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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Wray Breaks With Barr on "Spying": "Not the Term I Would Use"; White House Tells McGahn to Defy Subpoena from House Democrats; Jill Biden Reveals The Moment She Met Biden's First Wife. Aired on 7-8p ET
Aired May 7, 2019 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, Trump defies Congress on everything from his former White House Counsel Don McGahn to Bob Mueller testifying to his taxes, but Democrats found a way to fight fire with fire. Plus, the FBI's Christopher Wray contradicting his boss, Bill Barr, in a big way. Why? And Jill Biden opening up about her husband's run and her chance meeting Joe Biden's first wife. Let's go out front.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, silencing a witness. Today, team Trump order and former counsel, Don McGahn to defy today's deadline, a deadline to hand over documents to Congress. McGahn, one of Mueller's most important witnesses mentioning more than 500 times, 500 time he's mentioned in the Mueller report more than any other witness in the report and the White House doesn't want you to see what he has to say.
Just listen to Sarah Sanders today when asked if Congress will get those documents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I don't anticipate that that takes place. No.
JOHN SANTUCCI, SENIOR EDITORIAL PRODUCER, ABC NEWS: Why?
SANDERS: Again, we consider this to be a case closed and we're moving forward to do the work of the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. The White House clearly desperate to block the congressional oversight here. Just today, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, saying the President may follow through on his threat to not allow Bob Mueller to testify either.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Democrats shouldn't get a do-over. And as far as we see, it's case closed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK, case closed. Well, that certainly sounds a whole lot different from what her boss said just four days ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, should Mueller testify? Would you like to see him testify?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know. That's up to our Attorney General, who I think has done a fantastic job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. Well, even if the President is trying to hide behind his Attorney General, sure. Remember that Bill Barr has already said what he thinks about this. He said under oath explicitly that he has no problem with Mueller testifying. So Sarah Sanders is moving the bar, trying to stop the American people from hearing Mueller testify.
And that's not all, team Trump is trying tonight to block the House Ways and Means Committee from seeing President Trump's tax returns and they may succeed at stopping the IRS from handing over that information. But there's a new threat to Trump this hour from New York State. New York State expected to pass a bill that would allow the handing over of any New York tax return that the House Ways and Means Committee requests and those state returns include much of the federal information.
So in a moment I'm going to speak to the New York State Senator behind this bill, Brad Hoylman. But first, Abby Phillip is out front out live outside the White House tonight. And Abby, any response from the White House on this New York State bill which obviously could pose a huge threat to the President?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. These threats to the President when it comes to seeking information about his personal and business taxes are coming from all fronts at this point. But the White House has not specifically responded to this New York State bill, but you can imagine that they might respond to this the same way they've responded to all of these other inquiries by basically putting a team of lawyers on this issue, threatening litigation, trying to hold this whole thing up in the courts.
The White House has been successful in delaying the federal tax returns, because they have some control over the Treasury Department. The President has put someone that he knows into the general counsel position at the IRS ahead of this whole battle with the Democrats over his federal tax returns. But when it comes to his state returns, he doesn't have that kind of mechanism, but you can expect them to continue to try to slow this process down as much as possible and delay really is the strategy here as far as the White House is concern, not just on the taxes but on all of these other oversight inquiries that we're seeing on Capitol Hill.
They're not sure how these things will all shake out in the courts, but White House officials believe that if they can simply cause it to take a long time, they can slow down the potential political damage to the President. And this is clearly something that the President thinks is critically important to him. His business tax returns, his personal net worth are things that he's tried to protect for a very long time. So he's going to fight tooth and nail to prevent these things from being released publicly, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Abby. And now Brad Hoylman, a Democratic in New York State Senator. The one who's heading up the bill where they could get those state tax returns. So let me ask you, you think it's crucial to see Trump's state tax returns, explain why.
[19:04:53] SEN. BRAD HOYLMAN (D-NY): Well, Erin, thanks for having me on the show. I think it's important that as a fellow legislative body, I think my colleagues strongly believe that Congress' oversight responsibility needs to be respected by the President. But this is bigger than the President of the United States. This is about New York State having that unique role and responsibility to assist Congress in one of its most solemn responsibilities.
