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Trump About To Make His Case For Wall As Time Runs Out For Congress To Avoid Another Shutdown; El Paso Resident On Trump's Claim That Border Barrier Led To Crime Drop: "He Doesn't Know What The Hell He's Talking About"; Congressional Negotiators Meeting Now After Talks To Avoid Government Shutdown Collapsed Sunday; Trump: Shutdown "Up To Democrats"; Trump & O'Rourke Hold Dueling Rallies; Trump Attacks O'Rourke's Crowd Size; Trump And O'Rourke Hold Dueling Rallies; Trump Claim O'Rourke's "Got A Line Too, But It's A Tiny Little Line"; Trump & O'Rourke Hold Dueling Rallies In El Paso; Senator Kamala Harris To Critics: "I'm Proud Of Being Black"; Trump Claims "No President Ever Harder Than Me" As Leaked Schedules Show He Devotes 60% To "Executive Time". Aired: 7-8p ET

Aired February 11, 2019 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, CNN: You could tweet the show @CNNSITROOM. Erin Burnett OutFront starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, ANCHOR, CNN: OutFront next, President Trump in Texas tonight making the pitch for his wall. Is anyone in El Paso buying what he's trying to sell? Are we in for another shutdown? Plus, could Maryland Governor Larry Hogan give Trump a run for his money in the Republican race? He is OutFront tonight. And is the publisher of the National Enquirer a foreign agent, why AMI reportedly went to the Justice Department with that very question. Let's go OutFront.

And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, President Trump to the border. Now we are counting down to another shutdown this week if there is no deal on the wall and the President tonight is about to arrive at the U.S. Mexican border for a big rally. The President insisting that it will be on the Democrats if 800,000 Americans go without pay for a second time this year.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We need a wall and all of the other things are nice to have, but without a wall it's not going to work. We can have technology. We can a beautiful drones flying all over the place, but it doesn't work without the wall. Now we need a wall. We can call it anything. We'll call it barriers. We'll call it whatever they want.


BURNETT: Okay, tonight the President is making the case in El Paso which by the way is the city which voted overwhelmingly against him for President and only 26% of voters cast ballot for him there, so why go there? Well, tonight team Trump is releasing a new video with people from El Paso and they claim the wall has made them safer. Perception is one thing, but reality is a whole different one. Even the City's Republican mayor is disputing the President's claim that the wall has cut violent crime in El Paso.


DEE MARGO, EL PASO MAYOR: He was echoing what had been said by our Attorney General a few weeks ago in McAllen, that was wrong.


BURNETT: That was wrong. Well, it would be good to in fact check the facts, so let's do it. According to the El Paso Times analysis of FBI and city law enforcement data, violent crime in El Paso peaked all the way back in 1993. It plunged then by 34% by the year 2006 and that's an important year because it is when President Bush approved the wall there, the barrier that is there. And in the four years from that approval until after the wall was finished, violent crime jumped 17% in El Paso.

We have a special report tonight out front from the ground there. First, I want to go to Kaitlan Collins who is live in El Paso where the President is about to begin that rally. So Kaitlan, interesting choice of a location and the President's facts obviously don't seem to or his numbers don't back up the reality and the facts, what does he think he is going to accomplish tonight?

KAITLAN COLLINS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Erin, the President thinks this is the city that makes his case that walls work. They've got this barrier fence that we showed earlier on CNN and that he believes that is the reason for that drop in violent crime which he's been told by the Texas Attorney General, but as you just played from the Mayor of El Paso, they do not believe that's right and those numbers show that the President's claim is not correct.

But that's nowhere to stop the President, he's likely to make that argument again here tonight. I'm told by people familiar with what the President is expecting to say, echoing what he made, what he said during the State of the Union and making that argument as those shutdown talks back in Washington have essentially stalled and are on the verge of collapse right now. The President is going to continue to make his case with the wall, but also you can expect him to talk about that demand from Democrats that they want to cap the number of people that they can detain those illegal immigrants, they can detain in the country. That's something the President certainly could bring up here in El Paso.

But, Erin, he's also paying attention to Beto O'Rourke, that potential 2020 candidate who is also not very far from where I'm standing right now. And you saw the President when he was talking about the potential government shutdown earlier and putting the blame on Democrats if there is a shutdown. He also brought up Beto O'Rourke saying that he believed his lines were much shorter than the President's. You could expect him to try to make his case with the wall here tonight while he's on stage in El Paso.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kaitlan, and we'll be checking in on that counter rally in just a few moments. First though this whole set of claims that the President has made, which is we went through the El Paso Times has gone through and gone through the data from the city and from the FBI and found are false. They simply don't hold true. So let's go to the ground now with Ed Lavandera who went to investigate OutFront in El Paso.

