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Nadler Vows to Hold Hearing If Barr is a No-Show; Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) is Interviewed About Congress's Barr Hearing. Aired on 7-8p ET

Aired April 29, 2019 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Arwa Damon, excellent reporting as usual. Thanks very much. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, the President takes the bait. Donald Trump going after Joe Biden even as his own aides warned him stop. Plus, breaking news this hour, a terror attack thwarted in Los Angeles. The suspect, officials say, was, quote, bent on mass murder mass casualty plans. And Charlamagne tha God, his radio show a must stop for presidential candidates. What's the hot issue he says, he does not trust any of them on. Let's go out front.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, Trump takes Biden's bait. The President lashing out at Biden as the former Vice President took the stage late today in his first 2020 rally in the must-win state of Pennsylvania.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT: If I'm going to be able to beat Donald Trump in 2020, it's going to happen here. Donald Trump is only president - is the only president who's decided not to represent the whole country. We're reminded again that we are in a battle. We are in a battle for America's soul. We have to choose hope over fear, unity over division and maybe most importantly truth over lies.


BURNETT: Biden's decision to take the fight straight to Trump is clearly getting under Trump's skin. The President firing off for tweets today directed at Biden. He loves to call him Sleepy Joe Biden and Biden obviously has been on Trump's mind ever since the former VP announced he is running. So it's just been a few days, look at what we've heard from Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you beat Biden? How do you do it?


I don't know what the hell happened to Biden. I don't know, it just doesn't look like the same Biden. I said, "Is that really Joe Biden? He doesn't look the same to me." When you look at Joe, I have known Joe over the years. He is not the

brightest light bulb in the group.


BURNETT: OK. Well, as they say if you talk about someone, I guess, just get your name right. Look, it is a fight though that aides would prefer President Trump sit out. Sources tell CNN tonight that the President's political advisors have warned him, "Don't do it. Don't go after Biden, that you could be elevating a potentially formidable rival."

A man many Republican operatives believe could pose a significant threat to the President should he win the Democratic nomination. Abby Phillip is out front live outside the White House tonight. And Abby, are the President's advisers really expecting him to lay off Joe Biden? Clearly, he wants to light in to him and he gets great pleasure in doing so.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. I mean some of them are advising him not to go after Biden in this way, but others are acknowledging what you just said which is that Trump is going to be Trump. He's going to attack who he wants to attack and they are going to have to follow his lead.

But I think what some of the advisers are seeing when President Trump attacks Joe Biden is the President revealing something about Biden that he is worried about Biden as a potential general election competitor and he also seems to be giving Biden a little bit of a boost in a crowded Democratic primary. If Joe Biden has to prove that he has what it takes to go up against Trump, well, Trump seems to be telling everyone that he thinks that Biden has what it takes to go up against him in 2020.

So some of his advisers are just advising the President to lay off of him. Let the Democratic primary carry itself out. They want to be able to make a case that all of these candidates, every single one of them is a socialist, that they are too far to the left. And if the President starts picking his favorites now that he's going to start to put his finger on that scale - and one of the things that Biden has also successfully done so far is force the President into an unforced error.

He's forced him into real litigating his comments on Charlottesville. Something that is not helpful to the President especially in a state like Pennsylvania that he and his aides know are critically important. The President has been quizzing his aides about Biden's strength in that very state in recent weeks and the President's comments on Charlottesville only reignite some issues that are going to make it harder for him to gain inroads in those suburbs that have been moving away from Republicans since the last election.

And so there you have it, President Trump and Biden already face-to- face and I think his aides are worried that the president is going to go a little too far a little too soon with Joe Biden, Erin. BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Abby. And I want to go now

to former Senator Carol Moseley-Braun. She was the first African- American female U.S. Senator. She's endorsed Joe Biden for 2020. And David Gergen, former Adviser to Four Presidents.

So David, what about this point Abby is making that President's advisors are saying, "Don't do it. Don't get into one on one verbal brawl with any of the contenders and in particular Joe Biden." They don't want to elevate him, but clearly he's not listening, four tweets today. Today, four tweets and you heard some of his comments. Is Trump trying to elevate Biden because he thinks Biden is weak so he wants to elevate the weak person or is he the most afraid of Biden?

[19:05:06] DAVID GERGEN, FORMER ADVISER TO FOUR PRESIDENTS: I'm not sure he's the most afraid of Biden, but he does know that the early polls have him to have Trump down by eight points against Joe Biden and so Biden definitely represents a threat to his presidency. I think the President has been itching to get in a ring with anybody who got out ahead and the Democratic he's decided to go in.

