Return to Transcripts main page


Kellyanne Conway is Interviewed about Congressional Hearings; Swing State Voters on Debate Hearing. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 14, 2019 - 08:30   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Yovanovitch will speak publicly for the first time. She was abruptly recalled from her post back in May by the president. But perhaps the most anticipated testimony will come next week. The U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, will undoubtedly face very serious questions over new evidence of a phone conversion between him and President Trump.

I'm joined now by Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the president.

Kellyanne, thanks very much for coming in.


BLITZER: Have you -- I assume you've spoken to the president since the testimony, since the hearings yesterday.

CONWAY: I have. I'm one of the people briefing him on things that we're seeing and hearing because he wasn't. And I was called into the Oval Office yesterday morning, a little after 9:00, and there he was. And we were -- a bunch of us were meeting on two unrelated issues. Obviously we had President Erdogan of Turkey here yesterday to discuss what that NATO ally continues to do to help us keep ISIS defeated, the physical caliphate and the like, really look - burrowing into the fact that they seem to be buying weaponry or aircraft, I should say, from Russia and that we have billions of dollars in defense equipment exchanges. So that's important. And they had a press conference. You saw it.

But I think --

BLITZER: How's he reacting to the testimony yesterday based on what you --

CONWAY: The president was very placid.

BLITZER: He says he didn't watch a minute of it.

CONWAY: Not that I saw. Not that I saw.

BLITZER: But you -- you briefed him. Others have briefed him as well.

CONWAY: I have. I have.

BLITZER: How is he reacting?

CONWAY: Pretty well. And I'll tell you why. There was nothing new yesterday. You're calling that evidence. Respectfully, in a real court of law, we would not be referring to something as evidence that is, oh, someone on my staff recalled overhearing a conversation between someone else and the president where they think they heard the president use the word investigations.

This is not what due process and the rule of law in our great democracy allows. And we can't have a lower standard for the president of the United States. We certainly shouldn't have a lower standard for impeachment and removal of a democratically elected president.

BLITZER: Let me play the clip. I'll --

CONWAY: Play the clip.

BLITZER: This is Ambassador Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine.


BLITZER: He was sent there by Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state. Here's what he said about that phone conversation.

CONWAY: And before you play the clip, I just want to say something else. And he also has admitted that he has no idea what the president was thinking about Ukraine. He wasn't on the original call and he's never been in a call or a meeting with the president. He's never met the president. I think - that's important.

BLITZER: All right, but here's what he said about the conversation.


AMBASSADOR BILL TAYLOR: In the presence of my staff, at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kiev. 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.

Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for.


BLITZER: All right, now that's a pretty serious exchange comment that he made.

David Holmes, the political counselor at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, who was the aide who overheard this conversation of Ambassador Sondland speaking on a cell phone --

CONWAY: Allegedly. Allegedly.

BLITZER: Well, this is the allegation.

CONWAY: Well, allegedly. And we should remind you your viewers that this just happened --

BLITZER: By the way, he's going to be appearing behind closed doors tomorrow to give a sworn deposition, David Holmes.

CONWAY: He is now because his name emerged for the first time yesterday. This was not raised previously when Mr. -- when the ambassador -- Ambassador Taylor had testified privately in depositions.

So now, again, in a real court of law, that would be objected to as hearsay. You're telling us what somebody else said, what somebody else overheard. But he'll be asked, how close were you to the phone? What do you -- have you ever heard the president's voice on a phone before? Were you in a restaurant? How noisy was it? I mean these are legitimate questions.

BLITZER: That's questions for David Holmes, but Sondland --

CONWAY: But let's focus -- let's focus on the facts.

BLITZER: Ambassador Sondland is going to be publicly testifying next Wednesday. And he will certainly be asked about that phone conversation that we all learned about yesterday.

CONWAY: But Ambassador Sondland will also be asked, does he know that there was -- why did he say that there was no quid pro quo, that he asked the president directly, what do you want from Ukraine, and the president said, according to Ambassador Sondland, I want them to do what they said they were going to do. He ran on a platform of anti- corruption. We want him to make good on that.

