Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Says He would Have Stormed School Unarmed; Ivanka Trump Calls Question About Father's Sexual Misconduct "Inappropriate"; Hope Hicks To Meet With House Intel Panel; Interview with Congressman Denny Heck of Washington; Interview with Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 26, 2018 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:12] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OutFront next, Trump tells the governors to stand up to the NRA but is he taking his on advice.

Plus, Ivanka Trump shutting down a reporter for asking about her father's alleged sexual assault. Was it really as she called it an "inappropriate" question?

And Hope Hicks about to speak to Russia investigators. I'm going to talk to man who's doing the questioning tonight. Let's go OutFront.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, running in to the gunfire. President Trump tonight saying he would have run into the Parkland High School shooting. Calling the armed guard at the school disgusting and a disgrace for staying outside during the massacre.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know I really believe, you don't know until you test it but I really believe I'd run even if I didn't have a weapon.


BURNETT: I'd run in there. It's an incredibly bold statement. But putting that aside. When the White House was asked if the president actually meant it, here's what happened.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: When the President said earlier today that he would have run into the school, was he suggesting that he could have saved the day?

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think he was just stating that as a leader he would have stepped in and hopefully been able to help as a number of the individuals that were in the school, the coach and other adults and even a lot of students stepped up and helped protect other students. I think the point he was making is that he would have wanted to have played a role in that as well. ACOSTA: Is he trained in firing a weapon? Is he trained in using

handgun or firearm of some sort?

SANDERS: I don't think that was the point he was making. He was saying he would be a leader and would want to take a courageous action.


BURNETT: Well, if the president wants to take a courageous action, of course he could start by standing up to the NRA. And tonight he says, he is.


TRUMP: As you guys half of you are so afraid of the NRA. There's nothing to be afraid of. And you know, what, if they're not with you, we have to fight them every once in a while. That's OK. They're doing what they think is right. I will tell you they are doing what they think is right. But sometimes we're going to have to be very tough and have to fight them.


BURNETT: Tough words. But the problem is the president today backed off a fight with the NRA. This is what the president last week, one day after an emotional meeting with students and parents who lost loved ones in the shootings said. He tweeted in part, "I will be strongly pushing comprehensive background checks with an emphasis on mental health, raise age to 21 and end sale of bump stops." Trump actually then raised this age issue specifically again in a weekend interview.


TRUMP: Perhaps we'll do something having, you know, on age because it doesn't seem to make sense that you have to wait till you're 21 years old to get a pistol but to get a gun like this maniac used in the school, you get that at 18. I mean that doesn't make sense. And Frankly, I explained that to the NRA. They're great people.


BURNETT: It doesn't make sense. He wants to raise the age to 21. Again, explicit, the thing is the NRA has made it clear they couldn't disagree more on this point.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: He wants to raise that minimum age. Will the NRA back that?

DANA LOESCH, SPOKESPERSON, NRA: Well the NRA has made their position incredibly clear.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: And that position is incredibly clear. Because here's the exact and actual statement from the NRA, "Legislative proposals that prevent law-abiding adults age 18 to 21 years old from acquiring rifles and shotguns effectively prohibits them from purchasing any firearm thus depriving them of their constitutional right to self- protection."

OK. Well, the NRA clearly got to Trump. He had lunch with NRA leaders this weekend and today in a meeting at the White House the nation's Governors the president did not mention raising the age to buy any gun to 21 even though he does so twice and so explicitly. Didn't mention it at all and the silence was glaring.

Our Jim Acosta asked Press Secretary Sarah Sanders at today's White House briefing about why the President didn't mention something he's been so outspoken and explicit about.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you specify the president did not mention whether he actually wants the age limit still lifted to 21 and he previously spoken about. Can you clarify if that's still his position?

SANDERS: In terms of I think the last question you had was the age limit, something still being discussed with a final determination and legislative piece has not been determined on that front yet.


BURNETT: It's a pretty sharp back down and it raises the question. Did the nearly $31 million the NRA contributed to help Trump win the White House, buy his silence on something he said was so clear and now suddenly, he's silent on. Jeff Zeleny is out front tonight at the White House. And Jeff, the president getting push back from a lot of people today.

[19:05:02] JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, he did meet with Nation's Governors as you said and it really brought him, you know, before an audience of Democrats and Republicans to get the first sense of what these nations, leaders say and really to a person, several people who spoke up so that they do not support the idea of arming school teachers.

The Democratic governor of Washington State Jay Inslee said, and Mr. President, first grade teachers I speak do not want to be pistol packing first grade teachers. I talked to Florida Governor Rick Scott, of course, a Republican after he left the meeting, I said, "Governor, what do you think of this proposal?" He said, "Look, I do not think that is the way to handle it."

