Watch CBS News

Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on November 17, 2019

11/17: Face The Nation
11/17: Face The Nation 47:13

On this "Face the Nation" broadcast moderated by Margaret Brennan:

Click here to browse full transcripts of "Face the Nation."

MARGARET BRENNAN: It's Sunday, November 17th. I'm Margaret Brennan in the nation's capital. And this is FACE THE NATION.

Today, exclusive interviews with two of the lead players in the impeachment inquiry, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Jim Jordan, a top defender of President Trump.

The President is spending a quiet weekend at the White House following a critical week of testimony in the House impeachment inquiry. And he's in fighting spirits.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The absolutely crazed lunatics, the Democrats, radical left and their media partners standing right back there are pushing the deranged impeachment witch hunt.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This week, three longtime diplomats testified about unprecedented actions by a President of the United States. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was recalled from her post to Ukraine without explanation in May when she read that President Trump had referred to her as bad news and said she was going to go through some things in his July phone call summary with Ukrainian president.

MARIE YOVANOVITCH: I was shocked, absolutely shocked and-- and devastated, frankly. It sounded like a threat.

DANIEL GOLDMAN: Did you feel threatened?


MARGARET BRENNAN: Then as the ambassador testified, the President attacked her by tweet. Chairman Adam Schiff read it to her minutes later.

ADAM SCHIFF: Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.

MARIE YOVANOVITCH: I think the effect is to be intimidating.

ADAM SCHIFF: I want to let you know, Ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very seriously.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Diplomat Bill Taylor also revealed that a staffer had overheard a telephone conversation in a Ukraine restaurant between President Trump and his EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

BILL TAYLOR: The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone asking Ambassador Sondland about the investigations. Ambassador Sondland told President Trump the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I don't recall. No, not at all. Not even a little bit.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Late Friday, the Taylor staffer David Holmes provided a firsthand account. He and two others heard the conversation because the President's voice was so loud, Sondland had to hold the phone away from his ear. Where does the investigation stand? We'll ask the speaker and two intelligence committee members, Congressman Jim Jordan and Mike Quigley. And we'll preview next week's testimony where witnesses will include Ambassador Sondland.

Plus, our CBS News Battleground Tracker shows big momentum for one candidate in the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

All that, plus analysis on the news of the week is just ahead on FACE THE NATION.

Good morning and welcome to FACE THE NATION. We begin with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We spoke with her just after the conclusion of public impeachment hearings Friday. Our conversation started with President Trump's real time tweet about Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

(Begin VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: Why do you think he was tweeting about her?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (House Speaker/@SpeakerPelosi/D-California): Well, he made a mistake and he knows her strength. And he was trying to undermine it. Of course, presidents appoint ambassadors, but people don't insult people, especially when they're giving testimony before the Congress of the United States. I think even his most ardent supporters have to honestly admit this was the wrong thing for the President to do.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The White House said it was just his opinion. He wasn't trying to intimidate. What do you think?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Well, the President and perhaps some at the White House have to know that the words of the President weigh a ton. They are very significant. And he should not frivolously throw out insults, but that's what he does. I think part of it is his own insecurity as an imposter. I think he knows full well that he's in that office way over his head. And so, he has to diminish everyone else.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think that was witness intimidation in your book?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: I haven't had a lot of time to pay attention to the President's tweets and the legal implications of them. I just think that was totally wrong and inappropriate and typical of the President.

MARGARET BRENNAN: When you tweeted today, you said Ambassador Yovanovitch was viciously smeared by Trump allies, removed from her post and then threatened by the President. What part of that amounts to an impeachable offense or a crime?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Well, there are many things that the President does that are completely out of the question that are not impeachable. And they're about the election. But when it comes to violating the Constitution of the United States, as he undermines our national security, jeopardizes the integrity of our elections, dishonors his own oath of office, that's about impeachment.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So the Constitution defines an impeachable offense as treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors.


MARGARET BRENNAN: What do you think applies to this case?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: We are unfolding the facts. That's what an inquiry is about.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You use the term bribery.

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Yeah, I was translating from the Latin. That-- that was in the context of E Pluribus Unum. For many, one. And so I said for many, one. Quid pro quo, bribery. Now that's what that is. Mm-Hm.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, but do you expect that to be one of the articles--

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: I have no idea. Well, there is not even a decision made to impeach the President.


REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: This is a finding of fact, unfolding of the truth. And then a decision will be made and that is a decision that goes beyond me.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, you point out factually, right, that vote has not taken place to proceed necessarily with impeachment. But do you think you'll go through all of this and not vote to impeach the President?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: That remains was-- the facts if the President has information that demonstrates his innocence in all of this, which we haven't seen. His trans-- transcript of a phone call is tucked away in a high-- highly sensitive, compartmentalized intelligence server so we can't see that. If he has information that is exculpatory, that means ex, taking away, culpable, blame, then we look forward to seeing it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You think Democrats have had a good week?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Well, I think the American people have had a good week. I think truth has had a good week. I think patriotism has had a good week. And I think the Constitution has got a good week. I don't think the President has had a good week.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, Republicans argue here--