But, Wolf, I think the facts are very important. Number one, Ukraine got the aid. Ukraine got $400 million in lethal aid. Ukraine got more aid from President Trump and his administration than they ever got from President Obama, even though Russia annexed Crimea, invaded Crimea in 2014. They got more aid from the united states than they have from any other --

BLITZER: Here -- here -- here's the timeline -- but I just want to -- I just want to push back on -- push back a little bit. He got the -- Ukraine got the aid after Congress was told about the whistleblower complaint, after Congress had already opened up a special investigation, and after the president himself was being told by his Republican friends up on Capitol Hill, what are you doing? Why are you withholding this nearly $400 million in security assistance for Ukraine at a time when the Russians are killing Ukrainians?

CONWAY: Right, but you're seeing causation where there may be coincidence. And nobody has tied that together except to insinuate. And, remember, the people like Adam Schiff are not under oath. The witnesses are. And these witnesses, including Taylor and Kent, have never met the president.


I was shocked. That is one thing I said to the president yesterday, I can't believe they've never even been in a meeting with you. They've never met you. They've never asked you about your --

BLITZER: Well, there are people who were in plenty of meetings with the president, like Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, John Bolton, the fired national security adviser. The White House won't let them testify. If the president has nothing to hide, if the phone conversation was perfect, why not let them tell the American public in open session, you know, under questioning from Democrats and Republicans what they learned.

CONWAY: You're asking us to comply with an impeachment inquiry that our White House counsel said in a letter --

BLITZER: But if you have nothing to hide --

CONWAY: Well, you didn't interrupt Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez last night. She got to just talk and talk and talk.

BLITZER: Go ahead.

CONWAY: So I'd like a little bit of that time. Thank you. I've been around awhile. Thank you.

So, we have nothing to hide. But why should we comply with an impeachment inquiry that our White House counsel said in a letter to the public on October 8th is illegal and unconstitutional and ill conceived? Why are we doing this? It's important that they got the aid. It's very important that overnight the foreign minister of Ukraine said that there was never a connection made between investigating the Bidens or anyone else and the aid. That is the finance -- that's like our secretary of state, the chief diplomat. President Zelensky said at the U.N. General Assembly for the whole world to see, Wolf, that he felt no pressure.

BLITZER: All right.

CONWAY: Why is it not important to this entire conversation that the two presidents in the countries that are involved and their two top diplomats say there was no investigation?

And can we talk about the Bidens just quickly.

BLITZER: Here -- here -- hold on one second. Hold on one second.

CONWAY: Who needs -- who needs to investigate the Bidens. Give me a break. Biden (INAUDIBLE) says he's in Ohio.

BLITZER: Hold on. Let me just follow -- let me just follow -- here's somebody who has direct evidence, firsthand knowledge of what was in the president's mind. We're talking about the president of the United States.

CONWAY: What's in the president's --

BLITZER: Here he -- here's what he said about investigating the Bidens on October 3rd.


QUESTION: What exactly did you hope Zelensky would do about the Bidens after your phone call? Exactly?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I would think that if they were honest about it, they'd start a major investigation into the Bidens. It's a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens.



CONWAY: But he's talking about Burisma. And he's talking about the fact that Hunter Biden even told ABC News, but for his last name, he knows he had no qualifications to have these well-compensated board seats and these retainers. And then to take -- fly on Air Force Two with his father, then the vice president of the United States, to China, to get a little bit more money.

But Vice President Biden had Ukraine in his portfolio. And it does strike people as swampy if not worse that his son would have a seat on Burisma, an energy company that was being investigated until the prosecutor was fired.

BLITZER: Is it appropriate for a president of the United States to ask a foreign leader to investigate an American political nemesis, potential rival in a campaign? Is that appropriate?

CONWAY: That is not what the president was asking. He was asking to investigate what the Bidens were doing in 2016, or even before that. He never mentioned 2020. I have the transcript. I walk around with it. I'll show it to you. Where's 2020?

BLITZER: He basically said -- he basically said to President Zelensky --

CONWAY: No, he didn't say basically.

BLITZER: He said -- he said to President Zelensky --

CONWAY: We don't impeach presidents on basically, respectfully.

