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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
House Dems: Flynn Failed To Disclose Trip on Russia Deal; WH Official: Spicer May Be Moved Into Different WH Role; American Student Detained. Then Freed By N. Korea Has Died; Trump Silent Today On Whether He's Being Investigated; Lawyer Contradicts Trump, Says He's Not Under Investigation; CNN Analyzes Jared Kushner's Business Dealings; Sources Special Counsel Looking At Kushner MTG with Banker. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 19, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer in "The Situation Room." Erin Burnett "Outfront" starts right now.
[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN OUTFRONT ANCHOR: "Outfront" next, breaking news, fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn under new scrutiny tonight, failing to disclose a $100 billion deal he was working on with the Russians. Plus, a major staff shake-up possibly coming to the White House. Is Sean Spicer out?
And new details about the collision at sea that killed seven American sailors. How does a high-tech navy destroyer and a massive cargo ship collide? Let's go "Outfront."
And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. "Outfront" tonight, the breaking news.
A $100 billion Russia deal. CNN is learning tonight the fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is under investigation tonight over whether he misled government officials on his security clearance application about two more international trips. Both made during the presidential campaign, one of the trips involving a nuclear Russian deal worth $100 billion in Saudi Arabia.
And tonight, top Democrats on the House Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees are demanding more documents from Flynn. The committee's letter, which we've obtained, also charges -- and get this, they say Flynn did not disclose a single meeting with a foreign government official for seven years. On page 74 of the government security clearance form, fs-86, it's a very clear question when applying for security clearance. It says, "Have you in the past seven years been involved in any other type -- in any type of business adventure with a foreign national."
Now the committee letter says Flynn completely dismissed the question. They wrote, quote, in their letter, "Most troubling of all, we have no record of General Flynn identifying on his security clearance renewal application even a single foreign government official that he had contact with in the seven years prior to submitting his application." We begin tonight with this new information about Flynn's Russian connections with Manu Raju. Manu is outfront on Capitol Hill. And Manu, obviously, a very big letter here from the Democrat on the Oversight Committee. Why are these trips that they are saying that he failed to disclose or to disclose details about so important?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, there are two trips that are taken to the Middle East by Mr. Flynn, including one trip in which involved the building of nuclear power plants in exchange for a roughly $100 billion in arms that we purchased from some of these Middle East countries, arms purchased from Russia. This is something that Russia apparently was involved with, according to this report from Newsweek that these two members of Congress are particularly interested in. There's Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Eliot Engel of New York asking the attorneys of Michael Flynn to provide more documents.
And Erin this comes as Michael Flynn has come under enormous scrutiny for not disclosing not just these Middle East trips but other trips that he has taken over the years, including trips that are paid for by Russian-backed entities including Russian Television Network where he appeared at a dinner next to Vladimir Putin and also did not disclose that that was paid for by RT.
So, one thing that these investigators are looking at is whether or not he misled federal investigators by not disclosing these meetings and these form, including these two Mideast trips that are not at the center of these -- the interest among these two House Democrats, Erin.
BURNETT: And, of course, obviously it would be very significant, not just the trips themselves. They met with -- he met with foreign officials and it was involving a $100 billion possible deal with Russia. The letter also says, Manu, the letter that you obtained says that Flynn's security clearance form, and we were just saying theses are very specific question, right? Do you deal -- they were dealt with foreign nationals in the past seven years. He did not include a single meeting with a foreign official in seven years. He is in the consulting business where he deals with foreign officials overseas. How is this possible?
RAJU: Well, that's a good question. It's a question that we've mentioned put for Michael Flynn's attorneys as well. No comment yet from Michael Flynn's attorneys about these -- this disclosure by these two congressmen. But this comes as Michael Flynn himself is getting some scrutiny as well on the Senate side of the Capital, including President Trump urging -- allegedly urging the FBI director to back off the investigation of Michael Flynn.
Erin, tonight we have learned that the Senate Judiciary Committee wants to look into that aspect of Michael Flynn as well and whether or not President Trump acted improperly in any way in urging the FBI director to back off that investigation of his former National Security Adviser. So you're seeing Michael Flynn getting a lot of scrutiny both from the Senate side and the House side as these investigators look for more information about his role here, Erin. BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Manu Raju. We have a member of that judiciary committee outfront in just a moment. I want to go to Jeff Zeleny first, though, at the White House. And Jeff, any response to this new and possibly extremely significant news on Gen. Flynn?
