WILL PRESIDENT TRUMP BE IMPEACHED?

Amid a new and potentially damaging phase of the impeachment inquiry a former top Trump executive shares her predictions on the president’s next move.

Aired on November 1, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

COULD PRESIDENT TRUMP RESIGN BEFORE DEMOCRATS EVEN GET THE CHANCE TO IMPEACH HIM?

ONE OF HIS FORMER COLLEAGUES THINKS THAT'S A REAL POSSIBILITY AS CONGRESS INVESTIGATES THE PRESIDENT'S DEALINGS WITH UKRAINE.

BARBARA KNOWS HIM BETTER THAN MOST.

A FORMER EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION AND WORKED ON SOME OF THE COMPANY'S BIGGEST PROJECTS.

WHEN SHE SAID THIS ON CNN, IT GOT PEOPLE TALKING.

IT WOULD BE VERY, VERY, VERY BAD FOR HIM TO BE IMPEACHED.

I DON'T KNOW THAT HE WOULD BE FOUND GUILTY, BUT I DON'T THINK HE WANTS TO BE IMPEACHED.

I THINK THAT'S WHAT THIS PANIC IS ABOUT, AND MY GUT TELLS ME HE'LL LEAVE OFFICE, HE'LL RESIGN OR MAKE A DEAL EVEN, DEPENDING WHAT COMES OUT.

FOR MORE ON HER THOUGHTS ON PRESIDENT TRUMP, I'M JOINED BY BARBARA RESS.

SHE IS AN ATTORNEY, PUBLIC SPEAKER, AND OUT AUTHOR OF ALL ALONE ON THE 68th FLOOR, HOW ONE WOMAN CHANGED THE FACE OF CONSTRUCTION.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU.

SO I JUST WANT YOU TO ELABORATE A LITTLE BIT MORE ON WHAT IT WAS THAT YOU TOLD CNN.

YOU KNOW, YOU PROBABLY HAVE THE SPOT, WHICH IS FINE, ASKING ME WHAT I THOUGHT WOULD HAPPEN WITH THE PROCESS OF IMPEACHMENT.

I TOLD THEM I'M NOT, YOU KNOW, I DON'T HAVE A CRYSTAL BALL OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, BUT MY GUT TELLS ME THAT TRUMP REALLY DOES NOT WANT TO BE IMPEACHED.

HE DOESN'T WANT THAT ON HIS RECORD.

HE DOESN'T WANT HIS PRESIDENCY TO REFLECT AN IMPEACHMENT.

AND I THINK THAT HE WOULD QUIT BEFORE THAT HAPPENS.

SO THAT'S WHY I SAID HE WILL PROBABLY RESIGN.

THAT'S JUST, YOU KNOW, MY GUT OPINION BASED ON THINGS I HAVE SEEN HIM DO IN THE PAST.

BEFORE WE GET TO YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP, I DO WANT TO GET A LITTLE BIT OF A PERSPECTIVE THOUGH BECAUSE HE SEEMS LIKE THE TYPE OF PERSONALITY WHO ENJOYS A GOOD FIGHT.

HE ENJOYS BEING ABLE TO SPAR WITH SOMEONE, AND IT SEEMS LIKE THIS IS THE TYPE OF THING WHERE, IF THE DEMOCRATS VOTE TO IMPEACH HIM IN THE HOUSE, THAT THE FIGHT THAT COULD ENSUE BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND IN THE SENATE AND PERHAPS DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE IS SOMETHING HE WOULD THRIVE ON.

IS THAT A FAIR ASSESSMENT?

YOU KNOW, NORMALLY I WOULD AGREE WITH YOU.

HE LOVES TO FIGHT.

HE LOVES TO PIT PEOPLE AGAINST EACH OTHER AND SEE WHO IS THE STRONGER.

BUT IN THIS CASE HE DOESN'T HAVE ANY POWER, AND THAT IS WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT.

YOU KNOW, HE HAD A TASTE OF THAT WHEN HE WAS -- WHEN HE SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT AND HAD TO DEAL WITH NANCY PELOSI.

IT WAS REALLY THE FIRST TIME THAT HE WAS EVER DEALING WITH SOMEONE THAT HAD EVERY BIT AS MUCH POWER AS HE HAD, AND HE DID CAPITULATE IN THAT CASE.

