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Trump Makes Wild Accusations Of An "Attempted Coup" As He Gives Attorney General Sweeping New Powers; Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) Discusses Attorney General Bill Barr's Sweeping Power Given By President Trump; Trump Claims He's Unaware Of Doctored Pelosi Videos That Have Gone Viral Despite Tweeting About One; Trump Bypass Congress To Sell Arms To Saudi Arabia; Ex-GOP Congressman: It's Time to Impeach Trump; The Blue Collar County That Was Safely Democratic, Until Trump. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 24, 2019 - 19:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: ... weekend with Colin Quinn on RED STATE BLUE STATE Monday night, 9:00 pm Eastern only here on CNN. Thanks for watching. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, attempted coup. The President making wild accusations as he vows to get to the bottom of how the Russia probe started. His new weapons sweeping powers for the Attorney General Bill Barr. Plus, a Republican speaking out in his first television interview after calling for Trump's impeachment. The former Congressman says, "Now is the time." He's my guest. And why Elizabeth Warren's dog is front and center today on the campaign trail? Let's go out.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, Trump end runs the CIA. President Trump granting the Attorney General Bill Barr sweeping new powers. Powers to put the CIA, the FBI, the rest of America's intelligence community under Barr when it comes to declassifying intelligence related to the Russia investigation.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's a great gentleman and a highly respected man, so everything that they need is declassified and they'll be able to see how this hoax, how the hoax or witch-hunt started and why it started. It was an attempted coup or attempted take down of the President of the United States.


BURNETT: Well, let's just be clear, of course, we know why the Russia investigation which resulted in 34 indictments started, it's right there in the Mueller report in the introduction. "A foreign government contacted the FBI about a May 2016 encounter with Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos had suggested to a representative of that foreign government that the Trump campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton."

OK. Well, Trump doesn't want to hear those facts. What he does want to hear is that something else happens, so he's going to give sweeping powers to a person who so far has been essentially a yes man to his every whim. A person who seems to agree with the President.


TRUMP: What I'm most interested in is getting started on going back to the origins of exactly where this all started.

WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The first step is find out exactly what happened.

TRUMP: They spied on me. They spied on our camp.

BARR: I think that spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur.


BURNETT: Well, as Barr himself know since he wants worked for the CIA, the word spying has negative extralegal connotations and it has a definition in what happened. As Trump's handpicked FBI Director has explicitly said in public testimony under oath to the American people, what happened was not spying.


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


BURNETT: Not the term he views, because legal surveillance of people is not what they call spying. But if the President is really declassifying material and putting everything out there just because he wants people to know the truth. I mean let's just say, maybe that's it. Then, why is he blocking every single congressional subpoena? Why is he appealing them in court, fighting them with every single thing he can to prevent the American people from saying anything about the Russia investigation that he does not want us to see? Maybe it's because he thinks if he says this enough, people will believe the lie.


TRUMP: And just so you know, I was the most transparent and I'm transparent president in history.


BURNETT: Kaitlan Collins is traveling with the President. She's out front live in Tokyo. Kaitlan, obviously, many people are not happy with the President's decision here which, of course, is going to help one person, the President. KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And it's not

just Democrats or critics of the President that are skeptical about this. It's members of the intelligence community as well, Erin, and you could hear the weariness in Dan Coats' statement earlier when the Director of National Intelligence was talking about the decision that the President has made to give Bill Barr these sweeping new powers.

And he said in quote, "I'm confident that the Attorney General will work with the intelligence community in accordance with the longest established standards to protect highly sensitive classified information that if publicly released would put our National Security at risk."

Now, you didn't hear the President talk about these potential National Security implications when he was defending his decision to reporters before he left to come here to Tokyo. But instead the President was essentially saying that he trusts the Attorney General here.

Now, another thing that President framed it as earlier is he said he's not trying to get payback on this even though, Erin, you have to keep in mind that just hours before the President signed this directive giving Bill Barr these powers in front of reporters at the White House, he accused the officials, once again, who led the investigation of treason.

[19:05:00] BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kaitlan. And out front now, Democratic Congressman Lou Correa who sits on the House Judiciary Committee. Congressman, I appreciate your time.

