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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Documentary Evidence Manafort Lied About His Contacts With Trump Administration Into 2018; Senate Republicans Break With Trump On Russia Sanctions; Trump AG Nominee Trump Nominee Pledges To Let Mueller Complete Russia Probe. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired January 15, 2019 - 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: Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT" next, breaking news. Robert Mueller with a scathing response to Paul Manafort detailing lies about contacts with the Trump administration until just recently, as the Republican Party tonight hands Trump a stunning rebuke on Russia.

Plus, William Barr, Trump's pick for attorney general says Mueller's probe is not a witch hunt, doesn't believe in this lock her up stuff. Did Trump know this is the man he nominated?

And the only member of Congress who didn't vote to rebuke Steve King for racist comments, but it's not why you think. Let's go "OUTFRONT."

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. "OUTFRONT" tonight, the breaking news. List of lies. Robert Mueller tonight filing this, court document, laying out how Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, lied to investigators.

Now, all in, it's 188 pages. Obviously, I'm holding up the summary here of these lies. Despite some of the heavy redaction, which do continue on page after page, pages of blacked out text in some places, we are able to make some sense of this, via some of the places that are a bit less black. Mueller accusing Manafort of lying about his communications with the Trump administration, communications that continued well into 2018. That's the year that just ended, what, 14, 15 days ago?

Just to reiterate the obvious, because it's really important, communications well into 2018 is communications well into Trump's presidency. And Manafort who was at the center of the Mueller probe under investigation was talking about getting jobs for people in the Trump administration.

Also in, this filing tonight, we see Mueller's focus on Manafort's longtime Russian associate, Konstantin Kilimnik.

Now, Kilimnik is an important name. Mueller says he's an agent of Putin, of Russian intelligence. He appears to be a key player in the Mueller probe. And this is crucial. Because Kilimnik is reportedly the go-between between Manafort, right, Trump's campaign chairman, and the Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally. A Putin ally that team Trump is trying to ease sanctions on right now. And that is proving to be too much for some Republicans to stomach.

Today, in a stunning rebuke, republicans telling president Trump he is wrong when he went on Fox News to claim this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: I can tell you this. If you ask the folks in Russian, I've been tougher on Russia than anybody else, any other -- probably any other president, period. But certainly, the last three or four presidents, modern-day presidents, nobody's been as tough as I have, from any standpoint.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Not the toughest to Republicans, ten of them breaking with President Trump on Russia. Joining Senate Democrats to advance a measure that would block a move by Trump's Treasury Department to ease sanctions, to relax sanctions on three companies that are at the center of Oleg Deripaska's billions and billions dollars universe.

Senator Kennedy just moments ago, speaking to our Manu Raju, saying it is Deripaska that has proved a Russian bridge too far.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R), LOUISIANA: I have grave concerns about Mr. Deripaska.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Evan Perez is "OUTFRONT" live in Washington to begin our coverage. And Evan, you know, this filing, as you know you've been reading through all of it with all of the backup documentation brings us even closer to the Trump administration.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: You know, it really does because the filing describes that Manafort is having these contacts into the administration, even while he was indicted. I mean, that's one of the things that is really stunning from this, is the idea you're having these contacts, while Paul Manafort is under indictment in 2018, right? He's defending himself in these two trials.

And you would think that people in the administration would try to, you know, sort of keep it arm's length, given the fact that they know this investigation is ongoing. And what we learned, Erin, is that as part of this investigation, Paul Manafort testified before the grand jury and apparently the grand jury is asking questions about the person you mentioned, Konstantin Kilimnik, who the Special Counsel, who the FBI says is somebody who works with the GRU, the Russian Intelligence Agency. That's one of the agencies that was behind the DNC hack. So I think you can take a step back here. I think you can start seeing that the Mueller investigators are trying to connect some dots. There's a lot of this, obviously, that we cannot see in this filing so far, but it does appear that Kilimnik is a very key part of this, is a very key part of the collusion case that the Mueller investigators are still very much working on.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. And, Evan, just to make the point, again, Kilimnik, the go-between, according to Mueller, right, between Manafort and Oleg Deripaska, who is at the center of this sanctions attempt by the Trump administration to ease sanctions on Deripaska's companies, correct?

