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Dems Compete for Key 2020 Endorsement: Teachers; Hiker Who Survived After 17 Days in Forest Speaks Out. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 28, 2019 - 19:00   ET


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Nepalese government have some, the climbing companies have some, but then there is a burden of responsibility, Wolf, on the climbers themselves.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Arwa Damon, on the scene for us. Arwa, good reporting as usual. Thank you very much. And to our viewers, thanks for watching. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next breaking news, Democrats about to cross Trump's red line demanding financial documents from his companies and they want to hear directly from the President. Plus, Trump says the Chinese will pay for the tariffs he imposed but a new poll shows Americans aren't buying it. And found alive after 17 days, the miraculous story of a hiker who survived sleeping in wild boar cave. The hiker in her own words speaking out tonight. Let's go out front.

And good evening to all. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, a new line of attack. In this court filing late today, Democrats asking a judge to force Trump to start handing over personal and business financial records from banks, the Trump Organization, it's hundreds of subsidiaries and the President's personal trust. And they wanted all to start coming in June and they want Trump himself to answer questions.

Oh, and by the way, they want a lot of others to go under oath. Many from deep inside Trump's inner circle, members of his organization, other corporations. It is the most expansive demand yet from Democrats and it is way over Trump's red line.

In fact, that is a line that increasingly looks like it will be broken. We know the President is making money from hundreds of businesses while serving as president. That's a fact. The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen did some digging by looking at the President's federal financial disclosures.

And this is really interesting, what they found, Trump did remove his name as the owner of more than 500 assets once he became president but ...


MIKE TANGLIS, SENIOR RESEARCHER, PUBLIC CITIZEN: Trump can point to his 2017 disclosure and say, "I'm no longer listed as an owner." And he'd be right on paper. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: On paper, but not in reality. The truth the Public Citizen found, the assets Trump transferred ownership to can be traced back to one person and that one person is President Trump. The President's lawyer even admitted to ProPublica that Trump can access that money from that trust his sons are supposed to be in charge of any time President Trump wants, which means Trump still has a vested interest in making sure his businesses are doing well. Businesses that receive money every single day from people trying to influence and curry favor from the President.

In a moment I'm going to talk to one of the Democrats who's a plaintiff in the lawsuit, but first Abby Philip is out front live outside the White House. And Abby, any response yet from the President on these new demands from the Democrats which truly are on paper here, the most expansive we've seen yet?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, no response yet directly from the White House who has in the past been leaving the responses to the President's personal attorney and to the Justice Department as these lawsuits proceed. And in this particular case the Justice Department is making the argument that this is a case that will take up too much of the President's time, particularly this part that you just mentioned where the Democrats actually do want to talk to President Trump.

So they've been pushing back on this notion that the president has time for that. But beyond that, this is clearly a case that is going toward something that President has been trying to protect for a long time. His personal finances, his business finances, which are now under the control of his children.

And this lawsuit is part of what the President believes is an effort by Democrats to try to poke at him in a thousand different ways going after its finances in all of these different avenues. And so we can expect that the President is going to push back on this, but ultimately the decision might be in the hands of judges, of federal judges and already we've seen how the president has responded when those judges do not rule in his favor.

He's accused them of being biased and political in nature, but that is how the system works and I think that's where this thing might all end up being worked out, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Abby, thank you very much. No doubt Democrats hoping for victories like they were dealt by two judges last week on accounting and bank information. Out front now, Democratic Congressman David Cicilline.

As I told you, he's one of the Democrats signed on to the lawsuit. He sits on the House Judiciary Committee. So thanks very much for being with me, Congressman. So this seems to boil down to, reading through the 11-page filing today, is that you all want the President's personal and business financial records. You want to start getting them in June, as soon as June. Is there anything off-limits? REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): Well, I think it's important, Erin, to

recognize that this grows out of this very basic principle that we need to have confidence that the President of the United States is making decisions in the best interest of the country and not because of some financial stake or because of some financial gain. And so when we know for sure that the President received 38 trade marks from the Chinese government, that the Chinese government and the UAE are renting space at Trump Tower, that diplomats have been renting hotels, foreign governments have been paying for them at Trump properties, it raises very serious questions as to whether or not this violates a prohibition in the Constitution that prevents the President from taking things of value from foreign governments.

The reason that prohibition exists in the Constitution is you want to have confidence that the President is acting in the best interest of the American people and not for some financial interest. And this president has seen being president as a money-making operation and these are just some examples. So our lawsuit is designed to have the court make that determination.