[19:04:59] JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Erin, there's no response to this point to this specific news and here's why. At this point in this investigation, it's essentially every man for himself here. I mean Michael Flynn, of course, was the National Security Adviser so he was central to so much of this and now he is central to the Russia investigation, of course. But the White House has enough problems of its own quite frankly here. So they are not focusing on that.
But the White House is also looking at some messaging issues and some staffing issues. Again today, the White House daily press briefing not on television. They are trying to change the subject. They had a bunch of CEOs in today and trying to get people to focus on that but the reality here is Sean Spicer, who is the White House Press Secretary, of course, was giving a briefing that was not on television. We could not have his sound -- his pictures at all. They are trying to limit all of this. But now there are also questions tonight if his role is going to stay on.
We're told by White House Officials that the president is looking at potentially a different role for Spicer, potentially. So this could come down the road potentially -- not immediately, there could be a new White House Press Secretary. But Erin, I'm not sure if it matters because the realty is they don't want to focus on the Russia investigation --
ZELENY: -- and that's about all that's done making things here at the White House.
BURNETT: And those questions, of course, had nothing to do with the press secretary and everything to do with the investigation itself.
BURNETT: The press secretary won't change that. Thank you very much Jeff Zeleny.
BURNETT: I want to go now to Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, as I mentioned he's a member of the Judiciary Committee. And thank you for being with me.
Senator I want to start with the breaking news on General Flynn. As you just heard he may have misled officials on his security clearance form about two Middle East trips, one of which involved Russia and a $100 billion nuclear deal with the Russians. Your reaction? SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, (D) JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Well, these additional disclosures, thanks to CNN, emphasized how problematic the president asking Comey to let Flynn go would be and how serious the potential obstruction of justice -- more serious the Flynn nondisclosures. His lies in effect on those security clearance forms about contacts with the Russians.
The more deepening the ties to the Russians and the pattern of secret and concealed dealings with him are. And it is also important because Flynn may know about others and that if he's going to cooperate as this evidence of (inaudible) against him. He may be a source of additional information.
BURNETT: And I want to ask you more about this breaking news that also the breaking news from your own committee. Because as you said, you see this as part of the reason why it's so important to look into the president and his motives when he asked the FBI director to let this thing go, referring to the investigation to General Michael Flynn. Your committee -- you just heard Manu Raju reporting is now in bipartisan agreement on the scope of your investigation. Is obstruction of justice included?
BLUMENTHAL: Very much so. Obstruction of justice has to be included because it involved potential malfeasance and wrongdoing within the Department of Justice. If there was an attempt to obstruct it, if people in the department were involved or officials in the White House, obstruction of justice, political interference with an ongoing investigation regardless of what the president's lawyer may say could make the president a target, a subject, a person of interest. And so our hearing will very much involve potential obstruction of justice in the firing of Comey and other actions.
BURNETT: So on these issues with General Flynn, congressional investigators have said that they have -- and I just quote from their letter again, "No record of Gen. Flynn identifying on his security clearance renewal application even a single foreign government official he had contact with in the seven years prior to submitting his application." Flynn, of course, was in the business, part of his business involved dealing with foreign officials as a consultant. Could this have been an accidental omission, in your view?
BLUMENTHAL: That may be his side of the story. That may be his excuse or defense. But General Flynn has been around for quite a while and anybody who has worked with the government knows that a falsehood on that kind of security clearance form, a falsehood to an FBI agent is punishable under 18 United States code of 1001 by five years in prison. We're talking about a very serious felony for each one of these possible lies. And I think that a prosecutor would find it very difficult to believe that this was simply accidental.
BURNETT: You heard our reporting tonight that we aren't able getting answers from the White House in response to this latest news from General Flynn and obviously we'd like to know their response to your committee and now you're saying that obstruction of justice is very much a part of this. We aren't getting those answers, though, because as we said, the Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who knows, he could be leaving the White House podium for another role inside the West Wing, but this comes as he and his colleagues are not taking questions on camera. They are also not even let the media use the audio of their answers. So when answer we're not even allowed to play for our viewers how they answers the question. It's a pretty stunning and unprecedented situation. What do you think the reason is?
