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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
John Dean Testifies Before House Committee, Brings Echoes of Watergate to Present Day; Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) is Interviewed About John Dean's Testimony Before House Judiciary Committee; Helicopter Crashes and Burns, Atop Manhattan Skyscraper. Aired on 8-9p ET
Aired June 10, 2019 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:22] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
For a few hours today in midtown Manhattan, there were chilling echoes of Lower Manhattan on 9/11. It was just a chopper crash, not terrorism, and we're learning more about what led up to it. We'll have more on that in a moment.
We begin, though, with the moments today in Washington up on Capitol Hill that felt a lot like the 25th of June 1973, and for some of a certain age, there were maybe even goose bumps, because on that day in 1973, in front of a Senate committee, John Dean began reading his 245- page opening statement laying out what he saw and what he took part in inside the Nixon White House during Watergate.
Today, he went before the House Judiciary Committee as an educator, not an insider, though taking plenty of heat from this president, just like old times when he took it from Nixon.
His testimony comes as Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler says he has struck a deal with the justice department to obtain certain documents from the Mueller report, delaying contempt proceedings against Attorney General Barr for now.
John Dean joins us momentarily. You'll hear as well from one of the congressmen who questioned him today.
First, some moments from the testimony, and you'll see there were stark differences, obviously, in how Democrats and Republicans approached it all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): John Dean was the White House counsel under White House President Nixon. He was most well known for his role as a principal witness during the Senate Watergate hearings, where his testimony was later fully corroborated as to its truthfulness by the revelations in President Nixon's White House tapes.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Comparing Nixon to just any future administration, would you say there was a future administration that committed more crimes than the Nixon administration as far as obstruction? JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I would say the Trump
administration is in fast competition with what happened in the Nixon administration.
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): What was the Saturday Night Massacre?
DEAN: Saturday Night Massacre occurred in October of 1973 when Richard Nixon removed or fired Archibald Cox as the special counsel --
REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): Yes, I could catch your testimony on TV! In fact, by the way, I could this morning. I'm a Republican. I believe that you use everything you've got, do as much business as you want and generate as much to work for yourself, but I don't believe it's the problem of this committee to come on and here from those who are not part of the Mueller investigation, who are not a part of this, pontificating on things that you can do on TV.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Maybe you were thinking about this, when you said the president of the United States was incapable of anything, were you thinking about the fact that the embassy is now in Jerusalem?
And I think about this one. Every single candidate for as many cycles as I can remember, Republican and Democrat, have promised the American people, you elected me, we're going to move the embassy to Jerusalem. And guess what? They get elected and come up with a million reasons why they can't do what they said they were going to do.
But this president did. The embassy is now in Jerusalem. So, I'm just wondering, what were you thinking about when you said he's incapable of accomplishing anything?
DEAN: Mr. Jordan, I think that under the parliamentary rules of the House, I'm refraining from addressing a full answer to your question.
JORDAN: Today, Chairman Nadler brings in front of the Judiciary Committee a guy to talk about obstruction of justice who went to prison in 1974 for obstructing justice.
DEAN: I did not go to prison.
JORDAN: OK. You pled guilty to obstruction of justice. Glad you got to stay out of prison, I guess.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Mr. Dean, how many American presidents have you accused of being Richard Nixon?
DEAN: I actually wrote a book about Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney with the title "Worse than Watergate."
GAETZ: So, Mr. Dean has made a cottage industry out of accusing presidents of acting like Richard Nixon. I would like to know how much money he makes based on making these accusations and exploiting them for his own economic benefit --
NADLER: You can --
DEAN: Mr. Gates, Mr. Gates, I appreciate you were not born at the time that this all happened.
GAETZ: Do you believe if we turned the lights off here and maybe lit some candles, got out a Ouija board, we could potentially raise the specter of Richard Nixon?
DEAN: I doubt that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, more now from Congressman Ted Deutch. We spoke earlier.
COOPER: Congressman Deutch, watching this hearing today, I mean, Republicans relitigating Watergate, Democrats focusing on the Mueller report, yet another example of kind of a tale of two hearings. Was anything accomplished?
REP. TED DEUTCH (D-FL): Sure. Today was actually a really important step forward in getting to the truth, Anderson. What you saw today over the course of four hours was a very thoughtful and deliberate approach to what was in the Mueller report and making sure that everyone in America starts to understand it, so that we can have the kind of important discussions necessary about what steps should come next.
[20:05:09] COOPER: The documents that the Justice Department is going to provide to your committee, do you know when you'll be able to actually view them and where you'll be able to view them?
