Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Allies Dodge "Shithole" Remarks, Raising More Questions; McConnell To Democrats: Don't Hold Government "Hostage" Over DACA; W.H. On Immigration: The President's Running The Show. Bannon Subpoenaed by House After Refusing to Answer Questions; NYT: Mueller Subpoenas Bannon to Testify Before Grand Jury. 7-8pm ET

Aired January 16, 2018 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much. Michelle Kosinski reporting from Vancouver. That's it for me. Thanks for watching. Erin Burnett "OutFront" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OutFront next, your amnesia is complicit that one senator tells a Trump cabinet secretary after she says she doesn't recall the president's s-hole comments. Are the president's allies losing all credibility?

Plus Steve Bannon grilled on Capitol Hill and tonight still going ton. What is he telling investigators about president Trump impossible collusion with the Russia, we're going on 10 hours here, people.

And the White House doctor goes on and on answering an hour of questions about President Trump's health. Is there anything left to learn? Let's go out front.

Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, how stupid do you think we are? Trump's allies in Washington are covering for him and they shouldn't get away with it. The president called African countries s-hole countries and it was racist. And tonight, Trump's allies are trying to pull a fast on the American people.

2Today, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who was in that heated meeting on immigration with President Trump and lawmakers was grilled on Capitol Hill about what exactly the president said. And she conveniently couldn't remember.


SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: You said on Fox News that the president used strong language. What was that strong language?

KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Let's see, strong language, there was, apologies, I don't remember specific words.


BURTNETT: OK. So if we were to take the secretary at her word, and she says she doesn't remember, "strong language" used by the president of the United States, then surely she doesn't remember specific words by others in the room, right?


DURBIN: I hear Senator Graham used profanity?

NIELSEN: I did hear tough language from Senator Graham, yes, sir.

DURBIN: What did he say?

NIELSEN: He used tough language.

DURBIN: Do you recall that the strong language he used repeated exactly what the president had said prior to that?

NIELSEN: I remember specific cuss words being used by a variety of members.


BURNETT: So she does remember specific cuss words used by a variety members of Congress but not specific cuss words used by the president of the United States. So who does this administration think it's fooling at this point? Well, certainly not Senator Cory Booker.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: The commander in chief in Oval Office meeting referring to people from African countries and Haitians with the most vial and vulgar language. Both language festers when ignorance and bigotry is alive with power. It is a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity.


BURNETT: Unfortunately it's not just the secretary of Homeland Security. Here are two Republican senators who also were in the meeting.


SEN. DAVID PERDUE (R), GEORGIA: I'm telling you he did not use that word, George, and I'm telling you it's a gross misrepresentation.

SEN. TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: I didn't hear that word either. I certainly didn't hear what Senator Durbin said repeatedly.


BURNETT: OK. To be clear, Senators Perdue and Cotton are, I mean, I don't know if they are playing with semantics. It's really to insult to anyone's intelligence. A senior GOP source familiar with the matter says to CNN that instead of hearing the president say s-hole, some Republicans, Cotton and Perdue heard Trump says s-house.

OK. So, why would two sitting senators and the sitting the cabinet secretary cover for the president when so many people know the truth? Well, all we can say is this. They're not alone in lying. And let's use the word lying for this president.


SEAN SPICER, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY: This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.


BURNETT: Of course it wasn't.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: The president in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence.


BURNETT: Of course that wasn't true either. Here's the tape.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Knock the crack out of them, would you, seriously. OK. Just knock the hell. Like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you.


BURNETT: Or the president's national security adviser, when he came out, you know, on his own, came out and knocked down reports that the president had revealed highly classified information in the Oval Office to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador. Here's H.R. McMaster.


H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The story that came out tonight as reported is false. At no time, at no time, were intelligence sources or methods discussed.


BURNETT: Yet the president one day later directly contradicted McMaster admitted to sharing the information with Russia. So many people seem willing to compromise their own honestly and integrity for this president. Jeff Zeleny out live at the White House. And Jeff, you know, what's stunning here is that the White House itself, sources inside the White House admit this. They're not denying the president said s-hole or s-house which just to be loud and clear, is it distinction without a difference?

[19:05:03] JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOSUE CORRESPONDENT: At the White House press briefing today, Erin, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders did not deny that the president used either of those words. She would not confirm exactly the profanity, the vulgarity that he did us. But she said, look, you all know the president can be politically incorrect if you will. So she certainly did not deny it. Erin, on the end of this day here though on the second day of this week, the potential deal that seemed to be reached a full week ago with Republicans and Democrats, now is completely blown out of the water. Now that government shutdown looming on Friday, Democrats saying they're not going to give votes on the spending plan without a deal on immigration or a pledge for a deal here.

So all of these conversation here that hearing on Capitol Hill, the briefing here today, Erin, it leaves everyone with really no progress on this at all. Both sides have dug their heels in.

