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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

YouTube Headquarters Shooting: Suspected Female Shooter Dead, Three Wounded; Rosenstein Gets New Right-Hand Man On Russia Probe; Trump Stuns With Claim: "Nobody Has Been Tougher on Russia;" Trump Will Send Military to Guard U.S.-Mexico Border; Trump on Embattled EPA Chief: "I Hope He's Going To Be Great;" Stormy Daniels' Lawyer Asking Mnuchin Suspicious Bank Information. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 3, 2018 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[19:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. Shooting at YouTube headquarters, the suspected shooter, a woman, at least three wounded. She is dead. The shooting is under investigation at this hour.

Plus more breaking news, Rod Rosenstein getting a new right-hand man in the Russia probe. What does it mean for the Mueller investigation?

And Trump saying he'll send troops to the Mexican border, surprising his own Pentagon and Mexico.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we have breaking news. A shooting at YouTube's headquarters in California. We have an active investigation under way at this moment. Three people were injured. The suspected shooter, a woman, according to police. She is dead at this hour.

Shots ringing out inside the sprawling complex this afternoon. More than a thousand workers were scrambling in a scene of chaos, racing for the exits. One witness we spoke to said he saw blood on the floor and the stairs.

Within minutes, police there, heavily armed officers, surrounding the YouTube offices which is also on the same campus as Google. Police describing the scene inside as chaotic.

Now, the female shooter, and it was a woman, as we understand it, is dead tonight. They don't know whether it was self-inflicted or not. Investigators are now running down every lead they can to try to figure out what happened, what the motive was, what the intention was.

The president tweeting, quote, was just briefed on the shooting at YouTube's H.Q. in San Bruno, California. Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved. Thank you to our phenomenal law enforcement officers and first responders that are currently on the scene. I want to go straight to Dan Simon who is OUTFRONT there at the scene in San Bruno. And Dan, what are police saying?

DAN SIMON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Erin. First of all, this is still very much an active crime scene. You can see this whole area is cordoned off. And you can see all these firefighting vehicles and all the police vehicles in the background. You can see the YouTube headquarters as well.

What we are being told by police is that just before 1 p.m. Local Time, there were reports of multiple gunshots inside the YouTube headquarters. When police arrived just a short time later, they first encountered a person in the front of the building who appeared to have at least one gunshot wound. as police examined the whole premises, they found a second person who appeared to have been dead of a self- inflicted gunshot wound. And then two more people apparently shot outside of the building at some other business.

As you can imagine, a lot of rattled nerves here. I just spoke to a couple of YouTube employees. They're still trying to process what happened.

Erin, I also spoke to a guy who was at a fast food restaurant. He was in the drive-through when he heard all the gunshots. He immediately got out of his car to see what was going on and then lo and behold, he saw a person coming out of the headquarters who appeared to have a gunshot wound to her leg.

They took her inside the restaurant. They applied some napkins. They tried to help her. And then a short time later, paramedics arrived, took her to the hospital.

Let me give you an update on the three people who have been hospitalized. We are told that a 32-year-old woman is in serious condition. A 27-year-old woman in fair condition. And also a 36- year-old man in critical condition, Erin.

BURNETT: On critical condition. All right. Thank you very much, Dan Simon.

And investigators are trying to figure out what was the motive here? As we said, the shooter, we understand to be a woman. We don't know what the motive was. We don't know why three individuals were shot.

Crime and Justice Reporter Shimon Prokupecz is OUTFRONT working on this part of the story. And Shimon, what are investigators telling you right now about the motive, why this woman was doing this?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, certainly investigators believe that there was some kind of personal relationship between this woman and at least one of the intended targets of the shooting. Whether or not what kind of relationship that was, that is still part of what they're trying to confirm. And that's what they're working off of right now.

They certainly identified her. And they're working backwards now to try and figure out what led to this. Sort of what sparked this shooting. What led her to bring this gun there today and fire off these rounds.

It's not clear if the other people that were shot were just bystanders sort of that were caught in the middle of gunfire, or if, in fact, this shooter targeted them. But certainly, one of the things that investigators work fairly quickly able to identify and confirm is that, this wasn't a terrorist attack which, you know, they got in that building, they were able to clear it, they were able to figure out who the shooter was, who the victims were and get the situation under control fairly quickly.

BURNETT: All right, Shimon, thank you very much.