[19:10:10] BLUMENTHAL: There could be all kinds of reasons but thinking like a prosecutor, which I was for a number of years and state attorney general, what everyone says about this situation is potentially evidence against them and whatever they say, it will have no real enduring impact on what the outcome is. The special prosecutor is going to do his investigation doggedly and accurately because that's who Robert Mueller is and our committee, the judiciary committee, is going to do our investigation without regard to what the press secretary says or the president's lawyer, for that matter, saying whether he is or isn't a subject of investigation.
BURNETT: Senator, there is some very sad news this evening. The American student that was held hostage in North Korea, Otto Warmbier, died this afternoon. He, of course, was released by Kim Jong-un in coma. And the president responded just moments ago. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: I just wanted to pass on word that Otto Warmbier has just passed away. He spent a year and a half in North Korea. A lot of bad things happened. But at least we got him home to be with his parents. That's a brutal regime. And we'll be able to handle it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Senator, you're in the Armed Services Committee as well as judiciary. You heard the president, it's a brutal regime and we'll be able to handle it. Is that a threat and should it be?
BLUMENTHAL: The larger issue is the growing military threat from North Korea. My heart goes out to the family and certainly the conditions of his imprisonment were brutal and cruel and typical of the hard-heartedness and brutality of that regime. And equally important, if not more so, is the growing military threat from the nuclear arms and the ICBM that that country is experimenting to develop relentlessly and repeatedly they are testing those missiles and we need a strategy, which we have not seen.
BURNETT: Should the president retaliate?
BLUMENTHAL: I want to know more about what the considerations are before we talk about retaliation for this death. Certainly the imprisonment of this individual, along with others, and the human rights violations about Otto condition our strategy, but we need a strategy in how to deal with North Korea.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Senator Blumenthal.
An "Outfront" next, President Trump tweets that he's under investigation by the special counsel but his attorneys now say that he is not. Why?
Plus, a high-tech U.S. warship colliding with a massive cargo ship in the open ocean. How could this possibly have happened?
And Jeanne Moos on Jared Kushner speaking out today. Why is that news? Well, ask yourself. Have you ever heard him speak?
[19:16:38] BURNETT: Breaking news in the Russia investigation. Top Democratic lawmakers investigating President Trump's Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn over two very specific and significant things. One, whether he misled officials on his security clearance form about two trips to the Middle East, one involving Russia and $100 billion nuclear deal, and the other, they are saying, in terms of the investigation itself, is whether he left off seven years of meetings with foreign officials on his security clearance form. Despite being asked directly to list all of them.
This comes as President Trump's legal team insists that the president himself is not under investigation contrary to reporting. Michelle Kosinski is "Outfront."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are you under investigation by the special counsel?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president today silent on questions over the possibility he is now being investigated by the special prosecutor in the expanding Russia probe over his conversations with and subsequent firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Still, plenty of fallout over Trump's tweet on Friday. "I am being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director. Witch hunt."
Yet, Trump's recent addition to his legal team, Jay Sekulow, conservative radio host and Fox News Analyst got into it in a string of TV appearances and contradicted the president, denying that Trump himself is under investigation. So how he would know that is unclear.
JAY SEKULOW, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Now, under your theory, the Department of Justice, through its special counsel office, would be investigating the president for taking the action that they recommended him to take.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Well, a couple of things. I'm not arguing the substance.
SEKULOW: I just want to be very clear on what that is. CUOMO: The president of the United States says that's not true. He said he was going to get rid of Comey no matter what the A.G. said.
If you're going to spend so much time on this, why don't you pick up the phone and get the answer.
SEKULOW: Look, you're asking me to pick up the phone on an investigation that right now we don't know exists.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: So the president said, I am under investigation even though he isn't under investigation?
SEKULOW: That response on social media was in response to the "Washington Post" piece. It's that simple. The president is not under investigation.
KOSINSKI (voice-over): Then, he seemed to be saying the opposite on Fox News.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: First of all, you've now said that he's being investigated after saying that --
WALLACE: You just said --
SEKULOW: No, he's not being investigated.
WALLACE: You just said that he's being investigated.
SEKULOW: No. Chris, I said that the -- let me be crystal clear so you completely understand. We have not received nor are we aware of any investigation of the president of the United States.
KOSINSKI: So let's deconstruct this presidential tweet a little bit more. The president had said he's being investigated for firing James Comey by the person who had told him to fire Comey. To whom is he referring? Well a Trump associates had told CNN he's talking about the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who was praised by Trump and his administration only weeks ago.
