Return to Transcripts main page


Trump To Declare National Emergency To Fund His Border Wall; White House Official: "Details Are Done" On Trump's National Emergency Declaration To Fund Border Wall; MCCABE: Justice Officials Discussed Recruiting Cabinet Members To Remove President Trump from Office; McCabe: Talks Held At Justice Department About Removing Trump; Senator Kamala Harris Endorsed By Key Black Caucus Member; Comes As Harris Takes On Questions About Her "Blackness"; Voter On Kamala Harris: Just Because Someone Looks Like You, Doesn't Mean They're Going to Enact Policies That Benefit You; Kamala Harris Heads To South Carolina As She Faces Questions About Her "Blackness". Aired: 7-8p ET

Aired February 14, 2019 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, CNN: I'm Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room. Thanks very much for watching. Erin Burnett OutFront starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, ANCHOR, CNN: OutFront next breaking news, done the White House says the details for national emergency declaration are done. That's how Trump plans to get money for his wall. Plus, Senator Kamala Harris addressing questions head-on about her "blackness," but are voters hearing her? And the wife of one of Trump's top aides pushing a dangerous conspiracy theory that could put lives at risk, let's go OutFront.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight breaking news, national emergency after keeping the country on edge for days, the President says he will sign a bipartisan bill to keep the government open and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says that Trump "will also take other executive action, including a national emergency to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border."

Well, declaring a national emergency is what the President publicly has claimed he didn't want to do. He shut the government down for 35 days because he didn't want to do it, remember?


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not looking to call a national emergency.

I'd rather not do it. We can declare a national emergency. We shouldn't have to.


BURNETT: But he is and he's going against some of his own party to do it.


SUSAN COLLINS, REPUBLICAN, MAINE: I'm disappointed that the President has chosen to go this route.

MIKE ROUNDS , REPUBLICAN, SOUTH DAKOTA: The concern that we've got is that we not set new precedent.


BURNETT: As for Democrats, their message is, "We'll see you in court." Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer releasing a statement calling it a "lawless act and gross abuse of power."


NANCY PELOSI, DEMOCRAT, HOUSE SPEAKER: Did I ever say I was filing a legal challenge?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said Democrats.

PELOSI: I may. That's an option and we'll review our options.


BURNETT: So why is the President declaring a national emergency now when it was not a national emergency two years ago, two months ago or even two weeks ago. Well, first of all the President has been telling allies that Democrats outplayed Republicans on this whole deal. He wasn't getting all of the wall. Now, with the national emergency, he might actually win.

Steve Vladeck, a constitutional law expert tells us there will be lawsuits and those lawsuits, here's the key, could take two to three years to resolve. What does that get you through? 2020, right? And that's great for Trump because during the entire election he gets to keep this.


TRUMP: We are going to build a great border wall.

We will build the wall.

We're going to build the wall, don't worry.


BURNETT: Right? No deliverable to measure against, it's just he's still fighting for you. Abby Phillip is OutFront live outside the White House. And Abby, is this all about President Trump trying to save face with his base?

ABBY PHILLIP, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Erin, given the last couple of days it would have been very difficult for President Trump to declare this as a win considering it's so much less than he wanted, that $5.7 billion. It's even less than he could have gotten back in December if he'd accepted $1.6 billion and he was getting so much heat from some of his allies and conservative media over the last few days that sources tell us that White House aides started to reach out to them urging them to back the President up in supporting this bill.

Now ultimately today was really the deciding day for the President. He sat in the Oval Office with his aides going over the details of this bill and there was a point during this day when many of his aides believed that he might not sign the bill. All of the pressure from those conservative allies and the reality frankly that this really was not a good deal for him was causing him to want to reject it.

But what ended up happening later this afternoon, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader called the President, they had a conversation about the bill. The result of that conversation was Mitch McConnell going to the floor and saying the President is going to support this and he is also going to declare a national emergency. McConnell dropped his opposition to a national emergency, essentially clearing the way for President Trump to support this bill. But up until the last few hours, this was a very, very close call.

The President is not wrong when he sees this as a bad deal. I think many of his allies would recognize that. And to your point, he wants to actually build the wall. He knows that it's unlikely to happen with this bill or even with a national emergency. The next best thing is being able to fight for the wall for the next several years, and I think that's ultimately what's going to happen here, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Abby. Thank you very much. And I want to go now to the Assistant House Speaker, Democratic Congressman Ben Rays Lujan from New Mexico. And I appreciate your time congressman. Good to have you back.