And Phil Mudd joins me now, former FBI senior intelligence officer and CIA counter terror official. Juliette Kayyem is with us, the former assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security. And Bobby Chacon, former FBI special agent. Thanks to all.

Phil, we understand the shooter was a woman. Three people -- she shot three people, obviously, perhaps including herself.

[19:05:03] We don't yet know whether she died of a self-inflicted gunshot or not. Female shooters are rare. Obviously, they're trying to figure out now a motive. What do you make of this?

PHIL MUDD, FORMER FBI SENIOR INTELLIGENCE ADVISER: Look, I wouldn't differentiate much at this point between a female and a male shooter. I want to see facts and within the next day, I would anticipate seeing a lot of facts. You're going to have interviews, not only of eyewitnesses but of friends and family about what she knew, if there was, in fact, an individual there whom she targeted.

Obviously, we ought to know tonight why she targeted that individual. Was it a personal relationship? Was it a work relationship? I still haven't seen anything to indicate whether the shooter had a connection with YouTube.

So, female/male to me, that wouldn't make a lot of difference right now. The investigation ought to give us some idea on motive within, let's say, 12 to 24 hours.

BURNETT: And obviously, so 12 to 24 hours are crucial. Bobby, you know, we do know of those injured, 32-year-old woman and 27-year-old woman and then a 36-year-old male who is in critical condition tonight.

We don't know if those were the targets. It appears that they were shot separately. So it doesn't -- at least from this moment, we don't understand there to have been some sort of a cross-fire type of an issue or shot by accident. But we don't know which of those individuals was the target, if, indeed, any of them were.

BOBBY CHACON, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Right. I mean, although they -- we do -- we are starting to hear that it was a personal relationship between one of the victims and the shooter, so we know that this was probably a shooting of a personal nature and so -- which indicates a targeted victim, not a random victim, not a -- this wasn't an act that was calculated to take out the most people or injure the most people in the quickest amount of time as in a mass shooting. So we're ruling that.

That looks like it can be ruled out fairly quickly. So the limited number of victims and the possibly limited use of that firearm would indicate that there was a specific victim targeted in this case.

BURNETT: Right. And Juliette, what are investigators looking for right now to nail down the motive?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, basically her profile. What she knew, what she said to people, what her digital footprint is. Who was she after, what were the reasons, what triggered it today?

So the investigation will be pretty short. They have -- she's dead. They have her, and they will be able to determine where she purchased the gun.

I think, you know, the real takeaway here since it was such a particular event, a focused event, is how YouTube as an institution, as a company, performed in terms of active shooter protocols for their employees, communications, you know, information to the police. This is -- this was tragic, but it wasn't a tragedy. There's a difference. And out of that, YouTube, but other institutions like YouTube, especially a lot of these campuses for these big companies like Google and Airbnb and others, to learn about how much they are informing their employees and how communication is working. I don't think we know that right now, but I -- but they should learn from this so that --

BURNETT: Yes, I mean, that's the thing when you think about it, Phil, you know, we don't know, to Juliette's point, what type of gun the shooter had. Obviously this was right outside San Francisco. San Bruno, California, right near San Francisco International Airport. We do know a massive office building, you're talking about YouTube on the same campus as Google, right, you know, right in the heart of Silicon Valley in a sense, broadly.

Someone was able to get a gun there, which is a pretty incredible thing to begin with, Phil.

MUDD: Boy, this is a sad moment for America. Let me explain why. If you look at the attack recently in Broward County, immediately there questions about how we secure schools for our children. I live near schools in an urban area here in Washington, D.C. I run by schools every day, there is no perimeter security but we're in an age in the 21st century we're asking whether we have to secure an entire school compound. Middle school, grade school.

And I think the same question is going to start to pop up for commercial America. That is Silicon Valley, or here on the East Coast we've got obviously high-tech areas in places like Boston. Are we going to have to start asking increasing questions about not only securing airports, not only securing public buildings but securing the perimeters of large areas around schools and public facility? It just sort of a remarkable transformation in America.

BURNETT: Pretty remarkable and pretty tragic in and of itself. That we're sitting here having this conversation again, and obviously miraculous in a sense that it was not much, much worse, which, of course, early reports were that it very much could have been.

Thank you, all four, so very much.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, breaking news. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein with a new right-hand man. This is going to be someone right in the center of the Russia investigation. And we're going to explain who he is, why it matters so much for the Russia probe, into Trump and the Trump campaign.

