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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Mueller Asks For More Time Before Sentencing Michael Flynn; Trump Has Floated To Allies Kelly's Name To Lead V.A.; Rosenstein: DOJ Won't Be "Extorted;" Exclusive: Ex-Doctor Claims Trump Dictated Glowing Health Letter; Ex-CIA Chief: Netanyahu's Iran Nukes Announcement "Old News." Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 1, 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: First time at the State Department for the president. Michelle, thank you for that report.
That's it for me. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, the special counsel asking tonight to delay Michael Flynn's sentencing. Why does Mueller need more time with the former National Security advisor?
Plus, the White House still has no front-runner to lead the second biggest government agency as sources tell CNN Trump is floating John Kelly's name to head the V.A.
Plus more breaking news this hour. Trump's former personal doctor says the president dictated that letter proclaiming Trump as the healthiest president in the history of the United States. This as the doctor says Trump's bodyguard raided his office.
We have all that breaking news breaking this hour.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good after -- or good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. Bob Mueller's special counsel's office tonight asking to delay the sentencing of the president's former National Security advisor, Michael Flynn. Mueller's team in court saying that based on the special counsel's investigation, they need more time.
Now Flynn is a key figure in the investigation, and someone who is of course cooperating with the special counsel. And this news comes as questions grow over who released the surprising list of more than 40 questions that Mueller reportedly wants to ask the president of the United States. Five of those questions about Flynn.
Now, the list of 49 was leaked to "The New York Times", the president calling the leak disgraceful. Well, then who did it?
Well, "The New York Times" reporter who received the questions seems to suggest it was team Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL SCHMIDT, REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": What Mueller's investigators did is they had the president's lawyers come over to the special counsel's office and they said, OK, we're going to walk through with you everything we want to ask the president. The president's lawyers took them down and created these 49 questions. The 49 things that Mueller wants to ask the president about. And that's how we got this document.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So it makes sense that the questions could have come from someone close to the president. After all, Mueller's team frankly hasn't leaked at all.
So was it the White House? Well, today, you know, you have a person to ask, the press secretary, right? So Press Secretary Sanders was asked and here's how she answered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president said today that the leak was disgraceful, but a former assistant to Special Counsel Robert Mueller has suggested that the White House was behind the leak. Is he wrong?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Once again, I can't comment on anything regarding those questions and I would refer you to the president's outside counsel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, the question is about specifically the White House being involved in it.
SANDERS: So that's actually specific to the president and that's why I'm referencing and referring you to the president's personal attorneys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. So, you know, pretty easy. If you didn't leak it, you could deny it and she's not doing that. And as for the president, publicly he's upset about the leak, tweeting, "So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian witch hunt were leaked to the media." Interesting he put quotes around it, I don't know.
And then the president continued to claim something about the leaked questions that is not true. He wrote, "No questions on collusion. Oh, I see, you have a made up phony crime, collusion, that never existed and an investigation began with illegally leaked classified information. Nice."
OK. There were questions on collusion. For example, this one. Quote, what knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign? Not only is this question about collusion, Trump's own team, not Mueller's, wrote the questions that were leaked. So they talked to Mueller's team and they themselves thought that these collusion questions were important to include.
Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT live at the White House. And, you know, Jeff, it's so amazing here, this whole issue about leaking. The president calling it disgraceful, railing against leaks constantly, frankly, this one though, pretty clearly appears to have come from his team.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, there definitely is a sense of consistency here. Over the last weeks and months, there have not been any leaks. One -- new thing has been added, Rudy Giuliani is now a member of the president's legal team. He certainly has been in conversations with Bob Mueller and then these are leaked.
That's one theory here I've heard repeatedly in Washington today was Rudy Giuliani, the leaker. Or, you know, simply is this the fact that the president's lawyers, someone on his team, wants this out in public to essentially shock the president in seeing all of this. There's been a sense here they've been unable to focus the president's attention on the breadth and depth of this investigation and scope.
Well, that certainly did that in "The New York Times" looking at, you know, these 49 questions, essentially a timeline of the president's own words, of his, you know, own actions in the last year. So, as I was sitting in the White House briefing today, no answers of course from the press secretary, not surprising, she was referring everything to the president's lawyer.
[19:05:04] But, tonight, there is a little sense here, as you said Mueller doesn't leak. The president's team certainly had reason to do so, Erin.
BURNETT: They had reason to do so. And of course, whether it's about this, but also lots of other things, there's plenty of leaking out of that White House. The leakiest sieve ever.
All right, thank you very much, Jeff Zeleny.