PEREZ: Right, exactly. That's exactly right.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Evan. Obviously, big developments this hour, and I want to go to John Dean, former Nixon White House Counsel, Anne Milgram, former Federal Prosecutor, and David Gergen, former Adviser to four presidents, including Nixon and Clinton.

[19:05:07] David, let me start, you know, with you, as you put this together. You know, this is crucial, right? It goes into 2018. When we talk about Manafort's lies, communications with the Trump administration. And at the center of it is Oleg Deripaska.

Oleg Deripaska, who the Trump administration tried to ease sanctions on his companies right now. How big of a rebuke against President Trump is this vote today, by 11 Republicans who said, no? Deripaska is a bridge too far.

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: John Dean will remember as well as I do how things got very, very complicated in the White House, and more and more suspicious and it turned out the suspicions were true. And what one sees here is a very complex case, but the fact that Paul Manafort, under indictment, continued to have contacts within the White House, that his go-between leads back to Deripaska and that the same administration is now trying to lift sanctions to give Mr. Deripaska, you know, a free pass or lifting the sanctions against him and his companies, I think is stunning.

It is extraordinarily suspicious and I do think that Republicans now are waking up to the fact that on this and other fronts, but particularly this Russian issue, that they better be darned cautious, because we're playing with real dynamite now.

BURNETT: I mean, Anne Milgram, it appears real dynamite. We're talking about, you know, as Evan said, under indictment. Paul Manafort is talking to people in the Trump administration, a sitting administration --

ANNE MILGRAM, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Stunning.

BURNETT: -- and it goes back to an agent, Mueller says an agent of the Russian government. Tide to a guy they're trying to ease sanctions on. MILGRAM: Yeah. I mean, I think there's two points worth making. First of all, the fact that Manafort would reach out to the White House is not that surprising, because we've seen him, you know, allegedly obstruct justice while he was under indictment already. I mean, he's taken a number of actions. He tried to write an op-ed clearing his name.

What's stunning is that anyone in the White House would have communications with him, while the President is still under investigation by Robert Mueller, while the campaign is still under investigation. That's stunning.

The part about the sanctions is also, we're in the middle of a criminal investigation where all of these names are mentioned as people who are associated with Manafort, associated with Putin, potential Russian, you know, Kilimnik is a known Russian asset, intelligence asset. To be doing this in the middle of an investigation is just stunning.

BURNETT: John Dean?

JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: My reaction?

BURNETT: Yes.

DEAN: first of all, I'm amazed. I looked at the affidavit and unfortunately, about 80% of the affidavit is blocked out. But I did notice that while I focus on five lies or five areas of lies, the agent says there's much more evidence than we're even presenting here. So this is just the tip of the iceberg. And the Senate vote doesn't surprise me, for this reason.

That underlying legislation passed like 98 to 2 in the Senate. And it was bipartisan at the time, so it's not surprising that -- and, of course, the Senate voted before Mueller had made his filing, which would have even compounded. But it's going to take only a simple majority to proceed with sanctions and it looks like they've got it.

BURNETT: Right. Now, of course, then, you know, it puts the President in an awkward position, or he's got to decide, right? Which side is he going to take? He's made clear which side he's on, but, you know, does he veto against his own party?

I mean, David Gergen, you know, to have, you know, impeachment go through, you've got to have Republicans onboard. It's a political question. So putting aside the technical term of conspiracy and whether there's anything there, does the move you see here from Republicans to say, "Look, this is too far, we'll vote against." Could it end up bag small predictor of what is possible or not?

GERGEN: It's -- I think we ought to be very cautious on this. The -- what the Republicans are objecting to now is far short of the Republicans potentially voting on impeachment. There have to be a lot more here, but it does show that the Republican unity is cracking on this and other fronts, such as the shutdown. And that the President does not command the -- is not in command the way he once was. He's much more vulnerable, he's thrashing around. And all of that is to suggest that this has gotten a lot more serious.

I also think, frankly, we're looking at a longer period of time for Mueller than we thought. We thought it might be a matter of days, not weeks.

BURNETT: Yes.

GERGEN: It looks like it could be months. One last thing, Erin. The Barr, the William Barr testimony today, I think, really is going to come right down to the middle of this, because he clearly, as, frankly, as welcomed as many of his comments were, his stance on transparency and everything else.