Plus, Trump says he's sending American troops to the U.S.-Mexican border. So what are they going to do?

And two more Republicans tonight calling for the embattled EPA Chief Scott Pruitt to go, but the president isn't pulling the trigger.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:13:50] BURNETT: Breaking news, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has a new right-hand man in the Russia investigation. This is an important step, Rosenstein picking the veteran prosecutor Ed O'Callaghan. He will serve as the acting principal associate deputy attorney general.

This comes on the same day the first sentence was handed down in the Mueller probe.

Justice Reporter Laura Jarrett joins me OUTFRONT on the phone with the breaking details. And Laura, what more are you learning?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER (through telephone): Well, Erin, O'Callaghan is a veteran federal prosecutor. He's prosecuted terrorism cases, high-profile ones, primarily in New York, but he now lands in the thick of perhaps the highest profile investigation currently at the Justice Department as the special counsel deepens his probe into former Trump campaign associates.

But he's going to have way more on his plate. In fact, unlike many people at the Justice Department, O'Callaghan is going to be responsible for managing all of the units at DOJ, everything from the criminal division, down to, you know, justice progress.

So he really is going to have quite a bit on his plate. And in a statement earlier this evening, the deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein praised him as a prosecutor with distinction, excelling for his work in New York, and saying that his experiences in a variety of roles throughout the department will be invaluable as we work to protect our national security, reduce violent crime, and promote the rule of law.

[19:15:14] And I should note, Erin, you know, even the proximity of their offices just is sort of telling in how closely these two men are going to have to work together. I'm told there's a separating door connecting their offices together and as one former person from the Obama administration who had this position told me, essentially serves as a right-hand man to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, something of a consiglieri, if you will, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Laura, thank you very much for those details. Obviously, it could be significant for the Russia investigation.

OUTFRONT now, Steve Hall, the former CIA chief for Russia operations, and Richard Painter, White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush.

Richard, this appointment of the right-hand man, Ed O'Callaghan to Rod Rosenstein, involving the Russia investigation, also comes as the first sentence is handed down in the Mueller probe.

Do you think that this new appointment makes Mueller's position more secure or not?

RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ETHICS LAWYER FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I don't know if it makes a difference. It's clear that Rod Rosenstein is taking this seriously and he has thus far not been willing to interfere with Robert Mueller. He appointed Robert Mueller. There's no indication here that he is going to try to interfere with Robert Mueller and the investigation. And that's what's important.

That Robert Mueller continues to have independence to pursue the investigation. He already has indicted several people. He has people cooperating with the investigation. He is under attack in the right- wing media, Fox News and rest of it, with all sorts of false accusations.

But I know Robert Mueller. He was the FBI director when I was in the Bush White House. He is very well respected on both sides of the aisle.

BURNETT: Yes, that's true.

PAINTER: And it's critically important he continue to be independent of the political people in the Justice Department.

BURNETT: Well, certainly it shows when you say that Rod Rosenstein is taking this seriously, that he is saying don't mess with me, and that's a message that he's sending loud and clear to anyone in the White House that may feel differently.

You know, Steve, because this comes on the day that the president declared that he is the toughest person in the world when it comes to dealing with Russia. Let me just play what President Trump said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have, so there are many things that I've done and not only the 60 diplomats, Germany did four, France did four, we did 60. There's nobody been tougher on Russia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: And it's true, obviously, Steve, Trump did kick out 60 Russian diplomats or spies, more than any other country. Of course, we had more of them here than other countries so I suppose there's a relative analysis that should be conducted.

But, you know, it's the largest expulsion of Russians in U.S. history. It's all related to the poisoning of that former Russian spy in the U.K. But, you know what I found amazing, and this is not a change from the Obama administration, it was the same then, right? If you kick out diplomats, Russia can just replace them with new diplomats. So when you hear nobody's been tougher on Russia than President Trump, Steve, what do you say?

STEVE HALL, FORMER CIA CHIEF OF RUSSIA OPERATIONS: You know, in fairness, Erin, there have been some things that this administration has done, kicking -- you know, expelling those diplomats, the sanctions. You know, those are all good things. But one thing that you didn't play was also the part where Trump says, you know, I really want to have a good relationship with Russia which is a theme that we've heard, you know, many times.

