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Dem: "We're Inching Closer Everyday" Toward Impeaching Trump; U.S. Tensions with Iran Escalate as Bolton Warns of "Unrelenting Force". Aired on 7-8p ET

Aired May 8, 2019 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I like it myself. Nice name, Archie. All right, Max Foster, thanks very much. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, it's war. Democrats say the United States is in a constitutional crisis. Trump invoking executive privilege for the first time to stop Democrats in their tracks. Is he daring them to impeach him? Plus, more breaking news, the Republican- led Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenas Donald Trump Jr. Trump Jr. fighting back. So what exactly do they want from him right now? And standoff with Iran, tensions escalating tonight. Is the U.S. on a path to a real war? Let's go out front.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, a constitutional crisis. Those are the words of the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler tonight.


REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): We are now in it. We are now in a constitutional crisis.


BURNETT: It's a huge statement coming from the man who has the power to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Chairman Nadler saying there is a crisis because Attorney General Barr is ignoring a subpoena, refusing to hand over the full Mueller report and all of its underlying evidence.


NADLER: We cannot have a government where all of the information is in the executive branch, where the American people and the Congress are stonewalled. There can be no higher stakes than this attempt to aggregate all power to the executive branch away from Congress and more important away from the American people.


BURNETT: Nadler's words coming as his committee voted to hold the Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress setting the path to make history as only the second time on record an attorney general has been held in contempt. But contempt is a word not an action and this is clearly a real fight that President Trump wants to have. Just listen to the White House Spokesperson Sarah Sanders respond to Chairman Nadler tonight.


SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's truly outrageous and absurd what the Chairman is doing and he should be embarrassed that he's behaving this way.


BURNETT: They like it. They relish this fight. Nadler may be playing right into Trump's hands. Trump today choosing to up the ante, invoking his first executive privilege to force the issue by blocking the release of the full Mueller report and its underlying evidence. Trump wants to escalate this war and frankly, Democrats are biting.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Every single day, whether it's obstruction, obstruction, obstruction, obstruction of having people come to the table with sacks of ignoring subpoenas and arrests every single day, the President is making a case. He's becoming self-impeachable in terms of some of the things that he is doing.


BURNETT: Self-impeachable. But look, here's the thing, even if that's what the President wants Nancy to say, if he thinks it helps him, he didn't count on a key Republican standing up today. The Republican Senate Intelligence Committee, obviously, Burr, has just subpoenaed the President's son, Donald Trump Jr.

This according to sources who tell us lawmakers want to question Trump Jr. about a whole lot of issues connected to the Russia investigation. Kaitlan Collins is out front at the White House tonight. And Kaitlan, are there any response to Nadler's comments when he has come out and, look, he knows full well what he's saying when he says these things. They're not just words, he says this is a constitutional crisis.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The White House, Erin, is basically saying the opposite of that. The Democrats are forcing the President's hand here and they're calling them unlawful and reckless in their measures here and saying essentially Trump had no other option than to do this.

Now, as you noted this is the first time the President has invoked the executive privilege and the Justice Department is framing this as a protective measure. So then essentially they have more time to go through documents that they can either deem privilege or not privileged, but some Democrats are saying they're not counting on that because they think that the White House is eager to have this fight and that they're not actually going to hand over any documents in the end of this. Now, with the President invoking this privilege, it essentially gives

the Attorney General a shield here that he can say if this does go to court which Erin, of course, as you just laid out, it's looking like it's going to, he can say that he ignored the subpoena because of what the President wanted him to do by invoking this privilege. But the question that Democrats have and even some skeptics around Washington is whether or not they've waived privilege by having those people sit down with the Special Counsel releasing the Muller report already in the version that they did, but the White House is insisting that the President has not done that yet.

BURNETT: All right, Kaitlan, thank you very much. And I want to go straight now to Democratic Congressman David Cicilline who is on the House Judiciary Committee, obviously, chaired by Mr. Nadler. All right. Your Committee voted today to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt. So as I said it's a word, not an action. Can you explain why or what this accomplishes in practical terms, Congressman?

[19:05:01] REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): Well, first of all, it's very important to note that the Judiciary Committee has a responsibility to do oversight. That requires us to collect evidence and to hear from witnesses who testify under oath. It simply cannot be the case that the executive branch is going to decide what witnesses will come and what documents will be produced, because if we allow the executive branch to do that it will essentially permit them to extinguish congressional oversight in its entirety.

