Return to Transcripts main page


Contractor Charged With Leaking Classified NSA Info On Russian Hacking; White House Won't Block Comey Testimony; Trump Attacks London Mayor. Own DOJ In Twitter Tirade; Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 5, 2017 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT HOST: OutFront next, breaking news. We're learning about a top secret document that says that Russian military agents may have penetrated the 2016 election to a degree never before known. And more breaking news this hour. The president decides not to invoke executive privilege to stop Jim Comey's testimony before congress. Now, what will the former FBI Director say? And Trump is calling it a travel ban again.

Did he just ensure the Supreme Court will block the ban for good? Let's go OutFront. And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, the breaking news. A new top secret document, a document that says the Russian military may have gotten farther into the U.S. voting system than anyone ever thought. And the leaker of that document, under arrest tonight. Two former FBI agents tell OutFront that a powerful message is being sent by the Department of Justice this hour. A message that may chill the investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign. An investigation that leakers have fueled. Jim Sciutto is OutFront tonight. Jim, how did they find this leaker?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Erin, really remarkable details here. So this was a federal contractor working for the NSA. The NSA has a facility down in Augusta, Georgia, who got her hands on a classified NSA report, dated just earlier in May of this year regarding Russian interference in the election. Sent that to a reporter. Then that outlet, the intercept, presented the FBI with that document. Probably to say is this authentic?

They noticed that there was a crease on the image of the document, which indicated to them that the document had been printed. So they looked to see how many people had printed this document, there's really only half a dozen people, and only one person who had e-mailed it. It was -- they were able to identify the source, the leaker of that document through some good old fashioned and fairly simple police work.

BURNETT: I mean, it's just pretty incredible. And obviously then this woman, I know it's a woman, 25 years old, has admitted to doing this, they say saying yes, she did it, she mailed it to the news outlet. Obviously could go to jail and for years.

SCIUTTO: That's right. So let's say what this document said. It's a new document compiled by the NSA dated in May with new details about how far -- where the Russians were targeting their hacks during the campaign. We know very well and CNN has reported this for months now about stealing e-mails from Democratic Party operatives, releasing them at inopportune times for the Democratic Party, the judgment of the intelligence community that this was done to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump.

At the same time, Russians were at least probing roles, voter registration systems. We reported on some of this during the election, in Arizona, in Illinois, and in Florida, including hacking a contractor that was working for the voter system -- the voting system in Florida. The NSA finding new information about these probing attacks. I should say no new information indicate they affected voter tallies but new information about it, and a new classified report put together.

The assessment has not changed. The voting tallies weren't affected. But listen, intelligence is always about police work, right? They're picking up new intelligence all the time. And each new bit of intelligence is important.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jim Sciutto. And I want to go OutFront now to democratic senator Tim Kaine, he sits on the Foreign Relation Committee and of course he was the 2016 democratic vice presidential nominee. And Senator, thank you so much for coming on the program tonight. And obviously, we have this breaking news. I want to ask you about what's happening here. I mean, it's stunning development. The leaker herself, right? Of this top secret NSA report, she admits that she did it. She's under arrest tonight. Should she go to jail?

SEN. TIM KAINE, (D) FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Well, look, I don't condone leaks by anybody. So there are laws about it. And if she has broken laws then she has to suffer the consequences for that. But we also -- we also have to get to the bottom of the story, because as you pointed out, Erin, there was -- there's already been public reporting of the fact that the Russians not only invaded the DNC and democratic e-mails, the intelligence community has concluded that they wanted to defeat Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump.

But they also were rummaging around through state boards of elections, the public reporting is that they sucked data on more than 200,000 people out of the Illinois State Board of Elections for example, that they could then use to target them with false news stories or all kinds of other things. So this is all part of a pattern. The -- somebody who leaks documents against the law has got to suffer the consequences. But the American public is also entitled to know the degree to which Russia invaded the election to take the election away from American voters, and whether anybody with the campaign or the transition or the Trump administration was working with the Russians to sell out the country. We have to get answers to those questions.

BURNETT: And the blog that obviously got this week is called the intercept. And they're reporting obviously that it came from the NSA. They are noting that the public intelligence assessment of Russian hacking that we of course all saw in January, it explicitly said hacking didn't impact the vote count. But this new NSA document which is dated May 5th, they said has new information recently inquired -- acquired, I'm sorry, that specifically says hackers attacked the voter registration process. Senator, when you hear that, do you think the vote count could have been affected by the Russians?

KAINE: Oh, I definitely think so. And let's just make a -- let's make a distinction here. I don't think anybody has suggested that the actual tallies on the machines were affected, although that's certainly something we should look at. But I haven't heard anybody suggest that there's evidence that that occurred. But when the -- when the combined weight of the intelligence committees say that Russia was engaging in a wide ranging pattern of action to affect the election, to say there was -- we can determine that there was no effect, you'd be foolish to say that.