And sometimes dealing with Russia, Erin, is a little bit like dealing with your teenager. If your teenager comes home after breaking curfew and he's drunk and has, you know, totaled the car and says it's not my fault, can you prove it? It's your fault then stomps off to their room.

You know, if you say I really want to have a good relationship with my teenager and don't take any action, I would argue you're not being a good parent. It's the same with Russia. They have to understand the consequences. You don't just get to live in the international society and get all the benefits of being part of the U.N. or WTO and all those other great things without understanding that there is certain, you know, behaviors and you need to hear it from the head of the family. Donald Trump needs to call out Putin and say, look, this behavior of yours like killing -- or trying to kill Skripal is not good.

BURNETT: Well, of course, that's not what's happening, Richard, right? I mean, there's a president who called Putin and congratulated him on winning a rigged election when he was told in all bold letters not to do so. He's told to condemn him for the poisoning of the spy in the U.K. and neglected to do so. In fact, he, you know, discussed having a meeting with Putin and the White House was even on the table.

So what's your take, tougher? Tougher than anyone in the world?

PAINTER: Well, I don't know what's going on with the Russians. He encouraged the Russians to hack the e-mail of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, during the campaign.

[19:20:00] He openly encouraged that in speeches. His campaign staffs were collaborating with the Russians, meetings in the Trump Tower. And this fellow over in London, this so-called professor is meeting with George Papadopoulos and it goes on and on. And Robert Mueller is uncovering more and more collaboration are the Russians and then he sits down with the Russian ambassador in front of Russian T.V. explains why he fired James Comey because of the Russia investigation.

He also releases some classified information to the Russian ambassador in that same interview and he's high-fiving, you know, Vladimir Putin for winning that election. Well, whatever kind of election it was.

So the problem is, we don't know what's going on with Donald Trump and the Russians. We don't know whether he's borrowing a lot of money from the Russians because he won't release his tax returns. He won't tell us where that's coming from. And that's the problem, it's a very dangerous situation for our national security right now.

BURNETT: And let me just play what he said today about getting along with Russia. Because as you point out, Steve, it was a pretty interesting line and denigrating to everybody else. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Getting along with Russia would be a good thing not a bad thing. And just about everybody agrees to that except very stupid people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Steve?

HALL: I guess you got to call me stupid. I mean, there's no way around it. You know, getting along with Russia is not a policy. What you need to do is you need to look at what Russia has done, what U.S. and, perhaps, even more importantly, western interests are vis-a-vis Russia, and then you need to take policies that sometimes might exclude Russia, might push Russia back, might send Russia the message, look, you're not behaving properly so you're not going to get to participate in some of these things.

You know, this escalation, you know, new missiles and all of that thing, that's a very typical Russian thing because they know in the west we get nervous and start saying things like, well, we can't just leave Russia out of this picture, we need to cooperate with Russia. In fact, there's a whole lot of things that Russia really hasn't contribute positively towards. I would argue North Korea is a good example of that.

So, you know, we need to look at Russia beyond just I want to have a good relationship with them. Again, it's like saying to your wayward child. Most important thing for me is to have a good relationship. No, you need to develop behaviors that you want to see. BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much. I like the line, call me stupid then. All right. Thanks, Steve and Richard. I appreciate your time tonight.

And President Trump's new plan for securing the border, sending American troops to militarize it. Did he catch his own military advisers off guard yet again with this?

Plus, the EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, the accusations are piling up. Flying first class for government business, getting favors from a lobbyist, and then the lobbyist gets a sweet housing deal and then private planes and raises and -- but he's still there.

We'll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Breaking news, the White House announcing President Trump is briefed on a border security strategy that includes mobilization of the National Guard. That's troops on the border. This coming after the president announced he will be sending the U.S. military to secure the border with Mexico until his long promised wall is finished.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I told and I respect what they did, I said, look, your laws are very powerful, your laws are very strong. We have very bad laws for our border. And we are going to be doing some things, I've been speaking with general Mattis. We're going to be doing things militarily.

Until we can have a wall and proper security, we're going to be guarding our border with the military. It's a big step.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: It is a big step. And Boris Sanchez is OUTFRONT at the White House. I mean, whereas the president's comments pretty incredible. We're going to be putting military on the border and that's a big step. He's not trying to minimize it and it isn't something to minimize.