BURNETT: So the Attorney General Bill Barr and the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin obviously are blocking as you're well aware, Senator, the release of Trumps federal tax returns. Why do you think you can succeed at getting that information out when Congress so far, frankly, has failed?
HOYLMAN: Well, as your colleague just noted, the President, yes, controls the Treasury Department, but guess what he doesn't control ...
BURNETT: All right. And obviously we just have a transmission issue there. We're going to go - do we have him have him back now? OK, Senator, thanks. I'm glad we have you back. So let me just ask you though the question here, obviously, is whether this will succeed. The Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo has said he supports what you're doing but, quote, if it looks politically targeted, the courts will be more likely to shoot it down. Can you make the case that this is not politically targeted?
HOYLMAN: Yes. It doesn't apply to one person, Erin. This applies across the board. And frankly, the State of New York has done this routinely in terms of providing state tax returns both to the federal government and other states. This just creates a parallel mechanism to provide those state tax returns to one of three congressional committees including the House Ways and Means Committee, and allow them to have access to those returns.
BURNETT: OK. And is there any timeframe on this of how many years you're going to get, you're requesting? That they would - as much as they want.
HOYLMAN: That's really up to Congress.
BURNETT: OK. HOYLMAN: Yes. That's right. It's up to Congress. We'll pass the
bill tomorrow. Hopefully, it'll pass in the other House. The Governor can sign it into law and expeditiously Congress can get the information it needs to make the judgment call on Trump's taxes.
BURNETT: So let me ask you about the Chairman of the New York Republican Party sort of mirroring what we've been hearing obviously, Senator, from others saying your legislation is the result of, quote, Trump derangement syndrome. He tells NBC News, "No matter how they dress it up, they're trying different wordings to do it, it's aimed at one individual, the President of the United States with the purpose of re-litigating the 2016 campaign." That is what the White House also says. How are they wrong?
HOYLMAN: I think they're wrong because this is a president who has resisted 40 years of political tradition by not showing his tax returns to the American people and now is stonewalling Congress with his cabinet members. I mean, this is a constitutional showdown that we might be able to avoid here in Albany if we pass this bill that would allow the state tax department to share tax information with the House Ways and Means Committee.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much, Senator Hoylman.
HOYLMAN: Thanks for having me.
BURNETT: And I want to go now to Harry Sandwick who is obviously a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, obviously, now in private practice. Harry, how scared should Trump be of this? Obviously, a state return includes a lot of your federal information.
HARRY SANDICK, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Yes. I think there will be plenty of information in a New York State return for people to have a good idea of how much money the President was making, maybe some insight into the sources of the income, what types of deductions is he claiming, is he paying taxes at all, because there are provisions in the real estate world that people can sort of take a depreciation on the buildings they own and avoid paying taxes at all.
BURNETT: So Trump as we know is trying to block Congress at every turn, so now you've got this coming from New York, I mean, threats come from elsewhere but saying McGahn should defy his subpoena. McGahn obviously is central to the whole Mueller investigation. Mueller shouldn't testify even though Bill Barr testified under oath that Mueller could testify. Is Trump going to succeed at blocking everything?
SANDICK: I don't think ultimately he's going to succeed at blocking everything. Look, there are central issues of separation of powers and checks and balances that are at the core of what our constitution means, at the core of more than 200 years of history. What he can achieve is delay and that by going through the legal process, by making Congress go to court every single time they want a witness or want a document by raising novel claims and taking them up to the Supreme Court, he may be able to delay some of the disclosure until after the election, and then it's essentially too late. The American people have had to make their decision based on an incomplete record.
BURNETT: And when they say whatever Congress request, you would then see in New York, obviously, theoretically, his personal returns anything to do with his businesses, everything would be on the table, do you think? 0 SANDICK: I think that's what the New York legislator who you spoke to a moment ago is aiming at. And New York State returns, there are a lot of important things that you can learn from New York State returns, a lot of it Parallels, as people know from filling out their own taxes, your
adjusted gross income is carried over from one document to the other. There's a lot of similarity.