ED LAVANDERA, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Maynard Haddad doesn't mince words when it comes to President Trump in his hometown. He owns H & H Car Wash Cafe. The only place in El Paso where the customer is always wrong even a President.

Why do you think Trump is saying the things about El Paso that he's saying?

MAYNARD HADDAD, OWNER, H & H CAR WASH CAFE: Because he don't know what the hell he's talking about.

LAVANDERA: Maynard's cafe opened in 1958. You can get a car wash and chile rellenos while you wait, and while we waited, Haddad told us he voted for Trump and didn't hold back his thoughts on the rest.


You've never felt unsafe here.

HADDAD: Oh, hell no.

LAVANDERA: He keeps repeating that El Paso used to be this horribly dangerous place.

HADDAD: Well, then he needs to go to school.

LAVANDERA: President Trump has falsely claimed El Paso's wall along the Rio Grande dramatically changed this border town.


TRUMP: The border city of El Paso Texas used to have extremely high rates of violent crime.

A wall was put up. It went from being one of the most dangerous cities in the country to one of the safest cities in the country over night.


LAVANDERA: That's just not true. El Paso has never been one of the most dangerous places in America. Crime statistics show violent crime was dropping for many years before the wall was built in 2008 and crime actually jumped a little after the wall was built.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't feel like the President is trashing El Paso?



LAVANDERA: But some El Paso Republicans like Adolfo Telles say Trump is still right about what a border wall can do to cut down crime and threats.

TELLES: If you were living in a house and you know that there are illegal people wandering around your house at 2:00 in the morning, is that a serious crime from your perspective? People just get quiet when you put it that way.

LAVANDERA: Silvestre Reyes is a former Democratic Congressman of El Paso and spent nearly 30 years as the top border patrol agent along this stretch of the border. He remembers when a simple chain-link fence was the border wall.


SILVESTRE REYES, FORMER BORDER PATROL SECTOR CHIEF: It was ineffectively referred to as the tortilla curtain.


LAVANDERA: Reyes says there's enough border wall already in place and he says the President is lying to make the case for more.


LAVANDERA: When you hear the President say El Paso used to be one of the most dangerous cities in the country before the wall.

REYES: He's full of it. This is my home and he's mischaracterized El Paso as a kind of Wild West and a violent-crime written area until the fence went up and that's totally false.


LAVANDERA: Maynard Haddad will be paying close attention from his car wash and he left us with one last warning for President Trump.


LAVANDERA: If President Trump comes here and repeats the exact same thing that we know is wrong, how is that going to go over with Mr. Trump?

HADDAD: Not real smart. Not real smart. He'd better go back to where he belongs, back east ...


LAVANDERA: And, Erin, the gathering you see behind me is the rally already starting to take shape. Beto O'Rourke and his family have just arrived. They're expected to leave this area, march along the international boundary in the border fence that already exists here in El Paso about a mile long march and then Beto O'Rourke is supposed to take the stage and give a speech about the same time the President will beginning his remarks here in the city of El Paso tonight, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. All right thank you very much, Eddie and more on that in a moment. I want to go now though to the member of the border security conference committee, a small bipartisan group of Senators and Congress people who are trying to find an agreement so that there's not a shutdown in the next four days. Democratic Congressman David Price joins me and I appreciate your time, Congressman.

Look, I understand that the meeting just finished, that there's going to be another meeting again at 8:00 tonight, obviously, if there is no agreement, the government's going to shut down at the end of the week. It appeared to be of an impasse over this weekend. What do you think is going to happen? Are we going to have a shutdown or not?

DAVID PRICE, DEMOCRAT NORTH CAROLINA: Well, I certainly hope not and I had thought up until recently that the Republicans were equally determined. But now you have the President's Chief of Staff saying a shutdown is a very real possibility. And actually over the weekend, the Senate Republicans stopped negotiating, so they're trying to still hold that over us. I don't think the American people want this at all. We have been negotiating.

We thought in good faith, but they pull the plug and only now we're getting back to some of these issues. But this has been tough all along. Nobody should think it's not going to be tough.

BURNETT: So when you say they pull the plug and now these issues, one of them at least so far as I understand it is the number of ICE detention beds and to some people watching they may say, "Well, why is that so important?" Well, it matters. Right now they're about 40,520 to be exact, Trump wants 52,000. Democrats, my understanding is want less around 35,000.

And here's what Mitch McConnell had to say about why he cares so much.


MITCH MCCONNELL, REPUBLICAN MAJORITY LEADER: The House of Democrats decided to add a poison pill demand into the conversations at the 11th hour. It's a new demand. It's really extreme. This would result in the release of thousands of criminal aliens.


BURNETT: When he says this would result the release of thousands of criminal aliens, if you cut that number of beds, what's your response, Congressman?

Price: My response is that is just absolutely untrue.


