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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
WH: Trump Believes Millions Voted Illegally, Offers No Proof; Source: Pres. Trump to Act on Visa Restrictions from Middle East. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired January 24, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: -- watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room. Erin Burnett OutFront starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT HOST: OutFront next. The White House Press Secretary battles with reporters over President Trump's false claims that millions voted illegally. It's not true. So, why does Trump keep pushing it? Plus, fireworks on Capitol Hill, democrats trying to embarrass the Trump cabinet nominee pick during his confirmation hearing, you'll see that awkward moment. And Trump tells the CEOs of Detroit's big three that he's bringing back auto jobs bigly, or did he say big league?
Finally the answer to this question. Let's go OutFront. Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, we being with breaking news. A stunning moment in the White House briefing room. President Trump's Press Secretary Sean Spicer doubling down on Trump's insistence that millions voted illegally in the election. Reporters pressed Spicer demanding proof for what is truly an extraordinary charge because it's a charge that questions the very foundation of American democracy. It is a charge that is not grounded in fact. When our Jeff Zeleny asked Spicer if he believed there was massive voter fraud, here's what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: My job is not -- look -- I -- this --
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: How can he be comfortable with this win if he --
SPICER: He's very comfortable with his win.
ZELENY: -- believes there was three million votes. Maybe he didn't win it.
SPICER: No, he's very comfortable with his win. It's an electoral- based system. He got 306 electoral votes, 33 of 50 states voted for him. I think, look, Jeff, I've asked and answered this question twice. He believes what he believes, based on the information he's been provided. Yes, ma'am.
ZELENY: What does that mean for a democracy, though, Sean? (CROSSTALK)
ZELENY: If he does believe that, what does that mean for democracy?
SPICER: It means that -- yes. I have answered your question.
ZELENY: Have you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The president pushed the conspiracy theory that there was widespread voter fraud repeatedly during the campaign. He made the claim even after winning the election, most recently last night. That's when he met with congressional leaders at the White House and again made the claim of millions of illegal votes and after Spicer's briefing today it begs the question whether anyone in the White House can say no to President Trump, can say no, we shouldn't do this, that's not true. Jim Acosta is OutFront tonight at the White House. And Jim, Sean Spicer standing by the president's claim on this.
JIM SCIUTTO, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He really is, Erin. President Trump has whipped up another firestorm once again repeating that false claim as you said that millions of people voted illegally in the election. And what is more shocking is what you just saw there with Jeff Zeleny, the White House is not knocking down this falsehood only saying it's what the president believes.
It's a lie that won't die, at a reception with congressional leaders at the White House, President Trump once again repeated his false claims that millions of people cast fraudulent ballots robbing him of a popular vote victory in the November election. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed this is what the president believes.
SPICER: The president does believe that. He has stated that before. I think he stated his concerns, voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign. And he continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have presented to him.
SCIUTTO: Reporters pressed Spicer to offer proof.
CECILIA VEGA, ABC NEW REPORTER: What evidence do you have?
SPICER: As I said I think the president has believed that for a while based on studies and information he has.
SCIUTTO: Word of the president's mention of this falsehood spread like wildfire on Capitol Hill where it was rejected by both democrats and republicans.
REP. KEITH ELLISON, (D) MINNESOTA: I think we're going to see more of this. I think we've just got to be very clear that we're going to call -- we're going to correct the record and tell the truth the American people. There is no record of millions of people who are not authorized to vote.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I wasn't there. But if the President of the United States is claiming that three to five -- three to three and a half million people voted illegally, that shakes confidence in our democracy. He needs to disclose why he believes that.
SCIUTTO: To back up the president's claim, Trump aides have repeatedly pointed to this 2012 study from the Pew Charitable Trust. Finds nearly three million people have registrations in more than one state. And almost two million are listed as dead. But the study's authors have made it clear they did not actually find examples of voter fraud. Trump has made the claim before tweeting after the election that in addition to winning the electoral college in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions who voted illegally.
It's yet another controversy overshadowing the early days of the new administration, a time when the White House Senior Staff would rather focus on the president's executive action, resurrecting the keystone pipeline.
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: We will build our own pipeline. We will build our own pipes. That's what it has to do with. Like we used to in the old days.
SCIUTTO: The White House insist the president is secure in his win.
SPICER: He's very comfortable with his win.
