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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Senate Intel Report Warns Of Ongoing Election Threat As Republicans Repeatedly Block Security Bills; Rep. Bennie Thompson (D- MS) Is Interviewed About Comprehensive Election Security Briefing Received By Trump; Democrats Worried Impeachment Window Closing And May Never Materialize As Six-Week Congressional Recess Begins; Biden Getting More Aggressive As Second Debate Nears, Says He's "Not Going To Be As Polite This Time;" 132 House Republicans Vote Against Trump's Budget Deal; Health Care A Top Priority, But Dems Divided On How To Fix It. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 25, 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 HOST: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Thank you very much. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @WOLFBLITZER. Tweet the show @CNNSITROOM. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the Senate Intelligence Committee warning the government needs to do more to protect America's election. So why did Senate Republicans just blocked four election security bills? Plus, breaking news, more Democrats now say they are onboard with impeaching President Trump. But will Nancy Pelosi stick to her guns and stop impeachment proceedings? And President Trump backing a bill that many in his own party hate and it is exposing a really big broken promise. Let's go up front.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, Trump's Republicans back him on Russia. Senate Republicans blocking four bills that would bolster the security of America's elections. It's a surprising move given today. Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee released this, it's a 67-page bipartisan report on election interference and it calls for more to be done now to protect against Russian attacks. And not only that, today, the President's own FBI Director warned that Russians are still attacking the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: We expect much of the same in 2020, especially with new cyber tools that are continuing to fall in the hands of adversaries who would do us harm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Do us harm and it was just yesterday that the former Special Counsel Robert Mueller who spent two years investigating Russian interference sounded a siren's blazing alarm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. WILL HURD (R-TX): Did you find evidence that suggests they'll try to do this again?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: As we sit here. But according to the Senate intel report, again, bipartisan, Trump's team struggles to fully get it. I mean, let me just read this. This is all coming from page 10. They say the threat remains imperfectly understood. And yet they go on to write that a year ago, members from the President's intelligence team and the Department of Homeland Security told senators, I quote from this report, "There were no known threats to election infrastructure."
So they knew, they understood nothing to worry about. No threats. That's what team Trump said. But weeks later, Trump's own DHS was forced to say that that was wrong. The bipartisan report continues. "DHS assessed that 'numerous actors are regularly targeting election infrastructure.'" So there was nothing to be worried about, nothing to see and yet there was.
Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went to the Senate floor to explain why he personally objected to House legislation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): It's just a highly partisan bill from the same folks who spent two years hyping up a conspiracy theory about President Trump and Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The problem with this is, is it's impossible to retain credibility on this issue if you are using the words conspiracy theory. It is not a conspiracy theory that the Russians interfered in America's elections, 29 million Americans were impacted on Facebook, more than two dozen states attacked and, yes, the Russians wanted Donald Trump to win.
Yes. Trump's campaign chief shared polling data where the Russian operative. Trump's on son and son-in-law went to a meeting to get dirt on Clinton that they thought was from the Russian government. These are facts. They are not conspiracies, they are facts. No one should be putting politics in the way of stopping America from being attacked again.
So McConnell doesn't want to support a bill that will require campaigns to report to federal authorities any attempts by foreign entities to interfere in U.S. elections. Now, McConnell is right, if he mean you shouldn't need legislation to make sure campaigns do that, you shouldn't need legislation to make people do the right thing. But, of course, team Trump did not do the right thing and President Trump said he wouldn't do the right thing if Russia tried to help him necessarily again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS CHIEF ANCHOR: Your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on opponent, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen, there's nothing wrong with listening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But there is something wrong with listening as Bob Mueller said yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): From your testimony today, I gather that you believe that knowingly accepting foreign assistance during a presidential campaign is an unethical thing to do ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live outside the White House. Kaitlan, will the President ever admit how significant the problem is here?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think his skepticism has always been a concern not just for the President's critics, but even for people who work in his administration who say they have to go out of their way to avoid bringing the topic up because they know it's something that irritates the President.
[19:05:02] Despite that, they say that they are working aggressively behind the scenes to counter this to work against it in a very aggressive fashion and they point to briefings they have or things like the Director of National Intelligence naming an official to oversee election security intelligence as a method to combat that. But still, there are concerns that the President's skepticism undermines those efforts and that he's not the one leading those.