[19:10:09] BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Harry. And we do have breaking news on this front literally as we are speaking. The New York Times has just obtained 10 years worth of President Trump's tax information. The reporter who broke that story and the stunning details in there next. Plus, the nation's FBI Director publicly contradicting his boss, the President's Attorney General.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think spying did occur.
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: That's not the term I would use.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It couldn't get more blatant than that, does it? And Jill Biden opening up about her husband's run for office and this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JILL BIDEN, WIFE OF JOB BIDEN: Yes. He comes from a very affectionate family. They're always touching.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:14:34] BURNETT: All right. Breaking news, The New York Times obtained 10 years worth of President Trump's tax information and these are very important years. We're talking '85 to 1994, I mean, I'm literally going through this. This is pretty incredible stuff. What the documents reveal is stunning, so a couple of headlines. A billion dollars in losses.
According to The New York Times, the President appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer. Russ Buettner is a reporter with The New York Times. He just broke the story and joins me on the phone.
OK. Russ, this is incredible. I'm starting to read through all of this. So first, exactly what information did you get/
[19:15:13] RUSS BUETTNER, REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: What you received there is a printout of what's known as an IRS transcript. That's the data that the IRS compiles from individual tax returns every year. It has all of the boxes from the 1040 and all of the attached schedules.
BURNETT: OK. So now let me just ask you about this crucial sentence, you're saying $1.17 billion in losses for the decade. Year after year, Mr. Trump, I'm quoting from, Russ, appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual taxpayer. You go on to show that in just two years he lost more than double, the next biggest loser in this country.
BUETTNER: That's right. There's a database the IRS compiles of high- income earners like Mr. Trump, most of them are business owners like him. They show revenue from what are known as passed through agency or businesses on their tax returns. And really just every year, year after year in the cycle, he is on the outer limits of people who are recording those kinds of losses and then rolls it over into the next year to where he gets this massive loss for the decade of over a billion dollars.
BURNETT: So he's literally the biggest loser. There is quite an irony there. But, Russ, you also have something else in here that I think is really important for people trying to understand Trump over the years. This is something that isn't normal. You talk about how Mr. Trump's primary sources of income changed year after year. One year he earned $67.1 million in salary. In just one random year. Another year, he gets $52.9 million in interest income from who knows where when he doesn't in any other year. That stuff is bizarre and it's not normal, right?
BUETTNER: It is incredibly bizarre and that, I think, was the big shocking thing for us. We sort of knew where he was going to wind up with the billion dollar loss because we've reported that before, but we didn't know the building blocks of it. But the degree to which his sort of primary sources of income just bounced all over the place year after year is really stunning.
And that interest income one is not the one mystery we just really haven't been able to solve, that was a point in time when casino regulators and auditors said he had somewhere between $2 million and $100 million in invested money. And then in one year he's making $50 million in interest income.
And those oddities, that's one year of salary. The one year of extreme interest income, those are what really prop him up in 88 and 89 when all of the debt that he took on in building this eclectic empire is really starting to put him underwater.
BURNETT: All right. And so just in terms of your takeaways here that when people talk about Trump, separate from the image that he projected of himself that as you quote when he said there's no one more successful or from Newsweek the quote that you have. I mean, he said a million things like this. "I'm so successful. I'm so rich." Aside from proving a lot of that to be untrue, you're also pointing
out that he was in dire need. He had some serious problems. He's in the red.
BUETTNER: He's falling apart. Yes. Again, every year in this cycle he's losing money, $50 million a year, $60 million a year. The year that art of the deal comes out when he presents himself as one of the country's great deal makers, that was his best year. He only recorded a loss that year of $4.5 million. Every year, the next year after that he recorded a loss from his primary businesses of $30 million and it just got worse to the point by 1990, 1991 he's losing more than $250 million in each of those years. Everything is really falling apart and in the meantime by comparison his father is doing quite well.
