Return to Transcripts main page
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Schiff Calls On Nunes To Rescue Himself From Russia Investigation; Kushner To Meet With Senators Over Russia Meetings; Kusher To Be Questioned On Possible Campaign Ties To Russia; Russian State Bank Confirms Kushner Meetings In 2016.; Aired 7-8p ET
Aired March 30, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER HOST: I'm Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room. Erin Burnet OutFront starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT HOST: OutFront next. Breaking news, the chairman of the House Intel Committee under fire tonight. To the secret source. Devin Nunes met on White House grounds and is he doing President Trump's bidding?
Plus, Jared Kushner agreeing to testify about his meetings with Russian Russians. Who did he speak to and why. We have breaking details on that tonight.
And what is Dick Cheney saying is an act of war. Let's OutFront.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. We begin OutFront front with the breaking news tonight. The top democrat on the House Intelligence Committee calling for the top republican of that committee to recuse himself from any further involvement in the Russia investigation. Devin Nunes, the republican congressman, the chairman who is leading an investigation into Russian meddling in the election spoke out to CNN moments ago.
He's under intense fire for his handling of that investigation for behavior that has times veered into the bizarre. Takes this. Nunes was on White House grounds last week getting classified information. He says he saw classified documents there that he says he got from an unnamed source indicating that some of President Trump's communications may have been picked up so called incidentally during domestic spying on foreign nationals. So, they were the ones being spied on conversations about or involving Donald Trump got picked up. Moments ago speaking our Wolf Blitzer, Nunes insisted he has done nothing wrong by this (INAUDIBLE) claim this visit to the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DEVIN NUNES, (R) HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: We have to go to the executive branch in order to read classified intelligence. So, that could be the White House grounds, it could be the White House. It could be the Pentagon. It could be CIA. There's a -- there's a number of places we go. The congress has not been given this information, these documents. And that's the problem. There's no way for the folks that I have been working with to actually -- to bring this forward to light. There was no way I could view that because they couldn't get to the House Intelligence Committee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And of course he was responding to a question saying, well, there are these classified rooms on Capitol Hill, why couldn't you view the data there. Well, you heard his answer, it came from the executive branch. But still no answer as to why if the information resides within the executive branch, why people within the executive branch like Donald Trump for example wouldn't have been able to have access to it already.
Manu Raju is OutFront tonight on Capitol Hill. And Manu, the intelligence committee though really seems to be breaking down tonight with this now massive split between the ranking member and the chairman.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL Yes. That's right. And Congressman Nunes insisting he did nothing when he briefed President Trump last week before his committee democrats because he said that information that was picked up had nothing to do with the issue of Russia, but he did get into hot water also by cancelling a Tuesday public hearing on Russia meddling and he did -- he wanted to instead have a private classified briefing with James Comey and the NSA Director Mike Rogers but Erin, those who have briefing tomorrow also cancelled, raising questions about whether the House Intelligence Committee can move forward. House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes facing growing questions about whether he compromised his committee's investigation by briefing President Trump last week on intelligence he obtained through a secret source.
NUNES: I've been working this for a long time with many different sources and needed a place that I could actually finally go because I knew what I was looking for and I could actually get access to what I needed to see. I'm quite sure that people in the west wing had no idea I was there. Look, I go over there a lot. I go over there often for meetings and briefings.
RAJU: Today, Nunes revealed that he met his source last week on White House grounds to review the information. A government official said Nunes was seen Tuesday at the National Security Council offices of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building where classified information can be viewed securely.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL, (D) CALIFORNIA: What he is doing is obstructing the investigation. The president made a claim that has been proved to not be true. He's just helping the president.
RAJU: The revelation put the White House on the defensive after Spokesman Sean Spicer said this last week when asked if the information came from the White House.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECETARY: -- but it doesn't really pass the smell test.
RAJU: Today, Spicer could not rule out but someone on the White House staff may have authorized Nunes to review the information in the classified facility.
SPICER: I don't know if member of the congress need to be cleared.
RAJU: But the house investigation is starting to break down along partisan lines with democrats criticizing Nunez.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) MINORITY LEADER: Without further ado, Speaker Ryan should replace the Chairman Nunes.
RAJU: Despite briefing the president, Nunes still has yet to present the committee with intelligence showing that some Trump Team communications had been picked up incidentally and that some individuals had their identities unmasked by the intelligence community. Nunes is giving shifting explanations about what the information he has reviewed actually reveals.
Was the president also part of that incidental collection, his communications?
NUNES: Yes, they were, yes.
RAJU: You said that the president's communications were incidentally collected but then you said it's also possible. So, was it collected or is it possible that it's collected?
NUNES: You know, I just don't know the answer to that yet.
RAJU: So you don't know if the president's communication --
NUNES: I know there was incidental collection regarding the president-elect and his team.
RAJU: Then later in the week, Nunes was asked if Trump officials were monitored or simply mentioned in the intelligence reports.
NUNES: We don't know until -- we won't know that until we actually receive all the documentation.