[19:05:26] BURNETT: All right. So within the filing it talks about what you want from President Trump himself and that includes, quote, discovery that plaintiffs may need to direct towards the President himself-concerning his personal financial records and to identify initial sources for third-party subpoenas. In other words who else do you want to get information from. How hard will you fight to hear from President Trump himself in an interview?

CICILLINE: Well, I think it's going to be very important. Look, this is a president who has refused to divest himself which has been the practice of every other president who took office. This is a president who has refused to disclose his tax returns which is broken with the practice for the last 50 years.

So we have very little information about the President's finances. But what we do know is that he has used his position to generate profits for his companies that he's gained from personally. That is a clear violation of the Constitution and so this lawsuit is going to attempt to get at that question and have the court determine whether or not the President is violating the Constitution by enriching himself because of his position and preventing him from continuing to do that.

BURNETT: Right. I mean just to be clear, any information we have does not include, for example, other than what reporters have found out, what groups, foreign governments have stayed at hotels or properties, and how much money that is, we just don't know. But the fundamental question is about whether people are paying to play or they're trying to pay to play, maybe they're trying and failing but we don't even know if they're trying.

CICILLINE: I mean, there's been --

BURNETT: Yes, go ahead.

CICILLINE: That's right. There's been reporting that diplomats have said out loud that we're staying at the Trump hotels because we think it will help us curry favor with the President and with his government. That's just dead wrong. That should not be happening.

Our Constitution prohibits it and the President ought not be engaging in activities that are enriching him. And, again, at the same time, he's dealing with some very difficult issues, whether it's the Chinese or others, this is not appropriate practices for our president.

BURNETT: So some of the numbers that we have, the Trump's financial disclosure forms claim that he made $40 million from the Trump Hotel in Washington from that property in 2017. The Trump Organization says it voluntarily wrote a check to the U.S. Treasury for $191,000 the next year.

So even a year later, so it was a little bit more than $40 million from just one hotel, but they're saying the profits from foreign governments for all Trump properties around the world for the entire year of 2018 were $191,000. Do you think that's possibly true or would you go so far as to say they're hiding something or lying or are you not there yet?

CICILLINE: Well, I think we don't know and that's the reason you have discovery in a lawsuit. The fact is payments of any kind are inappropriate from a foreign government to the President of the United States. And so as part of the discovery process, we'll learn the magnitude both the amount of money and the frequency of these payments from a variety of foreign governments.

But what's really at stake here is there's so much cynicism of government. People think people and government are doing it for their own benefit to enrich themselves to somehow advantage themselves and our Constitution doesn't permit that. And so at the core of this is we want to demonstrate that if you're privileged enough to hold public office, you have to be acting in the public interest not in your self- interest and that's what this lawsuit is about, the President has seen this as a money-making operation.

BURNETT: Well, is it fair to say that you would, I mean maybe I'm stating what most people think is obvious, but that you think that if you're Saudi Arabia or China that if your name was going to be put out there as going and staying at the hotel, Trump hotel, the American people were going to know about it. You'd be less likely to do it, because you'd be out it.

CICILLINE: You hope so, except if you think it really benefits you with the President, you're going to get some favorable response to a pending issue you may not care about. Most of these folks aren't running for office in the U.S., so they may not care what the United States thinks. What they care about is what the President thinks and that's why this is such a dangerous practice and why our Constitution prohibits it.

BURNETT: So I was laying out the trust there, the Donald J. Trump revocable trust and the days before the president took office, he says he can left the management of the businesses to his sons. Obviously, he kept ownership of all of the companies and his trust as we showed Public Citizen that had done that work. His lawyers have admitted he can take money out at any time.

But my question for you, Congressman, is part of this is because we've never had a president who has come into office with a business like this. So would this be acceptable for any other president with this kind of situation?

CICILLINE: Of course not. Look, no one is suggesting that the President isn't a businessman, that he didn't have a prior successful businesses or a number of them. But that's a very different question as to whether or not he should be able to use his office to receive payments from foreign governments. There's something particularly dangerous about that and our founders prohibit it because they wanted to be sure the president couldn't be influenced by payments from foreign governments and as a result of that gets some favorable treatment that may be contrary to the public interest but in his own self or financial interest.

