A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday, January 26, 2020 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form, may be updated and may contain minor transcription errors. For previous show transcripts, visit the "This Week" transcript archive.
ANNOUNCER: "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" starts right now.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Trump's trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): The Senate should convict and remove the president.
JAY SEKULOW, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Without a question, the president will be acquitted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Democrats make their case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): The president's conduct is wrong; it is illegal; it is dangerous.
SCHIFF: His scheme was undertaken to help him win reelection in 2020.
REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): If we allow President Trump to escape accountability, we will inflict lasting damage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: The president's rebuttal begins.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEKULOW: Let's put ourselves in the shoes of the President of the United States.
PAT CIPOLLONE, WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: The president did absolutely nothing wrong.
MICHAEL PURPURA, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY COUNSEL: There can't be a quid pro quo without the quo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Will the Senate demand more evidence?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): We're going to make a decision once we hear both sides.
SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): The case for witnesses and documents has gotten even stronger.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): The best thing to do is to end this trial.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): You can't shut this down without witnesses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: After hours of argument, positions hardening, the partisan divide as deep as ever. What will sway the few remaining senators with open minds?
Our guests this morning, House impeachment manager Val Demings and GOP Senator James Lankford.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I ask you to come out and caucus.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course we can win Iowa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: A week before Iowa, who's leading the pack? Brand-new results from our latest poll, plus candidate Amy Klobuchar on the trail in Iowa, and our powerhouse roundtable..
We will break down the politics, smoke out the spin, the facts that matter this week.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, it's "This Week."
Here now, chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to "This Week."
Five days into the trial of President Trump, there is scant evidence that any Senate minds have been changed. After a raucous debate over the rules, the House impeachment managers dedicated three days, some 21 hours, to their case that President Trump should be removed from office for abusing his power, obstructing Congress, often using the words of the president and his allies against him.
But when Trump's team took the floor Saturday morning, White House Council Pat Cipollone displayed his confidence by opening with an unequivocal declaration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CIPOLLONE: We believe that, when you hear the facts -- and that's what we intend to cover today, the facts -- you will find that the president did absolutely nothing wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: And his summary of the Democrats case:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CIPOLLONE: They're asking you to tear up all of the ballots across this country on your own initiative, take that decision away from the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's bring in House impeachment manager Val Demings for a response this morning.
Congresswoman, thank you for joining us this morning.
The president added to Pat Cipollone's argument just a few minutes ago saying his team absolutely shredded your case.
REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): Well, good morning, George. It's good to be with you.
And, look, my message to the president and his lawyers, after listening to their presentation on yesterday would be, regardless of what you say, the truth still matters and the evidence against the president is overwhelming. If anyone was paying attention, and I know a lot of people were because I heard from a lot of people all over this nation, that the president used and abused the authority and the power of his office to try to coerce a foreign power into interfering in the 2020 election.
And his team of lawyers can try to distort and try to deflect. But, quite frankly, the best witness that we have in this case is the president of the United States.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me -- let me get into some of the evidence they put forward yesterday and the facts that they put forward yesterday from -- especially from White House counsel Mike Purpura. He said there are 6 facts that bolster the president’s case.
Here are a couple of them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PURPURA, WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: First, the transcript shows that the president did not condition either security assistance or a meeting on anything. Fourth, not a single witness testified that the president himself said that there was any connection between any investigations and security assistance, a presidential meeting or anything else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: They kept saying that Ambassador Gordon Sondland only presumed that link.
DEMINGS: Well, let me say this -- we know that in the initial with President Zelensky, between he and President Trump, the president dangled the offer of a White House meeting before President Zelensky and did it again on the July 25th call, understanding for this new, incoming, young president, very promising president of Ukraine, that a meeting in the Oval Office would send a major message to, especially, Russia.
But let’s look at the facts, George, because I know that sometimes the other side seems to struggle with that. But the facts are, when President Zelensky said or thanked President Trump for the assistance in defense, and then mentioned the fact that they were ready to purchase additional javelins, President Trump said, but I need you to do us a favor, though.
Now, let’s just imagine. As you know, I was a former police chief. If we had just been awarded federal money to, say, combat terrorism in our community, and I made a phone call to my member of Congress to thank him for supporting that funding and said that we’re just about ready to purchase emergency equipment. And the congressman said to me, yes, but I need you to do us a favor, though. Would you engage in an investigation against my political opponent and basically interfere in the election?
I think that would be pretty clear to just about everybody that that was wrong, and it’s quite frankly what President Trump did.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, one of the points that --
DEMINGS: And so, the attorneys -- the attorneys can say there is no connection or correlation at all, I say otherwise and I think the information is otherwise.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But one of the points the president’s -- let me just interrupt you there, though.
DEMINGS: Go ahead.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the points the president’s team made is that those Javelin missiles were not actually even suspended. That that aid wasn’t held up. It was a different tranche of aid.
DEMINGS: I understand what the president’s attorneys are saying, but we have to go back to what President Trump’s intentions were on the call that day and what President Zelensky heard.
