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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
W.H. Source: Trump Thought He Would Have Done Better In Polls Had He Continued Obama Birther Conspiracy; Roger Stone's WikiLeaks Contact Revealed; Source: W.H. Officials Heard Trump Questioning Authenticity Of Access Hollywood Tape, The Same Tape He Apologized For; Reports: More Women Accuse Matt Lauer Of Sexual Harassment; Trump: GOP Tax Plan "Going to Cost Me a Fortune". Aired on 7-8p ET
Aired November 29, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:02] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: -- dramatic developments unfolding. We'll watch it every step of the way guys. Thanks very much. That's it for me. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, OUTFRONT HOST: OutFront next, President Trump embracing the Obama birther conspiracy again. Now questioning whether he should have acknowledged that Obama was born in the United States. This as Democrats and Republicans are asking serious questions about his competency for office.
Breaking news in the Russia investigation at this hour. We're learning the identity of Roger Stone's intermediary with WikiLeaks, the orum (ph) of Russian intelligence. We'll tell you who it is, why it matters so much. Our Manu Raju just breaking that news this moment.
And more breaking news, new allegations at this hour about Matt Lauer. One of Lauer's former coanchors joins me to weigh in on his sudden and dramatic fall. Let's go OutFront.
And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront this evening, breaking news about President Trump's state of mind. The President behind closed doors is reviving the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. This is what he's doing.
And CNN is now learning that he believes that he would have performed better in the election had he never actually acknowledged that President Obama was born in the United States. Which if you remember, President Trump turned a September press conference a year ago into an infomercial about his new hotel. And then moments before walking off the stage, he said these crucial 10 words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Barack Obama was born in the United States period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So he did apologize for the many times which you'll hear later that he said the opposite. But he said loudly and clearly the truth right there. That now, though, is a move that the President is apparently questioning tonight. And it comes as Democrats and Republicans are raising new questions about the President's mind set after a series of offensive tweets today.
This morning, to his nearly 44 million followers promoting three anti- Muslim videos the leader o f the far right hate group, Britain First. The woman there, the leader convicted of religiously aggravated harassment. The videos are horrific and violent.
And now CNN has not verified these videos. Supposedly, they portray Muslims committing acts of violence. At the same time, they come at the same time as the President is telling multiple people in his inner circle. Get ready for this.
That the Access Hollywood was falsified, specifically, that it is not his voice on the tape. This defies belief. First of all, it was. And he has said it was and he has apologized for it.
Jim Acosta is OutFront live at the White House. Jim, look, there's some serious questions for the President tonight. I want to start with what you are hearing about new discussion that he is initiating about where Barack Obama was born.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. According to this source who was close to the White House, advises this White House apparently President Trump ever since that day, when he finally acknowledged that Barack Obama was born in the United States was questioning and has questioned since then, the politics of that decision. A meeting that he feels that he would have done even better in the November election last year had he just stood his ground and insisted that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
He feels he would have performed even better in the polls had he just stayed with that position. It's a remarkable insight into his mind, Erin, because in recent days, it has sounded as though when you hear some of these various reports about the President reviving this issue that perhaps he's just kind of losing it.
And what I was hearing from this source earlier this evening was that perhaps this is more tactical. That the President believes in citing some of these, you know, racially-tinged conversations around the country because he feels that they help him politically and this development that the President believed back then that it was just the wrong political move to acknowledge that Obama was born in the United States goes to that theory.
Now you also mention the Access Hollywood controversy. I will tell you, there is a growing concern behind the scenes here at the White House about these reports that the President is questioning the authenticity of the Access Hollywood tape. I will tell you, I talked to one official who said yes, there have been staffers whispering about this behind the scenes, that there are officials who have knowledge of the President saying this.
But that one very senior official behind the scenes inside the White House has been going around to colleagues assuring colleagues and staffers that no, this story is not true, so some concerns here at the White House about both of those issues that go right to the President's stability of mind tonight, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Jim Acosta. And of course, his obsession with the outcome of the election, which let's be clear, he won.
OutFront now, Mark Preston, our Senior Political Analyst, Nia-Malika Henderson, our Senior Political Reporter and Doug Brinkley, our Presidential Historian. Mark, let me start you and this reporting from Jim.
[19:05:03] That the President believes he would have done better in the election, had never acknowledged that Barack Obama was born in the United States. It's a pretty stunning thing. Not just in what he's saying, but in his obsession still over the election results.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, Erin, you know, at this point, I think that there needs to be an intervention with the President. He needs to be held accountable for his actions.
