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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Revives Baseless Wiretapping Claim, Cites Fox News; House Intel Panel Meets As Trump Floats Baseless Claims; GOP Set To Change Senate Rules To Confirm Gorsuch; Kushner's Iraq Visit Underscores Growing Role; Trump's Secretary Of Everything: Jared Kushner; Aired 7-8p ET
Aired April 3, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT HOST: OutFront next, diversionary tactic. President Trump using Fox News to create a smoke screen diverting attention from the Russia investigation.
Plus, President Obama's top Homeland Security and Counterterror Adviser Lisa Monaco weighs in on Russia's interference in the election. Should have Obama done more? She is my guest tonight.
A troubling crime trend this evening. What does it have to do with President Trump? Let's OutFront. And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight. Trump's Russia dodge, the president trying desperately to change the subject tonight. He doesn't want the focus on his team's contact with Russia, instead he's focusing on a Fox News report that a high level Obama Administration official unmasked the names of Trump Associates recordings during legal surveillance.
President Trump began his day with a Twitter tirade. Such amazing reporting on unmasking the crooked scheme against us by Fox and Friends. Spied on before nomination. The real story. Then Trump off the ante, tweeting that the report supported his month's old widely debunked claim that he was wiretapped by the Obama Administration. That tweet says, Fox News or multiple sources, there was electronic surveillance of Trump and people close to Trump. This is unprecedented.
To be clear, the surveillance was of non-U.S. citizens and it was legal. Trump and his associates were caught up in it in an incidental manner by having conversations with those non-U.S. citizens under surveillance. Contrary to Trump's assertion, this is not a new story. Bloomberg then reported that Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice was the one who requested the unmasking of Trump campaign and transition team members names in that Intel gathering.
Now, the fact of this from sources is that it is not unusual for a national security advisor to request the unmasking of identities and this is important. Unmasking those identities to the national security advisor is not the same thing as leaking those names to the press. More importantly this is, of course, a distraction from the core investigation into Trump Associates and their contact with Russians. Justice Correspondent Evan Perez is in Washington. And Evan, the facts don't support the narrative the president is pushing today.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. And as you mentioned, unmasking does not mean leaking. This is -- theory is true. It's not clear how this helps Sean Spicer and the White House in their quest to come up with something to explain the president's false tweet accusing President Obama of wiretapping him. Here's some additional context of the time that we're talking about. It's during the transition after the election and Donald Trump is taking a phone call from the leader of Taiwan and intervening with leaders in Egypt and Israel over a vote in the United Nations.
These are things that cause international incidents that the Obama Administration was having to deal with because, you know, the whole principal of one president at a time didn't seem to apply during the transition. Now, Susan Rice would be one of a handful of people who can ask the NSA or another intelligence agency to unmask the name of an American who is mentioned in an intelligence summary document. Now, if there is a national security purpose that is. Erin?
BURNETT: Yes. So, Evan, the big question here, of course, you know, from what Trump is saying in his tweets also is any of this unmasking illegal separate again from choosing once it's unmasked to then leak it to whoever may have been responsible for that which we know is not. Not acceptable. Was the unmasking itself legal?
PEREZ: Right. We can listen to Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who began all of this with his visit to the White House just a couple weeks ago. Now, he told us that it's all legal. The issue here remains this, Erin. The White House won't tell us, Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff won't tell us what the intelligence really about. And we won't know if there's a real issue here until we learn more about these documents. Erin?
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Evan. But I think very important what Evan just said that that the chairman -- the embattled chairman of the house investigation, the republican Devin Nunes is saying that all of this intelligence gathering was legal. His issue, of course, is with the leaking of the information within it. And this news tonight comes as democrats accused President Trump and the White House of creating a smoke screen to distract from possible evidence of collusion with Russia. Manu Raju is OutFront.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Tonight, congress' investigation into Russia's meddling in the U.S. election is taking shape. With the Senate Intelligence Committee now interviewngf witnesses and the house panel once again meeting after weeks of turmoil. But the White House and republicans now raising new questions over whether the identity of any Trump Associates were improperly revealed or unmasked within the intelligence community during Barack Obama's final days as president. The president tweeting Sunday, the real story turns out to be surveillance and leaking.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN, (R) MAJORITY WHIP: Serious allegations have been made invading the privacy rights of American citizens who might have been caught up incidentally in the collection of foreign intelligence. That's a serious matter. RAJU: Democrats say the White House is focused on unmasking of
certain Trump Associates is a smoke screen intended to distract from allegations of coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russians seeking to influence the election.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE, RANKING MEMBER: I think the answer to the question is this effort to point the congress in other directions, basically say don't look at me, don't look at Russia, there's nothing to see here. You know, I would tell people whenever they see the president use the word fake, it ought to set off alarm bells.
