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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Cohen Secretly Recorded Trump Conversation At Trump Tower; FBI Has Cohen Tape Of Trump Discussing Playmate Payment; Source: Mueller Wants to Talk To 'Manhattan Madam' Who Once Worked For Roger Stone; Pompeo: "Absurd" to Ask if Russia Has Something on Trump; Interview with Rep. Mike Turner (R), Ohio; Tour Boat Goes Down in Heavy Storm, 17 Dead. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 20, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, caught on tape Trump's long- time lawyer Michael Cohen's secret recording of Trump. It's in the FBI hands. How many more tapes does Cohen have tonight?
Plus, Bob Mueller wants to talk to the Manhattan Madam Kristin Davis. What's her connection to Roger Stone? And what does Putin have on Trump? It's a question that more and more people are asking. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, a secret Trump tape. Tonight, I can tell you there is a tape. The President's former Lawyer Michael Cohen recording a conversation he had with Donald Trump about paying off Playboy model, a Playboy model who claims a year long affair with Trump. Now, the tape that we know about was recorded just before the election. It's now in the hands of the FBI.
According to the President's current Attorney Rudy Giuliani, on the tape, Cohen and Trump discuss buying the rights to Playboy model Karen McDougal's story, from the National Enquirer's parent company. And well, here's the thing. The tape shows that team Trump lied. First of all, Trump's team denied even knowing that the National Enquirer ever paid McDougal for her story.
Trump spokeswoman at the time, Hope Hicks, said of that payment, quote, "We have no knowledge of any of this". And she also said McDougal's claim of an affair with Mr. Trump was totally untrue. For this part, Trump has remained uncharacteristically silent about his relationship with McDougal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you all very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are you lying about the affairs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, is Karen McDougal telling the truth, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, any comment on Ms. McDougal?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Maybe he didn't want to lie directly to the cameras on that one, but McDougal did speak out to the camera at length.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAREN MCDOUGAL, PLAYBOY MODEL: There were real feelings between the two of us. Not just myself, not just him. There was a real relationship there. And I kind of out of sight, out of mind with everything else. And, you know, and deep inside, I did have a lot of guilt, but I still continued.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This all happened, of course, around the same time Cohen was paying off Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about her alleged one-night stand with Trump, a story Trump also appears to have lied about. Remember Trump said this just a few months ago about that hush payment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?
TRUMP: No, no.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why -- Why did Michael Cohen made this, is there was no truth to her allegations?
TRUMP: Well, you'll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney and you'll have to ask Michael Cohen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?
TRUMP: I don't know. No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: No, no, no. Until Giuliani said the President did know because he repaid that payoff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: Funneled through a law firm and the President repaid it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I didn't know -- he did?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, just to be clear, not only did the President repay it. "The New York Times" reports, citing two sources, that Trump knew about the repayment well before he lied about it on Air Force One. And tonight CNN is learning that Michael Cohen has more tapes of Trump.
And Evan Perez is OUTFRONT. I mean, Evan, more tapes. That has got be one of the last things team Trump wants to hear.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You would imagine so, Erin. The idea that Michael Cohen had this habit of recording conversations that he had with prominent, with important people, that's what we're hearing from Rudy Giuliani and from other sources who have been briefed on these recordings, which obviously are now in the hands of the investigators.
The question there is, you know, who are those people that are on those tapes, what kind of information was being discussed. Could that be something that could be embarrassing or could cause some legal problems for those people? It does appear that Michael Cohen's investigation which is being done by the prosecutors in Manhattan, in the federal prosecutors in Manhattan could end up widening because of this.
BURNETT: So, I mean, there's some secretive (ph) point you make, Evan. I mean, and what more do we know about this specific recording between Cohen and Trump about the Playboy model Karen McDougal?
PEREZ: Right. So this recording was made in early September of 2016. A month earlier is when Karen McDougal had signed an agreement with AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer for the rights to her story about her alleged affair with Donald Trump.
Now, according to people we've talked to, this meeting -- this recording rather is under two minutes. That's what a source told our Kara Scannell. So the question is, you know, what exactly -- what does this mean for the investigation? What does this mean for the President?
[19:05:06] People close to the President including Rudy Giuliani says this is no big deal. This is actually not going to be a problem for the President, but others who we've talked to say that there is an issue here for the President and for his legal team to take care of. Obviously, we know that Michael Cohen has been sending signals that he wants to cooperate with prosecutors and the FBI.
We just heard just today that he met with the Al Sharpton, the Reverend Al Sharpton to talk, I guess have a one and half hour discussion. Apparently, that's another sign that Michael Cohen is sending out there that he wants to try to make a deal perhaps with prosecutors. We do not know at this point, Erin, whether prosecutors want him to provide any information or whether they're going to try to charge him.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Evan Perez. I mean, in the sense, it sort of seems like by putting the stuff out there, whoever is, you know, if you wanted to do a deal with him, you could do it without playing this in the media. But that's a big question.