So it is an open question here what legislatively actually is going to be done in Washington. It's clear that the president is talking a lot about guns. We talked to his advisors. They say he's dead serious about doing something on this. We've heard much less from, frankly, both sides from Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill and the House and Senate. So that is a key question.

The president will be having lawmakers here on Wednesday to talk through some of these issues. But it is clear that of all the ideas the president is throwing out, he's certainly focusing the most on arming school teachers and that seems to be one of the least popular proposals of all. Erin.

BURNETT: Thank you very much Jeff.

And in Parkland tonight, the school resource officer who was criticized for his response to the shooting and the president called disgusting and a disgrace today is speaking out for the first time. Martin Savidge is out front.


TRUMP: Look Peterson. Look what he did in Broward where he thought he was probably a brave guy but he wasn't a brave guy under pressure. He choked.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPNDENT: As the president blasted his actions, Scot Peterson started fighting back. The former Stoneman Douglas school resource officer saying he's not a coward and that attacks on his character are coming mostly from one source, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.

SHERIFF SCOTT ISRAEL, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA: What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of Building 12 take a position and he never went in.

SAVIDGE: Speaking through his attorney, Peterson who resigned after being suspended without pay paint a very different picture of the first moments of high school shooting that left 17 people dead.

When the shooting began, Peterson claims he received a call of fire crackers and not gunfire in the area of 1200 Building. Upon arriving at the building he says he heard gun shots but believed that those gunshots were originating from outside any of the building in the school campus.

The statement goes on, consistent with his training, Mr. Peterson took a tactical position between the 700 and 800 building corridor corner. Peterson's attorney said his client did take action saying he was the first to notify the sheriff's office of shots fired and initiated a code red lockdown of the entire campus.

"Let there be no mistake, Mr. Peterson wishes that he could have prevented the untimely passing of the 17 victims on that day. Fred Guttenburg's daughter Jamie was murdered in the attack He said Peterson's words changed nothing for him.

FRED GUTTENBURG, FATHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: He failed my kid. We're standing on the ground of what is now a memorial for 17 people. I don't know that he could have save any of the 17, some of the 17. I know he didn't try. I'm not in the mood for sympathy.


SAVIDGE: Scott Peterson is saying that he looks forward to testifying and working the FDLE. That's the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The governor has now charged with launching an investigation into how authorities responded to the shooting. Peterson clearly believes at some point he's going to be exonerated. Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Martin, thank you. And I want to go to the U.S. senator from Florida, Democrat Bill Nelson. And senator, thank you for your time tonight. I mean you just heard the school resource officer there, Scott Peterson, his claims that he acted properly. He initially thought the shots were fire crackers then he thought they were coming from outside the building, and he followed the protocol for an event in which there were shots outside the building.

I know Senator Nelson that you have had a lot of briefings on this shooting. Is Peterson, to your knowledge, telling the truth?

SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA: I don't know the answer to that and we won't know the answer that until the investigation is complete.

BURNETT: What about the role of the sheriff here? I know, you know, you've heard him. He said that he's done an amazing leadership job as he told our Jake Tapper, the Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, of course, he's been highly criticized for his agency response to the shooting, and where his officers were and why didn't they go into the school.

He right now is saying he will not resign. Others have called for him to do so. Do you think he should?

NELSON: I don't know the answer to that either. And that's going to be a result of the investigation. I'm here to tell you what we ought to do in passing law so that this doesn't happen again.

[19:10:08] BURNETT: Do you have any concerns though? The tips of the Sheriff's office had received as we know, tens of them tips have come in, that they didn't take action on.

NELSON: Erin, I have not been briefed on that.

BURNETT: So, what do you think should be done? You now, today, the president was -- with governors, obviously Democrats and Republicans as you well aware senator, said that they should stand up to the NRA not be afraid to have a fight. Here's how he put it.


TRUMP: Don't worry about the NRA. They're on our side. You guys have of you are so afraid of the NRA. There's nothing to be afraid of. And you know what, with you, we have to fight them everyone once in a while. That's OK. They're doing what they think is right.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Senator, of course, as we just wait out, the president said he supported an increase in age limit to buy any sort of gun to 21. Today he was stunningly silent on that. Of course, that's something that the NRA opposes. Do you give him credit for standing up to the NRA right now or not?

NELSON: All of these are minor things. There are steps in the right direction. But Erin, you're not going to solve the problem until you do two things, one is comprehensive background checks and the acquisition of a gun. And number two, get the assault rifles off the street. And until those things are done, all of these other things, albeit helpful, you're not going to solve the problem of a high velocity rapid fire weapon that is intent to kill. That's going to do a lot of damage.

BURNETT: I understand what you're saying. And of course 70% of the American in recent polls support stronger gun legislation. But my understand senator is that there's no way you're going to get those two things. You may get improvement on background checks. You're not going to get a total ban on these types of rifles. You're just not going to get that. So, are you saying that anything short of that is ultimately going to be a failure?

