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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Replaces Cobb With Clinton Impeachment Lawyer; Ex-Trump Campaign Aide: Mueller Focused on Russia Collusion; Giuliani Talks Tough on Limits For A Mueller-Trump Interview; New Questions About Trump's Health; Stormy Daniels' Former Manager Cooperating with FBI. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 2, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Good point, Sara. Good reporting. Thanks very much.
That's it for me. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, President Trump's showdown with Robert Mueller. His attorney Rudy Giuliani making new demands tonight as Trump shakes up his legal team adding Clinton's impeachment lawyer.
Plus more legal problems for the president. A Trump accuser subpoenas unreleased footage from "The Apprentice". What exactly is she looking for?
And new questions tonight after Trump's doctor's bombshell revelation. Can we believe anything we have heard about the president's health?
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, Trump's way or the highway? His personal lawyer on the Russia investigation, Rudy Giuliani has a whole new list of demands for Mueller. And he's also saying he's worried about a perjury trap being set for the president by Mueller.
Giuliani telling John Roberts of Fox News that unless Mueller is open to the possibility that Comey lied about his interactions with Trump, the president will refuse to submit to a Mueller interview.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR TRUMP: Do they have an open mind to the fact that he may be telling the truth and Comey may be lying? If they have an open mind to that, then this is something that we would consider. If they don't, then given all of the irregularities in this investigation, we would be foolish to have them be interviewed.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: And, Giuliani also saying that asking all 49 of those questions that were leaked to the media is categorically off the table.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What to you would be acceptable parameters for an interview?
GIULIANI: Two hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And topics?
GIULIANI: Questions in advance. Relevant topics.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: Which he continued to say probably wouldn't even include Russia. Guiliani's tough talk coming on another day of chaos for Trump's legal team. Trump's lead White House lawyer on the Russia investigation, Ty Cobb is out which frankly was a shocking development considering Cobb gave an interview today to ABC News about whether Trump will answer Mueller's questions and here's what he said.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TY COBB, ATTORNEY FOR TRUMP: It's certainly not off the table and people were working hard to make decisions and work towards an interview.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right, well, it's pretty clear Cobb and Giuliani were on opposite side of this issue. Cobb emphasizing diplomatically an interview is not off the table, he's working towards it. Mr. Giuliani claims to be open to an interview making it pretty clear it won't be Mueller's way. It's Trump's way or the highway.
And Cobb is the one of course who's out of a job now. A source familiar with Cobb's departure tell CNN he simply had had enough. He'd been clashing with the president in recent weeks over the president's combative attitude towards the special counsel's investigation. We were told by this source, quote, Ty was uncomfortable with the Mueller tweets. Adding he was not going to be part of a, quote, mudslinging campaign.
Let's be clear, the mudslinging campaign here has been lead by the president of the United States. It's against the Russia investigation and he has intensified his campaign, just today, Trump tweeting, quote, there was no collusion. It is a hoax and there is no obstruction of justice. That is a setup and trap. Witch-hunt.
OK, let's just take those last two words. Witch-hunt. Since taking office, the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump has called the investigation into Russia a witch-hunt 51 times. On Twitter, in interviews, in speeches while taking questions. Here he is every single time he has said it on camera.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a total witch- hunt. I've been saying it for a long time. They have this witch- hunt.
They have this witch-hunt. It's a witch-hunt. That's all it is.
They have phony witch-hunts. It's like a witch-hunt. It's like a witch-hunt.
It's a witch-hunt. The witch-hunt continues. The entire thing has been a witch-hunt.
This is a pure and simple witch-hunt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: We played every single one of those for a very important reason. And that reason is that the president thinks that his way is working. Just look at this poll this week, six points up in one month, all right? The American people up six points.
People saying the investigation should end. OK? That's an incredible increase in just one month. And tonight, yet another sign that Trump thinks his way is working and he's readying for battle. After Ty Cobb is ousted, he's out, has quit, Emmet Flood is coming in. He's a powerful Washington lawyer, he represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment. And Norman Eisen, a former Obama White House ethics czar who worked with Flood says, quote, fasten your seat belts folks, it's war.
Jeff Zeleny is at the White House tonight. And Jeff, look, they have chaos. The president and Giuliani openly taking on the special counsel and thumbing their nose at him in so many ways. And you got a new hire, and a guy kicked out or quitting, this new hire though, Emmet Flood widely seen as a force to be reckoned with.
[19:05:06] JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Erin, he is widely seen as a force to be reckoned with and this is why. Emmet Flood has really worked on all sides of the legal matters at play here. Consider this, as you said, he worked as an impeachment lawyer for Bill Clinton.
The next administration, the Bush administration, he worked inside the White House Counsel's Office. He also worked as a private lawyer for the vice president at the time in the Cheney administration, Dick Cheney. So the reality here, Erin, is this, Emmet Flood is a serious lawyer, a tough lawyer and this represents a change of strategy in every respect.
So the president calls it a witch-hunt, he's tried to dismiss it as a hoax but today he did the thing that probably signals he's taking it as seriously as ever. He hired a new lawyer on top of other lawyers he's hired in recent weeks of course.