So his success as a businessman domestically is sort of irrelevant. What matters is what has happened with respect to payments from foreign governments that are attempting to endear themselves to this president or receive favorable treatment and the President's willingness to continue to take money from foreign governments which is prohibited by our Constitution.

[19:10:26] BURNETT: All right. And, of course, refusal to lay out profits from which government, they say that $191,000 which they say is all ...


CICILLINE: And by the way, he's allowed to take payments from foreign governments if it's approved by Congress. He has not sought nor received approval from Congress to receive any of these payments.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, congressman Cicilline. I appreciate your time.

CICILLINE: My pleasure.

BURNETT: And next, a new study shows that President Trump's tax cuts don't seem to be living up to the hype.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At the heart of America's revival are the massive tax cuts that I signed into law a year ago.


BURNETT: Plus, Biden and Trump in a bizarre war of words. President Trump now claiming he was sticking up for Biden when he was in Japan. Plus, the amazing survival story of a physical therapist found alive after being trapped in the wild for 17 days. The lead rescuer, her friend is my guest.





[19:14:59] BURNETT: Tonight, Americans don't believe President Trump. He keeps saying this.


TRUMP: We'll taking in over a period of time hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs and charges to China. Our country can take in $120 billion a year in tariffs paid for mostly by China, by the way, not by us.

We're taking in billions of dollars from China in the form of tariffs.

We are collecting billions and billions of dollars mostly paid for by China.


BURNETT: But Americans are not as gullible as the President seems to think with comments like that, because in a new poll, 62 percent say American consumers will be the one paying the tariffs and only 23 percent say Chinese companies will be paying for them. A New York Fed study, of course, found these tariffs will cost a typical American household $831 a year.

That is a lot of money and the reason is because pretty much the way a tariff works is it charged somebody a tariff and they just go, "Hey, 25 percent extra to the price of the good." That buyer of the ultimate good is us, the American consumer. It's like a tax and that tax increase could wipe out the benefits that Americans are seeing from the President's tax cuts.

A new study from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service found those tax cuts have not boosted the economy as much as the president hoped. Among their findings, a relatively small effect on the economy in terms of growth and ordinary workers with very little growth in wage rates. Out front now Catherine Rampell, Columnist at The Washington Post and CNN Political Commentator, Adam Michel a Tax Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation who was an Informal Advisor to the White House on the tax cuts.

So Catherine, do you think these tariffs could wipe out the benefits of the tax cut if you're looking at numbers like $831 a year, you're right there.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes. I mean certainly they will weigh on the growth of the economy. We have two studies now not just the New York Fed study, but there was a second one as well also by a team of top-notch economists who have also found that a hundred percent of the tariffs so far are being passed along to Americans, they're not being paid by Chinese producers, they're not even being paid by European producers and all of the others that we have already also engaged in a trade war with. They are being passed along to consumers.

So, yes, certainly they're going to wipe out a large portion of whatever demand side effect at the very least. You'll see it from the tax cuts.

BURNETT: And Adam, to this point, I know you're concerned about this too.

ADAM MICHEL, INFORMAL WHITE HOUSE ADVISER ON THE TAX CUTS: Yes. Taxes are tariffs and if the tariffs cost $800 to the average American, that's wiping out almost half of what we estimate the average American gets because of the tax cuts that lowered taxes for typical Americans by about $1,400 in that one year and it's not even taking into consideration all of the economic benefits that are still to come because of the larger economy higher wages.

BURNETT: Right. All of which, of course, these are different numbers and estimates, but if you're going to take both of them, $831 if your $1,400 has gone off the bat. Obviously, I'm oversimplifying but I think it's an important point to make.

So Catherine, this new study by the Congressional Research Service is showing that tax cuts overall to the point that I was making is not doing as much for the economy as the president has been saying right with his massive, his words like massive, here he is.


TRUMP: At the heart of America's revival are the massive tax cuts that I signed into law a year ago and they are like rocket fuel for America's economy.

And thanks to our historic tax cuts and reform, everybody here got a tax cut, everybody.

We have so many companies coming into the United States because of my plan and because of our tax cuts and the tax plan, it's called really tax cut and jobs plan.


BURNETT: Rocket fuel, Catherine?

RAMPELL: I think the takeaway from this Congressional Research Service report is the following, that it's been really impressive actually and that we have somehow managed to spend $1.5 trillion to not substantially boost growth, to not substantially boost wages and to not substantially boost capital investments. So like what is it exactly that we are doing other than transferring a massive amount of wealth basically away from future taxpayers and into the pockets of today's shareholders.

