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House Intelligence Committee Votes Unanimously To Send Democrats' Memo To White House; Trump Calls Dems 'Treasonous' For Not Applauding His Speech; Nunes Looking At State Department, Trump Calls Him 'American Hero'; Nunes Says Papadopoulos Never Met Trump, Despite Photo Evidence; Republicans Say Memo Doesn't Vindicate Trump In Russia Probe After He Falsely Claims That It Does. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 5, 2018 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in "The Situation Room". Erin Burnett "OutFront" starts right now.

[19:00:13] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next, breaking news. The House Intelligence Committee voting unanimously to release the Democrats memo, the rebuttal to the Nunes memo. Will President Trump allow you to see it?

And more breaking news, the Dow plunges. It is the single biggest one day point drop in American history. Why? It doesn't have anything to do with Trump.

Plus a member of Trump's own cabinet calling the president an empty vessel. Who had the nerve? Let's go out front.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. "OutFront" tonight.

The breaking news, President Trump's big decision, the House Intelligence Committee moments ago voting unanimously to release the Democrat's rebuttal to the Nunes memo.

The memo counters the Nunes narrative which, of course, alleges gross misconduct and corruption at the FBI in its effort to get that warrant to spy on the former Trump advisor, Carter Page.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: There is a rising sense of panic clearly within the White House and as well on the Hill. And as a result we see a tactic we've often seen in criminal cases where when the facts are increasingly incriminating of the defendant, there's an effort to put the government on trial.


BURNETT: That was the Ranking Member on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, the author of the Democratic memo speaking out just moments ago after that unanimous vote. And at this moment only President Trump can make the ultimate decision. Does he approve the memo's release as he did with the Nunes memo or does he block the Democrats? The clock is ticking. The president will have five days to make a formal decision and he's playing games with it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you support the release of the Democratic memo, President Trump?


BURNETT: Uncharacteristically silent. That silent is coming as the president bragged about the Nunes memo on Twitter saying, "Totally vindicates Trump," putting his own name in quotes, in a Russia investigation.

Never mind that the Nunes memo actually admitted the investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign began months before the FISA application to surveil Carter Page. Never mind that the Nunes memo confirmed that Carter Page wasn't even under surveillance until after he left the Trump campaign.

The facts are these, the president of the United States is seizing on anything to slam the Russia probe itself. Here he is today in the middle of giving a speech in Ohio, it was about the economy, he even talk about the stock market Dow and suddenly made an apparent reference to the Republican memos claims of wrongdoing at the FBI.


TRUMP: Oh, but did we catch them in the act or what? You know what I'm -- oh, did we catch them in the act? They are very embarrassed. They never thought they'd get caught. We caught them. It's so much fun. We're like the great sleuth.


BURNETT: A great sleuth though, of course, doesn't accept one side of the story. A great sleuth collects all sides before making a decision. And the president doesn't have a choice here. Listen to Trump's own aides in the White House arguing for release of the Nunes memo. The buzz word wasn't the GOP side of a story or partisanship, it was openness, transparency.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We absolutely want transparency.

KELLYANE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: We want it to be a deliberative process and we respect the process, the transparency and accountability.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We've said all along from day one that we want full transparency in this process. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: OK. There's only one decision the president can make that supports transparency and it's certainly in light of a unanimous vote in the committee that along party lines refuse to release the Democratic memo before the weekend. So, he's got to approve the release of the Democratic memo. The big question is whether he will release it in full or whether he will try to remove key parts of it to neuter its impact.


SCHIFF: We want to make sure that the White House does not redact our memo for political purposes and obviously that's a deep concern.


BURNETT: Manu Raju begins our coverage out front on Capitol Hill. Pamela Brown is out front at the White House. We got all sides of this covered. The breaking vote from the House Intelligence Committee, Manu, the big news where you are, what happened in that room?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, Republicans joined with Democrats in voting to release this memo. This after the Republicans last week voted to block the Democratic memo's release saying they have just gotten a copy of it and they would only agree to allow the full House to review it in a classified setting. This, after last week, they agreed to move forward the Nunes memo instead but today change of course. The unanimous vote in the committee to send this to the president's desk, giving him five days to decide whether or not to object or allow its release.

Now, behind closed doors, there were some questions from the chairman Devin Nunes, question the states for two consecutive weeks from Democrats this from Mike Quigley of Illinois, he raised the same question that he did in last week's session about whether or not the White House worked with him in any way to draft the memo, the Nunes memo.

[19:04:58] Now, according to Adam Schiff, who briefed reporters afterwards, he said that Nunes gave a court lawyerly response saying that there is nobody in the White House to "drafted the memo."

Now, according to Schiff's take away with that, he did not explain whether or not there's any preparation by any White House staff in working with the Nunes staff and putting together the memo that the president himself has heralded as of vindication from the Russia probe.

