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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Erupts Over Impeachment, Ramps Up Attacks On Intel Chairman Schiff And Blasts Probe As "Bullshit"; Trump Refuses To Answer Reporter's Question About What He Wanted Ukraine's President To Do About Bidens; Jackie Speier (D-CA) is Interviewed About Trump Claiming Schiff Helped Write Complaint; Bernie Sanders Takes Indefinite Break from Campaign Trail; Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang is Interviewed About His Campaign and Policies; Washington Post: Trump Repeatedly Involved Pence In Efforts To Pressure Ukraine. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired October 2, 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: To our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, Trump's public meltdown, swearing, lying, pushing unfounded accusations against everyone from Biden to the whistleblower. Is the impeachment pressure getting to the President? Plus, Democrats putting the White House on notice interfere with the impeachment investigation and there will be a serious price to pay, so what price? Will that strategy work for backfire? And Bernie Sanders' health scare, the 2020 Democrat off the trail tonight after a heart procedure. What does this mean for his campaign? Let's go out front.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, Trump loses his cool. It started with more than a dozen tweets, including this a clear loss of temper, accusing Democrats of all caps bull expletive. He, of course, as you can see used the actual word. And then Trump went on camera lashing out with a crude reference in front of a world leader and all Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Adam Schiff, he's a lowlife. He should be forced to resign. There's an expression he couldn't carry his blank strap. I won't say it because they'll say it was so terrible to say. But that guy couldn't carry his blank strap. You understand that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Yes. We understand that. He was talking about Adam Schiff comparing him to Mike Pompeo. And as Trump continued to face questions, he lost control of his temper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He should resign from office in disgrace. The whistleblower were so dishonest. These are bad people. These are dishonest people and when the American people find out what happened, it's going to be a great day.
They've been trying to impeach me from the day I got elected. You people should be ashamed of yourself. What happened in 2016 is a disgrace to this country and they're more worried about that, because they know they are guilty as hell.
And let me tell you something, Biden's son is corrupt and Biden is corrupt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. And then he went on to say this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I watch my words very carefully. There are those that think I'm a very stable genius, OK? I watch my words very closely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, if he was watching his words very, very closely, he would not have said this again and again and again today to describe the call where he asked a foreign leader to investigate Joe Biden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The conversation was perfect. A perfect conversation. It was a very nice conversation. You have a perfect, I mean, perfect conversation. That was a perfect conversation. That was a perfect conversation. It was perfect.
The call was perfect. It was perfect. It was perfect. A beautiful conversation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, of course, it was not perfect. In the transcript which Trump today bragged was word for word, which of course it was not. Ukraine's President said, "We are ready continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes."
The President replied, "I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it."
Not perfect, wrong. Here's Republicans Mike Turner and Mitt Romney talking about that very same call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): This remains deeply troubling.
REP. MIKE TURNER (R-OH): I want to say to the President, this is not OK. That conversation is not OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And today when confronted with what he said and exactly what he wanted Ukraine's President to do about the Bidens, Trump, the person who has no problem answering any question, did this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF MASON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS: The question, sir, was what did you want President Zelensky to do about Vice President Biden and his son Hunter?
TRUMP: Are you talking to me?
MASON: Yes. It's just a follow-up of what I just asked you, sir.
TRUMP: Listen, are you ready? We have the President of Finland. Ask him a question.
MASON: I have one for him. I wanted to follow up on the one that I asked you which was what did you want ...
TRUMP: Did you hear me? Did you hear me?
MASON: Yes, sir.
TRUMP: Ask him a question.
MASON: I will.
TRUMP: I've given you a long answer, ask this gentleman a question. Don't be rude.
MASON: No, sir. I don't want to be rude. I just wanted you to have a chance to answer the question that I asked you.
TRUMP: I've answered everything. It's a whole hoax. And you know who's playing into the hoax, people like you and the fake news media that we have in this country. And I'd say in many cases, the corrupt media because you're corrupt. Much of the media in this country is not just fake, it's corrupt. And you have some very fine people too, great journalists, great reporters, but to a large extent, it's corrupt and it's fake. Ask the president of Finland a question please.
