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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Undermines Giuliani: He'll Get His Facts Straight"; Judge In Manafort Case Says Mueller's Aim Is To Hurt Trump; Women Hope to Dominate the Midterms; Rep. Kristi Noem is Running for Governor of South Dakota. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 4, 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] JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: -- everybody. Thanks for watching. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, Trump undermines Giuliani, insisting his new attorney doesn't have his facts straight. Is it the president though who is playing loose with the truth.
Plus, a federal judge slamming the Mueller investigation, suggesting its only goal is to take down Trump. A stunning development there.
And the president says a date and location have been set for his meeting with Kim Jong-un. But we don't know what it is yet. What does this mean for the three American hostages who have still not yet been released?
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, President Trump throwing Rudy Giuliani under the bus. Trump now blaming his own lawyer for he says, getting the facts wrong on Stormy Daniels. Giuliani of course dropping bombshell after bombshell in a media blitz, including saying Trump repaid Michael Cohen for the Stormy Daniels hush money.
Now, Giuliani may be a former U.S. attorney, the former mayor of New York City, and a former associate general. He is a lawyer with decades of experience. But to President Trump today, he's just the new guy who may have his heart in it, but still just learning the subject matter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rudy is a great guy, but he just started a day ago. But he really has his heart into it. He's working hard. He's learning the subject matter.
He started yesterday. He'll get his facts straight. He's a great guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It sounds like he's like a junior associate right out of a law school. OK, he'll get his facts straight. I mean, ouch. That is called throwing someone under the bus because if Giuliani really got it so wrong in his interview on Wednesday night, it surely seems the president would have called it out sooner. Because Trump did comment on Giuliani's facts after the interview in a three-part tweet defending Giuliani's characterization of the retainer paid to Michael Cohen and the non-disclosure agreement with Stormy Daniels.
And Trump let his press secretary take reporter questions for 20 minutes without telling her that anything Giuliani said was wrong. She simply kept saying, I refer you back to Giuliani. And here's what Giuliani said the president told him after that interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did the president say to you after your appearance last night?
RUDY GIULIANI, PERSONAL ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: the president was quite pleased that we got -- we're making progress. We're moving along.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, the president was pleased with Giuliani as the president said today didn't get the facts straight? You know, now let's listen to something else President Trump said twice today. You heard one but I want to play it again now in case you miss it. In his effort to discredit Giuliani.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He started a day ago. He started yesterday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. The fact is, Giuliani formally started working for Trump 14 days ago, not yesterday. And these two men are close, a whole lot closer than a two-week relationship, never mind a day. Giuliani has known Trump for decades. There they are in the 1990s in New York so comfortable with each other after a decade that they performed this skit together in 2000 for a fund-raiser.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, you're really beautiful. And a woman that looks like that has to have her own special scent.
GIULIANI: Oh, thank you. Maybe you could tell me what you think of this scent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: To be clear, that was Rudy Giuliani. And the relationship got stronger during the campaign. Giuliani was one of Trump's top surrogates and closest allies. In fact, he was the only one who would go on television and defend the "Access Hollywood" tape. The only one.
He introduced Trump at rallies across the country. Visited the New York polling station with him in September of 2016. Accompanied Trump to his country club in Bedminster, New Jersey after he won the election. He didn't have a formal role, he came anyway. He was there advising.
So for Trump to say Giuliani is only been on the team for a day, and he doesn't have his fact straight, his excuse seems a bit weak.
Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT live at the White House. And Jeff, you know, with all that, Giuliani fell on the sword today, but still here we are, 7:03 Eastern and there's still complete confusion on what the president knew about Stormy Daniels' payment and when.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the president just arrived back here at the White House moments ago, did not take questions from reporters. That does not mean that there are not answers that still need to be given about what entirely went on today.
When I asked the president earlier this morning as he was flying out to Dallas around 10:00 in morning or so, I said simply, how is Rudy doing. I generally thought he would say fine or not answer. He went into this sort of diatribe saying he didn't have his facts right. But, Erin, all these hours later as we head into the weekend after one more interesting week here to say the least, there is no sense of what exactly happened with the president and those payments to Stormy Daniels.
Now, of course, Rudy Giuliani issued a statement late this afternoon, saying the it was -- he was talking about his understanding not the president's exact understanding or knowledge of those payments. But this did little to clear it up, because the president clearly approved of those interviews initially.
[19:05:03] But then, as we've seen before, he watches the media cover, just the criticism of those interviews and he indeed was not happy about that. So again, the question still remain for the president and the White House going into the weekend and the next week about what exactly the president knew? And the most important thing of all, was he misleading the American people over all of this, Erin.
BURNETT: That's right because of course as we know, less than a month ago, he said he knew nothing about the payment itself. So dates matter a lot here when it comes to whether he was forthright with America.