SCIUTTO: Now, it's worth recalling shortly after the election Mr. Trump's own lawyers argued against the recount in Michigan saying, "All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake." So, Erin, if you believe the president's own legal team after the election, he lost the popular vote because more people voted for Hillary Clinton than for him. Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jim Acosta. OutFront now, Drew Griffin, our senior investigative correspondent, Gloria Borger, our chief political analyst, Mark Preston, Nia-Malika Henderson also with me. Let me start with you, Drew, because you've looked into this, the president is saying three, three and a half million illegal votes. Of course, if true, this will the biggest scam in American political history. You have investigated the claim, you have looked at the studies that the president is apparently looking at. What did you find?
DREW GRIFFIN, SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: During the campaign, when then President Trump was making these claims, Erin, we specifically begged the campaign to give us the proof behind all this. They sent us a list of five or six different things, supposedly that Mr. Trump based this decision on or his conclusion on. We went through step by step calling the authors of the studies, calling the secretaries of state that were involved in some of these stories, calling the Philadelphia City Commissioner, a republican, I might add, concerning the voter fraud issues.
All of them said there was just no way any of this made any sense. They had very, very, very tiny amounts of potential voter fraud cases going on in the State of Colorado, a total of six, six people involved. So it doesn't make any sense. And when you hear these things coming out again, I mean, it's not just that there's no proof of what he is saying is true. There is proof that what he is saying is not true. I think that's why it's so troubling for Sean Spicer to answer these questions.
BURNETT: I mean -- and -- or not answer them I guess is what you're saying. I mean, Nia, republicans stood up against Trump today. We just heard Drew saying, you know, he called these secretaries of state, people involved in Philadelphia, republican, they're saying there's no evidence of this at all. You heard Lindsey Graham right there in Jim Acosta's report. Here is speaker Ryan and Mike Huckabee today talking about Trump's claim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: I have seen no evidence to that effect and I made that very clear.
MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have no evidence whatsoever and I don't know that anyone does.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Clearly, Nia, he does not care. The president does not care about what his own party says because they're not jumping on board of this at all.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right. And it's in some ways a replay of the campaign where Donald Trump is on one side and he has what he might call the party elite on another side. So I think in that way, it doesn't really matter to Donald Trump what those folks say. I think, you know, Donald Trump sees himself as the leader of a movement, and those are the people we saw him communicate to in the very emotional way on inauguration day.
And I think he is doing the same thing here. He's talking to a very specific audience, an audience in many ways that's been primed to believe conspiracy theories because in some ways Donald Trump has been a conspiracy theorist, he started with the birtherism. In this I think republican-based audience has been primed to believe things about voter fraud for years and years and years. So in that way, I think it works for him politically and it really binds his audience together to have him embattled, right? Not only embattled with the press but embattled in going against those republicans as well.
BURNETT: And Mark, I guess to those people it doesn't matter. You have someone like Drew Griffin here who went, found out what studies they were looking at, pulled every one, talked to every single person involved, and reached the clear conclusion that this is completely and utterly untrue. Trump doesn't care.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Doesn't care. And there are so many problems with this right now, right? There are problems with the fact that Donald Trump either is lying right now or he's delusional about what the outcome was or quite frankly maybe he's so insecure about being questioned about the popular vote. But the really big problem for me right now is if you are a foreign leader and you're looking to have a discussion with Donald Trump about a very big issue, a major issue, if you are a congressional republican, a congressional democrat and you see Donald Trump staking your claim on an issue that we know is a, ridiculous and b, false, can you've got to wonder, can I trust this man when I have a conversation on legislation, on a trade pact, on sending troops into another country. I think this is a much bigger issue than what Donald Trump is saying about the -- about the voter fraud here in the U.S. which we all know is false.
BURNETT: And, Drew, there was something you wanted to say there.
GRIFFIN: Just to piggyback on that, Sean Spicer said in that -- in that exchange with Jeff Zeleny that Mr. Trump's conclusion was based on information he was provided. There's a much deeper story here. Who's providing Mr. Trump with this kind of analysis that can't see through what we saw through with just a couple days worth of phone calls? And I think that could speak to much bigger issues and much bigger decisions yet to be made in this Trump organization, in Trump presidency.
BURNETT: And Gloria, no -- yes. And Gloria, nobody says no to Trump. Sean Spicer knows this is completely untrue. He obviously didn't stand there in the Oval Office and say I am not going to go out and defend this. You should not be doing this. He didn't do that the other day either. I'm not just picking on Sean. Nobody in the room is doing it.
