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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Investigation Launched As Fire Guts Notre Dame Cathedral; Iconic Spire Lost, Firefighters Race To Save What's Left; Fire Rips Through Notre Dame Cathedral; Iconic Spire Lost, Roof Has Collapsed, But Bell Towers "Safe"; Firefighters Race To Save What Remains Of Notre Dame Cathedral; Investigation Launched As Fire Guts Notre Dame Cathedral; Iconic Spire Lost, 400 Firefighters Race To Save What's Left; Congressional Investigators Subpoena Deutsche Bank For Info On Trump; Comes As WH Braces For Mueller Report Release. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired April 15, 2019 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Powerful reporting from Nima Elbagir. Nima, thank you so much for the excellent, excellent work. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, the breaking news, catastrophe, Notre Dame in ruin tonight as a massive fire ravages the world treasure. Prosecutors now launching an investigation. And more breaking news this, House committees issuing subpoenas for Deutsche Bank. The bank that loans Trump billions when no one else would lend him money. And Bernie Sanders supporting Trump supporters, will it work? Let's go out front.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, French prosecutors launching an investigation into the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. The fire burning for more than six hours. Notre Dame, of course, one of the most well known and visited landmarks in the world and today the cathedral's spire collapsed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no.
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BURNETT: The world watching these terrible moments, hundreds of firefighters battling the flames, but there was almost nothing they could do and now the extent of the damage is just starting to become clear. Just take a look at this image. It's an unbelievable thing to see. That is the fire raging blaze. Parisians gathering through the night to wait and on this holiest week for Catholics to pray and sing.
The iconic Cathedral of Notre Dame is 850 years old, 850 years old and yet the fire consumed the holy structure in mere hours. The President of France Emmanuel Macron moments ago spoke live outside the blaze.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE(through interpreter): The place where we have live through our great moments, epidemics, wars, liberations, it is the epicenter of our life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Joining us now live from Paris our Nic Robertson. And Nic, we're just getting these images in. That image from the air. It almost looks like the flame looks like lava. I mean what is the latest that you are learning about the cause of the fire?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: What we know so far is that there was construction work going on. The belief at the moment by the chief prosecutor is this was not started maliciously rather involuntarily. There's an indication that it may have started on the upper floors, possibly in an attic. What triggered it isn't clear.
What is very clear is that it spread very quickly, engulfing and doing all the damage that we've seen so far. So from a French perspective, and the prosecutor's perspective at this very early stage, he is not expecting foul play. An involuntary start to the fire is the way they're describing it for right now, Erin.
BURNETT: And obviously we can hear people around you gathered as we are at two o'clock in the morning. I want to go now on the phone to Jason Hinman who was there at Notre Dame earlier this evening. He's on vacation who's obviously going to see the cathedral. Jason, I wanted to show everyone a video that you took of the spire as it fell. You were at the cathedral today for about an hour and, of course, you saw that horrific moment. Tell us what you saw.
JASON HINMAN, EYEWITNESS, NOTRE DAME FIRE PARIS: Hi, Erin. Thanks. We had a beautiful day in Paris today. We were at the botanical gardens right around six or seven o'clock and we noticed some smoke in the air and actually plan to leave the area, got in the car, and found all of the roads were blocked. So eventually we got out and it was clear the city had just stopped. We joined a group of several hundred parisians on the bridge, Pont de la Tournelle, overlooking the cathedral and watch for 20 or 30 minutes while it burned.
BURNETT: Jason, how did people react when that spire fell?
HINMAN: Everyone just rude an oohed and aahed and cried. Several people covered their mouth. They couldn't believe what they were seeing.
BURNETT: We've seen parisians kneeling and singing. We could just hear the moments ago, of course, as our reporter Nic Robertson is right outside the cathedral and that means square in the front of facade. How did it feel to see something like this?