BLITZER: You know, he -- you know, they're -- and, obviously, the U.S., at that moment, Zelensky may or may not have known what was going on, was withholding the $400 million in assistance. But he was basically saying, we want you to investigate the 2016 election, the Democratic server and all of that and the Bidens. CONWAY: And this was the day after Director Mueller testified to

Congress, Wolf. So this was still every -- on everybody's mind. Why did the Russian collusion investigation and CNN and Mueller and everybody else have two-plus years to dig into all of that but the president can't have two hours after Mueller was a complete bomb, the testimony was not compelling, as you know, that it was a sequel to the Mueller report, which was as uncompelling as the Mueller report. And we can't help but think that all of this is (INAUDIBLE).

BLITZER: But you understand campaign finance laws in the United States.

CONWAY: Of course I do.

BLITZER: In-kind campaign contributions. In that rough transcript that the White House released, the president says, I would like -- this is the conversation with Zelensky. I would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine. They say CrowdStrike. That goes back to the 2016 election, dot, dot, dot. I guess you have one of your wealthy people, dot, dot, dot, ellipsis there, we don't know what was said, the server, they say Ukraine has it.

That's pretty specific. The president raised those whole issues --

CONWAY: About 2016. Never mentioned 2020. Never mentioned Biden as a political threat. Why would he? He's number four in the polls in Iowa.

BLITZER: But Biden was then the -- he was the front -- he was the -- he was then the frontrunner.

CONWAY: Oh, please, that's silly that he was the frontrunner. How was he the frontrunner because -- because a bunch of --

BLITZER: All the polls at that time, he was the -- he was the -- he was atop the Democratic heap (ph).

CONWAY: Because a bunch of people on panels say he's electable, he's electable, he's going to be the nominee? We know what happened to electability. We've blown it out of the water and focused on the Electoral College and got Donald Trump elected.

Look, he's focused -- you just made my point for me respectfully, Wolf, that the president, President Trump, was focused on 2016. There was an article by Ken Vogel, then of "Politico," now of "The New York Times," on January 11, 2017, nine days before the inauguration, the same night I came on Anderson Cooper's show and respectfully pushed back on the CNN reporting which was false about Jim Comey briefing the president.


Ken Vogel wrote the article how Ukraine was actively trying to help Hillary Clinton and they were against Donald Trump. So let's not --

BLITZER: Do these -- do these diplomats, these --

CONWAY: Let's not pretend the president is inventing this out of thin air. He has every right to do -- to ask Ukraine to help look back at 2016 the way CNN felt it had every right to look back at Russia in 2016 for over two years.

BLITZER: Does the --

CONWAY: To no end.

BLITZER: Do you have confidence that these American diplomats, who have been testifying about all of this, career diplomats with distinguished records, do you believe --

CONWAY: I have confidence --

BLITZER: They are telling the American public the truth?

CONWAY: Well, they're telling the American people -- the most important truth that they have told the American public is that they weren't on the phone call. They've never been on any phone call I guess with the president -- that they've never met the president. I was astonished to hear that yesterday, they've never even met the president of the United States. They've never had a conversation with him. And Ambassador Taylor admitted --

BLITZER: Did Ambassador -- did Ambassador Sondland meet with --

CONWAY: Wolf, I don't know what --

BLITZER: Meet with the president, talk to the president? Does he have firsthand knowledge?

CONWAY: He didn't testify yesterday.

BLITZER: Well, he has an addendum to his testimony.

CONWAY: He changed his testimony.

BLITZER: He says he -- his memory was refreshed and that, yes, he basically confirms what the other diplomats are saying, there was this so-called quid pro quo.

CONWAY: He's changing -- he's changed his testimony.

BLITZER: But does the president believe in Ambassador Sondland?

CONWAY: The president knows what the truth is here, which is, you're not going to ever look at that transcript and find 2020 or Biden is my spooky, scary political opponent.

Respectfully, Wolf, we need Ukraine to help us defeat Joe Biden about as much as we needed -- we needed Russia to help us defeat Hillary Clinton.

Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton give us all the material that we need to help defeat them and that's just a fact.

But it has to matter to you and your viewers around the world that the American president and the Ukrainian president have said no quid pro quo, no pressure applied. It has to matter that our chief diplomat, Secretary Pompeo, like his counterpart, the foreign minister in Ukraine, has said no connection between the aid and the investigation.

There was no investigation. The aid was released. They're using the aid right now to help in their military defenses. And it has been reported --

BLITZER: All right.

