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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Giuliani Sets New Limits For Possible Mueller-Trump Interview; Manafort Defense Implies Gates Lied To Mueller About Affairs; Rep. Collins About To Address Insider Trading Charges; Trump-Backed Candidate's Lead Narrows in Ohio Special Election, Race Still Too Close to Call; NM Suspects Allegedly Trained Kids for School Shootings; Rep. Collins Speaks After Being Charged with Insider Trading. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 8, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:04] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, Congressman Chris Collins about to speak out for the first time, one of the President's first most loyal supporters charged today with insider trading. Plus, team Trump countering the Special Counsel's terms for an interview with the President, now demanding no perjury traps putting a deadline on it. Is Trump daring Bob Mueller to subpoena him?
And a training ground for terror. Young children allegedly being taught to carry out mass school shootings in America. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. We're standing by for a press conference from the New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins, he going to appear on that podium. Collins pleading not guilty late today to charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI. Collins is the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president. He was the first and most vocal. He was arrested today along with his son and the father of his son's fiancee.
We're going to bring this to you live. Literally, arrest him. And it's pretty sad (ph) when we think about what's happening here. So as we await that, I want to give you the details on this development with Mueller. The President making new demands on Mueller. His lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, giving Mueller a deadline for a sit down interview with the President.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: We do not want to run into the November elections. So back up from that, this should be over with by September 1st. We have now given him an answer. He obviously should take a few days to consider it. But we should get this resolved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: September 1st. All right, let's just be clear here. The timeline here is not under Trump's control and in any way she perform. His team is obviously trying to make it look that way and then play it that way in the court of public opinion. But this is Mueller's timeline in his investigation.
Giuliani also telling CNN today that Trump will now consider answering obstruction of justice questions. Now, that is a give to Mueller, but -- and desires a huge. Giuliani says absolutely no, quote, perjury traps. Now, if you're going to ask someone definitionally questions about obstruction of justice -- I mean, what is a perjury trap, right? I mean, why did you fire Comey? Why did you say that about Flynn? These are basic questions that must be asked.
Perjury is something Giuliani and Trump are clearly worried about. It is a talking point that has been repeated time and time again as a way to question the fairness of Bob Mueller.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: And what they really trying to do is trap him into perjury.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Explain to me why they even need an interview with the President if it isn't to try to trap him into perjury.
GIULIANI: We are not going to sit him down if this is a trap for perjury.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, let's just be clear. These questions Giuliani says are perjury traps. Why did you fire Comey? Look, the President has already lied at some point about the Comey firing right? He said it was about Russia to NBC News, another time he said because the deputy attorney general told him to do it. This is a President who changes his story which could be why his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski who still spends a whole lot of time with Trump told me this.
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER TO DONALD TRUMP: My political advice to the President would be not to sit down with Bob Mueller. The opportunity to make a misstatement potentially or to potentially get caught up on the word is, is too great of something that could happen there.
BURNETT: So, does Trump have any intention of answering Mueller's questions? Or is this entire negotiation a ploy to delay an interview as long as humanely possible because Giuliani has moved the goal post again and again and again. You know, first remember this, you know, we're not going to talk about a Mueller interview until after the Kim Jong-un summit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: We literally can't get much done until after the 12th, until he comes back from Singapore, nor would anybody want us to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: He's always ditch, right? That was the 12th of June. Now, we're at the 1st of September. We're very specific here. And after that deadline, it was, OK, wait, no, no, no, interview because there will be absolutely no questions about obstruction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said what the President would be willing to sit down --
GIULIANI: Sort of figure out that it's in the area of collusion, not obstruction. And --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, if you would answer questions about collusion, not obstruction or vice versa?
GIULIANI: Collusion, not obstruction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. So now it's no perjury traps which kind of means you're not going to talk about obstruction, doesn't it?
Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live in New Jersey with the President. And Kaitlan, it does not look like we are any closer to this interview happening, does it?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: No, Erin. It certainly doesn't. And what the last two weeks have done between the proposal from Mueller and the counter proposal from the President's legal team today, really is just exposing just how much distance there truly is between these two sides over whether or not this interview is going to happen. And judging from these calls from Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow, the President's legal team today for this investigation to come to an end in September, it doesn't seem like they are any more likely to have their client, the President, sit down with the Special Counsel.
Now, you'll recall that latest proposal from Mueller, they were willing to limit the number of questions about obstruction of justice. But they made clear they still wanted to ask the President those questions in person. That is not something the President's legal team want, instead they want to limit those questions in person to events that happened before he was inaugurated as the President.
[19:05:But that doesn't seem to be something that Mueller is willing to budge on either. What we do know here, Erin, is that the President is at odds with his legal team. He is eager to sit down with Special Counsel because he believes that if he does get face-to-face with Robert Mueller, he can prove his innocence and that that interview can bring all of this to an end.