HINMAN: It's pretty remarkable. We wandered the streets for maybe 20 or 30 minutes. Many pathways were block and we stumbled on quite a crowd just across from Notre Dame and we heard some singing. It appear to be near a church, so we thought it was a choir, but as we move forward to the crowd, we stumbled on a group of young parisians on their knees praying and singing. It was quite remarkable. [19:05:11] BURNETT: When you were there and saw those flames, I mean
tell us more about how big it seemed. We're looking at some aerial shots that we have from later on in the day, Jason, that are frankly just terrifying. I mean it's just a sea of red. This is the newest picture that we just have. I know you can't see it but our viewers here can. The entire structure completely just red with the heat of the flames.
HINMAN: Yes, we were probably a good 500 meters from Notre Dame, but you could see different colors of the flame. The entire steeple and the surrounding scaffolding where they've been doing work was burning red hot, and at various times the color of the smoke would change from bright orange to yellow change with green. We thought that was probably just stained glass perhaps inside the church burning or something else, but it was quite clear even from quite a distance that the fire was quite hot.
And it appeared to be quite a challenge to get water up there. They were firefighters, we noticed, on the sides of the steeple, but the fire was quite large compared to the amount of water they had tried to use.
BURNETT: And you could see the firefighters and the presence of that everywhere around the facade as far as you could see it?
HINMAN: Yes, we were on the bridge for a while right next to the River Seine and there were fireboats and police boats going up and down every five or so minutes. That we could see from our vantage point of view firefighters quite high up on the church trying to put out the flames.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Jason, thank you very much. I appreciate you're taking the time and sharing what you saw with us. I want to go now to Thierry Arnaud, Senior Political Commentator for BFMTV and Stefaan Van Liefferinge, he is an Architectural Historian and I appreciate both of you being with me.
Terry, you are there on the ground and obviously you live in Paris, reporting from Paris for a long time and I know you say you have never seen Paris like this before.
THIERRY ARNAUD, SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, BFMTV: No, I've never seen my hometown looking and feeling what it looks like and feels like tonight, Erin. There's this shock as we've seen and the magnitude of the damage, there's a lot of sadness, of course, because of what has been lost was priceless and can never be recovered.
There is concern because the fire is still there and we're being told it may be hours and perhaps days before it's completely cut out and we can assess the damage, the complete damage. But there's also an extraordinary sense of unity and even communion and that makes you realize that Notre Dame de Paris is much more than a church, it's much more than a monument to religion, it's really in fact a monument to the essence of what is being French or the essence of French, if you like. BURNETT: That was an important point to make. Obviously, on this
Holy Week for Christians and Catholics that it is so much more than that. Stefaan, the spire fell, two-thirds of the roof has been destroyed and we understand that the medieval roof is gone. We're talking about a structure of 850 years old. You know this building so well, tell me what has been lost.
STEFAAN VAN LIEFFERINGE, ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIAN: Well, I mean, it's unfathomable what has been lost. It is just a terrible tragedy at the level of the destruction of the building, just the images that we see, you have 13th century attic that is completely burned, at least, part of the attic was 13th century. That's a tragedy.
That's at the level of - scholarly level, but also at the level of the history of architecture, this building represents a key moment in the history of Gothic architecture. It's an architectural style that spread all over Europe for the next centuries and also is the first building that reaches over a hundred feet high in this building style, so it is really a key monument and my hope is that at least the internal structure will resist the pressure and the weight of the beams of the huge beams that are there. As we saw there, everything is burning on top of those roofs and the structure can be preserved.
BURNETT: Right. And that, of course, is the big question as they're still fighting this fire and the heat. One can only imagine the heat was so much that the stone here that has now absorbed that, again that sea of red that we saw. Thierry, I'll never forget covering the terrorist attacks in Paris and standing outside Notre Dame for that moment of silence. It was one of the most moving moments that I've ever experienced.
The city turned there, world turned there in that moment of fear and horror and people still gathered together and they gather right in front of Notre Dame and now no one knows what is next, no one knows what happens here. What are you hearing, Thierry, about what caused the fire at this time?
[19:10:16] ARNAUD: Well, we don't know for sure what caused the fire. As Nic told earlier, there's been formal investigation that has been opened for, quote, involuntary destruction caused by fire. So the assumption at this stage is that it was an accident, basically, but no one knows exactly what caused the accident but there will be a lot of discussion as to whether the reconstruction work that was being conducted was completely safe, and was complete operated as it should have been.
