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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Nunes & FBI Chief Clash Over Russia Probe; Schiff: Investigation Can't Be Conducted This Way; Interview with Rep. Steny Hoyer; Bill O'Reilly Apologizes For Racially Charged Joke About Congresswoman's Hair; Ivanka Trump's New Job Title: Assistant To The President; Coal County Questions Whether Trump Can Bring Jobs Back; Trump Voter: Pres. Broke Promise to Fight Heroin Epidemic. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired March 29, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: That's it for me. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next breaking news. The House Intelligence Committee investigation into Trump and Russia in shambles at this hour. The FBI Chief directly contradicting the committee chairman. Has Devin Nunes lost all credibility? Plus, it's official, Ivanka Trump as White House employee this evening after repeatedly saying she was never going to do that. She was going to be first daughter. So, what's happening?
And a father who lost his son to a heroine overdose, once a devoted Trump supporter now changing his tune. He's OUTFRONT. Let's go OUTFRONT. And good evening I'm Erin Burnett. We begin OUTFRONT tonight with the breaking news, credibility breakdown. The FBI at this hour directly contradicting the embattled House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. An FBI official telling CNN that Nunes did not formally invite FBI Director James Comey to testify for another time about Russia.
That's obviously is not what Nunes told reporters. Nunes is now -- well, pointing the finger, blaming his democratic counterpart Adam Schiff saying, well, Comey didn't get a formal invitation because Schiff refused to sign it, although keep in mind, he said the invitation went out last night to our own Manu Raju. The House Intelligence Committee investigation is in shambles tonight. No more hearings scheduled right now. At the center of the stalemate is Nunes himself and lingering questions about his credibility and who he's working for. Democrats asking is he doing the president's bidding. Schiff told our Wolf Blitzer that this investigation cannot be conducted this way and said this about Nunes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D-CA) RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The chairman is going to have to find a way to lift this cloud. Otherwise, we're going to need someone else to preside over this. I think we really do need someone else to preside over this if we're going to do this credibility. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This is obviously a crucial question for the country, this investigation. And with the house committee investigation in turmoil, the Senate Intelligence Committee now trying to step up. There you see the democrat and republican on that committee saying they're going to conduct a comprehensive investigation. But is it too late? Evan Perez is OUTFRONT tonight. And Evan, I want to start with what's going on here between the FBI Director Jim Comey and the Chairman Devin Nunes. What is really going on?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUTSICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Erin, this is the only leverage that the democrats have on this committee. They can't officially invite Comey to come testify in a private setting as the Chairman Nunes wants him to do without getting the signature of Adam Schiff and the FBI. You know, they don't want to be drawn in to a -- what is a essentially a partisan food fight. They can't just come there and brief republicans. They want to -- this has to be done in a bipartisan manner.
And so, that's where everything is stuck now. The Chairman Nunes has not been able to actually formally invite Jim Comey, the FBI Director to come this testimony that he wants to talk about. And so, until Schiff and Nunes can get on the same page, you know, Comey's not going to come up there. Now, the next time we're going to see Comey, we expect is at a senate hearing which mirrors what he did in the House last week. And I got to tell you that -- from the FBI's perspective, Comey is kind of done. He doesn't want to talk about this stuff anymore. This investigation is ongoing --
BURNETT: Well, certainly not in public, right, Evan?
PEREZ: Right. Exactly. He certainly doesn't want to do it in public, it's an ongoing investigation, it's a very serious investigation. I got to tell you one other thing. You know, from the beginning, the agencies involved here including the intelligence agencies and the law enforcement agencies, they were a little anxious and a little suspicious about the house version of this investigation. They didn't know whether these guys were actually serious and wanted to get to the bottom of this. You heard Chairman Nunes over a period of weeks say there was nothing to see here. So, this is almost confirming what people really already suspected that this is not a serious inquiry. And it's kind of imploding, as you've seen.
BURNETT: And pretty damning what Evan saying there. Thank you, Evan that the intelligence committee has questioned the House investigation all the way along because of things Chairman Nunes had said. That is a pretty damning thing and it leads to big question tonight which is whether Chairman Nunes has any credibility left when it comes to this investigation. Jessica Schneider is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An unprecented investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee, seven dedicated staff members pouring through thousands of intelligence documents as part of its bipartisan investigation into Russian meddling during the election.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We together with the members of our committee are going to get to the bottom of this.
SCHNEIDER: Twenty people have been asked to testify so far. Former Trump campaign Chair Paul Manafort will talk to the committee and Jared Kushner has extended the same offer. Questions have been mounting about Kushner's meeting in December with the chairman of the state sponsored Russian bank VEB Sergei Gorkov. Sources tell CNN the committee also wants to hear from Christopher Steel, the former British Intelligence Operative who compiled the dossier alleging collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia.
SEN. RICHARD BURR, (R-NC) SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Mark and I had both agreed that we're willing to issue subpoenas. It's tough to make a subpoena go outside of the United States. So, we understand the limitations.
SCHNEIDER: The House Intelligence Committee meanwhile at a standstill. Democrats continue to call for the resignation of its embattled chairman, Devin Nunes.