DEUTCH: Well, I'm expecting to be able to view them this week. It's a good step. I'm glad we're going to be getting these documents.
Frankly, we should have gotten them weeks ago. There was no reason to withhold them. This is one further attempt at stonewalling, which is, again, why today's hearing was so important, because despite these efforts to prevent us from getting to the truth, today, finally, we had the chance again in a really thoughtful way, while my Republican colleagues were spinning conspiracy theories, we were actually delving into the many ways that the president has laid out in Mueller report may have engaged in obstruction of justice.
COOPER: And to be clear, these documents, are they going to give the Democrats on the committee everything that they've requested from the Department of Justice?
DEUTCH: I don't think so, and I look forward to seeing what's in them, but we're still going to go forward this week tomorrow. We're still going to go forward enforcing our subpoenas. Today was a good hearing, but it's not ideal what we want are the fact witnesses.
We want to hear directly from Don McGahn. We want to hear from the attorney general. And we're going to do what we need to do enforce the subpoenas and get them in front of us so we can ask them the questions that the American people want us to ask as well. COOPER: So, what is the next step on actually getting, you know, the
people who were in the room at the time, to getting Don McGahn, getting others actually to testify?
DEUTCH: Sure. Well, tomorrow, as I said, tomorrow we're going to go -- the House is going to authorize going to court to enforce the subpoenas, the subpoenas that Don McGahn and the attorney general have refused to comply with. So, we're going to pursue all those avenues. At the same time --
COOPER: What does that mean? Like how are you going to enforce them?
DEUTCH: We're going to go -- we're going to go into court and we're going to pursue contempt if they don't come in. That's the next step.
At the same time, though, we're going to continue with this investigation, serious investigation that we started just on March 4th, and we're going to hold hearings throughout the rest of this month that will lay out in detail for the American people all of the ways that the Mueller report and Mueller's team analyzed the various ways that the president appears to have committed obstruction of justice.
COOPER: And do you still want Mueller?
DEUTCH: I think it would be helpful for Mueller to come in. For anyone who saw him in his brief press remarks when he closed down his office, referring to his work, his document, it's clear, it was an important reminder of the time he spent working on it, and there is no one who can better respond to the questions that we have about the investigation, about the president, the president's refusal to answer any questions directly on a face-to-face basis. There's no one better than Mueller.
So, sure, I think we should bring him in before our committee.
COOPER: Congressman Ted Deutch, appreciate your time. Thank you.
DEUTCH: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, joining us now, the man at the center of the deja vu, for some today, John Dean himself, former Nixon White House counsel, currently one of the people we'd turn to for legal advice.
So, John, you got hit hard today, certainly by Republicans. Why do you think it was important for you to testify? Why did you want to testify?
DEAN: Well, when I was invited, what I thought I could do, Anderson, is what I did, which was draw historical parallels between what happened in the Mueller report and Watergate, and there's striking examples, everything from the fact that the Mueller report is very much in the mold with a little bit more volume as the Watergate roadmap. And while this wasn't an impeachment hearing, I think all the signals are from Mueller that he expects the Congress to deal with the issues he couldn't.
COOPER: You think Mueller believes Congress should move toward impeachment, or at least hold hearings on impeachment?
DEAN: I think that's what he says in the document. In fact, I cited a part of the document, one of the footnotes, where he says the reason he didn't make a charging decision on obstruction of justice is he didn't want to preempt or in any way influence the constitutional duties of the Congress. So, I mean, you can't be much more direct. He doesn't have authority to refer, per se, but that's one of the points he made in the document.
COOPER: Were you taken aback at all by how personal some of the attacks by Republicans were? I mean, did you expect the hearing to be as contentious as it was?
DEAN: I did, actually. I know the players. I've watched them before. I watched them badger Hillary Clinton. They're all flame- throwers.
And I did make the point that when I worked at that committee many years ago, they actually accomplished things because the Republicans crossed the aisle and worked with the Democrats.
[20:10:06] And we accomplished things like amending the '64 Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act of '65, the 18-year-old vote, the 25th Amendment. Those are things that would never get processed in that committee today.
COOPER: Looking -- you know, you look at these pictures side by side of you in June 25th, 1973, and today, I mean, I wonder, did you ever imagine that you would be testifying before Congress again almost 46 years later, exactly?
DEAN: I don't think I could conjure that. In fact, one of the reasons that I did what I did back during Watergate was the thought that this will never happen again. And one of the reasons I've had a knot in my stomach, one of the reasons I'm on CNN is because I'm deeply troubled by the presidency we're living with.