RAJU: Behind the scenes, the House Intelligence Committee is trying to finalize a list of witnesses to interview as part of the Russia investigation, while the senate panel is looking to talk to at least 20 witnesses as part of its sweeping inquiry. That's all in addition to the FBI's ongoing criminal investigation. In a major question lo, how will congress deal with former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn who has asked for immunity in exchange for his testimony. Even some republicans called the proposal a strange idea. Do you think congress should give immunity to Michael Flynn?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I don't know what he has to offer. I wouldn't give immunity (INAUDIBLE) unless I knew they had something to offer.
RAJU: What about the president saying that he should be given immunity?
GRAHAM: I think he's just trying to encourage him to come forward but I'm not so sure that's appropriate. The bottom line is if there were any contacts between the Trump Campaign and the Russian Intelligence Services that were inappropriate, I want to find out about it and I want the whole world to know about it.
RAJU: Now, Erin, today's interviews at the Senate Intelligent Committee occurred with some people who are in the Intelligence Community itself, but that happened on the staff level. I'm told that the first transcribed interview of the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation will actually occur on Wednesday with another member of the Intelligence Committee that is all before the big interviews happen with potentially Mike Flynn or even Paul Manafort who the both Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee presumably want to talk to, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you. And let's go straight now to the Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell who of course sits on the Intelligence Committee. Congressman, obviously this meeting just finished. What did you talk about?
REP. ERIC SWALWELL, (D) INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Not Russia related, Erin, but we really, really want to get back on track and have the public hearing that we were supposed to have with Sally Yates and Directors Clapper and Brenan. We want to show the American people that we're up to having an independent credible and investigation that shows progress and right now we don't have anything yet scheduled. BURNETT: So, you're trying to schedule things. There's also a
question of what you've seen. Have you, Congressman seen or been briefed on the intelligence about wiretapping that both Congressman Schiff and the chairman have now seen at the White House?
SWALWELL: Not yet. And we hope that it is opened up to all committee members. But, Erin, we believe that this is nothing more than just an effort to roll more smoke bombs into an investigation that was making progress and we have no reason to believe that anything illegal was done here. So, we want to go forward. That's what people at home asked me again to do this weekend when I was in the Bay Area and I think that's what most members across the country are hearing.
BURNETT: All right. So we just made the point to remind our viewers that when the chairman spoke about what he saw at the White House, he was clear to say, the republican chairman of your committee that information, the wiretapping had been caught up in a legal manner that Trump and his associates to the extent that any were caught up in this, it was incidental, right? They were talking to people who were not Americans who were under surveillance.
This morning President Trump went on to Twitter and said this, citing Fox News, there was electronic surveillance of Trump and people close to Trump. This is unprecedented. Can you categorically, Congressman, say that this is false?
SWALWELL: From everything that I have seen, yes. And Erin, I also want to say, when I was a prosecutor conducting investigations, often time the behavior of individuals after something had occurred is just as important as what you're investigating and the president putting out these false wiretapping claims, a number of people on his team lying or trying to cover up their contacts with Russia, that tells us a lot. So it's called consciousness of guilt and I think we're seeing a pattern here of deception when people are confronted about their prior ties to Russia.
BURNETT: So you say you don't have these hearings scheduled yet. One thing that's going to determine whether you indeed do is the status of Chairman Nunes. You said he betrayed his duty with his actions and he should recuse himself from the investigation. Others of course have gone further saying he should resign as chairman. Did he address those concerns in your meeting today?
SWALWELL: That is not something we were focused on today. You know, and we do a lot of non-intelligence related matters. And that's why I think if the chairman wants to have credibility in presiding over a lot of the urgent and important matters that we conduct that are not related to Russia, he should step aside with the Russia investigation. Whether he does or not, we're going forward. I'm going to visit an agency and so are colleagues this week to review more evidence. So, we just don't want this investigation to have an asterisk around it.
I want to ask you about Susan Rice, the new report out today from Fox and Bloomberg which claims that White House lawyers learned of that the former national security adviser, Susan Rice was the one who wanted to unmask the names of Trump Officials who -- in those intelligence reports. Have you have seen any evidence of this to this point?
SWALWELL: No. it -- but what I can say, Erin, is this is very common. And also I want to clear up something that Chairman Nunes and others have suggested. Just because Susan Rice would have been able to, you know, "unmask this information," does not mean that anyone else is able to see it. It's often the case that only one individual or someone on their staff sees it. So, this isn't a, you know, sent out a reply all to the whole intelligence community where names are being released. It's usually just one person.
BURNETT: OK. You make that point, but I have to ask you about what John McCain said. Manu Raju caught up with him this afternoon and asked him if he was aware of these reports about Susan Rice and here is how John McCain answered the question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: I have not been made aware, but if it's the case, of course it's just dereliction of duty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: When you hear dereliction of duty from John McCain, you're saying this is very common, what do you say to the senator?
SWALWELL: Yes. So, Erin, this would be like, you know, foreigner A talking to foreigner B and perhaps someone's on the Trump team's name came up. And Susan Rice, is she had a legitimate foreign intelligence reason to want to see that person's name, that would only go to her. So, until they show that was something that was not legitimate and that was not legal, I think it's just more efforts to distract.
