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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Claims His Intel Chiefs Were Misquoted Even Though They Publicly Testified On Camera; CNN Exclusive: Senate Investigators Were Told Trump Jr.'s Mysterious Calls Weren't With His Father; Mueller's Team Has "Several Years" Worth Of Info Collected From Roger Stone's Hard Drives, E-mail And iPhone Accounts; Prosecutors Seized Evidence From Roger Stone Spanning Years; Interview With Ralph Nader; Ocasio- Cortez Pushes Controversial Plan On Climate Change. Aired on 7-8p ET
Aired January 31, 2019 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @WOLFBLITZER, tweet the show @CNNSITROOM. Thanks very much for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next breaking news, President Trump now claiming his intelligence chiefs were misquoted when they contradicted him. The problem is, of course, that they not and what they said is on tape. Plus, CNN exclusive, Senate investigator say the calls Donald Trump Jr. made to a blocked phone number around the 2016 Trump Tower meeting were not to his father, that breaking news. And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised for her grit and fighting spirit from somebody who was very near and dear to Donald Trump. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the tapes don't lie, but the President, so tonight he says that at the meeting today that you see a picture of here, that was a meeting when two of his top intelligence chiefs, so there you see Dan Coats and Gina Haspel, the CIA Director and the Director of National Intelligence. He says that at that meeting today with him they both denied saying what we heard them all say, just listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, did you talk to your intelligence chiefs about the displeasure you had with their testimony?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did and they said that they were totally misquoted and they were totally - it was taken out of context, so what I do is I'd suggest that you call them. They said it was fake news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I wonder if they use those words. Let's just be clear here about the situation, Haspel and Coats testified under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee and they testified on tape in an open hearing for all Americans to hear and watch if they wanted to. So let me play again what they said and you will hear that they were not misquoted when they contradicted the President, for example, on ISIS. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: ISIS is intent on resurging and still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria.
TRUMP: We've beaten them and we've beaten them badly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK, and they were not taken out of context when they split with the President on North Korea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COATS: We currently assess that North Korea will seek to retain its WMD capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities.
TRUMP: And the big thing is it will be a total depolarization which is already starting taking place.
They're going to do it. They're going to start immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The tapes don't lie and frankly I think it's important to say this, neither did Gina Haspel and Dan Coats, they do not lie under oath about security threats to the United States of America to suggest otherwise is beyond insulting. But the President tonight isn't only saying that the nation's top intelligence officers didn't say we heard them all say, he's also saying that they did not write what we can actually read in their 42-page report which is signed Daniel R. Coats, Director of National Intelligence. This is a 42-page report. Again, it's public. You can download it and read it for yourself but here's what the President says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I didn't see the report from the intelligence. When you read it, it's a lot different than it was covered in the news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Okay, it's a little confusing, because he said he didn't read it but when you read it's different than what you hear. Okay, whatever. Here's the truth, he says he didn't read it and that is obvious because again this report is consistent with the testimony of his intelligence chiefs. Let's just take ISIS, again, the bold summary paragraph, as you go the details here - we've got the bold summary paragraph on ISIS and it concludes with the ongoing threat to the United States and let me just read it for you as I pull it up.
"ISIS very likely will continue to pursue external attacks from Iraq and Syria against regional and Western adversaries, including the United States."
Look, the facts are the facts and they are not this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And we have won against ISIS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Okay. Let's take a ramp, the President says the document is a lot different than it was covered in the news, so let me just read document on the run. "We continue to assess that Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device." And now listen to Director Coats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COATS: We do not believe Iran is currently undertaking activities. We judge necessary to produce a nuclear device.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean I don't even know what to make, what would I even say about this. Abby Phillip is OUTFRONT live outside the White House.
And Abby, I mean look it's pretty shocking it kind of defies belief that we'd have to sit here and do what I just did. Is the White House actually going to come out and say what the President believes was misquoted in the testimony?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, the White House hasn't yet even attempted to fill in the blanks about what President Trump believes was misquoted about this testimony. They've really just let that statement hang out there and reinforced it with that tweet saying, "We are all on the same page." But the problem, Erin, is that President Trump yesterday was the one to say that his intelligence chiefs were naive and passive about Iran, that they needed to go back to school because they had their facts wrong about what was going on around the world.
