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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Furious Inter Panel Hiring Ex-White House Aides To Scrutinize Admin: "A Continuation Of The Witch Hunt"; Trump Furious As Schiff Hires Ex-White House Aides To Help Probe White House; House Judiciary Chairman Tells Acting Attorney General No Need For Subpoena If He Appears And Answers Questions; Acting Attorney General Battles With House Judiciary Chair Over Subpoena; Special Counsel Says Manafort Meeting With Associate Who Has Ties To Russian Intel At "Heart" Of Investigation; Transcript Reveals What Was Said At Closed- Door Manafort Hearing; Amazon's Bezos Accuses National Enquirer Of Expoertion And Blackmail, Pulbishes Emails And Threats; Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer Of Extortion & Blackmail. Aired: 7-8p ET
Aired February 7, 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: ... busy over these next several weeks. Will, thank you very much for that report. And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room. Erin Burnett OutFront starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, ANCHOR, CNN: OutFront next breaking news, President Trump furious at the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee tonight for hiring former National Security staffers at least one of whom works for Trump to investigate Trump. More breaking news, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos accusing the National Enquirer of extortion and blackmail. It is an extraordinary online post with the emails proof. Is the National Enquirer still doing President Trump's bidding? Plus, the green new deal, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's big announcement met with major skepticism from her own party. Let's go OutFront.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, President Trump furious. The President livid at Democrats for stealing his staffers. Those are his words. We're talking about staffers who will be working for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on investigating the President. "Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government. Even stealing people who work at the White House. A continuation of the Witch Hunt."
When it comes to stealing Schiff fired back, "If the President is worried about our hiring any former administration people, maybe he should work on being a better employer." Trump is paranoid about former staffers turning on him and rightfully so despite what he has repeatedly insisted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everybody wants to work in this White House. We are a hot country. This is a hot White House. We are a White House that people want to work with.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Well, we have seen time and time again, people from the
administration trying to undermine or embarrass the President, right, remember there was that whole op-ed in the New York Times. And then, there were this schedule just leaked this week which was leaked with the intention of making him look bad and lazy. And now these former NSC officials, people who could know the inner working of the administration are going to work with Schiff and Democrats.
And by the way, there are a lot of investigations into President Trump, his administration and his inner circle. We know of more than 20 tonight, but what they see is oversight President Trump sees much differently, he calls it PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT in all caps, saying it should never be allowed to happen again. I want to go straight to Capitol Hill and Manu Raju who is OutFront there.
And Manu, this is now nasty and personal between President Trump and Adam Schiff.
MANU RAJU, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: And it's going to get more intense, Erin, because the House Intelligence Committee is only going to ramp up this investigation going forward. Adam Schiff announced yesterday his plans to not just look into Russia interference in the 2016 election, any collusion or coordination occurred between the Trump campaign and the Russians, but also any financial interest, any business interests that are driving the President's decisions, any questions about whether any foreign interests are influencing the President, his family, his inner circle that are expecting a multi house panel probe, multiple committees looking into this and the President's eyes probably only going to be sparked time and time again.
And, yes, the President is concerned about the ramping up of staff to bringing in some former National Security aides to help with that investigation, accusing them of stealing these staff. But the committee is hiring of these folks for one reason, looking into potential money-laundering, and if that occurred in the Trump organization, that's going to be one focus of this committee in the coming weeks and months, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, so obviously that's a big development. There's also, Manu, a battle between the acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker and the House Judiciary Chairman Democrat Jerry Nadler, and this is over whether Whitaker is going to appear tomorrow or get served with a subpoena. This has been high drama today.
RAJU: It has been high drama and there are discussions that are happening behind the scenes about a potential appearance tomorrow. There is expectations on Capitol Hill from the Democrats that Whitaker will in fact appear. We're waiting for the official response from the Justice Department after Jerry Nadler said, "If you come tomorrow, we won't serve you with a subpoena."
Now, this of course came after Whitaker said he wants written assurances from Jerry Nadler that he would not be subpoenaed if he were going to appear. Jerry Nadler wants to hear about all of those conversations that may have occurred between the President and Trump about the Special Counsel's investigation about his decision not to recuse from overseeing the investigation and about whether he discussed with the President Michael Cohen's guilty plea and the fact of the President himself has implicated in two federal crimes.