The President said the same thing. The President said this was a new issue that was thrown out. My goodness we've been debating enforcement policy and the number of detention beds and what that implied for enforcement policy, we've been debating that in a decade and it's certainly been an issue throughout this whole period of discussion. So it's just an incredible deception to say that this is a new issue that we've thrown up. This has been an issue with us a long time and honestly it's been more of an issue for us over the years than the idea of a wall and then --

BURNETT: Which is fascinating, yes.

PRICE: Yes, Erin.

BURNETT: Can I just ask you that the ICE Deputy Director today went a little bit further than even Senator McConnell. He said, Congressman Price, we're going to be released - people convicted of domestic violence and drug crimes we're going to be releasing gang members.

PRICE: That is also untrue.

BURNETT: Is any of that true or are they just making that up?

PRICE: No. They're making it up. It is absolutely untrue. In fact if you look historically at this, it is Democrats. I know because I was part of the Democratic new leadership group as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee that came in 2007. It was Democrats that insisted both in the Bush administration and the Obama administration that enforcement be targeted on precisely dangerous criminals. People who posed a threat to the community and that's what we're --

BURNETT: So you would go through in sorts, the people who are getting released, you're going to check first?

PRICE: Of course.


PRICE: Of course, but we've just had an experience in North Carolina that indicates just how far off the rails this has gone, 200 people picked up, it looks like more or less at random in a direct retaliation as the administration said to the local policies to concentrate on local law enforcement. So enforcement is a problem and indiscriminate raids are a problem. And the number of beds they have available for interior enforcement does have an implication for that, that's what we're trying to get at but we're the ones who have insisted that enforcement focused on these dangerous people.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Congressman Price I appreciate your time. Thank you very much, sir.

PRICE: Okay. Thank you.

BURNETT: Obviously, as you can see the real hurdle there is still to come as to whether there's a shutdown on Friday. And next presidential hopeful, Kamala Harris, taking on critics who say she's not black enough.


KAMALA HARRIS, SENATOR OF THE UNITED STATES: I think they don't understand how black people are.


BURNETT: Plus, the top Republican Governor says he's leaving the door open to running against Donald Trump. So will you he? He's the name that so many are talking about, Larry Hogan, the governor of Maryland is OutFront. And a freshman Congresswoman now apologizing after facing bipartisan outrage over her tweets about Israel. End of story?


Breaking news, dueling rallies right now. The former Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke who's weighing a run for President is leading a march to counter President Trump's pro wall rally in El Paso. It's a busy night in Texas and it is a rally, Beto's at least, that has caught President Trump's attention.


TRUMP: We have a line that is very long already. I mean you see what's going on and I understand our competitors got a line too, but it's a tiny little line.


BURNETT: Is that new emoticon? Anyway, OutFront now, Patrick Haley political editor for The New York Times, Amy Kremer, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Women For Trump, and Karen Finney former Senior Spokesperson for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Patrick, okay, this is risky for Beto not just because the president is going to compare his lines but is this a stunt or is this a smart move in your view?

PATRICK HALEY, POLITICS EDITOR, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yes. I mean, I think Beto mean this is his hometown, this is an issue that he knows well, but he also is coming off of a Senate race and a career in Congress where he was seen as a moderate on a lot of issues, where he's relatively undefined politically. And by in appearances, at least, standing up to Trump in his hometown on the wall, speaking the truth about crime, and about safety, and sort of the limits of what a physical barrier can do in El Paso, he has the potential to appeal to progressives who may be a little suspect.

Beto is getting ready to announce his decision about running for President. There are a lot of signs that he's leaning toward at and the reality is he's going to have to very quickly start appealing to the progressive wing of the party that in Texas may it felt pretty good about him, but nationally may be suspect. So taking Trump on is one good way to do it.

BURNETT: Right, and you had a lot of people who would love that who may not necessarily think he's progressive enough. I mean, Karen, one of the things about Beto O'Rourke is that since he left Congress he's been blogging, right, he had the Senate run came close but not close enough, and then he took a road trip to Kansas. I mean, one of his blog post he wrote, "Have been stuck lately. In and out of a funk." By O'Rourke's own admission to Patrick's New York Times, it echoes his life in New York City when he was in early 20s. He described himself as stuck and in and out of a "funk."

Now, Karen, I hate to think of what this kind of a blog post would do to a woman's aspiration who is running for President. But we are talking about Beto O'Rourke, will this hurt him or not?

KAREN FINNEY, FORMER SENIOR SPOKESWOMAN, HILLARY FOR AMERICA: Well, I think it is a fair point to make that it would be received very differently from a woman and we would be having potentially a very different conversation. I do think regardless though Beto is going to - if he does decide to get into the race and frankly if he decides to run for any office further down the line, he's going to have to have some sort of explanation about what this time was about for him.