We understand the Pentagon was caught off guard by this. Never mind Mexico which also was caught off guard. This is not a militarized border. What else are we now hearing from the White House?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. It seems like there was some miscommunication between the White House and officials that CNN has heard from at the Pentagon. Sarah sanders, the press secretary, confirming this evening that last week the president received a briefing on immigration, what he's labeled an immigration crisis and that he directed his aides to come up with a vigorous strategy to fighting that crisis.

Lo and behold, today, apparently the president was briefed on the potential option of using the National Guard to protect the border. And that's what he meant by saying that we would protect the border with the military. Something that he says he previously discussed with secretary of defense James Mattis.

We should point out, the White House then went further and said that the president is committed though to getting something done on immigration law through Congress which is part of the reason we've seen the president take this hardline stance for consecutive days calling America's immigration laws weak, and then going as far as to say that Mexico has to do more and that he would pull out of NAFTA if they didn't.

We should also note today the president said that he spoke with Mexico yesterday about immigration. We asked the White House to clarify that. They told us that in fact, the president had not spoken to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto but rather that his public messages about immigration got across to the Mexican Government and that's part of the reason according to the president. We've seen this caravan of immigrants disband. Difficult to fact check that knowing that part of this group of people was actually a political demonstration and that only few of them were actually had the intention of getting to the United States and then seeking asylum, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Boris, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Let's go now to the former assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem is back, along with former adviser to the Trump campaign, Steve Cortes.

So Juliette, look, the president, let's give him credit for the fact that he knows that what he's doing is a big deal. Pentagon didn't seem to know about it, Mexico didn't seem to know about it but he is saying, I'm going to do something militarily and that's a big step and he's right.

But I want to have you put it in context. We're talking about troops going onto the southern border. President Obama put 1,200 National Guard troops there while he was president. President Bush sent 6,000 troops down there while he was president. Is there a difference between then and now?

KAYYEM: Oh, yes, and I think the president was confused. He doesn't know the difference between the National Guard Bureau which serves under governors, and, of course, active military which serves under him as commander-in-chief. And so -- and the difference is not -- is a legal difference. A lot of people are hearing this word posse comitatus, which essentially says we cannot use the active military for law enforcement purposes. It is a legacy of the civil war and it's what makes us a democracy that a president cannot, you know, deploy the troops and say you're now local police.

And so, the difference is important because National Guard members, as many of us who have worked with them, I oversaw the National Guard here in Massachusetts, you know, they went down to the border to support training and logistics. That's what they do really well, and active military, you know, what's their -- you know, first of all, it's unlawful, but secondly, what are they doing there? Are they allowed to shoot to kill? How many are you sending?

And so, the best thing to come out of today is what a lot of us suspected early on, which is the president was confused. That's the best way of putting it and doesn't know the difference between active troops and the National Guard Bureau.

BURNETT: I mean, what do you say, Steve, to say active troops, he's saying we're going to militarize the border. I mean, we are, to state the obvious, not at war with Mexico. It's an ally of the United States. This is not a militarized border.

STEVE CORTES, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Right, right. Well, it's an ally that's not acting like an ally right now, a neighbor who's not acting very neighborly by helping and ushering a caravan of would-be illegal immigrants to our border. So, they're not acting like an ally.

But, Juliette, to your point, the president is not confused. You know who else is not confused are the American people, because he ran unambiguously on this issue in 2016. It was perhaps the pillar of his campaign in 2016 that we're going to build a wall, that we're going to get control of our southern border and you talk about it, our troops not being law enforcement officers, you're correct. They're for national security.

We have a national security issue on our porous and open southern border. It doesn't serve the economic or national security of the United States, and the people spoke loudly in 2016 that they want that reality recognized and rectified. It's time we defend our borders. If you don't have borders, you don't have a country.

KAYYEM: I just want to make something clear here because I don't know, you know, why people voted for Trump or why they didn't vote for Trump. That's irrelevant. We're dealing with --

CORTES: Well, I know why but --

KAYYEM: -- rules and policy. No, but there's rules and policy here.

So here's the deal. Steve, are you actually saying that the national security imperative means the military will be deployed at the Mexican border and serve in Mexico or the United States? Because if you're saying it's the United States, it's unlawful. If you're saying it's Mexico, that's what I call a war.

So, the fact I am giving the president an out here, right? He was confused, because the seriousness of what he said earlier today that got everyone worked up is because most people know the distinction between the use of the national guard to support border control, and active military going into Mexico. And if you don't, that's a little scary.

BURNETT: Steve?