Even this morning when I asked President Trump about whether he had confidence in Dan Coats and Gina Haspel, he continued to say that he believe that they would be proven wrong over time and that he would be the one proven right. Now, what might be happening here according to what we've been hearing from our sources is twofold, one that President Trump didn't actually read the report as he indicated this afternoon. He didn't actually hear the full testimony as it unfolded yesterday he was watching news coverage and he didn't like what he saw and even privately he exploded on Dan Coats blaming him for this testimony that seemed to contradict him.
But secondly President Trump is seeing the world as he hopes that it will be when all is said and done and he believes he will be proven right, but the intelligence chiefs are doing is taking the work of the men and women in the rank-and-file of the intelligence community, and they are putting on paper what they see happening right now, and President Trump disagrees with that assessment. But as he points out, he believes time will tell. I guess at the end of the day time will tell it, but right at this moment the facts are what they are, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Abby, thank you very much.
And I want to go now to David Gergen, former Adviser to Four Presidents, David Priess, former CIA Intelligence Officer and author of "The President's Book of Secrets," and Patrick Healy, Political Editor at "The New York Times."
David Gergen, let me start with you. As I said, I almost feel like I'm in a surreal moment where he says something and it is just - it's hard to even imagine saying it, the testimony from the intelligence chiefs was televised, the written assessment of the global threats is public, it's a 42-page document that anyone can get off the web, and the President is saying his intelligence chiefs are telling him they were totally misquoted. What is going on here?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER ADVISER TO FOUR PRESIDENTS: I don't think we know and there are moments when the President seems increasingly unhinged. Two things we do know, yesterday when he went on Twitter to go after his intelligence chiefs to call them naive, passive and alike insulting them, he went off half-cocked, he didn't know his facts, he hadn't really tried to go deeper to understand what had happened, what they said. He just fired his gun without knowing and that is very disconcerting.
And today we know that our President, the most powerful man in the world hears things we don't hear and sees things we don't see. That's hardly reassuring.
BURNETT: I mean David Priess, what do you make of this? I mean we all heard them, we all read the report, we can see the key summary paragraphs, we can all read it, I mean what's he trying to do here? I mean misquoted, out of context, fake news.
DAVID PRIESS, FORMER CIA INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: Yes, the testimony is in clear view, there's no doubt about that. Here's the only way I can make sense of it, I can imagine, I wasn't there but I can imagine that Director Haspel and Director Coats spoke to the President and said, "Mr. President, the headlines didn't capture the full nuance of what we said. They didn't capture everything we said about Iran, North Korea, Russia, ISIS, if you read the full testimony you'll see it."
And I suspect they did that knowing that there was no chance he was going to read the full report and you can almost imagine President Trump hearing that and interpreting it as, "Oh, they're telling me that the media mischaracterized it." Well, that's not what they said. I am sure that's not what they said, but I could see how the President could take what he wanted to hear away from a conversation like that.
BURNETT: I mean and I guess that's what it is where he wants it to fit what he wants it to fit. I mean Patrick I want to play what the President said this morning. Abby reference it, before he decided to say Coats, Haspel, and Christopher Wray, Chairman of the FBI were misquoted, like before he tried to say that, Abby Phillip asked him whether he still is confidence in Coats and Haspel and I want to play his full response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I disagree with certain things that they said. I think right but time will prove that. Time will prove me right, probably.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Okay. So then he's saying he disagrees which makes it sound like he knows what they said and he disagrees with what they said. Is it then all of a sudden they said, "Oh, don't worry." What happened?
PATRICK HEALY, POLITICS EDITOR, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Right. I mean we have a President who doesn't read and who believes that his own intelligence chiefs work for him.
They're basically employees of his and he dislikes as we know any kind of sign of disloyalty. He does worry that anything with prominent people who were disagreeing with him, who work for him could get out to the base, could sort of unsettle voters and say kind of what's going on. So this is classic Trump, he sort of hits them incredibly hard, calls them passive and naive, goes to sort of the insult well. Meanwhile he hasn't read anything. He hasn't read what these documents, what the document actually says, how it aligns with the testimony.