I just wanted to get back to the point that was made earlier about the structure just to let you know that Paris fire department officials now tell us that the structure is safe and well survive and that the building will stand and that is very important because, of course, as of two or three hours ago, there was a real question as to whether the whole thing could collapse or not.
As it stands now, the fire department is telling us that the building will stand and that the structure and the two towers will survive. BURNETT: All right, so we have some pictures. These are just the
first ones I believe that we are getting in this moment that anyone has seen from inside. So Stefaan, let me just show you this and, again, these are the first images, so I can only describe what our viewers are seeing, what you're seeing, that powerful moment of - a poignant moment there of what appears to be the cross from where I can see.
You obviously know so much about what is in here, the inside, and now you are looking at this image along with me for the first time. What do you see?
LIEFFERINGE: Well, what I see is the main altar, so we're looking at the choir, the east end of the building and the main altar. I mean, clearly that there is a lot of damage there. One must understand is that in such a building, every piece of stone that is there, every altarpiece that is there, every piece of sculpture is a very important piece of art, also a very important artwork that is there. So it's impossible to measure the amount of damage.
BURNETT: Right. Even if part of the structure if the structure itself is - I mean you have to - so much is gone.
BURNETT: There is no way to get around that.
LIEFFERINGE: It's the only thing you see. There is a statue of the virgin from the 14th century there. It's invaluable what can be destroyed there. What I heard is that apparently most of the pieces of artwork, works of art have been salvaged from the fire. But again what I want to underscore is that everything, every elements of structure like for example the basis of the columns that you have there, everything is carved, everything is sculpted and that's usually what we don't see but one by one they're all unique pieces and the building is filled. There is a stained glass, also the rose windows especially from the north and the south transept are invaluable, I guess.
BURNETT: And those obviously not - all right, thank you very much both of you. And we have just been showing you the images inside Notre Dame. Literally, those are the first ones we have just gotten. This is the very first image from inside. So firefighters are still there fighting the blaze and you've got the heat throughout the structure, what they are up against at this hour.
And breaking news, House committees issuing a subpoena to Deutsche Bank and Deutsche Bank, of course, is not just a bank here. This is the bank, the lender, that lended to Donald Trump when nobody else would. And Bernie Sanders finally releasing his taxes. Can keep slamming millionaires on the campaign trail now that he formally is one?
[19:17:38] BURNETT: Breaking news, Notre Dame's medieval roof structure has been lost. Just a part of a horrific devastation from the blaze that has been ravaging the cathedral. I want to show you again the first picture that we have from inside the cathedral. There it is and obviously that Cathedral is not something anyone is going to be able to go into for a long time, but these are the first images that we have and you can still see that heat and fire there at the top of the arches.
Of course it's impossible to know the full extent of the damage right now, that's the bottom line. Tom Foreman is out front to give us a sense of how big the fire is. The best that you can tell us right now, Tom, I mean you have hundreds of firefighters who are working under incredibly difficult circumstances, very dangerous circumstances.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and this wasn't an easy fire to get to either, Erin. Those pictures are just stunning, you were showing a minute ago here. Look, there are nine different bridges that lead to ole de la Cite which is in the middle of the River Seine. It's an island and they had to get through that in rush hour traffic to try to reach the Cathedral and bear in mind the height was a big issue too. We believe from all of the images that the fire started somewhere around the base of the spire in the middle and then it shot up that spire.
This tip right up there, that's a football field above the ground so you get a sense of how high they were having to work. So what was underneath all of this has spread to the entire roof. Well, we know that underneath was, as your previous guest noted, extraordinary treasures, a beautiful soaring open space. There were in certain areas here like the area called the choir, really intricate and beautiful carving, so there was a lot of wood inside the stone building to feed the fire.
There were also other things that would draw a lot of attention to people here. For example, the organ, this was last renovated in a big way in 1730 but it's older than that. It has more than 8,000 pipes, five keyboards. We don't really know the fate of the organ at this point. One of the most famous musical instruments in the world and, of course, the rose windows just mentioned a moment ago about 13 million tourists a year come and this is one of the main things that draws them. These extraordinary pieces of stained glass, some of the best you'll find anywhere on the planet, Erin.