Especially when you add to the leaking of information the fact that they were sucking data about individuals outside of state boards of elections. And again, Erin, that is all publicly reported material that I'm giving you. So look, they intended to affect the outcome. We have to get to the bottom of everything they did, so we can protect future elections. We have to understand --


BURNETT: So you're not concerned -- you're saying that they could have -- by getting this information, people's e-mails, whatever, swayed individual votes, but you are not at this point, even with this new information, concerned that vote tallies could have been impacted and they were looking at voter registration?

KAINE: I think the right way to say it is, I have no evidence to suggest that the tallies of the votes were affected by what Russia did. But we have to get to the bottom of it. I mean, we are in the middle of an espionage investigation, that's what this week is about, Erin, with the Comey testimony.


KAINE: There are investigations, the special prosecutor and the senate intelligence investigation go to incredibly important issues, potential obstruction of justice, potential espionage, potential treason, potential conflicts of interest and financial improprieties, potential to report or perjury. All of these issues are implicated in this investigation. I don't know what the endpoint of the investigation will be. But this is deadly serious and it's ultimately about whether people tried to hijack the American democracy away from the American voters.

BURNETT: So, Senator, let me ask you because I know you said that the leaker in this case, this young woman from Georgia, should suffer the consequences for what she did because you don't condone leaking but in the past few weeks, as you know, we have learned crucial information relevant to the investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign thanks to leakers, right? Things like the fact that Jim Comey kept memos of his meetings with the president.

He says the president asked to end the investigation to General Michael Flynn. Thanks to a leaker. The fact that Trump shared classified information with the Russians, thanks to a leaker. The fact that Jared Kushner is under scrutiny by the FBI, thanks to a leaker. Should all those leaker be prosecuted, too?

KAINE: Well, I didn't -- I didn't say she should be prosecuted. What I said is there's laws, you got to follow the law, and if she broke the law, she's got to suffer the consequences. I'm not here to opine about a particular thought --

BURNETT: So do you think those leakers, they also broke laws too, didn't they?

KAINE: There should be consequences if you do something wrong. But let's make the bigger point here, Erin, we've got to get to the bottom of this question through the special prosecutor who has significant tools of subpoena to ability and interview witnesses and through the senate intelligence investigation. The American public deserves an answer. What did Russia do to cyber attack the American election and take it away from the American voters?

What did the Trump campaign transition and administration do, if anything, too cooperate with them? We've have to get people answers to the question. And the other thing I'll say about leaks, I've been a mayor, I've been a governor, I've been the head of organizations, I'm the head of a senate office. You get leaks when the organization is not well run. When people have confidence in leadership, you don't have leak problems. When people are really worried about leadership, you do have leak problems.

So some of what you see with leaking is a reflection of deep concern within the organization about the administration. And that's a fact and a reality as well that we have to deal with.

BURNETT: Do you have confidence that we would get the right answer, the fair answer on the Russia investigation if not for these leakers?

KAINE: Erin, I have confidence that we will get that information. I absolutely do. Again, there's -- you know, you -- some things that might be improper to do via leak would not be improper to do as a whistleblower in a protected channel. Would not be improper to do in terms of providing information to law enforcement officials. So, for example, there are subpoenas going out from the senate investigation, the special prosecutor has subpoena tools.

And you can give information in that circumstance. So the bottom line to your question is, I do believe we're going to get to the answer of the question about what Russia did and was the Trump campaign and administration implicated in it? We will get to the bottom of it.


BURNETT: So we'll get to the bottom of it without the leakers and the leakers should be -- should be pay the consequences for their actions if they're illegal?

KAINE: In fact, I have believed we would get to the bottom of it since the day General Flynn resigned. Because if you look at the publicly available facts, we don't even really need to get into some of the leaks. Publicly available facts are intelligence community said that the Russians made the decision in late June or July that they wanted to defeat Hillary Clinton and help President Trump get elected. They reached that conclusion, it's public.

President Trump stood up at the end of July to a press conference and said, I encourage Russia to cyber attack sign the election to help me win. General Flynn has had to be fired because of the fact that he was --

BURNETT: That was of course -- what he said that was a joke about Hillary Clinton's e-mails. But yes, I know what you're referring to.

KAINE: So -- OK. But we know -- he said it, and he said it right at the time that Russia had made the decision to do that. So it was either an incredibly lucky guess, or he was aware of what Russia was doing. We'll get to the bottom of that. General Flynn has to get fired because of misrepresenting his contacts with the Russians. Attorney General Sessions is caught giving misleading testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about misleading contacts with the Russians.

