Return to Transcripts main page


Mary Tyler Moore Dies at 80; Official; Trump Could Order Voter Fraud Investigation Tomorrow; Trump Speaks Out About Voter Fraud, Offers No New Proof; President Trump Finishes Supreme Court Interviews; Trump "Absolutely" Thinks Torture Works; Trump On Torture: "We Have To Fight Fire With Fire"; Trump: US Will Initially Pay For Wall, Mexico Will Reimburse; Interview with Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois; Source: Federal Workers "Terrified" of Trump Amid Crackdown. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired January 25, 2017 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: -- an Oscar for Ordinary People, she was amazing. We will miss her. That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room. Erin Burnett OutFront starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT HOST: OutFront next. Breaking news, President Trump speaking out in his first television interview tonight calling for a major investigation into bogus claims of voter fraud. Why? And the president says torture absolutely works. Why is he defying many experts and international law? Plus our special series live from the U.S./Mexico border. Tonight a look at how people are getting into the U.S. illegally and the American citizens determined to stop them.

Let's go OutFront. Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, we begin with breaking news, President Donald Trump signing an executive order launching an investigation into voter fraud as early as tomorrow. This is according to a senior administration official. And it comes as Trump is speaking out tonight, doubling down moments ago in an interview with ABC news on his false claim of massive voter fraud.

DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: What you have presented so far has been debunked. It's been called false.

DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Take a look at the Pew reports.

MUIR: I called the author of the Pew Report last night and he told me that they found no evidence on voter fraud.

TRUMP: Really? Then why did he write the report?

MUIR: He said no evidence of voter fraud.

TRUMP: Excuse me, then why did he write the report? According to Pew report -- then he's -- then he's groveling again. You know, I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they write something that you want to hear but not necessarily millions of people want to hear, or have to hear.

MUIR: So, you've launched an investigation?

TRUMP: We're going to launch an investigation to find out. And then the next time -- and I will say this, of those votes cast, none of them come to me, none of them come to me. They would all be for the other side. None of them come to me. But when you look at the people that are registered, dead, illegal, and two states, in some cases, maybe three states. We have a lot to look into.

BURNETT: Now, it's not illegal to be registered in more than one state, obviously you're not allowed to vote in more than one state, though. CNN has learned Trump's pick For Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin and his top advisor Steve Bannon actually both were authorized to vote in two states during the election. The author of the Pew Study just spoke to CNN and repeated that he hasn't found any evidence of voter fraud even though you do have all of those instances where people are registered in more one state or deal people are on the voter rolls.

They're not actually voting. Jim Acosta is OutFront tonight at the White House. And Jim, what were you learning about this executive order? Because now, he could sign it as early as the morning.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin. President Trump could take executive action, it could be an executive order, it could be a memorandum as soon as tomorrow to launch a federal investigation into these claims of voter fraud that have not been proven. The investigation we're told would be handled by the Department of Justice perhaps along with the Department of Homeland Security, but it's a sign the president is very serious about looking into baseless claims that millions voted illegally in the election.

On the same day as announcing a new wall on the border, President Trump took time out to call for a federal investigation into a problem election experts maintain doesn't exist. Widespread voter fraud.

TRUMP: But when you look at the people that are registered, dead, illegal, and two states, and some cases maybe three states, we have a lot to look into.

ACOSTA: The president tweet he's asking for a major investigation into voting irregularities, he claims cost him the popular vote. A probe the White House suggests could target nation's biggest states. He insisted to ABC News millions of votes could be at stake.

TRUMP: You have people that are registered who are dead, who are illegals, who are in two states. You have people registered in two states. They're registered in New York and in New Jersey. They vote twice. There are millions of votes in my opinion.

ACOSTA: But in fact election records indicate two members of Mr. Trump's own team, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Treasury Secretary Nominee Steven Mnuchin were registered in more than one state on election day. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says the probe will not focus solely on the 2016 election. SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETAYR: There's a lot of states that we didn't compete in where that's not necessarily the case. You look at California and New York.

ACOSTA: What's more back in December, the president's legal team argued that voter fraud did not affect the final results of the election and their attempts to block recount efforts by green party candidate Jill Stein. White House Counselor Don McGahn wrote an illegal brief at the time, all available evidence suggest the 2016 election was not tainted by fraud.


ACOSTA: Ohio's Republican Secretary of State says he wishes the president would take a more constructive view of the discussion.

HUSTED: Over the coming days, bear the responsibility of sharing exactly where their concerns are, providing evidence of that.

ACOSTA: While top democrats express alarm.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: I frankly feel very sad about the president making this claim. I felt sorry for him. I even prayed for him. But then I prayed for the United States of America.