And before, you know, some of the viewers out there will turn around and say that that is a partisan attack, it is not a partisan attack. This is not about tax cuts, this is not about Obamacare, this is not about what policies are better. These are about the actions of the commander in chief of the United States. The President of the United States. The leader of the free world.
And I will tell you this. History is going to look poorly upon those who aided and abetted and encouraged President Trump to act the way he is doing right now. There needs to be leadership on Congress who can step up, put aside their partisan differences and realize that something has to be done now.
BURNETT: And Nia, we just haven't seen that. I mean, you didn't see Republican leadership take him on for example or at least take the other side on, let's just say, Roy Moore, right. They're standing up to him on issue, but they are not standing up to him and not to him on these most crucial things, which do show whether he is has the fitness to be the leader of the United States.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. I mean, you've seen some of it, right? I mean, Bob Corker coming out with a tweet about the adult day care. Senator (ph) -- and essentially critiquing the way the President behaves. Tweaking some of his tweets and the way he engages with other people.
There are reports that Jeff Flake at some point is going to take to the Senate and talk more about this. Those are folks who don't necessarily have a political future in you know, in the coming years. They're not going to run for re-election, so they aren't concerned.
I mean, the problem that you have if you're a Republican is that Trump's base is your base. People like Donald Trump. Trump does seem to have some sort of connection with at least you know, 3 percent of the population. 35 percent or so and, you know, maybe 75 percent of the Republican you know party, at least. And so that is what you're seeing.
You know, you do think back when, you know, Mark mentioned this, you know, sort of what might happen years from now. I'm reminded of Ken Mehlman who, in 2005, had to go before the NAACP and essentially apologized to African-Americans for the ways in which the Republican Party had played politics with race, right? And you imagine that years from now, the party might have to do a similar kind of mea culpa around what this President has done playing politics so openly and overtly and consistently around race.
BURNETT: And let me just ask you, Doug, that the New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman earlier today said quote, something is unleashed with him lately. That the last couple of day's tweets have been markedly accelerated in terms of seeming a little unmoored." Referring, obviously, in part to those Muslim videos that he retweeted.
What do you make of what he's doing and saying right now when you combine that with the birther conspiracy being reignited, when you combine it with what frankly is really insane to question whether it's his voice on that tape?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, HISTORY PROFESSOR, RICE UNIVERSITY: Well, we all have to start questioning whether Donald Trump is fit for command. How -- what kind of psychological problems does he have? If this is true, that he's say ing that Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States again, I could find it disastrous for his presidency.
Very few Republicans on Capitol Hill want to be hitched to a guy who thinks that Barack Obama was you know, born in a foreign land. It makes everybody on the Republican team look like they're dabbling or immersing themselves in conspiracy theories. Why this sort of spasm from Trump? It obviously has to do with the tax bill coming. He feels that he also needs to double down on his base, Erin, with fear of the Russia probe kind of closing in on him, closing in on the White House.
He wants to make sure that that 35 percent is very active that are backing him in today's speech in Missouri where he started talking about the war on Christmas and the like.
BURNETT: Right. I mean, Mark, I want to get to this Access Hollywood tape. Because this one, look, it just -- it defies belief, OK? And I know people can say, how can you say that now and not about other things?
Well, I'm saying it now because he's now apparently, for the New York Times, insisting that it's not his voice on the tape. And I just want to play the tape again so everybody who gets to hear his voice every single day can hear the tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait.
[19:10:03] And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab them by the (EXPLICIT). Do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. The facts are, that was him and the facts are, Mark, that the President of the United States, who has proudly says he doesn't remember apologizing for anything for the first time appears to have broken that when he actually apologized for these remarks. I just have to play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I said it. I was wrong. And I apologize.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: How can we now, Mark, even question whether that's his voice?
PRESTON: You know, it's very difficult to understand what's going on inside President Trump's mind. But remember, he's the President of the United States. He has an incredible amount of power.
I believe that he thinks that he's in a situation where he's not accountable to anybody. That nobody can tell him what to do. And then if he continues to him or home a point that people will start to believe him and in some respect, that's true. And that is what's very sad about this whole situation.
We know what Donald Trump's all about right now, OK. We all know what he's about. What's very disappointing for me at this point is those folks who were still supporting him not because of the policies that he's pushing forward. But in light of all the lies and the misinformation that he puts out day in and day out, Erin.
HENDERSON: You know, I don't think he hasn't had any sort of penalty at this point. I mean, almost with every tweet, whether it's -- the retweet, with, you know, the purported Muslim violence, you know, he hasn't had any pen penalty to pay. I mean, he almost is proving that he can be unaccountable, nothing has happened to him.