I also know that there’s been quite an effort to say, well, the Ukrainians were not even aware that there was a hold on the military aid, but we also know there’s testimony and supporting documentation that that just is not true. The information about the quid pro quo, we know there are several witnesses who testify that there were.
But I’m reminded, too, of Michael Cohen, remember, the president’s former personal attorney who sitting in prison, one of the things that he said was that the president talks in codes, but everybody around him understands what he means.
And if you remember, one of the witnesses, Ambassador Sondland, said that, yes, that the president, it was as clear as two plus two equals four.
And so, while they are asking us, I believe, and the American people to not believe our lying eyes and our lying ears, I do believe that the information, the testimony, when you put it all together, is as clear as two plus two equals four.
STEPHANOPOULOS: In order to get a vote on witnesses, you're going to need win over four Senate Republicans, including Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, yet this week she sounded fairly skeptical in an interview on CNN. I want to show it right here. She said, the House made a decision that they didn't want to slow things down by having to go through the courts, and yet now they're basically saying you guys gotta go through he courts. We didn't but we need you to.
They're saying -- she's basically saying, you want the Senate to do the job you didn't do.
DEMINGS: George, let me say this, and every -- I think everybody who's been paying attention knows now that the President refused to cooperate in any way with the House's investigation. Not only did he prevent current administration officials from testifying, but he prevented former administration officials from testifying and did not give one single document to help.
Now, you know, for me, I think if you are innocent and you have witnesses that can support your innocence or documentation, you would freely be willing to hand that over.
But let me say this, all of the senators, as you know, they've taken their original oath, when they were sworn into office, but then they had to go one step forward and take an oath that they would do impartial justice.
One thing I can say, I have been in the room with them all week this week for some pretty long days and I know that they're in their seats, they're listening, many of them are taking notes, and I would expect them to do what they have taken an oath and sworn that they would do. And I'm just not going to give up on the Senate and I'm not going to draw any conclusions, although I know there's a lot of speculation about what they may do or may not do. I'm not going to draw any other conclusions.
My job is to present all of the facts and as much information as we possibly can. And I would think-- finally I'll say this, if they are interested in understanding the complete truth, then they would be willing, like every other trial and in every other courtroom across this country, because they are judges by the way, that they would want to hear from witnesses and see documentation, that can support this case.
STEPHANOPOULOS: If the Senate -- if the Senate refuses to vote for witnesses, will the House subpoena John Bolton.
DEMINGS: Let me say this, again, George, I'm just not going to speculate about it. I would think that, you know, we -- there was a lot of talk over the last few days about what's reasonable or what makes common sense. I would expect that the senators would want to vote in favor of witnesses and supporting documentation.
Remember, this is about hearing the complete story, while the evidence that we have is overwhelming in our case. And I think the American people clearly know that now. If you want to hear the complete truth, the complete story about what the president did or did not do, then you certainly want to hear from additional witnesses with direct knowledge, like Chief of Staff Mulvaney, who said, yes, that the aid was tied -- that withholding the aid was tied to the DNC server, i.e. 2016 election. You'd want to hear from John Bolton, the national security advisor, who at the time said, if you remember, described the scene as a drug deal.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Congresswoman --
DEMINGS: He certainly got my attention with those words and I think the senators would want to hear from him.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you for your time this morning.
DEMINGS: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you. Let's bring in one of those senators now, Senator James Lankford. Why not hear from the witnesses?
LANKFORD: Well, it’s the same reason they didn't want to hear from the witnesses apparently. They made an initial push to be able to say would you come? They said yes if you’ll subpoena us and go through the courts, like as a normal process and the House said no we're not going to do that. The House's argument now is a very interesting argument, they’re saying the president not only can be impeached in 78 days through the House, the fastest ever in history, but they’re now saying the president should not have access to the courts at all at any point through the trial. So the closing argument from Adam Schiff was do not allow the president to be able to go to the courts and to be able to argue these things. As you know, you were around during the Clinton impeachment times. There was a process back and forth to be able to go back and forth to the courts, to be able to make decisions, get that decision made and then you bring it to the House, but the House did not want to do that. They wanted to move as fast as possible and now they want to slow down the trial as much as possible in the Senate. That's just a very odd political strategy for them, more than a fact-finding strategy. Quite frankly, it looks like they're asking the Senate to go be special counsel, go search, go seek out. That's not really the task of the senate. The task of the Senate is to hear the trial, the House is the one that’s actually gathering the information for impeachment. So we're acting on what they're sending us.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Of course, the big difference from the Clinton trial that in the Clinton trial, those witnesses were heard in the House and they were called in the Senate and the white House did not completely stonewall the investigation.