And there's one other thing I just would point out about his showing up at this event in Texas. Don't forget that the Texas primary is Super Tuesday, so if you're thinking about running for President you'll want to make sure you're reminding folks that you're still very popular in a key Super Tuesday State.

BURNETT: Right and, obviously, I know the Clinton campaign had had infamously position Texas as possibly a swing state and obviously that was not the case. Okay, Amy, let me ask you though, I just played the President, he referenced Beto's rally, that's perhaps the biggest compliment of all. Okay. He brought it up, he doesn't bring you up if he doesn't want to draw attention to you. But then talking about his tiny little lines, is that a sign that Beto is getting into the President's skin?

AMY KREMER, CO-FOUNDER & CO-CHAIR, WOMEN FOR TRUMP: I don't think so, Erin. I mean there's been a lot of talk about Beto being down there today and doing this rally.


And look, he wants to raise his name ID. He wants more recognition and he is part of this, I say younger generation but this crowd that uses social media is out there blogging, filming when he's at the dentist whatnot, and I think he's enamored with seeing himself out there. And that's okay, I mean, a lot of politicians are. I don't think it's a sign of him getting under the President's skin. But anybody that wants --

BURNETT: Well, Trump is currently watching. I mean, he brought him up.

KREMER: You're right. But anybody that wants to raise their name ID, you know that if you go after the President I mean he usually punches back and so it can raise your name ID.

BURNETT: All right, I want to talk about Kamala Harris, Patrick, because this is really interesting. Okay, today she was on a radio show and she addressed her race, which is a very interesting conversation and very personal to everybody but in her case she's supposed to be the black woman candidate. She was asked about it, here's what she said:


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of black people question if Barack was black enough, I see them doing the same thing to you, so what do you say to people questioning the legitimacy of your blackness?

HARRIS: I think they don't understand who black people are. So I'm not going to spend my time trying to educate people about who black people are, but I'm black.


HARRIS: And I'm proud of being black.


HARRIS: And I was born black, I will die black and I'm proud of being black. And I'm not going to make any excuses for anybody because they don't understand.


BURNETT: Karen, what do you say?

FINNEY: Well, I have to say this is a personal issue for me because I also happen to be biracial and I get this question all of the time, what are you, I get told I'm not black enough, and I sort of always ask the question, "Well, what does that mean?" And what I would really appreciated about her response is she is very comfortable with who she is, her blackness, the life that she has led, and that is the perspective from which she is going to answer questions and talk about issues.

And I think she was right, frankly, when she pointed out that raising this question as we saw with Barack Obama was a way to try to divide people and it was a way to try to say, "Well, is he black enough?" And to try to question what blackness is. And the thing that I would tell you that I find personally offensive when we have these conversations about this to somebody, it's like is she woman enough or is she tough enough as a woman.


FINNEY: Men, women, black people, Latinos, we don't just vote for people because we share the same gender or the same skin color. Don't think that just because she's a black woman she's going to automatically get the black vote. Black voters are going to hold all of the candidates accountable for their records and ask tough questions. Women don't just vote for women, women are going to be tough on all the candidates as well.

BURNETT: I mean, Patrick, how important is this going to be for her? I mean, that was a very impassioned and strong response. Obviously, she's responding to people saying, "Well, you're African-American. Your biracial. You're part of your families from Jamaica, part of them from India, you're not African-American in that sense." She's married to someone who's white. Is this going to go away or are people going to continue criticizing her unfairly?

HALEY: I think she gave a really strong response and if she sticks to that, she sounded, I know it sounds funny, but she sounded very human, very genuine. She was speaking ...

BURNETT: Well, it's how she sees herself from her heart.

HALEY: ... absolutely and that's the best - I think Karen can speak to this too, that is the best answer that a politician can give in this regard. I mean, if memes and trolls and people want to come after her or anyone else and sit in judgment of how they talk about their race and their heritage, that is always a part of the underbelly of a political conversation. But I think for a lot of voters, they're going to be paying more attention to policy and issues. And trying to relate to her and take her measure.

BURNETT: Whether she connects. I mean, because Amy this is going to be a big question for President Trump. I mean he is the one who started the whole birther thing with Barack Obama and times have changed and she is a different candidate, she was asked about it today, here's what she said.


HARRIS: Look, this is the same thing they did to Barack.


HARRIS: This is not new to us and so I think that we know what they're trying to do. They're trying to do what has been happening over the last two years which is powerful voices trying to sow hate and division among us. And so we need to recognize when we're being played.


BURNETT: I mean, does the President need to be more careful with her than he was when he started the whole birther thing?

KREMER: Well, Erin, he didn't started actually. Hillary Clinton's campaign started that.


KREMER: But at the end of the day ...