NELSON: And what you said is probably true. But remember what the students are saying that they want fundamental change. And if takes going to an election and making changes in election, they're willing to do that because what you just stated I think is correct, that the NRA is going to lock down they're votes because they're going to threaten that they will punish any senator or congressman that will not support their position. And as a result you're going to get more of the same. We had Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, 49, that's two years ago. We thought we get something done and nothing was done. And then since then we've had number of other massacres.

BURNETT: But the president today or the White House, Sarah Sanders said that the president is going to have a meeting on Wednesday for lawmakers. It's going to be bipartisan and it's going to be all about legislation on guns. And they really just announced this afternoon. So, you're obviously the center of this, senator from Florida, have you been inviting to this meeting? Do you know anything about it at this point?

NELSON: I don't know a thing about it. But, if course, if invited I will be there as I have been on all the other issues. And I'll be glad to discuss this. But let's how some meaningful steps forward, the same thing is being replicated in Florida in the Florida legislature right now. A few steps in the right direction are being done but they're not getting it the essential things that have to be done to sole this problem.

BURNETT: All right, Senator Nelson, thank you for your time, sir. Appreciate it.

NELSON: Thanks Erin.

BURNETT: And next, first daughter or senior advisor to the president. Will the real Ivanka Trump stand up?

Plus breaking news, Hope Hicks facing Russia investigators tomorrow. And the governor of Kentucky where there was a school shooting just weeks before the Florida shooting. He said video games and television are to blame. What about guns? He's my guest.


[19:18:00] BURNETT: New tonight, Ivanka Trump siding with a man over 15 female accusers. That man her father, the president of the United States. Ivanka Trump sitting for an interview in her formal capacity leading the U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympics closing ceremony as, "assistant to the president and advisor. " That's how they announced her formal capacity in this role. And not only does she believe her father, she doesn't even think that she should have to answer the question.


PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS: Do you believe your father's accusers?

IVANKA TRUMP, ASSITANT AND ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think it's a pretty inappropriate question to ask a daughter if she believes the accusers of her father when he's affirmatively stated that there's no truth to it. I don't think that's a question you would ask many other daughters. I believe my father. I know my father. So, I think I have that right as daughter.


BURNETT: OutFront now former Republican candidate for governor of New York and friend of President Trump for more than 15 years, Rob Astorino, and national affairs correspondent for "The Nation", Joan Walsh. Joan, you're closer to me, let me start with you. Pretty inappropriate question?

JOAN WALSH, NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, THE NATION: No, not at all. I mean, Erin, part of me feels for her. I mean she is in the situation where her dad has been accused of bad sexual behavior by at least 15 women. We've heard him talk about his own bad sexual behavior on the "Access Hollywood" tape. He's even made sexual jokes about her on Howard Stern. So, she has the right to keep her distance, to be first daughter, to maybe go campaign for him. But once she takes a job, once she comes to that White House, she's senior adviser, she's special assistant to the president, she cannot say that anymore. She cannot say it's inappropriate. If Sarah Sanders has to answer that question, so does she, frankly.

BURNETT: I mean that was the role. They'd announced it. Formal press release. She's going as the assistant and senior adviser to President Trump, as the leader of that delegation.

ROB ASTORINO, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: But she's still the first daughter. But I think it was an inappropriate question to ask and I think it was inappropriate to give quite frankly. And I think we all have to step back and say look, what would you do if somebody accused your dad?

[19:20:06] You would answer probably the same way or feel very uncomfortable but I'm assuming she's had that conversation with him and he said, no, I didn't do that and she believes him as probably most daughters would believe their dad.

BURNETT: She's also heard the "Access Hollywood" tape.

ASTORINO: Yes, but that's something completely separate. You know, that --

WALSH: Not really.

ASTORINO: Yes, that is something completely separate then --

WALSH: He's admitting it.

ASTORINO: -- his accusations that these women have come forward with. That's something very, very different.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're consistent in their tone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's confirming things --

BURNETT: Right, right, right, right.

WALSH: He's actually confirming things that are worst than he's been accused of.

BURNETT: But here's the reason that this rankles at me. It's not just that she's taken a job with a formal title in which she should be able to answer this question even though of course as a daughter, it's awkward for her to do that. We all know that.

She's taken on this issue. Not just women's issue but the issue of MeToo and women accusers.

WALSH: Right.

BURNETT: Right? When Roy Moore was running for Senate, Ivanka said in an interview, "I've yet to see a valid explanation. I have no reason to doubt the victim's accounts." So when it's another man, no reason to doubt the victim's accounts. And after Oprah's speech, remember the whole thing about MeToo and everybody wearing black and all that in Golden Globes, Ivanka tweeted, unsolicited, "Just saw Oprah's empowering and inspiring speech at last night's GoldenGlobes. Let's all come together women and men and say TimesUp."