Those are things that Matt Whitaker doesn't not want to discuss his conversations with the President. So if he does come, will he get hit with the subpoena and how will he respond to this latest response from the House Judiciary Chairman. We'll see the coming hours here, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Manu. And now we are joined by Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell who happens to sit on both the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committee, so obviously central to both of these developing stories. Congressman, thanks for being with me.
ERIC SWALWELL, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Good evening, Erin.
BURNETT: And I want to start off with the judiciary side, the fight going on between Whitaker and Chairman Nadler. Nadler not giving Whitaker the guarantee he's asking for in order to agree to testify. Do you have any indication that Whitaker is going to accept the deal?
SWALWELL: Well, the Chairman just sent over a letter assuring acting Attorney General Whitaker that if he comes forward tomorrow and answers our questions he doesn't have to worry about a subpoena. And that's the process that we want. But Erin in what country does an executive tell elected representatives that they're above answering questions? I'll tell you what country, it's China, it's Russia, it's Iran, but it's not the United States of America.
And the reason we are ready to go with the subpoena is because we have sent over to the administration a number of questions we want to ask the acting Attorney General. So he's getting the questions in advance and asking them if they're going to assert any privileges that would prevent him from answering and they didn't send anything back.
And so we got nervous and we don't want to waste our time, we don't want to waste the American people's time, and so we said, "Well, if you're not going to answer questions, we have a process that we have to follow to compel those questions." We hope it doesn't come to that.
BURNETT: All right, so you're waiting to hear back from him at this point, right?
SWALWELL: Yes. That's right.
BURNETT: All right, so now - meantime on the intelligence side President Trump says Adam Schiff is "Stealing people who work at the White House." Those were his words, stealing, do you know congressman of people who've gone from the White House to the Committee?
SWALWELL: Well, first, Erin, White House staffers are not property. They can't be stolen. They can make their own decisions about who they work for and our committee, and Mr. Schiff is interested in hiring people from the Intelligence Community including people who have worked in past or current administration. So I'm not going to go into the names of the people we've hired, because this isn't about the staff, this is about the responsibility that we have.
SWALWELL: And as Mr. Schiff said, "It says more about Donald Trump if they left him to work elsewhere than it does about us who want to do our job." And this sounds a lot like frankly the wiretap claim of Trump Tower where he claims that we actually went over there and took staffers against their will to work for us.
BURNETT: But these are people who currently work there in some capacity, they've made their own decision to come work for you guys, that's the bottom line.
SWALWELL: We have not stolen anyone. Yes, we have people from the Intelligence Community who have chosen to come work on Capitol Hill during this extraordinary time in our country.
BURNETT: So the Hill is reporting tonight the Democrats on the committee are preparing to issue another subpoena. This is related to these investigations, phone records linked to that infamous Trump Tower meeting where Don junior was at, Manafort was at, Natalia Veselnitskaya was at. Can you confirm that for us tonight?
SWALWELL: Well, I can confirm what we've said all along which is, yes, we want those records. We want to know who Donald Trump Jr. talked to. There's public reporting coming from the Senate that it was not his father, it was other individuals, and we want to find that out. We don't want to jump to the conclusion. We also think that this is something we could have found out two years ago, but we want to put this to rest. So yes we're going to answer that question in short order.
BURNETT: All right. So any timing on the subpoena for that or you said just short order?
SWALWELL: I'll let Mr. Schiff make that news.
BURNETT: So President Trump has now said in a tweet, you're talking about these investigations, do you see them as very worthwhile, you're talking about the people who work for the National Security Committee and community who are coming to work for you and choosing to do so to work on these investigations. The President says, "The Dems and their committees are going nuts. The Republicans never did this to President Obama. There will be no time left to run government."
Look, we know of at least 20 investigations right now. Are you worried at all, Congressman, about Democrats getting mired in these investigations, getting caught in the moment of going for the investigation and not doing other work?
SWALWELL: Well, we've launched these investigations just in the last 48 hours. We had hearings in Congress to have background checks on firearm purchases to update the Voting Rights Act to make sure everyone and everywhere can vote, who's eligible. And also to make sure that we invest in infrastructure.
That happened while we were doing these investigations, so it's showing the American people we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We're going to do that. But the presidential immunity that he's enjoyed for two years from a Congress that was unwilling to really hold him accountable, those days are over and so, yes, of course, we're going to do our job and make sure the rule of law is still intact in this country.