SCHIFF: The president of course claiming that what the chairman has seen somehow vindicates him. We can't conduct an investigation this way. That's not sustainable. It's not credible.
SCHNEIDER: Nunes at odds with his democratic counterparts after he canceled an open hearing featuring former acting Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and refused to hold any meetings this week.
REP. JIM HINES, (D) CHAIRMAN, NEW DEMOCRAT COALITION: A lot of us without any information from the chairman are wondering why have the investigation and the committee been put on ice?
SCHNEIDER: Nunes raced to the White House after reviewing classified documents apparently showing President Trump's communications had been picked up as part of incident collection by domestic spies. Nunes still hasn't revealed the details of the House Intel Committee and hasn't sent a former invitation to FBI Director Comey to testify a second time. Tonight, Nunes tell CNN's Manu Raju, he's finished answering questions about the controversey and he's vowing to move forward with public hearing but now before Easter. Nunes wants the ranking democrat Adam Schiff to approve a private briefing with FBI Director James Comey.
REP. DEVIN NUNES, (R-CA) HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: We'll continue to work through this. We hope that they'll -- I think they'll be active participants, will be my guest.
SCHNEIDER: And tonight, Chairman Nunes still not confirming whether or not a White House official let him on to the White House grounds to review those classified documents. Similarly White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer still not reeling any details about Nunes' visit or whether or not the White House knew. Erin? BURNETT: All right. Jessica, thank you. And let's go straight to
the Former Republican Congressman Mike Rogers. He actually Devin Nunes, he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He's also a retired FBI special agent. So, no one knows both sides better of this than he. Phil Mudd, former CIA Counterterror Official, David Gergen who served as advisor to four president, and Kirsten Powers, columnist for USA Today. Thanks to all. David, since you're sitting here. Let me start with you. The FBI is saying Nunes' claims about Comey and this whole, you know, being asked to testify are -- don't add up. OK? Can the House investigation go on?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: well, thank goodness for the senate investigation, right? Because I think unless the chairman resigns, the leadership and others need to shut down, need to shut down the committee. Maybe they can start over dealing with an independent committee. We had an independent committee linking both chambers right from the beginning, it will be a lot better off. But I think there is so much evidence here that is suspicious. We don't know.
Maybe Chairman Nunes is telling entire truth. But it looks as if, just from the outside, it looks as if he's trying to sabotage the investigation. You know, it looks as if, you know, he's in effect trying to provide a -- he's -- you know, this may not be a cover-up, but, boy, it sure looks like a coverup. One would like to believe it's not true.
BURNETT: So, Phil, Nunes and the FBI, you know, they're now at odds. And you just heard what Evan said to David's point that the intelligence community has been sceptical of this -- of the House committee because of things Nunes have said and done from the beginning. Do you believe Nunes?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I believe nothing that the man says, and I agree with David Gergen. This isn't a question about the chairman recusing himself. This is a question about whether the committee should conduct the investigation. If you're the FBI or one of the targets in the investigation, for example, Jared Kushner, now you got to talk to the FBI, you got to talk to the senate committee and you got to talk to a house committee where the chairman says comes in and says, I'd prefer to notify to target the investigation, that is the White House before I notify Adam Schiff.
I mean, you can't take this seriously and we saw that contrast today when two senators got there in front of the microphones, and democrat and republican, nonpartisan talking about not leaks but the real target, what did Russia do, it was like a Model T versus a Porsche. We saw the Porsche today. Let's shut down the Model T, they are cooked.
BURNETT: So what do you say, Mike? You did Nunes' job, you were chair of the House Intel Committee. Obviously, you've also been in the FBI, so you know where they're coming from here. Would you recuse yourself if you were Devin Nunes tonight?
MIKE ROGERS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I like to think I wouldn't have found myself in this position. And if I were the FBI I wouldn't want to walk down into this food fight, either. There were days and days passed in the intelligence community where the ranking member and the chairman argued so much, the speaker sat through the entire time, never even got to a question. And it appears that the committee is walking down that path. And that takes two to tango.
That is not just the chairman, it's also the ranking member appearing and beating them up and refusing him and talking about the information that he seen should go to a grand jury. None of that is helpful. And so there's really three issues here. There is the issue of leaks, which is serious, needs to be investigated. I think the FBI's probably got that one. There is the issue of the overall Russian engagement and information operations, both methods and sources and where they're going and what can be done about it and how can we stop that.
That's the second part of that investigation. And then the third part is -- was our members of the Trump campaign engaged in activities that may or may not lead to be unlawful activity. Those are three separate things. Here's how he fixes it. he goes back, they need to sit down tomorrow and the fact that it took a week is both of their problem, but they should sit down. They can work out the parameters of the investigation but they have to do it tomorrow.
PERINO: So you think it's salvageable?
ROGERS: Well, if they do it tomorrow, if this goes on and the food fight continues, you know, you'll never see anything meaningful come out of that investigation in the house. Unfortunately.