Thank you, Jeff. And OUTFRONT now, David Gergen, Renato Mariotti, former federal prosecutor and Harry Sandick, former assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district here in New York.
All right, David, let's start with the most basic thing here. Today, Trump says Giuliani is just learning the subject matter. He doesn't have his facts straight. He's hard hitted (ph) like I said as, you know, first year out of law school sort of treatment. Giuliani though tells our Dana Bash he spoke with the president both before and after he had the interview when he said, you know, that the president had paid the hush money back. He said it was all carefully coordinated with the president.
So why is the president throwing Giuliani under the bus now? You know, we're talking, you know, 36 hours, it took him to do it after defending him?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Because the president and Rudy Giuliani had a private conversation which they didn't share with other lawyers at the White House. And I think they just sort of got themselves into a deep hole.
Let me suggest the most obvious and it is pretty obvious scenario is this. Rudy gets together with the president, they have a one-on-one. They conspire to have Rudy go out. Rudy wants to say to him basically, you got to get this story behind us. It's in the Cohen records. We don't want it coming out through the prosecutors that you misled the country. I've got to go out and clean this up for you.
The president says yes, he goes out. Rudy goes out, it seemed to play well. Rudy is very aggressive, president loves that on television. But the next day, all hell breaks loose because the lawyers in the White House know that what Rudy did may have been well-intentioned, but it really may made the president much more vulnerable to legal attack, and much more vulnerable to charges on the criminal side and may have demolished any attorney-client relationship by disclosing parts of his conversation with the president the way he did.
All that created a legal mess. And I think the lawyers plus the coverage that was coming out forced the president to change his whole story and now everything is confused.
BURNETT: Everything is confused, Harry, and the reality of it is when we get to the bottom of it here, why this is such a huge story is, federal election law and also whether the president, you know, point- blank lied to the American people, when he said I knew nothing about it. No, I know nothing about it. He said that on Air Force One --
HARRY SANDICK, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Right.
BURNETT: -- less than a month ago.
So Giuliani falling on the sword today, right, after, you know --
BURNETT: -- the president defended him, everything is fine. Now the president says, you know, you're this neophyte, you don't know what you're talking about. Giuliani says my references to timing were not describing my understanding of the president's knowledge, but instead, my understanding of these matters.
Talk about lawyer like answer. No offense. SANDICK: Right, right.
BURNETT: But, OK, who do you think is in the wrong here?
SANDICK: Well, it maybe that lots of people are in the wrong. I think that in general, if you're a new lawyer in the case, you obviously want to quickly get up to speed on the facts and not do anything that would shake things up until you know what's going on. And then particularly, you wanted to figure out what the prior statements that have been made by the other lawyers are. He's not --
SANDICK: -- the first person to be here. So, I think there are some mistakes there.
However, it may be that the president authorized him to make these statements. In which case, some of the blame may rest with the client as well.
BURNETT: All right. I mean, obviously, there had been a conversation before he went out there. I think we all know that, Renato. And then, then simply -- whatever happened with the facts may be, it didn't play well.
RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, absolutely. And I got to say, Erin, there's really no excuse for Giuliani actively undermining his client's case on national television. You know, you just read a moment ago that, what you called a lawyerly statement. And what he was really walking back --
MARIOTTI: -- was his statement on Fox and Friends where he said that the timing of the payment mattered because they didn't want that to come out before the final presidential debate. That makes a payment that you could otherwise explain a way as something, you know, where he was trying to hide something from his wife or something as a campaign-related payment.
So, you know, no matter what, frankly, Rudy needs to be much more careful. A lot of us who handle routine government investigations would never say anything to the press about our client without very carefully scrutinizing.
BURNETT: Well, that line, you said a Fox and Friends, that's a double whammy. It makes a very serious risk of an election commission violation, and also makes the president a liar because he denied knowing about it.
David, I want to play something else the president said today on his Rudy under the bus trip. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There has been a lot of misinformation really. People wanting to say, and I say, you know what, learn before you speak. It's a lot easier.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:10:03] BURNETT: OK. So that's harsh, David, you know, continues to throw this case, Giuliani under the bus. But, here's what happened today, right, as is -- you had Neil Cavuto on Fox News, call out the president in a way that the president likes to say only places like let's say the Washington Post or CNN or NBC or anybody else that he hates would do. Here's Neil Cavuto.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS HOST: Let me be clear, Mr. President. How can you bring the swamp if you're the one who keeps muddying the waters? You didn't know about that $130,000 payment to a porn star until you did.
I guess you're too busy draining the swamp to ever stop and smell the stink you're creating. That's your doing. That's your stink. Mr. President, that's your swamp.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean, David, he then went through issues where Trump has muddied the waters wasn't just Stormy Daniels. He thought about Russia meddling, he thought about job approval numbers, right, which the president fudges, the national debt. The voter fraud issue.
He went on and on and on. I mean, David, how much did that coming from Fox, impact what we heard from the president today?
