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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Top Lawmakers Just Briefed On Iran's Downing Of U.S. Drone; Trump On Whether U.S. Will Go To War: "You'll Find Out"; Trump On Whether U.S. Will Go TO War: "You'll Find Out"; Iran: We Are "Totally Ready And Prepared For War"; Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) Is Interviewed About Iran's Action To Shot Down U.S. Drone; U.S. Just Military Released Coordinated Of Where It Says U.S. Drone Was Flying When Shot Down By Iran; U.S. Releases Coordinates, Flight Path On Drone Downed By Iran; Dems: Trump Admin Lawyers Blocked Hope Hicks From Answering Questions During Hearing 155 Times; Dems: Trump Admin Lawyers Blocked Hope Hicks 155 Times; Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) is Interviewed about the Hope Hicks Interview; Biden Called Booker About Segregationist Senators Remarks. Aired on 7-8p ET
Aired June 20, 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: ... America Crumbles, The Infrastructure Crisis. To our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, President Trump doesn't rule out war with Iran after it shoots down an American drone. Iran releasing what it says is proof that the United States violated Iranian airspace. What is the U.S. response? Plus, breaking news, just released the transcript of Hope Hicks' nearly eight hours of testimony. She describes the President's orders as odd and splits with him on getting dirt from Russia. And UFOs, senators receiving a classified briefing about encounters with unidentified flying objects. Yes. What did they learn? Let's go out front.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, top lawmakers and the President have just been briefed at the White House after Iran shot down an American drone. The Pentagon says the drone was flying over international waters in the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz when it was brought down, so you can see there the location there right there in the narrow Strait of Hormuz. It is about the same area where the United States has Iran attack to oil tankers with explosives. The Pentagon calling it an unprovoked attack and the President of the United States put war on the table.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, how will you respond?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You'll find out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you will to go to war with Iran over this? TRUMP: You'll find out. You'll find out. I mean, obviously, we're
not going to be talking too much about it. You're going to find out. They made a very big mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Pretty big threat there from the leader of the United States of America. But then in nearly the same breath, Trump then tried to give Iran an out seeming to suggest that it really all was just a mistake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have a feeling, I may be wrong, and I may be right, but I'm right a lot. I have a feeling that it was a mistake made by somebody that shouldn't been doing what they did. I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But it was no mistake. Iran released a video that they say shows the drone being blown out of the sky, so they pause and someone took a video. And in an email I received from Iran's mission to the United Nations, Iran says that they did do it on purpose. In fact, they wrote that they quote targeted the intruding aircraft.
And the foreign minister of Iran, hardly a loose and stupid person, put out the coordinates where Iran says the drone was infringing on its territory, so this was not a mistake. Moments after shooting the drone down, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards warning Iran, quote, completely and totally ready and prepared for war. A war that to dramatically understate the situation would be devastating.
The growing tensions with Iran come as the United States does not have a secretary of defense. In fact, the U.S. is transitioning from one acting defense secretary to another acting right now. Abby Phillip is out front live outside the White House, Fred Pleitgen is live tonight in Tehran.
I want to start with Abby. And Abby, the President's strategy here not at all clear saying, "It was a big mistake," and then, "Oh, maybe someone just made a mistake."
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, the President is no stranger to talking tough in situations like that. But being a lot more hesitant when it comes to taking action, particularly military action. And in this case, the President has been the person in his own administration trying to put the brakes on what seems to be this march toward conflict with Iran and it's putting him at odds with his own advisors, his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, his National Security Advisor, John Bolton, who's basically staked his career on this idea of confronting Iran militarily.
And so President Trump today really expressed kind of an unbelievable amount of skepticism about what happened here. And as you pointed out, it seems to fly on the face of what even his own administration is saying about what happened but it reflects what he's been saying privately to his advisors, which is that, in his view, this may not be enough to precipitate war with Iran, though he is never one to take all of that off of the table.