So today, his Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked, does the president still have confidence in Rosenstein but he would respond only that the president has confidence in everyone who serves him in this administration. Erin?
BURNETT: All right Michelle, thank you very much.
In "Outfront" right now, Former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean, Senior Washington Correspondent for POLITICO Anna Palmer, and Former Adviser to four presidents, Nixon among them, David Gergen.
[19:19:59] David, let me start with you. Why is Trump's legal team so consumed with talking -- coming out and talking and saying that Trump is not being investigated? There's a report out, "Washington Post" reported that he is being investigated. But Trump himself came out and tweeted that he was.
So, why are they're now out there creating more and more back and forth on this?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: I think they're creating a fog bank to confuse everybody to know when it's quite certain where the investigation stands and the reason for that is quite simple. With the latest story, I had been portrayed so far at them by the Washington post and by other news organizations, you've also follow the lead with "The Washington Post" and confirmed it.
GERGEN: Is that the path of the investigation, not only leads inside the White House but leads inside the Oval Office and that puts the president under a cloud.
We've heard that he's been yelling out to television, that he seems very frustrated and he's angry and that he's distracted as president. So there's clearly something going on. I don't -- what he is formally under investigation now whatever the terminology is, it is very, very clear that the special counsel. As well as the committees on the Hill are now taking a hard look - they're taking a hard look as whether he has obstructed justice or not.
Where they come out, let's be cautious, let's wait and see but there's no question they're taking a hard look.
BURNETT: And John Dean, you have Senator Blumenthal just coming out and confirming that the judiciary committee -- his committee has now agreed on a bipartisan basis on the scope of their investigation and he made it very clear, obstruction of justice is part of that. So this is now coming from multiple places.
JOHN DEAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Yes, I don't David, listen to question, David is right. There's a lot of fog being pumped out here.
BURNETT: So Anna, let me ask you here on this issue on General Flynn. OK, we now know two new things from General Flynn that congressional investigators and Democrat that Elijah Cummings wrote this letter and they say that there were two more trips that he didn't disclose, one of which involved to possible $100 billion deal regarding Russia and that there was seven years of meetings with foreign officials than he would be asked to disclose on his security clearance form. He disclosed none of them. Could all of this be oversight?
ANNA PALMER, POLITICO SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It's a little hard to believe. I don't know. I mean, these are really serious forms. It's not that you're lying about whether you weigh 135 pounds or 125 pounds at the DMB. This is trying to get a security clearance for, you know, a national security. But this a very different thing. It also didn't list any single trips that he'd never had anything that was of, you know, any significance hard to believe. I think the other thing it's really hard to believe that a $100 billion deal is not something that you would not remember that you would not to disclose.
BURNETT: John Dean, what do you think his motive could have been if he left all of this off for doing so for General Flynn?
DEAN: Well, given somebody who has the intelligence background that he does. It's the only -- the only conclusion that I can reach is he doesn't want investigators looking at this Russian ties because that's where he seems to have the memory lapses of the greatest. But he also apparently left other off as well just to pretend like he hadn't been out of the country or had been dealing with foreign leaders. I think he is in a heap of trouble as a result of this. And it's just too many and too widespread to be a careless error.
BURNETT: And David Gergen, what's the significance as with this new -- was that possibly very significant development into the investigation to General Flynn? What is the significance? Is there greater significance now on the president's request to the -- then FBI Director Jim Comey to end this investigation into General Michael Flynn?
GERGEN: Yes. So, John Dean part rightly points out that he's in a heap of trouble and the trouble seems to be growing.
Let's be very clear there to mislead or to lie on your national security clearance form is a very serious crime. It is punishable by up to five years imprisonment and, you know, for in his case, you know, to have this multiple number of omissions which are clearly misleading does object of making very vulnerable.
Now, the president, you know, this puts all the more -- raises it being a bigger question about why has President Trump and trying so hard to take Flynn out of the investigation. What do you call the obstruction or not? It's clear and he just wanted the special counsel to stop investigating Flynn. And so, the big, it's a question that grows ever larger.
Why? Why has he put so much into this and the answers are not bringing encouraging for the White House and so I couldn't -- do you understand why people in the White House are now so fearful. They're anxious and the president himself is frustrated.