You see that reflected in a letter from House Democrats sent to the White House today saying that they want the President to have an in depth briefing that they got on election interference and they want to know that the President is taking it seriously. The White House responded to that letter just a few moments ago with the Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley telling CNN in a statement, essentially, that they believe Democrats are the ones grandstanding here when it comes to election interference.
And in part in that statement said that the Trump administration is the first to institute a whole of government approach with the FBI, DHS, state and local officials to protect the integrity of our elections. But, of course, there are always going to be questions whether or not the President himself does take it seriously, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much. And OUTFRONT now, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson.
Chairman, I appreciate your time. Look, you are demanding President Trump get the same election security briefing that you get as Members of Congress and you sent a letter to the White House today saying you met with multiple agencies about this and, quote, none of the briefers could confirm that Trump has ever received a comprehensive election security briefing in advance of the 2020 Election. Why do you think that is?
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): Well, it's partly not believing that Russia had anything to do with our election, tampering with our election. But more importantly, at the particular briefing, those individuals were asked, "Are you aware of any briefing?" No one was aware. It went so far as to say, give us the name of the person in the White House who's coordinating election security. Nobody could come up with a name.
And so a lot of people in that briefing were absolutely stunned that here we are, two years past election, and the White House still does not see it as a priority from their standpoint.
BURNETT: So they responded to your letter tonight. They just gave a statement to our Kaitlan Collins. I wanted to quote from part of it, Chairman. They say, quote, you think the Democrats would've learned to stop grandstanding and actually take election security seriously, especially when you consider it was President Obama who knew Russia was trying to interfere with our elections but did nothing about it? Your ball, chairman?
THOMPSON: Well, I'm not surprised at it. Three years ago, we tried to get the republicans to work with us on looking at election security. The Republicans refuse. So we produce the democratic task force report that talked about the critical infrastructure problems we were having. We produced a report, generated legislation and many of the recommendations that we put in that report ultimately came out in our legislation.
We have to put investment and in our election system, we have to coordinate with secretaries of state to make sure that our systems are as best we can have them in terms of being tamper proof. So we came up with the legislation and we passed it and now it's up to the Senate to do its work.
At some point, the White House had to get beyond its denial that the Russians did not tamper with our elections. And so here we are as late as two weeks ago, the entire House of Representatives was briefed that not only did the Russians tamper in the 2016 election but they are now looking for the next elections.
BURNETT: So the White House then, they add in response to your letter. "While thankfully, the meddling didn't affect the outcome, the Trump Administration has instituted the first ever whole of government approach with the FBI, DHS, state and local officials to protect the integrity of our elections." And here's the FBI Director Christopher Wray, the DHS Cybersecurity Chief Chris Krebs both talking about this today, Chairman. Here they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WRAY: We have yet happily to see attacks manipulating or deleting
election and voter related data or attacks that actually take election management systems offline. But we know that our adversaries are relentless, so are we.
Christopher Krebs, Director, DHS cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency: We're not going to be caught flat footed again. We're ready and we're preparing for 2020.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is it possible, Chairman, that despite the President's personal refusal to blame Russia public willingness to take it seriously that the United States is ready?
[19:10:05] THOMPSON: Well, we're not sure because we have not put investment in the election infrastructure that we need to. To the DHS' credit, they have said our system of election has been declared critical infrastructure, now we need to support it. A number of states don't have the type of machines to do to vote.
As you know, most of the way people get registered is using the internet.
THOMPSON: The Russians did an awful lot of mischief over the last election cycle. So we've documented over 20 states that had problems with that election systems before. So we need to fix it and so for the President and his leadership role to still be in denial, that's a real problem.
BURNETT: I want to ask you before you go, because I know, Chairman, you've supported impeachment proceedings since late May. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said today, "I hope yesterday was an historic day, the failure of what they saw what they thought they would actually try is the final chapter of this book." Was Bob Mueller's testimony the final chapter? Is impeachment off the table?
THOMPSON: Well, as you know, I've been one of those individuals who feel that we need to go forward on it. When attorney Mueller said the President should be indicted if it had not been for the Department of Justice memo. That speaks volumes for me that he did something wrong. But as long as he's president, he's held harmless for doing wrong.