OUTFRONT now, Carrie Cordero, former Counsel to the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Harry Sandick, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York where, of course, of the investigation to Cohen is in full swing, and April Ryan, White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Network. Harry, you're with me. According to Trump's own lawyer, this is not the only recording, OK?
HARRY SANDICK, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Yes.
BURNETT: So they are admitting obviously because they think we're all going to find out at some point. You might as well get it out there, right? But how damaging could this tape be, this one about Karen McDougal? It's short, but we know it's about something that they said -- team Trump said the President knew nothing about and obviously he did.
SANDICK: Yes. With every inconsistency, it would become harder for Trump and his team to defend against any claim. On the substance it sounds like this is some sort of a reimbursement that's being made, that essentially AMI was an intermediary, making a payment to McDougal with the knowledge, perhaps, that Trump and his team were going to then reimburse them in order to help kill the story. Whereas, McDougal thought that she was selling the story in order maybe to become famous or profit off of her prior connections with Trump.
BURNETT: So, that the National Enquirer, a parent company, which is of course is owned by the Trumps.
BURNETT: They really were working together as with this disappears to show which, you know --
BURNETT: -- not a surprise, but discussing it as opposed to just implicitly doing it. I mean, Carrie, do Trump is trying to say, look, this is not a legal problem for the President, but that sounds like a spin.
CARRIE CORDERO, FORMER COUNSEL TO THE U.S. ASST. ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR NATIONAL SECURITY: I think to the extent there might be a legal problem to the President. It's whether or not this could potentially be interpreted, the payment could be interpreted as being some kind of campaign's finance violation whether or not it's a reporting violation or whether the payment is a payoff that could be construed at some kind of loan to the campaign. And from that perspective, the timing of these alleged payoffs I think makes sense because if it was -- the closer you get to the election that took place in September of 2016, the closer we get to election, the closer it starts to look like it really was intended to affect the election. And then, of course, the content of that phone call is what matters. In the phone call which is now record and in government possession, if the phone call between Donald Trump and Michael Cohen reveals that there was a payment being made for a particular purpose, that would be very relevant.
BURNETT: I mean, April, you know, when he was told about the tape, according to a source, the President said, quote, I can't believe Michael would do this to me. But given some of the -- I mean, there's been reporting. I'm not sure what the President really thought about Cohen, that Cohen was aware of that's pretty negative. And even if the President, you know, looked yesterday, he tweeted something nasty about the media as he is oft to do.
Michael Cohen took the other side, trolling the President on Twitter saying freedom of the press is not just important to democracy. It is democracy, right? So that's what he responded to Walter Cronkite, quote, in response to Trump calling fake news the enemy of the people. The Wall Street Journal reported recently, April, that in 2009 -- Cohen's working for Trump, right? Trump tried to push him out and cut his salary in half.
APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Yes.
BURNETT: OK? Now, when someone cuts your salary in half, you know what they think of you, which means Cohen knew what Trump thought of him since at least 2009. Why is Trump surprised that Cohen was keeping tapes of anything that could make him look bad?
RYAN: You know, I don't know why the President is acting surprised. He has thrown Michael Cohen under the bus recently and even back then cutting salary -- you know, sometimes people have a tendency to still want to gravitate to power and stay around power. But, you know, even though he may have cut his salary, he was still in the inner circle introducing into people and to things of that nature.
But going back to something that you asked earlier, you know, about the President being in trouble, I talked to Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings today, the Democratic leader of Government Oversight and Reform Committee and he said that the FBI has more tapes than we know and that Trump knows and the President feels like he's backed up against the wall. And not only that, he's expecting more indictments.
[19:10:09] And what this President is doing unlike he's saying about Michael Cohen right now, you know, oh I'm surprised to Michael Cohen. What he is doing now is throwing a bunch of wet spaghetti noodles up against the wall to see what sticks. Michael Cohen is done, he's through, he's trying to cooperate, give the tapes would have you.
RYAN: This President is in trouble and he needs to look at it as such.
BURNETT: So Harry, according to Giuliani, the Presidents current Attorney, Trump did not know he was being recorded. Now, I can't believe that's a big true. I remember a conversation I had with Trump in which he said -- because we were talking about the Bank of China, international Bank of China being in Trump Tower. And I said, don't you think they must be recording all your phone calls? And he said, I'm in real estate in New York, Erin. I have assume someone is recording every call I ever made. This is what he said, OK?