MASON: OK. I'll move on now. Mr. President, the WTO rule today in favor of the United States saying that the United States can now impose tariffs on European goods because of illegal subsidies against Airbus.
TRUMP: That was a big win for the United States, right?
MASON: It wasn't a win for the United States.
TRUMP: You never had wins with other presidents, did you? [19:05:05]
But we're having a lot of wins at the WTO since I became president.
MASON: This was a case that started, I think, 10 or 15 years, but ...
TRUMP: Excuse me. Your wins are now because they think I don't like the WTO and they want to make sure I'm happy. Because all of those countries were ripping off the United States for many years. They know that I'm wise to it. We've had a lot of wins. This was a $7 billion win. Not bad.
SAULI NIINISTO, FINLAND PRESIDENT: But I think the question is for me.
MASON: So the question ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. Out front now, I want to go to the reporter who was asking the President those questions, Jeff Mason, White House Correspondent for Reuters. And Jeff, I wanted everyone to see exactly what happened there.
Let's just be clear with one thing, first and foremost, the President of the United States did not answer which you asked loudly and clearly and repeatedly, what did you want President Zelensky to do about Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter, he didn't answer.
MASON: No, he didn't answer and he was certainly given opportunities to do so. And Erin, also it's a legitimate question, he's been saying as you've been talking about already in your program that his call with Presidents Zelensky was 'perfect', praising himself for having released that transcript. And so I thought it was good just to get a sense right now here after that call has happened and after all of the controversy has occurred, to get a sense from him as to what he really wanted and he wanted to avoid the question.
BURNETT: He certainly did, so then he refuses to answer your question, demands that you ask one to the President of Finland, which you did, and then he jumps in any way and doesn't let him answer it, which sort of was the priceless part about the whole thing. But my question to you, Jeff, is this anger and frustration today that you saw in that room did it seem strategic to you or did it seem like his anger really got the better of him?
MASON: I'm not convinced it was strategic. No, Erin, I think that he's just upset and frustrated by how the impeachment inquiry is now going. He lashes at journalist, he lashes out of the media, in particular, when he feels under pressure, when he feels frustrated. I think that's what he did today. I don't think that was strategic and that he would have had to think about ahead of what the question might be or of what our exchange would be like.
And I think instead it was just a show of exasperation on his part, both in the Oval Office, which you showed earlier, and in that press conference about this entire thing. I mean, he walked off the stage when there was supposed to be another question from the Finnish side, so that was a sign that he was just done.
BURNETT: He was just done and he had it. But again, I want to make the point here that you asked a very simple question and he could have answered it. He loves to answer questions, but he did not. I mean, he just point blank did not.
MASON: Yes. And it gets to the heart of this entire controversy. I mean, if he wants to say that he was not looking for the President of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, despite what it says in that transcript, then he needs to say that or he needs to explain it and he hasn't done that.
BURNETT: All right. Jeff Mason, thank you very much doing his job and asking the questions as he should be doing on behalf of the American people.
Out front now, our Senior Political Reporter Nia Malika Henderson, Political Analysts David Gregory, Glen Donath, who represented President Clinton during his impeachment hearings and the former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean.
So Nia, it's interesting when you see that exchange. It was a simple question.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes.
BURNETT: If the President wanted to take issue with what was in the transcript or say it was inaccurate or it was misleading, he could have. He didn't. Because it's all there.
BURNETT: He didn't want to talk about it.
HENDERSON: He didn't want to talk about it and I think you see echoes of that in other Republicans that you don't want to talk about the substance of this call of primarily the part about Biden. The idea that the American President is asking a foreign leader to meddle in a foreign election.
It feels like we just went through that with the Mueller report. The President didn't seem to kick off impeachment hearings after the Mueller report was released in here with this call that was revealed through this whistleblower clearly is under his skin. He's clearly worried about it.
