Return to Transcripts main page


Montana Governor Betting on Red State Appeal to Beat Trump; Donald Trump Jr. Will Now Testify Before Senate Intel; Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) is Interviewed About Trump Jr. Reaching Deal with Senate Intel to Testify. Aired on 7-8p ET

Aired May 14, 2019 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much. And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in the situation room. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, investigating the investigators. Attorney General Bill Barr launching yet another investigation into the Russia investigation. What for? Is this just to appease President Trump? Plus the fight for 2020, a new Democrat in the race. One who won in Trump country, could Montana's Governor be a serious threat to Biden? And breaking news, Donald Trump Jr. Just agreeing to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. What changed? Let's go out front.

And Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT this evening, Trump's wish comes true. Attorney General Bill Barr announcing that he's ordering yet another investigation into how the Russia probe got started. Already two other investigations had been launched, reviewing the origins of the Russia probe. That includes one by the DOJ's own inspector general, not to mention Republicans conducting their own investigations when they control the House.

So why does Bar need to launch another investigation? Is he just trying to please the President?


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's a great thing that he did it. I saw it last night and they want to look at how that whole hoax got started. I am so proud of our Attorney General that he is looking into it. I think it's great.

BURNETT: Trump is thrilled. Thrilled because this is what he has called for publicly over and over again, telling Politico just days ago, quote, a lot of very, very bad things took place. You know, they talk about investigate the investigators. And tweeting in all caps, INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS.

But there is a problem, Barr has yet to tell the American people why there is a need for yet another taxpayer funded inquiry into a topic investigating the investigators that has been investigated multiple times. In fact, the only justification we have heard thus far from the Attorney General Barr is this.


WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. I think that spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur. I'm not going to back off the word spying.


BURNETT: A claim shot down by intelligence professionals, including President Trump's handpicked FBI Director.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Well, that's not the term I would use.


BURNETT: Pretty damning contradiction from Wray and one that the President clearly isn't happy about.


TRUMP: I didn't understand his answer because I thought the Attorney General answered it perfectly. So I certainly didn't understand that answer. I thought it was a ridiculous answer.


BURNETT: So he call his FBI Director ridiculous. Well, perhaps Barr doesn't want to end up in the same way, in Trump's crosshair, as the way that way apparently now is. Pamela Brown is out front live outside the White House. So Pamela, why is Barr doing this launching yet another investigation into the investigation?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the question tonight, Erin, and President Trump's wish is clearly been answered by Bill Barr, his attorney general. A source telling CNN the Attorney General is undertaking this broad effort to investigate how the Russia probe got started, it involves the CIA, the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence, so he's leveraging resources across the spectrum.

And today, President Trump praised the move as we heard. He claimed he didn't ask Barr to do this. Well, he may not have reached out directly in person, the President has consistently and publicly called on Barr as recently as a few weeks ago to investigate the investigators of the Russia probe, insinuating there was something sinister there and calling it a hoax.

The President, of course, makes no mention of the facts laid out in the Mueller report showing Russian attempts to penetrate the campaign and his own political appointees saying that the investigation was justified. But Barr previously testified as you'll recall, Erin, that he intended to look into the origins of this probe even though the Justice Department's Inspector General was already investigating it. And just this week, he added another layer to his investigation of the

investigators by tapping the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut, John Durham, to help conduct a comprehensive 360 degree review. And as we saw today, the President is very happy about this, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Pamela, thank you very much. I want to go now to Ryan Goodman, former Special Counsel to the General Counsel at the Department of Defense and David Rivkin, former Deputy Director of the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Policy which, of course, renders its opinion on issues of ethics and more. He's known Attorney General Bill Barr for 30 years.

Ryan, you're with me so let me start with you. Another investigation into the investigation. Is this necessary?

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SPECIAL COUNSEL: It's hard to tell how it could be necessary, especially since we have an ongoing investigation. The Inspector General who's widely respected across the political spectrum and has done great work on the 2016 election interference and considerations about maybe some wrongdoing on the part of the FBI, why not just let it run its course.

There's no indication that there was anything else that would raise it to this new level and as Director Wray just testified, he knew of nothing in his domain that suggests that there was anything wrong or illegal about the surveillance.

[19:05:08] BURNETT: David?

DAVID RIVKIN, SERVED WITH BARR UNDER H.W. BUSH: Eric, we know perfectly well but the IG who indeed is an honorable and able person, has very limited jurisdiction, he can only investigate people in his own agency. That means he cannot look at the State Department. That means he cannot look at the CIA. He cannot look at the NSA. He cannot look at the NSC and he has no ability to use the really important investigative tools, like putting people for a grand jury.