Now, afterwards I spoke with the Republicans who is running the Russia probe, Mike Conaway, he does not believe the White House was involved in anyway with Nunes staff in putting together this memo but still Erin, a lot of back and forth in this committee, a partisan divide about this memo despite the unanimous vote and a big question about what the Republicans will do if the president does block its release, whether they will vote to override him at the moment. Several of the Republicans I talked to, so they didn't want to cross that bridge yet. It is hope the president agrees to release it later this week.

BURNETT: Yes. I mean, that of course seems to be only option he has. Of course, as we know with this president, he's been playing coy and you don't know until you know. Manu, thank you.

Pamela Brown is at the White House. And Pamela this is now in the president' hands. So what will he do?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's still an open question, Erin, the White House official saying tonight that the Democrats memo will be read and reviewed but stop short of saying that it will be declassified. The official says that it will go through the same process as the Nunes memo went through with the White House lawyers, other national security officials weighing in.

But as you recall with the Nunes memo, the president said even for he read it that it would be released 100 percent. Far from certain if that will happen with the Democrats memo. And the big question is whether there will be reductions made by the White House unlike what happened with the Nunes memo.

Now Republicans on the Hill said the FBI had given input on changes to be made to the memo before it even came here to the White House, where you heard Adam Schiff there, the Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, expressing concern that the White House will make reductions to the Democrats memo for political reason. He said that's one reason why he handed it over to the FBI and the Department of Justice to weigh in on this. But the president does have five days to make a decision on this and it will truly be a test of transparency for the president given the fact that the White House used transparency as a justification for releasing the Nunes memo last week. Erin?

BURNETT: All right. Pamela, thank you. In "OutFront" now, I want to go to a member of the Intelligence Committee, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell.

Congressman, thanks for being with me. Unanimous, obviously last week the release of the Democratic memo was voted down on party lines. Were you surprised that a unanimous vote just moments ago?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, I was happy to see it, Erin. It's the right thing to do and hopefully the president allows the memo to go to the public free from any political edits. I will just say this is a dangerous precedent though for an ongoing investigation to occur and for evidence to be put out in the public while investigators are still interviewing witnesses.

However, we believe what the Republicans did last week with their false memo was so poisonous that the only antidote would be to correct the record and give the public the full picture.

BURNETT: So what happened in that room as it --


BURNETT: -- clear it was unanimous?

SWALWELL: Well, we urge that, you know, we also start using our subpoena power in interviewing witnesses under oath with subpoenas as well as subpoenaing full documents.

One of my colleagues pointed out that the Steele dossier was inaccurate because there's questions about where Michael Cohen, the president's lawyer really traveled. And we pointed out, well, all we did was bring them in, ask him if he had gone to those places and that was it. We didn't subpoena bank records, phone records, travel logs because there's an unwillingness right now to conduct a serious investigation. And we can't rely on Bob Mueller to be the insurance policy because the president is doing all he can to undermine that investigation.

BURNETT: Now, the memo is now in the president's hands. And I asked the White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary on Friday, Raj Shah, whether the president would release your memo and here's what he said.


RAJ SHAH, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I think the president would be inclined to release the Democratic memo should it come to us and should it be reviewed and gone to the same process and if national security and legal equities review it and say it doesn't challenge, sources and method and the information and it be accurate.


BURNETT: So that done deal, the president's going to release it. It doesn't seem like he has any choice rationally.

SWALWELL: Right. And to even suggest that they would show a new discretion on being concerned about sources and methods is just not believable because they revealed sources and methods in their memo and that's what's so unfortunate. And we should only review new sources and methods if they put into context what the Republicans did.

But the bigger picture, Erin, here, we must get back to work. We spent three weeks seeing them attack the process but they have not been able to attack the evidence because we're not bringing in witnesses and they still have not shown that there was anything but a willingness and the eagerness by the Trump team to work with the Russians.

[19:10:01] BURNETT: So, I know that the Ranking Member, your colleague, Congressman Schiff has indicated, he's afraid that the White House will try to heavily redact the memo. And I want to just read to you what Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin said about your memo, the Democratic memo from the House of Intelligence Committee. He said, "Friends don't let friends of the House Intel Committee compromise good sources and methods. Schiff deliberately and unnecessarily loaded up his memo with many sources and methods that shouldn't be released and he knows it. There's 0 percent chance this isn't delivered to play games meddle and abstract."

Does your colleague Lee Zeldin have a point? Did Schiff purposely load this memo up with a whole bunch of stuff so they'll get redacted and then Schiff can complain about it?

SWALWELL: No. We voted unanimously on the Democratic sides to not even allow the Republican memo to go forward. So, it's our preference, as I said, to not have any of this out there. Because again no investigator would want to show potential witnesses the evidence that they have before they question them. And so we're setting this precedent where we're going to give the president who his campaign is subject to a criminal investigation, some of the evidence that exist in the case.

BURNETT: So, you're saying there aren't-- it's not loaded up with sources and methods, that just false?