Senator Lindsey Graham, though, more than anyone, he says that the staff at this White House did not served the president well. The president's mind was changed. He wanted to reach immigration deal. So, Erin, again, getting closer at Friday deadline, no deal, no even outline of a deal seems to be in play between either side. Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much very much. And now, Tim Naftali, presidential historian and former Director of the Nixon Presidential Library. April Ryan, White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and John Avlon, the Editor in Chief of the Daily Beast and you're sitting closest to me so you're first.


BURNETT: Does the White House truly believe that Americans are falling for this? I mean, what happened from the secretary of homeland security today from Senators Cotton and Perdue is stunning.

AVLON: It's pathetic and it's desperate because they want to deflect, they want to dismiss and they're hoping they can turn the page. Because they know they don't have a leg to stand on. Maybe they think they can fool part of their base which is self kind of incredible condemnation of the way they really think about.

But, we all know the White House didn't deny this report initially.


AVLON: They didn't until the next day with the president. And so you got surrogates were sucking up to the president trying to avoid the obvious, and it really shows how his influence ended up degrading their character, their integrity. It's just a pathetic mess across the board.

BURNETT: I mean, that is, you know, when you talk about people who have very -- are seen as up and comers in their own party, their willingness to do this to themselves.

Tim, the today secretary was also asked about whether she remembered something else which many people in the room said happened which is the president said he wants more immigrants from Norway. So he said, I don't want people from those s-hole counties but I want more people from Norway. She said she heard the president describe Norway as the following.


NIELSEN: They are industrious and that they are hard working country. They don't have much crime there. They don't have much debt.


BURNETT: All right. She left one point out, though, Tim, let me just play that exchange. Here it is.


SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: Norway is a predominantly white country, isn't it?

NIELSEN: I actually do not know that sir but I would imagine that is the case.


BURNETT: I'm sorry, that is laughable. Now, what Norway does have a lot of migration, but, Tim, of course, just to make it clear.


BURNETT: Eighty-three percent of the people who live in Norway are white.

NAFTALI: Yes, well, look, she is the -- she runs the Department of Homeland Security. It's a department that is responsible for defending the homeland, which means it's a department --

BURNETT: I guess you don't need to know about --

NAFTALI: No, you are supposed to know about outside countries. You are supposed to know that there differences among them. Look, we are facing a very dramatic moment, OK, because we have a group of people in the White House who were scared by the prospects of a bipartisan compromise on immigration.

BURNETT: Right. Senators Graham and Durbin came to present which is to get all the setting for the meeting -- yes.

NAFTALI: Because for all the semantics and all vulgarity, what's offensive about this is that the president had no moral compass on this. He flip flopped. He told Graham why do you think this meeting happened? He told Graham come to the White House and I'm ready to have compromise. And then I don't know if it was Stephen Miller or who it was in the White House, found out, called hardliners and said you better come quick because the president is about to give away the store and so Cotton and Perdue come says basically get the president and get him to say no. That's the problem.

BURNETT: April, I just -- you know, the stunning moment, I mean all of it is stunning, but the stunning but when the secretary of Homeland Security pauses and actually says I did not know that. I did not know that about Norway being predominantly white. I mean I don't want to laugh at it because it's not funny actually.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: it's the thing people know about Norway.

BURNETT: It might be the only thing that many people know about Norway. Go ahead, April.


APRIL RYAN, W.H. CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: It really -- it really is not funny. This is the person who's in charge of protecting the United States from all issues foreign and domestic. To look and survey the globe and to survey what's here and you don't know what the majority population is of Norway?

[19:10:03] I really find that astounding (ph). But maybe I shouldn't. Because there are a lot of people who are doing on-the-job training in this administration so I don't know.

BURNETT: But you know what's interesting. Go ahead.

RYAN: I mean, you know, we can't normalize this. These are people who are protecting us and leading us. This is serious. And for the head of Homeland Security to not know -- I mean either she is just -- I don't know. I don't want to assume. It's not good.

AVLON: I think in the spirit of, you know, you have to laugh or else you would cry. I think the reason it's funny is that we're all assuming that of course she knows that about Norway but she feels politically uncomfortable to state the obvious --


AVLON: Right. And that's sad and so therefore it's also funny.

BURNETT: But the way, you know, Norway is incredible wealth comes from the discovery of oil --


BURNETT: -- which actually if you look at the history of someone (ph) an Iraqi who came there, so they have a great reliance on immigrants in that country --


BURNETT: --and perhaps more appreciation than someone in the White House --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really sad thing.

RYAN: And Africa is incredible wealth is its minerals and oil as well. Africa is incredible wealth.


RYAN: It has minerals and oil as well. BURNETT: Right.

NAFTALI: Authoritarian regime people around the leader are uncomfortable about every crossing the leader. We have people around the president who owe everything to him and unwilling to say the president made a mistake. That's all she had to say. But no one will say it, it's a dangerous moment.

BURNETT: And, you know, then you had Sarah Sanders, you know, the president obviously said I'm not a racist. So she was asked to explain why she's not a racist. The answer actually is incredible. Here it is.