GERGEN: I think when any time, anybody from Fox parts with the president and starts criticizing, that causes the president real heartburn. Now, Neil Cavuto has been a more independent voice at times --
GERGEN: -- on Fox. But, I just think it's very, very clear that what happened here was not Rudy Giuliani's fault. What the problem was, that his client, the president of the United States, basically told Giuliani some lies about what happened or I think he told him the truth. I think that's more likely that he told him the truth, actually, and Giuliani went on and repeated the truth, but it got the president in trouble and that's when everybody started blowing whistles and the president backed way off, and now and tried to -- the president has intentionally today tried to obscure what's happened so none of us knows for sure, but there sure has been one heck of a lot of lying going on somewhere, Erin.
BURNETT: I mean, there is because, Harry, you know, the president as I said denied knowing about the payment to Stormy Daniels --
BURNETT: -- on Air Force One. That was less than a month ago. Then Rudy came out and seemingly contradicted what he said and now the president had -- is saying oh, no, nothing's changed. Let me just play these three operative sound bites the president, then Rudy, then the president today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?
TRUMP: No, no.
GIULIANI: The president repaid it.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Oh, I didn't know that. He did?
TRUMP: We're not changing any stories.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Why would Rudy Giuliani, go on television, and the reason I keep Sean Hannity's response on there is one that makes me laugh every time I hear it because he just sounds so shocked and deflated. But he was unprompted. The whole point, Sean Hannity didn't ask about it.
BURNETT: He said he paid her back. Hannity, oh, I didn't know that. Why would Rudy Giuliani go out and do that and make it up? I mean, it seems very clear to me that the president and Rudy Giuliani have discussed this. I don't understand how all this could happen.
SANDICK: It does seem likely and the fact that there were the tweets the following morning essentially endorsing Giuliani's statements make it seem that way. It's incredibly devastating. There may well be a time in the future where Donald Trump has to testify in some place, either in the investigation or deposition about this payment. And what the purpose was -- and who can really accept that whatever he says in that deposition will be true. He'll be cross examined five different ways. Giuliani statement as an agent of the president will be admissible against Trump in any trial.
So, there's going to be a lot of hard questions for him if he ever has to testify about this.
BURNETT: Renato, final word.
MARIOTTI: Yes, I will say it appeared that there are some sort of strategy Giuliani was trying to execute maybe to take pressure off of Cohen but he really bungled it.
BURNETT: All right, thank you all.
And next, a federal judge in the Manafort case blasting the Mueller investigation. This is a federal judge. Accusing Mueller's team of being just out to harm the president. It's an incredible allegation. And we have that story. Plus, will he or won't he. The president delivering mixed signals, again, and as he flirts with sitting down face-to-face with Mueller.
And another shocking departure at the White House today. The vice president's doctor abruptly resigning. Why?
[19:17:59] BURNETT: Tonight, the federal judge in the Manafort bank fraud case brought by Bob Mueller, accusing Mueller's team of being out just to harm President Trump. Think about that for a moment. This is a federal judge. This is an incredible thing for a federal judge to allege.
The judge, T.S. Ellis is presiding over a hearing in the bank fraud case which was brought by Mueller against Paul Manafort who of course as we all know is the former Trump campaign chairman. And Trump who, again, called the special counsel investigation a witch hunt, loved what this judge had to say, complimenting him today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Judge T.S. Ellis, who is really something very special I hear from many standpoints. He's a respected person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Jessica Schneider is OUTFRONT. Jessica, of course, the president loves this, but I mean, let's just take a step back here. You have a federal judge in -- who's hearing this case. Saying that Bob Mueller's team is out just to harm the president. This is pretty incredible. What exactly did this judge say?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, he didn't hold back. That's for sure, Erin. He essentially reprimanded the special counsel's team and really throughout this, even lost his temper at times as he was expressing doubt that the special counsel is properly following his mandate. So here's what the judge said. He said, "You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud." That's what the judge told Michael Dreeben on the special counsel's team. Instead, the judge continued on to say they were only interested in Manafort because of what he could provide that would lead to the president's, quote, prosecution or impeachment. "That's what you're really interested in."
And the judge, he didn't stop there. He continued on to say, "We don't want anyone in this country with unfettered power. It's unlikely you're going to persuade me. The special prosecutor has power to do anything he or she wants. The American people feel pretty strongly that no one has unfettered power.
So, Erin, now, the judge really seeming to echo the president and also echoing Paul Manafort's lawyers, who have argued that the charges in Virginia on mostly bank fraud and financial crimes, they don't relate to the campaign. They just go too far under the special counsel's mandate. [19:20:07] So, you know, this hearing this morning was all for this motion to dismiss by Paul Manafort's team, they want the entire case dismissed against him in Virginia.