BURNETT: What do you say, Adam, $1.5 trillion and where did it go?

MICHEL: The tax cuts were about making American workers and the people that employ them more productive over the long run, so the report did say that it did boost, that the tax cuts did boost investment, that it did have a small it said impact on the economy. I think that the impact is much larger.

But what's really important is how that impact compounds over time. When you sort of spool this out over five, 10, 20 years, that makes a significant difference to the average American worker and we're already seeing those benefits today, especially for those folks who need it most.

The wage growth for folks at the bottom, the lowest income Americans is double wage growth at the top and we can debate as to whether or not this is coming from the deregulatory agenda or the tax cuts or something else, but the economy is doing really well.

[19:19:56] BURNETT: So this actually is a really important question and I want to try to get to the answer, because if you're right and that increase at the bottom, double that at the top is coming from policies of this president then that's significant.

Catherine, my question to you though is how are we going to know? And it's important we find out because the other thing that's happening is all of these Democratic legislators in many states are pushing minimum wages to 15 which could also be what's causing this increase at the bottom which would be actually Democratic legislators and Democratic governors and not the President.

RAMPELL: And look, it's hard to disentangle all of these different effects, but I think the thing to keep in mind is the mechanism by which the supporters of the tax cut argued that it would be boosting the economy. The argument was that it was going to incentivize firms to invest in capital equipment which we have not actually seen them doing in recent quarters.

As a result of that, you would see higher productivity, higher growth and higher wages. And if you don't have that initial mechanism that we were supposed to see happening, how can you attribute all of these other down-the-line effects? These good things that we have in fact seeing, low unemployment, how can you actually attribute it to the tax cut if the thing that was supposed to get us from point A to point B isn't actually happening.

BURNETT: And Adam, what's your response to that. I mean, the report also says there were all of those bonuses? Remember when they were all announced and maybe it was companies who were trying to show Trump they were doing what he wanted them to do. But that was at the beginning and then the bonuses didn't happen the next year and not all those companies gave wage increases, so where did they put the tax cut?

MICHEL: The bonuses were important, but you're right that's not the mechanism by which the tax cuts are supposed to make all Americans better off. And we did see over the 2016 trend pretty significant upticks in non-residential business investment. We saw upticks in new business applications to start new businesses. I mean there's an ample evidence that the pro-growth policies of this administration including the tax cuts are ...

RAMPELL: Not at the last couple of quarters, no.

MICHEL: But that initial investment is what boosts the long run as economists say a steady state of the economy up one notch and then we continue on compounding those gains year-over-year and that's what we're seeing. That's why businesses keep making ...

BURNETT: What you're saying though is the initial trigger that didn't happen.

RAMPELL: Yes, this initial trigger didn't happen. We saw a nice increase in investment like the first quarter after the tax cuts were passed which probably would have been things that would have been set in motion before the tax cuts happen. So it's really hard to say, "Oh, business is -" we're suddenly able to build this factory or what have you like in the next month after the tax cuts passed.

MICHEL: Not necessarily. One of the ...

RAMPELL: But a year later we don't see that. We saw equipment investment falling, we saw an increase in IP investment. But, again, that's not the mechanism that we're supposed to be talking about here.

BURNETT: Final word, Adam.

MICHEL: The piece of this bill, the lower rate but also expensing allowing businesses to write-off new investments in the year they're made, this is something that is immediate and we did see both before the tax cuts, because it was available retroactively and right after. And it's too early to tell all of the great news that will come from this law, but the initial reports I think the American people are feeling and seeing.

RAMPELL: So wait the law encourage people to go back in time and change the decisions that they had already made, that doesn't make any sense.

MICHEL: The way that it's reported on the statistics that you're looking at does confuse which quarter it's made depending on how it's been registered on the balance sheet, yes.

BURNETT: All right. We'll hit pause for that for now. And next, Republican Justin Amash, the only Republican in Congress to call for Trump's impeachment is ramping up his attacks tonight in a town hall.


REP. JUSTIN AMASH (R-MI): Clearly, things that violate the public trust are impeachable.


BURNETT: Plus, Jeanne on Navy pilots going public with their midair encounters with UFOs.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my gosh, dude.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, what is that, man?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at it flying.



[19:28:11] BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump defending his tweet where he sided with Kim Jong-un over Joe Biden. And, of course, this is not the sort of thing one could summarize or explain, so let's read it. Here's Trump.

