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Sources: White House Played Key Role Blocking Whistleblower Complaint from Getting to Congress; Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) is Interviewed About Complaint by Whistleblower; Washington Post: Whistleblower Complaint About President Trump Involves Ukraine; Wash. Post: Whistleblower Complaint About President Trump Involves Ukraine; Senator Klobuchar: People Have Been Hurt By President Trump's Policies; Senator Klobuchar: We Need To Make It Easier To Get 4 Year College Degrees, And Make 1 Or 2 Year Degrees Free; Canada's PM Justin Trudeau Apologizes Again Third Image Surfaces Of Him Wearing Blackface Makeup. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired September 19, 2019 - 20:00   ET




We left you last night with something of a mystery. What prompted a whistleblower inside the intelligence community to raise what the community's top watchdog decided were, quote, urgent concerns and why haven't those concerns been brought before Congress as the law requires.

Tonight, there is new reporting from CNN and from others on the substance of the complaint and why this is turning into something the White House, from the president down, is treating as a very big deal.

First and foremost, we've learned that this directly concerns the president -- in part, his communications with and allegedly his commitment to a foreign leader. In addition, three sources now tell CNN that both the White House and Justice Department are involved in blocking the complaint.

Separately, "The New York Times" is reporting that the complaint alleges multiple acts by the president that according to their report, quote, go beyond any single discussion with a foreign leader. Now, some of the reporting surrounds what Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community's inspector general told the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors this morning.

One source familiar with the briefing tells CNN he referred to, quote, a sequence of events and, quote, alleged actions. Another source disputed he provided any substantive details. So, as to handing over the actual complaint, Committee Chairman Adam Schiff had this to say.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We do not have the complaint. We do not know whether the press reports are accurate or inaccurate about the contents of that complaint. But what I do know is this: if in a matter within the jurisdiction of the director of national intelligence, you have an employee of that community or contractor or detailee who follows the law and makes a complaint, and it is possible for the subject of that complaint to essentially quash the complaint or keep it from Congress, then this system is badly broken.


COOPER: Chairman Schiff also cited a passage in the inspector general's Tuesday letter to the committee. In it, the I.G. takes issue with claims made by the acting director of national intelligence that this does not concern intelligence activity and that the complaints did not rise to the level of urgent concerns that the law says Congress needed to be told about.

Quoting the inspector general now: The subject matter involved in the complainant's disclosure not only falls within the DNI's jurisdiction, but relates to one of the most significant and important of the DNI's responsibilities to the American people.

Now, if, in fact, they do relate to allegations the president of the United States made some sort of improper commitment to a foreign leader, it would certainly be a big deal, though as you'll see tonight, whether that's even against the law is now a subject of debate, which says a lot about where we are these days.

As for the president, he tweeted this. Virtually any time I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. No problem. Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially heavily populated call?

Well, keeping them honest, whether the president is in his own words, dumb enough, that's unclear. But his larger denial would certainly be easier to swallow if it weren't for some of what we know he has done when he's not surrounded by witnesses.

We know that he did reveal classified information to Russia's ambassador and foreign minister in a conversation we only learned about through Russian media. We know on other occasions the president had spoken to Vladimir Putin without note takers in the room, something no modern president has done before.

We also know in a story broken by CNN's Jim Sciutto that the U.S. intelligence has extracted a top Kremlin asset, in part reportedly out of concern the president might blow his cover. So, there's that.

There is also the broader question of whether you can take what the president says at face value. He tells so many obvious and checkable untruths, including this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There has never been ever before an administration that has been so open and transparent. I was the most transparent and am transparent president in history.


COOPER: Well, all that said, the Constitution gives any president, truthful or not, transparent or not, broad authority to conduct foreign policy. The law gives a president almost unlimited authority to declassify intelligence if he or she wants to.

Just ahead, we'll look at how it's possible, if at all, to reconcile that with the public's right to know that the president, any president, is acting in the country's best interests on the world stage.