BURNETT: So White House is confirming President's going to sign the bill, the deal you all worked on, but he thought it was a loser so he's going to declare a national emergency to try to get that wall money. Your reaction?

LUJAN: Well, there's a few concerns with the President's announcement this evening. Number one there are many House Democrats and Republicans in both the House and the Senate that have said that they oppose the President's use of an emergency declaration. Number two, this is fraught with legal challenges.


And number three, the President is trying to circumvent not just the Congress but also the American people when you look at the will that has been abundantly clear coming out across America. And he's trying to say, "Hey, when Mexico was going to pay for this," remember when the President promised that, now he wants to put this on the back of the American taxpayer. So this is fraught with problems, fraught with challenges and again I just can't understand why the President just can't let go. Let's work together in a bipartisan way, make smart modern investments when it comes to our border security.

BURNETT: So Nancy Pelosi, you know I mentioned she and Chuck Schumer said, "This was an abuse of power. It was lawless." And she is threatening a lawsuit. Here she is.


PELOSI: We will review our options. We're prepared to respond appropriately to it. I know the Republicans had some unease about it no matter what they say.


BURNETT: Well, plenty of them are saying that. We just heard a couple of them including Rounds and Collins. Do you think some Republicans will actually stay on your side, Congressman, and fight this or no?

LUJAN: Well, one, the speaker has been very clear through this entire process and again I support Speaker Pelosi full heartedly with the options that she will be exploring. Number two, I'm hopeful that Republicans will join us in this pursuit as well as we look at different options. And three, Congressman Castro was clear earlier today that he will be introducing a resolution if the President decides to move forward with a declaration of an emergency which then creates some additional legislative tools that we have at our disposal.

BURNETT: So the question though is do you think the President could win here? So he gets to go to his base and say, "I did everything I could. I didn't want to shut the government down, so I signed it but I'm going to go this route and I'm going to fight it in court." So then he gets his rally, he gets another boogeyman in the courts, he also is off the hook when it comes, Congressman, to actually proving that a wall works. It doesn't have to say, "Oh, guess what, the numbers are in. People are coming over. Drugs are still coming in." He doesn't actually have to fight those stats. Is he going to end up a winner here?

LUJAN: I do not believe so, Erin. The American people have been very clear about their position on this. They do not support the President's use of an emergency declaration. The American people have been abundantly clear that they did not support the President Trump's shut down over the last 35 days that hurt American families, 800,000 federal employees, almost 600,000 federal contractors, small businesses, local governments.

So again I do not believe that the President is going to come out a winner on this, but this isn't even about the President. This should be about the American people and about the national security of our country going forward and determining how we can work in a bipartisan basis to solve problems and prevent shutdowns. And the President just went on a rant right before the Senate was about to vote, creating more controversy which is really what he's about.

BURNETT: The money that's in there is what 55 miles or 60 miles of wall, how quickly will that be built?

LUJAN: Well, look, as we look at the dollars identified for this package we will be working to ensure that there's proper oversight so that the dollars are not being misspent and we'll see what the President puts forth. But in the end, I think our members of the Intelligence Committee are going to have an important role in conjunction to the oversight members and appropriators so that we can get to the bottom of what he may be talking about with trying to take money from those military installations in conjunction to what he's going to be doing with the movement of infrastructure.

The priority should be on the ports of entry and if the President is going to take advantage of these important modern investments, let's do everything we can with the tension of prioritizing ports of entry, scanning capabilities, modern technology, 3,000 customs officers, and also the judges and humanitarian responsibilities.

BURNETT: Just to be clear though, Congressman, you don't seem to have - there's no bird in hand, there's nothing to stop him from doing this immediately. I mean you guys you're going to fight it but there's nothing to stop it immediately, right?

LUJAN: The Congress does have oversight responsibilities and we will conduct ourselves in a very diligent manner, not just associated with ...

BURNETT: I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. I mean the national emergency.