ACOTSA: And we're also learning tonight that the president is finished with interviewing candidates for the opening on the supreme court. The candidates that have already been floated out there, Erin, we're told those are the top contenders. No surprises according to our sources here at the White House. Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jim, Thank you. And OutFront now, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, he is a democrat. Secretary Padilla, let me ask you. Donald Trump is looking at the registration rolls now, specifically in states that Clinton won. The Press Secretary Sean Spicer specifically mentioned California. Here's the final numbers from your state as we have them. Clinton won California by 4.3 million votes. Are you 100 percent sure nothing would change if Trump investigated California?

ALEX PADILLA, (D) CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE: Good evening, Erin. And, no, we're pretty sure nothing's going to change. We have measures in place in California, not just to maintain the integrity of our voter rolls but how we administer elections as well, whether it's the machines that we're using to mark ballots, cast ballots, count ballots on election day. They're not connected to the internet. No way to have them systematically rigged or hacked. But even the accuracy of the results, there's a random percentage manual tally that's required for each and every county in California to make sure that a hand count matches up with the machine count to ensure the accuracy of the election.

So, nothing's going to change. I think the call for an investigation of some sort, we've had yet to see the details. Based on allegations that are not based on evidence or proof or any fact should be cause for concern. BURNETT: Now, one of the things you just heard Trump say he wants to look at his people who are registered twice. And as we mentioned his Treasury Secretary Nominee, Al, Mnuchin is registered in New York and of course in your state, California. Is this a legitimate issue in your view?

PADILLA: Look. I think does it happen? Of course, we have two examples here from the -- from the president's own cabinet and staff here. But it is very, very limited. Should it be cleaned up? Absolutely. But there's an important distinction here. If somebody is registered in more than one state versus somebody casting ballots in more than one state. So, when the president says millions of illegal ballots cast, millions of illegal votes, that's simply not the case. It's a lie.

And my larger concern for the longer term is are they setting the stage for changes in policy or changes in law that will go backward on voting rights. We've seen it happen in a number of other states. The purging of voter rolls, elimination of early voting opportunities, voter D.D. laws that are frankly discriminatory. That's been tested in the states. I hope that's not a sign of things to come at a federal level.

BURNETT: So, before we go, Secretary Padilla, when you look at that 4.3 million vote margin, what would be your guess if you went and recounted the votes on how many would change due to, you know, you know, someone intentionally doing something wrong? I mean, is it -- is it -- is it zero? Is it 20? Is it 1,000? Is it -- I mean, do you have any sense of what that would be?

PADILLA: It's frankly minuscule. And it's not just a wild guess here. You know, we have had a request for recounts in recent years whether it's a very closely contested congressional race or a state legislative race or maybe local city council or mayor's race. And whenever we get to that recount, when -- and going through the very thorough protocols, a couple, a handful, single-digit difference, maybe.

BURNETT: Single digits.

PADILLA: And so it's not going to make a dent in that significant margin that President Trump lost by in California. But that's secondary.

BURNETT: All right. Secretary Padilla, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

OutFront now, Myrna Perez, Director of the Voting Rights and Election Project to the Brennan, Senator for Justice at NYU School of Law, an expert on this, our political correspondent Dana bash and our senior political analyst Mark Preston. So, Myrna, let me start with you. He wants to investigate the voter rolls in states he lost. So you heard what Secretary Padilla had to say, he doesn't think he's going to change it, everybody handful of votes in California with the 4.3 million vote margin. In this Pew Study which now everybody is citing, one of the things it says is that there are 1.8 million dead people who registered to vote, people of course registered in multiple states. How big of a mess really are the voter rolls right now?

MYRNA PEREZ, DIRECTOR: NYU BRENNAN CENTER'S VOTING RIGHTS AND ELECTIONS PROJECT: There is no dispute our voter rolls need to be cleaned up. This is something the Brennan Center has been talking about for a decade. Life is dynamic. People die every day, people move every day, people change their name because they've got married and -- or other reasons. I think the important thing to remember is that we need to give resources to election administrators in order to be able to correct for these life changes.

And if we are interested in actually making a difference about these things, we need very common sense of the reforms like universal automatic voter registration. The big --

BURNETT: That would make a difference.

PEREZ: It will make the --

BURNETT: Because what you're saying is you're acknowledging the point, which I think is important here. Like when there's 1.8 million dead people on the rolls, that's a problem. And anyone who is subjectively going to look at this is going to say that should change. That's not the same thing as saying 1.8 million people that people are posing as them and coming in and voting. And that is what is not happening.

PEREZ: And it's also not new. And I think the part that I'm concerned about is this conflation of, you know, the system is being rigged to now we have all these undocumented people voting to our voter rolls are being messed up. If we're actually looking to make sure that we have the best democracy in the world, that means we need to invest in the kind of reforms that will give us the best democracy in the world.

