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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Could Meet With Court Picks As Early As This Weekend; Trump Plan to Talk to Putin About Election Tampering; Trump: "Don't Know" How Long Chief of Staff Will Stick Around; Mueller Asks For Delay in Michael Flynn Sentencing; Trump Calls Tax Cuts An "Economic Miracle"; Gunman Barricaded Newsroom Door To Hunt And Kill Victims. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 29, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Breaking news, OUTFRONT a rush to fill. Trump just announcing he's meeting with Supreme Court nominees this weekend. Promising an announcement days from now.
Plus, Flynn on hold. The special counsel wants a delay in sentencing Michael Flynn. Yet another delay. What is the issue?
And the president says journalists should be free from fear while doing their jobs. So, will he stop attacking press?
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT this evening, the breaking news. President Trump is free wheeling aboard Air Force One. It was just a 50-minutes from Washington, D.C. to the president sort of weekend getaway in the summer in New Jersey, but in that 50 minutes, he wanted to talk. He wanted to talk to reporters and he made some major headlines. From the Supreme Court to Russia to the fate of John Kelly, his chief of staff.
First, the president in true Trump fashion, teasing sort of a bake off for his candidates for the Supreme Court.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE United States: I'll be announcing on the 9th.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who you leading?
TRUMP: Well, we have great people. You know, we have 25 very outstanding people. Hey, look, I like them all, but I have got it down to about five.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there a woman on the short list?
TRUMP: Yes, I do have a woman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that Amy?
TRUMP: I have two women on the short list.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two women? Two women on the shortlist? Two women out of the five?
TRUMP: We have three women on the court now. I have two women out of the five.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right, so as he tries to build all that -- you know, all that excitement, the president went on to say this is really important. He will not ask his nominees if they will overturn Roe v. Wade.
Now, you might say, well, look at the nominees on the list, we can tell what they think. But that's not always true. And it's a hugely significant statement if true.
The president also previewing his upcoming summit with the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you hope to achieve with President Putin?
TRUMP: We're going to talk about Ukraine, we're going to be talking about Syria. We'll be talking about elections.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which elections?
TRUMP: And we don't want anybody tampering with elections.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: That's a big deal. He doesn't want anyone tampering because you'll remember only yesterday, the president tweeted, "Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election." And then, you know, went on to talk about shady James Comey and the disgraced FBI.
So, that would be very important. And then, the president didn't stop addressing reports that he wants to replace his chief of staff John Kelly.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long you think he'll stick around?
TRUMP: That I don't know.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: A lot to get to this evening. So let's start with Boris Sanchez, he is traveling with President Trump. And Boris, the president spending the weekend at his golf course in Bedminster, where you are standing tonight. One headline after another, he wanted to talk. He wanted to spend his flight chatting.
Let's start with the president's possible meetings this weekend with Supreme Court nominees. He says he's got that list of 25 down to -- as few as five. Two women on that list.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Oh, that's right, Erin. The president taking control of the narrative -- if you recall, just a few hours ago, we were talking about that embarrassing phone call that he shared with a comedian, a prank phone call aboard Air Force One. In just about 20 minutes, he has shifted the news in a different direction, one where he likes it to go. He talked about potentially hosting one or two possible replacements for Justice Kennedy at his property in Bedminster this weekend saying that he's whittled down that list of 25 possible candidates down to five. Including, as you noted, two women.
One topic that's not going to be up for discussion this weekend, Roe versus Wade. The president saying that it would be inappropriate to discuss this possible candidates positions on abortion during their meetings.
Here's more from President Trump on that very topic.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you looking for somebody who would overturn Roe v. Wade?
TRUMP: Well, you know, I'd say great group of intellectual talent, but we really -- you know, they are generally conservative. I'm not going to ask them that question by the way. That's not a question I'll be asking.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: The president also saying he's not going to be asking these candidates their position on LGBTQ rights. Two quick notes, Erin on the subject of Vladimir Putin, the president suggesting that he may actually bring up the subject of election meddling with the Russian leader during their meeting in Helsinki next month.
The big question, Erin is how strongly is President Trump actually going to confront Vladimir Putin. He's faced criticism from some of his staunches allies over what was perceived as a weak response to Putin during previous meetings when Putin has denied meddling in the 2016 election.
[19:05:01] And lastly on Chief of Staff John Kelly, the president denying reports that he was considering a replacement. We've previously reported that source have indicated that President Trump has reached out to allies polling them on their views of possible replacements for John Kelly for months. So this is something that we know has been on his radar. Again, unclear exactly what the president plans to do there but it is been -- it has been part of discussions that he has been having, Erin. BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Boris. And I want to go now to New York Times White House reporter, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, and former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers.
Frank, the president say he's going to talk about elections with Vladimir Putin. Says he doesn't want anyone tampering with our elections. Yesterday, obviously, he sort of went along the vein that he did one of the last times he met with Putin.
So he says he doesn't -- didn't do it. You know, yesterday was, the Russia says they had nothing to do with meddling in our election. That was it on Russia but, you know, he called Jim Comey shady and the FBI disgraced in the same tweet.
So, is he really going to bring this up in the way his national security team and all of his national security advisers and all the chiefs of intelligence, and I could go on and on, want him to?