So this is an important principle of our separation of powers of our oversight responsibilities. We've issued a subpoena to the Attorney General, a lawful subpoena. He has defied that subpoena and the next step we took today, we adjudged him in contempt, we did a contempt report that will go to the floor and we'll also at the time it goes to the floor seek authorization to initiate a legal proceeding for us to enforce the subpoena.

So this is the process we have to follow to litigate this and compel Mr. Barr to comply. And I think in your early reporting, Erin, you're right the President relishes this fight because the truth is the Democrats ran on an agenda for the people of this country to drive down health care costs, raise family incomes, rebuild the infrastructure of our country and take on the serious corruption in Washington to (inaudible) and we're delivering on those results.

The President has no record to speak of and so he wants to fight about this, but we have to do both things. We need to deliver on the promises we made and at the same time conduct responsible oversight that's why we had to move forward today.

BURNETT: OK. Now, you make your case for why this is oversight, but even Republicans on your own committee including Congressman Doug Collins just - they don't believe anything you just said. Here's what he said about your vote to hold Barr in contempt.


REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): They're willing to paint the Attorney General as the bad guy in this. They want to paint the Attorney General as someone people can't trust, why? Because they don't like the findings that he had. They don't like what came out of the Mueller report. This is just a show.


BURNETT: It's just a show.

CICILLINE: Doug Collins couldn't be more wrong. Look, the Attorney General of the United States is the lawyer for the people of this country who takes an oath to the Constitution. He's not defense counsel to the President. What do we know so far?

He first of all does a four-page summary that totally mischaracterizes the report in an effort to kind of set the narrative for the President. He then says under oath that he doesn't know what Mr. Mueller thought of the four-page report. We subsequently learned Mr. Mueller sent him a scathing letter, criticizing his characterization.

BURNETT: That is true.

CICILLINE: And at the same time he never disclosed that in the Senate testimony. So we know that this is an Attorney General who's acting to defend the President. The President said, "I want Roy Cohn. I want a Roy Cohn." He got one with William Barr. So now what does he do? He refuses to turn over the unredacted Mueller report and all of the supporting materials.

So I think there's a lot of reason to question the integrity, and the objectivity and impartiality of the Attorney General. He should be working for the people of this country, not the President of the United States.

BURNETT: So do you agree we're in a constitutional crisis with Chairman Nadler?

CICILLINE: I think this is a very, very grave moment for our country. This is only the second time in history that the Attorney General of the United States has been adjudicated in contempt of the Congress of the United States. This is deadly serious. We have to move forward in a sober and serious way.

But look, we have got to get access to all of the information to make informed judgments in this case. The President and his minions cannot stonewall the American people, cannot prevent Congress from doing its work and finding the truth whatever it is.

BURNETT: I understand the points that you're trying to make, but when you say that this is contempt second time in history, all of these things, I guess the question at this point is if it is so dire and you have the power to launch impeachment proceedings which you do on your committee, what is stopping you if this is so serious?

CICILLINE: Well, look, I think there's no question that in President Nixon's impeachment, the third article of impeachment was obstruction of Congress. So there is no question that at some point if the President's effort to stonewall and prevent us from getting information continues, that that may form an independent basis for obstruction in and of itself.

But what we have a responsibility to do first is collect all of the evidence so we can make a fully informed judgment. We got part of the story in the Mueller report. That was the beginning of our work. We're asking for the balance of the report as well as all of the supporting materials.

It's important to remember the Ken Starr investigation. When Ken Starr was done with that report, he delivered it to Congress with 18 boxes of documents and Grand Jury proceedings. He went to the court to get permission to release the Grand Jury before Congress even asked for it.

BURNETT: Right, which, of course, Barr has not done.

CICILLINE: That's the kind of model we should be following here. That's right.

BURNETT: Right. Bill Barr, obviously, has not done that. One crucial part of this of course will be to get Bob Mueller to testify which you know a few days ago Mary Gay Scanlon was on the show. She was saying May 15th, it was a done deal. Now, it's unclear if he's even going to testify or not, where do things stand? Are we going to hear from Mueller or not?

CICILLINE: Well, I hope we are going to hear from Mr. Mueller. The original date the Chairman set aside was May 15th but we hope that he will come before the Committee. You might remember originally the President said it's up to the Attorney General whether Mr. Mueller will appear. The Attorney General then said under oath he had no objection to Mr. Mueller appearing. And then lo and behold the President has decided he doesn't want Mr. Mueller to appear before the Congress.