RAJU: Now, Erin, Nunes is getting some support from Speaker Paul Ryan whose spokesperson issued a statement saying that the speaker fully supports Chairman Nunes staying on the committee and said that they -- he has full confidence in Mr. Nunes but on the senate side republicans over there say they're distancing themselves from the house investigation saying they're doing their own work, they believe they're going to do it the right way in the words of John Cornyn, the number two republican.
BURNETT: Pretty damning words to use, right? Obviously by choice. OK. Manu, thank you. And I want to go to Evan Perez now because the real question here is what if this information that this top secret information that Chairman Nunes was able to get. So, Evan, you have been talking to your sources. What is the working theory right now about what Nunes is talking about when he keeps talking about incidental collection. EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. Erin, the leading theory among officials who I've been talking to and again, Chairman Nunes has not given that many information. They still don't know exactly what he's talking about but one of the things that they could -- that this believe this could be is the collection that the U.S. Intelligence Agencies do on foreign leaders and their staff. These are foreign countries that are routinely monitored as part of U.S. Surveillance and its intelligence collection and we're talking about the leaders of Israel, of Taiwan, China, Russia.
These are the countries that the U.S. most has its eyes on and we know that during the Trump transition they had calls -- setting up calls for the president-elect, the incoming president, to talk to those foreign leaders and you have interaction there and the U.S. would routinely pick up the communications of those people. If they were for instance communicating with each other, talking about the Trump transition, talking about the new President Trump.
This is stuff that the U.S. would routinely pick up and an NSA analyst would look at this and perhaps summarize it for an intelligence report. Now, we know a couple of different instances during the Trump transition that really caused -- raised questions. One of them was the time that President Trump intervened with Egyptian leaders and Israeli leaders about this U.N. vote on Israel if you remember. And the second one was when President Trump, the incoming president took a phone call from the Taiwan -- Taiwanese leader. These are definite instances where this would be -- where this would be collected.
BURNETT: Right. And of course, you know, he didn't do it through the traditional state department ways. It was off the cuff. And perhaps this what happens when you don't do it and play the rules. All right. Evan, thank you very much.
I want to go now to the Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro who sits on the intelligence committee. Let me just start out with you here, Congressman. Is the House Intelligence Committee Investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 election falling apart right now?
JOAQUIN CASTRO, UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE FOR TEXAS: Well, obviously, actions taken by the chairman have compromised the investigation and also I think compromised his ability to lead the investigation. I agree with Ranking Member Schiff that Chairman Nunes at this point should recuse himself from this investigation. All of us on the democratic side believe that this should be handled outside of congress that an independent commission should undertake this investigation. However, if the speaker is not going to do that and it is going to be lead in the house by the intelligence committee, then somebody else should lead it.
BURNETT: So, you know, of course, the speaker is defending Chairman Nunes tonight. Chuck Schumer seem to go a little bit further than the Ranking Member Congressman Schiff when he said that Chairman Nunes should be removed, you know, unclear that whether he was trying to say more than just recusing from this investigation or further than that. Would you go further than just having him recuse himself from the Russia investigation? Has he become too negative of a presence to even be on the committee for that?
CASTRO: Well, the actions that I've seen him take relate to the investigation with Russia and also the leaks which we're supposed to be investigating also. So, when I say he should recuse himself, I'm speaking of specifically that part of the investigation. As you know, there are many other issues that the intelligence committee deals with aside from this investigation, so at this point I'm not speaking to those. I'm also concerned with this investigation in front of us.
BURNETT: Do you think though that you can as House Intelligence Committee -- I know you would prefer it be done as an independent commission but can you actually move ahead with this at this point with this Russia investigation?
CASTRO: Well, we're committed to moving ahead with it, if that's what the majority decides we're going to do. In other words, we're not going to walk away from the Russian investigation. We would prefer an independent commission but if they insist on doing it through the house, then we're going to be there to make sure that it gets done.
BURNETT: So, I want to ask you about what Nunes is saying happened. He says he was on White House grounds specifically to meet the source, to see information in a classified room. Now, we all know, Wolf pointed out, there are classified rooms on Capitol Hill. He says though that those rooms would not have had, you know, servers essentially, they would not have been able to see the information that was only available in the executive branch. Did that add up to you?
CASTRO: It all seems very strange the fact that he hasn't disclosed who called him that evening to go meet up, that he hasn't shown the documents to the members of the committee either republicans or democrats. The fact that he went to the White House with this information before going to the ranking member or any members of the committee. In fact, went to the media and held a press conference before doing any of that. All of that just doesn't add up.
BURNETT: So when Wolf asked the chairman why he couldn't view this information in a -- in a classified location on Capitol Hill, I wanted to play for you his exact answer and see if you can understand it. Here he is, Congressman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONGRESS: The congress has not been given this information, these documents and that's the problem. So because the -- because this is executive branch, it was distributed widely through the executive branch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: He's saying it was widely distributed through the executive branch and yet apparently not widely enough that anyone close to the president knew about it because no one had told the president until apparently Chairman Nunes decided to do it himself the next day. Does this make sense to you or do you have concern that he is trying to shield the president, help the president or coordinate with the president?