OUTFRONT now, David Priess, former CIA intelligence officer who briefed Mueller daily when Mueller was the FBI director, April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and John Dean, President Nixon's White House counsel during Watergate.
So John, let me start with you. You know, this whole point, Trump's own team wrote these questions based on conversations with the special counsel. So they had obviously fairly specific conversations, they then put these questions together. There are 49 of them. Why would team Trump leak them, do you think?
JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Well, it may be one of the ways they communicate with the boss. They might have difficulty getting his attention during the normal business hours. They know he does watch this sort of thing on television and react to it. And so they sent him a very clear message here, this is sort of the scope and the outline of the questions you're likely to see.
BURNETT: So if he won't look at them when they hand them to him, maybe he'll look at the ones that --
BURNETT: -- Fox News chooses to highlight on their screen.
I mean, April, the president loves to rail against leaks. Actually it's a favorite thing. But obviously not only is his White House --
APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Right.
BURNETT: -- as I said, the leakiest sieve ever, on other topics, this particular leak really does appear to be coming from his team and his legal team specifically.
RYAN: Yes. It's hypocritical, Erin, you know, for this president to talk about the press and talk about the leaks and how he wants to even possibly have people jailed for leaking, and then they're going to do -- they want this to play out in the court of public opinion. That's what is about. They don't want it to play out with Mueller but in the court of public opinion that basically throws people away from any of this, any of what Mueller is doing or any other investigation.
And what happens is, he's not only leaking, but he's undermining the rule of law, he's undermining the investigation, and he wants to throw the American public this bone so they could see that it's the same thing that we've been talking about, which in essence, people are saying who are close to the White House, who are saying this is not what Mueller will be asking. These are broad questions. And this is what we've been talking about all along.
BURNETT: David, you know Mueller, obviously, very well. Would he stand from a leak from his team? And, you know, we haven't seen one thus far, but is there any reason this could have come from his team?
DAVID PRIESS, FORMER CIA INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: It's not consistent with my experience. Bob Mueller was a professional through and through and -- when I was briefing him, it was not long after 9/11, there were plenty of opportunities for him to identify information that came up in our classified briefings, but information that he could have put out there to make the bureau look good or to make the U.S. Government efforts look good. Not a single time in more than a year that I saw him every working morning did I see something on the news that was a leak from a briefing that I gave him. It just didn't happen.
BURNETT: So John, to this issue of collusion, there are multiple questions on collusion. One of them, I mentioned a moment ago, let me read it again. Again, this is team Trump's -- the way they would phrase the question based on a conversation with Bob Mueller's team. "What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?"
What does it tell you specifically that Manafort is mentioned, John? DEAN: Well, you know, again, that is part of the bigger collusion picture that's kind of emerging, the possibility of a conspiracy. And the lawyers here are sort of pulling out what they obviously think he's likely to be confronted with. And I -- you know, I don't think -- I don't understand Trump's reaction where he so flat out denies that something is in a document, that everybody in the United States and the world can see. It's almost Orwellian the way he'll say, up is down or sideways is backwards, and he just -- it's really quite remarkable.
BURNETT: It is. And what is remarkable is there are a decent number of people who would, you know, believe it and say, well, someone else is lying about whether up is down and therefore what he says is true.
I mean, David, obviously you worked closely with Mueller as you were saying. What does the list of questions tell you about where Mueller is on this investigation, right? We don't know exactly when this was handed off from team Mueller to team Trump, but what would you say this says, if they're able to come up with 49 questions that are this specific?
PRIESS: You know, my first reaction was that, this is like a final exam for the seminar we are all taking on the Trump campaign and presidency, because this got everything from collusion to Cohen to Kislyak to Kushner to the intent to fire --
BURNETT: It's exhausting.
PRIESS: -- Comey, the intent to fire Mueller. It's all in there, but it's also not necessarily exclusive. The one thing that we know for sure about the Mueller investigation is that we know nothing about the Mueller investigation. He surprised us with every indictment. He surprised us with these.
These could be close-out questions, or these could be questions to open up whole new avenues of research.
[19:10:05] The one thing that's interesting that doesn't appear in these questions, however, is the financial aspect. We're not seeing specific questions to the president, at least as filtered through the lawyers and the cutout that got to "The New York Times".
PRIESS: We're not seeing things about Trump's knowledge of campaign finance violations or other money laundering issues. That's a huge black hole in this list of questions.
BURNETT: And what does that say to you, John Dean? I mean, that's sort of the issue, by the way, if you really were able to nail someone on money laundering, you would be able to do it theoretically without having it in an interview at all, right?
