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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
White House Says Tariffs For Mexico Still on Despite Meetings; Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) is Interviewed About White House Doubling Down on Mexico Tariff Threat; New Details About 3 Americans Who Died Days Apart in Same Dominican Republic Resort. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 6, 2019 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next breaking news, a new push for impeachment. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler, splitting with Pelosi, privately now urging impeachment hearings. Plus, Vice President Biden under attack about to speak any moment. Will he take on his critics and double down? And an American dies in a Caribbean resort, days later two more Americans died, same resort, and tonight we have preliminary autopsy results. What happened? Let's go out front.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, a break at the very top of the Democratic Party. The two people who will decide whether there are impeachment hearings are now at odds. The chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler, wants to launch impeachment hearings but Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker is telling him no.
And tonight, we have new details about what the two said to each other behind closed doors. New details that make this pregnant pause by Nadler in response to Wolf Blitzer speak a thousand words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Are you on the same page with the Speaker Nancy Pelosi when it comes to impeachment?
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): As I said we are launching an inquiry now and whether we'll launch an impeachment inquiry, it may come to that. It may come to that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: A painful pause coming after Nadler failed to convince Pelosi to move ahead with impeachment proceedings. But what she did say about President Trump behind those closed doors was shocking in this context. She said, "We understand. I don't want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison."
Prison. OK. So to say, OK, "Forget impeachment, I want prison." She's clearly feeling the heat from Nadler and the now 59 Democrats calling for impeachment proceedings. But think about this, if the person who was second in line to the presidency believes that the President of the United States should be in prison, but is not willing to launch impeachment proceedings, just to be clear, meaning she thinks the person who should be in prison should remain president. That is a problem.
Pelosi is in a very tough spot at this hour and there is one person trying to capitalize on it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nancy Pelosi, I call her nervous Nancy, Nancy Pelosi doesn't talk about it. Nancy Pelosi is a disaster. OK. She's a disaster and let her do what she wants. You know what? I think they're in big trouble.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Manu Raju is out front live on Capitol Hill. Manu, what more are you learning about what happened inside this meeting, this crucial meeting with the House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler and the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Nadler tried to make his case, Erin, that there should be an impeachment inquiry that should be open and he raised several reasons why. One he believes that the legal case that the Democrats are making in court is part of their fights with the Trump administration over the defiance of a number of subpoenas. He believes that would be strengthened if there were actually an impeachment inquiry launched.
Also, he believes that procedurally it would be easier in the House as all of these committees are now investigating various aspects of the Trump administration. He said, "There should be one central committee launching this investigation into potential criminal conduct of this president," and that committee being his House Judiciary Committee.
Now, I'm told there was pushback. Nancy Pelosi, for one, made it very clear she does not support impeaching the president. She, of course, said now that we know that the President should go to jail not be impeached, but also the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff, made it very clear that he too does not support moving forward in the way that Jerry Nadler wants to move forward. Schiff himself has a piece of the investigation as well.
Now, behind the scenes, Jerry Nadler is getting some pressure from his members on the House Judiciary Committee. A growing number of them have urged him to open up a probe. He is sympathetic to those concerns. He has raised those concerns directly with the Speaker and the Speaker now on multiple occasions has rejected those calls and he's conveyed that back to his members.
But I'm told, Erin, that he has been supportive of the members who have come and voiced public support of an impeachment inquiry. And, of course, that just shows the divisions in the caucus that Pelosi wants to tamp down, Erin. BURNETT: All right. And, of course, she is trying and we'll see if
there's a point where that is no longer tenable. Obviously, this is a huge break tonight. Out front now John Dean, Nixon White House Counsel during Watergate, Scott Jennings who served as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and a Senior Advisor to Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic former Congressman Luis Gutierrez.
So Congressman, look, obviously we now understand on this meeting Nadler and Pelosi are not on the same page. These are the two most important Democrats when it comes to this issue and they are not in agreement. What do you take away from this, that pregnant pause from Nadler when he was asked by Wolf about the situation? How much of a problem is this for the Speaker?
[19:05:11] FORMER REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D-IL): I don't think it is a huge problem for the Speaker of the House of Representatives. I think that in the end, Erin, decisions like whether or not you're going to proceed with impeachment of the President of the United States rests with the majority of the Members of the Democratic Caucus and not solely within the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee.