BURNETT: And that's just some of the history Tom of what's inside that building that, of course, the President of France had just said is the heart and soul of France. Obviously, it's a Catholic cathedral. It's a religious building, but it is much, much more than that.
[19:20:04] FOREMAN: Oh, yes. There's a reason this is a world heritage site. Remember, this is where Napoleon became an emperor. This is where Joan of Arc started on her path to becoming a saint. This is where so many giant world events, world wars swirled around. And there are paintings, and there are drawings and there are architectural plans that were all stored here. Notably, there is also this. You may have heard people talk about the
crown of thorns. This is a religious relic which true believers believe is the crown worn by Christ on his way to crucifixion. Imagine the importance of this relic during this Easter season. And beyond all that there is still at least some positive news as your guest mentioned maybe things are being saved here. We know that more than a dozen priceless statues were removed as part of this renovation just last week, Erin, so we have to hope a lot more good news like that.
BURNETT: All right, Tom Foreman, thank you very much. I want to go now to John LaFemina, former Battalion Chief for the New York Fire Department. And John, look, I appreciate your time, you've got over six hours so far of the fire and obviously you have parts as you can see from those first internal pictures where it is still - whatever that structure may be that we are looking at and some of those - but completely red with the heat. What makes it so difficult to put out a fire like this one?
JOHN LAFEMINA, FORMER FDNY BATTALION CHIEF: Well, the age of the building, the type of construction, the components that it's made from mostly non-combustible surrounding exterior, that's still what's remaining. All the roof supports, all the interior framing is all wood, very dry, burns very well and you saw how quickly the fire spread and that's what you're seeing as what's left and it's probably going to burn for a while until maybe it extinguishes itself or the water does.
BURNETT: And the question on this one, obviously, the point that you're pointing out, there's so much wood in there, but you have all of the stone and obviously 850 year-old structure of - bits and pieces constructed over hundreds of years. But I mean you're talking about an incredible amount of stone and stone that we don't, I would imagine, they fully know exactly how secure or insecure it is given the age of the building?
LAFEMINA: Well, before the fire, of course, it was probably very secure, probably almost as secure as when it was built in whatever chronological order it came. The fire does change that. We have some serious structural damage. We have some loads placed on this structure that we weren't intending so we don't know what was weakened than what wasn't. That's going to come after the fire is extinguished.
From what I've seen looking at the internet I see some - it looks like the exterior structure will remain intact. There could be localized collapses inward or outward depending upon how the heat has affected that, but it looks like most of it - the masonry part will stand and then, of course, whoever is technologically capable of determining what's needed to make sure it's structurally sound to rebuild will have to do that.
BURNETT: John, during all of this today, President Trump tweeted, "So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly." In all of this, what was happening today, obviously, the French civil defense agency was angry enough to respond in English.
Well, they tweeted in English this after that, "Hundreds firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible fire under control. All means are being used except for water bombing aircrafts, which if used could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral." Now, obviously, John, I'm not asking you to weigh on the politics of the President weighing in with his personal opinion on a fire or their decision to respond. But they obviously wanted to dismiss what he said, suggesting this flying water tankers. Why would that not have worked?
LAFEMINA: Well, I think the reasons they said you may have a load that hits the building, the water has a weight and it can come down with significant force and cause a collapse that's unintended. It's not the traditional way in which we would fight a fire like this. That's mostly forest fires. The damage that that may occur is not critical to trying to keeping the structure as much intact as possible.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much explaining that so clearly. John, thanks your time.
LAFEMINA: OK, thank you.
BURNETT: And next, the Mueller report is about to be released. Trump's allies are promising a robust rebuttal. Well, why? What happened to this?
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've been totally exonerated, no collusion, no obstruction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: You wouldn't need a rebuttal then, right? And Bernie Sanders finally releasing his tax returns, and guess what, he's a millionaire. So do attacks like this ring hollow or not?