GLORIA BORGER: No. And, you know, Erin, he was very careful today to say the president believes. And Jeff Zeleny tried to pin him down and say do you believe it and Sean ducked that part of the question and kept saying, the president believes. I mean, the question that I have is your question. Who in the White House is going to say to the president you can't do this? Because not only are you undermining yourself, you're undermining democracy, you're undermining your own victory, you're undermining the message of the first important weeks of your presidency.
And you are also undermining your republican majority in the congress. Because if this election was a fake and if there was some great organized crime here to get three million people to the polls that we have not detected who should not have voted, then everything crumbles. Everything crumbles. And somebody has to say that to the President of the United States that just because of your own obsession with Hillary Clinton's victory in the popular vote, because she did win the popular vote, you cannot continue with this because you are ultimately undermining yourself.
And maybe then he will -- he will listen. But he's created a mass of problems for himself and republicans and you heard Lindsey Graham and others are saying, don't do this to us. We have a lot of important work to do, and by the way, that's what the people want to hear about.
BURNETT: And it is. And of course I don't know what would be more frightening, that no one is willing to say those things to him or the fact that they are or someone is and he's still choosing to go down this path, both equally disturbing in very different ways. Thank you all very much.
And next, a confirmation hearing today going off script and off the rails.
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY, UNITED STATES SENATOR FOR OREGON: Which crowd is larger, the 2009 crowd or the 2017 crowd?
TRUMP: Senator, if you allow me to give the disclaimer that I'm not sure how this ties to OMB.
BURNETT: Plus, Trump's obsession with size, crowd size, ratings, poll numbers inside Trump's head. Tonight his biographer is my guest. And Jeanne Moos settles the question that so many have been asking of Donald Trump, what did he just say?
RAYMOND ARROYO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Are you saying bigly or big league?
BURNETT: Breaking news, moments ago, the senate overwhelmingly approving President Trump's pick for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. 96-4 in favor of Nikki Haley. And Trump's picks for HUD, Ben Carson, transportation and commerce. Elaine Chao and Wilbur Ross also making their way out of committee, these will go to the floor and they're going to pass. There were those some serious fireworks on Capitol Hill today.
Trump's picks for health and human services, which will of course oversee Obamacare and budget director both had a very hot day. Manu Raju is OutFront.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Congressman Tom Price under fire from senate democrats in a contentious hearing over his nomination to lead the health and human services department. Democrats pushed Price to explain what he would do to replace Obamacare.
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, UNITED STATES SENATOR FOR MISSOURI: D-Mo What we have after the repeal is TrumpCare.
RAJU: Price often deflecting questions, including whether he was working directly with Trump on a plan to replace obamacare.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D) FINANCE COMMITTEE: President Trump said he's working with you on a replacement plan for the ACA, which is nearly finished and will be revealed after your confirmation. Is that true?
TOM PRICE, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: It's true that he said that, yes.
RAJU: And refused to say how he would implement a Trump executive order, giving HHH Secretary the power to weaken Obamacare.
SEN. RON WYDEN, (D) FINANCE COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: Yes or no, under the executive order will you commit that no one will be worse off?
PRICE: What I commit to, Senator, is work with you and every single member of congress to make certain that we have the highest quality of healthcare and that every single American has access to affordable coverage.
RAJU: Price has faced growing questions about his investments in healthcare companies while pursuing legislation affecting those firms. Including after a CNN report last week showing the Georgia Congressman investing in a medical device maker shortly before introducing a bill to aid the company.
WYDEN: Set aside the legal issues. It is hard to see this as anything but a conflict of interest and an abuse of position.
RAJU: Republicans quickly left to Price's defense saying he fully complied with the law.
SEN. RICHARD BURR. (R) FINANCE COMMITTEE: Does it burn you they want to hold you to a different standard now that you're a nominee than they are as a member?
PRICE: Well, we know what's going on here.
BURR: Well, we do.
PRICE: I mean that --
BURR: We do.
RAJU: Price not the only Trump nominee in the hot seat. Congressman Mick Mulvaney, Trump's choice as budget director, acknowledging he failed to pay taxes on a babysitter for his triplets.
REP. MICK MULVANEY, (R) BUDGET DIRECTOR NOMINEE: It's a mistake that's been made, I now know about it, how do we fix it?
RAJU: And facing sharp criticism from Senator John McCain for supporting cuts in defense spending. And backing withdrawal all troops from Afghanistan.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: Well, the answer is withdrawal all troops from Afghanistan?
MULVANEY: I was doing the best --
MCCAIN: Congressman, that is crazy. Don't you know where 9/11 came from?