But I must tell you, Erin, it's almost a year and a half before we vote in November. It's awfully early to start throwing punches at your opponent right now. You would think that he just let it go and go after the left, go after the socialism and represented by the new progressives and all of the rest and try to tie Biden into that.

BURNETT: Right. But, of course, he's not doing that, Senator, not the brightest light bulb in the group. It doesn't get more personal than that. He also, of course, has given Joe Biden nicknames Sleepy Joe Biden being that nickname and you can chuckle at that or roll your eyes at that but nonetheless those silly nicknames were very powerful in the 2016 primary. Do you remember these?


TRUMP: Little Marco, Lyin Ted Cruz, very, very, very low-energy Jeb Bush.


BURNETT: Very, very, very, very low-energy Jeb Bush. I think I added one in there. But Senator, what do you make of this, Sleepy Joe? Could this actually be problematic for Joe Biden? He and the President are close to the same age, but the president obviously trying to brand him as tired.

FORMER SEN. CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN (D-IL): Well, at the outset we have to remember this conversation takes place in the heels of all these murders and synagogues and other places of worship around the country and around the world and so I think we have to pause for a moment and put it in context. This is an eternal battle that we are facing for our time and I just hope that it doesn't deteriorate into name-calling and mudslinging and the kind of ugliness that it - and hate hate- filled rhetoric that it could easily do and the president showed himself as being more comfortable with them than I think many American -- BURNETT: I wanted to talk about the comment you've referred to,

Senator, in just a moment. The one about being in a battle for America's soul. David also though today the economy was front and center and Trump has made it clear that's what he wants to talk about. One of his tweets about Joe Biden was, "Sleepy Joe Biden is having his first rally in the great state of Pennsylvania. He obviously doesn't know that Pennsylvania is having one of the best economic years in its history with the lowest unemployment ever, a now thriving Steel Industry (that was dead) and great future." Biden meantime eager to fight back on that. Here he is today.


BIDEN: The stock market is roaring, but you don't feel it. There's $2 trillion tax cut last year. Did you feel it? Did you get anything from it? Of course not.


BURNETT: Now, David, look of course most Americans did benefit from the tax cut, but they don't believe they did. In fact a new poll today shows Biden is tapping into something in terms of people's perception. Only 12 percent of Americans say their families benefited a great deal from recent economic growth in the economy. Is Trump wrong to pick the economic battle?

GERGEN: No, I think he's wrong to do a split screening, go after Biden, he's not the brightest bulb in the deck and Sleepy Joe Biden. I don't think either of those things really has much connection. I don't think it - they don't work as dismissive comments. And Trump was actually more inventive back in the original 2016 in giving names to people. I don't think these Nick things work and instead really ought to be going forward on it.

He's got a good economy, but he's not getting much credit for it. When you're down eight points against your potential contender before you even start, and you got a 3 percent growth, there is a disconnect between those two, isn't there, Erin?

BURNETT: Yes, there certainly is especially when most people did get a tax cut and you got stocks warring. They obviously - the polls show people don't perceive it that way. So Senator, look, in Pennsylvania obviously the economy is crucial. This is Biden's original home state. It's a state he knows he must win. This is must-win. It's why the President keeps asking about Pennsylvania and how he's doing. Here's what Joe Biden said today about that.


BIDEN: Quite frankly, folks, if I'm going to be able to beat Donald Trump in 2020, it's going to happen here. It's going to happen here in western Pennsylvania.


BURNETT: Senator, Trump won Pennsylvania by 44,000 votes. One of the reasons African-American turnout which was down 130,000 votes from 2012 when President Obama was on the ticket. Will black voters turnout for Joe Biden?

[19:09:41] BRAUN: Well, I think Joe Biden is appealing to voters of all stripes across the board without regard to race sexual orientation or geography even. He wants the middle class to understand that he stood for and stood with them and will continue to do so and he will and that, I think, is the point whether it's in Pennsylvania or Wisconsin here in middle America that campaign, Biden's campaign I think is going to make a real full-court press so that people know that this candidate is willing to go to bat for them and to continue to work for them.

The economy is growing by leaps and bounds, but it's not touching the pocketbooks of working Americans. Middle America hasn't felt it. Middle America has not gotten the growth or gotten the benefits on it.

BURNETT: No, but they did just get a tax cut that they don't feel that they got. They did get one though, I mean, that's the reality.

BRAUN: Well, but that's the reality. The reality is middle America knows very well whether or not they're better off. Remember the Ronald Reagan question, "Are you better off now?" They know that they're not better off and they know that this hate filled environment really cuts against their interests and their ability to raise a family, send their kids off to school to build this country and that's the American dream that Joe Biden is fighting for to make sure that the next generation has a chance to do as well as the last generation did and that's the crux of the issue that we're looking at.