All he hears are people who he thinks work for him, disagreeing with him and that's what he needs to sort of shut down. And whatever went on in that Oval Office meeting that he was able to come away with and say they were misquoted, again, we know this that's in his own mind, that's in the President's own mind, "Okay, these people now agree with me and that's all the matters."
BURNETT: Yes. Well, I mean, look there's no misquoting and there's no mischaracterizing their conclusion. You could say sure ISIS has lost territory, but their conclusion is it will continue to pursue external attack from Syria where the President wants to take out U.S. troops against adversaries including the United States.
I mean, David Priess, I want to take a look again at the picture in the Oval Office that the President tweeted out of his meeting today. You see Gina Haspel there and obviously on the far right you see Dan Coats. When you look at this picture in light of what the President said about them, they're passive and naive, they need to go back to school, he's right and they're wrong, what do you see?
PRIESS: I don't see them as passive and naive, I see them as active and realistic. That's the same picture we use tonight for an article I posted on the Lawfare blog writing about the President's relationship with his intelligence chiefs. Look, they're doing the best they can to serve the least traditional President we've ever had, but they're also preserving their credibility by speaking the truth to Congress and by serving all of the other intelligence customers that are out there.
Some people are asking why aren't Dan Coats and Gina Haspel resigning. Well, I'll tell you why they're not resigning, they're not resigning because they're serving a whole range of other national security customers that do read their analysis, that do appreciate what they're doing, and they're just hoping to paper this over with the President every time it happens. And they do that because they are patriots for the greater good of the country, David, that's your theory.
PRIESS: They serve the Constitution of the United States, they serve the people of the United States and to the extent that there is no conflict between that and what the President says, they serve the President of the United States. In this case their highest objective is to speak truth to the customers who care to read their intelligence product.
BURNETT: One of those customers, of course, does not appear to be the President of the United States. I mean the Washington Post David last year - Patrick, I'm sorry, reported that President Trump was the first President since Nixon to not regularly read his daily brief, and it's not just that report, he was then asked by Fox News why he chose not to get his presidential brief, his daily brief, and here's how he answered the question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Do you know I'm like a smart person, I don't have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years. It could eight years, but eight years, I don't need that. But I do say if something should change, let us know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEALY: We've been down this path before, Erin. I mean the danger involved with the President who doesn't read, doesn't consume information, doesn't ask hard questions can miss things. We saw this frankly before 9/11 where intelligence was missed where you had a President and a White House that wasn't really kind of focused on a laser - to the daily threat assessments that chiefs were presenting. And it really does go to something that we've known about this President since he was a candidate which is that he doesn't take details seriously. He believes that his own intelligence and his own perception and his ability to deal with a North Korean dictator or Iran is far more valuable and influential than what his own intelligence agencies can do.
The I alone can fix it mentality that the President has makes it okay somehow not to do your homework and not to be up on what the threats are to the country.
BURNETT: And David Gergen, look, today the Senate voted to advance an amendment which would rebuke Trump's push to remove troops from Syria and Afghanistan. Syria being one of the places that the report says that the ISIS could try to launch attacks against the United States. All but three Republican Senators voted to rebuke the President on this. So I guess David Gerken how does he explain that away? GERGEN: I think he'll try to explain it there's being less that meets the eye, that in fact he's more consistent. He's going to have some phony-baloney explanation for, we all know that. And I think it's increasingly clear that the words he pays attention to are the chyrons that appear on Fox News and the chyrons that may appear elsewhere.
And if those chyron seem to be supportive of him, he purrs but if they suggest anything that's critical of him, he explodes, and he goes off half-cocked. And what I must tell you is a President who does not read that daily brief which represents billions upon billions of dollars of investment by the United States in order to get the best intelligence possible, you start building up biases when you don't read that stuff and then you have to make a decision about whether you're going to use force or not to solve a problem or whether how you're going to negotiate with somebody and you don't know really what the reality is. That makes it very dangerous for the country.