RAJU: And Erin, I talked to John McCain after that hearing and I asked him, are you going to support Mick Mulvaney? And he said he hasn't decided yet. He also said he hasn't laid any of concerns at this point. But, Erin, I am told by a top republican, Ron Johnson, who chairs one of the key committees that will oversee Mr. Mulvaney's nomination that if it does stall in the committee, republican leaders are prepared to move it directly to the floor and avoid that opposition because they're dead set on getting Donald Trump as budget director. Erin?
BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you very much. And OutFront now, the democratic senator from Massachusetts, Ed Markey whose member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as well as Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation. And Senator, you know, you just saw some of the heated exchanges there with Tom Price and Mick Mulvaney. Did either do anything to win you over?
SEN. ED MARKEY, (D) FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Well, no. I mean, they have big questions they have to answer. It goes right to the heart amongst other things of the healthcare system in our country. Mulvaney actually supports raising the eligibility age for Medicare to age 67. He supports raising the eligibility age for Social Security to 70. He actually doesn't support raising the debt limit, which would ill create an incredible fiscal crisis in our country, calling into question the credibility of the United States of America, and he doesn't believe in climate science, which also is something he's responsible for funding. Meanwhile, Representative Price has no answer for what will happen to people who are now covered by Obamacare. Will TrumpCare cover them? He still has no answer for it.
BURNETT: He didn't answer it. Yes.
MARKEY: And he wants to privatize Medicare and he wants to basically gut Medicaid as we know it today, which provides for tens of millions of Americans the coverage they need, including 1.6 billion American who is get coverage for substance abuse treatment.
BURNETT: So are you -- or have you decided, then, you're a no vote on both?
MARKEY: I am a no vote on both of them. They are not the appropriate people to be running these two critical agencies in the United States.
BURNETT: So, I want to play one specific exchange from Mick Mulvaney's hearing today. One of your colleagues, Senator Mark Lee, forced him to admit that President Obama had a larger inauguration crowd than President Trump. This actually happened today in the hearing. Let me play the exchange for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERKLEY: I have behind me two pictures that were taken at about the same time of day in 2009 and 2017. Which crowd is larger, the 2009 crowd or the 2017 crowd?
TRUMP: Senator, if you allow me to give the disclaimer I'm not sure how this ties to OMB, I'll be happy to answer your question. Which is from that picture it does appear the crowd on the left-hand side is bigger than the crowd on the right-hand side.
MERKLEY: The reason I'm raising this is because budget often contain buried deceptions. You and I talked in my office about the magic asterisks. This is an example of where the president's team on something very simple and straightforward wants to embrace a fantasy rather than a reality. BURNETT: Senator, do you think that was an appropriate question?
MARKEY: Honestly, it just goes to President Trump's credibility on all issues, including what he's going to do on healthcare. President Trump sees people on inauguration day and on election day that weren't there. And that's I think the concern that ordinary people have. Will they be seen by the president when he puts together a new healthcare plan? Will they be seen when they are concerned about the rising tides that are hitting the shores where they live? And so the whole issue here of the president's credibility goes to the quality of people who he is nominating for these posts. And there was a whole series of --
BURNETT: I understand -- all right. I understand. I just want to -- I just want to -- I understand your point. But we all know this is something that matters to the president, this particular issue of crowd size, OK? Whatever you may think about it, it matters to him. And I guess the question is, was Senator Merkley just trying to dig at the president with this setup instead of focusing in on the real issue? You know, was it a bit of a grandstand?
MARKEY: Well, Yes and no. I asked Rex Tillerson if he agreed with the president that it would be OK if we had a nuclear arms race with Russia and he said no, he did not. I asked Scott Pruitt if he agreed with Donald Trump that in fact climate change was a Chinese hoax. He said no, he did not.
BURNETT: But those are very relevant to the jobs they're going to host, right? The size of the crowd versus OMB is what seems to be --
MARKEY: No. I understand what you're saying. But from my perspective, it goes to the whole question of whether or not Donald Trump is taking this entire job as president seriously including, you know, not giving out these specific numbers about whether or not there are going to be people who are going to lose their coverage under Obamacare. And it fits into a pattern where there is serial hyperbole, exaggeration, nonfactual representations made by the President of the United States that then unfortunately go to his cabinet nominees to have to deal with to see whether or not they are actually going to have the integrity to separate themselves from the misrepresentations that are made by the president.