COOPER: I want to play something that the president actually said about you today. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: John Dean's been a loser for many years. So I've been watching him on one of the networks that is not exactly Trump-oriented, and I guess they paid him a lot of money over the years.
No, John's been a loser for a long time. We know that. I think he was disbarred, and he went to prison. Other than that, he's doing a great job.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: He also called you disgraced and a, quote, sleazebag attorney, on Twitter. Obviously, not as big of a fan of your work as you are of his.
DEAN: Well, I'm honored to be on his enemies list. I was able to make Nixon's at the end, and so I'm pleased that I'm on Trump's, given my feelings about the threat he is in this country.
COOPER: Well, John Dean, I know it's been a long day. I appreciate taking the time to talk to us. Thank you.
DEAN: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Much more ahead tonight, including the latest on that chopper crash in Midtown Manhattan that took the pilot's life and for some tense moments brought back memories of 9/11. You'll hear from a woman who experienced it all inside the building where it happened.
And later, new polling in Iowa raising new questions about the Democratic front-runner, Joe Biden.
That and more on 360.
[20:16:17] COOPER: As we said at the top of the program, there is breaking news here in New York City. It brings back, of course, chilling memories for good reasons, an aircraft into a tall building. Fortunately, it was not the worst fears come true, but it was terrible enough, and tonight, investigators are trying to determine why a helicopter crash landed on top of a midtown skyscraper.
It's been raining and foggy pretty much all day here. The crash did happen in pretty lousy weather. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he believes the video showing a helicopter flying erratically -- you can see it dip and rise -- is likely the same chopper that crashed.
Our Miguel Marquez has the latest on exactly what happened today.
So, what do you know so far, Miguel?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, still trying -- a massive investigation, trying to figure out that question. The National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, and New York police department all trying to get to the bottom of what exactly happened here. They do know or have ruled out any sort of connection to terrorism at this point. There doesn't seem to be any of that.
But certainly an accident that is very hard to understand. And in some ways, despite the fact that one individual is dead, seemingly the pilot, it is a very lucky accident because it is in the heart of the city, an extraordinarily busy part of the city. And had he not hit that roof in the way he did and stayed on that roof and that helicopter had come off and ricocheted off of buildings, bringing debris down, you could have had many, many dozens, if not more people injured and killed -- Anderson.
COOPER: Do we know why the helicopter pilot decided to take off when he did? Because -- I mean, the cloud ceiling was very low today. That building that he ended up landing in, I mean, it was in the clouds. You couldn't even see the top of it from the ground.
MARQUEZ: Yes, this was a miserable day in New York. And apparently, he was at the 34th Street helicopter pad on the east side of the city, waiting and waiting to take off. And he, apparently, decided that it was the time to go, and he was able to take off and move out and they were able to sort of track him -- Anderson.
COOPER: And what about the helicopter's flight path? Because the mayor was saying it's very unusual for the helicopter to have been over Manhattan in that way in that area. You know, it's near Trump Tower. It's near Times Square. You don't see that.
MARQUEZ: It would be interesting to figure out exactly where that video that you showed at the top is, because -- so, it took off from the east side of Manhattan on 34th Street. It went down the East River, around sort of the tip of Manhattan, sort of by the Statue of Liberty, and then up the west side.
It's not clear where he was going, but at some point around 40th Street, started to come back east, like perhaps he was trying to get back over to 34th Street on the east side of the city. Something clearly did not go right at that point, and it ended up on the top of that building. So, a lot of questions for investigators, but the good news is there was nobody other than him killed in this crash -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Well, you and your team have been out there all day. Great reporting. Thank you, Miguel.
With me now, a woman who was in the building when the helicopter hit. She's Stacey Paradise Kushlefsky.
Here she is.
Stacey, can you just walk us through what happened? When did you realize something weird was happening?
STACEY PARADISE KUSHLEFSKY, HELICOPTER CRASH WITNESS: I was in the conference floor on the 38th floor of my firm, Wilke Farr & Gallagher, with another colleague, and we were talking, and then out of nowhere, the whole room shook, and it was --
COOPER: Actually felt the room shake?
KUSHLEFSKY: A hundred percent felt the room physically shake around us. We both bolted up out of our seats.
COOPER: So, you were on the 38th floor. The top floor is 51.
KUSHLEFSKY: Yes, might even be 54.
COOPER: Oh, 54.
COOPER: So almost 20 floors.
KUSHLEFSKY: Almost 20 floors and felt it immediately.