BURNETT: So, Kirsten, Manu just caught up with Devin Nunes and asked him, the chairman, some question -- some questions about whether he would answer, you know, answer all the these rising questions out there. Here's how he answered the question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NUNES: I'm not going to answer any more questions about this. You guys have answered -- asked all these questions. I've been very, very clear with you. You know, start -- all last week I answered all the questions. This week I've answered all the questions, so -- but I appreciate the attention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, Kirsten, I mean, just to make the point, that's patently not true, right? He's not answered really any of the questions, right?
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, exactly. And I -- the thing that's so strange about this is that Devin Nunes actually is somebody who has had a pretty good reputation in Washington. He has been seen as somebody who's pretty trustworthy, somebody who's has integrity and the way he's behaving is just bizarre really. When you get right down to it, I -- he is not being forthcoming to say the least. I mean, there's just some basic question like who waived you into, you know, the White House grounds?
Just a basic questions that's easy to answer. And this sort of -- and he's had some very strange interactions with reporters, we've seen him with Manu where he just, you know, isn't answering questions or claiming that he answers things that he hasn't answered. And everything looks like he is doing the bidding of the White House and that's not what he's supposed to be doing. He's supposed to be doing an independent investigation. So, it seems like at a minimum he needs to recuse himself. I don't -- I just don't see how anyone can think that this could possibly be taken seriously with him at the helm.
BURNETT: So, on this issue that you just raised, so he hasn't answered the question of who let him in the White House. He hasn't even shared with his committee the information that he says he got from someone on White House grounds. Sean Spicer of course was asked about this and -- repeatedly, for days and days now he's been asked, who let -- who cleared Devin Nunes on the White House grounds, who did he meet with when he was there. These are very basic questions. Three days. Here's how Sean Spicer answered the question today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECETARY: I have asked some preliminary questions. I have not gotten any answers yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm asking you about what you told us --
SPICER: No. I said I will look into it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to continue looking?
SPICER: I will. I will look into it and whether or not --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you live up to that obligation?
SPICER: I will. But the obligation as I said I will look into it and I will continue to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Why, David, won't the White House just answer this question? Say who let him in. There is a log. This is not hard to figure out.
GERGEN: They have -- they have the records. They have computers. They can come up with the answer like that. They know, I'm sure they know and they're not saying it. But that's what is created suspicion. I don't know why they persist and allowing stories to blow up mushroom like this when it will be so simple to deal with it. Cut it off unless you have some sort of ulterior motive in mind. That's what people wondering about. Are they, you know, this is not only a question now White House associates or Trump Associates colluding with the Russians. There's a question whether Chairman Nunes is colluding with White House officials who are intentionally want to blow up the investigation in the House.
BURNETT: And Phil, what do you say? Why? Why won't they give the information?
MUDD: This is pretty -- this is pretty straightforward. The story is that he walked in the executive office building which is part of the White House complex. I worked there, Erin. If my mom came in, I had to put her in through the entry system. They know the answer. I can tell you my suspicion, which is this is not about Devin Nunes. This is about whether a White House staff did something inappropriate, that is reveal information to a congressional member that he shouldn't revealed. I think this is about the White House, not about Nunes.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. And next, Bill O'Reilly called out for racist sexist comments and Congresswoman Maxine Waters. So what is saying tonight? Plus, breaking news. Ivanka Trump moments ago named an official White House employee. But what exactly is her job And Trump revealing his plan to tackle the opioid addiction. I'm going to speak with a man who lost his son to heroine. He was perhaps the biggest Trump supporter, 45 rallies to his name but he has a message for Trump tonight.
BURNETT: Tonight, the White House insisting President Trump was joking when he said a healthcare deal, take two, would be easy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPICER: He was having a light-hearted moment. It's on tape. Everybody watched it. He was poking fun and making a joke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. But was ate joke? Listen for yourself to what the president last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I know that we're all going to make a deal on healthcare. That's such an easy one. So I have no doubt that that's going to happen very quickly. I think it will, actually. Because we've all been promising, democrat, republican, we've all been promising that to the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Phil Mattingly is on Capitol Hill tonight. Phil, you know, pretty stunning what he said last night, right? And you heard him. There may have been a couple chuckles in the room, why it's very unclear whether they were with him or at him making a comment like that. Is there actually -- here's the bottom line, is there a new effort to bring healthcare back right now like the president said?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin. In short, the answer is no. The prevailing strategy announced on Friday after this all collapsed that they were moving on to tax reform or in the near term, trying to maintain the government's open status through April 29th. That remains what's actually happening right now. But let me kind of take you behind the scenes here.
According to multiple people with direct knowledge of what's occurred over the last couple of days. Over the course of the weekend, how it's been described to me is the White House had a bit of panic moment recognizing how big of a failure this actually was. As such, they started reaching out to individual members, seeing if they could try and spark some movement on this issues as those members came back to the -- to Capitol Hill.
Those members themselves, they also had a panic moment as they got home, Erin, and recognized that the thing they campaigned on for seven years, election cycle after election cycle dissolved into nothingness over the course of really a 24-hour period. They also came back wanting to work on something. Here's the reality. In a perfect world they would come together try and figure out some type of solution to the problems that they simply couldn't solve last week and bring that to leadership.