"I was actually sticking up for Sleepy Joe Biden while on foreign soil. Kim Jong Un called him a "low IQ idiot," and many other things, whereas I related the quote of Chairman Kim as a much softer "low IQ individual," who could possibly be upset with that?

Who? This after team Biden fired back with a statement that said, "The President's comments are beneath the dignity of the office. To be on foreign soil, on Memorial Day, and to side repeatedly with a murderous dictator against a fellow American and former Vice President speaks for itself."

And all of this began, of course, with a tweet from the President from Japan where he said, quote, I have confidence the Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, and also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, and worse.

I guess that was the idiot part. Perhaps that's sending me a signal. Out front now Paul Begala, Counsel to President Bill Clinton and former Republican Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum. Senator, you love nights like this, right?

RICK SANTORUM, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, 2012 & 2016: Oh, yes, I look forward to talking about Donald Trump's latest tweets.

BURNETT: OK. All right. This though is about the current by far frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, former vice president. This is all true and the President has come out and said, "He called him a low IQ idiot and I call him a low IQ individual so I was defending him." You just blow that off and just laugh it off, is that how you see it?

[19:29:45] SANTORUM: Go back to the debates from a few years ago, where he had a nickname for everybody and it was Low Energy Jeb and go on. I mean that's what he does and the fact that he referenced Kim Jong-un, I mean I wouldn't do it, I think it's a bad thing to do, I wouldn't do the name calling. But that's his shtick. And he is not going to change.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: No, he is not going to change.

Paul, what do you make of it, though, that response tonight?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's baloney. The name-calling, I think Rick is right. It's just his shtick, and I don't think it really works anymore.

But this is what's different: he sided with a murderous Stalinist dictator against an American. Any American, left or right, Democrat or Republican.

I hope folks come to visit Washington during the summer. I love it when tourists come here. And when you come, folks, go to the National Mall, and just a few yards southwest of Lincoln Memorial is Korean War memorial.

BURNETT: Memorial, yes.

BEGALA: It's beautiful, haunting. There's 19 guys in uniform. Near humping up a hill with ponchos on. And it's just moving because it's a forgotten war.

Thirty -- let me get this right -- 36,914 Americans died fighting Kim's grandfather's regime, the same Stalinist regime that Kim Jong-un runs today. It was run by Kim Il-sung back then.

We shed blood fighting North Korea, fighting the same Stalinist dictatorship that President Trump now is siding against America. I think we ought not to sort of laugh this off as another, oh, Low Energy Jeb nickname.

It is appalling. And it's a betrayal of his first job as president, which is to defend America.

SANTORUM: Yes, my comment on that is that the timing of this was really poor. I think Paul's -- Paul's mentioned it he did it on Memorial Day. And, obviously, the number of troops that we lost in Korea. And I think the timing was bad.

I don't think he is siding with a -- with a Korean dictator. I think he is using the Korean dictator as a straw man to go beat up on Joe Biden. That's all.


BEGALA: But he sided with him in the past. Rick, I remember, you said it was reprehensible when President Trump took Kim's side in the murder of Otto Warmbier.

SANTORUM: I agree.

BEGALA: Otto Warmbier was a college kid, a UVA student who was murdered by the regime.

SANTORUM: I think it's different when you're just, you know, making fun of people and that's, I just think that's a different thing than obviously a very serious matter about Otto Warmbier.

BURNETT: But I also wonder. You know, you say that it's lost its effect, his nicknames. And I just wonder if that's true. Do you really think that's true, Paul, or if he just keeps calling someone slow and low I.Q., does it just seep into people's psyche? That's clearly what he thinks.

SANTORUM: I think it does. I'd be happy to hear what Paul says. I think it's very effective and I think the fact that we're talking about it gives you an idea that it's effective.

BEGALA: I don't. I think that's the least troublesome thing about our president. And I think it's all baked in.

There is about a third of the country that just loves him. About two thirds of the country that I think that doesn't. And it's not going to persuade any of the two thirds to like our president anymore.

I mean, look you just did a piece on the economy, the economy is booming and the president is 30 points lower than the economy. That never happens. Something is going on.

BURNETT: And obviously the economy is crucial here. But I want to just -- I want to ask you about Justin Amash but first a point to you Paul.