BURNETT: But when Trump says fraud, people voting twice in two different states, that though you don't see evidence happening. Those registered in New York and New Jersey, they're not going to two states in one day to vote.

PEREZ: Yes. No. It's extraordinarily rare. The penalties are high. It is an incredibly inefficient way to steal an election. You don't -- there's no common rational actor that will feel like they will be able to accomplish something like that in an -- any sort of meaningful way. And what I worry about is this conversation is a distraction against the kind of reforms that we actually do need. We need to make sure voters have free fair and accessible elections, we need to make sure that everybody that is eligible to be registered gets on the rolls. We need to make sure that people have access to vote on election day.

BURNETT: And so, Dana, you know, George W. Bush also investigated voter fraud. It was a five-year process at one point. The New York Times at the end of five years said 120 people were charged with election-related crimes. Hundreds of millions of votes, during that five-year period were cost of hundreds of millions of votes, 120 people charges -- charged I think 86 actually convicted. If this is the outcome for Donald Trump, does he win or lose?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, I mean, I think that the country wins by seeing that there -- that the voter fraud is not the way that Donald Trump says he is -- he fears it is. But certainly for Donald Trump personally and politically, it would certainly be a lot of egg on his face. But I think the bigger question, assuming that the president does ask for and pushes for let's say the justice department to investigate this is how that's even going to work because -- let's just say I was just talking to somebody who was reminding me that, you know, Jason Chaffetz who is the republican in-charge of the house oversight committee make -- to make sure that the executive branch is not doing anything wrong.

If it were a democratic president saying I'm going to use my justice department to investigate broadly whether there was voter fraud without any evidence, to spend taxpayer money on it without any evidence that would presume that the justice department can actually prosecute, then the oversight committee would be going bananas. Understandably and rightly so. But today, Jason Chaffetz said, you know, it's not my purview, it's going to be up to the administration. So, it's a big question how and who is going to do this investigation that the president says he wants.

BURNETT: And Mark, I have a tape -- a tape to show you. This is Billy Bush and Donald Trump on Access Hollywood. And before your jaw drops, it is not that tape. But I found another tape. And by the way, I recommend you watch it in full. But this is Donald Trump taking Billy Bush to vote with him in 2004. Trump goes to three polling places trying to find the right spot, finally fills out an absentee ballot. Let me play the clip.


TRUMP: Where are we going?


TRUMP: There's no line at all here.


TRUMP: Oh, why? Do I have to go to a different place actually?


TRUMP: Hello, gorgeous. How are you? Hello, how are you. Nice seeing you. I am in the standing line.

BILLY BUSH, AMERICAN RADIO AND TELEVISION HOST: Your vote is one vote, his vote is a giant vote.

TRUMP: Hi, folks. How are you doing? Make sure there's no cheating here, right? They don't have (INAUDIBLE) can you believe this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don't have it in this location.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not in -- he's not in my book either.

TRUMP: Hi, fellas. How are you? Do you have my name here?

BUSH: If his name is not on these rolls. There will be a huge combustion in here.

TRUMP: Well, I'm going to fill out the absentee ballot. And I've just voted. At least you can say the Trumpster doesn't give up.

BUSH: That's right.

TRUMP: Right? You've got to vote.

BURNETT: Now, Mark, OK, humorous, but here's the takeaway. He couldn't even vote once, let alone twice or more as he is now accusing so many people of doing. You know, the point is here, is calls for fraud when there is no evidence of it, there's isn't even bigger issue here.

MARK PRESTON, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. There is. And look, there's no doubt that that tape from 2004 given where we are right now is got to be terribly embarrassing for Donald Trump although I don't know if Donald Trump necessarily gets embarrassed. You know, we talk a lot about how Donald Trump is undermining our democratic process right now. You have republican secretary of state, democratic secretary of state, you have experts in election law who are all coming to the same conclusion that the bottom line is Donald Trump shouldn't be saying this.

It doesn't send a good message across the country let alone the world. But let's take it to the world stage. There's a parallel problem, I think a much bigger problem. When you see Donald Trump out there making this case about false facts, lies about this, if you are a foreign leader and you are negotiating a trade deal with Donald Trump, if you are talking about sending troops into another country, if you are a congressional republican or a congressional democrat who are trying to get legislation done and you see Donald Trump being stuck in on this one issue, knowing full well that this is it is not correct, you have to wonder to yourself, can I trust Donald Trump?