But as you know, we have the impeachment opportunity. I'm one of those individuals who want to do that. I'm convinced that the President has not been truthful and as long as he's there, he'll continue to not be truthful.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time. Chairman, thank you very much.
THOMPSON: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next breaking news, more Democrats, including leadership coming out in support of impeaching President Trump getting on the same side as Chairman Thompson. But is the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi going to run out the clock? Plus team Biden slamming Kamala Harris, telling CNN, everyone's looking for their t-shirt moment but not Biden. Is this what voters want? And President Trump backing a massive new spending bill. It flies in the face of a promise he has made for years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: ... where the economy grows, we'll start reducing our debt and reducing it bigly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:16:20] BURNETT: Breaking news, two more Democrats coming onboard with impeachment, that is five, since Robert Mueller's testimony yesterday. One of the latest is a member of House leadership, Congresswoman Katherine Clark, the Vice Chair of Democratic Caucus just calling on her party to start an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
Manu Raju is live tonight on Capitol Hill with this breaking news. And Manu, look, you got a couple of new names coming on here as democrats are worried it is a now or never moment.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Some Democrats are definitely concerned that the window is closing to move forward with an impeachment inquiry. There are several reasons for that. One, the dwindling number of legislative days left for Congress. The House actually just left town for six week summer recess.
So there's not much time. They're going to run quickly into the 2020. Campaign season will be much harder to move forward and that's when there's a push internally to mount a formal impeachment proceeding. Now, one person who has privately called for an impeachment inquiries, the Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler. He has made the case to his colleagues that it would make sense to move forward.
The speaker has not been there at this point, but Nadler has suggested that it could be an idea worth pursuing. Now, behind closed doors yesterday at a Democratic caucus meeting, the idea of moving forward an impeachment inquiry came up through various members, raised that idea. Jerry Nadler himself talks about the idea of drafting articles of impeachment along with five other democratic chairman who are investigating this President.
Now, I'm told this floated as an idea as a possibility, not something that is imminently happening. But what colleagues who have spoken to Jerry Nadler told me is that he has suggested that there are key moments in this country where it makes sense move forward in the immediate aftermath of those moments to move forward with an impeachment inquiry and Democrats are pointing to the aftermath of the Mueller hearing as well as the release of the report. As those opportunities and the concern I'm hearing from a number of
Democrats is that they have missed those opportunities in moving forward. But the Speaker, some believed, has shifted her tone has suggested a more openness to move forward on an impeachment inquiry and said that this is not going to be quote endless and her colleagues are hoping that her tone may change if there's a triggering event.
But what ultimately is that triggering event, Erin, could potentially be left up to the courts. If there's something happen in the courts where the President does not abide by a court order, that could change the calculus for some key Democratic Chairman whether that changes the Speaker's calculus as well remains to be seen. But this party heading into the summer break, not on the same page about moving forward on impeachment probe, Erin.
BURNETT: Manu, thank you very much. I want to go now to Keith Boykin, former Clinton White House aide and Paul Begala who served as White House Counselor to President Clinton.
Keith, has the clock run out? Nancy Pelosi had her reasons for stalling. Now, even when I talked to a couple people, senior leadership in the Senate, it's looking for, "Well, maybe if this happens or that happens." They're not even talking about Mueller report. Have they run out the clock?
KEITH BOYKIN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE UNDER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: I don't think that there is a clock. The Constitution doesn't say that the President shall be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors unless either Congress is about to have an August recess. There's nothing in the constitution like that.
The law is the law and the Members of Congress have a constitutional duty and obligation to hold the President accountable. Nancy Pelosi has already said we're in a constitutional crisis. She's already said that Donald Trump should be in prison. What more needs to be said in order to justify, holding the President of the United States accountable for his misbehavior.
BURNETT: And that is what now 97 Democrats, you've had four, I believe, jump onboard in just the past 24 hours, Paul, on the impeachment train. Five, I'm sorry.