BURNETT: I mean, again, I want to emphasize what you just said, in the best year that he had he lost $4.5 million and yet are these real losses, Russ, from what you understand or I mean is this - people look at Trump, they go, "OK, this guy is so opaque." He's actually taken in millions of dollars. He's just reporting losses so he doesn't pay taxes. Are both of those things true, he's still taking in a ton even though he's losing?
BUETTNER: It's an excellent point. Most of these losses are other people's money. It's money that he borrowed from bondholders in essence, from banks and then didn't pay back the business that didn't support the debt that he had taken on. And he's not actually losing from his pocket. Maybe it's $250 million a year. He is in essence kind of fobbing that off on the banks and that's the reason that ultimately he gives most of what he had built back to the banks at the end of that cycle.
BURNETT: All right.
BUETTNER: And as we reported previously most people would have incurred some tax exposure from that act but he managed to avoid that and really paid almost no taxes for this 10-year period.
[19:20:03] BURNETT: Right, and as you say, what, is it $1.5 million in taxes for the entire time.
BUETTNER: In one year, yes. That was one year and the rest of it, nothing. Yes.
BURNETT: All right. Russ, thank you very much. A phenomenal reporting and thank you very much for this. I want to go now to the former special assistant to President George W. Bush, Scott Jennings and our Political Commentator and former White House Communication Director, Jen Psaki. Also, you're also CNN Political Commentator, Scott.
So, OK, can I just take a pause here for a second, Scott, this is pretty stunning stuff. I mean whatever you think the takeaway may be, you're talking about a billion dollars in losses and one year random numbers from totally different things, north of $50 million. This is not normal. SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:
Well, I just got this a few seconds ago and listen to what the reporter had to say. I've read over the story. It looked like some things didn't pan out. It looked like a couple of things did. And it was obviously from a long time ago.
I guess if I'm here to analyze the political implications of it, our voters are going to look at tax returns that are decades old and put more weight on that and they put on their own personal financial situation which is probably better based on today's economy. I doubt it, but certainly this is a story the White House is going to have to talk about over the next few days, because it's obviously new information the public hasn't had.
BURNETT: Right. Now, look, you have fair points here but let me let me just say, Jen, the 1987 quote, and by the way there's a million like this since then. We all including every viewer could probably basically paraphrase them but, "There's no one my age who has accomplished more." You have a guy who's saying his net worth are numbers that don't add up even without this information.
What do you make of this, Jen, back to the point here where this is a guy who says money is his thing? This is the Midas touch guy, OK, who lost more money than almost any other American. There are hundreds of millions of us. In two years alone his losses were more than double the next biggest loser in the country.
JEN PSAKI, FORMER OBAMA WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: And, Erin, as you all know and as Scott knows, he ran as a successful businessman who is going to be bringing the art of the deal-making to the White House. And what this exposes which we've known a little bit from some of the reporting, Russ and others have done, is that he's an enormous fraud. He's not somebody who made a significant amount of money and had all of these business successes.
As the reporting noted, he paid more or he had greater losses than any other American and that's a significant and a stunning fact. In addition, I don't think anyone not certainly his opponents but not even his supporters will take kindly to the fact when they're reminded that he didn't pay taxes for the vast majority of these years either, so there are a lot of troubling --
BURNETT: Well, he paid in, basically, it looks like one or two years, that's it. The rest of them not at all.
BURNETT: So, Scott, I mean I guess the question is, again, I hear you on the political point, but let's talk about the President when he hears this and he looks at this, does this to you explain why he doesn't want anyone to have this information that he was such a loser? I mean the reason I say that word, I'm not trying to be funny, he uses that word all of the time. He calls people losers and he has such disdain and drips with horror when he uses that word and yet he was literally the biggest loser in the country. JENNINGS: Sure. Look, I mean the political implications of this are
if you're spending any hours or days or weeks during a presidential campaign talking about your tax returns from the 1980s instead of say the booming stock market today, low unemployment, rising wages, et cetera, et cetera, then that's a day lost on your campaign. So yes as a raw political matter, you would rather not have to talk about these things because you'd rather talk about people's present situation.