Just a few moments ago, the president weighing in. He usually sends these messages in the morning on Twitter. He sent an evening one a short time ago. Let's take a look at it, Erin, it sort of potentially speaks to his state of mind.
He says this, he's quoting a former member of his legal team John Dowd who is talking about this isn't some game. You're screwing with the work of the president of the United States. With North Korea, China, the Middle East, so much going on, there's not much time to be thinking about this saying no collusion again.
So, sending a message there perhaps, re-quoting what John Dowd said, that was in the Washington Post today. But, Erin, it is clear that it is a fully engaged effort here. More so than we've seen before.
The question of course, will the president sit down and testify, or will he go to court and fight it?
ZELENY: We'll find that out likely in the coming weeks. Erin?
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Jeff Zeleny.
And something that may influence how the president is going to fight the breaking news we have right now about Mueller's investigation. This is pretty stunning. Someone who just completed their interview today with the special counsel investigators says the focus is Russian collusion.
Manu Raju joins me on the phone breaking this news. Manu, you just spoke to Donald Trump's former campaign aide, Michael Caputo. You said, he was just interviewed by special counsel investigators today, and wow, he's telling you some pretty important things.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (through translator): Yes, that's right. He sat down with the investigators for the special counsel. He made it very clear that he believes that they're still very much investigating Russia collusion. He said to me, "It's clear they're still really focused on Russia collusion." And he really talked about how they have their information.
They are really digging people into this issue. He said, "They know more about the Trump campaign than anyone who ever worked there." And, Erin, he also said that the Senate and the House are net fishing as part of their investigation but the special counsel is spearfishing.
What he meant to say is that, they know what they are aiming at, and they are deadly accurate. Those are his words. He believes that there is very serious investigation going on, it still -- they've gotten a lot of information, and that they are continuing to pour through.
2And Caputo himself has denied that there's any evidence of collusion. He do not believe that they -- that there was collusion, and he certainly denied any wrong doing on his part. He is, however, a very close ally of Roger Stone. Stone, a long-time friend of President Trump. Stone has been under scrutiny as part of this investigation because of contacts he may have had with WikiLeaks. Now, Caputo, would not comment about the substance of his own interview but made it very clear that they know what they're looking at, and Russia is still very much on the table as part of this investigation. Even as the president says, it doesn't appear to be a focus.
BURNETT: You know, it's just pretty stunning, right? And you got Rudy Giuliani saying, you know, Russia shouldn't even be a topic, a relevant topic for part of the interview. And then you have Michael Caputo saying this. A stunning development.
Thank you very much, Manu. And I want to go straight tonight to Victoria Toensing, informal legal adviser to President Trump, also former deputy assistant attorney general.
All right, Victoria, what's your reaction to this? Former Trump Campaign aide, Michael Caputo was with special counsel investigators today. He -- they interviewed him and he says, it's clear they are still really focused on Russia collusion. That's the quote Manu just shared.
VICTORIA TOENSING, INFORMAL LEGAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Erin, they are focused on Russia but let me tell you, I talked to lawyers, you know, because we can all talk to each other and coordinate.
TOENSING: And, yes, there -- the FBI has traced anybody who is a Republican who went to Russia for any reason including someone I just heard the other day who went on a humanitarian reason and didn't get any money for it, and he was questioned, well, why didn't you charge anything? Yes, they are doing this but I tell you, I have a different look than what was just reported as far as, if they're really seriously -- or have any basis for looking into any kind of Russian collusion.
BURNETT: So you're not -- you're saying OK, Michael Caputo -- we're going to assume Michael Caputo is telling the truth, I don't see why he wouldn't.
[19:10:03] You're just saying they're wrong in their focus.
TOENSING: They're asking about Russia. I would assume Caputo is telling you --
TOENSING: -- he doesn't need -- he doesn't know anything about Russia collusion, whatever that crime is. That he doesn't know anything about Russia. I mean -- so, unless he got out there and said, yes I was participating in it --
BURNETT: No, and he's making it clear he didn't say that. But what you saying is that what's they're focused on. What about this, Victoria, I mean, just to read again the quote. He said -- Caputo said of special counsel, "They know more about the Trump campaign than anyone who ever worked there." He continued to say, "The Senate and the House are net fishing", referring to their investigations. Quote, the special counsel is spearfishing. They know what they are aiming at --
TOENSING: Yes, because --
BURNETT: -- and they're deadly accurate.
TOENSING: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you, but that's a different kind of investigation the special counsel has -- you know, the grand jury, the House and the Senate did not. And the House and the Senate were giving deference to the Mueller investigation as far as anybody who was, you know, caught up in that investigation they didn't ask to interview. They could like Manafort and Gates, and those kinds of people.
So, it's a very different type. I've done both kinds, I've --
BURNETT: But what about the crucial lines here, Victoria. I just want to get at this. He says, they know what they are aiming at. They're deadly accurate. They know more about the campaign than anyone that ever worked there.
Those are pretty serious things. He's not saying that they're clueless or that they have a political agenda, he's saying they know what they're doing.
TOENSING: Well, I don't know that he knows what he is talking about. He's not a lawyer, he's saying that they know a lot about the campaign. I just told you they did. Anybody who's a Republican, whether they worked on the campaign or not, that they've been questioned about anything that they've done. Not only Russia but Ukraine, any other country that is -- was ever connected with Russia, they have been interviewed.