CONWAY: I'm sure you know this, that President Zelensky was scheduled to come on CNN. He never came on CNN to do whatever it was he was going to do. You could have still had him on to talk about, hey, isn't it great that President Trump, unlike President Obama, gave you javelins?


CONWAY: I mean they have -- they're better equipped now to fight Russia.

BLITZER: All right, let' me get your -- let me get your reaction to the breaking news that we're getting from our Kara Scannell and Gloria Borger that -- involving the Trump D.C. hotel. A sales pitch boasting of millions to be made from foreign governments. I'll read you the first sentence or two.

In its efforts to sell off the lease to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, the Trump Organization has put together a glossy investor brochure, complete with pictures, showcasing the hotel's grandiose architecture, its central location and its spa Himalayan salt chamber. The hotel's biggest selling point, though, according to a copy of the brochure, seen by CNN, is the one thing that the Trump family insists it didn't take advantage of, profiting off foreign governments. Quote, tremendous upside potential exists for a new owner to fully capitalize on the government-related business upon rebranding of the asset reads the 46-page investor pitch.

CONWAY: And, respectfully, I haven't seen it, but I'm a little confused. Are we impeaching and removing a democratically elected president that the Democratic 2020 field has no clue how to beat?

BLITZER: This has nothing to do with impeachment. This is -- this is just getting your reaction to the news.

CONWAY: Or -- oh, OK. It sounds like a great spa and a wonderful place to have a meal.

I don't -- what is the news, though, respectfully because I don't always hear the news.

BLITZER: The news is that -- that the Trump International Hotel is going to be leased and they're pitching that all these foreign governments have been spending a lot of money at the hotel.

CONWAY: Well, they have. It's a great hotel. Have you been there? The food is delicious. The hotel is great. It has proximity to many places.

BLITZER: It refers to the emoluments clause, that while the president is in office, he shouldn't be making a profit, his family shouldn't be making a profit as a result of -- that's in the Constitution.

CONWAY: Right, people have been trying to argue that though.

You know, there have been -- well, the family, including -- beginning with President Trump, have made financial sacrifices to be the president of the United States because of little -- the usual political motivators never applied to him, the power, the money, the position. Look at what former presidents are making and buying and doing all across the -- look at the -- look at the person he beat, whose name I won't say lest I be accused of still saying her name, her, what has she done for women and girls since she left? She's still talking about herself. She's still talking about Russia. She's still talking about the 2016 election.

It's weird. There are lots of lawsuits about emoluments. So we'll see what happens with those.

But this, again, I think you're making the case that are we -- are we trying to just make people be against President Trump, the democratically elected president, or are we trying to impeach him? Are we trying to get rid of him?

I mean, Wolf, respectfully, you did an interview with Senator Angus King of Maine in May of 2017 where you literally said to him, are we getting any closer to impeachment? That was May of 2017. It's two and a half years ago.

BLITZER: People were talking about it early on. You can -- you can --

CONWAY: At least -- people here have been talking about it.

BLITZER: You can ask --

CONWAY: At least you've restrained yourself because "The Washington Post" did it 19 minutes after the president was sworn in as he was making his way to a luncheon at the Capitol to say thank you to Bill and Hillary Clinton for being here, and was very kind to them.


I mean this is -- let's just call this for what it is. I would respect people more if they said, you know, I just don't -- I don't like his supporters. I think that they're toothless hillbillies with curly toe nails running from the hills and that they're uncouth and they're uneducated. I don't like him. I don't want him to be president. I'd respect people more if they said, I didn't vote for him and I won't again, which probably reflects a lot of the people here and elsewhere in the mainstream media. Just be honest about what we're doing here. And if you want to talk about history, if you really think today's a

day for history, talk about the 124 history making days in the stock market since Trump got elected. Talk about the historic low unemployment rates among American-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, women. Talk about the wage growth for blue collar workers like the ones I grew up around.

BLITZER: All right.

CONWAY: Talk about the deregulatory agenda. There's so much to talk about.

BLITZER: All right.

CONWAY: The CDC overnight said for the second consecutive year that drug overdose deaths are down. The last three seconds is the only time you're going to hear that on CNN today.