SO THEN HOW DOES SOMEONE LIKE PRESIDENT TRUMP, SHOULD HE CHOOSE TO RESIGN, SELL THIS TO HIS SUPPORTERS?

BECAUSE A BIG PART OF HIS APPEAL TO HIS SUPPORTERS IS I AM THE TOUGH GUY, AISLE FIGHT NO MATTER WHAT, AND I CAN'T BE DEFEATED BY, SAY, SNOWFLAKE LIBERALS?

WELL, YOU KNOW, WHAT DO HIS SUPPORTERS DO FOR HIM IF HE RESIGNS?

DOES HE NEED TO SELL THEM ANYTHING?

HE DOESN'T NEED THEM IF HE IS RESIGNING.

HE NEEDS HIS FINANCIAL INTEREST AND BACKERS IN TURKEY AND OTHER COUNTRIES THAT GIVE HIM THE OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD TRUMP TOWERS.

SO I DON'T THINK THAT THAT WOULD BE A BIG DEAL FOR HIM, HTO BE HONEST WITH YOU.

AS FAR AS MAKING IT UP, YOU KNOW, PUTTING PERSPECTIVE ON IT, THERE IS A MILLION THINGS HE COULD DO.

TRUTH DOES NOT ENTER THIS.

HE COULD SAY HE IS SAVING THE COUNTRY BECAUSE PEOPLE ARGUING TOO MUCH, SAVING THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

IT'S CERTAINLY, NO MATTER WHAT HE DID, IT WOULD NEVER BE THIS WAS MY FAULT.

IT WOULD BE THIS IS WHAT I'M DOING FOR AMERICA.

WELL, IT'S INTERESTING THAT YOU MENTION THIS WAS MY FAULT BECAUSE HE ALSO COMES ACROSS AS SOMEONE WHO IS NOT FOPDND OF OR PERHAPS RARELY EVER APOLOGIZES, AND YET YOU, WORKING WITH HIM AS A COLLEAGUE, WERE ONE OF THE FEW PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY GOT AN APOLOGY OUT OF THEN BUSINESSMAN, NOW PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP.

YEAH, THAT HAPPENED.

WE HAD AN ENORMOUS FIGHT, AN ENORMOUS FIGHT, YELLING AND SCREAMING AT EACH OTHER, SAYING THINGS THAT WERE WAY OUT OF LINE.

THE NEXT DAY I WENT HOME.

I GOT THROUGH A LITTLE BIT OF -- I BLEW OUT A TIRE ON THE WAY HOME.

I WAS SO UPSET.

THE NEXT DAY I WENT INTO HIS OFFICE AND I WENT IN AND SAID, DONALD, I'M SORRY, I WAS OUT OF LINE.

HE SAID, I WAS OUT OF LINE TOORKS.

THAT'S THE CLOSURES EXIST I EVER HEARD HIM COME TO AN APOLOGY.

TELL ME ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP, THE PROFESSIONAL WORKING RELATIONSHIP THAT YOU HAD WITH HIM.

WAS HE AS ADVERSARIAL AS WE SEE HIM NOW?

WAS HE IS DIFFERENT PERSON PERHAPS WHEN YOU FIRST CAME TO KNOW HIM?

WELL, HE WAS A DIFFERENT PERSON.

BUT HE CERTAINLY WAS VERY ADVERSARIAL.

WE HAD AN INCREDIBLE RELATIONSHIP.

WE WERE VO CLOSE.

HE WAS ALMOST LIKE A BIG BROTHER IN A SENSE TO ME.

AND WE LEARNED FROM EACH OTHER BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, I HAD MY SPECIALTY, HE HAD HIS.

AND IN TIME I LEFT THE TRUMP TOWER AND I CAME BACK AND WORKED AGAIN AND WORKED ON DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS PRIMARILY, NOT SO MUCH CONSTRUCTION, AND I DID SEE A CHANGE IN HIM.

AND THE CHANGE HAD TO DO, I THINK, WITH THE FACT THAT HE BECAME SOMEWHAT FAMOUS.

YOU KNOW, WE USED TO WALK TO MEETINGS IN THE CITY.

NOW HE HAS A BODYGUARD WHEREVER HE GOES AND HE DRIVERS EVERYWHERE.

I DON'T MEAN NOW.

I MEAN AT THE TIME THAT I WENT BACK.

SO I SAW THOSE DIFFERENCES.