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: You know what? If-- if we could just talk about what we want to do-- I-- I really have a real discomfort level of responding to what Republicans say because they are in denial about what has happened in the country. So if you want to ask me about where we're going on this--


REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: --I'm happy to respond to that. But I-- I-- I-- I find it a waste of my time and yours to just be talking about what Republicans say.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I-- I want to just let you respond, though, to the argument that's being made in messaging by Republicans here. That the grounds--

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: No, but I don't want to respond--

MARGARET BRENNAN: --for the impeachment--

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: --let it stand. Let their arguments stand because there is so in such quicksand that I don't even want to have it given any more visibility by my dignifying any of their misrepresentations of what they say. And I say that out of great respect for you because I respect you as a great journalist. And I'm honored to have this interview with you. But I say to everybody else, I'm not here to talk about what they say because they are not facing the reality of what is happening to our country. And this is about our democracy that is at risk with this President in the White House.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So Chairman Schiff has said he learned of the whistleblower complaint September 9th. The aid was released days later. The military aid that's in question here. Do you see a connection there?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Of course. The President wasn't going-- the-- the Republicans like to say, if you want to talk about them, oh, it doesn't matter the aid was released. No, the whistle was blown. The whistle was blown. And that was blown long before we heard about it. Don't forget that in bet-- in between all of that came the inspector general, an inspector general appointed by President Trump. And the inspector general said that this was of urgent concern.


REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: And so that is what intervened.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Can you help walk the American people through what happens next? We have another week of hearings.


MARGARET BRENNAN: There will be an intelligence report written up--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --and then what? Does the President get, as he says, to confront his accuser or get due process?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: What do you mean confront his accuser? Confront the whistleblower?

MARGARET BRENNAN: Presumably, that's what he means.

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Well, I will make sure he does not intimidate the whistleblower. So the President could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants to--

MARGARET BRENNAN: You don't expect him to do that?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: --if he wants to take the oath of office or he could do it in writing. He has every opportunity to present his case. But it's really a sad thing. I mean, what the President did was so much worse than even what Richard Nixon did, that at some point Richard Nixon cared about the country enough to recognize that this could not continue. The Intelligence Committee is leading this part of the inquiry. There are other depositions that are being taken by more committees. So some of the depositions will continue and then what takes place in the intelligence public will continue for another week. I don't know how much longer. I guess, it depends on how many more witnesses they have. That's up to the committee. I don't guide that. That's up to the committee.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you expect that to be wrapped up before the end of the year?


MARGARET BRENNAN: No timetable for that?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: No, I mean, it is self-evident that we have open hearings for the next week. I don't know if there are any beyond that. Then we're out for Thanksgiving. Doesn't mean depositions couldn't be taken during that time. And then when we come back by then, maybe a decision or maybe they have more hearings. And then I have six committees who have been working on all of this, and those six chairmen have been very involved in what the-- how we will proceed.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Does that mean that'll be potentially included in an impeachment that you might broaden this beyond the issue related to Ukraine?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Well, that-- that-- it's not up for me. That's what the facts will determine. We are also proceeding in the courts. And this week we had another powerful decision by a court. Now it is-- the President is appealing it to the Supreme Court that the President should release his financial documents. We've won all of the cases in the court on this. Roger Stone, what seven counts, was it that he was found guilty? Manafort is in prison. Michael Cohen, the President's lawyer, is in prison. There's so much wrongdoing attached with all of this. But we have to keep it very precise in terms of the President of the United States and the Constitution of the United States. And that is what this is about. And it's very serious. And none of us came here to impeach a President. This is very sad. At the same time, as I say, we're trying to pass a trade bill, pass our appropriations bills, Voting Rights Act. Whether it's background checks, climate action now, equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, all of the issues that we're working on for the good of the American people. So this isn't-- while this is a concentration of our conversation here, it's not what we do in a day.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You met with the treasury secretary this week and he said the White House has no intention of allowing another government shutdown.

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Agreed. We are-- we're all in agreement on that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you confident you can avoid one?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Well, let us hope left to their own devices, the appropriators can avoid that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Does that mean Democrats will provide funding for the border wall?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: No, no. That's-- we have well over a trillion dollars worth of decisions to make. I don't know why we would go to that. The President hasn't built any new wall in a whole term of office. I think that his comments about the wall are really an applause line at a rally, but they're not anything that he's serious about.

MARGARET BRENNAN: When will the free trade deal, known as USMCA be up for a vote?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: When we have assurances that worker protections are provided. It's all about enforcement.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You said imminent recently.

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Yeah, well imminent that--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Does that mean--

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Well, we're a long way from where we started. But I'm not-- I don't have a date when it'll come up because it cannot be any sooner than the trade representative agrees to the proper enforcement so that our workers really do get a better deal than they have in NAFTA.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What is it like for you to go toe to toe with President Trump?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Sad, you know. None-- as I say, none of us come here to impeach a President. And when a new President is elected, we wish that President success and hope that we can work together and find common ground. And I thought maybe we could on infrastructure. And I'm still hopeful. I thought we could on reducing the cost of prescription drugs. And I'm still hopeful. I had hoped that he would want it to be-- able to find some common ground. It is not a President who believes in governance. I've worked with President Bush before and we did many things--passed the biggest energy bill in the history of the country, PEPFAR--


REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: --HIV AIDS drugs, issues that related to fairness in terms of the tax code for poor people and-- we-- we did many things together.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think it's different now, though, because you are so often the only woman in this room?