Now, the President's legal team has made quite clear they do not think this is a good idea. They said today, they are advising their client against it. But Jay Sekulow, one of the President's attorneys put it best today when he said ultimately this final decision will be up to President Trump, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Kaitlan, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, the former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Harry Sandick,, our Chief Political Correspondent, Gloria Borger and former Federal Prosecutor and the former Lawyer for Rick Gates, Shan Wu.
Thanks to all. So Gloria, we get another deadline June 12 and now September 1st. This guy is love to be specific, right? Before that it was Ty Cobb in Thanksgiving and then Christmas and then early spring. I mean, OK. No perjury traps and you're not allowed to ask questions like why did you fire Comey.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
BURNETT: I mean, this is kind of ridiculous. Are they just trying to drag all this out?
BORGER: Well, it depends who you talk to on this. Look, I think that they believe that on the case of obstruction and you are the attorney and I'm not, but on the case of obstruction they believe that they can invoke privilege and that they could say to Mueller, you know what? We can't answer these questions about our conversations with Comey, our conversations with Sessions, our conversations with Flynn, because he was President at the time and we can evoke privilege.
When it comes to the question of collusion during the transition or conspiracy, whatever you want to call it --
BORGER: -- he wasn't president. So they don't have much of a case there to make.
BURNETT: Right, right.
BORGER: They understand that. So I think what they are trying to do is say, OK, we'll do one thing and not the other. But it's not up to them. It's up to Mueller. And the big gamble here is the lawyers believe that Mueller will in the end, not subpoena the President, because he doesn't want to drag this out.
BURNETT: It's a game of chicken.
BORGER: So we don't --
BORGER: -- dare, whatever you want to call it.
BORGER: But we don't know what Mueller is thinking.
BURNETT: I mean, here's the thing, right? This whole obstruction of justice, right, I mean, there's other issues here, there's whether there is financial fraud, collusion, all these other things. We know obstruction appears to be the main point of contention at this time. OK. So Jim Comey, let's just take that as an example, right? Here is what Trump said to Lester Holt, OK? He has said why he fired Comey. Here is one of his reasons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Regardless of recommendation I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it. In fact, when decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. So he's answered the question --and by the way, he said regardless of recommendation and other times he said, no, I said it was the recommendation of Rod Rosenstein. They're saying that asking the question of why did you fire Comey would be a perjury trap. You can't do an interviewee about obstruction without asking that basic question because he's lied at some point because he's given different answers, right? So where does this go?
HARRY SANDICK, FMR. ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: That's exactly right. It's not a perjury trap because it's not as if you're only interviewing him in order to hope that he lies. You're interviewing him to try to figure out why did you fire Comey. You have some information from the Lester Holt interview. But he say a lot of things a lot of times.
SANDICK: And if you're consequences (ph) of prosecutor, you want to get the right result. So you would like to ask him what were you thinking when you did that.
BURNETT: Do they have any confidence that he's going to tell the truth in the interview with Mueller though? I mean --
SANDICK: I don't know whether he will tell the truth or not. But if you're the special prosecutor you have to at least make every effort to get that interview if you think it's important. You could fold up that part of the investigation without interviewing him and say, look, we offered him the opportunity to tell his side of the story. He declined. And we've made our decisions with (INAUDIBLE).
BORGER: And we've interviewed all these other people who --
BURNETT: Right, who they have.
BORGER: -- who they have. And they have the notes in people. They have contemporaneous interviews in people. So, you know, the Trump people are saying you don't need Trump. He doesn't take notes. He doesn't write e-mails. So why do you need him when you have all these other people's recollections? Except you want to -- I'm not a lawyer but you want to know his intent.
BURNETT: Conterminous that matters. I mean, and Shan, this also as Gloria points out, right. This is all about -- could be all about does Mueller have the guts to subpoena the President of the United States? Does he? Do you think, Shan?
SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I certainly think he has the guts to subpoena him. But, you know, Mueller is a combination of practical and legal theorists. He's got very high-caliber appellate people like Michael Dreebens on his team.
[19:10:04] They are thinking carefully about what is the main issue to subpoena. You know, there's all that. There's that, you know, bad facts make bad law. What's that really about is if you have a very bad situation like, let's say hypothetically a rogue president, people are like let's just issue a subpoena. Let's, you know, put his feet to the fire. But you have to think what kind of law you end up with. And if you get a bad ruling from the Supreme Court too much deference to the executive, we're stuck with that for a very, very long time.
BURNETT: And Harry, here's the thing. You know, Jay Sekulow says, OK, if Trump subpoenaed, his other lawyer, this is what's going to happen. They're kind of like, all right, bring it on. Here's what Sekulow said would happen if Mueller actually subpoenaed the President.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY SEKULOW, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: If you get a subpoena you file what's called a motion to quash. That will be argument in district court, then it would go to the Court of Appeals, then it would go to the Supreme Court of the United States. A subpoena for live testimony has never been tested in court as to a President of the United States. And there's a lot of language, articles and precedent against that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So he could do it, Mueller. He could fail.
BURNETT: He take a lot of time. And then that really hurts Mueller, doesn't it, if he loses.