LANKFORD: Well actually you know the biggest difference in the whole part with the Clinton investigation was almost four years of special counsel. They sent over 18 boxes of information from the house over to the senate, it was a far cry from that to do just a few weeks of investigation in the Senate this time, or in the House this time, and then to be able to send it over to the Senate. So in the Clinton trial, the Senate was acting on and called witnesses that the House had already called and went back through that process again. So, you're right, it is a very different process because the house did not do their homework this time and didn’t seem interested in it. All they wanted to do was get it done by Christmas and then send it to the Senate and the first thing they said was, don't do the trial like we did our hearings. Do it totally different than we did because it will be fair if you do it totally different than we did. That’s just an odd statement from them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You heard Pat Cipollone at the opening yesterday of his argument say the president did absolutely nothing wrong. Do you agree with that? Do you think it’s appropriate for presidents to solicit foreign interference in an election?
LANKFORD: Well the first question there is did the president solicit foreign interference in an election? What Pat Cipollone said was basically, you know, you’ve heard the argument from the House managers; now we want to tell you the rest of the story -- if I can go back to an old Paul Harvey statement from there. They’re basically doing the cross-examination and asking the simple question, why didn’t the House managers read the full statement over and over and over again. For 21 hours over three days, the House managers would read one sentence but not read the next sentence. For instance, the argument that came up over and over again about the president was withholding something from the -- from President Zelensky about a White House meeting, but in the phone call itself the sentence they didn’t read was President Zelensky said, “hey if we can’t do a White House meeting, let’s meet in Poland on September the 1st.” The White House agreed to that and set up the meeting for September the 1st. But the White House managers continue to say over and over again he desperately needed this meeting in the White House, that’s really what he wanted. But President Zelensky himself is the one that said let’s set up -- if we can’t do this than let’s do this and they agreed to it and set that up.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Of course that meeting didn’t happen but you say you --
LANKFORD: Because of a hurricane.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You were talking about the transcript right there, but the president’s been quite open about soliciting interference. In fact let’s show the -- let’s show the video right now.
(BEGIN TRUMP VIDEO CLIP)
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. Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: He’s asking the Chinese, he’s asking the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens. Do you think that’s appropriate?
LANKFORD: Well what the president’s trying to express there is his frustration that no one’s paying attention to what is potential corruption with the Bidens in the past, that everyone seems to be focused on him, that he’s been through two-and-a-half years of investigation in the Mueller report, everyone’s been focused on him but no one seems to want to even ask the question about was there potential corruption here --
STEPHANOPOULOS: No, he’s asking the Ukrainians --
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- and the Chinese, do you think that’s appropriate?
LANKFORD: I think he is asking for an investigation, as you would with anyone else with any other American. It is a unique thing, obviously, that this is a person running for political office as well but it’s not new, as the House manager said that this only started after Biden announced his investigation. This was a consistent theme for the president to say everyone should be able to be looked at in this process.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But he’s asking the Ukrainians and the Chinese to look at it, if he were too concerned why not have the Justice Department look at it? Why not have an investigation through the proper channels? Do you think it’s OK to ask a foreign nation to investigate a political opponent as the president did right there?
LANKFORD: So to be very clear the Justice Department is in the process of doing some investigation, working with foreign nations to be able to track through how some decisions were made, what was done on the FISA report and other things. So there is Justice Department work that is happening right now with the Counsel Durham that’s in the process of working with foreign countries --
STEPHANOPOULOS: They’re not investigating the Bidens. But (inaudible) --
LANKFORD: They’re not investigating the Bidens, that’s true. But they are working --
STEPHANOPOULOS: But isn’t that the proper channel?
LANKFORD: with foreign powers to be able to do the investigation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn’t that the proper channel (ph) --
LANKFORD: That’s correct and --
LANKFORD: That is correct and that is something that is ongoing. Now, if you go back again to the phone call and the transcript that happens in the phone call, the whole issue about Hunter Biden and Rudy Giuliani doesn’t originate with the president. President Zelensky actually brings that up to President Trump, saying hey I’m working with. It’s pretty clear Rudy Giuliani is traveling around the world trying to gather opposition research on behalf of the campaign. The same thing the Hillary Clinton campaign did when they hired a British citizen to be able to go work with the Russians to be able to go gather information on President Trump.So this, this concept of you can’t do opposition research for a campaign outside of the United States is not true --
STEPHANOPOULOS: The question --
LANKFORD: The Clinton campaign did it different and the difference is now Rudy Giuliani did it as well.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The question is, is it appropriate for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate -- by extension -- let me just see, because you’re seeming to say it’s OK. If President Obama had asked President Putin to investigate President Trump’s activities in Russia, had he asked President Xi to investigate the Trump’s family’s businesses in China, that would have been OK?
LANKFORD: Well, I don’t know that he did or didn’t. I have no idea. And I’m not --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well there’s no evidence that he did --
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know he didn’t do that.