At the end of the day, what he has to decide now is, is there something some kind of action that he can take that would be short of war, perhaps, but that might send a message to Iran that this kind of behavior is unacceptable? We don't know what that is, but that is the decision that faces President Trump tonight as he's getting pressure from the hawks, both within his administration and his outside advisors as well, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you, Abby. And let's go to Fred Pleitgen in Tehran tonight. So Fred, Iran is being really clear here. They are not saying this was a mistake as President Trump tried to seemingly give them the out of saying.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right, Erin. We've been looking to see whether or not there might be any Iranian officials would be trying to walk this back or sort of indicating that this might have been some sort of error or some sort of mistake. There doesn't seem to be a single one that we've seen at all the whole day.
And if you look at that video that the Iranians put out of them, launching those missiles and you listen to the voices on that video, those don't seem like the voices of people who feel like they've just made a big mistake and shot down the wrong aircraft. Those seem to be people who are celebrating the fact that they've just hit that drone.
[19:05:13] Now, the Iranians, as you said, they absolutely deliberately shot the drone down, because they believe that it was in their airspace in their airspace. We checked out that tweet from the Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and the coordinates that he gave there. If that were to be correct, that's about nine miles off the coast of Iran, which would put it within Iranian territorial waters and, of course, Iranian airspace as well.
Of course, as you say, the U.S. has a very different view saying that it was in international airspace, but the Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is the unit that came out and shot this drone down, it was their air defense system that did this. They came out very shortly afterwards and also said that their airspace is a red line. They say that the drone infringed on their airspace and then gave a strong warning to the United States saying that this was definitely a signal to the U.S. that this is the way as they put it, that Iran deals with its enemies.
So Iranians and no way walking this back saying the drone infringe on their airspace. That's why they did this. And finally, Erin, one more important thing from the Foreign Minister, he also said that the Iranians recovered some of the debris from that drone, so we're going to wait and see whether the Iranians are going to show that on TV or maybe to us in the next couple of days. We'll definitely keep you posted on that as well. BURNETT: Well, that'll be key. In the past, obviously, they have
probably paraded when they got a drone the last time. Thank you very much, Fred. And let's go now to Democratic Congressman Andy Levin, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Congressman, I appreciate your time. So from what you have been told, are you clear on what happened here or not?
REP. ANDY LEVIN (D-MI): Erin, I haven't got a classified briefing on it yet, so some of the details I'm not clear about especially like whose airspace it was in and so forth, so we're waiting for those details.
BURNETT: So I want to play what the President said today about who's responsible. Part of this I played and I want to add a little bit more of what the President said. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think they made a mistake and I'm not just talking the country made a mistake, I think that somebody under the command of that country made a big mistake.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you saying you think it wasn't intentional to strike the drone?
TRUMP: I don't know. I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth. I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it. We'll be able to report back and you'll understand exactly what happened, but it was a very foolish move, that I can tell you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It's interesting, Congressman. There he sounds like he's trying to act like, "Well, if it was someone low down or a mistake, maybe I don't need to gear up about it."
LEVIN: Right. Right.
BURNETT: But it's clear from how Iran is responding with the coordinates with the foreign minister, with the head of the Revolutionary Guards, with a video where they're clearly celebrating and not saying, "Oh, no." It is clear that this was not a mistake, so why do you think he's responding that way?
LEVIN: Erin, I don't know why the President's responding that way. I hope he's trying to leave room to walk back the steady escalation that the United States has engaged in. But we need to look at Iran from first principles. Iran talks like this all of the time. It's a very proud country. I don't think that they're going to back down easily. We need to stop escalating and we need to have a sober and serious foreign policy here and not just go from crisis to crisis.
So the President does not have authorization from the United States Congress to go to war with Iran. I've introduced a bill, the AUMF Clarification Act to make that perfectly clear, but our caucus is united in the observation that if the President wants to start a war with Iran, he'd have to come to us, the article one body and ask for permission for that.
So we need to look at what have we gotten out of this President's foreign policy. He withdrew from the nuclear agreement that was working according to the intelligence of our country, the intelligence of Israel and so forth. What have we gotten for that? Nothing. And this kind of steady ratcheting up that we see from Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo has got to stop and we need to have a more sober foreign policy here.
BURNETT: So what happens at this point, though, because the news right now is that the U.S. military is responding and I want to be clear here, Iran says that the drone was Iranian airspace and the Foreign Minister Javad Zarif treated his timeline today. He said the drone took off from the UAE in stealth mode, violated airspace, and he put out the exact coordinates, okay?