SANDICK: I think it does because as long as the subpoena battle is open, he's not going to want to say I've closed the investigation. It will take a long time as Jay Sekulow just said. And although I think that the outcome is that Mueller will win, we don't know. There's always litigation risks as Shan was saying before. BURNETT: Yes. So, Gloria, here's the other thing. This whole issue of the President wanting to do an interview. There's different schools of thought. He is saying that and it's totally it BS or he actually means it. Here's the thing. He has said it. Doesn't always mean that that's the truth, but here's what he said.
BORGER: He says it privately.
BURNETT: Here is what he says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to talk to Mueller?
TRUMP: I'm looking forward to it, actually.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, would you still like to testify to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, sir?
TRUMP: Thank you. I would like to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you changed your mind at all about being willing to sit with Robert Mueller?
TRUMP: I would love to speak. I would love to. Nobody wants to speak more than me, in fact, against my lawyers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BORGER: Yes. This, again --
BURNETT: Well that's true. But does he want to speak? 2 BORGER: Well, the first clip you showed was in January. They were all set to sit down at Camp David in January for an interview, remember? So that was when he said I want to do it. I was told that after Michael Cohen's home -- again office was raided that it was -- someone said to me, this is a game-changer for Trump. He was so mad about it and mad at Mueller, et cetera, et cetera.
So he's shifted a little bit. But this is a President who believed that he could change Kim Jong-un. This is a President who believes that he can turn Vladimir Putin into somebody that we can deal with easily. So why shouldn't he believe that Robert Mueller --
BURNETT: Right, that he -- right.
BORGER: -- that he could convince. This is what Trump does. This is his M.O. Yes. If you sit down with me, I can convince you of anything because i wrote "The Art of the Deal." I know how to do this. And so I think in his own mind he wants to --
BORGER: -- you know, square off against Mueller and they can't talk him out of it.
BURNETT: Shan, before we go, I want to ask you about the Manafort trial, something crucial, right? Rick Gates, Manafort's lawyer asked gates if he had four extra marital affairs, not just the one that Gates said he told Mueller about.
Now Manafort's attorney said if Gates lied about this other affairs to Mueller, Mueller would completely rip up this plea deal, right? So all these cooperating, you're still going to go to jail for, who knows how long. Long, long time. Do you think Gates lied to Mueller, Shan? You know him.
WU: Well, I can't base my opinion on anything that I may know confidentially. But I will tell you that it's highly unlikely he did because of the enormous amount of meticulous preparation that goes into this. He already pled guilty to lying once to them. He met with them something like 20 times in preparation for this.
So, it seems like they would have left no stone unturned. However, I will tell you, I was surprised of what happened in court with that question that Kevin Downing guy. I was even more surprised that the prosecution didn't hit it off to begin with. So that could be an indication that they were surprised. That they were surprised that's not good news for Rick Gates.
BURNETT: No, it isn't. It means they didn't know about it. And I know, you know, I say this just nearly as a human. It may be easier for people to be honest about lying on their taxes than it is to be honest about having extra marital affairs.
All right, thanks very much to all of you. And next, breaking news, New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins is about to speak live pleading not guilty today to incredibly serious charges, insider trading, lying to the FBI. This is the first time he's going to speak and you're going to hear it live.
Plus, breaking new, new results just coming in from last night's crucial special election in Ohio. That race getting even tighter. And Democrats new election strategy pushing women who are veterans to run for office. The latest in our series "Born to Run.
[19:18:30] BURNETT: Breaking news, New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins is about to speak. We are awaiting him approaching that podium. An incredible development today. He is pleading not guilty to charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI. He was arrested.
Prosecutors say that he tipped family members and was able to dodge $800,000 in stock losses. Collins was the first member of Congress to endorsed Donald Trump for president. He was arrested today and the other members of his family, his son and the father of his son's fiancee, all of them allegedly part of this.
Jessica Schneider is OUTFRONT. And Jessica, I mean, this is a pretty stunning thing, sitting member of Congress arrested and charged with a serious crime like this. What more can you tell us about what he allegedly did?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It's stunning, Erin, and really the indictment is stunning here because of all of the detail. It lays out a litany of phone and e-mail evidence showing how Congressman Collins purposely passed on inside information when he was on the board of directors for the Australian pharmaceutical company and then he subsequently lied about it to the FBI, that's all according to prosecutors.
And what's interesting here is how this timeline is laid out. It was June 22, 2017 at the exact same time the Congressman was captured on video at a congressional picnic at the White House. There he is. Well, that's when he received an e-mail at 6:55 p.m. telling him that the company's highly anticipated drug trial had failed.
Now this was the drug that was going to make or break the company. And this information on June 22nd, it wasn't publicly released. That wasn't until four days later on June 22nd.