Look, let's forget for a second what Trump said about it, whether he's happy or not, that's irrelevant. There's a lot of credible evidence, a lot of flashing lights that suggests that indeed there was a corrupt cabal of senior government officials, some career, some political who have sought to help Hillary Clinton and torpedo the election call.

BURNETT: But what you say, David, there's been absolutely no evidence of any such thing.

RIVKIN: Donald Trump, let me finish. I am hoping that I would be proven wrong and I will be just as delighted when the Mueller report came out and indicated that all of the suppositions about collusion and obstruction are not true. But for God's sake, we should investigate to put to rest this possibilities, it's frankly more daunting for our democracy, when the Russian interference that portion of our own government had tried to pull a silent coup d'etat, failed but debilitated the presidency for two years.

BURNETT: So just to be clear, because I feel like I have to given what you've just said, the Mueller report didn't say ...

RIVKIN: This is suppositions, they're inferences.

BURNETT: ... whether - it did not exonerate him, it did not say that there was nothing wrong.

RIVKIN: No, let's not worry about Mueller.

BURNETT: And in fact more than 800 prosecutors from the DOJ have said that there were. So that's a question to Congress can look at.

RIVKIN: But it has nothing to do, Erin ...

BURNETT: I'm just saying. I'm just saying, you're saying that it exonerated him. It didn't.


BURNETT: It explicitly do not do so.

RIVKIN: Fine, you don't agree with me on this.

BURNETT: Not agreeing? I'm just quoting from the report.

RIVKIN: But under your logic there should have been Mueller investigation. Under that logic there should not have been a Mueller investigation. Mueller investigation never looked at all of the - look, forget what we call spying. For the first time in American history, a counterintelligence investigation was launched into a presidential campaign on the eve of elections, it never happens. It never happens.

But normal practice in counterintelligence investigation has happened when FBI believed Dianne Feinstein's driver was a Chinese agent is to warn Dianne Feinstein.

BURNETT: OK, it happened months before that. It wasn't on the eve.

RIVKIN: It people believe with Papadopoulos ...

BURNETT: But Ryan, let me give you a chance to respond to that. How unprecedented was it? Is it just by the fact that there was Russian attempts to infiltrate a campaign, they should have ignored it?

GOODMAN: I think it would have been a dereliction of duty if they didn't do what they did. In fact, they were informed by a diplomat and the Foreign Ministry of Australia which had been told by George Papadopoulos that the campaign had been approached by the Russians, saying they had dirt in Hillary Clinton, and that they had, in fact, told Papadopoulos that they had a plan to anonymously release it. That's also in the Mueller report.


GOODMAN: So the diplomats in Australia were alarmed by that, when the documents started getting released, they told our intelligence community, of course, they would have to look into that. So that was the predicate for it and, in fact, the Nunes report - even the Nunes report says, admittedly, that's the predicate. That's what launched the investigation when they were told by a foreign intelligence community about these kinds of concerns.

And then there were a number of people on the campaign that would raise even further concerns like Carter Page. Now, the Carter Page FISA warrant is much later. They launched the investigation in July.


GOODMAN: So that's another part of it, but even Carter Page, he was under FISA investigation, FISA warrant in two years before the campaign even began, so this is not something that was concocted. And just one other thing that David said, he said the cabal.

So the cabal that David mentioned that I think he's pointing to are people supposedly within the FBI. So once again, the Inspector General is looking into the FBI.


GOODMAN: Why do we need people outside of that, let it run its course. Attorney General Sessions was comfortable letting it run its course.

RIVKIN: I don't - two things.

BURNETT: Go ahead, David.

RIVKIN: First of all, factually, there are serious concerns that the downward tip was actually prompted by a number of people, frankly, including Mr. Brennan who I personally believe is at the heart of his conspiracy who cannot be investigated by the IG. But look, let's be fair, if you're right then the report would come out - would exonerate everybody.

Under your logic, we didn't need Mueller. Why not have Horowitz investigate the Russian collusion? But I'll repeat for purposes of trying to convince your viewers on one thing, there's never been an instance where a presidential campaign was subject to the counterintelligence investigation. If you thought that people like Papadopoulos, like Carter Page, (inaudible) bad people, go to a more senior people like Chris Christie, like Flynn and tell them to cut them off just like Diane Feinstein were supposed to stop using her driver.

BURNETT: OK. But let me respond to that, I don't want to relitigate all of these, but Wray and others have been very clear as to the fact that that would have violated protocol, because you didn't know who ...

RIVKIN: No. I can assure you ...

BURNETT: ... but hold on, let me just stress the point so that ... RIVKIN: ... that's not violating the protocol. But county

intelligence investigations are used to protect and inform the people not being suspected ...

