Return to Transcripts main page
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Talked About Voters Fraud In Senators Meeting; CNN Exclusive U.S. Investigators Corroborate Some Aspects Of The Russian Dossier; Trump Not Immediately Appealing Travel Ban Decision; Trump: New Executive Order On Travel Ban Possible; Official: Flynn Talked Sanctions With Russia Despite Denials; Conway On Allegations Of Ethics Violations; GOP Town Halls Erupt; Congressman Booed; Aired 7-8p ET
Aired February 10, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
February 10, 2017
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN GENERAL ASSIGNMENT CORRESPONDENT: Trump said, the only reason he lost New Hampshire, Wolf, is because thousands were bussed in from Massachusetts to give Hillary Clinton to win in that state.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Phil Mattingly reporting. Thanks very much. That's it for me. Erin Burnett OutFront starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OutFront next, breaking news, CNN has exclusive new information tonight about an investigation into Russia and the U.S. Presidential Election, new breaking details, moments away. And more breaking news this hour, we're learning that the president may sign a new executive order on that travel ban. Senator Bernie sanders is my guest, OutFront tonight. And Melania Trump's first state visit, moments away from kicking off a weekend at Mar-a- Lago, we're going to take you there live. Let's go OutFront.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. We begin with breaking news. OutFront on this Friday. We have learn new information about the ongoing investigation and allegations raised in a collection of memos, created by that former British Intelligence Agent for political opponents of then-candidate, Donald Trump. Jim Sciuto has been working on this story, breaking it since the very beginning when we learned that the president at that time, President-elect had been briefed on this summary memo. What have you learned tonight?
JIM SCIUTTO, CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, new details. For the first time, U.S. Investigators say that they have corroborated some of the communications detailed in that 35-page dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent. CNN as you said was first report last month that then President-elect Donald Trump and President and President Barack Obama were briefed on the existent of the memos prior to the inauguration. Until now though, U.S. Officials have said that none of the or allegations had been verified but we have learned multiple currents and former U.S. Law Enforcement and intelligence officials tell CNN that intelligence intercepts of foreign nationals confirm that some of the conversations described in the dossier, took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier. The corroboration based on intercepted communications has given U.S. intelligence and law enforcement, "greater confidence in the credibility of some aspects of the dossier as they continue to actively investigate its contents." These sources say we should be clear, the CNN has not confirmed the content of the calls or whether any of the content relates to then candidate Trump. And none of the newly learned information relates -- I should emphasize to the salacious allegations in the dossier. Reach for comment this afternoon, White House Spokesman Sean Spicer said, "We continue to be disgusted by CNN's fake news reporting." Spokesman for the FBI, the Department of Justice, the CIA and the office of director of National Intelligence all reached by CNN, they, Erin, had no comment.
BURNETT: So, Jim, you talk about this didn't relate to the salacious parts of the dossier, but they were incredibly serious allegations in here. Do you have any sense at this hour, what it is that U.S. Investigators have corroborated, that is true in this dossier?
SCIUTTO: Well, this is what we know. The dossier details about a dozen conversations between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals. One thing the U.S. has is a collection of foreign call intercepts, so they used that information to seek to verify that some of these alleged conversations described in the dossier took place. And U.S. Intelligence Officials emphasize the conversations they have now verified were solely between foreign nationals, including those tied to or inside the Russian government.
But some of the individuals involved in the intercepted communications were known to the U.S. Intelligence Community as being, "heavily involved in collecting information damaging to Hillary Clinton," and I should note this, Erin, helpful to Donald Trump.
BURNETT: Right. Which obviously is a crucial part of all this and whether there was any kind of collusion there. I mean, the sources I know that you've been talking to say, look, there's confirmation, these conversations happened, and I think it's crucial to emphasize your reporting right on the dates and times and places that they were alleged to have occurred. There's still though is a lot in those 35 pages, right? That they cannot verify, right?
SCIUTTO: Absolutely not and we want to emphasize that as well. One of the officials stressed the CNN that they have not corroborated and this is a quote, "the more salacious things" alleged in the dossier and I remind our viewers that CNN has reported any of those salacious allegations. However, when we first reported the story, U.S. Intelligence and Law Enforcement Officials said, they could not verify any parts of the memos, they are now saying they did indeed corroborate some of those communications.
I will say again that none of the officials we spoke to for this would comment or confirm that they have proof of any alleged conversations between or meetings between Russian officials and U.S. Citizens and that includes associates of then-candidate Trump. Officials who spoke to CNN for this story cautioned, they have not reached any final judgment on whether the Russian government has any compromising information about the president, President Trump and his staff, you remember this Erin as well, have repeatedly dismissed the entire dossier as "phony."
BURNETT: Right, right. And of course, they responded the specific allegations saying Michael Cohen for example, one of the lawyers for Trump saying he didn't travel when it -- alleged he traveled, they have responded to some of them specifically. But obviously, a very significant development tonight, that some of the elements in the dossier have been corroborated. Thank you so much, Jim Sciutto.
SCIUTTO: Thank you.