I think they're probably second guessing the fact that they actually released this transcript, which it does pretty perfectly capture the substance of it. It's not a word for word transcript, but it's certainly a memo that captures the spirit of what they're doing.
BURNETT: Well, and of course the great irony is, obviously, it's incredible. It's accurate. HENDERSON: Right.
BURNETT: But he says it's a word for word exact thing, which it isn't. You would think he'd be trying to seize on that, David. I mean, look, their photos today of the President during his first meeting with the leader of Finland, which were talking to reporters. And look, I understand these are moments, OK. You can capture anyone in a moment, but we just saw him speaking, we saw his tone. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it is and I think it's actually not worth a whole lot parsing the outrageous things he says, the crude and the unpresidential things he said. The President has been doing this now for a couple of years and people will make a decision about that.
If there's a political price to pay, he may yet pay it. But this is who he is as the President of the United States.
I think two things today, one; I think he's increasingly erratic because he's increasingly isolated.
We know from Bob Woodward's reporting in the book Fear that when the Mueller report, not the report when Mueller became the special prosecutor he had this outraged response that he couldn't believe this was happening to him and thought it was the end of his presidency and to see it rearing its head again, I think, is something that is so completely thrown him. It explains how isolated he feels at this juncture.
The other piece of it he knows how to do one thing, which is fight and identify enemies. He is going to be the tip of the spear on the response. He wants to take out everyone to delegitimize this and it is the risk that Democrats are taking by doing this essentially in an election year. He's going to seize on that to try to win.
BURNETT: So Glen, what do you make of his behavior today and how he handled it?
GLEN DONATH, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT CLINTON IN LEWINSKY & IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS: It's disorienting. I watched the clip and I was kind of amazed. Back during the Clinton impeachment, President Clinton was pretty angry about being impeached. He thought that impeachment was improper and illegitimate and candidly I did and do as well.
But with all of that anger he never questioned the basic legitimacy of government. He never threatened to have people imprisoned or charged with treason. He never talked about civil war. And he was hot, he was angry as we all were. This is a completely new moment in history and it's scary to see.
BURNETT: I mean, and certainly obviously you're referring to when he talked about you know civil war if he were impeached over the weekend in a tweet. John, I mean, let me play a little bit more of what the President said today about the entire investigation, the impeachment probe going on right now. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMMP: I call him Shifty Schiff. We don't call him Shifty Schiff for nothing. He's a shifty, dishonest guy. There's an expression, he couldn't carry his blank strap. I won't say it because they'll say it was so terrible to say. But that guy couldn't carry his blank strap. You understand that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: John Dean, what's your reaction?
JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I was quite amazed at the metaphor he decided to use in the Oval Office. But Trump has been doing this since the outset of his presidency. And when I read some biographies on him, he's been doing this his entire life ever since his mother caught him in the cookie jar.
This is his tactic. This is his response. He can control it to some degree, but to some degree he can't so it's hard to say whether it's strategic and tactical or whether it's just his emotional reaction. But that's what we're seeing, we're seeing the real Donald Trump and the impeachment proceeding is showing him for who he is.
As is often said about the presidency, it's a place where it'll show both your strengths and your weaknesses. And we're seeing that they're more weaknesses in Donald Trump than there are strengths.
GREGORY: Talk about a generational shift, I mean, John, the kinds of things that President Trump says on television in the Oval Office for the cameras are the kinds of things that reflect the small-mindedness and the erratic behavior and the isolation that Nixon said to people like you on the tapes that he secretly recorded.
DEAN: Exactly right. It was very controlled with Nixon. Now, some aides brought out a darker side of him, other instances caused him to vent on the tapes, but he always did it behind closed doors. He had great emotional control.
When he was in front of the public, the rawest I ever saw him was his farewell speech and that was really the sort of his true self. He actually put his glasses on which he never did in public. But with this president, we'll see it all the time in the Rose Garden.
