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Trump Calls Waters "Extraordinarily Low I.Q. Person" in Tweet; Rosenstein Misses Nunes Deadline for Russia Investigation Documents; Trump Tweets About Witch Hunt 23 Times This Month, Polls Show Possible Impact on Opinion of Mueller; Stocks Plunge Amid Trade War Fears. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 25, 2018 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:05] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We also want to wish his new grandmother, Phyllis, a very happy birthday.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, Congresswoman Maxine Waters doubling down tonight, calling President Trump a liar. Trump slamming her for her low I.Q., he says, and threatening her. It's a new low. And Anthony Scaramucci is OUTFRONT to talk about it.

Plus, breaking news, Rod Rosenstein missing a deadline set by the House Intelligence Committee chairman, Devin Nunes. Is he about to be held in contempt?

And Roseanne Barr, you've never heard her like this before. Tears and remorse, on tape? The man who spoke with her is my guest.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, a new low for America. President Trump's press secretary, Sarah Sanders, opening up the White House press briefing today exactly the way her boss wanted her to. With strong condemnation of a Virginia restaurant owner who asked Sanders this weekend to leave the restaurant.


SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I was asked to leave because I work for President Trump. Healthy debate on ideas and political philosophy is important, but the calls for harassment and push for any Trump supporter to avoid the public is unacceptable.


BURNETT: And that shouldn't be up for debate. Calls for harassment are unacceptable. Which is why you see a growing number of Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer publicly both of them, condemning their Democratic colleague Maxine Waters, a congresswoman, after she called for the public to confront administration officials.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: And if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd! And you push back on them. And you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere.


BURNETT: Not welcome anymore, anywhere. That's the way things are now in discourse. The problem is, the president himself isn't doing anything to elevate the conversation. When people go low, like Waters did, Trump seems to go lower.

Tweeting today, "Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low- I.Q. person has become together with Nancy Pelosi the face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many of the make America great movement. Be careful what you wish for, Max."

OK. So he calls her I.Q. extraordinarily low, and then -- which by the way, he's done before when he talks about her, and then goes ahead and threatens her as well. Obviously, not raising the dialogue level at all.

You know, it contradicts Sarah Sanders today, actually, which is pretty interesting. Because what she said is night and day from what he tweeted.


SANDERS: We are allowed to disagree, but we should be able to do so freely and without fear of harm. And this goes for all people regardless of politics.


BURNETT: Without fear of harm regardless of politics. Again, Sarah Sanders today with a simple concept that everybody should be able to agree on. The problem is, remember this guy from the campaign?


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE United States: Hillary wants to abolish -- essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don't want know.


BURNETT: We all know what the Second Amendment is. A pretty thinly veiled threat at Hillary Clinton. And here the president is again threatening protesters at his rallies.


TRUMP: I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks. The guards are very gentle with him. He's walking out like big high fives, smiling, laughing. I would like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you.

If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you, seriously? OK? Just knock the hell -- I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees, I promise. I promise.


BURNETT: But let's be honest. It's not just the president, and it's not in the past. His supporters are taking the low road again and again. Here's just a few examples from the immigration debate of the past week alone.


ZAC PETKANAS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I read today about a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was taken from her mother and put in a cage --


STEVE CORTES, FORMER HEAD OF TRUMP'S HISPANIC ADVISORY COUNCIL: If you come across our border without permission, you are an invader. There's no other word to describe you.

DAVID BOSSIE, FORMER TRUMP DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: You're out of your cotton-picking mind!



BURNETT: Bossie, you just saw him there, has been suspended by Fox News according to the Daily Beast. Fox News is not commenting to CNN. But would be suspended obviously for that comment. Cortes says he regrets saying invader. But keep in mind, Trump himself today doubling down using the word invade just this weekend when talking about immigrants.

[19:05:04] And Trump's opposition -- here's the other problem, right. So all those things happened, but Trump's opposition then jumps on this. So happy to say, oh, they did it first, to justify equally unacceptable behavior. Here are members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus protesting the president on Capitol Hill.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quit separating the kids! They're separating the children! Mr. President, don't you have kids? Don't you have kids, Mr. President?

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: And don't forget, Robert de Niro at the Tony's.


ROBERT DE NIRO, ACTOR: I'm going to say one thing. (INAUDIBLE) Trump.


BURNETT: And actor Peter Fonda, forced to apologize for tweeting the president's youngest son, Barron, should be separated from his mother and put in a cage with pedophiles. It's unspeakable and crass and it's on both sides.

Jeff Zeleny is at the White House. Jeff, you know, today, when this came up, the president specifically, from your reporting, wanted Sarah Sanders to open up the briefing to reporters today, talking about that restaurant and how they asked her to leave. He wanted her to do that for a reason.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, there's no question the president made his views about this pretty open and clear earlier today. First, you know, responding to Maxine Waters' suggestion that people should go after Trump officials. And then his comments specifically on the restaurant, calling it filthy on the outside, and saying that it probably is not acceptable on the inside. So it's clear what the president's view was.

And we are told by a White House official that the president, indeed, was eager to have Sarah Sanders draw more attention to this and explain it at the beginning of the press briefing. Now, I'm also told by someone who's close to Sanders, saying it was her idea as well. She certainly was going along with this. Had no problem with it.

