fact witness to the president's behavior we'll see if he testifies in front of the Senate Jonathan Allen emails from Oklahoma City. I'd like to know what roll chief. If Justice John Roberts plays in this trial answer that question not only as he presides but also in spirit as a representative of the court. I mean honestly he. It's more it's more likely to be mostly a symbolic role as somebody. WHO's there is kind of a non-partisan person overseeing this trial trial but he can issue rulings if there are motions? Made by the senators The Senate can overrule those rulings. So in the end it does come down effectively to the senators deciding whether or not they're going to abide by his decisions so Again in the end Democrats are GONNA WANNA get witnesses or their emotions. They're going to need to convince Republicans against come over. And if Republicans stick together they can overrule the chief justice and set the rules effectively for the trial. Now let's move out of impeachment but stay in in the realm of administration wrongdoing. If I can put it that way it's been a while but here's a statement that some of you might remember. It goes like this. I can't make any guarantees. He's but I'm not hiding my disgust my disdain for this criminal offense whose words are those those are the words of US District Judge Emmet Sullivan and in late two thousand eighteen during a sentencing hearing for the president's First National Security Adviser General Michael. Flynn Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI and had decided decided to postpone his sentencing. At first he was set to work with the Justice Department. And the Mueller investigation team to avoid a lengthy sentence. Michael Flynn has now withdrawn his guilty plea this week early. What's going on? It's been a remarkable turn of events. This has been postponed his sentencing time and time again. What what happened was Mike Flynn at a certain point? decided that he was going to get rid of his original council and take and hire new council and his lawyers are for more aggressive in the idea of that. The Muller Investigation was a hoax. That Flynn was wrongfully accused that he was set up And so you saw dave they presented in front of the judge in September and I was in the courtroom at that time and they were very aggressive At at then and then the judge kicked it back and said okay the would you both need to come back with new memos and what the government did was say. We're revoking are Recommendation that he doesn't serve any prison time and they were make recommended zero to six months and then Flynn came back with a another document. That said That he was with wanted to withdraw his his plea and this is in so that then moved what was supposed to be a sentencing later this month to the end of next month and so how this plays out you know. We don't no in the judge as you said was very contentious on finicky. And what is what is he is withdrawing that plea and fighting. Does that set him up for this. The biggest sign that Flynn is playing a part in it. And you know if you look at. The president has said a lot about various people who were caught up in the Muller investigation. He has not said anything. Negative of about Michael Flynn in fact. He's defended him And so you can that. That's seems to be where this is headed now. We can take a direct path from impeachment pitchman in Washington to the Democratic presidential primary because Senators Bernie Sanders Elizabeth. Warren Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennett all have to sit in on the impeachment trial. They're we're GONNA do a lot of shuttling in and out of Washington IF THEY WANNA make campaign events during these next few weeks. Meanwhile other candidates like Joe Biden. We'll continue campaigning as the race. Ace speeds to the wire in Iowa and New Hampshire according to polls in Iowa Biden Sanders. Warren and Boozer. All within five points of each other. There is this forced absence Jonathan for the senators. A real risk. Do you think for Iowa. Should they be worried about taking a break and doing all the shuttling. Will it affect them. I think it I think it will. I think it is a problematic for them. As far as their political prospects are concerned Bernie. Sanders said as much this week. He said he'd rather be and I would rather be in New Hampshire and he went on to say but I took an oath of office. I'M GONNA fill film health but I mean he acknowledged that reality that not being there is not the same when you speak to Iowans. They like they expect to see these candidates one on one face to face. So they'll send surrogates They'll be flying back and forth a lot but the trial could go six days a week. Take it's really going to hamper them. And we're really crunched timing for sanders especially he had seemed to be had a surprising amount of momentum considering that he'd had a heart attack back to long ago and seemed to be really rising and so we'll see if that can continue if he's not physically. They're showing that vigor Well speaking of Iowa the Democratic candidates. It's were in Iowa. They had their seventh debate this week in Des Moines highly substantive. By the way we learn something else though we learned that the nonaggression pact between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth with Warren. The progressives is over or at least suspended these two had a terse exchange after the debate ended. Billionaire candidate Tom Steyer claimed he didn't hear what was said even though he was right there standing with them when this terse exchange happened but then some Mike's thankfully picked up the conversation Aligarh Aligarh on national TV. I think you've told me a liar on national. Let's not do it right now. One of the discussion. We'll have that discussion. You call meal told me or let's look another emigrant. What did you make of that? Well this was the culmination of a fight that had been unfolding for a number of days. Before for the Democratic candidates took the stage essentially. The story was that it had dinner a private dinner. Twenty Eighteen Senator Bernie Sanders had met. That was Senator Elizabeth Warren and it was under friendly auspices trying to get a sense from one. Another about their presidential runs ambitions and it was reported by C. N. N. That senator Bernie Sanders said two Elizabeth Warren that he didn't think that a woman could win the presidency and this came out. It was eventually confirmed by Elizabeth Warren. She said that he did say this. And she disagreed and Bernie Sanders has denied saying anything of the Kiowa. Nineties pointed to video evidence from years ago of him encouraging. LITTLE GIRLS TO RUN FOR OFFICE TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT And he said that he thinks it's crazy that anyone could think that a a woman couldn't be president or couldn't win especially because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by such a wide margin in two thousand sixteen carol outside of this argument. And who said what about women running for president. This is it important that the Nonaggression Pact Between Sanders in Warren appears to be over. Yes absolutely because they've been playing for some some of the same voters and there's it's been an open question about when this was going to happen if And now you know what. What's interesting about this as you see? The Senate senators trying to repair things or at least put on a united front but their supporters are very different feeling about that in the acrimony only between Bernie Sanders supporters Elizabeth. Warren supporters. Seems to be sort of rising rather than decreasing and that's where it really matters now. I I promise that the debate was substantive and it was there. Were lots of questions on health care on Medicare for all versus public options. Lots of questions on the Middle East use of US military military power. One thing. That was not mentioned. That caught people's attention was Puerto Rico. Not mentioned at all suffering from terrible earthquakes. The last two weeks Puerto Order Rico has been hit by thousands of earthquakes since December twenty eighth millions of people have lost power meanwhile billions in aid. Money bound for the island was held up by the White House finally released this week. But with pretty stringent restrictions. On how that money can be spent a Jonathan. It seemed pretty surprising that in a in a Democratic primary three and a debate Puerto Rico in such desperate circumstances wasn't mentioned by Democrats at all. Yeah and they'll certainly be some who say at this point to one of the reasons why A lot of Democrats are upset that the stage has become entirely white at this point. That a lot of issues that affect In this case Hispanics and there was complaints that issues that affect African Americans did not get as much attention Or that issues. That could be turned towards the you know the African American community. We're not discussed in those ways. So it's going. It's going to increase the criticism of that. I think I think also we have taken to account that. It's hard to cover everything in the debate. Obviously this is a prominent news thing but I feel like after every debate. There's an issue that somebody says. Why didn't we speak about X.? As somebody somebody with forty-three minutes to cover the week's news I am sympathetic. To that counterargument. You can't cover everything in the time you have but you did mention something that's also going on on that debate stage. All of those people on the stage are now white. All the front runners are white. Somebody