BURNETT: Earlier today, he did two very significant things. He delivered on two campaign promises, and one of them, executive actions to advance approval of keystone -- they keystone pipeline, right? Obviously that was a crucial one. The Obama administration opposed it, you opposed it. It is now by executive order going to move ahead. That's what he's trying to do. What are you going to do about that?
MARKEY: Well, we are going to try to find a legislative way to continue to block it as democrats, what his decision today does is it puts in motion a process by which the dirtiest oil in the world coming from Canada goes through a pipeline like a straw through the United States down to the gulf of Mexico where it's going to be put on ships and exported around the world even though we still import 3.5 million barrels of oil from OPEC a daily basis from Iraq, from Saudi Arabia. BURNETT: Of course we don't need to. We produce enough on our own now, but --
MARKEY: No, we don't. We import 3.5 million barrels a day from OPEC even as we export young American men and women in uniform to go over and protect those tanker ships from coming in from the Middle East. We should not be exporting this oil. If he's going to build a pipeline -- he can't say build it -- build it in America and at the same time accept a big oil agenda which says we're going to export it out of America. He cannot have it in both ways. If he wants to say I'm going to have energy independence in America, which he's saying, this oil should not be exported. That's the agenda of his big oil all-star team that he has put together in his cabinet.
BURNETT: All right. Senator Markey, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight. Then next, Trump's crowd size fixation. What does it reveal about his mind? I'll ask Trump's biographer.
And meet a man paying more for Obamacare than his mortgage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number one, it's not affordable and number two it's not care.
BURNETT: What if Trump can't fix it?
[19:30:17] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. The White House repeating President Trump's debunked claims that 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally on election day. The idea of voter fraud during the 2016 election isn't the only issue the president is obsessed with, though.
Today, President Trump tweeting this photo showing the size of the crowd for his swearing-in. The caption reads, "A photo delivered yesterday that will be displayed in the upper lower press hall. Thank you."
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These rooms were not designed for this kind of a crowd.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the campaign trail, it was a constant theme.
TRUMP: We have 7,000 people outside trying to get in.
FOREMAN: Donald Trump portraying himself as the leader of unprecedented grassroots wave.
TRUMP: We have massive crowds. There's something's happening.
FOREMAN: But now, just days after his inauguration, his White House team is acting like they're under siege.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There's this constant attempt to undermine his credibility and the movement that he represents.
FOREMAN: Repeatedly insisting he won not only the electoral vote but the legitimate popular vote as well, even though election results show that is patently false.
TRUMP: We had -- it looked -- honestly, it looked like a million and a half people.
FOREMAN: Arguing his inaugural audience was bigger than any other, despite many analysts and photo showing a totally different story.
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The point is not the crowd size. The point is that the attacks and the attempt to delegitimize this president in one day. And we're not going to sit around and take it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald --
FOREMAN: Close watchers of Trump suggest he's always been obsessed about the viewership for his reality TV show, the value of his name, even his followers on Twitter, the attacks Hillary Clinton support on the campaign as paltry.
TRUMP: She has crowds so much smaller than ours.
FOREMAN: Yet now congressional Democrats have given him new reason to bristle in a political sense.
REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president.
FOREMAN: Dozens of them stayed away from his inauguration, but the new president has not backed down from his critics or any challenges to his version of the truth.
TRUMP: I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth.
FOREMAN: And on it goes. Even in his first meeting with some Congress members.
REP. STENY HOYER (D), MARYLAND: Well, he didn't change his point of view on the crowd size. It was --
BURNETT: He brought it up?
HOYER: -- to his perspective, it was a very large crowd.
FOREMAN: So, why do President Trump and his team keep insisting that they have such huge followings and such unprecedented numbers? Well, remember, he came to town on a populist wave and that may have something to do with it because in this town, as long as other lawmakers believe he has a lot of people out there behind him, a lot of people, they may be a little more hesitant to challenge him -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Tom, thank you very much.
OUTFRONT now, J.D. Vance, author of "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family and Culture and Crisis." And Michael D'Antonio, a Donald Trump biographer, author of "The Truth About Trump."
Michael, I've known Donald Trump for over a decade. And over that time, one of his favorite topics was discussing the ratings of a TV show he appeared on. Every single conversation included that. At some point, it included it.
You also had spent a lot of time with Trump and talking to him about what he cares about. This obsession on crowd sizes, vote totals, this is the core of who he is, isn't it?
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, TRUMP BIOGRAPHER: Well, it is. And, you know, he used to pressure his PR man for "The Apprentice" to go out and push the media to report that it was number one. And at the time it was number 70, number 72. So, it caused a problem for the folks who work for him.