And I think that's something that he really needs to rectify. And to button it up, I spoke to a republican operative here in town just a few hours ago. This is somebody who's brought in, he's known as a fixer, and I said how do you think things are going so far? The person said to me, it's a roller coaster right now. Donald Trump can actually get a lot of things done if he gets out of his own way.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you all. And next, President Trump saying torture works. So is the United States about to return to waterboarding? The practice considered a war crime. Plus, the death of Mary Tyler Moore this afternoon. A special look at the ground- breaking career of one of America's most loved stars. And our special series continues on the Mexico border. Tonight we're

live in Arizona. This is drone footage right now that you're looking at of a border fence and nearby private citizens are armed and on patrol (INAUDIBLE)

TIM FOLEY, ARIZONA BORDER RECON FOUNDER: I've been called everything in the book, I've been called the domestic extremist.


BURNETT: Breaking news, President Donald Trump at this hour admitting he believes torture works. The president now breaking with members of his own administration and most of his own party when it comes to this. Here's what he told ABC News tonight.


TRUMP: And I have spoken as recently as 24 hours ago with people at the highest level of intelligence and asked them the question, does it work? Does torture work? And the answer was yes, absolutely. I want to do everything within the balance of what you're allowed to do legally, but do I feel it works? Absolutely.


BURNETT: Our global affairs correspondent Elise Labott is OutFront. Elise, obviously a very significant statement. President Trump opening the door on an issue that frankly had been resolved which includes the fact that the U.S. now as of tonight no longer water boards.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. Well, there was legislation passed in 2015 which limits U.S. Officials to the interrogation techniques that are only allowed in the army field manual, and that bans tactics such as waterboarding when a prisoner is subjected to that kind of controlled drowning.

BURNETT: And obviously looks like we lost that shot but obviously the point is this would be an incredible and stunning change in U.S. policy. OutFront now, Bob Baer, former CIA Operative and Jeffrey Lord, former Reagan White House Political Director. So, Bob, let me start with you. You know, you heard Elise there as she was giving the overall headline but this is now a matter of subtle law, right? This passed. Trump is saying tonight that he has spoken to people at the highest level of intelligence that they agree with him that waterboarding and torture work. Does it?

BOBBY BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Not according to the Senate Intelligence Committee, it doesn't work, it's ineffective, in fact it causes people to be more radical, groups to be more radical using it. I've seen no good case that anybody's made since used waterboarding in 2001, 2002 that it saved American lives, and that's according to the documents, that's according to internal CIA reports from the inspector general. And it's also just flat-out illegal, the U.N. Convention against torture and U.S. law and as McCain said, the law is the law and we just can't do it. BURNETT: What do you say, Jeffrey, the law is the law and Bob's has been in the field, he's been on the ground, he was even there in the field.

JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right. Right. Which decidedly I have not. I would say, though, that, you know, as a civilian listening to Rob O'Neill, the man who killed Osama Bin Laden, he insist that it does work and that's what enabled him to get to -- to get to Osama Bin Laden. Look, the main issue here is that the President of the United States, the commander-in-chief, whoever that may be, in this case Donald Trump talks with the best people he has, quite frequently, not only in this area but other areas s well he gets conflicting advice.

One adviser will say a, is the best course or another adviser will say z is the best course. It's up to the president to make that decision. And then history will hold him accountable. So this is Donald Trump's moment as president, all of his predecessors have had moments like this with one issue or another. He'll make his decision and we'll go from there.

BURNETT: So Bob, President Trump spoke about why, OK? The reason, why does he think the United States needs to torture, why does he think it's effective? And here is how he answered that question.


TRUMP: When they're chopping off the heads of our people and other people, when they're chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be a Christian in the Middle East, when ISIS is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since medieval times, would I feel strongly about water boarding? As far as I'm concerned, we have to fight fire with fire.


BURNETT: Fire with fire. I mean, he's making a point, Bob, because of America's enemies are beheading people. Would waterboarding in response really get them to up the ante even more against U.S. troops or U.S. spies?

BAER: Well, that's -- waterboarding is effective as a tool of intimidation. The Chinese have used it, they used it during the Spanish inquisition. They just terrified people. The Egyptians use worse torture today and have intimidated their entire population. At the end of the day, is it moral? I'd say -- I'd say no. And do we want to go down that road of intimidating large numbers of people with torture? I mean, you don't get good information out of it. Personally I'd say no. And again, it's just flat-out illegal, waterboarding or any other forms of torture. And according to U.S. law, I just do not -- I do not -- I don't get the case for it.

BURNETT: How do you make that case fire with fire?