As you heard Fred, those coordinates would be in Iranian territory. He put out a map. But now the Pentagon just moments ago, now they have taken all day to do this and I sort of wondered why because they were quick to get coordinates and the U.S. did not. But now they have just put them out for the first time and theirs, of course, put it 17 nautical miles from Iran's shoreline in international waters as opposed to the 9 miles in Iranian airspace as they put out coordinates.
So here's going to be the big question, are we going to be able to prove where it was? How much is this going to matter when it comes to the United States' response?
[19:10:29] LEVIN: Well, we cannot have Iran shooting down American drones, that's not acceptable. So the question is, how do we respond to this no matter, as you say, no matter where exactly it was. It was obviously very close to Iranian airspace or in Iranian airspace. I have a lot of confidence in our intelligence services, so when I get briefed properly, then I'll feel like I know that.
BURNETT: But you trust them, when they put out the coordinates, putting it in international airspace, you would trust the Pentagon over the Iranian coordinates.
LEVIN: I would want to get briefed directly about it, because the civil leadership in the Pentagon and in the State Department have not always been factual with us, whereas the intelligence briefers have been, so we want to get that clear. But here's the main thing. Let's talk about the United States relationship with Iran and how we should handle this.
The American people do not want to go to war with Iran, what's the cause and effect here? How have we gotten to this point? We've gotten to this point because the U.S. withdrew from a treaty that all of the other countries stayed in, all of our allies. We've been acting unilaterally. We've been saber-rattling, escalating the rhetoric and we need to be more responsible and I hope the President's sort of rhetoric today is an indication that that's the direction he wants to go.
BURNETT: All right. Congressman, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
LEVIN: Thank you so much, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, more details on what the U.S. just released about the drone that Iran shot down. So what was the flight path? We're going to show you those exact coordinates. Obviously, they are not in agreement. Plus breaking news, the transcript of Hope Hicks' testimony just released what we are learning about one interaction with the President she described as odd. And Vice President Joe Biden about to come face-to-face with black voters in South Carolina. What do they think about his remarks about segregationist senators?
[19:16:14] BURNETT: Breaking news, U.S. military just releasing the coordinates of where it says the U.S. drone was flying when it was shot down by Iran. Now, those coordinates are provided by the military and they show the drone was in international airspace which, of course, directly contradicts what Iran put out. Their direct coordinates show the drone clearly in Iranian airspace when they shot it down.
Kylie Atwood is out front live in Washington. And Kylie, you're just getting this information, what do the coordinate show?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY REPORTER: Well, that's right, Erin. We are learning from the U.S. military now their version of the facts here. They put out these coordinates that show that the U.S. drone that was shot down is actually shot down about nine nautical miles from where the Iranians said they targeted that drone,
The Trump administration is also putting out some more information, the full flight path of this U.S., and that does not at all cross over the coordinates that the Iranians have given out for where they say that drone entered into Iranian airspace which is why they say that they shot it down.
Now, the problem here is that we have some conflicting sources of information. They don't overlap with one another and as the White House is determining how they are going to respond, however, the bottom line is that this U.S. drone was shot down, the Iranians have claimed responsibility, and the Trump administration has not yet been clear in terms of how they are going to respond. They're considering their options tonight.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kylie. And let's go now to former Army Commanding General for Europe and the 7th Army, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling and State Department Spokesperson under President Obama, Nayyera Haq.
So General Hertling, let me start with you. We now have coordinates coming out from the Pentagon. Obviously, it took 13 hours for them, 14 hours for them to do this after the Iranians. Can you think of why that would be, why it would take so long for us to hear their proof or their side of the story here?
MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I can't, Erin. And that's going to be the interesting piece of conversation in all of this. The Iranians are winning the information war. They have already submitted a letter to the United Nations through their foreign minister saying this is what happened, that was submitted several hours ago. We're late to the ballgame on this.
The briefing by the military, unfortunately, this afternoon was not candid, it was not transparent. They took no questions and now we're getting a read of the coordinates when the Global Hawk can actually give you a screenshot of where it is. So having someone read me the latitude longitude of where the aircraft was is going to be questioned by a lot of people. We have to show proof to the United Nations in order to fight this fight.