LANKFORD: Well, George, (INAUDIBLE) put words in my mouth or in your mouth either way on this, I’m not looking for the President to be able to use official roles to be able to do unofficial acts. What I am saying is in this phone call, in this instance, President Zelensky raised this issue to President Trump and he responded back to it. A reporter then in the phone -- in the video that you listed asked him a question and said, what do you think he should do and he responded back to that. It’s very different than the president actually initiating all of that than he’s responding to a question. If he is starting that phone call and saying here’s what I’m calling you about and I want you to be able to do that, it’s very different than President Zelensky raising it to him and saying, yea, yea I’m glad you’re meeting with Rudy Giuliani. Go ahead and meet with him and get a chance to be able to visit with him. That’s not inappropriate but it is a big deal to try to mix official and unofficial and that -- that’s a challenge that all of us have in every one of our roles. When someone in the Capitol comes and asks us about campaign things we say, hey that’s not an issue. You need to go talk to a different person from there. The president is literally -- when it’s being raised in an official setting, saying talk to Rudy Giuliani and be able to -- I’m glad you’re visiting with him but that’s a separate issue.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I think the plain meaning of the president’s video is pretty clear. But final question, will you vote for a motion to dismiss this week?
LANKFORD: No, there is no motion to dismiss this week. That’s already been set. That was something they had set in the very beginning of the rules, there is no motion to dismiss. As we go through the process --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well the president’s team --
LANKFORD: -- we’ll end up with 16 hours of questions and then we’ll have a motion of whether we need to have additional witnesses and additional evidence, and then come to a verdict.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the -- I was just -- the reason I was asking that because the -- the resolution does leave open a possibility that the president’s team can move for a motion to dismiss and I was just asking, if they do, will you vote for it?
LANKFORD: I don’t think there’s going to be a motion to dismiss.
LANKFORD: We try to be able to clarify that in the rules initially to be able to make sure that -- we were getting actually to a verdict at the end of it, not a motion to dismiss. The key thing that really came out this week is the opportunity to be able to hear from both sides of the story and understand -- a lot of things the House managers brought up, they didn’t read the full sentence and I encourage people to be able to track and get both sides of this story.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And we will be covering the -- more of the president’s team tomorrow here as well. Senator thanks for your time this morning.
LANKFORD: You bet. Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Lots more coming up.
Presidential Candidate Amy Klobuchar, Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight and our powerhouse roundtable.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Lots more coming up: presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar, and Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight, and our powerhouse roundtable.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, BIDEN CAMPAIGN AD) AD ANNOUNCER: As Democrats, we can't launch dishonest attacks against fellow Democrats. We have to beat Donald Trump. Now, Bernie's company has unleashed a barrage of negative attacks on Joe Biden. They’ve even accused Joe Biden of supporting Paul Ryan’s cuts to Social Security. Bernie's campaign is not telling the truth.
JOSEPH BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well.
SANDERS: Well, we have got some bad news for them. We are not going to cut Social Security. We're going to expand benefits. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP) STEPHANOPOULOS: There you see dueling ads from Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders on Social Security in this final stretch until the Iowa caucuses. History shows that Iowa nice voters have punished the candidates who get into public fights. So, we asked FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver if the campaigns are making a mistake by going negative. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
NATE SILVER, EDITOR IN CHIEF, FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM: It's worth remembering that candidates historically are often reluctant to go negative in the primaries, especially early on in the race. After all, we're talking about attacking a candidate in your own party. But look a little bit deeper, and sometimes going negative is a necessary evil. After attacking Biden in the first debate, Kamala Harris actually surged from 7 percent to 14 percent in the polls. And, sure, she faded after that, but polling surges sometimes have a shelf life. Pete Buttigieg began rising in the polls, going from around 5 percent to 10 percent, after attacking Elizabeth Warren on Medicare for all, while Warren fell from 24 percent to 15 percent. Of course, it might not be surprising to see Sanders and Biden clash. They have some big philosophical differences.But Warren and Sanders have a lot in common, and they've been going after one another too. The thing is, though, that might give them more reason to attack each other, and not less. Of course, there are risks.You can cite the example of Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean dueling before the Iowa caucus in 2004 while John Kerry surged into first place. But there's less to risk if you're punching up. Warren, for instance, who's currently in third place nationally, could stand to take some chances. She currently has a 13 percent chance of winning the majority of delegates in our forecast, not hopeless, but, to be honest, not great. If she wins Iowa, though, that chance would shoot up to more than 50 percent. And while Sanders might prefer to avoid a fight with Warren, his bigger problem is Biden, who is still in first place. So, no, I don't buy that going negative is necessarily a bad idea, especially when you're trailing and Iowa is right around the corner.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Nate for that. Amy Klobuchar and our roundtable are coming right up.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Amy Klobuchar standing by. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS: All these candidates are my friends, and I have known some for years. They're good people. But if you look at the structure of our campaigns, our ability to mobilize millions of people all over this country, our ability to raise funds from the grassroots, not from the wealthy and the powerful, our ability to put together an agenda that reaches out and speaks to the working class of this country in a unique way. I think you'll conclude that our campaign is the strongest campaign to defeat Trump. (END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Bernie Sanders making his pitch in Iowa yesterday. He's leading the Iowa polls right now. We're going to be joined now by one of the candidates trying to unseat him, Amy Klobuchar, Senator from Minnesota. Senator Klobuchar, thank you for joining us this morning. That pitch has been the heart of your campaign as well.