The Trump came out to Joe Biden, you know, when Joe Biden said this is beneath the dignity of the office, what Trump said. They said that's rich coming from Joe Biden who bashed President Trump while standing on foreign soil earlier this year in Germany. Now, obviously, at that time, Biden wasn't a candidate, but he knew he was about to be. He's a former vice president, leader of the Democratic Party.

Here is part of what he said in Germany.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The America I see values basic human decency, not snatching children from their parents, or turning our back on refugees at our border. Americans know that's not right.


The American people understand pleas because it makes us -- embarrassing.


BURNETT: Paul, is that also wrong?

BEGALA: It's not equal. It's kind of uncool. I have to say, I'm kind of old school. I don't like attacking overseas.

Now I have to say it's not so much where you say it though that it is what. The truth is our enemies have CNN. They're going to see it if you say it in Indiana rather than if you say it Munich. It's what you say.

And so, when the president sides with the dictator against an American -- now what Joe Biden said is the view of many Americans that our immigration policy is wrong, that we should be stronger with our allies in NATO, that security conference in Munich is a very important one.

So, I don't think it's equal and opposite. I don't think it's even- steven. It's kind of not great. But it's not the same as praises a murderous dictator who killed an American citizen.

BURNETT: And then making light of it obviously when you get home. Oh, I could have called you an idiot. I called you a low IQ individual.

All right. Senator, let me ask you about Justin Amash because he is now doing a town hall, he is standing up strong whether for what he believes. Now, the only Republican in Congress in favor of beginning impeachment proceedings against President Trump. He says it's constitutional, it's principle, it's morality.

And here is what he said earlier at the town hall.


REP. JUSTIN AMASH (R-MI): Clearly, things that violate the public trust are impeachable. I'm confident that if you read volume two, you'll be appalled at much of the conduct.

[19:35:01] And I was appalled by it. Congress has a duty to keep the president in check.


BURNETT: Senator, is there anything that he said that you disagree with?

SANTORUM: No, I -- I don't. I think a lot of the things the president did we're talking about today. A lot of things the president does is appalling. None of it is impeachable in my opinion, none of it is criminal. And I think that's where I would draw the line differently than Representative Amash.

But, look, he has right to go out there and make the case. I mean, Democrats are going to do it. I think he may be the only Republican to do it. But you can go out and make the case.

I think what he does is he has emboldened some Democrats to join him which I think in the end is going to be a real problem for Nancy Pelosi.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.

And next the fight for 2020, Joe Biden trying to win over one of the most powerful groups in the country. But he is not alone.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Teachers are our greatest resource in that endeavor.


BURNETT: Plus, a hiker trapped for 17 days in Hawaii. Her incredible story of survival from one of the rescuers who was there when she was found. He is my guest.


[19:40:01] BURNETT: New tonight, the endorsement every Dem is going for, the powerful teachers union. Joe Biden today rolling out an education plan which includes increasing teacher pay -- and he is not alone.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.


ZACHARY VISCIDI, SOUTH CAROLINA PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER: Ninety-five degree heat. 105 real feel today. No, I cannot be doing this in 10 years.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A grueling job in Charleston, South Carolina, for Zach Viscidi. But being a pedicab driver is just his side job.

(on camera): How long have you been a teacher.

VISCIDI: Next year will be my tenth year in education.

LAH: Compare a good weekend as a bike taxi to your salary as a teacher.

VISCIDI: On the best weekend of the year, I will make what I make in two weekends teaching.

It's really hard. You got to wrap your head around where we place value as a society.

LAH (voice-over): A question over values that's moved beyond the classroom into presidential politics.

BIDEN: I am a union guy, beginning, middle and end.

LAH: Joe Biden hit the trail with teachers today. And he is not the only one seeking their endorsement.

Kamala Harris is pitching an average teacher pay raise of $13,500 as a pillar of her campaign.

HARRIS: Which will be largest federal investment in teacher salaries in the history of the United States.

LAH: Elizabeth Warren pledged to name a public school teacher as her education secretary.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No more Betsy DeVos. I want someone who is committed to public education. I want someone who has seen tattered textbooks.

LAH: Bernie Sanders proposes a salary floor of $60,000 for public school teachers and a ban on for-profit charter schools.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As president, I will institute that ban and implement that moratorium.

LAH: It's in response to this.


LAH: Two years of coast to coast teacher strikes, from Oklahoma to West Virginia, to California, walking off the job, demanding a livable wage.

(on camera): How persuasive is the teacher pay plan when it comes to presidential politics in this state.


Teachers make up a huge voting chunk and when we vote together we can put someone in office.