So the judge, he hasn't ruled yet to no crystal clear read on who he'll side with but it certainly seemed like he might be siding with Paul Manafort's team.
BURNETT: Which would be -- I mean, that talk about a stunning development here in all of this. I mean, that truly would be a major development.
SCHNEIDER: It would.
BURNETT: I mean, the judge is also going to be given access I understand, Jessica, to the memo.
BURNETT: Which lays out the special counsel's mandate. You know, more than obviously the basic one that we all have seen from the Department of Justice. Why does the judge want this?
SCHNEIDER: Well -- so it's a memo and once it's given over to him in un-redacted form, really the judge will get the full view of what authority the special counsel has been given by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. So, you know, we've seen parts of this memo. It was written back in August.
SCHNEIDER: A large portion of it has been publicly released. And -- so what we know about it, is that the special counsel was given permission to examine Manafort's lobbying work in Ukraine and notably whether Manafort himself colluded with Russian Government officials. So by getting to see the entire memo in un-redacted form, maybe the judge will see even more what power the special counsel has and then of course will make that decision on that motion to dismiss after seeing that.
BURNETT: Oh, right. So obviously shows that, you know, he's leaning in -- as you said, it certainly seems like he's leaning in Manafort's direction but he would the memo to truly realize whether his point of view holds up.
Thank you very much, Jessica.
And OUTFRONT now, Michael Caputo, former Trump campaign aide. He was interviewed by special counsel investigators on Wednesday.
So you met them. I know you described them as very professional. Let me just start though, Michael, by asking you about this because it is a pretty incredible thing, right? A federal judge to come out and say this. That he believes that the prosecutors here from Mueller are simply out to harm the president.
What do you make of the judge's comments?
MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE: Well, I think we finally found a judge that knows what's going on here. You know, as you know, Erin, I'm an old friend of Paul Manafort's --
BURNETT: Yes, you've known him what, 30 years?
CAPUTO: -- I've worked for Paul Manafort -- yes, 30 years. A lot of us who are friends of his, you know, kind of, you know, share our disappointment in the system and share our anger at the special counsel. Off and on ever since Paul's been brought in on this and we're all elated over this.
We really think this is the way it should go. This is the direction that the whole entire affair should be taking.
CAPUTO: And we all have thought that the special counsel is overstepping its bounds for quite some time and we're very hopeful this is a good sign for Paul.
BURNETT: Now, of course, the memo, we'll see what's in it because it obviously is very crucial in this when you talk about what the special counsel's mandate really is, Michael. But, you know, the judge also accused the special counsel's prosecutors. You heard Jessica saying they're interested in Manafort because he could potentially provide material that would lead to Trump's prosecution or impeachment.
Again, it's pretty incredible to hear a judge say this, right. An impartial observer, someone who's supposed to be impartial. Let me just ask you though, when you were being interviewed this week by investigators for Bob Mueller, did you get that impression at all? Did you get that they were looking for prosecution or impeachment or not?
CAPUTO: Oh, I certainly believed that they were looking to jam me up in that situation. I've -- you know, I've watched a lot of law and order on T.V., I've never been in this situation before. I've got a great lawyer in Dennis Vacco, our former New York attorney general. He prepared me really well, but I don't think it's possible to prepare a new guy who's never done this before for a situation like that.
They knew every answer to every question that they asked me before they asked me. And if that's true, then they're only doing one thing there. They're looking to trip me up and I think that that's what was happening to Paul, too. In my opinion, they went fishing on Paul way back in years before he had anything to do with the, president, and before he even had a gleam in his eye about the 2016 election. And they're trying to get him to say things about the president which just don't exist.
BURNETT: Well, I know, you know, you obviously made it clear, you don't believe there was collusion from what you saw. But, when you say they knew every answer, right, they're trying to see, are you consistent. But, you know -- I mean, let's just be honest, Michael, that's what good investigators and prosecutors do. You don't ask a question if you don't know the answer to it, right?
So it sounds like what you're also saying is, they're really prepared and they know their stuff. Am I right to read that into what you're saying?
CAPUTO: No doubt. These were three very professional men. I think at times, it got a little hot between us, but I think it suppose to in these situations. It always does on law and order, you know. So -- you know, o got to tell you, it was intimidating at times as well. I felt like I couldn't talk about it when I left.
I love to tell you more about it, but I really feel like if I do that, I'll get called back in again and my family is already been hit by a $125,000 of legal fees.
[19:25:03] We can't afford that and I can't afford to go back in front of Mueller again either.
BURNETT: So, you know, I want to play for you, you know, with this whole Manafort -- the judge making this comment today. The president was at the NRA speech today in Dallas and he brought up Manafort. Here's what he said, Michael.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Paul Manafort's a nice guy, but, you know, he worked for me for a very short period of time. Literally. For like what, a couple of months. Little period of time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: You know, here's my question to you Michael. You've known Manafort for 30 years. He was brought in here, in to this campaign to make a difference, right? To win over those delegate --
BURNETT: -- votes and to be the chairman. He played a huge role. OK? And the president continually trying to diminish role.