MARGARET BRENNAN: I mean that iconic photo of you after that recent clash at the White House with you standing up.

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: Well, I was largely the only woman in the room when President Bush was President as well. But President Bush believed in governance so you could find common ground. But if you don't believe that-- you know in governance, then there's hardly any way to negotiate a solution. This is a very strange situation. The 24th of September was when I called for a fuller expansion, the inquiry was going on but to proceed with the inquiry, and that kind of changed our communication until that day in the room when I said, all roads, Mister President, with you lead to Putin. Whether it's giving them a stronger foothold in the Middle East by what you did with Turkey and Syria, whether what you did by withholding a grant-- withholding aid to military assistance voted by Congress to Ukraine to the benefit of Putin. One thousand-- more like thirteen thousand by now, Ukrainians have died at the hands of the Russians. They needed that military aid. And with his disparaging remarks about NATO and questioning our commitment to NATO. That's to Putin's advantage. So we do have, shall we say, a candid relationship.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Madam Speaker, thank you for your time.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Our full conversation with Speaker Pelosi will be on our website and an additional segment will be airing later today on our digital network CBSN.

When we come back, Republican Jim Jordan. He is leading the charge defending the President in the impeachment hearings. Stay with us.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We're back now with Republican Congressman Jim Jordan. Good morning to you.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN (R-Ohio/@Jim_Jordan/Intelligence Committee): Morning.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It's good to have you here in person.


MARGARET BRENNAN: And-- and before we get going, the cut--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --above your eye. You didn't get into a fistfight.


MARGARET BRENNAN: This was just a run in--

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: I-- I-- I got between Adam Schiff and a camera. How about that? No, actually, it's-- it's somewhat embarrassing. But the door to the Intelligence Committee hearing room--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --in the bunker in the basement where-- where we've been doing these depositions, it opens and it stays open all the time and then it closes on its own. I stepped out to say something to my colleague, Mister Meadows.


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: It started to close and I didn't realize, I turned and bumped into the door so yeah.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So just so we-- we clear that up--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --right out of the gate.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: Exactly. That's real important.

MARGARET BRENNAN: As you heard from the speaker in that interview, she argues that the aid to Ukraine was only released because of the whistleblower. What reason were you given that the aid to Ukraine--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --was eventually released?

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: Because President Zelensky met five times with senior U.S. officials. One, of course, was the phone call with President Trump. And then four meetings, actually face to face meetings, with U.S. Senators, ambassadors, with Vice President Pence. And in each of those meetings, never was it talked about linking the security assistance dollars to any type of investigations. But what did happen in those meetings is they all became convinced Zelensky's the real deal. Remember, we're talking about Ukraine. One of the three most corrupt countries on the planet.


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: And we're talking about the hard earned tax dollars of the American people. So, they became convinced that this media star, this new guy to politics, whose party just won an overwhelming majority in their parliament, was the real deal. And he was legit and he was worth the risk--

MARGARET BRENNAN: So that September 9th complaint--

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --and they said we'll release the aid.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --and then the September 11th release of the aid, you're saying that's just-- just the calendar-- just happened to happen that way?

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: Well, it did and plus, remember, the aid didn't have to be released till September 30th.


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: So it gets released on the 11th and most importantly--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --most importantly, the Ukrainians did nothing to, as-- as far as investigations goes, to get the aid release. So there was never this quid pro quo that the Democrats all promise existed before President Trump released the phone call.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I want to get to some new testimony.


MARGARET BRENNAN: An American diplomat named David Holmes testified before-- behind closed doors on Friday. And I want to know, do you think, because he now has firsthand knowledge in which he explains he overheard a conversation between the President of the United States and Gordon Sondland, isn't he credible? This was first hand.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: Well, I mean, look, he overheard a conversation--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Specifically, mention of the Bidens--

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: We don't know if the other two people--

MARGARET BRENNAN: --and investigation into the Bidens.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --at the table are going to vouch for his story. We'll see, because there was four people at the table and--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Are they coming to testify? Those other two?

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: That's Adam Schiff. Adam Schiff controls the witness list. We gave our list. He doesn't give us the witnesses we want and he can call witnesses anytime he wants. We had to give our list last Saturday. Just one of the many problems and--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --and unfairness of this process. So I'm sure Mister Holmes will get called by the Democrats. He'll come in and we'll have him under oath in front of the committee, in front of the cameras and we'll ask him questions, and we'll see how his story holds up.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the E.U. is an ally of the President. He was a financial donor to the President's campaign--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --but he's changed his testimony already. Do you think he's credible?

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: His-- his addendum to his testimony, never forget he said, I presume this happened. So, again, this is-- he'll be in front of us this week as well, as will Mister Morrison, as will Mister Vindman, as was Miss Williams. And we're going to have a host of witnesses. So, again, we'll see how his testimony plays out. What I also know is he said there was never any quid pro quo in the text message responding--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --to others on that text chain. So, we'll have him in front of us and we'll find out.