BURNETT: Right. Well, he's certainly shown his disdain for that by how he has chosen the words, he's chosen how he's expressed himself. Thank you all very much. And next, a CNN exclusive, Senate investigators have obtained information showing Donald Trump Jr.'s mysterious calls before the 2016 Trump Tower meeting were not to his father. So who did he call? Plus, Mueller's massive haul of evidence in the Roger Stone case. We're talking years worth of documents and emails, so what's in there? And former third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader says it would be a nightmare that Howard Schultz runs, why? He's OUTFRONT.
Breaking news, CNN learning exclusively tonight that Donald Trump Jr.'s three mysterious phone calls before and after that infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting weren't not with his father. Now, this is according to new information obtained by Senate investigators which show that the blocked calls were between Trump Jr. and two of his business associates. Manu Raju is breaking the story and is OUTFRONT. So, Manu, how significant is this development?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this has been a lingering question for investigators over the past year or so in the aftermath of the revelation of this meeting with Donald Trump Jr. was seeking dirt from the Russians and set up this meeting. There were records that were initially turned over to investigators that included these blocked phone calls. There were two phone calls that occurred just three days before the meeting with blocked phone numbers. Those were sandwiched in between phone calls that Donald Trump Jr. had with Emin Agalarov who is a Russian pop star who helped set up that meeting and then there was a third phone call that occurred just two hours after the June 9th 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
Now, with Donald Trump Jr. was asked at his congressional testimony, "Were these numbers of your father?" He said he did not know and Donald Trump has a blocked number of his primary residence so that fed a lot of suspicion that in fact Donald Trump was a person who had this conversation, but now we have learned that the Senate Intelligence Committee has been told that it was not his father, but two of Donald Trump Jr.'s business associates.
BURNETT: All right, so you're talking about over a couple a day period here when you're looking at the blocked calls, obviously, there's other calls that weren't blocked, they would have already known who those were to and from. Obviously, the fundamental question here, Manu, what matters the most is whether Trump senior knew about the meeting or not. Now, we know these blocked calls were not to or from him, does that do anything to answering the fundamental question which is did he know about it?
RAJU: Well, we still don't know. Donald Trump has denied knowing about it. Donald Trump Jr. even denied that his father knew about it before and after. They've said that pretty clearly, but that's all we're really going off of, their denials. So the question is did he have any other conversations around the meeting before or after, that we just don't know yet. We'll probably have to wait for the Mueller report to find that out ultimately. But, Erin, those conversations certainly still of interest for House Democrats as they investigate this going forward and we'll see what the Mueller team finds out as well, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Manu, thank you very much and I want to go now to the Democratic Congressman from Virginia, Gerry Connolly who sits on the House Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committee. Congressman, what's your reaction to this reporting? Obviously, there's been a lot of focus on those blocked calls and who they were to whether they were to the President and we have now learned they were not.
REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D), VIRGINIA: Well, an investigation is an attempt to get at facts to get at the truth so we have unrelated facts. We have facts that may be connected. We have facts that don't have some other answers to them. And one of the unanswered questions up until now was who did you make these phone calls to and might one of them been or all of them been to your father to which he said, as you said, Erin, I don't know.
So now we know that doesn't mean much, it rules out that he talked on the phone to his father and those three phone calls, it doesn't rule out the fact that in the same building where his father lives, he may have run upstairs or her downstairs and told daddy what he had just done. We know one fact the Donald Trump, the President, wrote a false statement about that meeting for Donald Jr. to cover the real topic of that meeting.
BURNETT: Right and that was on Air Force One on the way back from Europe.
CONNOLLY: That's right.
BURNETT: So, yes, okay so as you point out, we now know these three phone calls were not to - it doesn't answer the fundamental question of whether he knew or not whether from Donald Trump Jr. in person or someone else Donald Trump Jr. told or someone else that was going to be in that meeting, Manafort, Kushner, we don't know. We also are not yet sure of who these business associates were that Donald Trump Jr. called a head of and after the meeting. That timing may be relevant or irrelevant, do you have any idea who they could be?