So you hear Kaitlan giving the content here. The President is giving the Attorney General Bill Barr sweeping powers. What do you say to that?

REP. LOU CORREA (D-CA): Well, first of all, this is all about the law, the rule of law and the concept that nobody, nobody even the President is above the law. We in the Judiciary in Congress have to do our job, which is oversight. Make sure we know what happened in 2016 and what's happening in 2020.

We cannot let the President throw us off our game or our job which is to make sure we investigate what happened. We're going to continue to investigate. We're going to continue to go to the courts. We're going to issue subpoenas. We're going to move forward because nobody, nobody is above the law.

BURNETT: But Congressman Correa, of course, the President when push comes to shove, he personally has the ability to declassify anything he wants. That's part of his powers as President. Attorney General Bill Barr has spent a lot more time in government than the President has, so ostensibly he would have even more experienced with these sorts of decisions. Does that in any way make you comfortable with Barr making the decision when it comes to this investigation?

CORREA: Well, what we want is full transparency. We want to see the full Mueller report unredacted and more when we want to hear from Mr. Mueller. BURNETT: Are you fine with this full transparency though, whatever

they want to put out about origins of the report, even though Mueller concluded or no?

CORREA: The President is going to do everything he can to throw us off our job which is oversight and we have to continue to focus on getting to the truth. He has stopped us, he shockingly has ignored congressional subpoenas.

We've gone to court last week. The judges actually sided with us and essentially said that we have the right to the Mazars financial records, to the Deutsche Bank records and now he's going to appeal, but thank goodness that the courts are saying they're going to expedite these hearings so that we can find out what is going on and make sure that we can get to those records very, very quickly.

So when Dan Coats puts out the statement today, obviously, the Director of National Intelligence who has been completely blindsided in the past and has admitted so by the President. He puts out a statement about this sweeping power saying, "I'm confident the Attorney General will work with the intelligence community in accordance with the long-established standards to protect highly- sensitive classified information that, if released, would put our National Security at risk."

Does a statement like that from Dan Coats make you feel calm or does it worry you that he seems to sort of need to put that out there to make some sort of a threat or a reminder to Barr that such a statement would even be required?

CORREA: I'm very concerned because when it comes to our intelligence community, I think the President would rather side with the Russians then with our intelligence folks, so to me I'm very concerned.

BURNETT: Your committee wants Bob Mueller to testify when you talk about transparency on the Mueller report.


BURNETT: And the President weighed in on that today. Here's President Trump.


TRUMP: They have to get over their anger and they have to get into infrastructure, drug prices and things like that. Because they want to do a redo, like even the fact that they're asking Bob Mueller to come and testify. He just gave them a 434-page report which says no collusion, which leads to absolutely no obstruction. He just gave that report. Why does he have to testify? It's ridiculous.


BURNETT: Of course, there's many reasons for him to testify, we all know why Mueller not make a decision on obstruction to --

CORREA: Everybody is trying to tell us what Mueller meant.


CORREA: Everybody's trying to tell us what Mueller meant. I want to hear from Mr. Mueller what he meant. Clearly, what Mr. Barr in his four-page summary didn't really tell us what Mueller meant and I want to hear from Mr. Mueller himself.

And I'll remind the president that we can do drug pricing, we can do infrastructure and our job as Congress in terms of oversight and investigation all at the same time. We can do it all.

BURNETT: Right. Of course, he said he will not do any of those things unless you stop investigating him. The Chairman of your Committee, Jerry Nadler, says Mueller is, quote, willing to make an opening statement but he wants to testify in private. Would you be OK with that, the opening statement being in public but the question and answer being in private and then, of course, filtered through political lens when you all come out and talk about it?

CORREA: I think that's a good first opening. I want to hear from Mr. Mueller. I just want to make sure that he answers our questions, that our experts are there to work with him, to talk with him and that our full committee is there to ask him questions.

If he thinks there's some things that maybe he needs to keep private, I'll respect that. As Congress people, every day we hear top secret information and we're pretty good at keeping secrets.

[19:10:17] BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman Correa. I appreciate your time tonight.

CORREA: Thank you very much.