FRANK BRUNI, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: Are you saying that our president is inconsistent because I've never noticed that before. There is nothing in the history of this relationship with Putin, there's nothing in the history of President Trump's statements to date, to indicate that we should have confidence that he's going to bring this up in an aggressive way.
He has more often than not thrown water on the theory of meddling despite the fact that his own intelligence, you know, experts have said over and over again. There's no doubt here.
BURNETT: I mean, remember his comment about it could have been some fat guy in the basement literally.
BRUNI: So occasionally he says something like this just to sort of mix things up and just to get us all to stop asking the question. But this is no signal of a changed course of the president or that he has now taking this seriously (INAUDIBLE).
BURNETT: It's part of this, you know, he sort of slams President Obama. He said the whole issue with Crimea and Putin's decision to annexed Crimea was because of Obama even though of course just a few days ago, he made Putin's point, well, look, they all speak Russian so, you know.
Here's what he said on the plane.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're meeting with President Putin when you're in Europe. Will you talk to him about Crimea?
TRUMP: I'll talk to him about everything. Don't forget, President Obama gave up Crimea. That was totally given up by President Obama.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Putin did that, not President Obama.
TRUMP: No, no. President Obama gave it up.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean, of course, it wasn't President Obama's to give up. So, I mean, just to remind people it wasn't an American territory or anything like that. But, what do you take away from this?
JENNIFER RODGERS, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes. I mean, of course, right, President Obama did not give it up. It was Putin who marched in there and caused it to happen. Obama did not just sit back and do nothing. You know, again, we have a president who kind of makes up his own reality in a lot of ways. And so, he's just trying I think to kind of smooth the way for this relationship that he wants with Russia that a lot of people still are not buying.
BURNETT: Right. I mean, that's the thing. And of course now, Julie, we also have the president saying we've got what, five people. You know, he has lists of 20 to 25. It sort of an Apprentice style situation that's going on in some ways, it feels like Julie, right.
So he's now saying, maybe he's going to meet with people, but he's not going to ask them about Roe v. Wade. Do you put too much stock in that, Julie, or do you think, well, he doesn't need to ask them because they're going to have already vetted that completely?
JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I mean, there's no question that the president does want -- does gravitate to this sort of reality show like process where it's like, who's up who's down and who's he going to pick. He enjoys that. I think that's why he's being so transparent about his timetable here because he wants people to watch the process.
But in terms of not asking them about Roe v. Wade, he has said previously that when he put together this list, he had in his mind that he was looking for justices who would -- I think he said automatically overturn Roe v. Wade. That they would be pro-life people who would come from that sort of bench. So I think he's confidence in his mind already that the people on this list would all be inclined to do that. So he's almost doesn't need to ask them.
It is interesting though, you know, this is the sort of thing the president often say, well, I'm not going to have a litmus test, I'm not going ask him about specific precedents that wouldn't be appropriate. And it's interesting to me that he is actually saying that rather than sort of going where he usually goes, which is to make it very clear what he wants to happen and just let people sort of extract points from there.
BURNETT: Yes, he's doing in a sense. And I've heard a little bit of he's playing the game in a way that he doesn't always play it.
What about this issue -- you know, he makes the point of not one of them but two of them are women. Obviously, there's been a lot of buzz about some of the women on the list. They were obviously, I think what were there on the original 20 to 25. There were six women, so he's now saying two of these women are on his final list. A lot of people keep asking about this woman, Amy Coney Barrett, from the Seventh Circuit. How seriously do you thin he's considering her or any of those individuals.
RODGERS: S, you know, I actually don't think he's likely to pick a woman. I know Frank disagrees, and we're talking about this earlier. She's very inexperienced. She's been on the circuit court for like eight months. She was not a judge before that. She --
BURNETT: And you did make a point, right. There's already two women on the court, not dismissively but -- I mean, he did point out.
RODGERS: Yes, three women on the court.
BURNETT: I'm sorry, yes.
[19:10:02] BRUNI: We'll keep an eye on it. As I said to, I would keep an eye on her. I mean, you're right, she's not that experienced. He has show with many appointments that experience is not his biggest thing.
She got -- and remember, that she got into the back and forth at a Senate confirmation with Senators Durbin and Feinstein and it was all about her religion and she was standing up for her Catholicism, they were saying, can you be a devout Catholic and also interpret the law, you know, in unbiased way.
In the course of that, she became a real hero to religious conservatives. And Donald Trump has shown that he likes to make religious conservatives happy.
BURNETT: I assume this was an abortion conversation --
BRUNI: She's also 46. So in choosing here, they would get someone who might be on the court for three decades or more, four decades.
BURNETT: Oh, for sure.
RODGERS: And they might not know where she stands on a lot of things. That's the other thing though.
BURNETT: I guess that's true when you only have eight months.
OK. Now -- but what about -- you know, he says -- the whole Bedminster thing, can I remind people not the Donald Trump the "Apprentice" host but that is what this has reminisces of. Everybody, remember, Mitt Romney, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Reince Priebus, remember, they all came to Bedminster and he had the flag out and they did the whole meet and greet and shake.
I mean, does that what he's going to do for SCOTUS?
BRUNI: The way you say, is that what he's going to with SCOTUS, you mean decorum might prevent -- traditional decorum might prevent Donald Trump.
BURNETT: I know, I suppose I shouldn't sound surprised.