BURNETT: I mean, does its exclusion say anything to you? DEAN: No. I think that this was informal conversation between Trump's lawyers and the special counsel's office, and they deduced or developed this list of questions based on those conversations. And it's not exclusive, it's not inclusive. The special counsel is going to go where he feels he needs to go and it will be amazing if he doesn't go into Trump's finances.
BURNETT: So, April, this also comes, of course, as we have this delay --
BURNETT: -- in the sentencing of Michael Flynn requested by the special counsel. Flynn, of course as I said, was the focus of several of the questions, up to five on that list. How important is Flynn?
RYAN: Flynn is very important. And this delay signifies that Mueller wants for there to be a delay, it signifies he wants more information. There's something there. What's there, we don't know.
And particularly, if the president decides not to answer these questions or to go before Mueller and answer these questions, Flynn could be very, very, very important. And then you go if the president doesn't decide to answer Mueller's questions, you go into a whole other round of something new, a possible indictment or grand jury. And that's why Flynn is so important.
He's wanting to hold him out for a little while longer before sentencing because he needs to get more information to nail whatever down needs to be nailed down. And that the president does not answer these questions, Flynn could really be a good piece in whatever happens, be it a grand jury indictment, whatever.
BURNETT: All right, thank you all very much.
And next, breaking news. The White House scrambling to find a new nominee to lead the V.A., and the president floating John Kelly's name for the job.
Plus more breaking news, the president's former doctor tonight with a bombshell revelation. You're going to hear it here first, OUTFRONT. Saying Donald Trump dictated that famous letter that declared him the healthiest president ever. We've got the full details as this breaking now.
And Israel's prime minister going big with a public attack against Iran. Did we learn anything new? The Israeli ambassador to the United States, OUTFRONT.
[19:16:17] BURNETT: Breaking news. The White House scrambling to find a replacement nominee for the secretary of Veterans Affairs. After Trump's first pick, Dr. Ronny Jackson, was forced to withdraw after allegations of various actions, including drinking on the job and opioid prescriptions. Sources telling CNN tonight, there are five candidates under consideration but no clear runner. And one name the president has been floating is the chief of staff John Kelly.
Pam Brown is OUTFRONT. Pam, the White House press secretary denying Kelly is in the running for V.A. The president, right, when the Ronny Jackson thing fell apart said, oh, don't worry I have another name. We haven't heard it yet. I mean, what are you learning?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, our team has learned, Erin, that President Trump has actually floated to allies the possibility of naming White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to run the Veterans Affairs according to multiple sources speaking to CNN. And this idea that Kelly could move from chief of staff to leading the sprawling V.A. is relatively new we're told.
Trump and Kelly huddled frequently earlier this spring as the president prepared to oust former secretary David Shulkin trying to come up with someone to nominate as a successor. At that time, we're told that Kelly move wasn't brought up as one of the scenarios. However, since the move has been suggested, Trump has been intrigued by this idea, according to a source speaking with my colleague, Kaitlin Collins. If Trump asked Kelly to go to Veterans Affairs, several believe, Erin, that he would do so out of a sense of duty, but it's hard to say how seriously he was under consideration.
As you pointed out, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters today that Kelly was not being considered, and that Kelly and the president are happy with his role as chief of staff. But it appears, as you alluded to, Erin, there's no clear leading candidate at this point, and that suggests the administration is poised for yet another tumultuous nomination process, even as it tries to learn lessons from the Jackson debacle that we saw play out.
BURNETT: OK, lessons to be learned, but of course, you know, hard to get great people to say yes given the chaos and what they could endure. Thank you very much, Pam.
BURNETT: I want to go now to the Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley, who's a member of the House Intelligence Committee. And Congressman, you know, you heard Pam. There was no plan B for Veterans Affairs. It was Ronny Jackson, that was the president's idea, that was it. John Kelly, if that ends up being an option, would he get confirmed?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D), ILLINOIS: You know, it's hard to tell. I think General Kelly would be a much safer pick than Mr. Jackson -- Dr. Jackson was, obviously, but the president has to be careful. He's talked about draining the swamp. Well, at this point he's got a fire hose into the swamp.
He's still got problems with Zinke and Pruitt, right, and Mulvaney, Mnuchin. I mean, I was -- under my questioning just a week ago with Director Mulvaney, he was talking about he wasn't going to hold back anything in the investigation of Pruitt. Well, now we understand in his own words last week that apparently White House policy was for sale. So he's standing in a waist-high swamp and he's loading water into it. I guess -- my belief is, he's tired of General Kelly telling him what to do and this is his way of getting rid of him in a way.