[20:20:00] And we ran out of the conference room and other people were running out of their offices as well, and --
COOPER: What do you think it was?
KUSHLEFSKY: My first thought was two things -- one, it's another terrorist attack, or it was an earthquake. And either way, all that went through my head was "I need to get out of this building." So, it was a very scary moment --
COOPER: And everybody else had come out of their offices as well?
KUSHLEFSKY: Everyone came out, did you feel that? Did you feel that? What was it?
One partner came out of his office and said, I saw debris falling outside my window."
COOPER: Really? Wow.
KUSHLEFSKY: So, that's when we said, we've got to get out of here.
COOPER: Because that's one of the lucky things about this is there wasn't a lot of debris. The mayor said some debris fell, but in an area that wouldn't hurt anybody.
KUSHLEFSKY: Yes, yes, thankfully.
COOPER: So, how did you get out of the -- what happened next?
KUSHLEFSKY: So, I ran to my office, grabbed my things. And at that time, it was instant. This was all within a few minutes. People -- someone had gone down to the lobby already in the elevator, called up to another person at my firm and said the elevator's fine. So, a bunch of us got into the elevator, packed. Our elevator is a dedicated elevator, so it pretty much went right to the lobby very quickly. A lot of other people started hitting the stairwells, and --
COOPER: Did you have any fear of getting in the elevator? Because they always say --
KUSHLEFSKY: I did. I know, they always say don't go in the elevator. And you just never know how you're going to act in a moment of panic and it just seemed to me, someone said it was OK, that's the fastest way out of here, I don't want to be stuck in the stairwell, and that's what we did. We got out.
COOPER: To your knowledge, was there an old landing pad on the roof?
KUSHLEFSKY: I believe there was a helipad on the roof of that building.
COOPER: Really? Because New York stopped allowing helicopters to land on helipads, I think it was after the Pan-Am disaster.
COOPER: So, that's interesting, you think there may have been one.
KUSHLEFSKY: I think there was one on the top of our building, but I don't know for sure.
COOPER: In a situation like this, do you just go home? Do you --
KUSHLEFSKY: Well, a lot of people were standing outside waiting to see what happened, are we going to go back in to work today, are they going to let us in? No one knew what happened.
Then somebody said I heard a plane crashed into the building. I grabbed another colleague I was with, and I said, that's it, we're not going back to work today. I'm not standing around waiting for further instructions. We're going home.
KUSHLEFSKY: And you know, oddly enough, got a cab in the pouring rain in New York City relatively quickly and made it home safely.
COOPER: Well, I'm glad, you know, I'm glad everybody in the building was safe. And obviously, there's a lot to be learned about what happened, and particularly about why this chopper was in that area. Because I mean, you never hear choppers flying over that part of Manhattan.
KUSHLEFSKY: No, I think it's restricted air space, and in this weather, too, today, it's -- I don't know, it's very strange, but --
COOPER: Well, I'm glad you're OK.
KUSHLEFSKY: Thank you.
COOPER: Thanks. Thanks so much for coming.
COOPER: We have new details next on the president's agreement with Mexico, the claims he is making about secret new deals and the apparent reality that there's really nothing new under the sun, despite what he claims. Keeping him honest, next.
[20:27:11] COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, when confronted with reporting that little of the deal he made with Mexico was actually new and much of it was agreed two months ago, President Trump late today tripled down on the unspecified and as yet unfounded claim he doubled down on just this morning and first made actually over the weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, we have an agreement on something that they will announce very soon. It's all done. And they have to get approval, and they will get approval. If they don't get approval, we'll have to think in terms of tariffs. I don't think they'll be denying it very long. It's all done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He did not say what is all done, just as he didn't in his tweet this morning. Quoting the president: We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the immigration and security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years. It will be revealed in the not too distant future and will need a vote by Mexico's legislative body.
Again, no specifics there, which would be one thing if suspicions hadn't been raised on Saturday in reporting by "The New York Times'" Michael Shear and Maggie Haberman. Michael Shear joins us momentarily.
Briefly put, their story says, and quoting the lead -- the deal to avert tariffs that President Trump announced with great fanfare on Friday night consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions with the U.S. over the past several months, according to officials from both countries who are familiar with the negotiations.
In other words, whatever might be coming down the pike when it comes to what has already transpired, all the drama, all the talks, all the threats of what amounts to waging economic warfare on a major trading partner and ally were all about nothing, and the president's reaction has been, mm, volcanic. Yesterday evening, he tweeted: The failing "The New York Times" story on Mexico and illegal immigration through our southern border has now been proving shockingly false and untrue. Bad reporting and the paper's embarrassed by it.