LUJAN: Oh, look, well if the President determines to issue a declaration of emergency tonight, as the Speaker said there are several tools at our disposal whether they'd be legislative or in the courts and we will be exploring those immediately to see what we must do to ensure that we come together as a Congress. Again, Democrats and I hope Republicans join us in stopping him, especially those that have already voiced their concerns with what he is threatening to do again.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Congressman Lujan. I appreciate your time tonight.

LUJAN: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next the former FBI Acting Director says there were discussions in the justice department about forcing Trump out of office. And now the President fighting back tonight. Plus, Senator Kamala Harris campaigning for the black vote, but do voters like what they're hearing from her? And nearly a week after the President gets physical, the White House just releasing the results and I have them here, things like his height, and his weight and a whole lot of other things not there. Sanjay Gupta is OutFront.


Tonight, President Trump tearing in to fired former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe confirming publicly for the first time that there were high-level discussions at the Justice Department about recruiting cabinet members, cabinet members who will then use the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.

Now, this happened after the President fired FBI Director Jim Comey. According to CBS' Scott Pelley who has interviewed McCabe, high-level DOJ officials actually talked about which cabinet members might be willing to go ahead with the idea. So it got very specific according to McCabe's rendition. McCabe also explaining why he ordered an investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice and into whether there was any collusion with Russia.


ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER ACTING FBI DIRECTOR: I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground in an indelible fashion that were - I removed quickly or reassigned or fired that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace.



BURNETT: Well, that case became the Mueller investigation. President Trump firing back today at McCabe "Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a poor little angel when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax, a puppet for Leakin' James Comey." Emphasis is mine. And he went on OutFront.

David Gergen, former Adviser to Four Presidents, Joan Walsh, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation and James Trusty former Chief of the Organized Crime Section and Department of Justice longtime friend of the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who I want to make sure if anyone out there is going, "Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait his version." Yes, he factors prominently into this and we will get to that in just a moment.

All right, David, let me start with you though. First, Scott Pelley sat down with McCabe, we've seen parts of it, he also says that McCabe explains that all of this happened, this whole - whether they're going to get rid of Trump in the eight days from when Jim Comey was fired to when the Robert Mueller was appointed as Special Counsel. So it's an eight day window during which this happened. And this is a big thing to talk about happening in such a short window, what could have made them think they needed to take such extraordinary and quick action?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER ADVISER TO FOUR PRESIDENTS: Well, I think that they found the President's behavior unprecedented and they were really worried about - I remember how worried we were in Watergate that the pillars of justice might be coming down. So I can understand why they might feel that way. I do think we have to acknowledge up front though that McCabe's testimony has or his credibility has been tarnished in the recent past by his statements, repeated statements to the Inspector General at the Justice Department that the IG concluded he wasn't telling the truth and they refer to the federal prosecutors. He's also put to --

BURNETT: Right, this was in terms of his role of leaking to the Wall Street Journal, yes.

GERGEN: And, yes, leaking and now he's selling the book which is - all of that rose into this, but having said that, the fundamentals of what he's talking about occurring in those eight days, as you say, actually confirm what the New York Times had discovered on it with its own reporting sometime earlier. So it's not as if he's way out there in the ether making things up.

The New York Times did find sources that said that maybe McCabe was one of them, but they had to have more than one. And it's also true - it's just difficult to remember a time when two successive attorneys, FBI directors concluded that a President of the United States was likely engaged in the form of obstruction.

BURNETT: So James let me ask you about this because when it comes to this whole using the 25th Amendment to eject President Trump, the stunning and incredible thing to even think about being discussed. Obviously, McCabe says it happened. McCabe says that this happen. He had written a memo and said that Rod Rosenstein was part of the conversation about the 25th Amendment and went so far as to say the Rod Rosenstein suggested wearing a wire to record the President. Rosenstein, of course, disputed it and the Justice Department says he was just being sarcastic if that happened at all.

McCabe according to Pelley says this was not sarcastic, this was reality. What do you make of this? I mean, is it possible that both things could be true? Rosenstein didn't really mean it, but McCabe thought he did?

JAMES TRUSTY, FORMER CHIEF OF THE ORGANIZED CRIME SECTION, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: I don't think so with McCabe's track record. I mean, David touched on it. This is a guy who has been fired with a disgraceful situation of leaking and lying about it. He even lied to the IG about what the IG people had told him. He's hawking a book. He's facing a possible criminal charge, so just on its face hearing it from McCabe no matter how many times he repeats it, the 60 minutes with the New York Times, that doesn't amplify it. That doesn't make it more accurate that he keeps talking about it.