BURNETT: Because again, to your understanding, this whole conversation about what conversations were picked up has absolutely nothing to do with the investigation at hand about possible collusion with Russians, correct?
SWALWELL: And the timing of it is very, very I think telling. It happened Tuesday after the public hearing that the FBI Director confirmed there were counterintelligence and criminal investigations into the Trump Team. It's pretty obvious what they're trying to do.
BURNETT: All right. I appreciate your time, Congressman. Good to have you.
SWALWELL: My pleasure.
BURNETT: And next, are republicans about to change the rules just to get Gorsuch confirmed?
Plus, Jared Kushner today in Iraq. Is a man with no government experience qualified for multiple top level White House jobs?
And every time Trump fires off another tweet, this robot gets fired up too. Jeannie Moos fills the burn.
BURNETT: Tonight, a tense face-off on Capitol Hill over the Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Right now democrats have enough support to prevent a vote on his confirmation, so that has republicans threatening to change the rules to get Gorsuch on the bench. It's called going nuclear. Jessica Schneider is OutFront.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is fight on its way to the senate floor and the nuclear option is now eminent.
CHRIS COONS, (D) JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I am not ready to end debate on this issue.
SCHNEIDER: Delaware Senator Chris Coons was the 41st senator to support a filibuster on Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination seemingly erasing any chance for republicans to get the 60 votes needed to end debate. Senator Mitch McConnell foreshadowed the scenario Sunday and help firm on his promise to forever change the senate rules to a simple majority vote for Supreme Court nominees.
MITCH MCCONELL, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM KENTUCKY: What I can tell you is that Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed this week.
SCHNEIDER: The near certainty of the rules change sparked admonishment on both sides of the aisle.
GRAHAM: Hamilton is rolling over in his grave. I'm sorry we got here but we are why we're here, we are where we are and I'm going to vote to change the rules because I'm not going to be part of the senate where democrats can get their judges and republicans can never get theirs.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, (D) RANKING MEMBER, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: This nomination is not the usual nomination. It comes in a different way and it has proceeded in a way of excessive spending of dark money that in the time I have been on this committee, I have never seen before.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm appointing a Supreme Court justice.
SCHNEIDER: Democrats are still angry that republicans wouldn't hold a hearing on President Obama's nominee Merrick Garland and they're using it to justify a filibuster.
COONS: There has never been a partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in history. And well, technically correct. I question what a seven-month refusal to hold a hearing or vote is if not the longest partisan filibuster on this committee ever.
SCHNEIDER: But the White House pinned the problem squarely on the democrats.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think democrats are setting a very dangerous precedent when it comes to how they want to do this today.
SCHNEIDER: Democrats say they're worried about Gorsuch joining the highest court in the nation.
SEN. AL FRANKEN, (I) JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: This isn't about finding a consensus nominee who only calls balls and strikes. A nominee like Merrick Garland. This is about confirming a nominee who will guarantee 40 years, 40 more years, of 5-4 decisions favoring corporations over workers and consumers and preventing Americans from getting access to the courts.
SCHNEIDER: The crucial vote on that nuclear option could happen on Thursday. Democrats now have 42 senators on their side, so republicans would have to strike a deal with at least two of them to break a filibuster. Something that's completely unlikely. However, Senator Chris Coons left the option open for some sort of compromise, but again that's also looking unlikely. And Erin, the final confirmation vote on Neil Gorsuch right now is scheduled for Friday evening. Erin?
BURNETT: Obviously going to be a crucial day. Thank you, Jessica. And OutFront now, Dana Bash, out chief political correspondent and Jeffrey Toobin with me, our senior legal analyst. So, Dana, just for the politics of this, smart move for the democrats to go ahead with a filibuster here to force republicans to change the rules to "go nuclear" to confirm him.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It depends on a smart move for whom and to what end. Jeffrey and I have been going back and forth about whether or not it matters all day. I'll let him give you his answer on that. I suspect I know what it is, but let's talk about -- so, let's just talk about raw politics and election politics. In that sense it is a smart move in that the democratic base has is such fervor and they're so despondent and angry and animated by not just Donald Trump's presidency, but specifically by the idea that President Obama's nominee wasn't even given a hearing for 11 months.
OK? So they're begging, demanding that the democrats do exactly what they're doing right now, which is filibuster President Trump's nominee. However, in -- if you look at the politics of the Supreme Court, very different politics. I would argue and I've talked to several democratic senators who actually agree with me today that the idea of filibustering this nominee who is filling a conservative slot is certainly would get a short-term gain in that, you're showing the base that you're standing up to the republicans, but they know that the result will be as Jessica said, for the republicans who are in charge in the senate to change the rules and that leaves open the idea of the next nominee should there be one and there likely is going to be one, which is going to be a swing vote on the Supreme Court for the democrats to have no leverage whatsoever at all and for the president to be able to put up the most conservative possible choice. And, you know, we'll see.