[19:10:08] He very clearly left the impression that the Mueller report, which the public has been waiting for, may not ever see the light of day.

BURNETT: Yes.

GERGEN: What we may see is a Barr report. I don't think that's going to go down well with the country.

BURNETT: And we're going to be talking much more about that in just a moment. Anne, when you take it together, where do you think we are? Everyone saying, "Oh, we're close to the end here." In part, because Rosenstein said he was ready to go, and he had indicated that he wouldn't do that until Mueller is gone.

But now you've got these filings, you've got new people that they're looking at, they say, related to Jerome Corsi and Roger Stone. Is it possible that there's a lot longer of a runway here than we thought, as David said?

MILGRAM: I mean, I think Mueller is going to want to wrap up as soon as he can. That level of redaction shows that there still a lot that we don't know. But remember that Mueller may have already put a lot of evidence into the grand jury. He may just not have voted an indictment out.

BURNETT: Interesting.

MILGRAM: So in terms of timing, I still think its months, I don't think we're looking at years, but I agree with David, it's not tomorrow. There's work still --

BURNETT: And as some were thinking, you know, look we're weeks away. I guess it's possible, but this would indicate possibly that we're not.

MILGRAM: You know, it's hard to know. This indicates that there's a lot we still don't know. I mean, I think that's the main thing.

BURNETT: Yes. MILGRAM: And that there's more action that they're going to take. Where they are in the process of presenting a case, that's the piece we're missing.

BURNETT: But I think it's important for viewers to hear, you all are saying, there's a lot we don't know. And I think a lot of people now like to think that we kind of know. Well, there's a lot we don't. If you look at these redactions, that's extremely clear.

John, "The Wall Street Journal" is also reporting tonight that Trump's longtime fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen, right, who is going to jail for crimes he committed at Trump's direction, according to prosecutors, he's going to testify to Congress in public about working for Trump and what it was like.

A source tells "The Journal" Cohen's going to talk about what a madman Trump is, continuing to say, he's going to tell the story of what it's like to work for a madman. He's going to say things that will give you chills. John, what do you say?

DEAN: I think that's his strong suit. He's worked for this man for a decade plus. I think he was probably hopeful of going to the White House. We can see now why Trump probably had trouble with that idea. But I don't think Trump ever expected that this man would turn on him. And they're at odds now. They're in an open fight. And I think that Michael Cohen is going to be able to probably embarrass the President deeply before he finishes.

BURNETT: And of course, the question is, how influential that would be, among, especially Republicans in Congress. All right, thank you all very much.

And next, the breaking news. You heard David mention Barr. Well, the President's pick for attorney general testifying all day today and not saying that he will release Mueller's entire report. Here's the line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE: I am going to make as much information available as I can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: That is not the full report. Plus, the President tries to get vulnerable Democrats on his side with an invitation to the White House on the shutdown. None showed up.

And all but one congressman voting to reject white supremacists after the racist comments by Republican Congressman Steve King, why did this one congressman not vote with the rest of Congress? He's my guest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:16:59] BURNETT: Breaking news, Trump's pick for attorney general just finishing testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. William Barr promising he will be, "truly independent" and not be "bullied." But he did not commit to letting you see Mueller's eventual Russia investigation report.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: Will you commit to making any report Mueller produces at the conclusion of his investigation available to Congress and to the public?

BARR: As I said in my statement, I am going to make as much information available as I can, consistent with the rules and regulations that are part of the Special Counsel regulations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: All right. That, obviously, is not a "yes." Barr also said he would not commit to recusing himself from the Mueller probe. And here's the crucial thing, even if Ethics officials say that he should.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Under what scenario would you not follow their recommendations?

BARR: If I disagreed with it.

HARRIS: And what would the basis of that agreement be?

BARR: I came to a different judgment.

HARRIS: On what basis?

BARR: The facts.

HARRIS: Such as?

BARR: Such as whatever facts are relevant to the recusal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Manu Raju is OUTFRONT. He's on Capitol Hill. Manu, look, Barr obviously not forthcoming in that exchange with Kamala Harris and, you know, look, he was not -- a lot of vagueness here, right?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he's clearly not trying to box himself in, make any commitments that he would not be able to keep. And he has no desire to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, making it very clear that Jeff Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, different than anything that Bill Barr would consider going forward, because Sessions was involved in the campaign. That was a political decision. Bill Barr clearly is not.

