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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Special Counsel Has Identified Uncharged Individuals Who Are Interfering With U.S. Government; Protests Break Out In Venezuela; Trump Slams His Own Intel Chiefs After They Contradict Him. Aired: 7- 8p ET
Aired January 30, 2019 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, CNN: It's cold out there. Tom Sater, thanks very much and to our viewers, thanks for watching. Erin Burnett, OutFront starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, ANCHOR, CNN: OutFront next. Breaking news, Roberts Mueller hinting at new indictments tonight as the Special Counsel accuses Russians of altering and publishing evidence to discredit Mueller's investigation. Plus, President Trump insulting his own intelligence chiefs calling them naive, and passive and saying they should go back to school. This is actually happening. And some say Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, delivered Trump the presidency. Does she believe former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz would do the same. Jill Stein is OutFront. Let's go OutFront.
And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, the breaking news, a stunning new court filing from Robert Mueller tonight, the Special Counsel hinting at what could be more indictments. According to the new document Mueller has identified "uncharged individuals and entities that the government believes are continuing to engage in operations that interfere with lawful U.S. government functions."
I mean I hold that for a second. I mean this is uncharged individuals and entities, multiple more charges and continuing to engage, continuing to attack the United States of America. And that is not all we are learning from today's filing, the Special Counsel also accusing Russians of altering documents that weren't publicly available. So they got the documents, altered them and then release them onto the internet to mislead, to discredit Mueller's investigation. Evan Perez is OutFront live in Washington.
And Evan it's a pretty incredible thing to think. The investigation that is so important for Americans to think is fair and aboveboard and that its conclusions are legitimate that they are trying to delegitimize that fundamental thing itself. I mean let's start with the more charges that could be coming from Mueller, that obviously is new tonight.
EVAN PEREZ, SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Right and it's certainly a possibility at least according to these court documents that there could be people who are still engaging in this disinformation campaign that are still working to undermine the United States who haven't yet been charged accordingly and apparently is still under investigation. That's what is contained on page seven of this court filing.
But, Erin, it goes to the disinformation campaign that apparently according to the Special Counsel the Russians who were behind this essentially were taking some of the documents that the Special Counsel has provided to the lawyers who were representing this company, Concord Management. This is the company that's behind the troll farms that were part of the social media aspect of the Russian interference in the 2016 election. And so the lawyers have been provided these documents by the Mueller team.
And so according to the Special Counsel, some of those documents ended up in the hands of the Russians who then altered them and released them back in October using a brand new Twitter handle called @HackingRedstone and essentially they were putting it out there to try to undermine and create, again, disinformation about the Special Counsel investigation.
BURNETT: Now, I know that this was a concern, Evan, when Mueller first brought the case against this company as you say, Concord Management, the troll farm company, worried that - when you do charges, you've got a share discovery and documents with the other side. Mueller was concerned that this could then be used again against the United States.
PEREZ: Right, exactly. There was a debate inside the Justice Department about whether or not to charge this company, because if you notice there were 13 Russian individuals who were charged as part of this case and they've never shown up in court to try to fight this out, but this company went and hired a Pittsburgh law firm and has managed to essentially draw this out and use essentially the legal system of the United States against the Mueller investigation, because they know that going to have to get discovery that they have to get information turned over.
So this is exactly what the Mueller team was concerned about and one of the reasons why they've asked the judge to limit the type of information that could be shared with the Russians, the idea being that sensitive sources and methods could be exposed, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Evan Perez. And I want to go now to the Democratic Congressman, David Cicilline, Member of the House Judiciary Committee. And Congressman, I appreciate your time tonight. Let's start with this breaking news on the Mueller investigation. More charges are expected. Look, we've had almost 200 criminal counts now brought in this investigation, now expecting more. Do you think the Special Counsel is anywhere near done?
DAVID CICILLINE, MEMBER OF THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Well, I think it's hard to know. It's certainly clear in the pleadings that were filed today that the Special Counsel acknowledges that there are people who can you to be engaged in wrongdoing that have not yet been charged. But this filing has really revealed some really explosive information and that is as the intelligence community testified yesterday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Russians are engaged in an ongoing campaign to undermine American democracy to attack our democratic institutions and to undermine the rule of law in this country.
And it's now playing out in the context of this criminal case.
BURNETT: I mean it's incredible because what they're saying is it's happening now which, of course, as you point out the intelligence community this country has been loud and clear they said like it was a red alert flashing, I believe were the words that were used, and now here we are. I mean do you worry that the Russians will succeed in discrediting the Mueller investigation itself as they are trying to do?