I also think, Erin, that we have to be aware of when he fights with the most dishonest people in the world, which include me and you, he's not fighting with anybody else. So, it's convenient to him to have this battle, this running battle as he says, even if it's invented, with the media.
BURNETT: So, J.D., you know, the reason he does this, regardless of whether the numbers he's saying are true or not, is because it works for him. You know, you look back at "The Apprentice," the fact that it was number 73 and he's saying it was number one, well, the public perception became it was the top-rated show, right?
It worked for them then. It is working for him now with his supporters, isn't it?
J.D. VANCE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it may have worked as a TV show personality. I don't necessarily think it works for him politically with his core supporters right now.
VANCE: One of the things I hear a lot is that they like that Trump hits back. They like that Trump fights back against the media, but the same people who say that actually don't understand why there's been this obsession over crowd sizes. So, I don't think it's one or the other.
[19:35:00] You can like Trump's personality but also think he should his pick his battles wisely. BURNETT: So, you know, whether it's crowd sizes or who's showing up
to vote on election day, you're saying, you know, they like that he fights back but maybe not on those things?
VANCE: Yes, I was talking to a friend of mine who supported Donald Trump, and one of the things she said is just who cares? Why is the media talking so much about crowd sizes? Why is the president talking so much about crowd sizes?
But one really important thing that came up in our conversation is that she wasn't totally sure that she could trust the media. So, she referenced a media report that later turned out to be false, and she really was searching for a credible source of information. So, I think it speaks to something important at this moment, which is that the media has to really tread lightly and try very hard to reinforce its own credibility.
BURNETT: So let's talk about this, Michael. When Trump was at the CIA this weekend, he spoke about how many times he's been on "TIME" magazine, right? This to me was a perfect example of how much he cares about these sorts of things. Here's how he said it at the CIA.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Saw a reporter for "TIME" magazine and I had been on their cover like 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of "TIME" magazine. Like if Tom Brady's on the cover, it's one time because he won the Super Bowl or something, right? I've been on for 15 times this year. I don't think that's a record, Mike, that can ever be broken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, Michael, let me put this out there for the fact ps. This is a ridiculous thing to have to talk about. And as the media, we get in the tough spot here because he brings that up, we fact check it and then somehow we're also a part of this. But according to "TIME", Trump has been on the cover 11 times, Clinton has been 19 times just since 2013. Trump's go back all the way to 1989, he's 11. Richard Nixon has the record, actually 55 times and I don't think Trump wants to break that for obvious reasons.
Why does he do this, Michael? Why does he do this? You know when he said that, but he had absolutely no idea if it was true.
D'ANTONIO: Well, it really matters to him to be the most something, to have the best, the other. You know, it's not enough for him to have been on the cover a certain number of times. He wants to beat everyone. And this is why the vote count really bothers him.
Everyone accepts that he's president of the United States. Really the only one who's talking about his credibility or his legitimacy is now Trump himself. You know, everyone's trying to move on and what's strange is that he keeps reviving these issues.
And I do hear from a lot of Trump supporters who are asking me, doesn't this distract from his agenda? And I think it does. At some point, he should just be the president and stop fighting over numbers that he can't validate.
BURNETT: J.D., though, from supporters you're talking to, is this, as Trump declares that, he has a war with the media, we see it as we're doing our job to speak truth to power and to check the president on his facts. But he's from portraying it a bit differently.
Is that playing to his favor right now?
VANCE: Well, I think it plays to his favor in some cases, right? I mean, he's picking a fight folks feel legitimate, when they feel that the media has been unfair or maybe some other political figure has been unfair to the president, that will help him. But, you know, this is really an important point to note that a lot of people just don't care about this crowd source stuff, crowd size stuff.
So, I think it's ultimately viewed as abstraction and because of that, it will probably hurt him a bit.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate your time.
And next, breaking news on what Donald Trump plans to do through executive orders tomorrow. As I said today, the TPP, also the Keystone pipeline, a lot tomorrow. The clock is ticking.
Also, Trump about to change the world for 20 million Americans. Is there, though, a magic cure for what tonight is still called Obamacare?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come up with a plan for your constituents that you would sign up for yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:42:57] BURNETT: Tonight, a major change that's about to affect 20 million Americans and yet the president's choice for secretary of health and human services today did not offer a replacement for Obamacare. It's an issue dividing the Republican Party now.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
AARON COLEMAN, ARIZONA RESIDENT: Number one, it's not affordable, and number two, it's not care.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A failure. That's what Obamacare in Arizona means to Aaron Coleman and his family.