Now, Democrats try to make the case that should be recused because of that memo that he wrote from last year raising concerns about the Mueller investigation, the obstruction aspect of it. But throughout the day's hearing, Bill Barr time and time again said that was a narrow in scope memo. It did only dealt with one small legal theory about the larger investigation.

It didn't mean that the full investigation was something that he did not believe was serious going forward. He tried to portray himself as independent. He would let that investigation going go forward. But he left himself a lot of room and some vagueness about whether he would actually release that report, saying that he would follow the rules and regulations going forward.

And also other unclear in some other areas, too, Erin, including whether or not the Mueller team could subpoena the president and compel his testimony. He said he'll look at the facts and decide that as they come. So questions going forward, but overall, Republicans and Democrats do agree, he's probably going to be confirmed just in a matter of weeks.

BURNETT: All right, Manu, thank you very much. And obviously, when it comes to subpoena, it's a crucial question because, you know, we're -- we've now been reporting that Mueller wants to talk to the President, still in person, right?

[19:20:00] Follow up on those written responses and the President's team, Rudy Giuliani saying, over my dead body, hit me with a subpoena, we'll fight it. So this is a very crucial and pertinent question.

"OUTFRONT" now, former Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Harry Sandick, and James Trusty, former Chief of the Organized Crime Section at the Department of Justice.

Harry, Barr was -- we just heard some of those, right, very vague on some really crucial, central issues to the Mueller probe. Why?

HARRY SANDICK, FORMER ASSISTANT US ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: I think he was trying to navigate this middle path between a concern of saying something that would tick off the President. We know that the President was angry about Sessions' recusal. And so he certainly wasn't going to say, "Well, if DOJ Ethics people tell me to recuse, then I will," even though I think that's what he should have said.

But he also wasn't going to go too far in the other direction and sort of, you know, denounce the investigation as a witch hunt. For one, I don't think he believes that it's true. And for another, it might make him more difficult to confirm.

BURNETT: James, when it comes to that issue, you know, particular of recusal, was he speaking to an audience of one?

JAMES TRUSTY, FORMER CHIEF OF ORGANIZED CRIME SECTION, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: I think he was actually being pretty judicious. I mean, we're putting it off as kind of political gamesmanship or evasion. But the guy was very judicious in his approach. His demeanor was judicious. His comments were restricted. And remember, he's not on the inside yet. It's a little premature to announce that he should be recusing or he should have set opinions about where the Mueller probe is going.

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Well, but he did have this memo he discussed with the President prior to nomination, right, where he supported him on at least part of the President's view on obstruction of justice, right? So I guess that would be what you could raise as possible grounds.

TRUSTY: Look, anything that you've published is fair game. But that memo is very much a legal memorandum. It's hardly an op-ed piece. It's talking about principles of federalism, of separation of powers, it's written in a very, again, lawyerly way, as opposed to kind of a public opinion. So I don't think you can fairly hold against him that he's given some opinion where he qualified it by saying, "I don't know what's going on the inside."

BURNETT: But, Harry, what he's saying is, "OK, but I'm still going to make the decision." Someone could read that and come to the conclusion that that's a problem and he might say, "Sorry, I don't care."

SANDICK: I think that he is saying, "I'm going to wait and see what happens and I'm going to leave myself lots of escape hatches here. I'll share things from the Mueller investigation if I think it's appropriate and if it's something I want to do. I'll recuse if the ethics people tell me to, so long as I agree with them." And there are good reasons, as Jim is saying, to try to be careful and to be judicious, but I think he had other motivations, as well.

BURNETT: Right, obviously, when you're talking about the audience that he's speaking to, the President. Now, when it comes to that audience, though, James Barr did say a lot of things that could incense the President, right? When it comes to this issue of recusal, by the way, he defended Jeff Sessions who, you know, God knows President Trump has come out how many times and said terrible things about Jeff Sessions for recusing himself. Well, Bill Barr said that he did the right thing and that's not the only thing that he took the President on about today. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE: I think he probably did the right thing recusing himself. I don't believe Mr. Mueller would be involve in a witch hunt. I believe the Russians interfered or attempted to interfere with the election.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: Will you commit to no interference with the scope of the Special Counsel's investigation?