CICILLINE: Well, they're clearly trying to do it and it should be remembered that this came to light in an effort by the counsel for this company now seeking sensitive discovery. The non-sensitive discovery has already been released and that was what was released into the public domain. Now, they're trying to get at the more sensitive discovery that will reveal methods, and sources, and really undermine the National Security interests of the United States. Mr. Mueller really have no choice but to object to that and bring this to the attention of the court.
But again this is a sophisticated campaign. The Russians attacked our democracy in 2016. They're at it. They continue to be at it. What makes it particularly difficult is that the President of the United States has also attempted to undermine the Mueller investigation from the very beginning, attacking Mr. Mueller, attacking the integrity of the investigation. So what we need to do is people who are committed to preserving our democracy and protecting Mr. Mueller as we did in past legislation to protect him from any political interference so we can complete his work.
BURNETT: So as the President calls the Russia investigation of hoax and a witch hunt again, and again and again, and no matter how often it is pointed out that the majority of those charged have, of course, been Russian with attacking this nation's democracy. Has his response slowed down, hindered, hurt America's ability to defend itself against this happening again?
CICILLINE: Well, I think it undermines our ability to protect against this. When this happened to our country, when we were attacked in 2016 and our democracy was attacked, what the President should have done is committed to doing everything possible to make sure it never happens again, convening a national commission, developing a strategy to make sure that Russians or no other foreign adversary will ever interfere with an American presidential election and speak loudly and strongly about the consequences.
Instead, the President has done everything he can to undermine this, call it a hoax, say that there's nothing there. It's kind of funny it's the same argument the Russians are making. They're trying to undermine Robert Mueller and so is President Trump. It makes you wonder why.
BURNETT: So in terms of what happens next here for Donald Trump, Roger Stone obviously who has now been arrested and charged witness tampering, lying, obstruction of justice has warned the President publicly because he says he can't - his lawyers decide, "Don't talk directly to him." So he goes publicly to do it via media interviews. He says there's "speeding bullet heading towards his head" talking of the President. Here's Roger Stone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER STONE, TRUMP ASSOCIATE: This isn't about me, Alex. It's about the President. They're coming for him. The President needs to wake up. This is a speeding bullet heading for his head.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Do you think Roger Stone is right?
CICILLINE: Look, I think this is an incredibly serious investigation. Each day it feels like we learn more that implicates another close associate of the President or important person in the President's campaign. Mr. Stone is the most recent, but I think this is a very serious challenge for the President. I think he feels the wall is closing in which is why he continues to do everything he can to undermine this investigation.
Mr. Stone I think is someone that has - a particular closest to the President, served as a special advisor. And look, I think what's been in the public domain is very disturbing, it raises lots of questions, and I think we all to wait Mr. Mueller's final report so he can put all of the pieces together and we can know exactly what happened.
BURNETT: And as I said tonight learning that there are certainly more charges to come. I want to ask you about Venezuela before you go, congressman.
BURNETT: A huge question about what the President will do there. He just tweeted "Spoke today with Venezuelan interim President Juan Guaido to congratulate him on his historic assumption of the presidency and reinforced strong U.S. support for Venezuela's fight to regain its democracy, large protests all across Venezuela today against Maduro. The fight for freedom has begun."
Maduro, of course, saying he's going to stay there till at least 2025 and then this picture the other day of National Security Adviser John Bolton's notepad when he came out where he wrote 5,000 troops to Colombia which of course borders Venezuela. Fight for freedom from the President, 5,000 troops on a piece of paper from his top National Security adviser, are they trying to get the United States militarily involved?
CICILLINE: Well, look I think the United States has to continue to work with our international partners and press for a diplomatic solution. We need to help with other countries in the region to provide humanitarian support so that the Venezuelan people can have free and fair elections and elect their President. [19:10:00]
But I intend to introduce legislation in the coming days that will prevent the President of the United States from sending troops into Venezuela without prior congressional approval and will specifically prevent funding for that purpose. Congress has a role and we want to make - I certainly want to make sure that the President does not on his own send military forces into Venezuela. We need to support a diplomatic solution, support humanitarian assistance while this country goes to a very difficult time and support the Venezuelan people and their aspirations for democracy. But I do not believe another military engagement without congressional authorization is appropriate and I'm going to induce legislation to prevent that from happening.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much Congressman Cicilline. I appreciate your time tonight.
CICILLINE: Thanks for having me.