WALSH: I mean it's really -- she has really left herself open by her tweets. By her Roy Moore comment.

BURNETT: I mean isn't that (INAUDIBLE) Rob? I mean you would acknowledge the double standard?

ASTORINO: Not necessarily because again it's family member. So, if you've got a family member and you love them and you ask them, did you or did you not do this and they tell you no then I'm going to stand by, just like Hillary Clinton did in the '90s, Mrs. MeToo herself when, you know, they were being accused, Bill Clinton was being accused, Paua Jones (INAUDIBLE), Willey, et cetera, et cetera. And he settled for $800,000. What was Hillary Clinton doing? She was standing by her man, right, and she was viciously attacking them.

WALSH: No she wasn't viciously attacking them.

ASTORINO: Yes she was.

WALSH: That is Republican (INAUDIBLE).

ASTORINO: Come on, Joan.

WALSH: No. James Carville attacked them.

ASTORINO: So did she and she did it court papers when she was defending somebody who was accused. I mean, so --

WALSH: What are you talking about? He was appointed to represent a rapist.

ASTORINO: She's also representing somebody and she was also representing and talking about her husband.

BURNETT: OK, I understand. But how can Ivanka Trump own this issue?

ASTORINO: You can.

WALSH: She should stay away from this issue, frankly.

BURNETT: When it comes to my dad, I'm not going to go there but I'm happy go there on Roy Moore. Happy to go there -- that's the issue.

WALSH: What is really terrible is what she did to Peter Alexander, who is a good journalist who I used to work with. There's nothing wrong with this question. Even you admit it --


WALSH: -- but she tries to shame him. He's doing his job. And she try to shame him and it's pretty inappropriate. I'm the first daughter. He's my dad. No, I'm sorry. You really can't have it both ways in the public sphere, in the private sphere you can.

ASTORINO: I agree that the question should have been asked or could have been asked. And I agree that she could have that kind of response, like, you know what? This is one where I get a pass because of the special relationship. You want to ask me about other things? OK, I'll talk about it.

WALSH: She could have denied it.

BURNETT: You know with that I don't know whether it was Cosmopolitan or Marie Claire but one of the magazines did an interview with her.

WALSH: Right. And she didn't like the questions and she ended the interview.

BURNETT: I don't like what is going on. I don't like the tone. Right. She didn't quite do that here but it's the same sort of feeling.

WALSH: But she shamed him. She shamed him in the moment. And when she could have said, flat out, I believe my father. My father has denied these things. I believe him. But she had to do a little pushback. A little smile. A little head shake where she's trying to keep, you know, keep at bay rather than just confront the question and make it go away.

ASTORINO: But even if she said I'd believe my father, the response still would have been the same that how does she get pass.

WALSH: I'm not sure the response would be the same.

BURNETT: OK, I made the point about MeToo and the point about Roy Moore, but it's women's issues in general, Rob. She's made this, supposedly --


BURNETT: --the definition of who she is and what her role is, right? I mean let me play a few more that if nothing to do with MeToo but women's issues that she has, you know, embraced personally. Here she is.


I. TRUMP: Get your girlfriends to learn how to code with you. It's something we've been promoting fully unleashing the power of women in our economy. We'll create tremendous value. I'm really striving to think about how best to empower women in the economy.


ASTORINO: You looking to me. What about Hillary Clinton? Look at Hillary Clinton with her --

WALSH: Oh, come on, Hillary Clinton --

ASTORINO: No, it came out recently with her staffer.

WALSH: And that was 10 years ago and she --

ASTORINO: No, recently.

WALSH: It came out recently --


WALSH: -- that it was a staffer from the 2008 election. He was --

ASTORINO: And what did she do about it? She discarded it. WALSH: No, she didn't. She went to the process. Her campaign

actually had a process. The guy was docked pay and sent to counseling. And then she came out 10 years later and said, you know what, in this MeToo moment, I actually think I did the wrong thing.

BURNETT: Even if she did. OK, I take your point. But let me take close (INAUDIBLE) totally right. It's just like saying well someone else is doing it so why can't I?

WALSH: Right.

BURNETT: How is that really an excuse?

ASTORINO: It's not an excuse.

WALSH: You wouldn't let your kids do that.


WALSH: It's OK because Hillary Clinton --

[19:25:08] ASTORINO: You know, what, if I were accused of something and my daughters asked did you do that and I said no. I would expect them and hope since we love each other that they would stand up for me even if they were on campus leading the MeToo movement, right?

BURNETT: Even if you're on Howard Stern talking about --

ASTORINO: Even if was on Howard Stern talking about them.

BURNETT: Inappropriate things with your own daughter. All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate it.