BARR: I will.

PELOSI: Will you commit to providing Mr. Mueller with the resources, funds, and time needed to complete his investigation?

BARR: Yes. I don't subscribe to this "lock her up" stuff.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: That, obviously, would have possibly annoyed one person a whole lot, James. I mean, just the way that -- I guess what I'm saying is the kind of disdain which was clear in his voice when he said that about "lock her up".

TRUSTY: Well, he could certainly unleash the Twitter bear by making those types of comments. But, again, I think what a lot of people were listening for and heard was pretty impressive in terms of independence and caring about where the department is going to go, caring about the Department of Justice and the FBI's reputation and bringing a certain kind of gravitas and impartiality to that chore.

So, yes, again, there's political fallout no matter he says, but I think that the answers reflected a pretty thoughtful approach, a guy who's going to let the Special Counsel statute dictate where the Special Counsel investigation goes. And those are good things to hear.

BURNETT: But, Harry, what about this that we might not see the Mueller report?

SANDICK: That's been a risk throughout this proceeding, because unlike the old independent counsel law, the Special Counsel regulations only provide that Mueller gives his report to the attorney general, and then attorney general makes a decision in his or her discretion about what to do.

BURNETT: But that's why people watching should understand how important Bill Barr is.

SANDICK: Absolutely.

BURNETT: This is the person who it seems very likely is going to make that decision as to whether every single person watching tonight is going to have any idea what Mueller concludes.

SANDICK: Absolutely. And I think, you know, you saw today members of the Senate committee trying to pin him down on that saying, commit to releasing it. And he said, "Look, the decision is ultimately mine. I don't know what I can release under the law, under the regulation." And he left it very much open. I'd like to see what's in the report, but it's going to be up to this person to decide.

[19:25:04] BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.

And next, President Trump says the new Democrats in Congress are on his side when it comes to his wall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Democrats in Congress, especially the new ones coming in are starting to say, wait a minute, we can't win this battle with Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Is that what they are saying? Well, the incoming New Democratic Congresswoman is "OUTFRONT" next. And only one member of Congress deciding not to support a resolution rejecting white supremacy today, only because he says that resolution was a complete copout. He's the only one who stood up to it. And he's "OUTFRONT" tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Tonight, a mess. That's what one Democratic member of Congress is calling President Trump's attempt to arrange a bipartisan meeting on the shutdown today. That meeting part of Trump's strategy which is to go after new members of the Democratic Party, vulnerable ones and pick them off. But today it didn't work. Not one single Democrat showed up.

Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT from the White House tonight. And, Kaitlan, OK, that was today's plan. What's the president's going to do now?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's pretty much the question on everyone's mind in Washington right now. What is the strategy going to be, going forward?

Now, Erin, we know we can expect more meetings with lawmakers between the White House whether or not that includes Democrat. Democrats who are actually going to play a big role in ending the shutdown is still a big question. And right now, essentially, the two people this is all going to come down is President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, right now neither of them have a meeting scheduled together, and it doesn't seem that any of them had shown any signs of coming off of what their demands are.

Now, the White House strategy today by inviting those Democratic lawmakers to the White House for lunch was essentially to drive a wedge between party's members and the party's leaders to say, hey, we've got people who are on our side, they want to reopen the government, and they agree with us about our plans for border security. But clearly, they sent a pretty symbolic rejection by turning down that offer. Not a single member showing up.

Now, the question is, what are they going to do going forward? And right now, even inside the White House, the strategy here is not clear. But what is clear is that there is not an end to this shutdown in sight right now. Though officials are becoming increasingly worried, Erin, about the optics of all of this.

And they're paying attention to those polls, like the one from CNN, that shows more Americans are holding the president responsible for this shutdown, despite his attempts to pin the blame on Democrats, than they are holding Democrats responsible. And that's something that's becoming an increasing concern for these White House officials.

BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you.

And let's go now to freshman Democrat Representative Mikie Sherrill. She's from New Jersey.

I appreciate your time.

Look, it's day 25 now, Congresswoman. We're hearing McKay Coppins, a writer for "The Atlantic" just tweeted out, I don't know if you saw this, but I wanted to read it to you.