I ALSO SAW A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WORKING FOR HIM THAT WERE NOT -- THEY WERE, YOU KNOW, PROBABLY HIGH QUALITY, BUT THEY WERE VERY MUCH, I DON'T WANT TO SAY THE WORD 'YES' MEN, WHICH WAS UNUSUAL FOR HIM.

HE USED TO HAVE PEOPLE THAT STOOD UP TO HIM MORE AND MORE, AND I'M SEEING THE NEW PEOPLE WERE NOT LIKE THAT.

WELL, IT'S INTERESTING THAT YOU USED THE PHRASE I DON'T WANT TO SAY YES MEN, AND THAT SEEMS TO BE A RHETORICAL RHETORIC WE SEE FROM THE PRESIDENT FROM TIME TO TIME WHERE HE'LL SAY, YOU KNOW, I'M NOT GOING TO SAY 'X,' BUT X, Y, AND Z SOMEONE ELSE MIGHT SAY.

I ASK BECAUSE WE HAVE SEEN A RECENT ARTICLE FROM GEORGE CONWAY, WHO OF COURSE IS THE HUSBAND OF KELLYANNE CONWAY, AND HE FLAT OUT SAID THAT THE PRESIDENT IS IN MENTAL DECLINE.

I'M WONDERING IF YOU HAVE SEEN ANY SORT OF CHANGE THAT MIGHT INDICATE SOMETHING LIKE THAT OR IF -- WHAT ARE THE CHANGES THAT YOU HAVE SEEN SINCE THE LAST TIME YOU INTERACTED WITH HIM PERSONALLY VERSUS THE PRESIDENT WHO WE NOW SEE ON TELEVISION.

WELL, FOR ONE THING, I DON'T KNOW KSH I AM NO PSYCHIATRIST, BUT NEITHER IS GEORGE.

I DON'T KNOW THAT HE IS IN MENTAL DECLINE.

PEOPLE SAY IT DOESN'T TAKE A PSYCHIATRIST TO KNOW THAT THIS GUY IS A NARSIST, WHATEVER IT IS.

HE WAS LIKE THAT YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS THERE, AND HE WAS VOLATILE AND HE WAS NASTY AND UNFAIR.

I MEAN, BUT, YOU KNOW, NOW THOSE THINGS HAVE TAKEN HIM OVER.

THE BIGGEST CHANGE TO MY MIND THAT I COULD SEE, AND I'M SORT OF INTERPRETING THIS A LITTLE BIT, IS THE FACT THAT HE DOESN'T LISTEN TO ANYONE.

AND HE DID YEARS AGO.

HE LISTENED TO PEOPLE.

HE HAD ADVISORS.

HE DID WHAT THEY TOLD HIM.

NOW IT'S HIM TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO DO AND THEN JUMPING AND HOW HIGH.

THAT'S THE WAY I SEE IT.

SO HOW DO YOU SEE PERHAPS -- I MEAN, DEPENDING, OF COURSE, WHAT THE HOUSE CHOOSES TO DO WITH THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, BUT HOW DO YOU SEE THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY GOING FORWARD, OR PERHAPS HOW DO YOU SEE THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION GOING FORWARD POST-PRESIDENCY?

WELL, YOU KNOW, PART OF IT WOULD DEPEND ON HOW HE LEFT THE PRESIDENCY, IF HE WAS -- IF HE QUIT, IF HE WAS IMPEACHED AND CONVICTED, OR IF HE JUST LOST IN THE NEXT ELECTION.

THOSE ARE THREE DIFFERENT THINGS.

THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION I DON'T THINK EVER STOPS.

BUT IT'S QUESTIONABLE AS TO WHAT EXACTLY THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION IS AND WHETHER OR NOT IT'S NEARLY AS SUCCESSFUL AS DONALD SAYS IT IS.

BUT I SEE THAT GOING FORWARD AND I SEE, YOU KNOW, BARRING HIM HAVING A HORRIBLE STAND THAT WOULD TOTALLY MAR HIM, I THINK HE CONTINUES TO BUILD IN OTHER COUNTRIES.

YOU WILL SEE THOSE TRUMP TOWERS GO UP IN MOSCOW.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE WHO SAYS, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE JUST A DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVE, IF YOU WILL.

YOU WERE A HILARY SUPPORTER.