First, let's get the latest from CNN's Jim Acosta at the White House tonight.

So, Jim, the president's message seems pretty clear, nothing to see here.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. He is saying nothing to see here. As he said in that tweet you read a few moments ago, he's saying that he would never be dumb enough to talk about things or disclose things in some of these phone calls that he described as being so heavily populated.


But we know, Anderson, and we've been reporting this along with our White House team earlier today that sometimes there is a limited number of people on these calls, and so when the president says that those calls are heavily populated, that's not always the case.

COOPER: How much do we know, though, about how -- where, when the president conducts his calls with foreign leaders? Are there -- you said some of them are less populated. Are there ever ones that are hardly populated at all, or just between the president, a leader and a translator?

ACOSTA: Well, Anderson, it's interesting, because, you know, the practice has been -- long-standing practice here at the White House and other administrations, the president would be on the phone, perhaps in the Situation Room or in the Oval Office. He would be surrounded by aides. Those aides would be coaching him through those phone calms as he talks about very prickly and difficult issues with a foreign leader.

President Trump has gone a different way from time to time. From what we understand, talking to senior administration officials, oftentimes, the president likes to talk to these foreign leaders in the executive residence, away from some of these aides. In some case, Anderson, that forces these aides to listen in on these conversations outside of the room, across the White House complex, sometimes in the Situation Room where they can't be there with the president to coach him and guide him through some of these phone calls.

The other thing the president likes to do, as my colleagues have been reporting over here at the White House, he will sometimes call them on different phones. He will call these foreign leaders on different phones. Aides have described them as being Trump one and Trump two. And when he uses those phones, those personal phones, he is going outside of the protocols that are typically used by administrations when these kinds of very sensitive calls are taking place.

COOPER: The reality is, though, and I mention this earlier, the president does have -- any president has a broad authority when it comes to how they choose to execute foreign policy.

ACOSTA: That's right. He does. But keep in mind, the reason why you have these protocols and guidelines and procedures in place is to make sure that there are other people listening in on these phone calls. And from what we understand, Anderson, that as these leaks have been reported over the last few years of the administration, you and I have talked about these leaks before. We've covered them extensively on CNN.

Those leaks have angered the president, and White House staff has responded by limiting -- shrinking the number of people who will be on those phone calms as the president is talking to these foreign leaders. We don't know whether or not that's the case with this whistle-blower, but conceivably, that would limit the number of people who would be aware of this whistleblower complaint, for example.

COOPER: Yes, Jim Acosta, I appreciate it. Thanks very much.

ACOSTA: You bet.

COOPER: Joining us now, someone who heard from the inspector general today, intelligence community member and California Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

Congresswoman -- Speier, I'm sorry, Congressman Speier.

Obviously, there is a limit on how much you can say. But, generally, how -- can you say how much was the inspector general able to disclose in the hearing today?

REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA): Well, he did not disclose the content of the complaint or who the complainant was. He went through the process that he engaged in, determining whether or not the complaint was credible, whether or not it rose to being urgent, meaning that it was a national security concern. And in so doing, reported that too to the director of national intelligence.

And at that point, the director of national intelligence is supposed to -- shall is the word, shall transfer that information to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, none of which took place. So then the inspector general took it upon himself to contact the committees himself.

COOPER: Did the inspector general talk about their understanding of the actual law? I mean, use the word shall, and that's in the statute, that the DNI shall pass this on, and can add, you know, the DNI's opinion or comments to it as they pass it on. Is that the law that no matter what, as long as the inspector general has said this is an urgent concern, the DNI has to pass it on to Congress within seven days?

SPEIER: Yes. That is the whistle-blower protection law. What's so troubling here is, one, that it has been designated as being urgent. And urgent means it is a very serious national security risk.