SWALWELL: The only sources and methods put into context to the false that is -- that they've asserted and no more because we believe it should be a close hold on the evidence.

BURNETT: So, OK, so it's straight rebuttal to the specific points made in the Schiff memo?

SWALWELL: Yes. That's right.

BURNETT: OK. One of those points is that about uncorroborated information in the dossier being used to support the FISA application for Carter Page and Congressman Schiff admitted that parts of the dossier were included in the FISA application. I just wanted to play how he put that very specifically. Here he is.


SCHIFF: There were portions of the work that Christopher Steele did that there were pertinent to Carter Page that were included, and some were corroborated.


BURNETT: The crucial, the operative line there, of course, Congressman Swalwell is somewhere corroborated. If only some parts of the dossier were corroborated no matter what else was put into the FISA application, that would mean other parts were not corroborated. Isn't it fair to say that is a problem?

SWALWELL: No, Erin, because this FISA application was to begin an investigation. It was not to present a closing argument to a jury. And so the only way you can get more evidence and start to corroborate what was in that dossier is to launch the initial investigation and surveil suspicious actors. And so I think they are confusing, you know, what was being done and what part of the time line we were in this investigation.

BURNETT: The president today spoke congressman, about Democrats reaction during the State of the Union Address. I want to play it for you what he said.


TRUMP: You have the other side, even on positive news, really positive news, like that, they were like death and un-American, un- American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yes, I guess, why not. Can we call that treason? Why not.


BURNETT: Death, un-American and ultimately he says treason. Your response, congressman.

SWALWELL: Well, Erin, if the president thinks it's treasonous that I did not clap for tax scam policies that don't grow paychecks or help people save more then count me in as one of the traitors. But I'm going to continue to stand up for those issue and if he works to supports those, I'll stand up and clap.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much Congressman Swalwell. I appreciate your time.

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

BURNETT: And next, Congressman Devin Nunes says he's now looking at the State Department for irregularities. More memos to come. And the president of the United States hailed Devin Nunes as, "A great American hero."

Plus the epic market fell off. Today was the single biggest one day plunge in Dow history. And a president who bragged daily about market gains was silent. And then Jeanne Moos on this curious Trump statement.


TRUMP: I'm non-braggadocios.


BURNETT: That might be the biggest false he said. We'll be back.


[19:17:44] BURNETT: Breaking new, White House Intelligence Committee voting to release the Democratic memo that counters the Nunes memo on alleged FBI surveillance abuse.

So now it's in the president's hand. He's got five days to approve its release. This comes to the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is not stopping. In fact, Devin Nunes is indicating there may be more memos to come warning that he has targets in his sights.


REP. DEVIN NUNES (R), CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: What we're looking at now is a State Department and some of the irregularities there. And we have several other areas that we're looking at but I don't want the American people to think that we're going to have a memo that will go through this process. What we'll do is we will follow in phase 2. We will follow the facts where they lead. And when we get enough facts we will then figure out a way to let the American people know.


BURNETT: OK, a way to let them know without the memo process. Now former advisor for president including Nixon and Clinton, David Gergen, former director of the Nixon library, Tim Naftali, and our Chief Political Analyst, Gloria Borger.

David you're sitting here. Let me start with you. Chairman Nunes doubling down, there's more to come, but it's not going to go through the same process as in a committee vote and, you know, redactions in all of these business. So what's going to come here?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think hours after the House Intelligence Committee did the right thing and we ought thank for that (INAUDIBLE) voting for the Democratic memo unanimously. I just say it's just disheartening now to see another Republican go after another institution of government. I mean they're just tearing down the system that so many presidents have worked so hard and their teams have worked so hard to build respect for.

You know, they've gone after Intelligence Committee, they gone after Law Enforcement Committee and now they're going to go back to the State Department. The morale to say -- already --

BURNETT: Rock bottom.

GERGEN: -- rock bottom. People are leaving in droves.

I can just tell you because I have students in my class who aren't sure if it is officer (ph) or people who thought they're law enforcer, they're not going to do that anymore because it's not a path way that's good. So I don't know why he's doing this. It seems to me just totally partisan. And I think he's doing -- I think he's bringing discredit on himself. I just not think this last episode has helped his reputation.

BURNETT: Certainly doesn't seem so when his own committee --


BURNETT: By he included -- had to vote for release the Democratic memo. But keep in mind just last week that did not happen, right? Voted against it.

Tim, in the midst of all these the president tweeted today about Devin Nunes it -- and look, President Trump has been his biggest backer, they're definitely buddies. "Representative Devin Nunes the man of tremendous courage and great may someday be recognized as a great American hero for what he is exposed and what he has had to endure." [19:20:11] TIM NAFTALI, FORMER DIRECTOR, NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY: Well, what's clear is that Devin Nunes has decided to go all in for his patron, President Trump. He's doubling down the way that President Trump often doubles down when he comes under pressure.