Manafort was not a bit player, he was the chairman of the campaign. He was the chairman of the campaign for months. I don't understand, Michael, and I'm wondering if you do. If Manafort did nothing wrong, why does Trump always try to distance himself to make it sound like he was barely there and he was a bit player?
CAPUTO: I think it's -- in this situation, I think it's understandable for the president to try to distance himself from people that may have -- maybe in, you know, in a jackpot somewhere. I think we've seen presidents do that before. I don't take that offense to Paul Manafort at all.
In fact, the president -- BURNETT: So he doesn't get sold out by the president or anything like
CAPUTO: No, I don't think. So, Paul in this fight, and he's ready to go at it. He thinks he's innocent, he thinks he's going to come out of this OK. These comments from the judge in the case are an indication that he's right.
But, in addition to this, you know, Paul came in at the end of the New York primary. I was the New York state primary director, and that was at the end of April. He was out by August, I believe it was. That is a couple of months and the president had a campaign that was led by an original five people --
CAPUTO: -- starting with Corey Lewandowski --
BURNETT: But Michael, I mean, now, you're downplaying. I mean, those were the months where like it wasn't even clear you guys were going to be able beat Ted Cruz and you're going to be able to get the delegate count. Paul Manafort did that. That is not something. It may have been over a brief period of time but it was crucial at that time.
CAPUTO: No, Erin, not at all. Listen -- I am not diminishing Paul's role because I don't believe the president at the convention without Paul there.
CAPUTO: There was a lot of chicanery going on, a lot of things going on in the back rooms driven by Ted Cruz and other never Trumpers. And if it weren't for Paul Manafort, that convention would have been hairy. And I think the president would stood a chance of actually getting brokered right out of it and Paul took charge of it. You know, basically put a rope around it during the committee week.
And during the convention, we had a few hours of problems at the beginning of the convention, but it went swift from there. And that was all Paul's doing. You know, but the election was later won by another team. (INAUDIBLE) had the one team that brought him in position for the pri -- for the convention --
CAPUTO: Paul brought him through the convention. I'm sorry?
BURNETT: For the nomination.
CAPUTO: I'm sorry (INAUDIBLE) -- the nomination at the convention.
CAPUTO: Paul took him through the convention and then Kellyanne, David Bossie in that team, you know, Steve Bannon brought him to victory in November. Whatever it takes in my opinion -- BURNETT: OK.
CAPUTO: -- and I don't think Paul was a pro in this is offended by the president trying to keep at harm's way.
BURNETT: All right. Well, that's an interesting take. And thank you very much, Michael. I appreciate your time.
CAPUTO: Thank you very much for inviting me.
BURNETT: All right. And next, President Trump says he'd love to sit down with the man leading this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Everybody sees it now as it is a pure witch hunt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Up to what, 52 or 53 times since election he's used those words today? Is he really serious he wants to talk to Mueller?
And another White House resignation tonight. Why did the vice president's doctor abruptly leave today?
[19:31:15] BURNETT: Tonight, will President Trump's sit-down with the special council Bob Mueller? OK the people around say hell no, but Trump today flirted again with, yes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would love to speak, I would love to. Nobody wants to speak more than me. In fact against my lawyers because most lawyers they never speak on anything. I would love to speak. I have to find that we're going to be treated fairly. Because everybody sees it now and it is a pure witch hunt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK, out front now, former republican candidate for New York Governor, friend of Trumps for more than 15 years, Rob Astorino and national affairs correspondent for The Nation Joan Walsh. Joan the President say's he'd love to speak with Bob Mueller. He said no body wants to speak more than me. By the way he said that before.
JOAN WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: True statement.
BURNETT: Yet there has been no speaking. Except for you know whatever publicly.
ROB ASTORINO, FORMER REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, NEW YORK : No.
WALSH: Well true statement generally no body wants to speak more than me about everything.
WALSH: So I'm going to give him that.
BURNETT: Let's add the to Bob Mueller in parenthesis. Do you believe him?
WALSH: Half of me believes him. Bear with me because I think he's so narcissistic - not for good reasons. I think he's so narcissistic and delusional. There's a part of him that thinks the hell with it. I'm going to go in there, I'm going to tell the truth, I'm going to win him over, I can do this.
But of course his lawyers are saying absolutely not. So he sets up yes, I want to do it so badly, but only if he's fair. And then he comes up with a bunch of lies about why he's not there. He's a democrat. He's a republican. His staff is democrats.
They're actually mixed. He worked eight years for Obama. No, it was eight years for George w. Bush and three or four years for Obama. So he's setting Mueller up as this bad guy who can't be fair. But if he would only be fair I'd be thrilled to talk to him.