BURNETT: So this is the question, Nayyera, because I don't know if you just heard Congressman Levin, a Democrat from Michigan, when I asked him, "Okay, well would you say that you wouldn't trust the Pentagon's coordinates?" He made a very explicit point.
HERTLING: He did.
BURNETT: He suggested, look, there's political leadership now from this administration that he does question. He wouldn't question a thinking from the intelligence ...
HERTLING: Yes, unfortunately ...
HERTLING: ... yes, we're in that status now when both sides are questioning the other in terms of transparency and it's based on what has happened in the past when dishonesty, a lack of integrity, a lack of candor and transparency has been the norm of the day. So now you're seeing even Democratic congressmen question the Pentagon in terms of what they're delivering.
So I think we have to be a little bit more open with press briefings, with questions and answers across the board in the administration. You are reaping what we sow right now on the international community where if a Democratic Congressman doesn't trust us, imagine what our allies and partners think about us.
BURNETT: I mean, Nayyera, what do you make of that that there's questioning of the coordinates given that it could have come from the politically appointed leadership as opposed to the intelligence?
[19:20:12] NAYYERA HAQ, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yes. This is a direct result of the incoherent foreign policy that the Trump administration has put forward. Listen, they have not been transparent that we have not had a Pentagon briefing on camera in over almost a year.
You had the State Department podium, had the spokesperson there talking about how Iran needs to abide by the nuclear deal. This is the same deal that the United States pulled out of and then you have the National Security Advisor talking about regime change along with the Secretary of State and we're unaware what Trump considers himself.
At this point he's framed himself as a president who shoots from the hip, who goes with his gut, who does not read briefings. He doesn't have a Secretary of Defense, really any close circle of advisers that he relies on for foreign policy information. So we're now all waiting to see if this downing of the drone is indeed the redline that will trigger a military U.S. response.
BURNETT: So General Hertling, let me ask you about this. The drone that we understand, I mean, it's not a small toy. I mean, let's be clear. This is one of most sophisticated reconnaissance vehicles that the United States has. The RQ-4A Global Hawk, $110 million costs for each one of these things that now was shot down.
So I got an email from the Iranian ambassador to the UN and I was told the drone, quote, had turned off its identification equipment and engaged in a clear spying operation despite repeated radio warnings, it entered into the Iranian airspace. So my question to you is would all of this have been logged somewhere? I mean, isn't all of this provable?
HERTLING: It is. It's also a little bit flaky on the part of the Iranians. And let me just caveat everything I'm saying. The Iranians are malign actors, they foment distrust and disagreement and conflict throughout the region. But even having said that what you're talking about are some things that they're putting in the information ecosystem right now that is going to muddy the waters.
HERTLING: You can't talk to a Global Hawk. I mean you can't send it signals if you're an enemy force. It might go into the system, but it's got to be translated to the pilots on the ground, if you will. And certainly a device like this would turn off its transponders if it is collecting this kind of data.
And remember, Erin, the other thing is this aircraft is flying between 30,000 and 50,000 feet. So when it is shot down it's also going to spread its debris all over the place so the Iranians could potentially pick up parts of this aircraft even on land if it was hit in the right way and it actually crashed to the land or sea in their area.
BURNETT: And get some really crucial information, Nayyera.
HAQ: Yes. This is the importance of the fact that it was a drone that was down and not a manned aircraft that certainly gives the president and other officials some options of how they come maneuver around this. I think the most dangerous thing that could happen right now would be for president Trump to now continue to escalate in response to the downing of a drone and seek to target something more directly in Iran that would be seen as the next level, more provocation and would potentially be off to the races at this point, so it's key to recognize that it's a drone not a manned aircraft which in and of itself would create deeper consequences.
BURNETT: So General, can I ask you just for people trying to understand the significance here, obviously, you're talking about a huge country with a huge military, one of the largest in the world. What would a war with Iran look like when the President says are you going to war and he says, "We'll see," basically, what would a war look like with Iran?
HERTLING: Well, I would start off by saying it could escalate, even a small action could escalate very quickly and I'm not using hyperbole in that, Erin. I'm concerned about this. The other thing that you have to consider, they have a huge military. They have a relatively unified population and a strong central government. They have modern equipment, they have been choked by some of the sanctions that have occurred.