She was the one who was interrupted, of course on Friday evening. But Erin, this does speak without question to this lack of civility here, which, without question, I've been in Washington a long time. It is at a low. It is on both sides, but certainly, it is driven by this White House as well here.

But the White House eager to point this out and point out how she was slighted. Now, I would talk to one person here. They said, one of the reasons they wanted to bring it up earlier in case no one asked about it at the briefing, they wanted to talk about it from the White House podium.

But the reality is here, Erin, I'm not sure that any of these calls for civility are going to help. We're at the beginning of a midterm election campaign. Things to me seem to be getting only messier. Erin?

BURNETT: Certainly true. Jeff Zeleny, thank you.

And I want to go now to the president's former White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci. All right, so much to talk to you about this. But first, on the personal level, you know, you've been there when you have that profanity rant with a reporter, right? That was part of the reason you ended up leaving. I mean, do you regret where things have gotten now?

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, I regret that situation, for sure. And I do think that people will regret the situations that you just showed on all those tapes.


SCARAMUCCI: Because what ends up happening is, once we go across the border into big-time incivility, then it's a slippery slope downward. And so the big problem is that the president -- someone could sit there with the president in the Oval Office and say, hey, take the higher ground and his response would probably be, if I try to take the higher ground, then his quick response probably be, well, if I try to take the higher ground then we're losing the battle and they're going to hit me even harder.

I'm not saying they will or they won't, but that would be my prediction. And then the flip side is, people like Maxine Waters, they're galvanizing a group of people, and they're galvanizing a group of supporters, and one thing that we both know is that the midterm elections are high-stake --


SCARAMUCCI: -- and voter participation usually comes from anger, unfortunately. And so, if both sides are charged up, you'll probably get higher voter participation at the polls.

And so, if you ask me the question -- you didn't ask it, but I'm going to answer it anyway. Do I like any of this or do I think this is the right direction that we should all be going in? I absolutely don't like it. I think it's the wrong direction.


SCARAMUCCI: And so, whatever sins that I have caused as a result of going in this direction, I apologize for. And I think --

BURNETT: Personally, I wouldn't say you caused it. I would say you were part of a continuum in which it was occurring.

SCARAMUCCI: Whatever. But my bigger point is, I'm man enough to apologize and I'm man enough to look at a situation and recognize when I'm doing something right and when I'm doing something wrong, calling myself out on it. If Maxine Waters is not capable of calling herself out on that or Peter Fonda is not capable of it, you know, and the president --

BURNETT: He did apologize for his tweet. Yes.

SCARMUCCI: He did. But, I mean, you have to just step a back. You know, it's like Lincoln said, you know, you're going to write the letter, why don't you read the letter four times before you send the letter. Sending out a tweet like that was ridiculous.

BURNETT: It's also, like you say to your kids, you don't -- you know, you don't just -- just because you apologize for something, doesn't mean it's OK to say it. I mean, this Maxine Waters situation, on both sides -- OK, let me just -- first of all, the president when he responded to her, so we just played what she said.

[19:10:00] He responded with this tweet, right, about an extraordinarily low-I.Q. person and then, you know, she's called for harm, be careful what you wish for.

So he's calling her an extraordinarily low-I.Q. person.

SCARAMUCCI: Right, because he knows that --

BURNETT: Are you willing to call the president out and say that's not acceptable?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I don't -- listen, I have no problem saying this, it's not acceptable. It's obviously not acceptable. But let's explain why he's doing it. He knows that that's going to charge her up. He knows that calling her that and doubling down on it is going to energize his base.

OK, the second part of the thing is, you know, again, you're probably going to disagree --

BURNETT: But you know him -- I mean, so he just doesn't care? He doesn't care about doing the right thing? He doesn't care about evaluating the conversation?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I think he thinks that he's doing the right thing. I think he thinks that he's been painted into a corner by the media. I think he thinks that there's a 91 percent negative bias, according to Harvard or Pew research, all these different places. And he feels that he has to counter punch his way out of that corner.

And he has to galvanize his base and let his base know that he's not going to sit there and stand for that 91 percent media bias. So I think he thinks he's doing the right thing. I don't think he's doing the right thing because he's the president of the United States and he's won.

OK, he's got a great policy in place, he's executing a broad-based policy that's leading to by and large prosperity in the country.

BURNETT: He is the president of the United States, after all.

SCARUMUCCI: He's the president of the United States. And so he's won. And so I would like see him more turn the corner on this stuff and take it to higher ground, so that we can stop with this sort of nonsense on your great show. And we can talk about the economic advantages that are taking place, the rising wages. We can talk about the fact that there seems to be some propaganda removal from the North Korean situation, which is beneficial to the U.S. And there will likely be peace and prosperity around the world as a result of the president's policies, as opposed to the mudslinging.

BURNETT: So you're sitting here -- and look, I understand you're trying to change the conversation and get those points in. He's not trying to do that, right? He's going with extraordinarily low I.Q.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I'm not trying to do that. I'm trying to say that we should be by and large doing that.

BURNETT: Right. And you're saying this is what should be happening, right? I'm just saying that he is not doing that.

SCARAMUCCI: OK. Can we go to this thing about be careful what you wish for?


