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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Claims Up To 15,000 Troops Could Be Sent To Border; Trump Slams Ryan, Says He "Knows Nothing" About Birthright Citizenship; Interview with Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA). Aired 7-8p ET
Aired October 31, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:09] PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: "OutFront" next, the President is threatening to send up to 15,000 troops to the southern border. That's more than the U.S. has in Afghanistan and it's all to halt a caravan 1,000 miles away. Is this all about scaring the voters?
Plus, my reporting on who the President blames for Robert Mueller's investigation. Hint, not himself.
And our "OutFront" race of the day, Nancy Pelosi is not on the ballot in Kansas, but why is a race there all about her? Let's go "OutFront."
Good evening, I'm Pamela Brown in for Erin Burnett.
And "OutFront" tonight, President Trump seizing on the politics of fear. The President is about to kick off a rally in Florida where Republicans are locked in tight races for governor and a U.S. Senate seat.
Now, this is the first of 11 rallies he'll be holding across the country in a six-day span. And the President is doing all he can to push his supporters to the polls, seizing on the group of migrants moving through Mexico and telling reporters he is now considering greatly increasing the number of U.S. troops that are headed to the boarder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As far as the caravan is concerned, our military is out. We have about 5,000 to 8,000. We'll go up to anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 military personnel on top of border patrol, ICE and everybody else at the border. Nobody is coming in. We're not allowing people to come in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Up to 15,000 U.S. troops going to the border. Just to put that number into perspective for you, that would be more than the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, more than the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, more than the number of U.S. troops in Syria.
Well, the President is determined to stoke fear it appears over immigration and make it a top issue in this election and not even the Republican speaker of the House can talk him out of it.
Paul Ryan, who shot down the President's claim that he can end birthright citizenship with an executive order, is now being targeted by the President. Trump today tweeting, "Paul Ryan should be focusing on holding the majority rather than giving his opinions on birthright citizenship, something he knows nothing about." But most legal scholars agree with Speaker Ryan. So why exactly is the President doing this six days before the election?
Let's bring in our Kaitlin Collins, who is "OutFront" for us live right outside the White House tonight. So, Kaitlin, the President is not backing down on this claim to end birthright citizenship and now he's lashing out to the Republican leader as he kicks off this campaign rally tour. Will we hear more of the same tonight?
KAITLIN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE C ORRESPONDENT: Probably so, Pamela. That's exactly what the President's message has been for the last few days. And some people in Washington think the President is taking this throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the midterms trying to save this for Republican and that's why the President is kicking off this campaign swing starting in Florida tonight, ending in Missouri on Monday.
But the question is, is he actually helping Republicans with the comments he's been making lately? Not only is he getting into a feud with the House Speaker Paul Ryan, he's threatening to send up to 15,000 troops to the border, even though he's already deployed over 5,000. That's raising questions from skeptics as well.
But also he's trying to justify his claim that he believes, and he's quoting legal scholars here though he's not naming which ones, that he can end birthright citizenship with an executive order.
Now, what he said on the south lawn there as you just showed that video, Pam, he said that he believe that he could liken it to what Barack Obama did with DACA. That was an executive action as well from President Obama that many conservatives and critics of Obama said defied federal law, including the President, who railed against it repeatedly throughout his 2016 presidential campaign but now he's using it to justify what he's saying about ending birthright citizenship.
After he first put this out there yesterday, a lot of people came out, including members of the President's own party, starting with House Speaker Paul Ryan, saying he simply can't do this unilaterally. But in the President's eyes and as he said today, what Barack Obama can do DACA, then I can do this.
Of course, Pam, we saw what happened to DACA. We saw that fight to this administration tried to take with that, so it's raising a lot of questions about whether or not this campaign swing that the President is going to do, 11 stops in six days, is actually going to help Republicans or maybe they would just wish he'd stay back at the White House.
BROWN: We shall see. Kaitlin Collins, great reporting from the White House, thanks so much.
And "Outfront" tonight, Van Jones, former special advisor to President Obama and host of "The Van Jones Show." Mark Lotter, former special assistant to President Trump, and David Gergen, former advisor for four presidents. Gentlemen, great to see you. Thanks for coming on.
MARK LOTTER, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you.
BROWN: David Gergen, I want to start with you. Is this a good use of our military, sending 15,000 troops to the border?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER ADVISER TO FOUR PRESIDENTS: Pamela, first of all, welcome back.
BROWN: Thank you.
GERGEN: Good to see you.
BROWN: Thank you very much.
GERGEN: Well, strikingly, Secretary of Defense James Mattis thought it was a bad idea. He opposed it originally. He's going along with it, of course, because the President is the commander in chief.