CONNOLLY: I really don't. But, again, I think you just put it - well, they may be relevant, they may not. But we shouldn't let the fact that well it wasn't the President kind of mask the enormity of the fact that the President wrote a false statement, knowingly false, about the purpose of this meeting. We also know the relationship between Donald Jr. and Donald senior which is a dominant relationship on the part of the President and a relationship where the son really wants to make daddy happy. And so it really stretches credulity to believe he never told the father about the meeting or what it was all about.
BURNETT: So Donald Trump Jr. has now responded to our story, he's tweeting "More of the Democrat's fake news narrative disappearing before their eyes. I wonder how many more false leaks will pop up now to keep their dreams alive?" You've said in the past that Donald Trump Jr. should be worried about his legal jeopardy and he's put himself in grave peril, do you still believe that?
CONNOLLY: I do and we don't know all of his testimony but I think he is has somebody who could be in real legal jeopardy and I find it ironic this kind of distraction with that kind of tweet that he just issued. Well, if everything is fine, why did your father write a false statement, a blatantly false statement about the purpose of the meeting on your behalf.
BURNETT: Right, adoption (ph) was the claim which was obviously not true.
CONNOLLY: Yes. I mean if everything's fine why would you do that?
BURNETT: All right, I appreciate your time, Congressman. Thank you as always.
CONNOLLY: My great pleasure, Erin. Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, Robert Mueller's team revealing the massive amount of evidence that they have collected from Roger Stone's T for terabyte. Plus, Howard Schultz insists he will not be a spoiler in 2020, but my, my, my, he's on the hot seat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two words which a lot of people here probably weren't even born when this happened, Ralph Nader.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Ralph Nader speaks OUTFRONT.
New tonight, a massive haul of evidence by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the Roger Stone case. Mueller's team revealing it has several years worth of evidence collected from Stone's iCloud accounts, email accounts and hard drive, basically, it's hardware on the computer.
Including "multiple hard drives" containing several terabytes of information.
[19:30:05] Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.
And, Evan, obviously, this is a lot. Terabytes, plural. What could be in there?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESEPONDENT: Well, the special counsel appears to have pretty much everything on Roger Stone, Erin, and that was pretty much clear from the indictment. The pages in the indictment described text messages and e-mails, communications between Roger Stone and other people that they say show that he was trying to do witness tampering, that he was making false statements, that he knowingly was lying when he went to provide information to congressional investigators. And so, that's what's behind these charges.
And that's one reason why I think Roger Stone, I think, is beginning to understand that this is a very serious case. He tries to minimize that this is not a big deal. That these are promise crimes, but these are process crimes that could send him to prison for several years. And so, that's the reason why I think the special counsel today asked to ensure that there would be a protective order, which is common in these types of cases as you know, to make sure that information that is being shared as they get ready to go to trial is not going to be leaked out, is not going to be shared with the public, because again, they have to get ready for a possible -- for a full trial here in case Roger Stone does not make any kind of a deal, doesn't plead guilty to any of these charges.
And then the other thing that we saw from the court filings today were indications that Robert Mueller is trying to hand off this case. We saw that the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia was the one essentially that's going to be handling this case. Again, this is another indicator that we had from Matt Whitaker that Mueller is trying to wrap up this investigation or at least his role in this investigation. So, Roger Stone is going to be put on trial by the U.S. attorney here in Washington.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Evan.
I want to go now to the former U.S. Assistant Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Harry Sandick, and former federal prosecutor Laura Coates.
Great to have both of you with me.
Harry, what do you think Mueller's team is looking for?
HARRY SANDICK, FORMER U.S. ASSISTANT ATTORNEY FOR SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: I think they're looking for communications with or about WikiLeaks. They're looking for communications that he's had with the other people named in the -- they're not named, but identified as individuals one and two, Corsi and Randy Credico, and some of these they probably have already seen. We also know they've executed search warrants and to the extent Stone communicated using encrypted apps as he may well have, that information is now also going to be available.
So, it's a lot of data. A lot of this data like the Michael Cohen case has no relevance to the law at all. It could be photos of his friends and family, but there is going to be evidence in there too.
BURNETT: So, Laura, could this mean for more charges for stone, right? Because they've done process crime, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, lying, but there could be more charges, or could there be charges coming for others that we have not yet heard of yet?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes and yes, Erin. Here's why. What's interesting about this is that normally you would have a search warrant executed. You'd be able to get all the information you need, the evidence, the digital evidence we're talking about that Evan was talking about, and Harry, and then based on your review of the information, you would then file charges or seek to have the first indicted if there is criminal conduct contained there.