Director Comey is asked by the president, is asked by the president to apparently drop the investigation in General Flynn regarding the Russians. All of these bits of evidence, including this latest bits today.

BURNETT: And you're still waiting to make a conclusion? I mean, you're making a good argument for a conclusion for collusion, but you say you're not there yet.

KAINE: You got to be right on this one. When you're talking about obstruction of justice potentially or potential espionage or potential treason, you've got to get to the end of the investigation before you reach a conclusion. But the point is what -- the investigation involves the most serious issues of national security. There's not been anything like this in our country's history.

BURNETT: Senator Kaine, thank you very much for your time.

KAINE: Absolutely.

BURNETT: ANd OutFront next, breaking news. President Trump will not block Jim Comey from testifying. New details tonight on the former FBI Director's testimony itself. Plus, the president slamming his own justice department over the watered down travel ban. Do Trump's tweets jeopardize the case before the Supreme Court? And Jeanne Moos on President Trump's most frequently made request.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Believe me. Believe me. Believe me. Believe me.



BURNETT: Breaking news. Nothing is off the table. The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee telling CNN that the former FBI Director will answer all questions in his testimony this week.


SEN. RICHARD BURR, (R) INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: They've talked but I understand that the special counsel has not fenced him off in any way, shape, or form from the items he intends to talk.


BURR: Well, it's about Russia's involvement in our 2016 election, which is the investigation. And that does lead into the possibility of collusion.


BURNETT: All right. That means the scope of this public testimony is much broader than just the memos that Comey kept of his meetings with Trump. And this comes on the heels of the news the president will not try to block Comey's testimony. The White House had waived claiming executive privilege to keep the former FBI Director from testifying about his private meetings with the president. Tom Foreman is OutFront.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For congress, it's the hottest question in town, did President Trump try to pressure FBI Director James Comey to drop the Russia probe? And was it obstruction of justice?

SEN. JOE MANCHIN, (D) WEST VIRGINIA: We want to find out what Comey was thinking at that time, if he thought it was -- had risen to that level of obstruction and if it had, why haven't something been done, why didn't he act on he was still FBI Director.

FOREMAN: As FBI Director Comey met or spoke with President Trump at least three different times, the president has talked about some of it.

TRUMP: If it's possible, will you let me know, am I under investigation. He said you are not under investigation.

FOREMAN: But sources say Comey in his own notes after one such meeting in February, said the president also inquired about the probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go, Trump allegedly said. He's a good guy.

SEN. MARK WARNER, (D) VIRGINIA: I want to know what kind of pressure, appropriate, inappropriate, how many conversations he had with the president about this topic. Did some of these conversations take place even before the president was sworn in?

FOREMAN: The president rejects the whole idea. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you at any time urge former FBI director James

Comey in any way, shape, or form to close or to back down the investigation into Michael Flynn? And also as you look back --

TRUMP: No. No. Next question.

FOREMAN: Complicating the matter, Trump's firing of Comey and this cryptic tweet when news of Comey's note appeared. James Comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. The White House has not said if any tapes exist.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has nothing further to add on that.

FOREMAN: Comey has previously made it clear he would take seriously any political meddling in the FBI.

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I'm talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal. It's not happened in my experience.

FOREMAN: A source close to the former FBI boss tell CNN while Comey was disturb by the president's words, he believe he had the situation under control. That's why he took no immediate action. But that same source says Comey may well testify to congress that everything since those talks suggests a more serious pattern. Erin?

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. And this is obviously, Tom, going to be one of the most significant hearings in history. Chris Cillizza is the editor-at-large or CNN politics, Jackie Kucinich, she's the Washington Bureau Chief of the Daily Beast, and John Dean is the former Nixon White House Counsel. Chris, let's start with this breaking news. The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee you just saw talking to our Manu Raju, he says nothing is off-limit. That means we're not just going to hear about these memos which are crucial but we're also going to hear from the man who was running it in just a couple of weeks ago about the entire Russia investigation.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: That's exactly right, Erin. Look, two big developments today. First, the White House, and to me, politically, they had no other option other than to say that they were going to let James Comey testify and not assert executive privilege, it would have been very tough. But first, we get that and now we get Richard Burr saying basically this is a free for all.

I think, look, what we know from Benjamin Wittes, the friend of Jim Comey, what we know from sources close to Comey is, he has been waiting for this moment. Now, I don't think you're going to see this sort of hugely theatrical performance by Comey. My guess is, he's a private citizen now and obviously he's the FBI Director when you'll ask him before the congress, my guess is you're to see something similar to what we've seen before. Very clear on facts, sort of low key. But he does -- if you talk to anyone who knows him, has a sense for drama. So I don't think he's going to not give us what -- you know, there's so many questions. I think he's going to answer them. I don't think he's going to hold back.