dropped out of the primary this week. Cory Booker Senator from New Jersey That leaves just one other person of color in the entire race Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Jonathan. What contributed to Booker's decision to drop? We should also mention Andrea. Hang Andrew Andrew. Young Booker was I've covered him closely for a long time is somewhat of a mystery in that. There are a lot of concerns about the the front runners in the race. There too old or too young there they don't reflect the party's diversity to liberal. They're not exciting. Enough Booker seem to be kind of person who might check. Check a lot of those boxes but really never got a lot of traction and there's a lot of theories about why One being that he's been covered for so long that he he kind of lacked that newness factor and someone people to judge had And the one that stood up for me is that he he had this message of unity and togetherness and I think a lot of Democrats crafts like that but they didn't see it as tough enough to take on trump or quite the right message for the top of the ticket at this moment to win this election. I think they saw two thousand sixteen is such a bloody fight and they want someone who's going to be able to do that. There's been a debate going on all campaign season among Democrats that we've talked about on this show. The Democratic Party is diverse. It's front runners are not. They're just not to black and Brown voters just like what Biden Sanders and Warren have to offer or is there something else going on here. Yeah I mean I've been in particular has a lot of of loyalty From the African American community from African American voters because of our due in large part to his time as Obama's vice president I covered Cory Booker's first campaign swing in South Carolina back in February and and he was making a real big push in South Carolina and I remember speaking to the state representative who introduced him. And I said you know can booker win a lot of the black votes here. The South Carolina's electorate is sixty percent black in the Democratic primary. And he said Yeah you know he's pretty good but don't count out Biden and this was before Biden was even in the race so I mean there is that deep longstanding loyalty and neither Booker norcal Harris were able to to break into that now. AC tweets and wants to talk about Bernie Sanders. And I think this is important Bernie. Sanders says now leads nationally. According to Reuters he leads among African Americans and he leads or is tied for the lead in all all of the first major states that vote. He's now the overall front runner can immediate finally admit. That Biden is no longer the front runner. Do you agree carol. Well not necessarily because if you look at the polling of broadly it's really a toss up and you know we just we don't know no how new Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina are going to shake out but it's not I mean and it's not there. The polling is so close that you can't really really say that Bernie Sanders is a front runner. Joe Biden is from early. We'll say Joe Biden has had a staying power that I think nobody really thought he was going to have this. I certainly for him. It's the the first time he's ever been considered a front runner in a presidential race And so we just don't you have to look at all the polling and it's far more of a tossup than one poll suggests suggests Emma. What's your take on? WHO The true front runner if that's even an important? I don't know that we have to crown one well. I think the caucuses really matter here. The Iowa caucuses which are coming I'm Monday February third and I think the reason is this. The caucuses have had this power to set the narrative of the primary race there the first in the nation and I do think there's a spirit in Iowa of people really choosing to keep their minds open and meet different candidates candidates being willing to change their mind obviously as the Caucasus move forward there can be a lot of sort of toss ups or things that changed the game and so all of this pulling that we have this composite of different polls from universities in firms. They help to give us a sense in these early weeks of twenty twenty of how things might stack up up but ultimately what's really going to matter is when you start to have real voters casting real meaningful ballots and the outcome of the caucuses is going asset that narrative of momentum who is able to rise out this was famously. How Barack Obama really made a breakthrough when he was first running into an eight? And I think candidates like Buddha judge really counting on Iowa to see if they can make a breakout and Carol. We're GONNA take a break in just a minute but going back to the debate. Yes there was ATV drama that the news media loved between Sanders and Warren. I get it from what you saw in the entire debate. How the candidates were positioning their arguments for themselves and against the others others? What was your main message about where this race stands now? Well one of the things that struck me with the focus on foreign policy and particularly because because of in the wake of this was came in the wake of the president's decision to assassinate a top Iranian official That really drew battlelines that. I don't think we've really seen the race and I think you'll see more of it. Got More complex than how foreign policy has been in the rest of this race. which is I voted against? Iraq voted for it. They got a lot more substance on that question. It was interesting thing. We're going to get back to the round up in just a moment but first a little more time with. The artists inducted into the rock and Roll Hall of fame this year. Here's a little reminder of why biggie Smalls Aka Hey Anna Torius B I g Aka Big Papa was selected. This is part of his track juicy released way back in Nineteen ninety-four. This is one in genesis that was dead. I couldn't pick the green to wrap the limousine with the world trump this message comes from. NPR sponsor. 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We're talking about the week's top domestic stories with Carolee of NBC News Jonathan Tomorrow With The Philadelphia Inquirer and Emma a green with the Atlantic In other news this week president trump is preparing to divert another seven point two billion dollars in Pentagon on funding for the border wall. That he's been promising since he was elected. President that's according to The Washington Post. This is more than five times. What Congress actually authorized for him to spend on that project in twenty twenty up now? Emma this has been in the courts. This isn't the first time. The issue of the Pentagon diverting money for the wall has has come up. So where does this stand well. So as you said Congress allocated one point three seven five billion in the budget for twenty twenty two the president trump to use for the wall. But we've also seen that. There is basically no limit on the money that he can divert from military spending elsewhere in the military budget to the purpose of the wall. So all in all we have roughly eighteen billion. That's being diverted that has been diverted or is planned to be diverted for the wall. And what's so interesting about. This is not only that there hasn't been quite the outcome that the trump administration in his promise they've celebrated recently roughly a hundred miles of of wall built. And they say that they're going to get to four fifty by the end of twenty twenty but that's quite a distance but the other interesting piece of this is that when the trump administration diverts funds from various military budgets to this purpose it halts or delays other military trey construction projects so you can see the effects of this project ripple throughout the budgetary system and specifically affecting the military and Defense Projects Carol. How much of the show? They celebrate a hundred miles of wall. I'm constantly confused by this. Has any new well-built or has old wall been rebuilt. It's a great question in an all. Almost all of the hundred one is Along sections of the border that have already been under federal control and it's replacing fencing existing barriers right and so you have the ads in the presidential race are going to be very interesting on this because you have that piece of it and then you have. The president said Mexico is GonNa pay for the wall. which isn't isn't happening? Obviously and you know this. Diverting of the Pentagon funds really make some Republicans queasy we haven't seen enough of an uprising to put a stop for the output. Stop to it But they don't like it either. I mean the courts federal court ruled. That wasn't allowed in there. I as I understand it. There was a a temporary injunction that allows. How's the spending while the courts decide so this is still in legal limbo about whether this is legal because it was not Congress's intent right and one of the questions is as you know when they did the first trunch last year They said that what would happen is and that money would be deferred and it would be political backfield by Congress and we. I haven't seen that happen and so what's happening now. Is that the money that was taken from military construction projects and a lot of them the way that the White House broke it up with. There's a lot that are overseas but there are some that. Are you know schools on military bases and things like that And the promise has been at that. They're they're just delayed. They're not necessarily going being away. Although we haven't seen that come to now. Speaking of