[19:05:09] But I think most Americans are smart enough to see this is a stunt. And, you know, coming just a few days before, it's not apparent why troops are needed this weekend when this caravan is a thousand miles away. It's going to be two or three weeks, why do they need to go now. It's not a coincidence just the weekend before the elections.
So, you know, the President needs to define what are these people for, why do we need so many, how long are they going to be here and what's the purpose of all of this. You don't send troops unless you know what your purpose is and what you're getting out strategy is. So I think this looks completely political. This is inappropriate for the President, frankly.
We commit to him the forces of the United States as commander in chief, but it's almost like a sacred duty to use those troops only for national -- real national security, not for some fake national security reason.
BROWN: What do you think, Mark? Is this a political stunt as David says?
LOTTER: Absolutely not. I think that is the fundamental goal of the United States military is to protect our country and its borders. And for those who think it's a stunt or just some sort of strategy, I disagree. When we send our American servicemen and women to defend other countries' borders, yet they somehow have a problem with them defending our own borders.
In this case, we have anywhere from 4,000 to 11,000, the number I know constantly varies, people who are planning to come into this country and stated to do so illegally. They are going to violate the sovereignty of our nation and the President is saying no.
This overwhelming use of troops can support customs and border patrol, but it also sends a very strong signal to the people in that caravan that you have 15,000 American troops, along with the customs and border patrol, the walls, the drones and everything else that we have at our borders that are prepared to stop you.
BROWN: So on that note, you say they're there to support. And our Rear Admiral John Kirby, who is a CNN Analyst, former spokesman for the Defense Department, says they're going to be there as cooks, as pilots, mechanics. They're not there to combat the migrants from coming in or stop them from coming in. They're there to be in support roles. Is it misleading for the President to paint this picture that they're there with their guns and they're going to battle it out with the migrants in the caravan?
LOTTER: Well, I think they're still going to define the specific terms of the engagement and what they'll be doing, but there will be a support role. And every person from, let's say customs and border patrol, that can be reassigned from doing those support operations to front line operations because they have --
BROWN: But front line operations, what does that mean, because there's --
LOTTER: Stopping people from coming across our border illegally.
BROWN: But there's the law. So you have the border, you have the point of entry. They have due process rights as soon as they cross the border. So what exactly will the troops be doing? I mean --
LOTTER: You can stop them from going between the points of entry and direct them to a point of entry, which is the legal point.
BROWN: I want to bring in Van. And David Gergen, hold that point, I do want to from you. But, Van, I want to bring you into this conversation. What's your take?
VAN JONES, FORMER SPECIAL ADVISER TO PRES. OBAMA: Well, I think it's unfortunate. We basically have what I think was 5,000, now maybe it's as low as 3,000 scared people, women, children, elderly people, fleeing violence thousands of miles away still from United States. And our response, rather than saying, you know, "Come here, let's see if you've got a valid claim. If you do, we'll process you. If not, we're going to send you back."
We're going to send more troops to stop this caravan than we have fighting ISIS. So, somehow the President of the United States has decided that a couple thousand scared, sick, you know, people fleeing violence are a bigger threat to the United States than ISIS. It makes no sense.
And then you said something I think is really unfortunate. You said they've declared that they're going to come here and violate our laws. They're actually are coming here to invoke our laws. We have, as the greatest nation in the world, insisted that not only ourselves but people around the world, when people are fleeing violence, after World War II, when people are afraid and running for their lives, that they are supposed to be met and examined and heard.
Now, that doesn't mean they have to come in. But everybody gets to be heard. For you to say that they are coming here to violate our laws is not true. They are coming to invoke our laws and we should receive them, the ones who have a valid claim to come in. The rest should go home. But you don't need more troops to stop them than you have fighting ISIS.
BROWN: Mark, I want to let you respond and David, I'll go to you.
LOTTER: Well, the moment that they step foot across the border not at a legal point of entry, they have violated our laws. And you also cannot claim asylum once you have done that. You can claim asylum by the law --
JONES: But that's what they're doing.
LOTTER: -- at the point of entry. We'll see where they're coming. They have already -- many of them have said that they are planning to come into the country illegally. And this entire narrative that this is nothing but women, children, and the elderly is false. It is also mostly filled with men who have told reporters that they are coming here for a job.
[19:10:04] They are not fleeing violence, they are not fleeing persecution.
JONES: And those will be sent back because they don't have valid claims. Those people don't have valid claims, they'll be sent back. I'm sorry, go ahead, Mr. Gergen.
GERGEN: Nobody can prove or show that this is a threat to the country and calling them invaders has led to one thing so far. It's led to the shootings in Pittsburgh. And the people who engage in this stunt ought up to step back and understand if you keep -- if you keep scapegoating immigrants, you're going to create a real problem in this country that's going to go very deep. This is not a national security emergency.