BURNETT: And next, President Trump slamming his own intelligence officials, people he picked, and it doesn't get nastier than them calling them naive and they need to go back to school and they're passive. It's just unacceptable, why is he doing it? Plus, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says it was God who wanted Trump to win.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He wanted Donald Trump to become President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Just like Putin. And 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is my guest. She's going to talk about Howard Schultz and she's going to talk about Mueller.
New tonight, President Trump unleashing a blistering attack on his own intelligence chiefs tweeting that they are "extremely passive and naive" and "perhaps intelligence should go back to school."
The Twitter tirade coming after the nation's most senior intelligence officials publicly contradicted the President of the United States on the most pressing National Security issues facing this country from ISIS to North Korea to Iran, it went on, and on and on. And they did so in public testimony in a 42-page report which they released publicly.
Tonight, the President's insults are not going well with, frankly, anybody including many Republicans which include the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee which of course is investigating Russia and the Trump campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have faith in the intelligence members?
RICHARD BURR, CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I have ultimate faith in the intelligence community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That was Chairman Burr. Ultimate faith in the intelligence community as the President of the United States should have, by the way all of the people running it are the people he picked. Pamela Brown is OutFront at the White House. And Pamela, it's pretty incredible I think there are just some moments where we need to say, "Okay, things are very different now than they have been in anybody's recent memory," but this is a stunning thing for the President of the United States to have done and his own party is coming back at him hard.
PAMELA BROWN, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: That's right, Erin. You are seeing a growing number of Republicans today publicly openly scoffing at the way the President has gone after the intel chiefs that he hand-picked, that he nominated to be in their positions overseeing the CIA and DNI. The President tweeting about them because he was upset they contradicted what he has said publicly in congressional testimony on issues like Syria and North Korea and ISIS.
But now Republicans are basically coming to their defense today at the number two in the Senate, John Thune, coming out and saying that the President should trust the intelligence officials and he shouldn't be tweeting about it. So it is remarkable to see the way that members of the President's own party have come out rebuking him and this also comes at the same time that Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has introduced his proposal rebuking the President's withdrawal of troops from Syria. This is a proposal that seems to be gaining favor within the Republican Party.
So this is yet another example of members within the President's own party going against him. Now, we should note that some of trumps allies have been out there today basically saying that the intelligence chiefs should not have been in a public setting like in front of the congressional committee undermining or going against what the President has said publicly. They say that that undermines the administration's position and looks like they're acting in their own interests here.
Now, we should note, I've reached out to the White House asking if there is any reaction to Republicans coming out today and rebuking the President's comments on Twitter and have not heard back, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Pamela, thank you very much and I want to go now to our Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger and former Adviser to Four Presidents, David Gergen. David, why is the President calling his own intelligence chiefs naive and passive? That is not just inappropriate, it is belittling and demeaning.
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER ADVISER TO FOUR PRESIDENTS: It sure is and there's no rational explanation, Erin, only the rational - the emotional that go to his sort of defensiveness and his instinctive response. But I do think that this is more dangerous. He's undermined the intelligence community before especially when it comes to what the Russians - that he's taking Putin's word over his intelligence community.
But to emphasized as you've said that people who testified yesterday were basically his people. People he put in the job. They are not disloyal. They're trying to serve the country well and when the President attacks them, it doesn't hurt them as much as it hurts his credibility. And I'm so surprised I'm sure Gloria is that just when he's at the weakest point of his presidency, when he needs friends, when a fight is looming with Mueller and he's going to go after Mueller, you would think he'd want to prop up his credibility and not further erode it.
BURNETT: I mean, Gloria, just to be clear, right, Gina Haspel of CIA, Dan Coats, right, his top National Security adviser, Christopher - intelligence officer, I'm sorry, Christopher Wray, they all went through confirmation hearings. These are people he picked, he got them confirmed, and now he is slamming all of them as naive, passive, should go back to school. These are the people he should be championing as those who have been charged with public sacrifice in protecting their country.
GLORIA BORGER, CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Right. This is no group of deep state people. These are people the President wanted in those jobs and I keep thinking back to the President's line, I know more than the generals. Well, he now knows more than the intelligence community and it makes me question whether when he gets his Presidential Daily Brief, does he listen? Does he absorb it? They are clearly telling him a lot of the things that they told the Congress and the American public today.
But I think for Trump everything is about loyalty and if you disagree with him whether it's on policy or whether it's on whether he should tweet or whatever it is, it's all the same. And he sees disagreement particularly in public as disloyal, not the fact that they are under oath and these people have to answer questions honestly.