MARGARET BRENNAN: That text chain-- you're-- you're right, but then in this conversation that David Holmes has testified about, he says he heard the President ask, so he's going to do the investigation. And Sondland replied, he's going to do it. Holmes then said he spoke to Sondland, who told him Trump was interested in the Biden investigation, that Mister Giuliani was pushing.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: It's interesting you're talking about all these details from a deposition that hasn't been released, that just happened Friday night that we're not supposed to even talk about, is it? This is, again, an example of the unfair process. He'll be under oath--

MARGARET BRENNAN: You want him to testify under oath--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --in the public eye?

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: I-- I-- I assume Adam Schiff--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --is going to call him. And remember this-- based on what Mister Taylor told us in the open hearing earlier this week as their first witness, he said that this happened with-- with a-- a conversation that he wasn't a part of Mister Holmes, and he's listening in on a conversation between Ambassador Sondland and the President of the United States. So we'll have questions for him. We'll see how it stands out.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think Gordon Sondland was acting on his own? He says he talks to the President all the time.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: He's the Senate confirmed ambassador to the European Union. Mister Volker is-- is the special envoy, distinguished career serving our country in the diplomatic corps.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, but Sondland--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --is who I was asking about.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --Rick Perry. We have Secretary Perry, Senate confirmed, working. This whole-- this whole irregular channel I find interesting because they're all Senate confirmed individuals, respected individuals, accomplished individuals--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --working on a diplomatic mission, and somehow that's-- that's-- that's crazy. I just don't follow-- here's the-- here's the bottom line--

MARGARET BRENNAN: But-- but do you think that the project that Gordon Sondland was working on here, when he said, the Biden investigation that Mister Giuliani was pushing, was that with the president's okay?

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: Here's what I understand. We haven't heard from Kurt Volker yet. The first witness the Democrats call, the special envoy, Ambassador Volker, he said everything that was done here, there was no quid pro of any kind and it was all done in a way that was consistent with the mission of making sure the aid ultimately gets to the-- to Ukraine--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --and that things are done in the best interests of the United States, done in the best interests of Ukraine. And that's all-- that all happened. And Ambassador Volker's testimony I think will be particularly good and particularly powerful when we get to hear from him later this week.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Specifically, Volker said he didn't know there was a quid pro quo.


MARGARET BRENNAN: That none was ever communicated to him. Not that there was definitively no quid pro quo, just that he was not aware of it.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: No one's testified that there's been a quid pro quo. Everyone's got second, third hand, fourth hand information. Mister Morrison, who was on the call, said he didn't think anything was improper or illegal--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --on the call. Miss Williams didn't think anything improper or illegal on the call. So--

MARGARET BRENNAN: She said inappropriate.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: So, but that-- that's-- those are the facts. Four facts will never change. Will never-- that's a funny thing about facts. They don't change. The fact that the-- that we have the transcript and there was no linkage of any type of a search-- security assistance dollars for investigations--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --on the call. We have the two guys on the call--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --President Trump and President Zelensky said no pressure, no linkage--

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, just to be clear though, are you okay--

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: The Ukrainians didn't know that their aid was held at the time of the call, and most importantly, they didn't do anything. Any specific actions on investigations--

MARGARET BRENNAN: I-- I understand you're saying that the aid was released--

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --to get the aid released.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I understand you're saying the aid was released, but to-- to put a fine point on it, are you comfortable with the investigation that was requested?

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: The investigation that-- that-- that was requested? Look, the President was--

MARGARET BRENNAN: That the President spoke to Gordon Sondland--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --about this request to have--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --the Biden's investigated.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: I thought we were supposed to be looking--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you comfortable with that?

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --into potential impact on the 2016 election and foreign countries' involvement in 2016 election. So, I'm comfortable with that. I think everyone is--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, this is the 2020 election. Does that make you uncomfortable?

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: Well, I don't think that's what took place here, because there was never an investigation undertaken. There was never an announcement from President Zelensky--

MARGARET BRENNAN: But the request for one that was overheard and testified to.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: But it didn't happen. There's-- there's all kinds of talk about things, but they-- it didn't happen. And well, remember when this all broke? What the Democrats tell us?

MARGARET BRENNAN: And the attempt itself doesn't bother you?

REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: What the Democrats tell us? There was a quid pro quo. The scary thing is the Democrats have been out to get this President.


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: I was struck by listening to Speaker Pelosi's comments, her answer to your second question.


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: She used the word impostor. Talking about the President of the United States, who sixty-three million people voted for, who won an Electoral College--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --landslide. And yet these Democrats have been trying to get him-- the start of this Congress, Congresswoman Tlaib said--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --she wants to impeach him before any evidence. Five members, think about this--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --five members of the Dem-- of the Democrat-- five Democrat members on the Intelligence Committee--


REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN: --have voted to move forward with impeachment even before the whistleblower complaint was filed.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I've got to go to a commercial break. Thank you very much, Congressman.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be back in a moment.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Coming up, we'll turn to campaign 2020, and a new Battleground Tracker poll. CBS News elections and surveys director Anthony Salvanto, standing by.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Some of our stations are leaving us but we will be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. We turn now to a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, Indiana Congressman Mike Quigley. Good to have you here.