Why Devin Nunes is doing this, I haven't a clue. But I would say we have to take it seriously. It's been a long time since we saw a member of Congress talk about possible conspiracies in order to undermine the legitimacy of our intelligence and law enforcement community and our State Department. And the last time it happened on the scale was Joseph McCarthy.

Now, I'm not saying that Devin Nunes equals Joseph McCarthy. But what I am saying is that people in the early '50s didn't take Joseph McCarthy seriously, they thought he was buffoon and he caused enormous damage to this country by undermining our respect for our institutions.

I am worried that some people will pass Devin Nunes off as a buffoon because Trey Gowdy, Richard Burr, a lot of real Republican --

BURNETT: Are not showing this line.

NAFTALI: -- are not showing this line. But if this man uses the power of Congressional investigation to undermine our institutions for the sake of President Trump, he's a threat to the country's stability.

GERGEN: It's worth remembering that President Trump, one of his heroes in life was Roy Cohn who was the top lieutenant to McCarthy and they got together --

BURNETT: As Trump has said himself.

GERGEN: Absolutely.

BURNETT: So, Gloria, go ahead.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, I think, first of all, Devin Nunes over promised in this memo. He had a huge roll out for it. It didn't deliver what he said it was going to deliver. But it did cause the president to say he was completely vindicated.

Now, I'm wondering how that plays with Bob Mueller. And I'm wondering whether in fact this whole Nunes memo could backfire with the special counsel. We know that his team is in negotiations with the president's attorneys about whether the president's going to testify and we've reported that the president's attorneys don't want him to testify.

But if the president tweet things like he tweeted about being vindicated, Bob Mueller may have a better case to make to the president's attorneys about what is that mean. And we do need to talk to him.

And so, I think Nunes, rather than helping the president, which is I'm sure I agree, was to, you know, with his objective. But rather than help the president, I think in his own way, he's actually hurting the president because you have to keep your eye on the ball here. And the ball is Mueller's investigation.

BURNETT: So, Tim, the news memo, obviously, has come under lot of criticism because it is misleading in many cases. And in some cases it is very simply wrong, inaccurate. Sorry.

Today though, Nunes said something which is also completely inaccurate, something that he said. Here he is.


NUNES: As far as we can tell Papadopoulos, never even knew who Trump or, you know, never even had met with the president.


BURNETT: OK. So, just to point went out here, of course, it's an official Trump campaign photo, March 31st, 2016. There's the president. There's George Papadopoulos. So, you can see that. And then Trump himself bragged about Papadopoulos. We're talking about his foreign policy team. So he certainly know his name and then knew and about him to do that. Here he is.


TRUMP: Walid Phares, who you probably know, PhD, advisor to the House of Representatives caucus, and is a counter-terrorism expert. And Carter Page, PhD, George Papadopoulos, he's an oil and energy consultant, excellent guy.


BURNETT: George Papadopoulos as the Nunes memo admits (ph). Was the reason that the Russia investigation, the counter-intelligence investigation with Russia-Trump campaign begin. I mean, obviously --

NAFTALI: But what's obvious here --

BURNETT: Besides they all no relevance.

NAFTLI: This is what get back to what's going on here. Mr. Nunes or Congressman Nunes is trying to undermine the investigation of Russian intervention in the 2016 campaign. Carter Page is not the way to do it. The George Papadopoulos case is the way to do it. Not satisfied with having created a lot of noise about the Carter Page warrant. Mr. Nunes is now going after the Papadopoulos investigation.

Why doesn't he care? Why doesn't the congressman care about the intervention in our elections by Russia? Why is he so focused on domestic conspiracies that likely don't exist? This is what's so unfortunate because he's the chair of the committee that oversees our intelligence community.

I can't imagine how the Intelligence Committee could take this man seriously when he keeps focusing inward when he should be looking outside at adversaries or trying to undermine our democracy.

[19:25:02] BURNETT: And even on this point, David, the president, you know, as Gloria said, said the memo totally vindicates Trump in probe. Putting his own name in quotes for some, I have no idea why.

He is saying this, Devin Nunes obviously believes it. But a lot of other Republicans, the point you make, do not, including Trey Gowdy who actually wrote the Nunes memo. Let me just play that quickly.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Do you agree that it vindicates Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this is a separate issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you don't agree with President Trump when he says this vindicates even the entire Russia investigation?


REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I actually don't think it has any impact on the Russia probe for this reason.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The memo has no impact on the Russia probe?

GOWDY: Not to me, it doesn't. And I was pretty involved in the drafting of it. There is a Russia investigation without a dossier.


GERGEN: I thought it was striking that Trey Gowdy came out so firmly and strongly as he did. He's very respected in Republican ranks. And I do think what you're seeing for the first time with more daylight between Republicans and Capitol Hill staring the 2018 elections in their face and worrying about their own futures. They are separating out some. That is not a good sign for the president. It's much, much harder to win these fights unless you have a united king behind you. We're seeing cracks.

