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Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is Interviewed About White House Rejecting Dem Request for Docs; Trump's Most-Prized Properties Reportedly Losing Money During Presidency. Aired on 7-8p ET

Aired May 15, 2019 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: They're OK, which is good news. Thanks very much for watching. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I'm Wolf Blitzer in SITUATION ROOM. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, wag the dog. Do Trump's tweets reveal the real reason behind his tough talk on Iran? Plus, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler is out front. He has a message for the White House tonight. And how the trade war is affecting one family's livelihood and costing Trump their votes? Let's go out front.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, team Trump warning of an Iranian attack, today pulling all non-essential Americans out of Iraq over fears Iran will attack Americans. This after President Trump had an ominous message when asked about war with Iran.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they do anything, it will be a very bad mistake. If they do anything. I'm hearing little stories about Iran. If they do anything, they will suffer greatly.


BURNETT: This is serious, war with Iran would be world shattering. What we do know tonight is that America's closest ally doesn't seem to see what Trump sees. Here's the top British General.




BURNETT: America's allies aren't the only one skeptical. Republican Senator Jerry Moran, telling reporters after a classified briefing with the CIA and the NSA, "there is a lot more to be known before decisions are made." And he's not the only one pushing back against the White House. Key senators from both parties are now demanding answers from Team Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I have no idea what the threat stream is.

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D-New Jersey): The Trump administration has not provided any information to this committee on the intelligence behind their decisions.


BURNETT: There is a reason senators and the American people should be concerned and that is that the President's top National Security advisor has made a career of comments about Iran like these.


JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The declared policy of the United States of America should be the overthrow of the mullahs' regime in Tehran.

We are not prepared, have not been prepared, although we should be prepared to take down the regime in Tehran.

Our goal should be regime change in Iran.


BURNETT: But why now? Why this talk now from the President? Well, there's a tweet or two for that. Here are two tweets from Trump during the 2012 election, the first. "Now that Obama's poll numbers are in tailspin - watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate." And then, "Don't let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected. Be careful Republicans!"

But tonight, some of Trump's good friends are warning him to be careful. For example, Laura Ingraham tweeting, "War with Iran is one of the few almost certain paths for Donald Trump to harm his re- election prospects." Kaitlan Collins is out front live outside the White House tonight. And Kaitlan, it seems like the White House is keeping virtually everyone in the dark here about what they may know or not know, why team Trump is taking such an aggressive stance here on Iran.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, and the question, Erin, is how much longer can that last, because lawmakers are demanding to get information here. And we know that Gang of Eight is going to be briefed on Capitol Hill tomorrow, but what privately White House officials are saying, what they're saying publicly that yes, this is threat is credible, it is real and some of the Republicans who have been briefed on it are also agreeing with the White House here.

Now, White House officials are saying that latest moves that the U.S. has been making is not an opening into war with Iran but, of course, the question is what are they basing this on because they still have not said publicly what this thread is going to be and they haven't said whether or not they're actually going to reveal what the threat could be what's behind the latest moves that they've made.

Now, as you've pointed out, there's a lot of speculation on John Bolton, the President's National Security Adviser, not only what he said in the past but what he's advising the President today. But, of course, the President was tweeting about this saying that he takes opinions from all sides. Of course, referencing not only John Bolton who the President normally privately often jokes is trying to start wars in multiple countries, even the President says that to other world leaders.

But the President is saying he's going to take advice from other people and as we know that sometimes when an idea has been floated, and there are prominent voices that the President listens to in the media talking like Laura Ingraham was, they are saying that this could actually hurt the President's re-election effort, he sometimes listens to those. And that could be evident in the President's latest tweet when among other things he said, quote, Iran will want to talk soon.

That could be indicative that maybe the President is looking to solve this, this way. But, of course, lawmakers right now want to know more information from the White House.

BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much. Out front now, one of those lawmakers, Democratic Senator from Oregon, Jeff Merkley, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senator, thanks for your time.

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): You're welcome.