BURNETT: David, on the issue of the, obviously, the attack on the synagogue, the issue of anti-semitism and racism came up today at Biden's rally. He said this.


BIDEN: We're reminded again that we are in a battle. We are in a battle for America's soul. I really believe that. Donald Trump is only president - is the only president who's decided not to represent the whole country. We Democrats and we independents we had the same view, have to choose hope over fear, unity over division, and maybe most importantly truth over lives.


BURNETT: David, does that motivate people to turn out for Biden?

GERGEN: I think that when he stresses hope over fear and unity, that it may not being people rushing over to his side but I think it gives people reassurance that Biden will run as a healer, someone who does want to change where we are as a people, wants to bring us back together and I think that's appealing to people. I don't think it necessarily brings them rushing over.

We'll have to see. Erin, I'm just going to be - I'm really looking forward to the first polls out of Pennsylvania and Michigan ... BURNETT: Yes, the state by state.

GERGEN: ... and Wisconsin and Ohio. Yes, exactly. We're going to know a lot more when that starts happening.

BURNETT: Well, of course, as we know it's state-by-state will matter. Senator, I would imagine Joe Biden is thrilled that the President is seeking him out. There's probably no one who likes being called not a bright bulb or I'm sorry not the brightest light bulb than Joe Biden right now, he wants this.

BRAUN: Well, the point is that the President is the bully. I mean I just said it right there and I want to own that he is a bully. And the only way you can confront bullies is to get in their face and to push back and Joe Biden has the chops to do it. He knows he's not going to be intimidated by Donald Trump. He is not going to be intimidated by this name-calling, all of these foolishness that we're getting out of the - all of the bile we're getting out of the White House right now.

And with that being said, I think that Joe Biden can go toe to toe with this President and make the case to the American people and can win in 2020.

BURNETT: Thank you both very much. I appreciate it. And next, breaking news, a terror suspect allegedly planning mass murder right here in the United States. Officials say the plot to kill was in the work for months. Who were the targets? Plus radio host, Charlamagne tha God is out front. He's talked to eight Democratic candidates so far and he's got favorites.


CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD, RADIO HOST: I think he's handling it with grace and class like he looked built for the spotlight.


BURNETT: So who is that? And standoff, the Attorney General threatening not to show up before Congress. What is Bill Barr afraid of?


[19:17:36] BURNETT: Breaking news, mass casualty terror plot. A former U.S. Army soldier has been charged with plotting terror attacks in Los Angeles. The Justice Department says Mark Steven Domingo wanted to cause, quote, mass casualties using IEDs with nails long enough to penetrate the human body. Josh Campbell is out front. And Josh, you broke this news today, what more can you tell us about the plot?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Just really a picture of hate hear from officials. We learned today regarding this arrest last Friday, a subject taken into custody. Authorities tell us that this is someone who wanted to attack Jews, wanted to attack churches, and police officers ultimately landing on a political rally here in Los Angeles area down in Long Beach.

Now, just to take us inside the mind of this person, we read in the complaint, I'll read some of this for you here. Authorities describe this one conversation between the subject and an FBI informant where the subject says, quote, an AED blows up on the freeway, hundreds maybe thousands of U.S. citizens injured. The FBI informant responds, "And then what?" The subject says, "Then, the fun begins. The fun starts."

He also talks about making life miserable for Christians from our fallen brothers and sisters in New Zealand talking about that attack that occurred at Christchurch at two mosques says, "Maybe a Jew's life, they shed our blood. No Muslim should have to experience this. A message needs to be sent." Really a picture of hate here.

Now, law enforcement officers tell us that at no time, Erin, actual threat to the community. They had 24/7 surveillance on this subject. What he actually ultimately ended up doing was taking a device what he believed to be a bomb to this place where rally was going to occur in Long Beach. Once he attempted to place that device, he was arrested by law enforcement.

It's also worth noting, Erin, that this is one of three incidents of hate that have taken place in California in the span of a week. We know that up in Sunnyvale there was a subject who thought he was trying to run down pedestrians who we thought to be Muslims. We know about the synagogue attack over the weekend and yet another terror attack here thwarted in Los Angeles just within a span of a couple days.

BURNETT: All right, Josh, thank you very much. And with all of that, we also breaking tonight have this news the man accused of killing a person and injuring three others at that shooting at the Southern California synagogue, Josh, was just referring to has now been formally charged. Nick Watt is out front.


[19:19:45] NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice-over): Just five minutes before this shooting, the FBI tells CNN they received tips regarding an anonymous threatening post on a social media site. FBI employees immediately took action to determine the post's author. The shooting occurred before the suspect could be fully identified.