Yes, they do know a lot but that doesn't mean that there's anything there, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, so your take away is, they're -- that this "deadly accurate", you don't read anything into that?
TOENSING: No, I think -- he's not a lawyer, he don't know what he's talking about. And, he's really paying high legal fees. I'll tell you, a $130,000 or whatever it is for a couple of hearings. With pretty good fees and we're not getting that.
And so, I don't know. I don't know if he knows what he's talking about.
BURNETT: If the change in Trump's legal team a clear sign, do you think that he's really upping the aggression here going to war with Mueller? Cobb out, Giuliani saying you only sit for two hours? Russia may not even be a relevant topic which by the way could not be more an opposition to what Caputo just said.
TOENSING: There's a time to sow and there's a time to harvest. For the first month of this investigation, it was a time to cooperate and turn things over. Everyone knew that this day would come when you had to decide whether the president was going to sit down with Mueller or fight a subpoena. I mean, this isn't any different.
It's just because of the timing and by the way, all of these people opining about Ty Cobb and being mad and one day like he's upset or the other day he was kicked out, that's not true. I know these people. I have known Todd -- Ty for years, I've known Jay Sekulow for years. I've known Rudy Giuliani for decades. And these people all get along, they all have a high regard for each other, and they just have different personalities in the way they express themselves. You just cannot read into it because I know how all these people feel about the issues and the subpoena and the testifying. You just cannot read into it what people are opining, I can tell you.
BURNETT: So are you saying that fighting a subpoena is the way to go? Because --
TOENSING: For me?
BURNETT: -- these restrictions that Giuliani has putting out to me sounds pretty outrageous. If I'm Muller, I'm not going to say, OK, here's all the questions, Russia's point not in list, it's only two hour -- I mean, I'm going to say that's absurd. Is that the point?
TOENSING: No, I would fight this. I would fight a subpoena of tooth and nail on three bases.
TOENSING: These questions are all improper. Number one, they violate the Article 2 power of the presidency. He should not be questioned about who he hires or fires. He can hire and fire people for any reason whatsoever. No reason and he can change his mind about the reason.
BURNETT: Even if they're agents of the Russian Government?
TOENSING: Who was a agent of the Russian Government?
BURNETT: I'm just saying -- I don't know, but what if Paul Manafort was or General Flynn was.
TOENSING: Well, he didn't -- Flynn?
BURNETT: I'm saying, these are the issues that are being discussed right now. If that Mueller is going to say, these people both of whom have been charged are going to be -- if that's what they were, you don't think it's fair to ask the president about it.
TOENSING: I guess he should. I mean, I'm just shocked. You heard that with Michael Flynn might have been an agent of the Russian Government but I guess he should have fired him then, right?
I mean, how can he possibly be questioned about exercising Article 2 authority? Do you know who tried to do this for Bill Clinton? Do you remember the Marc Rich pardon, and that Marc Rich's ex-wife gave Bill Clinton $450,000 for the foundation and $100,000 to Hillary for her Senate run. And so, Jim Comey opened up an investigation of Bill Clinton regarding the power.
[19:15:00:05] He was questioning the pardon power. It is unfettered just like the hiring and firing. That's an improper question that they're asking.
BURNETT: To your point on Jim Comey, right, Rudy Giuliani, we just heard him, he said, only if they're open to Jim Comey being the one who lied, right, in this whole interaction with the president, the loyalty pledge, that whole back and forth. Is there any way -- I mean, I guess the point is what Giuliani is basically saying is, we're going to take this to a subpoena and we're going to fight it.
Why would Bob Mueller say, yes, I'm open to that? Why would Bob Mueller even respond to that question in any way, shape, or form?
TOENSING: They're negotiating. That's what -- that's what's going on. People are negotiating and they're doing it more in the public. I think that's a good thing so that the public can see the back and forth of what's going on. But the public needs to know that these questions are improper.
You cannot ask the ques -- the president what process did he go through in order to fire Michael Flynn. That's executive privilege and there's case law in Washington, D.C. that says the president cannot be questioned. He is not readily available questioning if -- unless it's material to the matter, and -- and this is the important one, that the evidence cannot be gotten elsewhere.
BURNETT: All right. So let me just ask you a final question here. The 49 questions then, if this is all part of a negotiation, somebody leaked them. Obviously, the change on the legal team until today when Ty Cobb was out was Rudy Giuliani being in. He leaked them I assume?
TOENSING: I cannot assume who leaked them. I have no idea. But, Erin, I want to make one comment about the witch-hunt? Do you know where the president got that phrase?
BURNETT: Well, I mean, it's an age old phrase but there?
TOENSING: From (INAUDIBLE) in Meet The Press when he was describing the independent counsel against Bill Clinton.
BURNETT: Well, I can see, and as I said, it is -- those are words that appear to have worked for this president thus far.
Victoria, thank you very much.
TOENSING: And for Bill Clinton they worked.
BURNETT: And they did.