Early this morning he tweeted: We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the security and immigration deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for years. It will be revealed in the not too distant future.
Now, keeping them honest, if "The Times" is embarrassed about its reporting, it didn't stop the paper or anyone from building on it today when Mexico's foreign minister went public. Their lead this time -- the Mexican foreign minister said Monday that no secret immigration deal existed between his country and the United States, directly contradicting President Trump's claim on Twitter that he fully signed and documented agreement would be revealed soon.
So, not only is that pesky paper they call the Great Lady confirming their own reporting that there's no secret immigration deal, their on the record source is the Mexican government, same Mexican government that's, you know, the only other partner in this dance. Now, is it possible something actually is in the works with the
Mexican foreign minister's not aware of it? Maybe. Or that they don't want it known they agreed to something? Also possible.
But the president also offered no evidence, and you know, he does have a track record on this type of thing, one that doesn't exactly lend itself to taking it on faith. One that's long on stoking fires and then claiming credit for putting them out. He did it with Kim Jong-un, first the fire and fury, and then this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, he did it with the wall, this time claiming credit for a fire that was dying long before he even took office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime, one of the highest in the entire country and considered one of our nation's most dangerous cities. Now, immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, what wall there is was already in place when he said that, and what crime there is was already low? This time, who knows?
Joining us now, Michael Shear, White House Correspondent for "The New York Times" and CNN Political Analyst. So, Michael, do you have any idea what the President is talking about here, what this coming announcement is, because the Mexican foreign minister certainly doesn't seem to.
MICHAEL SHEAR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, it's a bit of a mystery. There's -- you know, the closest that we can get in terms of speculating what he is talking about is an agreement that the American negotiators last week pressed for repeatedly and the Mexicans refused, which is a kind of overhaul of the asylum rules that would have forced migrants that are trying to reach the United States to claim asylum, to claim asylum first in Mexico.
And if they don't do that, then the United States would have the legal right to refuse them entirely, saying that you'd have to apply for asylum first there. That's something that the two countries have been fighting about for a long time. The Mexicans refused to do that.
Is it possible that, you know, since then, they've sort of secretly agreed to do it? That's possible, though, again, asked that, the Mexican Foreign Minister Ebrard said this morning that that wasn't the case, that Mexico hadn't agreed to it.
So you'd have to assume that the foreign minister of Mexico in a public press conference to the world is lying about what his government had agreed to, to believe that they have some secret agreement.
Now, the truth is, what they have agreed to, from what we can tell, is to keep talking, so that if the number of migrants don't reduce that are coming across the border, the Mexican government, from what we can tell, did agree to keep talking about this 45 days from now, 90 days from now, but that's a far cry from what the President has been tweeting and talking about.
COOPER: And just to be clear, is "The New York Times," in fact, embarrassed by your reporting, and has it been proven shockingly false and untrue, as the President says?
SHEAR: We're totally -- we're completely not embarrassed by it. And, look, there is nothing that we reported in the Sunday -- that I reported in the Sunday piece that has been proven false at all.
In fact, you know, I had been doing reporting for weeks, if not months, about the things that the governments, the two governments had been agreeing to, you know, to try to combat the problem of migrants coming up from Guatemala and El Salvador and Honduras.
And the truth is, American officials had been telling me for weeks, long before this tariff fight ever erupted, that one of the things that they had been most hopeful about were some of these agreements that they'd put in place last December and again in March to try to, you know, to try to stop some of this flow.
And so the fact that the President came out on Friday night and touted the very things that we had been hearing about for weeks and months seemed to us to be contrary to the idea that this was a big new achievement that had been reached because of the tariff threat.
COOPER: So did the tariff threat have any effects at all, or was this, as you said, I mean, at least big parts of it completed months ago?
SHEAR: Yes. Look, I think one of the things that has also been true over the past six months, but also the last two and a half years that the Trump administration has been in office, is a frustration that the Mexican government makes promises and then sort of slow-walks them, doesn't follow through or doesn't follow through aggressively enough.
And so what -- the case that the administration officials I've talked to over the last couple of days have made is that the tariff threat sort of lit a fire underneath the feet of the Mexicans and that they are more hopeful. And the President has said in his tweets, that he is more hopeful that now the Mexicans will really follow through, and it's entirely possible that that's the case.
That we will see the deployment of troops and the willingness to accept asylum seekers back into Mexico, that that will accelerate and that some of the frustration that the American officials have had over the past few months that there, that some of these initiatives haven't been moving as quickly as they would have liked, that that will be better. But that's not to say that they're new initiatives.