BURNETT: Do you, Scott, have questions though as to - I hear your point, but --
JENNINGS: So, yes, that's a very good reason why he wouldn't want him out there.
BURNETT: Do you think though there are real questions though about then where did he get the money? Where did he get the loans? This actually paints a good picture of an important period of time as to why subsequent to that time he could not get loans from banks, because banks don't want a loan to a person that has this record. So he went somewhere. You don't worry about where or why?
JENNINGS: Look, I think that somebody with this much money, who's had this much money moving in and out of their accounts over this long period of time, to my knowledge he's never done anything illegal. He's never been dinged by the IRS. He has filed all of this paperwork.
And if it ends up out in the public domain for people to see, I think that's probably fine. I do think that they're going to wind up having to talk about how real estate investors and real estate development people get different tax treatment than average Americans, because that's something folks are probably going to need to hear which explains why the money moves away.
BURNETT: Which was, of course, perpetuated and exacerbated in the most recent tax bill. Jen?
[19:24:56] PSAKI: I was going to say, I think it's just a lot more significant and problematic for Donald Trump and his team than that. Not only does this kind of fly in the face of how he ran for office, it shows him to be a fraud, but it also shows why he would be vulnerable to interests like Russia and other countries like that who are trying to convince him that they can help him out with his financial problems.
We don't know that that happened. We haven't seen all of the proof, but look this is an important piece that I think people will dig further into.
BURNETT: All right. And I encourage everyone to take a look at it, Russ does a fantastic reporting along with Susanne Craig. Thanks both. And next, did the FBI spy or not spy on Trump's campaign? Two of the Trump team's top officials at odds over a serious allegation and one of them runs the FBI. And Jill Biden in a new and very revealing interview on life, loss, and what some say maybe her husband's biggest challenge. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For people who say he's old news, he's too old, you say?
BIDEN: I say, no, he's not too old.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:29:54] BURNETT: New tonight, FBI Director Chris Wray breaking with this boss, the Attorney General Bill Barr and his ultimate boss, the President of the United States, their claim that spying occurred in the Trump campaign. Here's Director Wray.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WRAY: That's not the term I would useI believe that the FBI is engaged in investigative activity and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes.
(END VIDOE CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. So, it's not spying. Well, that puts him completely at odds with the attorney general. Not just the president obviously, but the attorney general who said this last month at a Senate hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think there's spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: When called out for that, Barr doubled down on it last week despite widespread criticism for using the term.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: I think spying is a good English word that doesn't have synonyms because it's the broadest word incorporating all forms of covert intelligence collection. So, I'm not going to back off the word spying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.
So, Evan, it is significant. You've got Trump's own appointee, his own FBI director, publicly and clearly saying I don't agree with the president and Bill Barr is wrong.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, I think it's a very important distinction for Chris Wray to make simply because, look, for FBI, this is a big deal. This is a word that carries a lot of connotations that is negative as far as what the FBI's work is concerned. And I think it was certainly very important for the FBI work force to hear the FBI director distance himself from the attorney general's language.
Look, I think -- a lot of people are very confused at the Justice Department and at the FBI as to what exactly is going on with the attorney general. Why is he using certain words? Why is it that six times during his press conference on the day the Mueller report was released that he chose to use the exact language that the president uses as far as no collusion when really that is not the term that is used in the report, right?
So, I think there's a lot going on here. I think Chris Wray today took the opportunity that he knows his own work force needs to hear from someone to say this is not exactly what was happening.
BURNETT: All right. Evan, thank you.
I want to go now to David Gergen, of course, who advised four presidents. And former assistant FBI director under President Trump, Greg Brower, and also a former Republican lawmaker.
So, Greg, let me start with you because when you hear Christopher Wray today, he is the president's appointed FBI director and he's coming out to clearly say no. Spying is not the right word.