BURNETT: And next, Trump threatening his own Justice Department. The word he's using is one you will also recognize from this president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The process is rigged. These polls are rigged. Folks, it's a rigged system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And new questions about the president's health tonight. If Trump dictated that glowing letter about his health, what else is he telling his doctors to say about him?
And EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, 11 investigations right now going on into Scott Pruitt simultaneously. Is support from evangelicals the reason he is surviving?
[19:21:09] BURNETT: And more on the news we're just getting into CNN. Former Donald Trump campaign aide, Michael Caputo just sit down with Bob Mueller's team today. And he came out of that interview saying, it's clear collusion is a -- that they are so really focused on Russia collusion.
This, after he finished his day of interviews. He is telling our Manu Raju, quote, they know more about the Trump campaign than anyone who ever worked there. Obviously, a big development as the president has said over and over again there was no collusion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They found no collusion whatsoever with Russia.
There has been no collusion. They won't find any collusion. It doesn't exist.
There's no collusion with me and the Russians. Nobody has been tougher to Russia.
No collusion which I knew anyway. No coordination, no nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, "New York Times" Politics Editor Patrick Healy, former federal prosecutor Laura Coates, and former federal prosecutor Glen Donath who represented Bill Clinton in his impeachment hearings. Glen also represents a client who's been before the special counsel in connection with the Manafort-Gates situation.
Patrick, let me start with you, your reaction to this. Michael Caputo coming out as we said, you know, a long-time supporter (INAUDIBLE) of Roger Stone, right, in that inner circle there with Trump. They're really focused on Russia collusion. They know more about the Trump campaign than anyone that ever worked there. House and Senate are netfishing, they're spearfishing, they're deadly accurate. PATRICK HEALY, POLITICS EDITOR, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Right, right. I mean, this is significant because it goes to how careful and detailed Mueller and his lawyers are being in terms of reconstructing who did what inside the Trump campaign, who would have been hyping information to Donald Trump about all the contexts that they were having during the course of that campaign both foreign and domestic. You know, and then also really sort of -- again, putting on the table this notion that Russia and the campaign's ties to Russia in collusion are in fact the centerpiece to this.
We -you know, for a long time, we have been talking about obstruction of justice --
HEALY: -- because there's so much as President Trump as president actions that he himself took. But the reality is, and what's revealing about this, is that, again, the campaign that Mueller is really gaining and understanding of the campaign, and who did what and the contacts that could add up to possible collusion is really a sort of a focus of this.
I think we sometimes think maybe it's because of what Trump is saying that collusion isn't so much a part of this but it really still is.
BURNETT: And Laura, that does seem to be very significant here right? I mean, it is true. The conversation had shifted to obstruction of justice, and maybe they're looking at all of these other things still too. But obstruction of justice had become sort of a centerpiece of the conversation.
What Michael Caputo tonight is saying is, that a focus here very much still is Russia collusion. What does that say to you?
LAURA COATES, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, it makes sense. Obstruction would be not the end game of a prudent prosecutor, Erin. Obstruction would be like, if I just charge you with a speeding ticket and I ignore the crime you were trying to escape from and fleeing from the officers. It was never intended to be the end game, I know that it ultimately did mixed in, in one part but really, the object and he focus of Mueller's mandate is on the overall Russian collusion.
I know that's a cloud-like term and umbrella topic that people talk about but it includes so many different facets. So it tells me they're being thorough. They're sticking to the mandate, they're being comprehensive and they are direct and targeted in their focus. It's not a fishing expedition or a witch-hunt. Faceted, it's targeted and spearfishing means they know what they're looking for, they've done enough research and now they're honing in.
BURNETT: All right, and Caputo is not coming out and being dismissive where he's saying they know what they're aiming out and they're being deadly accurate, Glen. He's not saying, oh, they don't know what they're doing. Why are they focused on this? Again, it seems from what he's saying to Manu, to be exactly the opposite. Look, Glen, there's big changes in the president's legal team and the method they're taking here, right. You heard Victoria Toensing who talk about them saying, look, you need to fight this, do whatever you need to do to take an interview off the table, and then fight it with this -- fight this subpoena.
[19:25:03] You, Glen, have worked with Emmet Flood who's replacing Ty Cobb, who was much more conciliatory, diplomatic in his dramatic in his approach.
What do you hear today when you got Flood coming in and Rudy Giuliani who by the way today said, we get questions in advanced, it's only two hours and the relevant topics means Russia may not be relevant any longer.
GLEN DONATH, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: You know, well, good to be with you, Erin. Two hours for the president is like three questions. I heard from a lawyer who took a his deposition years ago that one answer ran 14 pages to a deposition question. So the special counsel would be crazy to agree to those terms.
I know Emmet well, I worked with him as you had indicated on the Clinton impeachment and the Lewinsky investigation. I actually sat next to him in the office next door for years. Emmett is a gem of a lawyer. You know, the president has had some nutty appointments over the past months but he hit a home run with Emmet. He's sort of the anti-Jay Sekulow, super experienced in all the relevant areas here.
The key question however remains, is the president going to listen to him. Does he care what he has to say or is he going to continue the sort of unhinged tweets we saw today and yesterday where he said obstruction can't be a crime but there's no underlying crime which is sort of a preposterous statement of the law or attacking his own Justice Department as rigged.