Here's the real world. There is no optimism that that could happen at any point in the near future. According to several leadership officials I've been speaking to over the last couple days, they say, look, if they bring us the deal, if they figure out a way to bridge these very, very large gaps that they were dealing with last week, great, we'll talk about it. Until then, nothing's really happening, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Phil, thank you very much. And let's go now to the number democrat in the house, Congressman Steny Hoyer. And Congressman, you know, you hear what the president last night. You're the democratic leadership. So, if he wanted a bipartisan effort and healthcare was back on the table, you would know about it because you'd be involved. Has Trump or anyone or anyone reached out to you in the past 24 hours on healthcare?
REP. STENY HOYER (D), MARYLAND: No, they have not. And I don't expect them to do so and in anytime soon, because I think that unlike the president's statement, it is very difficult. He was right when he said it was complicated and he was also right, an uncertain response that he had no alternative. He looked at the American people in the eye, when he talked to the joint session of congress and said I want to assure you that I'm going to cover everybody with insurance.
I didn't say I'm going to have access to insurance, he said, I'm going to cover everybody with insurance at a lower cost and better quality. If he has such a bill, he ought to submit it to the congress of the United States. And very frankly, I've told people if he has such a bill and it does what he says, I may will support it. But I haven't heard anything from my White House of such a bill. And frankly, I've haven't heard anything from the republican colleagues here in the house that they have such a bill.
BURNETT: So, nothing from him even in the past 24 hours as he, you know, as he had said that he was going to move with this. OK. I want to ask you about --
HOYER: No, not that the point. BURNETT: -- the other issue that we are learning about in the house
tonight. The House intelligence Committee's investigation on Russia, the chairman, Devin Nunes of the Intel Community says he invited Director Comey from the FBI to come back and testify. An FBI Official says there was no official request. Does the house speaker, your -- Paul Ryan need to remove Nunes from his post as chairman? Not just recuse him from presiding over this particular investigation but remove him from role of chairman?
HOYER: I think that would be in the best interest of the congress of the United States and the best interest of the country and the best interest of getting in the bottom of the truth here, which I think will be good for the president, I think will be good for the country, and good for the congress. I think Mr. Nunes has simply disqualified himself and many of his republican colleagues think that as well. Certainly Senator McCain said that the credibility had been undermined.
Senator Graham said the same thing and Walter Jones, a republican in the House of Representatives, gave the same view. And I think that's accurate. Whatever Mr. Nunes thought he was doing or what -- we don't know exactly what he did but clearly he has done enough, said enough and acted as an advocate of the president's position rather than as a dispassionate person who could oversee a fair inquiry that would have credibility with the American people. So I think that -- your -- the answer to your question is yes.
BURNETT: Yes. In terms of -- in terms of removing him from role of chairman?
BURNETT: And I want to ask you one other -- one other story tonight, Congressman. Your fellow democrat Congressman Maxine Waters is in the middle of a rather stunning set of development, she have said she won't be intimidated, she was -- the Fox News Bill O'Reilly made a comment about her hair, an offensive comment. I want to play what he said, his original comment and then what he said afterwards when it caused a firestorm. Here is Bill O'Reilly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O'REILY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I didn't hear a word she said, I was -- I was looking at the James Brown wig, right? So in a simple jest that the congresswoman's hair distracted me. Well, that was stupid. I apologize. It had no place in the conversation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: You heard him there. I don't know if you could -- you could tell he was -- he was laughing a bit there. I mean, is that a -- is that an apology? Is that enough?
HOYER: It sounded to me -- I'm not sure it's an apology to Maxine Waters but certainly I agree with his observation, it was stupid and it was out of place. And if he thought he was going to either intimidate or back down Maxine Waters, he apparently doesn't know Maxine Waters. She's one of our toughest, most focused members, and she's a very experienced lady and a very able lady.
She's not going to be backed down by Bill O'Reilly or by anybody else. But yes, it was a -- it was a comment that he shouldn't have made. It was a comment that apparently he said it was stupid but he should have said, so I apologize to Congresswoman Maxine Waters. That would have been the appropriate thing to do. Unfortunately, it seems off hard for some people to make apologies when they do things that they know are wrong, know were hurtful and shouldn't have been done.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman. I appreciate your time.
HOYER: You bet.
BURNETT: And next, the breaking news on Ivanka Trump. She's got a White House office. Top security clearance. Why is my next guest calling this a slap in the face to women? You need to see this. And the irony of Donald Trump speaking at an event about empowering women.
TRUMP: Breaking news. Ivanka Trump becoming an official White House employee. The White House announcing she will be assistant to the vice -- to the president. It is the highest paid position there in the White House. Working from a pace of $176,000, she won't take a salary though. Interestingly enough, a White House official though confirmed she's already moved in to her West Wing office. It's already done. Athena Jones is OUTFRONT at the White House. And Athena, here's the thing. Ivanka Trump was going to informally work for her father. She had said that. Why is it now official with an official title, official office, all that goes with that?