BURNETT: All right, but interesting that you say wouldn't -- not even a sure thing. He's got to be one of the best known people that, you know, might say yes to this at this point.
The Deputy Attorney general Rod Rosenstein of course is overseeing the Mueller probe, as you know. He is fighting back against a group of pro-Trump House members who want to fire him. You know, basically they want to formally impeach the deputy attorney general. That would have massive impact on the investigation, right? I mean, you get rid of Rod Rosenstein then you can fire Bob Mueller.
Here is what Rosenstein said about that today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: There have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time, and I think they should understand by now, the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:20:07] BURNETT: All right. He used the word "extorted". We're not going to be extorted. And Congressman Mark Meadows, who obviously, you know, Freedom Caucus, among the Republicans leading the attack against Rosenstein, went on Twitter, responded right away with this, Congressman. Quote, if he believes being asked to do his job is extortion, then Rod Rosenstein should step aside and allow us to find a new deputy attorney general, preferably one who is interested in transparency.
What do you say? Is that a declaration of war? They're going ahead with it?
QUIGLEY: Look, I think the war started over a year ago when Chairman Nunes went to the White House at midnight. Their plan has been to work in concert with the White House to obstruct this investigation from absolutely day one. Don't call certain witnesses. You certainly don't want to subpoena key documents.
We haven't even talked to Papadopoulos. Haven't scratched the surface on money laundering. They don't want to know what the truth is. And right now --
QUIGLEY: -- the only way to get to Mueller is to get to Rosenstein.
BURNETT: Can they do it? Could they impeach him?
QUIGLEY: Look, the -- I don't think they can impeach him. I think what they're either trying to do is intimidate Mr. Rosenstein or the office or to lay the groundwork for the president to fire him and, therefore, Mueller. As you suggest, if you fire one, he's the one who's going to get the report. He's the one who's going to make recommendations for Mr. Mueller and put them into place. So obviously if you fire him, you're going after Mueller and the heart of the investigation.
BURNETT: Congressman, you know, all of the, you know, hoax, witch hunt, whatever it might be, it appears on some level to have been working. A new Monmouth University poll today shows a rise in the number of Americans who think the Russia investigation should end. Here are the percentages. Thirty-seven percent in March said that the investigation should end, the Russia investigation. It's up to 43 percent in April. In one month, a six-percentage point increase. That's a huge change.
QUIGLEY: It's frustrating, it's hard to watch. All I can tell the American public is, let Mr. Mueller do his job. Let him finish this investigation. And then at the very end if the president is right and it's a witch hunt, then it's borne out. But it's hardly a witch hunt when you've already had the significant number of indictments and significant Trump associates who are cooperating.
And let's please remember, we now have 11, at least 11 Trump associates that we know were communicating with the Russians. This isn't just an attack at the Russians, on the Democrats. This was an attack on the Democratic process. Remember, they attacked the election process as well.
So I ask the American public to be patient. Like -- Watergate was much more algebra compared to physics here and it took over a year. And the Democrats were in control of the House.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Congressman. And of course, we should say, the number of Russians who have been charged here with meddling in the election overall. The ultimate question, double digits by Bob Mueller.
OUTFRONT next, breaking news, the president's former doctor telling us that President Trump dictated a letter. The president dictated a letter that the doctor then put out with his signature which says Trump would be the healthiest president in American history. That doctor also saying Trump's bodyguard raided his office and robbed him of his records.
And Netanyahu under fire for a big show about Iran that didn't seem to reveal any new information. Was it all about getting Trump's attention? The Israeli ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, is my guest.
[19:27:41] BURNETT: Breaking news, CNN learning exclusively tonight that President Trump dictated that infamous letter from his lawyer about his health. Remember -- his lawyer -- and we usually talking about lawyers on 2this program, his doctor on his health. It was back in 2015. Now this is according to his former personal doctor, Harold Bornstein. Now, the letter was not signed by the president, there was nothing about him dictating his own letter about his own health. It was signed by Bornstein. It talked about Trump's physical strength and stamina are extraordinary. That was just one line.
Here's another one, "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." Can you hear him saying that, how does that sound, how does that sound? All right, this comes as Bornstein is also claiming tonight that Trump's former bodyguard and a lawyer raided his office for the president's medical records.
Alex Marquardt is in front of Dr. Bornstein's office, he spoke with him today. Alex, I mean, this is pretty incredible. Let's start with the breaking news that you have. Bornstein is telling you that Trump --
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
BURNETT: -- dictated that letter?