[19:10:04] CICILLINE: Now remember if this report really fully exonerated the President in every way, wouldn't he be rushing to get Mr. Mueller in front of Congress and the American people? I think that's further evidence that he doesn't want him to testify.

The American people deserve to hear from Mr. Mueller to have him walk through this report, to explain it to the American people what he found, the judgments he made, the decisions made and we're going to fight hard to get the special counsel before the Judiciary Committee.

BURNETT: Congressman Cicilline, thank you.

CICILLINE: Thanks for having me.

BURNETT: And now John Dean, Nixon's White House Counsel during Watergate. OK, John. So Chairman Nadler, you heard Congressman Cicilline. He was actually careful to say dire, dire moment but not quite there in constitutional crisis. Chairman Nadler is there. He says, "This is a constitutional crisis." He's very clear.

It's for defying subpoenas, it's for not allowing oversight, it's for blocking testimony, it's for not providing the underlying information, it's all of those things. You though don't think we're quite there yet. So what gets us to a constitutional crisis?

JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Well, to me obviously different people have had different definitions of those words.


DEAN: For me it's always been when the constitutional process itself can't resolve a problem. For example, if the Congress refuses to fund the government, you've got a constitutional crisis. If a branch government refuses to honor say a court order one to the legislative or executive branch and they refused to comply, that's a constitutional crisis. What I think Congressman --

BURNETT: So in other words defying a subpoena is bad, but it's not a crisis until the court says you must do it and they still defy it and we're not there yet.

DEAN: Exactly. Exactly, that's why Congressman Cicilline described the process and that's what we are in right now.

BURNETT: So I want to play something else for you that Chairman Nadler said tonight, John. Here he is.


NADLER: I'm not going to talk about impeachment but maybe the short answer is that may not be the best answer in this constitutional crisis.


BURNETT: OK. How do we make sense of that? If you're watching this as a person whom you're saying there's a constitutional crisis and I understand you're saying we're not there, but if you're Nadler you're there. You say it's a constitutional crisis. If this is a constitutional crisis and it is caused by President Trump, how can they not move forward with impeachment proceedings?

DEAN: Well, as been mentioned several times, Article Three against Nixon was for his failure to comply with any of the requests of Congress during the impeachment proceeding. He just flat-out stonewalled them and they impeached him based on that. It was the weakest of the impeachment articles that were held against Nixon. They were only voted on in the committee never the full Congress. It's a tough case and what they want to do is build up the full case against this man rather than just go on a thin case.

BURNETT: All right. John Dean, thank you. Important explanations there. And next breaking news, Trump's son subpoena tonight. The Republican-chaired Senate Intelligence Committee, Republicans ordering Trump Jr. to testify, why? Plus, Trump now bragging about losing over a billion dollars. The same man who said this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have made billions of dollars in business making deals.

I'm much richer than anybody ever thought.

I have more money than anybody by far ...


BURNETT: And what's in a name for the new royal baby?


[19:17:10] BURNETT: Breaking news, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee issuing a subpoena to Donald Trump Jr. They want him to testify. They want him to testify again. So sure we got the Mueller report. They think that there's more to talk about.

Sources telling CNN the subpoena was issued after weeks of unsuccessful talks with Don Jr. A source close to Don Jr. slamming the subpoena saying, quote, Don continues to cooperate by producing documents and is willing to answer written questions, but no lawyer would ever agree to allow their client to participate in what is an obvious PR stunt from a so-called Republican Senator too cowardly to stand up to his boss Mark Warner and the rest of the resistance Democrats on the committee.

Some pretty petulant and non-legal sounding response. Phil Mattingly is out front. Phil, so let's get to the heart of this. What exactly is it that they want from Don Jr. noting he's testified before and we have this giant Mueller report? They now think there is more. Do you know what they're interested in?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Erin, it's important to note the exact specifics still aren't totally clear but what we know is that individuals have keyed on Don Jr.'s testimony in front of multiple committees on Capitol Hill over the course of the last couple of years. This committee itself has had over the course of that period of time almost two years of an investigation, what they are likely looking into, what we believe they're looking into right now is two specific occurrences related to past testimony.