That post on the anonymous HM message board detailed the shooter's hatred of Jews, his plan to kill but did not give a location. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein was among the wounded.


YISROEL GOLDSTEIN, SURVIVOR OR POWAY SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING: More shots came running at me and I lifted up my hands, I lost my index finger on this hand.


WATT(voice-over): Almog Peretz shot in the leg as he carried children to safety.


ALMOG PERETZ, SURVIVOR OR POWAY SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING: When I turn around, he's looking at me in the face.


WATT(voice-over): An unarmed combat veteran rushed the attacker.


OSCAR STEWART, VETERAN: He immediately took off running I was chasing after him.


WATT(voice-over): An armed off-duty CBP officer in the congregation managed to fire off a few shots as the attacker, his rifle jammed fled.


GOLDSTEIN: Many of times I'd say, "Jonathan, you work for the Border Patrol. Please arm yourself when you are here. We never know when we'll need it.


WATT(voice-over): Eight-year-old Noya Dahan was injured. Her family moved here from Israel where they'd suffered rocket attacks. Now asking her dad, "Should we move again?"


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think there is any other place that is going to be safer. I mean this happen everywhere.


WATT(voice-over): And to other faiths, black churches burned this month in the U.S., 50 people killed in two mosques in New Zealand last month. Live streamed by the attacker.


MICHAEL MASTERS, CEO, SECURE COMMUNITY NETWORK: We can transition the house of worship to not being a soft target.


WATT(voice-over): Many houses of worship now have armed guards but staunching the ideology that spawns such attacks is getting harder.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CAMPBELL: Law enforcement cannot simply troll through the

communications of private citizens looking for a crime. They're somewhat constrained based on free speech limitations that we have here.


WATT(voice-over): Today, this suspect's family releasing a statement that reads in part, our son's actions were informed by people we do not know and ideas we do not hold.


CAMPBELL: You have a lone wolf individuals who are inspired to violence based on the vitriol that they're seeing online.


WATT(voice-over): Investigators believe this shooter acted alone, had no known criminal record, just 19 years old. Perhaps radicalized online in secret in a suburban bedroom.


MASTERS: In many cases, we're not going to know about that credible threat until he or she is walking up to a house of worship.


WATT(voice-over): Many remembered 60-year-old Lori Kaye today. She was killed after stepping between Rabbi Goldstein and the gunman.


WATT: And that suspect will make an appearance in court tomorrow. The charge is one count of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and also arson of a house of worship. And that is because in that open letter posted online, this suspect also claimed responsibility for setting fire to a mosque near here just about a month ago, Erin.

BURNETT: Nick, thank you. And now former Assistant Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama Juliette Kayyem. Juliette, why so many attacks on places of worship?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Part of it is, of course, the hatred that has animated from anti religious sentiment, so the target can be Christian mosque or a synagogue. But what animates it is a sense that we've been reporting on this sense of community that a lot of these men, that all of these men are actually finding online that this is an acceptable behavior to have.

So the challenge, of course, for these religious communities is that they want to be open, that's who they are, a synagogue welcoming, a mosque welcoming. BURNETT: Right.

KAYYEM: But they need to also be secure and that's the balance of security that is so difficult as we see this rise of hate in the homeland.

BURNETT: And, look, you also have the man planning mass casualties with IEDs, also talking about religion. Officials say he moved extremely quickly from being radicalized to actually planning and executing an attack. How concerning is that? I mean it just feels like it's happening one after the other at some point. Do they miss one?

KAYYEM: Yes and they will. I mean I hate to say this and it's not fatalistic, but since the days of al-Qaeda, right, so you had 9/11 carefully constructed over years as a core group of men planning a massive terrorist attack. Over this 15 or 17 years, you then have the rise of the lone wolf which means that the radicalization process is much, much shorter, therefore more difficult to find and to execute against.

This Los Angeles case we've been it appears that we've benefited that his postings were so noxious and so violent at the beginning that law enforcement at least had some suspicions and each case is different. But that short radicalization process is, I want to say, it's caused by online platforms but it is exacerbated by online platforms because these guys want a community. They want to be told that their hatred has meaning, that it's OK.

BURNETT: And perhaps all of that is part of the surge in hate crimes, right, up 20 percent last year, up for three years in a row.


[19:25:00] BURNETT: It's something President Trump, of course, point- blank denied when he was asked about a rise in white nationalism after the New Zealand attacks. Does this denial of the facts on this matter?