At this point, his supporters seem to be staying with him. They seem to be rallying around his agenda with the tax bill here moving slowly through the Senate. So I don't know. I mean, you know, I think people thought John Kelly, the great general, would come in and change things at the White House. That hasn't stopped. He sort of says, the flow of information is better. It doesn't seem like that's actually the case. BURNETT: Right. Thank you all very much.
Of course General Kelly just come out and said, guys, it wasn't my job to stop the tweets. So it has been obviously very defensive about his failure to interfere with that. Thanks to all.
And next, the breaking news. President Trump's long time associate, Roger Stone, now we know. How he communicated with the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange and who the all important middleman was. WikiLeaks, of course, an arm of Russian intelligence according to the CIA.
And breaking news, Matt Lauer facing new allegations of sexual misconduct tonight after being fired by NBC today. Former employee claiming Lauer summoned her to his office and then had sex with her.
And Trump selling the Republican tax plan today. The truth is, though, is it going to hurt the bottom line or not?
[19:16:42] BURNETT: Breaking news on the Russia investigation at this hour, new details about the relationship between a long time Trump associate and WikiLeaks. We know the name of the person who was the go between for Roger Stone and Julian Assange.
Manu Raju was OutFront on Capitol Hill. And Manu, you're breaking this story. What more are you learning at this hour?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Yes, that's right. Roger Stone revealed to the House Intelligence Committee the name of this intermediary, a person who had contacts with Julian Assange during the campaign season and also a conversation with Roger Stone himself. And the name of the individual is Randy Credico.
Randy Credico is a New York radio personality who did have conversations with both Stone and Assange during the campaign season. In fact, they were guests on both of his shows. And the question had really emerged on Capitol Hill about who this individual was.
This intermediary of sorts because when Roger Stone came before the House Intelligence Committee earlier this year, he was asked about a number of issues and one thing he would not reveal was the name of this individual because he said he had an off the record conversation with this person. He said he did not want to betray that agreement, did not reveal the name of the source.
But what we do now that he has revealed this to the committee. And now Mr. Credico himself has been subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee to give his own testimony, Erin, on December, in mid December, to talk about this. To see if he can answer -- we'll see if he can answer the lawmaker's questions about these contacts, Erin.
BURNETT: Which is important, Manu. And obviously, the other crucial question here is, is why WikiLeaks itself is really at the core of the Russia investigation. RAJU: Well, of course. Be largely because of the leaks of information. The thousand of Clinton and DNC e-mails that it obtained during the campaign season, but the larger question that lawmakers are trying to answer as part of the Russia investigation was whether or not there was anyone in the Trump orbit that was in contact with WikiLeaks, to coordinate, to work with WikiLeaks as part of this effort to collude of sorts.
Now Roger Stone flatly denies that there was anything untoward about this conversation. He said it was simply, there was no collusion whatsoever, but we also know that WikiLeaks, Erin, there was some correspondence with Donald Trump Jr. during the campaign season. And have also now learned that Donald Trump Jr. himself will be meeting with the House Intelligence Committee next week behind closed doors. That will also be key question that lawmakers will hope to get answers too next week, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much. It certainly will. And of course, the CIA led by Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump has said WikiLeaks is an intelligence arm of the Russian government.
OutFront now, Senator Angus King, a member of the Intelligence Committee in the Senate. Senator, nice to have you on the program. Look, obviously, you've been investigating all of this. Tonight, do you know the full extent of Roger Stone, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort or anyone else in the Trump campaign links to Russia and Russian intelligence? Do you feel like you have all that nailed down now yet or not?
SEN. ANGUS KING (I), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I do not believe that we have everything nailed down. That part of the investigation is still very much open. We're still interviewing witnesses, we're still reviewing documents. So, the answer to your question is no.
And I can't confirm, we have a sort of rule in our committee, we don't talk about who is coming or who is going or when they're going to be interviewed. But I can assure you that this is what we're following up on every possible lead.
[19:20:05] With regard to Roger Stone, I mean, the interesting thing is that he predicted the later release of the Podesta e-mails. And the question then is how did he know and what was his conversation through in intermediary or directly with WikiLeaks. We also know that the Russian intelligence services got these documents and then transferred them to WikiLeaks. So, there are still plenty of questions to be answered and I'm sure the House will be following and so will we.
BURNETT: And the other big question, of course, is when you look at Bob Mueller and what he is doing, your expectation here, do you expect more indictments of Donald Trump's inner circle, Senator?
KING: Well, again, I don't mean to dodge your questions, but I'm not going forecast what Bob Mueller is doing. I know he has a very professional team, a very professional group. He is following all the leads himself. And I would assume since he's still pursuing this investigation, that there will be more results of that investigation as time goes on.