BURNETT: Jerry, isn't that sort of what this does? I mean, this is a nomination in a sense that doesn't change the balance of power. The next one does.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I don't -- yes but disagree with anything that Dana said except that if they were -- if they don't change the rules this time, they'll change the rules next time, the republicans. So it's not like the democrats have some leverage that they're losing, it's that they don't the votes. There are 52 republicans in the senate. As long as they stick together as they have, they can change the rules and they can confirm someone a majority. I mean, that --
BURNETT: So it's inevitable. Basically --
TOOBIN: And, you know, democrats are hoping that Ruth Bader Ginsburg eats tons of yogurt and lives forever, but if there is another vacancy it will be confirmed on a -- this vacancy will be filled on a majority vote. And the thing is that was going to happen anyway, so I don't see what the democrats gave up by invoking a filibuster this time.
BURNETT: And there is of course some -- I guess, there's a choice comments that were made last year when the republicans blocked Merrick Garland's Supreme Court nomination, Dana. Democrats at the time said, a court without nine justices is a crisis, we can't have it. We can't have it. Here they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (D) VERMONT: Supreme Court of the United States has nine members, not eight. We need that ninth member.
FEINSTEIN: The Supreme Court needs nine justices to function properly. It is vile to our judicial system.
SCHUMER: Every day that goes by without a ninth justice is another day the American people's business is not getting done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And yet now, Dana, it's the democrats who are essentially forcing the court to go even longer with only eight.
BASH: Right. I mean, the democrats would argue that it's not that they're saying we don't think that there should be a ninth Supreme Court justice, they say that we just don't think it should be Judge Gorsuch. They don't think that he is the right guy. Some of them are just saying we don't -- we don't support Judge Gorsuch like for example Elizabeth Warren put out a statement from the get-go saying she opposed him not necessarily because of his views, although she certainly doesn't support many of them, but because she views this a stolen seat.
BASH: The majority of them, they just said that this is not the right guy and they want that seat to be filled just with somebody they consider more moderate.
BURNETT: But, Jeffrey, this is really all politics towards the democratic base. The Gorsuch nomination is not in question, it is not past committee. We are moving ahead.
BASH: I don't know calling it politics, I mean, it's about who should be on the Supreme Court. That's political. But it's political about something very important. Should abortion be a constitutional right? May universities consider race in admissions. Is citizens united a correct decision about -- I mean, those are what Supreme Court justices decide. Those are political issues. Their big differences between what democrats and republicans think about this issue.
BURNETT: What I'm saying though to Dana's point, the democrats can go ahead and pander to their base or do what their base wants. Pander may not be the correct word, but they can do that because the outcome here is really not in question.
TOOBIN: I mean, they would do that even if the outcome was in question because that -- they believe what their base believes on these issues. I mean, this is a substantive fight about very important issues. I don't think either party is engaged in democracy. I think it's just substance of disagreement about what the Supreme Court should stand for and that's really important and it is going to matter for decades and decades.
BURNETT: It certainly will. All right. Thank you both very much.
Next, Jared Kushner in Iraq tonight on behalf of the president. That's what they told us in quotes. Why is Kushner with no government or diplomatic experience doing the job of the Secretary of State?
A deadly subway attack, a bomb kills nearly a dozen people, dozens more injured. Is ISIS to blame?
BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump's Senior Advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner is in Iraq. He is there with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. White House officials tell CNN that Kushner is there to see the situation in Iraq for himself and show support for the Iraqi government. It sort of sounds like something the Secretary of State would be doing, right? He hasn't been there yet. Kushner meantime has no previous diplomatic or government experience which is raising questions about why he is a top foreign policy advisor along with a growing list of other responsibilities. Tom Foreman is OutFront.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Calming nerves in the Middle East, working back channels on Chinese relations, weighing in on infrastructure plans and more. All that is on the desk of 36-year-old Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka Trump and trusted advisor of his father-in-law, the president.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And he is very good at politics.
FOREMAN: Indeed, Kushner appears to have the president's backing to weigh in on almost any domestic, international, political, or economic matter. SPICER: As he looks at various aspects of government, he works with
different people in the White House that oversee different parts of that portfolio.
FOREMAN: Kushner's virtually unprecented influence for a White House Aide is all the more startling considering his resume.
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The last place I thought I would be -- I would be spending a lot of time in Brooklyn.
FOREMAN: Years ago when he was speaking a business meetings like this, he was a real estate tycoon building upon his family's fortune, but he's also made costly mistakes. He bought this building in New York in 2007 for $1.8 billion. Then prices collapse and a proposed Chinese investment in the building recently brought screen from critics who saw potential conflict of interest.
As a man chasing foreign investments, he developed friends around the globe, but his Russian ties are under sharp scrutiny. And While Kushner has plenty of Muslim business contacts --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have a son-in-law who's Jewish, Jared, who's a great guy.
FOREMAN: -- the president wants his help with the Israel-Palestinian dispute. Kushner is an orthodox Jew with a long history of supporting Israel and personal friend of the Israeli prime minister.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Can I reveal, Jared, how long we've know you? Well, he was never small. He was always big.