LORD: One of the things I find interesting is that Robert O'Neill also said that being water boarded is part of Navy SEAL Training. And that he said if human rights activists saw the way they trained Navy SEALs that they would probably want to eliminate the SEALs. So, I mean, you get to this difference of opinion here and that's really basically what this comes down to, and the president will have to make his decision. But I'd also say that the president is what we used to call in older days a hawk and, you know, most republicans are hawks when it comes to foreign policy and defense matters. So I'm not at all surprised that he has this particular point of view. He campaigned on it, he never shied away from it.


LORD: So here we are.

BURNETT: All right. We shall see. Thank you both. And next, take a look at this picture. This is live drone video. This is live at this moment over the Arizona/Mexico border. Our special series continues tonight. We have rare access to this part of the border zone where Mexicans cross over illegally and private American citizens are standing guard to keep them out. And you see that little piece of a wall. More on that. And President Trump tweets that if Chicago can't stop the violence he's sending in the feds. My next guest says Trump is all talk, no action.


BURNETT: Breaking news, President Trump signing an executive order to deliver on a top campaign promise, the wall. And he said again today that Mexico will pay for it.

MUIR: Will American taxpayers pay for the wall?

TRUMP: Ultimately it will come out of what's happening with Mexico. We're going to be starting those negotiations relatively soon. And we will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico which I always --

MUIR: So they'll pay us back?

TRUMP: Yes. Absolutely. 100 percent.

MUIR: When does construction begin?

TRUMP: As soon as we can. As soon as we can physically do it. We're --

MUIR: Within months?

TRUMP: I would say in months, yes.

BURNETT: Sara Murray is OutFront. And Sara, so he's obviously this is something he's been saying for a while in terms of he's going to reimburse U.S. taxpayers, Mexico will reimburse U.S. taxpayers. How is initially going to pay for the wall then?

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are some different options that they're looking at but one of the things that House Republicans are looking at as a potential way to pay for this wall is sort of a supplemental spending bill that was dedicated to the wall entirely.

[19:30:08] Now, I think we'll get a better sense of what President Trump wants to do after he does have this meeting with Republicans. He's going to their retreat tomorrow. That's really an opportunity for them to get on the same page about how to proceed with some of his big policy priorities. Obviously, we know that he and the Hill had not necessarily been in lock step on a number of these issues.

That gets you potentially through the first part. And then the bigger question is, how can you really make Mexico reimburse you for it? I think there was one telling part of these executive actions by Donald Trump that sort of says, we're going to look at the aid we're getting to Mexico, maybe slashing that in Donald Trump's view a way to get Mexico to reimburse the country for at least part of the wall.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I know they've been trying to come up with ideas on that front. I mean, as you've been reporting, Sara, of course, he also signed an executive order today about sanctuary cities. What does that exactly mean?

MURRAY: Well, this is something that Donald Trump talked about over and over again on the campaign trail. We heard it from him across the country. And essentially what he wants to do is strip sanctuary cities of their federal funding. And we are talking about major cities here. These aren't little ho hum cities that are only getting small chunks of change from the federal government.

And we're already seeing backlash. We saw the attorney general in New York saying that they would fight this and they don't believe that Donald Trump has the authority to make a move like this through an executive action. This could be a huge blow to the budgets of major cities. And you can bet this is the kind of thing that's going to be tested in court if not by New York than by any number of other cities that we've seen springing up and saying that they plan to fight this, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sara, thank you.

And OUTFRONT now, the Democratic congressman from Illinois, Luis Gutierrez. He's also a member of the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.

Thank you so much for being with me, Congressman.


BURNETT: President Trump signing this executive order, right? This is his top campaign promise. So, probably his first one.

You, of course, promised to fight the wall. He's going to do it by executive order. What are you going to do now?

GUTIERREZ: Well, look, first of all, we're going to fight, right? We're going to organize lawyers. We're going to organize community activists so that no one is left without help. Look, Erin, let's be clear, we're not going to let him bully the city

of Chicago. What if tomorrow he says, you know what, you're working -- city of Chicago is working with Planned Parenthood handing out contraceptives, won't give you funding as long as you continue to do that. Where is it that we stop President Donald Trump when it comes to the city of Chicago?

See, he looks at them as illegals, right? He uses that term. He says these aliens. We look at them as people who are in our community, husbands, wives, children, our neighbors. They go to church with us. They're an integral part of our community.

So, we say to Donald Trump, we're going to fight you. And you -- and think about the crassness of the politics of this all, right? So, where is he going after? New York, Chicago, L.A., cities in which he was crushed politically.

Talk about somebody who is just using raw politics. I don't need them. They don't vote for me. I'm coming after them.

BURNETT: OK. So, Congressman, one thing he's saying, though, all right -- he's making the case the wall is going to benefit both countries. Let me just play what he said and explain why. Here he is today.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have to understand, what I'm doing is good for the United States. It's also going to be good for Mexico. We want to have a very stable, very solid Mexico.