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Erin. Well, the -- Ivanka Trump said she wanted to make her role official in part to allay some of the ethics concerned that have been -- that have been raised. Let me read to you part of her statement. She said, I have heard the concerns some have had with my advising the president in my personal capacity while complying entirely complying with all ethics rules. And I will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House office, subject to the same rules as all other federal employees. Now, it's interesting to note, Erin, that Ivanka's husband Jared Kushner is already serving as an unpaid government employee in this White House. He's one of the president's closest advisers.
[19:30:02] And this latest news could raise questions about whether the White House is violating federal nepotism laws. The White House would likely argue that they are not because the president has wide discretion to decide who he wants on his advisory staff.
As you mentioned, Ivanka Trump has already moved into her West Wing office. So it appears this shift was in the works -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Athena.
CNN political commentator Kayleigh McEnany joins me, along with the former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz, Amanda Carpenter.
And, Amanda, I want to start with you, because you wrote an op-ed for Cosmopolitan, a powerfully written, which was entitled "Ivanka Trump's White House Gig is an Insult to Working Women." You wrote that, that was in part because of nepotism.
Does this news tonight that it is now official, she's an official employee changed your view at all?
AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SEN. TED CRUZ (R): No. It makes the charges of nepotism even worse. The statement that she put out today saying I've heard the concerns. And trust me, there were many. My piece got a lot of feedback. There was a lot of visceral reaction to the fact that Ivanka Trump is doing this.
She's telling us that she is going to abide by all the rules as federal employees. Now, except the nepotism ones. Every other -- everyone else in the federal government abides by this. But somehow because she works in the White House, they're going to have to argue that she's privileged, that she's different, that she doesn't have to abide by the same rules that everyone else d does.
But, OK, I think we should take a step back and say, why do we have ethics rules? Why do we have nepotism rules? It's to avoid the appearance or actual occurrence of corruption, to stop officials from abusing the government's largess to benefit themselves and their family. And it's clear that Ivanka and her father are charging ahead, doing this. They do not care that they're giving the appearance of not abiding by or respecting those rules.
BURNETT: So, Kayleigh, you know, there was speculation, right, that she was going to be in the White House. There was always speculation. But she did everything she could to dampen it down, right? Here she is in interview with "60 Minutes".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INTERVIEWER: People think that you're going to be part of the administration, Ivanka?
IVANKA TRUMP, FIRST DAUGHTER: I'm -- no. I'm going to be a daughter. But I've said throughout the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues that and I want to fight for them. So, you know, there are a lot of things that I feel deeply, strongly about, but not in a formal administrative capacity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That's exactly what she is tonight, she said daughter, not formal. And now, she is formal.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, Ivanka went to Washington wanting to be a mother, but wanting to advise her father in some capacity as she's done her whole life. Federal -- I think advisors suggested that she take a formal title. It would help her avoid some of the ethic traps that Amanda mentioned in her piece, that she basically did that. She came in, she has a formal role.
I think some important facts have been left out. There is actually precedent for this. Hillary Clinton had a West Wing office space. She was working on health care reform. And she actually suffered a court challenge for this and federal judges said, we doubt that Congress intended nepotism laws to apply to the White House. They went on to say she could have avoided that further if she took an unpaid position.
CARPENTER: But there is one difference --
MCENANY: So, there is precedent. And I have to challenge Amanda's piece on one point. If you're for working women, which is what you argue in the piece, I don't see how you would an advocate for a working woman, Ivanka Trump, who challenged Republican orthodoxy --
CARPENTER: She's not qualified.
MCENANY: I'll let you finish, Amanda.
CARPENTER: She's seeking a national security clearance?
MCENANY: Amanda --
CARPENTER: She's no way qualified to evaluate or sensitize that information. It is complete -- she's in a completely privileged position.
MCENANY: Amanda --
CARPENTER: She's in no way qualified for it, and it's insulting that Donald Trump held an event for women's empowerment the same day he gives his daughter a swanky position.
MCENANY: Amanda, I hope you'll give me a chance to respond, because it is a -- it's not a monologue. It's a dialogue.
CARPENTER: Yes, dialogue a way, because you can't defend this one.
MCENANY: Amanda, let me speak.
If you're for working women you would advocate for the woman who walked into the Republican Party, Ivanka Trump, challenged Republican orthodoxy and said no. Working women deserve pay.
CARPENTER: She challenges Republican orthodoxy, yes, quite a bit.
MCENANY: She pushed her father on that and Donald Trump was the first candidate, only candidate to put forth a plan for working women who need pay leave. Donald Trump did that and Ivanka Trump is imminently qualified. She was executive vice president --
(CROSSTALK) CARPENTER: There are many other women qualified people for the role. And the fact that Ivanka Trump is taking up swanky White House press space when another qualified woman who spent years working in government deserves that spot is the insult.
BURNETT: Amanda, what you wrote in your article is she's taking away a life changing opportunity from another woman. And you continue to say she should know he's giving off the air of an entitled royal princess.
CARPENTER: Yes, because she's not qualified to be taking this job. Really didn't have a problem with what Ivanka was doing. She wanted to come to Washington and kind of dip in and dip out. But everything changed when she sought that national security clearance. Hillary Clinton never had that. She's not qualified to look at that information.