SCARAMUCCI: Yes. Can we go to that?

BURNETT: When he said be careful what you wish for. When he said that to her. Yes.

SCARAMUCCI: So I didn't see that as a threat, but this is now the problem, because it's so heavily escalated, I can see how a lot of people --

BURNETT: So let's -- OK, the sentence before that is, she has just called for harm to supporters of which there are many of the make America great movement. Be careful what you wish for, Max.


BURNETT: You don't see that as a threat?

SCARAMUCCI: I don't see that as a threat. I think what he's basically saying is that, he's got so many supporters and the supporters are so widespread, that if you are calling for harm of his supporters, it will lead to --

BURNETT: You can't hurt them all?

SCARAMUCCI: You can't hurt them all, and also, it will lead to -- you know, listen, I don't know why we're doing this, but, you know, I'm in business, I don't want to upset the Democrats in my business. You know, Michael Jordan once said that Democrats and Republicans both buy sneakers.

OK, I don't know the woman from the Red Hen, but my guess is that she upset 50 percent of her constituents. And I don't think that's necessarily a great business strategy, nor do I think it's that good political strategy. So --

BURNETT: Well, I would agree with you, that was inappropriate. But be careful what you wish for, what is he saying?

SCARAMUCCI: I think what he's saying is, be careful what you wish for, there's a way bigger swell of support in the make America great community than you think and it will have negative --

BURNETT: So in other words, you can't beat them all up, not that they're going to beat you up because there's more of them.

SCARAMUCCI: Look, he's not calling for violence. Here's the other thing, OK, he reversed the policy. OK, they're yelling at him, whatever they were just yelling at him, they're showing a picture, which we've already established that the young girl was put together with her mom. And they're yelling at him. And I understand all of that.

But he did reverse the policy, OK? He looked at the pictures, he looked at the magnitude of what was going on.


SCARAMUCCI: And he reversed the policy. So, you have to give him credit for that.

BURNETT: So -- well, it was his own policy. So, yes, you can give him credit for reversing his own policy.

SCARAMUCCI: It was his own policy. I think that started in the Bush administration. It was there for the Obama administration. When they moved to zero tolerance it had --

BURNETT: Which Jeff Sessions and DHS admitted was a policy began and implemented by him.

SCARAMUCCI: Hey, I think (INAUDIBLE) very hard. Hey, look, I have no problem going against that policy because --

BURNETT: You have been open about that.

SCARAMUCCI: -- 15 years from now, people are going to look back and they say, hey, what were we doing as a society?


SCARAMUCCI: OK, I don't like due process thing either if you understand the constitution. We can talk about that too.

BURNETT: Congresswoman Waters, I want to give you a chance to respond to something because she has now come out and responded to his tweet. So he calls her stupid, at least, whatever, extraordinarily low I.Q., and she responds with this.


WATERS: I believe in peaceful, very peaceful protests. I have not called for the harm of anybody. This president has lied again, when he's saying that I called for harm to anyone.


BURNETT: So this is the tit for tat. SCARAMUCCI: She's trying to walk it back, right. I mean, because she was pretty volatile.

BURNETT: But she's trying to say, I didn't do it, and calling him a liar?

SCARAMUCCI: We should stop it, I mean. OK. I mean --


SCARAMUCCI: -- listen, we've got to cut it out. OK.

[19:15:01] I don't want to sound like a head master, but you get people in the room, why don't we cut it out, why don't we focus on what we're all there for. You know, it's a privilege to serve. I only served for 11 days. It was 11 fun days, OK.

It was a privilege to serve, OK? It's a privilege for the Representative Waters. It's a privilege for the president. Why don't we take it to a higher level?

I don't think any American is in love with this strategy of going low and then going lower. I don't -- ask the average American. Do you think they like this? I think people are getting tired of it.

And here's what will happen, OK? The pendulum is not going to swing back slowly, Erin. It will swing back abruptly. And you want to talk about, be careful what you wish for. It could have surprising consequences in the election that neither of these people want.

BURNETT: Well, right, and my final point to you, you know, you come on television, you speak with the president (INAUDIBLE). I know you speak with him fairly regularly --

SCARAMUCCI: Not as regularly as I used to.


SCARAMUCCI: Right. But --

BURNETT: But these messages --

SCARAMUCCI: I have talked to him since I left the White House.

BURNETT: Right. So when you are sending a message of, I wouldn't tweet like that, do you tell him that directly?

SCARAMUCCI: If I had the opportunity to have that conversation with him, I would tell him that directly. I think he would disagree with me. I think that he would say that his strategy won him the presidency. I think he'd say that his strategy is a winning strategy.

And I think he's going with a gut instinct that for 45 or 50 years, when he's gotten hit, he's a counter puncher. People that say he has a thin skin, I don't believe that. I think he's got a very, very thick skin, but he doesn't like being attacked and he'll double or triple down on somebody that's attacking him.

But my point is, you won the presidency, you're in the (INAUDIBLE), you're executing a brilliant strategic policy plan that's leading to global peace and global prosperity. And you're going to get the trade situation right, too.

You watch how he negotiates the trade situation. Our allies and even our adversaries know that those tariffs have to come down.

BURNETT: Well, and we're going to be talking about --

SCARAMUCCI: We didn't talk about the due process. We have time for that or no.