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY (D-Illinois/@RepMikeQuigley/Intelligence Committee): Is it okay if I leave my jacket on? I'm just curious.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes, it is fine.

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: And my friends from Chicago will be upset. I am from Illinois.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm sorry. The point that I want to get to today with the testimony that happened behind closed doors with Holmes.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think he's going to sit and answer public questions in front of the cameras?

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: It's always a decision I don't get to make. I think it makes sense. I think there's something very compelling about what he had to say. The first is he accentuated the fact that the President was saying he doesn't care about Ukraine. He said it in a rather coarse manner, but I think it's important. And all he was asking about was the investigations. I think that explains why this all happened--


REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: --why the President was involved with this scheme.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This is testimony Holmes has delivered behind closed doors, but--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --we haven't heard publicly yet. And he implicates further Gordon Sondland, who is someone we will hear from this week, the E.U. ambassador. Is-- is Sondland the only witness the Democrats have who can directly implicate the President here?

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: Other than Mister Mulvaney and others who already have--

MARGARET BRENNAN: None of them are testifying.

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: Other than the President-- well, Mulvaney in a press conference had-- had a-- a striking admission. So I think it's easy to forget what we already have in the public's domain.


REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: The fact that the-- Mister Mulvaney said, in channeling his Jack-- inner Jack Nicholson was sort of almost you're damn right I did. Get used to it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, he walked that back later.

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: Yeah. I think-- I think under the heat, you often tell, or are more likely to tell the truth.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you believe that Gordon Sondland is a credible witness?

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: I believe that every witness should be given ever op-- every opportunity to tell the truth.

MARGARET BRENNAN: He's revised his statement, which is why I asked that.

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: Right. It's never too late to tell the truth other than perhaps for Roger Stone.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Which we will get to later on in the show, but I want to stay on the House Intelligence Committee--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --and issues that you are handling. The President tweeted over the weekend about three of the diplomats who testified and he suggested that they should be dismissed. He also tweeted during the hearing about Ambassador Yovanovitch. Do you see this as adding up to witness intimidation?

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: When the hearing began and Ambassador Yovanovitch began to testify, I thought there's no way the Republicans will go after this. If anything, they're going to try to diminish the notion that there was a smear campaign against her. And as she was testifying that she felt threatened by the President's remarks, which I understand, the President continues the smear campaign. I think when the President says he has a right to pull back ambassadors at any time--


REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: --they serve at his will--


REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: --that's absolutely true, but he doesn't-- that can't be part of a corrupt scheme. And I think that's what we saw here. The fact is, if the President disagrees with you or you don't cheer on the President of the United States, he comes after you and the rule of law is left behind.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But not necessarily witness intimidation. You're not going there, in terms of articles of impeachment.

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: No, it's absolute-- it's part of a pattern of witness intimidation. What did he say about Mister Cohen? That he was a rat. He was talking like a-- a mobster. What'd he say about Mister Manafort? That he was a good guy because he wasn't cooperating. That's witness intimidation.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We now know from another White House official, Tim Morrison, who testified that there was a meeting between former National Security Adviser John Bolton and President Trump, specifically about releasing the aide. Why not wait for John Bolton to testify? The courts can't get to it till December.

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: I flip it. Why not-- why isn't Mister Bolton testifying? Why wasn't he a whistleblower?

MARGARET BRENNAN: But he's someone--

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: If he thought that Rudy Giuliani was a hand grenade, if he was so offended--


REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: --he ended a meeting, if he was so offended he called it a drug deal, these other folks with lesser power, you could argue, came forward and risked a lot to tell the American people the truth.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But wouldn't he make your argument that much stronger since he could deliver this to the President's door?

REP. QUIGLY: I don't think at-- with the amount of evidence we have right now, any single witness is going to be essential that without them, we wouldn't know what took place. I would love to hear from Mister Bolton. I would love to hear from Mister Mulvaney. For those Republican saying-- seeming to imply that they want the Americans to know everything, well, then why are they blocking their testimony--


REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: --that's seen how damaging through the testimony and through the transcripts that these witnesses have been? They want no part of it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Have you heard enough at this point to vote for articles of impeachment?

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: I believe that the Special Counsel, Mister Mueller detailed obstruction, at least ten or eleven counts, that were so severe that he would have indicted the President of the United States, if it wasn't for the DOG-- DOJ rulings that you can't.


REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: The fact of the matter is the President of the United States at the very least obstructed--


REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY: --justice, and that's an article of impeachment.

MARGARET BRENNAN:  And you're ready to vote for it. All right. Thank you very much, Congressman.

We'll be right back with our CBS News Battleground Tracker poll.


MARGARET BRENNAN: This week, the Democratic candidates vying to take on President Trump hold another debate, and our latest CBS News Battleground Tracker gives us a look at where they stand in the early contests. There are eighteen states in our aggregate survey starting with the Iowa caucus up through Super Tuesday. Former Vice President Joe Biden is back on top, now at twenty-nine percent support, followed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren at twenty-six percent. Warren had led last month. Behind them, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is at eighteen percent. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has risen to nine percent and California Senator Kamala Harris is at seven percent. The remainder of the field comes in with two percent of the vote or less. Joining us to talk about what's happening here is CBS News elections and surveys director Anthony Salvanto. Anthony, always good to have you here.