SANDERS: I think that is outrageous claim. And frankly, I think if the critics of the president were who he said he was, why did NBC give him a show for decade on TV?


BURNETT: Well I guess now she trusts the judgment of the media that she says is fake.

AVLON: Yes. No, you know, if that's the standard for racism, whether NBC gives you a TV show, I'm pretty sure it's not, I'm pretty sure the standard is being racist saying racist things. So that deflection so absurd again, don't really know what to do with it --


NAFTALI: And devils bargain --

RYAN: Erin, Erin?

NAFTALI: Devils bargain is very good argument. The president was popular, then candidate, then was very popular with African Americans people of color until he started birther movement then the ratings dropped and he still did the birther movement.

BURNETT: April, sorry, you're getting in?

RYAN: Yes, Erin, one thing Sarah does very well shoe protects her boss and she will continue to protect her boss. But there are there are holes in this argument about his not a racist because he was on the Apprentice and the run the Apprentice. He may have had a large number of people watching. There were at least two people on that show who won that there is questionable issues of racism with.

Randal Pinkett from Season 4 who was the winner, a black man, said Donald Trump is racist for reasons he says, you know, Donald Trump had said something to him, this is what he's saying, that Donald Trump said that you should share the winnings title with the runner-up who was white. And then I think about going back to what the panelist just said about the birther movement, in 2012, Arsenio Hall and Clay Aiken were pitted against one another, and that's when the birther issue and Donald Trump was peculating.

Donald Trump had to make a decision, do I want to be considered a racist or do I want to give this to Clay Aiken. Or Arsenio Hall. He made the choice. And many people have say, he's going to choose Arsenio because he was in that hot water. And Arsenio Hall, he deserved it. But he definitely gave it to Arsenio Hall in the midst of that birther issue. So that -- I understand what Sarah is trying to do, but that just brings more of a white hot light on the issue of racism with two, at least two winners who are black in The Apprentice.

AVLON: Can I just say I am stunned April by your deep cut knowledge of the apprenticism. I was not expecting that this evening.

RYAN: Let me say that, it's called research and I did happen to watch the Arsenio- Clay Aiken.

AVLON: It's incredible.

RYAN: I did watch the first season. What do you mean it's incredible? We have lives beyond television and beyond news, right?


RYAN: Don't try to diminish me.

AVLON: No, I wasn't. Honestly, I am not. I am not. That's farthest thing from my mind.

BURNETT: I think April maybe it got lost in translation. All right. Thanks to you all. I appreciate it.


BURNETT: And next breaking news a new message from the senate majority leader on potential immigration deal. Are we about to get a government shut down?

Plus Steve Bannon still behind closed doors. He run in 9:30 in the morning I believe. Here we are 7:30 at night, hour 11 about to begin. We're talking about Russia right now.

And the White House. The White House doctor spoke to reporters for nearly an hour, everything, that the president wear dentures, what medication does he take for baldness? They answered everything.


[19:18:41] BURNETT: Breaking news Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warning Democrats not to shut down the government over immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MAJORITY LEADER: It is clear that Congress has at least until March at a minimum and possibly even longer to reach a compromise that resolved the DACA question. There is no reason why Congress should hold government funding hostage over the issue of illegal immigration.


BURNETT: Sunlen Serfaty is OutFront on Capitol Hill. And Sunlen, obviously right now getting down to the wire, a crucial moment, is there any chance Democrats listen to McConnell?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well there are many Democrats, Erin, who have already been very clearly drawing their line in the sand on this saying no I won't vote for any spending bill that does not include anything addressing DACA. Many Democrats have been very vocal about that in recent days.

But here's where the big question turns for the Democrat Party, how far do they push this. Do they indeed push this towards potential shut down over their demands on DACA? This puts a lot of Democrats, especially those red states Democrats running in re-election races, in tough positions.

Republicans here at least Senate side they need 60 votes to pass a spending bill through which means they really need the support of about 9 Democrats depending on who Republicans end up voting for. So they have some wiggle room here.

[19:20:00] As negotiations continue up here on Capitol Hill tonight, and the question is, many Democrats want to see other things added to spending bill, not only DACA but what would get them to get on board. Many Dems say they want to see some extension of the CHIP extension, the Children's Health Insurance Program money thrown in there. Will that be enough to (INAUDIBLE) those votes to woo Senate Democrats to vote for the bill. Still an outstanding question. But that's the Senate side. There are major problems House side among Republicans as well to get the spending bill through. So a lot of issues and not a lot of time.

BURNETT: All right. Certainly not a lot of time. Thank you so much, Sunlen.

All right. Well, the president's failure thus far to get an immigration deal done. Is it tax fault? That is it according to Republican senator, Lindsey Graham.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think someone on his staff gave him really bad advice between 10:00 to 12:00 on Thursday.


BURNETT: Of course 12:00 is when that meeting happened. Now infamous meeting. As to who specifically gave that president bad advice, Senator Graham would not say, but Democratic Senator Dick Durbin who of course had that bipartisan deal with Lindsey Graham and who is the man who confirmed what the president said in that immigration first was happy to come out and say who was to blame.


SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Any effort to kill immigration reform usually has Mr. Miller's fingerprints on it.


BURNETT: He's referring to Stephen Miller. OutFront tonight, Rob Astorino, a friend of the president for over 15 yeas and Jen Psaki, White House communication director for President Obama. So Jen what does it mean if Stephen Miller is running the ship on this? He's young. Obviously, formerly been a staffer for Jeff Sessions before he became attorney general.

JEN PSAKI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, Stephen Miller probably was behind the meeting and the orchestration of the meeting. It's no secret. He doesn't like immigrants especially if they're not white.

I think the issue here is that Donald Trump hasn't really shown that he disagrees with him fundamentally. So who cares if Stephen Miller orchestrated the meeting. I think the question is was Donald Trump speaking from the heart, speaking consistently what we've heard him say about Mexicans, about, you know, siding with white supremacists, that's the piece of it that's been consistent, and that's the piece of where who cares what Stephen Miller was bind. It's really about the president that's where the buck stops.

BURNETT: And you know what? You're right about that because I want to play that in a moment. But first, Rob, let me just for you, Stephen Miller, for those who don't know. Look, he's a hard liner on immigration. He has strong point of view. And he's talked about it. Here he is in a heated conversation when he actually took questions a few months ago in the briefing room with our Jim Acosta talking immigration.


JIM ACOSTA, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?

STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Jim, actually, I can honestly say I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English. It's actually it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree that in your mind, no, this is amazing moment. I just want to say.

ACOSTA: Sounds like you are trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country?

MILLER: Jim, that is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you've ever said. And for you to that's still a really -- the notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong and so insulting.


BURNETT: So this is the man --


BURNETT: -- the young gentleman is so influential on immigration policy in the White House.

ASTORINO: Well, first of all, I think as Jen said, who cares. Who cares what Stephen Miller thinks. I think the big issue here is where we going with Friday. Friday is potential shut down. And what does the shut down mean? It means, well, some of government is not going to be working. But most of the main things are. So scare tactic right now that's being used as diversion.

We've talked about s-hole for six days. Six days. And I think most people don't even care anymore since Friday night. And quite frankly, I don't think the Democrats want a deal on DACA. DACA is something very important to Democrats as they go into the '18 elections. It fires up the base. It keeps the reflection off of them and on to the president. They can call him everything they want. I think a lot of it is totally untrue. But this is a way to keep their base going. A deal with DACA helps the president and the Republicans.

BURNETT: OK. There are what, though, 700,000-800,000 people --


BURNETT: -- who are directly affected by this. I mean, you know, let's get to the point because you go see to agree, OK, so Stephen Miller think what really about him and how influential he is. What matters is does the president agree with what he has to say? So, I'm not talking about the Mexican rapist comment or ban on Muslims. I'm just going to talk specifically when the president was talking about DACA, here he is.


TRUMP: We will immediately terminate President Obama's two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately five million illegal immigrants. Five million.

[19:25:07] Look, it sounds cold and it sounds hard. We have a country. Our country is going to hell. We have to have a system where people illegally in our country.

We are always talking about Dreamers for other people. I want the children that are growing up in the United States to be dreamers also. They are not dreaming right now.


BURNETT: Now all of that Jen was during the campaign. He at least publicly had softened a bit since then. But do you think that reflects still his view?

PSAKI: Well, he's lightly flirted with the possibility of a deal. But for the most part his consistent language has not strayed that much. I mean, in general, in terms of his view of immigrants and his view of minorities, from what he said on the campaign. And sometimes it's become harsher.

So his comments in the Oval Office they're important for a range of reasons but also because they were off the cuff and they really reflect not him read from a speech but what his view is a lot of the tenants (ph) of immigration reform and DACA and other things.

So, you know, what is his actual gut view? I think it's more telling to hear what he has to say off the cuff than it is what he was to say even from prepared remarks or speech or what his spokes people are saying.

BURNETT: Isn't that why s-hole or s-house is so important? Shows what he thinks about whole range of content. I don't want more people from here. I want more people from Norway.

ASTORINO: I don't think -- first of all, some of this still should be alleged, right? Nobody was in the room with the camera.

BURNETT: OK. No, it's not. Multiple people were in the room. Source ns the White House.

ASTORINO: Different opinions.

BURNETT: Yes, different options.


BURNETT: S-house or s-hole.

ASTORINO: OK. But you know what let's take that word and say fine he said it. To me, and I think most people I was in a diner today, I was in the Burger King, I was all over the place last five days, nobody is talking about this. Everyone is talking about whether DACA or immigration deal will get done. And ultimately that's what he's going to be judged on not what he said and people say he meant.

But I think right now, I think again the Democrats really don't want a deal. Because this is very important. More so to Republicans to get a deal done on DACA I think because just like President Clinton is hero to the Irish Americans because of the Northern Island peace accord. I think if the if president -- President Trump, ironically, is the one to get this done, that could be a very big important step for Republicans with minorities, with Hispanics.