And that is first the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with individuals claiming they had dirt on Hillary Clinton. If you go through the Mueller report you see that while Don Jr. said he had only talked to two individuals about that meeting in advance, the Mueller report says he had talked to a broader group of individuals about that.

There is also Trump Tower Moscow, Michael Cohen testifying in front of the committee that he had briefed Don Jr. in 2015 and 2016 on several times about that issue. Don Jr. has testified about that issue in the past. It's safe to say the committee who has called a number of individuals back to testify for a second time is likely looking into those issues and potentially more as well, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. So then we're now hearing this source close to Don Junior come out with a statement, the petulant statement as I refer to it as, referring to Chairman Burr, the Republican Chairman of the Committee as a so-called Republican Senator too cowardly to stand up to Democrats including his boss Mark Warner who's the Republican ranking member. So let's get to the facts did Burr do this on his own or at the behest of Mark Warner or does he have the support of any other Republicans on the Committee?

MATTINGLY: I'm traveling a little bit at the idea that Richard Burr who's pretty much well considered to be a rock-ribbed conservative with plenty of Republican bona fides is being called a so-called Republican particularly by somebody whose committee is actually looking into. Look, the difference between this committee and every other committee that's looked into this on Capitol Hill is that it's been bipartisan and Republicans throughout the course of the two plus year investigation have been completely unified about what the Chairman Richard Burr and what the Vice Chairman Mark Warner have decided to do.

The idea that Richard Burr would do this without the knowledge of other committee members Republicans on the Committee rank-and-file, Republicans on that committee is pretty far-fetched given how this investigation has gone throughout the course of the last two years. But it is interesting to note, you're already seeing Republicans not on the committee lash out a little bit, Rand Paul on Twitter, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Twitter as well referencing Mitch McConnell's case-closed speech from yesterday.

How this plays out over the course of the next couple days is going to be fascinating, but at least on the Committee they've been unified throughout, Erin.

[19:20:28] BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Phil. And I want to go now to former FBI Special Agent Asha Rangappa and White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, April Ryan.

All right. Asha, so just on the facts of it as Phil said we don't know exactly what they want, but we do know a lot of things are on the table; Trump Tower Moscow meeting and other things as well. Should the President's son be worried?

ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL & NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: He should definitely be worried, Erin. So he's already testified under oath and has certain answers on the record. And those are by the way at odds with much of the evidence that Mueller discovered.

So, for example, with the Trump Tower Moscow deal, what Don Jr. said about his knowledge and the timing of that deal is inconsistent with what was in fact true and what later Michael Cohen was charged with lying to Congress about himself. So he definitely has a problem he by the way doesn't have any protection from things like executive privilege. He's not a part of this administration he can't benefit from those things, so he does have exposure here at a criminal level, potentially. BURNETT: OK. So I want to talk to you more about that, April, though

in terms of this happening and the significance of it. Don Jr.'s team trying to just insult the whole Committee by saying so-called Republican and doing the bid, a coward and whatever they're calling Richard Burr.

However, you have Republicans here unsure what to do, Rand Paul tweeting as Phil mentioned, quote, apparently the Republican chair of the Senate Intel committee didn't get the memo from the Majority Leader that this case was closed. And what they're all referring to is what Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader, said yesterday.



SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): This investigation went on for two years. It's finally over. And the Special Counsel's finding is clear, case closed.


BURNETT: Not clear with the Senate Committee that has spent the most time investigating this, April, chaired by the respected Conservative Republican Richard Burr. How significant is this?

RYAN: It's huge in the words of the President of the United States, Erin. This is significant. Case is not closed. What we're seeing is the fallout from this Mueller report contradictions. What Mueller did say what was left is for there to be investigations by Congress and the Senate, the House and the Senate if it will. And it looks like that's happening.

Don Jr. is thumbing his nose, doing what his father is doing, doing what the Attorney General is doing. But, again, just like Asha said, he has no safety net.

BURNETT: Protection, yes.

RYAN: So in the midst of this, yes, no protection, he has no safety net. So he is walking a tightrope and this has huge repercussions. One, it goes against the - Republicans are actually going against the Senate Majority Leader what he said case closed which is not close and also going against the President of the United States' wishes and then you have the President's son. His namesake named in going back about possible perjury or what else. This has a lot of repercussions and tentacles and we'll see what happens down the road.