BURNETT: Very significant development there, we have more breaking news at this hour as well. President Trump just speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One about his controversial travel ban, struck down by an appellate court 24 hours ago. The president making clear just moments ago that his administration made right in entirely new executive order. Athena Jones was traveling with the president on that plane, live in Palm Beach, Florida where he is spending the weekend at Mar-a-Lago. Athena, you were there, he came and spoke to you, what did he say?
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Erin. That's right. Just a few minute into the flight after taking off from Andrews Air Force Base, the president and First Lady Melania Trump came to the back of the plane, came to the press cab and to chat with us for a few minutes. I asked him about the immigration ban and also about those new security measures he said would be coming, here's part of what he had to say.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll win that battle. The unfortunate part is that it will take statutorily, so it takes a little time. We'll win that battle. But we also have a lot of other options including just filing a brand-new order on Monday.
JONES: Are you planning to do that, is that your plan?
TRUMP: Very will be but I like to keep you, you know, I like to surprise you. We need speed for reasons of security, so it could very well be that we do that.
JONES: And so to be clear there, he was reiterating this idea that he believes that the government will ultimately win the battle, win the fight over this immigration ban, despite the Ninth Circuit's ruling, but he said that could take a while and so what he might instead do is file a brand-new order, he said. As soon as Monday or Tuesday. He was asking, is that the plan? And he said, I'd like to keep it a surprise, but we very well could do that.
We also asked him, OK, so what changes would you make to the order if you're going to re-file it or write a new one? And he said very little. And then he said, you know, honor of the court ruling, we might do this Monday or Tuesday, it was a little unclear. I also asked him, Erin, to expand on these new security measures he spoke about in the press conference earlier today and he didn't really expand beyond what he said at the press conference, talking about the need for extreme vetting, saying that there will be extreme vetting and that his government is going to make sure that people are coming into this country are doing so for the right reasons. So, a lot of topics covering a brief period of time during that Q and A with the president. Back to you, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Athena, thank you very much. We're going to have much more on what the president had to say on that claim in just a moment. I first want to get reaction to this breaking news with Noah Purcell, the Washington State Solicitor General who's been arguing the case for Washington in the oral argument and of course it was victorious last night with the Ninth Circuit Court. Noah, first the breaking news, right? The president is saying, possibly going to come up with a completely new order, not going to immediately appeal the ruling last night up to the supreme court. What's your reaction?
NOAH PURCELL, WASHINGTON STATE SOLICITOR GENERAL: Well, I'm going to wait and see until we have some official word and then of course talk to our attorney general about what might come next. I mean, we have said all along that we think he should tear up this executive order and find a constitutional way to make sure that the -- that we're protecting the borders the way they need to be protected and he should be able to do that within the constitution.
So we think it would be a good thing if he rips this up and starts over, that would obviously be great development, but like I said, it seems too soon to say what they're actually going to do.
BURNETT: Right. I mean, obviously he's talking about extreme vetting, the need for security. You know, words that we have heard him used before. But, you know, for people trying to understand where you're coming from, Noah, you know, whether this is political in any way for the State of Washington as supposed to purely legal and constitutional. Is there an executive order that he could issue that would include extreme vetting apply to certain countries that you would not challenge?
PURCELL: On your first point, just about whether it's political, I mean, as the attorney general has said many times, we sued the Obama administration multiple times over issues at Hanford. The Hanford Nuclear Reservation on Eastern Washington, this is not a political issue for us. Whether he could issue a different executive order that would not raise the same concerns, I think it's theoretically possible, but we will have to wait and see what the order actually says, unfortunately, there's been so many statements that he's made that have been so troubling that it would -- it would have to be very carefully done I think to not raise the same concerns.
BURNETT: So last night --
PURCELL: And I hope -- I hope that he would do things like -- oh, I'm sorry.
BURNETT: Go ahead. Finish your thought.
PURCELL: Just like control with the National Security Agencies and, you know, consult with the people who are experts on these sorts who -- according to all the stories, he did not consult with last night and make -- if he's going to do something, do something much, much narrower and more targeted.
BURNETT: Yes. I guess what I'm just trying to understand because, you know, he can't unsay the things he said in the campaign that you used as part of your evidence, right?
BURNETT: And you of course included that in your case. No matter what order he puts out, he's still said those things, right? So, you always have those. Do you anticipate using that again?
PURCELL: Well, again, it would depend on the specifics and of course, you know, it would be up to the attorney general what we would -- what we would want to do. But a lot would depend on the specifics of the order. And I mean, if we learned anything in the last few weeks, it's -- well, it's hard to know what's really going to happen, I guess is my main point and we'll have to wait and see what the president and the administration actually do.
BURNETT: Noah, before we go, three judges ruling your favor last night, there are 24 -- 25 judges, I'm sorry, on that court though, we now reporting just coming in this hour, that one of those judges is requesting that the full circuit vote on that ruling. So in other words, the 3-1 -- 3-0 doesn't matter, they want a majority of the 25. Are you worried about that? That obviously means some on that court do not agree with that ruling.