BURNETT: So from what you know is there a legitimate threat from Iran right now?

[19:04:59] MERKLEY: Well, we always know Iran is up to mischief. It's done many things that we do not like. We do not like their involvement in Yemen. We don't like their arc of influence that continues across Iraq to Syria and Lebanon. There's a lot we don't like.

But as to something significantly different, we have not seen that information. And I must say what we have seen is this administration doing many things that kind of pave a path towards hostilities, that should be a concern to us all.

BURNETT: So when they say that there's the possibility of Americans being kidnapped violence against Americans in Iraq from Iran which, of course, would be an incredible act of aggression of war. They haven't shared any of that with you on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, no information to support that yet?

No, they have not. I anticipate that after the Group of Eight is briefed, the rest of us will get a briefing next week and that shows you a little bit how this is coming behind the argument. In that sense because what has happened is the administration has evacuated personnel from Iraq, which is also a Shiite country like Iran.

BURNETT: Yes. MERKLEY: They have moved, accelerated the movement and aircraft

carrier into the region. They have proceeded to end the waivers for the purchase of oil from Iran, putting enormous, enormous economic pressure on them and actually hurting some of our allies like Japan and North Korea and some other big economies like India.


MERKLEY: So this combination of efforts is a sort of thing that could lead up to making the argument. Look, there's a lot of bad things they're doing, we're going to take military action. That's our concern. And remember Bolton wrote that article, that op-ed piece that ended with Bomb, Bomb Iran.

BURNETT: Right. Yes, the headline, I believe, was to stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran.

MERKLEY: Yes. Yes, exactly. So I feel a lot of mistrust of these coordinated efforts that seem to be building a case for war.

BURNETT: So President Trump yesterday denied in New York Times report that he was looking at plans to send up 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacked U.S. forces, which theoretically attack on Americans in Iraq would fit that description. Here's part of his answer.


TRUMP: Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully, we're not going to have to plan for that and if we did that, we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that.


BURNETT: He's right, there would be a hell of a lot more troops than that, but is that the way he should be speaking?

MERKLEY: Well, it's just a part of this drumbeat that is going on. And you hear a little bit from part of the administration. We're not just moving aircraft carrier. We're preparing to send troops. The president comes down and says, "No, we're not preparing to send troops. But if we do prepare, we'll send a lot more than that."

But the whole dialogue, he's not disavowing the set of actions that have been taken, including designating the Revolutionary Guard inside. Iran is a terrorist organization. They've also put forward the argument that al-Qaeda operates from inside Iran and I imagine that there are people inside Iran who are plotting attacks on the U.S. as there are probably in a whole series of countries.

But have they taken action in a way that threatens vital national interests or something different than the past --

BURNETT: Do you think that Iran takes President Trump's comments seriously in terms of is he really upping the risk of war by what he's saying? Do they believe at all? MERKLEY: I think they do take his comments very seriously, yes. And

I think what it does is undermine the moderates inside Iran, because the Revolutionary Guard and the conservatives are saying, "See, we couldn't trust the United States. We've said that all along."

They bailed on their treaty commitments to us even after we dismantled our plutonium reactor. After we moved our uranium out of the country. After we brought in an incredible number inspectors, unprecedented any arms control agreement. After we did all this United States bailed and now they're just continuing to politicize the attacks on us. So it does strengthen the hardliners inside Iran.

BURNETT: I just read a two of the tweets that the President sent back in 2012. He was talking about Iran. One of them, "Now that Obama's poll numbers are in tailspin - watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He's desperate." And then, "Don't let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected - be careful Republicans!" Is he doing this now because he's afraid of something?

MERKLEY: I think that he is very concerned about his standing in America. As he thinks about elections, he thinks about what fears can we generate among the public. That generally has been a good political strategy for Republicans. And we saw it with immigration six months out from the 2018 election where he basically created a crisis on the border, did a whole things like the child separation, trying to accentuate the internment camps across America, locking up 15,000 migrant children in prisons. And almost weekly there was an immigration announcement, this, and this and this. I would expect that here's another potential fear factor. Maybe it's a trial balloon, but it's dangerous territory.