Well, the Judiciary Committee according to the Constitution of the United States is the one that can impeachment the President of the United States and the Committee.
BURNETT: Right. That's where the power lies, yes.
GUTIERREZ: That's where the power lies, but let's remember that from a purely political point of view, it's really a decision that rests with the majority because this is something so impactful that it will rest with the majority of the members of the House of Representatives. At least with the majority of the Members of the Democratic Caucus.
And I will say something, I want to make one thing absolutely clear, I believe the President of the United States should be impeached by the House of Representatives. I believe there is sufficient evidence to impeach the President of the United States. And I stand wholeheartedly with Mr. Nadler in his pursuit of that goal and fulfilling his constitutional responsibilities.
BURNETT: All right. Let me let me just play, Scott, again though this pregnant pause when Wolf asked Nadler about this. And by the way, this was before we had the reporting about what happened in the room. So Wolf is just asking and this is again the moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Are you on the same page with the Speaker Nancy Pelosi when it comes to impeachment?
NADLER: As I said we are launching an inquiry now and whether we'll launch an impeachment inquiry, it may come to that. It may come to that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Scott, is Nancy Pelosi in a tenable position at this point? Is she going to be able to hold this dam back?
GUTIERREZ: Let me ...
BURNETT: I'm sorry. Scott, hold on, let me just go to Scott.
SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: ... like --
BURNETT: Yes, go ahead.
JENNINGS: Yes, sure. Now, there's an old Gandhi quote, "There goes my people. I must follow them, for I am their leader." I think that's where Pelosi is going to wind up here. She's like the last person in the conference that wants to do this and everybody else wants to do it.
I think if you put it on the floor, there's not really a Democrat that would vote against it. The energy in her party is behind it. If you look at all of the polling, CNN's latest polling, they want to do it. And by the way, if you're going to go behind closed doors and say, "I want to see the President of the United States go to prison," and then go out in public and say, "I'm against the impeachment." I think it hurts your own credibility. I think it's disingenuous and I think people are like, "Well, who are you really? What do you really believe?"
And so I think she's got internal issues, but I also think public credibility issues are forming for her because she's saying one thing behind closed doors and another thing publicly.
BURNETT: John, to that point, is she behind closed doors and she said she wants to see him in prison and obviously saying that that's what she perceives in the Mueller report, that's what she thinks he deserves from the House. She sees the facts but here is what she's saying publicly about why she's not there and she wants to take this slow, John. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): We want to follow the facts to get the truth to the American people.
Getting the facts to the American people. Getting the truth for the American people. Where they will lead us, we shall see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: John, if she's saying he belongs in prison then they have already led her somewhere. They have already led her to believe that the President of the United States belongs in prison and yet she's not probably willing to go for impeachment. Is Scott right that that is just hypocritical and credibility killing for her? JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I don't see any
difference between her private position and her public action and her business with her caucus.
BURNETT: Why not?
DEAN: She knows if she proceeds with impeachment that it will go to a graveyard in the Senate. I think that she realizes also that this issue could well be taken up to the election and not resolved before the election. And then if he's reelected, they take one course of action. If he's defeated, of course, they take another course of action.
So I think she's been very wise and it's not to me any kind of conflict between Nadler and the Speaker.
BURNETT: What do you say, Scott, is this actually wise of her?
JENNINGS: No. I mean, to say well we're either going to beat him or we're going to impeach him. I mean I don't know that that's a message that the Democratic Party wants to take, like we're either going to beat this guy at the polls. If he wins, we're going to impeach him. And oh by the way if we beat him we might throw him in prison.
I mean it sounds like a banana republic to me. I think if you are going to tell your people behind closed doors, I believe he's a criminal. I believe he's engaged in a cover up and I believe he should be in prison. Then, yes, you should do what they want you to do already, which is impeach him.
Now, I think the American people won't like it and I agree with Mr. Dean, the Senate probably won't convict the president. But it strikes me that this is what people hate about people in Washington, D.C. The willingness to say these kinds of crazy things, put him in jail behind closed doors and then not follow through on those actions when given a chance by their own conference. They clearly wants to do it.