What is the significance of this public contradiction of the attorney general and the president?
GREG BROWER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FORMER GOP STATE LAWMAKER: Well, good evening, Erin.
I think it's very significant but it's not surprising. Those of us like myself who know the facts of this investigation would expect the FBI director to set the record straight and it was good to hear he did exactly that. What is surprising to me and so many others is why the attorney general doesn't seem to know the same thing. He could have on his first day as attorney general received briefing about how this investigation started and every classified detail about it.
And yet, he apparently still does not know the facts, and his subordinate, the FBI director had to correct the record today. It's puzzling.
BURNETT: But just to be clear, the attorney general of the United States, Bill Barr, is an accomplished and incredibly intelligent person. He knows full well what people hear when they hear the word spying, right, which is illicit and nobody knowing about it and under cloak and dagger, and on the sly, and surveillance which implies legal and buttoned up. They don't imply the same thing, and Bill Barr knows it.
So, are you giving him the credit for pushing this not being political or not?
BROWER: Well, it's hard to understand what the attorney general is thinking because what he is saying makes no sense. Remember, he's not only a distinguished lawyer with a long career in Washington and a DOJ veteran, former attorney general, but he's a former CIA lawyer earlier in his career. So, he clearly knows the difference between what the CIA does in terms of spying and what the FBI does in terms of counterintelligence surveillance. He must know the difference.
And so, for him to inartfully describe what the FBI does in a congressional hearing before a public audience, it just makes no sense.
BURNETT: You know, David, it does make no sense because he knows. He knows the difference and he knows the significance of what he's saying. But he is saying it, it seems pretty clearly because of what this person is saying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There was absolutely spying into my campaign. I'll go a step further and my opinion it was illegal spying.
The attorney general said it better than anybody when he said, yes, I think they were spying on the Trump campaign.
[19:35:05] You can't say it any better than that.
I was happy the see on the front page of 'The New York Times" for the first time where they were talking about spying and they were talking about spying on my campaign.
It's a story bigger than Watergate as far as I'm concerned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, just to be clear, Christopher Wray today came out and didn't just take on the attorney general, he took on the president.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. That was a quiet behind the scenes meaning of that.
BURNETT: How significant is that? This is the president's own hand picked appointed FBI director.
GERGEN: I think it's very significant not only that he had the courage to do that and stand up for his institution which too few people in this administration have often done. Try to protect your institution, protect your professionals. You're standing up for them, when the chips are down.
But I think he's trying to spike I think he's trying to spike the conspiracy theory that this -- this was an attempted coup. Once you accept the idea there had been spying, that Trump was spied on, then it adds a lot of credibility to the notion this is conspiracy theory. There was a whole effort, a concerted effort --
BURNETT: Of people out the get him. GERGEN: Yes, that's right. I think it's disingenuous to say that
Bill Barr thinks spy doesn't have any negative connotation -- it doesn't have any synonym. It does have negative connotations.
GERGEN: There's a reason we call that organization out of Langley the Central Intelligence Agency. We don't call it the central spying agency.
BURNTT: I mean, you know, Greg, as you said, you're very familiar with all the details of the investigation. And I think it's important to emphasis one other point which you have made which is Trump was not aware of this depth of the investigation. That would make sense. They were warned they were worried about Russian infiltration. But they were not given the specifics as to who and why because the FBI did not know who and why.
And so, to warn somebody could have been warning the person who was involved, right?
BROWER: Well, that's right. The FBI, as the American people might expect, does not make it a practice to brief potential subjects on the ongoing investigation on the details of that very investigation. And so that -- that whole issue about the Trump campaign not being adequately briefed about the Russian threat is a red herring. It's apples and oranges.
It received the typical usual defensive threat that it was entitled to and should have, but it was not briefed on the details of ongoing counterintelligence investigation.
BURNETT: David, bottom line, what happens to Chris Wray that he's defied the president?
GERGEN: I think the president has to stick with this guy. He can't fire this FBI director over this kind of issue. After the elections, I think Christopher Wray may be in the job market.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both.