[19:10:34] BURNETT: So you mentioned immigration and we are learning due to new details this hour about the White House immigration plan, Jared Kushner essential to that. We understand from our reporting. Senator, it would shift to a merit-based system. We knew they wanted that, but they're formerly doing that, family ties not going to be the driver of how people get into this country. It's going to be merit and they do not address DACA at all. Is that a non-starter?

MERKLEY: Well, yes. The short answer is yes. And what we have seen is just one bad idea in immigration after another. What they did to create a crisis with the children and to lock up those 15,000 kids was to stop recruiting sponsors to be able to children awaiting their asylum series with families in schools.

It was inflicting trauma on children by keeping them locked up rather than proceeding to have children place where they should be placed. So there's so much politics involved in this. It's just very disturbing.

BURNETT: All right. Senator, thanks so much for your time. I appreciate it.

MERKLEY: Thank you. Take care now.

BURNETT: And next breaking news, the Governor of Alabama signing the most restrictive abortion bill in America. Are other states about to follow? Plus, the White House taking new steps to shut down Democrats attempts at oversight telling the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler no do-overs. Chairman Nadler response out front. And one of President Trump's prized possessions is reportedly losing money big time.


TRUMP: I just left Trump National Doral in Miami and it's a great place.



[19:15:51] BURNETT: Breaking tonight, no exceptions. The Governor of Alabama signing the most restrictive abortion bill in the United States. And here's who put the bill on her desk which she was happy to sign. The State Senate you see male dominated passing the measure late last night, 25 men in fact voting for this.

Keep in mind women make up more than half of the population of Alabama. There were only though four women in the Alabama State Senate to weigh in on the issue. The bill has virtually zero exceptions to allow an abortion, so no abortion in the case of rape, no abortion in the case of incest.

In 2017, a 12-year-old girl in Alabama was raped by a relative. She became pregnant. She was 12 raped by a relative under this bill, she would have had to keep that baby. Out front now Joan Biskupic, CNN Supreme Court Analyst and Nia-Malika Henderson, our Senior Political Reporter. Thanks to both.

So Joan, let me just show you a map here of states across the country that have already passed more restrictions on abortion. Others are moving in that direction, as you can see by the colors on your map, if you're watching at home. This trend is not going anywhere, why is it happening everywhere?

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: Clearly, Erin, states are emboldened by the new Supreme Court. First of all, President Donald Trump when he was campaigning back in 2016 said he wanted to reverse Roe v. Wade and that he would appoint justices who held that similar sentiment. And now we have two new trump appointees on the court, most crucially Brett Kavanaugh succeeding Anthony Kennedy who was the key fifth vote on abortion. He succeeded him last fall.

So I think the State certainly are responding to that, but it's going to be a long haul. The law you just described cannot be enforced right now. It flies flat in the face of Supreme Court precedent that says that government cannot put an undue burden on a woman's right to end a pregnancy before a fetus would be viable and that's at about 24 weeks.

So this is going to set up a major clash, but the way the law works is that things move incrementally and I do not see that law being enforced for any time in the near future.

BURNETT: And as this push happens though, Nia, the Democrats that are running for office are seizing on it right to the point that Joan made, because these laws are happening because of people who see what Trump is trying to do to the Supreme Court because they are emboldened by that and the Democrats are responding. Here are a few of the 2020ers today.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They're trying to overturn Roe vs. Wade, that's wrong and we will fight back.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This Alabama effort and the effort across this country now in 29 states is an all- out attack on women's reproductive freedom and our basic civil rights.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When abortions were illegal in our country, women died. They died because they were not given choice. It's a fundamental issue.