[19:10:30] BURNETT: So Congressman ...
GUTIERREZ: I'm sorry, but ...
BURNETT: ... I want to play for you something, OK, go ahead.
GUTIERREZ: I'm sorry I have to laugh, because I just heard Scott say put him in jail. Remember lock her up? Let me see, who went to jail? The campaign manager is in jail. We don't know what time Flynn is going to - his lawyer is in jail, lock her up. So Republicans feel that Nancy Pelosi is saying that he should go to jail is somehow crazy, but they support the President of the United States whose campaign was lock her up.
So number one there's that going on. But look, let's be clear what Nancy Pelosi and Democrats want is for the President to be held accountable for his actions and they have read the Mueller report and it's clearly established in the Mueller report that he says, "We are going to preserve the evidence, because once the president is no longer President of the United States he can be prosecuted."
GUTIERREZ: And I believe this president once he leaves office and it is defeated at the polls will be prosecuted in the court and will be sentenced to jail.
BURNETT: So John you just heard the President obviously likes this. He's saying all of the things were just so terrible for Nancy and what a disaster. And today he's trying to get another nickname which, of course, people can make light of, but obviously have often been incredibly powerful when he has used them.
So he's had trouble finding a nickname. Here he is, but he found one today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Nancy Pelosi or Nancy as I call her ...
The MS-13 lover Nancy Pelosi.
We've got to stop crying Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.
I don't want to say crazy Nancy because if I say that you're going to say it's a copy of crazy Bernie and that's no good, because Bernie is definitely crazy.
Nancy Pelosi, I call her nervous Nancy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Nervous Nancy, John, will it work?
DEAN: Well, aside from the childishness of his nicknames, this is not a nervous woman. Anyone who knows her knows that she is very much in control, very calm, very collected and her gestures it seems he is mocking, she uses hand gestures occasionally. She speaks with a raspy voice at times.
So I just think he's just mocking her and it's not going to go anywhere. It has no meaning whatsoever.
BURNETT: Scott, final word.
JENNINGS: Yes, look, I think the only nickname that's going to matter is the nickname he gives to the person that he's going to be running against and we don't know that yet. If I might, by the way, I'd like to say something back to my and Congressman Gutierrez.
I don't support the criminalization of politics. I have never believed in this lock her up chant. I didn't like it when they criminalize politics in the White House I worked in. I didn't like it when Republicans did it to Hillary Clinton and I don't like it now that you have Nancy Pelosi saying we're going to throw the President in jail. We cannot have an endless cycle of elections where people lose and
then their reaction is, "I want to throw somebody in jail because I lost an election." It is destructive to the Republic and we have to stop criminalizing politics and both parties need to stop it.
GUTIERREZ: Destructive justice, Scott, that's why he should go to jail because he's engaged in criminal activity.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all.
GUTIERREZ: That where criminals go, to jail.
BURNETT: And next, Joe Biden on the defense about to speak after getting hit by just about every 2020 contender over his support for a law blocking federal funds for abortion. Biden is sticking to his guns, why? Plus, breaking tonight, negotiators racing against the clock tonight.
The White House moving forward with plans to slap Mexico with new tariffs. A Republican who is against that move is out front. And internal new documents revealed who's staying at Trump's hotel in Washington among the VIP guests an Arab sheik with a powerful agenda.
[19:18:08] BURNETT: Tonight, the fight for 2020, all eyes are on former Vice President Joe Biden who is moments away from speaking in Atlanta. Biden on defense over his support for the Hyde Amendment. Now, the Hyde Amendment prohibits federal money from being used for abortion except in the case of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at stake.
Senator Bernie Sanders who is running second to Biden in almost every poll is jumping on this today saying, quote, if we believe that a woman has the constitutional right to control her own body, that right must apply to all women, including low-income women. That is why I have consistently voted against the Hyde Amendment and, why as president, I would eliminate it.
Out front now, political commentators Joan Walsh National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation and Jen Psaki who served as White House Communications Director under President Obama.
So, Joan how big of a problem is this for Joe Biden in the Democratic primary?
JOAN WALSH, NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, THE NATION: In the primary I think it's a huge problem. I think we saw one after another candidate come out today and rebuke him, state their own support for repealing the Hyde Amendment.