The flipside is Rod Rosenstein is not an idiot. He would not be sitting there talking about the 25th Amendment which is dealing with Presidents who are incapacitated not just unpopular or mean or full of tweets and he wouldn't ever give it even a moment's thought as an actual viable way to get rid of a sitting President. So, again, McCabe's credibility is one problem but Rod's stature is another reason why I would never jump ahead and accept any of that nonsense as a true story.


JOAN WALSH, NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, THE NATION: I don't know enough about the 25th Amendment, nobody does. It's never been used. So on one level I agree with James to the extent this might not have been an appropriate use of the 25th Amendment. They are saying the President is corrupt. There is mounting evidence that the President is corrupt, but then it's a matter for impeachment. I think the thing at the end of the day we have a lot of gossipy

things in here that he talks like a mob boss, actually we know that because he does that on his tweets when he calls people rats and he threatens Michael Cohen's father-in-law. But it seems like Andrew McCabe is documenting as David said a lot of things we already know from his point of view and that he shows us how we got to what was the right place to get to.


Not the 25th Amendment but the Robert Mueller investigation which took it out of the hands of the FBI, going back to the Hillary Clinton investigation, this was a tangled mess and it was the right thing to get it to Mueller and so in that sense McCabe did the right thing. He may have done some wrong things.

BURNETT: Yes. I mean, but James you're going so far as saying McCabe is just lying and making all this up that the 25th Amendment conversation just never happened.

WALSH: I find that hard to believe.

BURNETT: I mean it seems like kind of crazy thing to think someone would just like make it up out of thin air especially to David's point when the New York Times would have had that more than one source, so say McCabe is one, then there's at least one more.

TRUSTY: Well, look, Rosenstein knows the law. He's not wearing a wire to meet with the President. He's not even considering for a moment that the 25th Amendment gives anyone leverage to get rid of a sitting President. So against both sides of the equation, McCabe has a checkered history. He's in a mode ...

BURNETT: But you think it's - I mean, I don't know Andrew McCabe but you're saying is he could have really made it up, I mean because it's pretty specific. He's saying the guy - offering to wear a wire.

TRUSTY: No, I think I've been pretty clear about it. I mean look this is a guy who was found to have lied multiple times to the Inspector General. He has an incentive whether it's avoiding a criminal prosecution that's still possibly pending or selling a book to start deflecting and throwing things off on other people. So friendly interviewers don't make it true.

BURNETT: Yes, go ahead, David.

GERGEN: I just want to make a point, it's my understanding that he wrote contemporaneous memos after various events, various discussions.

BURNETT: That's true.

GERGEN: And that what The Times has reported, they saw at least one of those memos in their report about the conversations about the 25th Amendment and about wearing a wire where actually in a contemporaneous memo that suggests there's more truth to this than perhaps we're arguing here. WALSH: I mean I also think we're getting a little bit sidetracked

around this one issue of the 25th Amendment and I'm willing to believe James that Rod Rosenstein would never do this. It does sound rather crazy, but that's not the main point of what he's revealing to us. He really is revealing to us the chaos and the reaction on the part of career FBI folks a lot of whom were registered Republicans. I guess McCabe deregistered at some point like a lot of Republicans did in 2016.

But their reaction as law enforcement people - to the President's continued meddling to his unprofessional behavior, the things that we hear about in that phone call where he asks, "How does your wife feel about being a loser? She's such a loser." That actually rings kind of familiar. But to get beyond the gossip it's a portrait of this agency in chaos and people trying to do figure out what the right thing is to do with this President. 25th Amendment maybe not, but Mueller, yes.

BURNETT: All right, thank you all very much. I appreciate it. And next, Senator Kamala Harris facing questions about her race.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of black people question if Barack was black enough. I see them doing the same thing to you.

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


BURNETT: And just in, the results of President Trump's annual physical. It's a pretty sparse list though. Dr. Sanjay Gupta on what it tells us and perhaps most important what it does not.