BURNETT: Gloria, final word.

BORGER: Well, and this is exactly why they had to vote tonight to release the Democratic memo because of people like Trey Gowdy saying, "You know what, we need to get to the bottom of the Russia investigation which is really important and we can't trip ourselves up on this stuff." And so, they had no choice. I mean, it's going to be an interesting to see what the president does whether he releases it or releases it in a largely redacted form. You know, we just don't know.

But I think Devin Nunes has done more harm to this and more harm to the president, in fact, than we actually know because Bob Mueller's people are sitting there taking a look at this and scratching their heads and saying, "Well, wait a minute. We need to talk to this president."

BURNET: And maybe it does give him a case where it's harder for him to say, "Now, negotiate that." Thank you, all three.

The next breaking news, disaster on Wall Street. Trump touting, I mean today he talked about the economy, you know, it's the first time, usually he talks about the market.

Today, obviously, this was what the screen looked like. He didn't want to.

And the president's stunning accusation against Democrats for not applauding his State of the Union speech.


TRUMP: Un-American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yes, I guess, why not.


[19:30:36] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Breaking news: President Trump refusing to answer questions about the historic plunge in the market today.


REPORTER: President Trump, anything on the stock market? Any comment on the Dow?


BURNETT: Well, that's because the Dow plunged 1,175 points. At one point, it was down nearly 1,600 points. No matter which way you look at it, nadir or the close, it was the biggest drop in history for intraday and close. It's 4.6 percent loss took away all the gains for this year so far, for 2018.

Now, it accelerated while the president was actually speaking live. So, this is what split-screens looked like on all the cable major networks, as the president was speaking at a factory in Cincinnati, the market as you could see just continuing to go down.

Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT from the White House.

And, Jeff, how is the White House responding to the market slide? The president is silent but the White House has been forced to I believe comment.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Erin. I mean, one thing we did not hear the president talk about today when he was in Cincinnati was how good your 401(k)s and retirement plans are doing. That has really become a sound track of his campaign speeches, you know, for most of the first year in office here, always talking about the high stock market.

Well, he was not talking about that today. But his White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders did release a statement a few hours after the market closed. It said this, let's look. She said: The president's focus is on our long term economic fundamentals which remain exceptionally strong, with strengthening U.S. economic growth, historically low unemployment and increasing wages for American workers.

So, clearly trying to show this is a long term play here. But I am told the president is being advised to actually remember the long term strategy. To not use the stock market as an indicator day in and day out. But he is perhaps resisting that advice.

He, of course, likes instant gratification. So, again, he's been talking about it so much as it's been going up. Even in Davos only 10 days ago, saying if Hillary Clinton was elected, the stock market would have gone down 50 percent. So, of course, you live by it, you may die by it.

But the question we have tonight, Erin, is will this impact policies? Will this impact the decision to withdraw from NAFTA or other economic related things here? Will they get spooked by this market? His advisors hope he will not. But the question is that split screen unavoidable -- Erin.

BURNETT: Yes, and that's the sort of thing he cares deeply about, right? The appearance of it and the pomp and circumstance of it. Thank you very much, Jeff.

ZELENY: Sure, it's psychological.

BURNETT: Yes, psychology matters a lot.

OUTFRONT now, Catherine Rampell, syndicated columnist for "The Washington Post", and Steve Cortes, former Trump campaign advisor and CNN political commentator.

All right. Steve, the president brags constantly about the stock market. OK? You know this. You and I have talked about this both on and off camera. For those who do not see his speeches at factories on days the market is going up, here is a snippet from a few of them.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We just hit a new high today again in the stock market.

Today, again, the stock market has reached another record all time high.

The stock market is up very, very big today. We've set new records.

The stock market is way up again today. We're setting a record literally all the time.


BURNETT: All right. Now we're now in the red for the year. CORTES: Right.

BURNETT: When you own every day that it goes up, don't you own the biggest drop in history?

CORTES: Erin, you and I have been in financial news for a long time, before we got into politics. I mean, both of us.

Yes, listen, I agree and I have cautioned the White House, I have cautioned the president, individually, about talking too much about the stock market. But I think it's also important to keep this in context. The stock market when he was elected, the Dow Jones industrial was just above 18,000. So, we went up roughly 8,000, have given up roughly 2,000 of those highs.

And I'm not discounting it. I'm not saying -- listen, this was a serious day. There was wealth lost. You know, it matters.

But in context, going up eight, giving back two. It's like the Super Bowl last night. If you're up by four touchdowns and you give up one, it's not seriously as consequential as when you're up one touchdown.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: I have the ultimate context for you, which is that if you really want to look at the stock market has done in let's say the first year of president's term, it actually went up more under Obama. And again, presidents don't control the stock market, but -- and I don't think it's a good measure of the economy.

[19:35:04] But again, if you're going to use markets as a metric for a president's success, we just don't look that impressive.