If he continues to do that and doesn't listen to sound counsel from someone like Emmet, we're not going to see any change. 2 BURNETT: And Laura, what do you make of Michael Caputo's news coming out tonight, right. It flies in the face of everything Rudy Giuliani said today, of everything the president tweeted today. This is not something they're going to want to hear. This is from one of their allies. This is from their guy.
COATES: Yes, it certainly does undermine that loyalty pledge if there was ever one taken in this issue, but it does show you that people are actually understanding that Mueller is probably not adhering to or falling for the antics of the president's tweets. They're continuing to barrel forward and move forward the investigation. They're interviewing people who are relevant, not just tangentially related. And so, that should really give people pause and a little bit of hope that the process is working, no matter what the result ends up being.
But of course, if you buy into the Rudy to the rescue philosophy which I don't, then you would be disappointed to things that it did not stall the entire proceeding, it kept on going. BURNETT: And of course, Patrick, this whole thing, Mueller, falls under the Department of Justice --
BURNETT: -- which the president has been flirting with, well, maybe I'll get involved. Maybe -- right -- I mean, in all of those interviews with Fox.
Today on Twitter, hitting the DOJ again, a rigged system. They don't want to turnover documents to Congress complaining about the DOJ. And by the way, when it comes to rigged, this is like witch-hunt --
BURNETT: -- this is like collusion --
HEALY: He loves these words.
BURNETT: -- let me, please let me indulge myself. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The process is rigged. This whole election is being rigged.
It's not just the political system that's rigged. It's the whole economy.
I found out these polls are rigged. They were rigged.
Folks, it's a rigged system.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There was even a time when he didn't get an Emmy for his T.V. program three years in a row, and he started tweeting that the Emmy's were rigged.
TRUMP: Should have gotten it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Sorry. The last one made it for me. But look, those words like witch-hunt appear to have been working for him.
HEALY: Right, right. I mean, the economy is rigged, and he's now in charge of it. The polls are rigged but he won. He just -- he uses these words because he knows that it goes to a core feeling in the base that they have been simply screwed over by what America has become.
That none of it is, you know, anyone's fault except this sort of rigged system that has given -- and it resonates with people who are hurting. It resonates with people that are economically frustrated. And that is what he plays to.
But the reality is this like, he is -- he's not even above throwing his own Justice Department under the bus time and time again. It is his strategy. I mean, it is really sort of just degrading these places to make himself look strong.
BURNETT: All right, thank you all very much.
And next, new questions about the president's health after his doctor's revelation that Trump himself was the one who dictated the letter saying that Trump was the healthiest president in American history. What do we really know about the oldest person to hold the highest office in the land?
And just coming into CNN, Stormy Daniels' former manager who was key in brokering Daniels' confidentiality agreement now cooperating with the FBI. We have new details, ahead.
[19:32:42] BURNETT: New questions tonight about the president's health after his former personal doctor says Trump dictated the letter that he put out during the campaign saying he was healthy. The letter was signed by Dr. Harold Bornstein and, of course, Trump's the one that Bornstein says dictated it. It referred to Trump's blood pressure 110/65 at lab test results is astonishingly excellent and concluded if elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.
OK, it raises the question, if Trump dictated this letter, how much do we really know about his astonishingly excellent health or whatever else it might be?
Alex Marquardt is OUTFRONT.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Listening to President Donald Trump's doctors, it would seem there's nothing to worry about when it comes to his health.
DR. RONNY JACKSON, WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN: He has incredibly good genes and it's just the way God made him.
MARQUARDT: Then White House Dr. Ronny Jackson in January repeatedly praised Trump's excellent health. I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old, I don't know.
JACKSON: The kind of gushing, over-the-top Trumpian language we'd also heard from Trump's longtime personal doctor, Harold Bornstein, during the campaign.
Now we know because Bornstein tells CNN that Trump was dictating to him what to say at least in the letter declaring that Trump will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. That raising new doubts about the subsequent assessment by Dr. Jackson who was just removed as Trump's doctor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm even wondering if Ronny Jackson's great report on his health was a saw written by Trump, too, because he said things which were patently wrong.
MARQUARDT: What he did say was that the president weighed 239 pounds. At six-foot-three, that's borderline obese on the BMI scale. And other data release show that the president has a common form of heart disease, according to Dr. Sanjay Gupta who was at the briefing.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We know what he eats he's talked about this very publicly we know he doesn't exercise. These are just bedrock principles in medicine. That's what sets you up for having some sort of heart problem.
MARQUARDT: Weekend rounds at the golf course are Trump's gym routine and while he doesn't smoke or drink, he's known to have a dozen Diet Cokes a day, according to a "New York Times" report. On the campaign trail aides, said there were four major food groups, McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke.
[19:35:04] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One thing, I'd like to lose weight. It's tough because of the way I live, but the one thing I would like to do is be able to drop 15, 20 pounds.
MARQUARDT: Meanwhile, he repeatedly went after Hillary Clinton for a lack of stamina and mocked her for an incident in which she nearly fainted.
TRUMP: And she can't make it 15 feet to her car, give me a break.