[19:20:00] The House is heading out for a six-week recess though and this issue of trying to run out the clock, Paul, we're hearing it again and again. Here are two more Democrats on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA): If we don't take action, come September 1st, then we should just shut it down because we're not going to be able to do anything at all. I feel strongly that we should, but I think we're running out of time.
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): This is all an agenda that has to happen in 2019 if it's going to happen, so the clock is ticking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, Paul, Speaker Pelosi, is she saying, "OK, do what you want," now you can go ahead with this because she thinks she won? I mean, look, she has made it clear she doesn't think Trump is fit for office, but she didn't want impeachment proceedings. So does she think she's won on that front?
PAUL BEGALA, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: No, I think it's very much an open book. I think that this August recess is going to be awfully, awfully important. That's when those members, there's nearly a hundred in the Democratic Party who support impeachment, there's 135 who don't. So you don't even have the majority of Democrats yet calling for impeachment.
When they go home. They're going to listen to their constituents. Maybe their constituents will say, "Hey, we saw Mueller. It really changed my mind. We have to impeach him and you have to do that for me because you work for me." Maybe they won't, though.
Maybe they'll say, "Hey, you guys up in Washington, you're playing Trump's game by making him the center of all attention. Meanwhile, my kid needs prescription medicines and the cost has tripled. My mother is in a nursing home. She needs Medicaid and Trump is talking about cutting it."
In other words, I think the better strategy is Pelosi's which is don't always focus on this President who we all, my party, Keith and I can't stand, focus on the voters. Put them at the center of things for once.
BOYKIN: Well, I agree with what you're saying, Paul, but two thirds of Democrats have already said that they support impeachment, 69 percent of African-Americans support impeachment. And for all of the progress the Democrats are making on prescription drug bills, on bills about holding the President accountable on Yemen and Saudi Arabia, bills about raising the minimum wage, bills about the Equality Act, none of that is passing in the Senate.
There is no progress, so we can pass all of the bills we want in the House to show that we believe in something. But we have no control over the Senate and we don't do anything to hold the President accountable. What is the point of having power if you don't use that power?
BEGALA: Look, that's a great point and, Erin, your audience should know, Keith and I work down the hall from each other.
BEGALA: I love this guy.
BOYKIN: Yes, we're colleagues.
BEGALA: I think it's probably the only time I've ever disagreed with him. But the problem is not only is the Senate blocking it, it's that the Democrats haven't gotten any credit for all of those great things that Keith talked about, Equality Act, the minimum wage, a really good bill to clean up corruption in Washington and campaign finance. They've passed minimum wage, terrific laws, they're getting no credit because all of the attention goes to the giant orange fireball.
BURNETT: Well, that's true and it's also easy to vote for things when you know you don't have to deal with the Senate, which I think both parties deal with the House but not the Senate. I mean but on this impeachment issue, Keith, look, the White House is jumping on impeachment scrape. They think that they won and they think that yesterday was the wind. OK. Here's Kellyanne Conway today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: I thought yesterday was supposed to be this unbelievable movie better than the book and Bob Mueller was going to pave the golden road, the yellow brick road toward impeachment. Clearly, that didn't happen. It's not happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOYKIN: I don't know what she's talking about. I think Bob Mueller said exactly what the Mueller report said in 440 pages. Maybe he didn't strike the image that they wanted for television, but regardless of what the image was, he communicated that President Trump was not exonerated, that there was still a credible evidence of possible obstruction of justice for the President of the United States.
BURNETT: Unpatriotic, he used all of those words.
BOYKIN: Exactly. And so, you can't look at that testimony and say, "Just because it wasn't made for television, it means it wasn't compelling." It was compelling and whether you read the report or saw the television, it's still the same thing Donald Trump needs to be held accountable for his misconduct in office.
BURNETT: Paul, 35 Democrats, are they going to get onboard?
BEGALA: It's 135 Democrats.
BURNETT: No, I know. Right, but I mean to get their majority they need to get more.
BEGALA: To get to the numbers that they need. I don't know, I think we'll know from the August recess. I had to tell you, I would listen to Nancy Pelosi though. My party and Keith's party, we just won the biggest landslide in midterm since Watergate and we didn't just win in like the Bronx and Queens. Democrats won in Oklahoma and in Utah and in my beloved Texas and Georgia and South Carolina.