FOREMAN: But Kushner's lack of political experience is the real sticking point for many. When Kushner announced desires to make the federal bureaucracy more like a business, he said, "Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens."
STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: Hold it a second, we're not customers, we're citizens, which means we own the store. You work for us, buddy.
FOREMAN: So, what is Kushner going to do with all of this power? Well, that's something of a mystery because he rarely appears on camera talking about anything. He goes about his work in a very quiet way. And when he does speak, it seems to be only in a whisper that can only be heard by Donald Trump -- Erin.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thank you very much.
OUTFRONT now, Dan Pfeiffer now, former senior adviser to President Obama, Jamie Gangel, our special correspondent, and Jeffrey Lord, former Reagan White House political director. Jamie, I want to start with you because you have reporting on
Kushner's trip to Iraq tonight. What are you learning?
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So, first of all, this sort of makes him the Selig of the White House, right? He's at China, Israel, Middle East, opioid, fix the White House, but the Iraq announcement caught lot of Republicans by surprise.
I got a text from one senior Republican, "Why? What does Rex Tillerson think about this?" They're just amazed.
And someone pointed out, which I thought was very important -- no matter how smart you are, no matter how much experience you have, one person should not be doing all of these things. And a Republican source who is really watching the White House closely said that he did not think this was about Jared grabbing power. He said he thought it was about Donald Trump has lost confidence in a lot of people around him and what is President Trump do when he loses confidence? He pivots to the people he knows the best, pivot to Jared.
BURNETT: Now, Jeffrey, the former foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama, Ben Rhodes, sarcastically tweeted in response to this Iraq trip today, "Kushner in Iraq before the national security advisor or secretary of state, totally normal." You know, a source told me at one point, Rex Tillerson was very upset with Kushner's interference. It is pretty stunning that Jared Kushner is in Iraq before the secretary of state and national security advisor, isn't it? I mean, Jared Kushner does not have any foreign policy experience.
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Erin, just in general, presidents always do this. I mean, Harry Hopkins was famous as a social worker and Franklin Roosevelt made him his envoy to Churchill and Stalin. Robert Kennedy was trash by no less than "The New York Times" because he was 36 years old and had no serious experience and shouldn't be attorney general, and now, the Department of Justice is named after him literally.
Jared is 36 years old, just like Bobby Kennedy. Presidents of all stripes, I mean, I would argue, I'm sure Dan would disagree, but I would argue that Valerie Jarrett had no business being a senior aid to the president of the United States, if you want to take that tact. On the other hand, I think President Obama trusted her, and people like that are replete in every administration from the get-go. Alexander Hamilton was like this.
BURNETT: People like that? So, what are you saying, people who are unqualified but trusted?
DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well --
LORD: Yes, right.
BURNETT: I'm trying to summarize what you said.
LORD: Yes, yes, right.
BURNETT: OK. Dan?
PFEIFFER: Well, I mean, first, I'd make a couple of points. I think even if Jared Kushner was the most experienced, most talented person who ever serve in government, to be the combination of Harry Hopkins and Robert Kennedy, to use Jeffrey's examples, he has more on his plate than that person can do. You can't handle Iraq, Middle East peace, reorganizing government, all of these things.
This speaks to I think problematic elements in President Trump's management style and the lack of talent and experience in that White House. And so, it makes sense for presidents to put people around them that they are close to. It makes sense -- Valerie is close, but she's also someone I would point out who has lot more experience in business and in life than Jared Kushner before he showed up here.
[19:35:00] But she had a portfolio specific to her experiences. She wasn't given the entire world like President Trump has given Jared Kushner. It's just not possible to succeed like that.
BURNETT: Jeffrey, you know, we know it's China. We know it's opioids. We know it's infrastructure.
Here is Donald Trump talking about Jared Kushner in a variety of different environments about what Jared is going to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
TRUMP: I'd love to have Jared helping us with deals on other nations and see if we can do peace in the Middle East.
I want to thank Jared Kushner who has been so involved.
So, Jared, maybe I'll let you take over for a little while.
Jared, you know his wife is about two minutes away from having a baby so he's here. He's coming to AIPAC. Where is Jared? Jared spoke to many of his friends from Israel and we put it together with a lot of great people.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BURNETT: Does it give you any pause to hear him constantly I guess calling him out or maybe using him as a crutch?
LORD: Erin, one of the underlying things here if I can go back to JFK, he went through the Bay of Pigs a few months after he was inaugurated. It was a disaster.
And the lesson that he, President Kennedy, drew out of this was that he listened to all these professional career people who got it wrong. And so, thereafter by the time of the Cuban missile crisis, he was relying on his brother, Kenny O'Donnell, who's the Boston pal, who was effectively his chief of staff, his speechwriter Ted Sorenson, all of whom he trusted, were loyal. But more to the point, he felt they had common sense and that the bureaucracy, the professionals, had failed him. I think there are a lot of presidents and I think Donald Trump is
probably going to be one of them who have that sensation, and so, therefore they turn to the people that they trust. In this case, it's Jared Kushner.