BURNETT: They desperately need that.

ASTORINO: They do. They do.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.

ASTORINO: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next Bannon subpoenaed after refusing, I'm sorry, to answer questions from House Russia investigators. But here's the thing the subpoena came in, and now he's still meeting with House members. It has been 10 hours, almost to the second, since it began. What is going on in there?

And trump's health, is that all that fast food taking a toll or not?


RONNY JACKSON, PHYSICIAN TO THE PRESIDENT: I told the president that he got a healthier diet over the next 20 years he might live to 200 years old. I don't know.


[19:30:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: President Trump's former chief strategies Steve Bannon refusing to answer questions today by the House Intelligence Committee for its Russia probe. And right now at this moment, the breaking news is he's still there, behind those stores on Capitol Hill. It was scheduled to start at 9:30. So, now, we are 10 hours. Will this be 12 hours of Steve Bannon?

I mean, this is pretty stunning. One Republican congressman saying Bannon repeatedly invoked executive privilege to avoid answering questions about Trump's transition in the White House. But it's been going on for 12 hours, so it's hard to imagine no comment for that many questions.

Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.

And, Evan, you know, this is pretty stunning.


BURNETT: You know, we're learning, Bannon repeatedly at one point refused to answer some of these questions, then was issued a subpoena by the House Intel Committee. They got it done in the middle of the day. And so, now, here we are, he's still testifying. What's going on?

PEREZ: Right. I think, Erin, I think that's indication that perhaps that subpoena did do its job and now he's been able to at least answer the questions that have been asked of him. Of course, this is a position that we have seen before from people in this administration. They believe that because of their conversations with the president, they believe that there is a possible protection of an executive privilege that they should not answer those questions.

And obviously, you've seen lawmakers react very critically to that because they believe that they have a right to get these answers.

And so, we know that Bannon obviously has a lot of information. He was obviously not only came on to the campaign towards the winning end, but he also was there for the first six months of this administration. He was there during a lot of the tumult that has enveloped this administration.

So, I'm sure that there's a lot of people in the White House who are now perking up. That's the idea that Steve Bannon has been served a subpoena in the middle of the day and is now being forced to answer questions.

BURNETT: So, Evan, that wasn't the only subpoena today. We have this one in the middle of the day which at least from what we are seeing appears to have worked. And then also today, "The New York Times" reported that in the middle of the day somehow, we learned he's subpoenaed by the special counsel Robert Mueller to appear before a grand jury and answer questions.

Why is that important?

PEREZ: Well, for a couple of reasons, Erin. I mean, until now, we've seen people who are connected to the White House, people close to the president have had cooperative voluntary interviews with the special counsel. They've not had to be compelled to come before the grand jury. The way they've done this, the way the special counsel has operated is, as long as you're willing to come in cooperatively, they don't issue subpoenas. They are bringing you in and you have several hours of interviews, in some cases a couple of days of interviews.

In this case, it appears that Steve Bannon did not want to provide that testimony and so, they had to issue a subpoena to come before the grand jury. I can tell you that there is a couple reasons why people in the White House I think are paying attention to this. Certainly, he was aware of some of these meetings that happened not only during the transition, but as you have seen in the interviews in those comments he made to Michael Wolff --


PEREZ: -- he described June 2016 Trump tower meeting as treasonous. Those are things that I think the White House is going to be perking up at the idea that Steve Bannon is going to be providing that testimony.

BURNETT: All right. Evan, thank you very much.

And now, Michael Zeldin, former special assistant to Robert Mueller joins me, the former ethics lawyer for George W. Bush, Richard Painter, and John Avlon is back with me.

Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee was scheduled to join us but obviously he's now unable because, well, it appears Steve Bannon has started to talk and the testimony is now ongoing.

So, Michael, let's talk about. The meeting with Steve Bannon scheduled to start at 9:30. He showed on Capitol Hill, we saw him arrived by 8:30. It is now nearly 12 hours later and he is still in that meeting with the House Intelligence Committee.


hope they fed him, because it's a long day. But what it says is, one, that the first half of it was unproductive because of what I think probably inappropriate assertion of executive privilege. He forced the hand on the committee to subpoena him, which now allows him, he thinks, to testify about things which he might not have otherwise been able to. All of which I think makes no legal sense. But perhaps it gives him the cover that he wants. Now, he's answering questions.

Of course, when you are under subpoena, if you refuse to answer questions, you can be held in contempt. You couldn't otherwise do it. So, it gives the committee more leverage to excise information out of him.

So, it's a long day but probably could have been a lot shorter if he started cooperating at the outset.

BURNETT: And that certainly shows there's cooperation on the committee to get a subpoena out, which is something worth talking about given some of the arguments in the committee that had been going on between Democrats and Republicans.

Richard, what do you think though, here we are, middle of the day, now you have this 7:30 at night, it's still going on? It would sound like Steve Bannon is now being quite loquacious.

[19:35:01] How risky is that for this White House?

RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ETHICS LAWYER FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, it depends on what Steve Bannon has to say. But it's clear to me that he has no incentive taking the risk of lying to Congress, which would be even more legal jeopardy than refusing to answer questions. Donald Trump threw him under the bus, as we saw over the past few weeks in reaction to the interviews he gave to Michael Wolff for the book. And so, there is no loyalty there from Donald Trump to Steve Bannon.

And he may be a political supporter of President Trump still, but he is not going to put himself in legal jeopardy by not answering questions or lying. I would be very surprised if he were to lie to congress.

BURNETT: So, John, here's the thing. We know, at least we know what Steve Bannon thinks off the cuff, right? I mean, he talked to Michael Wolff, which obviously need no -- nothing even close to a subpoena. Maybe, you know, who knows? Just hanging out.

About that Trump Tower meeting, referring to that meeting as Evan Perez pointed out, Wolf quotes Bannon who by the way has not contested his quotes.


BURNETT: Even if you think that this was not treasonous or unpatriotic or bad s, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately. His only clarification was he was referring to Paul Manafort not Donald Trump Jr.

AVLON: Right.

BURNETT: But then this also, he also told Wolff: The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these jumos, referring to the Russians, up to his father's office on the 26th floor is zero.


BURNETT: This is what he thinks.

AVLON: Right.

And so, this presumably is the starting point for a lot of the questions. What we know about why he spent -- I mean, ten hours of testimony is extraordinarily. I mean, this is a grilling. You have a will done Steve Bannon up on Capitol Hill today.

But the real drama was apparently that he was asserting executive privilege for the transition. That is controversial. No far from clear that you can do that. So, you had Intel Committee, Devin Nunes, who's been fairly tight with the Trump administration over the process --


AVLON: -- sent down a subpoena so he has to talk, giving him as Richard and others have pointed out, a degree of cover, but already there's bad blood, right? Steve Bannon has been kicked out in the street. This is free Stevie and he's going to be talking a lot more loquaciously than he might otherwise been if he felt he had the Mercer's money his back, if he had his job at "Breitbart", if he was still tight with the president.

So, that's a toxic combination for the Trump administration.

BURNETT: Does he, Michael, does Steve Bannon in your assessment have the information, the crucial information that could prove the big question about collusion or truly damage this president?

ZELDIN: So, he's got four broad areas that I think would be of interest to me were I on the committee.

First, and not necessarily in this order, would be the money laundering allegations that he made. He said all roads through Manafort lead to Trump, and that is money laundering and that there is financial shenanigans, at least perhaps crimes, underlying that relationship between Trump and others. That's one thing.

Second thing, he was on the board of Cambridge Analytica. That was the data analytics firm that was targeting key districts in the swing states that Trump won unexpectedly. There is a theory out there they were coordinating with the Russians about that. So, that's a second area.

The third is Trump Tower meeting which he called treasonous irrespective of whether he was targeting Don Jr. or Manafort, he called the meeting itself treasonous and said that Trump met with the Russians. And he knows I presume about what happened on Air Force One when the full statement about what that meeting involved was put forth.

And then, finally, whether he knows about the Flynn outreach to the Russians during the transition, that very late outreach, December 22nd to December 29th.

All of those things implicate Mueller's mandate and possibly violations of criminal laws.

AVLON: So, other than that --

BURNETT: Right. So, pretty much everything. We'll see how long this goes. I mean, it is prettying stunning, as we said. At this moment, we are now at more than ten hours in the actual testimony and still going on.

Thank you, all.

And next, the president is like, well, a lot of people, right? A lot of us, he wants to lose 10 or 15 pounds.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is more enthusiastic about the diet than exercise part, but we're going to do both.


BURNETT: And Trump thinks his s-hole comments will play well with his base. Here's the big question. Is he completely right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm starting to get inkling why he uses Twitter in the way he does, because if he relied on what people say about him, oh my God, I might not like the guy.

[19:40:02] I love the guy.



BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump fit for office, that's what the White House doctor after President Trump's first physical exam has decreed. For nearly 60 minutes, Dr. Ronny Jackson ticked through the president's vitals, all the details were in there, weight, height, blood pressure, vision, the results from his dental exam. He even went so far as reveal the president takes medication for hair loss.

So, why such a lengthy press conference? It was not the doctor's orders. It was the president's.


DR. RONNY JACKSON, PRESIDENT PHYSICIAN: He said I want you to get out there and I want you to talk to 'em and I want you to answer every single question they have. He called Sarah and he told Sarah, I do not want you pulling him off the stage. You leave him up there until he's ready to come off.


BURNETT: And he did answer questions.

Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, was at the press briefing.

Sanjay, so much to talk about. We've learned a lot during nearly an hour. I mean, we went from knowing almost nothing about the president's health, sort of unprecedented, to now knowing more than we possibly have ever known about a president when he was in office.

A ton of stats on his health and his doctor, you know, even revealing the president is just one pound shy of clinically obese. I mean, no details omitted. He doesn't wear dentures. I mean, nothing was seemingly off the table.