BURNETT: And next, Trump retweets and edited video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It was edited and so it was made to make it look terrible, like she's slurring her words, so how does he explain this?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some of these altered videos that are being disseminated, is that going too far?

TRUMP: Well, I don't know about the videos.


BURNETT: Plus the Trump administration bypassing Congress to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia on the same day he announces troops going to the Middle East? Why is the President bearing all of these news about Saudi Arabia on a Friday before Memorial Day? Plus, a former Republican Congressman says President Trump needs to go. He is out front tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:14:28] BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump claiming he's

unaware of doctored videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi having trouble speaking.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some of these altered videos that are being disseminated, is that going too far?

TRUMP: Well, I don't know about the videos. I can tell you that what I'm here is to help the country.


BURNETT: Well, except for he does know about at least one of the videos because last night he tweeted out the video, an edited video from Fox Business of Pelosi having trouble speaking. He didn't just retweet it, he typed in all caps, "PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGHT NEW CONFERENCE." Tom Foreman is out front.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT(voice-over): Listen for yourself. Here is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi talking about President Trump.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): And then he had a press conference in the Rose Garden with all this short sort of visuals that obviously were planned long before.


FOREMAN(voice-over): And here is the same sentence as seen by millions online.


PELOSI: And then he had a press conference in the Rose Garden with all this sort of visual that, obviously, were planned long before ...


FOREMAN(voice-over): The video has been slowed down making her look drunk or impaired. That version was quickly shared millions of times on social media and on Fox & Friends this morning. The conspiracy theory got more oxygen.


DIAMOND & SILK: Well, listen, we're all questioning her capacity. She slur her words.


Diamond and Silk: She's rambling over her words.


FOREMAN(voice-over): A bit later the show admitted ...


STEVE DOOCY, HOST, FOX & FRIENDS: Not a real video. It's doctored.


FOREMAN(voice-over): But they are not alone in spreading it. After Pelosi suggested Trump was unhinged ...


PELOSI: I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.

TRUMP: Did you hear what you said about me long before I went after her?


FOREMAN(voice-over): Trump began pushing the same claim about her.


TRUMP: Look, you think Nancy is the same as she was? He's not. Maybe we can all say that.


FOREMAN(voice-over): And he's backing that by tweeting another manipulated video. A fox mashup of awkward moments, some with the banner Pelosi stammers through news conference.


PELOSI: Making - sending signals to U.S., Mexico, Canada, if that's not the accurate - some people call it after NAFTA, some call it NAFTA 2.0 working together to make that ...

GREGG JARRETT, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS: She could not put a subject with a predicate in the same sentence.



FOREMAN: So Facebook, and Twitter and YouTube all took heat from people who said, "Look, you can't let these fancy edits, these deceptive videos to be pushed out there as if they're real and do nothing about it with varying degrees of responses from people." And to be absolutely fair, Erin, you know there are videos online where the same thing has been done to criticize President Trump and make fun of President Trump.

The big difference is this though, nobody has the platform that he has and this is the President of the United States and people close to him pushing out these videos that they know are fake. That's the main complaint some people have here and it is promising to be such, such, such a nasty election next year.

BURNETT: It certainly is. It certainly is. And, of course, amplified by the cable news organization that wants to say that they're in the news business. Thank you very much, Tom. And out front now New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni and White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, April Ryan.

So Frank, the video clearly doctored yet it did take a life of its own. People believe what they want to believe. They see something and then it got amplified. How does this happen?

FRANK BRUNI, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: Well, something like that intersects with what you want to believe politically. If it intersects with the agenda you're pressing, you just embrace it and you go with it and that's how it happens.

And this is so much scarier and bigger than just a fight between the President and Nancy Pelosi. This is a harbinger of what's going to happen in the 2020 presidential. This says everything about the sophistication and quickness with which this information is created and disseminated. I mean this is sort of what we saw in 2016 coming back and amplified exponentially.

And I think if we don't realize we're going to be dealing with this in 2020. If Facebook and Twitter, don't come up with some policies and some and some enforcement that's way more rigorous than what they're doing now, we're all going to be very sorry and we're in a lot of trouble.