BURNETT: And he wants -- he wants to. I mean, he's made it clear.


BURNETT: I mean, the leaks were coming, OK? From somewhere, guys. And, you know, whether that was Jim Comey himself or someone close to him who did it -- with him knowing about it, he wanted people to know about these memos. John, you were there for the Watergate hearings. Comey is the man whose notes say the president of the United States asked him to stop an investigation. The president, of course, fired him after that -- a couple weeks after that. How big is this moment for the Russia investigation and the Trump campaign?

CILLIZZA: Well, I think it's going to be important testimony. I think Comey probably, while a committee has nothing on the table, Comey has already, you know, met with Mueller, the special counsel, and he's not going to do anything or say anything that disrupts the criminal prosecutions of investigations that are under way. So I think he will take some of it off the table, but think he will be candid, I think he will be very open about his direct conversations with the president. I suspect he views it a little differently as the pattern has filled in since his initial conversations. So I think he'll be a good witness.

BURNETT: I mean, Jackie, this is going to be a crucial moment. Obviously, he has to answer a major question, which is if you wrote this down in that first meeting and you didn't feel pressure, why didn't you say something. So he's got to say on some level at least at the beginning, he thought he had it under control some way.

JACKIE KUCINICH, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, Richard burr said that. Initially when this came out, remember, Richard Burr was like, I think he would have told me this, during those closed sessions even. So they were taken aback when this news first came out, the members of the committee, and they're going to want answers as to why they were blindsided by the news of these memos. So, one thing we know is that Jim Comey excels in this kind of environment. He's prepared for this question. And I mean, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that he is.

BURNETT: And Chris, he wants to talk about it.

CILLIZZA: Oh, 100 percent.

BURNETT: I mean, the president recently, the president had to say about Jim Comey, OK? And he minced no words. Here's President Trump.


TRUMP: He's a show boat. He's a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that, I know that.


BURNETT: He's not going to respond to that obviously directly. But he will perhaps in the way he answers the questions, right? He wants his side of things out there.

CILLIZZA: Well, let's remember that we don't have Trump's sound on it. He called -- he called James Comey a nut bag in the Oval Office --

BURNETT: Nutjob, I think.

CILLIZZA: Nutjob, nutjob. In a -- in a -- with Sergey Kislyak and Lavrov, so, yes. Look. James Comey, he -- we always forget this. These people are human beings, right? So yes, I think months or at least weeks of watching your character be questioned, watching your image be belittled by Donald Trump, I do think Jim Comey wants to tell a story. What I do think will be interesting though, Erin is -- Jackie makes the right point. Comey is going to put some restrictions on his self, right?

Even if Richard Burr says it's all open, Jim Comey is not going to come up -- this is not going to be a professional wrestling match, right? This is going to be Jim Comey to John point, so, low key demeanor. I think if he sticks the knife in verbally speaking, it will be low key. It will not be sort of -- and then Donald Trump said, don't ever do, you know, he's going to just -- it's just the facts memo approach. Remember, this is someone who has been in law enforcement for a very long time.

He specified before congress a number of times including in his most recent role. So he's ready for it. He's both ready for it and I think he knows all the lights are on him and I think he will answer not every question, but golly, give us a lot more clarity about something we still don't have that much clarity about.

BURNETT: I mean, John, it comes down to the fact that this is -- this is the most important moment thus far. I mean, we are -- you know, these these memos themselves were crucial report. But now we're going to maybe see them. Apparently he's going to bring them that in the classified forum but he's certainly going to be talking to the public about what exactly happened in that room. And if there is any case for impeachment or no case at all, this day is going to be a big part of that.

JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I would agree with that. We are certainly at a fulcrum point. From the public standpoint, it's going to be educational for the public, the attention that the hearing himself are growing to it, people are trying to get aware of what this is all about. So it does bring up the knowledge level. And we don't know how it will play out. But I suspect there will be some committee battles as well. That tends to happen with a controversial witness like this. So there will be sparks and there will be good theater, as well.

BURNETT: Jackie?

KUCINICH: I -- you know, all I was going to add is that he's also not -- one thing he's not going to do is do anything to undermine Bob Mueller's investigation.

DEAN: That's right.


KUCINICH: Because -- not only because he wouldn't do that but also these two men are very close.

BURNETT: That's right.

KUCINICH: Talking about the human aspect of this as John Dean was saying. Putting his own restrictions on himself there.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to all. And of course that is coming this week. And next, the president goes back to calling his travel ban a travel ban. You know, all people around him had said it's not a travel ban, it's not a travel ban. Why do you guys persist on calling it a travel ban? Because the president of the United States calls it one.

And breaking news, the London attackers identified tonight. I'm going to speak with the former supreme allied commander of NATO. We'll be back.