BURNETT: No. But Senator Blumenthal is going to talk about that. And I think it's interesting you made your point that you believe people deserve due process when they come over.

SCARAMUCCI: It's a constitutional right to protect American citizens, and therefore you've got to protect American citizens by allowing everyone due process. That's just the way it works.

BURNETT: All right. And thank you very much, Anthony as always.

Next, the breaking news. The Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He has missed formally now a GOP deadline to turn over documents about the Russia investigation. So the big question tonight, is he going to be held in contempt?

And Trump's full-on assault continues today against Bob Mueller.


TRUMP: Witch hunt. Witch hunt. Witch hunt. Witch hunt. Phony witch hunt.


BURNETT: Tonight, new evidence that that specific attack is working. And chaos inside the White House over trade tonight. Accusations of leaks. Top aides are out, publicly contradicting each other. All why the markets sell off.


[19:21:27] BURNETT: Breaking news, deadline dispute. The House Intelligence Committee chairman, Devin Nunes, he had a 5 p.m. deadline. It's 7:21 Eastern, so it was missed.

The Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was supposed to give over documents. Nunes says he has not answered questions on the Russia investigation. And the president, when he heard about this, tweeted, quote, I have tried to stay uninvolved with the Department of Justice and FBI, although I do not legally have to because of the now totally discredited and very expensive witch hunt currently going on. But you do have to ask why the DOJ and FBI aren't giving over requested documents.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT. So, Manu, you know, look, the deadline came, 5:00, answer these questions, you know, was there an informant, et cetera. What exactly is this dispute over? And now that Rosenstein has failed to comply, what next?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, it's possible that the House Republicans actually move to hold Rod Rosenstein in contempt. This after a months-long dispute over a wide range of documents. The last couple of weeks, there has been a deadline that was set for this past Friday for the Justice Department to provide documents about the Russia investigation and about the Clinton investigation. And that dispute seemed to have been headed off, at least temporarily.

Over the weekend, the House speaker said that not all the documents have been provided, but they were going to give them some additional time. But Devin Nunes came in Sunday and demanded even more information. He wanted specific answers to two questions including, whether or not these informants were used by the FBI against the Trump campaign in 2016.

Now, Erin, we are told by a Justice Department official tonight that he already knows the answer to those questions and a Republican on the committee told me that they have not yet gotten the responses that Devin Nunes is looking for. But at the same time, Erin, one Democrat tells me that it's time for the Justice Department to stop cooperating with Nunes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the DOJ should just start saying no. That we have oversight authorities but not during ongoing investigations. And so I hope they start to draw some pretty firm lines and end what is clearly, I think, obstructive behavior by the Republicans.


RAJU: Now, Nunes would not comment while he was leaving an afternoon meeting, Erin. But you'll recall that that request for information about those informants, that was actually briefed by the small number of leaders on Capitol Hill known as the Gang of Eight, and several of those Republicans came out afterward and said there was really nothing untoward that they learned.

Nunes however did not say that. Nunes wants a full House committee to get access to that information. But no sign that's going to happen.

BURNETT: And Manu, we're going to Senator Richard Blumenthal, because I want him to weigh on this. These crucial questions. But first, you're also hearing growing outrage among conservatives about how the House GOP has handle the FBI investigation. So it's not just the Democrat versus Republican, it's also (INAUDIBLE) warfare.

RAJU: Yes, that's right. Two House committees that have been trying to investigate what the FBI did in 2016, including the Clinton investigation and the Russia investigation. And several House conservatives tell me and our colleague Jeremy Herb that they are just not happy that this investigation is moving fast enough. They have not turned over enough information, and they're not focusing enough on the Russia investigation.

And that grumbling comes as that Wednesday interview is coming up, where Peter Strzok, the top FBI official going to come before the committee -- those two committees later this week. But still, conservatives are just not happy so far on what this investigation has turned over yet, Erin.

BURNETT: Manu, thank you. And now as promised, the Democratic senator from Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

So Senator, Rod Rosenstein, at least as of now has not met this deadline, refusing to provide the documents that the House Intel chairman Devin Nunes, wants.

[19:25:04] Nunes wants him to answer to the House Intel Committee. Did the FBI use informants against the Trump campaign? If so, how many were there? And how much money was spent on them?

Do you think the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is stonewalling?

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: The deputy attorney general is rightly standing his ground in protecting a confidential criminal investigation. Remember, he's already turned over literally thousands of documents, as many as 1,400 just on Friday. But there are limits to what should be turned over to an ongoing congressional investigation while there is a criminal investigation underway. And anybody who's done criminal investigations understands that confidentiality is supremely important.

So I think the deputy attorney general is on firm ground here. If there is an order of contempt, I think the courts will refuse to apply it.

BURNETT: So, Senator, look, some people watching may say, OK. Did the FBI use informants? How many were there? How much were they paid is pretty basic stuff. This stuff should be provided.

And therefore, I want people to understand what Manu just said. Which is that, Rosenstein and the FBI did brief top Republicans and Democrats on these questions, via the Gang of Eight, right. So there was a classified briefing. Everyone coming out of it said they were satisfied. Ryan said he wanted a little more information. We don't know about what -- Nunes is the only one obviously who has taken this stand.