CORTES: What I'm saying, and I think the president would concur with me on this, is there has been a soft invasion of the United States -- BURNETT: Invasion?

CORTES: -- that we tolerated for decades.

BURNETT: You're going to use the word, invasion?

CORTES: Yes. It's not an army invading but it's a soft invasion of illegal immigration, and we have tolerated it. We've largely tolerated it because a lot of interest in the United States, big business, the Democratic Party, a lot of interest in the United States like this soft invasion.

You know who doesn't like it? Middle-class Americans who have their economic and national security threatened by that very force and they have demanded via the ballot box --

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: OK. Man who used to run the Southern Command --

CORTES: That we get control of our border.

BURNETT: OK. Hold on. John Kelly who is currently the president's chief of staff. And I'm curious as to how much longer that will be given what I'm about to play for you.

This issue has come up before. Trump wanted to militarize the border, and using words he doesn't use invasion, but words like that, Steve, John Kelly came out very quickly and corrected the president last time this happened. OK?

Let me just play the president what he said and John Kelly. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We're getting really bad dudes out of this country and at a rate that nobody's ever seen before. And they're the bad ones. And it's a military operation.

JOHN F. KELLY, FORMER SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Again, listen to this, no, repeat, no use of military force in immigration operations. None.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: So, Steve, what do you say? Is the president just overruling John Kelly and John Kelly's basically out, or does the president just not get it?

CORTES: Well, no, I don't think it has to be either. I don't think John Kelly's out, but the president has been -- look, again, he was given this mandate. He didn't assume this mandate. He was given it by the American people.

[19:35:02] And he was crystal clear on this issue. Also, I think, let's ignore --

BURNETT: Steve, we're talking about a military operation. Don't make this about the wall or whether he's securing it. We're talking about putting troops on the southern border. That's what we're talking about.

CORTES: Erin, I think most Americans would be astounded to know that we don't already have troops guarding our southern border, and here's the other issue we should pay attention to. People are fleeing these countries because these countries unfortunately are basket cases and my own father fled Latin America, fled a corrupt, violent place to come to the United States.

So, I get it and I empathize. He also did it legally. I have great empathy and I want immigration. It has to be controlled. It's not a caravan who shows up when they want, where they want, to come into our homes. Any more than we would do that in our own houses, right?

(CROSSTALK)

CORTES: I mean, who would tolerate that in our house, much less in our country?

KAYYEM: Yes, I just think, Steve, the Pentagon gave you an out today. They corrected what the president got wrong. Active military will not be utilized to invade Mexico, and the National Guard will continue to support border enforcement the efforts. . We have a couple hundred thousand -- a couple -- lots of border patrol agents.

So, let's just clean up on aisle six and you should accept it, Steve. You should accept it at this stage.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both, very much. I appreciate it.

And next, will President Trump fire Scott Pruitt? The EPA chief. Look, the list of violations and allegations of corruption is getting longer and longer. You know, renting an apartment for basically next to nothing for 2energy lobbyists giving them a sweet deal. And that's just one of several things today.

And Stormy Daniels now asking the federal government to get involved in her case. The Treasury Department is now in the center of it. Will they give up information on the hush money she received?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:40:27] BURNETT: Tonight, two Republican lawmakers are calling for Scott Pruitt to resign or be fired by President Trump and this is coming after a whole lot of negative headlines about the embattled EPA administrator now in trouble for extensive security, first-class travel, dolling out huge raises to staffers and getting a sweet housing deal from an energy lobbyist that then got a sweet deal it seems from the EPA.

Pruitt tonight being told privately the president has his back.

Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REPORTER: Scott Pruitt, sir, you support Scott Pruitt?

TRUMP: I hope he's going to be great.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump stopping short of endorsing his EPA administrator Scott Pruitt today who was just the latest cabinet member to be under fire.

SCOTT PRUITT, EPA ADMINISTRATOR: What an exciting day.

BROWN: Pruitt making carefully choreographed remarks at the EPA today where he didn't take questions from reporters.

REPORTER: Do you have the president's support? Was it a mistake to rent that apartment?

BROWN: Last week, CNN confirmed Pruitt was renting a condo for $50 a night connected to a prominent energy lobbyist whose firm represents companies under EPA regulation and the owners were political supporters of Pruitt when he was an Oklahoma state official.