BURNETT: So David, look, the President has gone through a lot of top officials most recently and very appropriate, important to this topic, the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. He quit. Trump said he was pulling all American troops out of Syria, win against Mattis and frankly all of the rest of his military and intelligence officials. Can the President afford more defections?
GERGEN: No, he can't and he also I think must be having filling the defensive position. You would have thought by now that they would have had some outstanding person with a wonderful record that we can find as reliable as Mattis was. I mean Mattis was the glue that held this place together on National Security front and they need another Mattis in there to run foreign policy well. I mean what the President is an effect done here and what he's doing
is launching his own disinformation campaign on issue after issue. He comes out with his version of information and it's particularly sensitive to the country when that happens on intelligence, because intelligence what you think is going on in the world determines whether you go to war or not or whether you get into a conflict, should we go into Venezuela, should we stay in Syria, is it right to be negotiating with the Taliban and keeping the Afghan government out.
There are just a series of really sensitive questions and every major National Security meeting begins with a review of the intelligence, what do we know. Mr. President believes the - has some alternative reality, he is going to make terrible mistakes.
BURNETT: I mean, Gloria, we're talking about in this report the President has said Kim Jong-Un is giving up all of his nuclear weapons. Report says there's no evidence whatsoever that he is. The President says ISIS is defeated, the troops are coming home. The report says ISIS has thousands of active members who are actively trying to attack the United States right now. I mean, we can go on and on, the President says Iran is a huge threat. The report says there's no evidence that Iran is pursuing the nuclear weapon in any way shape or form right now.
But when the President said - he say he was going to listen to his intelligence chiefs and everybody else that he picked, as long as you're my people it's okay. I just want to remind people how clearly he has spoken about this. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm going to get the best people for the job.
We're going to use our smartest and our best.
We're going to get the best people in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, they're passive and naive and need to go back to school, why? Because they said what they said. We're supposed to trust the President when he says that North Korea is giving up nukes, when the intelligence community says, "No, they aren't." I mean, that's absurd.
BORGER: Look, Erin, this is not to say the intelligence community is infallible. We all remember weapons of mass destruction with George W. Bush. But I think what's going on and far be it for me to get into the President's head, but he has had all of these direct conversations. And by the way, without anybody there from the government, a meeting we just heard about with Putin that from the Russians, and that he believes that because of his personal relationships like he met with Kim Jong-Un, he's a good buddy of Putin, that he knows more because he's listening to what they tell him. So if Putin says, "We didn't hack the election." The President comes
out and says, "Well, he denied it." If Kim Jong-Un says, "We're denuclearizing." Then, the President believes him because --
BURNETT: The word naive would seem much more to apply to him than to them.
BORGER: Well, Kim Jong-Un knows how to write nice letters to the President, so he figures, "I've talked to these guys. I know where they're coming from more than the intelligence community," and it's stunning.
BURNETT: It is. It is stunning. All right, thank you both very much. All right, OutFront next, why Sarah Sanders is now saying that it is God who wanted Donald Trump to be President. Plus, what exactly does presidential hopeful Kamala Harris mean when she says this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, UNITED STATES SENATOR: We need to have Medicare for all, that's just the bottom line.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
New tonight, it was God, God wanted Donald Trump to be President. This is according to the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, who says this in a new interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times and I think that he wanted Donald Trump to become President and that's why he's there. And I think he has done a tremendous job in supporting a lot of the things that people of faith really care about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OutFront now Scott Jennings, former Adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Strategist Maria Cardona. Maria, do you think she's right?
MARIA CORDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Wow.
BURNETT: This is what God wanted.
CORDONA: Well, if he did it's because he wanted to punish us for taking our democracy for granted and for not ensuring that every person went out there to vote and this is what we got. Look, I listen to the whole excerpt of the interview in terms of what's available and one huge word jumped out at me, Erin, hypocrisy. There was so much hypocrisy in what Sarah Sanders talked about. The bottom line is that I can't imagine that God would put or would
want somebody to be the Commander in Chief, the leader of the free world, somebody who doesn't understand the word truth, the word honesty, the word humility, the word integrity, the word honor, the word forgiveness, I mean I could go on and on about how this President is actually the antithesis of Jesus Christ's teachings and anything that real Christians would put on the table as something and someone that they would believe in.
BURNETT: So and, Scott, are you surprised? Obviously the interview was with a Christian Broadcasting Network. But it doesn't matter who it's with. I mean, it's a big thing to say that God, whatever God may be, he, she, it, she refers to as a he, wanted Donald Trump to become president.