The question though is, whether Rosenstein should provide answers to those specific questions to a broader group. We're talking about the House Intel Committee. Is that justified?

BLUMENTHAL: And that's a really important point, Erin. The disclosure to a broader group simply increases the chances of public disclosure, leaking, and other problems that may imperil this ongoing criminal investigation. That's why we have classified settings and why it's so important that it be done on a limited basis. But your point is very well taken. A lot of this information has already been provided.

BURNETT: So Senator, I also want to ask you about your weekend. You came back from a visit to a temporary shelter site on the U.S./Mexican border. You also visited two border patrol stations and a formal port of entry. The president tweeted over the weekend, in part, "We cannot allow all of these people to invade our country. When someone comes in, we must immediately, with no judges or court cases, bring them back from where they came."

And today, Sarah Sanders says most Americans agree with him. Here is how she put it.


SANDERS: Virtually all Americans agree that it makes no sense that an illegal alien sets one foot on American soil and then they would go through a three to five-year judicial process to be remove removed from the country.


BURNETT: Doesn't she have a point?

BLUMENTHAL: There is a point that we need to have more resources devoted to a process that is badly broken right now. And my Republican colleagues have joined me in urging that there be more administrative judges. The border patrol agents and the United States customs and border protection agents. I spoke with many of them while I was at the border, are urging more resources, so they can do their job more efficiently. What we've done is, in effect, hamstrung this process.

And there is a reason for due process. It's not just fairness and the rule of law. It's also so that these determinations are made accurately. Because sending people back, and I met quite a few of them while I was there this weekend, means for them, a possible death sentence. They're seeking asylum from gang violence, death, torture, rape, robbery, and they are trudging, literally, hundreds of miles across Mexico.

I met one dad --

BURNETT: But you think everybody that comes over the border illegally, doesn't go to a real port, comes over illegally, even if they're caught 10 feet from the border or whatever, they can't send them back? They deserve to go through a process?

BLUMENTHAL: No. In fact, there's already expedited removal for many who come away from the ports of entry. The problem is, again, lack of resources at the ports of entry that diminishes the chances of a fair consideration. And the border patrol agents are the ones who are most vocal on this topic.

BURNETT: All right. Senator, thank you so much. I appreciate your time.

BLUMENTHAL: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, the president growing more popular, despite the immigration crisis. Will his supporters back him no matter what? Wait until you see these new numbers.

And Roseanne Barr's emotional interview, just one day after posting that now-infamous racist tweet.


ROSEANNE BARR, ACTRESS: I am so sorry that I, you know, was so unclear and stupid. I'm very sorry.


BURNETT: Does the man who spoke to her believe Roseanne Barr? I'll ask him. He's OUTFRONT.


[19:31:41] BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump attacking the special counsel investigation, tweeting for the second time today that it's a witch hunt.

Now, we've been keeping track. This is the 23rd time this month that the president has tweeted about the investigation being a witch hunt. And that's up from 20 last month.

OUTFRONT now, Dana Bash, who's at a Mitt Romney event in Utah, because tomorrow is the big primary there. Frank Bruni is also here with me here in New York, columnist for "The New York Times."

Since you're next to me, Frank, let me start with you and this poll. In the latest CNN poll, 41 percent of Americans approve of how Mueller is handling the probe. So, people might say, what do I make of that? Well, here's the point I'm making -- in May, that number was 44. In March, that number was 48.

That number -- that is a -- if you look at it that way, a precipitous drop.


And the drop is exactly -- it's caused by exactly what you've been talking about. The number of times Donald Trump has tweeted or said witch hunt or something like it. You know, we think of President Trump as a not particularly disciplined man and he tends to get distracted and keep on changing the narrative and, you know, following this strand -- this thread and then the next thread. He has been relentless and disciplined in his attack on Mueller and Mueller's investigation. And I think over time, because he's been so relentless, because he's

been so deft at cherry picking this detail there, that detail over there --


BRUNI: -- many Americans have begun to wonder, wait a second, should I have questions about this probe? Can I trust Robert Mueller entirely?

You're seeing that reflected in those numbers.

BURNETT: I mean, Dana, because it's actually fascinating. When you look at the numbers today, 23 times this month, 20 last month, right?

But then, it was different. It was much more sparse. Only nine in April, two in March. And that was the norm, really. There were months that he didn't tweet about it being a witch hunt, at all.

And yet, we look at the time frame that his tweets have surged and the public's opinion of Mueller has plunged. So, do you think he's disciplined and realizes this onslaught is working?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No question about it. It's that combined with the fact that his legal team has changed and that the person who is out front -- to borrow your phrase, Erin -- for his legal team is Rudy Giuliani, who has been amplifying the president's message on Twitter in a very big way.

And I can tell you that they have watched these poll numbers changed, and they feel that this is a winner. That the Russia probe -- I know this is going to sound counterintuitive, but I've talked to some of the president's political advisers on this -- they believe that for Republicans in November, never mind the president when he runs for re- election, but Republicans this November, that Russia is a winner, because what they say they see in their polling is sort of noise, noise, noise, Russia, and an attack on the president. And particularly if you're kind of an on-the-fence Republican or independent, that is something that, you know, you kind of -- from their perspective, you kind of don't want to hear about.