We did that by following Nancy Pelosi's lead and it's just good enough for me. I think she's got it exactly right.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. Next, Joe Biden fighting back slamming Kamala Harris and one of her biggest plans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, FORMER UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Come on. I mean, what is this, some fantasy world here?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Oh, there's a fight now. Plus, House Republicans revolt against President Trump calling him out on a lie. Will Senate Republican stand up or cave to Trump?
[19:28:48] BURNETT: And new tonight, the gloves are off. Former Vice President Joe Biden with a big shift. No more of the gentle hand raising and the 'oh, my time'. No. He is coming out hard to Senator Kamala Harris. He's giving her a warning. Things are going to be different at next week's debate on CNN.
Biden saying, quote, I'm not going to be as polite this time. Because this is the same person who asked me to come to California and nominate her in her convention. And this morning, Biden said this about his relationship with Harris.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I thought we were friends, I hope we still will be. It's cordial, but I have to admit to you I was a little surprised?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That was a lot nicer, then as the day went on. Jessica Dean is OUTFRONT. So Jessica, look, it sounds like we're going to see a very different Joe Biden.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Erin, I think you're exactly right. There is a noticeable shift. You just showed us several examples of that and we're learning from sources that this shift is being led by Biden himself, that senior advisors had urged him to be more aggressive earlier in the campaign that after the debate, he went back, he rewatched the tape and he told them, "I think I need to fight back a little bit more."
[19:29:56] And advisors had really come to the conclusion that they wanted to, moving forward, be more of the day-to-day conversation. They wanted to be more aggressive, but that was accelerated post debate.
And today, just an example of that, one senior official saying everyone is looking for the t-shirt moment and Joe Biden thinks this is bigger than telling T-shirts, taking kind of a shot at Kamala Harris and her debate moment from a month ago.
Also, I talked to someone, a source that's close to the campaign and this is what they told me. I thought this was really interesting. He wants to be president. Joe Biden wants to be president was the point he was making. He is running for a lifetime achievement award or expecting this to be given to him.
Anybody who he thinks that he's going to quietly go into the night, this is a guy that survived 40-some-odd years of public life, and he is not just going to roll over. And, Erin, his advisers and he know that people will try to represent weaponize his record. But they say everyone is proud of this record, they're proud of these policies they are putting out and they feel very confident going into the next debate.
BURNETT: All right. Jessica, thank you very much. Of course, you know, Kamala Harris campaign infamously had those T-shirts already made when she went in for the slay there on the busing topic.
OUTFRONT now, former Democratic Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, a long-time supporter of Joe Biden and "New York Times" politics editor Patrick Healy.
OK. Patrick, you're with me. So, look, it's the next debate is six days away. Joe Biden knows the last debate didn't go well.
You know, I was talking to a senior Democrat the other day, they said, look, this is his moment. He can still do it, but if he doesn't do it at this next debate, he might be done.
Joe Biden knows that it matters. And he is changing his strategy.
PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. They were all concerned coming out of the last debate that he was not only playing defense but he was playing defense really poorly against Senator Harris who is a you know very strong candidate. He cannot afford to simply, you know, be trying to sort of gently pushing back and often looking like he lost a step, like he's not nimble, like he's not on the ball in how he responds to whether it's Senator Harris or in this case the CNN debate next week, Senator Booker, who's going to have a number of people coming at him.
So, you know, this is -- you know, this is a guy who needs to play offense. He can't just be talking about President Trump like all the Democrats are. He needs to show that there is a reason why in Democratic Party right now should be nominating, you know, a Joe Biden, who really was a figure of stature years ago. Why now.
BURNETT: Right, that is the crucial question, right?
Mayor Nutter, is this a smart move by the campaign? You know and they throw out the T-shirt jab. We hear that from a lot of people that's not how Joe Biden is playing this time. But he is getting in there taking off the gloves. Is it smart or desperate?
MICHAEL NUTTER (D), FORMER MAYOR OF PHILADELPHIA: It's absolutely smart. I mean, you know, as I say this is not being back. This is presidential politics. And Joe Biden is going to be himself. He knows that he did not have a great first debate. And, you know, I'll say that's a little rust. And he has been off the campaign trail a little while. But this is the real Joe Biden. And he is not messing around. Now, there is a way to convey your points without being nasty about
it, or even personal. And I disagree certainly with any of that. But he is also not going to be a human punching bag.