BURNETT: So Asha, I know we don't know but when you think about this, which avenues do you think this could be mostly about? Obviously, there's possible perjury, what Donald Trump Jr. said under oath which is inconsistent with what's in the Mueller report. For example, when he said to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was asked who he told about the Moscow Tower meeting and then the Mueller report says he told a totally a much broader group of people, so there's inconsistencies that could be perjury.

There's also, is there something new, is there something else they have come to a conclusion of, what about all of those more than a dozen cases which have been referred out from Mueller? How big is the risk for Don Jr.?

RANGAPPA: So the risk as I mentioned before is big. I mean as you just said he - it appears from basically in his previous testimony and what is in the Mueller report that he may have perjured himself already. I think that there are potential avenues in those 12 farmed out cases or even in the New York Attorney General's investigation that they're doing on the Trump Organization that he might get caught up in things involving financial shenanigans of the Trump Organization.

So I mean where the Intelligence Committee is going to go I think is think is really about the intelligence portion, the CI portion, the counterintelligence portion of this investigation which we have not seen and his contacts and what was going on in Russia.

[19:25:05] BURNETT: And April it also, of course, we're now hearing Don Jr. may consider not showing up which would be pretty incredible in and of itself ought just to not show up or taking the fifth which at least give you a reason to do that. Of course, when it comes to taking the fifth we know what his father thinks about people who do that. Let me let him tell us.


TRUMP: You see the mob takes the 5th. If you're innocent why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?

When you have your staff taking the Fifth Amendment, taking the fifth so they're not prosecuted, I think it's disgraceful.


BURNETT: I guess he'd say that doesn't apply this time.

RYAN: It's disgraceful. Yes. Yes. Yes, it doesn't apply because it's his son, it's not someone in the administration. But the President actually makes my point. The point that I want to say is Donald Jr. and the rest, even Bill Barr and even the President, they're not acting like people who are innocent.

If there's nothing to hide and the American public wants answers and information, why not give it? Why not give it? The President talks about transparency. There's still such confusion. People are not certain about what is said in this Mueller report because the President says one thing, Attorney General Barr says another, and Mueller is saying something else. Donald Jr. is not acting like an innocent person.

BURNETT: Thank you, both. And next, Democrats tiptoeing, tiptoeing, tiptoeing closer to impeachment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're entering towards it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the President should be impeached?



BURNETT: On the road, inching. Should they pull the trigger? A Republican who voted to impeachment Clinton weighs in next. Plus, Trump now bragging about reportedly losing more than a billion dollars as a businessman. Two people who know exactly what was going on inside Trump's businesses at that time are out front.


[19:30:50] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Tonight, inching towards impeachment, that's the word. One Democrat after another has been using saying the party is getting closer to launching proceedings against President Trump.


REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D-LA): I think we're inching closer to it every day the president has a blanket privilege or saying he's going to obstruct the congressional investigation. Yes, for me, we're inching towards it.

REP. HANK JOHNSON (D-GA): We have lawful responsibilities, constitutional responsibilities to engage in, one of which is possibly impeachment.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Do you think the president should be impeached?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're on that road right now and we certainly are closer after the Mueller report.


BURNETT: So will they do it? And is that exactly what Trump wants?

So, OUTFRONT now, Ron Klain, former chief of staff to Vice President Biden and former associate counsel to President Clinton. And Rick Santorum, former Republican presidential candidate and former senator from Pennsylvania who did vote to impeach President Clinton.

OK, thanks to both.

One, inching closer every day was a quote from one, we're on the road from another. OK, this is a lot of on the road thinking about inching, at what point do they say come on, pull the trigger?

RON KLAIN, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, look, I think Speaker Pelosi used the phrase today, self-impeachment to describe the president, and I think that's really the thing. The House, they voted contempt -- the committee voted to contempt citation.

I think what their Democrats are setting up is they're going to do their lawful oversight. If the administration cooperates, great. They'll use that process. But if President Trump makes an overly broad assertion of executive privilege, if he refuses to allow for lawful oversight, then they're going to be in a situation where impeachment is the only option because of the choices the president has made.

BURNETT: Senator? You look --

RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that's not -- it's obviously not the only option. I mean, Eric Holder withheld information in the prior administration on a couple occasions and they didn't try to impeach President Obama. What they did is they went to court and the court found they had to release the information. That's the path forward on a document request. It's not impeachment for a document request.