CORTES: Well, and, Catherine, by the way, I'm not. That's why I'm saying I cautioned the White House to not use it as the metric, because you're exactly right, the stock market did great under President Obama. You know who didn't do great? Mainstream, workers did not do great under President Obama.

So, I don't want focus on the stock market. What I want to focus on is productivity, employment. I had the pleasure today, the honor of being invited to the White House with the Hispanic leaders, Hispanic unemployment, all time low. That's real. That's not the stock market.

That is people working and earning. That is the real economy which is surging in our country right now. The stock market goes up and down. And, you know, it will. What matters most I think to people is their paychecks is the tax cuts that's given three million works and counting, bonuses and wage increases, real money, tangible money in their pockets.

BURNETT: These conversations always go on some level deeply frustrating, because you can't credit one person or another with the economy. Let's take jobs. There was plenty of jobs created last year, but they were more created in the last few years of the Obama administration, each year than there were last year. It's not to say under President Trump, things did badly. They did exceedingly well.

But to make this narrative that things were bad under Obama and then they got good when Trump came in, that's false narrative, Steve.

CORTES: No, I push back on that. Listen, I agree. Things are recovering under President Obama but they got markedly better over the last year. And one point I would tell you, one just quick stat is from December of 2016 to December of 2017, the number of people who had part-time jobs who wanted full time and found full time employment increased 600,000 people. I mean, that's --

RAMPELL: I mean, this is a continuation of the trend we saw.


BURNETT: The real question here, Catherine, the real economy. Is it getting better or not, right? You're going to talk about tax cuts and you're going to talk about bonuses.


BURNETT: The savings rate at 2.3 percent, the last time it was that low was right before the last stock market crash and Great Recession. The point is you can pick anything, when you put it all together, is it as strong as Steve is making the case for it?

RAMPELL: The economy is doing well. I'm not going to claim that we're like about to fall off a precipice. But if you look at growth rates, for the most part it's not some deviation from the trend that we saw under Obama.

And again, presidents do not control what happens in the economy. They can influence it one way or the other. If you look at growth rates, if you look at GDP growth, you know, there was a lot of talk of how great GDP growth was in the last quarter of last year, it was as fast as it's been since 2015. Woo-hoo, you know. So, yes, we've had a pretty strong economy but it's not like there's been some huge uptick that we did not see before.

CORTES: Here's where I disagree. You're right. I think presidents get too much either credit or blame.


CORTES: I do, I will concede that point.

On this, I think President Trump deserves enormous credit. The animal spirit, the belief that we can do something, that we can hire more, invest more. The small business optimism surveys are at all time highs. And that is in no small part because of the deregulation and because of the tax cuts that are going on in Washington, D.C. And that's just --


BURNETT: We're tight on time. Sorry to interrupt. But I just have to ask you: does he recognize the absurdity of the

fact he brags about it all the time when he goes up and when it plunges, he won't answer the question. Does he realize how absurd that is or does he not see that? I'm just asking.

CORTES: Can we put it in context? Up 8,000, down 2,000, and he's supposed to apologize?

BURNETT: On any day it went up, he was happy to brag about that given days point.

CORTES: I don't want to get married to the stock market. I don't. I think that's a mistake.

BURNETT: I'm not talking about you. You're being very (INAUDIBLE) I'm saying , does he realize?

CORTES: Yes, he does. He realized it.

Listen, does he love a rising stock market? Of course, he does. And is it good for America? Of course, it is. But is it the only measure of our national prosperity? Gosh, no.

I would argue it's not a good pressure of our national prosperity because it went up over the last decade while working Americans went backwards. What we're seeing now in America is the opposite.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. Lot more to come on this.

And next, which Trump cabinet member called the president an empty vessel twice?

And Trump leveling some serious charges at Democrats who did not clap for him during his State of the Union.


TRUMP: Un-American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yes, I guess, why not?



[19:43:28] BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump ripping into Democrats, accusing them of treason for failing to clap during his State of the Union. Now, the president, at times, lead his own applause during the speech and Republicans stood as the party of the president speaking always does. He told supporters today he eventually had to stop looking at the Democrats because they were giving off such bad energy, in his words.


TRUMP: You're up there. You've got half the room going totally crazy, wild. They loved everything. They want to do something great for our country. You have the other side even on positive news, really positive news, like that, they were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yes. I guess, why not?


BURNETT: OK. OUTFRONT now, Rob Astorino. He's been a friend of the president for over 15 years. Also a former Republican candidate for the governor of New York.

And Joan Walsh, national affairs correspondent for "The Nation".

So, Joan, the president of the United States calling Americans undemocratic and looking like death. As I said during the sound bite to you and Rob, I said some of them were looking a bit like death. A little grouchy and sleepy but treasonous. You know, he said why not? Sort of making a joke, but it's not a light word to joke with.


BURNETT: So, what do you say?