LAH (voice-over): Politicians have always south support from the teacher unions. But in 2020, the wave of strikes and raw energy on the streets has added fuel to their political power.

Randi Weingarten is president of the American Federation of Teachers representing 1.7 million members.

LAH (on camera): Are you seeing the sort of reckoning the union vote now among the teachers?

RANDI WEINGARTEN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS: Yes, totally. It's not politics as usual. No one just reflexively votes in a certain way. They may have but they certainly don't do now.

LAH (voice-over): For middle school teacher Zach Viscidi, needed signs of change, but the road ahead.

(on camera): Do you see your life continuing this way?

VISCIDI: It's not sustainable, no. It is kind of depressing because you do want a better future and you work just for that.


LAH: The city in particular is interested in Kamala Harris's teacher pay proposal. Harris will be talking about that plan in addition to others geared especially to women and women's rights here in South Carolina. She lands tonight beginning a two-day swing through the state.

Erin, it's her 6th visit to South Carolina -- Erin.

LAH: Clearly, staking a lot on that. Kyung, thank you.

And next the hiker lost for more than two weeks in a Hawaiian jungle speaks out. A man who found her is my guest.

Plus, Jeanne on the navy pilots now coming forward with what any say are daily sightings of UFOs.


[19:47:38] BURNETT: New tonight, found alive. Amanda Eller, a physical therapist who is lost on a hike in Maui, telling her story for the first time after she was found after going missing for 17 days.


AMANDA ELLER, RESCUED HIKER: I'm so grateful to be alive. I wake up in the morning I'm like, my god I had a warm bed I got to sleep in and I got to rest appear heal. My ankles are getting stronger. Like grateful for every breath.


BURNETT: Nick Watt is OUTFRONT with the story of how she survived.


NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Seventeen days missing in a Maui jungle -- no phone, no GPS, no supplies.

ELLER: You have a choice to make. You could sit on the rock and you can die. Or you can start walking down that water fall and choose life.

WATT: Amanda Eller's car was found at a trail head on May 8th. Abducted? Injured? Vanished was all we knew. But she knew she was lost.

ELLER: You turn your head one way and it looks like the other way, exactly like the other way. I'm like, which way is north.

WATT: Hundreds joined the search.

ELLER: They could have just forgotten about me and said another missing person, no big deal.

WATT: She followed wild boar tracks looking for a way out, slept in the same caves they did.

ELLER: And helicopters are passing over and I'm standing on rocks and waving them down. And they're passing over and they're not seeing me. I'm invisible, you lose hope. WATT: Then she got hurt.

ELLER: It was a 20-foot drop. It was a sheer cliff. The plants didn't hold me up. Boom.

WATT: She survived on berries, plants and river water then finally spotted from the air.

ELLER: I had a plant in my mouth that I was planning on eating for dinner.

WATT: This the moment rescuers reached her -- sunburned, hurt, 15 pounds lighter but alive.

ELLER: I just like fell to the ground and just started bawling.

WATT: Eller's family threw a party for all who helped in that (INAUDIBLE). Hurter to cry.

ELLER: I'm just the girl that got lost and you guys showed up hard. Like this is like true aloha.


WATT: Now, Amanda Eller says in near death experience changed her outlook on life -- money, possessions, they're not important, she says. Relationships and people are what matter.

And one of the key people in this drama was a guy called Javier Cantellops. He is a veteran, two terms -- two tours in Afghanistan, one in Iraq.

He was Amanda Eller's dive instructor. He was that emotional rescuer we heard there.

[19:50:00] For some reason, he never gave up and I believe you're about to speak to him.

BURNETT: I certainly am.

And, Nick, thank you so much.

It just explained the story, seeing her speak today.

Let's talk to Javier now.

I mean, Javier, you know, when she talks about friends, you're obviously a friend to her and have been for years. How is she doing tonight?

JAVIER CANTELLOPS, RESCUED HAWAII HIKER MISSING FOR 17 DAYS: She is doing amazing. As you saw in her press interview, you know, her spirits are way up. She started to start the healing process, which I don't think is going to be that long for her, especially how strong she is and how much knowledge she has with her own body. So, she's doing really, really good. She was looking beautiful last time I saw her.

BURNETT: All right. So, I want to show everyone this incredible footage. This is you filming as Amanda was helicoptered out, after you found her. So how did you figure out, Javier, where she was.