BRUNI: -- as Julie said so eloquently before every moment of this presidency that he can turn into a serial drama and to something like reality T.V. he does. I think it's entirely possible but he'll do exactly that. Don't forget, we were told that two different justices came to Washington before he announced Gorsuch. So there was thing it's the last minute which of these two is it.
So he's done this already to a degree.
BURNETT: Julie, what about John Kelly? I mean, this has been going on for a while. And I think at this point, your reporting, others reporting has been there's no love lost. There's not a lot between these two people anymore.
But, what does that mean about John Kelly that he's praising him, but saying, oh, I don't know how long he'll be here. What are you hearing from your reporting, Julie on how long John Kelly will be around?
DAVIS: Well, for a long time, it's been the case that, you know, people have seen John Kelly as eyeing the exits. And there have been these cycles of rumors that have sort of ebbed and flowed and right now, they're flowing. That, you know, the date is approaching when he is going to be leaving whether by his own choice or by President Trump deciding that he's had enough.
There's no question that, you know, that he has not seen as long for this world. I did think it was interesting the way that the president dealt with these questions today on the plane. He didn't say oh no, he's staying for a long time. That's totally wrong.
He said, you know, he's a good man. We've had a good relationship, it almost sounded like that was in the past. And I wouldn't be surprised if we see some movement on this pretty soon. But again, we've been through this so many times, it's hard to pinpoint a date when he's going to be gone.
BURNETT: It was somewhat of a eulogy and I think as we've notice as often, he's a good man is not a good thing.
Thank you all very much.
And next, the breaking news. Bob Mueller asking for another delay in sentencing Michael Flynn. Does that mean because he thinks he'll get more out of him? What does this mean in terms of the information Flynn is still providing?
Plus, the president taking a victory lap on his tax cuts. It was a big one. Do the facts add up? We're going check and talk to the president's top economic adviser tonight.
And chilling details about the suspected gunman who killed five people at the Capital Gazette newspaper. One man who witnessed what he called the suspect's constant stream of venom in person is my guest.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:16:59] BURNETT: Breaking news, Bob Mueller wants a delay in the sentencing of Michael Flynn. It's a pretty significant thing and a strong indication that Flynn is even now providing valuable inform to Bob Mueller.
Now, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying investigators in December so he's been cooperating with investigators ever since. You'd think, oh gosh, that's such a long time. Is there still big information? Well, that's the crucial question.
And OUTFRONT now is our justice correspondent Evan Perez. And Evan, you know, when you hear this and you say, well, he's been cooperating for such a long time, how significant is it that Mueller's team is still not done with Flynn?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, I think it is very significant. And he's been, from what we know, already one of the most valuable witnesses that the special counsel has had in this investigation. What this means is that we can expect that there are probably a couple of more shoes to drop. That the special counsel is not yet ready to tell us about. That's the reason why they're trying to delay it for another 60 days.
Just in the last hour as a matter of fact, Erin, the special counsel and the -- and Flynn lawyers were trying to essentially tell the judge we can't talk about why it is that we want this delay, but the judge attending the case that, you know, we can't talk about why it is that we want this delay. But the judge came back in the last hour and said that he wants more of an explanation so he's giving them a few more days to come back to him and perhaps in filings that will be under seal, they'll have to explain to the judge what exactly it is that Flynn is doing behind the scenes for the special counsel that requires him to wait another 60 days before he sentences him.
So, what this tells us is that there's a lot of investigative work being done. Right now, Bob Mueller and his team are trying not to tell the public what it is, but whatever it is, it's something that they are trying to work on before they sentence Mike Flynn.
BURNETT: All right. Thank very much, Evan.
And OUTFRONT now, I want to go to the Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu, who's on the Judiciary Committee. And Congressman, let me just get your reaction. You heard what Evan's reporting. Obviously, you know, he's been cooperating here since, you know, for what, six months plus. So they still they can get more information.
Evan is saying this could mean there's a couple more shoes to drop. This is the third time they have delayed Flynn's sentencing. Do you think there are more shoes to drop?
REP. TED LIEU (R), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I do. And thank you, Erin for your question. As a former prosecutor, what this tells me is that the special counsel's investigation is far from over. They're still investigating elements for which they need Michael Flynn's cooperation. And with every new witness they interview and every new document they get, it opens up new leads.
So best thing we can do for our nation is to let this investigation proceed to its conclusion without any political interference.
BURNETT: But, when you say, far from over, you think then overall, the Russia investigation into meddling and collusion by the Trump campaign itself is far from over? You do not expect something announced in the next couple of months or before the election.
LIEU: I do not. It's certainly possible, but with every passing months you see they're interviewing additional witnesses, they're getting additional documents. So I don't think it's wrapping anytime soon.
[19:20:01] BURNETT: I want to ask you though -- you know, when we talk about Flynn, they have requested a delay tonight. This is the third time. Two other defendants in the special counsel's investigation though are going to be sentenced. Campaign aide George Papadopoulos, they have not asked for that to be delayed again. That's now set for September 7th, and according to obviously the timeline we have, you know, he sort of, his meeting with the Australian ambassador in the U.K. where he talked about Russians offered him sort of started this whole thing.
Richard Pinedo is an auctioneer for fake I.Ds. He's going to be sentenced this fall for identity fraud. They haven't asked again for a delay for that. Does that counter what you're saying at all?
LIEU: I don't think so because there are lot of different crimes that occurred in 2016. The fake I.D. is a separate segregated issue.