But the Iranian people and especially the Iranian Republican Guard are willing to fight to the death. This will be Iraq and Afghanistan on a much larger scale. It will be complex, challenging from both an air and naval force standpoint. From a cyber standpoint, they're able to counter some of the things we do. I don't even want to think about the potential for a ground invasion because that would be catastrophic on both sides. This is the country that fought Iraq for 10 years and lost over a million people in that Iran-Iraq war.
BURNETT: Final word, Nayyera.
HAQ: And let's not forget that we are the country that is still fighting in Afghanistan for 18 years. We still have troops in Iraq, so we are stretched too thin on our front now. That's not to say the United States certainly has a strong military, strong capabilities. We can do what we need to do to defend ourselves, but at this point we have to look at the fact that there is no goal in mind with what a counter strike in Iran would be.
[19:25:00] If the goal is to eliminate their use of nuclear weapons, the deal capture that. If the goal is regime change, which is what John Bolton has always wanted, then we're in for a long haul.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. And next breaking news, the transcript of Hope Hicks' testimony just released and now we are learning what she knew about that meeting in Trump Tower. Plus, the Navy briefing senators on close encounters with UFOs. Yes, indeed briefing senators, so about what?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're going against the wind. The wind is 120 knots to the west.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:29:57] BURNETT: Breaking news, the House Judiciary Committee just releasing the transcript of its closed-door interview with President Trump's former Communications Director, Hope Hicks. An interview where Democrats say lawyers for team Trump blocked Hicks from answering a total of 155 questions but some of the questions she did answer are very revealing.
Sara Murray is OUTFRONT.
And so, Sara, what are we learning from this transcript?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, there certainly were a lot of questions dodge. I mean, Hope Hicks had two of her own attorneys. There were three attorneys from the White House, and there's one attorney from the Justice Department, all there, essentially trying to get her not to answer questions.
But you know, she was essentially confined to talking about her experience during the Trump campaign. So, one of the things we learned is that she said she had had no knowledge of this now famous Trump Tower meeting that happened in the summer of 2016. She said she didn't learn about that until the summer of 2017.
There is some suggestion in the Mueller report that she might have been privy to a meeting where Donald Trump Jr. said he had a lead on negative information. But it's not clear if during that meeting he ever made it evident that he was going to be meeting with Russians in Trump Tower.
Now, she was also asked about whether she knew about the hush money payments to women during the campaign. Remember, she actually put out a statement denying that there was any relationship between Donald Trump, then a candidate and Playboy playmate Karen McDougal. She said she had no knowledge of those hush money payments and that she was directed to make that statement that there was no relationship.
And, you know, when we got into the White House staff or when members of Congress did with her, you know, there was this incident in the Mueller report where Hope Hicks is privy to conversation where Donald Trump tells Corey Lewandowski, an adviser outside the White House go tell Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, to unrecuse himself from the Russia probe.
Hope Hicks is apparently privy to this conversation. She won't discuss any of that because it has to do with her time in the White House.
MURRAY: But afterwards upon further reflection, she found that to be odd. When members of Congress said why she felt it was odd, her lawyer said she couldn't answer the question.
BURNETT: All right. Sara, thank you very much.
I want to go to now to Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu. He was there for the questioning.
And you appear in this transcript many times, Congressman, obviously, on the Judiciary Committee. So, I know there were 155 times you asked questions she didn't answer as a committee but I actually want to start with some of what we did learn. You know, your chairman said we learned a lot. Congressman Cicilline last night said you all learned a lot about things before the president took the White House.
So, let me start with one of them this is what I want to start with here is the -- the order to Corey Lewandowski, right go to Corey Lewandowski and tell him to get Jeff Sessions to unrecuse himself, which Sarah just referenced.
So, the transcript reads, Congressman, Chairman Nadler speaks: Sitting here today, do you find it concerning the president asked Mr. Lewandowski to deliver a message to the attorney general? Ms. Hicks: Concerning would not be the word I would use to describe how I view that. Mr. Nadler: Well, in any way problematic? Ms. Hicks: I view it as odd.
What happened at that moment? What do you take away from her saying not concerning but odd?
REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): But, clearly, that was an odd incident. But more than that, it was actually the Trump administration trying to obstruct justice, as the Mueller report points out, basically, Corey Lewandowski was trying to get Jeff Sessions to unrecuse himself from the Russia investigation. And that was to allow Jeff Sessions to have more control over the investigation and the Mueller report lays that out. Hope Hicks basically confirms that that incident in fact happened.
BURNETT: And she just -- why do you think she would say odd and not concerning. She thought concerning that pejorative implications and odd didn't? Or, did you --
LIEU: Yes, that's my reading of why she said it that way. And I just want to note, that there was so much more information she could have given had the Department of Justice and White House officials not objected 155 times to the testimony.
BURNETT: So I want to ask you about something else on the hush money payments. She was asked and she answered -- my questions about some of the payments because they happened -- a part of that story happened again before the election. Payments to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels.
So from the transcript, Congresswoman Jackson Lee asks Hope Hicks: Did Mr. Trump ever direct to you make public payments about the hush money payments during the campaign? Ms. Hicks: I was directed to make a public statement denying that a relationship existed between Mr. Trump and a woman named Karen McDougal.
Jackson Lee follows up: Did you ask the president whether that was true? Ms. Hicks: Not to my recollection.
Do you believe her?
LIEU: I don't believe her, because that was such a huge fact that she was repeating on behalf of Donald Trump. And it turned out to be a massive lie.
Now, we also did ask her about the hush money payments when she realized that it was a lie. She was not able to talk about that, because she got that information while she was at the White House. And they objected to everything about her tenure at the White House.
But she did confirm that essentially Donald Trump directed her to make this massive lie to American people.
[19:35:01] BURNETT: Right, and, of course, Donald Trump knew that was a lie. Whether she followed up or not, he knew that at that time.
So, OK, 155 different times your committee says Hope Hicks did not answer questions yesterday. And this went on and within on a yesterday. And this went on and within on.
So, let me give me another example on this. Trump talking when he tried to have the former White House counsel Don McGahn get red of special counsel Robert Mueller. So, Congressman Deutch asked: Did the president tell you that he was making those calls to Mr. McGahn? Mr. Purpora, one of her lawyers, objection.
Deutch: Did you ever learn Mr. McGahn was considering resigning after that weekend as a result of the president's calls? Objection. And it continues, objection, objection, objection.
LIEU: Erin, I think --
BURNETT: Ii just said it continues objection, objection, objection. You were getting no answers.
LIEU: That is correct.
And I want to say that the unprecedented obstruction by the Trump administration isn't just to the Mueller report. It's to everything. So, for example, we want to find out why is the Trump administration suing to eliminate healthcare coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions, can't get that. We want to know answers about the census questions, can't get that.
And the Hope Hicks testimony, they came up with the absurd claim of absolute immunity which doesn't exist. No courts have ever found it. And just today, the GOP's own star witness at a judiciary hearing said that this absolute immunity does not exist.
BURNETT: So, you know, Republicans say that you and others in your party were making a mockery of the hearing. You know, things like this they point, this is you. On your first day of work at the White House, was it sunny day or cloudy day?
Mr. Purpura directs her, you can answer. Hicks: It was a cloudy.
You: during your tenure at the White House, where would you normally have lunch? Purpura: you can answer. She says, at my desk.
And then you know, you continue to -- well, where was your desk, and then there is objection.
BURNETT: What do you say when he they say you were making a mockery of this?
LIEU: I was pointing out the absurdity of their absolute immunity objections. They wouldn't even allow us to ask where her desk was located. So, I just wanted to test that and see if they would even allow us to ask was it a sunny day or not on the first day of work. That was the one question they really allowed to get through. And that's just highlighting how absurd the absolute immunity claims are.
We are sending this up on litigation. They are getting destroyed in court. We're going to call Hope Hicks back. So, essentially, all she did is basically jacked up her legal fees. She can't escape answering these questions in the future.
BURNETT: So, when the president said she was terrific and did a terrific job you say --
LIEU: Well, she did a terrific job listening to the Department of Justice officials who objected on her behalf. But soon, they're not able to do that because we are going to win this case in court.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman Lieu. I appreciate your time.