BURNETT: Look, you have a fair point. It's your job to investigate. That is the job of Congress and it was not being done in full while he had a Republican House. All of that is true, but I just have to show you the investigations Democrats are launching right now. We have them on the screen. As I've said, right now we've got more than 20. We put as many as we could on the screen right now. Are all of these worthwhile?
SWALWELL: More cannot be less. When I was a prosecutor, Erin, I'd have defense attorneys come in and their client would have like ten DUIs and they'd say, "Can we just make them all go away and he'll plea to one?" I would say, "No, more is not less." Just because you've made us do a lot of work because you have exposed yourself to a lot of crimes does not mean we're going to give you a break.
So the President, his business, his campaign, his transition which only lasted two months and his administration are all under investigation. And, again, if the rule of law is going to mean something in this country, we have to make sure that anyone that broke the law is accountable.
BURNETT: Congressman Swalwell, thanks so much for your time.
SWALWELL: Of course, my pleasure.
BURNETT: And next breaking news, new details showing Paul Manafort's contact to the key Russian associate is now at the heart of what the Special Counsel's office is investigating. That's a quote and we've got new details tonight. Also, breaking this hour, CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, richest man in the country is publishing an incredible online report and went to medium.com to publish it. And it has the details of blackmail from the National Enquirer and salacious emails, is Jeff Bezos pointing the finger at President Trump? And Democrats making the new push tonight to get their hands on Trump's taxes, but will it work?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If I were finished with the audit, I would have an open mind to it but I don't want to do it during the audit.
(END VIDEO CLIP) Breaking news tonight, new details about a closed-door court hearing
between the Special Counsel's office and Paul Manafort. A partial transcript of the four and a half hour hearing reveals that Mueller is zeroing in on contacts between Manafort and a man with alleged ties to Russian intelligence. Evan Perez is OutFront.
And, Evan, the Special Counsel's office attorney explicitly talking about Manafort's meetings with this Russian saying, "This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the Special Counsel's office is investigating." What does this tell you?
EVAN PEREZ, SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, it tells us that Konstantin Kilimnik, this is the alleged Russian spy that according to the FBI that was part of this meeting. This is a meeting that happens in August of 2017. This is a time that Paul Manafort is still on the campaign. He's about to get fired and there are already some stories about the alleged Russian ties that he has and ties between people on the campaign and Russia.
And so there's a lot of sensitivity about this and so one of the things that the prosecutors talked about in this hearing, Erin, is that they wanted to know more about what happened in the meeting and Paul Manafort was not willing to say he was essentially lying, that's one of the lies that they say he told that caused him to blow up his cooperation agreement.
And so one of the things they say is what happened at that meeting, why is it that Paul Manafort is lying about it, and of course right after Paul Manafort leaves the campaign, he goes back to working with the Ukrainians, with Konstantin Kilimnik, and he has meetings even in Madrid with Konstantin Kilimnik about these Russian businesses. So a lot of interest by the Special Counsel on this particular character and these meetings.
BURNETT: And, of course, as you've said this character they have believed and firmly made the case that member of Russian Intelligence - now Rick Gates is also involved here. And Rick Gates is the central, I know Evan, obviously cooperating but also now relevant to this whole Southern District of New York investigation into the inaugural committee. I mean Rick Gates is very much at the center of all of this and you learned more about him today.
PEREZ: Right, exactly. And look I think one of the things that emerges from all of these transcripts and all of these hearings is that Rick Gates is essentially an MVP for this investigation. He is the one who is telling them a lot of this information. And according to the transcript, the prosecutors clearly believe his account and there's a lot of back-and-forth with Paul Manafort's lawyers who say that he is not credible and that he should not be carrying the weight that he does.
But the judge and the prosecutors clearly believe a lot about Rick Gates is saying and so that's one of the things that I think we're going to see a lot more of, Erin, a lot of the cases including the one against Roger Stone. There's a lot of what Rick Gates has said has ended up being a very important part of what the Special Counsel Robert Mueller has found.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Evan. And I want to go now to former Federal Prosecutor Anne Milgram and our Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash. Anne, let me start with you. As Evan just said, the big question is why is Paul Manafort still lying about that meeting in Trump Tower if there was nothing untoward to lie about?
ANNE MILGRAM, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Right. I mean I think there are a huge number of questions that are raised by this hearing that just happened, including this question of why is he lying and also the fact that the government believes firmly that they have evidence to disprove what he's told them.