What's your takeaway? 3

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, I've got to tell you, and I never seen anything quite like this. I mean, I've been covering this for 16 years now, to have a White House doctor come out, as you point out, and answer questions for an hour like that. That was -- it was quite something. And he really did answer every last question in the room, and only left after every question was answered.

There was a lot of focus as you might imagine on his heart health. He's 71-year-old. That's the big concern. That was the big topic of discussion. We know as you mention the president has high cholesterol, we know he has evidence of heart disease, we know he's borderline obese.

But what Dr. Jackson really focused on was the fact that the function by his heart by doing an echo cardiogram and doing an EKG and doing a stress test, he said all those tests were fine. So, despite the other things, he still maintains the president is in excellent health.

So, about three and a half hour exam last Friday, and that was sort of the big conclusion. He doesn't really have any concerns about his health at this time.

BURNETT: And three and a half hours, I mean, that's a long annual, I'm glad you put the time on it, because I think that makes people realize there were a lot of tests administered. And you asked about some of them. Particularly on heart health.

You talked about the CAT scan. Here's the exchange.


GUPTA: Was there something you were worried about specifically in giving a CT scan?

JACKSON: No, not at all. We got the CT scan just because we were debating, we didn't have any background information on him at all from a pulmonary standpoint. You know, I didn't have old chest x-rays to look at.


BURNETT: What was your takeaway about that?

GUPTA: Well, it was interesting to have ordered a CAT scan. That's not typically something that's done during just a routine physical exam. What we came to learn as part of that exchange there, Erin, was that in past, President Trump has had what's called a coronary calcium scan. What that means is looking for calcium in the blood vessels that lead to the heart. If you have that, that's an indication of some level of heart disease.

Over the years, including this time around, he had the test repeated, and over the years, it's gone up steadily, which is an indication of heart disease. And it's part of the reason that they continue to monitor President Trump's heart and part of the reason they're also going to increase the level of one of these medications, that cholesterol lowering medication. Again, that's the big focus. As you point out, he had all sorts of different test, even a -- about ten- minute long cognitive mental test. But it was the heart health that was sort of the big focus for him.

BURNETT: And certainly again, I think important to point out while there were some real concerns there, also incredibly open about it, right, answered all the questions.

GUPTA: Yes, he did.

BURNETT: I mean, Sanjay, you point out there were questions about the mental health. There were a lot asked today. Dr. Jackson said the president himself insisted on doing a cognitive assessment test basically to measure general intelligence.

And just to give people a sense of it, it's the Montreal questionnaire for lack of a better term. An example of it, here are some questions, copy to cube, draw a clock that says 10 past 11:00, name the animals you that see on the bottom there.

And, look, he was asked directly, Sanjay, whether this was a psychological evaluation, and he said no, it's not. It's an intelligence evaluation. Does it put to rest questions about the president's mental health?

GUPTA: It is a screening test. I think that's the best way to look at it. Had he had any -- if his score had come back lower than perfect, it could have warranted some other exams. It's not a perfect test, as you're pointing out. This is a ten-minute test to basically look to see if there is some glaring problems.

But if someone does have dementia or something like that, it can start so pick it up even sometimes before the person themselves recognizes it. I asked Dr. Jackson a few questions about this test. He seemed very confident that -- first of all, he said he wouldn't have ordered it on his own. As you pointed out, the president was the one that asked for it. And he says he doesn't think there is any follow up necessary because of how well the president did on this exam.

He kind of for himself put the issue to rest.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

And OUTFRONT next, taking the temperatures of Trump voters one year on.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm tired of suave, I'm tired of polished, I'm tired of the teleprompter. You know, I am. I want my country back.


BURNETT: And what's in the nickname? Our joking Jeanne finds out.


[19:52:01] BURNETT: Tonight, a growing number of voices in the United States and abroad accusing President Trump of racism after his vulgar remarks about African countries. But what really matters at the ballot boxes in America is what some of his most staunch reporters think.

So, what's the answer?

Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anywhere you look in Youngstown, a reminder of what has been lost. Factories, jobs, the city's population is down by almost two thirds from the 1950s. The economy wasn't just disappearing here, so is a way of life.

RICK GREEN, IRON WORKER: And I realize that the core foundation of our country is slipping away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, it got to a point where I did not like the direction may country was going.

SAVIDGE: The answer for many was Donald Trump.

In 2016, according to the Mahoning County board of elections, approximately 7,000 registered Democrats switched parties to become Republicans.

DERRICK ANDERSON, PASTOR: He said he is going to make America first and he's going to bring jobs back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump said you got lousy trades, we fix that, the jobs can comeback.

JUSTIS HARRISON, STUDENT: Something that he said that really sticks with me is that he wants to give the power back to the American people and that is something that I can certainly get behind.

SAVIDGE: I'm with a pastor, a stay-at-home mom, a student, a machine shop worker and a union member, Democrat who are raised in Democrat families who crossed over to vote Trump.

We're one year, one year in. How is he doing?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Great. Better than I would have dreamt. I mean, necessarily.