MCENANY: Amanda, I know you're upset by this. Let me tell you this --
CARPENTER: Don't talk down to me, Kayleigh. Don't talk down.
MCENANY: Ivanka Trump is imminently qualified. Graduated com laude from the Wharton School. She was executive vice president of a multi- million dollars business and you are doing more harm to the cause of feminism by tearing down another woman ruthlessly who took a job that you feel --
CARPENTER: Because she's a woman I shouldn't disagree with her. That's what you're saying.
MCENANY: The American people elected President Trump who was a head of a business because they didn't want the same Washington bureaucrats in there who wine and dine on cocktail parties. They want an agent of change --
CARPENTER: And I don't think having family members serve in the government, I don't think that was not on the ballot. In fact, it wasn't on the ballot, because it's expressly what Donald Trump said he wouldn't.
MCENANY: I know you're upset that Donald Trump is president. The American people put him there because they wanted a businessman. Ivanka Trump is just that. She's an executive vice president, a multi-billion dollar company highly qualified, very intelligent --
CARPENTER: Yes, because she has money she should get the job.
MCENANY: And we shouldn't short on other women, because that's a disservice to feminism.
(CROSSTALK) BURNETT: Kayleigh, of course, she has -- many people have spoken very highly of her, as you point out. But I think one of the questions Amanda seems to be raising is, would she have any of the job she has now if it weren't for who her father was, would she have had any of the jobs she's had? I think that's one of the points.
MCENANY: I think she would, because Ivanka Trump is a very talented individual. I have no reasoned to doubt that she would be able to rise to the heights she's at today on her own. I don't think anyone could argue that she's not a qualified person, and I just really think we should try to respect other women, build up other women, not tear them down because we're envious of what they have. I respect Ivanka Trump. She's going to do immense good for working women.
CARPENTER: Kayleigh, bad luck. Bad luck.
MCENANY: And you should be cheering the fact that we have a working woman sitting next to the president who wants to highlight women's issue as Ivanka has done.
BURNETT: Amanda, do you think it's fair when she says you're ruthlessly tearing down another woman?
CARPENTER: Hey, she wants to be treated like a political person. I'm going to take shots at Ivanka Trump like a political person. In fact, I'm giving her the treatment I would give any other unqualified White House staffer who's getting a national security clearance who doesn't have experience in national security issues. That's the beef.
And if Kayleigh wants to do this by say I'm envious and jealous, that's her prerogative.
CARPENTER: That's what I did in my column. That's what I'm doing now. And if I'm not supposed to do that because Ivanka is a woman, that's one of the worst things --
MCENANY: Should Hillary not have been a health care adviser in the White House?
CARPENTER: Of course not. I don't think so. I am the one that's being consistent here. You can't always do this but Hillary, but Obama.
I'm consistent. I'm a consistent conservative. I have a problem with nepotism, whether it's Bill Clinton, whether it's Donald Trump. So, I don't. There's no there, Kayleigh. You're the one that goes back and forth and defends and changes your views based on the political party.
CARPENTER: I don't. You can continue doing that, but I'm not going to. BURNETT: Kayleigh, why do you think Ivanka Trump should have national
MCENANY: She's communicated with foreign leaders left and right when she was executive vice president in the Trump organization.
BURNETT: And she's doing so now in her capacity as her father's daughter.
BURNETT: So, is your argument that because she's going to tell her stuff anyway because we can't stop him from doing it, she should get security clearance?
MCENANY: Look, I think that's part of it, of course. But I also think, you know, she's very qualified, she worked at the Trump Organization communicating with foreign leaders. I think she has more experience arguably than many people who were, you know, in their infancy in the White House --
CARPENTER: A lot of women in the State Department who say otherwise.
MCENANY: I think, no, no, no, no. I just really think you should step back, Amanda, and ask yourself if you're doing a service to feminism --
CARPENTER: I'm not going to step back --
MCENANY: -- by tearing down another woman --
CARPENTER: Kayleigh, you're making this way too personal and I'm going to leave it in the policy --
MCENANY: Well, I would argue that your article is pretty personal calling Ivanka Trump a princess. We should work to build up one another as women. We really should.
CARPENTER: You did a great job of that tonight.
BURNETT: Thank you both. I appreciate it.
And OUTFRONT next, Trump saying he's going to save coal mining jobs. Do miners even think that's realistic? Our Miguel Marquez will take you inside three miles in to find out.
And President Trump asks Chris Christie to tackle opioid addiction. I'm going to talk to a once incredibly Trump supporter who lost his son to a heroin overdose. He has some strong words for the president and his campaign promises tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They meant nothing to him. They meant everything to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:43:28] BURNETT: Tonight, big celebration in coal country as President Trump signs an executive order ending what he calls the war on coal.
Tonight, three miles below underground, a shutter coal mine is back in business. Our Miguel Marquez goes OUTFRONT deep underground inside that mine tonight.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kingdom Coal Mine number nine in Red Fox, Kentucky, back in business.
(on camera): How rare is it to reopen a mine here?
JAMIE MAGGARD, MINE SUPERINTENDENT: It's pretty rare.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Shutting down last year, the mine once employed more than 120 miners.