BURNETT: That's right but what if you don't know who actually is colluding or if they are colluding, you don't want to go to war with someone ...

RIVKIN: OK, then under your logic we should investigate all presidential ...

[19:10:08] BURNETT: ... no, but this is very important, this is the logic of the protocol, David.

RIVKIN: ... then we should investigate all presidential candidates because you don't know if themselves are meriting trust.

BURNETT: So I'm not going to tell you that I'm looking into your campaign because I don't know if you yourself are a part of it, that is why they did not tell more people.

RIVKIN: That is not - OK, then how is it - that's not how things work in counterintelligence investigation.

BURNETT: People, they say that's exactly how things work in counterintelligence investigations.

RIVKIN: I can assure you, but I know how things work based upon my past work in counterintelligence investigations. How why did FBI warned Dianne Feinstein that her driver was a Chinese agent? Maybe she was a Chinese agent too under your logic. No.

BURNETT: You make those arguments. Let me just give you a chance, Ryan, what David is saying does go against what we have heard from many others including Christopher Wray.

GOODMAN: Right. And to add one more to it, why does David leave out Paul Manafort in his description, Paul Manafort is the chairman of the campaign and he's working with a close business associate for a long period of time Konstantin Kilimnik who the FBI assesses have had an active links to Russian military intelligence at the time.

BURNETT: Sharing polling data.

GOODMAN: Sharing polling data with the Russian-linked spy.

RIVKIN: Again ...

GOODMAN: So why would you go to Paul Manafort to tell him and inform him ...

RIVKIN: I did not say Paul Manafort. I said specifically Flynn and Christie. But look you and I could spend an hour going back and forth. I will tell you, let's be real. You all applauded for two years, an extensive and expensive Mueller investigation. Well, that suggest they could have been done by Congress, it could have been done by the IG.

BURNETT: Which by the way that made money based upon Paul Manafort's taxes.

RIVKIN: Let's have a decency of applying the same rules. Let's have a basic decency of applying the same rules to this exercise and I would be happy as a patriotic American when it's proven that nothing bad happened. Let's find out instead of just saying let's not ask questions.

Can you imagine, Erin, what conversation you and I would have had if I told you a year ago, "Oh, why go for the Mueller exercise? I'm not sure bad things happened."

BURNETT: But there already are investigations into this investigation.

RIVKIN: No, there is not a single ...

BURNETT: And there are already were by Devin Nunes and others, so your point doesn't quite hold up on that.

RIVKIN: There's not a single comprehensive investigation. OK. The IG has a limited remit primarily looking at the FISA issues, it does not look at the CIA, it does not look at the State Department, has no investigative tools. Under your logic, Mueller shouldn't have done his job and that's not true.

BURNETT: I'll give you the final word, Ryan.

GOODMAN: There's an investigation. Nobody is saying don't investigate the investigators, it's been going on from the Inspector General Jeff Sessions' thought that that was fine. Matt Whitaker thought that was fine. But now that Barr comes in and seems to be listening exactly to the message from the White House to open this investigation seems highly political. The timing is obvious.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. And next, Trump downplaying his trade war with China.


TRUMP: We're having a little squabble with China.


BURNETT: Squabble? And the fight for 2020, President Trump on the attack tonight taking serious aim at his potential rivals.


TRUMP: I got boot edge, edge, and Beto is falling fast. And Bernie, you know Bernie is crazy.


BURNETT: Is he scared or thrilled? And the Trump family inner circle at the center of a new investigation tonight.


[19:17:03] BURNETT: Tonight, an escalating war. But Trump today says the trade war with China is a mere squabble.


TRUMP: We're having a little squabble with China. Yes, I think it's going to turn out extremely well.


BURNETT: Ironically, the President made those comments en route to a tour of a new liquefied natural gas facility in Louisiana. That's for export. It's a facility that could be crushed by the China trade war, because China yesterday announced it is raising tariffs on liquefied natural gas to 25% which is a huge deal because China was on track to be the biggest single importer of American LNG.

Out front now, Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary under President Clinton and Steve Cortes, a member of President Trump's 2020 Re-Elect Advisory Council. Secretary Reich, how dangerous is this trade battle or squabble or whatever word you'd like to use?

ROBERT REICH, FORMER U.S. LABOR SECRETARY UNDER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Well, it's very dangerous, Erin, because as everybody knows or should know, a trade war is costly to American consumers. A tariff is exactly like a tax and most estimates show that American families are going to be spending anywhere from $700 to $900 more because of the tariffs already imposed and that doesn't even include the retaliatory tariffs imposed by China on American exports.