KLOBUCHAR: Thanks for having me on.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... that you're a Democrat who can win in red areas. How do you respond to Senator Sanders?
KLOBUCHAR: I think, when you look at what just happened in the last election, as well as those governor races in Kentucky and Louisiana, look what happened. Those were candidates where Democrats won in states that were red, states that were purple, like Michigan, like Kansas, congressional races all over the country that fit the district, that fit that the state, that did not suggest blowing up our current health system and kicking 149 million Americans off their current health insurance in four years.
Sanders and I have a big disagreement on that issue. And I also think that you've got people out there that are interested in having a candidate that has a history like I do, that brings the receipts to this race of actually winning in very red and very purple suburban districts and doing that by bringing along with her a fired-up Democratic base, as well as independents and moderate Republicans.
What most matters to our Democrats -- I was just speaking in the quad cities last night -- what most matters is winning and uniting our party and someone that can do that. I think that's where the country is, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You won a big endorsement yesterday from the Manchester Union Leader in New Hampshire. They praise your record of accomplishment, the ability to unite the country and say you have the best chance to win as well.
But Senator Warren got the endorsement of the Des Moines Register. And you've never cracked into the top four in Iowa polling. So can you even get to New Hampshire if -- with a fifth place finish in Iowa?
KLOBUCHAR: Oh, I'm going to New Hampshire, George. I am -- actually got the New York Times endorsement, along with Elizabeth, the Quad City Times, which is a major paper, as you know, in Iowa. And we've got more legislative endorsements and former legislators than anyone in this race, in Iowa. And that's because I have such a strong grassroots -- grassroots operation.
I know I don't have the highest name ID compared to all these other people I'm running against, or the billions of dollars that two of my opponents have. What we've got is grit, which started in the day that I announced in the middle of that blizzard with four inches of snow on my head.
And a lot of people have gotten out of this race, but I'm still standing. And it's because of what I bring with me. The debates have been good for me. There will be another debate in New Hampshire. I'll be on that stage. And I'm only one of two candidates left from the middle of the country, the very, very part of the country that we need to win.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you are in fifth place right now in Iowa...
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're going to be the Senate most of this week. So what's the comeback strategy? How can you do it?
KLOBUCHAR: Yes. The comeback strategy is coming back here whenever I can. I got -- the minute we got done with the hearing yesterday, I got out to Iowa, did three events. I have three events today. It's like you turn into a pumpkin, Cinderella. Then I go back there. And I've done tele-town-halls. We had 12,000 people on a tele-town-hall in the state of Iowa just last week.
We'll be doing more of those. And then I have my surrogates out there, all of these endorsers, people from Minnesota. The Olympic curling coach, the gold medal curling coach -- no one has that guy, Coach Phil. He came out for me.
And we just keep trying to come up with new creative approaches. No one has ever run in a major race like this, that's this close, when you have to be back in the Senate the whole time. But I figure the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina are going to understand that I have a constitutional duty to fulfill.
And the fact that I have this real job and that I'm in the arena and that I'm actually taking on the Trump administration and all of their shenanigans and behavior, I think that's actually a good thing. Because when I sit in that chamber and I look over at my colleagues, I just keep thinking what I say on the campaign trail, "This is a decency check. This is a patriotism check for our nation." And that proceeding is part of the overall problem with this president, and we know that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You just heard Senator Lankford back up the president team’s contention that he'd done absolutely nothing wrong, suggesting that foreign interference in elections happens all the time, which gets to the question, it still appears that the president's heading towards an acquittal in the Senate.
Should the Senate move to censure or at least try and censure President Trump if he is indeed acquitted?
KLOBUCHAR: We are not at that point, George. Right now, what I want my colleagues to do is to join us in getting the witnesses. I literally don't know how you can sit over there and listen, even when you hear the president's lawyers, they raise fact questions.They say, "Well, the facts aren't there." I want to hear from the men -- to quote the founding fathers musical -- to hear from the men in the room where it happened. That is people like Mr. Bolton and Mick Mulvaney.
All of these signs point to things and discussions that they had with the President of the United States. And all we are asking for right now is four witnesses. Zero witnesses plus zero evidence equals zero justice. You can't have a trial without the witnesses. However they vote, whatever they choose to do when the evidence comes in, they cannot go down in history as the people that blocked the truth from coming forward, because eventually it will come forward.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Klobuchar, thanks for your time.
KLOBUCHAR: Thanks, George. It was great to be on.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Roundtable is up next. We'll be right back.
[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]
PARNAS: If you take a look -- the biggest problem there, I think where we need to start is we need to get rid of the ambassador. She's still left over from the Clinton administration. Yeah, she's basically walking around telling everybody, "Wait, he's going to get impeached.
TRUMP: Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out, okay? Do it.