BURNETT: So does this move the needle for Democrats, Nia? Obviously, they're all jumping on it but does it motivate their voter?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: It certainly does and I think the reality that Joan lays out there, the reality of these bills kind of percolating through the appellate courts and percolating in these states and the reality of this conservative Supreme Court means that it's a really a sort of new era in American politics in terms of the abortion debate, just hasn't been the case before where the reality of the overturn of Roe v. Wade has seemed at hand in a way that it does right now, because all of those dynamics.

So it certainly moved the needle in terms of fundraising for instance and you saw Beto O'Rourke and you saw Bernie Sanders basically mail out pleas to donate to Planned Parenthood and different abortion rights activists and groups in Alabama. But it also, I think, it was a new reality of these women who are running for president and can articulate some of the issues around abortion in a way that you haven't really been seen.

You saw that, obviously, with Hillary Rodham Clinton and now you have sort of a crowd of women who are running for president who can talk about it in a way that I think we haven't seen before. So that's an interesting new dynamic as well. And this hasn't really been a galvanizing issue for Democrats in the way that it has been for Republicans for decades, so we'll see how this moves going forward and how the Democrats try to seize on it.

[19:20:26] BURNETT: And Joan obviously there is the precedent of course of Roe v. Wade which has been upheld and then there's more strict constitutionalists on the court who may say, well, the entire base of that precedent, this whole idea of privacy in a woman's body is in and of itself suspect. Maybe they'd be more willing to move on this. I mean what are the chances that the Supreme Court moves the bar on Roe vs. Wade?

BISKUPIC: I think what we're going to see are essentially two chapters, Erin. The first chapter will be more restrictions allowing regulations that interfere with a woman's access to abortion, not the absolute right to abortion but access. And it's kind of a first iteration of laws that are already being challenged and already up at the Supreme Court that were enacted even before Donald Trump came to office.

And without Anthony Kennedy, those access laws have a greater chance of being upheld and there are a couple that the justices could actually take on next term right in the middle of the 2020 election but then the next round, Erin, will be the really mega event where there would be a clash over the basic right to abortion and that won't come for a while.

BURNETT: So Nia though to this point that some of these cases that Joan is referring to on access could happen during the election. Who does that help more, Democrats who talk about this issue, but you haven't seen mobilization at the polls as much in history or Democrat or Republicans like Trump who says, "Look, I got these people in. I'm moving on this issue. Give me four more years."

HENDERSON: Yes, that's right and this was a real issue for Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign. He really had to be clear about his stance on abortion and wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade because Conservatives were very skeptical. They've been all over the place on this key issue for conservatives and Republicans, so I think it'll be a real test in 2020 to see how each side frames it.

Because for Republicans they would have to defend what would it mean for women across the country to essentially have to carry a fetus to full-term, what would that reality look like. So I think now you see some of the polling, obviously, on Democrats' side on wanting abortion in Roe v. Wade to stand. But my goodness, it'll be a big issue in 2020.

BURNETT: Right. Well, of course, even those who want fewer abortions, look at the case of a 12-year-old girl raped by a relative who has to keep the child and perhaps take pause. Thank you both. And next, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler threatening hefty fines for anyone who does not comply with his committee subpoenas, is jail next? Chairman Nadler is my guest. Plus, the President loves to brag about making money but some of his most prized properties are reportedly losing a whole million, million, million, million, a lot of it now.


[19:27:44] BURNETT: Tonight, defying Congress, refusing to hand over documents and a 12-page letter from Trump's lawyer to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler. The President says, "No do-over on the Mueller probe."

According to the President's lawyer, quoting here from the 12-page letter, "Congressional investigations are intended to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized 'do-over' of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice." Out front now, one of the people at the center of this feud, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Democratic Congressman Jerry Nadler.

Chairman, I appreciate your time. So just from what I read there in the 12-page letter, harassed, unauthorized, your response?

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Well, my response is that the White House and the Department of Justice is enabling the White House to try to evade all accountability to the American people. They're saying that the President is above the law, that Congress has no right to investigate the abuses of power or obstruction of justice or corruption in the administration and that's just wrong.