BURNETT: So Steve, if that LNG facility wants to ship to China, obviously, if this continues the way it's going, they'll get a 25% tariff to do that, obviously American farmers are already feeling the pain. I talked to a soybean farmer last night, here's what he told me.


BILL GORDON, VICE PRESIDENT AMERICAN SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION; FARMER: In the rural communities, we're starting to feel in our schools and down on main street when farmers are not making money, it definitely is starting to get dire out here in rural America.


BURNETT: So Bill said he's $65,000 on this crop alone, Steve, which it's not a matter of if he'll lose money now, it's just a matter of how much money he's going to lose. Does the President understand what Americans are going through and will be going through if this continues.

STEVE CORTES, MEMBER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S 2020 RE-ELECT ANDISORY COUNCIL: No. I think it's precisely that he does understand, Erin, what the American country, what our country has gone through for decades, because of the abusive practices of the Chinese that he's willing to take these near-term risks. And I'll be the first to say, "Look, there are clearly risks to this policy." Nobody wants tariffs.

But tariffs are to economic policy what military action is to diplomacy. Sometimes it's a necessary resort and to me the far greater risk, look, again, there are near-term risks to farmers perhaps to energy exporters. But the far greater risk is maintaining the status quo which has decimated American manufacturing which has laid waste to the American heartland and which has allowed China with our complicity quite frankly to engage in a wholesale plunder of our technology and our intellectual property.

BURNETT: All of which are --

CORTES: That is a situation that is totally untenable.

BURNETT: You have a lot of points there, but what China has also enabled Americans to have are cheaper cars, flat-screen televisions, Wal-Mart, all of the other things, a vast increase of unprecedented levels and an increase in our standard of living. It has prices now, thanks to this it's going to go out.

[19:20:07] CORTES: It has but what price? But at what price? No, you're correct, OK, that clearly goods are cheaper at Wal-Mart because of China. But, again, at what real cost longer-term? For instance, the Economic Policy Institute which Secretary Reich is, I believe, in the board emeritus of or emeritus member of which has funded mainly a left-leaning economic think tank funded by the labor unions tells us that since China was let into the WTO 3.4 million American jobs had been lost directly because of the abusive trade practices of China.

BURNETT: OK. So to that point let me give you a chance, Secretary, to respond the former CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein obviously not a person who would ever support tariffs has just weighed in on Twitter and he is saying, "Tariffs might be an effective negotiating tool." I'm quoting Lloyd, "Saying it hurts us misses the point. China relies more on trade and losses more. As in a labor strike where management and workers both get hurt, the process may demonstrate relative strength and resolve and where compromise needs to happen." Does he have a point, tariffs might be an effective negotiating tool right now?

REICH: Well, it could be. It's a very reckless and very dangerous negotiating tool and just to the point about China taking our technology, I think there's a very simple thing that the Trump administration could do and that is I would just say to any American business that has technology that is critical to our economy, critical to our National Security, you cannot give it away to China. You can't do business with China if that's the condition that China is putting up.

In other words, why impose this huge tariff tax on American consumers? Why penalize the mid west, and farmers and everybody else? There's a simpler way to do it. BURNETT: But you're telling them they got to miss out on the biggest

market in the world, that's the whole problem. I mean, they're already not even the biggest tech companies, but so China is so much bigger. Yes, go ahead.

REICH: Those big American companies are global companies. It is not as if that is American technology, it is global technology. It's being sold and bought all around the world, all we would do is in a very narrow focused way we would say to those big global companies, "You're not going to sell that technology or give that technology to China, because it's critical technology." Why don't we do that? Why do we have to engage in a trade war that has terrible repercussion?

BURNETT: OK. So Steve, why don't you respond to that because obviously part of the problem has been China said, "OK, if you don't share, you don't open it, you don't get in here and we have our 1.3 billion people and, well, sayonara to you, you aren't going to be the biggest tech company," Apple, as an example.

CORTES: Right. Listen, I'm all for forbidding forced technology transfers from the American side, but it's not either/or, it should be that plus. Because China has been abusing America in more ways than that. That's a critical way to be sure. But what China has done for decades, again, and again with our complicity and in some cases with our assistance of elites in the United States, elites of big business and big government --

BURNETT: Right, and benefit as I've made a point across our entire country in our standard of living. I just don't think you can leave that point out.


BURNETT: There was a reason for it.

CORTES: Hold on. No, but a benefit at what cost, Erin? At what cost? If you look at American manufacturing, it has been decimated since China came in to the WTO not because we can't compete with China on an apples-to-apples basis by the way. It's not that that we need to be protected from fair competition. It's because they were led into the WTO under completely false pretenses and they cheat and steal our technology and processes and then manufacture using slave labor or essentially slave labor, using exploited labor to then compete with us in an incredibly unfair scenario.