BURNETT: It seems a bit quaint. I mean, because, Nia, yet again today he pulls out the stable genius.
HENDERSON: Yes, he pulls out the stable genius. This is something we've heard from him before just as the revelation of all the chaos that is going on in the White House that he's so embodied today in that press conference in his tweets and in other settings.
And listen, I think if you're looking sort of at the electorate we don't know how this will play in 2020. We don't really know. But the folks who have been concerned about Donald Trump, it is this chaos, it is the sort of unpresidential behavior, it's the tweeting, it's the cursing, it's the ...
BURNETT: Right. It's all of it.
HENDERSON: ... blank strap that he was talking about today.
BURNETT: And yet, Glen, stable genius is something he knows people react to. I mean, to me I wonder that was something he put in there - he wanted to put in there, maybe not. I mean, who knows but it could have been.
DONATH: Yes. I'd like to know the stable genius and not being willing to say the word jockstrap, but saying BS and all of its (inaudible) ...
BURNETT: Right. Right. Right. As if suddenly he's going to ...
DONATH: He keeps thinking going there to the next level, but I ...
GREGORY: But this is, yes, go ahead.
DONATH: No, I think he clearly deep down knows he's on edge and over the edge and he's commandeering his legal defense and his public relations campaign and all of these fronts that an impeachment brewing battle requires. It's a (inaudible) ...
GREGORY: And he's trying to do it all himself.
HENDERSON: Yes. It was very different from what Clinton did, right?
HENDERSON: Clinton was about the business of the people and you saw Nancy Pelosi kind of fall into that today and basically say, this is what the House is doing. We're not going to be (inaudible) ...
BURNETT: Right. Totally different than what you ...
GREGORY: The question is what else is out there and that's what the President is so unhinged about is who else is talking. There might be other whistleblowers out and that's what the investigation (inaudible) ...
BURNETT: And clearly a lot of people are talking even to the whistleblower in this case. All right. All of you stay with me. Next, we have more breaking news. President Trump reportedly used Vice President Mike Pence to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. So what does Pence know? Plus, Trump is pushing a new conspiracy theory about Adam Schiff and the whistleblower report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think it's a scandal that he knew before. I'd go a step further, I think he probably helped to write it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: He didn't. And the fight for 2020, Andrew Yang with a surprising fundraising call tonight. What is behind the search? Andrew Yang is my guest.
BURNETT: Breaking news, President Trump repeatedly involved the Vice President, Mike Pence, in efforts to pressure the new President of Ukraine. Now, all of this came as Trump was trying to dig up dirt on his potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden and his son.
Now, this is according to a report in The Washington Post. So let me tell you exactly what they're saying. They're saying that Trump told Pence he couldn't attend the Ukrainian president's inauguration in May. He had Pence tell the Ukrainian president that American aide was being held up and demanded that Ukraine crack down on corruption.
So those were all of the things Pence was doing, but officials close to Pence say, OK, but he was unwitting, he was unaware of Trump's efforts to pressure Zelensky for dirt on the Biden. So he was doing all of these things and not perhaps knowing why.
Everyone is back with me right now. OK. So David, could this be a problem for the Vice President?
GREGORY: Well, there's no question. Potentially it could, depending upon what he knew and when he knew it 1920 [00:00:53] formulation.
BURNETT: Right. Right.
GREGORY: In other words, we know that there was a generalized effort to get Ukraine involved in looking at foreign interference into the 2016 campaign. Only the President and Rudy Giuliani thought it was Hillary Clinton conspiring of the Ukrainians to dig up dirt on him. Did the Vice President know about that or did he know about efforts to get the Ukrainians to investigate Joe Biden's son since the President says that he's corrupt, Joe Biden's corrupt, everyone's corrupt.
So there's two points about Pence and his involvement and what he knew and, two, this goes to the larger question about to what extent was the President and those close to him orchestrating an effort to draw in a foreign power to interfere in our election.