But the key questions that you asked about Robert Mueller's favorability, and by -- you know, Robert Mueller's favorability equals the favorability of the investigation, there's no question that this is -- just as Frank said -- a very specific, strategic targeted campaign that they are doing from the president, to his legal team, on down.

[19:35:03] BURNETT: And you know what, let's just play, you know, here, the president, Frank. Just sometimes he said it and then I want to play some of his main surrogates who have also been saying it. Here's the president.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a witch hunt, that's all it is.

It's all a made-up fantasy. It's a witch hunt. No collusion, no obstruction, no nothing.

Because of this ridiculous witch hunt, I have said, I'm going to stay away from the Justice Department until it's completed.

Well, the phony witch hunt. Phony witch hunt. But you look at the corruption -- did you ever see anything like it, really?


BURNETT: And his supporters. And that -- and this is perhaps what's interesting, right? It's not just him saying it. It is being amplified. Listen in.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Robert Mueller's witch hunt has now been exposed for rampant, huge political bias.

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: This is a witch hunt with no evidence and nothing else but a bunch of people who hate him, hate Republicans, hate anything that he stands for.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I wish we spent a lot less time talking about this witch hunt.


BURNETT: And you know what's amazing, Frank? So, it's working, it looks like, but only 29 percent of people approve of how Trump's handling the investigation.

BRUNI: Right, right.

BURNETT: It doesn't matter. Trump doesn't seem to care, right? Who cares what they think of me? As long as they don't like Mueller, I win, right?

BRUNI: He's happy to have you think badly about everyone, including him, as long as he drags down Mueller. And, you know, again, show me one other thing in the entirety of this administration that you've had as many people in the administration who support the administration, who have been as on-message as with this witch hunt thing and with the flaws in the Mueller investigation or they've even gone further and said the whole -- the investigation was born in a corrupt atmosphere.

BURNETT: You know, Dana, you're, of course, at a Mitt Romney rally, as we get the latest Gallup poll, 87 percent of Republicans approve of this president. It's a powerful number. Mitt Romney, of course, in an op-ed, ahead of the primary where you are, is sort of calling out the president.

Hopefully, there will be few occasions where I would be compelled by conscience to criticize, but as I've said throughout this campaign, I will call them like I see them.

Is Romney, where you are, seen as a person who stands up to this president or not?

BASH: You know, voters aren't sure, which is why he wrote that op-ed, which was published in a big newspaper here in Utah two days ahead of the primary. And it is because, as he says, even in this op-ed, that it's the question that he is asked on the campaign trail, more than any other, because, of course, he was sort of the poster boy for the never-Trump movement during the primary. He gave that scathing speech, calling him a phony and a fraud. And then he was considered for Trump's secretary of state and since then, he's kind of gone back and forth.

And the argument that he makes is that, I do that on purpose. I support the president when I agree. And I will not be shy about speaking out when I don't.

But that almost 90 percent that you talked about, that is real. I mean, Mitt Romney is in Utah, which is, obviously, a very Republican state. A state where people love him for coming here in 2002 and helping to turn around the Olympic bid, when it was plagued with scandal. Obviously, he's got a sturdy history of his family here. He's a Mormon and so on and so forth.

And yet even he was forced into this primary. There's no question that if he were an always-Trumper instead of a never-Trumper back then, it wouldn't be the case. And this is something that I am hearing from Republican strategists all across the country, that this support among the base is real and might even be higher than the numbers are showing. Never mind the national, but in some of these key districts.

BURNETT: Well, and it's a crucial thing for everyone to think about. You know, after everything that's happened, if that number can go higher and get stronger, something of great significance.

Thanks to both of you.

And next, breaking news, President Trump just slamming back at Harley- Davidson after the company says it's going to build some of its bikes outside the United States. So, is the president hurting the same workers he vowed to protect?

Plus, Roseanne Barr speaking one day after being fired for posting that tweet, that racist tweet. Does she deserve another chance?


[19:42:55] BURNETT: New tonight, stocks falling sharply today. The Dow down 328 points after reports the president plans to crack down on Chinese technology investments in the U.S. That made for the worse day for tech stocks in two months. Overall, the Nasdaq down by its worst amount in three months.

This as a battle is raging in the White House. And this is the kind of stuff that just shouldn't be happening in any White House, but you have two of the top economic advisers in the Trump administration, the trade adviser, Peter Navarro, the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, literally in open war with each other.

OUTFRONT now, the former senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign, Steve Moore, now an informal White House adviser.

You know all the players here, so let's get to it. There is basic confusion about the White House economic policy tonight, Steve. "Wall Street Journal" and "Bloomberg" reporting there would be investment restrictions targeting China, to which Secretary Mnuchin tweeted, quote, on behalf of real Donald Trump, the stories on investment restrictions on Bloomberg and "Wall Street Journal" are false, fake news. The leaker either doesn't exist or know the subject very well. Statement will be out, not specific to China, but to all countries that are trying to steal our technology.

So, he's calling it fake news, but basically saying it's true and actually even bigger than they reported it. But let me just get to the point he made here, the leaker doesn't exist or know the subject well.

So, he's slamming a leaker that he works with, basically, yes?