KAYYEM: Yes, absolutely. In the course of my lifetime, I have seen every president, Republican and Democrat, starting with Ronald Reagan unequivocally condemned hatred, right, whether it is a Republican and George W. Bush after 9/11 or Barack Obama after the shooting in the church. I know what unequivocal condemnation of hatred looks like by the President of the United States.

We have spent 72 hours parsing Donald Trump's words. That means it is not unequivocal. That does not mean his language cause this, but it does mean, right, that the men who believe that hatred is OK, are not ashamed. They do not feel embarrassed. They are not mortified by their hatred and their ideology and they stand out in the open as we've seen in any number of these cases they speak publicly. They're on chat rooms.

We got to bring shame back into hatred. We're not going to get rid of hatred in my lifetime, but we will at least put it back in the darkness where it belongs.

BURNETT: All right, Juliette, thank you.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, radio host, Charlamagne tha God show is a must stop for Democrats. What does he think of the field tonight with Al Sharpton meeting with Pete Buttigieg.


CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: It's a dream selling season like every single politician is telling the American people what it is that they want to hear.


BURNETT: What they want to hear or what they'll actually do? And is Trump's pick for the Fed can happen or not? More Senate Republicans raising concerns about Steve Moore.


[19:30:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Tonight, Mayor Pete Buttigieg lunching at Harlem's famous Sylvia's Restaurant with Reverend Al Sharpton.

Now, it's an important day for Buttigieg because he's acknowledged he needs more diversity among his supporters. Among the topics that came up, his new competitor.


REV. AL SHARPTON: How did Biden change the race?

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think in a way, in one way, we've got a lot in common, right? I mean, he speaks kind of (INAUDIBLE).

In another way, the contrast couldn't be more different. We're talking about generational change, we're talking about how there's no going back, how we're going to come up with something that will work for the next 40 years.


BURENTT: OUTFRONT now, radio host who has interviewed eight and counting Democrats running for president, Charlamagne Tha God is of "The Breakfast Club" and joins me now.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD, RADIO HOST: What's up, Erin? Thanks for having me again.

BURNETT: Good to see you.

All right. So, the last time we were together you were talking about your impression of the various candidates and you said Buttigieg was the most comfortable and authentic, those were the words you used, person that you had interviewed thus far.


BURNETT: His communications director, Liz Smith, tweeted today a picture of him and Reverend Al Sharpton. So what do you make of this? Is this authentic or is this just I need to go kiss the ring? What is this?

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: I think it's authentic and I think it's a combination of both. You know, going to sit with Reverend Al is a rite of passage for a lot of candidates. He's the only second so far that go sit with Reverend Al.

So, I think it's a little bit of both. You know, I think he is kissing the ring, and rightfully so. He was actually at the National Action Network Convention with Reverend Al as well.


CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: So, he's reaching out to the black community as he should. So why not reach out?

BURNETT: So when Buttigieg was on your show, you talked about a lot of things. Obviously, race issue was on the list. You also talked about Chick-fil-A, you know, in light of him. Here are some the headlines you got.


CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Did Barack Obama set the table for someone like you?

BUTTIGIEG: I think so. I think in a way. If only because people said, you know, this can't be done. Not just because he was our first black president.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Well, exactly --

BUTTIGIEG: But also, because he was unafraid to be smart.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: What about Chick-fil-A? Do you like Chick-fil- A?

BUTTIGIEG: I do not approve of their politics, but I kind of approve of their chicken.


CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: You're my kind of guy.


CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: I'm worried about Mayor Pete's diet, because even today, he said, he has friend chicken, macaroni and cheese and collar greens. I know he's a young man but, yes, but goddamn, diabetes can catch us all.

BURNETT: So do you think that the glare of the spotlight, I mean, so this is all very new to him, and obviously, he's coming -- you know, your word, authentic. He comes off that way.

But is there a risk do you think of that changing?

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: No, I think he's handling it with grace and class. Like he looks built for the spotlight. Like even though he's from a small place, South Bend, Indiana, it looks like he's ready for the big stage. Like even he doesn't become, you know, president in 2020, you can see that he's going to have a bright future in politics in some way, shape or form.

BURNETT: So, as you were being light there, you were talking about age, and obviously Buttigieg is talking about Joe Biden changing the race in that bite that I played with Reverend Al Sharpton. He, though, is talking about their age difference, right? Trying to make this as a point of generational change. Joe Biden is a different generation, right?

Let's just be frank. Joe Biden is, what, going to be 77 years old this year. Does age matter?

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Yes, I do think age matters, you know what I'm saying, especially when you're dealing with somebody like Joe Biden, because I got my question about Joe Biden. Like you know, after learning more about Joe over the past few questions, I question why even Barack Obama picked him as vice president. You know, just because of things like the '94 crime bill.