MARQUARDT: Yes, that's right, Erin. We ran into the Dr. Harold Bornstein right here, right outside his office on Park Avenue. And he told us in no uncertain terms, and this is a quote, Erin, he dictated -- he being Trump, he dictated that whole letter, I didn't write that letter. Meaning, that Trump dictated what he wanted to go into it and essentially Bornstein wrote it up.
He did say -- he compared it to the movie "Fargo" and he said it takes the truth and moves it in a different direction. Think about that. Now Bornstein tells us that he was in a car with his wife when he was on the phone with then candidate Trump in December of 2015 and he was going through with Trump what he could say and what he couldn't say. Trump was dictating what he wanted in that letter and Bornstein was saying, OK, you can say that, you can't say that.
He then came here to the office, he wrote it up. Trump's office later picked it up, he said around 4:00 p.m. Erin, we have reached out to the White House, but we've not gotten a response.
BURNETT: All right. So, that's pretty incredible in and of itself. You also now, Alex, Bornstein is saying that he was, quote unquote, robbed of the president's medical fire -- files. He spoke to you particularly about this encounter. What did he tell you?
MARQUARDT: Right. So he is saying this is a raid. Bornstein is saying that he was robbed. I specifically asked him, was a crime committed? He said they stole them, referring to the president's medical files. That, they in that sentence are two men under the president's employ.
The first, as he mentioned is Keith Schiller, who is the president's long-time bodyguard here in New York. He then moved down to Washington with the president, worked in the White House as the head of Oval Office operations. The other person we understand is Alan Garten, who is an attorney for the Trump Organization.
Now, Erin, normally when you have medical records released, you need what's called a HIPAA release. We understand from Bornstein, he told us this afternoon, that was not signed. Instead, he says these two men barged through the back door, terrified the secretary, pushed aside the patient who was in there.
Now, the White House is not contesting that they took possession of these medical files, but they are saying that it was not a raid. Instead, Erin, they are saying that this was just standard operating procedure -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Alex, thank you very much.
And as we said, Alex spoke to Dr. Bornstein breaking that news about the dictation, and now Dr. David Scheiner, who was President Obama's former physician, joins me along with Frank Bruni, a columnist for "The New York Times."
Dr. Scheiner, let me start with you. Let me just read a little bit more to you of what was in that 2015 letter, least anyone has forgotten.
Bornstein, Trump, whoever it was, wrote, quote: Mr. Trump has had a recent complete medical examination that showed only positive results. Actually his blood pressure, 110/65 and lab test results were astonishingly excellent. That comes after, right, he'll be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency and his physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.
What's your reaction, Doctor, to hearing that the president dictated this letter to his doctor?
DAVID SCHEINER, FORMER PHYSICIAN TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it's not surprising to me.
First of all, the fact that he used the word all his lab results were positive. A physician never uses that word. If the tests are normal, you say they're negative. If they're abnormal, you say they're positive.
So, that should have raised suspicions immediately that it wasn't written by a physician.
BURNETT: And is there any issue you have ethically with this, that Trump --
SCHEINER: There's no question.
BURNETT: -- dictated it and the doctor would sign it?
SCHEINER: Yes, if the doctor signed it, it's not his medical report. I mean, it's fraudulent. I might even -- I'm even wondering if Ronny Jackson's great report on his health was written by Trump too because he said things which were patently wrong.
BURNETT: Well, certainly some of it --
SCHEINER: He said he was in such great health. He said he was in great health and the cardiologist said he was in the upper 25 percent for cardiovascular risk.
BURNETT: Right. Which is a point Sanjay Gupta made, Frank, about that, right, with cardiovascular disease. Look, the president exaggerates, we all know that. He loves to use words like, you know, it's extraordinary and his stamina and all this stuff. He used stamina in a tweet today, as a matter of fact.
When -- this fits his mold. I mean, this sounds like him, I mean, certainly.
FRANK BRUNI, OP-ED COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Oh, yes. I mean, it's funny. I mean, now, it all makes sense when you hear that he dictated this. But it's another one of those examples and a pretty crazy one of the extent to the lengths the president will go to, you know, to project a certain kind of image and how little regard he has for the truth. I mean, he is -- and also what a kind of shady cast of characters he gathers around him.
I mean, he found a doctor willing to play so fast and loose that this guy would let Donald Trump dictate a letter about his own health, use ridiculous phrases like astonishingly excellent, right? If you used that on air, you'd be subject to ridicule for the next month, right?
BURNETT: I would.