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: Well, look, there is disagreement at the table on trade within the Trump administration. There's no question about it, you have two camps, one represented by Secretary Treasury Mnuchin, the other, Peter Navarro.

By the way, they're after the same end goal here, which is to get China to buy more American products and stop stealing our technology. But there is a real dispute about the best way to achieve that, and a way to achieve it that doesn't necessarily cause disruption in the American economy.

BURNETT: So, OK, so they disagree and now it's public, which I think we can all acknowledge is not a good thing. You should be able to figure it out privately and not come out and air your dirty laundry. This afternoon, the market is down nearly 500 points on that reporting in the "Wall Street Journal" and "Bloomberg", notwithstanding Mnuchin's tweet.

The White House trade adviser, Peter Navarro, goes out on CNBC and says, OK, not only are the restrictions not on China and not on anybody, and not on everybody, they're not on anybody.

[19:45:07] The opposite of Mnuchin. Here he is.


PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF TRADE AND INDUSTRIAL POLICY: Let me be really clear. There's no plans to impose investment restrictions on any countries that are interfering in any way with our country. This is not -- this is not the plan.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: So, Mnuchin says, all countries and Navarro says no countries. You know both men. What the heck is going on here, Steve?

MOORE: I don't know what to make of that, frankly. I mean, I think that there's still a lot of confusion in the White House about what the policy is going to be. As I said before, I think everyone does want to get -- and the curious thing about this, the one thing there is broad agreement about in the white house is that China really should be the target of, you know, our trade disputes, not so much Europe, not so much Canada, but China.

And so, you know, if you're going to put these restrictions on, for example, ownership of American technology, you know, it would make sense to target them towards China. So, I'm not exactly sure where this policy is headed.

But look, I mean, the stock market, you know this, Erin, you covered this for years and years and years, the stock market does not like trade disputes. They would like this all to go away.

But on the other hand, this is something that Trump -- you know, I heard you earlier talking about the Trump voters and how loyal they are to Trump, they like this. They want to get tough with China. They want to get tough on these trade deals, and that's exactly what Trump is doing.

BURNETT: Maybe. I mean, I guess. You know, I guess -- I'm just confused and disturbed, frankly, by the fact that these guys can't get it together and stop airing their dirty laundry, but, you know, yes, you're right, his voters certainly support the president regardless of this warfare.

Thank you so much, Steve.

And next, Roseanne Barr, raw and emotional about the shocking tweet that got her fired.


ROSEANNE BARR: I never would have wittingly called any black person a -- say they are a monkey. I just wouldn't do that. And I didn't do that.


BURNETT: Well, you know, of course, in the tweet, she did. The man who interviewed her is my guest next.

And the Trump blimp. This is one aircraft, though, that the president might like grounded. Jeanne has the story.


[19:50:04] BURNETT: Tonight, Roseanne Barr in her own words tearfully apologizing, saying she didn't intend to make a racial slur about the former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. The newly released interview was conducted by her friend of decades, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. And it was recorded the day after Roseanne posted her offensive tweet about Jarrett.

Here's the clip from the interview.


RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH: But you still regret, and don't excuse what you wrote?

BARR: Of course, no, I don't excuse it. I horribly regret it. Are you kidding? I've lost everything, and I regretted it before I lost everything.

And I said to God, I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I have done wrong. I'm willing to accept what the consequences are. And I do and I have.

But they don't ever stop. They don't accept my apology or explanation, and I've made myself a hate magnet. And as a Jew, it's just horrible. It's horrible.


BURNETT: And OUTFRONT now, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

Rabbi, you know, you spoke to Roseanne at length. You've known her for two decades. You heard her say there, I'm sorry about it. You know, it sort of sounds like I'm sorry it's ruined my life, but I was sorry about it before it ruined my life. She tried to make that argument.

Do you think her apology was genuine when you interviewed her?

BOTEACH: Well, you know, Erin, none of us are mind readers. We're not prophets. So, we have to look at a person's anguish. We have to look at the depth of their emotion. When a woman who is very famous is prepared to be role and that vulnerable and cry and pour her heart out, why shouldn't we accept her apology?

Martin Luther King who she says is her hero in this podcast, and he was the greatest American of the 20th century because he restored our country to its founding principles, of all people being created equal in the image of god, he said that those who can't forgive have lost the capacity to love. But I'm not sure that America is a very forgiving place anymore.

We are going to say incendiary things in this very partisan environment and people should be allowed to make restitution and to achieve penance if they make a mistake.

BURNETT: So, I want to ask you about that. And what she said about Valerie Jarrett. But, first, you know, you did this the day after the show was cancelled, right? So, right when her anguish and emotion was its most raw. But you are just releasing this now.

What was the delay? I mean if you had done it earlier, maybe the outcome would be different here? I don't know.

BOTEACH: Well, the purpose of the discussion, this podcast was not to save a show. It was not to save a career. It was for Roseanne to restore her convictions, her value system.

She is Jewish. She adheres to the Jewish faith. She and I studied the Torah a great deal together.

And I said to her that your tweet is in contravention of the value system that you yourself adhere to, you to make it right. And that's what this is about.


BOTEACH: It wasn't to save or salvage her career. And that's impressive, because it was not done for any personal pain. She felt she had been inadequate ambassador for belief system by what she had written.