And secondly, that this whistle-blower now may not have any of the protections for a whistle-blower because the DNI chose to inform the Department of Justice and the attorney general then opined and said no, this doesn't come under the whistle-blower statute, which means this particular individual could be subject to reprisals. So, it's undercutting. It's eviscerating, frankly, the whistle-blower protection law which has over its course saved taxpayers billions of dollars in monies that were the subject of fraud or abuse and have called out people who have violated the law.


COOPER: What's troubling about this, I mean, there's -- if everything is as being presented is that not only does this potentially send a message to other whistle-blowers in any administration that, you know, whatever the law may be, it may not be followed, it also then encouraged any potential whistleblower if they want to then go outside the actual statutes and do it correctly and leak a story or, you know, get a story through the media, which then raises all sorts of questions about national security issues and classified information.

SPEIER: That's correct. And, you know, what's really very important about the whistleblower act and the evaluation that's done by the inspector general is that it has to be something that deals with national security. Not a difference of opinion on policy. So this is a very serious set of circumstances. And I can't begin to tell you how troubled I am that we have not been given access to this information.

COOPER: By the way, I just have heard "The Washington Post" is now reporting based on two sources that this concerns Ukraine. That's the information that "The Washington Post" has just put out. CNN has been reporting that the inspector general testified that the complaint was in response to multiple acts, wouldn't say if those incidents involved President Trump.

Is that accurate?

SPEIER: Well, he would not indicate who was involved in the complaint, and he was very circumspect. You know, truly, this inspector general is -- has been appointed by President Trump, could be fired by President Trump. He is following the letter of the law just like the whistleblower did. And yet they're both in jeopardy right now.

COOPER: So, that's an important point. This inspector general -- this is not if you are a conspiracy theorist who believes in the deep state, this is not somebody who has been brewing into the deep state for a decade. This is somebody appointed by President Trump? SPEIER: Appointed by President Trump. Long service in the Department

of Justice, was awarded a number of awards, both at DOJ and as the inspector general. Has been on the post for 15 months. He has always sent these whistleblower complaints to the committees, even when he has not found that it met the test of both credible and urgent.

So, this is the first one in his 15 months where he has found both prongs and has felt compelled to want to convey to it the committee.

COOPER: Yes, Congresswoman Speier, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

SPEIER: Thank you.

COOPER: We're going to have more on the breaking news next. The information about Ukraine from "The Washington Post," that and perspective from someone who recently was on the inside and is now at odds with the administration in the role he played. Former FBI director -- Deputy Director Andrew McCabe weighs in.

Also later, Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar on her plans to win back the Rust Belt which went for the president the last time around.



COOPER: Just moments ago, "The Washington Post" broke something potentially big in the whistleblower story. The headline reads: Whistleblower complaint about President Trump involves Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter.

"The Post's" Greg Miller is on the byline of the story. He joins us on the phone right now.

So, explain what you know. This complaint, you're reporting, it centers on Ukraine?

GREG MILLER, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST (via telephone): Right. So that's a -- Trump had a conversation with the leader of Ukraine just a little less than two weeks before this whistle-blower complaint was filed. The -- this has been, you know, a relationship that has been at the center of U.S. negotiations with Russia for quite some time, and, you know, it looks like one of the -- the context here is that there have been ongoing investigations of many committees and Congress have been for a while now, looking into allegations that Trump or his administration was pressuring Ukraine to pursue a corruption investigation that involved the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

COOPER: Right. And there had been -- Rudy Giuliani had at one point planned to go to Ukraine and had raised this issue. What did the president and Giuliani have to say about their interaction was Ukraine? MILLER: Well, so, Giuliani has spoke with one of my colleagues

earlier today, is just really downplaying all of this, saying this is all, of course, a nothing story. But, you know, that's offset now, Anderson, by the fact that you have a member of the U.S. intelligence community who apparently has seen the contents of the president's communications with the leader of Ukraine or at least a foreign leader in which he is discussing Ukraine and is so troubled by what transpired in this conversation that he turned to the inspector general, and that inspector general in turn decided that yes, this is credible. This is an urgent issue, a matter of such grave concern that we need to alert congressional leaders.