And so I agree it might be Rick Gates, there may be other additional evidence and so the fact that Manafort - there are multiple areas which the government has said that he was not truthful at least four areas. And so this just becomes a really important question of why he's lying about it and what he's trying to conceal. He's already pleaded - he's pleaded guilty. He's already been convicted. He will be incarcerated in a federal prison and so the question is who is he protecting and why.
BURNETT: And that is the big question, Dana, that who is he protecting and why. I mean, there's been the guilty plea, then supposedly cooperating, there's jail time and yet still seems to be protecting someone.
DANA BASH, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: That's right and the obvious question is, is that someone the man he was working for at the time, Donald Trump. The now President has said explicitly that he didn't know anything about this meeting. We are told by people around. I'm told by people around the President that when he found out about it, when it was first revealed and reported that Manafort had this meeting during the campaign with this person connected to Russian intelligence giving him internal Trump polling data, when the President found out about that he was upset about it.
For many reasons, not the least of which is that the President has said many, many times no collusion and now they might have to amend that to saying, "I, the President, didn't collude," because this certainly looks, feels and smells like collusion whatever crime that might lead to beyond just lying about it as Manafort is alleged to have done.
BURNETT: And Anne, the word collusion here obviously you can use the legal term conspiracy or collusion, but is what we're finding out here from what we were able to see in the filing show that that is still on the table?
MILGRAM: Yes. I mean I think what the filing is showing or at least confirming some evidence of which we've seen before is that there is evidence that Manafort was directly linked to the Russians providing polling data. Again, there is a question of who else knew that he was doing this. But that kind of synergy between a political campaign and a foreign government is a really terrible thing that the laws are set up to prevent.
The whole idea is that foreign governments cannot influence elections and basically having the head of a campaign go to a foreign government and give them inside information that they could then use to direct things like the troll farms that they were running and a target American voters is really, really disturbing and again potentially criminal.
BURNETT: And, of course, it brings us, Dana, back to that crucial line which Bob Mueller put out there related to Roger Stone, who directed the senior campaign official to tell Roger Stone to go get this dirt that obviously was coming via WikiLeaks and Russians.
BASH: Right. I mean it's a separate issue, obviously, but it comes to the heart of a similar question which is did all of this trickle down from somebody up high. In the case of Manafort, what people in the Trump orbit are arguing is that and it even says this as part of the transcript of the hearing that Manafort obviously had ties to and business with people related to Russia, Russian intelligence, Ukraine and what they are privately saying is that they think that maybe what Manafort was trying to do was prove his worth to them while he was in the campaign to say, "Look, what I can give you," even no maybe or maybe not it was actually valuable polling data which they could potentially use for the bots and the trolls, unclear.
That's the difference between what is known in the case of Paul Manafort as somebody who had decades of experience and relations and business with these people. And Roger Stone who was much more directly related with the notion of political gamesmanship, potentially.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much. Of course, just to make the point that polling data could be important for a whole host of reasons but not least of which could be who to target and in which states where polls were closed that this could have actually influenced the election not just generic and big picture, but very specific.
And next breaking news, the Head of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, an explosive message tonight accusing the National Enquirer of extortion after it revealed his affair. And in this, Bezos is also naming President Trump. Plus, the showdown over Trump's taxes, Democrats making their first move, though will they actually get Trump's tax returns?
Breaking now, Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, accusing the National Enquirer of blackmail and extortion. It is a shocking, a deeply personal post just published online, went to the medium.com to post it. It could have done anything anywhere but that is where Bezos chose to do this in this nine-page stunning, stunning document writing that the National Enquirer's parent company has been threatening him with embarrassing pictures, which are detailed here in great detail, he puts it all out there, and he says that they will "publish the personal photos unless I make the specific false public statement to the press that -" and this is in an email from the General Counsel of the National Enquirer that Bezos would need to say "he has no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces."
So that's in an email, that we won't publish the pictures as long as you say this, Jeff. Now, Bezos says he will not agree to that statement because it is a lie and he references President Trump in this who of course is a longtime personal friend with the founder of AMI, a founder who is now cooperating in the broader Russian investigation. Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy is OutFront.
And Oliver, this post is extraordinary, right? I mean it is an extraordinary set of information, he has put it all out there. "You're not going to blackmail me because I'm going to put it out there." What more are we learning?
OLIVER DARCY, SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER, CNN: Well, like you said this is explosive and I think we need to take people back. So what happened here is the National Enquirer recently published a big expose showing that Mr. Bezos was having a romantic relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a TV anchor. And they published this investigation and in the investigation they obtained text messages.