[19:20:04] But phone records released by the FBI in this indictment, it shows that Collins frantically tried to reach his son that night calling him four times and finally reaching him at 7:16 p.m. That's when prosecutors say he told his son about the drug trial failure and that's when Cameron, his son allegedly told his fiancee's parents. Prosecutors say her mother called her broker right away telling the broker to sell the stock when the markets opened. And then Cameron allegedly called his broker at 7:42 the next morning, that was about two hours before the markets open.
And in all, prosecutors say Cameron Collins sold 1.3 million shares. And Erin, for him that avoided nearly $600,000 in losses here. So really a huge development, a huge indictment. And I talked to people at the southern district of New York. Erin, they say if Congressman Collins were to be convicted on all of these counts, he faces up to 150 years in prison. Erin?
BURNETT: Wow. All right, thank you very much Jessica Schneider.
So, Collins, you know, is defiant. You know, he's saying he's not guilty. And he is going to -- that he's going to, in fact, he's going to run for office again, right, for this fall. So it's pretty incredible. He is fighting back. He is defiant. He's going to be speaking any moment. So we're going to keep that up. So the second he speaks you're going to hear it.
Now, though, I want to go to former Clinton White House Aide, Keith Boykin, former Republican Candidate for the governor of New York, Rob Astorino, close friend of both individuals here Congressman Collins and of course the man he has been so close to and endorsed and fought for President Trump. And Harry Sandick also back with me, obviously, he's worked extensively at the southern district.
So, Keith, this is a pretty incredible development. And he is going to be speaking any moment. He says he's not going anywhere. He's not resigning. He is going to -- he wants to stay in office and he is innocent. Your response? KEITH BOYKIN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE UNDER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Well the timeline that the government laid out today is pretty compelling evidence. The whole notion that they have the exact moment when they received the phone call and then CNN has the video of him receiving that phone call, the text message. And then he tries to contact his son to communicate to him and his son then communicates to his fiancee's parents. And they sell their stock. He sales his stock.
It's no -- I can't think of what possible plausible scenario that he could offer to suggest that this was an innocent excuse. Then it was just a coincidence. So, you can't say that the government was trying to get you when Jeff Berman is a Trump appointee, the person who is prosecuting him. So, I don't really understand how he gets out of this.
And I think this is an indictment of Donald Trump in some ways too because Trump, this is a guy who was his first congressional supporter, the first person to support Donald Trump. And here he is now essentially saying that he is involved in insider trading scandal just like Tom Price who was involved free (ph) trading, just like Wilbur Ross was a few days ago was accused in Forbes magazine of $120 million. All these stories now is about Trump corruption. And it's a horrible reflection of the Trump administration.
BURNETT: And of course, you know, you've got Manafort charged and Gates admittedly and Cohen now under investigation for tax fraud, I mean, you know, financial fraud and allegations of IRA (ph), but right, around Trump. But Collins, you know him. Are you surprised by his reaction? I guess if you're facing 150 years in jail you have to fight back, then just go?
ROB ASTORINO, FRIEND OF PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR OVER 15 YEARS: No. Well, first of all, I'm not drawing a nexus between this crime and the President. I mean, we have to stop that. This is an individual in Chris Collins who was indicted today.
I'm very saddened because I've known Chris for about 10 years. We both served as county executives at the same time in Erie Country when I was in Westchester. We worked very well together. You know, this is something he is going to have to deal with. He is proclaiming his innocence. I'm going to believe them until and through that due course, the due process. But I think there's going to be a tremendous amount of pressure for him from the eight counties in Western New York that make up his district, the party chairs for him to at some point get out.
And under New York law he--
BURNETT: Meaning get your name off that ballot.
ASTORINO: Yes. And that can happen right after the primaries in New York. He can be nominated -- if he step down for the another he is in now and not run for Congress, he could be nominated to another position, a town clerk position, anything. And that would allow the party chairs to fill that vacancy to run for Congress in that seat. That seat, by the way, was Jack Kimble (ph) seat. That has been haunted. Four of the last five representatives in that seat have left with that with a black battle --
BURNETT: I'm going to spring (ph) probably. Harry, what do you make of this? I mean, and Jessica saying if he is convicted of what he is alleged have done 150 years in prison. I mean, and that timeline, I mean, look, I understand he's going to have some kind of his side of the story here. But the timeline that we were giving obviously appears very damning.
SANDICK: Yes. I think the timeline is what really dampen (ph) because there was such a significant sale of stock. It comes at a time when in his mind he knows this new information, very bad information.
BURNETT: And four days ahead of it being released to the public.
[19:25:00] SANDICK: Absolutely. So it's clearly non nonpublic. It's material because do doubt four days later the stock price dropped. That's why he avoided $600,000 of losses. That isn't a small trade either. For $600,000, that's a decent size loss --
BURNETT: A lot of money. I mean, it's a huge amount of money for anyone. I mean, ask you too Rob, do you think-- why you think that that none of this is relevant to the President?
ASTORINO: It's an isolated case. Chris Collins is facing that potential crime on his own. I mean, he wasn't conspiring with President Trump. President Trump is nowhere in the indictment.