LIEU: And George Papadopoulos while he was not a coffee boy, he was fairly significant. He also wasn't Trump's former national security adviser. He wasn't as high as Michael Flynn and so I can see why they still need information from Michael Flynn but not George Papadopoulos.
BURNETT: So let me ask you about another development in the Russia investigation today which was really shocking, frankly. You know, we found out that Bob Mueller and his team and the FBI learned about a storage locker. A storage locker that had 30 years of business records from Paul Manafort, right, who they have now, they're going to after with every single thing that they've got.
But they learned about this storage locker with 30 years of records from an Associated Press report. This isn't just a report now about that. This is an FBI agent's testimony in federal court. That's how they found out about the storage locker.
Does that worry you at all that Bob Mueller would find out about something so significant and so huge from an Associated Press report?
LIEU: No. What -- first of all, what tells me is thank goodness for the free press. Thank goodness for the First Amendment and one of the greatest watchdogs for private and public correction is the free press. And often times the press will find information that the Department of Justice may not have. And I think this is a symbol of a vibrant democracy.
BURNETT: The New York Times is also reporting tonight that right after FBI Director Comey was fired, the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who of course the president, you know, cited, blamed all this on, right, in his -- blamed it on his letter that Rosenstein repeatedly was angry. He was angry and he kept talking about how White House used him. The word used is the word that's out there, to rationalize the firing.
And now the DOJ deny this. They say that Rosenstein do not feel this way. You are with him yesterday. He was testifying before your committee, Congressman. Do you think he felt used by the White House or not?
LIEU: I do. Rod Rosenstein has done a good job of protecting the Department of Justice from political interference by my Republican colleagues. In terms of the Comey firing, Mr. Rosenstein has every right to be angry. Donald Trump should have told him he was going to fire Comey because of the Russia investigation. Instead, he told Rosenstein to write a memo, he then used that memo as a fake cover story for the actual reason for the firing.
So Mr. Rosenstein has every right to feel used and to be angry.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much. And of course I should point out, you're referring to what the president then said in an interview to Lester Holt where he made it very clear, Russia was the reason.
LIEU: He said that on national T.V. Yes.
BURNETT: Yes, he did. All right, Congressman, thank you so much. Have a good weekend.
LIEU: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, President Trump bragging in a very Trumpian way about his tax cuts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Our country finally has a tax system that is pro-jobs, pro- worker, pro-family, and pro-American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is it? All those pros? Trump's top economic adviser is OUTFRONT.
And the president says journalists should be able to do their jobs without fear. Yes, he actually said that. So, will he stop re- tweeting things like that.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:27:20] BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump's tax cut victory lap. It has been six months and the president decided to mark the tax cuts six month birthday by claiming they were the best in history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Six months ago, we unleashed an economic miracle by signing the biggest tax cuts and reforms, the biggest tax cuts in American history.
Our country finally has a tax system that is pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Ah, now the facts. The tax cuts were not the biggest in American history. In fact, they were the eighth biggest since 1918. That's according to the Committee for Responsible Federal Budget.
OK. But, you know, number one, number eight, whatever, are they working? So look, even if you disagree with every pro the president just rattled off, there is one thing that is indisputable. And that is that that U.S. job market is strong.
There have been 92 straight months of job creation. The unemployment now rate is down to 3.8 percent. And that ties its lowest rate since 1969.
So, is it all clear skies ahead as the president implies. Well, a lot of economists are worried about a recession in the (INAUDIBLE). You can see it when you look at the bond markets. And there are realities like this. The Wall Street Journal headline, "U.S. Economy Was Weaker Last Quarter Than We Thought."
That headline coming as U.S. growth was actually revised down. But if the future is all that matters, then the administration's promise of wage increases thanks to the tax cuts is what we should be watching, right?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Lower taxes on American business means higher wages for American workers.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE United States: It will make businesses across America. More competitive to great good paying jobs and raise wages for working Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, where are wage increases? The latest report from the Labor Department says that for all workers in the United States, quote, real average hourly earning were unchanged, seasonally adjusted from May of this year to May of the year before. And for production and non-supervisory employees real average hourly earnings decreased. OK. So hourly earnings actually went down in May from a year ago. Why? Well, a lot of that money that corporations got from the tax cuts has actually going back to corporations and bank stock holders. U.S. companies announcing a record of $201 in stock buybacks and cash takeovers last month alone. That's where the records are being set.
And what about the president's tariffs because they're crucial here. There are serious fear among economists and the markets that tariffs could just eliminate the benefits of the tax cuts all together. Here is the main who crafted Trump's tax plan. The former director of the National Economic Council, Gary Cohn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY COHEN, DIRECTOR NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Look, if you end up with a tariff battle, you will end up with price inflation. You could end up with more consumer debt. Those are all historic ingredients for an economic slowdown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could it wipe out the benefits of the tax bill?
COHEN: Yes, it could.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: In out front now, the chairman of the council of economic adviser for President Trump Kevin Hasset and Kevin, good to see you. You know, look, I know the president point to some good statistics and there are plenty of them, but GDP, of course first quarter GDP was revised down. Just yesterday and the labor department, you know, the BLS came out and said there has not been an increase in hourly wages for a year ago and people who are not in supervisory roles actually saw a decrease, do these things concern you?