CASTRO: Well, my concern and the concern of many others is that he's crossed the line to become either an advocate for the president or a political protector of the president. He was part of his transition team. And I understand that for members of congress there is of course an inclination to help a president who's of your party but when you're leading this sensitive investigation that includes members of President Trump's team who are the subjects of this investigation, you simply can't do that.
You're not just another member of congress who is going to rally behind your president. You have to be able to separate yourself from that.
BURNETT: And Congressman, has he shared any of this information that he went and then shared with the president of the United States, you're obviously on the committee, right? You're supposedly part of this investigation. Has he told you what's in it?
CASTRO: No. We still have not seen anything. The last word we got last week was that is that it would be presented to us at some point, but as you know there was a Tuesday hearing, an open hearing that's been called off. I believe our Thursday hearing in closed session has also been called off now. So we have no hearings this week. So, you know, we haven't seen any of that evidence.
BURNETT: So you -- I don't know if you heard Evan Perez our justice reporter right before you came on. He was saying that a working theory is that what it was that these calls that Trump made during the transition as Chairman Nunes said all of these interceptions were in the transition not before actual election day. They were -- the world leaders that Trump was calling during that time and he was not doing so through traditional channels, right? He was just taking the call that it may have been surveillance of those world leaders or those around them that was then picked up when Trump perhaps had those conversations. Did that theory make sense to you or fit with what you have seen so far?
CASTRO: Well, I mean, again, I haven't seen anything but certainly that's possible if he was talking to these world leaders and again as even the chairman pointed out there -- that would be a legitimate intelligence collection and so if there was something that he is claiming was nefarious or should be a concern to the president and the country, then he has to put that evidence forward.
The other thing is what's so strange is that the White House and the president should have already known that information without the chairman of the intelligence committee probably coming forward --
BURNETT: Yes. Because in the executive branch, right? So, I'm not alone on that, you don't understand how that works either?
CASTRO: No. And that's why it makes it seem like it's a political volley going back and forth. Almost -- I don't know this but it seems as though the White House was asking him to step up and be the one to announce, they, there's this information out there that essentially validates the tweets that you put out at 5:00 in the morning and perhaps he did that. Again, I don't know that for sure, but I think that given the way things have gone down it's quite possible.
BURNETT: All right. Congressman Castro, I appreciate it. Good to have you on.
CASTRO: Thank you.
BURNETT: All right. OutFront next, our continuing coverage of this breaking story. Tonight, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner agreeing to talk to senate investigators about his ties to Russia and tonight, new details about a meeting with a top Russian banker and Jared Kushner. We have those next. An Trump's most loyal supporters some showing surprising answers on the president's next move.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Healthcare reform is not dead, you know, it should come back at some point during his presidency.
BURNETT: And Candidate Trump promised so much winning that Americans would get sick of it. Do you remember that and all those rallies? Jeannie Moos has the story.
BURNETT: New tonight. President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser meeting with senators as (INAUDIBLE) will, investigating ties between Russian officials and members of the Trump campaign. Jared Kushner arranged meetings between top aids and the Russian ambassador. A man U.S. Intelligence Officials believe as a top spy and spy recruiter. Kushner himself also met with the ambassador at Trump Tower after the election and we're learning about even new Russian ties between Jared Kushner this evening. Ryan Nobles is OutFront at the White House. So, Ryan, let's start with what is the White House response right now to what we're learning about Jared Kushner tonight?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically, the White House is downplaying this saying that Jared Kushner has nothing to hide that there was nothing inappropriate about these conversation and that's why he's volunteer to appear in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee to clear up any kind of misconception about what happened in these meetings. But what they say is that nothing to hide, we didn't know about all these interactions that he had with Russian officials up until this week.
We knew he met with that Russian Ambassador but now we're learning that he also had a conversation with the head of a Russian state owned bank, a bank that we should point out was under sanction by the Obama administration and that bank confirming today that the meeting took place. They say it happened sometime in 2016 but they aren't offering too many specifics other than to say this was part of a road show effort by the bank to meet with business leaders around the world to pitch their future business prospects and at that time, Kushner was the head of his family's real estate company. So, we'll have to see if more comes out of this big meeting that Kushner will eventually have with the Senate Intelligence Committee. Erin? BURNETT: All right, Ryan. Thank you very much. And now let's go to former Donald Trump campaign strategist David Urban, along with former democratic congressman and chair of the democratic committee Steve Israel, our senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson. Editor at large of the Weekly Standard Bill Kristol, also the former chief of staff to the vice president Dan Quayle, Washington Bureau of Chief for the Daily Beast Jackie Kucinich and our senior political analyst Mark Preston. Congressman, let me just start with you with this -- the new revelations tonight.
Jared Kushner is going to testify before senators who are looking at the ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. We know he had meetings with the Russian ambassador and we have learned, confirming tonight that he met with the Russian State Development Bank during the campaign. This is -- you know, I don't know what the right word to use is. He's more than a senior adviser in many ways. How big of a deal is this?