[END VIDEO CLIP]
STEPHANOPOULOS: President trump back in April 2018 saying, take out the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Of course a year later she was fired from her post. He was talking there to Lev Parnas. You may remember, he is the associate of Rudy Giuliani, who’s been indicted by the Southern District of New York. That new tape came out just this week in the middle of the Senate impeachment trial. We want to talk about the trial right now with conservative columnist, Jonah Goldberg, editor in chief of “The Dispatch”; Democrat Democrat Roland Martin from “Roland Martin Unfiltered.”
ROLAND MARTIN, HOST, “ROLAND MARTIN UNFILTERED”: I’m not a Democrat.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You're not a Democrat?
MARTIN: No. I’m a regular brother.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We’ll call you a Democrat-leaning independent brother, OK. Republican strategist, CNN political analyst Alice Stewart, and our senior national correspondent, Terry Moran.
ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I'm a Republican for the record.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You are a Republican.
JONAH GOLDBERG, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: I used to be.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Terry, let's start out assessing-- assessing where we are after five days of arguments.
MORAN: You know, looking at it, it is a classic circumstantial evidence case, right? The Democrats come and they make a very meticulous, well-organized and strong narrative argument that requires a leap to the conclusion, that they did in their arguments. That if you look at this evidence-- at all this evidence around President Trump, he did this. He did this and it warrants removal from office. And the Republicans, like any defense lawyers in trials across the country every single day, stand up and say where is the direct evidence? That you have to make that conclusion, you have to make that leap. And that does raise the question, you know, was it the right choice at the end of the day for the Democrats to decide to go with this evidence, go with the impeachment you have, rather than fight, as they’re now asking the Senate to do, for the people who could say, “I was in the room, President Trump turned to me and said that money’s not going to Ukraine unless they go after the Bidens.”
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton.
MARTIN: Donald Trump said, I could shoot someone on 5th avenue and my folks wouldn't care. It doesn't matter what the Democrats present. It doesn't matter if they run 30 people who were actually in the room. Republicans are not going to vote against him because they are deathly afraid of this man. They are scared to death. These are grown men and women who are behaving like children. And so they’re getting everything they want from him, so they will suck it up and tolerate anything. They will never vote against Donald Trump. So Democrats are doing the best they can do, but it doesn’t matter.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And let me bring this to you, Alice Stewart, because it does appear that the positions on the Republican side hardened against witnesses this week, calling the witnesses this week. What about the argument you saw from Adam Schiff towards the end there, that said well you know what, the truth is going to come out at some point anyway.
STEWART: Well, it should have come out in the house impeachment proceedings if there was more information to come out and to Terry's point, the house information and their vote to impeach is based on a lot of presumption of wrongdoing and not actual facts and evidence on wrongdoing. If this was such an overwhelming slam-dunk case for impeachment they wouldn't be asking for more information, more witnesses and more testimony. If they needed more information they shouldn't have gone forth with the articles for impeachment. So that's where I think they have a very difficult time going forward with trying to get a conviction in the Senate and ultimately removal from office and this is going to make it easier for the White House counsel to say, you have not proven your case, this is not enough to go for impeachment and this is nothing more than a political ploy to overturn the past election and influence the next one.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Jonah they did put forward voluminous evidence that there was a scheme going on for several months. Rudy Giuliani was at the center of it and they showed often the president right there in public calling for these investigations.
GOLDBERG: Yea, so when Terry says you have to leap to the conclusion that he did it, I think it’s more like a very small hop. Because I think it's been obvious the basic facts have been obvious since he released the transcript. That’s one of the problems that the Democrats have, is when they released the transcript that was like releasing the 18-minute tape from watergate at the beginning of the process. And people priced it in, it’s given the White House a chance to defend it. At the end of the day, the White House team did much better than I thought it would. And what they understand is that they want -- that they just need to give Republican senators enough permission to stay with the president that they need. And they understood the jury much better, I think, than the Democrats did. And so now, they’re in this bizarre, look on the merits --
STEPHANOPOULOS: It is their jury as Republicans.
MARTIN: Right. It's a rigged jury.
GOLDBERG: I know. But that's the reason -- the way the system is set up is that the Senate is supposed to be a political body in this and have political judgment, and it's not legal judgment. Still, the Republicans are in a very strange place, where they are saying, in effect, there's nothing new here, and Lord hear our prayer, we won't allow here -- we won't hear anything new. And that's why they don't want witnesses.
MARTIN: George, you asked Senator Lankford. He wouldn't -- he would not say, yes, a president should not ask a foreign entity for help. He wouldn't -- he could not even say it. That right there explains everything about the Republican Party. Plus, we have got to remember, this is the third time a president has been impeached. No president has ever been convicted. And so there was no shock this would happen.
STEWART: But there are a lot of -- there's a lot of folks on the Republican side, myself included, that look at the call, my view, it was inappropriate, some of what he said, but it was not worthy of impeachment. And that's where we have to get to the point to where we can certainly see where something might not have been said, but it's not grounds for impeachment. What should be the consequences for that? Some are talking censure.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You have just said...
STEWART: But if there was something wrong, and he deserves some kind of consequence for that, the voters will decide come November.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You have just said it very, very plainly. And at the beginning of this process, back in September of last year, when the evidence first came out, you did have several Republicans saying, if a lot of evidence comes up that the president did indeed condition the aid or was soliciting foreign interference, we should say it was wrong.