BURNETT: I mean because, Glen, in a sense if this is true, if Pence did those things and didn't know why. It could add to the case of the President knew exactly what he was - didn't want Pence to know because he didn't want someone to call him out on it. It could, right?
DONATH: Absolutely. And what's incredible is that at the very least, Pence, the Vice President is now a significant witness in this set of facts. Either way, as you say, Erin, the narrative is really important and so he's going to presumably have to testify and that's going to be an interesting battle and obviously there will be privileges asserted there, but it's going to get very messy if Pence and the President are crosswise and this thing becomes unpredictable.
BURNETT: And certainly it comes as that you've got the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Nia, saying, "All right. If you stonewall here, if you don't put everything out there that we asked for, when we asked for it, we're going to take action. We're going to consider that obstruction."
Trump coming out and saying, right, we'll consider it obstruction, interference, so what happens here? Especially when you now bring Pence into it, you're set for a battle.
HENDERSON: You're set for a battle. We don't know what other information is going to come out in the next couple of days. This has been a story, that bombshell after bombshell over just a short period of time. So there's likely more information to come.
You have the President obviously trying to battle the whistleblower, discredit the whistleblower, discredit Adam Schiff, but there will be more witnesses and more testimony we'll hear from Volker, for instance, at some point. He's going to be deposed before folks ...
BURNETT: Special envoy.
HENDERSON: ... the special envoy. We'll also hear from the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine as well in a couple of days. And so there's more to come, so they have this strategy. You talk about him liking to fight and that's what we see. But we don't know how long this is going to be able to hold back folks on the House who've got the power to subpoena, find people and throw them in jail.
BURNETT: So John Dean, what do you make of the fact that, again, with the reporting that we have that Mike Pence would have been the emissary, the messenger, but not known why he was being directed to do those things. What would be the significance, do you think?
DEAN: Well, it could be a widening conspiracy where more people are privy to it and that's something they have to find out. However, I think that the impeachment proceeding has to stay very focused. As you know, one of the defenses that they're charging that this is a coup and it starts to look more like a coup if you start impeaching the President and the Vice President, because the next in succession is the Speaker of the House and that would almost give credibility.
So I think they have to keep a very narrow focus, forget the Attorney General, forget the Secretary of State, get all of the facts and proceed one by one as necessary but start with the President.
BURNETT: Which is an important point there that you just make. I mean, so here's the thing when we get to the call itself, the original call at the heart of all of this now, we've heard, you've just heard Mitt Romney and Mike Turner say it's not OK, it's not acceptable.
GREGORY: Right. BURNETT: There were others who have said it, not necessarily on
camera but Ben Sasse, John Thune and others. But overall, new Monmouth poll found four in 10 Republicans actually think that Trump mentioned Biden in the call. I mean six out of 10 think that he didn't, OK, because he says the call was perfect.
BURNETT: Well, of course, he did. It's in the transcript. We know he did by name three times, but here's the thing, it's not just that he's pulling the wool over Americans' eyes. Here is the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
OK, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives who went on 60 Minutes and had not read the transcript, it appears. Let me just play the moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT PELLEY, HOST, 60 MINUTES: What do you make of this exchange? President Zelensky says, "We are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes." And President Trump replies, "I would like you to do us a favor though."
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): You just added another word.
PELLEY: No, it's in the transcript.
MCCARTHY: He said, "I'd like you to do a favor though"?
PELLEY: Yes, it's in the White House transcript.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean it's a stunning moment.
GREGORY: Well, that's just really poor preparation of the part of Kevin McCarthy. But I do think in part it explains the President's erratic behavior, because he believes that only he can take charge of defending himself on this even his allies can't do a good enough job of it.
And I think the larger point though is still whatever the perception is, one of the reasons I believe the White House put the summary of the call out is they want a debate about, well, it may have been bad, is it an impeachable offense, that will be a debate. Those were words. Those were not actions on the call, that will be the debate and we know where Republicans are lying stuff right now.