And, you know, he didn't just vote on the '94 crime bill, he wrote the '94 crime bill, especially in passages that were a big push for mass incarceration, you know, and things he said like Barack Obama is the first mainstream black person who was clean and articulate. Like just that wording, you know, disturbs me in a lot of ways, you know? So and just wonder if somebody that's Joe Biden's age, can you really teach an old dog new tricks.

BURNETT: And yet when he came out, Charlamagne, and announced his candidacy, he makes it all about race. I mean, right? I mean, all about Charlottesville, all about race, I'll play a brief clip so we can hear it together. Here he is.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Very kind people on both sides, with those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I'd ever seen in my lifetime.


BURNETT: What do you make of that choice given your concern? CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: That's not enough for me. Like, you know, not

being racist should be the basics of our president. You know what I'm saying, what are your policies? You know what I'm saying?

[19:35:00] What are your new initiatives? What are you putting on the table that's going to help us, you know, move forward in the next 30, 40 years as a country?

That's why I prefer Mayor Pete over a Joe Biden because I feel like Mayor Pete does have things of substance that he's put on the table. He does have actual ideas. I haven't heard any new policies from Joe Biden thus far.

BURNETT: Well, it's dream (ph) selling season, right?


BURNETT: And as you point out people have identified the black vote, so crucial, right? So crucial, so essential. So this reparations issue comes right in the heart of that. They've all been asked about it. You asked candidate after candidate about it and let me play some of their answers.


CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Now, why does it seem like this week, you've been kind of dodging the reparations question?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To my mind, it means we have to deal with the fact that there is enormous disparity between the black community and the white community and that issue has to be addressed.

BUTTIGIEG: The idea of reparations is the idea when something is broken we fix it. Where it goes off the rails like you're saying is people are picturing a kind of check in the mail. And when it's framed that way, there's a lot of people who can't picture how that could be done in a way that's fair.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: A lot of those socioeconomic gaps were created because of slavery, like they're still affecting us to this day.

JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Like I'm not convinced we're ever going to fully come together as one nation and heal until we address that original sin.


CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: That's it. I mean that's what it's about. Like people think this reparation thing is about handing out checks. It's just about America acknowledging the fact that systemically, they did something to put black people in very bad positions so now they need to do something systemically to get us out of those positions. It's really not rocket science.

BURNETT: Do you trust the Democratic candidates on their answers? Because this has been a litmus test this time, right? And they're all going to try to say something positive about reparations. Doesn't mean any of them are going to do it.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Yes, I don't trust any politician right now, because it's dream selling season. You know, like every single politician is telling the American people what it is they want to hear and when they're sitting down with certain people, they're going to speak directly to those certain people, and tell all those people what they want to hear.

So, if reparations are the thing you want to hear and all you have to do is simply say, yes, I agree with it, I'm for it, I'll be down to fix it, you would be a full to mess that question up, you would be a fool to flub it.

BURNETT: All right. Charlamagne, thank you. Good to see you.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Thank you, Erin. Thank you for having me again.

BURNETT: And next, the attorney general threatening that he won't show up to Congress.

And just moments ago Democrats upping the ante and Trump's pick for the Fed in trouble for past remarks about women. The White House today making a surprising admission.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE PRESS SECRETARY: Certainly we're reviewing those comments and when we have an update on that front, we'll let you know.



[19:41:23] BURNETT: Breaking news at this hour: Congressman Jerry Nadler just announcing his House Judiciary Committee -- of course, he's the chair -- will hold a hearing this Thursday, even if Attorney General Bill Barr refuses to show up.

Nadler saying there's no middle ground for negotiation. Quote: We will take whatever action we will have to take if Barr if fails to appear.

Dems in the DOJ at odds over the ground rules for Barr's testimony. They want to question him and they're insisting staff members get to question him, too, staff members who are lawyers. Barr and the DOJ say forget it. If you do it, we're not going to show up.

Of course, this is an all-important committee, and Jerry Nadler, the all-important chairman, who would initiate impeachment proceedings if that happens.

OUTFRONT now, Democratic congressman from California, Ted Lieu, who's on that committee. Congressman, attorney general says forget about it, he'll take

questions from you, your colleagues, but he will not take them from your staff, from lawyers. And that if you insist on this, he will not show up. Chairman Nadler says there is no middle ground.

So, what are you going to do? Are you going to risk Barr not showing up?

REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): Thank you, Erin, for question. If Attorney General Barr doesn't show up this Thursday to Congress, then the American people should ask two questions. What is he afraid of and what is trying to hide?