BURNETT: So April, questioning the Speaker's mental state though is what the President is trying to do. And in fact, sure, he tweeted out that video last night, but he's been very direct about it in the past few days. Here he is.


TRUMP: She's a mess. Look, let's face it, she doesn't understand it and they sort of feel she's disintegrating. Crazy Nancy, I'll tell you what, I've been watching her and I have been watching her for a long period of time. She's not the same person. She's lost it.

You think Nancy is the same as she was? She's not. Maybe we can all say that.


BURNETT: He's planting the seeds, April. That's what he's doing and he's not being shy about it.

APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: No, he's not. Erin, let's say the President is practicing street psychology. I'm going to throw on you what they throw on me and let's see if it sticks. What's unfortunate is the same thing that he's saying about Nancy Pelosi I've heard people who were friends of this president who lived in Trump Tower in New York, who actually rented apartments. I'm talking wealthy people who have major names who say this president is not the person that they knew 20 years ago when they lived in Trump Tower.


[19:20:04] RYAN: Yes. Yes. So he's doing the same thing that's happening to him. I mean it's so interesting, we could say the same thing about this president. I mean we've seen it over and over. I mean Nancy Pelosi is saying, "Mr. president," or, "Emperor, you have no clothes." And he wants to believe he has clothes on and she's calling it out.

And we've seen this, Erin, we've seen this with Jim Acosta. This is not China, this is not Russia, we've seen propaganda video come out with Jim Acosta, our own Jim Acosta, and the courts got him back into the White House because that video was proven a lie and what they tried to say was the lie.

We've seen this also with Congresswoman Frederica Wilson with the Sergeant La David Johnson issue when they tried to say that she was unhinged and the fact that she eaves dropped on the conversation when in fact the Master Sergeant put the phone on speakerphone for everyone in the car to hear the President speaking.

And then, the White House tried to perpetrate a lie on me saying something that I never said about Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She and her father went on Fox News saying this. So this is what this administration does when people tell the truth and stand up for what's right.

BURNETT: So let me just say, Frank, one thing that I find very interesting about this is that as April points out, the President - remember when Kim Jong-un called him a dotard. This really upsets him and he has turned this against others.

BRUNI: Right.

BURNETT: So you have a group of people in their 70s, Nancy Pelosi, and then running for president, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. And Donald Trump is turning that against all of them. Here he is.


TRUMP: I don't know what the hell happened to Biden. What happened to him? I'm looking and I said, "That doesn't look like the guy I knew."

I think we're calling him Sleepy Joe, because I've known him for a while and he's a pretty sleepy guy.

I've known Joe over the years. He's not the brightest light bulb in the group.

I am a young vibrant man. I look at Joe, I don't know about him, I know they're all making me look very young in terms of age and I think in terms of energy.


BURNETT: Of course, he calls Bernie Sanders crazy, but this is an interesting strategy.

BRUNI: This is classic Trump and it's not difficult psychology to parse. He thinks that if he calls people things first or louder or more frequently, people would think that can't be true of him, because he wouldn't do that if he had any doubts.

BURNETT: So Joe Biden looks old and declining but Trump looks vigorous.

BRUNI: Right. Yes. Me with my ridiculous hair I look vigorous, that person is sleepy, I take more vacations and play more golf than any president in history, and on, and on and on. I mean, this is schoolyard psychology. This is the old I know you are but what am I that you remember or maybe don't remember from the schoolyard but now it's in the White House.

BURNETT: April, it is certainly the strategy he's using. He is trying to take the age issue away and turn it as a power for him when they're all about the same age.

RYAN: Yes, they're all about the same age, just a few years difference. This president has a tendency to throw rocks and hide - well, no, he throws boulders and hides his hands. This president has to understand that when you hurl insults at people you have to look in the mirror and sometimes when you look in the mirror it's not so pretty. I mean he's talking about Joe Biden.

Joe Biden never said that his father was born in Germany when he was born in New York. I have never seen Joe Biden write a tweet saying covfefe. I mean I've never seen Joe Biden or even Bernie Sanders try to pick up a glass of water with two hands.

This president has got to stop this schoolyard bullying. He thinks he's bullying people into submission and it's not working. It's just not working.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. And next President Trump, sending more troops to the Middle East.