PURCELL: Right. No. We're not worried about that, that's pretty common on the Ninth Circuit, that a judge would call for rehearing on bonk. It is a large court with a, you know, enormously wide array for ideological views and backgrounds and we're not worried about that. Where we have a brief due now on Thursday in response to that and we're -- we'll be -- we've already started talking about -- getting started on that. So, we look forward to filing that. We're confident the result will remain the same.
BURNETT: And Noah, before I say goodbye to you, I want to just bring in Paul Callan, our legal analyst, former prosecutor has one question before we go.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Just one quick question. I mean, this is a fast moving story, it seems to change every day, I'm sure you noticed. But assuming on one scenario that you can't agree on the executive order and the negotiations fall apart and you go back to the district court to proceed with the preliminary injunction, will you seek to take the deposition of the president of the United States regarding statements that he made during the campaign about Muslims?
PURCELL: Well, those decisions are down the road and I, you know, we will obviously be looking for all the evidence we can find that goes to the intent of the order. But specific decisions about who we might depose or what questions we might ask are a ways down the road.
BURNETT: All right. Noah, thank so much. We appreciate your time. Noah Purcell, as we said, solicitor general for Washington State. And let me just Paul give a chance to react to what he had to say. Obviously that's a crucial question what you just raised, that the President of the United States may have to be deposed.
BURNETT: He wasn't president at the time --
BURNETT: -- and you don't think that he would be able to claim some sort of executive privilege.
CALLAN: Well, and I have to think that, you know, President Trump's lawyers, when they're lay -- I mean, our lawyers lay out everything that could happen in a case. You go back to the district court, when I read this decision, there are a couple of very important lines there about the president's use of the term Muslim Ban on multiple occasions. Now, those occasions would have to have been during the campaign.
The government could seek depositions of the president, of his daughter, of Governor Christie, of Giuliani, of anybody who might have been in that small circle when this was discussed. Which is why, I think President Trump, that's one thing he's looking at, he's saying do I want to get involved in depositions on what happened during my campaign or let's redraft the thing completely so we can make this go away?
BURNETT: I also want to ask you about this on bunk that Noah says this happens not infrequently with circuit course, so he's not concerned about it. But obviously, this now means that there's a step that nobody anticipated, right? The Trump administration had indicated they're not going to take the Supreme Court, they were going to accept the 3-0 and try to do it another way.
BURNETT: Obviously, knowing the attorney general weren't going to do anything about it, they won. So, this is a new twist.
CALLAN: It's a big -- and it's a big twist. Now, Mr. -- what -- I think what Mr. Purcell was saying is that, just the way it works is, you've got a big bench, over 40 judges, if even one of them says I'd like a hearing on this before, an 11-judge panel, rather than relying on these three judges. Then they circulate memos amongst themselves and they the parties and then the judges all vote and if a majority of them say we want a hearing on it, there will be another -- a reconsideration of the appeal. But it --it's very rare, it doesn't usually happen. And --
BURNETT: But this has now opened the door?
CALLAN: It's open the door and it would -- it would delay things for another month. Now, let me just let that play out for a second as a strategy for the Trump administration. This could delay things for a month, month and a half, while the briefing goes on and then they proceed with the Gorsuch nomination so that he's in place on the Supreme Court, if this thing goes up on appeal eventually, that could be one strategy.
BURNETT: And the bottom line though on this is that if the Trump administration chooses over the weekend to file a new executive order -- put a new executive order out that they have more carefully vetted, as Noah was discussing, that would mean that the current case, right? That was supposed to go to argument next week just goes away?
CALLAN: It would -- they call it mute, it becomes mute, it would be dismissed. Now, if Mr. Purcell and his team of lawyers in Washington look at the new one and they say this is just as bad as the old, they could immediate -- they could immediately file again and start and get this thing rolling right away.
BURNETT: But you made it clear, they're going to look at it very carefully.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much. And next, more breaking news. Trump's National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn under fire tonight. We have some breaking details tonight at this moment actually about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Senator Bernie Sanders is my guest to respond. Plus Kellyanne Conway says she apologized to the president after promoting Ivanka Trump's clothing line on national television.
Tonight, one insider say the president is really thinking about Kellyanne Conway. And on a lighter note, after Melissa McCarthy and Sean Spicer spoke to the Russian Ambassador about sanctions before Trump took office. This is potentially illegal because they weren't in office, you're not allowed to talk about U.S. Policy. Flynn has denied that it happened. Denied it point-blank and multiple times. Who will be the next woman to be one of the men from Team Trump?
BURNETT: Breaking news at this hour. U.S. Official confirming to CNN that President Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador about sanctions before Trump took office. This is potentially illegal because they weren't in office, they're not allowed to talk about U.S. Policy. Flynn has denied it happened, denied it point-blank and multiple times. Elise Labott is OutFront. And Elise, what more are you learning?
ELISE LABOTT: Well, Erin, you know, Mike Flynn spoke to the Russian Ambassador Kislyak several times after the election, before President Trump took office including the very day that President Obama slapped sanctions on Russia for its meddling in the 2016 election. Now Flynn denied that all this time that he had talked about sanctions with the ambassador and Vice President Mike Pence event went on television defending him saying no sanctions were discussed.