BURNETT: New tonight, Trump's Twitter tirade. The president going on the attack in a series of tweets today, attacking the mayor of London just hours after the city's terror attack and attacking his own justice department, trying to make the case for his travel ban. Jim Acosta is OutFront.

SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: We will defeat the terrorists.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: With London still reeling from a terrorist attack, the White House is defending President Trump's stinging tweets slamming that city's mayor. Asked about the president's tweet, at least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and mayor of London says there is no reason to be alarmed.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The point is, is there is a reason to be alarmed.

ACOSTA: Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted the president did not intentionally mischaracterize Mayor Sadiq Khan's response to the attack.

SANDERS: I don't think that's actually true. I think that the media wants to spend it that way.

ACOSTA: But listen to the context. The mayor was urging Londoners not to be alarmed about beefed up security in the city after the attack.

KHAN: Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed.

ACOSTA: Also in his response to London, the president renewed his pitch for a ban on travelers coming in from six majority Muslim countries, the same ban that's tied up in courts.

The Justice Department should ask for an expedited hearing for the watered down travel ban before the Supreme Court, and seek a much tougher version, the president tweeted. Adding: People, the lawyers and courts can call it whatever they want, but I'm calling it what we need and what it is, a travel ban.

The president's use of the term "travel ban" directly contradicts his own aides.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is not a Muslim ban. It's not a travel ban. It's a vetting system to keep America safe.

ACOSTA (on camera): Sean Spicer from that podium said it was not a travel ban. Is it a travel ban?

SANDERS: Look, I don't think the president cares what you call it. Everybody wants to get into the semantics of it. But the bottom line is, he's trying to protect the citizens of this country. The danger is extremely clear.

ACOSTA: Top White House officials insist the media are too focused on the president's tweets.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: This obsession with covering everything he says on Twitter and very little what he does as president --

ACOSTA: But counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway's own husband, who is under consideration to become solicitor general, said the tweets may jeopardize the administration's push for the ban.

His tweets may make some people feel better, George Conway tweeted, but they certainly won't help the solicitor general get five votes in the Supreme Court, which is what actually matters. Sad.


ACOSTA: And as for those tweets from George Conway, we should point, he did post some other tweets clarifying that he does support the president's policies and the executive order, not to mention his wife. And, Erin, we should also point out the administration did say today that, yes, they are seeking an expedited review of the travel ban at the Supreme Court. And they're calling it a travel ban -- Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT now, Paul Begala, former counselor to President Bill Clinton, and Jason Miller, former senior communications adviser to the Trump campaign.

So, Jason, it is a travel ban.

JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, whatever you call it. I mean, it's 8 U.S. Code, 1182, Section F, that gives the president the authority to go and put a temporary travel ban or travel restriction or whatever you want to call it in place when there are abuses that are going on. Six of the last seven presidents have used this exact code to go and implement temporary restrictions.

And look, this is part of the reason why President Trump won last year, because he's willing to take the tough steps necessary to go and keep our country safe. And while all the folks back on the East Coast might be -- all the belly-aching and worried about political correctness and what's going on, he's taking real steps to try to keep the country safe. I think people outside of the bubble that we're in really appreciate that.

BURNETT: OK. I can tell you, words matter on some level. I just came back from Dubai this morning. When I went to check in, they said, hey, do you have a laptop? You know this Trump travel ban thing is a big issue. OK?

So, by the way, conflating travel ban and laptop ban, which is obviously a mistake. But Paul, I make this point because the words do matter. And the word "ban" does seem to matter.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it does if the ban is based on religion. This is what the courts have ruled so far, that rather than putting --


BEGALA: -- national security first, the president, his policies, the Fourth Circuit, by the way, not a liberal circuit. It's Virginia, and West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland, not a left wing part of America. The Fourth Circuit ruled that the president's policies, and I'm quoting the court here, drip with intolerance, animus, and discrimination.

So, when the president then tweets messages that drip with intolerance, animus and discrimination against Muslims, he's revealing himself to be pursuing a policy that is not constitutional, because it's based on religious bigotry, not on national security. And that's his problem.

He has undermined himself to the court. George Conway is right. He's not on my side of the political aisle, but he's right about this legally, and the president has hurt himself on this.

BURNETT: So, Jason, let me ask you, because, you know, you may say that words don't matter on travel ban, right? But what does matter, as I think Paul fairly points out, is the ban intended to block a religion, right? That's what this comes to, the president is making the argument that it does not. But here are his own words. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN KELLY, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT: Many refer to it as a travel ban. We've always looked at it as a pause.

CONWAY: These seven countries, what about the 46 majority Muslim countries that are not included?

[19:35:03] Right there, it totally undercuts this nonsense that this is a Muslim ban.