TRUMP: We're going to be sending a relatively small number of troops mostly protective.


BURNETT: So what exactly are they doing? Plus, (Genie) on Elizabeth Warren's top surrogate on the trail making headlines tonight after this tweet.


[19:28:35] BURNETT: Tonight, going around Congress to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia. Despite opposition from lawmakers, the Trump administration announced 22 arms deals today, worth more than $8 billion and the beneficiary; Saudi Arabia, the UAE, other countries. This is the same Saudi government Trump has lavished praise on repeatedly even after American journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.


TRUMP: I hate the crime, I hate what's done, I hate the cover-up and I will tell you this, the Crown Prince hates it more than I do.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia could not have been kinder and I will tell you, he's a very wise, wise man.


BURNETT: Trump heaping praise on the Saudis, siding with the Saudis over his own CIA when it came to the Crown Prince ordering the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, which was the CIA's conclusion. The President today also announcing more troops going to the Middle East. Barbara Starr is out front.

And Barbara, look, they're trying to do this, this big thing, put it in, go around Congress, do it before a holiday and hope no one notices?

[19:29:49] BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think everyone is noticing. This is a very unusual move by the White House, rarely done if at all, to declare an emergency that the situation with Iran is so serious they can't go through the normal notification process to Congress for billions of dollars in arms sales, especially for Saudi Arabia.


For Saudi Arabia we are talking millions, hundreds of millions of dollars in things like aircraft maintenance but also precision weapons.

And the big concern of course is the Saudis have been dropping those bombs in Yemen causing civilian casualties, something now that Congress is really concerned about, about why the White House thinks it's necessary to go around them and the reason is pretty clear. If they go around them, declare this emergency, they don't have to get Congress approval for the arms sales they can go ahead and start shipping.

A lot of controversy here about what the administration is really up to -- Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right. Thank you very much, Barbara. And I guess I would point out again this administration is seizing

more power for the executive branch and ending around the other branches of government.

OUTFRONT now, Mark Hertling former Army commanding general for Europe and the Seventh Army, and Juliette Kayyem, who was assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama.

Juliette, let's start with Saudi Arabia here. So, we have this happening. They are declaring this emergency to avoid Congress signing off. Why?

I mean, the president made history went to Saudi Arabia for the first trip. His son-in-law, his personal friends, the crown prince. There's a lot of questions of money, right? The Saudi government delegation turned an entire quarter block with the stay at the Trump's New York hotel, Saudi lobbyists spend hundreds of thousands at the Trump Hotel in Washington right after his election, and I could go on and on. Saudi money matters.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Saudi money matters to Trump as president and to Trump as businessman. Before I go on, I actually want to thank the general and his colleagues and all those who served before this Memorial Day weekend for what they do to protect the United States.

What the president is doing right now undermines U.S. security. He is in fact preferring or bypassing through the exceptions to the Arms Control Act -- allowing for a sale to the Saudis that had already been essentially prohibited by the Senate and why is he doing that? He is doing that because they are trying to lay a foundation or framework to begin to increase the fears in the American public that the Iranians are up to no good. So, they deployed troops. And then they give money to the Saudis.

This is -- they are not hiding it. This is a precursor to some military action. And that's essentially the way we are heading. If anyone thinks otherwise, tell me what that story looks like.

But at this stage, you are deploying troops and you're giving arms. That's essentially the precursor to convincing the American public that the Iranians are a threat.

BURNETT: I mean, General, what's your reaction here. I mean, you've got the top Republican Congressman Mike McCaul tonight, saying this is not OK. We should have come to Congress. I was making a point, Republican.

Democrats, Chris Murphy, the Senate Armed Services saying, if you do this and you go around Congress now, I mean, if you can say there is emergency in the Middle East worthy of ending around Congress to do this, there is always McCormick in the Middle East. You have completely, you know, disabled an entire important arm of government op the arms sales.

How significant is their decision to do this, General? LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's very

significant, Erin, and I'll tell you, having spend a significant amount of time in the Middle East and also worked in my last job, a lot of the FMS, excuse me, foreign military sales to other countries, you know, that's a very delicate dance in terms of input from military commanders, as well as the State Department, seeing what the country is doing and how it interacts with others within the region. It's a long drawn out process.