Now Mike Flynn is backing away from that pledge, the White House obviously very troubled and senior U.S. Official telling our Evan Perez tonight, our CNN Justice Correspondent that indeed that Mike Flynn did speak about Russia's sanctions with the ambassador. Obviously the U.S. has been monitoring Russian diplomats calls, that's routine eavesdropping, but also part of this wider investigation about Russia's activities in this election.
So those claims by Mike Flynn obviously falling flat, and even he is back pedaling on them right now, saying he can't really recall, he doesn't remember but he can't rule out that it came up.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Elise. Outfront now, Independent Senator Bernie Sanders. And Senator, thank you so much for being with me tonight. I want to start straight with General Flynn. If General Flynn was lying those times when he said that sanctions did not come up, that he did speak to the Russian ambassador about sanctions before taking office, should the president fire him?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, this is a very troubling development and it speaks to the broader issue of Russia's involvement in our elections, it speaks to the issue of President Trump being buddy, buddy, with a thug and a murderer who is the head of Russia and now we're learning there may have been discussions between Flynn and the -- and the Russians about sanctions before this administration took power. So this is very, very troubling and I think the president is going to have to tell us what he's going to do about it.
BURNETT: So, so far he hasn't said much, Senator. I don't know if you've heard. Here's what he has said, you know, he was asked about this report about Flynn on his flight to Mar-a-Lago late today, right? He just landed about an hour or so ago and here's how he responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don't know about that, I haven't seen it. What report is that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) reporting that he talked to the ambassador to Russia before you were inaugurated about sanctions maybe try to --
TRUMP: I haven't seen that, I'll look at that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: He says he knows nothing about it, hasn't seen any of these reports. Is that a problem?
SANDERS: Well, I don't know, maybe he was watching CNN fake news, what do you think?
BURNETT: You don't buy it?
SANDERS: That was a joke.
BURNETT: I know it was a joke. I'm saying, you don't buy what he said, obviously?
SANDERS: Erin? BURNETT: Yes.
SANDERS: I'm sorry. Senator, I was saying you obviously don't buy what he said. You believe that he has seen these reports, I mean, to your point?
SANDERS: I'm not -- are we on?
BURNETT: It looks like we've lost connection with Senator Sanders. So let's just try to get that back up. Do we have him back? OK. So what we're going to do is take a break, I don't want to waste our time, we only have the senator for a few minutes, we're going to take a break, we're going to and come back, continue our conversation with Senator Sanders. Plus, Melania Trump on her first state event at Mar- a-Lago with Prime Minister of Japan. As you see there. And Kellyanne Conway, we have breaking news tonight on what the president really thinks about what happened with her this week. We'll be right back.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: All I can say to America's women is at some point in your life, you ought to have a boss who treated me the way that the President of the United States treated me today.
BURNETT: We are back. Senator Sanders is back with me and I want to apologize to our viewers obviously for that technical issue. And Senator, you had just been talking, joking about, you know, CNN fake news but obviously the reports about General Flynn --
SANDERS: Well, here is the point, Erin. It is not a joke. And I can tell you that here in Vermont and all over this country, there is a real concern about what's happening in this country over the last month. When you have a president who attacks people in the media, who make critical remarks of them, which is what their job is as providing fake news, when you have a president who attacks a judge who rules against him is a so -- is a so-called judge, indicting the entire judiciary, clearly we have a president who does not understand what our constitution is about, what democracy is about and I think there is a fear in this country of this nation under Trump moving into a more authoritarian mode.
Second of all, what I hear in Vermont and around this country, is people see this president as a total hypocrite. Someone who campaigned before the American people, saying I'm a different type of republican, I'm not going to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and then he appoints people to those important positions whose whole life work has been about cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
He says, I'm going to take on Wall Street and then appoints the head of Goldman-Sachs, one of the largest financial institutions in the country as his right hand guy and surrounds himself with billionaires. So I think there is consternation in this country and what you are seeing is people beginning to stand up and fight back. You're seeing in republican town meetings, in Utah and elsewhere. BURNETT: Yes.
SANDERS: Hundreds and hundreds of people coming out. And I want to tell you that on February 25th, two weeks from tomorrow, there will be, rallies all over this country, where democrats, republicans, independents. I'm going to go out to republican offices, congressional offices and say, you know what, you're not going to throw 20 million people off health insurance and you're not going to do wait with pre-existing conditions. So I think you're seeing the American people standing off to Trump and fighting back.
BURNETT: So, there's lots of things I want to ask you about, because you bring up those town halls.
[19:30:01] I want to ask you that now. There's been a lot of anger and protest at these Republican town halls, right? This is all about Obamacare, as you point out. You're talking about another day of action. You had one back in January that you were leader of.
Do you think these protests are going to have any impact, though, on Republicans, who will, of course, control this repeal and replace?
SANDERS: You know what I think? I think it has already had a huge impact. You remember, it was just a month or two ago, Republicans were saying, we're going to repeal the Affordable Care Act, we're going to throw millions off health insurance, we're going to raise prescription drug costs for seniors, we're going to do away with preexisting conditions, we're going to all of that, repeal, repeal, repeal.