Last term when Republicans controlled the committee, we had numerous members of the Department of Justice come in and get interviewed by staff counsel. If it was good enough for Republicans last term, then it's good enough for Democrats this term. And if he doesn't show up, then we're going to enforce a subpoena and we're going to hold in contempt.

BURNETT: OK. So, what does that mean? You're going to say you're going to enforce a subpoena and hold in contempt. What exactly does that mean? And obviously, Nadler saying, quote, we'll take whatever action we will have to take.

LIEU: Sure, happy to go through the process.

So, look, Bill Barr can be a partisan hack and a Trump stooge if he wants to, but he can't disregard the law. No one is above the law.

And under the way laws are written, if he fails to comply with the congressional subpoena, then the House Judiciary Committee will take a vote. We're going to hold him in contempt, we're going to send it to the House floor, the House floor votes him in contempt, and then we can litigate this.

We can also, without going to the courts, start imposing fines on Bill Barr. We have an inherent power to enforce subpoenas. We will do so.

BURNETT: So, what do you think is here, right? He says, I'm willing to talk to you guys. I'm willing to take questions from you, Congress, but not from lawyers. Why do you think that is? What is he drawing that line there?

LIEU: I had no idea because our request is not unreasonable. It's what the Judiciary Committee has done on a bipartisan basis in different administrations, including last year when numerous members of the Justice Department were interviewed by staff lawyers. There's nothing strange about this request.

And for Bill Barr to draw this line, it's really odd to me and it seems like he really has some information he wants to hide.

BURNETT: So, today, the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submitted his resignation letter, finally, at long last, right? We've been expecting this to happen for quite sometime. But now, Mueller is done, so he's leaving. May 11th is the effective date.

Congressman, back in January and you tweeted, I quote you: Thank you, Rod Rosenstein, for appointing Special Counsel Mueller, for protecting his independence and for holding onto your job until those who are not in the president's party gained control of congressional subpoena power. History will remember you well.

Now, on Friday, "The Washington Post" reported that in a bid to save his job, Rosenstein tried to assure Trump he was on his team, saying that the Mueller probe, quote, I can land the plane.

Do you still believe what you said?

LIEU: I do. I stand by my statement.

I believe Rod Rosenstein is a complicated man. I believe he did absolutely the right thing in appointing special counsel Mueller, in making sure that Special Counsel Mueller's investigation was as protected as much as it could by a president who's trying to disrupt it.

[19:45:06] At the same time, Rod Rosenstein is an administration that is suing to rip healthcare away from millions of Americans, that has ripped children away from their parents and he was part of the same effort with Bill Barr to mislead us on the Mueller report before any of us could even read it.

BURNETT: And, Congressman, a final question. We understand that Chairman Nadler is saying the unredacted Mueller report is going to be made available to Congress. Does that include grand jury testimony?

LIEU: It absolutely needs to. And there is precedent for this in Watergate. Leon Jaworski did a report that had grand jury information in it. The White House tried to suppress it, the same way Bill Barr is trying to suppress. It went up to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and they held for Congress that members can get the grand jury information.

BURNETT: Obviously, there were plenary impeachment proceedings as part of that. Would you be willing to go that far to formally start preliminary impeachment proceedings for this whole purpose of getting the full unredacted report?

LIEU: If that's the only way we can get it, then absolutely. And if Donald Trump wants to push us into impeachment proceedings, he's doing a good job of trying to push us to go there.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman Lieu. I appreciate your time tonight.

LIEU: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next another Republican tonight with concerns about Trump's pick for the Fed even as Steven Moore trying to do damage control on past comments about women.


STEPHEN MOORE, FED NOMINEE: They were humor columns but some of them weren't funny, and so I am apologetic.


BURNETT: And hold the phone. Jeanne on how to cut off the man who loves to talk.


MARIA BARTIROMO, FBN HOST: Mr. President, don't you have to run -- Mr. President I know you have to go but --



[19:50:29] BURNETT: New tonight, mixed signals from the White House about the fate of Federal Reserve pick Stephen Moore. Press secretary Sarah Sanders admitting the White House is reviewing a host of controversial comments made by Moore as more Republicans are raising concerns over Moore's nomination.

Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First hints from the White House today suggesting that Stephen Moore's embattled nomination to the Federal Reserve may now be in jeopardy.

SANDERS: Certainly, we are reviewing those comments and when we have an update on that front, we'll let you know.

SERFATY: White House review of Moore's past writings happening as publicly the White House is still standing behind him.

LARRY KUDLOW, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR: We are still behind him and he is going through the process of vetting and we'll see what happens through that process, and hopefully, it will go up to the Senate Banking Committee, no change in our position.