Tonight, 2020 candidate, Democratic candidate, Senator Kamala Harris scoring her biggest endorsement so far from Congresswoman Barbara Lee who is a powerful member of the Congressional Black Caucus. This is as Harris is headed to South Carolina to court black voters, early primary state, Kyung Lah is OutFront.



DAVID BOWMAN, SOUTH CAROLINA DRIVER: Columbia South Carolina is home.


LAH: Long-haul driver David Bowman spends hours listening to news radio. This week, this army veteran is hearing Senator Kamala Harris talk about a critical issue for him, race.


How are you feeling about Kamala Harris?

BOWMAN: I think eight years of Obama just showed us, definitely proved to us that just because the person looked like you don't mean they're going to enact policies that's going to benefit you.

DJ NV: Good morning, everybody. It's DJ NV ...


LAH: What gives him pause ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Kamala Harris, how are you?

HARRIS: I'm very well. Good morning. Good morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome back ...


LAH: It is this exchange on morning radio ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's 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.


LAH: Racial identity has followed Harris even before she announced her candidacy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this country after what Trump has unleashed and what we have seen ready for the first woman of color President?

HARRIS: Absolutely.


LAH: On her book tour, an audience outburst.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about Black people? What about Black people, Kamala?


LAH: And at her first news conference after announcing ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you describe yourself?

HARRIS: How do I describe myself, I describe myself as a proud American.

BOWMAN: She would not say she's an African-American woman. She would not say she's a black woman. Words matter.


LAH: And perhaps as a nod to that sentiment, Harris on that radio program this week underscored ...


HARRIS: ... but I'm black ...


HARRIS: ... and I'm proud of being black.


HARRIS: And I was born black, I will die black.


LAH: But she's not just a black woman say Harris to supporters. They believe she represents an increasingly diverse America.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... run from who she is and the truth is our strength is our diversity and she knows how to use that.

AJAY BHUTORIA, HARRIS SUPPORTER: This election is about America to preserve our values, our heritage, and our culture and who we are.


LAH: The entry of a biracial woman in Presidential race is why Erica and Dewayne Patmon brought their three children to meet Harris at a book reading.


ERIKA PATMON, HARRIS SUPPORTER: She's going to represent everyone which is what I think we're lacking right now is representation for our country on a whole.


LAH: That may be overlooking the undercurrent of black skepticism of Harris's career as a prosecutor and California's Attorney General. The NAACP says black Americans are incarcerated at more than five times a rate of white Americans.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that she does have to address that because that's a really important issue in our - in the black community.


LAH: Bowman says he needs to hear Harris talk more boldly about her agenda for black voters before he votes for her.

(on camera): Got to work for it.

DAVID BOWMAN, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: Man, she got a lot of work to do. We are serious. We are looking for policies to help us. Help our schools. Help our communities. Help our children.


LAH: Harris, since she has declared, has been talking about criminal justice reform, education access and she has said that the black agenda is everyone's agenda. Erin, she continues to make that case to South Carolina black voters who make up the Democratic base here tomorrow when she lands here for another campaign swing -- Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right. Kyung, thank you.

And now, former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, Ryan Costello, and Democratic strategist, Keith Boykin.

Keith, it's so fascinating. So much is how you define yourself but when you're running, it's how others define you that can matter the most when it comes to winning. You just heard David say she would not say she's a black woman, of course, she then subsequently said, I'm a black woman and I'm proud of it. I will die that way.

But you heard that skepticism. What's drying that?

KEITH BOYKIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I remember the same thing happened Barack Obama in 2007 when he announced his campaign. African-Americans were skeptical. He had a funny name like Kamala. They had difficulty knowing about his background because he had a Kenyan father and she has a Jamaican father. He's a -- he was a freshman senator. She's a freshman senator.

They weren't well-known household figures and so there's some difficulty trying get people to adjust to you, but Obama didn't become popular in the African-American community until he won Iowa. Most blacks in 2007 and early 2008 supported Hillary Clinton. It was after he won the Iowa caucus is when the African-American vote shifted to him.

BURNETT: So, Congressman Costello, obviously it matters a lot. I mean, when you look at these crucial states in 2016, low black voter turnout. It could have made the difference, right? Hillary Clinton could have been president if that turnout had been different.