COOPER: Greg Miller, I appreciate it. A story just posted by "The Washington Post" right now. Thank you very much.

Joining us is former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who I mentioned is both at odds with the president and is now under investigation by the Justice Department.

Deputy Director McCabe, what do you make of this latest reporting from "The Washington Post" that this, according to sources, involves the Ukraine in some way?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's really fascinating, Anderson, because it really sheds a light on, of course, the question that we're all asking ourselves, what could possibly be the substance of this complaint? And with each one of these facts that becomes public, we get a little bit closer to the core of understanding what that is.


But one of the things that I've been thinking about and I think is key to understanding this is the position that the DNI has taken, which we now know is at the advice of the Department of Justice and likely at the urging of the White House is that the DNI is essentially disagreeing with the inspector general's characterization of the material in the complaint as being an urgent matter. That's important because under the statute, only those things that qualify as urgent matters invoke that obligation of the DNI to report it to Congress.

But if you look at the DNI's logic behind why they say it's not an urgent matter, they say that the person involved is not part of the intelligence community. So that certainly shines a light on the White House and possibly the president. They say there is privilege materials involved. Again, that puts the focus on the president.

And they say very specifically that it does not constitute an intelligence activity within the purview of the director of national intelligence. By qualifying it that way, Anderson, they may have opened the door inadvertently to characterizing this as potentially a much darker. So, for instance, we don't know this, this is speculation. But if the department and the DNI made the assessment that the president's conduct was not intelligence related but was rather potentially criminal conduct, they could then argue that's not an intelligence matter and therefore not under the purview of the DNI. Now a scenario in which that might take place could be if, for

instance, the president had a conversation with a foreign leader in which he promised some sort of assistance to that country for, let's say, return of assistance in his reelection campaign. That, of course, would likely be criminal activity and could be qualified by the Department of Justice as not an intelligence matter.

COOPER: Right. We should point out again, we do not know --

MCCABE: We do not.

COOPER: -- the nature of this, as you stated. But I think it bears repeating.

But even if the DNI in consultation with the Department of Justice or the White House says, you know, they come up with this line, it's not an urgent concern. It doesn't have anything to do with the intelligence community, under the statute, does that matter?

I mean, the word was "shall" that if the inspector general says it's an urgent concern and intelligence committee and passes it on to the DNI to send to it Congress, isn't that kind of pro forma? Or am I -- is that not the case?

MCCABE: You could certainly read it that way.

I think that the DNI and the department are taking an exceedingly narrow view of the statute and being very careful in the way they've kind of drawn the focus to this definition of urgent matter, which is stated in the statute. But it is important, though, also to note that the entire statute, all the provisions are geared towards each matter is qualified as, you know, must be a matter, an intelligence matter within the purview of the director of national intelligence. So that's a very common qualifier throughout the statute.

COOPER: But is it common, though, for the inspector general who is a Trump appointee to suggest, well, yes, this is an urgent concern and to be overruled? I mean, does that happen often?

MCCABE: In my 21 years of government service, I've never seen anything like that. I've never seen an agency head essentially step in front of the relevant inspector general and forestall a report to Congress on a whistleblower matter. A whistleblower matter.

It's important also to note that the inspector general here does not agree, has made it very clear, he does not agree with the DNI and DOJ's interpretation that this does not qualify as an urgent matter. So, no, it's not normal. And I don't -- I would say it's a far from resolved matter.

COOPER: But isn't the president of the United States -- the president of the United States can declassify information if he wants or she wants? They can conduct foreign policy. I mean, they have wide latitude, no?

MCCABE: Absolutely. And those are all things that I would expect the White House and the department to rely upon to defend essentially the actions they've taken here. And there is no question. Look, those principles are well-known by people in the intelligence community, which is why I find it highly unlikely that the whistle-blower in this case based their complaint around matters that are, you know, disagreements over classification of materials or differences of opinion about foreign policy.