The President is not above the law. They would make him above the law but the president is not above the law nor is anybody else in the United States and we have to have the ability to investigate these things. And they're also denying our ability to do our job. We have to work to see that prescription drug prices come down that the Affordable Care Act is not destroyed, that the people keep having coverage for pre-existing conditions, that children are not torn from the arms of their parents at the border.

And to do that, we have to be able to hold the administration accountable on behalf of the American people and they're saying that Congress has no right to do this and they're saying that the American people have no right to do this. They're saying in effect the President is a tyrant and a dictator with no limit on his power and that is unAmerican.

BURNETT: So you don't think those words are too strong at this point, a tyrant and a dictator?

NADLER: Well, he's trying to become, I don't know whether he's trying, but the implication of what they're doing would make the president a tyrant in the sense of not being accountable to the American people, not being answerable to Congress and that no one could hold them accountable and that is simply unAmerican and we cannot abide it.

[19:29:59] BURNETT: So the White House for their part in this letter, they reject your demands, Chairman, for documents and testimony from dozens of current and former White House staffers, right, you know, 81, if you count Trump-related entities. You know, they say as I quoted there, you just want a do-over of the Mueller probe.

Do they have a point at all? Is that at all what this is about?

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): No, they do not have a point. They are rejecting not only all of knows requests for information with respect to obstruction of justice and corruption and abuse of power in the administration. They are -- they are rejecting requests for information about prescription drug pricing, about the Department of Justice trying to destroy the Affordable Care Act, about everything, in fact.

And that's why this is central because they are trying to say that the executive branch and the person of the president is accountable to nobody.

BURNETT: So, you're saying they are rejecting everything even on things that have nothing to do with Russia?


BURNETT: Or Mueller, anything?


BURNETT: Anything you ask.

NADLER: Basically, yes, that's exactly right. They are denying almost all information. And they are asserting the right of the executive not to be accountable to the American people.

And that cannot be. We cannot have a president who is not accountable.

And the Justice Department is -- is supporting the president in evading the law and becoming lawless. And saying that Congress has no ability to hold him to the law, and that means nobody does.

BURNETT: So, earlier today, you said the Department of Justice appears reluctant to let the special counsel Robert Mueller testify. You said, if we have to, we'll subpoena him.

Now, a Justice Department official then told CNN that Attorney General Bill Barr has no objection to Mueller testifying at all. So, obviously, this is a contradiction.

Does the attorney general not being forthright? What explains this?

NADLER: I don't know what explains this, except that the Department of Justice has not -- has not been willing so far to set a date for Mr. Mueller to testify to us. And we have been asking for quite a while.

BURNETT: Do you think you'll have to subpoena Mueller in order to get him to testify? Are you willing to do it?

NADLER: I don't -- we are certainly willing to do it. We will use the subpoena power and any other legal power we have with respect to Mr. Mueller, with Mr. McGahn , with anybody to do our job of holding the administration accountable, finding out what went on, finding out about obstruction of justice and abuse of power, corruption in the administration, and of getting information necessary for the American people for us to do our job for the American people.

BURNETT: So, you know, you also said House Democrats are seriously considering using congress's contempt powers that you could impose hefty fines by using the powers. Inherent being a crucial word, inherent powers to impose fines and that, you know, if people don't pay the fines you could put them in jail. I mean, what happens here? Can you force them to pay? Is jail literally on the table here?

NADLER: We are looking at all options to deal with the lawless administration. And everything is being looked at.

BURNETT: Everything is being looked at, including possible jail?

NADLER: We're looking at the law. But we will look at all options to force -- to force the administration to hold -- to be able to hold the administration accountable, whatever that may take, whatever legal remedies we have we will use.

BURNETT: And, Chairman, I want to ask you about one other story. The governor of Alabama, she just signed the law banning abortion. It is now done, it's signed, including cases of rape and incest, no abortions possible.

I know you have strong feelings. Today on Twitter, you called the law cruel, unconstitutional.

In your view, is Roe versus Wade really in danger?