You say something about me, you say something about my record, I'm going to clap back at you. And have something to say about it. I mean, that's just kind of the rules. But there is a way to convey it. And it's more than appropriate. He knows that.
BURNETT: All right. So, Kamala Harris, right, that was the moment. OK, that was the moment. And that was not a good moment for Joe Biden. It was a breakout moment for Kamala Harris.
So, no, she has said you can have Medicare for All without raising taxes. Bernie Sanders has been too honest perhaps about the situation, right? He said, you're going to have to raise taxes on the middle class. Joe Biden took her on personally on this. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bernie has been honest. It's going to cost, you know, it's going to raise taxes on the middle class. I find people saying they are for Medicare for All, but they're not going to tax the middle class because you don't need to do that -- come one. What is this? Is this a fantasy world here?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. That was directed at Kamala Harris.
HEALY: Right. And he was very dismissive. Look there are a lot of liberal Democrats who do have concerns about what Kamala Harris believes in and doesn't believe in. And why isn't she more specific about how she is going to pay for things.
How can you be for a Medicare for All single payer program and not believe that you know middle class taxes are at some point going to be needed to pay for it?
So, you know, Kamala Harris is vulnerable there. I mean, she pressed on the details we have seen multiple times on CNN and elsewhere and interviews where she has sort of said one thing, that she is for, you know, abolishing private health insurance and then she says well, actually, wait.
BURNETT: Right. I misunderstood the question.
HEALY: And Biden knows that he can -- yes, that there is an opening there.
[19:35:01] BURNETT: So, Mayor Nutter, he's got to be careful, right? I mean, obviously, some of his worst moments, you know, in his political life were when he talked about Barack Obama in extremely racial and disparaging terms, right? And now, he's going against Kamala Harris. NUTTER: Well, there is no question that you have to be very, very careful. You know, I've run against as a guy -- run against a female candidate. And then you put in all the other components of, you know, race and gender and what whole bunch of other issues.
So, I mean, there is no question that Vice President Biden -- Joe Biden needs to be careful. But, again, you have to be able to get your points across. And do it in a way that is not personal, not nasty, is not -- you know, don't get into a male/female debate. I have a plan. You have a plan let's talk about plans. I think if you stay on policy, you're fine.
BURNETT: All right. Well let's see what happens.
NUTTER: Don't have to get personal.
BURNETT: Let's see what happens. Let's see what happens. Thank you both so very much.
And next, President Trump breaking a massive promise he has been making from day one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to get rid of the debt, balance our budget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Except for he doesn't.
Plus, how did President Trump end up next to a fake Russian-inspired presidential seal?
[19:40:13] BURNETT: Breaking news, Trump's budget deal. It's done.
The House passing a budget deal that will explode the national debt and deficit. And the president celebrating its passing, tweeting: I'm pleased to announce the House has passed our budget deal. And this is after threatening Republicans and telling them earlier today, quote: House Republicans should support the two-year budget agreement which greatly helps our military and our vets. I'm totally with you.
He told them it was important. They needed to get in line and get behind it. But a lot of them didn't. In fact, the majority, 132 Republicans stood up and voted against their president.
The bill suspends the debt limit. It adds more than $300 billion in spending. It ends all spending cuts, which means the national debt is going to continue to balloon.
And Trump expert for more spending and more debt wherever he can get it is breaking a big promise, a promise that he made to the American people again and again and again. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Where the economy grows we will reduce our debt and reducing it big league.
We have to get rid of debt and balance our budget.
With the $20 trillion in debt, can you imagine? The government must learn to tighten its belt.
We have $21 trillion in debt. When this really kicks in, we'll start paying off that debt like it's water.
One thing, we have a lot of debt. I want to get it out. I want to pay it off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: He doesn't really want to pay it off. Right it was $20 trillion. It was $21 trillion. So upset about it pay it down like water.
Well, guess what? He's run it up. It's now $22 trillion, thanks to him.
OUTFRONT now, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, congressional correspondent at the "New York Times."