KEVIN HASSET, CHAIR, WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: Well, you know the wage -- there are some saying that is picking up a lot like the employment are now growing at 4 percent a year, but in first quarter GDP numbers, let us go to that one first, the 2 percent number was probably a 2.8 because there's this leftover season and the first quarter GDP and the thing we have seen hey have been looking for --
BURNETT: So you don't buy it.
HASSET: No, also but something you and I talked about before was that we expect a capital spending boom right away, because of the tax cuts and capital spending actually was revised up in the first quarter and as you know right now, people are looking at the stock and quarter north of 4 percent. So I think it all signs are that the tax cuts are working exactly as we had hoped and the President mentioned today that more than six million people have received pay increase, either bonuses or pay increases and the average of those, he didn't mentioned this, but you know, at CEA, you know we're the data guys. The average of those was $1,200 so that is real money. So wages are going up already, we expected the $4000 number that you and I talked about back in the fall, so it happen over three to five years and the fact that we got all this millions of people getting at least 1200 right now, shows the tax cuts are working the way we said they were.
BURNETT: OK, so you saying in that sense, if you are looking at three to four years -- from the way you are putting it, you think you're ahead of schedule, but --
HASSET: Capital spending is ahead of schedule, actually I could show you our model prediction and what happened and we are well ahead of our model.
BURNETT: So when you look at the six million or so people getting bonuses, which you all put out and your talking points today, something that you think is evident that the tax cuts are working. You know, I juts compared it to the overall workforce, right. 155 to 160 million Americans, that is only about 4 percent of people in this country who work, who got any of those bonuses.
That looks totally different than, oh the tax cut are working.
HASSET: Right, but the employment cost index by the way, again that is the best measure, when I worked for Greenspan at the fed, it was something he most ran to and the nominal increase for that over the last three months extends out -- if continues at this pace for this year, we think it would accelerate is at 4 percent increase and usually, economists who look at wages like to look at the nominal wage rather than the wheel wage when you're doing high frequency analysis, because if you are looking at the real then you're divided by inflation and you have two noisy things. And if you divide by it is even more noisy.
So, right now, if you look at the employment cost index, which is the best measure then it's clearly accelerating up to 4 percent and so I think that though we do have to keep in mind the capital spending takes a while to accumulate to enough capital to increase productivity and that is why we think the $4000 number is something you are more likely to see over three to five years, but the final point about the $4000 number is looking at the data, the 6 million people that President referred to.
HASSET: Those six million people, you know some of them got more than 1200, some of them got less and at Walmart, they gave $2 increase to their lowest paid worker the minimum wage worker and that $2 increase is $4,000 about for a full time worker over the years so already, if the lowest paid guy at Walmart is getting $4,000, that is the sign that is actually working.
BURNETT: So then why did the polls not show it, there's a new poll out the monument that shows 44 percent of Americans approved of the tax plan in January, right? That was when we had just started to hear about a lot of these bonuses, right? That was down to 40 percent in April. It is now down to 34. So, if you're saying, hey, look, all these people are getting bonuses and raises and all this is so great. Why are Americans saying the opposite? HASSET: Well, I don't agree with that. I think we could have
competing polls. But if you look at business sentiment or consumer sentiment, those things are at all-time high, small business sentiment is in all-time high and again, in the end the reason we care about sentiment is because it tells us what people are going to do. When people are really in a bad mood that means they think they're going to lose their job. Then they might not consume and that is bad for our forecast and GDP and for their wages and so on. So right now, people are in a good enough mood that we're looking at GDP growth north of 4 percent in the second quarter, which should give us a year at 3 percent which you might recall as we are taking office, people said was impossible.
BURNETT: So "The New York Times" reported Kevin as you are well aware earlier this month there was an internal report from your counsel. The conclusion was the president tariffs are going to hurt this country and hurt economic growth on camera though, you have obviously defended the tariffs. I just want to clear things up, do you believe tariffs hurt or help the U.S. economy?
[19:35:13] HARTUNG: Well first, I can't confirm or deny that report. That report was about you know, report that "The New York Times" was about the report was that may or may not exist that my job at CEA is to advise the President and that advice for it to be truthful needs to be protected by executive privilege as it is and so, I can't comment on the report that it does or doesn't exist, but I can say the President and all economist agree about the long run objective. The long run objective is to get the trade deals to be more fair. To get tariffs down around the world to our levels and they might disagree about tactic, but I think in the long run, everybody shares the same objective and metric of that --
BURNETT: But when it comes to tariffs, do you think they hurt. You want them down everywhere in the long run, right? You are not pro- tariff, your view as an economist is tariffs are not good. Correct?
HASSET: There was an OECD report that just came out where they analyze what happens if the rest of the world pursues Donald Trump's vision and puts their tariffs at the same rate as the U.S. or even below that and they found that global GDP would go up. And I think that report captures pretty much the consensus of the economics profession and again my job at the CEA is to, you know, be the person who collects the consensus in the economic profession and shares it with people as they think about --
BURNETT: So you are saying Donald Trump gets his way and tariffs go up and everybody else raises tariffs, too, that is good?
HASSET: Consensus is -- no, no, Donald Trump had been arguing, you remember at the G-7, he said he wants everybody to go to zero. And so what the OECD said, they said --
BURNETT: Well, that is what he said, but that is not what he is doing.