MARQUARDT: There are new concerns tonight with the allegation that Trump has influenced his doctors official reporting in the past about how much we actually know about the oldest person elected to the presidency whose lifestyle it's safe to say isn't the healthiest.
GUPTA: And as much as I worry about what was said I also very much worried about what's not being said, that might even be a bigger problem.
MARQUARDT: And, Erin, when I spoke with Dr. Bornstein I asked him what else was in those medical files on Trump. Now, remember he claims that those files were stolen from him in a raid by Trump staffers, he did not say what was in those files, he was clearly hurt. He said he grew up near the Trump's in Queens and that for decades, he never revealed that Trump was his patient. He said that he was the most loyal and that he had complete loyalty.
Now, Erin, Bornstein did show up here to the office this afternoon. He left very abruptly without taking any questions -- Erin.
BURNETT: Alex, thank you very much.
I want to go now to Keith Boykin, Democratic strategist and political commentator, and Rob Astorino who's known the president for 15 years.
Rob, you heard Alex. I have to say just, you know, on a human level, you know, Bornstein obviously feels that he's been discarded and treated horribly. He said he was the most loyal and showed complete loyalty. The president obviously you know obviously, Bornstein does not feel that that's being returned at all.
ROB ASTORINO (R), FORMER CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: Is it me or does Dr. Bornstein look like he once toured with a grateful dead? I mean --
ASTORINO: Maybe he liked it. Hey, I don't know what kind of doctor he is but I think, you know, this whole thing --
BURNETT: Well, he's the one who's willing to let a patient dictate whether with inaccuracy.
BURNETT: I mean, that's a very serious thing.
ASTORINO: Yes, it is and it isn't because here's why it seems to be it's about style and not substance, because Trump's health is good.
KEITH BOYKIN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: Astonishingly excellent.
ASTORINO: The best. His health is good. Dr. Jackson and the White House medical unit said that he's very good. So, he didn't change the results of anything and, you know, Keith, everything in like a campaign goes through the prism of communications and they want to make sure that they have the best possible spin on something which obviously Donald Trump wanted personally.
But I don't see anything objectively wrong with the facts with the facts. The blood pressure was the blood pressure. How they spin it --
BURNETT: Well, another doctor said the test results weren't all positive or the guy would have all sorts of diseases and problems. So, I mean, there were inaccuracies but --
BOYKIN: He didn't really give the test results. He just gave some vague generalities about how wonderful his health was. But the problem, Rob, is that Trump was elected on a fraud. This was fraud that was committed by the doctor and Trump to mislead the American people about the only oldest president to be elected and his health and all the time -- all the time, it doesn't matter --
BOYKIN: All the time, Trump was going on complaining about Hillary and how unstable she was and she wasn't healthy and she was too weak. Trump was -- everything Trump was saying he was essentially misdirecting our attention so we would focus on on Hillary instead of him. And as a result, no one thought Trump was going to be elected, so we ended up vetting Hillary far more than we vetted Donald Trump.
ASTORINO: Well, because she fell. Everyone saw her fall at down at the old World Trade Center site. We saw that on camera, which quest -- you know, we had a lot of questions. Trump was a private citizen --
BOYKIN: -- questions about that before she fell, and who knows how many times he's fallen and we just haven't seen it yet, but we don't know anything about his health because we have two doctors --
BURNETT: His doctor was willing to do something that a doctor should not do, OK? A doctor should not be allowing a patient to dictate a letter saying they're going to be the most healthy president United States. A doctor has no clue whether that's true.
BURNETT: OK, but the president surrounds himself with people who are willing to do and say these things regularly, OK? Here are three of them, including Bornstein.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAROLD BORNSTEIN, FORMER TRUMP PERSONAL DOCTOR: His excellent is excellent, particularly his mental health (INAUDIBLE) which works out just fine.
OMAROSA MANIGAULT, DIRECTOR OF AFRICAN AMERICAN OUTREACH, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Every critic, every detractor will have to bow down to President Trump.
MICHAEL COHEN, TRUMP PERSONAL ATTORNEY: He's a man of great intellect, great intuition and great abilities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That's a lot of loyalty. By the way, all three of these people have been cast out.
ASTORINO: But they've all done very well because of their relationship with Donald Trump. They've all done very, very well, including Omarosa.
BURNETT: So, who cares if he's disloyal and casting him out, who cares?
ASTORINO: Ultimately, you know, if they're going to -- if they're going to ride the coattails and be rewarded and they happen. Omarosa, what was she? What was she before?
BOYKIN: Why did he pick her to be his White House staffer --
ASTORINO: She broke the law and he shouldn't have.
BOYKIN: Why did he pick a former reality star from "The Apprentice" to be a White House staffer?
[19:40:02] Why did he pick Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, and his daughter Ivanka to be chief White House staff member?
ASTORINO: I'm not saying they were the right pick. I'm just saying.
BURNETT: Rob, you've known them for 15 years, OK? So, those are three people he worked with on some level, right? So maybe they felt that that's why they had to be so sycophantic. But what about people who didn't even really know him, his cabinet members they barely knew him?
BURNETT: They were willing to say things like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM PRICE, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: President what an incredible honor it is to lead the Department of Health and Human Services at this pivotal time under your leadership. I can't thank you enough for the privilege that you've given me in the leadership that you've shown.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Mr. President, thank you for the honor 2to serve other country. It's a great privilege you've given me.