And, Julie, you know, despite the plea to Republicans, right? Get onboard. You know, they didn't they opposed the bill he supported by a 2-1 margin and it now goes to the Senate. Will we see a similar thing in the Senate where the Senate Republicans stand up to Trump?
JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think some Senate Republicans will vote against the bill. The Republicans on the House side and Senate side as well are uncomfortable with the idea of exploding the deficit, many of them. They don't like these huge levels of spending.
They made promising similar to ones played from the president to their constituents they wouldn't allow spending to sky rocket. Many of them ran on the platform of preventing that. In the House, because they are not in the majority, they really had the luxury of voting no, sort of as a protest on this bill.
But in the Senate, where the Republicans have the majority I expect to see some defections but essentially most Republicans are going to fall in line behind the deal because they understand that the stakes are so high that they sort of can't afford to miss the opportunity to get a budget deal and the debt ceiling raised.
BURNETT: So, you know, Julie, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is on team Trump on this one. He says and I quote him, the agreement secures the most important priority of the Republican conference in my view. It's the most important obligation of the entire Congress. So he thinks this is so great to you know do all the extra spending. And yet in 2011 when President Obama wanted to increase spending and
borrowing, Senator McConnell was a man of principle. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The president's budget is the clearest sign yet he simply does not take our fiscal problems seriously. The real point is this. We're broke. We're broke.
We don't have the money. It's not an American value to borrow from others to pay for programs we don't need and can't afford.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Julie, do Republicans care about the hypocrisy of words and actions now?
DAVIS: I think the short answer is no. I mean when you are in the majority and it's up to you to cut one of niece deals, some of knows principles go out the window in the service of actually getting a compromise. And in this case, Mitch McConnell knew that the president needed to get a deal that Nancy Pelosi would sign onto because the Democrats control the House. And doing that was going to require agreeing to some level of spending.
And when you have deadlines like they are facing on the debt limit and on the budget caps agreement itself, it really becomes a forcing mechanism. All the principle goes out the window in the service of just cutting a deal. It's sort of the opposite of the drain the swamp message that we often hear from President Trump. But that's what ends up happening.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Julie. I appreciate your time.
DAVIS: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, Dr. Sanjay Gupta on, well, one of the most important issues in this campaign that he knows re about than anyone.
And Jeanne Moos on the mystery between the Russian inspired presidential seal that literally appeared next to President Trump.
[19:48:38] BURNETT: It's a top priority for Democrats in 2020. But the party is so divided on it. Health care now the litmus test. As Democrats prepare for the big CNN debate in five days.
Sanjay Gupta is OUTFRONT.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They have different ideas how to get there but the same central message.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Health care is a human right.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Access to health care should be a right.
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's time for this country to make quality affordable health care a right and not a privilege.
GUPTA: Better, cheaper health care. It's a challenge no matter where you are on the political spectrum.
ERIN FUSE BROWN, ASSOCIATE LAW PROFESSOR, GSU: I think people are really frustrated with the current health care system.
GUPTA: Erin Fuse Brown, a health law expert at Georgia State says the system has fundamental flaws.
BROWN: It's really the worst consumer experience.
GUPTA: And we pay a lot for it. The United States has the most expensive health care in the world, around $3.5 trillion a year.
SANDERS: People should not be forced into financial ruin, into bankruptcy for one reason, because someone in the family became ill.
GUPTA: In 2016, his was a lone voice. But many Democrats now get in line behind Bernie Sanders who has long called for a single payer system.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm with Bernie on Medicare for All.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: How does this plan differ from what senator Sanders is proposing?
HARRIS: I think that they're very similar.
[19:50:01] BROWN: In a single-payer system, everyone would be automatically enrolled in a government-run health care program like Medicare.
GUPTA: It would cover doctors visitors, hospitalizations, but also hearing there would be some co-pays for brand name prescription drugs. But a sort of litmus test is starting to take shape. The question is, will a single-payer system also eliminate private insurance was we know it.
LESTER HOLT, DEBATE MODERATOR: Who here would abolish their insurance for a government run program?
GUPTA: At the Democratic debates in June, only Senator Sanders and Harris, along with Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio raised their hands. Harris later said she misinterpreted the question.