BURNETT: So, Dan, Jared was in the room for every meeting. I was in a meeting. He was there, alongside with Steve Bannon, quiet, said nothing, not at the table, but there listening. Here he is with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, again with the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, and last week, of course, in that meeting on opioids and drug abuse.
Do you think that he could end up being a calming or a muting factor for Trump, a good influence on Trump?
PFEIFFER: Well, that's certainly what I think Jared and the people around him would like you to think. I would say if you follow President Trump's Twitter account over recent days, it was suggested he is not succeeding in that fact. I think the point here is that Jared can play an important role and I think President Trump has the right to have the people around him that he wants to have around him, but you have to give them a set of issues that make sense for them and they have a chance of succeeding in. You have to delegate in your White House.
It's just not physically possible for someone to do all the things that President Trump has assigned to him. He has no experience in any of the issues assigned to him.
BURNETT: And, Jamie, you know, I understand from sources Tillerson, Mattis, Wilbur Ross, commerce secretary, have all been incredibly frustrated and resentful of Jared Kushner at times. Can that hurt him?
GANGEL: Well, it can because that also -- it can hurt the president, right? You have to build a team and what have we heard over and over again about how things are going? Chaos, internal power struggles, no discipline. That's not good for the president. That's not good for the country. That's not good for Jared.
But I asked someone who's been in a lot of meetings with Jared, what he's like, and they say this is not about ideology, that he's pragmatic. If you asked what his ideology is, it would be one word, loyalty. Loyalty, loyalty. And in this case, to his father-in-law.
BURNETT: And that is, of course, what the president values above all else.
BURNETT: Thanks to Jamie. Thanks to Dan. Thanks to Jeffrey.
And next, terror underground on a subway in Moscow. Is ISIS responsible?
And serious crimes in Los Angeles are not being reported by some victims. Are President Trump's immigration policies to blame?
[19:42:52] BURNETT: Breaking news: at least ten people are dead and dozens more wounded in the terror on a busy St. Petersburg metro train. The explosion tore through the train. It was traveling between two stations in St. Petersburg, which is the second biggest city in Russia.
As you see, this video captured people jumping from the train right after the explosion. Another video taken at the scene shows smoke filling the station. Russian officials say that they then found a second device. They were able to diffuse that one before it could explode. No group has claimed responsibility at this hour. Officials do though say this is terror.
OUTFRONT tonight, President Obama's top homeland security and counterterror adviser, CNN's new senior national security analyst, Lisa Monaco, also happened to announce the Obama administration review of Russian hacking into the election.
LISA MONACO, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Thank you.
BURNETT: We're so proud to have you here. Thank you for coming on.
MONACO: Good to be here.
BURNETT: So, let me start by asking you about this breaking news out of Russia with this bomb at St. Petersburg's metro. Who is a bigger target for ISIS right now, Russia or the U.S.? I presume you do think this likely is ISIS.
MONACO: So, it's still early and I think we have to be mindful of that. It's still early in the investigation. There's no doubt the intelligence officials and law enforcement officials in Russia will be doing.
But I think there's two things to keep in mind and there's two potential ways I think that this could go. One is ISIS. It's got all the hallmarks of ISIS -- an attack on a soft target, a train station, a public area and as you mentioned, a well-traveled commuter path in St. Petersburg. The use of what appears to be a homemade explosive, an improvised explosive device, reports of shrapnel having been embedded in this explosion. Now -- so it's got the hallmarks of ISIS.
And the other thing we know is now there have been dozens of video references from ISIS threatening to undertake attacks against Russia and this emanates ever since they and Putin engaged and started his bombing campaign into Syria back and engaged in the conflict in Syria back in October of 2015. And, of course, we know that ISIS, its affiliate in Sinai, in Egypt, was responsible for bringing down the MetroJet airliner back in 2015.
[19:45:04] BURNETT: So, Russia has been, obviously, a very significant target.
I want to also turn to our other big story tonight. Lisa, multiple reports that the national security advisor Susan Rice under President Obama requested the unmasking of Trump associate's names picked up in intel gathering, incidental pick-ups of on wiretaps, or taps of non- U.S. citizens. They were picked up, that she requested the unmasking of their names.
Usually when American citizens' names obviously are picked up in this way, their names are hidden. Is the unmasking of those names, her request to do so, would that be normal or suspect?
MONACO: So, let me be very clear. I'm not going to comment on any investigation that's ongoing and certainly not going to comment on any specific intelligence reports or classified information.
What will be helpful, though, is to step back and understand the context here and the process that goes into handling these types of intelligence reports. It is not uncommon, in fact for decades and absolutely since 9/11, even a more robust process has gone. National security officials have received intelligence reports from the intelligence community. By definition, there are reports that the intelligence community professionals have decided are critical to our national security.