BURNETT: So, do we -- you really believe him that he didn't have any idea or do you think he just trusted Cohen so blindly?
SANDICK: I think he trusted Cohen. And I think also lawyers don't generally tape record their clients. I've never heard of it. It's a very unusual thing to do.
BURNETT: Is it unethical?
SANDICK: It may be unethical, because you have a duty of loyalty to your client. You're not supposed to be gathering tapes of your client potentially to use to protect yourself or to hold him hostage or something. I don't want to paint the President as a victim here. It doesn't sound like that. But on the question of should you expect that your lawyer is tape recording you, no, you shouldn't expect that.
BURNETT: I mean, Carrie, do you think it's unethical? I mean, forget what we learn about Trump and what people think about Trump and what he did and 2-- forget that, right? Is it wrong and unethical that Cohen did it?
CORDERO: Well, I don't know any reputable lawyers that would do that. And I think probably the New York bar has some guidance regarding the duties of lawyers and whether or not they -- it's ethical for them to record clients. It's not normal practice. I think the bar -- not that -- bar rules are something that Michael Cohen is at the top of his list of concerns, but I wouldn't be surprised if the New York bar looked at it. It's not normal practice. It might be one of the reasons, I think, perhaps that Donald Trump relied on Michael Cohen so much for a variety of dealings was because he thought that using a lawyer -- sometimes people use a lawyer because then they feel like it's more protected.
BURNETT: right. It's like he does think people are recording. Donald Trump knows full well. In New York state only one person has to want to record. He may probably recorded other people, right, but Cohen would have been the person may that -- was able to pull the wool over his eyes. I mean, April, the other thing though is that Giuliani is out seemingly eager, right, to talk about the existence of this tape.
Look, the tape may prove a lie, but as Carrie points out and Harry points out, it's unclear illegally what it might eventually mean. Is it possible the President would rather this be out than let's say the summit with Putin continually being disgusted -- discussed, I'm sorry.
RYAN: Well, you know -- yes, when it comes to Putin, that's a very deep -- according to Cummings again, that's a very deep national security issue that he's very concerned about. And, of course, they want to take that off the table. But Rudy Giuliani is very clearly trying to put something else on the table to distract. But at the same time, he wants this to play out in the court of public opinion. This may not play out as well as you think. It's too much going on.
Look at it, just in the last couple weeks, you have zero tolerance, you know, separation of children from their parents, whether it's from Mexico or whatever, zero tolerance. Then you had the Putin press conference that was hell on wheels for some, and now this. It's just too much too fast. And Republicans are turning their nose and putting their head down, but it's in your face. It's a lot going on and it's all negative for this President.
BURNETT: Thank you all very much.
And next, Bob Mueller. Tonight we have learned he wants to talk to a woman known as the Manhattan Madam. Why? Plus, Trump's bizarre behavior when it comes to Putin. A question that's being asked more and more, does Putin have something on Trump? And, then the newest star on Democratic side of the ledger (ph), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about to take the stage with Bernie Sanders.
[19:17:56] BURNETT: Breaking News, Bob Mueller wants to talk with the Manhattan Madam. A source confirming to CNN that the Special Counsel's team has reached out to Kristin Davis's lawyer for an interview. Davis went to jail as part of the prostitution scandal involving the former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and she also worked for longtime Trump Associate Roger Stone who also happens to be the godfather to her son.
Kara Scannell is OUTFRONT. Kara, these are the sorts of stories and tangled webs that you can't make up. What else do you know about this?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's Right, Erin. You really can't make this up. So we know that Robert Mueller's team has reached out to a lawyer for Kristin Davis who is known as the Manhattan Madam. She went to prison in connection with the scandal encompassing (ph) former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
Now, Davis has worked for Stone for years. They're very close. He is the godfather to her son, but her lawyer says that she has not been subpoenaed by Robert Mueller. But he did tell me -- this is Daniel Hochheiser, her attorney, that if the Special Counsel subpoenas her, he will be representing her in that. And he also declined to comment at any conversations he's had with the Special Counsel's Office. They also declined to comment.
Now, Davis's spokeswoman though gave us a statement in which she explained the extent of the relationship with Roger Stone and that she said, "Kristin Davis and Roger Stone are very good friends and she has worked on and off with him for the last 10 years. Roger is the godfather to her son. She is currently in the cosmetology business and she knows nothing whatsoever about Russian collusion with the 2016 election."
Now, we understand that that is why Robert Mueller's team is interested in her. They are continuing to interview people that Roger Stone has employed at one time or another. We also have a statement from Roger Stone's lawyer and here's what he told us. He said, "If the purpose of the Special Counsel investigation is Russian involvement in the election through collusion, Roger is certain Ms. Davis would have no knowledge of any Russian collusion in the 2016 election. Roger views this is the continued harassment of his friends to try and find something that simply does not exist."