I mean, does that make your blanch at all or are you OK with that?
SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I find it quite likely that supporters of any politician who wins believes it was God plans for that politician to win. I'm not surprised to hear someone saying that.
And I also think we have to remember that none of us can know God's plan, but we all try to live up to what the Bible teaches us to do. We're not perfect people and we're not going be perfect and neither is Donald Trump. He's not a perfect person and he's not a perfect Christian. But that does not mean that God doesn't use imperfect vessels to achieve outcomes. He has achieved many outcomes --
BURNETT: Are you really OK with that? I thought we live in a democracy and now you're saying it's the will of God. There's something that seems quite jarring to me whatever you believe about God.
JENNINGS: No, I certainly believe in our democracy and the will of the people. But if you think that -- if you don't believe in the will of God, I happen to believe in the will of God, and his will will be done on this earth whether we like it or not.
BURNETT: You think God care who is is president of the United States? I'm not trying to get into some conversation but the whole thing.
You know, look, I understand, the interview was with a Christian Broadcasting Network, so that's why God came up to begin with, Maria, to be fair. That's why the Christian was asked.
BURNETT: I think that's important to note. But there were other controversial things said in this interview by Sarah Sanders including this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: My oldest is a girl. I think it's very important for her to see even at this age that as a woman, she can do anything that she sets out to do. And while it can be incredibly difficult to find that balance, I think it's important that you don't give up one thing for the other, because I think having that balance is very important, because my kids getting the see that.
BURNETT: Maria, your reaction?
CARDONA: I heard that as well, Erin, and I had a couple reactions. The first one, I'm a working mom myself, as you are, as there are millions many this country. So, I do agree with her that there's absolutely always a work life balance that you have to achieve and that she says she feels the mommy guilt. We all feel the mommy guilt when we leave our houses. And yes, I give her that.
Here is the problem with what I had about her saying that to her little girl, she feels it's important that her little girl feels that women can achieve everything. I agree with that too. But Sarah Sanders is going to have to own up to the fact that years from now, her little girl is going to understand who Donald Trump was and the way that he treated women, not just many the White House but throughout his whole life, how misogynistic he has been, the kind of language he's used, the "Access Hollywood" tape about how he thinks he can grab women's genitals because he's a celebrity and do nothing about it.
I think those are the kinds of things that at some point Sarah Sanders and everybody who believes that Trump is in the White House to do great things regardless of whatever else he's done, they're going to have to face themselves, face their children and look in the mirror and look at what they have done to empower this kind of president who frankly as a mother, I feel ashamed of who he is and he will never be a role model to my children or the millions of children that are out there both in the country and in the world.
BURNETT: Scott, do you see hypocrisy in what Sarah said?
JENNINGS: No. I listened to her words today and I'd like to salute Maria and you and my wife who is at home with our four children. All these working mothers doing the best they can to take care of their kids and families and households. I salute you.
It's why I'm able to sit here in Cambridge tonight and do this stuff I do at the university. But when I hear Sarah Sanders talk about feeling guilty when she has to leave her kids, I feel that same twinge, when I leave home and I have to tell you my kids, I'm not going to be home for a couple of days, I don't think it's just mommy guilt. I think it's all parents who are doing their level best to work and take care of their kids, feel that same kind of pain.
And she's expressing that pain. I don't understand how anybody can be outraged that anybody would want to show their kids, I love you, I miss you, and I want to involve you in my life. Now, I'm trying to raise my kids --
BURNETT: All of that is good. I guess, the question --
JENNINGS: -- to judge a presidency, they will do that. They may like Donald Trump and they may not. I think that's what Sarah is trying to do.
BURNETT: I'm sorry to interrupt. We are tight in time. When she says at her age as a woman she can do anything she sets out to do. That's the role model she's trying to set. She goes every day, she works incredibly hard.
[19:35:02] No one is going to dispute that. The problem is she's going out every day to defend someone who says this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP: She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions and you see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her where ever.
A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a ten.
I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. When you're star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You can do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Scott, there's a hundred more where those came from. Just listen to Howard Stern over the past 15 years. Can you defend that person and set a model that a woman can do anything she wants to do?
JENNINGS: No, I'm not going to defend those remarks and I'm not going to defend when they were said, why they were said. I think the president was wrong. He has apologized for the stuff that's been coming out about him. Look, they are all bad moments. And no one is going to sit here and defend it.
But that doesn't mean women aren't going to support the president. It doesn't mean he's not going to appoint strong, smart women to his administration. It doesn't mean they cannot ably serve this government even though he's had bad moments in his past.