[20:35:11] COOPER: All right. Michael Shear, appreciate it, always. Thank you.
COOPER: Our Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta has, as you know, certainly had run-ins, you could say, with the Trump administration. Coming up, I'm going to talk with Jim about his new book chronicling what it's like to cover a chief executive who's routinely calling the press the enemy of the people.
COOPER: So, it's not exactly a secret that CNN's Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta has had a contentious relationship with the Trump White House, which is part of the job, but not always to this degree.
It wasn't all that long ago that the White House pulled his press credentials, you may remember, after President Trump called him "terrible." CNN successfully sued the administration. Jim's access was restored.
Now, Jim's written a book, it is out tomorrow. It's called "The Enemy of the People," referring to a phrase the President has used to characterize all of the press. Jim is with me now.
Did you -- when you started being a White House correspondent, I mean, did you ever expect to be in such a battle with an administration? I mean, obviously, it's always an antagonistic relationship in some ways.
[20:40:03] JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right, no. And I mean, I never anticipated this. I mean, we saw some of this during the campaign, right? Remember, Anderson, when he referred to us as the disgusting news media, the dishonest news media and so on, and then that rolled right into the administration.
And there were some pundits out there who thought, well, maybe the weight of the presidency will calm, the President down and he'll go back to being a more traditional president.
COOPER: And he talked about changing his tones or something during the campaign.
ACOSTA: Yes, and it never really happened. But, then he called us fake news and more recently the enemy of the people. And what I wanted to say with this book, Anderson, is I've got kids and I don't want my kids growing up in a country where the press is called the enemy of the people. Not just you and I, but all of the people who are working in this room right now, all the folks who go to these campaign events. And what's happening, Anderson, is a lot of the President's supporters, not all of them, many of them are wonderful people. I have a great time with them when I'm out on the campaign trail, but some of them absorb this hostility and then lash out at us in ways that make us feel endangered.
And I'm worried that we're going to have a day where a journalist is going to get hurt or possibly killed, and at that point, you know, we've crossed the line. This country has become a part of a group of nations around the world where the press is not safe to do its job. And the question that I want to ask folks with this book is, is that the road we want to go down as a country?
COOPER: It's interesting because, I mean, I've never had more people come up to me and just say, you know, keep doing what you're doing. And they're not talking to me particularly, they're saying as a representative of the media and I'm sure you find the same thing.
COOPER: But I've seen you at Trump rallies with people who were yelling at you at one moment and then asking you to take pictures with you the next.
ACOSTA: Right. There's a little bit of that. And I write in the book, it's a little bit between being the bad guy at a pro wrestling event and the actual enemy of the people. And we run into folks at these events who will come up to us and say, "Jim, I'm really sorry that that happened to you." And that whole spectrum is there. Then there are folks who come up to us and say, "Listen, I'm going to come after you out in the parking lot, you'd better get out of here," kind of thing.
And, you know, Anderson, we leave these rallies sometimes with security around us heading out to our cars and we're in a hurry getting back to our cars because we're concerned about our safety and security.
COOPER: You've been accused, as you are well aware, of making yourself part of the story, of you know, antagonizing them to get a sound bite, to have an exchange.
ACOSTA: Right, and I've heard that. And my response to that is, look, we've been thrust into sort of an unprecedented situation. The President of the United States, according to "The Washington Post," has made approximately 10,000 false or misleading statements since he's been President.
That has put us in the position of being fact-checkers in real time, and that frustrates the White House, frustrates his team, frustrates his supporters. But my goodness, Anderson, can you imagine if we spent the last two years never fact-checking him and letting all these statements fly? We took "Keeping Them Honest" off the screen on "AC360"? We can't do that.
COOPER: It's also a difficult thing to do is how much do you fact- check, because there are so many things you could in any given speech. Fact-check, you could do it all and you would spend all of your time just on the minutia and miss sort of bigger pictures or other issues. It's always a balance.
ACOSTA: I agree with that. And that was one of the challenges in writing this book, because you could go down all of these different rabbit holes and live down there for the rest of your life.
And what I wanted to do is sort of take the big-picture view on this and say, is this the kind of country we want to hand off to the next generation, where we're now comfortable from here on out saying that the press is the enemy of the people.
And to our friends in conservative media, Anderson, I say this, it is no guarantee that you get to stay in power forever. And so, another administration could come in and do the very same thing to them and say, well, Donald Trump did it. Guess what, we're going to do it to you guys, too.