And a series of new reporting raises more questions about the ethics of the rental. "The New York Times" is reporting the EPA approved the pipeline expansion of a Canadian energy company at the same time Pruitt was renting the condo owned by the lobbyist.

"The Times" says that Canadian company is a client of the same lobbying firm. Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse sending a letter to the EPA inspector general today requesting an investigation into the circumstances of the rental. Pruitt was already under scrutiny for his first-class airfare, then on his around-the-clock security detail to accompany him and his family to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl in January.

According to a senior White House official, the surge of bad headlines is upsetting the president. What could be even more upsetting to President Trump is a story first reported in "The Atlantic" about Pruitt aides who were given pay raises without approval from the presidential personnel office.

And the source close to the White House tells CNN these troubling issues could cost Pruitt his job. But according to another administration official, President Trump called Pruitt Monday night to express his support, telling him to keep his head up and keep fighting.

PRUITT: This president has shown tremendous courage to say to the American people that America is going to be put first.

BROWN: One of the reasons may be that Pruitt has fought for the president's agenda. Rolling back environmental regulations he says stifle business and innovation. He also supported the president's withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.

Continuing that deregulation trend today, Pruitt announcing the EPA will scale back vehicle emission standards.

PRUITT: This is another step in the president's regulatory agenda, deregulatory agenda, regulatory certainty. I think this midterm evaluation, the auto sector, the importance of auto manufacturing in this country, the president, again, is saying America is going to be put first. We have nothing to be apologetic about.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And the White House has launched an internal review into the allegations surrounding Pruitt. I spoke to one White House official who said the hope at the beginning of this week in the White House among officials was that they could get through this week without another staff shakeup of a senior official.

But officials I've been speaking with say as more revelations come to light, Erin, they don't see how he can survive this much longer.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Pamela.

And OUTFRONT now, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, April Ryan.

April, you know, I mean, the president ostensibly behind the scenes telling Pruitt, don't worry, I got your back, but when asked publicly if he supports Pruitt, you heard in Pam's piece, quote, I hope he's going to be great. You know, I don't know what exactly that is supposed to mean.

But he's not just coming out and firing him despite this rising list of infractions or corruption.

APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Yes. Erin, there's a lot of deep diving on this. It's a bigger issue.

What I'm hearing is this event involves General John Kelly. General Kelly wants Pruitt gone. The president doesn't. And this is causing a further wedge between those two.

The president is standing strong on Pruitt and one of the reasons why he's standing strong is because Pruitt could wind up being a valuable asset to him in another position if he has to move him. And that position could be over at the Department of Justice.

BURNETT: Right, whether if possibly attorney general depending what happens to Sessions. I mean, April, it's pretty incredible when you say standing strong with Pruitt.

[19:45:02] Again, another wedge with Kelly as we were pointing out on the Mexico story today, there appears to be one.

But it's not just Pruitt, right? And it's not just people that are already gone. It's the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin overspending on travel, questions about flights.

Ryan Zinke, travel again, an issue. Also, very expensive office furniture, doors. Ben Carson, of course, you've got that whole dining set imbroglio. The list goes on and on. And they're all still there.

RYAN: Yes. Well, Tom Price is gone, the former HHS secretary over issues of spending. And he even paid back his trips. You know, there was word that Kellyanne Conway could have been on some of those trips, too.

So, bottom line is, is that this president understands that he has a situation where other people could be fired. It does not look good, one, for him to keep having these losses of staff or as well, cabinet officials, but he also understands once again he's going to stand strong with those that he's -- that he's in lockstep with. And particularly for Pruitt, Pruitt could serve in another position so he needs Pruitt at this moment.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, April.

RYAN: I know.

BURNETT: And next, we have breaking news in the Stormy Daniels case this hour. We got new reporting here on how she's hoping Steve Mnuchin and the Treasury Department are going to help her fight the president.

And looking good. Why appearance matters so very much in the Trump White House.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:50:12] BURNETT: Breaking news, Stormy Daniels' attorney asking Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to help. She is asking him to release what he calls suspicious bank activity filed by Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen with the government -- now talking about putting Mnuchin in an awkward position. But this is the story.

And this is all in connection to $130,000 payment that Cohen made to Daniels days before the 2016 election.

Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight escalating moves in the ongoing legal battle around porn star Stormy Daniels' alleged affair with Donald Trump.

REPORTER: Do you have any response to Stormy Daniels?

