ICYMI: Here's what you missed on Sunday's "Face the Nation", November 17, 2019

11/17: Face The Nation

As the impeachment inquiry into President Trump moves into week two of public testimony from key State Department officials, allies of the president are having to defend his attacks in real time in the midst of the politically-charged impeachment probe. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says these public threats lobbed against witnesses stepping forward amounted to witness tampering or intimidation. The White House, however, says that it's just his opinion. Pelosi, in her extensive interview with "Face the Nation" said the White House "has to know that the words of the president weigh a ton." 

Here's the big takeaways from Sunday's episode of "Face the Nation" with Margaret Brennan

Pelosi: Trump attacks on impeachment witnesses "significant" to probe

Pelosi: Trump's public attacks on witnesses are "very significant"
  • In a wide-ranging interview with "Face the Nation", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan that Trump's ongoing attacks on witnesses in the impeachment probe — including his tweets about former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch Friday — are "very significant" as the impeachment probe progresses. 
  • What Pelosi said: "He should not frivolously throw out insults, but that's what he does. I think part of it is his own insecurity as an impostor. I think he knows full well that he's in that office way over his head. And so he has to diminish everyone else," she said. She added that she would "make sure he does not intimidate the whistleblower."

  • On Trump having the chance to present his case: "The president could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants," Pelosi said. "He has every opportunity to present his case." 

  • On keeping control of the House in 2020: "We're one year before the election and we see the opposition and we don't take anything for granted, but we think we can maintain our majority and grow it and help elect the Senate and a Democratic president of the United States," Pelosi said. 

  • On whistleblower complaint prompting release of Ukraine aid: "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," she said. "Don't forget that in between all of that came the inspector general, an inspector general appointed by President Trump," she added. "And the inspector general said that this was of 'urgent concern.' And so that is what intervened."

  • Why this all matters:  Pelosi, who wavered at initial talk of carrying out an impeachment inquiry of President Trump, now is an ardent defender of those willing to step forward in the Democrat-led probe and continues her "fact-finding" mission of exposing the president's alleged obstruction. Pelosi maintains that while her caucus is in the midst of the contentious and politically-charged inquiry, they're not taking "anything for granted" this election cycle. 

Jim Jordan argues Ukraine aid released because Zelensky showed he's the "real deal"

Jordan says Ukraine aid delay done in the "best interest" of U.S.


  • Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, an ardent defender of President Trump, portrayed the president's decision to place a hold on a multi-million-dollar military aid package to Ukraine as a way to ensure that country's government would use the funds wisely and appropriately.     
  • What Jordan said: "We're talking about Ukraine, one of three most corrupt countries on the planet. And we're talking about the hard earned dollars of the American people," Jordan said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "They became convinced that this media star — this new guy to politics, his party just won an overwhelming majority in the their parliament — was the real deal. He was worth the risk. And they said, 'We'll release the aid.'"
  • But was he comfortable with Trump's Biden probe: "Well, I don't think that's what took place here, because there was never an investigation undertaken," he defended of the Trump charge to investigate the former VP.  "There's-- there's all kinds of talk about things, but they-- it didn't happen."
  • Why that matters: While Jordan said the delay in Ukraine aid was done in the "best interest" of the United States, he wavered on if he was exactly comfortable with the president's charge to investigate a political adversary -- a key point of contention for this White House. 

Rep. Mike Quigley says Trump shows a "pattern of witness intimidation"

Rep. Mike Quigley: Trump has a "pattern" of witness intimidation
  • Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said President Trump's derogatory remarks about Marie Yovanovitch, are part of a "pattern" of attacks designed to intimidate individuals who may have damaging information about the president.  
  • What Quigley said: "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," Quigley said on "Face the Nation," referring to Friday's testimony. "And as she was testifying that she felt threatened by the president's remarks, which I understand, the president continues the smear campaign."  
  • Why that matters: Democrats are starting to see that witness intimidation could be part of the growing list of charges against President Trump. While it may not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, the practice of continually attacking witnesses in the impeachment probe do not help the president's defense case. 

CBS Poll: Buttigieg rises in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden's delegate hunt surge

Pete Buttigieg rises in Iowa and New Hampshire as Biden back atop delegate hunt
  • CBS News Director of Elections and Surveys Anthony Salvanto reports in new Battleground Tracker polling that the key caucus state of Iowa now shows a clear top tier defined by Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and now Pete Buttigieg — whose support in the state has tripled since September and risen seven points since just last month.
  • In addition to his gains in Iowa and New Hampshire, Buttigieg has picked up support in the aggregate 18-state poll. CBS News recontacts voters for this study, and most of Buttigieg's current supporters reported a different first-choice candidate last month, primarily Elizabeth Warren.  
  • Why that matters: In key early states, Buttigieg's surge matches what CBS polling found -- that there is some concern among Democrats that Sanders' and Warren's policy stances are too liberal to enable either of them to beat Mr. Trump, although it's voters currently not supporting these candidates who are more likely to hold that view. Buttigieg offers a more moderate option for undecided voters -- parting ways on key policies like "Medicare for All."
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    Emily Tillett is the digital producer at "Face the Nation"