BURNETT: All right. So I want to ask you, I don't know if you heard that reporting tonight here on CNN, Senator. We are reporting that the President of the United States regrets acknowledging that Barack Obama was born in the United States. He thinks that that acknowledgment costs him electorally at the ballot box. What's your reaction?
KING: Well, I guess -- my first reaction is electoral consequences and results shouldn't have any effect. The question is, is it true or not. And to say you didn't like it that you admitted it because it may have cost your votes, that doesn't go to the basic questions. This is a question that's been settled years and years ago.
KING: And why raise it now? It's very odd and then in effect, recant your prior recantation. I mean, you get sort of dizzy following this.
BURNETT: Well, I mean, obviously, yes, you know, it doesn't matter what the truth is, right? He just wishes that he kept saying he wasn't born here because it would have helped him. I mean, the other thing that the reports are tonight, Senator, the New York Times is saying the President said that Access Hollywood tape is fake and specifically, he has said it is not his voice on that tape.
I want to play it again for you, Senator.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab them by the (EXPLICIT). Do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The President as you know, Senator, explicitly said, quote, I said it, end quote. What do you make of the fact that he's now raising the question as to whether that's his voice?
KING: Well, he said it and he acknowledged it and he apologized for it as I recall. But then, you know, he dismissed it as locker room talk or something like that during the campaign. To say something like that -- I mean, to now say well, it really wasn't me, you've got to ask your question well was he telling the truth back when he said it was him or is he telling the truth now when he says it isn't? Both of those thoughts can't be true at the same time.
And this is something that I think would be probably pretty easy to verify. The first thing I would do is talk to Billy Bush who was there on the bus with him and say is that an accurate tape and the second thing would be, you know, the --
BURNETT: Right. Access Hollywood has said it's real. There's no question as to whether it's real, Senator. It's real.
KING: Well, but is he saying it publicly that it isn't real or is he saying it privately?
BURNETT: He is saying it privately to associates in the White House.
KING: Well, it just seems like a strange way to proceed because all the evidence is that it's real and the evidence -- the strongest evidence is what came out of his own mouth last summer.
BURNETT: I mean, I guess the question I'm getting at is, you know, he is raising questions about this, you know. Again, the birther questions or whether it's his voice on a tape when he said it was and I don't even want to engage in the conversation because it was.
My question to you, Senator is are you confident right now as a senator in the United States Senate, that this President is indeed fit for the office that he holds?
KING: Well, I'm not going to answer that question. That's sort of an ultimate question. I think what I worry more about, Erin, frankly is policy. I worry about North Korea. I worry about this dreadful tax bill that is probably going to pass in the next 24 hours. And that's really what's going to affect the country for a generation.
As opposed to whether or not a particular tweet was accurate, but it is disconcerting. I mean, you've got to be able to rely on people's word in order to make any institution function and I think that's -- he's harming his own cause I think would be the best way I would put it.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Senator King, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
KING: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, the Matt Lauer sex scandal growing tonight. More accusers are stepping forward since he was fired.
[19:25:04] And President Trump defending Republican tax plans making sure Americans know the proposals may hurt him. Will they?
BURNETT: Breaking news, a new wave of sexual misconduct allegations against Matt Lauer. Tonight, the New York Times reporting at least two additional women have come forward after NBC fired Lauer this morning.
One woman, a former employee telling the Times Lauer called her to his office in 2001 and then had sex with her. She declined to be named publicly. Variety also reporting allegations of harassment against Lauer from at least three women. CNN has not been able to independently confirm these allegations.
Brian Stelter begins our coverage OutFront.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning, breaking news overnight. Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Matt Lauer fired from NBC News, for what the network calls "inappropriate sexual behavior i n the workplace."
[19:30:03] New bombshell allegations breaking tonight. After a two- month investigation, three women telling "Variety" magazine they were harassed by Lauer. One says the veteran "Today" show anchor gave her a sex toy and detailed how he wanted to use it on her. Another employee says he exposed himself in his office and reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.
CNN has not independently confirmed "Variety's" reporting. The allegations came hours after Lauer's stunned co-host Savannah Guthrie delivered the news of his firing following a separate complaint.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, HOST, "TODAY SHOW": And we just learned this moments ago just this morning. As I'm sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this.
STELTER: The big question now is who knew what when.
"Variety" quoted staffers who said they tried to alert executives about Lauer's behavior. In response, NBC says: We can say unequivocally that prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer's conduct.
On Monday night, a female NBC employee and her attorney met with NBC HR and detailed, quote, egregious acts of sexual harassment and misconduct.
The network investigated and decided to fire him less than 24 hours later.