So, again, Americans can compete fairly with them, but what we can't have is what we've had for decades here which is a totally dishonest and unreciprocal trade relationship.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much as that war continues. Next, the fight, the war for 2020, a new face in the race tonight.


GOVERNOR STEVE BULLOCK (D-MT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Twenty to 30 percent of my voters also voted for Donald Trump.


BURNETT: OK, that's a face you may get to know. It's the Montana Governor Steve Bullock. He's running for 2020. Plus, the breaking news, Donald Trump Jr. now agreeing to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Half a dozen topics on the table. Why the sudden change of heart?


[19:28:17] BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, the fight for 2020, Montana Governor Steve Bullock joining the long list. It is now 22 Democrats running for president. Here's what sets him apart, he's a moderate Democrat. He was reelected in a deeply red state that actually delivered President Trump a more than 20-point victory. Jeff Zeleny is out front.


BULLOCK: I'm Steve Bullock and I'm running for president.



JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORREPONDENT(voice-over): Call him number 22 as in the 22nd contestant in the Democratic presidential race.


BULLOCK: Good afternoon.


ZELENY(voice-over): The first order of business for Montana Governor Steve Bullock standing out in an extraordinarily crowded 2020 field, one way is by share geography. He's a Democrat from a deeply red Republican state.


TRUMP: Do we love Montana? Do we love Montana? Oh, we love her.


ZELENY(voice-over): In 2016, when Bullock won a second term, Donald Trump carried Montana by 20 points. The Governor has been road- testing that argument ever since.


BULLOCK: Montana is not unlike Iowa in some respects.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ZELENY(voice-over): Including that last summer's Iowa State Fair.


BULLOCK: Twenty to 30 percent of my voters also voted for Donald Trump.

ZELENY(voice-over): The partisan lines, of course, are drawn far deeper in presidential races and long before he could ever confront Trump he has a crush of Democratic rivals to contend with. A centerpiece of Bullock's campaign is a pledge to limit the flood of unregulated money in politics, something he did as Montana's Governor.


BULLOCK: That's why we need to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 and defeat the corrupt system that lets campaign money drown out the people's voice, so we can finally make good on the promise, a fair shot for everyone.


ZELENY(voice-over): Bullock is 53 and said growing up in Montana he never dreamed of the White House.


[19:30:00] BULLOCK: To be honest, I never thought I'd be running for president. Raised by a single mom who struggled just to get by, I only knew there was a governor's house in town because I delivered newspapers to it.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He made clear he intends to make his record as governor a pillar of his campaign. That sets him apart as an executive compared to the senators and members of Congress in the race.

BULLOCK: I do think that Washington, D.C. is kind of become a place where talking about things or giving speeches is a substitute for doing.

ZELENY: He acknowledges being late to the party, as he races to qualify for the first Democratic debate now only six weeks away.

BULLOCK: I sure hope I make the debate stage. I think everybody does.

ZELENY: In a year filled with presidential announcements, Bullocks was decidedly small today, with no big rally or scenic Montana back drop. Instead, he held his first event in a science classroom at Helena High School, stressing a political point that's already becoming familiar.

BULLOCK: I was the only person to actually win in a state where Donald Trump won.


ZELENY: Now, Erin, that is the point that Governor Bullock made again and again that he won in Montana, a state where President Trump won. Of course, he's going to have to start his campaign in Iowa. He's heading there later this week.

I'm told he's going to focus his strategy fairly much exclusively on that state, trying to make a breakout moment there in the first Iowa caucuses. But, Erin, he is also saying he is running against Washington. That means, of course, many Democratic senators and House members who are now his fellow presidential candidates -- Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right. Jeff, thank you very much. Amazing how it's late to get in now.

Donald Trump hadn't even announced last time around by mid-May where we are now.

OUTFRONT now, April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and Mark Preston, our senior political analyst.

OK. Mark, Bullock is making a big deal, right, as Jeff said again and again, being a Democratic governor in a state Trump won by 20 points. Does it make him a real contender?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it makes him a real contender in the sense that he is a winner. He has won before. This is his second term as governor. He has won as attorney general again in a state that is very conserve.

His message right now is interesting because he is trying to have it both ways. I don't say that in a negative way, but he is trying to portray himself as somebody who is at fighter for progressive values. He uses that terminology a lot when he's talking about some of the policy proposals he pushed through as governor, trying to send the message really to I think the East Coast and the West Coast liberal elite that in fact he will be one of them. At the same time, though, he is trying to have it the other way by saying he can govern in a conservative state.