MAGGARD: Right now, we have 20 employees and we've probably taken 260 to 300 applications.
MARQUEZ (on camera): This is three miles into the Kingdom Coal Mine, they just started moving coal out this mine this week. It is the first glimmer of hope this area has had in a long time.
(voice-over): That glimmer starting with President Trump's pro-coal agenda.
MAGGARD: It's made a big improvement.
MARQUEZ (on camera): You've already noticed. You've seen it.
MAGGARD: Yes. We probably wouldn't be working today.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Cheap natural gas, automation, and government regulation forcing a steep and rapid decline in the coal industry.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to bring the coal industry back, folks.
MARQUEZ: But even with the President rolling back Obama era environmental regulations, no one expects coal to come back the way it was.
ZACHARY COMBS WEINBERG, KNOTT COUNTY JUDGE EXECUTIVE: At the end of the day, it comes to market and whether the price of the market is there.
[19:45:05] So, we'll just have to see if the price goes up and they're going to mine coal. MARQUEZ (on camera): President Trump promises to bring back jobs. Do you think the price of coal and the industry will come back to where it was 10 years ago?
MAGGARD: No, I don't think it'll ever be back to that point. If it'll just level out what we got, I think that will be good.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Knott County alone, population, 16,000, lost about 1,000 high paying mining jobs over the last several years. Ancillary jobs, like trucking, also disappeared.
BRYANLEE WAGNER, COAL HAULER: This thing firing back up has helped a lot, so it's a pretty big deal.
MARQUEZ: As coal declined, business owner Dion Slone closed one of his convenience stores and cut operating hours on his remaining business.
(on camera): How big a deal is it that a mine is actually opening in this county?
DION SLONE, LOCAL BUSINESS OWNER: It's great. I mean, if you can put a few hundred people back to work, it means the world.
MARQUEZ: The big question is, is there a Trump effect? It is not clear yet. The jobs that have been created and that mine we went into today, that was in the process of reopening long before the election and probably would have reopened whether Clinton or Trump had won. What people want in this area, they are grateful for what the president says, but they don't think coal is not going to come back in the same way. It's not going to be the economic driver in this area, like it was before. What they want are more jobs, a few more coal jobs, so they can diversify the economy and hopefully join the digital economy across the country -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank --
MARQUEZ: A harder thing to do.
BURNETT: Yes, thank you very much, Miguel.
And I think really interesting what Miguel just said, that this plant reopening -- mine, I'm sorry -- had been in the works long before Trump won.
OUTFRONT now, the former Republican senator and presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, his home state of Pennsylvania, number five on the list of top coal producing states in the country.
Senator, is that -- is this what the president should be pushing for? Is it good to get those coal jobs back?
RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first off, it's keeping a promise. And that's one of the most important things a president can do. And if you go there and you campaign and you said you're going to do something, then you've got to follow through and do it.
You know, I think Mike's report was really on point in the sense that these are -- most coal mines are in small areas and rural areas, where you say, oh, it's only 20, or 50 or 100 jobs. That's a lot of jobs, good-paying jobs in some of these small rural areas that don't have a whole lot. This is a breath of oxygen into the lungs of small-town rural communities in very depressed areas of the country, in Kentucky, in West Virginia, in Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio that really need that hope. That's what he gave them today.
BURNETT: The analogy might have been slightly troubling I think to some that you just made about lungs. But let me ask you about something about the president's promises --
SANTORUM: You're talking to a guy whose grandfather had black lung. So, my grandfather was a coalminer. So, I know all about this. And it was, it was a deliberate analogy to actually breathe some good air into this economy, because the Obama administration basically suffocated this industry, basically took all of the oxygen out of the mine and with it went the miners. And that's what Donald Trump has brought back.
BURNETT: Look, and part of the reason they did that, of course, was environmental concerns. But there's also this problem, Senator, the president has promised again and again, right, that he's going to save coal, bring the coal industry back. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're going to bring the coal industry back, folks! Coal is coming back. Clean coal is coming back, 100 percent. The miners in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, which were so great to me last week, Ohio, and all over are going to start to work again, believe me. You're going to be proud again to be miners.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Senator, on the practical basis of keeping his promise, some of the top buyers of American coal, the Netherlands and India, the top two, they're buying less. Canada, one of the biggest buyers of U.S. coal, they are going along with climate restrictions. They're also phasing out coal. If the people who want to buy American coal are not buying American coal, Trump cannot keep his promise. Is it possible he'll break it?
SANTORUM: Well, it's a combination of allowing coal plants in this country to continue, number one. And two, re-firing some of those plants up, as well as being able to export. Look, China and India are building more coal-fired power plants. Other countries are going to do that the same because it's a very efficient way to be able to produce energy.
Look, with the president backing away as I'm glad he's doing from Paris and some of these other radical climate things, I think you might see other countries heading back to a more of a fossil fuel- based economy, which would be good for the United States economy.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Senator. Always good to talk to you.
SANTORUM: My pleasure.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, the president taking steps tonight to combat the opioid epidemic that is killing across this country. I'm going to talk to Trump supporter who has jumped ship, a man who went to 45 rallies.