Guthrie, his co-host of the past five years, found out overnight.
GUTHRIE: I'm heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and partner. He is loved by many, many people here, and I'm heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell.
STELTER: That accuser is remaining anonymous, as are the women in the "Variety" magazine account.
NBC has known for weeks that these damaging stories were coming. In a staff memo, NBC News chief Andy Lack alluded to this, saying, we were also presented with reason to believe that this may not have been an isolated incident. For now, NBC's handling of the Monday complaint against Lauer is
getting praise from the accuser's attorney. He writes: Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly and responsibly. It is our hope that NBC will continue to do what it can to repair the damage done to my client, their employee, and any other women who may come forward.
Now, the floodgates may just be opening. Even as Lauer's former morning show family tries to move on.
AL ROKER, HOST, "TODAY SHOW": Still dealing with news of a friend of 30 years and we're all trying to process it.
GUTHRIE: We are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks. How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly.
STELTER: Understandably, a very hard story for the "Today Show" to cover.
Meantime, there are hard questions for NBC about whether anyone knew about this alleged behavior. As tonight's "New York Times" story indicates, there could be more allegations to come.
Now I've been trying all day to reach Matt Lauer, to reach his representatives. So far, Lauer has no comment. That means no confirmation or denial of these charges -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Brian.
And now, two people who worked with Matt for years. Jamie Gangel, special correspondent here at CNN. She worked with Matt at the "Today Show" for about 20 years.
Jane Hanson was Matt's co-anchor at "Today" in New York on WNBC.
I worked with Matt for a number of years as well, sitting behind him, beside him at the "Today" show on the anchor desk when I was filling in during my time at NBC News and as a reporter on the show.
I want to just get your reactions when you both heard this. I mean, when you first heard this, your reaction?
JANE HANSON, FORMER CO-ANCHOR WITH MATT LAUER, WNBC'S "TODAY IN NEW YORK": Actually, I wasn't surprised because I've been called by "Variety" ahead of time before this. And they had told me at the time they were doing an awful lot o of work and research, and I think they had been looking at it for well over a month.
So -- and I also know from other people they talk today a number of them, too. People in production roles, people who previously had been working at the "Today Show" and no longer did. So I knew there were conversations going on. So, I wasn't surprised. But what I was surprised by was the way that Savannah reacted because
I could see that it was very new and very fresh to her. So, it was just, it was a difficult, difficult time. Very difficult for her.
But again, we've all heard these rumors for years, have we not?
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: I have never heard rumors that he harassed anyone ever. So, I wasn't surprised --
BURNETT: Consensual. You had heard rumors of consensual affairs.
BURNETT: Yes. Yes. Everyone had. Yes.
GANGEL: I was not surprised because like you, I had gotten calls from reporters. I was surprised at the charges. I worked with him for more than 20 years. He was always a very formal person. Gentleman.
There was nothing I ever saw or heard about in his behavior that would lead me to think that he would harass someone.
HANSON: You know, I was the first person he worked with when he came to NBC.
HANSON: And when he came, he had been at a number of different programs. None of which had been successful. He was thinking about becoming a tree trimmer.
HANSON: That he was going to give up broadcasting. And so, when he came to that program, he was humble and grateful.
[19:35:04] And what I saw was a lot of change over the years. But back then, there were no signs of any of this.
BURNETT: So you're saying what happened was would have been a change over time.
BURNETT: More confident, more full of yourself, more whatever it might be.
BURNETT: I mean, Jamie, when we talk about this, in this case, look, they moved incredibly quickly. We don't yet have a name, though. None of these women are named but NBC certainly within 24 hour of this complaint, felt able to confirm it to a degree that they felt comfortable with --
GANGEL: Correct. BURNETT: -- to terminate him.
GANGEL: So, I think there are two things. We know very little. We have very few facts about what happened and what the charges are.
But we're in a very different climate now and we are seeing all of these cases across the board and NBC has had to deal with this before. They had the contributor, Mark Halperin. They had a booker, a producer, Matt Zimmermann.
GANGEL: I think they have learned and we don't know what the details are yet, but that once they made the decision, they made it very quickly.
BURNETT: Go ahead.
HANSON: Yes, I was just going to say and probably do it and do it quickly. Don't let it linger.
BURNETT: I mean, you know, obviously in the light of what happened to Charlie Rose, the questions are what was this? And consensuality, of course, it is significant. I mean, he interviewed Bill O'Reilly.