I was struck talking to people on Capitol Hill today by the general feeling that the shutdown won't end until some outside disaster occurs.

What's your reaction to that? Do you agree that it's going to take something disastrous end to this shutdown, Congresswoman?

REP. MIKIE SHERRILL (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, Erin, I certainly hope not. That doesn't seem to be what I'm feeling down here.

I'll tell you, we have been working very hard to get the government open again. In fact, my freshman colleagues and I were sent down here to get government working. If the American people have any doubt that it's working well, then I'll let you know that we were the first class in the history of the United States to be sworn in during a government shutdown, so here's a report from the field. Government is not working.

BURNETT: I mean, you know, what to do about it, though? Should your Democratic colleagues, the ones the president called and said, hey, come on over, should they have gone to the White House today to meet with him at least?

SHERRILL: Well, like I said, my freshman colleagues and I really want to work hard to get government open and to then start working on the business of the American people. So I think we should get government open, we should do that first, and then we would be happy to talk to the president about issues that concern all of us, like border security.

BURNETT: So, it's -- I mean, you're still on the side of, open the government first, then we'll talk. And he's all, give me my wall and then I'll open the government. There's been no movement, it would seem.

But he is saying, Congresswoman, that some Democrats are starting to side with him, particularly people like you. Here's what he said to Sean Hannity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you look, Democrats in Congress, especially the new ones coming in are starting to say, wait a minute, we can't win this battle with Trump because it's just common sense. How can we say that a wall doesn't work?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: You're a new Democrat. I mean, do you accept that you can't, quote, win this battle with Trump? SHERRILL: I think the new Democrats are first and foremost on the

side of the American people. And the American people want us to get government open. And so, the very first bill that we passed was a bill to open government up in the House of Representatives. We've broken that bill up to try to get it passed. And then just yesterday, we passed a bill so that we could open government up for three weeks in order to start to negotiate border security.

BURNETT: Right, but again, you know, this comes down to, you're saying, open the government and then we'll talk, and then he's saying, give me my wall, and open the government and there we are. We're still on two polar opposite spaces.

I mean, he says he does not care what to call it, right? That's his move? He's like, OK, I don't care what you call it, just give me some kind of barrier. Here's how he put it, Congresswoman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: This is where I ask the Democrats to come back to Washington and to vote for money for the wall, the barrier, whatever you want to call it, it's OK with me. They can name it whatever they can name it, peaches. I don't care what they name it, but we need money for that barrier.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: OK. What do you say?

SHERRILL: So the president has money for border security. He has a billion dollars, over a billion dollars he's not spent. In these bills we've passed, we've just sent him another 1.6 or offered to send him another $1.6 billion more border security.

I think what might be getting lost in this --

BURNETT: Can he use it for a barrier?

SHERRILL: I think what might be getting a little lost in this, though, is the Senate's responsibility. So we have a responsibility in Congress to get government open. We have sent now several bills to the Senate and the Republican Senate has not taken them up, despite the fact that we sent -- we passed the very same bill that they passed a couple of weeks ago.

[19:35:07] So, the Senate has a responsibility, as a co-equal branch of government, to get this government open.

BURNETT: Would you give him some kind of a barrier, though? Just a fence, whatever, but some kind of a barrier. Is that on your table?

SHERRILL: You know, like you said, I'm for strong border security. So once we get this -- the government open, once we pass the bills and get people back to work and get them their paychecks. Make sure TSA workers are being paid, then we can talk about the best way forward on border security. And if that's a wall, I'm open to that. I do think that when we look at the needs of the border, it's more CBP

or border patrol agents, making sure we have drones, making sure we have advanced technologies to stop incursions of drug trafficking. So these are some of the things I talk about, but if a wall is the right thing to use, as it is in El Paso and San Diego, then we can talk about that, as well.

BURNETT: You talk about paychecks. You have opted not to receive yours during the shutdown. The president tweeted today, why is Nancy Pelosi getting paid when people who are working are not? Should the speaker be refusing her pay, as well? Is he right about that?

SHERRILL: You know, I think people in charge of this should be refusing their pay, whether they're in Congress or in the executive branch. It is our responsibility and our duty to have government open. That is why we are sent to Washington.

And so, I felt very strongly about this, because I've certainly worked in federal government for many years and seen firsthand what a government shutdown can do to federal workers.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Clear statement.