KLAIN: Well, Senator, it's not just for a document request. It the Trump administration's across the board assertion, that they are not going to compile with any lawful oversight activities. When the Obama administration turned over 7,000 pages of documents, 12 testimonies by Eric Holder, when they won't turn over the last bit, you called it arrogance on the path like Richard Nixon. That was the comparison you made back in the Obama administration.

So, I think we're seeing something far bolder and broader getting in the way of lawful oversight. It's going to be up to the Trump administration.


BURNETT: Can I just say though -- are they trying to move the bar? Literally they get this report and it's unredacted on the obstruction section, right? And you got, you know, more than 500 members of the DOJ saying that's enough to impeach. You don't need this other stuff.

And when you start using all this other stuff, does it sound like you keep wanting to ask for things because you don't want to do it?

KLAIN: No, I don't think so. I think, look, of course they don't want to do it. Who wants to have an impeachment proceeding? I think the question is, is it the only way for Congress to fulfill its constitutional responsibility of oversight, of compliance with the law? That's the challenge and that's the conflict that we're headed towards here.

BURNETT: OK. So, Senator, back to you, you have a little bit of inconsistency to answer for, or you can explain why you think that we are wrong to suggesting that it is such. 1998, you voted to impeach President Bill Clinton and here is what you said at the time.


SANTORUM: Removing a president during some of the more prosperous economic times and life is good here in America right now and removing someone who is seen as at least in part responsible for this, obviously, it's going to be a particularly popular thing. But, you know, what we do here is going to set a standard for future president's behavior and impeachment standards, and I think as well as conviction standards. I think that's a very serious burden that --


BURNETT: OK. How is that consistent with you saying now there is no reason?

SANTORUM: I didn't say there was no reason. What I said back then, I can repeat today. I mean, we did set a standard. And we said, and the standard was, there was a special counsel and the special counsel found that the president, you know, had perjured himself, something that was not found in the Mueller report, that he did violate the law, serious violation of the law, and we determined that we should move forward.

[19:35:09] But I can tell you, and I think you saw it from my remarks, that was not an easy thing to do because we knew we wouldn't be successful and number two, the president was very popular.


SANTORUM: I mean, that's a tough thing. I think Nancy Pelosi has learned from that, that maybe even though he may deserve it and I don't believe the president does in this case, it's not maybe the right thing to do.

BURNETT: So, Senator, let me just ask you, because obviously then, you know, you have this investigation and there was nothing impeachable found except that he lied about having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, right? It's a totally separate thing. Yes, it was a lie, it was perjury, I'm just making the point.

In this case, you have more than 500 members of the DOJ, prosecutors, saying it's clear he obstructed justice and committed multiple felonies at the heart of the matter of what was being investigated.

SANTORUM: The person responsible for that did not find that. You have 500 people -- how many of those --

BURNETT: Tell me what he found was a separate issue. But he did not find, he said I did not -- you guys decide.

SANTORUM: That's right. He didn't find.

The reality is, those 500 people, how many dealt with an obstruction case with the president? I would suspect not 500 of them or anything close to that.

The reality is, this is a very unusual case. And to go out and I think was highly irregular and not helpful for them to go out and make this kind of claim when most of them don't know what they are talking about.

This is a very difficult case. Nancy Pelosi is trying to thread the needle. I think what she's trying to do is impeach the president without impeaching him, basically going through these investigations, causing him to divert all his attention on this issue and have this impeachment in a sense be done at the election in November.


KLAIN: Well, look, I agree it's a difficult case, but let's talk about the case. First, as you said, hundreds of prosecutors, including Republicans who served in the Bush administration say that the Mueller reports to acts of criminality. Mueller said pretty clearly, I'm leaving this to Congress to decide, now, that's up to Congress to decide.

I'd also say, we ought to remember, there are lots of acts by the Trump administration that may impeachable that within Mueller scope, taking money from foreign governments, interfering in regulatory processes. So I think Congress has a lot of hard questions to ask, ask the questions if the Trump administration won't cooperate, then we may wind up on the road to impeachment. We're not there yet. I think we get closer and closer to it 333every day.

BURNETT: Thank you both.

And next, Trump reportedly losing more than a billion dollars in ten years. Did he cheat? Break the law? Well, two people who worked with Trump at that time knew him incredibly well. We'll talk about it.

Plus, a top Trump advisor has always wanted to take on Iran. Could that put the U.S. now on a path to a real war?