BLITZER: And -- you -- you don't know that. Let -- I just -- a final question. A sensitive question. And it's a political question. It's a substantive question. I don't want to talk about your marriage. I know that there are -- there are -- there are issues there.

Your husband, George Conway, he's a lawyer.

CONWAY: What did you just say?

BLITZER: Your husband, George Conway --

CONWAY: No, no, did you just say there are issues there? You don't want to talk about my marriage but there are issues there?

BLITZER: I don't want to talk about -- no, I don't want to talk --

CONWAY: Why would you say that?

BLITZER: I don't want to talk about your marriage. I don't want to talk about your -- I want to talk about a substantive point that your husband, George Conway, made. He was on television all day yesterday during this -- the first day of the impeachment hearings and he said this about the president of the United States. I just want your reaction to the substance of what he said.

CONWAY: So before you play the clip, which I haven't seen, why and why are you doing that? I'm just curious.

BLITZER: Because -- because he's a legal scholar, he's a lawyer, and he was really going after the president of the United States and he was all over television yesterday.

CONWAY: And -- and the relevance is -- and -- and -- come on. Wait for it.

BLITZER: I just want you to --

CONWAY: Drum roll. And he's married to me? BLITZER: I just -- well, you know, it -- he happens to be married to

you. What's wrong with that?

CONWAY: Well, you can run the -- you can run the clip of Jeffrey -- he happens to be married to me, that's bizarre.

BLITZER: Correct. But he's also a legal scholar. He's got a substantive point. Listen to what --

CONWAY: I think Jeffrey Toobin's point, your senior legal analyst, I loved his point on CNN yesterday. We don't have to play a competitor's clip. You can just play the CNN clip where Jeffrey Toobin said, it's a problem that Taylor and Kent never met Donald Trump. He said to Jake, it's a problem.

BLITZER: It's -- I'm not disagreeing with Jeffrey Toobin.

CONWAY: Jake Tapper said something like, you know, it's --

BLITZER: I'm not -- I'm not disagreeing with either of them.

CONWAY: They might have to -- they might have to meet the whistleblower, at least talk to -- talk to him or her, him, in private because you have to be able to confront your accused.


CONWAY: But -- and you should not have just said to your audience, I don't want to talk about your marriage, quote, I know there are issues. Why -- why would you say that? What is that you know that I don't?

BLITZER: So here -- here -- I don't want to talk about your -- I don't want to talk about your marriage.

CONWAY: Well, why would you say there are issues?

BLITZER: Listen to what your husband said. I'll play the clip.


GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE LAWYER: The problem with Donald Trump is, he always sees himself first. Trump is all about Trump. And that's why it was inevitable he'd get himself into this soup once again. And that's what -- that's what this is all about. He's using the -- he was using the power of the presidency in its most unchecked area, foreign affairs, to advance his own personal interest as opposed to the country's.


BLITZER: All right, that's a serious allegation, a serious charge. He was using the power of the presidency, its most unchecked area, foreign affairs, to advance his own personal interest as opposed to the country's. CONWAY: That is his opinion. And we -- I don't think MSNBC was lacking

for anti-Trump voices. And we've heard things like that said on CNN for three years. And we've heard things like that said on that network for three years and elsewise.

And where -- honestly, where is the shame? Where is the introspection of people who have said for three years, respectfully, Wolf, actually beginning in May of 2017, I'll quote your wife's husband right now, I won't talk about your marriage, but I'll quote your wife's husband, 2017 you asked Angus King, are we getting closer to impeachment? I mean where -- does anybody ever feel badly about getting it so wrong?

We sort of look the other way of how wrong everybody was here and elsewhere with the elections. I was on your network every single day, as gracefully and respectfully as I could, laying out the case as to why Donald Trump would beat Hillary Clinton.

I have a living, breathing video catalog which is why I don't worry about anything when people say, well, I always knew he'd win. I said it all the time. Really? Because you were sleeping when I was on TV in the morning and at night.

So we have a living, breathing catalog on CNN and elsewhere here. That's why we're going back to Pennsylvania. Here's where I -- it's the same stuff all the time.

What you just quoted is said every single day by other voices. But you wanted to put it in my husband's voice because you think somehow that that will help your ratings or that you're really sticking it to Kellyanne Conway. And let me make it very clear, you didn't stick it to Kellyanne Conway. I think you embarrassed yourself. And I -- I'm embarrassed for you because this is CNN now.