BURNETT: But his character, right? Michael Cohen being investigated for cha-cha, Paul Manafort, tax fraud, money laundering. Rick Gates admitted the money laundering, tax, there are all people that were close to the President. All either --
ASTORINO: So with Marc Rich with President Clinton. And the point I'm making is when you reach the presidency you have thousands of people who helped you along the way in 50 states. And there are bad apples along the way. I would not draw that nexus here.
BOYKIN: But it's not just like some low-level people. We're talking about this is the first person in the United States Congress to endorse Donald Trump, Chris Collins. We're talking about Trump's campaign Chairman Paul Manafort.
BURNETT: His deputy campaign manager and his chief attorney.
BOYKIN: His deputy chairman Paul Manafort, his Deputy Campaign, you know, Rick Gates. He's a national security adviser Michael Flynn. And it's a reflection of the question Donald Trump says he will surround himself by the best people. But why are all of his people ending up indicted or in jail? The top people in his administration are under investigation or being indicted or are in jail and other people have already left the administration in a cloud of scandal.
Why is this happening to someone who said he was going to drain the swamp? And you can't say, well, Clinton did it. Even if that's true, because this is a guy who said he's going to be held to a higher standard. That whole Clinton went about this and is not an acceptable argument.
ASTORINO: Paul Manafort was Bob Dole's campaign manager. And he goes back to then. And we're dealing with tax evasion charges from 10 years ago. So I mean, come on, that is a stretch. But as far as the Collins thing goes, look, the Republicans are already fighting to hold on to the House. And this is going to be a seat that would have been easily won by Chris Collins.
BURNETT: Now all of a sudden it goes in play.
ASTORINO: Well now it's in place and it's unfortunate because the Democrats have a extraordinarily weak candidate who was a sacrificial lamb, who may now be a Congress person come January. So I think look in the next five weeks this is going to play out. I think for now, Chris Collins doesn't have to do anything but sit back and start talking to the right people including of course his lawyers.
BURNETT: All right, thank you all very much. And the first people that he is going to talk to we believe is us, the American people and his constituency because he's going to be taking that podium live.
You know, it's interesting to several knows that could have started at early as 6:30. It's now almost 7:30. You know, he came out and said he's going to fight it. But obviously there's been a big delay. He is going to be speaking and this is going to be an important moment. So we're going to bring that to you live. We're waiting that. We'll break out a commercial if that's when it happens.
Also, coming up OUTFRONT, Trump promising major Republican wins in November where he campaigns. Michigan's new Democratic candidate for governor, is she worried? She is my guest. And from the battlefield to the campaign trail women veterans are running for office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's hard to walk away from something like that without a sense of second chance and do more with your life and have a purpose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:31:51] BURNETT: Breaking news, the Democrat gaining on the Trump backed Republican candidate in Ohio, right? So, this is too close to call still tonight, but the margin even closer. Officials found 588 uncounted votes late today.
When you talk about every vote mattering, this is what we're talking about, people. Five hundred eighty-eight votes really narrowing it. In Kansas, the Republican primary for governor also is still too close
to call. That's a huge thing to say because the Trump-backed candidate Kris Kobach and the incumbent governor Jeff Colyer each have 41 percent of the vote.
Apparently, the Republican Governors Association were like, hey, don't -- get out of this, Trump. Don't back Kobach. He did. And now it's a tie. And now, these races are both up for grabs.
Manu Raju is OUTFRONT in Washington.
All right. So, Manu, here we are. We get 588 more votes. We are creeping and crawling here. Still too close to call. When are we going to know who won?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, Erin, we won't know the final answer for some time if both races head to a recount. In Ohio, the Republican Troy Balderson does lead by less than one percentage point in that reliably GOP district. But the Democrat Danny O'Connor at the moment still has no plans to concede because he believes these outstanding ballots could tighten the margin, potentially cut that lead to 0.5 percent, and that would trigger an automatic recount.
And in Kansas where the president did throw his late endorsement behind Republican Kris Kobach, who of course is an immigration hardliner, someone who the party establishment fears could cause them this race in the fall, Kobach is still leading the sitting Republican governor by fewer than 200 votes. And, Erin, as secretary of state, Kobach would oversee the recount. And while local official will actually do the ballot counting, it doesn't appear that Kobach himself would recuse himself from the process.
BURNETT: So, you know, what's interesting, you got the schism in the GOP, right, with, you know, mainstream GOP saying, oh, gosh, Trump, please stay out of this, we don't want your guy and Trump does what he wants to do and is often victorious when does so.
The Democratic side, though, they have a major schism and their party leadership don't like to admit it, but they do. And obviously, the far left is getting a lot of attention. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in that victory over the next potential House speaker is what caused all this conversation.
Candidates that she backed, though, did not do well last night.
RAJU: No question about it. The energy of the Democratic Party is with that Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party. But they have not fared well in primary races, often losing to the party establishment.