Guess what? You're not hearing that so much anymore. I think when hundreds of thousands of people come out and actually confront Republicans and say, look, you don't like the Affordable Care Act, fine, we know it has problems. What are your ideas to improve it? How are you going to drive down the deductibles, how are you going to provide health insurance to the 28 million people who don't have it?
Are you going to make sure that people with preexisting conditions still are going to be able to get insurance at a rate that they can afford? Are you going to throw young people off their parents' insurance? Are you going to raise restrictive drug costs by $2,000 to senior citizens?
Those are the questions Republicans are going to hear and you know what? I don't think you're going to see them going forward with the repeal of the ACA.
BURNETT: So, what you think they're going to do? I mean, they're not going to let it stay as it is.
SANDERS: No, they're not. But I think they're going to have to address the fact that we need to make it better, not just throw it out. People are saying, you're crazy. You just can't throw out something without replacing it with something that is as good or better.
But I think that is the message that the Republicans are getting and they are hearing it very clearly.
BURNETT: It's interesting that you have all of this action around Obamacare right now and a lot of protests about that, but also a lot of questions about where the Democratic Party is going. Obviously, you're an independent. But this is an issue that's near and dear to Democrats' hearts.
We are hearing now, sources just tonight telling us, and I don't think you've heard this, that during a meeting with senators at the White House, President Trump said that Elizabeth Warren is now the face of the Democratic Party, but that's not how he said it. The way he said it is, Pocahontas is now the face of your party.
What's your reaction to that?
SANDERS: Well, again, I mean, it's -- what can you say? I keep saying that's unbelievable. I mean, he's using incredibly insulting words. Elizabeth Warren to my view is one of the outstanding members of the United States Senate. I understand why Trump may not like her, because she has stood up to Wall Street and stood up to the billionaire class.
So, I think that in fact, in my view, we need basic transformation of the Democratic Party, to make it a party of working people, to make it a party that is very clear, we are going to stand up to Wall Street. We're going to stand up to the drug companies and the insurance companies, and we are going to bring about the kinds of changes that this country needs to protect the middle class and working families.
BURNETT: Why do you think that he always attacks her, right? He's not attacking you. Why is he attacking her? Is it because she's a woman? Or why, why?
SANDERS: You know what, Erin? I really -- trying to understand the way this president functions is something that I can't quite figure out myself, and I'm not sure that many people can.
BURNETT: It does bring me, though, to a serious issue, though, of course, which is mental health, right? In recent days, several Democrats have questioned his mental health. Nancy Pelosi said she should get a mental health check. She suggested that. You yourself had used the word "delusional" to describe him.
Look, I know how you feel about him, but do you think that this talk is disrespectful of the office of the president?
SANDERS: You know, that is a fair question. And if you know my personal record, you know, I am maybe the most progressive member of the United States Congress. But that doesn't allow me and I never have just attacked people because their views are different than mine. You've got a lot of Republicans out there, conservative, they're decent, honest people, I disagree with them.
I used the term "delusional" in Trump -- with regard to Trump, when he said that with three to five million illegals who voted in the last election. Erin, that is delusional. Nobody in the world believes that is the case. There is zero evidence to back it up. But he makes that statement.
So, I think the word "delusional" is correct. I have used the word "pathological liar" to describe Donald Trump. Those are very harsh terms, I don't feel good about it. I disagreed with George Bush all the time, I never called him a pathological liar, because he was not, just a conservative president.
But this guy lies all of the time. So, we are in kind of a new era, and I know the media is figuring out how it can deal with it.
[19:35:03] Democrats are figuring out how they will deal with it. And, by the way, you've got some Republicans who are not all that enthusiastic about the way that this president is behaving.
But bottom line here is I think the American people, working people, middle class people, are understanding that this guy is not delivering what he promised. How can you go around saying you will not cut Social Security, and then you appoint to be head of HHS, a guy whose whole life's work has been about cutting Medicare, cutting Social Security? The hypocrisy is unbelievable.
BURNETT: Right, although he hasn't done it yet, and he has -- I mean, one could argue he's keeping absolutely all of his campaign promises, right, Senator, including the travel ban which I want to get your view on the breaking news tonight because he's now saying he may issue a new executive order. He says this is about security. He doesn't have the time to fight through the courts possibly with the one that was, of course, the issue with the Ninth Circuit last night.
We asked him tonight on the plane to Mar-a-Lago what would be in the new executive. And here's exactly how he answered that question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to have very, very strong vetting, I call it extreme vetting and we're going to have very strong security in our country. We are going to have people come into our country that want to be here for good reasons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is there an executive order on this issue, Senator, that you could get behind? Because we all know there are major security risks, there are people outside of the United States, who do want to come here to do Americans harm. Is there an executive order on this front that he could rework that you could support?
SANDERS: Look, Erin, what the president just said is what everybody agrees with. Who wants to create a situation where people are going to come into this country to do us harm? There already is very, very strong vetting, if the president has an idea on how you make that vetting even stronger, and may keep us safer, that's fine, who disagrees with that?