People in the intelligence community know that -- those sorts of determinations are well within the purview of the president of the United States and not the sorts of things that can or are normally can be or normally challenged.


COOPER: Isn't -- the whole idea of having an inspector general, isn't it that they are independent, that they are outside the purview of the DNI, that they essentially -- they're not working for -- for the DNI so that they can make decisions that are, you know, independent and legitimate, according to the law, no?

MCCABE: That's right. So, if you look at the statutes, like the one we've been discussing, or any of the statutory elements that create the attorneys general, you will see these dual reporting channels. So, although, for instance, the inspector general for the Department of Justice reports to the attorney general, he also has an independent reporting requirement direct to Congress. And it is that dual reporting that preserves the independence of the inspector general and is supposed to guard against situations like this.

COOPER: Andrew McCabe, appreciate your time. Thank you.

MCCABE: Thank you.

COOPER: Just ahead, two takes on the breaking news and more. We'll be right back.


[20:30:35] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: We're following breaking developments in the whistleblower story. "The Washington Post" just minutes ago reporting that the promise President Trump allegedly made was to a foreign leader in or about Ukraine.

President Trump spoke with the President of Ukraine two and a half weeks before the complaint was filed. House Democrats already investigating that call and whether the President and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in someway pressured Ukraine on corruption investigations into Joe Biden's son.

Joining me now is CNN Chief Legal Analyst and former federal prosecutor, Jeffrey Toobin, and former aide to President George W. Bush and chairman of the Annual Conservative Political Action Conference known as CPAC, Matt Schlapp. We should point out that his wife, Mercedes, is a former Trump White House aide who now works on President's reelection campaign. Matt, welcome, Jeff, as well. Jeff, the Obama administration argued that it was their right to "not disclose privilege or otherwise confidential law enforcement information in relation to whistleblower complaints." Is this any different?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's hard to say because we don't know what the substance of this complaint is. I mean what we do know is that the whistleblower, him or herself, thought it was covered by the statute, and the inspector general thought it was covered by the statute. It's something that was urgent that should be turned over to the, you know, members of Congress.

You know, I can't evaluate whether that's legitimate or not, but those are two presumably very serious people who have made that conclusion, that this is something covered by the statute.

COOPER: Matt, do you agree that under the law or believe that under the law the DNI is required to forward any complaint?



SCHLAPP: No, no. These whistleblower statutes are intended to empower employees of these IC agencies and other agencies in government.

COOPER: IC is intelligence community?

SCHLAPP: Right, to be able to find a way to have legal protection when they see wrongdoing within the agency. It would be a bastardization of Article II of the Constitution of whistleblower statutes were somehow expanded so that people and agencies could make political fights against the President of the United States, especially in his role as commander in chief, Anderson.

He has very wide authority, really, unchecked authority to talk to world leaders about anything he deems appropriate as he is representing the United States of America. So it will be a big mistake to assume that somehow whistleblower statutes are needed in agencies as a way to somehow limit the President's power as our commander in chief.

COOPER: Jeff, I mean, that makes a good point. The President -- I mean, any president does have, you know -- can execute a foreign policy that they want and can talk to world leaders and can declassify information if they want.

TOOBIN: We don't know exactly what the Department of Justice legal argument is, but it is almost certainly under Article II of the Constitution a core presidential power is the right to negotiate with other foreign leaders.

And, you know, that's not a crazy argument. I mean, that is a core presidential power. However, like all presidential powers, it's not unlimited. I mean, there is the possibility for corruption. That's why it's, again, very hard to evaluate what the, you know, the merits of this complaint are without knowing what it is.

But it is true that the President has very wide authority and discretion when negotiating with foreign leaders. I don't think there's any doubt about that.