And so Bezos naturally wonders how his text messages got out there, how did they become public. And so he starts this investigation, personally he funds it into how these messages became into the possession of the National Enquirer. And so what you're seeing here is the lawyers, I guess, for the National Enquirer or the parent company AMI reaching out to Mr. Bezos and saying that if he does not stop his investigation into how these messages came to light, they will make more of the material they have public, risky pictures and things that Mr. Bezos probably doesn't want out. There they'll make them public. And Bezos is saying in this media post that he's not going to sit back and allow himself to be blackmailed by AMI and he like you said that detailed everything in this shocking really Medium post.
BURNETT: And look I just want to make a point here, you're talking about National Enquirer, the person in charge there is David Packer, longtime associate of Donald Trump's. Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post which the President regularly pillories for its coverage and says he wants to stop. These are all the strands that could be coming together here that Bezos is alleging could be coming together here.
And he specifically says, "Certain powerful people who experienced Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy. And he made President Trump is one of those people obvious by his many tweets. Also, The Post's essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles."
Obviously, the National Enquirer has gotten a lot of money from the Saudi government. The National Enquirer's publisher, David Pecker, was a longtime ally of Trump. Bezos is naming Trump personally in this post. DARCY: Right. There's a very complex web of characters here and so
Mr. Pecker who owns AMI has been a long ally of Trump for years and years. And throughout the campaign in 2016 we saw them run stories that were favorable to trump and he would go after the political opponents of Trump. And so they've had this long relationship.
Now, recently that seems to have fallen out. The magazine hasn't really been publishing pro-Trump stories anymore as they've been cooperating with authorities. But there has been this suspicion that they are close.
So, them targeting Bezos who obviously the president is not much of a fan of raised a lot of eyebrows. That said, the "National Enquirer" has adamantly denied for a long time that they were influenced by Trump or political forces in their coverage and they're silent tonight.
So, I reached out, haven't heard anything back from Mr. Howard who wrote the story or anyone else from the "National Enquirer."
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Thank you very much, Oliver. I want to make the point here as Oliver references, David Pecker is cooperating right now in the investigation -- the southern district of New York investigation into Michael Cohen. All these catch and kill, they would get the stories that were bad about Trump, and pay off the people and not publish them. That is -- he is now cooperating in that.
OUTFRONT now, Stu Zakim, former SVP of corporate communications for American Media, Bill Kristol, long-time editor of "The Weekly Standard", and Harry Sandick, former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
So, Stu, let me start out basically.
STU ZAKIM, FORMER SVP OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, AMERICAN MEDIA INC.: Sure.
BURNETT: You read this. You see these e-mails from general counsel. It is stunning. It is like a list. Let's go through here. I'm not going to share what the list is. People can read it themselves.
A list of disgusting and inappropriate pictures that they are going to publish if, if there is not a statement put out, as I said, that says you have no knowledge or basis for suggesting AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces. Are you shocked to see something like this?
ZAKIM: I'm not shocked at all. It's part of their tactics, right? They attack. They attack, whether you're the subject of their investigation or they attack to protect themselves.
So, to come out and threaten him like that is not unusual. That's what they're used to do and how they usually get their way. BILL KRISTOL, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF OF VICE PRESIDENT DAN QUAYLE:
It's the way in which they're doing it, at least for me -- I'm not a lawyer but looking at it as a citizen and someone who edited a magazine is pretty amazing. Two things leap out. They freaked out about this investigation.
It isn't like AMI isn't in a million squabbles. They're used to that. This, as Bezos correctly said, this statement by the lawyer of AMI is extraordinary, seems close to extortion. They desperately want the investigation called off, right, that's what they would agree to do.
Why are they so scared of the investigation? What are they going to discover, that AMI takes money from the Saudis? We know that. That AMI has kind of a sleazy operation, we know that.
BURNETT: What are they going to discover? About where all these pictures came from? That's the question.
KRISTOL: The second point therefore is what is the proposed AMI statement say? There was no political motivation for this. So, you put those things together, I wonder whether Bezos' investigators are getting closer to discovering a Trump-Pecker connection. That would be explosive.
Pecker would certainly want to cover that up. He would want the investigation -- what if Trump called Pecker two weeks ago and said we got to do something about -- who knows what? Who knows what Bezos is investigating?
For me, nothing else would explain them going so crazy at AMI.