This is something that became an issue in 2016. Representative Barbara Lee introduced legislation and Hillary Clinton jumped out front and she supported the legislation. Bernie Sanders joined her. So this became kind of the mainstream position and then finally in 2016 it became part of the Democratic platform that we stand for removing the Hyde Amendment. Those restrictions.
So he's completely out of step with his party. He may think that this will serve him well in the general, but again he's got a lot to show women. We've got the Anita Hill issue. We've got the issue of possibly not respecting women's personal space.
It's bad timing for him, but it's the he's making. He's decided that he's going to --
BURNETT: Right. He's been clear and stuck to it. I mean, Jen, Biden is a devout Catholic and I'm not saying that's the reason, but he has publicly spoken about how he has struggled with the issue of abortion. Are we now just seeing all of that essentially play out?
I mean he had an opportunity here to say, "Oh, actually I'm against this." But he didn't. I mean he's sticking with his point of view.
[19:20:14] JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's right and I agree with everything that Joan said. I think this is Biden's personal point of view. As you mentioned he's a devout Catholic. He's had a slightly tortured and hard-to-explain view for a long time, which wasn't out of the mainstream maybe 20 years ago which is that he's personally opposed to abortion but he doesn't think government should intervene.
The problem is that the Democratic Party in the electorate has moved forward on this issue and has moved in a much more progressive direction and it's not just that it's a wing of the party that believes the Hyde Amendment should be eliminated, it's a mainstream position. As Joan said, it was in the Democratic platform. You saw all of the candidates today.
So I don't think this is a political calculation on his part on this particular issue. If I were his campaign adviser, I'd be wanting him to flip on this because it's going to be brutal for him in the first debate. This is his personal view which clearly is playing out publicly, but it is a definite issue for him in the primary.
BURNETT: Right. Certainly in the primary, obviously, when you look at the general and then the point of view, it might be very different at that point, Joan. But here's the thing, almost every other Democrat has come out and sees this issue that he's on the wrong side of it.
But Politico did point out the Hyde Amendment is often tucked in a much bigger bills. So if you're Bernie Sanders and you're going to just take a stand on it, you're going to vote against the entire budget or a spending bill because of the Hyde Amendment. But if you are Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Eric Swalwell actually every single one of them voted for this amendment just like Joe Biden. Now, they're all out and hot and bothered about it, but are they hypocritical?
WALSH: I don't think they're hypocritical, Erin. I think that it's tough to know exactly what to do should you kill an entire budget bill because of the Hyde Amendment. Maybe yes, maybe that's where we're going to.
BURNETT: I mean they voted for the overall spending bill like it's attached to that they voted --
WALSH: Right. And it's been happening that way since the '70s. I mean Barack Obama, the president said he opposed the Hyde Amendment. He wished that we could repeal it. But his budgets include the Hyde Amendment, so this has been done. This is has been this dodge for going on more of like roughly 40 years and so sure you can say it's somewhat hypocritical, but nobody was asking them to make it an issue. Nobody was saying, "Kill this budget."
BURNETT: Right. Well now suddenly it's become an issue which is interesting how these things can happen and to be fair it's part of the nastiness of our system. You throw these amendments into a bill, what you're going to do, vote against everything. Bernie Sanders can do that. Rand Paul can do that. But you wouldn't get a lot of governing done and part of it is the system.
But, Jen, Biden has not been apologetic about his support for this. And this is what's interesting, he has stood by some other controversial decisions, his support for the crime bill among them but that does stand in contrast to how he has handled allegations like invading woman's personal space. His toned completely different as to when he decides to apologize or not.
Here's some of the difference in tone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, FORMER UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT: I worked my whole life to empower women. I worked my whole life to prevent abuse. I've written some of the idea that I can adjust to the fact that personal space is important, more important than it's ever been, it's just unthinkable. I will. I will.
Folks, let's get something straight, 92 out of every 100 prisoners in a behind the bars are in a state prison, not a federal prison. This idea that the crime bill generated mass incarceration, it did not generate mass incarceration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Saying he's sorry is somewhat OK or being defiant and explaining and defending his decision, which does better for Joe Biden, Jen?