If you're position is no woman should serve the duly elected president of the United States, I don't understand because I want more women in government, not fewer. But you all seem to be arguing for fewer.
CARDONA: No, I think it's somebody who has integrity would have a problem serving this president given what he represents and what he has done throughout his life and what he is doing to this country, putting kids in cages is I don't think is the right thing to do as commander in chief.
BURNETT: All right. Obviously, reference to the border there. OK, thank you both very much. I appreciate your time.
And next, is former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz the next Jill Stein?
And tonight, in Robert Mueller's new indictment, a reference to a troll farm that's been linked to Jill Stein's campaign. We're going to talk about that.
Plus, it's become the thing for Democrats with their eye on 2020.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: That's what Medicare for all is all about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But is this a campaign promise they can keep? Sanjay Gupta reports.
[19:40:52] BURNETT: Tonight, the dangers of a third party candidate, Democratic fear and frustration is growing as Howard Schultz considers an independent bid for the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: He doesn't quite grasp the depth of the impact that decision would have.
JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It would provide Donald Trump with his best hope of getting re-elected.
SEN. MAGGIE HASAN (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE: I would encourage him to get into the Democratic primary and test his ideas that way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And those were some of the tamer, more kind ways of putting it.
OUTFRONT now, Jill Stein, 2016 Green Party presidential candidate.
Jill, I appreciate your time. Good to have you back.
JILL STEIN, 2016 GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE: Thank you.
BURNETT: So, you know, you've been there. You ran as a third party candidate. Should Howard Schultz run?
STEIN: Well, it's not for me to say. I think it's up to the voters. I think the panic, the spoiler panic that we're seeing is in many ways a reflection of the panic about the state of our economy, the state of our climate, the state of our health care which 30 million Americans don't have any access to and those who got health insurance can't afford it. People are really understandably focusing their panic about the
economic emergency that most Americans are facing on this election. Understandably.
But there's a win-win solution here. We don't have to shut down debate and dialogue in our democracy. We don't have to be in the business of blaming and shaming independent and third party voters, or independent and third party candidates. There's a solution called "rank choice voting" and everybody should know about it and demand we have it. The people in the state of Maine just got it. It does away with the possibility of a split election, spoilers. It makes sure that we have candidates elected by majorities and it get rids of negative campaigning. It's a win-win.
BURNETT: So, look, when it comes to -- I understand you've been advocating for that, but the system is still what it is. I mean --
STEIN: We have two years -- two years until the next election. And we can -- it's half of the panic that was focused on silencing candidates which is not good for democracy. If instead that energy were putting into lobbying our legislature and getting state legislatures, that's what it takes. It doesn't have to pass in Congress. It can be at the level of states. There are like 12, a dozen or so states right now that have Democratic legislatures and Democratic governors that can pass this in the blink of an eye.
BURNETT: You've dealt with it is what I'm saying. You're not surprised by what you call the panic that is greeting Howard Schultz.
STEIN: I really understand that people are anguished, are just in a state of emergency right now, and that gets focused not always in the most productive places. We need to fix that with a functioning democracy.
Choice is essential. There's a hundred million voters right now who are not voting because these are largely black, brown, poor and millennial who've really been locked out of our economic system and locked out of our political system. We need to bring them back in. Choice is not the enemy --
BURNETT: Fair enough.
BURNETT: Turn out in this country has long been something we should all lament how terrible it is.
Jill, I want to turn to Russia now, and the reason I want to do that is because you may have been important to Hillary Clinton's loss in crucial states in 2016. And I don't say that negatively. You ran, you look at the margins in Pennsylvania, in Michigan, in Wisconsin. The amount of votes you got, Jill, was greater than Trump's margin of victory. OK.
STEIN: OK, can I respond to that? Because that is the essence of the smear campaign. BURNETT: Let me finish my point.
STEIN: It is false.
BURNETT: It's not false. Those are numbers. It's true.
BURNETT: Jill, let me make my point. I'm not maligning you for it. I'm simply saying you were important and you got more votes in the margin of victory. It is what it is.
STEIN: Well, I think that's purely wishful thinking because --
BURNETT: It's not wishful thinking.
STEIN: Democrats don't own green votes. In fact, polls, exit polls --
BURNETT: I'm not saying they own green votes. I'm saying you got more votes that are Donald Trump's margin of victory. I don't care whether you were for the pink, blue or purple party. It doesn't matter. You got more votes.