REINCE PRIEBUS, CHIEF OF STAFF: On behalf of entire senior staff around you, Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you've given us to serve your agenda and the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, that sycophantism did not pay off. They're all gone.
BOYKIN: Erin, I want to thank you so much on behalf of the American people I just want to thank you for the honor of allowing me to be on your show tonight.
BOYKIN: It's a wonderful honor. You're the best host ever on CNN. No one can possibly do it better than you.
ASTORINO: So, nobody bow to Obama on the cabinet. They were going to go out you actually the guy's a bum but I'm going to stick with it.
BURNETT: Well, he didn't make them do it on camera.
ASTORINO: But they did. Every time they went out and we all had to go around and say this --
BOYKIN: Have you ever seen any other president do that before?
ASTORINO: Every time --
BOYKIN: Have you?
BOYKIN: Thank you.
ASTORINO: But every time a surrogate went out for President Obama or any president, of course, they're praising the president and pushing his agenda.
BURNETT: But that's different than blessing and privilege --
BOYKIN: Omarosa said, people, they have to bow down to President Donald Trump.
BURNETT: Bow down.
BOYKIN: Bow down?
BOYKIN: He's not a king. He's the president of the United States.
BURNETT: -- that people say these things even when he just told he then sells them out, why?
ASTORINO: Well, I think, you know, depending on how long they've known. If they've known him a long time, then they have that friendship. He also after he fires, how many times has he rehired --
BOYKIN: What had a good for --
ASTORINO: Or help, now, I'm saying it's because of personal loyalty that they have built up the Michael Cohens of the world and everyone else.
BOYKIN: And Michael Flynn's of the world that he should never have hired in the first place.
ASTORINO: Well --
BOYKIN: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, new details just coming into CNN. Stormy Daniels former manager is now cooperating with the FBI. We have the breaking news on what the feds are looking for with this detail tonight and the focus of 11 ethics investigation still ongoing, and yet, not going anywhere.
Is religion the secret to Scott Pruitt's survival?
[19:46:12] BURNETT: Just in, a source telling CNN, Stormy Daniels manager, the one that helped broker the nondisclosure deal with former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is now cooperating with the FBI. The source says she has handed over records pertaining to the agreement.
Sara Sidner is breaking this news.
And, Sara, what are you learning?
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have learned through a source that Gina Rodriguez who was the former manager of Stormy Daniels was around when the deal was brokered. Not only the 2016 deal but the 2011 deal with "In Touch" magazine, where she told her story to "In Touch" magazine.
We are learning that she is cooperating with the FBI, that she was subpoenaed and that she cooperated by handing over documents to the FBI, handing over records to the FBI. Some of those records are pertaining to the $130,000 payment made through Stormy Daniels' attorney, then-attorney, Keith Davidson, from Michael Cohen and that Essential Consultants LLC that we've all heard so much about, that he was using basically as a shell company to pay the money and we're learning now that the FBI has those documents that Gina Rodriguez is fully cooperating and that in some of those documents, there is evidence of an earlier deal that began in October 10th, 2016, that deal fell through.
According to our sources because Michael Cohen was unable to pay the money or did not pay the money in time and then, of course, we have all seen that deal that happened 18 days later on October 28th, 2016, just 11 days before the election, where there was a deal signed between Michael Cohen who signed on Essential Consultants behalf and Stormy Daniels otherwise known as Stephanie Clifford.
So, we are getting this information just in. We understand that Gina Rodriguez talked to the FBI a few weeks ago.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Sara.
And Harry Sandick is with me now, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York where Michael Cohen obviously is under criminal investigation for other things.
Let me ask you what you think the significance of this is, that Stormy Daniels manager is now cooperating with the FBI, and has been interviewed by them as Sara reported.
HARRY SANDICK, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: I think it's significant for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that the prosecutors and agents working in the Southern District are not just going to wait for the search warrant documents to come in. They're going to look for information from any source and if documents reside with Stormy Daniels former manager, that's where they're going to go.
I saw that she was subject to a confidentiality agreement as well. The manager was but this was easily overcome through the service of a subpoena. The other thing that I think it tells us that they're hoping to find out why the payment was made and whether it had something to do with the campaign.
BURNETT: And now, to that front, Sara is reporting that in the documents, there's evidence Stormy Daniels was shopping her story about her affair to other media outlets, while she was negotiating with Cohen. So, obviously, you know, which came first could be very crucial here, right?
SANDICK: Absolutely. I mean, the inference that one could draw from the states without seeing the e-mails and the communications is the election is only a few weeks away. Stormy Daniels has a story that the president doesn't want to come out.
BURNETT: She wants to seize her moment and gets paid while it's valuable because she thinks maybe he would lose.
BURNETT: Badly. And Michael Cohen steps in.
SANDICK: Makes this payment and says it's from his own funds but is it a campaign contribution and what did President Trump know about this? Maybe Michael Cohen said something in these communications that have now been produced to indicate -- excuse me, to indicate that Donald trump did know about this.