HASSET: No, but he is clearly in a negotiation and the point is the objective is to make fair reciprocal deals that drive tariffs down and the OECD simulation show if you do that, then you get higher growth and I agree with that simulation.
BURNETT: So before we go, I want to ask you, according to the watchdog group, crew, China has approved three trademarks related to Ivanka Trump and her business, and they were approved on June 7th. That was the exact date Kevin, it happened to be the same day that President Trump agreed to lift sanctions against ZTE, the Chinese telecom company that many Democrats and Republicans believe is an urgent and serious national security threat to the United States. Can you say definitively that the Trump administration actions on ZTE had absolutely nothing to do with Ivanka Trump's business?
HASSET: You know, I have not been involve in the ZTE discussions. I have not been involved in any of Ivanka's businesses, but I have a hard time imagining, I mean the corruption that you are discussing, it just seems impossible to me knowing the people involved, but I am not involved to this decision.
BURNETT: All right. Kevin, I appreciate your time as always. Thank you, sir.
HASSET: Thank you.
BURNETT: And "outfront" next, President Trump sounding like a total different man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Honestly, I have a lot of respect for the press.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean, are we living in an alternate universe? And disturbing new details about the suspected Annapolis gunman and his alleged plot to kill even more people at the Annapolis Capital Gazette newspaper.
[19:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BURNETT: Outfront tonight, breaking news. President Trump just now offering up a rare statement of support for journalists in the wake of the mass shooting that left five journalists dead in the "Capital Gazette newspaper Newsroom in Annapolis. Here the president is, just moment ago aboard Air Force One.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you be evaluating the press --
TRUMP: It's just the right time to be judging, you know obviously the press has treated me very badly, but in the meantime, I'm a President, so you know, so who is -- yes, they didn't treat me badly enough. Look, you know, I have a lot of respect for the press. Tremendous some of the greatest people I know are reporters and people in the media, but you also have like anything else, you have people that are not fair.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But if not fair, should not be targeted from violence.
TRUMP: Absolutely not. No, can't do that. That is terrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: A striking reversal given this is the President who has labeled the press the enemy of the people and I will play it in a moment, but I want to bring in our panel first. Steve Cortez, he is a member of President Trump 2020 re-elect advisory council and Maria Cardona, former DNC communications director. Great to have you both. Great to have you both back, we are just checking Steve's audio and Maria, let me start with you. What do you say, we've seen reporters right, getting heckle at Trump's rally just most recently. Our Jim Acosta has unfortunately become the face of a lot of this, because of the president constant public disgust for CNN and here's a rally in South Carolina, what happen to Jim Acosta. Get out of here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: get out of here.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm here to do my job.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's going to happen is we're going to up with a civil war. You're going to have people shooting people, you need to tone it down a little.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: How much does that worry you, Maria? Again those are people attending a Trump rally saying to Jim Acosta you're going to end up with people shooting people, you need to tone it down a little bit to the reporter.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, it's incredibly worrisome and it has been incredibly worrisome since the first time Donald Trump insulted the media and since he has been calling them the enemy of the state and since he is been calling them fake news and since he is been tweeting images of violence towards the media. And look, I'm glad that today he did not engage in all of that. I think somebody got to him. And said please don't call today at least for today the media the enemy of the state and he even said right now is not the time to talk about it, but I think that you should put a ticker on your screen on CNN to count the hours until the moment when he starts calling the press the enemy of the state again or calling them fake news again or insulting specific reporters again and I bet you it won't be very long.
BURNETT: All right. As we wait, we're working on Steve's audio here, but I want to play what he said about what the enemy because my question about tonight is, when is there a good time to talk about it? he has called the press enemy of the people, you had a horrific incident, a mass shooting, the worst day for journalist lives in this country since September -- since 9/11 and if there isn't a better time to say I'm sorry for what I said or I didn't mean it, I don't know what it would be, because here is what he said, so let me just play some of the things he said including when he said enemy of the people, because I am not paraphrasing it. That is what he said. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The enemy. The enemy of the people I call them. You know you read the fake news. It's fake and disgraceful. Those very dishonest people back there, the fake news. Very dishonest. Do you hear these liars back there? They are the most dishonest, corrupt people. They are the most dishonest people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, Maria, is he to blame for the tone?
CARDONA: Yes Because, I think the tone comes from the top. To having tone is all about, is what leadership is all about. And this President has no idea how to be a leader and I think what is so troublesome is that many journalists and you know many of them, Erin, and I don't know maybe you've gotten them, too, have gotten death threats. Have gotten threats of violence from people, because they hear what President Trump is saying about them. And not only that, Erin, but the President of the United States, the leader of the free world, the leader of the greatest democracy in the world should not be acting this way. He should be acting completely the opposite because do you know who acts like this? Dictators. Dead spot, people who actually put journalists in jail.
BURNETT: So Steve Cortez is with us on the phone. Obviously we had some audio issues. Steve so I just played the President saying the enemy of the people. The enemy of the people. I call them. Pointing to the press at the back of some of his rallies calling them the dishonest people, liars, corrupt. Does he need to stop this kind of language, Steve?
STEVE CORTES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think -- (inaudible) I don't mind him taking on the press. I think, by the way, it's important to have some historical context here. Presidents and the press have rarely gotten along. Even the founders of our republic, Thomas Jefferson, the people who instituted the idea of a free press in the first amendment. Thomas Jefferson said, the only thing that is believable in the newspaper is the advertisements. So there's a very long history.