STEVE ISRAEL, (D) FORMER UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN: Well, it's a very big deal. It's very troubling and look, you know, Donald Trump wants us to be talking tonight on CNN about jobs created, walls built, laws passed. Instead every single day the media is talking about this continued murkiness with the Russians. This new revelation that Jared Kushner met with the ambassador or Ambassador Kislyak, that doesn't really bother me as much, Erin, as the fact that he met with Sergey Gorkov, the leader of a bank that is under U.S. sanctions.
Can you imagine what the outcry would be among republicans on Capitol Hill had Hillary Clinton won this election and Chelsea Clinton met -- representing the Clinton foundation with the head of a bank that was under U.S. sanctions. The impeachment proceedings would have started already.
DAVID URBAN, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: If I can, the Clinton foundation, while Secretary Clinton met with lots of folks with questionable ties and questionable groups, so to pull on congressman's thread there, what do you think happened between Jared and Ambassador Kislyak and the representative of the bank. What nefarious thing happened?
ISRAEL: Well, we don't know. That's why the son-in-law of the president of the United States and a member of the White House Staff Jared Kushner is going to go to a Senate Intelligence Committee and testify. We should --
URBAN: Congressman, there's, you know, the problem with it -- Erin, the problem with this whole situation is again the congressman's point unfortunately we keep talking about this Russia, you know, fake news, real leak story because democrats lost the election and they don't have a real reason to say why they lost. They're going to try to blame the Russians.
BURNETT: On the issue of the investigation of the bill, here's the thing. We're learning tonight, you know, you've just -- I don't know if you heard Congressman Castro but they don't even know for sure that their -- the House Intelligence Committee investigation could be falling apart. Now to be on the (INAUDIBLE) of Lindsey Graham tonight calling for an independent committee. You see that republican now coming on board with that. Is that the direction this is going to move given what's happening with Chairman Nunes?
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Yes. I think so. I mean, I'm pretty astonished by what happened with Chairman Nunes. And I think there's a White House problem here too. There are logs. You have to be cleared into the White House by an actual staff just like to get into the CNN building here, someone has to call down, put your name on the list and you have to show up and say here's who I am and here's my driver's license.
That is a discoverable fact. Computers do preserve this information and that's a publicly available fact. I believe the public has the right to know who clears who into the White House. Members during the Obama Administration we learned that (INAUDIBLE) cleared the X number of times. We found out which office should be cleared in to. So who cleared Nunes into the White House? Led him into the skiff, which is not -- you can't just open the door. You have to close.
BURNETT: That's of course the classified room.
KRISTOL: Classified information facility. Who helped him logged on to the White House computer, who hosed him classified information. The fact that he has classifications doesn't mean he's entitled to see everything anytime he wants. There are protocols just supposed to keep track of. I'm shown this information -- did that staffer get -- report this to his boss. If I (INAUDIBLE) staff, if some mid-level person had met with the a congressman and shown him classified stuff in our secure room without letting the vice president's national security adviser and me know, the guy would have been fired. You can't do that. So, there's a huge problem in the White House itself and Reince Priebus is supposed to be the White House Chief Of Staff and I think he actually has responsibility to say who find out who was this and why didn't he behave this way?
JACKIE KUCINICH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: Nunes has done an excellent job of undermining his own investigation into a whole range of things because the fact that you had his ranker member come out and say he should recuse himself, now the intelligence committee is not usually a partisan panel, this isn't one of these committees where it evolves into every one finger pointing, that's what's happening right now and the other thing that's happening, it is bleeding over into the senate and they're actually trying to -- Chairman (INAUDIBLE) trying to keep this on the straight and narrow. However, because of how the rockets the house process has been it's starting to hurt their investigation. So, it really is a -- it's curious what he's doing at this point. He really kind of is making the case for a special investigation.
BURNETT: And shouldn't the White House have said to Bill's point, hey, we're going to get to the bottom of who did this because -- instead I think it's pretty clear, Trump was so happy to hear about it, by the way, there's still the confusion as to when the information resided in the executive branch why it had to go to someone in congress and then come back in, putting that effect, he was happy about what he heard. So they were exactly eager to run down the leak.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENRIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, not only -- not only this moment, but I do think we need to pause for one second and look at -- look at where we are right now. You have a president who is what, 60 days shy of his first term. You have four people who are close to him at varying levels who are going to have to testify before congress about potential treasonous acts. Potential, I'm telling you this.
PRESTON: David, this is unfrequented though. It's unprecedented.
BURNETT: He said potentially, David, he said potentially.
URBAN: Listen, let's be -- let's be -- let's -- listen, you're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. Paul Manafort we know, you know, had represented the Ukrainian President. We know that the national security adviser talked to the ambassador. We have an adviser who was really not an adviser who the president said he never met who is, you know, cut loose --
BURNETT: OK. OK. David, but what Mark said was if the -- if there was collusion, that would be treason.
PRESTON: Let me just -- let me just put a quick period on this because I know there are other voices and other opinions that want to weigh in. What I'm saying is that this would be very easy quite frankly to just kind of wipe away had President Trump come out and say, you know what, I want to get to the bottom of this, let's open up the books, I'm going to -- I'm going to tell you everything that I know and quite frankly we're going to work together with congress and we wouldn't be side-tracked. That's all I'm saying at this point. And right now (INAUDIBLE)
URBAN: Which is why we need an independent commission at this point. You have to be above all reproach and an independent commission would take us there.