RYAN COSTELLO (R-PA), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin in particular. Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

BURNETT: So now you have a Democratic field which has two strong black candidates, one very well maybe on the top or bottom of this ticket. How important is that going to be? You say that and say oh, that doesn't necessarily mean turn out. You just saw that piece.

COSTELLO: I think the reason Hillary Clinton didn't win leaving aside the Comey memo was the failure to reproduce the Obama coalition. Trump took more voters from the Obama coalition than Hillary took from Romney.

I want to say this about 2020 Democratic politics and I'm a Republican. Difficult to really look at the entire field and do a complete assessment until we know what Joe Biden does. But having said that, I think she's answered the questions gracefully and if you're someone, I'm white, but if you're someone of Indian and African-American, you know --

BOYKIN: And she's also got this issue, too, because she's not the only African-American candidate in the race with Cory Booker in the race.

BURNETT: And also does it matter, African-American as opposed to being black? She's Jamaican Indian.

BOYKIN: She's black. Put it that way. She calls herself black. She went to Howard University, was a historically black college. She's a member of AKA sorority, which is a black sorority.

She has her headquarters in Baltimore and she had her kickoff in Oakland. Two black cities. She's going town to South Carolina. She just did the breakfast club. She's making it clear she's trying to go after black votes. They'll determine who's going to win the Democratic primary just as they were instrumental the last two cycles as well.

COSTELLO: And the same point, if you're a Democrat, the last thing you want to do as any candidate is be perceived as leaning into what might term identity politics, right? You want to represent the entire country. So I think the way she answers questions is trying to reflect to be --

BOYKIN: Probably works better on the Republican side. The Democratic primary, you want to be clear that you're also representing particular interests as well as the American public. So she has to make sure that she communicates to African-American Americans. She can't take the vote for granted.

BURNETT: Congressman, you know, the president told "The New York Times," he's focus on her. That's clear. He's talked about her crowds. That's an important indicator of who he's focused on. He said she had a better opening act than the others, better crowd,

better enthusiasm. How much do opening acts matter at this point?

COSTELLO: Well, number one, I think everybody agrees that it was probably the best of the openings.


COSTELLO: I think it, it allows you to build a stronger narrative moving forward. But these candidates are going to get tested ever single week. It's going to go up and down. It's very much going to be a horse race.

But a strong opening indicates that you have taken the time to hone your message. Build the right coalitions and, frankly, just put on a good event. Running a presidential campaign can a production.

BURENTT: Well as Trump has shown better than anyone in history, it is so much about choreography.

[19:35:01] Keith, I have to ask you something, because Representative Lee is how I began this. She is backing Harris. Fine, she's from California. Makes sense.

But she matters in California politics. California used to not matter in a sense. No offense, you were so late in the primary cycling. Now, they're on Super Tuesday. California matters.

They have 400 Democratic delegates up for grabs. Kamala Harris is from California. I mean, this could be one of the most crucial things, right?

BOYKIN: Being from California doesn't guarantee you're going to win California, but gives her a leg up. It definitely over other candidates. And she's actually won statewide in California, so that helps.

Barbara Lee's impact is critical, because she represents the progressive wing of the party and people have doubts about whether Kamala Harris is from that wing, so having Barbara Lee, who everyone knows is progressive on your side, will definitely help Kamala Harris in California and perhaps in other states as well.

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

And next after six days, the White House finally releasing this bare bones report on the president's physical. What took so long and what is missing?

Plus, the wife of one of Trump's top advisers continuing to push false and dangerous claims that could put lives at risk.


DARLA SHINE: Now we've got to vaccinate our kids for the chickenpox? What's wrong with having the chickenpox? It's ridiculous. (END AUDIO CLIP)


BURNETT: New tonight, the White House finally releasing the results of President Trump's annual physical, six days after it took place.

OUTFRONT now, our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and cardiologist to former Vice President Dick Cheney, Dr. Jonathan Reiner.

Thanks to both.

So, Sanjay, let me start with you. You know, it's really short. Just a couple of paragraphs here, things like height and weight. What's in here or not in here?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You're right. The kind of compared to last year where you got a more detailed report and hour long press conference. Let me show you what we see this year. Compare that to last year. They give pretty basic stuff. Height, weight, cholesterol and his good cholesterol, bad cholesterol and the bottom his cholesterol medication on his Crestor, the dosage was increased from 10 milligrams to 40 milligrams.