BURNETT: And Anna, there are no -- there is no good answer to that question and all we know with that when the "Washington Post" for it's -- so we first came out and the president himself was under investigation which started after he fired Jim Comey, he then came out and tweeted saying that why he was under investigation. Now his lawyers are out trying to say, "Well, he's not under investigation."
[19:25:00] I mean, this is a big part of the issue, it's his own inability to stick with the message on his Twitter.
PALMER: Right, I think any lawyer, any crisis communications person would say, "Put down your phone, stop with the Twitter." But I think the reason why he does it right. It's not about what you or the criminal lawyers at the investigation like, he wants to communicate directly to his supporters and this has been the medium that has been very successful.
BURNETT: And so he's going to keep doing it. All right. Thank you all very much.
And next, Jared Kushner, why is Trump's son-in-law still holding on to so much of his business empire? We have new details on Jared Kushner and Russia and his finances as we continue this focus this evening.
And Sean Spicer telling reporters there could be an answer about the Trump/Comey tapes by the end of the week. But why don't we have Spicer's remarks on tape?
BURNETT: Tonight, Jared Kushner may be changing up his legal team as the Russia probe expands. President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser is being advised by his current lawyer to hire another lawyer with appropriate experience to represent him. And this comes as sources tell us that the special counsel is looking into a meeting between Kushner and the head of a Russian bank as part of the investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign.
Kushner's attorney says its standard practice in a case like this to check into Jared Kushner's finances gratifying of Russian connections. But what if anything is there to find?
Drew Griffin is outfront.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His unofficial nickname at the White House is "secretary of everything" but another nick name for Jared Kushner could be the "landlord of everyone."
[19:30:04] His family's real estate empire include 20,000 apartments, 13 million square feet of other real estate across six states. The Kushner Company has a stake in everything from luxury penthouses in Manhattan to modest apartments in Ohio and New Jersey. Jared Kushner even disclosed a small financial stake in this mobile home park in Union, New Jersey. No kidding.
(on camera): It's right here on page 32 of his 54-page financial disclosure form. The Park Lane mobile home park.
You'd like to walk around the park with him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. And show him the stuff that needs to be taken care of.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): His financial disclosure does show the president's son-in-law resigned or divested himself from several of his holdings including a somewhat controversial building at 666 Fifth Avenue. He's also resigned from his position in the family business this January. But as a whole, Jared Kushner remains invested in nearly 90 percent of
his pre-White House real estate holdings, 124 properties, most now held in trust.
(on camera): Is he still involved in these projects?
HITEN SAMTANI, THE REAL DEAL: I think he's got too much on his plate at the moment. I mean, you can't try to solve Middle East peace and be the liaison with the Pentagon and also look at properties. But he has a financial stake in these properties. He's not divested from everything.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): The Kushners continue to make big deals, just without Jared Kushner. Meg, Kushner's sister, was widely criticized for mentioning her brother's role in the White House while pitching Chinese business owners to invest in the company's billion dollar development in New Jersey. That role in the White House also raised concerns when the Kushners were trying to attract a Chinese bank to redevelop a potential real estate flop. That building at 666 Fifth Avenue that's $1.4 billion in debt.
The Chinese deal fell through. The family still needs to refinance but Jared is no longer involved. He sold his stake when he went to the White House.
(on camera): So what does this have to do with Russia after all? None of Jared Kushner's 54 pages of financial disclosures disclose anything about Russia.
CNN has been told by sources that the special counsel is focusing in on an odd meeting Jared Kushner had here in December at Trump Tower with the head of Russia state bank.
(voice-over): It wasn't just any Russian state banker. It was a Putin friend who attended Russian spy school, a mega rich banker named Sergey Gorkov. Gorkov heads one of the Russian banks facing stiff sanctions from the United States.
And to add a little intrigue, Mr. Gorkov isn't speaking.
REPORTER: What did you really talk to Jared Kushner about when you met?
SERGEY GORKOV, RUSSIAN BANKER: No comment.
GRIFFIN: The Russian bank and White House have two different versions of what that meeting was about. The Russian bank said they talked business. The White House says they talked future U.S./Russia relations. And both versions have fueled speculation.