PSAKI: Well, I think he recognized as his campaign team did that if these accusations continue to pile up, it would be disqualifying and he could not run for president and he needed to address it and needed to acknowledge that he needed to change his behavior and to change his behavior. On the crime bill, I personally think he still has a long road to go here. Yes, he can't run away from it, but he needs to be more forward looking about where he is today and what his views on criminal justice reform are today. I have no doubt they're thinking about that and contemplating that,
but he's not running away from it because I think he was a part of it. But I don't think that's exactly the right strategy. I think they have more work to do there.
WALSH: I agree. Bill Clinton I think did a much better job in 2016 having to stand there as the president who sign it and say, "Yes, it's not the only thing behind mass incarceration, but it did increase it and I'm sorry."
PSAKI: Right. And Biden is not putting it in the context which the reporting is doing a better job than he is of the time and the fact that the CBC and mayor supported this. But times have changed and it had implications and impacts that weren't intended. I wish he would say that and I wish they had put out something that's more forward- looking about criminal justice reform. I'm sure they will, but we're all waiting for it.
[19:25:02] BURNETT: All right. Thank you both. And next, the White House moving forward with plans to slap Mexico with new tariffs after failing to stop the flood of migrants. So is the crisis at the border self-inflicted or not? Plus, a shocking leak from inside Trump Org. new documents reportedly reveal that foreign officials spending thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars in cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars to stay at Trump's hotel in Washington. What do they want for that money?
[19:29:27] BURNETT: New tonight, team Trump doubling down on tariffs. Sarah Sanders saying, quote, we are still moving forward with tariffs at this time, this after another day of meetings. And Trump says he is not bluffing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We told Mexico the tariffs go on and I mean it too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Trump, of course, saying the tariffs go on until Mexico stops all illegal immigration into the United States over the Southern Border. Tom Foreman is out front.
[19:29:56] TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT(voice-over): The numbers are huge, 144,000 migrants arriving in the U.S. via the Southern Border in May alone, including more than 11,000 unaccompanied children.
[19:30:06] That's more than 30 percent higher than the previous month and the highest total in 13 years. We are in a full-blown emergency, the acting head of Customs and Border Protection says, the system is broken. REP. WILL HURD (R-TX): All of last year, 400,000 people came in the
country illegally, right? And so, this is how staggering this current -- this current crisis really is.
FOREMAN: For the president, it is another reason to hammer on Mexico, saying that country should stop migrants before they reach the U.S.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They have to step up to the plate and perhaps they will. We're going to see.
FOREMAN: To be sure, many point out migrants are driven out of their home countries south of Mexico by economic hardship and violence, and the promise of a better life in the states if they can make it to the border to make an asylum claim. The White House says Congress must help fix that part too.
MERCEDES SCHLAPP, WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: We know what needs to happen is that true congressional action which is that of closing the legal loopholes, stopping the magnet of illegal immigrants coming to the United States.
FOREMAN: But some critics say the president is also to blame. They argue his singular focus on building a wall has allowed an administrative log jam to develop and many immigrant families know the rules limiting how long children can be detained mean they will likely be released while their cases make their way through the immigration courts.
JOHN SANDWEG, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR, IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT: Now, the administration has begun beefing up the immigration courts. But it's really just far too little. We're looking at about 400 judges today. Maybe next year, 500 judges processing over a million cases.
HURD: They basically stay in the United States for almost five years before any go through their complete immigration court case. And they're all being treated as an asylum seeker.
FOREMAN: The nature of the asylum seekers has also change. In decades past, they were largely single men looking for work. Now, many families and children are coming seeking asylum. And that is raising a whole different set of political and practical challenges in dealing with them -- Erin.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, Tom, certainly many challenges. Asylum hearings can take years, they do take years. All of a sudden, the problem doesn't go away. Thank you.
And now, OUTFRONT, Republican congressman from Illinois, Rodney Davis.
So, Congressman, let me start with the basic question. What do you think is the driving the surge which we certainly see in the numbers of people coming illegally to the U.S. over the southern border? REP. RODNEY DAVIS (R-IL): Well, I think it's a desire for prosperity
that America offers every single person who gets into this country. We have seen and heard that migrants wouldn't come cross the border because people were scared of President Trump and scared of his policies.