the border and immigration a federal judge ruled this week that state and local officials can't block refugees from being resettled in their states and their jurisdiction in this temporarily halts president trump's executive order requiring governors and local officials to to agree in writing to accept refugees and Jonathan. This hit home in Texas this week. That's right 'cause Texas. Was You know that there was that requirement as you. Mention one of the governors actively accepting refugees forty two governors had Texas was the one state that had actively said we will not accept refugees and so This seems to for at least the time being. Stop that that stand and when you talk when you hear from groups that helped settle refugee refugees. They say listen. We need to connect these people with communities that already exist here places where they can find support from relatives from people from the same country work And so this is yet another legal fight in the president's as as the border wall was in the president's effort to stop all sorts of immigration legal and otherwise. What's what's what's Greg Abbott's motivation here? He's the governor of Texas. He said we're not going to accept refugees. And he's kind of an outlier forty other states have said we will even John Cornyn Cornyn Republican senator of Texas. WHO's conservative? I saw this week. said he didn't agree with the governor. Either although he didn't think he should be stopped a legally. I guess that's his his legal interpretation reputation. What's going on there? It's obviously it's a very red states are very conservative state and You know whatever political motivation. I'm Greg Abbott obviously sees this as his as as a a strong stand in and I think we know that the president has really changed the conversation around immigration and and I think this is a reflection of that especially within the Republican Party. I want to talk about the climate and I wanNA talk. I WanNa talk about what's on reporter's minds as they look forward to to the week ahead but I also WANNA point you toward Virginia just outside of Washington. DC where Lawmakers this week Made Virginia the Thirty Eighth State in the Union to ratify the equal rights amendment from way back in nineteen seventy two. Congress passed that measure back in seventy two. Three quarters of the states have to approve. Who've it before it become can become a constitutional amendment the three quarters threshold has now been passed But there's some legal questions here too and whether or not the equal rights amendment gets into the constitution is is going to be before the courts will see if it gets inscribed. They're speaking of the climate. By the way the National National Oceans and Atmospheric Administration and NASA reported that Twenty nineteen was the second warmest year on record since they've been keeping score noah has been recording nearest temperature for nearly a hundred and fifty years and the data shows that warming has been occurring for a long time. The world's five warmest years have all occurred since two thousand fifteen with nine of the ten warmest years occurring since two thousand and five. Has there been significant reaction Carol in Washington into a report like this so often reports come out like this and they breeze past this town now. There hasn't really been And particularly you're not going to see one from this administration There has been a little more of this conversation on the campaign trail particularly by Michael Bloomberg former mayor of New York mark. Who has really made this a sort of cornerstone of his campaign and his You know announced a new plan to deal with climate and is really trying the draw attention to the issue. So I think you. Washington is obsessed with impeachment right now and they don't have a lot of diversity and where their attention is focusing but on the campaign trail. It's been a topic among among Democrats. I want to make sure that we acknowledge one other story. That's close to my heart. It's the Houston Astros. Two thousand seventeen world series champions the Houston Astros are cheaters and Major League. Baseball has concluded as much they have fired. Both General Manager Jeff now a Jeff Lonzo and manager. Aj hinch in in a scandal where the Houston Astros were using electronic means to steal signs a major advantage for hitters. Five million dollar fine. They lose draft picks the next two years Jonathan tomorrow what do you make of the penalties here in. What do you think it means for baseball? I mean these are severe penalties and I think it reflects the fact that this is a pretty huge problem for baseball. There's always been this kind of wink. Wink cheating culture. You know people throwing spit balls and things like that was seen as kind of romantic at one point. But now you've got the the two thousand seventeen and eighteen world series champions because Red Sox have been implicated here as well You know basically under a cloud that champions Champions of the Sport the Pinnacle of the Sport and it reminds me of you know when we had the big home run chases and those were were completely tainted steroid era. So you've got two big moments. What's that have now come under a dark cloud You know at a time when baseball had a young crop of exciting young players coming through You know this sports only matter if people people think the competition is legitimate and they're really undermining their product and I think their fans and for me it brings into stark relief the wonder of the twenty nineteen world series champion Washington nationals. He careful be careful thinking. Your team is the one that's totally innocent. I believe my team is totally innocent and I believe they won on without cheating. We'll leave it there and if that changes you'll come back on this show I WANNA get inside your reporter heads about what you're thinking about what you're working on Emma And Carroll and Jonathan and just want to spend a second before we do that a story that happened this week. That's on my mind. Senator Martha mcsally Republican of Arizona was asked yesterday by reporter Maharaja of CNN. Whether she is open to new evidence in the impeachment trial as we discussed she responded by calling him a liberal full hack. That was her response now. Sometimes senators get angry questions. That's unfair. Money's not liberal and he's not a hack but here's where the story took a different turn. Martha mcsally double down. After people noticed what she said then she got a thumbs up from the White House. You said Great Job Martha mcsally and then her campaign Carol Earl fundraise off of it. They turned this reporter who is neither liberal nor hack into a campaign. ATM when she insulted him. It's the new normal particularly among Republicans. Republicans because the president sets the tone and he's been doing this since two thousand sixteen election particularly with CNN And you know this is this. We're just is going to see more of this. Well that was on my mind. I just wanted to give voice. I wanted to say again Monte Roger. CNN is a colleague of mine have known him for years. He's a professional he's neither liberal nor hack and his question was completely fair and he is not anybody's campaign chill and he's not to fund raised off of. It's wrong I wanna they get inside your heads now emigrant from the Atlantic. GimMe Tell me what's on your mind. What's not in the press that you think we should be thinking about or what stories are circular circulating on your? You're on your notebook and in your head well this weekend. We're going to have the fourth annual women's March which as we know in two thousand seventeen right after president. In trump's inauguration was among or ranks as the top of the single largest single-day protests in American history women gathered in Washington and around the country in the world to protest what they saw as the gender dynamics of the two thousand sixteen election. And now we're four years leader and I spoke with Carmen Perez. WHO's the only remaining original co-chair serving on the board of the women's March Organization? I talked to her about out. The many many controversies that the organization has had to wade through over the last three years. This includes allegations of Anti Semitic remarks made by some of the CO chairs Some legal battles with local organizations that wanted to use the phrase women's March but didn't want to affiliate with the National Organization Asian and allegations of financial lack of transparency and mismanagement. All of this to me matters because it shows how challenging it is from an organizational perspective to take the momentum and energy that was so clear in two thousand seventeen and actually translate it into something tangible Carmen and I spoke about whether the women's March organization was going to do anything on the ground in two thousand twenty to rally behind candidates to release slates to talk about specific policies that they're enthusiastic about and she really didn't seem to know she didn't have a clear sense of how they were GonNa take the energy of the women's March and translated into any kind of real electoral outcomes are real policy outcomes. So I'll be watching on Saturday to see whether there's as much momentum I'm in Washington And whether there is a real sign that the women's March is at the forefront of this movement of women led resistance or progressive policy also changed or whether they kind of become a side show after the big demonstration of energy in Seventeen Jonathan. You had a scoop this week about Michael Bloomberg in