[19:20:01] Roger Stone has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but it is yet another twist in this tale that we did not really see coming today, Erin.
BURNETT: No, we certainly didn't. Kara, thank you very much. And, of course, Roger Stone himself admits he is likely -- as we have said, he is almost certainly the unnamed American in the most recent Mueller indictment of 12 Russians.
OUTFRONT now, Democratic Senator from Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He's former Attorney General for Connecticut. Senator, Special Counsel wants to talk to Kristin Davis, you know, the Manhattan Madam as she's called. She went to jail for her role in the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal. Why do you think Special Counsel wants to talk to her?
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: Anything relating to Roger Stone is of interest to the Special Counsel. Remember that he was all but named in the indictment just last Friday of 12 Russian operative spies. They are working at the direction of Vladimir Putin almost certainly, and Roger Stone, although unidentified, has acknowledged that he is one of the people who is named in that indictment. So very serious stuff involving Roger Stone. He's been a reappearing character, if you will. And anybody tied to Roger Stone is likely to be an interest to Robert Mueller.
BURNETT: So Kristin Davis did clerical Web site work for Stone as we understand it for the past decade as you just heard Kara just reporting. I mean, are the walls closing in on Roger Stone? I mean, it would seem like from the indictment they already laid out so specifically right his contacts with Guccifer 2.0, who is I'm a agent of Russian intelligence et cetera, et cetera. It's interesting here to me that it would seem that they are still asking questions and still seem they need more.
BLUMENTHAL: Roger Stone may be an unwitting dupe involved in Guccifer 2.0 which is --
BURNETT: So he may be telling the truth when he says he didn't know Guccifer was a Russian?
BLUMENTHAL: He may be telling the truth.
BURNETT: OK. BURNETT: He may not be. He may be in the Shakespearean sense, the clown who appears on stage as a diversionary character or he may be one of the nefarious villains in this sort. But one thing is for sure, and that is Robert Mueller is ahead of all of us in terms of what he knows, and he is not the source of this story. He is proceeding methodically and secretly.
BURNETT: Yes. No, I mean, look, he hasn't leaked. So it's coming from somewhere else, somebody who thinks it's in their interest to be out there now rather than perhaps later. And also, Senator, we're learning tonight the reporting we just have like the FBI has a tape recording between Trump and his former Attorney Michael Cohen talking about a payment to a former Playboy model. Of course, this would prove the White House saying there was no such payment was not true. How significant could this tape be, do you think?
BLUMENTHAL: The tape could be highly significant if they are talking about actions that could constitute a crime or some violation of election laws.
BURNETT: Election law.
BLUMENTHAL: Or also if it is find that there are other tapes as I would bet there are.
BURNETT: We understand that there are. I mean, Rudy Giuliani is indicating that there are. Do you think that could be the bigger issue?
BLUMENTHAL: The tapes made by Michael Cohen could be a gold mine for prosecutors because they are Trump's own voice, and that is the most powerful evidence in any crowd (ph), even if it's just yes or no on the telephone. It is highly potentially, inculpatory highly guilt- proving, and could be very, very significant. And again, the special prosecutor is going to really pursue every piece of evidence.
BURNETT: A source telling us tonight Trump's legal team is worried, that his performance in Helsinki with Putin at the summit could strengthen Bob Mueller's hand. How could that be the case?
BLUMENTHAL: As dangerous as that Helsinki meeting was, even more so is the prospect of Putin coming to Washington, D.C. If anything, Putin should be indicted, not invited. And the reason why these meetings are highly dangerous is, to state the obvious, first of all, as we know from that indictment of last Friday, the Special Counsel has proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Russian operatives interfered in our election, and it could not have been done without Putin being involved. And so for Donald Trump to be meeting in private for two hours with this criminal when the purpose of the criminal activity was to help in the election, I think, really, is very, very dangerous. Plus --
BLUMENTHAL: -- he basically made a mess of it. BURNETT: Well, let's talk about that because you said it was two hours, it was I guess two, two and a half hours, right? We don't know what happened in there. The interpreter does, Putin does this, interpreter does and Trump, that's it. The National Intelligence Director, the top intelligence aide for the President of the United States, Dan Coats, says he has no idea what happened in there. That's what he said. I just have to play exactly what he did say. He has no clue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:25:02] DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I don't know what happened in that meeting. I think as time goes by and the President has already mentioned some things that happened in that meeting, I think we will learn more, but that is the President's prerogative. If he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, I would have suggested a different way. But that's not my role. That's not my job. So, it is what it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And Senator, on top of this, a source tells us that Coats' office and the White House spoke. They did speak 45 minutes before that, OK? And in that conversation, nobody told him that Trump had invited Putin to Washington. Nobody tells the top intelligence aide to the President of the United States. If you're Coats, should he step down or not?