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[19:24:54] SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Billionaires and millionaires have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the political process supporting Republican candidates and today is payback time for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:28:33] BURNETT: Breaking news, congressional investigators issuing a subpoena to a bank that's loaned Trump billions of dollars when no one else would. Deutsche Bank received the subpoena this afternoon and it came from the House Intelligence and Financial Services Committees. They want information specifically about loans to Trump and the Trump Organization, two separate but crucial parts of the same thing in a sense. Deutsche Bank currently has about $300 million in loans extended to
the Trump Organization and that's right now obviously over time even more. This comes as Congress in the White House are bracing for the release of the Special Counsel's Russia report anticipated Thursday morning. Attorney General Bill Barr missing his own target for the report's release. The report will be turned over to Congress and the public nine days after the Attorney General said this.
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WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: From my standpoint, within a week I will be in a position to release the report to the public and then I will engage with the chairman of both Judiciary Committees about that report, about any further requests that they have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The Attorney General saying he was color-coding his redactions providing an explanation and reason for each one. Color coding though appears to be more time-consuming than the Attorney General thought. The President, by the way, tweeting in part today, "Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction."
Now, that's a line the President has repeated ad nauseam over the past few weeks since the Barr summary came out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:30:04] TRUMP: So there's no collusion, there's no obstruction, there's no nothing.
I've been totally exonerated. No collusion. No obstruction.
There was no collusion, and there was no obstruction. And we never did anything wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK, as we've told you, though, we don't yet know that to be true because as far as we know according to the president's own attorney general, Mueller did indicate the president may have done something wrong. Barr quotes Mueller as saying, quote: While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him
And here's the thing -- if the president is so sure that there's nothing there, then why is his team writing a rebuttal report? If there's no collusion and no obstruction, then you're done here. Apparently not.
Abby Phillip is OUTFRONT at the White House.
Abby, what is the White House thinking right now on the Mueller report? Obviously, we understand Rudy Giuliani is busy on this rebuttal. ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think at the
moment, they don't know what they don't know. They're aware this report is quite lengthy, that it might contain a lot of things that are unflattering to the president, and they're trying to figure out how to go on this fine line between sort of being confident that the president has been exonerated and being cautious that there could be things in there that might damage him.
The president's lawyers want to know just like we do, why didn't Robert Mueller come up with a finding when it came to the issue of obstruction? That's one of the big unanswered questions in this report that will hopefully be answered on Thursday once we all see it. But in the meantime, they're trying to develop a strategy for how they would rollout their response to it. Emmet Flood, who's the White House lawyer in charge of all of this, is going to be reading the report and then briefing the president on what the report's findings are.
And then they're going to go with their public view of how they think this report has gone for the president. They've been working on this lengthy rebuttal which they're now adjusting based on what little they do know about what's in the Mueller report. So they're reframing that rebuttal and planning on releasing that at some point after the report comes out.
But there's some open questions now why they didn't weigh in on executive privilege, and we're hearing from sources they were aware what it would look like if they started meddling in the process of releasing this report. So, I think they're aware of the optic concerns here, but they also are just waiting just like the rest of us to see what's actually in the report, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Abby, thank you.
And now, let's go to the vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Democratic Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon.
I appreciate your time, Congresswoman.
Obviously, you're a lawyer. Are you OK with the attorney general missing his own deadline for the release of the report, right? He said within a week and, obviously, it's going to be a little bit beyond that. And it seems perhaps to spend more time on the redaction process.
REP. MARY GAY SCANLON (D-PA): Right, well, that's the basic problem we have here is he's still redacting the report. We've asked for the entire report and all the supporting documentation.
BURNETT: So, it's going to be a full month almost -- almost a full month since Mueller handed the report over to Barr, and then that summary came out, whatever word they want to use. It came out and basically stood as the only thing in the public record for weeks.
Do you believe the redactions took this long, or has this been delayed to harden public opinion? SCANLON: Well, it certainly has hardened public opinion. We've seen
those polling numbers already. But it really, really is troubling that here we are a month after the report was concluded and delivered to the attorney general and we're still dealing the cliff notes version.
BURNETT: The cliff notes version is another good word to use.
Are you OK with any redactions in the report? Or -- I mean, do you accept there needs to be some?
SCANLON: I understand there may need to be some redactions in terms of releasing the full report and all the underlying documentation to the public if it's going to compromise national security, et cetera. But there's no ground for denying the report and the underlying information to Congress.