BURNETT: This is going to be a crucial question here and this is why I bring up a long-time relationship and personal between President Trump and David Pecker who is obviously the publisher of AMI. David Pecker now cooperating with the Southern District of New York investigation into Michael Cohen and these payments.
HARRY SANDICK, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: Yes.
BURNETT: And Jeff Bezos mentioning Donald Trump by name very explicitly, saying one person who would have an interest and has made it clear that they don't like "The Washington Post" coverage and I own "The Washington Post" is President Trump.
SANDICK: Yes, and the people at AMI better be very, very fortunate in their dealings with the southern district U.S. attorney's office because there is a term in there, non-prosecution agreement, that says you may not commit any other crimes. That list of crimes could include extortion if somebody views this as being extortion. It's certainly not a normal business negotiation.
Or if there were crimes committed in the way in which they obtained the information about Bezos, that could lead the Southern District to decide to tear up their non-prosecution agreement and charge them with whatever crimes they may have committed. BURNETT: Stu, let me ask you. When we go back to the timing here,
you have David Pecker starts cooperating with the Southern District of New York last fall. Obviously, all of this imbroglio with Jeff Bezos has come to light since then. Is it possible that he's still talking to Trump or favorable to Trump or trying to take Jeff Bezos down because "The Washington Post" is slamming Trump?
ZAKIM: Not knowing firsthand but I couldn't imagine how they're not still in touch. Even when this story first broke, Trump actually applauded the "Enquirer" if you remember the coverage of that. So, knowing how Trump welcomes people back into his home after he's thrown them away, Pecker does the same thing. It's an advantageous relationship for both of them because look what we're talking about tonight.
KRISTOL: And one thing, just speculating, of course, that the investigators could have been stumbling on or getting very close to is stuff that would have called into question, I suppose, AMI's compliance with this agreement.
[19:35:08] Wouldn't that be something you would get worried about if you were a corporation or if you're Mr. Pecker? And suddenly, they're discovering, whoa, they're not really cooperating fully. I'm just guessing.
SANDICK: Look what happened to Paul Manafort with the special counsel when it was found that he was violating the terms of his cooperation agreement. There's nothing the government hates more than a cooperator or in this case a non-prosecution agreement. They didn't even make AMI take a guilty plea as an entity in the Cohen investigation into campaign finance fraud and the reward for it is continuing to engage in misconduct.
BURNETT: So, on Twitter, Jeff Bezos is right, the president routinely slams "The Washington Post", he slams Jeff Bezos's link to the Washington and called him Jeff Bozo. He's relished this coverage of this affair. Jeff Bozo, right?
Now, listen to him when he's asked about Bezos' divorce.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Mr. President, do you have any reaction to Jeff Bezos's divorce and his affair?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I wish him luck.
REPORTER: That's it?
TRUMP: I wish him luck. It's going to be a beauty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK, can I ask you a question here. If President Trump's hands in any way end up linked to this and Jeff Bezos is obviously making it clear that he thinks they could be, what does it mean? SANDICK: It depends on the precise linkage, but there could be all
sorts of things. Is he part of an extortion scheme involving these e- mails? Is he going to use the photos to try to obtain more favorable coverage from "The Washington Post"? Does he --
BURNETT: And are these e-mails extortion in your view? It's again a very detailed list but I won't publish them unless you say this.
SANDICK: It doesn't look like a normal business negotiation which is what the usual defense is when someone says extortion and you say, no, no, this was business, we wanted something, they wanted something. But that's not how normal business is conducted. Did the president play a part in obtaining the images? Did they come to him from a supporter who somehow is connected to the woman having an affair with him? I don't want to -- this all speculation.
BURNETT: No, these are the questions. To be clear, you were doing political -- you have a point of view but as a journalist-related person, that's not how journalists operate. We do not do this. No.
KRISTOL: I wouldn't ask CNN to stipulate to an agreement to something publicly which they do not know to be true and in this case, Bezos suspects this is not true. Jeff Bezos seems to be saying that they have reason to believe this was politically motivated. That's why he was appalled to be asked to stipulate publicly that it was not politically motivated.
BURNETT: And, Stu, let me give you the final word. On this crucial line, no knowledge or basis for suggesting American media coverage's is politically motivated or influenced by political forces, that is new and different and stunning, right?
ZAKIM: It's amazing that they would come out and say that in front because the evidence proves the other way. So, to come out and say that only damages their credibility even more.