SPICER: This is not a Muslim ban. It's not a travel ban. It's a vetting system to keep America safe. That's it, plain and simple.


BURNETT: Obviously not the sound bite I thought it was going to be. I'll play that in a second. But, Jason, let me give you a chance to respond to that, because this is on the point of the word "ban" matters, right? Those are advisers to the president saying it's not a travel ban, it's not a travel ban because they think those words matter. He now says it is.

MILLER: Erin, the words that really matter here is the U.S. code that I referenced earlier that clearly gives the president permission to go do this. And I think when it goes up to the Supreme Court, that they're going to rule in the president's favor on this.

But, look, this goes back to the point -- I mean, the seven countries that were identified here on this initial request, they were -- the Obama administration had identified them as well. So, I think the president taking real steps to keep us safe I think is big. I mean, we look at these recent terror attacks that we're seeing in the U.K. Obviously, we need to make sure that that's not happening here at home. And I think there's a major disconnect between some folks in the media and some folks on the left who want to go and complain about it here, and the way that people outside of this bubble really viewed the issue, which is someone has to step up and keep us safe. And the president is doing that.

BURNETT: So, Paul Begala on that, to Jason's point, I will say -- I know of at least one Middle Eastern country that basically they have a ban on the same countries. Now, they don't publicly talk about it, because they think that would be politically not start to do, but they will admit privately that they also ban those countries. This is a Muslim country banning those other Muslim countries.

Does that take some of the argument away against Trump, a few Muslim country banning Muslim countries if he's doing the same thing?

BEGALA: Well -- the question is, is the president pursuing a policy of religious discrimination. And the courts so far has said that he is.

My question is, why tweet those things about London as if it supports your travel ban? What we know in the early reporting is that one of the terrorists was from Pakistan. The other, they're describing as a Moroccan Libyan. Now, Pakistan is not on the list. Morocco is not on the list. Libya is on the list.


BEGALA: But it's not about those six countries for Donald Trump. I suspect if he really was interested in security, by God, the 19 hijackers, who committed the 9/11 terrorism --

BURNETT: They would have all been able to come in.

BEGALA: -- were from Saudi Arabia. They would all have waltzed in, and that's not what this is about. This is -- one thing those six countries have in common, in addition of being Muslim majority, none of them have Trump properties. So, I guess if you're a Muslim country like Turkey, you have a Trump property, then it's OK.

BURNETT: Or the United Arab Emirates, you got Trump properties.

BEGALA: Right.

BURNETT: Jason, quickly before we go, though, did the president not mean it when he said in an interview, I think Islam hates us?

MILLER: I think the president has come back and addressed that a number of times when he's talking about radical Islamist who definitely hate Western culture, the United States. And look, I mean, these attacks that we're seeing -- I mean, it's very clear that there is a -- you know, a system that's being put in place where they want to attack us and destroy our way of life. And again, I think people are glad that the president is stepping up here.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.

OUTFRONT next, breaking news from London about who carried out the terror attacks. We're learning many new details tonight.

And Trump's travel ban, is it actually hurting his bottom line in some of those places?

We'll be right back.


[19:42:04] BURNETT: Breaking news: two of the men behind Saturday's horrific terror attack in London identified at this hour. Khuram Butt is a British citizen who was born in Pakistan. Rachid Redouane is the other. He claimed to be both Moroccan and Libyan. Now, the third attacker has been identified but at this hour, his name has not been released.

The terrorist killed seven people, wounding 48 more, ramming a van into a crowd on London Bridge, and then running on foot to stab people inside restaurants and cafes nearby.

OUTFRONT now, retired four-star admiral, former supreme allied commander of NATO, James Stavridis. And thank you so much for being with me. I really appreciate it,

Commander. You're also author, of course, of a new book. It's about sea power, "The History and Geopolitics of the World's Oceans."

Look, the U.K. was on high alert. They had recently actually, a day or two before, right, pulled that back down just one notch. But this happened in a country that was expecting this to happen. Will there be more attacks like this?

ADM. JAMES STAVRIDIS, FORMER NATO ALLIED SUPREME COMMANDER: Of course, there will. And our problem is we are focused too much on the defense. That's a good thing. We want to defend. We want to do what we need to internationally, interagency, private, public. We have to play defense.

But we have to get at the causes here. That requires both hard power, Mosul, Raqqah, and soft power, to play the long game, so we undermine the jihadi message.

We've got to do more on both sides, Erin. But I think we tend to lose sight of going after the problem, treating only the symptoms.

BURNETT: So, the president slammed the mayor of London --


BURNETT: -- OK, in a tweet.

And the president wrote, in part, quote: Pathetic excuse by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his, quote, no reason to be alarmed statement. And, of course, he's referring to the fact that the London mayor told citizens of London not to be alarmed by the increased police presence after the attack.