BURNETT: That is true.
CORTES: So there is a very long history Jefferson linking to FDR to the present day of a very adversarial relationship and in some ways, that is OK. That is healthy in some ways for the republic. What I will say about President Trump though in particular, I think if you look at this White House briefing room right now and I know most of these people.
When I talk to them, they cannot stand, they detest the president and I think it comes through in the reporting. You don't take my word for it. If you look at their Twitter feeds which I think is very revealing. If you look at the Twitter feeds of most of the people who claim to be reporters not pundits. Look, I'm not a journalist. I'm a pundit. I have a point of view. They claim, they report to be reporters, but if you look their twitter feeds, I think what you'll find is a consistent criticism of the President. Rarely even a neutral comment about the president.
BURNETT: Steve, here is the thing then, he said so many times things about -- including the enemy of the people I call them. That is not just an adversarial relationship that every president has where you think the press is saying negative things about you because you're the person in power and their job is to fact check and call out every single thing you said, enemy of the people. Doesn't that bother you?
CORTES: Again, I think that phrase is a bit over the top. I do, but I also believe that the media has unfortunately time and again proven itself to be the enemy of truth and if you're the enemy of truth, you're the enemy of people. People like Brian Ross at ABC News.
BURNETT: Brian Ross, he had a report, it was wrong. He was suspended for months, I mean it was corrected that is way the way it should work.
CARDONA: Yes exactly.
BURNETT: He didn't cover it up and try to hide it and try to pretend it was true. That did not happen.
CORTES: I can't think of one, there had been so many mistakes that they have to correct. Time magazine saying the Martin Luther King bust was moved when it wasn't. Time magazine putting this crying girl Photoshop on a cover who was not separated from her parents, why is there never a mistake in favor of the president? I think that shows you that these --
BURNETT: I think you just watch Fox News trough out the day to get plenty of those --
CARDONA: Yes. You know, it's ironic that Steve talks about the enemy of truth when this President doesn't know the meaning of the word truth and has lied time and time again. And probably that is why he doesn't like -- he hates the coverage frankly, because what he has found is that reporters in doing their job are actually calling out this President for those lies which is their job, because that is the truth. That is objective. And that is something that --
BURNETT: How about today when he said it was biggest tax cut in history. It's false, these are the word you want to use Steve, but it happens all the time. How about when he said North Korea destroyed four nuclear sites. And Jim Mattis have to say they didn't, I mean I can go on and on --
CARDONA: They're countless.
BURNETT: They are countless Steve and you know it. Steve, maybe you would say they're just mistakes, but the point is they're false
And by calling them out, we are not fake news, we are calling speaking truth to power and that is job of the press. Isn't it Steve?
CORTES: It should be the job of the press. I think if you look at the White House briefing room, you won't see that. You will see people who purport to being reporters but in fact of the opposition. And have decided that their job is to obstruct President Trump at all cost at times even at the cost of the truth. In big ways and in small ways. Some of them are extremely consequential. Like saying that the president for instance that Jim Comey was going to refute the president's claim that he told him three times and it was not in the investigation.
Well, it turned out, Jim Comey did actually in fact reaffirm what the President said. And so some of them are extremely consequential and some of them are silly things like for instance, Washington Post who tweeted out a picture of the Pensacola rally and said the stadium was empty. When they took the picture hours before in fact the rally time, the place was pack.
So in big and small ways, the particularly that White House briefing room has proven itself to be I think, both dishonest and highly adversarial to the President and never reporting the good things and there are many to report about this presidency and his policy.
BURNETT: I've got to leave this there, because we are out of time. But I will say there is plenty and when you have to say that he is wrong about the tax cuts being the biggest in history, you can also say it is the lowest unemployment rate in history as we did.
CARDONA: The lies are plenty from the President.
BURNETT: Thank you bot so very much.
And haunting details emerging tonight about the long running dispute between the suspected gunman and the Maryland newspaper he attack. Killing five people, according to a 2013 police report, the suspect was investigated for harassment and quote the future possibility of violent criminal act.
The officer who took that report said he did not believe Mr. Ramos was a threat to employees for the Capital. This comes as officials now say the suspected gunman wanted to kill as many people as possible. Barricading the doors in the Newsroom so that no one can escape. This act surely was an attorney for the Gazette, during the defamation case brought on by Ramos. And Zak I appreciate you time. Thank you very much for being with me tonight. Look, this lawsuit was filed back in 2012 when Ramos was harassing the
paper. You obviously were involved with all of this. What was actually happening at that time?
W. ZAK SHIRLEY, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR CAPITAL GAZETTE IN DEFAMATION LAWSUIT: Well, at the time, we received the suit, he just seemed very upset about the way that he had been portrayed in a news story that I ran in believe 2011 and it just seemed like another plaintiff bringing a complaint against the paper. There was some rambling to it. It was difficult to figure out what he was saying, but at the time I don't think anyone thought anything of it. It was just another angry lawsuit.
BURNETT: And in your view, I guess, you know, representing them at the time, were there others who had this sort of anger or, you know, hate against the paper or did this particular case stand out?
SHIRLEY: So I only represented "The Gazette," for this one specific case so I can't speak to other or any other legal issues taken place at the time.
BURNETT: OK. Was there incident though with Ramos that concerned you the most? Something specific that stood out to you.