BROWN: All right. I want to also talk to you, David, about the President insisting that you can -- that he can stop birthright citizenship with an executive order despite the 14th Amendment in the constitution. The President compared it, as we heard Kaitlin say in her reporting, to President Obama's executive order on DACA. Let's take a listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If he can do DACA, we can do this by executive order. With that being said, I think Congress will ultimately act, but I may very well do it by executive order.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: But President Trump has railed against President Obama for doing exactly that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: President Obama signed DACA. When he signed it, he said I'm really not allowed to sign this and I'm going to sign it anyway.
President Obama when he signed the executive order actually said he doesn't have the right to do this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So President Obama didn't actually say he didn't have the right to do that, but that aside, David, is that hypocritical of the President to say that?
GERGEN: Yes, but let me say this. The President has every right to question the policy, the underlying policy. Here he is the President and if he can form a consensus in the Congress or in the country for a constitutional amendment, go at it. I mean, that's his right. But, you know, there's a huge difference between DACA, which you can say argued Obama exceeded his authority. DACA was a law. Birthright citizenship is part of the constitution.
GERGEN: If you do it unilaterally, you're rewriting the constitution of the United States. That is totally inappropriate.
LOTTER: But there's one key difference. The constitution has never been ruled on by the Supreme Court or by a law of Congress or precedent to apply to illegal immigrants in our country.
BROWN: It says all U.S. citizens.
LOTTER: But there is -- there is an open area for interpretation. There's a difference between what President Obama did when he rewrote federal law. This is seeking clarification. It will go to the Supreme Court.
BROWN: Van Jones?
JONES: Well, what you're saying isn't true. I mean, there -- a couple of things here. The reason that you have the 14th Amendment in the first place is because after slavery, after the enslavement of millions of African people, there was a question, are these people citizens or not? And we want to be very clear --
JONES: -- we don't care -- yes, we don't care who you are, if you're born here, you are a citizen.
Now you have people saying, well, we don't like the ones who came here illegally. I'm sorry, sir, the pilgrims did not have passports either. We've had generations of people who come here without proper paperwork but the babies aren't punished. If you're born here, you belong here and we figure it out.
Now, you want to pretend that the President of the United States can sign a piece of paper to undo that, it's just not true. And part of the thing is you have a President that doesn't know the difference between the law, which can be changed or can be reinterpreted, and the constitution, which requires a massive effort to change.
And he's misleading the people. And I don't think that we should fool around with the constitution. And conservatives used to be the constitutional people. Listen, we are constitutional conservatives. We are constitutional.
Now, you pretend that the President of the United States can take out, you know, a liquid paper and just start erasing and writing with this? That's not the way that the constitution should be addressed or dealt within this country.
LOTTER: Van, but this goes back to -- you go back to the original 14th Amendment. The author of that amendment in 1866 said on the floor of the United States Senate, it didn't apply to foreigners or aliens. This was the original legislative intent. It has never been ruled on. And whether it happens via executive order or congressional action, because Harry Reid proposed a law to change it and so is Lindsey Graham currently, the Supreme Court will ultimately make that decision.
JONES: Well, OK. First of all, Harry Reid -- I'm glad you mentioned Harry Reid. He said today, yes, when he was young and ignorant, he was young and ignorant and it was the worst mistake he ever made and took it back. So if we're going to follow Harry Reid, if Harry Reid is more important to you than the constitution of the United States, Harry Reid will take you out of the message you are now in.
But the second thing I want to point out to you is very simple. You continue to say the Supreme Court has never ruled on this particular issue. The only time this issue has come before the Supreme Court had to do with Chinese people who were born here. And the Supreme Court ruled in a single line, they were born here, they belong here, period. There has not been the slightest indication from the Supreme Court that this is something they want to revisit or that could be revisited.
[19:15:02] So you got -- so what happened is in the fevered swamps of the internet, some of the worst people ever born came up with this idea and they have been letting it cook and cook and cook and now it spilled over into the Oval Office and now onto our good air waves. This is one of the worst ideas in the country.
It's only because the people who are here, who are coming here in the minds of these people are brown people from below the border, they're not sending troops to airports. Most people who are here illegally didn't come through the border, Sir, they came in airports and overstayed their visa.
You're not sending troops to the airports, what you're doing is you're sending troops to the border, you're demonizing brown people and you don't want their babies to count. I'm sorry, Sir, our constitution says their babies count too.
BROWN: Final word quickly, Mark.
LOTTER: We'll let the Supreme Court decide that. It's pretty clear and I think either way, whether it's congressional or presidential action, the Supreme Court will ultimately have this say. The intent of the framers of this amendment was clear.