BRUNI: And signed his name to it. And the last laugh is on Donald Trump because the same fast and loose guy who signed that letter then in February 2017 without authorization starts talking to Larry Altman of "The Times" about the fact that Donald Trump takes Propecia and something for Rosacea. And that's what triggered this, quote/unquote, raid, was this kind of panic --
BRUNI: -- that this completely untrustworthy individual had the store house of Donald Trump's medical records.
BURNETT: And, Dr. Scheiner, you know, Dr. Bornstein is describing this as a raid, right? You heard he said he was robbed, and you heard the words he used to Alex Marquardt, right, that the documents were stolen. He doesn't even have a copy, which by the way is against medical regulations. He said they barged in the back door, terrified his secretary.
Obviously, this is not what we're hearing from the other side, they said they went in very politely and took the records.
The White House press secretary was asked about it and let me just play the exchange for you, Dr. Scheiner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Why did Keith Schiller, who was a White House employee at the time, go and take medical records from the president's personal doctor last year?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: As is standard operating procedure for a new president, the White House medical unit took possession of the president's medical records.
REPORTER: It was characterized as a raid. Is that your understanding of what happened? The doctor seemed to be pretty upset about it.
SANDERS: No, that is not my understanding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Dr. Scheiner, what is standard operating procedure? At least what was your experience when you handed over President Obama's records?
SCHEINER: Well, to be perfectly honest, I still have President Obama's records. I secured it so that no one else could see it, but I made a copy of everything in the record and it was sent to the White House.
[19:35:00] BURNETT: And so you sent paper documents, but you have the originals, as a doctor would ordinarily do, right? You keep a copy.
SCHEINER: Yes, I would never let it out of your sight. And if -- you know, when they came to his door, that's what he should have said. You know, I will keep the record, but here's a copy.
And, of course, Frank, that's not what happened at all. Look, Dr. Bornstein told NBC earlier he felt raped. He used that word. You know, that's a very strong word.
The White House, of course, said it's not like this. Sources tell us it was not hostile. Who do you think is telling the truth?
BRUNI: Well, you know, I mean, a raid is probably too big a word and raped is way too big a word.
BRUNI: But this is not standard operating procedure. Nothing about the Trump presidency is standard operating procedure. And, you know, one thing we're forgetting here is after all is said and done between what a shady character Bornstein is and between what Ronny Jackson gave, we know -- we don't know the truth about this president's health.
I think he's not the healthiest president we've ever seen but I think we know less accurate information about his health than almost any of his predecessors in recent history.
BURNETT: Well, we know it's astonishingly excellent as this segment was.
BURNETT: Thank you both. Or astonishingly extraordinary -- I'm sorry. Missing my adjectives.
OK. Next, the Israeli prime minister under fire for his big production attacking Iran. But was it all for show for Trump with the deadline to get out of the deal looming? The Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer is OUTFRONT next.
Plus, as the president prepares to meet Kim Jong-un, we have a rare glimpse from inside North Korea and what they think about America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really curse the Americans and want to destroy their land.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:40:14] BURNETT: New tonight, what's going on in Iran? The top defense experts and lawmakers, some of them downplaying the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's dramatic presentation, the one where he claimed that there are new documents, hundreds of thousands that are obtained by Israeli intelligence, which prove Iran is lying about its nuclear program and it has no plans to honor its end of the nuclear deal.
Here is Netanyahu and then the reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Tonight, we are going to reveal new and conclusive proof of the secret nuclear weapons program that Iran has been hiding for years from the international community. A hundred thousand files right here prove that they lied.
MICHAEL HAYDEN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I think this is fundamentally old news.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think there's actually less here than meets the eye.
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: It's nothing new. This is really not ground breaking. We've known of this for some time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, OUTFRONT now, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer.
And, Ambassador Dermer, you heard that -- old news, less than meets the eye, nothing new from a former NATO commander, CIA director, and, of course, Senator Corker.
Why are you calling this a, quote, smoking bomb?
AMB. RON DERMER, ISRAEL'S AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: Well, first of all, the information is new. They don't have it. I respect all of those people, but they haven't seen the information. The only agency that has seen the information is the U.S. intelligence agency, the CIA.
As of last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was the director of the CIA, and he said himself that this is new information. It was new to us. I don't know if Senator Corker or the other people who you showed on screen, if they had this information, it was certainly new to Israeli intelligence. It's a massive amount of information.
We knew that Iran had a military nuclear program but we did not know the extent of it. And there are many things that the prime minister didn't show. Basically he's showing 30 PowerPoint slides. We have 100,000 documents, we have videos, a file the likes of which we've never seen.