If the bank's version about a business meeting is true, congressional Democrats want to know whether Kushner might have brought up his family's troubled 666 building and the need for a new loan which could cross ethical lines between his company and his role as adviser to the president. If Kushner's version about it being a diplomatic meeting is true, it
raises questions about whether the bank brought up U.S. sanctions and appealed to Kushner to drop them.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, it's pretty incredible when you look at all of it, and the questions that they have regarding Russia. How much do you know about what Kushner is going to disclose to Congress?
GRIFFIN: Apparently, he will volunteer to disclose everything. His attorney tells us that Mr. Kushner did volunteer to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings and according to a White House spokesperson, Jared -- this is their quote: Jared takes the ethics rules very seriously and would never compromise himself or the administration and is fully complying with federal ethics rules and will recuse as necessary.
BURNETT: So, you went through the 54 pages --
BURNETT: -- when you went out to the park there, but you're saying in those 54 pages, you don't see specific business investments regarding Russia. But does that mean that you actually know whether he has business interests in Russia or not?
GRIFFIN: You know, it does not mean one way or the other, Erin, obviously. But we've asked this question directly to Jamie Gorelick, Kushner's attorney, and the White House. They have not gotten back to us yet.
I wouldn't read into that yet. They are trying to be very careful. We saw what's happening with Flynn, failure to disclose, all that. They don't want any of that business with Jared Kushner.
GRIFFIN: But right now, on paper, we can find nothing with Jared Kushner and his investments in Russia.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Drew.
And I want to turn now to our senior political analyst Mark Preston.
Mark, look, you've got the special counsel doing a deep dive into Jared Kushner's business, although, of course, as Drew was reporting, at least on the 54 pages of disclosures that we have, they don't see anything directly related to Russia. There is that meeting that they're investigating and this comes in the context of what we're learning tonight, yet another connection between Michael Flynn and Russia.
[19:35:01] Multiple meetings not disclosed. Seven years of contacts with foreign officials not disclosed. How much trouble could this cause for President Trump?
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, let's just say that it's already causing him a lot of trouble because he's now being taken off message in large part because of himself. He's decided to try to take on this special counsel himself. He's decided to take on the deputy attorney general at the Justice Department. So, that alone is taking him off when it comes to policy.
However, if you look at the long-term implications, there could be serious trouble for him. You have one committee in the Senate looking at collusion. You have another committee right now looking at obstruction of justice and then, of course, you have the special counselor looking into his son-in-law. And as we all know, one investigation opens more doors into more investigations. So, this is going to go on for a very long time.
BURNETT: Right. And we do know, correct, Mark, that obviously it starts with Russia but it's now expanded into the finances of the president and his close associates, obviously including Jared Kushner?
PRESTON: Yes, no doubt about that. And, of course, we have specifically from the left -- but from Democrats, we've seen them come up specifically and say that President Trump is trying to use the office to benefit himself financially. We saw lawsuits filed here in the District of Columbia within the past couple of weeks from D.C. government and the Maryland government as well. So, yes.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Mark Preston.
And next, more breaking news on the Oval Office tapes. President Trump saying there may be an answer to the question this week. This week. OK. Why not tonight? Why not now? What are we waiting for?
And that deadly collision between a Navy destroyer and massive cargo ship raising new and very troubling questions tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water flow was tremendous and so there wasn't a lot of time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:40:31] BURNETT: Breaking news on the White House tapes, Press Secretary Sean Spicer today saying, quote: It's possible that we have an answer to that by the end of the week.
Of course, the House Intelligence Committee has given the White House a hard deadline of Friday to produce any recordings that the president and the fired FBI Director Jim Comey. Of course, the question of whether there are tapes or not is one raised by Trump himself first on Twitter, and it is one that he and his aides have answered multiple times in different ways. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Do tapes exist of your conversations with him?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president made clear in the Rose Garden last week he'd have an announcement shortly.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: He'll let us know. Everybody has to wait and see.
JAY SEKULOW, TRUMP LAWYER: I think the president is going to address that in the week ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, the Republican governor of Florida, close friend of President Trump's, Rick Scott, and, of course, long time supporter.
Governor, you know the president. Let me just ask you on the question here, a bigger picture question about this, because you know him and you've been with him. Do you think that he is taping conversations in the White House and that he even has tapes of conversations with Jim Comey?
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Erin, I have no idea. I mean, I've been in the Oval Office. I've sat in the meetings. I mean, I have -- I personally have no idea.