JONES: There will be one line.
BROWN: OK, all right. Thank you so much, Mark, David, Van. Thank you for that interesting discussion, for sharing your perspectives.
GERGEN: Thank you.
BROWN: And "OutFront" next, new details emerging about Trump's combative relationship with his former White House counsel, and why he blames Don McGahn for Robert Mueller's probe.
Plus, an apparent effort to smear Robert Mueller, including e-mails offering women money in exchange for fabricating sexual misconduct claims against him. Who's behind the scheme?
And Trump's new pre-election talking point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The midterms for some reason don't do so well for Republicans. I think you are going to lose a lot of money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:20:10] BROWN: Well, new tonight, blame game. President Trump blaming former White House Counsel Don McGahn for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
Sources close to McGahn say Trump brought it up during their last face-to-face meeting in the Oval Office. Trump complaining to McGahn that Mueller was named special counsel on McGahn's watch and that the investigation remains a cloud over his presidency.
Well, McGahn has long been a target of Trump's ire. He refused Trump's order to fire Mueller as special counsel last year and unsuccessfully tried to stop Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from the Russia probe.
"OutFront" now, former Nixon White House Counsel, John Dean, and CNN Supreme Court Reporter, Ariane de Vogue, who help break the story with me and my colleagues, Evan Perez and Kara Scannell. So, Ariane, what is your take on this reporting, this last face-to- face meeting, Trump complaining to McGahn that the special counsel was appointed on his watch?
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Well, look, these two men have been through a lot together, right? And it was no secret that McGahn wanted to leave. We knew that last summer, at one point he was going. And then you remember out of nowhere at the end of August, right, the President tweeted McGahn will leave this fall. That took McGahn by surprise and it took other people by surprise.
He kept his head low. He went through. He did that Brett Kavanaugh confirmation, which wasn't easy. But then after that was done, he took that meeting and it was 20 minutes, our sources have told us, and the President did tick off the good things that he felt like McGahn had done, had accomplished, but then he brought up Mueller again.
He laid the blame, as he is prone to do. And it's interesting that that's how they ended this last meeting. Keep in mind, there is no love lost. They have had this long tortured relationship.
BROWN: For many years. Let's not forget, McGahn was involved with the Trump campaign before he was White House counsel.
DE VOGUE: He was one of the earliest people, right? And when he left, though, his replacement, Pat Cipollone, hasn't even gotten his background check. And one source told me, look, the President was tired of McGahn. McGahn was tired of the President and that's how they ended it in that meeting.
BROWN: And you mentioned that the whole blaming scenario, John, it's not just McGahn that Trump has blamed for Mueller's probe, he's regularly slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation. Here's what he said just two weeks ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It's a witch hunt. It's nothing more than a witch hunt. Jeff Sessions should have never let it happen, he should have never recused himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And then in June he tweeted in part, "The Russian witch hunt hoax continues all because Jeff Sessions didn't tell me he was going to recuse himself." He blames everyone but himself for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe when it was his firing of then FBI Director James Comey that started it all, right, John? Am I right?
JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: He seems to forget the source of the problem was his own action. But this is typical Trump. We've now watched him in office for quite a while. We watched him during the campaign. And this is standard operating procedure, a man who will not accept responsibility for any of his own actions. BROWN: And let's remember, Ariane, McGahn has cooperated extensively with Mueller's probe. I think it was, what, 30 hours he spent in the room with Mueller's prosecutors.
DE VOGUE: Yes.
BROWN: Sources told CNN when that reporting first came out that Trump was none too pleased to find out about that. And, you know, now you have this reporting that their last face-to-face meeting he brings up Mueller to McGahn. Do you think it had anything to do with him being bitter that McGahn spent all this time with Mueller's team?
DE VOGUE: Well, our sources do say that the President was unnerved by those meetings. He didn't know that it went on as long as it did. But keep in mind, it's sort of how he processes things.
Look at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, he's been ripped apart in these tweets and he's been ripped apart in his statements and it just seems to be how the President chooses to go after him.
But he does owe a lot to McGahn because Russia aside, keep it mind, it was McGahn who was the one who pushed through the Supreme Court confirmations, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh. He changed the landscape of the judiciary by bringing in all these judges. That's a huge success for the President.
BROWN: And deregulation as well.
DE VOGUE: Exactly. So he may have had their fights on Russia and they went for months really not talking, but he did deliver on those crucial issues of the judiciary and deregulation.
BROWN: And, John, I want to just switch gears a little bit and ask you about what the National Archives released today, this so-called Watergate Road Map.
Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski sent it to the House Judiciary Committee where it outlined the case to indict former President Nixon for bribery, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and obstruction of a criminal investigation. So Jaworski, however, at the time was concerned there was no legal precedent to indict a sitting president. So how does this guide Mueller in your view?