NADLER: Yes, Roe versus Wade is in danger. I think the Supreme Court a couple of days ago by 5-4 vote made clear that stare decisis, that is the doctrine that you don't change, overrule prior decisions without very good cause because they are no longer workable, things have changed, is out the window. And I certainly think that anybody in the Senate who says she is pro-choice and voted for Brett Kavanaugh will be shown up as either very short sighted or hypocritical.

BURNETT: Chairman Nadler, thank you.

NADLER: You're welcome.

BURNETT: And next, Trump's presidency reportedly taking a toll why it's no longer the thriving tower he loves to tout.


DONALD TRUMP, THEN-BUSINESSMAN: Trump Tower is the most successful building in New York.


BURNETT: Plus, Trump's trade war killing a family's livelihood and costing him their votes in the heartland.


[19:38:51] BURNETT: Tonight, two of President Trump's most beloved properties are reportedly experiencing sharp declines in business. And it may be because of the president himself.

Athena Jones is OUTFRONT.


TRUMP: I just left Trump National Doral in Miami. And it's a great place. I just spent $250 million rebuilding it, making it the best resort in the country.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Trump National Doral Miami is one of the president's prized possessions. The 800-acre, 643-room resort is facing steep declines in revenue, according to "The Washington Post". The resort's net operating income dropped by more than 69 percent since 2015. Public records obtained by "The Post" show overall revenue dropped by 18 percent to $75 million between 2015 and 2017.

TRUMP: This is now the hottest resort of its kind anywhere in the United States.

JONES: Doral is not just any property for Trump. It's a source of deep pride and has become one of the Trump Organization's biggest money makers.

TRUMP: We've had tremendous success. The bookings are through the roof.

JONES: The company, in a tax proceeding reviewed by "The Post", said that Doral is severely underperforming similar properties because there is some negative connotation that is associated with the brand.

[19:40:08] A Trump organization spokeswoman responded to "The Post" report saying the article is absolute garbage. 2018 is one of the best years in the history of the property. Precise financial information from the private company was not provided.

The challenges facing the Trump properties aren't limited to the Doral.

TRUMP: Trump Tower is the most successful building in New York.

JONES: Trump Tower, once a symbol of the New York high life, is now one of the city's least honorable luxury buildings, according to Bloomberg.

TRUMP: Rhona, can I have my calls, please?

JONES: Trump has frequently used his namesake property built in 1983 as a backdrop for his business.

His TV show.

TRUMP: And have turned the name Trump into the highest quality brand.

JONES: In politics.

TRUMP: It's great to be at Trump Tower. It's great to be in a wonderful city, New York.

JONES: But it appears that business at the tower is far from booming. Bloomberg reviews security filings property and other records and found at least 13 condos have sold since the 2016 election, most of them at a loss when adjusted for inflation. Several losing more than 20 percent.

Bloomberg says the building mass also struggled for months to fill more than 42,000 square feet of vacate office space. The Trump Organization declined to comment on this report.

(on camera): We're outside Trump Tower. His name is on there in two spots. Does that help or does that hurt for him?

RICHARD BOCKMANN, REPORTER, THE REAL DEAL: I can't think that it helps.

JONES (voice-over): Trump's unpopularity in liberal New York could be to blame for the decline in interest in the building. Several condo building in the city removed Trump's name after his election.

But politics is not the only factor, says "The Real Deal's" Richard Bockmann.

BOCKMANN: Sure, there are probably no other buildings in the city where you had to walk by the Secret Service in order to get into it. There are barricades everywhere. There are plenty of people I think who would look at it and say, why deal with that when there are so many other options.

JONES: Still he says anything will sell if the price is right.

TRUMP: If you are really successful, you'll all live just like this.


JONES: Now, other Trump-related projects have also faced challenges. Back in February, Trump's two eldest sons who are running the Trump organization scrapped plans for two new hotel chains in dozens of American cities, citing what they described as a toxic political environment for the Trump brand -- Erin.

BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Jonathan O'Connell, business reporter at "The Washington Post" who broke the story about the Doral's financial woes this morning.