COOPER: Jeff, do you agree with Matt that it is not clear that, you know, a lot of people have been saying -- the Democrats have been saying, well, look, the statute is clear. It says shall. If the inspector general says it's an urgent concern and applies to the intel -- about the intelligence activity, it's got to go to Congress whether the DNI can make comments on it, but can't stop it. Jeff, do you think that's the law, because Matt saying it's not.

TOOBIN: I do think it's the law that it has to be turned over to Congress. I think what the debate is, is whether this report, what the whistleblower is concerned about, whether that is an intelligence matter. I think that's the controversial area. I think the DNI is clearly wrong that he has the right not to turn it over.

SCHLAPP: No. I think the key here is the President of the United States, you know, these whistleblower statutes once again, if they had a charge they wanted to level against the acting director of this particular agency or another intelligence agency, that is what the whistleblower statute is intended for.

[20:35:07] It is not intended to try to hobble the commander in chief from the staff level of one of these agencies. That is the clear distinction. If there was wrongdoing going on within one of these agencies, that is where Congress and the statute says Congress should get a heads-up or get briefed.

It is not so that we can have yet another political controversy about the President of the United States. And this would -- if this were able to go forward, any staffer in an agency could constantly hobble a democratic president dully elected.

TOOBIN: That's not true.

SCHLAPP: This is an unconstitutional -- this is an unconstitutional argument.

TOOBIN: That's not true. I mean --

SCHLAPP: It is true.

TOOBIN: -- the issue is not a political dispute. If this --

SCHLAPP: How do you know, Jeffrey? We don't know.

TOOBIN: Because the inspector general said it's not a political dispute.

SCHLAPP: Yes, but you'd have to look -- you'd have to be able to see the underlying charge before you can on national television --

TOOBIN: Well, he said that. SCHLAPP: -- ascertain what you think we're looking at. You don't know.

TOOBIN: But the inspector general has seen the specifics, and the inspector general said it's not a political disagreement. He said it's a covered by the statute. It is something about misconduct.

SCHLAPP: He has said nothing. He has said nothing.

TOOBIN: Of course he has.

SCHLAPP: He gave a confidential briefing to members of Congress. He has not said anything publicly to characterize what's in this --

TOOBIN: Yes, he has. It's in the letter.

COOPER: OK. But, Matt, if the inspector general -- assuming the inspector general passed this on saying it is an urgent concern and it should go to Congress, do you have faith in the inspector general or are you saying you do not?

SCHLAPP: No, no. I have no reason to doubt. The inspector general is -- you know, has good will and good intentions. All I'm simply saying is that the whistleblower statute that he cites was not passed in order to once again have another constitutional dispute, which we've gone through two and a half years already.

COOPER: I understand your political argument.

SCHLAPP: It's not a political argument. It's a constitutional argument.

COOPER: No, no, I understand your argument that somebody with a political gripe, you know, wants -- if they want to use the whistleblower statute, it could possible mayhem.


COOPER: I understand that -- I guess my only question is if a person in whatever level in, you know, intelligence community comes across something they believe is illegal and that involves the President, what do they do if they can't do it through the inspector general?

SCHLAPP: Well, obviously, I have no issue with them bringing it up to the inspector general. If it's something illegal, I have them no problem with them bringing it to their, you know, to their superior. And I think if it's a criminal statute, remember, that goes to DOJ.

And here's the fundamental question, every time in the Trump administration we talk about something properly being remanded to the executive branch legal authority, which is the Department of Justice. People say, well, you can't do that because the attorney general works for the President of the United States.

Eric Holder worked for Barack Obama. This is the way our system is set up. It's not set up so that Adam Schiff can get briefed so that he can get launch another attack on the President politically. And that is the silliness of what I hear the argument being.

COOPER: All right. Matt Schlapp, appreciate it. Jeffrey Toobin, to be continued. Thank you.

Up next, a 2020 perspective on this mystery whistleblower from presidential candidate, Senator Amy Klobuchar.


[20:42:11] COOPER: More now on the whistleblower story and the Democratic campaign. Just before air time, I spoke about both with Minnesota senator and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar.