[19:25:09] DEAN: What this is is the result of a lawsuit filed by protect democracy, an organization that thought they need transparency. And historically, some of the Watergate materials, grand jury, which is typically secret material, had been released prior so they went in to try to get this plan, this road map released which was a result of the special counsel during Watergate, getting the grand jury to not indict Trump -- Nixon, but rather name him as an unindicted co-conspirator and then send this road map, this plan of how they had proceeded, the evidence they collected against Nixon to the Congress and the House Judiciary Committee which needed help. I was aware of it at the time, and historically it turned out to be a very important document. BROWN: And now it has been released stuff for all to see. Thank you so much to both of you, John Dean, Ariane, my wonderful colleague, appreciate it.
And "OutFront" next, a bizarre plot to sphere Robert Mueller, the FBI now being asked to investigate as we learn new details about who is accused of orchestrating it.
And the blame game, the President blaming Democrats and the Fed for tumbles in the stock market, but what about his tariffs? We'll be back.
BROWN: Well, tonight, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office is asking the FBI to investigate what appears to be a coordinated effort to smear him. Several women have received e-mails offering money in exchange for telling lies that Mueller behaved inappropriately towards them decades ago. One woman, Jennifer Taub, a professor at Vermont law school, received an e-mail on October 22nd. And here's what she told CNN about that scheme.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER TAUB, RECEIVED E-MAIL SEEKING INFO ON ROBERT MUELLER'S PAST: Well, I don't know Robert Mueller. I never met him. It seemed like they were trying to cast a wide net to speak with anyone who may have ever known him to see if he had done something wrong. And they were just basically digging dirt up on him to try to smear him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: I want to bring in Kara Scannell. She is "OutFront" with us now. And Kara, this has prompted a very rare statement from the special counsel spokesman.
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Pam.
As you know, Robert Mueller's team rarely makes a statement. They're often known more for not commenting. Yesterday in fact they issued a statement because reporters started getting calls or e-mails about two weeks ago.
It's interesting, the Taub e-mail was targeting her asking if she would receive money in exchange for making up an allegation. Reporters two weeks ago had received an e-mail purporting to be from a woman who said that she was contacted by working for a Republican lobbyist, Jack Burkman, in D.C., who was offering her cash to pay off her credit card debt in order to make up a false allegation about Robert Mueller.
Now, because reporters have been calling Robert Mueller's office, they issued this rare statement in which they said: When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the special counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation. Now, it's interesting because one of those letters was, of course,
looking to target women to see if any would accept money for an allegation. The other one was targeting the media in a way to see if they would end up writing a story about this without checking it out, Pam. So this was sort of a double-edged attempt.
And once these allegations became known publicly when the first story dropped about Robert Mueller's statement, you started to see reporters coming out of the woodwork, putting forward the reporting that they did that linked both of these attempts to companies that were associated with this 20-year-old's sort of right-wing political character on the Internet who often is on Twitter, linked it to him and then he had told the "Daily Beast" that he was working for Burkman.
Now, Burkman told us he has never offered women money for their stories. He also declined to tell us if he was working with his team or his company, I should say, Pam.
BROWN: OK, Kara, thank you for breaking it down for us. We do appreciate it.
And OUTFRONT now, Democratic congressman from California, Eric Swalwell. He sits on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.
Congressman, thanks for coming on.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: Of course.
BROWN: So, what is your reaction, first off, to this apparent effort to smear the special counsel?
SWALWELL: Well, this lobbyist is discredited in the past. In criminal law, we would say he's got a prior, so his credibility isn't that high. But what concerns me, though, is whether the president's rhetoric around the special counsel and all the names he's called him, the description of it being an illegal investigation, himself saying that he's got concerns about Robert Mueller's credibility, that it's created a permissive sand box where people feel like they can do this.
Now, this is all more the reason we should cement Bob Mueller's role and pass a bipartisan legislation that's come out of the Senate that would preserve the special counsel so that, you know, no effort on the outside or from the president would remove him from this investigation.
BROWN: So this matter, as we know, has been referred to the FBI. Do you think that the FBI should investigate?
SWALWELL: Yes. I think the potential crimes here are mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, also perhaps extortion and obstruction of justice. That they would try to put themselves into this investigation and delay its course. Yes, it's a serious crime.
BROWN: Even if this is a hoax, you think that the FBI should investigate? SWALWELL: Well, they're talking -- in these e-mails, they're talking
about payments. So, now, you're talking about possibly invoking RICO, you know, racketeering. They're talking about perhaps defrauding a bank to get money to pay off these people.