BURNETT: So he said that and says that though. And he says it Rob with the full knowledge that people that he listens to. And I'm not even talking about his lawyers. OK because I'm other action, there not even that important here. People he listens to are people who go on "FOX News". OK, and here's what their telling him about talking to Mueller.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATONS DIRECTOR: I actually don't want him to testify because as a lawyer I don't want him caught in a gotcha moment. Where someone accusing him of lying where he may not remember something or something like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He should never walk into that room with Robert Mueller.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR: Any good lawyer at this point would advise the President to do everything in his power not to testify unless he was compelled by a court to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right, so is he just enjoying play good cop? Knowing that he'll never do it because all these bad cops have convinced him? You know just tell Mueller you want to do it. I think even though you don't.
ASTORINO: I think that could be part of the strategy because he's like I'm fearless in this. I've got nothing to hide. But I think he would be nuts to sit down with Mueller. Because it's more than a cat and mouse game now, it's Russian roulette for one side. If Mueller keeps pushing this and he doesn't have to.
BURNETT: Reason you used the word Russian? Sorry.
ASTORINO: If he doesn't have the goods and he goes in with a subpoena and it goes up to the court and it's quashed. They look terrible. If Trump goes in there and sits through a deposition and I've had too this in my professional career, there is nothing fun it. And they parse every word and they will get you on something. Even if you're telling the truth, but you don't remember, they'll get you on something.
BURNETT: Well especially someone like him who adds all sorts of things. Whether he's lying about the bottom line or not is actually not the point. You heard Michael Caputo.
ASTORINO: The biggest thing about --
BURNETT: They know the answer to everything before they ask it. And then he comes out and I don't know makes up a claim about a pole. I mean he makes things up all the time.
ASTORINO: Right. The biggest thing about a deposition just like when you're on a stand in court, you need to know where the sentence ends. You need to put a period there. Stop, don't give anything else. President Trump unfortunately is a comma. He keeps going on.
BURNETT: Comma and a and, and a comma and a and.
ASTORINO: And that's where he get's into trouble.
BURNETT: And by the way, and then we go down a cul-de-sac of something else. And come back. And we take another trip off. OK, two days ago, we counted every single time the President has referred to the Russia investigation as a witch hunt. By the way Rudy Giuliani referred to it as a witch hunt.
BURNETT: Trump who says Rudy doesn't have his facts straight. Said today oh he does have his facts strait except for on that one thing. It was 51 times. That was two days ago. That went up by eight today. Just out of the President's mouth. It went up by eight, so we're now at let me do my math. I guess, so that would be at 59. What's the strategy here?
ASTORINO: The witch-hunt?
ASTORINO: Sewing -- sewing doubt in this whole investigation. And then we've seen that. That story today about the Federal Judge coming out strongly against Mueller's team, inferring that they've got unfettered power, that they're going in, in areas they're not supposed to. That they have lied to get to Manafort so they can try to get to Trump for a potential impeachment, those were very -- that to me is a lead story today.
WALSH: I think your going to far with -- he raised a lot of questions, you're right. That judge is also well-known. Legal twitter was a twitter on this today. He's actually well-known for being the hardest on the side that he's going to come down and favor. So he's been devil's advocate and nobody wants Mueller or anybody else to have unfettered power, Rob. So I think what also when he sees the authorization, that's going to be very interesting.
BURNETT: Right, which that is going to be crucial.
BURNETT: Because obviously it's not supposed to leak out. Who knows where it will but we haven't seen the full thing of the mandate.
WALSH: Right. None of us have.
BURNETT: Thank you both and next, new fallout tonight over the President's former White House doctor, Ronny Jackson. It's now triggering another White House doctor to call it quits, the imbroglio deepens. And it's been nearly two days since Rudy Giuliani announced that three Americans detained in North Korea were going to be released yesterday. But they're not here yet. Their not released yet. What's the hold up?
[19:40:00] BURNETT: Tonight, Vice President Mike Pence's doctor abruptly resigning from the White House's medical unit. The timing is odd; it comes just days after we reported the VP's doctor raised concerns about Ronny Jackson, President Trump's now former doctor and picked to run the VA. Manu Raju broke the story. Manu, what have you learned about this doctor's resignation and the VP doctor had raised concerns privately about Ronny Jackson.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right and the White House is not saying a whole lot about this. The Vice President's office also just say thing the doctor, Jennifer Pena, did resign and made her resignation known to the White House medical unit, but this came after our reports surfaced from this week that she was one of many people who former and current colleagues of Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, the person who was nominated by the President to be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, she had raised some very significant concerns about his conduct.
She wrote three memos last fall that said that he may have disclosed private patient information for the Vice President's wife, the Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence, and also said that he may, he went after her in pretty aggressive terms and she reported to be felt intimidated by him in a very confrontational way, was talking to him about what he was talking to her about what happened and he raised his objection and she at this time, even felt like resigning at that time.