I don't if those two match, if they can match.


PRESTON: But it's an interesting message to try to put forth.

BURNETT: It's the big effort he is trying, April. Bullock is running in the same moderate lane as Joe Biden now. You know, when you look in the Democratic primary, Biden has got 100 percent name recognition for all intents and purposes. Bullock I think to say nationally on the other end of the spectrum.

Can he eat away at Biden's lead as he tries to get more people to know him?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, that remains to be seen Erin. But what Bullock does have is the fact that he is not Washington, the fact that he is not someone with that pedigree. He is -- with the pedigree of Washington and the elite.

He is someone was raised by a single parent, grew up less than -- you know, he didn't have what others had.


RYAN: And he is someone who can feel everyone. He is the underdog person. So, at the bottom of this, at the very core, this man could possibly eat away at the Biden's lead if he can get those conservatives, Republicans who say, look, I -- I want someone who is new, someone who thinks like me, who may be somewhat of my ilk. So, he can -- he can appeal to some Republicans or some conservatives.

BURNETT: It's interesting, you know, the story, Mark -- we'll see, you know, the stories I didn't know what the governor's mansion was because I delivered newspaper is the first I heard of it, right? I mean, you know, stories that can inspire and appeal to lots of people.

But the far left is slamming moderates like Biden and Bullock. Here is Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): I will be dammed if the same politicians refusing to act then are trying to come back today and say we need a middle of the road approach to save our lives.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look at my record. She'll find that nobody has been more consistent about taking on the environment and a green revolution than I have.


BURNETT: Confident there to fight against the far left, Mark. Many others have chosen to kowtow instead of stand up to it.

Is Biden going to be proving right or is he making a mistake?

PRESTON: Well, first of all, let me say Democrats, welcome to the party of dysfunction, right? Where we're actually seeing your dirty laundry now being aired out in public as we have seen the Republican Party under the Trump administration day in and day out. But this is what has been brewing really under -- underneath everything and hasn't really come out yet.

[19:35:04] But now that we have a congresswoman, a very young congresswoman who has blasted onto the scene, calling into question Joe Biden's credentials and having people back her in this, it is going to be problematic for Joe Biden. But it's not only problematic for Joe Biden.


PRESTON: But it's going to be problematic for anybody that is a cross with the left.


PRESTON: I do think that we're going to see the left go after the more moderates.

BURNETT: All right. As they cannibalize themselves, I guess on some level, April, Trump weighed in on as many as he could today. Here he is.



Beto is falling fast. What the hell happened? Remember about four weeks ago, he said, I was made for this. He was made for it. He was made to fall like a rock.

And, Bernie -- you know, Bernie is crazy. Bernie is crazy. But Bernie has got a lot more energy than Biden, so you never know. Three hundred and fifty million people and that's the best we could do.


BURNETT: He went on, April, to say he could pick a better Democrat than anybody on the stage. Is this huge field a sign of strength or weakness?

RYAN: Weakness, weakness, weakness. He called out all the B's.

Let me say this: Democratic polls are showing that if indeed -- if indeed there was an election today, Joe Biden would beat the president. And this -- there is another poll the Democrats using, any Democrat would beat this president.

So, he is in a stance of weakness, trying to throw a shot at all of them. And it's not working.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both.

And next, Democrats launching a new investigation into team Trump. So what do they want to know this time?

Plus, breaking news. Donald Trump Jr. agreeing to go before the Republican Senator Richard Burr's committee. So, how do Burr's voters feel about him, senior, conservative Republican, taking on Trump Jr.?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a good man. I voted for him. But I think he is off on this one.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:40:41] BURNETT: More on breaking news. Donald Trump Jr. has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee after a battle with the committee's Republican Chairman Richard Burr. Burr is facing criticism from his own party for doing this and from some constituents in North Carolina.

Jessica Dean is OUTFRONT.


SEN. RICHARD BURR (R-NC): I'm a guy who tries to stay out of the media.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republican Senator Richard Burr is well aware of the scrutiny he's facing since subpoenaing Donald Trump Jr. to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee which burr chairs.

Burr facing criticism over the move from members of his own party on Capitol Hill. Senator Rand Paul tweeting: Apparently, the Republican chair of the Senate Intel Committee didn't get the memo from the majority leader that this case was closed.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): If I were Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyer, I would tell him you don't need to go back into this environment anymore.

DEAN: Some 420 miles south in Marvin, North Carolina, Burr's constituents are watching it all play out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has no right subpoena and Donald Trump Jr., with all the stuff that's gone on and the investigations that have been held against Donald Trump.