And next, she was cited more than 65 times in the Mueller report. Who is Annie Donaldson and why do Democrats want to subpoena her?
Plus, Jill Biden in a new interview talking to Dana Bash about the loss of Beau Biden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JILL BIDEN, WIFE OF JOE BIDEN: I don't think any mother who has lost a child is ever the same.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:41:44] BURNETT: Tonight, the White House telling former White House counsel Don McGahn to defy a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee. Democrats want to talk to McGahn's former chief of staff, Annie Donaldson as well. Her notes are cited more than 65 times in the Mueller report.
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
TRUMP: No collusion. No obstruction.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even as the president declares victory in the back wash of the Mueller probe, his team is furiously trying to block congressional efforts to see the papers of former White House Attorney Don McGahn and the notes kept by McGahn's then chief of staff, Annie Donaldson Talley.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The case is not closed.
FOREMAN: A staunchly conservative lawyer, Donaldson's name appears 67 times in the redacted Mueller report and her notes from meetings between McGahn and Trump are at the center of some of the most embarrassing and controversial moments, including her speculation that Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey would destroy his presidency.
Is this the beginning of the end? Her reference one day to just being in the middle of another Russia fiasco. She recorded details about efforts to pressure Jeff Sessions over his recusal from the Russia probe and about Trump's interest in canning special counsel Robert Mueller. When the report emerged and the impact of Donaldson's words was clear, the president's reaction was swift. Watch out for people that take notes.
TRUMP: Nobody has ever done what I've done. I've given total transparency.
FOREMAN: But obscure players have loomed large in political dramas before.
WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: I did not have sexual relations with that woman.
FOREMAN: Way back when President Bill Clinton's tryst with intern Monica Lewinsky exploded, his personal secretary Betty Curry became a target in the special prosecutor's probe. Her recollections about meetings, gifts and more.
As the Watergate scandal unfolded around President Richard Nixon --
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT: I just wonder if the son-of-a-bitch had a recorder on him.
FOREMAN: -- his own tape recordings and memories from a times lower level players also added up. Each may have been just a snippet but they built the case that Nixon had to go.
FOREMAN: Donaldson now works for law firm in Alabama. She's not talking publicly about any of this, and the White House wants to keep it that way saying, look, this is the president's business.
But here's the thing -- under the pressure of subpoena, she could be driven by Congress to say, you've got to come forward and talk about something, because some people still believe the president broke the law or at least bent the rules very badly -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks so much, Tom.
And next, Jill Biden on criticism that her husband is too old to be president.
Plus, Australia's prime minister gets egged and it's bringing back memories of this.
[19:48:28] BURNETT: Tonight, in the fight for 2020, an interview with Jill Biden, opening up about her marriage to Joe Biden, including a chance encounter with Biden's first wife. She shares details in her new book "Where The Light Enters" and with our Dana Bash.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You were married briefly as a young woman. Your husband was a Joe Biden fan.
BASH: You went with him to then Senator-elect Biden's victory.
BIDEN: Yes, I did. I went on the promise of a dinner. You know, my then-husband said I'll take you to dinner because I wasn't interested in politics. I always say I'm not political.
And so, we were there in the crowd, in the gold ballroom in the Hotel DuPont, and she Neilia walked through the crowd and I walked up and shook her hand. I said congratulations.
BASH: You sought her out. In your book she was so striking you were drawn to her.
BIDEN: Yes. That's why I walked up to her to say congratulations.
BASH: You must take that with you and have taken that with you when you started to date him and get to know his sons.
BIDEN: Well, she gave me such a gift. I got her three boys. So, I always felt during our marriage that I needed to honor her, to honor her memory. BASH: You write about Beau's death. You say you still don't have
words to express your despair which is understandable. You write: Since Beau's death, I'm definitely shattered.
[19:50:00] I feel like a piece of china that's been glued back together again. The cracks may be imperceptible, but they're there.
BIDEN: Yes, they're there. I mean, you have a son. You probably -- when you probably read that part in my book, I'm sure you just thought to yourself, I can't imagine it. And I don't think any parent can imagine it. They can't even put their head in that space.