SERFATY: Moore is now launching a full-scale campaign to save his nomination.

MOORE: These articles you are talking about were 17, 18 years ago. Frankly, I didn't even remember writing some of these they were so long ago.

SERFATY: Apologizing for the first time for his disparaging comments in the past about women, pay equity and female athletes.

MOORE: They were humor columns but some of them weren't funny, and so I am apologetic. And I'm embarrassed by some of the things that I wrote. SERFATY: In a year 2000 column, Moore complained about his wife

voting for Democrats writing, women are so malleable, no wonder there's a gender gap.

And in another column that same year, he criticized female athletes advocating for pay equity, writing they wanted equal pay for inferior work.

He also penned criticism for female referees in sports, female beer vendors and women in the military. Is there no area in life where men can take vacation from women? What is next? Women invited to bachelor parties, women in combat? Oh, yes, they've done that already.

Moore also wrote in year 2000, but even as Moore apologizes he is lawyering up and hitting back, too.

MOORE: But, you know, they're pulling a Kavanaugh against me.

SERFATY: Following a playbook laid out by President Trump, no stranger to aggressively pushing back when in hot water over his own statements about women and sexual misconduct and who has stood by nominees facing similar controversies in the past.

MOORE: This kind of smear campaign, this character assassination.

SERFATY: If formally nominated, Moore's fate will rest in the hands of the U.S. Senate, where already a few Republican women senators in particular have expressed concern.

I'm not very enthused right now, Senator Joni Ernst told Vox last week.

Senator Susan Collins calling it an unconventional nomination, saying among her reservations is that Moore urged Trump to fire Fed Chairman Powell for raising interest rates. The Federal Reserve is supposed to be independent. So, that does concern. And from what I have read, he always wants to return to a gold standard. I'm not sure what the implications are of that.


SERFATY: And adding to the concern coming from the group of Republican women senators just in the last hour up here on Capitol Hill, Senator Lisa Murkowski admitted that she does, indeed, have reservations about Stephen Moore. She acknowledged he has written an awful lot. In her words, Erin, she says there's a lot in there.

Of course, this particular group of Republican women and senators, their voices carry so much weight here because they will give the White House an early indication of how difficult or impossible it will be to get him through if he is, of course, formally nominated at all.

BURNETT: All right. Sunlen, thank you.

And next, hanging up on the president of the United States. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: My final --

TRUMP: They have no common sense.

BARTIROMO: Final question, Mr. President --

TRUMP: Unless --



[19:58:17] BURNETT: Tonight, when the president of the United States wants to hear himself talk, how do you say goodbye? Here is Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You know when you're dying to get someone off the phone? Well, imagine that someone is the president.

BARTIROMO: I know you have to run, but --

MOOS: It's that old ploy: you don't have time to keep talking to me.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know where these people come from, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Mr. President, you have to go.

TRUMP: It wasn't my neighbor --


TRUMP: They have no common sense.

BARTIROMO: Final president, Mr. President.

TRUMP: Honestly, unless they hate the country.

MOOS: It can make an anchor look like a fish gasping for breath.

BARTIROMO: Before you go, real quick, William Barr testifying last week --

TRUMP: They say, hey, they start learning.

MOOS: This was Maria Bartiromo on Trump-friendly Fox Business. She finally asked.

BARTIROMO: Mr. President, don't you have to run?

MOOS: The exact same thing happened a year ago.


TRUMP: I think we're doing very well. Let's see what happens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. We are running out of time.

MOOS: The clock was running but so what the president's mouth until finally --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We would talk to you all day but looks like you have a million things to do.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: He got the president off the phone like an annoying relative. Listen, I'm going to let you go.

MOOS: Sort of like the guest who over stayed on "SNL."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The thin that wouldn't leave.

MOOS: It leaves the TV host with only one escape.

BARTIROMO: Mr. President, thank you so much.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton loses --

MOOS (on camera): Why does that seem familiar? Who is it that is always saying thank you to try to get others to shut up and leave?

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

REPORTER: Are you taking the money away now? Are you taking --

TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody.

MOOS (voice-over): To recap, the way to say get out is --

TRUMP: Thank you all very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, everybody.

MOOS: And the way to say, get off the phone is?

BARTIROMO: I know you have to run.

MOOS: Talk about a busy signal. Mr. President, you're too busy.

BARTIROMO: Mr. President, don't you have to run.

MOOS: Not to hang up.

BARTIROMO: I know you have to go.

TRUMP: Maria --

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.

BARTIROMO: I know you have a busy day. MOOS: New York


BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much for watching, as always.

Anderson starts now.