KREMER: ... at the end of the day, I believe that these candidates are going to be judged on their policies and platforms, what their ideology is and that is what people should ...

BURNETT: But would you advice them, Amy, to stay away from questioning ... KREMER: Stay away from what?

BURNETT: ... to stay away from questioning her who she is racially, how she defines herself as he did not do with Barack Obama.

KREMER: Listen, I think that every person out there and these candidates should be comfortable. I actually commend her for being comfortable in her own skin and standing up for who she is.


We all should be that way and I will say she is the one candidate that I think Republicans are under estimating. She worries me. As a woman, I like her. I don't like her policies, I certainly don't support Medicare for all, but as a woman that lives in suburban Atlanta I can see that she can get some traction and the Republicans better be paying attention.

BURNETT: All right, thank you all very much. And next, President Trump leveling a new and racist attack against Elizabeth Warren. Plus, why did the publisher of the National Enquirer want to know if it needed to register as a foreign agent?

New tonight, President Trump firing back at critics slamming him over leaked document that show 60% of his working hours are spent conducting what is called "executive time." The President firing saying, "No President ever worked harder than me (cleaning up the mess I inherited)." This comes though amid growing speculation that he may see a 2020 primary challenge perhaps from his own party as 2020 Democratic hopeful senator Elizabeth Warren suggests that Republicans may need a candidate in waiting because Trump, okay, could be behind bars.



ELIZABETH WARREN, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS: By the time we get to 2020, Donald Trump may not even be president. In fact, he may not even be a free person.


BURNETT: OK. OUTFRONT now, two-term Republican governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan.

And, Governor, I appreciate your time.

GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R), MARYLAND: Yes, thank you.

BURNETT: Look, your name is frequently mentioned, you know, a lot of people are holding out hope for you on the Republican side, someone who can challenge the president in a primary. What is the biggest reason that you would run?

HOGAN: Well, look, I'm flattered that people are talking about that, Erin, but I haven't as I said before, I haven't given much thought to that at all. I just was sworn in to my second term just a few weeks ago and I have every intention at this point of continuing to work as hard as I can for the people of Maryland. I think because of the fact that I've stood up and spoken out when I disagreed with things that the president was doing or saying, and because of some of the messaging that we have been doing in Maryland for the past four years, I think people are starting to talk about that more. But it's really not something that I have been behind.

BURNETT: So, all right. They are talking about it a lot. Bill Kristol, others are, you know, actively doing everything they can to get to you run. They see you as a moderate Republican that sees you as that great center in this country.

You have spoken out, Governor, as you said. You said you were disgusted by the last government shutdown. That was your word.

HOGAN: Right.

BURNETT: You wrote an op-ed today here at CNN in which you call for a permanent fix to DACA.

HOGAN: Right.

BURNETT: -- with the pathway to citizenship, which obviously not only puts you at odds with the president, in line with Democrats, you pull national guard troops from the border to protest the president's policy of separating kids from their families there. You said you rejected endorsements or donations from the NRA.

Do you think that those views are mainstream in the Republican Party or are you not even a Republican anymore?

HOGAN: Well, look, I had, have one of the highest approval ratings of any governor in America. I just was overwhelming reelected in one of the blue states in the country with 96 percent support from Republicans. I was a Ronald Reagan guy, chairman of Youth for Reagan. I have been involved in the party my whole life.

So I am a Republican. I may disagree with the president on some things, but my op-ed today was really focused on the dysfunction in Washington. It was really calling out both the president and the leaders in Congress for their failure to come one a solution that was directly impacting my state and nearly 200,000 Marylanders, many of them security personnel with the FBI and with the Coast Guard, with Homeland Security. You know, air traffic controllers, TSA agents and Secret Service agents who weren't getting paid.

And I'm just pushing to try to get a solution and, frankly, I think both the Republicans and the Democrats are equally at blame here, and I want to see the divisive, angry rhetoric stop and I want to see them sit down and try to negotiate a real, you know, bipartisan solution here.

BURNETT: Which we hope they'll do. I don't know if you heard at the top of the program, there is this holdup of detention beds. Obviously, we hope we don't have another one of these crises. But --

HOGAN: But we are four days away from another crisis, where 800,000 employees may not be getting paychecks.

BURNETT: And it's unacceptable if it happens. I mean, Governor, as you said a part of the reason you are being champions by Republicans who oppose the president is that you have not been afraid to criticize him. You have done it on many issues.

Some in your party though have gone out of their way, leaders in your party, right, have gone of their way to heap praise on him. Here's a few.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I am the happiest dude. We have a president and a national security team that I have been dreaming of for eight years.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I would be remiss if I first didn't thank you for being a champion for the cause of freedom and democracy in this hemisphere.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: I give President Trump a lot of credit. He put the American people ahead of politics. The president has been the only one who has been reasonable in these negotiations.