BURNETT: Is there a chance, Nia, before we go though that someone like Kevin McCarthy, they start to get angry. I'm not saying Kevin McCarthy is going to turn against Trump. I'm not going there.
HENDERSON: Right. BURNETT: I'm just saying that there's a, "Wait a minute, dude, you
said everything was good here and I just looked really stupid."
HENDERSON: Yes, maybe. But in some ways they're used to this, right? I mean they're used to dealing with a President who says one thing one day and changes his line the next. They're used to sort of going out on a limb for this President and him kind of gently sawing off the limb.
So I don't see them necessarily turning on him, certainly not somebody as powerful and high up in leadership as Kevin McCarthy.
BURNETT: Yes. All right. Thank you all very much. I appreciate it. And next, Congress briefed on what was described as an urgent matter from the State Department's Inspector General today. So what was all of this about? What did they learn? Someone who was in the room is next.
Plus, Bernie Sanders breaking his silence. He's been hospitalized for a heart procedure. What he's saying tonight about his health?
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Breaking news. President Trump claiming without providing evidence that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff helped write the whistleblower's complaint. Here's the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's a scandal that he knew before. I'd go a step further. I think he probably helped write it, OK? That's what the word is, and I think is -- I give a lot of respect for "The New York Times" for putting it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. Important to note that's not what "The New York Times" put out. One of the reporters tweeting in response tweeting about it, despite what Trump claimed today, "The New York Times" did not report out that Adam Schiff helped write the whistleblower's complaint. In fact, Schiff did not even know the whistleblower's identity. OK.
OUTFRONT now, Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier, a member of the House Intelligence Committee and Oversight Committee.
And I appreciate your time, Congresswoman. Thank you so much for being with me.
So, Chairman Schiff, you see "The New York Times" report that we have. He did not know who the whistleblower was, and he did not help write the report, but he did know the outline of some of the allegations a few days in advance according to "The New York Times."
How much did you know about the whistleblower's accusations before you got the complaint?
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA): I didn't know anything about the complaint until I was sitting in the secure facility reading it for the first time with all of the members of the Intelligence Committee, including the Republican members. And I might also point out that both the Director of National Intelligence Maguire and Inspector General Atkinson of the intelligence community both said that the whistle- blower followed the law to the letter.
So for the president to suggest that there was anything untoward is really once again one of the many faults of the president in terms of putting out false information.
BURNETT: So I want to ask you today about something we're all trying to understand. Your committee staffers, Congresswoman Speier, were briefed on an urgent matter, we understand, that's the word that was used, urgent matter from the State Department inspector general and a Democratic aide told us it was a, quote, very strange meeting. Quote, it was basically handing over a pile of paper.
Do you know what's in those papers yet? Anything that -- that your -- your staff got from this inspector general?
SPEIER: No, my staff hasn't received anything, and I know as much as you know. I do know my colleague Jamie Raskin was there to receive the information. He said there was nothing that was secret or classified and that was why he was in a position to talk about it, and it was, I think, a lot of information that had been sitting around at the inspector general's office that now everything is subject to a heightened scrutiny.
And so, on the idea of wanting to be extremely cautious, he brought it over. I guess I'll know more tomorrow when I return to Washington.
BURNETT: Yes. And I just want to -- we're just understanding that, you know, Rudy Giuliani is telling CNN, literally, I'm giving you this news as I'm getting it, Congresswoman, that he provided the State Department with some of the information that the inspector general gave to lawmakers Wednesday.
So, what do you make of that, that there's some -- that perhaps something from the president's personal lawyer in there?
SPEIER: So, it's probably, you know, part of their campaign of misinformation that they are dredging up around the world and trying to get foreign leaders to comply with or support, and it's a very sad day for our country when we have the president of the United States asking leaders around the world to try and come up with dirt or discredit something that's gone on here in the United States whether it was the Mueller report or the determination made by all of the intelligence community that Russia had interfered with our elections.