BURNETT: And does it matter if Donald Trump knew about this specifically if he knew in general that Michael Cohen would do this sort of thing for him historically and had done so many times in the past?
SANDICK: I think that would be good evidence for the government but the best evidence would be to know right now just before the election someone is helping out my campaign by making this payment.
[19:50:07] If it happens generally, ongoing basis in the past, it's still useful because you can try to show a pattern existed here and that President Trump knew this was being done.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Harry.
SANDICK: Thank you.
BURNETT: Next, Scott Pruitt, new allegations, is his faith what's keeping him in his job?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT PRUITT, EPA ADMINISTRATOR: It's been a couple of years just earnestly praying, God, what do you want to do with me?
(END VIDEO CLIP
BURNETT: And Republicans pushing for Trump to get the Nobel Prize. Jeanne Moos is next.
BURNETT: Tonight, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt holding on to his job despite multiple scandals and federal investigations into his conduct. In just the past 24 hours, two high level staffers close to Pruitt quitting the agency, and "The Washington Post" revealing a lobbyist and conservative activist was involved in planning Pruitt's December trip to Morocco, which cost more than $100,000.
So, why is Trump keeping Pruitt around?
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Evangelicals have been a blessing for Donald Trump and he's been one for them. On issue after issue, leading a conservative Christian charge and Scott Pruitt is right up front.
PRUITT: Spent a couple of years just earnestly praying through, you know, asking the question, I don't think we ask enough as individuals. God, what do you want to do with me?
FOREMAN: When he was named EPA administrator, a Baptist press headline called him "a magnificent Christian leader". Pruitt readily cites god's will in his aggressive rollback of environmental regulations and his policies about mining, oil exploration and other natural resources.
PRUITT: The biblical world view respect to these issues is that we have a responsibility to manage and cultivate, harvest the natural resources that we have been blessed with, to truly bless our fellow mankind.
FOREMAN: But it goes far beyond that.
PRUITT: There are scientific facts to establish the theory of evolution.
FOREMAN: Over the years, Pruitt has fiercely towed the evangelical line, opposing transgender and abortion rights, fighting the science of climate change and called for gun control.
PRUITT: I think the most grievous threat that we have today is this imperialistic judiciary, this judicial monarchy that has it wrong on what the First Amendment is about and has an objective to create religious sterility in the public square.
FOREMAN: And some evangelical leaders appear to be repaying that loyalty by down-playing the growing allegations of improper conduct against Pruitt.
BURNETT: You're saying, I'm OK with this and this -- TONY PERKINS, CONSERVATIVE FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL PRESIDENT: I don't
know the details of that. Here is what we know about Scott Pruitt -- Scott Pruitt has actually been accomplishing the president's agenda in more probably so than any other agency and that has some on the opposing political side upset, the fact that he worked to get us out of the Paris Accord. The president likes him. It's been good for business.
FOREMAN: All of that makes Pruitt a political asset to the president, despite everything else. After all, four out of five white evangelicals in this country voted for Donald Trump. They still think he's doing a good job and while firing Scott Pruitt may not cost him any of that support, God only knows -- Erin.
[19:55:05] BURNETT: Tom, thank you very much.
FOREMAN: You're welcome.
BURNETT: And next --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Jeanne Moos on the push for Trump to win the Nobel.
BURNETT: Tonight, in the words of President Trump, he wants peace. But what about a prize on top?
Here is Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump, Nobel laureate?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dangled that Nobel Prize in front of him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has to be almost a shoo-in for the Nobel.
TRUMP: Nobel Peace Prize --
MOOS: Who, me? Yes, him.
Dana Carvey was already imagining the president's acceptance speech.
DANA CARVEY, COMEDIAN: I love prizes, I love Cracker Jacks.
MOOS: Eighteen Republican members of Congress signed a letter to the Nobel committee in Norway formally nominating him. But his supporters had already chanted their nomination.
CROWD: Nobel! Nobel! Nobel! Nobel! Nobel!
TRUMP: That's very nice. Thank you.
MOOS: Trump supporters chanting Nobel?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's like going to a monster truck rally and chanting Pulitzer.
MOOS: Critics couldn't quite square the humanitarian prize with President Trump's tough guy tactics.
TRUMP: To totally destroy North Korea. Little rocket man.
MOOS: He threatened to annihilate them.
TRUMP: With fire and fury.
MOOS: Hardly peace prize material, scoffed one tweet.
The Nobel nominee has veered from modesty --
TRUMP: I want to get peace.
MOOS: -- to grandiosity.
TRUMP: What do you think President Trump had to do with? I tell you what, how about everything.
MOOS: But nothing is what critics of that other winner say he did to deserve it.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: I did get the Nobel peace prize.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, really? What was that for?
OBAMA: To be honest, I still don't know.
MOOS: As for South Korea's president --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He thinks Trump should win a Nobel Prize for peace. Hairpiece, he said.
MOOS: There is one tweet that takes the prize for promoting hair growth, naming President Trump winner of the Nobel Propecia prize. If he wins, better put the acceptance speech on teleprompter.
CARVEY: I love the Nobelians.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --
MOOS: -- New York.
BURNETT: Thank you for joining us. And don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT anytime. Just go to CNNgo.
"AC360" starts right now.