COLEMAN: It feels like this is a shakedown. These are the costs that we have to pay.
LAH: Coleman, a self-employed lawyer, initially paid $300 a month. The next year, the premium tripled. Now, it's about $1,800 a month, more than his house payment. And the deductible tripled to $7,000.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Want me to cut it?
LAH: Coleman says their family doctor no longer in network.
COLEMAN: It keeps going at this rate, I'm not sure providing health insurance for my family is a viable option.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's OK. I'll help you.
LAH: Across town, Vanesa Ramirez calls her Obamacare story a success.
(on camera): So, this is you.
VANESA RAMIREZ, ARIZONA RESIDENT: Yes. That was me.
LAH: How old were you?
LAH (voice-over): Despite her pre-existing condition as an ovarian cancer survivor, Ramirez, a married mother of two, still got Obamacare. Her lower income with tax subsidies means a monthly premium of just $125.
(on camera): What happens when the ACA is repealed?
RAMIREZ: It gets me emotional. It frustrates me.
LAH (voice-over): President Trump points to this state as a reason for immediate repeal.
TRUMP: In the great state of Arizona as an example, premiums are going up more than 116 percent.
LAH: That 116 percent increase, by the way, true.
GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R), ARIZONA: I think that Obamacare for Arizona has been a monumental failure.
LAH: Republican Governor Doug Ducey says Arizona once had some of the lowest premiums in the country. Under Obamacare, insurers struggled with new regulations and they also underpriced plans.
[19:45:04] The result? They flood the state and prices shot up.
But the law has also insured more than 400,000 low-income Arizonans. A repeal could evaporate more than $300 million in Medicaid expansion funds.
LAH (on camera): You have confidence that will be a sufficient replacement? DUCEY: Oh, I have confidence there will be a sufficient replacement.
We don't want to see any Arizonan have the rug pulled out from underneath them.
LAH (voice-over): On a day she celebrated her son's 6th birthday, it's hard to miss Vanesa Ramirez's sense of urgency.
RAMIREZ: It's a lot of "we're going to keep it, we're going to keep it," well, that's nice to say, but I want to see it be done.
LAH: Aaron Coleman, who's bracing for a massive blow to his budget, has a different message for Washington.
COLEMAN: Come up with a plan for your constituents that you would sign up for yourself.
LAH: And there is the big question mark. If you ask Arizona governor what he wants, he wants a plan with more flexibility, more competition, fewer regulations, something that's a little looser, something that Arizona can work with.
But he has just one vote in this matter. He says he is talking to the Trump administration, that the administration has been listening, Erin. But there are other states who are also going to have their input -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you, Kyung.
And OUTFRONT next, the breaking news: President Trump expected to announce executive orders tomorrow. It's sure to please his base. These are crucial ones. Everyone's been waiting to hear these new restrictions on refugees and visas from Middle Eastern countries.
And Trump bringing back a favorite expression from the campaign trail. What exactly is he saying here?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So, we're going to start winning again and we're going to win bigly. That's what's happened bigly. That will be proven out bigly. And we have to solve it bigly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:50:44] BURNETT: Breaking news, new details in right now. Donald Trump about to keep a major campaign promise and signed some executive orders tomorrow. These are very significant orders. We understand there to be kind of two broad categories, one, restricting refugees coming to the United States. And the second one, banning visas from seven minority countries until the DHS can vet, change the vetting process.
Elise Labott is OUTFRONT.
Elise, what more are you learning? I mean, we understand there are seven countries involved with this visa ban.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): That's right. And they include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, other countries that Donald Trump has said that were kind of terror-prone countries and basically, I think you could see this as an evolution of what started as what President Trump called on the campaign trail a Muslim ban. He said that perhaps for a time, that the U.S. should ban all Muslims from the country because the majority of terrorist attacks are coming from what he called the radical Islamic terrorism. Over the course of the campaign, as you know, that turned into a -- he calls now extreme vetting.
LABOTT: So, I think you could see this as part of the extreme vetting. That there will be a lot tighter restrictions on refugees coming from those countries and I think for the time being, he'll ban visas from those countries until what he says there can be a stricter vetting process, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. So, banning visas. And do you see it also as likely a refugee ban for now?
LABOTT: I think it's going to be -- I mean, listen, the whole refugee process works for the United Nations. I think what you're going to see it from much tougher regulations on refugees coming in.