He is still trying to promote a false narrative, and he's doing it on our time. He should be running the country, not trying to create this narrative that has truly been debunked over and over again. And what it does is it gives our adversaries a wide opening to do untoward things because we're not watching. And that's what I'm most concerned with right now.
BURNETT: And the president has made your chairman, Adam Schiff, a clear target, right? You heard him today, again and again and again. Here are some of the things that he threw out here today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We don't call him Shifty Schiff for nothing. He's a shifty, dishonest guy.
He should resign from office in disgrace, and frankly, they should look at him for treason because he is making up the words of the president of the United States.
You know, there's an expression, he couldn't carry his blank strap, and I won't say it because they'll say it was so terrible to say. But the guy couldn't carry his blank strap. Do you understand that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Congresswoman, what do you read in the president's tone?
SPEIER: Well, it's very dishonorable and he's lowering himself to a level unbecoming a president, not to mention the fact that he is making false statements using words that can only be used when we're talking about people being at war and someone working on behalf of another country. All of which is not the case.
I think what he sees is that he's threatened by the brain of Adam Schiff, the way that he moves the committee and operates the committee, and I think that has got him very concerned. What we saw today in that press conference is a decompensating president and we should all be very concerned about that.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. I appreciate your time, Congresswoman Speier.
SPEIER: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Bernie Sanders off the trail after undergoing a heart procedure. So, we'll have the latest on the senator's health and campaign tonight.
Plus, what President Trump had to say about reports that he wanted this around his wall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And the moat, I wanted alligators and snakes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, Bernie Sanders is speaking out for the first time since being hospitalized for a heart procedure, two stents in his arteries.
Sanders tweeting: I'm feeling good. I'm fortunate to have great health care and doctors and nurses helping me to recover.
The senator taking an indefinite break from the campaign trail to recover.
OUTFRONT now, our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, on assignment in California actually tonight, and here with me in Washington, Jonathan Martin, "New York Times" national political correspondent.
So, Sanjay, let me start with you.
We understand that Bernie Sanders had two stents inserted to treat a blocked artery. This obviously happened rather abruptly, and it was clearly not planned at all. It was abrupt. He's 78 years old.
Tell us how serious this kind of procedure is.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, certainly, this is a serious procedure, you wouldn't want to minimize this, but it's a commonly done procedure, as well, Erin, you know, over a million of these stents placed in the United States alone. And I think we have some graphic here to show exactly what happened here.
First of all, if you're watching this, this is a stent that actually goes into the one of the blood vessels, opens the blood vessel up, this isn't an operation. This isn't open-heart surgery. Sometimes people confuse those terms. This is a procedure that doesn't require the operation to actually perform, but rather that stent going in, ballooning, open the area of blockage, and then leaving a cage in there to sort of hold that open.
A commonly done procedure. You know, typically, recovery can be within a few days. One of the questions we don't know the answer to at this point, Erin, was, did he actually have part of his heart muscle tissue, did it actually die as a result of not having blood flow, and a result of a heart attack.
Just because he had chest pain does not necessarily mean he had a heart attack. If, in fact, he did, the recovery will be longer. But still, you're talking about days, not weeks.
BURNETT: Days, not weeks. And when you get -- I mean, this is a guy who obviously, Sanjay, who did five events in a day. I mean, you know, he was the energizer bunny, you know, if we're in the thing of just a few days, does that mean he's able to quickly return to that sort of a pace or no?
I mean, this is -- you know, these are things that -- that for many people, do impact the intensity with which they, you know, continue their activities.
GUPTA: What I would say, Erin, is the reason these procedures are done really is to restore blood flow to the heart. That's obvious, right? But the importance is that someone doesn't feel well. They're having pain.
Once you restore the blood flow to the heart, they typically feel better. That pain is either gone or completely gone.
So, from that standpoint, he should recover -- you know, that should be easier for him to actually continue on a schedule. From the procedure itself, though, it could take, you know, a few days to recover. If he had a heart attack and his heart muscle isn't beating as forcefully as it was in the past, that could take a longer period of time to recover. He may need to be on blood thinners. That shouldn't affect his recovery one way or the other, but it's something he's going to need to be more mindful of.