COOPER: Right, two states of emergency executive, you know, ruling by executive power --
ACOSTA: That's right.
COOPER: -- when the shoe's on the other foot if they're going to like that.
COOPER: Jim Acosta, thank you very much. "Enemy of the People" out tomorrow.
ACOSTA: Thank you.
COOPER: The title, "Enemy of the People," as I said, out tomorrow. There's the cover of it. I'm going to get my copy tonight or tomorrow, I guess.
Just ahead for us tonight, the latest on the condition of baseball superstar David Ortiz. This is just awful, shot in the back last night at a nightclub in the Dominican Republic. One suspect is now in custody.
[20:48:15] COOPER: The baseball superstar David Ortiz is on his way to Boston tonight for further medical treatment less than a day after being shot in the back while at a nightclub in Santo Domingo in his native Dominican Republic.
The surveillance footage shows the moment when Ortiz actually collapses to the floor. Police say the bullet went through his stomach into portions of some internal organs. His gallbladder and intestines were damaged.
Ortiz is 43 years old. He played 14 seasons for the Boston Red Sox before retiring as one of the most impactful players in Major League Baseball. His overall condition, however, is not known. We wish him the best.
It's time now to check in with Chris to see what he's working on for "Cuomo Prime Time." I know you're a big sports fan of this. You know, I'm not a big sports fan, but even I know about David Ortiz and it's -- I mean this is unbelievable.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, you know, "Big Papi" has earned a reputation. He's big in every way, big to the game, big to the fans, and obviously, big to someone who intentionally came up and shot him. The circumstances are heavily suggestive of a premeditated act.
The suspect that they did capture was running away right after at single shot, no dialogue. I mean, everything about it suggests that this was intentional on him. Why, we have to find out.
You know, they had said originally it was a through-and-through wound, which ordinarily gives you a little bit of a hope that, you know, it didn't get stuck in something. Those are the most dangerous wounds.
But as you said, you know, when it goes through different parts of different organs, they are lucky that they got him back to Boston, some of the best medical care in the world is available in that city.
CUOMO: So, but the big question, obviously, is why.
COOPER: Yes. What are you working on for us tonight?
CUOMO: Big guests. Bill Maher is here, and he talks about why he -- the President was right, he is sick of all the President's winning, and what he talks about his concerns about this President, especially one that he has about what happens after this election, and his concerns about the Democrats, and his concerns about the media.
[20:50:10] You know he's got a new residency in Vegas at the Mirage. So, you know, he is very much into delivering a message to the American people and it's a strong one.
We also have the DHS acting secretary on tonight, Kevin McAleenan. He's going to be talking to Congress tomorrow. What's the truth about the border, about who is denying him the help he wants and what is this other deal that's coming?
COOPER: I saw Bill Maher in Vegas, actually, years ago. It was great. It was really good.
CUOMO: Well, he's there again. He reminds me of you a little bit.
COOPER: You know what, people say that. I don't know how to interpret that.
CUOMO: You're so handsome that it's not fair to compare anyone to you, obviously. But, there's a little bit. You know what it is? Its how you sound, not how you speak, not the things that you say, obviously. You're very different people in terms of how you communicate, but the sound of the voice is similar. You know, he was born here in the city. He was raised out in Jersey but he's from the city.
COOPER: I feel like you're digging yourself deeper. Anyway, Chris, thank you, I guess.
CUOMO: I said the good-looking thing. I mean, wasn't that little fun?
COOPER: All right, see you in a few minutes.
CUOMO: Is it all gravy after that?
COOPER: It is. It's all I heard, actually, frankly.
Still more to come, Donald Trump, Joe Biden in Iowa tomorrow. We're going to bring you the state of the race from the people in Iowa who know it best, the voters, ahead.
COOPER: President Trump and Joe Biden are both in Iowa tomorrow, both with a sale to make the voters there. For the President, it's his tariff fight, for Biden, that he's still the frontrunner.
[20:55:02] The former vice president's appearance comes after his Democratic opponents, they spent the weekend in Iowa kind of (INAUDIBLE) him, although not by name as basically too middle of the road.
It also coincides with the new poll from CNN and the Des Moines Register, Biden is at 24 points, just 8 points ahead of Sanders. Typically at national polls, Biden supported in the 30s with a double digit lead. Now, also this poll was conducted before Biden's flip flop on abortion in the Hyde Amendment.
So with Iowa once again at the center of the political universe, our correspondent Randi Kaye got together some voters there, three Republicans, three Democrats, and four independents, to get their thoughts on the state of the race right now.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): How many of you, just raise your hand, are considering voting for Donald Trump? Four. And how many of you are considering voting for Joe Biden?