BURNETT: All right. We're going to just hit pause because you're coming back with me in just a moment. The reality of course is this is all in the context of the fact that Trump has failed to deliver on his crucial promise to repeal and replace Obamacare on day one. What are his loyal supporters saying now?
And by the way, what is Dick Cheney tonight calling an act of war?
And Ted Koppel calls out Sean Hannity and Fox News.
SEAN HANNITY, THE SEAN HANNITY SHOW HOST: Do you think we're bad for America. Do you think I'm bad for America?
TED KOPPEL, NIGHTLINE ANCHOR: Yes.
[19:30:50] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: New tonight, the House speaker, Paul Ryan, at the White House just a short time ago. He had a one-on- one meeting with President Trump. This comes as Republicans are trying to recover from the disastrous health care bill.
Today, Press Secretary Sean Spicer saying this isn't the end for health care, but he also said this, the president knows when to walk away from a bad deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And I think the president understood that while you can get a deal at the time, that sometimes a bad deal is worse than getting a deal, and I think he smartly recognized what was on the table was not going to be keeping with the vision that he had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Today, as the blame game plays out in Washington, we asked people who voted for Trump who they blame.
Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Washington, President Trump's health care loss is being called a disaster, but in this Trump strong hold north of Atlanta, the word used most often is disappointment.
PATTI PEASE, WORLD MISSION PARTNERS: Well, I'm disappointed they didn't have a plan going forward. That it wasn't something they had prepared for like he said for seven years.
JAY LIN, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: Certainly, it's a disappointing, but, you know, just what I know about this bill, it did not get support from the majority of the Congress.
ED PEASE, WORLD MISSION PARTNERS: Having seven years to come up with a plan probably should have done a better job.
SAVIDGE: But there's no gloom and doom here. No talk of abandoning ship.
(on camera): Who if anyone in your eye gets the blame?
BRAD RAFFESNBERGER, STATE HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE: Plenty of people will be pointing fingers at each other and I don't know if that's really productive.
SAVIDGE: Do you blame anyone? Do you look critically of anyone?
P. PEASE: No, not at all.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Rather than blame, they prefer to frame the failure as a positive.
LIN: I like to view this as a lesson learned instead of a failure.
P. PEASE: He's learning. So, no, I give him some grace on this.
BOB GRAY, CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, SIXTH DISTRICT: The president learned how deep the swamp really is and we'll find the right way to preserve the art of the deal.
SAVIDGE (on camera): He sold himself as being the deal maker.
GRAY: Paul Ryan failed to bring together disparate groups.
SAVIDGE: You don't see this as a failure of the president. You see this as a failure of the job of the speaker of the house.
GRAY: I do.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): That's Bob Gray. He's running for congressman to replace Tom Price, who Trump appointed secretary of health and human services and the others agree.
E. PEASE: I think Paul Ryan did a good thing pulling it versus failing.
SAVIDGE (on camera): That was the tactic.
E. PEASE: Sure. Could he have been better prepared what the decision was going to be, I think that was a mistake.
SAVIDGE: Should he step down. Should he be gone?
E. PEASE: No.
SAVIDGE: Should he step down?
GRAY: I think we need to give this another chance. I think this is the number one priority. It's about credibility for leadership.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): There is one point which they all disagree with the president, the Affordable Care Act should not be allowed to explode, as Trump said Friday.
JOE SINGER, FINANCIAL ADVISOR: I think there's an opportunity to get this right and they should stay focused on it.
LIN: Health care reform is not dead. It should come back at some point during his presidency.
SAVIDGE: As for their faith in Donald Trump?
(on camera): Does what happened Friday change in any way your feelings about the president, your support of the president?
SAVIDGE: Does this in in he way change your feelings or support for the president of the United States?
P. PEASE: Absolutely not.
E. PEASE: It does not for me.
SAVIDGE: Two very different groups, but they all support the president there. And what's interesting when I asked them how do they feel about the moderates, Republican moderates, and also members of the Freedom Caucus, these voters are not happy with those individual groups because they say combined with Paul Ryan, they did what these voters voted against, politics. They saw it as all back room politicking which they cannot stand, which is why they voted for Donald Trump.
They did not like people getting in Trump's way when it came to repeal and reform -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Marty, thank you very much.
My panel is back with me.
Nia, let me start with you. Look, they saw it as a failure, but something to be learned from.
[19:35:01] He learned how deep the swamp really was. They want him to try again. They blame somebody else, not Trump.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, none of that is really surprising. I think what we've seen from Trump supporters all along, even as we've seen Donald Trump stumble in some ways is that they are very attached to this president. They want to see him succeed. They obviously voted for him and they agree with his sort of populist agenda and we'll see where he goes from here.
Of course, he signaled on Friday that he was done with the repeal and replace efforts. He wanted to move on to tax reform. You saw from the White House today, kind of moderation in terms of that. You heard Sean Spicer say they'd been getting calls from Democrats and Republicans about health care.