In Kansas, for instance, both of those socialist Democrats rally behind a House candidate Brent Welder who lost narrowly in that primary to Sharice Davids, who if she beats the Republican Kevin Yoder in November would actually be the country's first Native American woman elected to Congress and also the state's first openly gay member.
But also in Michigan, the Bernie wing also fared poorly, where the son of Egyptian immigrants Abdul El-Sayed lost overwhelming to the former state minority leader Gretchen Whitmer. And Ocasio-Cortez also endorsed Cori Bush in Missouri who lost to the Democratic Congressman Lacy Clay in that primary.
And, Erin, while they did have some victories including in Kansas, we have James Thompson for that House seat, most of the time they lost and had big questions going forward for that party -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Manu.
And I want to go now to the Democratic nominee for governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer.
And thank you very much for being with me.
Now, you won the Democratic nomination over Abdul el-Sayed, right, the gentleman who had the support from the socialist wing of your party.
[19:35:05] Bernie Sanders backed him. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez backed him.
Are you concerned about the divide within your party even though obviously you were able to win and handily so?
GRETCHEN WHITMER (D), NOMINEE FOR MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: Well, we had a three-way race. And both of my opponents have subsequently endorsed me. They enthusiastically showed up at our unity lunch today and endorsed, and we are going to work together. I mean, the stakes are still high.
We have -- our attorney general is just like Donald Trump. And so, we are going to coalesce very quickly here in Michigan. I feel good about our chances.
BURNETT: So, Bernie Sanders won the Michigan primary over Hillary Clinton. That was a stunning upset, right? I mean, polls have shown she was ahead by, what, 20 points and he managed to win.
WHITMER: Well, you know, I think Michiganders are frustrated with leaders who aren't getting the job done. We have water problems still. Flint is not fixed.
I want in church not long ago, and a mom pulled up her sleeve and showed me the rash up and down her arm.
We got roads that are crumbling. And the DeVos agenda in Michigan has set us back. We used to be leaders in public education. We are now in the bottom ten in our country.
We have a lot of work to do and Michiganders are frustrated with people that just talk about solutions. I offer a real plan to get things done. I think that's what's going to be different.
BURNETT: You know, some people talked about your plan, fix the damn roads is one -- you know, is your slogan. That's sort of, OK, it sounds good, but no people want free college. And Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez appeared wit El-Sayed about a week ago and here's some of what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: This is a progressive movement. I say his success as my success.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: His platform, Gretchen, Medicare for all, free college, things that she, Ocasio-Cortez, supports. You said Medicare for all isn't realistic for Michigan. Your tag line was fix the damn roads. Are you comfortable with all of this? You know, free Medicare for everybody, Medicare for everybody, free college -- or do you think it's hurting the party?
WHITMER: I think that's one narrative. You know, I am proud to be a progressive. But I know how to get things done. And I think that's what's different. You know, we got families who need clean drinking water. You have kids who need good schools and pot holes that are ripping up our cars.
I know that it's not as exciting as some of the other platform issues that I am running on. Those are the fundamentals that are holding Michiganders back. This used to be the state that people came to for opportunity. We can be again and we will be after this election.
BURNETT: Well, I can tell you as a New Yorker, fixing the pot holes is important and I think people get really frustrated about it, right? You pay a lot of money in taxes and roads don't work and subways don't work, people get angry, people care about that.
Your opponent in November, you mentioned him, Republican Bill Schuette, the attorney general in your state. The president has endorsed him. And, by the way, the president's record on endorsements on GOP primaries is incredibly strong. Trump won your state in 2016.
Are you afraid of his endorsement to mobilize that base and deal you a loss?
WHITMER: I'm not and I'll tell you why. We had record turnout yesterday on the Democratic side much more heavily. We are -- I won 83 out of 83 counties with strong numbers. I can tell you we feel really good going into this fall.
My record was reaching across the aisle and delivering on Medicaid expansion. Hundreds of thousands of people in my state, 680,000 to be exact, 680,000 people got health care because of that work. My opponent wants to rip that away. I'm going to take on anyone who wants to steal health care away from people in my state.
And I think that is going to be a very sharp contrast. I feel really good going into this.
BURNETT: All right. Gretchen, thank you so much. I appreciate your time tonight.
WHITMER: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, Republican Congressman Chris Collins, we are still waiting, but we expect this momentarily now. That empty podium, he's got to come there and make his point. This was supposed to start more than an hour ago.
These massive charges on insider trading obviously significant. Clearly there is some sort of drama or hold up. We don't know exactly what it is, but we are watching this. We're going to bring it to you the moment it starts.
And women veterans taking on their next mission, elected office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It might be the calling of my life to break another barrier and I'm ready for that mission.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Plus, a father arrested accused of training his children to carry out mass school shootings in America.
[19:43:17] BURNETT: New tonight, it's official, a record number of women have won nominations for the House. Now, most of them are Democrats. Among the candidates there are a lot of veterans.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT with the latest in our series "Born to Run".