WALSH: Thank you.


BURNETT: And next, the president blaming violent movies for school shootings. Is that really the problem? And Trump pushing his personal pilot to run the FAA.


BURNETT: Breaking news, Hope Hicks in the hot seat, sources telling CNN, President Trump's long time aide and current communications director will meet with the House Intelligence Committee tomorrow. This after her previously scheduled appearance was suddenly cancelled. That was last month. Manu Raju is out front. And Manu a late development coming in this evening. Do you expect Hope Hicks to answer questions or is she going to try to pull a Steve Bannon which is executive privilege it out?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: We don't know the answer to that yet, Erin. I just spent the past hour and a half talking to members of the House Intelligence Committee on both sides of the aisle. And that remains the big question going into tomorrow. Remember when Steve Bannon did, he said that, the White House instructed him to assert executive privilege about any topics during the transition, about any topic during the presidential and while his time in the White House even after he left the White House.

Now, the Democrats in particular saying Hope Hicks should not do this because other administration officials have not done that. They've answered the questions before the committee including Congressman Adam Schiff who told me this just moments ago.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: We don't know at this point whether she will testify completely and fully as others who have served the administration have or whether she will do what Steve Bannon did which was stonewall. We hope she'll be fully cooperative. But at this point, I don't know what we can expect.


RAJU: And remember, Erin, after Bannon refused to answer those questions, the committee threatened to hold him in contempt of Congress for not answering the questions. The question tomorrow is if Hope Hicks does not answer the committee's questions, will they take the same steps with her? Republicans aren't saying. They want to see what she say or doesn't say tomorrow, Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Right. Say or doesn't say. Obviously, the crucial question.

Manu, thank you.

And I wanted to go now to Democratic congressman from Washington, Denny Heck, who is going to be there, sits on the House Intelligence Committee.

And I appreciate your time, sir. So, how important is Hope Hicks testimony tomorrow?

REP. DENNY HECK (D-WA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, depending on whether or not she's testifying, Erin, because as you know, I have a policy of not confirming or denying any witness that will come before us. I will say this, Erin, that she absolutely needs to come before the committee. There are a few people that have served with Mr. Trump longer than Hope Hicks.

She has a lot to offer, I'm sure, in the way of information and insight if she's willing. But that remains to be seen. Again, I join in the others and hoping beyond hope, pun intended, that she does not pull a Steve Bannon as you said.

BURNETT: So, obviously, that's the crucial question. And all of this comes in the context when you're talking about Trump's innermost circle, Congressman, of the dueling memos, the Nunes memo and the Democratic memo headlined, of course, by your ranking committee member, Adam Schiff. It was finally released and the Schiff memo addresses a crucial question, which is, Congressman, would the FBI have gotten a warrant to surveil Carter Page without the infamous Steele dossier?

Now, the page where the memo lays out the other reasons, in other words, it's not just the dossier, it's this and this and this and this. Look at it, it's all black. It basically all got redacted. So, we can't see the this and this and this. How important is all that blacked out information?

HECK: Well, it is important to refute what it is the Republicans said in their memo, which, of course, was in effort to distract and deflect and deceive and make us turn away from the subject at hand. I'm really hoping, frankly, Erin, that we move beyond dueling memos. As long as Republicans are going to put out memos like this and the chair has indicated he will, we will have the strength and the endurance to put out the facts and let them speak for themselves. But we have to get to the point of where we're talking about is how at is that we can prevent and deter Russia from continuing as they are today interfering in the American electoral process.

You know, this is not new in terms of a concern about our country. If you go back and read letter number 68 in the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton warned about this very thing. And we need to remember that, or as the famous scholar George Santayana said, we forget the lessons of the past, we'll repeat them.

BURNETT: So, one of the things that is important here when it comes to the accusations in the memo. The Nunes memo says the former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, right, testified in front of your committee, you were there. And in that, he said, quote, no surveillance warrant, again, I'm referring to this crucial warrant of Carter Page, would have been sought from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court without the Steele dossier information, that's a quote that Nunes says was said by the FBI deputy director.

You were there in the room. Can you point blank say, Congressman Heck, that that is false? That is not the accurate meaning of what McCabe testified to your committee?

HECK: I can say that that quote is completely out of context and had the president not redacted so much of the Democratic memo, I think the record would have been made much clearer.

BURNETT: What context though would change no surveillance warrant would have been obtained without the Steele dossier?

HECK: So, in order for me to discuss that at length, it would require me discussing things that aren't in the Republican memo and therefore I am duty-bound not to reveal.

BURNETT: All right. But you are adamant that the context there is wrong at that quote -- that that quote would be completely inaccurate interpretation.