And when it comes into the hands of the other intelligence agencies like the United Kingdom and France and Germany and the IAEA, they will say that the information is new, I have no doubt about that.
So, I think people should reserve judgment, let the experts look at the information. It takes many weeks to go through it because first you've got to know Farsi, because it's their documents.
BURNETT: In Farsi, yes.
DERMER: And the other thing is you need to have the technical expertise. The prime minister actually showed some new things for people who are really in the weeds on this stuff, but it's new and very damning information that actually shows that Iran falsified all of their presentations to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and you heard the White House say today that the whole deal was based on this lie. And that's because when the IAEA had to sign off on this, in December 2015, Iran basically falsified all those documents.
I should point out one other thing regarding a violation.
DERMER: And that is Iran moved this trove of information to this site recently, after the deal was signed. The action of moving this and actually making --
DERMER: -- a positive action to hide their program is actually a violation of the JCPOA.
BURNETT: So, I actually -- I want to talk to you about that location. But first, you know, the prime minister comes on and shows his 30- slide summary, right? The reality of it is, of course, Ambassador Dermer, we all know he has issued dire warnings before over decades with time frames about the Iranian nuclear program.
And the Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif took to Twitter, as you saw, saying Netanyahu is, quote, the boy who can't stop crying wolf on the back of this presentation last night. And here's why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU: The most dangerous of these regimes is Iran. Only the United States can lead this vital international effort to top the nuclearization of terrorist states. But the deadline for obtaining this goal is getting extremely close. When I last stood here, I spoke of the consequences of Iran developing nuclear weapons. Now, time is running out.
They're very close. They're six months away from being 90 percent of having the rich uranium for an atom bomb.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That went back as early as 1996, 22 years ago, and 2012, six months away. And here we are. You're not saying they have one yet.
DERMER: Well, all I can tell you is thank god that the prime minister has been prime minister for 12 of those 20 years, because had we done nothing, had your intelligence agencies done nothing over the last 20 years, they would have had a nuclear arsenal a long time ago. And you can invite all the previous heads of the intelligence services, Israeli intelligence, U.S. intelligence services and other intelligence services around the world that did a lot to block Iran's path to the bomb.
The problem with this deal, Erin, the fatal flaw and you didn't show that from the prime minister's speech to Congress in 2015 is the deal's restrictions that it puts in place, they're all temporary and they're all automatically removed in a few years.
[19:45:11] And a lot of people responded --
DERMER: -- to what the prime minister said and they actually argued, you know, this just vindicates the need to have restrictions. Frankly, that's an absurd argument. If the restrictions that were in place were permanent restrictions, I can understand that.
DERMER: Let me just finish this point. I can understand --
BURNETT: They're saying this is the best deal they could get. So, it was either no restrictions and no visibility or some restrictions and some visibility and a delay.
DERMER: Or --
BURNETT: And that was your choice. It's not a permanent solution. DERMER: No. Or ratchet up pressure on Iran and actually force them
to accept the deal that is in U.S. national interests, Israel's national interests and the interests of the parties in the region. I mean, at the time you remember, Erin, people said if we don't do this deal, there's going to be war.
Now look at what's happening in the Middle East. There's all the sanctions that were removed, as all the money has flowed into Iran, now you see Iran marching through the Middle East and the aggression of Iran has only increased because of this deal.
It's a very dangerous situation that we have in Syria, that we have around us. And it's because of the sanctions relief that came from this deal. The important thing, the fatal flaw of the deal is that the restrictions are temporary.
DERMER: And what Netanyahu showed yesterday is when those restrictions are removed, Iran won't need to sneak in or break into a bomb, they can just walk in, go to those vaults, get the information they have, build a nuclear arsenal and that's very dangerous.
BURNETT: I just want to make -- I want to ask you about that but I want to make one point on this, right? I was in Iran as the deal was being negotiated, before it was being negotiated. There were Germans there, there were South Koreans there, there were a lot of people doing things that were not in the spirit of sanctions, whether they were outright in violation or not, right?
And the understanding was the U.S. and Israel had lost the rest of the world, right? You weren't going to get that sanctions pressure. It was going to go away anyway, so get a deal while you have some of it. You didn't have the option of full-on sanctions. Do you think you have that now?
DERMER: Well, first of all, we definitely had the option. There were crippling sanctions on Iran only for 18 months. The previous administration pulled the rug out from under the sanctions regime and agreed to a bad deal. They should have ratcheted up the pressures and forced Iran to fully dismantle its program which was the position of the international community until 2013.