BURNETT: In terms of the deutsche bank news obviously we're just getting word obviously of these subpoenas, do you believe there's anything from Deutsche Bank obviously was lending to the president and his companies when no one else would during that time? Do you think there's anything in there that Mueller did not see or anything new?
SCANLON: You know, I don't really know that. The subpoenas that have been issued there have not come from judiciary, which is the committee I sit on. But certainly we've read reporting from CNN and elsewhere that indicates that there was quite a bit of information there, and that Mueller had sought that information.
BURNETT: Right, obviously, we'll see whether he thought it was in his purview, we just don't know. We don't know what Mueller knew or didn't know, and we'll see what we find out later this week on that front.
BURNETT: The Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defending Barr to "The Wall Street Journal." And his quote is he's being as forthcoming as he can.
[19:35:01] And so, this notion he's trying to mislead people I think is just completely bizarre.
Now, Rosenstein obviously oversaw the Mueller report, which was the one who oversaw bob Mueller's investigation.
Do you think Rosenstein would defend Barr in this way so specifically and so clearly if he didn't think he had real reason to do so?
SCANLON: You know, it's hard to tell what's going on. I mean, what we do know is the American taxpayers paid for this report. They should see it. Congress needs the report to exercise its oversight duties, so we just need to see the report.
Until then unfortunately we're all stuck speculating about what's in the report and what evidence was actually disclosed. BURNETT: All right. Congresswoman Scanlon, thank you so much for
SCANLON: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, Bernie Sanders going big time for Trump supporters. Will it work?
And the candidate getting a lot of attention lately after being compare today another famous Democrat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I recognize the audacity of doing this.
BARACK OBAMA, THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I recognize that there is a certain presumption, a certain audacity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Breaking news: 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has released his tax returns. I got every excited. I started getting ahead of myself.
Bernie Sanders is a millionaire. Over the past three years, Sanders made nearly $3 million, which makes him, of course, one of the wealthy people that he himself targets on the campaign trail.
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[19:40:08] SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to ask the millionaires and billionaires of this country to start paying their fair share.
Billionaires and millionaires have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the political process supporting Republican candidates and today is payback time for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK, Sanders tonight, though, insists he is not out to make enemies out of the rich.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Stop vilifying to say that people have a whole lot of money, in some cases billions of dollars of wealth. They should pay their fair share of taxes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. Rob Astorino is with me, member of President Trump's 2020 Re-Elect Advisory Council, and Jess McIntosh, former director of communications outreach for the Hillary Clinton.
OK. Jess, so, look, as I have been saying Sanders is so lucky to live in a capitalist society because he wrote a book about being a socialist and people bought it, and so he got to make all this money. And he's now made a few million dollars over the past few years because of his book.
What do you make of the numbers? Obviously, the past year his numbers fell, a half million dollars, but all in, he's a millionaire?
JESS MCINTOSH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I actually don't see too much of a contradiction between being a millionaire and railing against a class that produces millionaires. Where I'm totally dumbfounded is that he's had two years to come up with this "so now I'm a millionaire" message and his message is capitalist. He's literally saying I made a product the market wanted and I got rich off of it and all of you can do that too.
I would have -- that's not his message. I would have suggested that maybe this is a moment to talk about how the system is rigged for people like him, white male privileged with a platform and he would want to make sure the system works for everybody. But instead he's defensive, it's not a crime to write a book and I don't know where that's coming from, or how that serves him.
BURNETT: Well, OK, so, Rob, he was just asked why he did not pay -- because this whole thing about fair share.
ROB ASTORINO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, yes.
BURNETT: So he was asked about now he's a millionaire and his fair share, and let me play the exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS MODERATOR: You're marginal tax rate was 26 percent of because of President Trump's tax cuts. So why not say, you know, I'm leading this revolution, I'm not going to take those?
SANDERS: I am -- I pay the taxes that I know, and by the way why don't you get Donald Trump up here and ask him how much he pays in taxes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK, "the other guy is doing it, so I'm doing it too" is not a good answer. OK, I think we can all agree that is not a good answer. By the way, I don't know how millionaires make 26 percent. He's got a good accountant.