Yes, I mean, these are serious crimes. The stakes are high. One of the individuals is a 20-year-old, may be in way over his head. But, you know, you're messing with one of the most important investigations in the history of the United States.
BROWN: Do you think it could open the FBI up to the fact that they are investigating political critics?
SWALWELL: Well, this is beyond being a critic. This is trying to disrupt through false statements a serious investigation. If there's no crimes there, of course, they shouldn't go any farther. But it certainly looks like there's a lot more to be known.
BROWN: And so, based on Kara's reporting, Burkman was behind this. Do you think that he acted alone?
SWALWELL: I don't know. Again, this reminds me of what David Gergen was saying earlier about Pittsburgh. No one believes that the president was responsible for what that shooter did in that synagogue, but a lot of people believe the president has created this permissive environment. And again, the way he categorizes and characterizes the special counsel I think makes people believe, well, I'm going to be on the president's side just seven days before the election and take out the special counsel myself.
I'd like to see the president and his team disavow this effort.
BROWN: And you mentioned Pittsburgh.
[19:35:00] I want to turn to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. A federal grand jury has returned a 44-count indictment against the alleged gunman, Robert Bowers.
Do you think that he should get the death penalty?
SWALWELL: I think he should rot in prison and then rot in hell.
BROWN: So no death penalty?
SWALWELL: Yes, I'd rather see him sit in a very uncomfortable prison and then, you know, let him meet his maker. I think we know where he'll go.
BROWN: All right. Congressman, thanks so much for coming on.
SWALWELL: My pleasure.
BROWN: And today, three more funerals were held for the victims killed in Saturday's mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue.
Seventy-five-year-old Joyce Fienberg was a retired research specialist at the University Pittsburgh. Her husband passed away two years ago after a battle with cancer. And students say she always treated them like family, sending cards to them long after they graduated.
Also, 69-year-old Irving Younger was a greeter at the Tree of Life synagogue. Friends say he was known for his infectious big smile, big handshake and a wave of white hair.
The community also remembering 87-year-old Melvin Wax. According to Melvin's family, his greatest passions were his grandson, his Judaism and the Pittsburgh Pirates. According to officials, three people remain hospitalized, including one police officer.
Well, OUTFRONT up next, the president's warning to people who are voting for Democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think you're all going to lose a lot of money. I hate to say that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So is this another scare tactic?
Plus, one Democrat's strategy to win, run as far away from Nancy Pelosi as possible. So will it work?
[19:40:33] BROWN: Well, tonight, President Trump warning that people will lose money if they vote for Democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The midterms for some reason, if they don't do well for Republicans, I think you're all going to lose a lot of money. I hate to say that, I think you're going to lose a lot of money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So, this comes a day after this tweet from the president. Quote, if you want your stocks to go down, I strongly suggest voting Democrat.
OUTFRONT now, Catherine Rampell, a columnist for "The Washington Post", and Stephen Moore, an informal White House advisor and author of "Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy".
So is the president, Stephen, just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks before the midterms? What's going on here?
STEPHEN MOORE, INFORMAL WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: No. The strongest card that Republicans have to play in these midterms is the economy, this booming economy. We saw yesterday the highest level of consumer confidence in 18 years. That's a sign that people feel good about where things are, and Republicans haven't done a very good job of running on that and Trump is trying to steer these Republican candidates, talk about the economy, talk about the tax cuts, talk about --
BROWN: But to say if you want to lose money, vote Democrat.
MOORE: Well, I think what he meant there is, look, we did a study at the Heritage Foundation and the average American family, median income, is saving about $2,000 a year as a result of this tax cut. Most Democrats are running on repealing the tax cut, so that's $2,000 they would lose right there.
BROWN: And, Catherine, during the campaign, you'll recall Trump's critics all said that he would be terrible for the economy. Here are just a few of those that we pulled.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Economists on the right and the left and the center all agree, Trump would throw us back into recession.
MARK CUBAN, BUSINESS MOGUL: I can say with 100 percent certainty that there's a really good chance we could see a huge, huge correction.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: His domestic policies would lead to recession.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So, so far, those predictions haven't come true. As Stephen said, consumer confidence is at an all-time high in 18 years. So, are these just -- these political type attacks that, you know, just kind of get recycled each midterm?
CATHERINE RAMPELL, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: No, no. Look, Trump passed -- or Trump oversaw a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus at a time of an economic expansion. We are nine years into one of the longest expansions on record and yet we are pumping more money into the economy. In the near term you're going to see a sugar high but if you look at the long-term impact of his policies on deficits as well as on the economy, it's not good. I think that's part of what was being reflected in those comments.