We can restore the crippling sanctions very fast and Iran is a very vulnerable regime. You saw the protests in Iran only a few months ago where the people of Iran are fed up with the regime, they're fed up with the adventurism in the region. And it was a big mistake to make this deal and we hope that President Trump will make the right choice moving forward. The right choice for America, for Israel and for the peace of the world.
BURNETT: I want to give you a chance to respond to John Kerry, of course, the American who was arguably, inarguably I would say, the chief negotiator for the U.S. side for this deal.
He tweeted, it's worth remembering that the early 2000s when his evidence comes from, referring to Prime Minister Netanyahu's, was the period where the world had no visibility into Iran's program. More and more centrifuges were spinning each month. The world was not united like it is now, there was no negotiating. All of that changed with the JCPOA, which is the Iran deal. Blow up the deal and you're back there tomorrow.
Back there tomorrow? That's an acceleration in getting a bomb.
DERMER: Look, this deal puts us on cruise control heading over a cliff. And the people who say the deal is working are basically saying the cruise control is working. And no one is thinking about the cliff when all these restrictions are removed.
The inspection regime in Iran, Erin, is a joke. It's not inspectors that found these documents in Tehran. It's Israel's intelligence that was able to obtain them. All the inspectors do is they look under the keys, under the light of the lamp post. But all the dark places in Iran they don't see and all the inspectors are doing are going into places where Iran is allowing them to go. That's not where they're going to have their secret facilities.
BURNETT: And, Ambassador, quickly before we go, you had agents, Mossad agents who are in that warehouse in Tehran?
DERMER: I'm not going to comment at all on the operation. I think it's a great coup for Israeli intelligence, but it also tells you how much we failed in the past to have this information. Why didn't we have this three years ago? And I would not assume, Erin, that what we have is everything that Iran has.
BURNETT: All right. Ambassador Dermer, thank you.
DERMER: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, as Trump and Kim prepare to meet, what do people inside North Korea think? An exclusive, unprecedented look.
[19:53:09] BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump promising the date and location for his meeting with Kim Jong-un will be announced within a matter of days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're setting up meetings right now and I think it's probably going to be announced over the next couple of days, location and date.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But despite this historic meeting, there is a chance North Korea will still view America as the enemy.
Will Ripley has an unprecedented look inside North Korea.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Everywhere you turn in North Korea, there is anti-America propaganda. Images of nuclear tipped missiles pointed directly at the U.S. These themes are woven into the fabric of North Korean culture.
Even young children had told me they want to kill Americans.
Who do you want to fight?
UNIDENTIFIED KID (through translator): We want to fight the sworn enemy, Americans.
RIPLEY: What if I told you I'm an American, do you want to kill me too?
UNIDENTIFIED KID: Yes. Yes.
RIPLEY: I remember this trip to a Pyongyang textile mill, anti-U.S. propaganda greeted us at nearly every corner. Outside, missiles blowing up the U.S. capital. Inside, a personal attack on North Korea's public enemy number one.
This propaganda banner says the workers are motivated by their burning hatred for the United States. And in fact, it reads, let's tear apart the mentally deranged U.S. President Donald Trump.
The worker I interviewed was carefully chosen by our government guides.
What do you think about Americans? And the United States in general?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Only hatred. It makes me shudder.
RIPLEY: Each missile launch, each nuclear test gave North Koreans a sense of national pride. Or at least that's what they said in the presence of our government minders.
[19:55:07] I wonder what North Koreans must be thinking now? Now that their government is telling them there's no longer a need to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles, now that their supreme leader Kim Jong-un is ordering a nuclear test site at Punggye-ri to be shut down.
Getting rid of nukes would be a huge cultural shift for North Koreans. Thinking of America as a friend and not an enemy, an even bigger change.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I want to see how the U.S. looks like to be harassing North Korean people so much, sanctioning our economy. What grudge is there between Korea and the U.S. They invaded our country and massacred us.
Why do you think we are suffering now? I really curse the Americans and want to destroy their land.
RIPLEY: That's what they say when the cameras are rolling. But off camera, North Koreans often are friendly and polite. They've asked me about my life, about my travels, and some have even said that they would like to visit the United States. They have been told for 65 years that America is evil and an enemy. And yet I think a lot of North Koreans, Erin, will probably welcome if there could be some sort of a deal reached between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, despite everything they have been told, when you meet people face to face, it is often different than the propaganda.
BURNETT: It certainly is. Thank you very much, Will Ripley.
And we'll be right back.
BURNETT: And thank you for joining us.
"ANDERSON" starts now.