SAVIDGE: Really?


SAVIDGE: Derrick?

ANDERSON: I agree. He is doing wonderful. He's staying on task.

SAVIDGE: We start with a hot button topic at the moment. How big an issue to all of you is immigration?



SAVIDGE: Really?



SAVIDGE: In Youngstown, Ohio?

GREEN: Absolutely. And as far as I'm concerned, they're stealing jobs of rightful citizens.

SAVIDGE: It's also about something else Trump voters say is important, rules and respect.

HARRISON: I feel like when people come here illegally, that's just very disrespectful. You don't respect our laws and you shouldn't be able to come here freewheeling like that.

SAVIDGE: A year later, they all still want the wall. As for the president's inflammatory tweets and speech, Gino says he used to cringe, not anymore.

So you don't cringe anymore because you have grown numb to it? Or --

GENO DIFABIO, MACHINE SHOP WORKER: No, not at all. And I am getting an inkling why he uses Twitter the way he does, because if all he had to rely on is what people say about him, oh my god, I might not like the guy. I love the guy. I love the job he is doing.

SAVIDGE: Justis met Trump at a rally and says he is not a racist.

JUSTIS: He is the nicest person. Honestly, if he was a racist as everyone paints him out to be, he could have walked right passed me and not even said a word.

SAVIDGE: What about the lies?

Wel3l, let me ask you this, do you think he is a liar?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do I think he's lying? No. Do I think he has fallen short in some of his goals, we all do.

SAVIDGE: Economically, they say things are getting better. The stock market and their home values are up.

GREEN: Industries are booming. Everywhere I've seen.

[19:55:02] SAVIDGE: I looked around here. I don't see a boom.

GREEN: Well, in this area, no. But I feel there are small businesses that are starting to pick up.

SAVIDGE: Derrick says Trump's tax reform will fuel the recovery.

HARRISON: You expand your business in the inner city, so then my community will benefit from this tax cut. 3

SAVIDGE: Do you think the media gives the president a fair shake?

JUSTIS: I don't think so at all.


SAVIDGE: One year later, these voters couldn't be happier. They see achievement. Most of all, they see a president like them.

ANNA PARA, RETIRED, MOTHER OF FOUR: He is tenacious sometimes and says things off the cuff like we do, like real Americans do. You know, we're not perfect. I'm tired of suave, I'm tired of polished, I'm tired of the teleprompter. You know, I am. I want my country back.


SAVIDGE: At the end of our interview, I wanted to find out if there was any buyer's remorse on the part of any of those voters I was talking to. So, I asked them, I said, if you could do it over, would you vote the same way? Every one of them said they would. And then on top of that, they said they will. And I asked, what does that mean? They said they're all going to vote again in 2020 for Donald Trump -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Marty. Some really important reporting there.

And next Jeanne Moos on some new additions to the president's roll call, nicknames.


TRUMP: Lying Ted. Little Marco. Little rocket man. Pocahontas .



BURNETT: Tonight, one of Trump's favorite past times coining nicknames got a new addition.

Here is Jeanne Moos with the reviews.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All President Trump did was add a "Y". Why not?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's calling him Dicky Durbin.


REPORTER: He's called you names, Diocky Durbin.

MOOS: Senator Durbin probably got used to hearing Dicky back in fifth grade. But now --

U33NIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Dicky Durbin --

MOOS: It is a 71-year-old man using the nickname, the latest edition of the ever growing list.

TRUMP: Lyin' Ted. Little Marco. Little rocket man. Pocahontas. Jeb Bush, we call him low energy. Crooked Hillary Clinton.


MOOS: Senator Durbin called his nickname --

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Something that I should wear with honor. If the president wants to throw adolescent rants at me, that's his business.

MOOS: President Trump's nickname for his former strategist, Steve Bannon got rave reviews.

TRUMP: That's why sloppy Steve is now looking for a job. MOOS: Sloppy Steve immediately entered "The Daily Show's" hall of

nicknames at its Trump presidential Twitter library, where you can also put your own name into the Trump nickname generator, if you want to flagellate yourself with random results like impotent Jeanne Moos.

But critics described Dicky Durbin is kind of uninspired. It took president genius four days and the best he could come up with was Dicky? Sad.

Tweeted someone else, I'm surprised he didn't also go with Dirkbin (ph).

The nicknamer in chief tends to get an A in branding but barely passes punctuation.

For instance, Liddle Bob Corker, the Tennessee senator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why does he put an apostrophe at the end of liddle? It drives me mad. That apostrophe is like Trump son in law Jared Kushner. No one knows what purpose he serves. But he's always hanging around towards the back.

MOOS: Tweeted one reporter, I think the apostrophe after the E will be what finally breaks me.

TRUMP: Lyin', L-Y-I-N apostrophe.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

TRUMP: L-Y-E-N -- lyin'.

MOOS: -- New York.


BURNETT: Always love Jeanne, and that one award-winning.

OK. Thank you for joining us.

Anderson starts now.