DEAN (on camera): Do you feel it changes people's of the senator or have you had always had this opinion of him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I've not only had this opinion. I expect that he would have supported the president.

DEAN (voice-over): Other said while they respected Burr, they could not understand his decision and did not support it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a good man. I voted for him. And, I mean, he is a exact with a lot of the issues that are important to me as a resident of the state, as a Republican, and as a U.S. citizen. So -- but I think he is off on this.

DEAN: And others taking a more patient approach.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He served and done a good job. And I don't think of him as someone that goes out there and just does things that don't make sense. I think I'm going to wait and see what his reasons were, why he is doing it, and what the purpose is.

DEAN: Burr has said he will not be seeking re-election when his current term ends.

TRUMP: Say something.

DEAN: Sources tell CNN Trump Jr. had been engaged with talks with the Senate Intelligence Committee since last December and had agreed to be voluntarily interviewed two occasions before backing off, that's when Burr issued the subpoena for his testimony, a decision drawing ire from President Trump.

TRUMP: My son spent I guess over 20 hours testifying about something that Mueller said was 100 percent OK. And now they want him to testify again. I don't know why. I have no idea why. But it seems very unfair to me.

DEAN: Mueller investigated some of Trump Jr.'s activities for potential criminality. But ultimately, did not bring charges.


DEAN: And Senator Burr has gone to great lengths not to comment publicly on all this telling reporters on Capitol Hill right before news of the agreement went public that he would not be commenting on anything about witness engagement. Now as for Donald Trump Jr., a source telling CNN, that he is very appreciative to those Republicans who he felt went to bat for him in all this and that he looks forward to returning the favor in 2020 -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jessica, thank you.

And next, the Trump family inner circle at the center of a new investigation tonight. What do Democrats want to know?

Plus, Jeanne on why Beto is up in arms tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump hasn't come one a nickname for you yet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Crazy hands. He calls him crazy hands.




[19:47:53] BURNETT: More on our breaking news. Donald Trump Jr. making a deal with the Senate Intel Committee to testify next month. This after Republican Chairman Richard Burr issued the subpoena which Trump Jr. refused to return voluntary.

Now, here is what we understand from a source. The interview will be two to four hours. Five to six topics. Two topics that are not off limits are Trump Tower Moscow and the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. A committee source says Don Jr. will be asked about discrepancies between his past testimony under oath and, of course, what Mueller put his in report on those issues.

OUTFRONT now, Democratic Congressman Denny Heck who sits on the House Intelligence Committee which also interviewed Don Jr.

Congressman, thanks for your time.

So, now, we've got five to six topics, two to four hours. Obviously, we don't know all the topics, and that could be crucial in terms of where this goes. We do know that Trump Tower Moscow and the Trump Tower meeting are on the list. Those are issues you investigated in- depth as well.

What more is there to know? Do you think Don Jr. knows more on the issues than he shared?

REP. DENNY HECK (D-WA): Well, I don't know what it is that he said to the Senate Intelligence Committee the first time through, Erin. I think that's probably a lot of what this request is about.

But, first, let's step back and acknowledge this for what it is, which is the successful completion of a negotiated settlement to enable Donald Trump Jr. to reappear. I want to commend Senator Burr and Senator Warner, and for that matter Donald Trump Jr. for agreeing to do this.

This is the way the process ought to work. I would contrast it very starkly with how it's working in the House, where it's just no, stonewall, obstruction, at every step of the way unfortunately.

BURNETT: So when you look at Don Jr. coming back as I said five to six topics. We know there are 14 investigations referred out of the Mueller probe. Twelve of them we don't know what they're about.

Do you think it's possible any of those involve Don Jr.?

HECK: Well, of course, it's possible, but I don't know. I think the interesting thing about the 12 investigations spun out of the Mueller investigation is that we had no idea it was of that magnitude until the Mueller report was issued. Frankly, if you were to ask me, what surprised me the most about the Mueller report --

[19:50:02] BURNETT: Yes.

HECK: -- it was that there were 12 investigations spun out about which we had no knowledge.

BURNETT: I would have to agree with you on that.

All right. Earlier today, the president weighed in yet again on his son being subpoenaed, as, of course, he was, by Chairman Burr. Here's the president.


TRUMP: It's really a tough situation, because my son spent, I guess, over 20 hours testifying about something that Mueller said was 100 percent OK. And now they want him to testify again. I don't know why. I have no idea why. But it seems very unfair to me.


BURNETT: Of course, Mueller didn't say what the president says he said, but there were 20 hours of testimony as he says. Now we've got another two to four. Is that unfair?