YOU ARE AGAINST THE PRESIDENT AND SO, OF COURSE, EVERYTHING YOU ARE GOING TO SAY SHOULD BE QUESTIONED AND VIEWED WITH A LEVEL OF SUSPICION?

WELL, WHAT CAN I SAY?

PEOPLE HAVE -- ANYONE THAT'S WATCHED ME, SEEN ME, READ MY BOOK, KNOWS THAT I AM 100% CONSISTENT.

I HAVE NOT VEERED OFF MY MESSAGE SINCE WHEN I WAS OPPOSED TO HIS PRESIDENCY.

I HAVE GOTTEN A LITTLE HARDER ON HIM.

I WAS VERY SOFT ON HIM.

THE MORE I THINK ABOUT HIP AND THE MORE I SEE WHAT HE IS DOING, I AM A LITTLE BIT NOT SOFT LIKE I MIGHT HAVE BEEN IN THE BEGINNING.

THERE HAS BEEN SOME ALREADY TALK THAT PERHAPS EVEN IF AN IMPEACHMENT DOES HAPPEN, PRESIDENT TRUMP WILL NOT LEAVE THE WHITE HOUSE, THAT HE WILL FIGHT, THAT HE LITERALLY WILL HAVE TO BE REMOVED.

DO YOU SEE THAT AS A FAIR ASSESSMENT, OR IS THAT JUST GOING TOO FAR?

YOU KNOW, I HEARD THAT AND I LAUGHED.

I DON'T SEE IT AS A FAIR ASSESSMENT.

WHAT IS HE GOING TO DO?

SIT IN THE CHAIR AND HAVE SOMEBODY PICK HIM UP?

I DON'T SEE THAT.

FIGURATIVELY, HE WILL BE YELLING AND SCREAMING, ESPECIALLY IF THIS GOES AWAY AND HE GETS DE-SEATED.

BUT HE WILL HAVE TO LEAVE.

HE WILL NOT CAUSE A MAJOR EVENT LIKE THAT, A COUP, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT.

THIS IS ALL BRAVADO.

THIS IS COMING OUT OF HIS MOUTH AND IT'S THE FIRST THING THAT COMES INTO HIS HEAD AND HE AMPLIFIES IT AND MAKES IT STRONGER AND STRONGER AND STRONGER.

BUT, NO, IS HE GOING TO REFUSE TO GIVE UP THE PRESIDENCY IF HE LOSES?

I DON'T THINK SO.

OKAY.

AND THEN OF COURSE THE PRESIDENT'S TWITTER FEED, WHICH WE HAVE COME TO RELY ON AS HIS ACTUAL MOUTHPIECE, DO YOU SEE THE TWEETS STOPPING?

TO YOU SEE THEM CONTINUING?

DO YOU SEE THEM RAMPING UP AND PERHAPS THEIR RHETORIC IN NATURE?

I THINK THAT, WELL, MOSTLY WHAT HE DOES IS RHETORIC.

BUT I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT'S HIS WAY OF COMMUNICATING.

THAT'S HIS WAY OF COMING IN HERE AND COMING OUT THERE WITHOUT ANYBODY SAYING, WELL, DONALD MAYBE THAT'S RASH.

THIS WHOLE TURKEY THING.

THERE WAS NO INFORMATION.

NO ADVICE ON ANY OF THAT.

AND I THINK IT CONTINUING, RIGHT?

RIGHT TO THE VERY END, WHATEVER HE IS DOING, YOU KNOW, AT THAT MOMENT, HE WILL BE TWEETING ABOUT IT IN MY MIND.

OF COURSE.

FINAL QUESTION.

IF THERE WAS A PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE THE PRESIDENT RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

FIRST OF ALL, I WOULD TELL HIM TO SHUT UP.

I WOULD ALSO TELL THEM TO USE GIULIANI.

I THINK HE IS NOT DOING HIM ANY GOOD.

I DO THINK THE PRESIDENT SHOULD PROBABLY RESIGN.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, LISTEN, BARBARA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR GIVING US YOUR UNIQUE INSIDER PERSPECTIVE INTO PRESIDENT TRUMP, THE MAN WHO WE AS NEW YORKERS THOUGHT WE KNEW, BUT THE COUNTRY IS GETTING TO KNOW AS PRESIDENT.

SO THANK YOU SO MUCH.

MY PLEASURE.

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