his activities titties in Pennsylvania. My Home State. What's going on He is staffing up robustly in Pennsylvania's building a staff of close to one hundred people. He's already got a about think. Thirty five hired up paying extremely well. And so while. Everybody's focused on Iowa New Hampshire Nevada. He's already working in these later states and it shows just just how much money he can spend because most campaigns don't have the kind of resources to focus on anything but those first early states and and any could it's Ki- could reshape shape the race with the amount of money. He's willing to spend more on a couple of small states than other candidates have spent their entire strategy. Yeah and it's it's unprecedented and and It could really change the way. Politics are played if he's if he does this. Carol you reported new revelations about the American strike that killed Qasim Sulamani in Iran on. Yeah we learned that from a number of administration officials that the president had essentially signed off on an operation or at the idea at least of killing Sulejmani Amani if back in June seven months before it actually took place if Iran went so far or its proxies went so far as to kill an American and the idea being that then the military would come back to him with an op specific operation that he would sign off on and so so that sort of raises questions about where everyone's everyone's questioning whether there was an imminent threat you know both could be true. There could have been an imminent threat and the president had agreed to do this. A while ago But it's kind of putting a new lens of criticism on that specific operation and then we subsequently learned that All the US intelligence chiefs have been asking Congress not to appear in public this month to WHO detail worldwide national security threats and amazing story. It's amazing because a year ago. The reasoning is also amazing a year ago when they did this you know trump really criticize his director of national telling Dan Coats for disagreeing with him on North Korea and Iran tweeted that his intelligence chief needed to go back to school quote unquote and so they don't don't want to be in that position now and yet it comes at the time when the US is potentially escalating towards a military confrontation with Iran. What you're saying is you're saying is the intelligence chiefs want to cancel the public oversight hearings on threats because it makes the president so mad when they contradict him in public correct? I know and it's it's jaw dropping and it's and it's not getting enough attention among the whole all impeachment Coverage and you know and it ties into a number of decisions. The president's going to have to make in in coming weeks that story came out. This weekend was undercover. It with all of the other news being going on just astounding we've been speaking with Carolee of NBC News. Jonathan Tamari of the Philadelphia Inquirer and immigration with the Atlantic. Thanks you all for being here and for joining us. I really appreciate it. Thank you thank you well as we leave for the weekend. Let's get a little bit of just can't get enough by depeche mode. One of the band's just voted into that rock and Roll Hall of fame. We've been talking about this hall of fame winners. They're not winners. They're just artists all show. Long one as lead audio engineers Jake Cherry with technical help and Ben Privet. Ailing Humphries is the producer and editor editor of one eight. on-demand Gabriel Healey is digital editor. And Chris Costano is our digital producer. We'll turn the international section of the news round up right after. Jeff Ma. Did doc support for this podcast. CAST and the following message come from K.. Bucks bound in support of the David Gilkey and Zaba ULITSA Amanda Memorial Fund established to strengthen. NPR's commitment to training being an protecting journalists in high risk environments support for NPR comes from Newman's own foundation working to nourish the common good by donating all all profits from Newman's own food products to charitable organizations that seek to make the world a better place. More information is available at Newman's own foundation dot. Org this is one A.. I'm Todd Willik in Washington in the space of a week. Thousands of people go from morning a general to protesting the regime. I'm in Iran. Also the entire Russian government resigns China and America take a step back from an all out trade war and we learned a lot more about president president. Trump's efforts to put the screws on Ukraine's president and the work of his Lord dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son hunter. My guests are in Garin White House US correspondent with a focus on foreign policy and national security at the Washington Post and great to have you back happy to be here. James Field is senior fellow at the Center for the Study of the presidency and Congress. He's a contributing writer. For Atlantic Media and author of twilight warriors. Two soldiers spies and special agents who are revolutionizing using the American way of war James. Thanks for being here. Great to be here also Robbie Grammar. He's diplomacy and national security reporter at foreign policy. Robbie great to have you. Thanks for having me. I'm glad you're all here. I WANNA start in Iran and the Middle East thousands of people in the streets protesting across Iran. This week after the government acknowledge that it had accidentally shot down a passenger plane. Killing one hundred. Seventy six people on board. Demonstrators faced tear-gas in accused security forces says Iran if firing live Ammo at them as they ran through the streets of Tehran Now Iran denied the use of live ammunition. Even after video from the Center for Human Rights seemed to show a protester shot in the leg and give us a quick summation of what led to all of this incase listeners. Haven't been following the news. What happened to this jet liner and wire protesters in the streets? Now well Todd the the protests Changed from from one. That was As you said in your intro primarily one in support of the government A national show of mourning over the US strike. That had killed top Iranian General Qassem Sulamaniyah Week and a half ago when the Iranian government quite unexpectedly acknowledged what multiple Western governments had already said. which is that they had shot ought down a Ukrainian jetliner Near the Tehran airport on the night of of The air strikes that That that protest very quickly shifted and it became one that was very anti Government and has proved extremely difficult for the Iranian government government To manage. This is not the first time we've had mass protests in the streets. They've been happening every few months But they have not been either as vociferous syphilis as completely directed straight out the leadership and at at the did the idea that it just quick quickly turned on such a dime. I am Gives a a view to how strong the the Iranian Street feeling is that their government messed up here. Their government is not able to handle oldest situation. James Give me a sense of what is driving people into the streets. Look it's not safe to protest in Iran beyond a certain point especially not against the government. People angry that they were lied to about what down this jet. Is there more behind it. Up with Iran is really right now. So there's a lot of general unrest that the economy's Connie's In the tank because of our maximum pressure campaign of sanctions There in this escalation They've climbed esscalation ladder with the United Estate. Stood just one rung below Actual all out war with the United States. I mean we found out just in the last twenty four hours eleven. US service members are being treated concussions. Because they were so close to this missile strike that Iran launch. After you know tit for tat we killed Sulamani. I maintain I've talked to military senior military officials officials on this that if they had killed Americans in that strike we'd had no no choice but to attack Iran territory because that's what those missiles came from. So we're we're on a razor's razor's edge of tension with this country right now the the populace obviously is very concerned about this and quite honestly. I'm quite concerned about it too. Because as I said we're one rung from all out war with Iran. We've now stepped back a little bit because I think both sides realize how close it is but we have not climbed back down. There's no there's no offramp yet. This escalating fight. We're doing with Iran right now. It seems clear that protesters in Iran Robbie feel that they weren't told the truth by their government about the the downing of that jet accident clearly an accident but human error from inside the government but James Raises The issue of eleven Americans injured in in the attacks that we talked about last week. Of course in retaliation for the killing of Qassem Suleimani eleven injured directly contradicts. What the president said after after the attacks which is no deaths and no injuries was this an attempt to maintain de escalation? Do you think that we won't talk about injuries. Because it helps us not have to attack Iran or was it something more sinister of the president not wanting to acknowledge that American personnel were wounded while the news just broke this morning about not eleven. American service members Being wounded some being taken back to Germany for further medical treatment. So so we don't know exactly what it yet but what was clear in the initial aftermath. Is that the president does have a trust