She's talking about, you know, she got completely disoriented, she couldn't tell her direction, she's in there, it's been 17 days. How did you figure out where she was?

CANTELLOPS: Well, I don't know if we figured out where she was. I had a thought of where she was. Basically, we had been an extensive search for two and a half weeks in the immediate area. So, you know, out of speculation and going down different rabbit holes, I was like, no, the only reason we haven't found her is because she's got to be alive. She's got to be on the move and she's got to be way farther than we think.

But she's got 16 days on us, so we really need to investigate the area way past where we think that she may be, and we may need to do like are reconnaissance mission on a particular area that we want to actually hike up on Sunday. We got to take a hunting team up on Sunday. We need to see the lay of the land.

So we decided to push out on a helicopter and I mean, magic happened.

BURNETT: I mean, OK, magic happened. So what happens the second you see her? The moment you her, 17 days, there's a part of you that thinks, OK, she might not be alive. Then you see her.

CANTELLOPS: I mean, Erin, it was -- I mean, it's like the most unexplainable feeling. Elation. I shook the helicopter with my scream. I screamed over the rotor wash. It was just like the most incredible moment of my entire life. It was absolute magic, incredible elation, the single most incredible moment of my life. No doubt about it.

BURNETT: And, you know, the way these things work is that, look, police and firefighters do everything they can, but there's rules, right? After 72 hours, they suspend the search. That's three days, just to be clear. Seventeen days went by.

Amanda knew that was the policy. That's what she said today and she would see some of those choppers flying over in those first few days, she could see them, but they did not see her. So then, all of a sudden, she realized, they're not going to be flying anymore.


BURNETT: So then, how -- how did you hold out hope, after those three days, when all of those resources went away that you could still find her?

CANTELLOPS: Oh, no. You know, all props to the fire and rescue, but they are on a set budget, they are on a set timeline, there are other rescues and emergencies happening here. And on that second day when I joined the whole search, you know, my flip had already been switched. Not only was I not ever going to stop searching, how (INAUDIBLE) we're going to continue on.

That's when I brought Matt, you know, started putting an orchestrated event in place and all the volunteers came in and just took my little paper maps that I had printed up and it turned into a really professional search team and a coordination and really a really big family, you know?

It was an incredible thing that really happened, from just passion, you know?

BURNETT: Well, it is an incredible thing. It is an incredible thing. I know we are all so -- you know, hearing you talk about it, I think, lifts many hearts.

Thank you, Javier.

CANTELLOPS: Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me, Erin. It's been a pleasure to be on your show. Thank you.

BURNETT: Thank you.

CANTELLOPS: Next, Jeanne on the UFOs that were spotted along the East Coast.





[19:57:58] BURNETT: Wow. What was that? Those are the words of a navy pilot after he just saw a UFO.

Here's Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the movie "Independence Day," a fighter pilot gets into a dogfight with a UFO. And the UFO loses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to earth!

MOOS: But real-life fighter pilots are now going public with their UFO encounters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wherever we were, they were there.

LT. DANNY AUCOIN, NAVY PILOT: No distinct wings, no distinct tail, no distinct exhaust.

MOOS: There were a spate of sightings by Navy pilots back in 2014 and 2015 along the East Coast of the U.S. The government even released a couple of videos -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My gosh!

MOOS: -- showing unidentified objects on cockpit censors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that thing, dude?

MOOS: One pilot managed to lock on to one flying over the water.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ha ha ha! Whoo-hoo!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow. What is that, man? Look at it flying.

MOOS: What's new is that now, the pilots are talking to the "New York Times" and a mini series for the History Channel.

ANNOUNCER: Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation.

MOOS: The pilots are identified. This is F-18 fighter pilot, Lt. Danny Aucoin.

AUCOIN: It seems they were aware of our presence, because they would actively move around us.

MOOS (on camera): One pilot told "The New York Times" of another pilot looking shocked, telling him, I almost hit one of those things, it flew right past the cockpit looking like a sphere encasing a cube.

(voice-over): Back in 2004, off the west coast near San Diego, a fighter pilot captured a white oval-shaped object on his sensors. Watch it accelerate and depart screen left at high velocity.

They call this one the tic-tac because of its shape. Sure, maybe it's just a result of bugs in the imaging system or atmospheric effects, but if there are aliens, let's hope they don't need tic-tacs for their breath.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that thing! It's rotating.

MOOS: -- New York.


BURNETT: And thanks for watching.

Anderson starts now.