BIDEN: Anyone who has their employer-based insurance can keep it if they want.
GUPTA: The former Vice President Joe Biden doesn't envision a system without private insurance, and he is leading the charge on the public option.
BIDEN: This is a big (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal.
GUPTA: Perhaps no surprise, Biden wants to expand Obamacare.
BROWN: In a public option, everyone would have the option to buy a Medicare type of plan for themselves, but they wouldn't be automatically enrolled.
BIDEN: We can protect and build an Obamacare and make sure at least 97 percent to 100 percent of the American people have coverage.
GUPTA: Biden's plan caps premiums and offers subsidies to buy insurance regardless of your income. Biden says his proposal would cost $750 billion over 10 years. Money he would raise primarily through taxes and cutting costs.
Sander's plan calls for tax increases as well. Money that he believes will be more than offset by lower premiums.
SANDERS: My guess is that people in the middle class will be paying somewhat more in taxes, but they're going to be paying significantly less overall in health care.
GUPTA: Harris says she believes her plan could be achieved without a middle class tax increase.
LAH: Senator Sanders --
HARRIS: Part of it is going to have to be about Wall Street paying more, it's going to have to be about how we -- and what we tax.
GUPTA: But Medicare for All may not be an easy sell politically. A recently released NPR/PBS/Marist national poll found 70 percent favor Medicare for All for those who want it. Four in ten say it is a good idea if there is no longer private insurance. And 54 percent are even more blunt, saying it's a bad idea.
BURNETT: Sanjay, it's pretty incredible when you see all this laid out and the plans.
BURNETT: You know, obviously, everyone was told there was this problem. We were going to get everyone on insurance, that was Obamacare. Everybody went on with the mandate but everybody didn't go on.
What is the deal with Obamacare? GUPTA: It's been very confusing, no question. And in Texas back in
December, there was a district judge that basically ruled that the individual mandate that you could mandate people to buy private insurance was unconstitutional and, therefore, the entire law was unconstitutional. That's what this judge actually argued.
That decision sort of been put on hold, so the law stands as it has been for a while now. But this is going to go through the legal system maybe to the Supreme Court again.
BURNETT: Again, right, as people have seen such skyrocketing costs under Obamacare looking for a cheaper alternative.
Sanjay, thank you very much.
GUPTA: Thank you.
BURNETT: Next, Jeannie on the mystery behind the fake presidential seal. It's there. It's not Photoshopped in, people, it was there.
[19:57:46] BURNETT: Well, the spiel of approval story.
Here is Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Little did Donald Trump know his fate was sealed, that the presidential seal behind him wasn't as presidential as it should be, and someone would get fired over it.
Wow is right. Look at that two-headed seal, the real seal has one eagle. It's the Russian Federation coat of arms that features two birds and the eagle in the real seal clutches arrows, but the fake was holding golf clubs.
The imposter seal proclaims the 45th president, 45 is a puppet in Spanish.
TRUMP: No puppet, no puppet.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: It's pretty clear --
TRUMP: You're the puppet.
MOOS: The parody presidential seal was projected at the recent Turning Point USA team summit for conservative youth.
(on camera): Right away you think prankster, somebody is trolling President Trump behind his back.
(voice-over): Trump critics tweeted, give them a medal. Someone posted Putin clapping.
But Turning Point USA says we're sorry for the mix up and meant no disrespect.
Just a couple of hours before the event, the Turning Point folks were asked to project a presidential seal. A source says an audiovisual aid did a Google image search to find a seal. Lots came up, including the parody.
The source says the A.V. person didn't notice that it was a doctored seal, a seal that sold on tank tops and throw pillows by a graphic designer known as One Term Donnie who told CNN he is a hard time believing someone used his design by accident. There have been other seal snafus.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: We cannot sustain -- woops. Was that my --
MOOS: Yes, your presidential seal.
OBAMA: They're sweating bullets back there right now.
MOOS: And someone back there at the Trump event must have been sweating bullets. The audiovisual person got fired, even if the president claps like a seal. There's no excuse for showing a bogus seal with an eagle holding golf clubs like he's going to shoot a birdie.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: That is the story that if you made it up, nobody would believe you. And that's the world we live in. "ANDERSON" starts now.