So, this idea that as president that Donald Trump can step back and just let it as he said implode and then explode and then do something later, I imagine that won't sit well with his voters, but Americans who might be on the sort of negative side of that if they're premiums go up. He would have to deal with that. BURNETT: Congressman, what do you make of this? I mean, how loyal
these supporters were, right? They didn't see this completely rose colored glasses. They know there were issues. But they're not blaming him and that's crucial when you talk about his political capital that he has, they are not blaming him.
STEVE ISRAEL (D), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: You are absolutely right, Erin. You know, I chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for four years. Every gray hair on this head came from those four years. And I was obsessed with voters like that.
I spent a good part of today speaking with former colleagues on both sides of the aisle about how they go forward. I got to tell you, House Republicans have a lot of anxiety about the upcoming midterm election, the fact their base will be dispirited and turnout will be dampened. That is cataclysmic for them. And watching that interview will give them more anxiety.
What we've learned about Trump voters is they are loyal to him. They are not loyal to house Republicans which means at the end of the day Friday was more of a problem, more of a risk, more of a threat to House Republicans than to Donald Trump.
BURNETT: This is an interesting point.
And, David, what about Trump himself? Because he -- you know, the art of the deal. You heard someone mention that there. But he brags about how wonderful he is at deal making constantly. We heard it on the campaign trail again and again. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do deals. I deal. I have tremendous energy, tremendous.
I will make a great deal and lots of great deals for the American people.
I would renegotiate so much of everything.
You know, I want to make good deals for this country.
We don't make great deals anymore, but we will once I become president.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BURNETT: So, David, what does he do because when it came to health care, he failed to make a deal, right? There's no way around that. He failed -- you can blame whoever you want to blame, but there is no deal.
DAVID URBAN, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: So, this is -- I agree with Congressman Israel, probably one of the few times he and I will agree. But I agree with Congressman Israel here that the Trump voters are going to see this as a failure by House Republicans, not by the president. The president put his muscle into this, put his shoulder to the wheel, tried to get the folks to come to the table.
You can't make people negotiate when they don't want to negotiate. I lay this at the foot of the speaker. This should have been negotiated long before January 20th.
BURNETT: You're right. They did have seven years.
URBAN: Exactly. Look, since November 9th we knew we were going to have majorities in the house and Senate and have the president. So, the notion that the Tuesday Group and the Freedom Caucus weren't pulled together in a room to sit down and hammer out a compromise is -- it defies politics 101.
BURNETT: Right. But here's the thing, Jackie, to do what he wants to do, health care, tax reform, whatever the heck it is he wants to do, right, and we all know the list of things, here is the problem, health care did take a toll on him overall. His approval rating went down this weekend by Gallup to 36 percent. That is a low.
So, you have his supporters they may stick with him but 36 percent is not a number that gets Democrats to think they have to work with you. It's not a number that gets the Freedom Caucus to say I have to work with this guy.
JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No, the Freedom Caucus showed they don't need him at all. Mark Meadows was welcomed back in his district as a hero. Look at the businesses that are very excited about tax reform. That's taken a blow because of all the political capital that he spent and because tax reform is even more complicated -- potentially even more complicated than health care.
BURNETT: Yet, here's the other problem, Bill. He can't get the conversation to turn to these things fully because it keeps coming back to Russia, which we keep talking about.
Today, you even have the former Vice President Dick Cheney whom you know well weighing on this saying it's a big deal. It isn't something to be pushed aside. It is a big deal. Here's how he said it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: There was a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin and his government and his organization to interfere in major ways with our basic fundamental democratic processes. In some quarters, that would be considered an act of war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:40:01] BURNETT: An act of war.
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: And, look, (INAUDIBLE) started to make this one before. If you were a normal president and you take over and hostile powers intervene clearly in the election, whether tried to elect Trump, succeeded in electing Trump, but clearly messed around through WikiLeaks and other ways in the election and then there are charges about some of your advisors, what do you do?
You say we've got to get to the bottom of this. I've asked the retired senators, Joe Lieberman, and Senator Jon Kyl, convened lawyers and experts --
BURNETT: Right. You go with an independent commission right away.
KRISTOL: They have to clear this up and he doesn't. He's not cleared it up at all and why not. That's a legitimate question.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Those are two good names that could step in. Somebody who is really beloved by the right and Jon Kyl and Joe Lieberman who can walk the middle. Why hasn't he cleared it up? We have no idea.
I mean, I would like to think he hasn't cleared it up because of his ego. I would like to think that that's what it is.
BURNETT: He doesn't want to admit that that's --
KRISTOL: On the other hand, maybe he's worried about what people would find.
PRESTON: That's concerning.
KRISTOL: I mean, Paul Manafort, I mean, Mike Flynn, he's already one national security adviser because of this. You know, if he thinks nothing wrong was done, why did he fire his national security advisor within 30 days?
BURNETT: So, Nia, where does it go from here? Do we get this independent commission that you have a Republican calling for?