So, those go out to senior officials across the government, the White House, as well as other agencies.
BURNETT: You're saying if it was on her desk, someone had already determined it was of national security importance?
MONACO: That's correct.
BURNETT: So, we start there?
MONACO: We start there.
We also -- it's not unusual at all as many intelligence professionals over the last few weeks have talked about, it's not unusual for American citizens to be referenced in those reports or to be picked up in those reports. That's if the foreign intelligence target, which has been deemed a legitimate target by a court and by our intelligence professionals, if that foreign intelligence target is referencing or talking to an American citizen.
But what's very important, Erin, is for people to understand. the handling of that information, there's very rigorous process and controls on that which are overseen by all three branches of our government.
BURNETT: So, if she did that unmasking, it would be because she thought it was important to know that name in a national security context. Would she have shared that name? Could you just explain the thinking there?
MONACO: This is the last point that people should understand. That it is also not unusual or uncommon for individuals who receive -- national security officials who receive those intelligence reports to get additional information, including the identities of persons referenced in those reports if it's important to understand the significance of those reports. I'll give you a case in point. If there's a threat or a reference to cyber criminals trying to attack a business, you want to know who the reference is to.
BURNETT: So -- yes?
MONACO: And also, importantly, Erin, people should understand that the determination about whether to unmask and provide that information is made by intelligence professionals, career professionals in the intelligence community.
BURNETT: Right. She couldn't just say willy-nilly say, I want it, and it's done. She has to request. Someone has to decide, and they then unmask if they choose, if they think that the merits it?
MONACO: The intelligence community makes that determination. Admiral Rogers testified --
BURNETT: But basically what you're saying, though, is there wouldn't have been a request to unmask unless there was something in there that would indicate from a national security perspective that would be important or helpful.
MONACO: What I'm saying is, these are not uncommon or unusual for Americans to be referenced for there to be a process that is approved by the intelligence community to provide that information and it's done through a process that has gone on quite frankly for years.
BURNETT: Right. So, who knows the nature of the conversation might have been something that seemed somewhat suspicious or challenging the national security, or whatever it may have been would have led to the request I need -- I want to know who that American citizen was, who was involved in this conversation.
BURNETT: OK. So, when John McCain early today, he said he wanted all the factual evidence to make sure he had the evidence, but it could have been a dereliction of duty for Susan Rice to have done this, to request this unmasked. When you hear, what's your initial reaction, your gut?
MONACO: So, I didn't see those comments from McCain, and, obviously, he's got a lot of experience and is a principal consumer of intelligence, I don't really understand that reference because as I said, there's a long standing rigorous process that goes into the protection of this information and the handling of it that's overseen by the Congress, as well as the court and executive branch.
BURNETT: And one more crucial question I think, because there is two stories here. There's the unmasking of names and then there was the leaking of some of this information to members of the press. How many people do you generally would have known if Susan Rice in her capacity had asked for an unmasking? Would she have been the only person to know? Would there have been others? How many people in general would know that name of that American citizen in a report?
MONACO: Here again, stepping back from the specifics of the reports that have been talked, Erin, going back to the process, and again, this is something that intelligence officials who have served across administration, that's talked about recently that there is a very careful process.
[19:50:03] I think Admiral Rogers talked about, only a set number of 20 people in the national security agency who have the ability to approve the unmasking.
MONACO: And then the process is to have that information go back solely to the requester.
BURNETT: All right. So, very few people.
And the story's literally moving as we're talking, Lisa. Our Jim Sciutto is now reporting and I should say earlier today, it was FOX News and Bloomberg News both reported that Susan Rice had requested this unmasking. An associate of Susan Rice is now telling our Jim Sciutto that that allegation is false. When you hear these conflicting reports, what do you think is going on?
MONACO: So, I'll let others do the political prognosticating, and again, say that the process that has gone for years is precisely put in place to protect the privacy of American citizens, but by the same token, national security professionals need to understand what's in reports that the intelligence community has already said by definition are critical to our national security to understand.
BURNETT: You, of course, have announced the Obama administration review into the hacking specifically, Russian hacking into the U.S. election. You obviously knew about this hacking long before the American public did, the Obama administration. You knew.
Why didn't the Obama administration say anything publicly or do anything about it earlier?
MONACO: So, you know, I've seen this and I understand it in terms of hindsight. What I think is very important for people to understand, and it's a valid question to be asking because we need to learn everything we can about what went on, which is why President Obama ordered the review, the full review he did before he left office.
And the reason is, because we want to make sure we understand what happened because as intelligence professionals have told us, this is going to happen again. We're going to see increasing aggressive actors in the cyberspace, whether it's Russia or others, try and get at our critical systems.
So, in terms of what the Obama administration did, I think it's very important to recognize, we did take a number of steps. There was statements to and discussions with Putin at the highest level, including by President Obama himself. We also --
BURNETT: And when did those happen, last summer? A direct conversation between President Obama and President Putin?