I would also add that a number of other bonkers things that Trump had proposed during the campaign fortunately did not happen, including he wanted to bring us back to the gold standard. He wanted to default on our debt or at least threatened to default on our debt, saying he should negotiate it down if times got hard. Those were some of the more crisis-prone statements that he made that if he had actually acted on them, yes, they probably would have caused a worldwide financial crisis.
As it stands right now, instead we have policies like a trade war, which is not good either for the near term or the long term health of the economy, and, of course, these fiscal policies that will weigh very much on the long-term health of the economy. So just because things are good now does not necessarily mean that what he's doing is a great investment in our long-term future.
BROWN: And she mentions trade. I mean we've seen the Dow kind of yo- yo up and down.
MOORE: I'm getting seasick this week.
BROWN: Because of the what the president does when it comes to trade.
MOORE: I think Catherine is right on the trade front. I'm a free trade guy. In our book we talk about this. When Larry Kudlow and I were meeting with Trump, we said we're for free trade.
Trump always said I want a fair deal. I want a level playing field. I want to use these kind of trade tariffs as a -- as a negotiating tactic to bring these tariffs down. So far, it seems to be working pretty well. He got the Canada/Mexico deal done.
Now, look, the big deal right now and the big cloud that's hanging over the economy is whether he can score a victory with China. And I think, look, I think most Americans are with Trump on China. China is cheating, they're stealing, they're building up their military in a very aggressive way.
Now seems like a pretty good time to be standing up to China.
RAMPELL: Yes, the way to have stood up to China would have been through TPP, which you supported.
MOORE: I'm fine with TPP.
RAMPELL: In fact this was a strategy for basically isolating China by banding together with all of the other countries.
[19:45:05] BROWN: The Trans Pacific Partnership for our viewers.
MOORE: But he's had these trade deals now -- I was much more nervous nine months ago in terms of Trump antagonizing some of our allies than I am now. He's got the trade deal done with Canada, with Mexico, with Europe.
RAMPELL: It's not done, what are you talking about.
MOORE: We've got the deal with Canada and Mexico.
RAMPELL: It hasn't passed any of our legislatures.
MOORE: Well, we've got it passed. That's true. It has to pass through Congress.
BROWN: So quickly, I want your take on the fed because the president not only blaming Democrats, also the Fed. He said I think the Fed is making a mistake. They are so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy. He's talking about raising the rates.
Is he right to blame the Fed?
MOORE: I think that the big issue right now is we kind of, as conservative economists, believe the economy can grow a lot faster. We want higher wages and we want more people working. And the Fed is still under this belief that when you have high levels of growth that that's going to cause inflation.
RAMPELL: You can't have it both ways. Either you argue that the economy is going gang busters and, therefore, it is perfectly appropriate for monetary policy to be normalized after about a decade of historically very low rates, or you say the economy is actually still quite weak and, therefore, we need more accommodative monetary policy. You can't have it both ways.
MOORE: Well, what I'm saying is we want the Fed to fight inflation. We want to keep the prices stable. But the prices are stable. I mean, over the last six months, the inflation rate has been less than 2 percent. So, what is the Fed -- why is the Fed raising rates right now?
RAMPELL: Because we've just put -- we've just announced a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus during a major expansion.
MOORE: What Trump is saying is that's going to pull back the economy. He says it's going to slow the economy down, and he might be right. Why do we want to slow the economy down? We want workers to make more. We want more jobs.
RAMPELL: Because you don't want it to overheat. Because the Fed's job is to take the punch bowl away. To do the thing that might feel not so popular in the moment, that's why we shield them from any sort of political influence because you want them to be a little bit more forward looking and not to say, hey, an election is coming up, let's boost the economy as high as we can.
MOORE: Every time we have higher wages, the Fed pulls back on the economy.
RAMPELL: That's not what you were saying when we were facing the great recession.
BROWN: You guys made my job easy. I can just sit here and let you talk. Thank you so much. Do appreciate it, Catherine and Steve.
MOORE: Happy Halloween.
BROWN: Happy Halloween to you as well.
And up next, should Nancy Pelosi really be counting her chickens before they hatch?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: What now I'm saying is we will win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So will she regret saying those words?
And a Washington power couple at odds over the president. Is that what they meant by for better or worse?
[19:50:36] BROWN: Well, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declaring victory six days before election day, insisting to Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show" that Democrats will win the House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: Up until today, I would have said if the election were held today, we would win.
STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: What happened today that changed that?
PELOSI: What now I'm saying is we will win.
COLBERT: Please don't say that. Do you want to say that on Hillary's fireworks barge that she cancelled? Please, please, please don't say that.
PELOSI: We will win. We own the ground. We're not yielding one grain of sand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: But Pelosi is a lightning rod in many races across the country, including one in deep red Kansas.