HENDERSON: That's what we don't know. I mean, it's a drip, drip, drip, almost every day on this thing and the Trump administration, as Bill noted, hasn't at all been proactive on this. They basically react to whatever is in the paper. You've got Republicans who want to go after the leakers rather than look at the substance of a lot of leaks that are coming out on this.
In the meantime, this is contributing to sort of the chaos and the uncertainty, not only in the stock market, but also on Capitol Hill about where this goes. I mean, if you're a Democrat thinking about working with administration, why would you want to with this Russia cloud hanging over this administration.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks to all. And I think interesting to point out, just as Nia said, you now have eight days in a row of stocks dropping. Trump has been proud of, the Trump bump, obviously taking a hit because of health care and perhaps other things.
Thanks to all.
Next, why Ted Koppel says Sean Hannity is bad to America to his face, and Donald Trump making the 13th visit to one of his own golf courses. Does he no longer stand by this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And, honestly, Obama ought to get off the golf course and get down there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:46:15] BURNETT: Tonight, is FOX News Sean Hannity bad for America?
Well, broadcasting icon Ted Koppel says yes definitely and said it directly to Hannity's face.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: You think we're bad for America?
TED KOPPEL, BROADCASTING ICON: Yeah.
HANNITY: You think I'm bad for America?
HANNITY: You do?
KOPPEL: In the long haul, I think you and all these opinion shows --
HANNITY: That's sad, Ted. That's sad.
KOPPEL: No, you know why?
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, CNN senior reporter for media and politics, Dylan Byers, and our political director, David Chalian.
David, you know, what is the significance of this, that Ted Koppel would just come out directly and say this to Sean Hannity's face?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: You know, I think it's pretty noteworthy. Of course, if you're a Sean Hannity fan or FOX News watcher, Ted Koppel, despite his esteemed career, you're just going to sort of categorize him with the liberal mainstream media, so I would think that this is, of course, something that he would say.
But, Erin, I think what Ted Koppel was getting at there what sort of has gone on with FOX-ification of the Republican Party and how that has made it that much harder to get stuff done. When you have that kind of echo chamber, and we've seen some of this on the left, but to a far less successful degree.
So, I'll just -- on the right with FOX, when you see FOX perfect as it has this echo chamber, when you see members of Congress no longer really worried for the most part about swing voters because their districts are drawn in such a way where they can do that feedback loop right off what the constituencies on FOX, the members say at a town hall meeting, the constituent has the back to the member, there is no more incentive when you have that kind of feedback loop to actually build the coalitions you need to govern successfully.
BURNETT: So, Dylan, how does Sean Hannity see it? Does he see his job as entertainer, or does he actually think some of the things he says that are incendiary or defending Donald Trump on things that are not true, does he see that as news?
DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR MEDIA & POLITICS REPORTER: Well, look, first of all, I think he sees himself as a hero. I think he sees himself as a populist hero, a hero for the common man who has been forgotten or at least was forgotten until Donald Trump came around. And really I think this is sort of blinded him to as Ted Koppel said, you know, facts. I think he's put ideology ahead of facts. Perhaps he's put his own ego and reputation as this hero ahead of the facts.
You know, to your first question about whether or not this matters that moment between Ted Koppel and Sean Hannity, there was a time when it probably would have mattered and a time where Americans had a sort of common narrative where there were highly esteem figures such as Ted Koppel who could say something like that to Sean Hannity and people really listen and think about it. Unfortunately, as David said, we exist in silos now, both in terms of media and in terms of politics. It makes something like this sort of fly under the radar.
BURNETT: You know, what's interesting here, too, is you have obviously Sean Hannity as the pinnacle of it. But the over of FOX News over this presidency in terms of when someone says something on FOX News that is blatantly untrue, as Shep Smith came out and said when he's talking about Napolitano, right, and those allegations, the president hears and repeats it as if it is fact.
Over the weekend, the president put out a tweet, David, to watch FOX News, at the very top of that program, right, so this is the weekend, the day after health care fails, he puts this tweet out and says watch it. The host, Jeanine Pirro defends Trump on health care, slams Paul Ryan.
Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: Paul Ryan needs to step down as speaker of the House. The reason, he failed to deliver the votes on his health care bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Today, the president's team says the president didn't know that she was going to call for Ryan to resign, we have no way of knowing whether that's true or not. We know they've known each other a long time. Does this add up to you? [19:50:01] CHALIAN: Well, I would be surprised if they didn't have some sense, somewhere along the chain of conversations that go back and forth between the White House and FOX News that she may be doing this.
But let's take them at their word that they had no idea. Let's just look at the president's behavior. First of all, why is the president taking time, the president of the United States, to promote a show on FOX News? Usually he does that when he's appearing in an interview like watch my interview.
CHALIAN: That's not even the case here.
BURNETT: Interesting point, yes.
CHALIAN: He was simply just promoting the show. And I think it begs the question, why is that a valuable use of President Trump's time on a Saturday? But obviously, then, though, she began the show the way she did, Erin. Of course, it calls into question whether or not she's representing the viewpoint of the White House.
BURNETT: And, Dylan, of course, this is obviously the big question. HE just watches a lot of news and gets his information from news, he's not sitting there reading bills or papers or policy.