BURNETT: Governor, why are so many leaders in your party silent when it comes to taking on this president on issue after issue?

HOGAN: Look, I think some of the lead, all p actually agree with a number of these issues. Some folks I think maybe you know that I hear from that talk about they're not in agreement, they may be are afraid to speak out. I have not been afraid to.

But on the other hand, Erin, I haven't been one of these folks just out there trying to bash the president every day on every single issue. You know, I haven't been dying to get on CNN every night and just criticize the president.

I only when I feel like something really needs to be said and when I strongly disagree or where it's impacting my state and the people that I represent, then I usually say something about it.

But, look, I'm a governor. My job is to govern and to make decisions and the run the state of Maryland. I'm the vice chairman of the National Governors Association. And we work with Democrats and --

BURNETT: You have been clear on the moral basis that you have an issue with the morality and character that has been exhibited from the occupant of the White House?

[19:35:02] HOGAN: Well, I haven't ever been a supporter of the tone and some of the things the way things have been handled and the way things are being done and some of the things that have been said, there is no question about that.

BURNETT: When do you expect to make a decision governor, if you will run or not?

HOGAN: Look, I really have been focused on the state of Maryland and focused on trying to talk about how do we come one bipartisan common sense solutions? Because I'm concerned about the broken politics in America. It's the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. It's not just the president.

I mean, some of the angry rhetoric on the other side is just as bad. And most people in America are really completely frustrated with this angry divisive politics and they're really frustrated with this dysfunction in Washington, where nothing ever seems to get done and where they don't seem to really care about solutions. That's what frustrates me.

BURNETT: I want to ask you about Howard Schultz, obviously, he's mulling an independent bid. He's out there doing town halls across the country you know, and at first, all the Democrats are, oh my god, you got to get out, you're going to kill us, you're going to kill us here. But that is not necessarily what might happen.

Here's a former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and former independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, polar opposite views on Schultz. Here they are.


JOHN PODESTA, FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: I would think that, you know, Mr. Schultz would rather have as his legacy the fact that he became a billionaire selling frappuccinos than he helped getting Donald Trump reelected in the United States.

RALPH NADER, FORMER INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My guess is he will appeal to more Republican voters than Democratic voters.


BURNETT: Who do you think Schultz will hurt more, Trump or the Democrats?

HOGAN: You know, Erin, I'm not really a political pundit. So, I'd hate to venture a guess as to what Schultz's potential candidacy is going to -- how it's going to impact. I'm really just focused on trying to fix the broken politics and just talking about this one versus that one, Democrats fighting Republicans.

I want to talk about how we can change the dialogue, because none of it is really helpful. Look in Maryland, I'm in the one of the bluest states of America, two-thirds of both houses of my legislature, more than two-one Democratic state. We're getting things done, because we sit down together and we figure out a way, even if we disagree to not be disagreeable. We figure out a way to reach across the aisle and come up with bipartisan common sense solutions. That's not happening in Washington and that's what's really broken.

You know, I don't know whether the solution is on the Democratic -- every problem is on the Democratic side the Republican side or from somewhere else. But I think we ought to look at where the best ideas come from and we ought to stop with the finger pointing and you know the blame and just figure out, come up with solutions.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Governor, I hope more people will do that and hear your common sense and calm. Thank you.

HOGAN: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And, next, a freshman Democrat forced by party leaders to apologize for anti-Semitic tweets. And new questions tonight after "The National Enquirer" asks about registering as a foreign agent. Why would they need to do that? At what country are they an act agent of?


[19:41:48] BURNETT: Breaking news, freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar says she unequivocally, her word, apologizes for an anti-Semitic tweet she sent out. And moments ago, she made her first comment about it.


REPORTER: Do you regret your comments, Congresswoman?

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D), MINNESOTA: An issue that was stated to my statement.

REPORTER: Were you surprised by the criticism?

OMAR: Always surprised.

REPORTER: Are you worried about losing committee assignments?

OMAR: Absolutely not.


BURNETT: OK. The Minnesota Democrat faced intense backlash and Republicans calling out for her to be stripped of her committee assignments after the tweet.

Here's the tweet, quote: It's all about the Benjamins, baby. That's her tweet as she basically retweeted a tweet that suggested that the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy supported Israel only for campaign contributions.

So, when asked what Omar meant by all about the Benjamins, Omar tweeted, AIPAC, which is a prominent pro-Israeli lobbying group.

OUTFRONT now, CNN political commentators, Keith Boykin, former Clinton White House aide, and Scott Jennings, former special assistant to President George W. Bush. So, Keith, Omar says she apologizes, unequivocally. You just heard

her add to that. But obviously, she came out and said, unequivocally she's sorry. End of story?