Thank you, Congresswoman.

SHERRILL: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, one House Democrat voting against a resolution against white supremacy, but only because he says only because everyone else wimped out. And that congressman is going to come OUTFRONT.

Plus, breaking news, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand with a major announcement about what's next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: I'm filing an exploratory committee for president of the United States tonight!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: But could her voting record be a problem?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:40:55] BURNETT: And new tonight, Congressman Steve King under increasing pressure to resign. Adamant he's not a racist. This after the House voted 424-1 on a resolution to reject white supremacy in light of King's comments to "The New York Times" when he said, quote, white nationalists, white supremacist, western civilization, how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?

OUTFRONT now, the one congressman who did not vote for the resolution of disapproval, Democrat Bobby Rush of Illinois. And, Congressman, tell us why. Why did you vote against this

disapproval resolution?

REP. BOBBY RUSH (D), ILLINOIS: Well, I voted for it because it did not do far enough. It was shallow. It was of little import to literally millions of American citizens. And really it was not worth the paper that it was written on. It became obsolete before the ink on the paper dried.

So it certainly fell far short of what I think should have been the action of the members of Congress should have been in regards to -- in light of this unrepentant racist Steve King. He has a legacy and a history of saying the most vile things, condemning Americans, and using the official status as a member of Congress, using the well of Congress as a platform to promulgate his vile and racist commentary.

BURNETT: Now, you talk about, you know, unrepentant racist and things that he has said. You know, one person that has been silent here is the president of the United States. He's been completely silent about Steve King. Here is what he said yesterday when he was asked about it, Congressman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Mr. President, what about Steve King's remarks on white supremacy?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Who?

REPORTER: Steve King. Congressman Steve King.

TRUMP: I don't -- I haven't been following it. I really haven't been following it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Congressman, he says, "I haven't been following it," but Trump does have time to follow and tweet about news about Jeff Bezos, who he calls Jeff Bozo, reportedly delighted with the coverage of Bezos' divorce and disgusting texts. Now, Trump, keep in mind, of course, has reportedly boasted of raising more money for Steve King's campaigns than anyone else. Now he says he hasn't been following the Steve King story.

Do you believe him?

RUSH: Well, yes, I do believe him. He has not been following Steve King, the Steve King story, because he's been led by Steve King. Steve King is, you might say, one of his philosophical leaders.

He is in concert with Steve King. He knows exactly what Steve King is saying, because Steve king wrote the president's playbook in regards to how a racist should really conduct himself. So he is, indeed very versed in the racist antics of Steve King.

BURNETT: So why do you think the president will not speak out against King and is saying that he doesn't know -- I mean, how far -- how far are you willing to go about the president?

RUSH: He believes in Steve King. He honors Steve King. He emulates Steve King. He exalts Steve King.

And so therefore, when Steve King says in his height of racism, Donald Trump actually believes that and will repeat it from time to time.

[19:45:08] So, I don't know -- I can't call on the president. That's another matter, but I do call on the members of the U.S. House of Representatives where Steve King actually serves as a member to repudiate, to regurgitate, to indeed censure Steve King. His comments should not be given a moment of consideration by this U.S. Congress. From Charlotte, North Carolina, to Charlottesville, West Virginia, to the U.S. Congress, there's a pattern of racism that has gone way too far in this nation.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time, Congressman Rush. And, of course, you know, repudiating racism, white supremacy the vote today, Steve King even voted for that -- censuring Steve King himself would be quite different.

RUSH: A major contradiction of the whole thing.

BURNETT: Absolutely.

RUSH: And it meant so little that Steve King could move forward.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much. Congressman Rush, I appreciate your time.

RUSH: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, breaking news, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is running for president. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:50:13] BURNETT: Breaking news: Kirsten Gillibrand entering the race for 2020. The Democratic senator from New York announcing on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert", that she is forming an exploratory committee for president. That's the first step you have to do.

So what will happen with her past? Will it haunt her with Democratic voters?

Athena Jones is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: I'm filing an exploratory committee for president of the United States tonight!

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the latest Democrat to join a growing field of 2020 presidential candidates. GILLIBRAND: As a young mom, I'm going to fight for other people's

kids as hard as I would fight for my own.