I mean, Jonathan when you hear this, look, the Doral, Trump Tower, two of President Trump's most prized possessions. I mean, what does it tell you that they are suffering such dramatic losses? And were you surprised by the magnitude?

JONATHAN O'CONNELL, BUSINESS REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: To your first part, I definitely think there is just a smaller pool of people who are willing to do business with -- you know, or go to properties that have Trump on the front of them. You know, whether you are talking about kind of luxury travelers, golfers, people looking for a get away, or corporations who are doing sort of like a board meeting or a corporate retreat or else people renting office space for their company, all those companies and travelers are now thinking about whether they want to affiliate themselves with the Trump name.

And the portion of those who are deciding they don't want to do that, that's where the pain is coming for the president's business. Having said that, even with the Doral, I was surprised at the magnitude of kind of the drop in business they have had there, because, you know, Trump is still very popular among a lot of golfers. Obviously, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, et cetera, a lot of the big names in golf are fine affiliating themselves with Trump.

But clearly from the numbers, more golfers are sort of unwilling to spend their money with Trump than before.

BURNETT: Yes, I mean, 69 percent, you know, over the past few years.


BURNETT: It does seem like an incredible stunning drop.

You talk about a smaller pool, but in that pool are a lot of people who want to stay at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., it is a polar opposite story there.

O'CONNELL: Right. And this is kind of the flipside of the story as you mentioned. You know, there is a smaller pool of customers for Trump. I think that's true across the country and really internationally. But for the people who are still politically aligned with him, that is some travelers. It's also in businesses, Washington, lobbying groups, it's political consultants, it's campaigns.

The people who are aligned with him politically, not only are they willing to continue to spend at his properties, they're spending more money there. So, they're willing to spend -- they're willing to pay a premium really to be at Trump properties, to have their name affiliated with Trump and to really kind of especially in Washington, or in Mar-a-Lago really, just be affiliated with the presidency in some way. They are paying a premium and that's helping them.

BURNETT: Wow, and a tale of two Trumps.

All right. Jonathan, thank you so much.

O'CONNELL: Thank you, Erin. I appreciate it.

[19:45:01] BURNETT: And you're going to hear a whole lot more about this. My new documentary, "CNN Special Report: The Trump Family Business", don't miss that, the premier is Friday night right here at 9:00 on CNN.

And next, we'll tell you about a family's livelihood now on the line because of the trade war. Is it now costing Trump votes?

And Jeanne on President Trump getting personal when it comes to Joe Biden.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) TRUMP: I don't know what the hell happened to Biden. I never saw that before. I don't know. It just doesn't look like the same Biden.



BURNETT: Tonight, Republicans going public with their growing criticism of Trump's trade war. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa sounding the alarm, saying it is crushing his constituents, telling "The Washington Post", quote, I'm not sure if you talked to him, Trump, face to face. He hears everything you say.

Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the middle of an Iowa corn field, Amy Nelson is in the middle of solving a problem.

[19:50:00] AMY NELSON, FARMER: I would say we're probably about two weeks behind.

SAVIDGE: She's got to get a quarter million dollar tractor with a $125,000 planter moving again or her corn crop is done (ph).

NELSON: We are going to fill the planter with corn seed.

SAVIDGE: Amy is a farmer. She prefers a different title.

NELSON: I'm the primary farmer or farm-her.

SAVIDGE (on camera): I like that.


SAVIDGE (voice-over): It's not just her gender that makes her stand out, it's also her youth. Up until seven years ago, she was finance director of a national organization in a big city. Then her dad said he needed help.

LARRY ENGLER, IOWA FARMER: I couldn't handle it any more, so one night about 9:00 she was out on her back deck. I said you ever think of coming back home to Iowa and helping out? Next night, she said, yes, we're coming.

SAVIDGE: She quit corporate life and entered, well, I guess you could say a much different field.

Now, father and daughter work together, managing 1,100 acres of corn and soybeans, during one of farming's worst down turns in almost 40 years.