KEITH BOYKIN, FORMER CLINTON WHTE HOUSE AIDE: I don't know if it's the end of the story. I think it's the right thing to do to apologize. I think regardless of what her intent was, the effect was harmful. I'm glad she acknowledged. She was learning through the process.

I think the truth is there must be some space to be critical of Israel, particularly Prime Minister Netanyahu on the West Bank and settlements and treatment of Palestinians without perpetuating stereotypes about Jews or anti-Semitic stereotypes.

But the real problem is that there is a double standard. Democrats hold their leaders accountable. Republicans don't. Republicans did not hold Donald Trump accountable when he posted a tweet about the Star of David over a pile of cash during the 2016 campaign attacking Hillary Clinton. They didn't hold Kevin McCarthy accountable when he did the whole George Soros, Mike Bloomberg, billionaires stealing the election.

BURNETT: I'll bring out in just a moment, yes. Of course, they did hold Steve King accountable.

But, Scott, what do you make -- I mean, is this now let's move on, she said she is unequivocally sorry, she went into detail. She said she didn't, you know, think about this as fitting into a stereotype, she's sorry, accept it. What do you say?

SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: No, I would not move on. I think she needs come off the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Her anti-Semitic views are well known. She's been spouting them since 2012. And Nancy Pelosi well knew how she felt when she put her on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which was a terrible assignment.

And she has continued with these views since becoming a member of Congress. I'm glad she was forced to apologize, but in her apology statement, she said, oh, I'm just now getting educated on the anti- Semitism and the anti-Semitic tropes. I'm sorry, you are 37-years- old, you are an elected member of Congress. You ought to know better. At a minimum, you ought not be on the House Affairs Committee.


BURNETT: Go ahead, Keith.

BOYKIN: What is the excuse for Donald Trump tweeting anti-Semitic Star of David over a pile of cash during the 2016 campaign? He's a grown man. What's the excuse for Kevin McCarthy tweeting the stereotypes about George Soros and Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg stealing election, three Jewish billionaires?

[19:45:02] That's an offensive and anti-Semitic. You know, I just --

BURNETT: The words she said were that George Soros and Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer were trying to buy the midterm elections, right, Scott? Which would be -- I mean, aren't we saying the same thing here?

BOYKIN: Let's have a consistent standard.


BURNETT: A lot of money to influence the election. Is he saying the same thing?

JENNINGS: Both parties have prominent Jewish donors. We have Sheldon Adelson that funds Republican stuff. There are prominent Jewish donors that fund Democratic stuff. That is not the issue.

And Donald Trump's record on supporting Israel, I'll put that up against Omar's rhetoric on any day.


BURNETT: He says buy an election. She says all about the Benjamins, what's the difference?

JENNINGS: The difference is she has a long history of making anti- Semitic remarks. She is a well-known supporter of the BDS movement. She is not -- I don't believe recognized Israel's right to exist. There is no --


BURNETT: Let him finish. And I'll give you a chance. Finish, Scott.

JENNINGS: There is nothing equivalent about these matters. This is a deflection point, because Democrats right now are reeling. They've got anti-Semitism in their ranks. They have racism in their ranks in Virginia, and they're trying to deflect this back on Republicans.

BOYKIN: Are you kidding me, Scott? Are you kidding me? The Republicans have been the party of divisiveness and racism and anti- Semitism and sexism and homophobia, all types of bigotry in this country.

Don't give me that double standard, yes, there are problems in the Republican Party and Democratic party. The difference is Republicans don't hold their leaders accountable, like you are not holding Mike -- holding Donald Trump accountable. You're not holding KJevin McCarthy accountable.

You want to hold Omar accountable. Yes, I'm going to hold her accountable. I said she should apologize, but you're not willing to do the same thing with your own party. That's itself the problem, American people can see through that, Scott.

BURNETT: Scott, the final word.

JENNINGS: Actually, I would say, that's not true. When Steve King made his remarks on this network they called for him to be stricken of his party.


JENNINGS: And I am saying the same thing, you should call on Omar to be stripped from the F Foreign Affairs Committee.

BOYKIN: It's been ten years, he's been promoting white supremacy for years, finally when it's called out. Just spare me the double standards and we can have a conversation.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both. I appreciate it.

And next, "The National Enquirer's" cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia under new scrutiny tonight. Why did the tabloids go all the way to the step of asking the Justice Department for advice about that relationship and being a foreign agent? Something Paul Manafort never seems to have done.

And take a close look at the people on these packaged military meals. Who do you see?


[19:51:34] BURNETT: New tonight, the publisher of the "National Enquirer" asked the Justice Department if they need to register as a foreign agent. You say, wait a minute, "The National Enquirer" a foreign agent? Well, it became because of this. This is actually part of the "National Enquirer", a glossy little magazine they put out called a new kingdom, which was a pawning issue of the "National Enquirer", all about how amazing Saudi Arabia is and that guy on the front, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, think Khashoggi.