BURNETT: So, now, let's talk about her and Valerie Jarrett and where we are in terms of apology and what you're talking about. You know, the ability to be granted restitution. She, since that interview and now, has tweeted about Jarrett a couple of times, retweeting VJ has documented ties to the MBJ, which is Muslim Brotherhood, and Muslim Brotherhood wants to exterminate people, too, VJ, Iran deal, exterminating Jews.

If she is truly sorry, why would she be doing this?

BOTEACH: Well, let me be clear, Roseanne says in our podcast that no one should defend her. She asked me not to defend her.


BOTEACH: She says she wants to achieve forgiveness through penance, which is three stages. You got to admit you were wrong, you got to ask the offended party for forgiveness and you have to make some sort of restitution which she said came in the form of charity to African- American education organizations.


BOTEACH: And I said to her, there is nothing wrong with disagreeing with Valerie Jarrett on policy. Roseanne was very upset about the Iran nuclear agreement.


BOTEACH: She felt that it threatened Israel's survival. She felt that Iran was using incendiary, genocidal incitement through the negotiations. So, she can disagree with Valerie Jarrett on policy.

It is where it becomes ad hominem. It's where it becomes personal and where it crosses a line and can be seen as dehumanizing that you have to forgive -- you have to atone and you have to repent. BURNETT: So, now in terms of atone and making the apology.

Obviously, she apologized to Valerie Jarrett on Twitter. She talked to you though about wanting to apologize to her directly, to call her and I just want to play that part of your interview.


BOTEACH: You're saying that you want to call Valerie Jarrett and get her number, if she's prepared to accept, I think that would be very appropriate.

ROSEANNE BARR: If anyone has her number, Shmuley, if you could get me her number --

BOTEACH: I'm going to see, I'm going to see if we can find out because Ii think you should call her and apologize to her.

BARR: And I also want to apologize to -- I want to apologize to Michelle Obama too, because I heard that she was irate, and said nothing I could say is forgivable.

[19:55:06] And so --

BOTEACH: Well, I'm sure they believe in repentance as well, and let's see if she can advance it along the way.


BURNETT: So, do you know if she's had those personal conversations with either of them.

BOTEACH: You know, it seemed to me that CNN probably has the resources to get his numbers. But maybe you could help us, Erin.

I don't know that she's gotten those phone numbers. I know that she meant what she said. I know that she will make the call if she makes the number. And, Valerie Jarrett, we discussed it --

BURNETT: You and I both know, by the way, it's very easy for her to get the number if she wants to get it.

BOTEACH: You know, I don't know that. But I take your word for it. In the podcast, we both say that Valerie Jarrett was a woman of substance, a woman of dignity and a woman of (INAUDIBLE)

She has a disagreement with her in policy. Let her call and say that she's sorry. She went to her Twitter account and she apologized.

But I'm amazed that when people hear how much Roseanne cries and the depth of her anguish and the agony that she's prepared to display, that people are still questioning. We have to decide what kind of society we are. Do we believe in forgiveness or do we not believe in forgiveness? If people step on a land mine and do something really, really stupid, or even very offensive and even immoral, can they come back from it? Or is it one strike and you're out?

I don't want a society like that. I want to see a society that has a little bit of heart.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.

BOTEACH: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: I think we all could use a society a little bit more heart, however one defines it in this specific issue, I think no one will disagree with you broadly.

Rabbi Shmuley, thanks so much. Great to see you.

BOTEACH: Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, the baby Trump blimp, is it art or is it something else. Jeanne Moos' special report.


MOOS: Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane. It might just be the baby Trump blimp.

Here is Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump is often accused of acting like a baby. But now, activists in Britain are planning to fly him in the form of a baby, the baby Trump blimp.

LEO MURRAY, ACTIVIST BEHIND TRUMP BABY: It's as high s a small house. It's basically a big fat round chubby baby and tiny weeny hands with a phon.

MOOS: Currently stored in a warehouse, activists want to fly him over parliament on July 13th when President Trump is scheduled to visit. The helium blimp was paid for with money raised on a crowdfunding site, $11,000 and counting.

Sort of reminds us of the inflatable chicken that popped up at anti- Trump protest in the U.S. Large numbers of serious protesters are expected to turn out for President Trump's visit to Britain.

But the baby blimp organizers think --

MURRAY: Mockery is the right way to approach Donald Trump.

MOOS: Attacking.

MURRAY: His tremendously fragile ego.

MOOS: The activists are petitioning London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, to let their Trump baby blimp fly. Initially, the city rejected their request saying this isn't a protest, this is art.

But even if officials refuse to allow them to fly baby Trump above parliament, organizers do have a back up plan. MURRAY: Trump baby will fly. This I promise.

MOOS: There's talk President Trump will visit one of his golf courses in Scotland. The activist say Trump baby loves golf and might show up there.

Remember the time candidate Trump was interrupted by a crying baby.

TRUMP: Don't worry about that baby, I love babies.

MOOS: We imagine his reaction to baby blimp might be similar.

TRUMP: Actually, I was only kidding. You can get the baby out of here.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

TRUMP: What a beautiful baby.

MOOS: -- New York.


BURNETT: And thanks for joining us. Anderson starts now.