Now, you have somebody who's already charged with a crime and then you get the accusation of al this with potential treasure trove of information that dates many years back that could substantiate not only what they already do know about which is of course the obstruction and the tampering and the overtures perhaps to WikiLeaks. Now they may be able to identify if they don't already know anybody else who was a player in trying to somehow entice Julian Assange and company to provide information and looking for information as well to blow out of the water what Roger Stone has always said, which is it's a coincidence. I'm a broken clock, I happened to be right twice a day. I happened to be right when there was a dump of stolen e-mails.
They want information to support their claims and discredit that entirely. So, yes, there could be charges against him. There could be more charges against other people.
But either way, the fact that there was a contemporaneously executed search warrant, even after there had been an indictment, is really telling.
BURNETT: So, you know, obviously when we talk about who could be involved here, Stone and Trump have known each other for decades and by the way, over time, they've both admitted that very openly. Here they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Roger is a friend of mine. He's a good guy.
ROGER STONE, TRUMP ASSOCIATE: He's my friend of 40 years.
TRUMP: I've known him for a long time. He's actually a quality guy. He's a nice guy. STONE: Donald Trump came to my wedding. I went to two of his. I was
at both his parents' funerals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Harry, Mueller seized e-mail accounts, cell phones. How likely is it that there's communication involving President Trump?
[19:35:01] Who by the way, let's be clear does not use e-mail in any way that I've ever known covering him or I've ever heard anyone else refer to.
SANDICK: Yes, I mean, there may not be communications with Trump. We don't know other than Twitter how he communicates with people. Is he somebody like the kind of executive who may have other people working for him sending e-mails and printing them out for him and him dictating something back? Or does he just not use that at all?
But Stone is clearly somebody who is very conversant with technology and uses it all the time. And to the extent that he didn't remember to delete things or didn't try to obstruct the investigation further by destroying evidence of his communications, it's there and it can be harvested.
BURNETT: Which I would imagine they would see. Roger Stone is expected to be arrested every day, so if he tried to destroy evidence he did, they would know that, they would see that.
Look, Laura, the president has criticized how Roger Stone was arrested, right? And he told "The Daily Caller", in part: I will say, like I'm speaking for a lot of people that were disappointed to see that go down that way. You've got 28 people, you have armored vehicles and you had all of the other and, you know, many people know Roger and Roger is not a person they would have to worry about from that standpoint. I thought it was sad to see it.
The 29, by the way, seems wildly off, I'll just say. But it's very consistent, Laura, with what the president has said about other people involved in all this. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: What kind of an FBI -- they break down doors for Paul Manafort early in the morning. His wife is in bed. Like at 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning. And they undo the lock for Michael Cohen early in the morning.
Manafort, they raid his home at, like, 5:00 in the morning I think on a weekend and his wife is in bed and they go in with guns? This is an Al Capone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This is a clear pattern, Laura.
COATES: It is. The thing about it is that the execution and pursuit of justice is very inconvenient to people who end up being defendants in a court of law. It's not the sort of delicate use and delicate treatment of people. That's what happened when you are alleged to have committed a crime.
And, by the way, the other theme here, Erin, is the president of the United States very quickly changes his mind about the manner in which people have been treated if they tend to flip on him. Cohen is but one example of this. But it is odd they did have such a number of people go to his home, but it may not be overkill if he was going to destroy evidence because why they would do that sort of raid in the first place.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.
And next, Democrats fear that if Howard Schultz runs, he could be the next Ralph Nader. What does Nader think? He's OUTFRONT.
Plus, freshman Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez getting some glowing reviews but not from the person you'd expect.
[19:41:32] BURNETT: Tonight, Howard Schultz embracing the fight. A source tells CNN Schultz's team sees the Democratic attacks on the former Starbucks CEO as a good thing, because they make him look anti- establishment. Last night, Schultz defended himself, saying, quote, the system needs to be disrupted.