[19:50:01] He jumped ship because of what Trump said about his young son dying from a drug overdose.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe that he was true in his words when he was speaking. I think he was looking for votes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: President Donald Trump announcing plans to tackle the opioid epidemic. He put Governor Chris Christie today in charge of that effort. It's an issue that this very close to home for Kraig Moss. He lost his son to a heroin overdose. He was once a devoted Trump supporter attending nearly 45 rallies. He's going to be my guest in a moment.
But now his story as he's singing a very different tune, a story from our Elizabeth Cohen.
KRAIG MOSS, TRUMP SUPPORTER (singing): What's going to happen and how is it going to play --
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Kraig Moss was a true believer in Donald Trump.
MOSS: A hundred percent Trump supporter. There is no other choice.
COHEN: During the presidential campaign, he followed Trump to 45 rallies across the U.S.
MOSS: Trump train --
COHEN: And he did it for a very personal reason.
MOSS: I think the moment I found my son Rob J.R. Moss dead in his bed and it was devastating to me.
COHEN: His son Rob died of a heroin overdose in 2014. He was 24.
TRUMP: We will help all of those people so seriously addicted. We'll get them assistance.
COHEN: Moss believed Trump's campaign promises, especially when Trump reached out to him at a rally.
TRUMP: And I know what you went through. And he's a great father.
[19:55:00] I can see it. And your son is proud of you. Your son is proud of you.
COHEN: But Moss is a Trump supporter no more.
Tell me about this guitar. Do you play this guitar anymore?
COHEN: Why not?
MOSS: Not on the Trump trail anymore.
BURNETT: And Kraig Moss joins me.
Kraig, no one can imagine what its like to lose a child, he was 24 years old. It was a drug overdose. You know, we just heard Trump there reach out to you personally and talk about your son and how your son will be proud of you. And you really felt those words were insincere?
MOSS: I have to believe that at this point, because why else -- you know, they meant nothing to him, they meant everything to him, and they apparently meant nothing to the president.
You know, it's -- I don't have any other explanation, why would a man try so hard to push this health care bill through well knowing that it didn't include anything that he talked about on the campaign trail and caused so many of us to vote for him?
BURNETT: You know, he now has this new opioid group that he put together, Chris Christie, is going to be in charge of that, as you know, the governor of New Jersey. Do you think Chris Christi could turn this around? Could change this?
MOSS: Well, yes, I think if he could address -- put all his time into it. But being the in fact that it's a voluntary position, it's a part-time position for him. He's already stated in the open forum that he intends to direct all his attention to New Jersey in his last term here.
MOSS: And so, when he has time, he is going to address this issue. And along with that, I didn't see any names of any medical professionals or any addiction specialists that were going to be assigned with him. Or even some former addicts that might be able to help at this table, to figure out how we can reach these addicts, to get them, you know, treatment.
BURNETT: Trump as you said promised again and again that he was going to deal wit the crisis and painkiller heroin and opioid addiction in this country. Here are some of the promises that he made, Kraig.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I hear so many stories and pleas, from women especially from drug addiction and opioid abuse. This is a scourge. We lose thousands of our fellow Americans every year to drugs and opioid use.
We are going to stop the drugs from flowing in. We're going to stop the drugs from poisoning your children. We have to stop the drugs from pouring into our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: As you try to come to terms with what's happening, Kraig, why do you think he said that so many times and then, of course, it wasn't as you point out in the health care legislation, even though he now does have this task force?
MOSS: I guess we need to ask Donald Trump that. Maybe we should ask him and ask him what he meant when he made all those promises. What's scary, Erin, is he made all these promises and then made a statement, saying, who would know that this health care was so complicated and to give you and everybody you have had on your show throughout the 2016 campaign season so much credit because you had the professionals on there that said, you know, I don't know why he here's saying he can do this, because what he's saying he can do, he can't.
And so, my concern now with all his other promises is that is he going to be able to follow through with those? Or is he going to run into complications with the Veterans Affairs, in order to make their veteran card be used in any medical facility. You know, he's already running into complications with his bans and whatnot. So -- no, I don't know.
BURNETT: Kraig, could he win you back? I mean, has he reached out to you or anyone from the administration reached out to you? I mean, you were loyal, you were at 45 rallies, he talked to you personally. Has anyone reached out?
MOSS: Nobody reached out one little bit. Nobody has tried to contact me or -- of any sort. And I don't know what to make of it. You know, I mean, that's why I feel the way I do.
But, you know, the fact of the matter is, this man is your president, he's our president, somehow we have to do whatever we can to put things in front of him, to maybe lay a path for him to follow, let's face it.
Two weeks ago, I was on this show with Elizabeth Cohen, and it just so happens that they have been talking about this, putting this task force together for the last two weeks. So what you're doing is working to reach out. BURNETT: We very much appreciate you taking the time, I know it takes
courage to talk about this and your loss, I'm sure never feels any better. Kraig, thank you.
MOSS: Thank you.
BURNETT: And thanks very much to all of you for joining us. Don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT anytime, anywhere. You just have to go to CNN Go. We'll see you back here tomorrow.
"AC360" starts right now.