BURNETT: Matt did. After Bill O'Reilly was fired over sexual assault allegations, and Lauer went after O'Reilly hard. He went after him hard. I just want to play this clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT LAUER, FORMER NBC HOST: You were probably the last guy in the world that they wanted to fire, because you were the guy that the ratings and the revenues with were built on. You carried that network on your shoulders for a lot of years. So, doesn't it seem safe to assume that the people at Fox News were given a piece of information or given some evidence that simply made it impossible for you to stay on at Fox News?
BILL O'REILLY, FORMER FOX NEWS HOST: That's a false assumption. There were a lot of other business things in play at that time, still study, that 21st Century was involved with. And it was a business decision that they made. But there isn't any --
LAUER: But you don't let your number one guy go unless you have information that you think makes him --
O'REILLY: That's not true.
LAUER: But think about those five women and what they did. They came forward and filed complaints against the biggest star at the network they worked at. Think of how intimidating that must have been, how nerve-wracking that must have been. Doesn't that tell you how strongly they felt about the way they were treated by you? (END VIDEO CLIP)
GANGEL: You turn the tables. You can -- talking about Matt Lauer.
BURNETT: You don't let your number one guy go unless you have information.
He's their number one guy. He has been for a long time. They -- it wasn't just one person comes forward who's unnamed Jamie. I mean, clearly, they felt, this was not a situation that could be resolved.
GANGEL: Whatever the evidence is, I am assuming it is very damning evidence because this is not a he said/she said situation to make a move like this.
Also, Andy Lack, the president of NBC News, is very close to Matt Lauer. They're good, good friends. This is not something he would want on a personal level, let alone a business level. So, we don't know what it is. But I assume it's --
BURNETT: I mean, when you see these allegations out there, we have not confirmed them, she was summoned to his office to have sex, these allegations that are now out there. Certainly, I never saw any of that, when I saw him in that office. I mean, any of these sorts of things that are clearly not consensual being alleged, these shock you?
HANSON: Well, I -- yes. In a certain sense, they do. I mean, we've heard, I've heard so many stories over the years. But yet, we also have to remember the atmosphere in news rooms. That sometimes, there's things that are said that are not intended to be sexual and that sort of thing.
So, I honestly don't know what the truth is about these allegations and I'm not sure that any of us do that are sitting here or even watching this. But at the end of the day, we have to think about what does this mean and how can we play this forward to learn from it and to learn about being women in the workplace and how can we help other women because think of all these women that have come forward this evening or come forward in the last couple of days.
How do we do that? That's an area I'm doing a lot of work in now.
BURNETT: Which is -- I mean, it's very important. I think, Jamie, there's another bigger picture here as we talk about the president saying that is not his voice on that tape. If Donald Trump worked for NBC or CBS News, he would have been fired.
GANGEL: Right. So, we see two different --
GANGEL: We see two different playbooks here, right? President Trump, we have 12, 13 people who alleged during the campaign.
[19:40:05] He denied, denied, denied. Now, we're reaching a whole new level.
BURNETT: And alleged, corroborated by people when it happened at the time by name. I mean, these are not just random allegations.
GANGEL: Right and what happened, he denied and he became president. When you look at of the other cases of the men who have been charged who apologized or acknowledged, they lost everything. They lost their jobs.
HANSON: Such a good point.
BURNETT: And we will see of course what happens to Roy Moore, whether he gets the job following the president's playbook or not.
Right. Thank you both so very much.
And next, big promises about tax cuts and job b growth. Where is he getting his numbers?
And the White House under fire for defending the president's Muslim bashing retweets, which are posted by a known ultranationalist Muslim hate group.
[19:45:04] BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump insisting that the Republican tax plan will be bad for him and his wealthy friends. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is going cost me a fortune this thing. Believe me. Believe me. This is not good for me.
Me, it's not, I have some very wealthy friends. Not so happy with me, but that's OK. You know, I keep hearing Schumer, this is for the wealthy. Well, if it is, my friends don't know about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: President Trump also made the case for eliminating the state tax, which, of course, could save his heirs about a billion dollars according to some estimates and more. If you believe his own estimates of his own net worth.
OUTFRONT now, Stephen Moore, former senior economic adviser for the Trump campaign, and informal adviser to the White House on tax policy now as well. Robert Reich also here, former labor secretary to President Bill Clinton, his new documentary, "Saving Capitalism", is out on Netflix.
Stephen, is this bill going to be bad for the wealthy? Because if it is, you shouldn't like it because I believe you are someone who wants tax cuts for everyone.
STEPHEN MOORE, FORMER SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISER, 2016 TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Well, Erin, look, the economy is booming now. We got a great report out today that shows the economy is growing at 3.3 percent and Robert Reich's friends said there's no way Trump can get the economy growing at 3 percent. And I believe we're going to get to 4 to 4.5 percent growth next year if we get this tax cut done.