Let me just play for you how it went down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two words which a lot of people here weren't even born when this happened. Ralph Nader. I heard the same exact thing for him and we got President George Bush. Just keep that in mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, the man you heard mentioned there, Ralph Nader. Ran as a third party presidential candidate in the year 2000.
And, Ralph, I appreciate your time tonight.
All right. You heard that voter. Your name brought up in vain last night. She is comparing a potential Schultz's run now to yours in 2000. Should Schultz run?
RALPH NADER, FORMER THIRD PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I never say to anyone don't run because running for public office is the full use of the First Amendment, speech, free speech, assembly and petition. You can oppose a candidate, support a candidate. You don't tell in America any potentially candidate to shut up. That's not a civil libertarian win.
BURNETT: But should he run? NADER: I think he's testing the waters. I don't think he's decided
yet. He's on a three-month tour. He's going to get a lot of pushback as you've shown.
And he's not on the Democratic Party table. He doesn't like consumer regulation. He's down on entitlements they call Social Security and Medicare. Doesn't want full Medicare-for-all.
He's against labor unions and has practiced in his coffee business. He's known to have an aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East.
I see his positions are more consonant with the Republicans. And because there will be so many candidates in the Democratic field, he can't get up there in the polls. He looks around and he sees there's not going to be many candidates challenging Donald Trump and he will appeal to more than a few Republicans based on his ideology, his business background, his anti-labor, and other things that commend him to the significant Republican base.
BURNETT: So, Ralph, I want to play something else Schultz said last night. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD SCHULTZ, FORMER STARBUCKS CEO: I can assure you I'm not going to be a spoiler and I'm not going to do anything to do anything whatsoever to re-elect Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I believe he said the other day if he ran, though, it would be a nightmare. Do you think he would do exactly that if he ran, re- elect Donald Trump? I know you said everyone has a right to run, but is that what the outcome would be?
NADER: I don't think so because there will be too many candidates in the field. They will divide up 100 percent of their voting base 20 different ways and he'll be lost. Especially since he doesn't have a single grabbing issue for the Democratic Party. He doesn't even calls.
If you look at the issues that he's already taken a position on, he's more Republican-like than Democrat Party. So --
BURNETT: But do you think he'll help Donald Trump win? I mean, is that definitional for him at this point when he says I won't be a spoiler? Is it definitional he would be a spoiler?
NADER: I don't believe in the word "spoiler". That is a totally bigoted word telling people get out, don't run, especially people such as myself who wanted to run to deal with the rotten spoiled political system run by a two party duopoly that's very exclusionary and dialing for the same commercial money.
[19:45:00] NADER: So, let's get that straight.
Everyone has a right to run. You can oppose or support. Please do not censor people out of the electoral arena.
BURNETT: Well, OK, so let me ask you that because he's the one who used the word, he said, I don't want to be a spoiler. And you're hearing it's Democrats who are telling him to get out, you're going to kill it for us and you're going to be a spoiler. I mean, this is all nastiness coming from the people he says he's trying to appeal to.
NADER: Well, I think first of all, we don't know enough about what his surveys are going to show over three months, his polls.
NADER: My guess is he's going to appeal to more Republican voters than Democrat voters. He is in some ways a corporate reactionary. And the way he treats his workers is not --
BURNETT: So you think instead of this whole helping Trump win, it might be the opposite?
NADER: Of course. I think the field is open to challenge Trump. Governor Kasich from Ohio may challenge him. There's talk about Governor Hogan. But Howard Schultz is a freelance. He's got plenty of money. What's he got to worry about? He'll be in the headlines every day.
If he's part of 20-people running as a sort of pseudo-Democrat, he won't have the visibility.
BURNETT: Well, he will be the richest person running if he runs. I guess someone else could jump in. He will be richer than Donald Trump.
All right. Thank you very much, Ralph Nader.
NADER: "How the Rats Reformed the Congress", read it, Erin. It's a serious book.
BURNETT: I will. Thank you, sir.
And next, why some of Trump's biggest supporters are now praising Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
And the president now says a wall is a wall and not these things.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Steel barrier. Slat fence. Peaches.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:50:32] BURNETT: Tonight, Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pushing ahead with a plan and a very controversial one on climate change. It comes as she is receiving high praise from a very unlikely source, a high profile Republican to be unveiled momentarily by Jason Carroll.