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Afghanistan 2009, in her third tour of duty, Air National Guard pilot, Major MJ Hegar was shot, hanging on to the outside of a rescue helicopter and standing on the skids all while returning fire to the Taliban.
MJ HEGAR (D), TEXAS CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Kind of got peppered with different pieces of shrapnel.
LAH: You use the tattoo to cover the scars.
HEGAR: Yes, all of these places that you see, cherry blossoms I have shrapnel.
LAH: And the downed helicopter (INAUDIBLE) she keeps at home, an opportunity.
HEGAR: It is hard to walk away from something like that without a sense of second chance and do more with your life and have a purpose. LAH: This veteran, married mother of two --
HEGAR: I'm an American.
LAH: -- and Purple Heart recipient --
HEGAR: I'm a veteran.
LAH: -- finding that purpose now --
HEGAR: I'm fighting for this country.
LAH: -- in her run for Congress.
HEGAR: People like us just regular people are sick of both sides.
LAH: Like combat fighting on difficult terrain, she is a Democratic running against a long term Republican incumbent in a district Trump won by 13 points.
HEGAR: Look at this crowd.
CROWD: Her veteran status cracking open doors once thought shut for Democrats.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm once of those Republican women. What makes you different than our current congressman?
HEGAR: I'm connected to this district and I understand the values of the district. I represent the values of this district because I am this district.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, thank you for your service to this country.
HEGAR: I appreciate that. Thank you.
LAH: The Republican who is sitting there, is it a person by person, house by house fight?
HEGAR: Yes, it is, it is.
[19:45:01] We can use our districts as a good example of how to heal the country.
It's not about compromising on your values, it's about not letting people divide us.
I struck myself to the skids, I returned fire on the Taliban --
LAH: Hager's military service pushing her video viral.
HEGAR: That got me a Purple Heart.
LAH: Notably, Hegar's frustration at her Congressman John Carter for refusing to meet with her when she sued the Pentagon to open all combat jobs for women.
HEGAR: Door after door was slammed in my face.
LAH: A suit Hegar won.
HEGAR: We'll show them tough and then we'll show them the doors.
The majority of Fort Hood is in my district.
LAH: How are you going to close that gap? I mean, in this district, Trump won by a lot.
HEGAR: The Republican leadership has gone off the freaking rails, and the things that the Republican Party stands for now are not representative of the values of the people in this district who have voted Republican.
LAH: Recruitment of veterans like Hager was a concerting strategy by Democrats. The majority of veterans in Congress today are Republican like Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Martha McSally, the military's first female combat fighter pilot.
MARTHA MCSALLY (R), ARIZONA SENATE CANDIDATE: It seems like it might be the calling of my life to break another barrier. And I'm ready for that mission and I'm honored for this opportunity.
LAH: But 2018 is seeing a surge of female Democratic veterans like Mikie Sherrill.
MIKIE SHERRILL (D), NEW JERSEY CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: We have a lot of newly engaged people in this race and we have to get them to the polls.
LAH: She is running in New Jersey's 11th congressional district, a newly opened seat held by Republicans for generations.
SHERRILL: I went to naval academy and was a helicopter pilot. And in my final tour, I was a Russian policy officer.
Thanks so much for coming out today.
LAH: Mother of four and former federal prosecutor, Sherrill stands a strong chance at flipping this red district blue.
Does that open the door?
SHERRILL: I think it does. I think when you're talking to people and you're saying that you are going to represent a new type of leadership in Congress, when you have a proven history of serving this country, if you are a veteran and you've always put this country first, I think it gives people the sense that you will continue to do so.
LAH: Sherrill is running in an open seat. Hager is running against Republican Representative John Carter. His campaign says that he meets with any and all voters, and his campaign adds this: the reason why he has won so many elections he is a fighter and takes nothing for granted -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Kyung, thank you very much.
And next, we now believe we are just a couple of minutes away from Congressman Chris Collins, who's going to be addressing reporters for the first time after insider trading charges, almost an hour and a half after a scheduled time.
But our understanding is we are just a couple minutes away now and we will see when he actually walks out there. But that's what we're told.
Plus, a man arrested and what he and others are accused of doing unbelievably chilling, training children, American children to commit mass school shootings.
Plus, Jeanne Moos taking us to the town where everyone is turning on Paul Manafort.
[19:51:39] BURNETT: Breaking news: Terror training ground. Five people accused of training American children to carry out school shootings. This is what prosecutors say was happening to the abused and emaciated children discovered in that compound in New Mexico.
Scott McLean is OUTFRONT.
Scott, it's impossible really to get your mind around this. What can you tell us about the accusations that these children, these kids were being trained to commit school shootings?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Erin. So, this accusation actually stems from the criminal complaint that was filed in district court here in New Mexico earlier today, and it was against all five of the adults who were found on that compound, two men and three women.
Now, a small part of that complaint reads, additionally, a foster parent of one of the 11 children stated the defendant had trained the child in the use of an assault rifle in preparation for future school shootings. It goes on the say, should the student be released from custody, he poses a great danger to the children found on the property as well as a threat to the community as a whole, making the argument that these five defendants should all remain in custody, and they still are tonight, Erin.