I have never seen this kind of emergency delegation of arms to other countries anywhere in the world without some substantive approval by Congress. And again, it's overlooking not only the budgetary requirements that go along with foreign military sales -- in this case, it's billions of dollars -- but it's also looking at a country that has been known, Saudi Arabia, to conduct operations that don't quite live up to the values of the United States. We have seen that in Yemen and what they are doing in terms of dropping bombs with U.S. markings on them and it comes back to haunt us and suffer our reputation in the Middle East, and we can't afford that truthfully.

BURNETT: Let me just ask you, in the background of in you have the troops, right, the troops going to Iran. I mean, General, when you heard Juliette say this is a precursor to some sort of conflict -- they have said all the evidence that Iran is doing things. Yet they end around Congress toed send arms sales to the two biggest enemies of Iran in the Middle East, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. They're sending maybe de minimis number of troops but they're putting troops in. And yet, there's been no proof.

Do you have concern that the proof doesn't add up to this?

HERTLING: I'm concerned a little bit about that, Erin. But I'm also concerned that we are doing more messaging than substancing.

[19:35:02] And what I mean by that, you know, there were reports of the number of troops going there that were overblown, don't know where they came from. Now, General McKenzie is the one that has submitted the request for 1,200 to 1,500 troops. And when you start breaking that down, that's not a big deal. That's a force deployment package that is very small.


HERTLING: You know, the patriot battalion, they are actually extending in country and reinforcing. So, that's 600 of the 1,500 soldiers or troops going over there. The rest of them allegedly, General McKenzie has asked for in terms of force protection. That could be anything from operators of UAVs to mechanics. But it's a small number but the advertising of this is just unfortunate, and it doesn't quite fall in line.

BURNETT: Juliette, but -- you have concern that some of in comes down to the president's personal ambitions, his personal pocketbook.

KAYYEM: I think that's right. I think there are two issues here. The first is let's not forget, the Saudis would love for us to have a military conflict. I'm not saying war with Iranians. They say it explicitly.

We don't have to be their pawn. We used to be the United States that could control Saudi -- Saudi behavior in some ways because of these arms deals.

But there is also an issue on the outside of this, which is whether it's Russia, Saudi Arabia or wherever else in the world, the intersection of the Trump family and what they get from the Saudis in this particular case, whether the Saudis staying at the hotels, whether it's business dealings between the Kushner family and the Saudis, whether it's dealings in the Gulf, it is hard not to begin to view what Trump is doing in light of the potential that he is no longer president in 2020. In other words, is he positioning himself to benefit the Trump family after he is president?

And when you look at his relationship with the Saudis, and the fact that he is not complaining about Yemen, he is not -- he is a dupe on the Khashoggi thing, you have to believe there is a motive that goes far outside of war and national security

BURNETT: Well, I appreciate both of your time very much. As Juliette makes that point, you can learn more about this, much more about Trump doing business with the Saudis and others. Is he profiting himself or the American people? "The Trump Family Business" tonight an in-depth look at how the president runs his companies. It's airing at 11:00. Please watch.

And next, a former Republican congressman speaking out in his first television interview since calling for the president's impeachment. He is my guest.

Plus, the fight for 2020. Will the economy keep Ohio voters loyal to Trump?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been a Democrat town forever.

REPORTER: But no more?




[19:41:24] BURNETT: Tonight, a former Republican congressman says it's time to impeach President Trump. Writing in his home state newspaper, "The Kansas City Star", Tom Coleman was a warning for Democrats if they don't launch impeachment proceedings. He writes, quote: I believe the public would conclude Democrats are no better than Republicans who have enabled Trump for the past two years, putting party above country. It could hand Trump the second term. Failure to pursue impeachment is to condone wrongdoing.

Former Congressman Tom Coleman of Missouri is OUTFRONT. And appreciate your time, sir. Thank you so much.

Congressman, you know, what is the main reason? Why are you calling for impeachment now?