What do you make of this response?
ASTORINO: Well, first of all, I was shocked he actually combed his hair, which was great --
BURNETT: OK, that was an unnecessary -- ASTORINO: No, look, here's what he needs to do and what they need to
do at the University of Vermont. They need to teach a course and Bernie can be Professor Bernie again and talk about the virtues of the free market versus socialism which he espouses which has collapsed everywhere. Socialism destroys wealth. It destroys freedoms.
Here, as Jess said, it's a perfect example, he worked hard. I don't envy Bernie Sanders. I'm proud, I'm happy for him that he made $2 million on a book sale.
But here's what I would suggest with that $2 million, here's what he should do because in Vermont, they pay the highest monthly premiums for health insurance. He wants to give away free health insurance, he could by the free health insurance for 350 people in Vermont with that $2 million.
BURNETT: That's the thing. He scoffs I pay the taxes I owe. By the way, that's interest rule. The problem is when you're Bernie Sanders and you rail against people paying their fair share and you're not donating money to the IRS, you are a hypocrite.
MCINTOSH: I mean, again, there's no inherent hypocrisy in saying I would prefer socialism system, we live in this one and I pay the taxes I owe. There's no inherent hypocrisy in that.
But when he spent the weekend attacking the liberal outlet for correctly citing he has changed in his speeches railing against millionaires and billionaires to railing against multi-millionaires and billionaires, the defensiveness just shows -- it really undermines the integrity of his message and the integrity of his message is what Bernie Sanders had.
BURNETT: So, I can just play who he's starting a sound alike, right? By the way, Donald Trump says that and is completely unashamed. I pay what I owe and why would I pay a dollar more?
ASTORINO: That's what Americans should do.
BURNETT: Here are Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump talking about their books.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: I never apologize for writing the book that was number three in "The New York Times" best-seller, translated in five or six languages, and that's that.
[19:45:03] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I wrote "The Art of the Deal", which is in all fairness, I think the number one best selling book of all-time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(LAUGHTER) BURNETT: It is funny.
ASTORINO: Well, look --
BURNETT: Why are these guys so alike? Neither one of you like that question. They're both speechless.
MCINTOSH: I do. There is no chance you could have a woman candidate pull off anything like what they're doing, and I think that's an important distinction to make. The idea that Elizabeth Warren could somehow sit there and say you become a ten-year Harvard professor, you could get rich, too. She would be rightly vilified for being completely tone-deaf.
So, I do want to take the moment to say trying to imagine the defensiveness coming out of one of them when questioned about how they made their wealth is just completely inconceivable.
BURNETT: Do the Trump voters -- OK, so Bernie has been going through all these states that just barely voted for Trump, Pennsylvania, upper Midwest. Will some of the voters who voted for Trump and voted for Obama before now look at Bernie Sanders and actually say, hey, I like this. I like this guy who can work and succeed.
ASTORINO: That's why I make $2 million.
ASTORINO: I would say the average working class American says I work hard, I want to keep more of my own money, I don't want you -- because now Bernie has it, he's coming for your money.
They want to keep their money. They want to be in the 1 percent. Who doesn't? I do. I certainly want to be. I think most Americans say --
BURNETT: Which gets back to the rigged system and why people aren't.
ASTORINO: No, not rigged. You work hard. He had an idea and sold books.
BURNETT: And I will say this, Bernie Sanders when push comes to shove wants to keep his money, too.
ASTORINO: He certainly does.
BURNETT: Thank you both very much.
And OUTFRONT next, Pete Buttigieg, is his rise in the polls stealing another Democrat's stars thunder?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Glad that Mayor Pete is in the race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And Jeanne ,Moos on Notre Dame. A treasure on the movie screen as well.
[19:50:51] BURNETT: Pete Buttigieg is in Brooklyn tonight as he's getting the cover treatment by "New York Magazine". Enjoying the limelight right now, there are a lot of signs the small town mayor is gaining momentum, one day after officially launching his campaign for the White House.
Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.
BUTTIGIEG: Starting today, we're going to change the channel.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is also changing up the presidential race.
BUTTIGIEG: It is time to walk away from the politics of the past and toward something totally different.