COOPER: Senator Klobuchar, regarding the whistleblower in the DNI, CNN's reporting that both the White House and the Department of Justice were involved in advising the DNI to not share the whistleblower complaint.

You're on the Senator Judiciary Committee, if the inspector general said this is an urgent concern, doesn't it automatically by law need to be sent to Congress, regardless what the DNI thinks?

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would think so. And at least to the heads of the intelligence committee so they can see what's going on, because this is about protecting the security of our country. And if something is a security risk, especially involving the President, I think they should know about it. And it really concerns me that we found out about this via reporting, and now there's reports that it may just not be one conversation, but multiple conversations.

And of course, this wouldn't surprise me when you see the pattern of this President, sharing Israeli intelligence with the Russian foreign minister, with Vladimir Putin, believing him over his own intelligence people, standing in front of that CIA wall of the stars honoring deceased agents, and giving a political speech.

Think about all those things. That is a pattern of that kind of behavior that doesn't put our country first. And I don't know what this is. I have not seen this. We have not been briefed on it, but it does seriously concern me.

COOPER: You're traveling through Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania right now, states that obviously were critical in electing President Trump. It seems like the Democratic field is very divided right now on what kind of policies will actually bring those voters back.

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I'm not sure about that. I continue to believe there is more that unites us than divides us. And it was really a good trip to go through these blue wall states of Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin. These are states that Donald Trump shouldn't have won, but he did, and they came roaring back in 2018. The election of Conor Lamb in Western Pennsylvania, the election of Democratic governors in Wisconsin and Michigan, and that's because candidates were put forward that fit their districts or their state, and they were able to win and win big. And that's my argument.

So I have been reaching out to everyone from carpenters, to people at the port in Michigan, people who have actually been hurt by his policies, who listened to him in the campaign, believed him, and then have seen a string of broken promises.

COOPER: You said earlier today we've got a lot of great people running, but some of these ideas are better left in the college faculty lounge. It sounds like you're talking about Senator Elizabeth Warren, who obviously spent the majority of her career as a college professor. Was that who you --

[20:45:03] KLOBUCHAR: Oh, no, no. It wasn't that.


KLOBUCHAR: I didn't really think of who it was. I was thinking of some of the ideas that are out there. And what came to mind was the $16 trillion package. I'm sure well-intentioned that Senator Sander has --

COOPER: Which is what Senator Sanders has proposed --


COOPER: -- on climate change.

KLOBUCHAR: On climate change. And I have a $2 trillion to $3 trillion package that I think is doable and we can pay for. But the U.S. economy is $20 trillion, and that's $16 trillion.

And yes, some of the proposals that Senator Sanders and Senator Warren support, I don't agree with. I think that we should help students to go to college, and especially help these students that are trying to get their carpenter degrees and getting two-year degrees, we should make those free.

And when I visited this training facility in Pittsburgh, 25 percent of their student actually had college degrees and then they went to get a degree there because they wanted to be more gainfully employed.

So there are many paths to success. And this idea of giving free college to everyone, a four-year college, I don't think that recognizes the fact the that would be paid for off the backs of the people that I met that are working in that facility.

And so I think you've got to make it easier to get four-year degrees by doubling Pell Grants, put the aid where you need it and then also make one and two-year degrees free. So I do differ from Senator Warren and Senator Sanders on that point.

COOPER: The latest "Wall Street Journal" poll, I think 56 percent of Democratic voters said that they want a candidate who "proposes larger scale policies" that costs more and might be harder to pass into law, but could bring major change. Is-- a, do you think that's true and are more moderate positions or centrist positions like yours where the democratic electorate is right now?

KLOBUCHAR: I think my ideas are bold. And just because someone says our ideas are bold, like some of my colleagues, it doesn't mean they're bold. It can mean they're bad ideas. And what I think is bold is finally doing something about climate change, finally having a public option to bring down the cost of health care.