But this is what I will tell you, and it's not just me, these are national security experts who are saying that President Trump's words and his deeds are making us less safe, because he's feeding ammunition to the jihadists, to people who hate America, he's going out, and all over the world, you know, the jihadists are telling young people, see that? They really do hate us. That's what we've been telling you all along. They are anti-Muslim, stand up, fight Americans.
So I think and I think many national security experts would agree with me that we are becoming less safe because of this anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions.
BURNETT: All right. Senator Sanders, thank you for your time tonight.
SANDERS: Thank you.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Melania Trump, her first trip aboard Air Force One this afternoon and getting ready to host the Japanese prime minister and his wife at Mar-a-Lago tonight for a dinner.
And Kellyanne Conway, she says Trump supports her 100 percent. We have some new reporting on that that may surprise her this evening.
[19:41:38] BURNETT: Tonight, the breaking news, a source with knowledge of President Trump's administration tells CNN Trump is not happy with Kellyanne Conway, even though she says the president supports her 100 percent. This comes as we're learning Conway apologized to Trump after touting Ivanka's brand during an interview, telling people to go out and buy it.
Jessica Schneider is OUTFRONT.
TRUMP: There is no den she will not go into.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the end of a rocky three weeks, it's the TV appearance that topped off a series of Kellyanne Conway missteps.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Go buy Ivanka stuff is what I would tell them. I hate shopping and I'm going to get some myself today. It's a wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully -- I'm just going to give it -- I'm going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody, you can find it online.
SCHNEIDER: A top advisor in the White House peddling the president daughter's fashion line. It appears to violate ethics laws, according to a bipartisan letter from the top Republican and Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, and they're asking the Office of Government Ethics to review.
The backlash prompting the response that wasn't exactly backpedalling.
CONWAY: We're aware of that letter and we're reviewing that internally. I'm just really happen that I spent a lot of time with the president of the United States this afternoon and that he supports me 100 percent. All I can say to America's women is, at some point in your life, you ought to have a boss who treated me the way the president of the United States treated me today.
SCHNEIDER: This statement and a subsequent tweet showcasing the president's support didn't save Conway from being lampooned by late night.
SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN: From now on, the only network Kellyanne Conway should be allowed on is QVC.
CONWAY: It's a wonderful line, I own some of it. I'm just going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody, you can find it online.
SCHNEIDER: It was just the latest in a series of verbal lapses for the very vocal Conway.
CONWAY: Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains --
CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS MODERATOR: Wait a minute, alternative facts? Alternative facts -- look, alternative facts are not facts, they're falsehoods.
SCHNEIDER: Later presenting a falsehood herself, referring to a made up massacre.
CONWAY: President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program two Iraqis came here to this country were radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. They didn't know that because it didn't get covered.
SCHNEIDER: It didn't get covered because it didn't happen. Conway eventually said she misspoke, tweeting, "I meant to say Bowling Green terrorists," these two men were sentenced for plotting to send weapons to al Qaeda in Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, Jake, they are not. They are alt-good.
SCHNEIDER: The linguistic leaps, a persistent punch line on "Saturday Night Live".
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think if you really look at it, if you read the whole tweet, that is what it says.
SCHNEIDER: Conway's character showcased getting testy about having to constantly defend her boss.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you want me to stay? Yes, he said that, he's crazy.
SCHNEIDER: And even letting loose basking in her notorious name recognition.
(SINGING) (END VIDEOTAPE)
SCHNEIDER: But it is not all laughs. The Office of Government Ethics could recommend punishment for Kellyanne Conway's self-described commercial for Ivanka Trump's brand. However, OGE couldn't actually institute disciplinary action or enforce it. So, in the end, it is really up to the president.
But federal law, it does bar employees from promoting a product that would benefit a friend or relative -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you, Jessica.
And OUTFRONT now, the former communications director for Ted Cruz's campaign, Alice Stewart.
[19:45:02] She's known Kellyanne Conway for more than a decade. And the former senior adviser to President Obama, Dan Pfeiffer.
Dan, obviously, conflicting reports tonight. Kellyanne Conway says the president supports her 100 percent. We now have reporting to CNN that the president is upset with Kellyanne Conway. On top of that, you just saw this piece of some of her missteps.
How much does it hurt her credibility?
DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it hurts her credibility a lot. I mean, her job, as far as I can tell, is to go on TV and advocate for the president. And every time she's been going out, it's -- she's made mistake after mistake and she's learning the difference between being a cable TV pundit like Alison and myself, and being a spokesperson for the president of the United States. And she -- and when you make those mistake, she undermines her credibility.
Every time I turn on my phone, I see Kellyanne Conway is trending, and it's never for a good reason. And so, she's hurting what she does best for the president is to advocate for him, if she cannot be taken seriously when she goes out there.
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, having known Kellyanne for many years, she is tremendous at what she does. She does a good job. And if you go back and actually look at this videotape, you can see that she was asked a question about the clothing line, she answered the question with a solid answer, saying that she feels as though the department store is taking it out on her because they don't like Donald Trump. And then she said an off the cuff, lighthearted humorous line, just as a throw away line.