BLUMENTHAL: I would hope that he does not. I've known Dan Coats for a while. He was a colleague of mine in the Senate.
BLUMENTHAL: We disagreed about politics and a bunch of other things, but he is a man of integrity and he will fulfill his oath of office to serve the American people. Remember, Erin, that moment when the President stood in front of those stars at the CIA.
BURNETT: CIA, yes.
BLUMENTHAL: Each of those anonymous individuals gave his or her life in intelligence operations for this country. For the President of the United States to show disrespect and humiliate his Director of Intelligence is not only a violation of his oath of office, it is a profound disservice to our nation. These men and women lay their lives on the line and they take risks every day. What he did to Dan Coats was so profoundly humiliating. It reflects on the entire intelligence operation.
Donald Trump likes to operate without intelligence. He has demonstrate, he misses (ph) this briefing. But to go into that meeting and then to plan another meeting without telling Dan Coats is really beyond strained.
BURNETT: But you want him to stay. All right, thank you very much, Senator Blumenthal. Appreciate your time tonight. And next, what started out as a whisper is now a question that is loud and clear. Does Putin have something on the President of the United States? A Republican Congressman today saying Putin is manipulating the President. He never thought he'd say it.
And a popular tour boat capsizes in Missouri Lake, the most horrific story. Seventeen people including nine from one family have died.
BURNETT: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on defense tonight firing back against growing allegations that Putin has something on President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: I think those allegations are absurd. This administration has been relentless in its efforts to deter Russia from its bad behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, those allegations started as whispers, and, right, they started on the Democratic side, but now, not anymore, right? They're everywhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: More and more, I've come to the conclusion that after the Helsinki performance and sense, that I really do wonder whether the Russians have something on him.
LEON PANETTA, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: The way he behaves, there is a clear signal that the Russians have something on him.
CHARLIE DENT, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: It seems to me the Russians must have something. What else is there?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That's the question a lot of people are asking. I want to bring in now Bob Baer, former CIA operative, "GQ" Magazine Correspondent, Julia Ioffe, and Max Boot, Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow here with me in New York.
Max, it's just a small sample of former officials, right? You know, in Clappers' case, he served under Democrats and Republicans. Charlie Dent was an elected Republican. Pompeo said everything they're saying is absurd, but they're all saying the same thing.
MAX BOOT, COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Yes. It's not absurd. What's absurd is that Pompeo was trying to bat this question away, which was raised by Trump's obsequious behavior towards Putin, which is hard to explain any kind of rational way unless there's actually a nefarious relationship there. And so, that's why I think you have very informed people like Jim Clapper and John Brennan and others who are saying there's something we don't know that's going on here.
BURNETT: But it's not any more obsequious than it is with Kim.
BOOT: Well, no, but remember that at one point, Trump was attacking Kim as little rocket man. He's never attacked Putin and it's even predates his election.
BOOT: I mean, some say he doesn't want to cast doubt on the legitimacy of his election. But let's remember that he was being completely fawning towards Putin long before he was elected. This is a pattern that goes back decades.
And if you think about what's in his self-interest, even assume he doesn't care about the national interest, OK, even assume he's only worried about his own self-interest, at this point, it is in his self interest to be tough on Putin because he wants to dispel the notion that he's colluding with Putin. That there's a corrupt relationship with Putin, but he can't bring himself to do it even though it's in his interest to do so.
BURNETT: So, Julia, I mean, obviously, the president says there's no connection. You heard Mike Pompeo. To Max's point, though, I'm not going to go all the way back in history here, Max. I'm just going to stick to this week because this week is obviously what sparked those comments from Panetta and from Clapper and from Charlie Dent.
Here's the president this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we're doing really well with Russia as of today. I thought we were doing horribly before today.
A good competitor he is, and I think the word "competitor" is a compliment. I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish.
I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this. I don't see any reason why it would be.
I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This is what is hurting the president this week, Julia, right? This is what is causing these former intelligence officials to say, OK, now, I'm actually willing to come out and say it. Does Putin have something?
JULIA IOFFE, CORRESPONDENT, GQ MAGAZINE: Well, right. Something doesn't quite add up, right? I think Max is right in that Trump has been very flattering of Putin for a long time, I think in part because he kept trying to build something in Russia.
I also think he's very comfortable with autocrats and dictators because he kind of would love to rule in the same way. Remember what he said about Kim Jong-un, that when he talks, his people sit up and listen. I think that's what he wants as well. I think that's definitely true for Putin.