TOM COLEMAN, FORMER GOP CONGRESSMAN CALLING FOR TRUMP IMPEACHMENT: I'm calling for impeachment now because the Mueller report is out. And in it he describes ten obstructions of justice charges that he could not bring because of the Department of Justice rule and regulation that says you can't indict a sitting president. That's number one.

Number two, I believe this is an illegitimate president because he welcomed help and influence from the Russians in his campaign. For example, his chairman, Paul Manafort, met with a Russian intelligence asset in New York and shared with him their polling information and a strategy on how to win the Midwestern states. And that's exactly where Trump won this election and the Electoral College.

Is it a conspiracy to defraud the voters? Apparently, Mr. Mueller couldn't find the conspiracy of a crime. But it's wrong and it needs to be handled and looked at by the Congress, because I believe it's an impeachable offense.

BURNETT: All right. But your point is that it may not be legally indictable but it is wrong by the measure of what a president should be.

COLEMAN: Right and I think there is some confusion that it has to be a crime to be impeachable. You know, abuse of power, lying to the American people were two grounds for Nixon's articles of impeachment before he resigned. So, you don't -- it's not a crime to the lie to the American people but if you do it every day 10, 20, 50 times you're in the area where you should be impeached.

BURNETT: OK. So, the only Republican in Congress right now, Congressman, willing to impeach is Justin Amash. And he has been skewered by his party. I mean, skewered. The guy is going to get primaried and he could lose.

I mean, why do you think so many as in all but one Republican in Congress see this either differently than do you or are afraid to say what you're saying?

COLEMAN: It's very disappointing. I mean, I know a lot of the people personally in the Senate, especially where many of my house colleagues ended up in the Senate. And really, the Republican Senate is where the power is in this impeachment process because the Democrats control the House where impeachment starts in the Judiciary Committee.

And what I called for is not like impeachment tomorrow. It's a start the process to have hearings, to have live witnesses, to be covered by TV.

This is just like Watergate. People watched it every day. Any learned, became informed and that led to the Republicans in the Senate going down to the White House and telling Nixon, he had to go. We're not anywhere close to that right now. But that's what would happen once you start the process.

And I don't believe that Speaker Pelosi is wrong in suggesting what she is doing. People just have to know these hearings are going to end up resulting in creating facts and creating opportunities for impeachment in the future.

[19:45:02] BURNETT: So the president always says this is about a do over. And, you know, I got to be honest, right? You're a Republican and you got a lot of Republicans you are close to, but you didn't vote for the president. You were one much 30 former Republican members of Congress who took a stand and wrote a letter opposing him as the GOP nominee.

So, when someone says, oh, you're just doing this because you're a never Trumper. What do you say to them?

COLEMAN: I'm doing this for three people for sure, my three granddaughters, because they have a right to live in a country that's free in a democracy. This president is dismantling our democracy every day brick by brick. His actions, his lies, his abuse of power, your whole show was a build up to impeachment, Erin, because of what he does.

It's become almost normal. That's the problem. Once it becomes normal people are not dealing with it process.

BURNETT: All right.

COLEMAN: I am so concerned about the risk to our democracy that I'm speaking up. And I would hope that the people in the Congress who took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution would get that Constitution out again and read it and find out what their responsibilities are as the first article in that Constitution.

And that is oversight and to conduct business that the president can't do by himself but he would really like to do it by himself. That's what autocratic dictators do. We don't need that in this country.

BURNETT: All right. Congressman Coleman, thank you so much.

COLEMAN: You're welcome. Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, the fight for 2020. Can Democrats win back lifelong Democrats who voted for Trump?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Along comes Donald Trump and says, I see you.


MOOS: Plus, Jeanne on the dogs of 2020.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:50:40] BURNETT: Tonight, in the fight for 2020, the president today bragging about the economy. That message may be working with some voters in the key state of Ohio.

Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ohio's Mahoning Valley, industrial, blue collar, hard working. It was safely Democratic until Trump.

(on camera): Lifelong Democrat.


MARQUEZ: Still a Democrat?

DIFABIO: No, I actually changed in 2016 in the primary.

MARQUEZ: So you could vote for Donald Trump?

DIFABIO: Absolutely.

Look what you could do in the bastion of the Democratic Party.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Geno DiFabio joined President Trump on stage in Youngstown months after he took office. He says when Trump speaks, he hears someone standing up for working people.