SHIRLEY: So, as the case went on, I became aware that Mr. Ramos was singularly obsessed with the idea that he had been wronged by the paper. And what seemed to happen was the more people told him that he was wrong, those people just who got added to his enemy list. And so he got to a point that every morning I would walk into my office and I would sit down and I would check his Twitter feed, to see who the target of the day was. You know, sometimes it was me, sometimes it was the paper, sometime it was another attorney. It was rare for a week to go by that he didn't lash out on someone on the Twitter feed. And as I said, the more people told him he was wrong, the more judges came out against him, he would just add the judges to the list and start tweeting against him.
BURNETT: So, because there were so many on the list, do you think people took it less seriously. I am not implying that it wasn't serious, because I know it was, but obviously something horrific ended up happening and nobody actually expected that day to come, did they?
SHIRLEY: No. I don't think the number of people on the list was so great that any one person didn't pay attention. I can tell that you when your name pops up on that list, it grabs your attention, so I don't think the bulk or the sheer number of the people on the twitter feed made anyone take it any less seriously.
BURNETT: You know the papers former editor, Thomas Marquardt whom I know, you know, he said he called police back in 2013 about Ramos and today officials spoke about that call and the actions that were taken at the time. Let me play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:55:04] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The detective spoke with legal counsel for "The Capital Gazette," on that conference call it was discuss that the Capital Gazette did not wish to pursue criminal charges. There was a fear that doing so would exacerbate an already flammable situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: My understanding is you were, you know part of that, you knew all of this. Whose decision was is that, don't go have a charges, because that could make this worst?
SHIRLEY: So again, I can't comment on any kind of conversation with the crime obviously and that was actually not part of my responsibilities. I worked on a team of attorneys and it was other attorneys who took the lead on that particular aspect of the case.
BURNETT: Were you surprised though that when the reporting that came out, when he went in the Newsroom, obviously barricaded and he wanted to kill as many people as he could. Thank god police were able to get there as quickly as they did and saved lives. This horrible tragedy though still occurred, but nobody seemed to recognize him even though of course given what you are saying, plenty of people were familiar with his terrifying threats.
SHIRLEY: I am going to say this. I was surprised yesterday not that Jerry Ramos walked into the Capital Gazette and opened fire. What I was surprised by was the fact that it was so long after he has -- in my opinion gun dormant, he stopped tweeting against his enemies. I didn't hear from him, you know, I just lost track of him. And I assumed that he had moved on. Because like I said, every time someone made him angry, he would focus his anger on that person. And so it just seem like it has faded in the background so for almost five years later for him to do something like this, that was surprising to me. Because I am not surprised that people didn't recognize him five years later. As far as I knew had stopped harassing him.
BURNETT: I guess you would think so much time had passed. It was just so horrific to think that he was sitting there preparing something like this. Zak, thank you for your time tonight.
SHIRLEY: Thank you.
BURNETT: And now a deeper look at the big crisis in this country, the prison crisis. United States has the highest incarceration rate on this planet and that is the focus of our new original film American jail. Here is a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am here because I owe $545 to domestics.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Child support?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My case is being closed, but I lost my job before I could pay the last payment and I am here for six months now.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: I spoke with Senator Cory Booker, an outspoken advocate on
this issue and asked him about women like this in prison.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Women which is the fastest growing group of prisoners in America dramatically less violent than men and growing 50 percent faster than men. One out of every three incarcerated women on the planet earth is in United States America and we only have 45 percent of earth's population, it is stunning. And who we incarcerate as you were just showing, the people we incarcerate is ridiculous. We incarcerated overwhelmingly low income people. We incarcerated overwhelmingly the drug addicted, mentally ill, minorities. This country, this is a shameful aspect of our nation, a cancer on the soul of our country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, Senator, the White House senior advisor Jared Kushner is really at the forefront of this from the administration point of view. He has said it was a personal issue for him, of course his father spent more than a year in prison for illegal campaign donations, witness tampering, tax evasion, and he went to prison. You know Kushner, and you are from the same state. It is an issue you both care about. From different sides of the political spectrum, the House overall. Has falsify partisan prison reform bill that Jarred Kushner support, I know you do not partly because it does not include sentencing reform which is a highly controversial part of it. We hear a lot of the debate. Here is what Kushner said specifically about this issue.
JARED KUSHNER, PRESIDENT'S SENIOR ADVISER: What we had seen is that they have been trying to do that at the federal level for I think, eight years, they had been trying to do sentencing reform and prison reform and what they have done is done nothing, because they haven't been able to pass it through.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Done nothing, and obviously support a different bill. What is your response to that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My response to that is he is not telling the whole truth. If our bill went to the floor of the senate, it would get 60 plus votes. But more over than that, if Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, if this administration said we are going to stand by the Senate bill, you would get a vote on the Senate bill and get it through the house. This is an administration with Jeff Sessions who is the number one opponent of the Criminal justice reform, when he was still senator. They are the ones that are blocking it. Jared needs to take his comments and talking about us in Congress and turn it back to his father-in-law and turn it back to Jeff Sessions, because he knows that if they were willing to support more comprehensive criminal justice reform, more comprehensive criminal justice reform would move through the United States congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And you can catch the premiere of American Jail, it is Sunday night at 8:00, don't miss it. And Anderson starts now.