LIEU: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, Biden facing backlash after he talked about working with segregationist senators. So, what do voters think?
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just because it didn't offend me, I'm going to saying that it's right, because there was a lot of people offended by it.
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BURNETT: Plus, key senators briefed by the military on a growing number of UFO sightings.
[19:42:13] BURNETT: Tonight, the fight for 2020. So, Joe Biden called Senator Cory Booker after Biden demanded Booker apologize to him. They talked.
Now, Biden did not apologize. Booker did not apologize. Booker, along with other 2020 contenders, has been slamming Biden, after Biden said he was able to work with segregationist senators like James Eastland during a time when he said there was some, quote, civility in the Senate.
Booker demanded apology. What a horrible thing to say. Biden said, you should apologize to me.
And here we are, the controversy looming large as Democrats head to South Carolina this weekend.
Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): South Carolina will hold the first primary in the south in 2020. Most of the Democratic electorate here are African-American. And many have a living memory of segregation.
Over lunch I spoke to a father and son-in-law.
(on camera): Did you take offense to what Joe Biden said.
T.S. TATE, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: No.
SAVIDGE: How do you look at it?
TATE: I lived through what he is talking about. I knew some of the people that he is talking about. And I understood what he was saying. I don't think he meant it in a derogatory way. But what he was saying was the way that Southerners were then.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): But Driscoll Payton represents a younger generation of voters.
DRISCOLL PAYTON, SOUTHERN CAROLINA VOTER: Just because it didn't offend me, I'm not going to say that it's right, because there was a lot of people offended by it.
SAVIDGE (on camera): Do you think that younger generation looks at this differently than, say, your father-in-law?
SAVIDGE (voice-over): That could be a problem for Biden here with younger voters. He could seem to them out of touch.
But at Carolina hair studios in Columbia, Biden's popularity remains high despite the controversy, mainly because of his close association to President Barack Obama.
Tia Brannon worries the political infighting will hurt Democratic chances for victory.
TIA BRANNON, CAROLINA HAIR STUDIOS OWNER: I don't see what he said that's wrong. I think it's pitching one against the other, and that's not what we need to be concerned with.
SAVIDGE: Jacqueline Williams says race doesn't weigh into her decision.
JACQUELINE WILLIAMS, BIDEN SUPPORTER: It's not about race. It's about who is right for the job. And at this time, I think that Joe Biden is the right man for the job.
SAVIDGE: Erin, everybody we spoke to here said that Joe Biden's words didn't diminish their image of Joe Biden, either as a person or as a candidate. Some did say that the analogy probably was not a good one to use and they suggest you don't use it again in the future.
As for an apology, there were a number of voters that said he should apologize and do it right away to get the matter quickly behind him -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Martin, thank you very much.
And next Congress now receiving classified briefings on possible UFO encounters.
[19:45:01] Seriously. So why? Why now?
Plus, the director of CNN's newest original film "Apollo 11" OUTFRONT with never before seen footage of the historic moon landing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Neil and Buzz, the president of the United States is in his office now and would like to say a few words to you, over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, UFOs. The president and a group of senators all getting a classified briefing about a series of reported encounters between the Navy and UFOs.
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The grainy images captured by U.S. military pilots don't look like much. But their release by the Pentagon was more than enough to prompt a classified briefing for lawmakers, including Senator Mark Warner, vice chairman of the intelligence committee.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): One of the key takeaways I have is that the military and others are taking this issue seriously, which I think in previous generations may not have been the case.
FOREMAN: The president told ABC he has been briefed too.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The people are saying they're seeing UFOs. Do I believe it? Not particularly.
FOREMAN: Also ramping up interest, some pilots are talking describing strangely shaped aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound, dramatically changing direction, and nearly colliding with the military jet.
[19:50:11] RYAN GRAVES, FORMER NAVY FIGHTER PILOT: These objects will be out there all day. And the speed that they're exhibiting as well as the flight characteristics, there's no platform or energy source I'm aware of that could allow something to stay in the air as long as these objects were.
FOREMAN: Reports about a now defunct $20 million program to track such sightings started by Senator Harry Reid emerged a couple of years back, triggering similar interests.