BURNETT: He says it's going to be good for both countries, and specifically, Congressman, he says he's talking about this, violent drug cartels who are basically smuggling through Mexico from other places in South America and then they're coming right, aiming for that board with the United States. And that if the wall goes up, they won't come through Mexico, Mexico will be safer, so will the United States.

Could he be right in any way that the wall could be good for the U.S. and Mexico?

GUTIERREZ: Look, the first thing we have to come back is the insatiable demand that exists in cities and suburbs all throughout America. You know and you've reported on the epidemic that exists among American citizens and their insatiable demand for the drugs.

So, let's also look at supply and demand. You better than most as an economist will understand this. And think about it. This great wall that he wants -- I imagine he wants to put Trump on it in gold letters, the great wall.

Here's how I look at it. Looking at this from a global perspective, right? Look, if you push Mexico away, and let's understand minimum of 6 million American workers count on Mexico, our second largest trading partner. I mean, Mexico buys more goods produced by American workers than all of Europe combined. Five million to 6 million American workers depend on the trade between Mexico. You build a wall, you will push them straight into China's hands.

And instead of having two great walls, will have -- China will have two great walls. You know what? Maybe they'll say, you know what, America, you keep Formosa. We get Mexico as one of our trading partners in the western hemisphere.

BURNETT: It's an interesting point. OK, let's just take where we are now, Congressman, which is he is the president, he has signed an executive order, there are ways he could build this wall. He says U.S. taxpayers are initially going to pay for it and Mexico will ultimately reimburse it.

So, let's just say the wall is built. Will you fight for Mexico to pay for it instead of having U.S. taxpayers pay for it? Would you fight with him on that part of it or not? Would you want U.S. taxpayers to bear the burden?

GUTIERREZ: Well, let me just say this -- let me say just this, Erin, remember about his secret plan to defeat ISIS? But he wouldn't tell us about it but he said it would be great? We still haven't heard how he's going to do it. Then he told us he was going to replace Obamacare with something that was great, just better. He hasn't given any details.

Now, he tells us he's going to build a wall. But don't worry, here's what he said, it will be complicated, but it will part --


BURNETT: Tariffs could be increased, cut aid in part that would cover it. I mean, there are various things they could do, Congressman, that would add up to this cost --


GUTIERREZ: There are -- you better than most, I woke up many mornings listening to you when you worked at another station, so that I could get the latest news and learn a little bit about how the economy works and how we're interrelated and interdependent. If you do this and you push Mexico, you will push Mexico straight into the arms of China. You will move them away. This is our partner, our trading partner.

I didn't vote for NAFTA because I thought it was a bad deal for workers, but that was 24 years ago. And there are -- do I think we should fix it? Do I think we should amend it? Absolutely.

But don't use a wall because who's going to -- here's what I'm going to say to you, Erin. I'll come back on this program. You and I both know the American people are going to pay for that wall if he builds it and not Mexico.

It's like so many other things that he tells us are going to be free. But they're not going to be free. And here's what I say. They're our trading partner, they're our friend, they're our ally. Stop using these politics.

Last, very important, LAX is a border, right? So is Chicago O'Hare, so is Kennedy. Most -- the majority of undocumented workers in this country are not Mexican nationals. They come through those ports of entry legally and overstay.

BURNETT: Overstay their visas.

GUTIERREZ: You should always ask yourself why you never talk about that? Do they not represent a threat?


BURNETT: Visa overstay issue is a fair one.

All right. Well, Congressman, thank you very much. I know we'll have you back on to talk about this as his plans continue.


BURNETT: Next, EPA employees said to be terrified. They've been told to put a freeze on tweets and blogs and press releases.

And Trump signs an executive action to fund the border wall. Our special series next. We're going to go live with that border where you got American citizens standing off face-to-face with people trying to come in illegally.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's tried three times already to get across, but he hasn't been able to.



[19:41:07] BURNETT: Breaking news, growing calls in Mexico tonight for that country's president to cancel his trip to Washington to meet with President Trump next week. President Pena Nieto supposed to come to Washington to meet. But, of course, this backlash is now in response to Trump's executive order to begin construction on the wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

One former official calls the timing a slap in the face.

Tonight, Ed Lavandera is along the southern border this time in our series with rare access to the people who are not only trying to cross into America but also the volunteers, the Americans in Arizona who are trying to stop them. Here's Ed Lavandera with a story you'll see only OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LAVANDERA (voice-over): On the border's edge from Nogales, Arizona, several dozen migrants gather for breakfast inside a shelter known as Keno border initiative. It's where Jesus Garcia is trying to figure out how to get into the United States. Over a map, he recounts how far he's traveled since he left home the day before Donald Trump was elected president.