In your book, you're critical of the president's campaign rhetoric, and you wrote. I just want to read one of the quotes, that he would seemingly have us turn our backs on the larger world. We build walls of protectionism, construct a physical wall between the U.S. and Mexico, dissolve NATO and repudiate our linkages with allies around the world.

He now just had a big foreign trip. He -- and then, of course, we have this event in London and he comes out with a tweet like this.

How do you see his rhetoric now?

STAVRIDIS: I think it's deeply unfortunate when we push away someone like the mayor of London, who is exactly we want to get into this program. We need those kind of voices who come from that world --

BURNETT: He is, of course, the first Muslim mayor of London.


So, the idea that we would twist his words, push him away, try and separate ourselves from him -- huge mistake on our part. Again, Erin, what we need to do here is international cooperation, interagency cooperation, get the private sector involved and, above all, recognize that going after terrorism is a team sport. You need teammates.

BURNETT: We, of course, are now facing a diplomatic crisis in the Middle East, and a possible question mark about U.S. policy that could be one of the biggest shifts in decades.

[19:45:06] The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, almost the rest of the entire Arab world is cutting ties with the country of Qatar, and a U.S. official today says a lot of Qatari behavior is, they said, quite worrisome, all right? This includes supporting groups like Hamas.

We reported on this program two years ago about Qatari citizens funding a terror group linked to al Qaeda or ISIS. The U.S. looked the other way on all of this for a long time, and it is in no small part because we have the largest base in the Middle East there, a base where the United States has incredible immunity --


BURNETT: -- and access to do whatever it wants to do.

I just came back from the Middle East this morning in the Emirates. I can report they want to take -- they would love to take as many of those troops as possible. They would do it on the same terms. If the United States were to do that, that would be a huge move.

STAVRIDIS: It would, and I think it would be a mistake. We need to keep the Qataris on side here. So, what we are to be doing --

BURNETT: Even with these links to terrorism?

STAVRIDIS: Absolutely, absolutely. What we need to do is hold them by -- hold them accountable, use the Saudis, use the UAE, use that information to go to the Qataris and say, this is unacceptable. But the idea that somehow we're going to pull out of Qatar, even with the attractiveness of going to the UAE, remember, we have, Erin, we split our forces there between Bahrain, Naval, and Qatari, which where we have our air base.

BURNETT: Our air base, yes.

STAVRIDIS: We don't want to put our eggs in one basket. We want to be diversified and, above all, we want a unified front against Iran.

BURNETT: So, even with the links to terror funding?

STAVRIDIS: Yes, I think that --

BURNETT: It is -- the United States should still continue to put resources and money in that country?

STAVRIDIS: I think we should. I think we should criticize and correct in private, but continue to try and work a public statement. And, let's face it, there are terrorist financing concerns coming out of Saudi Arabia -- BURNETT: Yes, there are.

STAVRIDIS: -- coming out of UAE.


STAVRIDIS: This is not unique to Qatar.

So, let's try and build unity of effort here to deal with Iran. That's the main goal.

BURNETT: All right. Admiral, Commander, thank you so very much.

And OUTFRONT next, a new chain of Trump Hotels. It's going to be budget friendly and patriotic-themed. Wait until you hear about the new deal.

And Jeanne Moos has a great Donald Trump story. Believe me.


[19:51:08] BURNETT: Breaking news: the Trump Organization announcing plans for a so-called patriotic hotel chain called the American Idea. This is according to "The New York Times."

But around the world, Trump properties may not be on the rise. I just returned from the Middle East today where I spoke with the largest real estate developer in Dubai. He attended President Trump's inauguration, and I began by asking Mohamed Alabbar he is was disappointed with Trump's decision to push the travel ban once again.


MOHAMED ALABBAR, DEVELOPER OF THE WORLD'S TALLEST BUILDING: I'm really torn, because, of course, I'm a Muslim. So, when you tell me there's a travel ban on Muslims, it touches you, right? We're human beings.

But unfortunately, sometimes, you know, what people don't understand is that we as Muslims and Arabs in the Middle East, we are the closest to the horrible stuff that are going on. We are the people who know what's best. And we are the people who are really so concerned about it.

So, unfortunately, some of our Muslim brothers and sisters, they cause some of these issues. Now, what is the right way to deal with it? I would stop anybody from coming and hurting my family. How to do that? I have no idea.

BURNETT: But you understand where he's coming from?

ALABBAR: I understand where he's coming from, yes.

BURNETT: Are there any people, you know, Muslims or Arabs who are saying, wait, instead of investing in the United States or going to the United States, they would, for example, come to Dubai? Is any of that happening or you haven't seen it?