And, listen, to be fair, refugees coming into the country from any country around the world are subject to some of the already strictest vetting from any type of visa vet, any person that comes to the United States. That could get even tougher. But already as it is, refugees from Syria, which is where this all generated during the campaign. It could take a Syrian refugee up to two years to make it to the United States.
LABOTT: So, I'm not sure how much tougher that could be. But that's basically what the plan is.
BURNETT: All right. Elise, thank you very much.
Mark Preston, our senior political analyst, is back with me, OUTFRONT.
I mean, Mark, these are incredibly significant moves. He said he would do these things. He's now doing them by executive order. Seven countries on this visa ban list. They are all, of course, Muslim countries and also this ban on refugees for now until the system -- they have a chance to go through the vetting.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Right. You know, this is something, Erin, that Donald Trump talked a lot about on the campaign trail. As Elise has said, he talked about a Muslim ban. He talked about extreme vetting of any refugees coming in.
But this is something that's going to play well with his base. And quite frankly, it's going to play well with a lot of people here in the United States that are afraid of terrorists coming into the country and doing something. I would like to say this is probably the most controversial thing that he's done today but he's overshadowed himself with his lies about the -- about voting.
BURNETT: But, Mark, the politics, though, of this are significant and I think we need to make this point. There are more Muslim countries in the Middle East who are not on this list than are on this list.
BURNETT: It is going to come down to politics as to which country got on and which country isn't, right?
BURNETT: I mean, you have countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, we understand are not on the list. Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, they're on the list.
PRESTON: No, but when you look at some of those countries you mentioned like Saudi Arabia, they are considered an ally of the United States and help keep a foothold in trying to keep the Middle East stable at this point.
So, again, Erin, this is going to be something that is going to be embraced. Look, if you don't like Donald Trump, you're not necessarily going to like his decision to move forward on this. But if you do like Donald Trump, you think he's following through on his promises.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.
And next, Jeanne Moos on one of President Trump's favorite words. Or is it two words?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I'm a judge, America is going to start winning and winning bigly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:57:23] BURNETT: If you read President Trump's lips, he is bringing jobs back big league, or is it bigly?
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: First, President Trump gallantly pulled out a chair for the CEO of General Motors and then he dropped the B-word.
TRUMP: It's happening. It's happening, bigly.
MOOS: Not once but twice.
TRUMP: We're bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. bigly.
MOOS: Inspiring "U.S. News & World Report" to report, "Trump pushes for bigly manufacturing revival."
But it was also the revival of bigly, a word often attributed to Trump during the campaign.
TRUMP: I'm going to cut taxes big league and you're going to raise taxes big league.
We have to solve it big league and strongly and that's what's happened.
MOOS: What did he say? What we need is an acoustic wave form and spectrographic analysis.
Actually, a linguist at the University of California, Berkeley, did those tests and determined that Trump was saying --
TRUMP: Big league. Big league.
MOOS: Big league. Not bigly. Though bigly is in the dictionary.
VOICE: Bigly? Bigly?
MOOS: An adverb meaning in a big manner.
TRUMP: We're going to win big league.
MOOS: Cue the mockery, "Bin bigly? Good grief."
"We will make American win bigly and grammar loses goodly." "Make America bigly again."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bigly wronger.
CHARACTER: Not funny. Bigly not funny.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America's going to start winning and winning bigly.
MOOS: But "bigly" began losing when an interviewer asked the Donald himself what he'd been saying.
TRUMP: I use big league.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Big league. You've settled it.
MOOS: But that didn't stop Merriam Webster from honoring bigly as the most looked-up word that was never actually used in 2016. Now, President Trump is not using it again.
TRUMP: It's happening bigly.
MOOS: "The good, the bad, and the bigly" even made it onto a t-shirt. We need to cut bigly down to size.
TRUM: Cut taxes big league.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you just say bigly?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.
MOOS: New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bigly.
BURNETT: That's neat. Actually an adverb.
All right. Tomorrow on OUTFRONT, our special series on the battle to build a southern border wall continues. This incredible reporting by Ed Lavandera. Tomorrow night, you're going to go right to the Arizona/Mexico border where Mexicans have been crossing into the U.S. illegally, determined citizens are standing guard to keep them out. Our special series continues tomorrow OUTFRONT.
Thanks for joining us. Don't forget, you can watch the show anytime, anywhere on CNN Go. I'll see you back here tomorrow.
"AC360" starts right now.