JONES: The 53-year-old lawyer's congressional career began in 2006.

GILLIBRAND: I want to bring the values I learned growing up right here to Washington.

JONES: She won the U.S. House seat in reliably red district in Upstate New York, touting her opposition to amnesty for undocumented immigrants, and earning an A rating from the National Rifle Association.

GILLIBRAND: I grew up in a hunting family. In Upstate New York, everybody hunts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please welcome, our next senator --

JONES: Gillibrand was appointed to serve out the rest of Hillary Clinton's term in 2009 when the former first lady became secretary of state and was re-elected in November with 67 percent of the vote.

As she strives to stand out in what is likely to be a largely and unwieldy field of Democrats, Gillibrand plans to highlight her record on Capitol Hill, pushing through the 9/11 health care bill for first responders, the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell", the policy that bar gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, and a ban on insider trading for members of Congress. The mother of two will also lead on her record as a fierce advocate for women and families. She's introduced legislation to combat sexual assault in the military and on college campuses.

More recently, Gillibrand has become a leading advocate of the #MeToo movement on the Hill, telling "The New York Times", President Clinton should have resigned after the Monica Lewinsky scandal and becoming the first Democratic senator to call for Minnesota Senator Al Franken to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct.

GILLIBRAND: I do not feel that he should continue to serve. Everyone will make their own judgment. I hope they do make their own judgment.

JONES: That move quickly followed by a chorus of senators still angered some in her party. She stands by it.

GILLIBRAND: Sometimes you just have to do what's right even if it's painful, even if it's hard, even if it's someone you like or love.

JONES: Gillibrand's shifting stances could also pose a challenge, since entering Congress, her A NRA rating has become an F, as she embraced tougher gun control reforms. She's also softened her views on immigration. She supports comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, and has called for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to be abolished.

GILLIBRAND: It's just opening your heart and meeting with people who are suffering because of terrible immigration policies. JONES: Another example of Gillibrand's evolution, the promise she

made just last fall.

GILLIBRAND: I will serve my six-year term.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JONES: Now, a source close to Gillibrand tells me the senator believes that the lesson from the 2018 mid-terms when dozens of women ran for and won political office is that the future of the Democratic Party is women and that Democrats need a woman to go against President Trump -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Athena, thank you very much.

And next, Jeanne on Burger King trolling Trump.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:57:47] BURNETT: Tonight, Trump serves hamburgers at the White House or is it hamberders?

Here's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Feast your eyes on a fast food feast where you can wipe remnants of a Wendy's burger off your mouth with a White House napkin.

Members of the Clemson Tigers were spotted balancing seven somethings and sniffing at other things, and guess who picked up the tab?

TRUMP: Paid for by me.

MOOS: Quarter pounders by candlelight. Naturally, the president got a makeover as the ham burglar and Ronald McDonald. What would Lincoln think about White House gravy boats being used to hold McNugget sauces?

But the golden nugget was the one President Trump dropped in a tweet, boasting of serving over 1,000 hamberders? Hamberders is the new covfefe, read one tweet.

And next thing you know, aides who work to the president are being referred to as hamberder helpers.

Burger King jumped in: Due to a large order placed yesterday, we're all out of hamberders, just serving hamburgers today.

Someone else advised, be sure to wash down that delicious hamberder with a cold glass of malk.

"The Washington Post" concluded that the president shelled out 2,400 to almost 3,000 bucks on the spread, though it's hard to crunch the president when the president first estimates -- TRUMP: We have 300 hamburgers, many, many French fries.

MOOS: But later the same evening, the burger cap spiked.

TRUMP: One thousand hamburgers, Big Macs.

MOOS: No word on the number of Domino's pizzas. But an ocean away, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge was asked by an 8-year-old --

UNDENTIFIED KID: Has the queen ever had pizza?

MOOS: Has the queen ever had pizza?

CATHERINE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE: I don't know. I don't know. Maybe next time I see her, shall I ask?

MOOS: But who needs royalty in the land of the hamberder? This is the kingdom of berder king.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: That is some serious inflation. Was it 300, and then suddenly it was 1,000? Just count.

All right. Thanks for joining us. Don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT anytime, anywhere. Just go to CNN Go.

"AC360" with Anderson begins right now.