I looked up to you when I was in college and law school. I would turn on CNN to see what Wolf Blitzer had to say about war, famine, disruption abroad.


I really respected you for all those years as somebody who would give you the news.

BLITZER: You know --

CONWAY: And now the news --

BLITZER: Kellyanne --

CONWAY: Is what somebody's husband says on a different network.

BLITZER: Do you know how many times we spoke about, you know, James Carville and Mary Matalin, a Democrat and a Republican, happily married individuals who totally disagreed on all sorts of political issues?

CONWAY: That is not the way you introduced this segment. BLITZER: Do you know how many times -- do you know how many times I

would ask them on television about the differences they had? They didn't get into a sensitive discussion as long --

CONWAY: I'm not in a sensitive discussion. You are. You chose to do this.

BLITZER: Mary Matalin and James Carville, they would often --

CONWAY: I'm smiling.

BLITZER: They would often totally disagree on television. They would have a serious discussion. Your husband made a serious --

CONWAY: Do you know want to know what Mary Matalin thinks of your line of questioning right now? Because I know.

BLITZER: I haven't spoken to Mary Matalin in a while.

CONWAY: I have.

BLITZER: She's a lovely woman. James Carville, an old friend.

CONWAY: He's brilliant.

BLITZER: Very good people. You like them. I like them.

CONWAY: He helped do what I helped do, (INAUDIBLE) candidate and know who you have faith in (INAUDIBLE) United States.

BLITZER: I was just trying to get you to react to this allegation that the president was using the power of the presidency, its most unchecked area, foreign affairs, to advance his own personal interest as opposed to the country's.


BLITZER: And you said fairly you disagree.

CONWAY: Well, I respectfully disagree. I respectfully disagree.

BLITZER: OK, that's fine.

CONWAY: And I'll tell you why. And you know who else disagrees? You know who else doesn't have information, evidence of that? Are the people who testified yesterday, because they also don't know the president. They've actually never met the president. They admitted that yesterday. They were in no such calls about this.

BLITZER: Which is a fair point. That's a very fair point.

CONWAY: No, it's an essential point. It's not just a fair point.

BLITZER: There will be others who will testify --

CONWAY: It says to the -- it says to the world, we are not going to impeach and remove a president from office based on what he said, she said, he thought. CIA does not stand for conjecture, interpretation and assumption. We have to get serious here, ladies and gentlemen. You want to impeach and remove the president, go for it.

BLITZER: All right.

CONWAY: But you know -- you know what's going to happen after that? A lot of those 31 Democrats who won in districts in 2018, that Trump and Pence carried in 2016, they're going to have to say good-bye. They won't be re-elected. They have to go home, Wolf, and face their own voters. And their own voters are going to say, I voted for you because you stood in my community and promised you would get that trade deal passed. You promised you would help the taxpayers and the property owners and the farmers. You promised you would keep this country -- this economy humming along. You promised you'd get infrastructure and broadband to every kid. All these kids are sitting in parking lots trying to get the WiFi (INAUDIBLE) to do their homework way after dark.

I've spoken with members like Congressman Jim Clyburn and Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico to try to see how we can help. We can work together on such an essential issue. Where are they? They're trying to impeach the president.

So those -- those Democratic members in these swing districts, they're going to be held to account by their voters. And I think if the Republicans take back the House in 2020, they're going to look back at yesterday, interviews like this, and moments like this week and they're going to say, that was a big reason why some of these members lost because they have to go back and they say -- the voters will say, what have you done for me lately? You work for me. You wasted my time and my money. What have you done for me lately? And they'll going to have to say, well, I impeached the president and they're going to be impeached themselves, unelected.

BLITZER: You've been very generous with your time.

CONWAY: Thank you. I'm a very generous, kind person.

BLITZER: Thanks so much for coming in.

CONWAY: And people will see that later on. And, you know, you have people at CNN who live on Twitter. I choose to live offline. It's a much -- just a much better life to live offline than to live online. That's their choice. But they -- they love to do what you just did also and I think that's unfortunate because, again, this is CNN now. You have (INAUDIBLE) cable news network. And, respectfully, I think a bunch of gossip girls and a bunch of opinion making and pontificating is not the way I looked at CNN.