ZELENY: He's not only ascending the ranks of a crowded Democratic field, he's seizing the spotlight from others some promising generational change, perhaps no one more than Beto O'Rourke.
O'ROURKE: This is our moment of truth, and we cannot be found wanting.
ZELENY: The two young Democrats who offer more aspirational vision than 10-point plans may be on a collision course.
But for now, the man of the moment is Buttigieg who many Democrats say reminds him of a senator next door ten years ago.
BUTTIGIEG: I recognize the audacity of doing this as a Midwestern millennial mayor.
OBAMA: I recognize there is a certain presumption in this, a certain audacity to this announcement.
ZELENY: Yet Buttigieg faces many questions, including his appeal to black voters, critical in a Democratic rally. At Sunday's rally, a sea of white supporters despite South Bend being more than a quarter African-American.
In a Democratic field bursting at the seams, Buttigieg is running behind nominal front runners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. He's also seeing a fundraising boom. Aides say Buttigieg raised $1 million in the first hours after a South Bend speech on Sunday, adding to the $7 million he's already raised this year.
He's also racking up new endorsement including from Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, Texas.
MAYOR STEVE ADLER (D), AUSTIN, TEXAS: The next president of the United States of America, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
ZELENY: Only two weeks ago, Adler was welcoming O'Rourke to Austin.
ADLER: Are you ready to say welcome to Beto O'Rourke?
ZELENY: O'Rourke brushing it all aside.
O'ROURKE: First of all, I'm a big fan of both Mayor Buttigieg and Mayor Adler. And glad that Mayor Pete is in the race.
ZELENY: But defensive about criticisms being raised against his candidacy.
O'ROURKE: I think the premise of the question that I'm showing up as a blank slate after so many years of public service, campaigning and answering questions, I think more than any other candidate who's running for the presidency right now, I just can't accept the premise. But yes, we continue to learn.
ZELENY: Now, O'Rourke is heading to Virginia, finishing out a southern swing. He said he would be thrilled if Buttigieg made it to the White House, but he's campaigning for the spot as well.
So, Erin, the reality here is, Buttigieg says he may be the man of the moment, that could be true. But the moment is the key part there. Of course some ups and downs are fleeting.
The man could be fleeting as well. Don't forget, there are five women seeking the nomination as well -- Erin.
BURNETT: That's right. There's a lot of moments between now and Election Day. You could have good ones and bad ones end up on top. Who knows?
All right. Thanks, Jeff.
And next, when there are no words to describe what we have been seeing.
[19:57:54] BURNETT: Tonight, the world watches as firefighters try to save Notre Dame.
Jeanne Moos has more.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Notre Dame in flames. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's catastrophic.
MOOS: Words to describe it when it's up in smoke.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is -- these pictures are unbelievable.
MOOS: Onlookers cover their faces in shock. Others share videos. It feels like the end of the world.
Building began on the cathedral 856 years ago. It survived the French Revolution and the Nazis. But in just a couple of hours, the raging fire claimed its spire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The spire at the top of Notre Dame is no more.
MOOS: President Trump offered advice, perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly. Jersey City fire chief threw cold water on that.
CHIEF STEVEN MCGILL, JERSEY CITY FIRE DEPT.: Water is very heavy and if it hits a structure like that, it could cause further collapse.
MOOS: When president Trump relayed the news to a crowd in Minnesota.
TRUMP: Looks like it's burning to the ground.
MOOS: There was a groan, while some Parisians got on their knees and sang as they watched the cathedral burn.
Sirens obliterated a reporters live shot, but firemen couldn't obliterate the flames. And to think just the day before it was the perfect tourist pic, now I feel sick.
LIZ BOEDER, WITNESS: I am not a religious person and the first time I visited Notre Dame, I was moved to tears because the thing is so beautiful. Now -- I'm sorry. I've been crying all afternoon.
MOOS: The hunchback of Notre Dame rescued Esmeralda using the bell rope to carry her to the cathedral.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sanctuary! Sanctuary!
MOOS: But this time, it was the sanctuary itself that needed saving.
Jeanne Moos CNN, New York.
BURNETT: And thank you so much for joining us.
Anderson starts now.