That's clearly not the case and the biggest irony in this debate. And we got to have politicians on both sides of the aisle get their head out of the sand, realize there's a crisis at the southern border and let's do something about it.
BURNETT: All right. Let me get to the point, though, and obviously -- you have a real problem down there right now. But you heard Will Hurd just say, your GOP colleague, that the surge is due to a change in how Trump's DHS interprets the law. They're basically now treating people coming asylum seekers instead of deporting them.
In other words, they're making the numbers bigger and bigger. They are making a crisis bigger and bigger. Is that -- what's happening?
DAVIS: Well, Will is a great guy, a patriot, a former CIA analyst and good friend of mine. And I trust his knowledge on a lot of border issues because his district borders the country of Mexico.
But what Will knows and what I know is that we have to have leadership on both sides of the aisle and the White House to get a bill across the House floor and Senate law and signed into law. We had a chance to do that last year with a couple of bills that I supported that would have built the president's security fence, his border wall, border structure, also would have reformed the broken immigration system that we have right now. They cost too much and take too long for people going through the legal system.
We would have had a path to legal status for DACA kids and Dreamers and stopped kids from being separated from their parents. But it got caught up in politics. No Democrat voted for it. Not enough Republicans voted for it. And it's a clear lack of leadership on both sides.
BURNETT: OK, and despite this, though, the tariffs on Mexico which is the president's response. So, you know, we can move aside from the moment of the blame on why we are suddenly having the crisis, right now, to the issue of a solution.
His solution now is I'm going to go around Congress and put on tariffs. And they're going on, I'm not bluffing. We're starting at 5 percent. We're going up to 25 percent.
You don't agree with that, why?
DAVIS: No, I don't agree with that approach. I certainly hope that the president and the administration and Vice President Pence, Secretary Pompeo have some success with this. You know, I have seen a "Washington Post" article today that came out a few hours ago talking about how Mexico may be doing something to fix the crisis that we clearly see at our southern border. [19:35:09] BURNETT: Yes, national guard troops --
DAVIS: I don't like the threat of tariffs.
DAVIS: Yes, I don't like the tariffs. I think that it takes our eye off what is important which is making Mexico more prosperous, make Canada more prosperous and keeping the United States prosperous, and it gives Democrats an excuse not to put the USMCA on the floor of the House to make sure we have the trade agreement that will protect Mexican workers, provide them labor standards and also provide a great economy for our farmers, manufacturers.
BURNETT: So, Congressman Davis, let me ask you because obviously you -- you disagree on tariffs. But you have not been afraid in the past to call out this president when you think something has happened that should not. For example, the "Access Hollywood" tape, you called those comments abhorrent. You rescinded your support for him. You are one of many Republicans at the time who said he should withdraw from the race.
But right now, only one of your Republican colleagues publicly believes that the president should be impeached, Justin Amash. He does say there are more of you who grow with him privately. And here is how he put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JUSTIN AMASH (R-MI): My colleagues tell me all the time. In fact you wouldn't believe how many phone conversations I had or conversations in personal with colleagues, Justin -- by the way a lot of them think I'm right about the Mueller report and won't say it. There are a lot of the Republicans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Are you one of those Republicans, Congressman?
DAVIS: Absolutely not. I have never had a conversation with Justin Amash about that.
I don't think the president should be impeached. I think the Democrats are going to be pressured by the far left and not be able to avoid impeachment proceedings against this president. And I think they'll be punished at the ballot box for that.
The Mueller report came out, 35 million taxpayer dollars, instant access to grand juries, subpoenas, law enforcement agents, lawyers, whatever they needed. And the investigation clearly showed not a single American colluded with Russia to affect the 2016 election.
The American people want us to move on. The Democrats are insistent upon impeachment. I'm going to be standing there and making sure that they are held accountable for these actions that are not warranted.
BURNETT: To his point on obstruction --
DAVIS: The president was duly elected by the American people.
BURNETT: That is absolutely true. But to his point on the obstruction and the ten thing lid laid out in the Mueller report and the Mueller saying he couldn't exonerate the president of a criminal. And more than 1,000 former prosecutors say they would indict somebody with what was in that report. None of that bothers you?