WALSH: I think it's outrageous. It's a new low. He shows he might be more comfortable being president of Russia, having Vladimir Putin's job than the job he has.

[19:45:02] He's not a respecter of our rights to free speech. He demonizes the press. And then to demonize, specifically single out members of the Congressional Black Caucus in those comments.

BURNETT: Right. When he's talking about black unemployment?

WALSH: Right, that they should be particularly grateful and they should be on their feet. It is as you say, it's an old tradition. The party in power, the president's party claps. The other, not so much. This was nothing different.

BURNETT: Right. I mean, that is sort of the way politics goes. You see that. I mean, we all remember the infamous you lie moment.

ROB ASTORINO, FRIEND OF PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR 15 YEARS: That was the heat of the moment. Not pre-determined. I think, you know --

BURNETT: It went along with not standing. That's just par for the course.

WALSH: You lie, heat of the moment.


ASTRINO: No, I don't agree with that. I don't agree -- look, if the president today said daily, making a Bud like commercial funny, everyone would have been going crazy anyway. No matter what he says they go crazy. Now, I think, today, he was wrong. You don't say. Even though it was obvious he have was joking. I think people in this room while we play the clip kind of giggled. But you don't use that word in a joking manner.

But let's face it here, this is two-ways. You know, the Democrats, I think he was right too. I think it's amazing, amazing in a State of the Union Address where he's actually giving something that is heartfelt but also good news. Good news, that we could all agree was good news. Not policy issue where the Democrats aren't going to agree. And they sat on their hands. They absolutely sat on their hands and did look like grouches.

So, I think, Republicans didn't stand with Obama when he was talking about policy. But when he was talking about of overarching things that they could stand for, of course, they would stand.

WALSH: But, Rob, to go back to your point that it was a joke. He also said they were un-American. That didn't come out as a joke. He later said that they didn't love the country. Those people love this country as much as he does, perhaps more.

ASTORINO: Well, everyone loves the country.

WALSH: So, that's an outrageous thing to say.

In terms of specifically African-American unemployment, there's a history where Donald Trump is now taking credit for the work of Barack Obama, this trajectory that we already saw and he's doing it in way that people perceive as divisive or way to turn one against the other and a way to take credit for improving conditions.

BURNETT: So, I just want to play Obama gave eight State of the Union Addresses before joint sessions of Congress. I'm sorry eight addresses. The first one never counts.

WALSH: Right.

BURNETT: OK, whatever. Seven State of the Unions, eight total addresses. And the Republicans really never stood when he made certain points.

I want to show everybody my point and ask if we hear is different than what we saw with Democrats in President Trump. Here it is.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegal.


OBAMA: Give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat.


OBAMA: Each of those proposals deserves a vote in Congress.


OBAMA: What a bipartisan deal to do.



BURNETT: OK. The point is, small businesses staying afloat. Not everything is somebody everybody would agree with. The gerrymandering districts, obviously, Republicans were the ones who'd redrawn the line, they don't agree with that. The point is -- the whole point of a State of the Union is your party stands for you and the other party sits there.

WALSH: It's almost like a competition. You know, it's almost like a pep rally where one side wants to be louder than the other and back their guy up. To call it treasonous and un-American and say they don't love this country.

ASTORINO: It wasn't just standing or sitting. There was a predetermined decision by members of Congress to not even attend.

WALSH: That's their right.

ASTORINO: Just like they didn't attend the inauguration --

BURNETT: There were about a dozen of them, yes.

ASTORINO: They didn't even attend the inauguration. It was 50 who didn't attend. Representative Lewis said he wasn't a legitimate president. Maxine Waters goes cuckoo every time he speaks, says we got to have trigger warnings.

WALSH: I wouldn't call her cuckoo.

ASTORINO: -- trigger warnings for kids every time he speaks.

WALSH: She's not cuckoo. She's a sitting member of Congress.

ASTORINO: OK, but I think she's cuckoo on the things that she says. But I do also say, you know, she goes over the line, but nobody criticizes her.

WALSH: People criticize her. You just did.

Look, people didn't show up to his inauguration. It's true. But that's because what the black community in this country, they have a long history with Donald Trump.

They know that he was sued by the Justice Department. He and his dad were sued by the Justice Department for discriminating against black tenants in New York. Their rental agents testified that they would take an application and they would write C on it for color and they shove it in a drawer and nobody would ever see it. He took out a full page ad demanding a death penalty for the Central

Park Five, which turned out later to be innocent, and even when they were proven innocent by DNA, he continued to insinuate that they were actually guilty.

[19:50:00] There's a long history of distrusting him on race.

BURNETT: You had the first word, you get the last word.

ASTORINO: You know, I'm just saying, you know, we have gone through this before. With President Obama, if you disagreed with his policies, you were deemed a bigot, a hater, or a racist, and the Democrats are so good at using race to quiet, to quell.