And I think that kind of wave of prosperity, Robert Reich, I think benefits everyone.
MOORE: Whether this will benefit Trump or not, I can't say.
MOORE: But I do think that this is -- you look at what's happened to the stock market. Look at consumer optimism, the business optimism. This is as good for the economy and good for --
BURNETT: What you're advising on and you are not able to say it will be bad for him, he is acting like it's a horrible thing. It's going to be horrible for him, even though he would have had $31 million less in AMT in a one year of taxes. Yes, go ahead.
MOORE: I will say this. You know, there is -- you know, on CNN all the time, they're saying tax cuts for the rich and so on. But I have to say, I've talked to a lot of, you know, wealthy people who live in California or New York or New Jersey who aren't too happy because those states if you're a you know, a millionaire living those states and you lose your state and local tax deduction, you may actually end up paying more tax.
The last time I checked, you know, Donald Trump was a resident of New York City. So, his taxes may go up. I can't say for sure. But, look, I want everybody's taxes going down and I want, you know, people getting jobs and higher salaries and wages.
BURNETT: So do you buy this, Robert? That rich is going to pay more, the way the president says?
ROBERT REICH, FORMER U.S. LABOR SECRETARY UNDER PRESIDNET BILL CLINTON: I buy that the rich, the rich are going get a huge tax cut, Erin. This, you know, a lot of people watching this right now may say there's Steven Moore on one side. He's Republican and he's been advising on this. And, obviously, he's going to say one thing and then here's Robert Reich on another side, and he's a Democrat.
But let me just say, this is not just Republican against Democrat. This is not just economists with two hands either this way or this way. We are dealing here with the situation, experts, I don't remember a policy decision where so many experts, tax experts, policy analyst, economists, have been overwhelmingly in unanimity about the fact that the rich are going to get the biggest, biggest benefits out of this tax cuts. In fact, the middle class is going to be hurt in part and if you take
the Senate bill, there's going to be an additional pain to the middle class because the middle class is also and for many poor people are going to lose their health insurance, health coverage, because the Senate bill does get rid of the mandates and the Senate bill also is going to be subject to what's called the PAYGO requirements. I don't want to get in the weeds right now, but it means that Medicare is very likely to be a casualty of this in terms of the budget deficit.
So, this is not just Steve Moore and Robert Reich. This is a huge majority of experts on one side saying to Steve Moore, you're wrong.
MOORE: But, Bob, all of those economists you're talking about and the ones you talk to and consort with, those are the economists who said we couldn't grow the economy at 3 percent. I mean, they've been completely wrong --
BURNETT: So, Steve --
MOORE: -- from the day that Donald Trump -- no, I mean, it's an important point, Erin. Every single point position that they've made has been wrong. Yes.
BURNETT: It is important. I'm going to give you this point.
OK. It's an important point that the economy is growing much more quickly than many thought it was.
MOORE: Yes. And the stock market as well. Yes.
BURNETT: But this is where you as someone's plan have to give an answer --
BURNETT: -- because the president is tripling down, quadrupling down, OK, that if you cut the corporate tax rate, which is the core of this whole thing, worker's wages are going to go up by $4,000, $4,000 raise, OK? He keeps saying this. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Under our plan, middle class families will not only see their tax bill go down, they will see their incomes go up by an average of around $4,000.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And that's because we're going to cut taxes on American businesses so they will compete for workers.
[19:50:02] They'll raise salaries.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: So, Steve, you got your 3.3 percent GDP growth. You have what most economists would agree right now as full employment.
BURNETT: You have wages still not back to where we were before the recession and you're going to give companies a huge massive windfall. They are not raising wages now. Why would they do it with their tax refund?
MOORE: Because -- a couple of reasons. One is we're going to see more companies bringing factories and we're going to start seeing in- sourcing of jobs rather than outsourcing of jobs as we make the American tax system more competitive.
BURNETT: You're already at full employment.
MOORE: Pardon me?
BURNETT: You're already at full employment.
MOORE: Well, good. So, look, go to Ohio, go to Michigan, go to places -- in Wisconsin, West Virginia, Kentucky and tell these people, we don't need more jobs. I don't think the American people think we've got plenty of jobs. And, by the way, if we create more jobs, then you create a tighter labor market --
BURNETT: I want to give bob a chance to respond. What I'm saying is not that there aren't people -- OK.
REICH: This is critically important. The real issue and the problem that most Americans have today, not just jobs, it's wages. Wages for most people have been --
BURNETT: That's the point I'm making. Yes.