She passed along these concerns, Erin, to senior White House officials at the time. They did not - they only moved it up what they said was the chain of command but didn't really act on it despite the President moving several months later to nominate him to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, but Erin, this is one of roughly two dozen people who have come out privately to raise concerns about Ronny Jackson, but she's the first person that we see that stepped aside perhaps because of the fallout of this.
BURNETT: OK, thank you very much Manu. And of course, you know, many in the White House publicly continuing to dismiss and demean anybody criticizing Dr. Jackson. It's coming from the Vice President's own doctor.
Up Front now, "New York Times" Columnist Frank Bruni, and this isn't the only medical news out of the White House today. You have this, this whole imbroglio we don't really know what happened. But certainly her criticisms fly in the face of what the White House is still saying, which is this whole Jackson thing was a witch hunt.
FRANK BRUNI, "NEW YORK TIMES" COLUMNIST: This is hard to believe as Manu said, there are many, many people who came forward. She was left in a position where she was uncomfortable because she had blown the whistle so to speak and you know, here we are, it's hard, normally, we would not make big deal of the story. A White House physician leaving the medical unit, but it's hard not to see it as a symptomatic and emblematic of the rest of the Administration; the constant turnover we see, the constant drama we see.
I think there's plenty of connective tissue between this story and the constant daily revelations about Scott Pruitt, the last 48 hours of Rudy Giuliani. When you step back, there's a real crisis of professionalism in this White House in particular and I think it's impossible not to see the story in that context.
BURNETT: Also in the context here of the White House medical unit. We have a week in which we learned that the President's long time personal doctor says he dictated a letter about his health so the President's the one who said it was excellent; the most healthy President in American history. You know, his own doctor didn't even say that; it just casted a shadow on it. We're learning today there's a council of sport, fitness and nutrition and Dr. Oz is on it.
BRUNI: That's fascinating. While a long tradition of them bringing a celebrity aboard, Dr. Oz is someone in recent years has often years been accused of rightly of acting like a quack, you know supporting nutritional supplements for which there's no evidence. He's a less credible scientist, but he's a celebrity and Trump loves people who are showmen and who have been on a camera.
BURNETT: And that matters more than qualifications in many cases. Certainly has seemed to in other cases. Thank you so much, Frank.
Next, Trump touting that we have a date and a location for the meeting with Kim Jong-un, but we still, we the people, do not know what those are why not? And a Republican retiring from congress but not before lashing out at Trump. (BEGIN VIDEO)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop with the name calling. Do you look at the White House? Because a lot ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.
BENNETT: Tonight President Trump says the location for the summit for Kim Jong-un and the date are set. In a speech this afternoon Trump patting himself on the back, though, for showing restraint he said by not calling Kim, quote, "Little Rocket Man."
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I won't use the rhetoric now. Now I'm trying to calm it down a little bit. So I'm not going to use the rhetoric, but let's put it this -- he goes, use it.
BENNETT: OK, Out Front now California Congressman Ted Lieu member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Congressman, obviously the President having a little fun with that. Do you think he deserves credit for not calling Kim Little Rocket Man?
REP. TED LIEU, (D) CALIFORNIA: Thank you Erin for your question. Let me first say I previously served on active duty with U.S. Pacific Air forces. It's very clear we have no good military options against North Korea so I'm pleased to see diplomacy take center stage. I'm pleased to see Donald Trump toning down his rederict. And I hope that we have a successful summit.
BURNETT: So let me ask you about this. The President today as you know congressman, said the date and location of for the summit with Kim Jong-un had been agreed upon. But it's all set. Your own foreign affairs committed, do you have sense here? Do you know where and when or not yet?
LIEU: Not yet, but I don't think it's so important exactly where the summit takes place nor what week it is. What's far more important is what are the details of any potential agreement, and if I were China I would be pretty happy right now.
Because the President of the United States has already signaled that he wants to withdraw U.S. Troops in South Korea, if not now at least in the future. That would cede U.S. Influence to China and I don't think that's a great idea.
BURNETT: Now you're on the foreign affairs committee. Of course I know your committee hasn't yet been briefed on the status of what's going to happen in these talks or what they know. When do you expect that to happen, congressman?
LIEU: Hopefully we will get briefed next week when we go back from our week-long recess. And I think it's very important that Donald Trump has a very good team advise him as he goes into these talks.
I am pleased that we now finally have a U.S. Ambassador to South Korea that is going to be nominated, we're basically taking the nominee from Australia and then moving him to South Korea but at least that is a start.
BURNETT: Congressman, the status of the three Americans being held prisoner in North Korea is unknown tonight. Rudy Giuliani of course said they'd be released yesterday in an interview that did not happen. They're still not released tonight. Here is, though, what President Trump said earlier today when he was asked when these hostages will be released.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: A lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages and I think you're going to see very good things. As I said yesterday, stay tuned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What's going on here, congressman?