ANTHONY SALVANTO (CBS News Elections and Surveys Director/@SalvantoCBS): Thank you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So explain what you think is happening here with Elizabeth Warren. There have been some criticisms that perhaps she is too progressive, too liberal. Is that impacting her?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Well, her opponents certainly have leveled those criticisms. It may be having some impact in this sense. We see thirty-six percent of Democrats, and in particular those not yet considering her say that her plans would be too liberal to defeat Donald Trump. Only six percent, for example, say that about what they think of Joe Biden's plans. It's a reminder that throughout this campaign the key criteria for Democrats has been trying to game out who they think can defeat Donald Trump. There is another break here. In that, Democrats describe Elizabeth Warren as exciting, in a way that they do not describe Joe Biden--


ANTHONY SALVANTO: --but more of them also describe her as risky in a way that they do not describe Joe Biden. So to the extent that some of these supporters of either candidate have been moving back and forth, this month the ones that she's lost have gone to either Joe Biden or also to Pete Buttigieg.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And he, the mayor of South Bend, has been getting a lot of attention for moving ahead in two key states.

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Right. Big move in Iowa. We saw-- saw that start to happen in the-- at the end of the summer, but now he's really vaulted into what is-- what's essentially a tie for the lead there in Iowa, also made a big move in New Hampshire. Now Warren is the lead in New Hampshire, but he is up nine points there and is now into double digits. One of the things that struck me is that he is doing particularly well with people who say they are paying attention to the campaign, but not following it as closely on social media and on Twitter. Now that could mean that all of that groundwork that he is doing--


ANTHONY SALVANTO: --the campaigning he is doing there, the events in Iowa and New Hampshire is starting to pay off.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So one of the things that you also found is that there is generally satisfaction with the field. So if that is the case, then why are you hearing from potential candidates that they may see an opening?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Yeah. It's almost the Democrats who say that they are satisfied with their current crop of candidates, and that's higher than that number has been in some recent past elections. But you also see that, number one, they are not necessarily set in their choice themselves. And I think it's also a function partly of the rules by which I mean this. We asked about Mike Bloomberg--


ANTHONY SALVANTO: --and whether or not voters would consider voting for him. And twenty percent said that they would. Now that's not out of the picture, but it's not the same level that we see for consideration of some of these top tier candidates. Having said that, remember, this is a delegate fight and these early states don't have that many delegates. They are attention plays, they are media plays, especially for candidates who aren't that well-known nationally. But after those early states; the Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, there's ten times as many delegates available on Super Tuesday. So conceivably a candidate could go out there and pick up delegates in those states and pockets of those states. Normally, a candidate needs a lot of money to do that--

MARGARET BRENNAN: You are describing Mike Bloomberg-- we did--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --and his strategy is to skip some of these early states that we have talked about, the New Hampshires and the Iowas saying, I don't need it--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --and I've got the money to run anyway.

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Right. So if a candidate doesn't need for all of us to go cover their victory speech in an Iowa or a New Hampshire and can go right to Super Tuesday, that would seem to be the strategy. Whether or not it works would be a historic test, but a candidate would need a lot of money to do it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, in other words, to the question of is it too late, the answer is--

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Well, the answer is the rules make it possible for a candidate with enough money who can pick up enough attention after the early states.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Anthony Salvanto, thank you very much.


MARGARET BRENNAN: The full results are on our website at

We will be back in a moment with our political panel.


MARGARET BRENNAN: It's time now for some political analysis. On my right, we are joined by Rachael Bade who covers congress for The Washington Post. CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe is also here. Molly Ball is the national political correspondent at Time magazine, and Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor at the National Review and a columnist at Bloomberg Opinion. Let's start off on 2020. As you just heard Anthony Salvanto lay out in the Battleground Tracker, there is some concern among Democrats that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren may be too liberal. President Obama got to something along these lines this week.

ED O'KEEFE (CBS News Political Correspondent/@edokeefe): That's right. Friday night here in Washington at a gathering of liberal donors, didn't call out any specific candidate or idea, but they warned that the country isn't necessarily in the mood to rip up the entire system when it comes to health care and immigration. So that's kind of availed message to voters in the Democratic activists maybe Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren are going a little too far. And I think that's not only reflecting what the former President said, it's reflecting in the results of the elections the last few days here. Look at what happened in Louisiana last night. John Bel Edwards, moderate Democrat, anti-abortion who has distanced himself from national Democrats won in a squeaker, just a few days after Andy Beshear won in Kentucky as a moderate, as well. It's a reminder that if the party hopes to win back areas of the country that are trickier to prevail in, they are probably going to have to find a more moderate candidate to do it and the polling is starting to reflect an understanding of that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And it's interesting, Rachael, because Speaker Pelosi told me something similar on Friday when I talked to her, when I specifically asked about that signature health care issue. Listen in.