REICH: And we have had tax cuts. We've had the Bush tax cuts. We've had the repatriation of earnings. Corporations have so much money now they don't know what to do with.
And trickle-down economics doesn't work. When they get tax cuts and when they get more money, they give it to executives in a form of executive bonuses and they give it to stockholders in the form of big investors yet even more money, that doesn't trickle down to ordinary people. Most people understand this because they haven't had a raise adjusted for inflation in 30 years.
BURNETT: We're going to leave it there. But as the big question, that's the point I was trying to make. If you are at full employment and wages aren't going up, and you give them another few trillion dollars, why are wages going to go up then?
MOORE: Because we are not at full employment yet. We are not there. But we're going to get there.
REICH: Steve, that has nothing to do with that. We've been here. We've had full employment. We have less than full employment.
Wages have gone nowhere. There's been no trickle-down economics. This is a gigantic hoax and it's only going to put more money into the hands of big corporations and executives and wealthy people at a time when they'd never had as much money as they do right now.
BURNETT: Thank you both.
REICH: There's no reason for this.
BURNETT: Thank you both.
MOORE: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, breaking news, Trump moments ago punching back at the British prime minister after she criticized him for promoting anti-Muslim videos.
[19:55:57] BURNETT: Breaking news, President Trump fighting back against British Prime Minister Theresa May. In a tweet just minutes ago, May, among others, slamming Trump for retweeting three anti- Muslim videos from a leader of Britain First, which is a far right nationalist group.
Trump tweeting to Theresa May, quote: don't focus on me. Focus on the destructive radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just find.
By the way, Trump tweeted the wrong Theresa May, as you see in the screen.
CNN has not verified these videos. It purportedly showing Muslims attacking people. They are awful to watch. But whether the videos are real does not matter to the White House. That is what the press secretary says.
Here's Sarah Sanders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Whether it's a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about. That's what the president is focused on, is dealing with those real threats. Those are real no matter how you look at it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, President of the Arab American Institute, James Zogby.
James, good to have you on. What do you say to the press secretary, it doesn't matter if the
videos aren't real?
JAMES ZOGBY, PRESIDENT, ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE: Sure it matters. When the Dutch government issues a correction saying this is a fake video, that it actually was a Dutch national committing a crime against another Dutch national and that he was not Muslim, it matters. It matters when the Trump -- that President Trump does what he did --
BURNETT: Until that case, I just want to -- I'm sorry to interrupt you. When you're talking about there, we showed that -- we're not going to show the actual attack itself.
BURNETT: But someone who the video was saying was Muslim was attacking a handicapped person.
ZOGBY: He wasn't a Muslim.
BURNETT: He's not a Muslim, right.
ZOGBY: That's part of the point here.
ZOGBY: The issue is that the source of this, this ultra nationalist group you call it, it's a racist hate group in the U.K. Actually they have been emboldened and so, now, Trump has involved himself in encouraging a far right hate group in the U.K., doubling its support and giving it the seal of approval of the president of the United States. That's fundamentally wrong.
He's not only dividing the American people, creating fear among American Muslims, he's also embarrassing America and intervening in a negative way in internal British affairs.
BURNETT: So, you know, the president is getting celebrated by the woman he retweeted, Jayda Fransen. She tweeted, thanks for the retweet @realDonaldTrump. I'm facing prison for criticizing Islam. Britain is now a Sharia compliant. I need your help. God bless.
Obviously, that's absurd.
And then this one from former KKK leader David Duke, quote: This is why we love Trump and why the fake news media hates Trump. He brings to the light what the lying fake media won't. The truth is media covers up horrific members of racist hate crimes against white people.
ZOGBY: And hate crimes are up here in the United States against Arabs and Muslims. My Arab American Institute is issuing a poll next week and a hate crimes report next week, that shows very disturbing trends here in America, but also the fact that while attitudes towards Arabs and Muslims have gone up slightly, the division between Trump supporters and non-Trump supporters has wide need. So, the president has encouraged them to strike out against Arabs and
Muslims. It's very disturbing and, frankly, I this I that the embarrassment it causes America overseas, it really needs to be considered here by the president. I don't think he does. I think he's interested more in his own base but the result is dividing America, creating fear in America but also embarrassing America overseas.
BURNETT: All right. Well, James Zogby, thank you very much.
ZOGBY: Thank you.
BURNETT: And, of course, it's important to say, you know, you watch those videos. There should be some standard, right? The president of the United States sends out videos for saying Muslims do horrific things and then it turns out that the videos may not be true and they say it doesn't even matter if they are true. It's a shocking disregard for the truth, which does matter still.
Thank you so much for joining us.
"AC360" begins now with Anderson Cooper.