(voice-over) For these 10 voters in Des Moines, Iowa, campaign season is already in full swing. Republican Frank Moran voted for Trump in 2016 and plans to again.
FRANK MORAN, IOWA VOTER: The economy is booming. We're -- I just feel that everything that I've been wanting to have done is being done. KAYE (on camera): Heather, why do you like Donald Trump?
HEATHER HALTERMAN, IOWA VOTER: He's working on border control, which I think is really important.
KAYE (voice-over): This life-long independent voter is also supporting Trump.
LARRY REINSCH, IOWA VOTER: I'll vote for somebody who's going to protect and defend the constitution.
KAYE (on camera): And, Cecil, as an independent, you're not considering voting Republican at all?
CECIL WHITE, IOWA VOTER: Oh, no, not at all.
KAYE (voice-over): Of the Democrats and independents in this group, only one is already sold on Joe Biden despite his frontrunner status.
NOAH HAMOUD, IOWA VOTER: He can do a good job of bringing the country together. If we can move past rhetoric and we can bring someone who is more respected worldwide, I think we can have a better country from that.
TANNER HALLERAN, IOWA VOTER: I am not as big a fan of Joe Biden. I would probably say I support Pete Buttigieg.
KATIE CARLSON, IOWA VOTER: Something that has really bothered me about Joe Biden is the way that he has responded to the allegations by women.
KAYE: Some men in the group are turned off by the same issue.
WHITE: I didn't like his idea that OK -- it's OK to just go up to a woman and smell her hair and say -- I mean, who -- come on, who does that.
KAYE: Republican voter Haley Ledford will be voting in her first presidential election and plans to support Trump for now.
(on camera) Would you ever consider not voting for Donald Trump given some of the things that he has said about women or his attitude towards women?
HALEY LEDFORD, IOWA VOTER: If there was a Republican candidate who represented my personal morals and believes, yes, I would choose them over Donald Trump if they were a strong candidate.
REINSCH: Many people realize they hired a wealthy guy that's common to have a supermodel on his arm. That's his lifestyle. That's actually irrelevant. It's about how they're going to defend our constitution, defend our borders and our sovereignty and tell us the truth even if it's rough, laced with cut words. We don't want the political correct message. We want the truth. We don't need the smoke blowing up our skirt. CARLSON: I don't know how you can possibly paint that broad of a brush and just say not only Republicans but just Americans are pleased with who we have. As a woman, it is frustrating, depressing and frightening to hear people just brush aside the misogynous things that Donald Trump has done.
KAYE (voice-over): She likes Pete Buttigieg.
CARLSON: I think he's inspiring. He has a message that can restore the unity that we're looking for. I think as a veteran too, he would represent us well across the world.
KAYE: This Democratic voter likes Elizabeth Warren.
AUDREY MCCOMBS, IOWA VOTER: She is smart. She gets things done. I also like the fact that she is not a middle aged white guy.
KAYE: While many in this group have a long way to go in deciding, those supporting Trump are dug in.
(on camera) Heather, does it bother you that the President lies?
HALTERMAN: I think a little, yes. I mean, yes, it does.
KAYE: But that doesn't make you want to vote for him?
HALTERMAN: It doesn't. It doesn't change my vote for him.
COOPER: And Randi joins me now. So do you get a sense of how locked in those voters were to their candidates?
KAYE: Well, Anderson, the Trump supporters are certainly locked in. The others, not so much, there seems to be some wiggle room there. As far as Joe Biden goes, they want to hear more from him.
They think that he's taking his frontrunner status for granted. They don't think he's making enough of an effort to talk to them. One person said to me that he thinks that Joe Biden is acting like he has it in the bag. They don't like that.
I also -- they told me also that they want to hear more from him, they want him to explain the criticism that he faced from all of these women before they could even consider voting for him, they said.
But having said that, I did ask them if Joe Biden is indeed the nominee, would you vote for him? And they said absolutely they would vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is. They just don't feel inspired by Joe Biden the way that some of them do by someone and like Pete Buttigieg.
And they also feel Biden has baggage and they're not sure that he can take that all the way to beat Donald Trump. So they're looking for inspiration and hope and they're not getting it yet from Joe Biden, Anderson. COOPER: All right, Randi. Randi, thanks very much.
That's it for us. The news continues. I want to hand it over to Chris for "Cuomo Prime Time." Chris?
CUOMO: All right, thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to "Prime Time."