CNN gave me a chance. They hired me in 1996. I'm sure your viewers will freak out when they hear that. When very few people were paid to go on TV. 1996. You were always kind to me. Bernie Shaw, Judy Woodruff, a lot of people. And when I was just starting out in my career -- in my polling career and on TV. And I just can't believe that it's come to conversations like this. But, you want to impeach the president, impeach the president. Let's

be honest why we're doing that.

BLITZER: Kellyanne, we had a very -- we had a substantive conversation.

CONWAY: We did, because that's what I do. I speak with no notes and no net.

BLITZER: You -- you -- we -- we gave you -- we gave you plenty of time to make your points, and you did. We appreciate it very --

CONWAY: I did. Thank you.

BLITZER: You're always welcome to come back and join me here on CNN.

CONWAY: You'll stay in my prayers. Thank you.

BLITZER: Thank you very much for joining us.

We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.



BLITZER: The ousted Ukraine ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, set to testify publicly up on Capitol Hill tomorrow. And the schedule of witnesses is packed next week. The historic moment in American history is hard to avoid. It's all over cable news, radio, websites, even people who have made up their minds about the president are still paying very close attention.

CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro watched Wednesday's hearing with a family in Wisconsin.


EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You already think you know what the outcome is. Why do you want to watch it? What's so important about it?

RANDY BURL, WISCONSIN VOTER: Is this like a person that watches soap operas, i's bad acting and all that.

I am curious to see what this hearing is going to be.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice over): Like a lot of Americans, Randy and Terri Burl already have their opinions about President Trump and potential impeachment. And like a lot of Americans, they're going to watch every second of the hearings anyway.

TERRI BURL, CHAIR, FOREST COUNTY, WISCONSIN REPUBLICAN PARTY: I don't think it's going to hurt Trump. I could be surprised.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Terri Burl is the chair of the Forest County Wisconsin Republican Party. Randy is a Republican, too, but he isn't as strong a supporter of the president as his wife is.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (on camera): Where do you put yourself on the party spectrum these days?

T. BURL: I'm MAGA Republican.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice over): Terri attends a lot of GOP events around her state and she spreads the party message on social media.

T. BURL: I will tell you the truth. Yesterday on my FaceBook page I said, OK, guys, quid pro quo for dummies. Go. I never heard that term before this, you know, so I got a lot of good advice about --

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (on camera): What did you learn?

T. BURL: Well, I learned that throughout history presidents make deals. They kind of twist arms. You know, not violently, but they're kind of like, you know, I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice over): Terri is convinced the president did nothing wrong.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (on camera): You don't think he's opened himself up for today like he put himself in a little bit of hot water creating this -- the reasons for this hearing?

T. BURL: No, I really don't. I don't. That's Trump. It's like, do we want Trump not to be Trump? No.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice over): Outside, it was freezing and snowy. The perfect day to watch hours of TV with Amber, the Burl's plot (ph) hound.

A few hours in, and Randy wasn't as convinced of Trump's total innocence as Terri was.

R. BURL: Did the thought ever occur to you that it would be possible that Donald Trump did not know what he did was wrong and he was just like the natural dealmaker that he is?

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: In the late afternoon, the impeachment party got bigger. Mike Monte showed up. He's friends with Terri and Randy and he owns the local newspaper, "The Pioneer Express."

Terri and Mike have very different takes on the man of the hour.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (on camera): What do you think that Mike doesn't get about President Trump?

T. BURL: That Trump's not a politician. He's not politically correct. He, you know, he, you know, basically plays to his own drummer.

MIKE MONTE, OWNER, "THE PIONEER EXPRESS" NEWSPAPER: You don't know where he's going to be, and it can change from day-to-day.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice over): Mike didn't vote for Trump in 2016, and he's not going to vote for him in 2020 either. So his opinion about the president is also already set in stone.

T. BURL: This is all speculative right now. But I think Democrats are going to look ridiculous.

MONTE: He's not royalty. He works for us.

R. BURL: If he is found guilty or not guilty or he's impeached or not, I just don't see it having a dramatic effect.


And it's kind of like what Mike said, you know, most working people are never going to see these hearings. They're going to