But, Terry Moran, that has completely shifted over the last several months.
MORAN: It has, in part because of a very aggressive defense by the president and the very high bar that the public has for removing a president in this way. But that evidence is still coming in. We just played Lev Parnas. If Rachel Maddow can get Lev Parnas, why didn't Adam Schiff? And the nightmare scenario in -- for the country is that, over the next several years, in dribs and drabs, in tell-all memoirs and blockbuster interviews, and foreign leaks and FOIA documents, a lot more damning evidence is going to come out. And that's -- that is the fault of -- of both parties playing a game with the impeachment process.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Listen, I tend to think you may be right, that they maybe should have tried harder in the courts. But there's also an awful lot of evidence on the other side. You can take the tax cases led by the House Ways and Means Committee filed last April, not even considered yet in the district court.
GOLDBERG: There you go.
MORAN: But the courts would respond.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They haven't been responding.
STEWART: Why didn't Adam Schiff go after John Bolton, if he wanted to hear from him? The House did not need an engraved invitation to issue a subpoena to John Bolton. They could have done that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, they did. He did. They did. And he said he wouldn't comply.
MARTIN: How about, if you're a patriot, you actually say what's best for the country? How about that? All the folks who wave the flag, and they hug the flag, and talk about what it means to be an American, talk about the founding fathers, how about that? Why do you have to be forced or compelled by a court order to actually step forward and say this is actually what happened. This was wrong by the President of the United States? But they won't do it because they all have their own interests as a Republican Party.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Jonah Goldberg, we are going to hear from John Bolton probably before the election. He has got a book coming out. Whether he is subpoenaed by the House, whether the Senate votes for it, as well. At the end of the day, what's your guess on that story is?
GOLDBERG: Well, I mean, this is one of the reasons why you want to have him under oath, because under oath you -- John Bolton, I know John, he's not going to lie. He's a very careful lawyer. He takes an enormous number of notes, but under oath you have to tell the story in all of its inconvenient ways. In a book he can tell the story any version that he wants. And I think that is a problem for history. I think it's a problem -- it’s certainly a problem for the Democrats. I think it's why the Democrats made a big mistake not going to the mattresses trying to get him to testify. And if the Republicans were truly interested in fact-finding they would call him as a witness, but they're clearly not, and so we're going to get his version of events, but it's not going to be the same version you would get, I would suspect, if he testified under oath.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that gets to the question of will the House, and will it matter, if they subpoena John Bolton after a likely acquittal.
MORAN: Well, then you're going to, what, take another bite at the apple, you're going to have another impeachment if his evidence is damning enough? This was the process. And this question of maybe the Senate can call witnesses, I'm not sure how that solves the problem. This was always going to have to be a fight in the courts. Every president would have the right, and in fact a duty, to, if their Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor, were subpoenaed, to at least test the boundaries, to at least test the boundaries.
GOLDBERG: Constitutionally, I disagree with that the courts would get in the way. The Senate is at the heights of its powers during impeachment. Chief Justice Roberts could rule on it right there.
MORAN: No, he's...
STEPHANOPOULOS: He won't, but he could.
MARTIN: Has he even been awake?
GOLDBERG: I don't know if the Supreme Court wants to get in the middle of this question. There are lots of things that the Supreme Court just will not weigh in on. And when the Senate called for a witness I very much doubt the Supreme Court will go, whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on, we have to sign off on that. That's not in the Constitution.
STEWART: I do think it's important, also, if we're going to talk about bringing in John Bolton and other witnesses that the Democrats want, what the White House counsel pointed out yesterday is important. If we're going to hear additional information from Republicans, let's hear from some of the Democrats. Let's hear from Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, even Adam Schiff has important information concerning the whistle-blower. So, if we're going to open up the door for additional information and testimony, it should go on both sides.
MARTIN: Were they on the call? Were they on call on with the president of Ukraine?
STEWART: He was certainly...
MARTIN: But were they on the call?
MARTIN: He was certainly the emphasis for the president's request.
MARTIN: So, you want to hear from the people who were not on the call, who had nothing to do with the call, but you want to have them testify as opposed to the person who withheld the aid to Ukraine.
STEWART: Certainly, he is the motivation for what the Democrats are saying the president was seeking, he certainly should be on the call.
MARTIN: Just throw Chelsea in there. I mean, if we want to start throwing people in there, he was not on the call.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And we're probably going to hear a lot more from the president's team about Joe Biden tomorrow as he's running for president.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I do want to switch, because we are about eight days away from Iowa as well. We have a new poll out this morning on ABC, a national poll of the Democratic horse race. I want to put it up right now. It shows a pretty close race between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, you see it right there. Among all Democrats, Joe Biden with a narrow lead. But then you pull it out, if you go to registered Democrats, his lead increases over Bernie Sanders, likely Democrats increases even more.
The bottom line for both is that Biden and Sanders, at least nationally, appear to be pulling away from the pack.