3[19:41:35] BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump defends his big losses, responding to a "New York Times" report where they had obtained 10 years of his tax information and they say he lost more than a billion dollars. Now, that was more than anybody else in two years it was twice as much as the next biggest loser in the country.

The president tweeting in response in part, quote, he always wanted to show losses for tax purposes, almost real estate developers did. And we often, we negotiate with banks, it was sport.

OUTFRON now, Barbara Res, former executive vice president of the Trump Organization and author of "All Alone on the 68th Floor: How One Woman Changed the Face of Construction," and Jack O'Donnell, former president and chief operating officer of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.

Both of you have professional and personal knowledge of the president with all those years working for him during the period, the new tax records cover. So, Barbara, let me start with you. You worked with him during this

time and see $1 billion in losses. The president said this is the way it done, it was sport. What do you say?

BARBARA RES, FORMER EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Well, you know, it's hard to -- first of all, my reaction to that when I saw it, I was supposed. '85 he was just coming off Trump Tower and that was a tremendous moneymaker for him and that was a big moneymaker. I don't know if the casinos were draining him but other than that, I couldn't see where he was losing money for anything at that point.

O'DONNELL: So, Jack, what about you? You were working for Trump at the time and know the casino side. What was that time like? What did you see when you saw a billion dollars in this report losses?

JACK O'DONNELL, FORMER PRESIDENT & CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, TRUMP PLAZA HOTEL & CASINO: It was shocking, Erin, and believe me, it was no sport that was going on in the time I worked for Trump. All of those losses are tied to one thing and that's the depth that to man took on in many, many of his deals. He did bad deals. He did it with the airline as an example. You know, that crushed him. He also did it at the Taj Mahal. He had $800 million worth of debt at 14 percent interest which literally killed the casinos at Atlantic City.

My property, we had $100 million in free cash flow a year for -- out of that business. Because of what he did with the Taj Mahal, he devastated the business and it eventually went bankrupt. So it's a series of a lot of bad deals.

BURNETT: So, Barbara, do you think this was sort of look, I read every page of the tax code or my lawyers do, obviously, or would he cross the line?

RES: Well, certainly he would cross the line. The question was raised, was he the worst businessman or the worst cheat? He's definitely the worst cheat. He's not the worst businessman. He's not a good businessman but as Jack says, when he started getting involved with the plaza and airline and, you know, the boat and the Taj Mahal, that's when he really started losing money. That's why I said I qualify the beginning, '85, '86 and later.

BURNETT: So, Jack, let me ask you, according to the "New York Times", year after year during this time, Trump was a loser. He was losing more money than nearly any other taxpayer in the quite. In two of the years, he was the biggest loser in the United States by a factor of two. OK? He despises losers. Here he is.



They've been stone-cold losers, the elite.

To crush the loser terrorists. They are nothing but thugs and criminals and predators and, that's right, losers.

[19:45:03] We have a bunch of losers.

She's got a temperament of a loser. I know a lot of words but somehow loser is so nice. It's just a good word.


BURNETT: Except for when it applies to him, Jack? How much do you think it irks him to hear outed as such a loser in his word?

O'DONNELL: Oh, I think that the article today was probably devastating for him, and I think that what you eluded to is he was identified as the biggest loser in the United States for most of these years. Nobody lost more money from a tax standpoint. So, yes, I think he's, you know, angry tonight and I think he's going to deflect as much as he can.

BURNETT: So, Barbara, it goes again everything he said. Right now, this has happened. I mean, here he is during the campaign, right? He doesn't say I lost a billion dollars. He sold himself this way as a winner.


TRUMP: I have made billions of dollars in business making deals.

I'm self-funding my campaign. I'm putting up my own money.

I have more money than all of them.

Turned out I'm much richer than anybody ever thought.

I have more money than anybody by far.

I say not in a braggadocios way, I've made billions and billions of dollars dealing with people all over the world.


BURNETT: It's an image Barbara that he cultivated on "The Apprentice." It's so core of who he is. Here is that.


TRUMP: I'm the largest real estate developer in New York. I own buildings all over the place, model agencies, the Miss Universe pageant, jetliners, golf courses, casinos and private resorts like Mar-a-Lago.


BURNETT: Did that all fall apart? RES: First of all, nonsense that he was the biggest real estate

developer. He was not even on the radar. He was just had a couple buildings. This is not a big developer in New York.