And we can't have that anymore. We have to be able to speak against whomever we feel in power. That's our right. But what Democrats have done so effectively and that's why they keep doing it, is if you disagree, it's because you're a blank. Fill in a blank.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.

And next, empty vessel, more abusive to the Constitution than Obama. OK, wait until you hear who said. It is not a Democrat, as you guys might guess. No, it is actually a sitting member of the president's cabinet. Of course, the president likely not aware that he said those things.

And Jeanne Moos on Trump's go-to insult.


TRUMP: Little rocket man. Little George Stephanopoulos. I call him Little Marco, Little Marco.



BURNETT: New tonight, harsh words leveled at the president from one of his own cabinet members. The newly discovered comments and this is why I want to emphasize, newly discovered for the sitting EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. So, in other words, the president may just finding out about them now.

Here is a radio interview from during the 2016 presidential campaign of Scott Pruitt.


SCOTT PRUITT, EPA ADMINISTRATOR: Let me tell you something, I think he is an empty vessel when it comes to the things like the Constitution and the rule of law. And I'm very concerned that perhaps if he's in the White House, that there may be a very blunt instrument as the voice of the Constitution.


OUTFRONT now, a senior editor of CNN's KFILE, Andrew Kaczynski, a columnist who first tracked down the tape.

All right. These are pretty strong comments. This was during the campaign. And we know this is a president who, you know, when he was picking people to be in his cabinet, if someone came in with an article, oh, they said something bad about you, he would be loathed to name them.


BURNETT: So, the fact that you're unearthing is now very significant. What was the context of the empty vessel comments?

KACZYNSKI: So, he made these comments when he was serving as Oklahoma's attorney general. Now, in that capacity, he would go on this energy radio show because, you know, he was basically fighting Obama's EPA and he wanted to promote that. Now, these exact comments came early in about 2016, around February. He was serving this honorary capacity for Jeb Bush's campaign.

BURNETT: OK. So, early in 2016. And, you know, this is actually the second critical comment that you found from Pruitt during testimony to his Senate committee last week. He was asked about this comment from 2016.

So, let me play that.


[19:55:00] RADIO HOST: I'm going to say that you are probably not a big Trump supporter?

PRUITT: No, no. He's the very -- and you know, you say that, Pat, but you know what's interesting, I believe that Donald Trump in the White House would be more abusive to the Constitution than Barack Obama and that's saying a lot.


BURNETT: OK. Has there been a response from Pruitt or the White House. Does the president know all this?

KACZYNSKI: OK. OK, the White House did not comment, didn't, you know, respond to our e-mails. Pruitt, we actually got a statement sent to us from an EPA spokesman that and I'm just going to read I for you. It said basically, after meeting President Trump, it is abundantly clear that President Trump is the most consequential leader of our time. No one has done more to advance the rule of law than President Trump.

BURNETT: So, basically, just ignore everything I have said before.

KACZYNSKI: And, you know, we got one of this sort of over-the-top statements that we get from people when they are trying to appease Trump after they maybe done something wrong.

BURNETT: Right. Well, maybe because he figures, Orrin Hatch didn't say he was the best president in American history. Pruitt said he would make him so better.

All right. Thank you very much, Andrew Kaczynski, who unearthed all these tapes again and again when you see that unearthing here on CNN, this is the guy that did it.

And next, Jeanne Moos on Trump's obsession with little things.


BURNETT: Has President Trump run out of nicknames? Here is Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump sure knows how to put the little in belittle with his tweeted nickname for Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He calls him Little Adam Schiff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Little Adam Schiff.


MOOS: Little Adam Schiff. Now, why does that sound so familiar?

TRUMP: Little rocket man. Little Marco. And they have Little George Stephanopoulos.

MOOS: He's tweeted about Little Michael Bloomberg. Little Barry Diller. Littler Morty Zuckerman and Little Bob Corker, who also got the honor of a pointless apostrophe.

Lots of previous Littles led one critic to tweet he has run out of nicknames, dude, really has a sub third grade vocabulary.

Tweeted someone else, that's the best you could do? You even suck as a bully.

The congressman Trump dubbed little Adam looked on the bright side.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: Look, first, he attacked me some months ago, calling me Sleazy Adam Schiff. Now, it is little Adam Schiff which I don't know seems better.

MOOS: Even some of the president's supporters conceded he could have done better.

Would have preferred Shifty Schiff. With so many little nicknames, it's clear the president doesn't believe little goes a long way. President Trump speaks his own lingo. One day saying --

TRUMP: I guarantee you, my IQ is much higher than any of these people.

MOOS: Only to plead humility the next.

TRUMP: I am non-braggadocios.

MOOS: Even a supporter can't keep a straight face.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

TRUMP: Don't worry about it, Little Marco.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentlemen, gentlemen --

MOOS: -- New York.


MOOS: I am really glad Jeanne replayed that moment about braggadocios. I didn't see that guy in the back.

Thank you for joining us.

Anderson is next.