MONACO: Last summer, and this is the president, President Obama, talked about this, very direct messaging, telling him that this was unacceptable and if there were any intrusions into and affecting our election systems, that would not be tolerated. There was an unprecedented statement issued by the director of the national intelligence and the secretary of homeland security in October, backed up by the entire intelligence community, unprecedented statements, calling out Russia including the highest levels of the Russian government for this intrusion.
BURNETT: Did the conversation, I know you said there were multiple conversations between President Obama and president Putin, did that begin before the hack into DNC emails was discovered around the conventions? Was it before that or after that?
MONACO: Well, as we know from what the FBI has said and what other public and cyber security firms have talked about, that the hack into the DNC predated the summer. So, the conversation with President Obama that was already talked about with President Putin occurred over the summer.
But I think what's also important for people to understand that that the focus at the time was critically to make sure that our election system continued to have integrity, that there was not an intrusion into that process. And our priority at the time was to make sure state and local election systems were protected.
BURNETT: Now, did you -- I guess the question is, though, did you maybe not take it as seriously, or were you worried that by going more public with it earlier, it would look as if President Obama was trying to help Hillary Clinton and maybe inadvertently end up helping Donald Trump? Was that calculus going on in your head?
MONACO: Well, I think President Obama spoken to this quite specifically, saying there was a concern that there did not appear to be a politicization of this. We were very focused on making sure that the election itself had integrity and that the systems were not intruded upon and that there was confidence.
This is a very important point. There's a lot of debate about what the Russian motives might have been here. But everyone agrees across the intelligence community that one of their main motives was to sow discord, to sow confusion and to sow a lack of confidence in our democracy, and we didn't want to do anything that did the Russians' work for them.
BURNETT: All right. Lisa Monaco, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.
MONACO: Thank you.
BURNETT: And welcome to CNN. MONACO: Thanks very much.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, a disturbing crime trend tonight, what does it have to do with President Trump?
[19:56:12] BURNETT: President Trump declaring this National Crime Victims' Rights Week. He says the nation stands with those victims and their families, and that, quote, "We must focus on the plight of crime victims and search for effective solutions."
This comes as the police chief of America's second biggest city is warning of a disturbing new in crime, which he says has been happening since President Trump took office.
Sara Sidner is OUTFRONT.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is almost unheard of for a police chief to tell the public a decrease in crime reports may actually be a dangerous trend. But that is exactly what's happening in one of America's biggest cities.
CHIEF CHARLIE BECK, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: In Los Angeles, domestic violence reports are down 10 percent in the Hispanic community. Ten percent, imagine somebody being a victim of domestic violence and not calling the police because they're afraid that their family will be torn asunder because of immigration enforcement.
SIDNER: What's even more alarming, he said, reports of rape dropped 25 percent in the Latino community, compared to the same time last year. The fear is crime isn't actually dropping, but victims are too scared to report it, noting the drop came after Donald Trump with his tough stance on immigration took office.
BECK: There's no direct nexus to it, but there is a strong correlation.
SIDNER: But in Denver, the city attorney says she has seen a direct link, heightened fears of deportation has so far scared away four domestic violence victims.
KRISTIN BRONSON, DENVER CITY ATTORNEY: All four were Latina, and all four contacted our office to let our office know they weren't willing to proceed with the case for fear of deportation.
SIDNER: The women were not so much afraid to face their alleged attacker, but instead afraid of this -- ICE agents in plain clothes waiting right outside courtrooms to detain undocumented immigrants. This video taken by a private firm shows their fears are not unfounded.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you coming here to make an arrest?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SIDNER: Local law enforcement worried about the potential impact of ISIS presence on witnesses, and victims.
BRONSON: We are worried that crime will go unpunished and if crime is unpunished and there are no consequences, obviously, crime can rise.
SIDNER: According to ICE policy, courthouses are fair game. But ICE officials say detaining people at court houses is often a last resort, aimed at violent criminals. Still, their actions are having a chilling effect on victims, too.
(on camera): Where are you afraid to go now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The courts, it frightens me to think that just by going there, immigration will get me.
SIDNER (voice-over): This undocumented mother of two American-born daughters says she used to live in terror inside of her home because of her abusive spouse before fleeing. He was never charged, but now she's even more terrified when she leaves her home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Every single day I think about this. My daughter says, "Mom, I'm afraid when you pick me up from school, immigration will be there."
SIDNER: A couple of things to note here. One is that statistically speaking, it's not a very large amount of data, it's only the first three months of the year. And so, hard to tell if there's a real trend there. Secondly, during the Obama administration, ICE agents were in court and did effect some arrest there. But that practice largely stopped in 2013 or thereafter, after ICE faced major backlash after they had arrested some women who have gone to court trying to seek restraining orders.
Now, ISIS clearly back in courthouses and the tension between ICE and local law enforcement and some victim advocates is as well -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Sara, thank you very much.
And thanks to all of you as always for joining us. Don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT any time, anywhere on CNN Go. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.
"AC360" with Anderson Cooper starts right now.