When you look at the height and weight and calculate the BMI, the president now falls into the obese category. So his BMI is over 30. He was borderline obese last year. Total cholesterol went down, which is to be expected with the medication.

But that's what you're seeing here. You remember he had many other tests last year including an echocardiogram of his heart, a stress test, a cognitive exam, and coronary calcium scan. There's not necessarily a reason to do these tests every year by any means.

But we have no mention of these tests if he had them done or any other tests of his heart. That coronary calcium scan wasn't part of his record last year either. They only revealed that when they were questioned about that.

BURNETT: And you were the one who questioned about that.

I want to ask about that because that's crucial. I want to ask you, you were saying look, why is this taking so long? Your tweet was it's been four days since the president underwent his annual physical exam and still no data has been released. What are they hiding?

Here we are, six days later, we got them. Did you get that question and answer? What are they hiding or do you still wonder what's there?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CARDIOLOGIST TO FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: Well, it took almost a week to release really very basic data. And what the president's physician stated in this note is that 11 specialists as he calls them, board certified, examined the president, which would be not atypical for a yearly presidential exam. Yet we have no knowledge of the kinds of specialties that evaluated the president.

We have no knowledge of the kinds of examinations that the president underwent last week and this is really crucial data to get a sense for the health of the most powerful man in the world. I think the public deserves greater transparency than this.

BURNETT: I mean, Sanjay, when you take that into account along with the questions you're raising about these tests, but given the questions do we need to know more, you know, last year, you had that change in the press conference, right, where you asked about heart disease and the president's former doctor, at that time, former Ronnie Jackson, overall came out and spoke about the president in pretty strange way. Here he is.


DR. RONNY JACKSON, PHYSICIAN TO THE PRESIDENT: President's overall health is excellent. It's called genetics. I don't know. Some people have you know just great genes. You know, I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 year, he might live to be 200 years old. Just the way God made him.


BURNETT: I mean, it was like a caricature last year, Sanjay. This one is much more understated. Quote, very good health overall. But again, no details and certainly not on the coronary side as you were focused on.

GUPTA: Yes. I mean I think part of this is obviously subjective, but you're saying someone is in very good health and they expect the person will stay in good health for the duration of the presidency, sort of predicting the future here, despite the fact that someone, the president of the United States in this case, is now not borderline obese, but obese, is taking these cholesterol lowering medications, has had abnormal test results with regard to his heart in the past.

I don't know. I asked the question of Dr. Jackson. I would have asked the same question of Dr. Connolly. You know, how do you characterize that as being in very good or even excellent health as Dr. Jackson called it last year?

I think it's -- I don't know. Some of it is subjective. It's not absolutes, but I think it's hard to reconcile those two things.

BURNETT: And, Dr. Reiner, we know he's on cholesterol medication and it seems to have done what it was supposed to do. Last year, though, Dr. Jackson said that Trump and he talked about losing ten to 15 pounds.

[19:45:00] Obviously it went up four pounds, went the other direction. He is clinically obese.

Do you think the president has heart disease, Dr. Reiner?

REINER: Well, the president has demonstrable coronary artery disease. This was really disclosed last year when his calcium score, coronary calcium score, identified calcifications in the coronary arteries. But what we know from look at his labs this year, he had a relatively small benefit from the Crestor. His LDL dropped a modest amount and for someone with his risk factor, we would be targeting an LDL now less than 70 and his LDL was 122.

What's interesting to me is that this is not sort of a typical exam where somebody comes to my office now and I'll see them maybe in a year. The president has physicians with him all the time. And when you make a medication adjustment, this particular patient has ready availability of labs. I'm wondering why only now is apparent that he hasn't really had a robust effect of Crestor.

BURNETT: Thank you very much. Both of you. Appreciate your time.

GUPTA: Thank you.


BURNETT: And next, the wife of a top Trump adviser, the communications director, Bill Shine, pushing a false conspiracy theory, one that could cause lives.

Plus, Jeanne Moos on President Trump's $50,000 virtual golf course inside the White House. So what does this have to do with executive time?