Larry says President Trump's trade war with China will cost them $150,000 this year alone and vows never to vote for Trump again. Trump's economics also put pressure on Amy to get things right.

NELSON: I need to be very cautious of every penny I put in the ground or put into equipment.

SAVIDGE: Her days start at 5:00 a.m.

(on camera): How late will you go?

NELSON: As long as we need.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): When not growing crops, she's also raising two children and married to a non-farming husband. It may not seem the best time to take over a family business in a male-dominated industry in the middle of a crisis. But Amy says it is the perfect time for a woman to step in.

NELSON: Being I think outside of farming has been able for me to bring some other resources to the table.

SAVIDGE (on camera): And a kind of a different mindset.

NELSON: Different mindset, exactly.

Yes, I just got --

SAVIDGE (voice-over): She believes she's right where she belongs and dad agrees.

ENGLER: Oh, once she came back, she dug into it, and never looked back.

SAVIDGE: Amy will be the fifth generation of her family to farm this land. She doesn't miss the corporate world one bit.

NELSON: I like my view from the office right now. It is a beautiful view.


BURNETT: So, Martin, obviously tariffs are causing huge, $100,000, $125,000, have they changed how much they're harvesting? What types of crops they're growing?

SAVIDGE: No, they haven't. They grow corn and soybeans, just about everybody does here in Iowa. Those are the two most profitable crops. And despite what's going on with the trade war, those are still the prominent crops you'll see. So, they grow about 50 percent corn, 50 percent soybeans.

What they've had to do is get smarter about things. They cut back on purchases. They were going to buy a new $650,000 tractor, that's gone to the wayside. Business and tech, they have to be smart in both and fortunately, Amy is.

BURNETT: And I'm just curious, Martin, because I know her father said he'd never vote again for Trump, did she weigh in on that at all or no?

SAVIDGE: No, she didn't. Politics is not something that farmers generally are comfortable with. In fact, many people were shocked that her father was outspoken as he was. But he truly feels frustrated at this point.

BURNETT: All right. Martin, thank you very much.

And next, Biden or Trump? Thanks to Jeanne.


[19:57:50] BURNETT: Tonight, Trump is bragging, he looks years younger than a lot of Democratic candidates, even fellow septuagenarian Joe Biden.

Here is Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The last time Donald Trump looked in a mirror and saw a truly younger man was when Jimmy Fallon played his mirror image. But when the 72-year-old president was asked how old is too old to be president.

TRUMP: I just feel like a young man. I'm so young. I am a young, vibrant man. I look at Joe, I don't know about him. I don't know.

MOOS: Those comments left 76-year-old Joe Biden momentarily speechless when he was asked about them on "The View."

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If he looks young and vibrant compared to me, I should probably go home.

MOOS: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the most vibrant 70-something candidate of them all?

The battle of the elders spilled onto twitter in side by side comparison and challenges. Show me Trump doing this, I'll wait.

The president's description of himself as a young vibrant man inspired blow back of vibrant imagination and so young practically infantile. I'm the youngest person in the history of people.

As for President Trump's nickname for Biden.

TRUMP: So, I sort of refer to him as Sleepy Joe.

MOOS: Joe said that's the opposite of what he usually hears.

BIDEN: At the other end, hyper Joe.

MOOS: These two are hyperactive even before Biden officially announced.

BIDEN: I wish we're in high school, I could take him behind the Jim. TRUMP: He said I'd like to take him behind the gym. I dream of that.

MOOS: Fighting like two grumpy old men.

Maybe these two should take a page from Ronald Reagan vowing not to make age an issue.

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT: I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience.


MOOS: Even young Mondale cracked up.

The issue of age never gets old.

TRUMP: I am a young, vibrant man.

MOOS: A young vibrant ham, there, someone fixed it.

Jeanne Moos, CNN.

TRUMP: You need tremendous stamina.

MOOS: New York.


BURNETT: They say it is all how you feel inside.

Thanks for joining us.

Anderson starts now.