problem. I mean if he lies about little things things in major international crises like this for some lawmakers for some news in the American public It's it's difficult to know if what the government government says is really true here. I think we'll see as we see more information. Come out. We'll we'll I think we'll learn more about the The play by play of when the Pentagon on when the White House knew about these injuries but it is true. I mean in the initial aftermath when trump was calling for de-escalation with Iran saying all his well thankfully we know American service. Members were hurt We now know that not to be true and the Ayatollah Khamenei led prayers on Friday. No that's extremely rare in Iran. My understanding understanding is that he hasn't led prayers publicly for eight years. Is that significant. Is that show a supreme leadership in an Iranian government nervous about their appearance in front of the public short answer. Yes I mean it has been eight years since HAMAS has taken the podium or the lectern turn or I actually don't know the correct term of for for for the national Friday prayers and it is maybe the the clearest marker we've had yet that he himself feels that that The regime is if not under threat at least under considerable stress from within and then it you know the the usual default on on the part of of all Iranian leaders is that it is The United States fault And that that clearly is is the main argument. He's making to his own people but the fact that he's making it himself Is extremely significant. I will say one thing on the eleven Centcom put out a statement on this last night. which was you know in Centcom style like four sentences long and extremely brief? It was absolutely the first time time anyone had heard any indication that there had been American. Troops transported For treatment. The statement indicated that that had happened sometime time after a signal it it not wasn't specific but it appeared that it was some days after The the airstrikes sodas possible that in the initial aftermath mouth Those injuries might not have been clear now. Speaking of Iran and the message during all of this the State Department subtly suddenly canceled to classified congressional briefings on U S US Iranian relations. Those meetings were supposed to touch on among other things embassy security and other issues as well staff. Lawmakers are apparently James Furious about it on on the hill lawmakers do not like when they feel like the administration is hiding the ball on something on moving. This is a this is a severe national crisis. We're in we're on the edge of a war with a major our country and the State Department won't even brief the Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate It's it's unheard of and it gets to Robbie's point about whether you can trust plus with President Trump says president trump had said that he killed Sulamani because for for American embassies wonder imminent threat. His own defense secretary said well. Yeah I didn't see that intelligence. So there's there's this Gulf in the guys at the State Department know exactly when they come up to Congress even with a classified briefing they were going to be put on the on the on on the line about so. WHO's right here? What was the actual situation You know I is it is it is. It is a crisis when the commander in chief can't his words can't be trusted in something as as as important as war and peace and that's kind of what we're seeing. No one wants to be. No one wants to his administration and his cabinet wants to get out of out of the lane. Where were there contradicting the? It's a crisis. If the president's words can't be trusted it's another thing altogether if the president's words are just the angry and you don't want to get out of your Lane James. I'm glad you brought this up. Because speaking of hill briefings we learned this week that intelligence officials lobbied on Capitol Hill to cancel annual public threat. Assessment hearings that are a tradition on Capitol Hill. And the reason they want them canceled is because it makes president trump's so angry angry when his intel chiefs contradict his pronouncements and his tweets in Public Robbie Yeah And you know this obviously gets back to everything. We've been talking about I think what's important here. Is that obviously. The intelligence community operates a behind the scenes. Outside of public is so so having this annual well Threat Assessment in public is really one of the public's only chance to be able to hear from The senior members of the US intelligence community on what they're seeing. What what they're hearing how they assess those those national security threats around the world So there's been a lot of outcry on Capitol Hill lawmakers already about About potentially cancelling or bringing back into secret this this type of briefing And I I think we're GONNA see yet another battle between the executive branch and Legislative branch here over over transparency over. What can be in public over what can be in private which which You know it goes back to almost every foreign policy issue that we've been covering and what did you make of this. It doesn't take a lot to want to drive the Intel chiefs into private. That's where they prefer to be not aww public But their pitch to Capitol Hill is it just makes the president to mad and James says we don't want to be out of our lane right. I mean the these hearings are supposed to be on February twelfth one in the House one in the Senate It's it's an annual ritual where we actually get to see the DNA was like not a not a very public figure. The rest rest of it will be in private. We do not expect the committees to grant this request we do expect to see the DNA and others on the twelfth. We found out earlier today. That U S forces have now our resumed joint anti Isis operations with Kurdish Iraqi forces. Speaking of the neighborhood they're it's the first since Operations were suspended in Iraq two weeks ago and for the first time Robbie foreign plot policy played a big role in the Democratic presidential debates. This week in Des Moines candidates talked a lot about about Iran. They talked a lot about foreign policy. I think for the first time in pretty significant detail at long last. We get some foreign policy in the debate. You had something losing to file exactly exactly it was. It was pretty great Yeah I mean it was. It was interesting because the first part of that debate focus on foreign policy. It felt like it was a throwback back to two thousand three when they were re-litigating who supported the war in Iraq And I think that that goes to this broader question where there's a real debate. AH The Democratic candidates about America's role in the world That you might not have seen in in past presidential elections this existential question of you know where and when we use the military. Nearly everyone agrees that we need to get out of these. Costly wars in the Middle East but past presidents have said that and look where we are. Now were still there So it was really interesting One interesting thing I I took note of their when they were talking about North Korea. His former Vice President Joe Biden saying he would not not get into negotiations with North Korea without preconditions. Um We haven't heard a lot from from the other candidates on the ongoing nuclear negotiations with trump. That seemed to go in fits and starts with the north. Korean leader. Biden has this credibility on national security issues former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Vice President with a big portfolio. Nobody thinks he doesn't know what he's talking about and yet voted for the Iraq war. which is the number one mark against you if you're a democratic candidate especially with with this Progressive Democratic Party on the other hand? The other candidates in the race don't have much experience on any of these issues at all Bernie says I voted against danced. It okay you voted against it you you call that one right according to Democrats this difference. How is it playing out? Is this playing four Biden. Do you think if national security it becomes a significant issue in this campaign. I don't know that it will Well I think yeah. He'll have to deal with the the ghosts of his past. I think I think his opponents will keep harping on the two thousand three Iraq. War Vote but but other candidates have put forward substantive Even if they lack the experience Biden has put forward substantive and foreign policy platforms real tangible policy proposals for example Buddha judge Talked about having a three year sunset clause ause on future congressional authorizations for the president to to carry out war or with his war making abilities in the future and that's a big debate between Congress and the president right now both with the war in Yemen and also this almost war that we had with Iraq. What role does the president have and does he need prior congressional approval to send troops or carry out military actions that could spark more and there appear to be the votes in the Senate to Restrain the president in Iran will be watching that too if that ever comes up in the Senate Let's talk about what Fiona Hill previously referred to as a domestic Aston Political Errand. Let's talk about Ukraine. We found out more about president. Trump's efforts to use his personal lawyer to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son in Ukraine left harness and indicted associate of Rudy. Giuliani turned over a whole trove of documents and photos attacks to Congress this week. He