So you've got to look at the combination of the bold ideas and the ability to implement them. In my case, compared to my other colleagues in the Senate, I passed over 100 bills where I'm the lead Democrat.

I have gotten them done. I have set my sight on something and was able to get the support in the House and the Senate to pass it. And that's what I think we need to do as a country.

COOPER: Senator Klobuchar, appreciate it. Thank you.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. Thanks, Anderson.


COOPER: More news ahead. The growing trouble for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a third image surfaces of him in black face.


[20:51:57] COOPER: A lot of breaking news. Chris is going to be covering it all. Let's check with him to see what he's got. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: I've got the man in the middle tonight, Coop. Rudy Giuliani is going to be here.


CUOMO: We had schedule them about of all of this, but now with this latest reporting that this is about Ukraine, a call with Ukraine, we know that different House committees were already intrigued about what Rudy Giuliani had said he wanted to do over there and what their plans were, now this all has more context. We have the guy who started all of it, so we'll get his ideas about what is there on the substance of his own efforts and what the legalities are.

COOPER: That's probably just going to be like a two or three minute interview, right?

CUOMO: Yes, you know, we're shooting for four. You know, we'll get a little something else in there if we can, you know, his feelings about "Dancing with the Stars," you know, typical fare.

COOPER: Yes, all right. Chris, a lot for watch for, a lot to talk to him about. Thanks very much. I look forward to that, about eight minutes from now.

Up next, Canada's Prime minister and what he is saying now that a third images -- image has surfaced showing him in blackface.


[20:57:12] COOPER: Tonight, Canada's prime minister is facing more questions after more images have surfaced of him wearing blackface years ago. There are now three instances of him in blackface and he's doing a lot of apologizing as his past actions now consume his reelection campaign. Randi Kaye brings us up to date.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A young Justin Trudeau, the future Canadian prime minister, in new video obtained exclusively by Global News. It's from the early 1990s. And while unclear where it was shot, you can see Trudeau wearing blackface, laughing with his tongue out and his hands in the air. It appears his arms and legs are covered in blackface as well. Trudeau apologized for it all at a press conference late today.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: With blackface, and that is just not right.

KAYE: That was Trudeau's second apology in less than 24 hours. Now having to answer for not one, but three instances of wearing blackface, dating back decades. The first was reported by "Time" magazine Wednesday evening.

The picture shows Trudeau at a party at a private school where he worked as a teacher. The theme of the party was Arabian Nights. In this photo from the school's 2000-2001 yearbook, Trudeau is covered in blackface. His neck and hands are also darkened. Trudeau issued an apology late Wednesday.

TRUDEAU: It was a dumb thing to do. I'm disappointed to myself. I'm pissed off at myself for having done it.

KAYE: Trudeau who was nearly 30 when the photo was taken was asked if it was racist.

TRUDEAU: Yes, it was -- I didn't consider it a racist action at the time, but now we know better.

KAYE (on camera): Along with that apology, Trudeau mentioned another photo, one in which he admitted he wore blackface in a high school talent show. At the time the photo had not been shared publicly, but within hours CTV posted it. The network's reporter tweeted the exclusive.

(voice-over) Sources have confirmed this is the picture of Justin Trudeau in blackface from high school that he referenced in his press conference. He is singing "Day-O" apparently In the photo, it's clear Trudeau is wearing blackface and an afro wig. TRUDEAU: What I did hurt them, hurt people who shouldn't have to face intolerance and discrimination because of their identity. This is something that I deeply, deeply regret.

KAYE: All of this happening just days after Justin Trudeau announced his reelection campaign. Meanwhile, the apology tour continues.

TRUDEAU: I've had to reflect on the fact that wanting to do good and wanting to do better simply isn't good enough. This was a terrible mistake.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: A lot more news ahead. I want to hand it over to Chris for "Cuomo Prime Time." Chris?

CUOMO: All right. Thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to "Prime Time." Let's get after it. All right, this whistleblower --