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Freshman Democrat talks impeachment and winning a district that Trump carried

New York Congressman Max Rose was one of the last Democrats in the House to say he would support an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. But after seeing what he called "pure and unadulterated obstruction" from the White House regarding information about the July 25 call between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian president, Rose decided that an impeachment inquiry was necessary.

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"Immediately when this Ukraine scandal hit, right out the door I said that this is alarming, a potential national security issue, something that we have to get to the bottom of, and all options are on the table," Rose said in an interview with CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett for this week's episode of "The Takeout" podcast. "Over the course of several days thereafter, it became clear that this administration was going to practice pure and unadulterated obstruction and deflection and lying in the process, and it was at that point that I did make the decision to support this impeachment inquiry.

Rose, a freshman Democrat who flipped a Republican seat in 2018, characterized the impeachment inquiry as a "trust-building" and "fact-finding" exercise. Rose said that if it was true that the U.S. withheld aid to Ukraine on the condition of opening investigations into the Bidens, that would be "tantamount to the president of the United States asking the Soviet premier to lead the Watergate break-in."

Rose also weighed in on the idea that quid pro quo arrangements are common in American foreign policy.

"We do quid pro quos all the time, but we do them to advance the interest of the American people, not the interest of any individual," Rose said.

Rose also discussed his district, which encompasses Staten Island and a sliver of Brooklyn. Although his district voted for Mr. Trump in 2016, Rose disputes the characterization that he represents a "Trump district."

"My district is not a Donald Trump district, just like my district is not a Max Rose district," Rose said. "What it is, is — it's a patriotic district."

Rose noted that his district had the highest rate of unionization of any district in the country and was filled with people who need to go to work without bickering — an implicit rebuke of how Congress has been conducting its business.

"These folks vote for the person, not the party. And God bless them for that. I don't want to represent a district where it is a guaranteed vote for one party or the other, but they do want to see us answer their call to no longer be ignored or ripped off," Rose said.

For more of Major's conversation with Max Rose, download "The Takeout" podcast on  iTunesGooglePlaySpotify and Stitcher. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit And you can listen to "The Takeout" on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).

Producers: Arden Farhi, Jamie Benson, Sara Cook and Eleanor Watson
CBSN Production: Eric Soussanin, Grace Segers and Julia Boccagno
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