As for I think what happened since 2016, I think Trump knows, as we all know, that Putin, A, wanted him to win. Putin said so. He helped him to win. We know this from all of the reporting, all of the intelligence reports, all the investigations going on.
And for somebody as vain and, frankly, narcissistic as Trump, to say, you know what? You're right. My victory was illegitimate, and, therefore, my presidency is illegitimate. No president, no politician would ever say that.
So, I think the more people kind of press on him publicly, the more likely I think he's going to double down and resist.
ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Well, you know, I've got to go back in history, Erin.
First of all, no government agency in Washington would give this man a security clearance. His connections going back to 1986 and 1987 with the Russians were suspect from the moment they occurred.
[19:35:07] Look, he goes to Moscow in July of 1987. On the 2nd of September, he comes back with what is essentially KGB talking points, which he takes out full page advertisements, "New York Times", "Washington Post", "Boston Globe". And then on the 22nd of October, that same year, he starts musing about running for the presidency.
But what I hear from the Russians is that trip was sponsored by the KGB. I'm not sure he knew that. But as Will Hurd, the congressman from Texas said, my ex-colleague --
BAER: -- he was manipulated by the Russians. They didn't need to say we're KGB. Then you fast forward to the '90s where he's going into business with Russians, with Bayrock, with a KGB-connected organization, Toronto, and the rest of it, and you understand that the Russians carry the note on Trump.
He has a conflict of interest. He's manipulated.
BURNETT: You know --
BAER: He doesn't need a Russian -- go ahead.
BURNETT: No. Obviously, you're saying he doesn't need a -- he doesn't need the KGB to announce who they were. You know, as you used the word manipulated, to your point, it's how Will Hurd used it, and I'm going to talk more about that in a moment, because it's an important op-ed that he wrote today.
Max, I'm curious, though, just to make sure we're clear here. When you talk about being nice to Russia, other presidents have tried. Presidents like to come in and go, any relationship that's bad, I can fix it. This I alone can fix. Maybe he's narcissistic and have to say that way, but they're all sort of narcissists and have all thought it and tried it.
President Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney, remember, during that debate? When Romney called out Russia as America's biggest geopolitical foe, President Obama was the sitting president and he pooped all over it and here's the exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A few months ago when you asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia. Not al Qaeda. You said Russia. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because, you know, the Cold War has been over for 24 years.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have clear eyes on this. I'm not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Trump or Mr. Putin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Are we judging Trump by a different standard?
BOOT: No. I think we're judging by the same standard. I mean, I remember that exchange very well, because I was a Romney foreign policy adviser and that was a killer line.
BOOT: But, you know, in the past, you certainly had disagreements with candidates and presidents about how tough they should be on Russia and previous presidents have been, I would say, to some extent, naive with Putin. For example, both Bush and Obama tried to more or less reset relations with Russia when they came into office.
But you never, ever, Erin, have seen behavior like this with the U.S. president standing next to Putin and saying that he basically takes Putin's word over the word of the U.S. intelligence service or going into a two-hour private meeting with Putin where nobody in the U.S. government knows what was discussed, where all is decided. This, or you know, or calling Putin a fine person? He is not a fine person. He's a thug and a killer and previous presidents have not been afraid to say so.
I mean, you can engage in diplomacy, while still being clear eyed. You don't have to be utterly servile and submissive in the way that Trump is. This is not the way any previous president has reacted.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. Some thoughtful things, that timeline as Julia and Bob Baer talking about too. It's very fascinating.
And next, how did the White House leave the nation's top intelligence chief in the dark about a second Trump/Putin meeting? So, we have just learned that the White House spoke to Coats moments before he went on stainless. It wasn't as if, you know, a day went by, you know? They talked right before. They did not tell him. And they put it out on Twitter when they knew he was on stage.
And the Democrats' newest headliner in the campaign trail tonight, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez live at this hour. Is she the face of the new Democratic Party?
[19:41:55] BURNETT: Tonight, a scathing allegation from a Republican congressman. You heard the panel just mention it.
Well, the headline is Putin is manipulating the president of the United States. And the person who wrote that is a Republican, Will Hurd from Texas. In "The New York Times," he wrote, quote: Over the course of my career as an undercover officer and CIA, I saw Russians manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them.
Republican Congressman Mike Turner joins me. He serves in the House Intelligence Committee, along with Congressman Hurd. Obviously, they both have been intimately involved in the investigation that went on there into Russian meddling in the election.
Congressman, do you agree with your colleague, Mr. Hurd?