And Roland I'll take your point that you're not a registered Democrat, perhaps, but you do follow the Democrats very closely.
But I want to get to Iowa now, because that's the national poll. We're seeing the latest polls coming out of Iowa and New Hampshire, both showing Bernie Sanders surging in the lead in both places.
MARTIN: These are the two most important things happening. Can Bernie drive the largest non-voting bloc, young voters? And will Joe Biden drive older voters.That is going to be issue.
Older voters vote. My parents are 72. They work the polls. They vote. You didn't have to ask them what happens in the election.
Young people have to be motivated and excited. If young folks actually want to be a difference maker, you've got to go to the polls. I've been saying for years about Latino, you can have demographic numbers, but it means nothing if you don't register and you don't vote. That's going to be the key.
Bernie does not do well among older voters. Biden does not do well among young voters. That's where the battle is going to be fought right there.
STEWART: And what this poll shows I think is a divide right now in the Democratic Party. You have Sanders far to the left, Biden of a moderate candidate, and there is a divide. Ultimately, they'll have to come together.
But what is interesting is when you look at these Iowa numbers with Bernie Sanders surging, this goes to show you cannot underestimate the value of having the 2016 playbook in Iowa, and he is surging. His numbers are going up in Iowa. I think he'll do very well in Iowa.
Democrats have known the last four winners of the Iowa caucus go on to be the nominee. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. But we all know Biden is a better head-to-head candidate --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Organizing, fundraising, committed core.
But, Terry, in Iowa, you still have Elizabeth Warren, who got "The Des Moines Register" endorsement last night. Pete Buttigieg, who's been there the longest and, of course, he didn't have to sit in the Senate trial all week.
MORAN: And he has that advantage of still being on the ground in a place where retail politics counts so much.
But it does seem like -- like Bernie Sanders has something special right now. For all of the talk about socialism and the -- and -- and the -- the "ism" that is attached to him, he's got idealism and that's -- there's something about Bernie Sanders, which is not technocratic, we can solve the problems, I've got a policy for that. It's, we can be together again.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And -- and you can argue --
MORAN: It's a song of -- of solidarity that he's singing that I think appeals enormously to idealistic, younger voters.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm not sure it's a -- it's a message of unity, but you certainly do see integrity. He's had the same message for -- for more than 30 --
MORAN: Since 1971 it seems he's --
STEPHANOPOULOS: It's been many years.
MARTIN: But there's also fight.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Jonah, one of the thing that surprises me, though, I mean, he had a heart attack five months ago.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Didn't hurt him at all in the polls
GOLDBERG: It's astounding. I mean normally that would be the -- and if -- not to wish anything -- any harm on anybody, but if you just look at the mortality statistics, a heart attack at that age is not -- is a big deal. And it shows his -- his strength.
I think it has less to do with his message, frankly, though, than his authenticity, which gets to your point about consistency. In some ways he reminds me of the Rand Paul brigades on the Republican side. This -- you know, septuagenarian, octogenarian, I don't know how old -- old guy, young people love it because they see someone who has a -- they perceive as not having sold out. And, at the end of the day, I think that's why Biden, because he represents the establishment, doesn't appeal to young people because he just seems part of the system.
MARTIN: But it's fight, George. It's also fight. And that is Democrats, they felt that President Barack Obama did not fight enough against Mitch McConnell, against the Freedom Caucus in the House. They look at what happened with Hillary Clinton. They want a fighter.
Look, Democrats are looking at this exact same thing what your Republicans were saying in 2016, that Bernie Sanders is going to also fight for structural change. When you hear Klobuchar, when you hear Biden, others, they talk about incremental change. He's talking about, how do we change systems? And that's where you're dealing with and you're dealing with older voters, again, who say, look --
GOLDBERG: But the problem is, none of that is going to pass the Senate, right? So that's my problem with a lot of this stuff is that it's -- it's pie in the sky.
GOLDBERG: The idea you're going to get rid of the filibuster or get people to -- socialize medicine in the Senate and the House, it's not going to happen. People are vote -- people are -- a lot of these guys are just campaigning on -- on hopes and dreams rather than like actual horse race politics.
STEWART: They've got -- certainly big ideas make you feel good, but if you don't get anything done, that doesn't make you feel great.
And while the Democrats may be getting behind him, and he's certainly an energetic candidate and has a huge movement behind him, I think they'll be making a tremendous mistake if he becomes a nominee because the party -- or the country is not that far left. The -- the country -- the -- the voters that they need are middle of the road voters. Trump has his base. The Democrats have their base. They need to get to the middle of the roads voters. And the -- those are not Sanders voters.
MORAN: And that explains Biden's continuing strength despite a campaign that -- that has at times seemed feeble in some ways. He's -- he's stumbled. And that does say, I think that the -- there is something in the center of the country that longs for an end to this exhausting fighting.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes. And that may be why you're seeing the two of them right at the top.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.
We'll be back with live coverage of the impeachment trial Monday at 1:00 Eastern and I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."