SERFATY: Daniels' lawyer in an interview with CNN is now calling on the U.S. Treasury to release information surrounding the $130,000 hush money deal she made with Michael Cohen, Trump's lawyer.

MICHAEL AVENATTI, ATTORNEY FOR STORMY DANIELS: We want this matter decided in the open, in public. We want the public to have all of the facts on both sides, so they can determine what happened here.

SERFATY: Avenatti making a direct appeal in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, asking for him to release a so-called suspicious activity report or SARs as it's known, that Cohen's bank reportedly filed with the government, writing: As secretary of the treasury, it is well within your authority to release the SAR information to allow the public to learn critical information relating to the payment.

Meantime, Avenatti clapping back at Trump's team's own new maneuvering. Michael Cohen asking the judge for the case to be settled in private arbitration rather in open court.

AVENATTI: We want this matter decided in the open, in public. We want the public to have all the facts on both sides, so they can determine what happened here.

SERFATY: On Monday, President Trump formally joined Cohen and his lawyers in filing this motion in U.S. district court, arguing that federal law dictates that this motion be granted and that Clifford, Stormy Daniels' real name, be compelled to arbitration as she knowingly and voluntarily agree to do. This as there is a new development in the legal fight between the "National Enquirer" and a former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump.

KAREN MCDOUGAL, FORMER PLAYBOY PLAYMATE: They wanted to squash the story.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You are saying they wanted to protect Donald Trump.

MCDOUGAL: I'm assuming so, yes.

SERFATY: "The National Enquirer's" parent company American Media Inc. is now attempting to dismiss McDougal's lawsuit against the tabloid to get out of the deal, where she sold the rights to her story to them for $150,000. In paperwork filed Monday in a Los Angeles superior court, they argued the deal struck with McDougal is protected by the First Amendment. American Media Inc. writing the First Amendment protects the publisher's editorial right to decide when, where, how, and whether to publish.

McDougal's attorney firing back on Twitter, pointing to what he calls the irony of the move, tweeting: They are now attempting to silence her again with an absurd claim that their own free speech was violated.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SERFATY: And McDougal's legal team is vowing to formally oppose the motion in court which promises to keep this legal back and forth very much in the news for the president this week, Erin.

BURNETT: Certainly what their goal is.

All right. Sunlen, thank you.

And next, looking the part, Jeanne Moos on the president's fascination, obsession maybe the more appropriate word, with appearance.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:57:42] BURNETT: Tonight, Trump and central casting.

Here's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When the president is casting around for appointees, where does he look?

TRUMP: Look, this is a central casting, if I'm doing a movie, I pick you general.

MOOS: From Secretary of Defense Mattis to his pick of the White House doctor for Veterans Affairs.

TRUMP: He's like central casting. I mean, became like a Hollywood star.

MOOS: President Trump looks at looks, even in opposition candidates.

TRUMP: I hear he is nice looking. I think I'm better looking than him. I do.

MOOS: The look.

The president thought Rex Tillerson and Mitt Romney had it. But John Bolton's mustache was too much in his face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Easy, fella.

MOOS: Until the president changed his mind and decided he could live with it.

President Trump also had a change of heart when first announced he would hire a husband/wife attorney team, then decided he had too many legal conflicts, plus the president was turned off because they looked disheveled when they came to meet with him, according to "Politico".

He's even complained about Hillary.

TRUMP: I just don't think she has a presidential look.

MOOS: When it comes to a vice presidential look --

TRUMP: The primary reason I wanted Mike, other than he looks really good.

MOOS: Maybe the president is taking advice from Seinfeld. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to make a person feel better after they speak, you shouldn't say, god bless you. You should say, you are so good looking.

MOOS: The president jokes about his own looks.

TRUMP: They show me, young, handsome. I said, why couldn't I look like that today?

MOOS: And he flattered his new economic adviser, plucked from a job on CNBC.

LARRY KUDLOW, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR: He said, you are on the air and he said, I'm looking at a picture of you. And he said very handsome. So Trumpian.

BILL MAHTER, REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER: Next week, he is replacing Jeff Sessions with Matlock. So, it's just who he sees on TV.

MOOS: He has seen a lot of Stormy Daniels on TV lately. But "The Washington Post" reports the president even has griped to several people that Daniels is not the type of woman he finds attractive. His smile suggests otherwise.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are so good looking.

MOOS: -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Thank you so much for joining us.

"AC360" with Anderson Cooper starts right now.