DAVIS: That's not how we work our justice system in this country. You're innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This is an investigation. And this is something that has turned 100 percent political.
The Democrats, Erin, are doing everything they can to create a narrative the president should be impeached. And if they go ahead and impeach this president in the House of Representatives, I would say that he is going to be re-elected by a landslide in 2020.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Congressman Davis, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
DAVIS: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, internal new documents reportedly revealing the VIP guests staying at Trump's hotel in Washington. Who are they and what is their agenda?
Plus, three Americans found dead at the Dominican Republic resort over the span of five days. We have new details this hour on what may have killed them.
[19:42:10] BURNETT: New tonight, a leak from Trump's hotel in Washington. "The Washington Post" getting its hands on private internal documents from the hotel. They've got the list of VIP guests staying at the Trump International last year. Many of the hotel's foreign visitors often want things from the Trump administration.
And the one who stayed the longest is an Arab sheikh who stayed for 26 nights, renting a suite and another room. The estimated cost: a couple of thousand dollars a night. And this Iraqi sheikh pushing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton to overthrow the Iranian government.
OUTFRONT now, one of the reporters who broke the story, Josh Partlow.
And, Josh, I appreciate your time. I mean, look, it's pretty incredible when you go to the details here. What else do you know about the sheik and what he wanted from Trump? JOSHUA PARTLOW, NATIONAL AFFAIRS REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes,
the sheik has an interesting and long history dealing with American officials. He is from Iraq, from northern Iraq, Kurdistan.
He was a CIA-paid informant in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He started private security companies. He now lives in exile in Jordan. And he showed up at the Trump hotel in late November of last year.
And he does have a long, long agenda that he openly talks about. He -- the main issue for him right now is Iran. He wants -- he is angry about Iranian influence in Iraq. He wants the Iranian government overthrown. He has written letters to like you mentioned to the top officials expressing that.
He also wants himself to be a more prominent or a prominent political figure in Iraq. He said he thinks he should be president of Iraq. And he is also recently opened several companies -- registered several companies in the United States and is looking for contracts with the Trump administration. So, he's got a -- apparently has a full plate of demands
BURNETT: It's incredible. And certainly, when you look at what the administration is now saying about Iran, certainly it fits with that point of view now in the shift we have seen there. You know, you've also reported a lot on strong Saudi connections to the hotel, right, the lobbyists for the Saudis paying $300,000. Now, you are talking about 500 nights at the hotel three months after Trump won. This is Saudi-related.
Why does this raise such red flags?.
PARTLOW: Well, I mean, primarily because the president still owns this hotel as he owns his other properties around the country and some of the projects around the world. So, you know, this is money that's going into the Trump family. And we're trying to -- we're trying to track like a lot of the reporters you know who is spending the money and are they trying to influence the Trump administration in some way?
The -- you know, the government -- this sheik, Nahro al-Kasnazan, says this was a personal visit to the Trump hotel for nearly a month and he's getting medical treatment in Baltimore.
[19:45:08] But, you know, he admits he spent time with State Department officials on this trip and in the past, and has things he wants from the government obviously.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Josh. Some great reporting there. Thank you.
PARTLOW: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, three Americans found dead at a Caribbean resort over the span of five days. Tonight, we have the preliminary autopsy results and what happened.
Plus, Jeanne Moos on President Trump, going it alone and leaving his signature mark far above every other world leader.
BURNETT: Tonight, new details about the mystery deaths of three Americans over five days at the same vacation resort in the Dominican Republic. Officials from the DR say preliminary autopsy results show that 41-year-old Miranda Schaup-Werner of Pennsylvania suffered a heart attack, while Maryland couple Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day suffered internal bleeding, had fluid in their lungs and they say that Day also had fluid in her brain.
Officials are still awaiting the official result of toxicology reports which the FBI is now involved with and assisting with.
OUTFRONT now, Steven Bullock, the attorney for Cynthia Day and Nathaniel Holmes' families.
[19:50:03] And, look, I appreciate your time. Steven. This is a horrific story, a terrifying story and so tragic for these families. And I know you're desperately trying to get answers and find out what happened here, because this does not add up.
What do you make of the autopsy results that we have now?