ALABBAR: I think at the early part of the presidency, there was talk. I think that died down.

BURNETT: So, it was talk, not action?

ALABBAR: Well, the serious guys who invest, I don't know if it has changed anything. If you're a tourist, you probably worry about it. But the big investors, I don't think that's changed anything.

BURNETT: So, Trump's sons are actually continuing to build golf courses here, golf course developments in Dubai. They have a couple of them, and their partners and other developers, Hassan Sajwani.

Is the Trump brand working here in Dubai right now?

ALABBAR: I didn't think the Trump brand was working previously and I don't think it's working now, because I don't think in this part of the world, people associate Trump brand with real estate or let me go buy real estate, my humble views.

BURNETT: So, it -- because you know him, and obviously, you and he had discussed partnering.


BURNETT: You decided not to. And one of the things you told me about that, you said, the Donald, that they know here in the Middle East is a Disney Donald, right? Donald Duck. It's not a name. It's not a brand Donald Trump.

Obviously, he's now president of the United States.

I mean, do people want to be associated with that brand anymore than they did? Or have things like the travel ban made it something they want to be associated with less?

ALABBAR: Well, I think common sense, when Muslims talk about travel ban and an association of Trump and then let's go do business with a Trump real estate brand, I don't think they work together, to be honest.

BURNETT: In terms of the United States' leadership of the world, has that changed? President Obama was criticized because people said he was no longer present in the way that America had been before. Now, President Trump is being criticized, because he is withdrawing from all sorts of agreements and saying the United States is going to go it alone.

Have you really seen a change, fundamentally, in whether the United States truly is leading?

ALABBAR: I do not follow other items, but if I were to look at the Middle East, where really everything matters for me, and that's the daily newspaper and the daily media that we follow, it's actually becoming the opposite, where there is an engagement from the U.S. BURNETT: So, you feel a positive change --

ALABBAR: Well, anybody who comes in and says, listen, I want to -- I want to talk to you and I want (ph) to support and you guys are working hard, I want to work with you. Well, see, you know what, that really makes a lot of sense for all of us. So, really, on the region here, there's a positive feel.


[19:55:04] BURNETT: Some pretty fascinating comments there. We're going to have a lot more of that interview later this week.

And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on Donald Trump's obsessive belief in certain words.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nobody builds walls better than me, believe me.



BURNETT: President Trump is a big believer in two very specific words. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Who says President Trump isn't a man of deep beliefs?

TRUMP: Believe me.

MOOS: He was deep in "believe mes."

TRUMP: Believe me, we've just begun.

MOOS: Dropping five of them --

TRUMP: Believe me.

MOOS: -- as he announced the U.S. would drop out --

TRUMP: Believe me.

MOOS: -- of the Paris climate accord.

TRUMP: Believe me, this is not what we need.

MOOS: But what's five-in-one speech --

TRUMP: Because, believe me, there's no collusion.

MOOS: -- when he's been a believer at the rate of two in under ten seconds?

TRUMP: My total priority, believe me, is the United States of America.

MOOS: What is Trump's usage like compared to other people?

TYLER SCHNOEBELEN, LINGUIST: Yes, Trump's usage is off the charts.

MOOS: Linguist Tyler Schnoebelen actually has made charts of Trump's usage.

TRUMP: Believe me. Believe me. Believe me. Believe me. Believe me. Believe me, I know.

MOOS: The linguist tallied Trump of 580 occurrences per million words versus a measly six for Hillary Clinton.

It seems to me it's a time killer or a time filler, to collect your thoughts.

SCHNOEBELEN: You're emphasizing something, but it also lets you play for time.

MOOS: Jon Stewart has another story.

JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: Nobody says believe me, unless they are lying.

MOOS: The addiction to saying --

TRUMP: Believe me.

MOOS: -- is ironic for somebody who's often described --

TRUMP: Thousands and thousands of people were cheering.

MOOS: -- as having his pants on fire.

AARON SHAROCKMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, POLITIFACT: The 2015 PolitiFact of the lie goes to the collective misstatements of Donald Trump.

SCHNOEBELEN: I've had lots of friends tell me that their parents explicitly told them, don't believe anyone who says, believe me. But that doesn't seem to be the case this is an easy marker of lying.

TRUMP: Nobody builds walls better than me, believe me.

MOOS: And you personally, you don't say, oh, here comes a lie, when he says "believe me"?


TRUMP: We're going to knock the hell out of ISIS, believe me.

SCHNOEBELEN: He's really at his most Trumpian when he uses it.

MOOS: You better believe it. Jeanne Moos, CNN --

TRUMP: Believe, believe, believe, believe, believe, believe, believe, believe. Can you believe it?

MOOS: -- New York.


BURNETT: And thanks for joining us.

Anderson's next.