(on camera): When you hear him go after China, what do you hear?

DIFABIO: It's about time. Being in this business, I've been here for 25 years. And there are mills I used to go to that are torn down.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Once heavily industrial north and east Ohio has struggled through decades of decline. In 2016, frustration with broken political promises boiled over.

Of nine Ohio counties flipping from Obama to Trump, eight are in the northern part of the state. Trumbull County hasn't voted Republican since Richard Nixon in 1972.

CONNIE KESSLER, MAHONING COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY: Good morning. Republican Party headquarters, this is Connie.

MARQUEZ: Connie Kessler, another lifelong Democrat, now volunteers for the Mahoning County Republican Party.

KESSLER: It's been a Democrat town forever, ever since my father and mother were alive.

MARQUEZ (on camera): But no more?

KESSLER: But no more.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): She says nearly 50 Democrats a month want to change their registration to Republican.

This year, when the General Motors plant shut down in nearby Lordstown, shedding thousands of jobs, it underscored the dilemma President Trump like his predecessor faced in stopping industrial decline.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are getting tired, regardless of party, that the politicians don't work for us, they just work for corporate America. And what corporate America tells them to do.

MARQUEZ: Bill Amoshe (ph), a lifelong Democrat, supported Bernie Sanders in 2016. He isn't thrilled with Trump, but says it is possible the president will have his vote in 2020.

DAVID BETRAS, OHIO VOTER: And along comes Donald Trump and says, I see you. ou're not forgotten by me.


MARQUEZ: David Betras recently stepped down as chair of the Mahoning County Democratic Party after a decade on the job. He says if Democrats want to win back voters here and across Ohio, they must go back to their roots.

BETRAS: These workers here, they don't want a government handout. They want to go to work and have a job. They want to dirty their hands and they want to be respected for it.


MARQUEZ: So when you ask Democrats and Republicans who used to be Democrats here, who might best connect with working class voters, a lot of names come up. Sanders, Buttigieg, Ryan, Klobuchar, but the one name that comes up more than any other, Joe Biden -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Miguel. Thank you.

And next, Jeanne on why Elizabeth Warren's dog is making headlines.


[19:57:59] BURNETT: Tonight, Elizabeth Warren tweeting this image of her golden retriever caught behaving badly. Here's Jeanne on the dogs of 2020.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's something about a candidate having a dog that seems to scratch an itch, whether you're Pete Buttigieg with two shelter dogs or Senator Elizabeth Warren.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Say hello, Bailey. Say hello. Yes, yes.

MOOS: More than happy to talk baby talk to her golden retriever --

WARREN: That's our bailey.

MOOS: -- who she's been introducing along with her husband.

WARREN: I thought I'd bring the two guys in my life, Bruce and Bailey.

MOOS: Supporters can't keep their hands off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, hi, you sweetheart.

MOOS: Candidate and spouse stroll off, holding hands and a leash.

But there are perils to promoting pets when Kirsten Gillibrand posted her labradoodle, Maple, someone tweeted, but if Maple isn't a rescue, I take issue. Someone else suggested a new collar, "Trump, take a walk."

Beto O'Rourke has two dogs, Artemis and Rosie.

Among the dogless contenders, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris, though she tries to make up for it by posting canine supporters.

Cory Booker got put on the spot by a kid.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: Did you ever have a dog?

MOOS: No dog, but Booker made a quick save.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I should become president of the United States, would you help me get a dog? Would you help me?

MOOS: President Trump says he doesn't have time for a dog.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn? Would that be -- feels a little phony.

MOOS: He prefers to call his opponents dogs while would-be opponent Joe Biden posed recently with a shelter dog, Major, that he adopted to keep his old German shepherd, Champ, company.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's a talker. Watch this. Hey, Champ, do you want to play golf?

MOOS: Even President Trump might like a dog that doubles as a golf partner.

BIDEN: Well, where's the golf club?

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

BIDEN: Well, go get the golf club.

MOOS: -- New York. BIDEN: OK, let's go get it.


BURNETT: All right. Thanks for joining us. Have a good weekend.

Anderson starts now.