HECK: So, fortunately, the president is not the arbitrator of these considerations, nor has any other president in history been the arbitrator of these considerations, regardless whether they were a Democrat or a Republican, or liberal or conservative. The alternative, Erin, is that we have simply no check and balance on the executive branch.

And I'm pretty sure that's at complete odds with what our Founders intended, and at complete odds with what the American public would want.

BURNETT: So, Congressman, your committee is now looking into whether Trump family lawyers, including President Trump's own attorney, Jay Sekulow, obstructed your Russia probe by possibly instructing Michael Cohen to lie during his testimony in 2017, right, about Trump Tower Moscow. Discussions when they occurred, how far during the campaign among other things.

What makes your committee believe that those lawyers would have had -- would have done that. Would have had a direct role? Would have told them to lie?

HECK: Well, in order to answer that question, I would have to reveal matters that took place in the interview that we are not yet prepared to reveal, but will be in time.

But again, I'm going to ask the same question, Erin. What is the alternative to not continuing to explore some of these things? Would that mean that we condone people lying to Congress?

Would it mean that we condone those who encourage others to lie to Congress? Would it mean that we condone those that seek to invoke an inapplicable privilege? Indeed, in the main, would it mean that we condone those who absolutely refuse to cooperate with the congressional investigation?

And the truth of the matter is, none of us really wants any of that.

BURNETT: So, when you say, obviously, you've got things you can't disclose as to why you're doing this, you're asking -- talking about whether the attorneys would have possibly instructed Michael Cohen to lie. But just to be clear here, though, those attorneys were attorneys for the Trump family, for the president, for Jared Kushner, for Ivanka Trump, for Don Jr.

Is it fair to say lawyers don't do things not at the behest of their clients?

HECK: So, the important legal principle to assert here, however, is that if anybody did encourage somebody to lie or to modify their testimony in a way that was less than truthful, there is no longer applicable an attorney/client privilege. And therefore, if there is suspicion of this, it is certainly something that bears exploration and consideration.

BURNETT: All right. Congressman Heck, thanks for your time this evening.

HECK: You're welcome, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, Jeanne Moos gives a hand to Beto O'Rourke.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you use your hands more?

BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To be clear, "no" to the last question that you asked.



[19:57:32] BURNETT: Tonight, Beto O'Rourke laughs off Trump's nickname for him.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump hasn't come up with a nickname for you yet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He calls him crazy hands.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, that's nothing? What is that?

O'ROURKE: Yes, yes.



BURNETT: Will crazy hands stick? Here's Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Beto O'Rourke literally jumped into the presidential race, he was up in arms. His arms.

O'ROURKE: Beyond a shadow of a doubt. And if you look at the climate, to get all of this done. We would be fools!

MOOS: Disarming Beto was not an option.

O'ROURKE: And I think we should begin with the end.

MOOS: Even when sitting with his wife --

O'ROURKE: The lost great hope of earth.

MOOS: His other arm kept escaping from her clutches.

O'ROURKE: From every single one of us.

MOOS: It was almost as if he were doing sign language.

Even President Trump tipped his hat to Beto's hands.

TRUMP: Well, I think he's got a lot of hand movement. I've never seen so much hand movement. I said, is he crazy or is that just the way he acts? Study it. I'm sure you'll agree.

MOOS (on camera): Study it? Study yourself.

TRUMP: We're winning too much. It's too much. We can't stand it.

MOOS (voice-over): President Trump is a genius of gesticulation.

TRUMP: They're not going to get their way anymore, folks.

MOOS: But Beto wouldn't take the president's bait, making fun of his arms.

O'ROURKE: I have nothing to say to that. I think people want us to rise above the pettiness, the smallness.

MOOS: Guess Beto won't be going after small hands.

Body language expert Chris Ulrich compared Beto --

CHRIS ULRICH, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: Almost kind of like the blow-up man you'll see at car dealerships as you'll go by.

MOOS: Such motions are known as illustrators.

ULRICH: It helps people focus in on you. You're more watched, you're more dynamic. People will see you more clearly as charismatic, likable.

MOOS: As long as he doesn't put someone's eye out.

A fellow panelist protected herself from Bernie Sanders.


MOOS (on camera): The only way to tame Beto's hands is to put something in them.

(voice-over): Be it a coffee cup or a jacket or a sweater.

Before taking questions, Beto kept saying --

O'ROURKE: I am all ears. I am all ears right now. MOOS: And here we thought you were all arms.

O'ROURKE: By extension --

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --


O'ROURKE: I will remember this forever.

MOOS: -- New York.


BURNETT: And thank you all so much for joining us. Don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT anytime, anywhere. Just go to CNN Go.

"AC360" starts now.