BURNETT: They do and he's put in the -- he didn't even black out their e-mail addresses. There's no redaction in here. And I'll give him credit. He didn't redact the explicit descriptions of the pictures either to say, look, as Jeff Bezos said, if I can't stand up to this, nobody can.
All right. Thank you all very much, as this develops.
And next, Trump's tax returns. Former IRS officials say they could be under lock and key. But where are they? And if he's under audit, that means people are supposedly in them every day. Congresswoman Linda Sanchez who's trying to get those tax returns is OUTFRONT.
Plus, Nancy Pelosi doesn't appear to be that impressed with fellow Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's green new deal. And what do we even know about the deal?
[19:42:19] BURNETT: New tonight, Democrats coming for Trump's tax returns. They are running the House and that means they're taking the first step to get those tax returns, holding a hearing today on how to figure out how to get Trump to hand them over.
OUTFRONT now, one of the people in that hearing, the Democratic Congresswoman Linda Sanchez.
And I appreciate your time, Congresswoman.
So what do you expect to find in the president's tax returns? So much talk and now we're here where you all have the power and you're going to try to get him. What are you looking for?
REP. LINDA SANCHEZ (D-CA), WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE: Sure, what we're looking for some clues as to whether or not there are any conflicts of interest or whether or not the president is personally benefitting himself at the expense of the public trust. So, we're interested in pursuing -- getting our hands on tax returns that he promised as a candidate that he would provide and still has not.
BURNETT: How many years do you want?
SANCHEZ: Well, the general practice and custom has been for candidates for vice president and president to provide several years of tax returns, including current year. So, each president has provided, you know, I think it's up to the last 8 to 10 years of their tax returns so that people can evaluate, you know, what kinds of businesses do they own, what kinds of interests do they have, financial interests do they have and again, to answer the question of whether or not the policies that they are pursuing benefit them personally.
BURNETT: So on this front obviously the president is almost -- he's an individual but he sort of isn't, right? I mean, the Trump organ here intrinsically intertwine. It's a mystery sort of how the Trump Org fully makes its money.
So, I would presume you're going to ask for business returns as well. Is that do you think going to be easier or harder or a different process or what?
SANCHEZ: I believe same process but we want to start with the personal returns and then move from there.
BURNETT: So personal returns are the requests now. You're not yet requesting business returns?
SANCHEZ: Correct. We held a hearing today on HR-1 which is a bill that would make all future candidates for vice president and president provide those. We think it's important, again, for transparency.
It's been the custom and the practice since Nixon for folks to turn them over and again, President Trump promised as a candidate that he would and he has not. So, it's more important to get this right than to do it hastily. We are taking it in a step by step approach. We want to do it correctly because if we botch this, it can mean bad precedent moving forward. So, we want to make sure we're doing it the right way.
BURNETT: So, it speaks highly of the IRS, Congresswoman, that the president's returns have not leaked from the agency, right? Anything we've seen has come from former accountants, the bits and pieces that have come out.
[19:45:02] SANCHEZ: Yes.
BURNETT: And they're very bits and pieces, it's only specific years way back.
Former officials from the IRS though say they're likely locked up somewhere actually in the IRS building. They're physically there, they're physically paper. Some of this would be pre-digital and they're there.
Do you know where they actually are? Are they kind of all physically there in a pile together? Are they scattered out by year? Where are they?
SANCHEZ: That was not a question that I've ever been asked before. I don't know. Personally, I don't know.
Interestingly enough, the statute that grants our committee the power to make the requests, we have to make the request of Treasury. So, Treasury gets them, no doubt, from the IRS. I don't know where the IRS would stash them.
BURNETT: All right. But, of course, as you mentioned, Treasury, let me make the point to our viewer, of course, Treasure Secretary Steve Mnuchin is the president's appointee, the president's ally and that's something that's still a fight.
Thank you very much. I appreciate your time, Congresswoman.
SANCHEZ: Yes, we expect them to fight us every step of the way but we're well on the way to getting it done.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you.
And next, Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez releasing her new green deal to combat climate change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: What I introduced today was a resolution, not a bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So what will it do?
Plus, Ivanka Trump speaking out tonight about this art exhibit featuring her look-alike.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:50:12] BURNETT: Tonight, Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez talking about her controversial green new green deal. It came out today, a plan for solving climate change and inequality that even some in her party are having a lot of trouble wrapping their heads around. So, Miguel Marquez took a look.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: I am so incredibly excited that we are going to transition this country into the future.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The transition Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is talking about is her first piece of resolution, a nonbinding resolution, the green new deal that goes beyond climate change, way beyond.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Today is the day that we truly embark on a comprehensive agenda of economic, social, and racial justice in the United States of America.