Does it fall apart? I think that he came out big time and said, look, I used the system. I'm so smart. I gamed the system. His people are going to go for that. They are going to believe that.

So you got the people, the rest of us who know and then know him personally, know he's the biggest liar in the world, and the people trying to win over are not going to care.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you.

And next, tensions escalating between the United States and Iran, one of Trump's top officials, John Bolton, is he about to get what he wanted?

Plus, the world gets the first look at Archie.







[19:51:24] BURNETT: Tonight, dangerous escalation between the United States and Iran. And for some in the Trump administration, everything they were waiting for.

Michelle Kosinski is OUTFRONT.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The U.S.' policy on Iran now seems squarely in the hands of the person who may be the most vocal, committed, decades-long Iran hawk in this administration -- National Security Adviser John Bolton.

JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The longer we wait to confront the threat Iran poses, the harder and more intractable it will become to solve.

KOSINSKI: That's from back in 2006, as ambassador to the U.N. But it's a stance that has lasted.

BOLTON: The Ayatollah Khomeini's 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday.

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: You remember John Bolton. If anything, John Bolton has become more determined that there needs to be regime change in Iran, regime change. Regime change.

KOSINSKI: In 2015, Bolton wrote a "New York Times" op-ed called, "To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran."

Two years ago, he told the MEK, a group of Iranian exiles once branded a terrorist organization by the U.S., that it should be U.S. policy to overthrow Iran's mullahs. Three months ago, he tweeted this video.

BOLTON: So, Ayatollah Khomeini, I don't think you'll have many more anniversaries to enjoy.

KOSINSKI: It's rattled other members of the Trump administration at times, like when Bolton asked the Pentagon for military options to strike Iran late last year, after mortars were fired at two U.S. compounds in Iraq, thought to be the work of Iran-backed groups, first reported by "The Wall Street Journal." And this week, it was Bolton, not the Pentagon that announced the U.S.' latest military move, warning of unrelenting force if Iran attacks the U.S. or allies.

Exaggeration, though, and cherry picking intel to suit his views are things Bolton has been accused of multiple times, including his stance on the alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that led to a U.S. invasion.

BOLTON: Well, I think the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, that military action, was a resounding success.

KOSINSKI: Now causing some worries that the U.S.'s latest moves could spark hostilities.

SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): What worries me is you've got Bolton's predisposition, and then you've got three or four actions in the last two weeks designed to poke Iran in the eye. I just -- I'm uncomfortable about where this is headed.


BURNETT: Big questions about where it is headed tonight. Thanks to Michelle Kosinski.

And Jeanne is next.


[19:57:58] BURNETT: Here's Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There used to be two, then baby makes three. And now baby has a name. A bunch of names.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor.

MOOS: But you can call him --




MOOS: Actually, he's not a prince yet. Archie met the queen, but his dad and mom decided against bestowing any aristocratic titles on their son for now. He was introduced to the public at Windsor Castle. Meghan caressed him while Prince Harry picked off lint.

Mom described motherhood as --

MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: Magic. It's pretty amazing and I mean, I have the two best guys in the world, so I'm really happy.

PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: He's already got a little bit of facial hair, as well. Wonderful.

MOOS (on camera): Amid all the ohhing and ahhing, some offered a reality check.

(voice-over): Read one mother's tweet, very much enjoying the irony of watching Meghan and Harry talk about the magic of parenting, whilst my 3-year-old screams "you're not my mommy anymore" at me for not painting her nails correctly.

And how about these top six name suggestions for the new royal baby? I. Do. Not. Give. A. (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

But you know who gave the baby's name the royal treatment?

The ginger-haired comic street character greeted the news with "I'm baby." Although someone wondered, how can Archie be the prince when Jughead wears the crown?

It's a lot of name for someone 7 pounds, 3 ounces.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor.

MOOS: Mom and dad reportedly just liked the name Archie, while Harrison comes from son of Harry.

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: They had the baby on your birthday and --

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: Yes, the kid stole my thunder.

KIMMEL: Yes, really.

CLOONEY: My birthday.

KIMMEL: You will be the godfather to the child. Is that true?

CLOONEY: That would be a bad idea.

MOOS: All this royal baby hoopla, Archie's probably saying, wake me up when it's over.

ARCHIE: You can say that again!

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: And thank you for joining us.

Anderson starts now.