It is important to point out, though and make abundantly clear that these are accusations, and they have not been proven in court. And the defense lawyer told me, look, these should be taken with a grain of salt because there is a chance that these are secondhand accusations, heard secondhand. And they might not actually be backed up in fact.
I can tell you that there were guns found on the property by police and by the property owners as well. We were also out on that property earlier today, Erin. I can tell you, we discovered there was still plenty of ammunition lying around. We also found that there was a pretty well used gun range out there as well.
I asked one of the neighbors about their gun ownership, and they said, look, it's not a big deal. Pretty much everybody out here owns guns. After all, you're in the middle of nowhere in the New Mexican scrub land and most people need guns for protection, and he didn't really think much of it.
And so, we also heard, though, from the father today of one of the accused. His name is Lucas Morton. And he painted a completely different picture, saying, look, these were Muslim people, peaceful Muslims who just wanted to live a life off the grid and get away from society. Their only problem is they didn't have the resources or the means to do it properly, and that's why they ended up getting into some trouble.
BURNETT: All right. Scott, thank you very much. It's incredibly bizarre and disturbing. Thanks so much to you.
All right. I want to go back to our panel here, Keith Boykin, Rob Astorino, Harry Sandick, all with me as we await Chris Collins. I believe he is going to be speaking in just a few seconds here. There he is.
Let's listen to the congressman.
REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), NEW YORK: Thank you all for coming today.
Before I get started, most of you here know my wife Mary of over 30 years. Thanks for being here.
National press may not know Mary Sue as well as our local press does.
So, over the years, I've often talked about the American Dream. I'm extremely fortunate and that I have lived it. It started for me when I borrowed and started scraping together every dollar I could to buy the Westinghouse Gear Division here in Buffalo, and move it to Niagara Falls under a new name, Nuttall Gear. I'm proud that we put hundreds of people to work who are still working there today.
After selling Nuttall Gear in 1997, I ran for Congress in 1998 up in the Niagara Falls area, knowing that my business experience would benefit the citizens of New York and offer a new perspective in Congress. After being humbled in that race, I spent the next 10 years as an entrepreneur, investing in and helping to stabilize dozens of bankrupt and financially distressed companies saving and creating hundreds of jobs hear in western New York.
In 2007, I was recruited to run for Erie County executive, to turn around the effective bankrupt county. I was elected. And by applying the principles of Lean Six Sigma, turned around the county finances in 18 short months, all the while honoring my campaign pledge to work for $1 a month. One of the many companies I invested in was a small drug company,
Innate Immunotherapeutics, that was working on a unique cure for HIV patients suffering with AIDS. Ultimately, that focus shifted to a treatment for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, which is one of the deadliest autoimmune diseases known to mankind.
My affiliation with this company is why we're here today. I've been an avid, an unwavering supporter of Innate Immunotherapeutics for more than 15 years, long before I came to Congress or was elected county executive here in Erie County.
Over this time, my affiliation with Innate Immunotherapeutics has prompted attacks on me, my integrity, and my investments by my political opponents. I believed in the company and still do, and in the potential of a drug that had the real possibility of improving the treatment options for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patients, which is about the most debilitating disease known to mankind, and something that I saw firsthand affect a close family member.
Over the years, I invested heavily in Innate, became the company's largest shareholder, and an uncompensated member of its board of directors. Without my investments and steadfast financial support, the company would have gone under, bringing with it a premature end to a drug I truly thought would revolutionize treatment options for secondary progressive MS.
Of all the things I wanted to accomplish in my life, finding a cure for secondary progressive MS was at the top of the list. After years of blood, sweat, and tears, we firmly believed we were on the verge of a medical breakthrough. Sadly, despite showing great initial promise, the drug was ultimately shown to be unsuccessful, which is a setback for all those suffering from this deadly disease.
Many have speculated about my relationship with Innate. Here are the simple facts. My connections with the company are well-known. I believe I acted properly and within the law at all times with regard to my affiliation with innate.
Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have followed all rules and ethical guidelines when it comes to my personal investments, including those with Innate. When it became clear that the drug I and others believed in fell short of our hopes and examinations, I held on to my shares rather than sell them. As a result, the significant investment I made in the company worth millions of dollars were wiped out. That's OK. That's the risk I took.
My real concern lies with the millions of people suffering from secondary progressive MS who to this day struggle without life-saving treatments for their deadly disease. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I am proud of my affiliation with Innate. I may have lost most of the money that I invested in the company, but I took the chance to bring relief to those who deal with the dreadful disease of secondary progressive MS every day.
The charges that have been levied against me are meritless, and I will mount a vigorous defense in court to clear my name. I look forward to being fully vindicated and exonerated, ending any and all questions relating to my affiliation with Innate.
I've spent the last 10 years in public service as the Erie County executive and as a member of Congress. I've also spent many years volunteering to give back to my community.