REP. MIKE TURNER (R), OHIO: Well, I think what's important here -- and I don't agree -- I think is that the American public is certainly disappointed in the president's performance with Putin. I certainly, as you spoke, there were certainly times when we were disappointed in Obama's performance after he had met, for example, Medvedev in Russia, came out of a private meeting and afterwards, the open mic caught saying, you know, we'll tell Vlad, you know, basically we can strike a better deal once the election is over. I'll have greater flexibility are the words that he used.
TURNER: So, it's not -- you know, it's an -- yes, so, it's an issue of, you know, I think that what we expect as Americans, especially under this time when the Department of Justice had just indicted several Russians and the Russian government for meddling in our elections. I mean, we have the nerve agent attack in London.
BURNETT: So --
TURNER: We have still the occupation in Ukraine, that President Trump needed to stand strong. And in this, he did not, and, of course, that's incredibly disappointing. BURNETT: So, but you're saying you don't agree with manipulate. You
don't agree with what Clapper saying, Panetta saying, your former colleague Charlie Dent is saying, they're all saying after Helsinki, they're now wondering does Putin have anything on the president. You think they go too far and you think Will Hurd goes too far when he says --
BURNETT: -- Putin is manipulating Trump?
TURNER: Right. I think it's an exaggeration. I think it's very consistent with what we've seen from this administration, though, and the inconsistency in their responses or reaction on the foreign stage and in foreign policy. We saw it certainly with Prime Minister May in the U.K. where at one point, he's criticizing her over the E.U., and the next point, he's embracing what she's doing. So, I think certainly there's a degree of inexperience.
But the more important thing I think, which gives us a warning of the upcoming announcement of the upcoming summit --
TURNER: -- is that there was no real plan for this summit. We had no idea what the president's goals were, what the United States was trying to achieve. And so, coming out of that, I think we were all, you know, kind of shocked with the demeanor that the president had, but it largely comes from lack of planning, lack of goals, lack of strategy.
Hopefully, if the new summit as announced goes forward, we'll have a clear understanding of what is the subject matter, why are we doing this, what does the president want to achieve?
BURNETT: Right. I mean, because let's be honest. It's embarrassing. The Russians are leaking. And they clearly had an agenda for what they wanted out of it and they're saying these things came up, right?
We don't have anything to counter it with because, well, the president didn't let anyone else in the room. And on the second meeting that you talked about -- I mean, what I think so many people find so hard to understand, Congressman, and I'm sure on some level you share this shock, that the president's top intelligence aide, the director of national intelligence, right, his chief intelligence officer, Dan Coats, had no idea that the president invited Putin to Washington, right?
[19:45:15] I just have to play this moment again because I can't -- every time I hear it, I sort of am stunned. Let me play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: We have some breaking news. The White House has announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall. DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Say that again?
MITCHELL: You -- Vladimir Putin coming to --
COATS: Did I hear you -- did I hear --
MITCHELL: Yes, yes.
COATS: That's going to be special.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Congressman Turner, we learned tonight Coats spoke to the White House before this panel, 45 minutes before he had a conversation with them. They did not tell him about this. I mean, is this acceptable?
TURNER: Right. And I think we all have criticism of how this administration has used Twitter, people being fired over Twitter, as I recall. So I think this is not presidential to be making announcements like this over Twitter in that format anyway.
Now, the director of national intelligence does report to the president, not the other way around. So, I'm less concerned that he didn't get the memo, really than the treating of cabinet members in that matter. That certainly is embarrassing. And it certainly shows.
What my greater concern is, is that there's not strategic work happening to plan the summit. I mean, you would think that all of his top cabinet members on national security issues would be pulled together and help formulate what's the strategy, what are the plans were, what are the goals, before the announcement of a summit happens. And I think that not having been completed certainly puts us in grave concern over what might happen next.
BURNETT: All right. Congressman Turner, I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks, sir.
TURNER: Thank you. Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, she's gone from waiting tables to campaigning with Bernie Sanders at this moment. We're going to check in with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the campaign trail with Bernie Sanders.
And the horrific tragedy. That tour boating sinking in a heavy storm in Missouri. Seventeen people have died. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, those poor people. Oh, my gosh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:50:12] BURNETT: Tonight, rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hitting the campaign trail with Bernie Sanders. They're speaking at two rallies together in Kansas and they're campaigning, right, for the progressive socialist agenda. The 28-year-old Ocasio-Cortez shocked everyone when she won the congressional primary in New York last month against a Democratic titan.
But is she the future of the Democratic Party? Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A rising star from New York.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: They said what we did in the Bronx, no one would care about it in Kansas.
SERFATY: Hitting the trail in deep red Kansas with Bernie Sanders, to boost a pair of progressive House candidates.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Wherever there is working class people, there is hope for the progressive movement.
SERFATY: A month after her stunning primary win --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's looking at herself on television right now.