[19:50:26] BURNETT: Tonight, the wife of a top presidential adviser is pushing a false and dangerous claim. The wife of White House communications chief Bill Shine, Darla, is peddling anti-vaccination falsehoods, tweeting the entire baby boom population alive today had the measles as kids. Bring back our childhood diseases. They keep you healthy and fight cancer. It's blatantly not true.

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is OUTFRONT to fact check an issue that we care a lot about on this program.


DARLA SHINE: Now we got to vaccinate our kids for the chicken pox. What's wrong with having the chicken pox? It's ridiculous.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Darla Shine, the wife of White House communications chief Bill Shine has publicly broadcast her anti-vaccination beliefs for years, first on their blog, the Happy Housewives Club, and then on her talk radio show that was broadcast in the late 2000s on 100 stations around the country.

After a CNN show aired Wednesday on the current measles outbreak sweeping Washington state, Shine took to Twitter again. The entire baby boom population alive today had the measles as kids. Bring back our childhood diseases. They keep you healthy and fight cancer.

But doctors say Shine is just flat-out wrong. First, childhood diseases killed massive numbers of children before vaccines came out. The CDC says 500 people a year used to die in the U.S. from measles alone.

As for the part about cancer, Shine is referring to this CNN story from 2014. Doctors thought a genetically modified measles virus might fight cancer, but it actually didn't work for most of the patients. And last year, the lead researcher at the Mayo Clinic, he told the "Minneapolis Star Tribune" his research failed to live up to hopes.

Shine tweeted again, saying many of the children sickened with measles in Washington state had been vaccinated when younger, but again, she is flat-out wrong. Out of the 54 measles cases in Washington, only one had been vaccinated. This doesn't surprise doctors since the vaccine is 97 percent, not 100 percent, effective.

Shine didn't stop there. She went on to extol the benefits of having childhood diseases, saying that childhood vaccinations don't deliver life-long natural immunity.

For the third time, Shine is just wrong. Vaccines do offer life-long immunity, and without the risk of getting the disease and possibly dying.

So, does Mrs. Shine's missing information matter? Doctors worry that her husband shares her beliefs and could influence the president, who already appears to be predisposed against vaccines.

Here is a 2014 tweet from Trump. Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes, autism. Many such cases.

Again, flat-out wrong. Study after study has debunked that belief. The fact is vaccines do not cause autism.


COHEN: Darla Shine seems nostalgic for diseases like the measles. What she forgets is the price of these diseases is sometimes death. She survived the measles, but many others did not -- Erin.

BURNETT: Thank you very much. And, of course, note, she did vaccinate her own children. It's unbelievable to hear people saying that sort of thing. Vaccines save lives.

OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on why President Trump no longer has to leave the White House to hit the links.


[19:58:06] BURNETT: Trump can reportedly now take a mulligan in the privacy of the White House.

Here's Jeanne.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For the golfer in chief in need of at-home stimulation, how about a little simulation? President Trump installed a room-sized golf simulator at the White House says "The Washington Post." So what do you get for about 50,000 bucks?

ANNOUNCER: Feel the realism. Play favorites such as Pebble Beach and St. Andrews in your custom-built enclosure.

MOOS: You can improve your swing, measure your ball speed, your shot distance.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those hands can hit a golf ball 285 yards.

MOOS: Yes, well in a simulator, it will fly only a few yards.

But before critics club the president over the head over this, consider.

"The Post" says President Trump paid for the simulator out of his own pocket. He actually upgraded an existing less sophisticated simulator that President Obama had installed.

Back in the '50s, President Eisenhower had a putting green built on the south lawn that subsequent presidents used. President Obama and Bill Murray practiced putting into a glass in the Oval Office, while President Nixon held an ashtray for Bob Hope to aim at. Nixon even had a bowling alley even built in the White House. You can't pin that on Trump.

Though the golf simulator inspired Stephen Colbert to tweet: Sorry, Mar-a-Lago, but you should have known the president would cheat on you too.

Commented someone else, he is probably installing his own McDonald's branch in there next.

Imagine a White House room carpeted with turf.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just need that killer ultimate man cave.

MOOS: Why putter around the White House when you can actually putt in your man cave? When you hear this noise emanating from the White House late at night, you'll know whose still up.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

TRUMP: Because I'm going to be working for you. I'm not going to have time to go play golf.

MOOS: -- New York.


BURNETT: And thank you for joining us.

Anderson starts now.