MARQUEZ: Surrounded by House and Senate veterans, the freshman Democrat from New York took center stage.
REPORTER: -- offset by higher taxes?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: So, do you want me --
REP. ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: You go, please.
MARQUEZ: The same resolution being introduced in the Senate by Ed Markey from Massachusetts, elected to Congress 13 years before Ocasio- Cortez was born.
MARKEY: We now have the troops. We now have the money. We're ready to fight.
MARQUEZ: The resolution just 14 pages long. By some estimates, could cost trillions, calls for a revolution in the way we live.
Viewing climate change as an existential threat to the entire world, fire, drought, rising sea levels, increasingly violent storms, famine, and mass migrations is what we face they warn, if radical change isn't embraced now.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: We're here to say that small incremental policy solutions are not enough.
MARQUEZ: The Green New Deal calls for a ten-year national mobilization. The goal in one short decade to bring greenhouse gas emissions to zero, meet 100 percent of energy needs by renewable source, overhaul transportation systems, create millions of high- paying jobs, bring equality and health care and equal justice for underserved minority and impoverished communities.
REP. JOHN SHIMKUS (R), ILLINOIS: We should be open to the fact that wealth transfer schemes suggested in the radical policies like the Green New Deal may not be the best path to community prosperity.
MARQUEZ: Other Republicans said the plan sounded more like communist economic doctrine. House Speaker Democrat Nancy Pelosi first seemed to throw cold water on the idea, calling it the green dream, while talking to "Politico". Then she changed her tune.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I welcome a Green New Deal in any other proposals that people have out there.
MARQUEZ: The Green New Deal could divide progressive and centrist Democrats. 2020 hopefuls Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand support the resolution, but will it fly with the party's center?
PAUL BLEDSOE, PROGRESSIVE POLICY INSTITUTE: Democrats have to stay united on climate change to face down Donald Trump's climate nihilism. I think we can do that. We can't let resolutions like this divide us.
MARQUEZ: Now, we should underscore that this is a resolution. It's not a piece of legislation. It's not a bill that will become law, but there are House and Senate members that are interested in it. They want to push legislation based on this thing.
Will it in part or many whole become law? The devil is in the details. We'll see what they come up with.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Miguel.
And next, Jeanne Moos on the art exhibit that has Ivanka Trump fighting back.
[19:57:44] BURNETT: Tonight, the art of vacuuming. It's an art.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ivanka Trump as you've never seen her, vacuuming? Vacuuming breadcrumbs thrown by spectators?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It felt a little bit disrespectful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really cathartic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give her something to do.
MOOS: The real Ivanka has plenty to do, launching a women's development initiative Thursday. This is a look-alike dressed in an outfit to what Ivanka wore to the G20 Summit in Germany.
But you would think vacuuming Ivanka was real, the way some conservative websites have reacted. Violent art exhibit invites people to throw trash.
I mean, people are not throwing crumbs at her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, they throw them on to the carpet.
MOOS: Fistfuls, sometimes two handsful deposited on the pink carpet. Artist Jennifer Rubell's artwork is exhibit at a Washington, D.C. gallery.
JENNIFER RUBELL, ARTIST: A lot of people throw the crumbs, and then they're really expecting her to hop to it and vacuum them right away, and are a little disappointed by that.
MOOS: There is nothing worse really than having your crumbs ignored.
Look-alike Ivanka vacuums two hours a night, tossing her hair, flicking the cord, her expression blank, unplugging every once in a while to take a break.
You definitely can't accuse the artist of sucking up to Ivanka. Jennifer Rubell got called on to the carpet.
Ivanka tweeted: Women can choose to knock each other down or build each other up. I choose the latter.
But the artist says the piece doesn't knock her down or build her up. She says she chose Ivanka as an icon at the crossroads of feminism and femininity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a bit unnerving, actually, just seeing her being completely expressionless.
MOOS: Do you think Ivanka Trump has ever vacuumed?
RUBELL: I have no idea.
MOOS: Facing a Mt. Everest of breadcrumbs, the Ivanka the look-alike is going to get a lot of practice.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: And thank you for joining us. Don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT any time, anywhere on CNN Go.
"AC360" starts now.