(on camera): So, he started here in San Pedro, Honduras, made his way across Guatemala, here into this little town and this is where he crossed into Mexico.

He says he hasn't been able to cross. He left home November 7th of last year and he's tried three times already to get across but hasn't been able to.

(voice-over): Garcia says it's the first time he's ever tried crossing the border illegally and says it's harder than he imagined.

(on camera): He says, "If I made this the far, I'm going to keep trying."

(voice-over): But on the other side, a legion of border patrol agents, cameras, barricades, ground sensors are waiting, even some private citizens working on their own to stop migrants like Jesus Garcia from getting across.

TIM FOLEY, ARIZONA BORDER RECON: This is the scene in "the matrix."

LAVANDERA: In Tim Foley's world, the border lands are a threatening, dangerous place.

FOLEY: This is the red pill. This is what the world really looks like.

LAVANDERA: Foley leads a volunteer group called Arizona Border Recon that patrols the border around Sasabe, Arizona, a town the U.S.-Mexico border with less than a hundred people.

FOLEY: I've been called everything in the book. I've been called a domestic extremist.

LAVANDERA: The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate group in the U.S. says Foley's group is made up of, quote, "native extremists." Foley sees the flow of drugs, undocumented migrants and the wide open spaces of the border as the country's biggest threat.

(on camera): Along the nearly 2,000-mile U.S. southern border, there is already about 700 miles of fencing and barricades already in place. Here in Sasabe, Arizona, this steel see-through fence stretches for several miles but as you approach the end of town, it abruptly comes to an end like these border fences often do as it stretches out into rugged, remote terrain in the Arizona desert.

FOLEY: I put cameras about five minutes from road.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Foley relies on a collection of cameras he hides in the brush to capture the movements of drug smugglers. He often shares that information and videos with border patrol agents.

FOLEY: You need boots on the ground. That's what's keeping you out there. Good thing we have this up here.

LAVANDERA: Foley voted for Donald Trump and wants to see all documented immigrants in the U.S. deported and additional border agents moved closer to the Mexican border. But he's not convinced Trump or anyone else can change the reality he sees.

FOLEY: When you're reactive to a problem, you're always going to be behind the solution.

LAVANDERA: For many like 18-year-old Mariesela Ramirez, they try to come illegally from Mexico. She was caught by border patrol with a group of migrants and quickly deported.

She wanted to find work in the U.S. to help support her elderly parents.

[19:45:02] She trembles as she recalls the experience of being smuggled across the border.

(on camera): I asked her if she was going to try to cross again. Her brother is still being detained in the United States. She's waiting for him to get out and she's not really sure what they'll do next. So, she's waiting for him to be sent back here and they'll figure out what they're going to do next.

(voice-over): It's the cycle that never ends on the border.


BURNETT: Ed, again, another stunning report, Ed OUTFRONT live along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona tonight.

Ed, I have to say, yet again in that piece, you know, we see a wall and then it just ends. And you showed us that the other night when you were in Texas. I mean, it is pretty stunning to see.

What do border patrol agents have to say?

LAVANDERA: Well, we spoke with the one of the leaders in the National Border Patrol Council, which is the union that represents the vast majority of border patrol agents working along the southern border. They are very excited about Donald Trump being in office. They say they've never been supported by a president in the way that Donald Trump has supported them and they welcome the idea of fortifying this wall extensively, closing up those barriers, even though that comes at great cost and a great deal of questions and whether or not that's even feasible. But they do welcome that.

The other thing they do stretch is that they do need -- they feel like they need more agents on the ground, the National Border Patrol Council says that border patrol agents down in the force by about 1,600 agents right now. BURNETT: And, Ed, as you're speaking, I just want anyone to know what

you're actually looking at on the screen, this is live drone footage right now at this instance of the U.S./Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona. You can see that is part of the wall that currently exists, which, Ed, I thought was pretty fascinating. You're reporting about 700 miles of some sort of wall or barricades out of the 2,000-mile long border.

As part of the series, you've now shown us Texas. You've shown us Arizona. What's next?

LAVANDERA: We're going to move to California. And there, it's kind of interesting problems, even though there's fencing in place in California but smugglers and migrants have gotten creative. We'll explore that.

We'll also get into the idea of how that affects people on both sides of the border as the U.S. cracks down. What is the ramifications of that? How does it affect people on both sides of the border? So, we'll explore that on Friday night.

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

Pretty stunning looking at that drone footage, when you see all of those houses and buildings right up to the edge on both sides and then, right in the middle, that sort of rusted looking fence, which is the current wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Our live drone footage right here.

Ed will be back with the next installment of his series later this week.