And I want to -- and the reason I think --
STEIN: Remember, a hundred million people didn't vote at all.
BURNETT: I agree with you.
STEIN: So, I don't think you will just say that those green votes belong to Democrats. That's a problem --
BURNETT: Then, maybe Donald Trump's margin would have been double what it was, is what you're saying.
Let me get to the reason I'm asking you the question, Jill, because in a new filing tonight, Robert Mueller is saying there's a pro-Russian Twitter account that used information from his criminal case to discredit the Russia investigation. They took this information out there. They're trying to discredit the Russian investigation.
It's the same Russian troll farm that attempted to meddle in the 2016 election. The same Russian troll farm that a report prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded tried to help you with social media, not at your behest, but tried to help you.
STEIN: Erin, did you know that that same cybersecurity firm, the New Knowledge firm, shortly after putting out their report which should be repudiated by the Senate committee because they were exposed within a week by "The New York Times" for conducting a false flag Russian interference campaign in 2017 Senate election.
So, you can't just take this stuff at face value. You've got to look at it.
BURNETT: Well, the Senate Intelligence Committee has not at all repudiated this. Not Democrats or Republicans.
STEIN: They should. You know, just go Google the New Knowledge cyber security report, and you'll see that they conducted a false flag Russian interference campaign and the CEO of New Knowledge has been de-platformed by Facebook for interfering in our elections. You can't just pick this stuff at face value.
Unfortunately, and here is the kind of stuff that they claimed. If you can see this, this is like Jesus if you agree with him. These are the kinds of incredibly inept postings that were put on Facebook that is being claimed persuaded voters to vote for me. We know that 90 percent of their postings had nothing to do with the election. This is a B.S. effort.
BURNETT: Donald Trump doesn't think anybody persuaded the vote him wrongly. I mean, look, Jill, here's the thing. Michael Flynn --
STEIN: I don't think you can put us in the same basket here.
BURNETT: Hold on, let me finish the question. I understand -- Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying. He was at the dinner. You were there too. Again, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being at the dinner. I'm just saying you happened to be at this dinner everybody has made a big deal about him being at the dinner.
Putin is there. You're there. He's there in Moscow. You know, now, we're told about this report. You dispute it. I get that.
STEIN: Wait, wait --
BURNETT: But my question is has anyone from Robert Mueller's team contacted?
STEIN: Michael Flynn has told state's evidence. If there was anything untoward at that dinner Mueller would know about it. Mueller has not contacted me, not whatsoever.
BURNETT: Not whatsoever, and that is what's important. STEIN: Many of the claims made like that I was being funded by Russia
are absolutely false. I paid every penny of that expenditure and was completely public about the reasons from my trip which were about calling for a cease-fire and a peace offensive in the Middle East and for a global green new deal. This was public from before the time I went.
It became an issue. You know when it became an issue? Eight months later after I got the green nomination. Then, suddenly, Democratic operatives were launching this smear campaign.
BURNETT: To be clear, you said something very important --
STEIN: This is part of the same pattern which is attempting to silence political opposition. And that's not healthy for a democracy.
BURNETT: But just to be clear, you say no one from Robert Mueller's team has reached out to you. No document request, nothing from you, or anyone that works for you. Just to be clear, because I think that's important for people to know.
STEIN: Yes, absolutely. If there was a shred of wrongdoing on my part, Mueller would certainly know about it because Michael Flynn has turned state's evidence.
So, you know, and besides, I was completely public throughout about exactly what I was doing, tweeting about it -- my speech to a meeting which at RT which was attended by Jessie Ventura, by Rocky Anderson, the former mayor -- you know, it was a meeting of many peace advocates which is how I happen to be there. It was all very public.
So, the whole thing has been really part of a smear campaign on something which I think should be a model for international relations. We need to be talking to adversaries as well as friends if we're going to deal with 2,000 nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert between us and the Russians. We've got to be talking to them and not just fanning the flames of the Cold War, which is very dangerous right now.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Jill Stein, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
STEIN: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, Senator Kamala Harris says she wants Medicare for all. Does her plan add up? Sanjay is with us.
And President Trump's brain freeze on global warming.
[19:52:13] BURNETT: New tonight, presidential candidate Kamala Harris doubling down on Medicare for all, tweeting: I support Medicare for all. Well, Medicare-for-all, I've said it three times now, is going to be something you hear a lot about in the campaign. But do Democrats really know what they mean when they throw the three magical words around? Dr. Sanjay Gupta is OUTFRONT.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I feel very strongly about this that we need to have Medicare for all.