What I do know is he engaged -- I was with him on Friday. We announced his Cuba policy. I rode with him to the event and back and all he does is he wants to learn stuff, he's asking questions, he's very engaged and he's focused on what he's doing. He was focused on the Cuba policy, which is good for us.
BURNETT: OK. Which may be true and you want to talk about that. The problem is, when it comes to the tapes -- let's just take the tapes, the tapes have nothing to do with anybody but him. Nobody even would have thought, to your point, of there even being any tapes had he not gone on Twitter and said James Comey better hope there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.
This is a situation of his own making.
SCOTT: Well, I mean, you know, President Trump, Donald Trump, when he ran -- I mean, he used Twitter to get a message out. Now, what I can tell you is I've talked to him about what he's trying to do and he's focused on ISIS, he's focused on America first, he's focused on all of these things.
SCOTT: When I talked to him, we're not talking about, you know, Comey or anything like that. He's talking about what he's engaged in and he's excited about what he's doing.
BURNETT: Have you talked to him about the problem with Twitter, though? Because you said you're with him on Friday, right? So, I looked at Friday. That was the same day he went on the Twitter tirade over the Russia investigation. His first four tweets of the day were about Russia, three of them, one is blaming the media.
Does he understand that that's a problem?
SCOTT: During the campaign, what I always told him, I said, look, the campaign is about jobs, it's about destroying ISIS, it's about supporting the law enforcement military and that's what I've always talked to him about. He's got -- I think he has 100 million Twitter followers and that's what he believes --
BURNETT: I think that's Katy Perry. I think he has 30 million off the top of my head, but literally, I think she has about 100 million. He has about 30 million, I think. Sorry, everyone, if that's incorrect but I get your point.
SCOTT: So, I think he's out trying to get his message out and I think that's what he thinks. He's used it to get his message out.
SCOTT: And -- but I tell you, when I'm around him, I've talked to him about health care. I've talked about Cuba. I was there a week and a half ago about infrastructure. He's very engaged of the issue of the day. And it's not -- you know, I don't talk to him about anything else.
BURNETT: It's just a very -- which is interesting, because it's a very different situation that he portrays himself directly to the people on Twitter. He did have a meeting today with the CEOs of America's biggest companies, as you know. It just wrapped up a few moments ago, and many of them were there. Apple CEO was there, Jeff Bezos was there, from Amazon. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk were not there. They both criticized him for withdrawing from the Paris accord.
Was it disrespectful for them to not be there today?
SCOTT: I think it's a missed opportunity. I mean, I think it's important to sit down with the president and tell him what you think. If you care about the direction of this country, you have the opportunity to go to the White House and sit down with the president of the United States, whether you're a Republican or Democrat, show up. Show up and tell him what you believe.
Look, no one's going to agree with everything you do. None of us do. So -- but I would be there and I would show up and talk about what I care about.
There's no question what I talk to him about. I talk to him about what's good for Florida, jobs, infrastructure and things like that. And that's what I do if I was them.
BURNETT: So, before you go, I want to play something that the president said about you when you were together on Friday. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He's doing a great job. Oh, I hope he runs for the Senate. I know I'm not supposed to say that. I hope he runs for the Senate.
[19:45:03] Rick, are you running? Huh?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: He did the same thing to me a week and a half ago when I attended an infrastructure conference with him. And I've always said the same thing. It's 2017. The race is in 2018. I won't make the decision until later.
Every -- you know, politicians seem to worry about their next job. I've got like 570 days to go in this job. I'm trying to make Florida number one for jobs, number one for people being safe, we're 46-year low in crime rate, and number one for education.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Governor, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much for being with us tonight.
SCOTT: Good seeing you again, Erin.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, new and disturbing details surrounding the Navy destroyer crash in which seven American sailors were killed. Was it human error?
And Jared Kushner speaks publicly and think about that, it's kind of like Kate Middleton. It's a voice you don't hear very much. Jeanne Moos is all ears.
BURNETT: Breaking news: President Trump tweeting about the deadly collision of a navy destroyer and a container ship. The president saying: My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the seven U.S. Navy sailors of the USS Fitzgerald and their families.
Meanwhile, the Japanese coast guard says it took nearly an hour for the crew of the container ship to report that it had struck the USS Fitzgerald.
[19:50:01] This comes as investigators tonight are trying to understand how two massive ships could have collided.