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: But I don't think that you can decide in one day that in a matter of days, nobody will have their private health insurance, I-- I just don't see that as a path. And I do think that, though, people have their exuberance and their why and what excites them about running for office, and that has to be taken into consideration when make judgments about their policies because everybody knows that once you're elected then you have to work together.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So there you hear a master legislator basically saying what you're being promised on the campaign trail is going to be really hard to put through into law.

RACHAEL BADE (Washington Post/@rachaelmbade): Yeah. I mean, Pelosi and Obama both sending up a red flare right now to these liberals in the 2020 race. I mean, this is a woman who comes from San Francisco, she's as blue as you can be but she's also-- she's, you know, taken back the House. She has seen her moderate members take Republican districts that Trump won in in 2016, and she knows that messages like Medicare for All and we're going to take your health insurance, that scares a lot of independent voters and a lot of Republican voters who are sick of Trump and want someone else to vote for but can't see themselves voting for someone like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders who are promoting a lot of free things that people are worried about their own taxes and what that's going to do to their bottom line.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Ramesh, I mean, as someone on-- on the other side, do you think that there is anyone on the field or hinting who might be entering the field that could attract some Republican votes?

RAMESH PONNURU (National Review/@RameshPonnuru/Bloomberg Opinion): I think that the more conservative or moderate the Democrats choose a nominee, the more likelihood they're getting crossover voters, not just Republicans but maybe people who have voted Republican in the past some of the time, voted Democratic some of the time, but some stances like taking away private health insurance or moving away from enforcement of the immigration laws altogether, those things I think are going to make people not want to cross the aisle and write off some of those Democratic candidates. And I think what you're seeing on the Democratic polling right now is it's a fluid situation--


RAMESH PONNURU: --partly because there are these doubts about the top candidates. Just a couple of weeks ago people were talking about, oh, this is really a Warren-Biden race or even Warren is the frontrunner. And I think Democratic voters are taking a look and saying, well, not so fast. We've got some time to make up our minds and we have some concerns about who's the right person to do this job, including beating Trump in the first place.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And they may have more choices as we learned this week, Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts did get in, Mike Bloomberg still flirting here. And then I-- I want to play this sound bite here. Hillary Clinton said something kind of mysterious.

HILLARY CLINTON: I, as I say, never, never, never say never. And I-- I will certainly tell you, I'm under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it, but as of this moment, sitting here, in this studio, talking to you, that is absolutely not in my plans.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Molly, who is pressuring Hillary Clinton to enter this race?

MOLLY BALL (TIME Magazine/@mollyesque): Apparently some people are, either that or what she learned from running against Trump in 2016 is the art of trolling and she's trolling us all, which I think is quite possible, because she knows how she makes people's heads explode sort of on both sides. I take her at her word that this is a remote possibility if it even exists. But as you mentioned with these other late entrants into the race, there is a sense in the Democratic establishment, not necessarily the Democratic electorate, but the Democratic establishment, they're nervous about the-- about finding someone to coalesce behind that they see as acceptable, that they see as electable. And, again, I don't think you find this in the electorate.


MOLLY BALL: In polls, the vast majority of Democratic primary voters are happy with their choices. They have an embarrassment of riches. They've got twenty odd candidates and what I hear when I'm out on the campaign trail talking to voters in places like Iowa is, gosh, there are so many great possibilities, how-- it's hard to choose. It's hard.


MOLLY BALL: It's been hard for them to narrow down. They don't hate any of these people. They just like somebody better.


MOLLY BALL: But that has left the race very fluid and unsettled at a time when I would have expected it to be gelling and coming into focus it seems to be doing the opposite.

MARGARET BRENNAN: When will Mike Bloomberg make a decision?

ED O'KEEFE: We are told this morning, Margaret, that he is days away from making a formal announcement of his decision. The previous--

MARGARET BRENNAN: An announcement of a decision?

ED O'KEEFE: Right.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But we don't know what the decision is.

ED O'KEEFE: We don't know what--


ED O'KEEFE: --the decision is. We know he's still considering it. But anybody who puts their name on the ballot now in Arkansas and Alabama, which are the earliest fi-- filing deadlines and will vote on Super Tuesday and has requested the paperwork from Tennessee and other Super Tuesday state is certainly signaling that he would like to at least load test the theory and he has the money to do it, that you can bypass those first four states and focus on the nearly, what is it, thirteen to fifteen hundred delegates that are up for grabs on Super Tuesday, and potentially run the table in those states by running big ad campaigns and showing up.


ED O'KEEFE: And you saw when he went to Arkansas this past week to file paperwork, they were thrilled to see him because they hadn't seen any other candidate. And so it's by virtue of just showing up he can do that and spend money, perhaps he's-- he's able to wait out whoever prevails in the first four states. But to Molly's point, I think it's important to reiterate this, because I've seen it in our reporting, our-- our colleagues who are on the ground in these states have seen it as well.


ED O'KEEFE: And the polling now backs this up. Seventy-eight percent of Democrats in these first eighteen states tell us in the Battleground Tracker they are satisfied with their choices, only twenty-two percent say they want more choices--


ED O'KEEFE: --and only one in five of these Democratic primary voters say they would even consider Bloomberg as a possible candidate.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Molly, what are you hearing in terms of how impeachment resonates on the campaign trail?