LUIS ELIZONDO, DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL SECURITY, TO THE STARS ACADEMY: These aircraft, we'll call them aircraft, are displaying characteristics that are not currently within the U.S. inventory nor in any foreign inventory that we are aware of.
FOREMAN: Late night's Jimmy Kimmel has questioned former presidents about such encounters time and again.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: I'm not telling you nothing.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: I can't reveal anything.
JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: Oh, really?
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: If we were visited some day, I wouldn't be surprised. I just hope it's not like Independence Day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looking at a world-like structure in the next 36 hours.
FOREMAN: Still, if it's not that, the question remains up in the air, what is it?
FOREMAN: The military is clearly skeptical of any kind of suggestion that this has anything to do with space aliens, but amid speculation by conspiracy theorists that maybe this is some sort of advanced technology operated by a foreign government, they have launched a new procedure for pilots to report these close encounters.
As for me, Erin, I'm just going to book my summer vacation at devil's tower and watch and wait.
BURNETT: All right, Tom, thank you.
And next, never before seen footage from the moon landing. I mean, this is incredible, right, because these iconic messages. And now, we have stuff you've never seen or heard before. The director of our newest original film, "Apollo 11", is OUTFRONT.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT: Hello, Neil and Buzz. I'm talking to you by telephone from the Oval Room at the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:56:37] BURNETT: It has been nearly 50 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took that giant leap for mankind in the moon. CNN's newest original film "Apollo 11" goes inside the mission and it goes inside in a way you have not seen before, right? All those iconic images, this is all new things.
Here is a quick peek.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Neil and Buzz, the president of the United States is in his office now and would like to say a few words to you, over?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That would be an honor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead, Mr. President. This is Houston. Out.
NIXON: Hello, Neil and Buzz. I'm talking to you by telephone from the Oval Room at the White House. And this certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made from the White House. I just can't tell you how proud we all are of what you have done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Just so much of this.
Joining me now, the director of "Apollo 11", Todd Miller.
Todd, you know, this is amazing. You and I had a brief moment to talk. You spent years working on this. And, you know, we have images, all of us, of that moment, right? That one still photo that everybody thinks of, of Neil Armstrong on the moon.
But you have footage that none of us have ever seen before. So, as you were going through all of these images, no one had really ever seen before, what went through your mind? What were the feelings you had?
TODD MILLER, DIRECTOR, "APOLLO 11": It was astonishing, just seeing that clip right now. I didn't know we were going to play that. It's -- it just gets me every time because you're seeing something just like we saw it for the first time a couple years ago, in a way that you haven't experienced before. So, when we saw the very first test imagery from this large format skill collection that we scanned, you know, our jaws were just on the ground.
BURNETT: You know, it's a wonder, sense of wonder and amazement we rarely feel now.
These reels you found were put in government vaults. They were there about 50 years, right? Never would have seen the light of day again. How did you finally get access?
MILLER: Well, we had been working with NASA and the national archives. It's really a testament to the archive preservationists that worked on these materials. I mean, if you think 50 years, it's not like one person was guarding these.
MILLER: You had significant turnover and they were, luckily for us, kept in cold storage and kept in really pristine conditions.
BURNETT: So cared for it well.
MILLER: Right. It was really -- it was just waiting for technology to come along in an efficient and a cost-effective manner to be able to scan these images, so someone like me to utilize.
BURNETT: And you kind of created that technology, which is the whole amazing thing about being a filmmaker and the technology. You also found 11,000 hours of audio we never heard before, which is incredible. Here's a quick clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How far are my feet from you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll tell you, you're right at the edge of the porch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to back up, make sure to lock it on my way out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A good thought.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going home for the next couple hours. We want to take good care of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: You know, some human moments there.
MILLER: Yes, that was, I mean, that was what we were looking for, too. So much of this imagery and so much of the mission had been seen in fiction and nonfiction films before. What were those moments, those hidden moments that could allow us to tell the story in a new way and that's what we were focused on.
BURNETT: Well, it is incredible and I can't wait to see it. For anyone interested in space, as so many people are now -- thank you.
The award-winning CNN film "Apollo 11" premiers Sunday at 9:00 p.m.
Thanks for joining us.
Anderson starts now.