STEVEN BULLOCK, ATTORNEY FOR COUPLE FOUND DEAD AT RESORT AND THEIR FAMILIES: Well, I find it to be very difficult to understand when you have literally three people dying in a similar fashion. That causes anyone to pause and say something is fundamentally wrong here and needs to be investigated thoroughly.
BURNETT: Certainly. I mean, it's -- and now, of course, we found out about a Colorado couple who says the same thing almost happened to them. I'm going get to that in a moment. When you look at these, the FBI is involved now in the toxicology reports. When you look at the autopsy reports as they're coming out, they're saying fluid, internal bleeding, fluid in the lungs and the brain.
Do the families know of either Mr. Holmes or Ms. Day having prior health issues?
BULLOCK: Not to my knowledge. There was no health issues from what I understand. And we cannot really rely on what's coming out of the Dominican Republic at this time. We will wait for the FBI to complete their investigation and proceed from there.
BURNETT: So, the DR is putting out some information, you know, again, coming from the DR, not the FBI. They're saying, DR police, there were three medications found in their room. They say an anti- inflammatory was one of them and an opioid was another.
Do you know anything about that? Were those prescriptions or do you know anything?
BULLOCK: From what I understand from the family, the young lady, Ms. Day, was taking some drugs for -- some prescription drugs for hypertension. BURNETT: Yes.
BULLOCK: So, that was the extent of that. I cannot opine on Mr. Holmes, but I can say from talking to the families that they both were in relatively good health, and if you had an opportunity to see the video, these folks were in love. They were celebrating their engagement, and they were trying to move forward with life.
BURNETT: And, you know, this horrific story happens. And as I mentioned, they were not alone in this terrible fate. We also know Miranda Schaup-Werner passed away five days before at the same resort.
A Colorado couple who says they stayed there last year; say they became extremely sick. Our Drew Griffin went out and talked to them and it sounds eerily similar. They, of course, are lucky to be alive.
What are you going to do now?
BULLOCK: Well, we're going to -- the bodies of my clients will be coming back to the United States. From what I understand, Mr. Holmes will be coming back on Sunday, and Ms. Day should be coming back on Monday. That's our hope and expectation. Once they are here, we're going to have an autopsy done to try and get some results.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Steven, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much. We all hope you can get some answers and get them very quickly. Thank you.
BULLOCK: And, Erin, may I just say that the family really does want to thank the community for all of their support and condolences, and they really appreciate everything they're trying to do to help in this situation. Thank you.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much.
BULLOCK: And next, jeanne on president Trump's signature. That is, well, stands alone.
[19:57:45] BURNETT: Tonight, world leaders sign a D-Day proclamation, and guess who added a special touch?
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a document signed by 16 world leaders. Their signatures clustered down below, except for one. Name that signature towering above all others on a D- Day proclamation, President Trump's name landed alone at the top.
Noteworthy restraint that it wasn't signed in a thick permanent marker, read one tweet.
We all know how boldly the president scrawls his name, but here? It's like when a car gets sent round to be signed at work for someone
and you desperately try to find a spot where yours will stand out.
President Trump's signature always stands out.
BART BAGGETT, HANDWRITING EXPERT: The size of the signature correlates with narcissism, with ego, with a grandiose sense of self- importance.
MOOS: Someone suggested that the placement on top was the signature equivalent of this, the time President Trump gave Montenegro's prime minister a little shove to get to the front of the photo op.
To be fair, someone noted, if he signed last, then he wasn't given much choice unless he wrote over the proclamation, or, I don't know, signed smaller, countered someone else.
Like in the space on the bottom left I marked out.
Our handwriting expert says the narcissism of a big signature isn't all bad.
BAGGETT: Which I think is a success trait.
MOOS: Ditto for on top. Always like it when someone likes to be the shepherd and not the sheep. My kind of guy.
The proclamation commits signers to ensure the horror of the Second World War is never repeated. Since the United States is the only reason that letter wasn't written in German, it's appropriate that Trump sign on top.
When it comes to the president's signature --
BAGGETT: The size alone equals I'm so important, I don't need to obey margins.
MOOS: And if you jump to the top, it's even harder to be marginalized.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: OK, thank you for joining us.
And don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT any time, anywhere. Just go to CNN go. And right now, Anderson starts "AC360."