BYERS: No, he sort of lives inside of the media and, you know, there's this great discrepancy between all of the anti-media rhetoric that we have seen coming out of Trump throughout his campaign for president and now as president, the discrepancy between that and the way he actually feels about the media, which is that he loves the media, he loves the limelight, he loves the attention. He wants to live in that world, he spends all of his time watching it, thinking about how he's covered and the matters, you know, immensely to him.
BURNETT: Thank you both.
CHALIAN: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, Democrats tonight demanding to know who is visiting the so-called Winter White House. Because, you know, and when you go to the White House, there is a log, it is safe. But not at Mar-a-Lago, why not?
And Jeanne Moos on Donald Trump's little desk and a little winning.
[19:55:14] BURNETT: President Trump spending his weekend visiting not one but two of his properties. He and Ivanka Trump spotted heading to Trump Hotel for dinner on Saturday night. On Sunday, he went to the Trump National Golf, his eighth weekend in a row visiting one of his properties.
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A key question of the transition was, how far would President Trump step away from all his business interests?
TRUMP: You sell water, and we have water. We have Trump steaks. We have Trump magazine.
FOREMAN: The answer, not very. Almost every three days since taking office, he's stopped by a Trump building, Donald Trump Hotel or Donald Trump resort, according to a breakdown by "The Washington Post." And he's been to golf courses so many times his press secretary is playing defense.
SPICER: So, on a couple of occasions, he's actually conducted meetings there, he's had phone calls. So just because he's headed there doesn't mean that's what happening.
FOREMAN: But all that activity behind closed doors with no oversight is making government watchdogs nervous. Democrats are pushing for legislation demanding visitor logs at places like his Mar-a-Lago resort.
LARRY NOBLE, GENERAL COUNSEL FOR CAMPAIGN LEGAL CENTER: He's really making his business part of the government, or the government part of his business.
TRUMP: I'm a good golfer, believe it or not.
FOREMAN: It's also presenting a big PR problem. When Barack Obama was president, no one was more critical of his time spent golfing than Donald Trump.
TRUMP: He played more golf last year than Tiger Woods.
FOREMAN: When Louisiana flooded, the candidate famously went after the chief executive for going golfing before going to the flood zone.
TRUMP: And honestly, Obama ought to get off the golf course and get down there.
FOREMAN: And candidate Donald Trump insisted that if he won the election, he might never see his own golf courses again.
TRUMP: And I love golf, but if I were in the White House, I don't think I'd ever see Thornberry again, I don't think I'd ever see Doral again. I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off and make great deals, right? Who's going to leave?
FOREMAN: But while President Obama did not hit the links until April, after his first inauguration, and he provided list of his playing partners, President Trump has visited golf courses 13 times already. And while he does not reveal if he's playing or with whom, it's clearly happening enough to shred his campaign claim.
TRUMP: I'm not going to have time to go play golf, believe me.
FOREMAN: For all of that, the Democrats' effort to force more disclosure on this, unless some Republicans get on board, that's going to be like trying to it in the hole from 200 yards out -- Erin.
BURNETT: One of those things you would think should be partisan, we should have a record of those kinds of things, that's just the way it should be.
Tom Foreman, thank you.
And on a much lighter note this evening, President Trump on winning. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When critics make fun of Trump losing, their favorite argument is him boasting about winning.
TRUMP: We're going to win so much, you may even get tired of winning. You may get bored with winning. You're going to get so sick and tired of winning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, America, are you tired of winning yet? This winning, winning, winning.
MOOS: Even this Republican strategist couldn't resist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aside from being sick and tired of all this failing.
MOOS: Tweeted one critic, so when exactly does the winning start? Followed by a list of Trump setbacks.
The parody account for Donald J. Rump tweeted, "I'm really getting sick of winning. It is overrated."
All comedian Bill Maher had to do was play the video --
TRUMP: It's too much winning, we can't take it anymore.
MOOS: -- and shake his head.
You know, there is one other guy who made winning his catch phrase, though it ended up catching up with him.
CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: Wow, winning. Winning. Starting to get the concept now. Winning. Duh, winging.
MOOS: But duh, you know what else isn't winning? Giving the White House briefing with something in your teeth. "Sean Spicer's teeth are sanctuary city for spinach," snarked one viewer. Tweeted another, "It's appropriate that @presssec has let us in his teeth, since he speaks in word salads." And no one even bothered to pass a note or speak up as they did when Spicer wore his flag pin upside down.
Also not winning, the little portable desk.
TRUMP: This is the smallest desk I have ever seen.
MOOS: The president had to use to sign bills in the Roosevelt Room, not quite as small as the one presidential impersonator Alec Baldwin was relegated to on "SNL." To this president, size matters, and winning is how he sizes himself up.
TRUMP: Please, Mr. President, we don't want to win anymore.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --
TRUMP: You're driving us crazy.
MOOS: -- New York.
BURNETT: And thanks as always for joining us. Don't forget, you can catch the show any time, anywhere. Just go to CNN Go.
Anderson is next.