This news coming after "The Washington Post" owner and Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, accused "The National Enquirer" of trying to blackmail him over explicit text to his mistress and eluded to a, quote, Saudi angle.

Brian Stelter is OUTFRONT.

I mean, this is -- you know, pretty strange stuff here. You know, in the context of people like Paul Manafort never registered as a foreign agent and now all these questions about what's going on with Saudi Arabia. What does the reporting say about the ties to Saudi Arabia?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, "The Enquirer" was working on this glossy, pro-Saudi magazine. There was no reason to make this magazine other than as a way to ingratiate themselves with the Saudis, to try to get financing or other favors from the Saudis.

Now, American Media says it never actually happened, never actually got any money from the Saudis. But it looked like they were trying. That's what this magazine was about. Obviously, they weren't interested in buying on the newsstand.

But the reason American Media reached out to the government and said, do we need to register as a foreign agent of the Saudis, because at the time, they were under legal review and scrutiny, Michael Cohen case, hush money payments case. So, the feds were already breathing down their neck. That's why American Media reached out to check about this.

We can show you the three-page letter from the government no, we don't think you need to register right now. Once again, American Media is back in legal trouble a year later. They have an immunity deal, thanks to the Michael Cohen case. They may have broken the law by trying to blackmail Jeff Bezos. So, once again, American Media back in legal trouble.

BURNETT: Back in legal trouble. Of course, their response is American Media does not nor have we ever had an editorial, financial ties to Saudi Arabia. That's absurd that they're putting out there, of course.

STELTER: That's right.

BURNETT: The attorney for David Pecker, who obviously the president is a long-time friend who's at the center of this, publisher of the "National Enquirer", was asked about this yesterday. Here's what he said.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Why did AMI, "National Enquirer", David Pecker publishes 100-page glossy about Saudi Arabia?

ELKAN ABRAMOWITZ, ATTORNEY FOR AMERICAN MEDIA CEO DAVID PECKER: That's a journalistic decision that they made. There's nothing illegal about it, nothing to do with anything that this investigation is about.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not an attempt to curry favor with Saudi Arabia?

ABRAMOWITZ: Not that I'm aware of. It was published. There were journalistic reasons for publishing it.


BURNETT: Journalistic reason.

STELTER: Come on. Officially, the reason was the crown prince was coming to the U.S. and American Media thought there would be a lot of interest in this trip but it's been about trying to curry favor. I think Bezos is trying to point to a Saudi angle. It's his attempt is to say he believes this is about geopolitics and political influence.

So, Erin, we're left with two theories and we don't know which one is right? Was this just about a guy who fell in love with the wrong woman, a man who was able to share these texts maybe through her brother? That was one theory. This was about a love affair gone wrong.

The other theory is Trump, Saudis and geopolitics. And, frankly, Erin, we just don't know which is accurate yet.

BURNETT: We don't know.

STELTER: Could be a mix of both.

BURNETT: It could be. It could absolutely be.

Thank you very much.

STELTER: Thanks.

BURNETT: And next, lots of attention tonight about the images on packaged military meals. Does the guy on the left look familiar?


[19:58:12] BURNETT: So, President Trump, is this you?

Here's Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A military meal ready to eat, brisket entree.

But are you ready to swallow this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, that looks President Trump on one side, looks like Kanye on the other side.

MOOS: Army Warrant Officer DJ Kramer (ph) was training in the California desert when he snapped a photo of his MRE and posted the brisket on a Facebook barbecue page. It ended up going viral in military circles with service members wondering why Donald Trump and Kanye are on their MREs.

Can't unsee, read one comment. Can't be, he had bone spurs, read another.

It's a little like spotting the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese where the image of a creepy man and an ultrasound of a testicular tumor.

Do you see anyone you know in there?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like our great president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That looks like Donald Trump and that looks like Barack Obama.

MOOS: Folks had a harder time putting a name to the other figure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. Martin Luther King? Somebody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no right answer. Could be Kanye.

MOOS: Kanye seemed a likely candidate to associate with President Trump, given their Oval Office love fest.

KANYE WEST, RAPPER: I put this hat on, it made me feel like superman.

MOOS: These particular MRE graphics have been in use for more than a decade. Army spokesman tells CNN: The persons pictured do not represent any government officials or entertainment personalities.

Did you actually eat this brisket?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes, definitely. Well, definitely wasn't a home-cooked meal that's for sure.

MOOS: Though he more poignantly posted tastes like (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Or as President Trump tends to post about anything he's on, it's the best brisket you'll ever eat.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: Great double shot there, Jeanne.

All right. Thanks for joining us.

Anderson starts now.