HECK: Very earlier, Erin. BURNETT: All right. Republicans in Congress are drawing a red line also, Congressman, when it comes to the president's finances which, of course, he's drawn a very a bold red line on. But Republicans are resisting calls to subpoena bank records, tax returns from the president, and letters to witnesses to see if they were financial links to the Russians whether that 2be European banks or others that may have this information. They say this is just a Democratic fishing expedition.

Your response?

HECK: So, the ancient rules of investigations are twofold. One, it's often the cover-up that will get you not the underlying crime. And the second one is follow the money.

We are being forwarded on our efforts and our attempts to actually follow the money because as you alluded to, we have requested that the Deutsche Bank records be subpoenaed and the Republican majority have denied that.

My question really though, Erin, is, what does the president got to hide? This is from day one when he said he would eventually release his tax returns and has not, and has continued to this day in our efforts to get at the truth beyond his ties to the Russian government and how they may have played a role frankly, and the Russian interference in our election.

So, this is not new from him. It's a continuing pattern and the question really is, what does he have to hide?

BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time, Congressman Heck. It's a big question. Robert Mueller, of course, also working on the answer to that and his investigators stacked with people with incredible expertise on tax, and tax fraud. Thanks very much.

HECK: You're welcome.

BURNETT: And next, is a lack of morality behind mass shootings? The governor of Kentucky who state had a school shooting weeks ago weighs in. He is OUTFRONT.

And who's getting all the money that's being made at Trump Hotels? All this extra money they're charging more than any other hotel, so what are they doing with the profits? They made a promise.


BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump going after the entertainment industry, once again suggesting violent video games and movies are to blame for mass shootings today during a meeting with the nation's governors.


[19:40:10] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have to also look at videos. They're vicious. You look at some of these videos. I mean, I don't know what this does to a young kids' mind, somebody growing up and forming and looking at videos where people are just being blown away left and right. At the level of craziness and viciousness in the movies, I think we have to look at that too.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, the Republican governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin. He was with the president at the White House today. Two students were also killed, more than a dozen people injured in a school shooting in his state just a few weeks before Parkland.

And, Governor, thank you very much for your time tonight.

The president bringing up the issue of violent video games and movies. Is the reading -- reason for these mass shootings more that violent movies and video games than guns themselves?

GOV. MATT BEVIN (R), KENTUCKY: Again, I think it's not that simple, Erin, and thank you for having me on tonight. Thank you for giving attention to this topic, it's an important one. It's a very complicated topic. There is no one thing.

The argument that I've made and I think it's important for us to focus on is that it isn't simply a function of passing a rule or another law or that identifying one thing that someone else or some program should do that we as a culture, we as a society have a collective responsibility here. And what I would submit is that many things these things the president alluded to, other things like the addiction young people have to social media and it has become an addiction, and psychologists have been talking about it, the amount of psychiatric drugs that we have, the lack of sleep, a variety of things have shifted in young people's lives that I think are also contributors to this.

BURNETT: So, you think it's a lot of things, I mean because what I'm trying to understand is and all of these things are important to address -- I mean, I think there's no question about that but when you look at saying movies and video games and they are horrifically violent and understandably so to people of your age or my age. But they're available in Canada and France and the United Kingdom and they don't have the gun violence we have.

I mean, the OECD and the WHO looked at the data and in 2010, for every million people in the United States, 36 killed with gun homicides that year. In Canada, it was five, in France it was two, and in the U.K., it was zero. And again, you've got the same video games and the same movies there.

So, while important, it doesn't take away from the underlying point, does it, which is the difference is we've got guns.

BEVIN: We do, but I'll tell you here's what's interesting is that the statistics are tricky things. They can be used to paint any number of pictures. I would encourage you and your listeners and viewers to consider a study that was done by psychologists at UAB and Emory University just a couple of years ago where they directly studied and linked a direct correlation between the use of these violent video games and the -- in the psychological impact on young people.

This is something that we again, does that mean that they're bad in and of themselves, it doesn't. And I'm not trying to imply that nor do I think the president is, but it is part of a bigger dialogue that if we don't have it, we're being naive.

BURNETT: Yes. But, you know, when you look at the number of guns. I mean, the 2017 report from the ATF, they said there were nine and a half million guns manufactured in the year 2015. That's double than just five years before, because guns themselves again just this crucial point, guns themselves are at the core of this problem. You can watch all the video games that you want, but if you don't have a gun to go shoot people, you don't have a gun to go shoot people.

BEVIN: No, but again, what you can see is somebody like in New York or Nice, France, who uses a vehicle, a pickup truck to mow people down. We see people in China using knives to kill 29 people on a train. The reality is, if somebody wants to perpetrate evil, they are going to use whatever is at their disposal to do so, so the question we need to ask ourselves, Erin, is why do young people feel the need to go into a school and kill other young people?