since been speaking out a lot. HERE'S PART ON CNN laying out the message that he took to Ukraine's new president and what the consequences would be. If President Zilenski did not go public on his intention to open an investigation into Hunter Biden. If they didn't make the announcement basically there would be no relationship to it was is no specific military. There was no eight that was going to be assisted. There was going to be no inauguration. Pence wouldn't be at the inauguration and they would be no visit to the White House there would b basically they will have no communication. How did you have the authority to say the Vice President United States will not attend the inauguration? If you don't do what I say I mean that's what I was told to. Who told you to really Guiliani James from where you sit? What is the significance of left Parnasse? With all of his liabilities indicted left Parnis Coming forward in giving this firsthand account of what he says was the operation in Ukraine at the behest of Rudy Giuliani and at the behest of the president. It gets very hard to make this argument. which we've heard from some of trump's defenders that basically Giuliani was freelancing and that this was just a couple of guys who were out there doing things? The president wasn't aware of the in in the texts that they turned over and some of the documents admits. It's very clear that Rudy Giuliani refers to a number one is getting involved in whether he's GonNa lift a visa ban on a Ukrainian prosecutor. Who wanted to come to the estates and trashed the Biden's It's pretty clear that this is all being directed by President. Trump is a it is. That's why trump set Giuliani has personal lawyer on this errand. Errand is because it was someone that he could deal with directly without having to go through a bureaucracy like the State Department which would normally do on on things like in other words not US policy. But the president's personal donal Erin exactly and it just becomes you know he's got so much detail He was in the room. You know discussing this with senior crane officials. He was dealing directly with Giuliani in some cases he's had discussions with trump and they can probably still say that this is hearsay. Because he's getting it from Giuliani. So until Giuliani actually but Giuliani has said he kept the president trump in the loop constantly what he was doing so This has become increasingly clear that the president was at the center of this effort and It you can still argue that. Maybe it doesn't rise impeachable defense offense but it certainly seems like president. Trump was orchestrating this now. And for his part Ukraine's foreign minister says he's never met left. Parnasse doesn't believe a word he saying. Why should we believe him first of all do you? Are you surprised by that. Message coming from the government of Ukraine. I'm I am a little bit Parnassus not a He's not he's not particularly friendly. With those Alinsky government. He was Friendlier with the previous government. The portion co Government and met directly with Porsche. ANCO he says At at the behest of you know in in pursuit of of this personal arend The ZELINSKI government Remember came in with a specific mandate to to clean up corruption and to get rid of a lot of people who had been at least at at one point associates of Parnasse who is an American but a lot of work in in in that part of the world So so it's it. It is surprising a little bit that the government would say like a version of what trump is saying like never met. The Guy Don't know who he is now have no idea But not especially surprising that they wouldn't be friendly to his point of view now for the president's part he says as he often does and as view telegraph. There doesn't even know left. Parnis doesn't know anything about him even though there are several photos and videos of them together. Here's a reminder from November twenty nineteen about what the president knew about Giuliani's working Ukraine. He was being interviewed by former Fox. News Anchor Bill O'Reilly Giuliani's your personal lawyer so you didn't direct tend to go to Ukraine and do anything or directed but he he is a he is a warrior who is a warrior rudy. went he possibly so so. I think accused work in Ukraine for years. It's not a whole lot of direct information in that Fox News Quote Robbie but left party says his work in Ukraine was for president. Trump trump had nothing to do with corruption in Ukraine and everything to do with Joe Biden. Does this change anything. Descended is hearing these facts now does. Does this change anything about our understanding about the case and maybe about senators. Well I think one thing that The senators who are going to be the jurors in the impeachment retrial. have to grapple with Is is left Parnasse a credible witness And the White House has already said this is a guy who's lying to oh sure up his testimony to build his defense Democratic lawmakers Coming out and reacting with a lot of shock and seeming to take Parnis. Ns at his word but remember this is a guy who who owned a company called fraud guarantee that paid Rudy Giuliani five hundred thousand dollars in consulting fees Um MHM has operated these shady businesses in eastern Europe for for years As An said. And so it's it's really difficult to say it's just another twist and turn turn one other thing. I did want to highlight from these documents. That parnets turned over to Congress There was this weird text exchange between him in a character. Who Sort of been on? The periphery so far Republican Congressional candidate in Connecticut. Robert Hide that appear to show they they were electronically or physically surveilling the former. US ambassador. Maria Ivanovich whose career was derailed in in the midst of this whole impeachment saga. And it's just it's it's difficult to assess whether these are outlandish claims whether these are legitimate but It's just another twist bizarre twist in this in this entire impeachment investigation James. The State Department so far are has said nothing about the alleged surveillance of one of its ambassadors and current State Department Employees Marina von Image in Ukraine. And now we learn as we sit here or that the State Department now will investigate. The Secretary of State says will investigate whether these private citizens left Parnis in his his cohort. Robert Hyde ride actually had Marie Ivanovich under surveillance because the text messages de Parnasse provided to Congress and then it become public. They're pretty menacing right. And I think the I think the Ukraine themselves have announced that they're going to investigate whether there are surveillance so this is a big deal if you if if you are secretly surveilling a US ambassador. There's a number laws that you probably have trampled over You know this is a threatening thing and what's happened we. We do know that the secretary Pompeo did was step. Aside as Giuliani launched this this reputation trashing campaign against the ambassador Eventually having her pulled into nothing to support his his own ambassador learn Ukraine So I think that he probably feels that he is an an a very bad spot in terms of What to do about this surveillance charge So you know they have not backed up her at all. But we're GONNA find out. I think probably new things that they were doing that made life uncomfortable. And I think that'll play into the impeachment Discussion Ileana says via twitter. Parts may think he has direct knowledge of President Trump's involvement but I doubt he does would would have to have spoken with the President and received clear instructions not Mafia speak his contacts. Were all with Giuliani. Who could contradict him and deny trump's involvement which is what I said there will be this? This is a this is all hearsay and and You know but again Giuliani himself has said that the president was kept in the loop on all of his activities. So it's you know you. Can you can decide aside yourself where you think this is true or not but the it's true that he'd probably didn't get direct instructions from He. You Know Giuliani was the cutout. He was the guy running the show and this was his interpreter so he was in an all those meetings so what he says about Giuliani's not hearsay and we'll also Prentice says that he was at a dinner at the trump hotel where the president the president attended One of my college described These dinners funded by the A at At at the trump hotel is a petri dish of bad ideas at the hotel. Well Vladimir Putin has ideas look You can draw a line if you WANNA spend a little bit of time during a line directly from this to Russia you. Can you WANNA drop from left. Parnasse where did he get his money from. A guy named Victor for Tauch who lives in Vienna who is a businessman and also an oligarch also cut out for Russian for the Russian government. So I draw a line from left harness to victor for Tash and I go straight to Vladimir Putin. Because that's who I WANNA talk about out next. It's a shakeup that a lot of people think is significant As acid -nificant as the moment when Boris Yeltsin sent tanks into Moscow and shot at the parliament in nineteen nineteen ninety-three there wasn't any hardware on display but the entire government of Russia has resigned this week including Prime Minister Medvedev in a bid that appears to be Robbie Vladimir Putin's cemented his position as president for life. How do we get from this resignation? This week to the idea that Vladimir Rootin- says despite the constitution. I'm not going anywhere. Yeah it's it's a bit of a Russian