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The massive merchant ship made a sharp turn around the time of the fatal collision with the American warship, according to a maritime tracking system. It's not clear what, if anything, it had to do with the accident. We do know the crash was catastrophic.
VICE ADMIRAL JOSEPH AUCOIN, COMMANDER, U.S. 7TH FLEET: The damage was significant. This was not a small collision.
FOREMAN (on camera): The merchant ship ACX Crystal is registered in the Philippines and it was on a relatively short hop from Central Japan to Tokyo in the east. It's about 50 percent larger than the warship over here, and importantly, about three times as heavy. So, it did not sustain much damage.
But the Fitzgerald did not fair nearly as well. Immediately upon impact, there was a breach in the commander's quarters, just below the bridge. A radio room below that. Below that, another machine space and importantly, let's go below the water here, because then you can see, there is a protruding portion on the freighter.
And that came forward and rammed the military ship below the water, in an area where typically in the middle of the night when this crash occurred, there would be dozens of people asleep.
AUCOIN: The water flow was tremendous. And so, there wasn't a lot of time in those spaces that were open to the sea. And as you can see now, the ship is still listing. And so, they had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface. And so, it was traumatic.
FOREMAN: The ship was saved, but seven crew members could not be. The dreadful news coming back to the States on Father's Day weekend. Xavier Alec Martin of Maryland was 24 years old.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very hard. It's my only child. It's all I have.
FOREMAN: Dakota Rigsby was 19, a fireman back in Virginia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a good guy, bottom line. Just a straight up good guy.
FOREMAN: Also injured, the Fitzgerald's commander, Bryce Benson.
AUCOIN: He was medevaced. His cabin was destroyed. He's lucky to be alive. And he's at the hospital right now. He's undergoing treatment.
FOREMAN: Both ships had radar to warn against collisions. The Fitzgerald's extremely advanced systems to detect threats above or below water. The Navy says watch teams are on duty throughout the night.
So, the primary question now for American, Japanese and Philippine investigators, how did this happen?
(END VIDEOTAPE) FOREMAN: And there is this. While we know that part of the communications system for the naval ship was disabled by the crash, it now appears that the civilian ship may have taken up to an hour to report the collision.
Investigators will want to know if that is true. And if so, why? Erin?
BURNETT: It is incredible. When you look at that, it still is, why? It just seemingly does not make sense.
Tom Foreman, thank you very much.
And next, when Jared Kushner speaks, Jeanne Moos listens.
[19:57:29] BURNETT: Jared Kushner has been called President Trump's secretary of everything. But come of think of it, have you ever heard him talk?
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shhh, he's been seen but not heard, silently watching President Trump sign orders. Jared Kushner is usually in the middle of the action, but publicly mum.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, thank you very much for --
MOOS: Sitting at the president's side, butter in a peep out of him.
JOHN OLIVER, TV HOST/COMEDIAN: Have you ever heard him speak? Seriously, what does his voice sound like?
MOOS: But we now know the president's son-in-law doesn't really sound like Gilbert Gottfried, because at a session with technology leaders Monday, Jared Kushner finally used his vocal chords.
So without further ado -- drum roll please -- we present the actual voice of Jared Kushner.
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT: The Department of Defense, for example, still uses eight inch floppy disks.
MOOS: No wonder nobody focused on what he was saying.
KUSHNER: The Trump administration got it done.
MOOS: I don't believe it. This is like finding out mermaids have legs, tweeted someone stunned to find Kushner has a voice. Others drew parallels. Jared Kushner's voice sounds like a young Michael Cera.
MICHAEL CERA: I'm Mr. Manager.
MOOS: Kushner's silence was mocked on "SNL."
ALEC BALDWIN AS PRESIDENT TRUMP: And now, I'll send in my little kush ball, Jared Kushner.
I know you don't like talking, but why don't you take it away. God, you're so cute.
Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!
MOOS: Kushner is a guy with a Twitter account but no tweets. A cover story in time with no interview. He once tiptoed past his wife as she was being interviewed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on, Jared. Come on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There he is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, Jared, you can't just walk in and not say anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He used to.
MOOS: The silent sidekick has finally found his voice.
KUSHNER: It's working and it's very exciting.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: I wonder how much more we'll hear.
All right. Thanks so much for joining us.
And don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT any time, anywhere. You just have to go to CNN Go. We'll see you back here same time, same place tomorrow night.
"AC360" with Anderson Cooper begins right now.