The methodology is part of the equation, but it is not the catalyst for this epidemic that is sweeping our nation we do have killed in this country than anywhere else, we do. And we have guns and others don't. I mean, again, we're -- I'm back to that fundamental point. I don't know how you can address this issue if you aren't going to have an honest conversation about guns and how it is easy to get them.


BEVIN: Absolutely has to be a part of the conversation. I'm not nor does anybody that I know who's being serious about this not saying we should look at every contributing factor. But let us not jump to a conclusion and assume and it's interesting, so often people have ideas of what someone else should do, what another program or another government entity should do, not what we as a society should do.

The mores and let me -- bear with me one second. The mores -- you said in the intro, you talked about morality. This isn't about morality. Morality is a gelatinous thing. It could mean different things.

But the mores are the constructs whereby a society or a community is governed. This community called the United States of America has seen its mores shifting and we've got to understand why.

[19:45:04] Do -- we understand the output, and what are the inputs that are changing this?

BURNETT: Yes, and again it's a fair point. But when you say, I don't want to jump to conclusions, my fundamental question is, it isn't jumping to conclusions to look at the core issue, which is that someone can watch video games or they can be upset on social media or they can have psychological issues, they could have serious mental health issues and all those things may be true. But if they do not have a gun, they cannot kill a lot of people.

BEVIN: But again, here's it's important understand. Where in America do we have the greatest amount of gun control laws on the books? Name a major city. Chicago might come to mind. Look at the high --

BURNETT: Or New York.

BEVIN: Or New York. Look at some of the -- of the murder rates. Again, every city is different, but I would say this -- we have more rules and more regulation and more restrictions on the purchase and ownership of guns than we ever did historically, and that in many instances is good and appropriate. I'm not taking a beef with that whatsoever.

But I would say that when we had none of those things or far less of those things, kids did not go into school and kill other kids. We did used to have -- yes, we have more guns now on average per person, but we used to have far more homes with guns in them just a few generations ago, kids did not kill other kids at school.

BURNETT: Right, and, of course, those guns we're not as we're not as powerful, frankly, as some of the guns we're talking about now.

BEVIN: I'll tell you, they'll kill you just as dead, Erin, if you get shot --


BURNETT: Yes, but maybe not as many people as quickly, depending on the fire speed and the rounds.

I mean, what about -- what about solutions here though, you know, your colleague, Republican governor of Florida, Rick Scott, is saying he doesn't want to teachers, and a lot of people agree with them, Republican and Democrat. The president has been pushing that idea of arming teachers in schools who have training and want to actually do so. There's a bill I know in your legislature and Kentucky governor that would add guns to schools, teachers would be selected as a school marshal and allowed to carry a gun on campus if they have a concealed carry permit.

Do you support that? Do you believe that arming teachers is an answer to this?

BEVIN: I think it's a misunderstanding of what's being proposed. Certainly in our state, that bill hasn't even actually been dropped. That was marshals having nothing to do with school administrators or teachers.

But here's what I would say -- my thoughts in response to your question: I do think it's important for us to not have gun-free zones that are known to be so that if a person does get inside, bear in mind -- well, we just had a shooting as you referenced. Sixteen young people were shot, two of them died in Kentucky just a few weeks ago. They were shot by another 15-year-old student. Once a student gets inside that school, if there is nobody there to intercede, that -- those students are so unbelievably vulnerable.

So, back to your question, I think it is appropriate for us to consider not the arming of teachers. This would be 100 percent volitional. It could in fact be a teacher if they wanted it to be, it could be a coach, it could be somebody who's a member of the custodial staff, it could be an administrator.

I think if in fact this were to be done, I'm not saying it should, but I think we should consider it, if it were to be done, these individuals should receive significantly more training then would somebody for a concealed carry. They should go through a battery of psychological tests. They should be utterly prepared to handle not only that type of a situation, but to handle it inside of a school. It should be volitional.

But the element of surprise here, Erin, is what's critical. If it is a school monitor, every kid in that school including the ones that might want to harm other kids will know within a matter of days after that person is on campus, where they are, what time they come, what doors they're in, when they take their coffee break, and it will utterly remove their ability to be as impactful.

If it is not known whether, one, three, five or 15 administrators have a gun, that is a potential inhibitor just as it is when pilots have guns now in cockpits and nobody's trying to kick the doors in.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Governor Bevin. I appreciate your time tonight, sir. Thanks.

BEVIN: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, the Trump organization says it has made good on a promise to donate profits. Has it?

And President Trump prefers putting people he knows in high places. Jeanne Moos on the top job the Trump's personal pilot could be about to land.


[19:52:56] BURNETT: New tonight, the Trump Organization saying it is making good on a promise the president made, announcing its donated profits of foreign officials staying at his hotel.

Now, you may remember the pledge. The president made it days before taking office.