And we're still talking about it after two days, you would think she walked out there with a "make Ivanka clothing line great again" cap on, as much as the attention it's getting. And it was just a throwaway line. It was something humorous. And the fact that we're still talking about it, I don't understand. BURNETT: But, Alice, maybe we're talking about it because of all of
those other examples that Jessica Schneider just presented, right? I mean, Kellyanne Conway used the word "alternate facts" as just another example, right? If this were one time, maybe we wouldn't be talking about it, but it's not just one time.
STEWART: Look, in their -- given the vast amount of interviews that she does and as often as he makes herself available to the press, I think they're going to be opportunities for her to misspeak, as she has done with one of the last big stories that come. It's only going to happen. But she is one of the most accessible people to the media and many people in the media are grateful for that fact and those kinds of things are going to happen.
And I think it's important to stress, the last report with all due respect to Jessica, the comment that Trump isn't 100 percent supportive of her, I don't know where that's coming from. I know that he is fully behind her. He thinks her comments were one strong woman supporting another strong woman, who happens to be his daughter. And he's 100 percent behind her. He's loyal to those who are loyal to him.
And you see, even in his book, the art of the deal, he stands behind those who stand behind him and that's exactly what he's doing here.
BURNETT: So, Jessica, just to make it clear, that's Gloria Borger reporting that she's saying that he is -- that he has some frustration with Kellyanne Conway at this point.
You know, I think that's part of the issue though here, Dan, is that in this White House, there are clearly factions, right? There are factions that are out to get each other, maybe that's too strong a word, maybe that's not too strong a way to describe it. What do you think?
PFEIFFER: Well, look, I've been in Washington a long time. I've watched a lot of White House. I've never seen anything like what's happening there. I mean, there are clearly factions, I don't know who's in what faction, but the things that White House officials are saying about other White House officials on background to reporter is mindboggling.
Every day you read another story about someone in the White House trashing Sean Spicer, saying that Trump doesn't support him, doesn't like him, that it hurt -- that Reince Priebus is out of favor, because he supported Sean Spicer, like in White Houses, presidents get mad at staffers, staffers get mad at each other, but you don't read about them in the paper in a minute by minute basis. It is -- it appears to people on the outside that it is pure chaos.
It's like "Hunger Games" or "Game of Thrones" in there. And that makes it, governing is hard and that makes it -- and it's harder when you're at each other's throats the whole time.
BURNETT: I mean, Alice, this is the thing. You've known Kellyanne Conway for a decade. I mean, putting aside who's in favor and who isn't in favor, the discussion about it. And Dan is right, the constant leaking and the constant one person sniping this about another person, has got to get at all of them, and frankly, hurt their credibility to do the main part of their job, doesn't it?
STEWART: Look, at the beginning of every administration, there's going to be jockeying for position. There's going to be conflicting interests. There are going to be those who want a little bit more face time with the principal, or in this case, the president, and that's going to happen. And there are going to be opportunities for people to try and gain favor by getting information out in the press and, yes, there does appear to be a lot more of it in this administration.
But at the end of the day, they are -- if you look at what they have been able to accomplish in these first three weeks, it's pretty mindboggling at the vast amount of work they have done with regard to the executive orders and in getting Supreme Court nominee announced and getting -- doing the best they can to get some of their cabinet members confirmed. They have done quite a bit of work, and meeting with foreign leaders and foreign leader calls. They have done a lot of work.
And I think that needs to be much, much more the focus than the palace intrigue that seems to be garnering a lot of the headlines.
[19:50:06] BURNETT: Quickly before we go, Dan, the palace intrigue though, it seems to come from the top. Donald Trump likes this. He likes people to not necessarily know where they stand and be the one who determines their confidence day in and day out, right?
PFEIFFER: Right. I mean, we saw this in his campaign. Maybe that's a good way to run a campaign. It worked for him. Maybe it's a good way to run your reality TV show where you're state business or your university.
But you can't govern that way. There is -- the White House staff under the best of situations is overextended, has more than they can handle. And so even in the best of scenarios, it's a really hard job. And in this world of chaos and paranoia, where people don't trust each other, you simply can't function.
And right now, you know, it's -- you know, about Kellyanne Conway says or Sean Spicer, it's going to be about something real very quickly, and that's where this is going to matter, when the president's spokespeople, people like Sean Spicer or Kellyanne Conway can't go out and be trusted by the public.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both.
And next, all eyes tonight on Melania Trump hosting her first state dinner. We are live at Mar-a-Lago.
And Jeanne Moos on the internet exploding, demanding Rosie O'Donnell -- I mean, this is really amazing, isn't it, people? This is amazing, Steve Bannon.
We'll be back.
BURNETT: Breaking news: First Lady Melania Trump, completing her first ride on Air Force One, arriving in West Palm Beach, and the Trumps now getting ready for dinner with Japan's prime minister and his wife, spending the weekend together as well at Donald Trump's Mar- a-Lago estate.
OUTFRONT now, our contributor, the author of "First Women", Kate Andersen Brower.
Kate, great to have you back with us.
