This week on "Face the Nation", October 20, 2019: Himes, Hurd

Trump says ceasefire is back on in Syria
Trump says ceasefire is back on in Syria 02:34

Clashes continue in Syria:

Just one day after Vice President Mike Pence brokered a cease-fire with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, shelling and gunfire continued in northern Syria Friday.

Kurdish leadership accused the Turkish military of violating the terms of the truce, in which Kurdish fighters were given five days to move away from a 20-mile-deep "safe zone" along Turkey's border.

Pentagon officials have told CBS News they've received no instructions as to how to move the Kurdish forces, and there's been no change to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region.

Quid pro-quo admission:

Back in Washington, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Thursday that $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was withheld in part to pressure the country to cooperate with a Justice Department investigation into a conspiracy that Ukraine framed Russia for hacking into the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The intelligence community has not substantiated the claim. 

"I was involved with the process by which the money was held up temporarily, OK? Three issues for that: the corruption in the country, whether or not other countries were participating in support of the Ukraine and whether or not they were cooperating in an ongoing investigation with our Department of Justice. That's completely legitimate," Mulvaney explained.

Democrats meanwhile consider Mulvaney's comments a potential turning point in their impeachment inquiry. 

"I think Mr. Mulvaney's acknowledgment means that things have gone from very, very bad to much, much worse," said Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-California. 

On Capitol Hill, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sonland told lawmakers in a closed-door session Thursday that he was "disappointed" that President Trump had directed him and other diplomats managing U.S. policy toward Ukraine to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

"Please know that I would not have recommended that Mr. Giuliani or any private citizen be involved in these foreign policy matters," Sondland said in his statement. "However, given the President's explicit direction, as well as the importance we attached to arranging a White House meeting between Presidents Trump and Zelensky, we agreed to do as President Trump directed."

"Face the Nation" Guest Lineup:

  • Rep. Jim Himes, D-Connecticut (@jahimes)
  • Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas (@HurdOnTheHill)
  • Gen (Ret.) Raymond Thomas, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command
  • Michael Morell, former CIA Deputy Director and CBS News National Security Contributor (@MichaelJMorell)
  • William Burns, former Deputy Secretary of State

And as always, we'll turn to our panel for some perspective on the week that was:

How to watch "Face the Nation"

  • Date: Sunday, October 20, 2019
  • TV: "Face the Nation" airs Sunday mornings on CBS. Click here for your local listings
  • Radio: Subscribe to "Face the Nation" from CBS Radio News to listen on-the-go
  • Free online stream: Watch a rebroadcast of the show on CBS' streaming network CBSN at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET.

With the latest news and analysis from Washington, don't miss Margaret Brennan (@margbrennan) this Sunday on "Face the Nation" (@FaceTheNation). 

And for the latest from America's premier public affairs program, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.