SERFATY: -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has gone from relative unknown to high wattage political phenomenon.
STEPHEN COLBERT, LATE NIGHT TV HOST: Please welcome Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
SERFATY: Making the late-night rounds.
COLBERT: I want to confess that I did not know your name on Monday.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Most people didn't.
SERFATY: Her shade of lipstick even selling out online after she name-dropped it on Twitter. But it hasn't all been smooth sailing.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: For me, what it really means is establishing a baseline level of economic and social dignity.
SERFATY: Struggling to answer policy questions -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You use the term, the occupation of Palestine.
What did you mean by that?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Oh, I think what I meant is, like, the settlements that are increasing.
SERFATY: Shining a spotlight on her inexperience.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue.
SERFATY: Her calls to abolish ICE --
OCASIO-SERFATY: You know, when we talk about abolishing ICE, we're talking about ending family detention.
SERFATY: An idea that's divided Democrats and given Republicans an opening to attack.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just when you think Democrats couldn't move farther to the left, leading members of the Democratic Party including candidates for higher office are actually openly advocating the abolition of ICE.
SERFATY: In advance of her expected arrival in Washington, Ocasio- Cortez is sending signals she'll continue to shake up the Democratic establishment.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Even if you can carve out a sub-portion, a sub caucus of the progressive caucus, even if you could carve out that, even a smaller bloc, one that operates as a bloc, then you can generate real power.
SERFATY: That approach seems to be rubbing some Democrats on the Hill the wrong way. With one member telling "The Hill" newspaper Ocasio- Cortez is making enemies within the party. Another warning: meteors fizz out.
All as Democratic leaders downplay the significance of her win.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: They made a choice in one district. So let's not get yourself carried away as an expert on demographics.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: There are a lot of really exciting races with extremely similar dynamics as mine. It's not just one district.
SERFATY: And whether that's true or not in large part depends on the success that she has in places like here in Kansas, and other races where she's lending her support, will she be able to translate all the star power she has right now into actual wins for progressive candidates? In addition, Erin, of course, to the own fight she'll be facing when she arrives in Washington.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Sunlen, live from that rally.
And next, just a horrible story. Seventeen people have died. Heavy winds, seas, capsizing a tour boat, a duck boat, in Missouri. We're live at the scene.
[19:57:26] BURNETT: Tonight, the horrible story out of Missouri. Seventeen people dead after a tour boat sank in a lake in Missouri. The boat was one of those amphibious duck boats that we've all seen, right? They're popular in cities across the country.
Kaylee Hartung is OUTFRONT.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, those poor people. Oh, my gosh.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cell phone video capturing the moments before the amphibious tour boat carrying 31 people capsized on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no.
HARTUNG: The duck boat struggling, fighting 60-mile-per-hour winds and massive waves before overturning after 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening. A severe thunderstorm warning issued about a half an hour before the boat capsized.
JIM PATTISON JR., PRESIDENT OF RIPLEY ENTERTAINMENT: My understanding was that when the boat went in the water, it was calm. That part way through coming back is when everything, when the waves picked up and then, obviously, swamped the boat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Western units, we need a water rescue, will be north of the showboat. Will be a duck that has capsized. We have approximately 30 individuals in the water.
HARTUNG: Seventeen people killed. Authorities say the victims ranging in age from 1 to 70. And Missouri's governor telling CNN that 11 members of one family were on the boat. Nine of them dying when it sank.
GOV. MIKE PARSON (R), MISSOURI: You know, they're still somewhat in shock of the incident. Trying to figure out all the things that happened in that tragic event, but it's tough. It was tough to go in it there and talk to them, and to see them in that position because all of us that have family members and children, you know, it's hard to imagine being in that situation.
HARTUNG: Choppy waves began crashing against two duck boats in the Missouri Lake. Courtney parker was onboard the boat a few feet in front of one that sunk. She told CNN: My husband was holding our daughter and tried to get life jackets for them and jump off but then we got out of it and made it to the ramp, and I turned around and watched the other boat nose dive and my heart dropped. Officials say there were life jackets on the boat, but it's unclear if anyone was wearing them. Among those killed, the driver of the boats, Bob Williams. A second crew member, the boat's captain, among the 14 survivors.
HARTUNG: Four of those 14 survivors, Erin, will remain in the hospital tonight, two children and two adults.
This area of the Ozarks being a popular tourist destination, the governor made a point today of saying that many of the victims of this tragedy were traveling here from out of state. You can see the waters of this lake calm behind me now, but severe thunderstorms, again, in the forecast here in southeast Missouri tonight, Erin.
BURNETT: Horrible thing. Kaylee, thank you.
Thanks to all of you for joining us.
"ANDERSON" starts now.