Manu Raju is OUTFRONT with today's race of the day.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It has been a decade since a Democrat won a house seat in this eastern Kansas district that overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump in 2016. But in yet another major warning sign for Republicans ahead of next week's midterms, a Democrat, Paul Davis, could pick up this seat as he pitches himself as a middle of the road candidate.
If Democrats like Paul Davis do win, that could flip the House and effectively make Nancy Pelosi the next speaker. There's just one problem.
PAUL DAVIS (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: There isn't a circumstance in which I'm going to support Pelosi. There are times when you just need some new blood. I think this is the time.
RAJU: Democrats could face their own leadership struggle as 30 Democrats, who stand a real chance of winning next week, say they won't support her for the job.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's why I won't support Nancy Pelosi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I won't support Nancy Pelosi.
RAJU: Yet Pelosi is still the heavy favorite to become speaker and has no viable opponent.
PELOSI: But I think I'm worth the trouble quite frankly.
RAJU: She's raised more than $121 million for her colleagues this cycle and has the power to give members key spots on committees. If they take the House, Pelosi's allies will make this argument.
SWALWELL: I think that will have taken away the argument that she's a drag or affecting candidates. If we won, then that really wasn't effective and I don't understand what the case against her would be.
RAJU: Here in Kansas, Republican Steve Watkins, an army veteran and first-time candidate, was also vying for the open seat and is trying to link Davis to Pelosi.
STEVE WATKINS (R), CANDIDATE FOR U.S. HOUSE IN KANSAS: He's saying what he thinks he has to say in order to get elected. And Kansas voters aren't being fooled by that.
RAJU: But a recent CNN poll shows that Pelosi is not a major factor for most voters nationally.
DAVIS: I don't think it's having much of an impact. I said on day one of the campaign I'm not going to support her and there's nothing to change that. Whatever the Republicans are going to say I think is just trying to muddy the waters, which they do time in and time again.
AD NARRATOR: We've seen this movie before.
RAJU: It's been a strategy Republicans have tried throughout the country this election season, dropping nearly $90 million in ads demonizing Pelosi. But as they go door to door in Chanute, Kansas --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, how's it going?
RAJU: Watkins' aides acknowledge that Pelosi is not the only issue motivating voters.
DYLAN JONES, WATKINS CAMPAIGN FIELD DIRECTOR: I'd say one out of every four people who bring up control of Congress, out of those people, one out of four bring up Pelosi.
RAJU: Now, the race may ultimately come down to character. Watkins has faced questions about whether he inflated his resume, while Davis has faced GOP attacks about a 1998 incident where he was at a strip club that was raided by the police.
Now, he wasn't charged with a crime but he did tell me I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He said voters are tired of sleazy ads to the tune of $12 million on both sides in that key House district -- Pamela.
BROWN: All right, our thanks to Manu Raju.
Up next, Kellyanne and George Conway, they married for better or worse, but that was before President Trump came along.
[19:57:58] BROWN: Well, Kellyanne Conway and her husband on opposite sides over President Trump.
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some families feud against other families.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome back to "Celebrity Family Feud".
MOOS: But this is an internal family feud. She is the president's pit bull.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: How dare you.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: How dare you and how dare the president --
MOOS: While her husband, the guy holding her coat, is also holding President Trump's feet to the fire, writing critical op-eds and essays and especially tweets, describing the president's positions using words like absurd, flabbergasting, ceaseless, shameless and witless prevarication on virtually all topics.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: What is up with your husband's tweets?
CONWAY: It's fascinating to me that CNN would go there. It's now fair game what people's -- how people's spouses and significant others may differ. It was meant to harass and embarrass, but let me just tell you something --
BASH: Absolutely not.
MOOS: In a "Washington Post" article head lined "She works for Trump, he can't stand him", Kellyanne said of her husband's anti-Trump, tweeting, I think it's disrespectful. I think it disrespects his wife.
TRUMP: I see my Kellyanne. Oh, Kellyanne.
MOOS: No disrespect from her boss, who sends her out to fight the lions.
TRUMP: There is no den she will not go into.
MOOS: Imagine the den at home when she gets back from work. George Conway is a respected lawyer and conservative who once represented Paula Jones.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, girls.
MOOS: In her case against Bill Clinton.
Sometimes George's tweets e inspire uninvited relationship advice.
Suggestions like divorce her, George. And you and Melania should start a chat room for useless spouses.
Maybe someday the Conways can do what Mary Matalin and James Carville did. This couple turned their marriage into a cottage industry of commentary and books.
MARY MATALIN: James and I needed space, mostly from each other.
MOOS: At least George probably hasn't stopped holding Kellyanne's coat, even if the fur is flying.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BROWN: Well, thank you for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.