Constitutional Jujitsu here where he's working around the system and trying to reshape the system in essence after he said this The entire government resigned In the plan is is a bit complicated complicated but the longest short of it is They the parliament would be empowered and Putin could come back in From being president to becoming prime minister to help us stay in power on many people. My colleagues in my colleague in Moscow has reported the see this as a way in which he can eventually eventually pick a successor groom his successor phase out power but for now remain in power of regardless of what seat on paper he is in opposition leader Alexei. Navalny posted this tweet. The only goal of Putin in his regime is to stay in charge for life having the entire country as his personal asset and seizing its riches for himself and his friends meanwhile Vladimir Putin appeared alongside his now former prime minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday and the unfailingly veiling Lee loyal Medvedev sounded. I have to say unfailingly loyal. She didn't. It is obvious that we as a government of the Russian Federation. She provide the president of our country with the opportunity to make all the necessary decisions for this in these conditions. I believe it will be right. That in accordance with Article One one seven of the Constitution petition of the Russian Federation. Your current government resigns and Dmitry Medvedev sounds very much like he's on board. What Medvedev is sort of like the Mike Pence of of the the Russian government structure. He's the guy who sounds extremely reasonable and and stands there and nods and has all the correct party ties and all the The correct relationships with important constituencies but basically answers to one person. I know one person. Only Sioux writes this Vladimir Putin wants to hold onto power so he is finding his ways to do it James. What's your read on this situation? That's exactly right. I mean And we've seen this show before I mean if you'll remember Putin had to give up the presidency to Medvedev before he stepped in and was just a figurehead. President was all the power was with Putin as a prime minister. He's doing the same thing again and dictators in strong and don't like giving up power they never have and they never will. Douglas Rights as soon as of lads massive oil and natural gas deals. Go through he's added there. What do you make of that now? I don't know that he has to be out of there. He's been getting money from gas and oil deals all all along. In addition to every other sector of the Russian economy is one of the richest men in the world and we found that out from the Panama papers. He's worth billions of dollars. That didn't come from his salary and it didn't come from his years. There's as the KGB operative or manager. Either I don't think they were making that kind of dough. No they weren't Say That again. One of the richest men in the world in the world. Well it made some pretty big news at the beginning of the week phase one of the. US China trade deal was signed as part of this deal. China has agreed to by about two hundred billion dollars dollars in. US products over the next two years a floating estimate of how much of that will be. US agricultural products like soybeans and other products that we desperately want China on it to buy a deal came just after a report by the NGO human rights. Watch which says the Chinese government is quote a global threat to human rights. We're going to talk about human rights to but first James What are the main features of this deal which I will add phase one. Not The whole deal. How big is phase one and how big of a deal is? Is it. Well it was important I think is especially important for president trump. He's in he's in an election year now He needs to show some progress on this year's long Back back and forth with China on on trade where he's been slapping on Tariffs and basically you know started a trade war. Now this is this is not a ending the trade war but it is sort of applause and the trade trade war. China's agreed as you said to buy in the next couple of years. Roughly two hundred billion dollars. US goods agricultural as well as manufacturing Has said some right things about intellectual actual property rights and not forcing people to technology transfers who do business companies that do business. US companies that do business in China But there's still three hundred and eighty billion dollars of of trade between the US and China that has tariffs slapped on it and that will continue to drag on both countries exporters So it is a positive interim step. I think it was important important for the president to do this at this time during election year but you know president trump wants credit for sort of putting out part of the fire that he started and We'll see if electric gives them that credit president trump. You said at the top needs needed this deal because it's an election year and he wants to post a win. That's not new. That makes perfect sense in politics. I get get it. Did that decrease his leverage with China. Chinese also know that he's up for reelection than in that he needs a win and as soon as you need something from the other guy you don't have as much leverage which is you had well and we haven't gotten to like The intellectual property rights is and the technology transfers are really the core of what we object to about this trade relationship Russian. It's it remains unseen yet that there's enough enforcement in this to make a fundamental change in in one thing that we ask the Chinese as quit subsidizing. Their corporations nations are state corporations that we have two that are companies have to compete with. And there's no sign at all. They're going to agree to that. So it's a partial victory But again and it's not the end of this trade war is just pause it and what did you see in the moment. What did you see in the timing of phase one in what it means a couple of things? In the moment this week president trump appeared to be Deliberately holding the Chinese delegation You know in in some form of of diplomatic hostage for thirty five minutes or roughly thereabouts. as they stood and shifted around on their feet and he Went on on and on and on In in very political fashion it didn't appear that the Chinese delegation thought that that's what they were there to do and and I so I thought that was a bit of showmanship that they probably did not walk them and and we're looking forward to. It also took a full day for the the Chinese needs to release their version of the agreement. they were. The government was silent on it In Beijing for for quite a long period and there was speculation that maybe the Chinese translation of this or the Chinese version of this would be considerably less Binding than than the one one that the the president said they had signed. That was not the case the The documents were identical to the one in Chinese and English are are the same name they they agreed that the same things I did think that that president trump needed to be able to say that he had finished this thing. Now remember this is what was phase one of what had originally been billed as an omnibus Chinese trade deal. I am the guy who was. I'm going who is going to fix this giant problem that I inherited it's not my fault And tariffs are not a problem he inherited but no I'm his argument. was that the that China China was a problem he inherited and he's the first guy to take it on and he's going to take it on by making them Come to their knees by applying tariffs in them. WHOA and then we'll get what we get was was his original Plan here he couldn't get that omnibus deal Elections coming up yes He his leverage abridged declining. The Chinese knew that but they wanted to get something on paper as well so it ended up being mutually beneficial to bite off part of it and get that signed this share James. I mentioned the report from Human Rights. Watch that China is a global human rights threat. I've asked this question before. Has the United States given up its leverage with with China when it comes to human rights there have been one million plus wieger Muslims in western China thrown into reeducation camps and detained. There was a time and it wasn't wasn't that long ago where a massive trade deal like this any major transaction between the United States and China would have human rights demands attached to it. Are there other places in negotiations where this is happening or have we given up our leverage on that issue I I have not seen any a evidence that the trump administration has put that on top of their priority list of of of human rights and and quite honestly it is very difficult to change the domestic human rights activities of people through a trade deal And you're exactly right and human bryce rights Human Rights Watch exactly right. That China is a huge human rights. Abusers as you said more than a million in reeducation camps it has the most constrictive surveillance state in the world. domestically in their exporting that technology to other -tarian regime so they can keep the thumb on their populaces so China's a big problem. But I don't expect that problem to be solved by the Trade Robbie I want to bring you in on Sudan. Because on Tuesday members of Sedan Security Agency launched a rebellion from their base in Khartoum government forces crushed the rebellion. After several hours of fighting and gunfire. Two soldiers were killed. Four were injured of the security agents are former elite troops who were loyal to ousted. Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. Who are they? And what sparked this flare up this rebellion. Well Keep in mind Sudan. Just last year emerged from thirty years of a of a really brutal dictatorship under Bashir and so this is the new. Transitional Government Sudan is in this very precarious fragile position where it's trying to transition to democracy under new Prime Minister Ghulam Doc Doc And these These soldiers were were loyal to Bashir. I mean there's thirty years of effectively for lack of a better term deep state in Sudan right now that the new transitional government still has to deal with these feared intelligence services military's who carried out heinous atrocities even the genocide there. They're still there. Even after the revolution they haven't disappeared so the rebellion was quashed. It still seems like there's a lot of support and Sudan right now for this democratic transition. But it's just another reminder of how precarious they are and How reliant they are on the United States and once they get out of it and I wanted to ask how involved is the United States? They are now in terms of troops in terms of aid in terms of diplomacy. So so it's a it's a big aid recipient It just. The prime minister came to Washington in last month where they announced that for the first time in over two decades we were going to upgrade our diplomatic relations and exchange ambassadors. The United States is offering these all branches we support democracy crecy but at the same time Sudan is still under these really crippling international sanctions and these people who carried out this revolution that ousted Bashir are really hungry to see quick change so so there's a closing window here where the United States and Other countries that have sanctions on Sudan can can lift these sanctions. But it's it's complicated technocratic. It's not like the flip of a switch so it's a really precarious as to go on. This road for Sudan hopefully with the constructive help of the United United States. I like to take a few minutes before we go here on the roundup since I have great journalists and experts here to get inside your heads a little bit about stories that were. We're maybe missing in the news things. You're working on or things that you think we should be thinking about that. Or maybe under reported off the radar and guarantee the Washington Post. I'll start with you who what's What's on what's in your notebook? What's on your screen? That maybe I haven't seen well. I don't know that it's Under reported so much As a that that it's coming a little bit more clear but next week when on the very day that the impeachment trial begins In earnest on on choose D We know from The the president's relatively definitive statement yesterday that he will actually be out of the country he will be at Dabo at the World Economic Forum gathering which he attended two years ago. He skipped it last year. Because of the government shutdown and pretty much everybody assumed he would skip it again again. This year because he wouldn't WanNa be away It if either or both of a couple of things were happening if we were at war fortunately we are not Or if he was in the middle of the impeachment trial it seemed like not a thing he would wanna do however The the White House calculation has has shifted in in favor of have the president go meet with world leaders. Angela Merkel and others will be there as well Do Presidente things and That they'll make a split screen out of it wherein he's on the other side of the world being president and the Proceedings in Washington are meant to look small by comparison the presidential optics of impeachment. I love how you describe that in terms of my television screen. It's probably more important than any of us. Would care to admit James Kit Field. What about you? I'm in a project looking sort of a long-term at this new era of great power competition that we're entering we that goes through this show about China and about Russia but for a almost half a century worked on the assumption that sooner or later we were trying to integrate these major powers into this liberal world. Order that we lead and that's failed and so now we're we're in something that resembles a lot of Elements like the Cold War with both Russia and China. And we're not really prepared for that and we need to start. Thinking can long-term about strategies certainly China and Russia thinking long term but their strategy to undermine our leadership role and we need to be thinking very seriously one element that reminds me of cold. War says all were entering almost a runaway nuclear weapons race again All the trump administration got us out of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Assist Treaty. They are very wishy. Washy about up Grading the start treaty when it comes up for renewal in two twenty twenty one And all three countries uh have very aggressive modernization programs going with their nuclear arsenal so I'm concerned about that and I think we need to think long and hard about something that concerns me about what you're saying. I think back to the Cold War for returning to a Cold War posture. During the Cold War we had an American led international order through NATO through other means that formed this massive wall this balanced against Russia and to a lesser extent Chinese influence while this is going on this Cold War with Russia and China our government is is going about the business of dismantling that that countervailing force that we had for sixty years. That's exactly right. And and also in Asia with you know not telling Korea with thinking about taking our troops out of their pay his five times more than you pay us now we are the trump administration's transactional approach has been very detrimental to a lot of our alliances and instead of coming up bedtime Robin Grammar. What's on your mind What's on my mind? Is the CEO in West Africa. There has been year's long effort effort by the French. US International Forces to to push back a terrorist groups that are affiliated with Al Qaeda and Isis and a long story short it is we are losing at the now these terrorist groups in Mali. are spreading further south to other countries in western Africa Africa And as this happens the US government just announced that they're trying to draw down our troop presence in Africa which is causing a lot of alarm in African can countries and in France? That's that's been involved While at the same time the US is trying to sort of ramp up. Its diplomatic presence but I've spoken to U N officials shows about those who warn this could become the next Syria I've spoken to former CIA analysts who say that these terrorist groups are more resilient an innovative than anything. They've seen In their decades long career. So it's a very very worrying trend in west Africa right now and it seems to be a total blind spot with both the US government and European governments now four US special forces were killed in Nizhny air just a couple of years ago. That surprised a lot of Americans not only the tragic death of those personnel but also a wake up call call that we are active in shooting situations in places like Niger is. Is that wakeup call connected to what. You're talking about the resurgence of Al Qaeda in in in places like Mali places like new share. Yeah absolutely and and obviously compared to the Middle East we have a very limited troop presence there and they're more more in a special forces support advise train role But the mission is you know. These missions are uncertain. Now where we're talking about reorienting our military for this great power competition that That that's been talked about to to get ready to counter China or Russia and East Asia. So so it's just another matter of limited resources sources and and how do we balance all of these things but but it's a big concern among those watching it and I'm not sure it has a lot of attention either in Washington continuer around the country right now. Well we need to go but before we do. I'll take you to Japan just for a moment. Something revolutionary happening in Japan. It's environmental told minister. Shinjiro Koizumi. He was the first person. He's a potential prime minister by the way he's rocking the societal boat the first person to take parental leave a whole two weeks. The first person in the government Japan offers new parents up to one year of parental leave. Although only around six percent of men use this incentive attentive Koizumi told reporters quote. I struggle to work out how I could take paternity leave as well as fulfilling my public duty as environmental minister We have to change. Not Not only the system but also the atmosphere New attention to parental leave in Japan and Chris writes a he is eligible for a year of leaving even will only take two weeks. That's a lesser. How child rearing responsibilities are still disproportionately? The burden of women not only in Japan but in a lot of other places says as well. Thank you Chris. You have the last word our sincere thanks to end Garin of the Washington Post to James Kit Fields Senior fellow at the Center for the study of the Presidency and Congress Chris anti-robbery grammar diplomacy and national security reporter for foreign policy. Thanks to you all. Our podcast is edited by Matthew Simonsen when a senior producers are Daniel night and page Osborne. This program comes to you from W. A. M. U. Part of American University in Washington it's distributed by NPR. I'm todd thank you so much for being with us. This is one A..

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