SHERI DILLON, TRUMP ORGANIZATION ATTORNEY: President Trump decided and we are announcing today that he is going to voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotel to United States Treasury.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Of course, though, the devil is always in the details. The Trump Organization does not reveal how much it donated to the U.S. Treasury. And so, you don't know how much they donated, you don't know how much profit they made. They don't give you any information. They won't say what governments paid the profits.

Anyway, Richard Painter is a former White House ethics lawyer from President George W. Bush and he's OUTFRONT.

So, are they following through on their pledge? And the point is here, if you're charging 600 bucks a room --


BURNETT: -- and, you know, you get 800, or you're supposedly going to give the 200 away. But when you don't say exactly how much you are charging and how much you made and who is paying it and --

PAINTER: We don't know. And the ball runs. They ran for the parties, every Middle Eastern country that doesn't want to have a problem with the president. And that is just the tip of the iceberg, that's money with the hotel. So, how about the rent being paid by Chinese government-owned banks and the Trump Tower and other Trump buildings. How about the financing of the business empire? All we know is that the American banks won't loan him any money. Where has he been borrowing money for 20 years? That's the big money. So, this hotel money, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

BURNETT: But even in terms of, you know, maybe the tip of the iceberg, but it is an issue of integrity and you made a promise and are you keeping it, right?


BURNETT: And an important one.

So, we actually got this information exclusively. If you look at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, the only place the president has eaten outside the White House, right? So, you know you will see him there. It is emptier than the other hotels of its caliber, high end in Washington.

But it has a room rate that is 40 percent higher. OK. How do you get lower occupancy in a higher room rate, you get that because you're able to charge premium, because your people perceive that they're going to get a benefit from the president. So, we don't know how they are defining profit.

[19:55:01] PAINTER: Of course, we don't.

BURNETT: It's just the basic room rate itself is inflated.

PAINTER: Absolutely. They are bringing money in for the room, for the restaurant, all the other rooms, the ballrooms. And they have these meetings, the lobbyist come in there. So, there is a lot of money coming into that hotel and they aren't telling it where it's coming from, which foreign governments are paying this money and aren't telling us how much this is. None of it is broken down and we have seen no documentation on this. He has not followed up on that promise at all.

BURNETT: None of that, and also, of course, you have the RNC, the Republican Party, and Mike Pence hosting it as well. I mean, is all of this corrupt?

PAINTER: Oh, yes, of course. We have new lobbying group in that hotel every week. We've got the bankers who are going to have a big bash at the beginning of March, the international bankers and they're bringing in the top regulators and they're going to have a great party, and probably knock off the Dodd/Frank pinata at midnight. I mean, it's crazy, but that's going to be the first week of March. I mean, every week, it's something else.

BURNETT: It's pretty stunning.

All right. Thank you very much, Richard Painter.

Some serious questions need to be answered there. Every promise is a promise that needs to be held to account.

And next, from Trump's personal pilot to the head of the FAA. Jeanne Moos is OUTFRONT.


BURNETT: The FAA is without an administrator and one contender had been flying under the radar until now.

Here is Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Personal pilots can be pretty memorable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Mr. Goldfinger's personal pilot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just how personal is that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a damn good pilot.

MOOS: When Axios reported President Trump wants his personal pilot to head the FAA, reaction online was less Goldfinger, more airplane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Surely you can't be serious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am serious and don't call me Shirley.

MOOS: Trump's pilot's name is John Dunkin. He flew Trump Force One during the campaign and told the Smithsonian Channel that at 15 --

JOHN DUNKIN, TRUMP'S PILOT: I started flying airplane before I could drive a car.

MOOS: Now, he is on the short list to pilot the Federal Aviation Administration.

TRUMP: I have a pilot who's a real expert.

MOOS: President Trump praised Dunkin publicly.

If the president's pilot can be head of the FAA, why not these tongue in cheek suggestions from Twitter?

Melania's parents can run ICE, the immigration agency. The adult film star linked to President Trump, Stormy can run the National Weather Service. Pretty soon he will pushing this fool for surgeon general, tweeted one critic. Breaking news, Sponge Bob to head National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"Axios" quoted an aviation industry official equating Trump's pilot potentially leading the FAA with a "Seinfeld" episode.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay on the caddie.

MOOS: Kramer relies on his caddie for legal advice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ever try on the bra, see if it fits.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do it, Jackie. Stan's the man.

MOOS: But the pilot is no caddie. An administration source told "Axios" he's managed airline and corporate flight departments. Unfortunately, Stan the caddie's bra advice backfired.


MOOS: If the bra doesn't fit, you must acquit.

But is the president's pilot fit to lead the FAA?

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're listening to a caddie.

MOOS: -- New York.


BURNETT: And thank you for joining us.

"AC360" with Anderson begins now. 2