You know, this is the first time. I mean, you know, we know Melania Trump hasn't been living at the White House. She's been in New York instead -- the first time that her role as first lady is on display. You saw her today getting on Air Force One.
What stands out to you?
KATE ANDERSEN BROWER, AUTHOR, "FIRST WOMEN": Well, the fact that she wasn't here in Washington for the prime minister's wife visit, it was I thought was really remarkable. We haven't seen that before in recent history.
[19:55:01] You know, when she visited, Laura Bush took her to Mt. Vernon, Michelle Obama took her to a suburban Washington school to meet with school children, it's really expected that the first lady play hostess, however antiquated that term might seem. So, that was very surprising that she didn't -- she didn't come down for that sit.
BURNETT: That's interesting. She didn't go to that part, but then she is doing the dinner. I mean, you know, last week, Kate, as you know, when President Trump went to Dover Air Force base for the return of the remains of the Navy SEAL to died in that raid, Melania was not him. It was Ivanka Trump who you see here getting on Marine One, traveling with him.
As you said, today, Melania not there for that meeting at the Oval Office, it was Ivanka was not there. Even this afternoon, when Melania Trump got on Air Force One with President Trump, Ivanka was not far behind.
How significant is that?
BROWER: Very. I mean, we don't see a first daughter take that role, we haven't seen it ever. I think it's also really interesting that Karen Pence didn't fill in today. You know, that we didn't -- you know, in the past, if you look at, you know, the recent within the last 60 years, first ladies, Jackie Kennedy relied on Lady Bird Johnson a lot, more than 50 times in the White House to fill in for her when she simply didn't want to do things.
There are a lot of responsibilities that come with this position of first lady, and sometimes, you know, Jackie wasn't feel, didn't want to do it. So, Lady Bird would fill in so often that she was called St. Bird by Jackie's staff, because they relied on her so much.
So, I asked Karen Pence's office, you know, if where she was today, and I haven't heard back yet. But I think that would be really interesting to see if we see more of the second lady, and more of Ivanka in the future.
BURNETT: I mean, so you also have, you know, what role is Melania really going to play, Kate? I mean, you know, she's still in New York, she's hired a social secretary, a chief of staff, but obviously, a little slower to do that.
How does -- where she is right now compared to where Michelle Obama was at this time in the first administration?
BROWER: It was a very stark difference. I mean, Michelle Obama by this point had, you know, almost all her entire staff in place, she had more than 20 staffers in the East Wing and the fact that, like you said, we only have three from Melania Trump is a big difference. But I will say, it took Michelle Obama some time to find a sort of the Let's Move Campaign. It took her about a year to get that going.
So, I think we should cut Melania some slack when it comes to this apolitical campaign that she's going to probably have to do, like cyber bullying, she's talked about. But just the optics of her not being here, I think it sends a big message. I think it's important.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Kate. And we appreciate your time tonight.
BROWER: Thank you.
BURNETT: And now, Alec Baldwin, his Donald Trump impersonation was a hit with some. He's about to host "SNL" for the 17th time. And wow, what a weekend it will be, because this is the question: who will play Steve Bannon?
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fans are expecting --
ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: I'm deeply apologetic.
MOOS: -- a Trumpathon this weekend.
BALDWIN: Wrong, wrong, wrong.
MOOS: Alec Baldwin returns for a record 17th time hosting "SNL".
BALDWIN: No one can resist my sweaty balls.
MOOS: President Trump can. The teaser alone probably annoys him.
BALDWIN: This is my home, this is my heart beat, so I must return. I must find the strength -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alec, you were just here yesterday. It's not
that big of a deal.
BALDWIN: Oh, it's a big deal.
MOOS: Lately the big deal has been Melissa McCarthy's portrayal of Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you OK?
MOOS: "Politico" reported sources close to President Trump said that what bothered the president most about the portrayal, is that the role of Spicer was played by a woman, that made some women mad and sparked a push to draft Rosie O'Donnell to play Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon.
These are their faces morphed together, Rosie is using this one as her Twitter profile picture. And on Thursday, she tweeted this photo of Bannon as a puppeteer with the president on his lap.
Since there's such bad blood between Rosie and the president --
TRUMP: Rosie O'Donnell is disgusting. She's a slob.
ROSIE O'DONNELL, ACTRESS: (INAUDIBLE) slob.
MOOS: Trump critics figure it would drive the president nuts to see her play Bannon. Rosie tweeted, "Available. If called, I will serve."
"The Huffington Post" compiled an entire cast of women, from Ellen DeGeneres' Mike Pence, to Betty White as Attorney General Sessions.
But sorry, Rosie fans, we have a five-word answer from Rosie's rep, she is not doing "SNL."
Unless, of course, the show invites her and she accepts at the last minute. When it comes to Rosie and President Trump --
O'DONNELL: Building a wall, building a wall.
MOOS: Maybe the wall should separate them.
Jeanne Moos --
TRUMP: Living with this pig face.
MOOS: -- CNN --
O'DONNELL: Snake oil salesman.
MOOS: -- New York.
BURNETT: All eyes will be on "SNL". Thanks for joining us. Anderson's next.