LIEU: First of all, I pray for the release of those three hostages. Two of those three were taken under the Trump administration. There was no reason for North Korea to do this. They were either teaching or doing business, North Korea basically engaged in unlawful acts. I hope that they release them and it's my expectation that North Korea will do that because they want to have a successful summit as well.
BURNETT: All right, well certainly seems to be a pre-condition maybe before the formal announcement comes out on the U.S. Side. Thanks so much, congressman Lieu, great to talk to you.
LIEU: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And next one republican lawmaker calling it quits and she has some tough words for the President.
[19:56:13] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Tonight -- women hoping to dominate the Midterms. A record number are running for office, and it's mainly Democrats, but some Republican women are hoping to make history.
Chung-wah (ph) is OUTFRONT (ph) with our special series "Born to Run."
CHUNG-WAH CHOW, CNN TRAVEL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 5:30 am, a single digit dawn in South Dakota. Congresswoman Kristi Noem's daily ritual on her path to make history -- running to be the first woman governor of South Dakota.
REP. KRISTI NOEM (R), S.D.: The one thing that Washington is known for is the smoky bar. The --
CHOW: Yes, absolutely.
NOEM: -- late-night drinks.
CHOW: For you, that just doesn't work.
NOEM: Well, for me, I'm married. It's not a good testimony for me to be sittin' in a bar late at night when my family's all the way across the country.
I started thinking out of the box -- how can I get to have interaction with other members -- for me, it was the gym. We exercised together, but we also talked about legislation.
Hey, Miss Dunny (ph), how you doin', huh?
CHOW (voice-over): Breaking the norm -- hardly new for the Conservative congresswoman -- born, raised and still rancher on the 6,000 acre family plot.
NOEM: We have had cattle and horses, and raised our family here, so we'll always be here.
CHOW (voice-over): Noem made the leap to state lawmaker; then, in 2010, defeated the popular incumbent to go to Congress.
NOEM: So how are you doing in school?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) serving in government, but I wanted to contribute as well (ph) --
CHOW (voice-over): Despite her success, this is what she heard as she announced her historic run for governor.
NOEM: I had a few people tell me that maybe I didn't have the right body parts to be a governor. So --
NOEM: -- you know, there's just -- yes, but the -- you know, it's a small minority of folks that we just have to change their perspective. And I said, you know, that's unfortunate, but we're going to win.
(APPLAUSE AND CHEERS)
NOEM: You all have come alongside me over and over and over again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doin' good. NOEM: Well, how are you doin'? Hey, how are you? (INAUDIBLE)
CHOW (voice-over): No one is as uncommon here as she is in Washington. Republican women make up about 10 percent of Congress; the unprecedented surge of women running for office this year has been almost completely among Democrats.
NOEM: It is sad -- it is depressing, and the numbers are getting worse.
CHOW (voice-over): Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has represented South Florida for nearly three decades.
REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R), FLA.: Look at that. And you can probably find that every day (ph) (INAUDIBLE) --
CHOW (voice-over): She says gender diversity is an afterthought for House leadership. She's retiring this year, leaving with this ominous message for her party.
ROS-LEHTINEN: Just, stop with the name-calling. It turns women off. Do you look at the White House?
ROS-LEHTINEN: Because a lot -- the rhetoric coming out of the White House is a recruiting tool for Liberal women to come out and counter that. And as long as we are a party that's seen as homogeneous, not heterogeneous, a party that doesn't invite minorities and women, we're not going to be a welcoming party for the future.
And (ph) the growth for GOP women in elective office is at the local level, and at the state capitals.
CHOW: Why this year are a record number of women saying that they --
CHOW: -- can run in government?
NOEM: You know, I think it's all about not missing an opportunity. Timing is everything in politics.
CHOW (voice-over): Congresswoman Noem's time may be now. She's regarded as the front-runner, pledging to govern with the innovation of a national lawmaker, and the transparency of a local farmer.
NOEM: This is about a million miles away from D.C. (LAUGHTER) and this is (LAUGHTER) -- so it's far (ph).
NOEM: This is as -- I live two totally different lives, that is very true.
CHOW: You prefer a tractor to an airplane? NOEM: I do -- you have control over your own destiny.
CHOW (voice-over): A path she hopes to forge at home.
CHOW: More than 45 women have already filed to run for governor -- that's far surpassing the previous record set in 1994, and that number is expected to grow. Some 75 women have publicly stated already that they plan to run for governor -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Chung, thank you very much. Going to be such an important part of
this story in -- as we head into Midterms.
Have a great weekend. Thanks to all of you for joining us. "AC 360" starts now.
[20:00:10] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We begin tonight keeping 'em honest, with President Trump's claim that someone else doesn't have his facts straight, and that people should really think before they speak -- pot, meet kettle.