MOLLY BALL: Well, it's very interesting that there hasn't been a lot of talk about it in the Democratic primary, in large part, because the candidates pretty much all agree that-- that-- and that-- most-- I think practically all of the top Democratic candidates were in favor of impeachment before this inquiry was begun--


MOLLY BALL: --and-- and then Biden came on board I think last. But the other thing that I-- I've been watching actually more closely is how this works in general elections, right? Because as Ed mentioned, we've had a couple of gubernatorial races in red states lately where there was a lot of bluster from the President and his-- and his people about how impeachment was going to put the Republican over the top because it was so going to galvanize Republican based voters.


MOLLY BALL: But even if they didn't feel like going out and voting, that would make them get off the couch, that doesn't seem to be the case, or at least it hasn't been enough for these Republicans who are counting on the President, who are counting on impeachment firing up their voters. It-- the Democrats now I think have more confidence about this not being politically dangerous for them because they haven't seen it affect their candidates in these deep red states.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But Ramesh, you said with the sentencing and the-- well, seven guilty charges I think against Roger Stone, the former Trump associate this week, you just put that as an exclamation point on what was a bad week for the President, but for Republicans they're kind of able to brush it off.

RAMESH PONNURU: Well, the strategy is clearly to hold on to base Republican voters, not really to influence people who are in the middle maybe trying to decide what they think of the President, and they're moving from one argument to another trying to come up with some stable ground from which to defend the President, and it's very tricky, because the President--


RAMESH PONNURU: --keeps undermining the defenses. So, for example, Jim Jordan, we had on earlier has said-- said earlier this week, well, obviously what happened was the President wanted to give the new president of Ukraine some time, test him out, see if he really was the real deal against corruption. Then the White House releases the first conversation between Trump and Zelensky where Trump says you can come visit the White House. He's not giving him time. It's what the really story here is, he is perfectly willing to have him over and then later he decides, oh, wait, I can use leverage here to get an investigation of the Bidens.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm. And the word corruption was not used in that phone call--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --or the subsequent one in July.

RAMESH PONNURU: So that's why they're flailing, they just have to keep coming up with new defenses.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Molly, you're writing a book on Speaker Pelosi.

MOLLY BALL: I am, out in April.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What did you think of what she described there in terms of the-- the tone she's stetting for this huge political decision?

MOLLY BALL: Well, you know, say what you will about Nancy Pelosi. She is extremely consistent and she has been consistent since the beginning of this process, first in expressing reluctance. She very much wants the American people to know that the Democrats aren't doing this because they're out to get the President and, in fact, they don't want to do it but they've been forced. And that continues to be her line and then also trying to keep the focus off of partisanship. The fact is this is a partisan impeachment. It was--


MOLLY BALL: When they had the vote it was almost purely party line vote, only Democrats are for it. They can't do anything about that if the Republicans don't want to come along. But the-- but she's trying as hard as she possibly can to cast this in on partisan terms, to say, it's about the country, it's about the constitution, and trying to elevate this. And also make it seem like a big deal. I mean, this has also been part of the President's defense is just-- is-- maybe not him but people around him saying this just isn't that big a deal--


MOLLY BALL: --it might have been bad but it's not impeachable. There's thirty Trump scandals every week, why is this any different? And she very much is trying to elevate the seriousness, and-- and, you know, she's talking about bribery, she's talking about national security--


MOLLY BALL: --and that's what she's trying to fill into people's minds.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Rachael, is that why when I asked the speaker, she didn't want to respond to what the Republicans are staying about impeachment?

RACHAEL BADE: Yeah, no. I-- it was interesting because she did something similar in a press conference this week, particularly regarding the argument that Democrats have yet to have a witness who has, quote, "firsthand knowledge," a witness who can say I talked to Trump. Trump was the one who directed the entire scheme. And, you know, that is a potential vulnerability for Democrats, you can't deny that these witnesses, nobody is able to sort of speak to that. However, it's sort of risky for Republicans to take this line of attack--


RACHAEL BADE: --because this week we're going to see Gordon Sondland is going to come in to testify, we don't know what he's going to say. But this is a guy who has told at least four other witnesses that Trump told him that--


RACHAEL BADE: --the whole-- was directing the whole scheme the entire time. One of them even verified it with the White House to make sure he was talking to the President and not just making this up. And another person actually heard a conversation between the President and this ambassador. So I think it's-- it's risky.


RACHAEL BADE: Pelosi don't want to respond to it now, but next week we could see the tables turn.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It's going to be a very big and busy week for all of us.

We will be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Recently we talked about the importance of listening to the quiet voices of the public servants being pulled into the spotlight of this impeachment inquiry. We heard three of those voices speak clearly and candidly this week, not about politics or partisanship but about their concerns with the Trump administration's handling of foreign policy. They warned that the security of our own democracy is at risk.

(Crowd cheering)

MARGARET BRENNAN: One moment that stood out to us was the applause and standing ovation for Ambassador Yovanovitch following her testimony, a sign of respect for public servant at the end of a politically contentious hearing.

Perhaps people are listening.

That's it for us today. A big thank you to the Jones Day law firm for the facilities here on Capitol Hill. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm Margaret Brennan.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.