BETO O'ROURKE (D), FORMER TEXAS CONGRESSMAN: It could be Medicare for all.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's what Medicare for all is all about.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But what exactly is Medicare-for-all all about? It depends who you ask. Medicare, which has been around since 1965, is the government run health insurance program that primarily provides Americans 65 and older with basic health care coverage, covering hospital stays and doctors visits.
(on camera): So, put simply, this program would then expand Medicare to everyone?
KENNETH THORPE, EMORY UNIVERSITY ROLLINS SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: It would provide essentially free care to patients when they go see a physician or go to the hospital.
GUPTA (voice-over): Kenneth Thorpe is not a politician. He's a professor of health policy and management at Emory University.
THORPE: Free sounds wonderful. Who doesn't want to have free care? But the reality is, in order to finance this, people are going to have to pay more in taxes.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Health care in America must be a right, not a privilege.
GUPTA: Bernie Sanders introduced the Medicare-for-all bill in 2017. In his bill, health care is covered by taxpayers with no out-of-pocket costs at the time of service, even for vision and dental. Just co- pays for some prescription brand name drugs. All of that while providing access to everyone and he says dramatically reducing costs.
But it is worth taking a closer look at the numbers. In the United States in 2017, we spent $3.5 trillion on health care, nearly double of what other high-income countries pay per capita. Blame administrative costs, prescription drugs, lots of tests and procedures, and not enough preventative medicine. Change that and Sanders believes we could cut health care spending from $3.5 trillion to $1.4 trillion a year.
THORPE: Those numbers dramatically underestimate the increased spending associated with providing everybody free care.
GUPTA: Both the conservative learning Mercatus Institute and left leaning Urban Institute have analyzed Sanders' recent proposals and estimated that a Medicare-for-all plan would cost $32 trillion in new federal spending and taxes over the next decade, while saving only $22 trillion from the private sector, meaning Sanders' plan still needs to come up with funding for another trillion dollars a year and that even though many will pay less in premiums, many will also still pay more overall in taxes.
[19:55:04] It's something billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Howard Schultz who would be most affected by those tax hikes have railed against.
HOWARD SCHULTZ, FORMER STARBUCKS CEO: What the Democrats are proposing is something that is as false as the wall and that is free health care for all, which the country cannot afford.
GUPTA (on camera): I think it was Milton Friedman who said if you want to understand how expensive something is, make it free. Does that apply here?
THORPE: Oh, absolutely because what sounds free has got to be paid for.
GUPTA: A lot of numbers, Erin, as you saw in that piece. These numbers are going to change.
But let me tell you something else, if you look at Medicare-for-all in terms of popularity, more people like it than opposed to it. You can take a look there. If you ask about this, if you start to layer in more information, for example, you may lose your private insurance, then you see the numbers start to flip, 58 percent oppose it if they find their private insurance might be eliminated.
And taxes, again, the big one there. If you remind them taxes will go up to pay for this, 60 percent then oppose it -- Erin.
BURNETT: Pretty interesting, some pretty crucial information changes the overall numbers so very much.
All right. Sanjay, thank you.
GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, Jeanne on Trump's global waming.
GUPTA: Here's Jeanne.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: How cold is it? Cold enough that rail crews are using fire to warm the tracks in Chicago. Cold enough that reporters are doing the toss steaming hot water in the air trick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost turns to dust.
MOOS: Cold enough to inspire another typo prone presidential tweet.
JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: What the hell is going on with global waming?
STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: Please come back fast, we need you.
MOOS: With the president once again questioning global warming, it's safe to forecast a 100 percent chance of shade.
UNIDENTIFIED KIDS: Hi, Mr. President.
MOOS: Kmmel had two kids school the president in science.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Weather is what happens today. Climate is what happens over the long run.
MOOS: Old cartoons re-circulated. Trump is cold, therefore global warming is a hoax.
New cartoons popped up. Are you crazy or just plain stupid? Yes.
Wisconsin Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan tweeted this was something only a moron wouldn't understand.
Even one of his own government agencies took a swipe at the president for his latest blast of hot air about the cold.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tweeted a simplistic tea kettle graphic to demonstrate winter storms don't prove global warming isn't happening. But it was the typo that had critics gleefully proclaiming global waming as if George Michael had invented it.
MOOS: Is President Trump fooling with us? Pity this reporter after spending ten minutes outside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are my pants that I just had damp this morning.
MOOS: He discovered global waming in his pants.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: Thank you for joining us.
Anderson starts now.