And next, the communications freeze at the EPA. They say no tweets, no press releases. So, is the White House targeting an agency because of politics or is still all hysteria?

And Jeanne Moos on the sad news today, the passing of a beloved actress and television legend, Mary Tyler Moore.


[19:51:34] BURNETT: Tonight, a crackdown in communications of federal agencies, leaving some workers, quote/unquote, "terrified", according to a source. Employees at the EPA told do not blog, tweet, or send out press releases. Now, the White House is saying that directive did not come from the administration.

Rene Marsh is OUTFRONT.


RENE MARSH, CNN GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN has confirmed employees at both the EPA and the Department of Interior are under a communication lockdown. An EPA memo obtained by CNN says, "No press releases will go out to external audiences." No social media or blog posts either. A digital strategist will oversee social media and employees list serves and scheduled speaking engagements will be subject to review.

JEREMY SYMONS, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND: Every president puts their own regulations in place and doesn't want to be doing the business of the previous president on big-ticket items. But we're seeing President Trump going way beyond that with this political interference because we're talking about basic intimidation and censorship.

MARSH: This comes after the Department of Interior put a freeze on tweeting after the National Park Service retweeted messages that compared the crowd sizes at Barack Obama's inauguration to Donald Trump's inauguration. And on Tuesday, South Dakota's Badlands National Park official Twitter account sent out a series of tweets about climate change that could be seen as defying President Trump. The tweets were later deleted and blamed on a former employee not authorized to use the account.

The White House today denied ordering the communications lockdown.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There's nothing that has come from the White House.

MARSH: CNN spoke to several former EPA officials who say a freeze in agency activities is normal during a transition, but some environmentalists are particularly concerned it appears agencies that regulate climate change and environmental policy are being targeted. CNN called multiple agencies including the Pentagon, the bureau of land management, army corps of engineers. They've all said they have not been given a directive to change how they communicate with people outside the agency.

Myron Ebell was on the Trump transition team.

(on camera): Why are only certain agencies being told that they can't speak to outside individuals?

MYRON EBELL, COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: EPA is very political. They're involved in communicating their message trying to convince people that what they're doing at EPA is the correct thing.


MARSH: So, Erin, while a pause in communications may be standard operating procedure during a transition, I spoke with several past EPA official who say there are parts of Trump's transition approach that do appear to be extreme, like for example, telling employees they're forbidden from speaking to members of Congress.

A former Republican New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman who also served as EPA administrator under George W. Bush, told me today, she pointed out that this communications lockdown does come within a context, a context of Donald Trump's war on the media and the distrust of the press.

I am also told by an EPA spokesperson, Erin, that the agency is in the process of reviewing all the material, what will be allowed on the agency website, what will not be allowed and the litmus test is essentially what fits with the administration's views.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.

And next, Jeanne Moos remembering the much-loved visionary actress Mary Tyler Moore who died this afternoon.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Only 7:45. I have time for 8:00.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But, Joanne, I didn't tell anyone to get here.



[19:57:33] BURNETT: And now, we remember Mary Tyler Moore, the beloved actress who forever changed how women are depicted on television.

Here's Jeanne Moos.



JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mary Tyler Moore's smile has been turned off at the age of 80, not before she made it.


MOOS: Her famous hat throw even immortalized in a statue.


MOOS: Her first acting was as an elf, pushing appliances. But her career really got hot --

ANNOUNCER: "The Dick Van Dyke Show" --

MOOS: In 1961 with her first starring role.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to show you off. How about it, Laurie? Will you give me that pleasure?


MOOS: In her own show, she played a single TV woman in a newsroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got spunk.

MOORE: Well --


MOOS: The show had enough spunk to last seven seasons. Mary also went after serious roles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you chase these roles or --


MOOS: She was nominated for an Academy Award for "Ordinary People". In her not so ordinary life, she was married three times, went through diabetes and a benign brain tumor, lost her only son when he accidentally shot himself.

She was a vegetarian and for years an alcoholic.

MOORE: I just made up my mind to stop.

MOOS: And checked into the Betty Ford clinic.

Watch her expression when Larry King described her --

LARRY KING, FORMER CNN HOST: Television's comedy goddess.

MOOS: She said this quote from Dorothy Parker was her motto.

MOORE: What other people think of me is none of my business.

MOOS: If you now think of her as sadness, recall Mary cracking up at the funeral of chuckles the clown.

Remember how that ended?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead, my dear. Laugh for chuckles.

MOOS: Mary Tyler Moore fans may need some tissues, or at least a group hug.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we all need some Kleenex.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's some on Mary's desk.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: And we understand she died surrounded by those who loved her.

Thank you for joining us.

And it is time now for "AC360".