So, you know, you just -- it is not something you get over. I don't think any mother who has lost a child is ever the same.
BASH: Let's talk about running for president.
BASH: For people who say he's old news, he's too old, you say?
BIDEN: I say no. He's not too old. And that is for the American people to judge. But they need to watch him and see how much energy he has and compassion and passion and experience. If we get elected, day one, he's ready.
BASH: The physical way that you're husband expresses himself has gotten a lot of attention and criticism from some women. I was struck that you in the book write about your own experience coming into the Biden family. You said that you are not someone who was used to public shows of affection and that was initially uncomfortable development.
BIDEN: Yes. He comes from a very affectionate family. They are always touching and I think Joe is -- one thing I've admired about Joe is the way he makes connections with people. But recently, I mean, things -- times have changed and Joe has heard that -- to back off and give people their space. And he has now taken responsibility for that. And someone asked me, did this ever happen to you. And I have to say it has happened to me.
And I -- like 20 years ago and I did not have the courage to speak up then and say stop that, you're in my space. Now I would have the courage. But 20 years ago I wouldn't. Times have changed.
BASH: You are the only second lady, I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, to hold a full time job.
BASH: So did you want to continue teaching because you love teaching or to maintain your independence or both?
BIDEN: Both. When we were elected I said to Joe, Joe, I have to continue -- continue doing what I love. And he said, yeah, you do. So I was in the classroom seven days after the inauguration. And I've been there ever since, full time every day. I'm in the classroom.
BASH: And would you keep teaching as first lady?
BIDEN: I don't -- if I could, I would. I don't know whether it would be advisable because of just security reasons. But I would love to. Are you kidding?
BURNETT: And Dana joins me now. That was just phenomenal to get a sense of her and who she was and she doesn't speak often and you brought tears in eyes with the moments with a child.
Did she say why she thinks now is the right time? You did address this issue of age head on.
BASH: Yes. No, it is a good question. Because she also talks in the book about at one point her husband and his advisers were talking about him running in 2004 and she was so opposed to it then, she was out at the pool at the house and she knew they were meeting and walked through the meeting in her bikini and wrote N-O on her stomach. But it changed, she said, obviously, since then in 2008 she was for it. But now, she said it is about the time and frankly Donald Trump and her kids and grandkids are 100 percent behind it and encouraged them to do it.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Dana.
BASH: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, someone tried to egg a prime minister and had us thinking about another dodge.
[19:58:13] BURNETT: Here is Jeanne.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When a protester threw an egg at Australia's prime minister -- prime minister exhibited a hard boiled head. The egg just grazed him. Though did he have to help up a woman who got knocked to the ground and the egg- thrower got knocked verbally as she was led out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Silly girl. You're appalling, absolutely appalling.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As is everyone who votes for this piece of (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
MOOS: It is the second egging in as many months in Australia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When people are getting attacked in their own -- MOOS: Right wing senator egged by a teen fought back.
The preferred reaction in the U.S. is playing it cool.
Like George W. Bush did, ducking a pair of shoes.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: So what if he threw a shoe at me?
MOOS: The same thing happened to Hillary.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Cycling at about -- what was that? A bat? Thank goodness she didn't play softball like I did.
MOOS: Someone with bad aim.
TRUMP: You have Hillary who is a disaster.
MOOS: Hurled a tomato at then-candidate Trump who waved and smiled. But it is hard to smile through a pie in the face.
Anita Bryant campaigned against gays and then got pied by one.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, at least it is a fruit pie.
MOOS: While right wing commentator Ann Coulter got pied by two.
When a protester hit Rupert Murdoch with a foam filled pie, Murdoch's then wife Wendy in pink whacked the attacker.
And when Ralph Nader was pied, he served it right back.
The shoe was on the other foot. This Minor League manager took care not to throw his shoe at the ump, instead he raised an armpit in protest. You stink.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: And thanks for joining us.
Anderson starts now.