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: Oh my gosh.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Progressive firebrand, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will soon be set to unveil one of her most controversial and talked about agendas -- the green new deal. It's touted as a massive economic stimulus package designed to create jobs and get the United States on carbon-free, 100 percent renewable energy system by 2035. Ocasio-Cortez has been an outspoken proponent of the ambitious proposal.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: This is going to be the Great Society, the moonshot, the civil rights movement of our generation.
CARROLL: The freshman congresswoman is working with Democratic Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey on getting the bill done. While the wording of it is still being finalized, it's clear this is legislation Ocasio-Cortez has been pushing for.
She ruffled feathers in her own party, after she's still with demonstrators who stormed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office in November, demanding a clean energy bill.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: We have to get to 100 percent renewable energy.
CARROLL: An environmental group called the Sunrise Movement organized that protest. Its executive director credits Ocasio-Cortez with pushing the bill.
VARSHINI PRAKASH, SUNRISE MOVEMENT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: She's been a huge leader and I can't tell you what it's meant for thousands of young people in our movement to see a politician finally stand up with the courage and conviction, and a ton of moral grounding and authority to call for the kind of massive action that we need.
CARROLL: The movement gaining traction in the 2020 presidential race. Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris says she supports a green New Deal. Critics, such as billionaire former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is concerned about the cost.
But leaders do not agree on the price tag. Ocasio-Cortez has proposed a 70 percent tax on those whose income is above $10 million to help pay for it.
SCHULTZ: The American dream is to rise above your standing in life. Now we're going to provide punitive tax rates for people who have succeeded.
CARROLL: Well, Ocasio-Cortez has no shortage of critics for the proposed green New Deal. The self-described socialist has of late been getting praise from an unlikely political corner, the far right. People such as former Trump adviser Steve Bannon telling "Politico" she has the combination of grit, determination, fighting spirit that you can't coach.
Pundits such as Ann Coulter and conservative activist Mike Cernovich, while loathing her policies, have acknowledged her abilities to energize the progressive left.
CARROLL: And while some on the right may be complimenting Ocasio- Cortez, it should be noted that could also be strategic. Those on the right now she is a polarizing figure. They also know some of her policies upset those who are moderate Democrats, and there are a number of strategic folks on the right who are going to be looking for a way to sort of use that come 2020.
BURNETT: All it is a bunch of manipulation.
All right. Thank you very much.
And next, Jeanne Moos on Trump's wall, coming full circle.
[19:58:14] BURNETT: Tonight, Trump changes his mind on what to call the wall.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Trump has finally come full circle on the wall. After all the jokes --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First it was a wall, then it was a fence, then it was just I guess cones, you know.
MOOS: With his back to the wall, the president has gone back to his roots, tweeting: Let's just call them walls from now on and stop playing political games. A wall is a wall.
Which brought retorts like and a fence is a fence, and ladders are ladders.
In the words of the immortal Dr. Seuss, a wall is a wall no matter how small, or even if it isn't built at all.
In under 20 seconds, watch the president end up where he started.
TRUMP: I will build a great, great wall.
As beautiful as a wall can be.
Precast concrete, going very high. Wall or fence.
There could be some fencing.
Has to be see-through.
You could call it a steel fence.
We'll build a steel barrier.
Or a slat fence.
MOOS: And now, a wall is a wall. Oh, wait, we left out the best one.
TRUMP: Name it peaches. I don't care what they name it.
MOOS: Just the other day, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway was counseling reporters not to use the word "wall".
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: I'm asking why you and the polling questions respectfully are still saying wall when the president said you can call it whatever you want. It's a great slogan. Build a wall and crime will fall.
REPORTER: So, why can't we call it a wall when he calls it a wall?
MOOS: Besides, build a slab fence, it's the best defense, doesn't have quite the same ring. Remember the good old bad old days when a wall really was a wall?
Imagine President Reagan saying --
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT: Mr. Gorbachev tear down this --
TRUMP: Solar wall, steel fence, peaches.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: "ANDERSON" starts next.