BURNETT: So, Jonathan, the Sanders campaign today actually had a massive ad buy of $1.3 million.
JONATHAN MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
BURNETT: I believe it was supposed to launch tomorrow.
BURNETT: And they put that on hold.
MARTIN: Well, I think they recognized this story would be the sort of the story for a couple of days and they also want to have a clear path when they do go up on the air. But talking to the campaign today, Erin, I was struck about how tight-lipped they were about this. That they -- staffers and supporters both of the senator were very uneasy about saying much about his condition, even answering some of the most basic questions about -- is he still in the hospital or not?
And I -- they're sensitive, obviously about this pause of a perception of a candidate who is 78 years old. But I will say this, having covered the senator, he's a very hale and hearty figure in the campaign trail. He's a vigorous figure. What's striking is that even four years after his last campaign, four years older, he doesn't seem to have slowed down at all.
BURNETT: Right, when people talk about age then, as you say, vigor is the word you would use.
MARTIN: It's same as now, right.
BURNETT: So, then, we do have video of him -- the event you mentioned before he went to the hospital.
MARTIN: Last night.
BURNETT: He did, as you point out, ask for a chair to sit in, which, you know, never happens. MARTIN: Correct.
BURNETT: He clearly was not felling well.
BURNETT: You know, as you say, that is not what -- that is not usually --
MARTIN: That is Bernie Sanders right there and the flushed look on his face, you can tell he's not doing that well.
And so, I think the question now is how fast can he get back on the campaign trail and what does this do to not his hard core supporter. Erin, the hard core Bernie folks are not going anywhere.
MARTIN: They are loyal. They're in this for a cause. The question I have is the person in Iowa who was on the fence, what does this do to them?
BURNETT: Right, right, and that is going to be the big question, all right, as well.
Of course, hope -- I hope for him to be out soon.
BURNETT: Thank you both very much.
And next, 2020 hopeful Andrew Yang with a major fund-raising haul. So what's he going do with it? He is OUTFRONT next.
And it was Trump's claim today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I watch my words very carefully.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: If only that applied to Twitter. Jeanne will explain exactly what we mean by that.
BURNETT: Tonight, a big haul for Andrew Yang. The businessman raised $10 million in the third quarter, which is more than triple the $2.8 million that he raised in the second quarter, and it is the biggest percentage increased we have seen from any of the candidates who have released their numbers for the quarter so far.
OUTFRONT now, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. And good to have you with me, Mr. Yang.
So, why the big surge now? Obviously, in terms of your percent, way more than anybody else. Why now?
ANDREW YANG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, our message is hitting home, Erin. Americans realize that we need to think bigger about solutions. We're in the greatest economic transformation in our country's history.
And it's not immigrants that are causing these problems. It's automation and advanced technologies. If we distribute gains from these technologies and innovations into our hands, then we can improve our way of life very, very quickly.
BURNETT: So, you are looking at $10 million. Look, it's a lot of money by any measure. And the context is what you are up against. I'm not talking in terms of your own party. I'm talking about Trump and the RNC. They say they raised $125 million in the same quarter. I mean, that's a huge number.
The president has passionate donors.
Are you worried about the strength that this shows for him? Even in the midst of what he is going through in Washington, $125 million?
WANG: I think right now, you have a fragmented Democratic field. But when we come together behind a nominee, that nominee is going to have ample resources to take on and defeat Donald Trump in the general election. And even now, I'm one of two candidates in the Democratic field that 10 percent or more of Donald Trump voters said they would support in the general, which I think makes me the strongest candidate to take him on next fall.
BURNETT: So, Trump today tweeted -- and just in part -- the word bull expletive. He put it in all caps in the middle of a tweet talking about Democrats.
Your rival, Kamala Harris, Senator Harris, wrote a letter to Twitter's CEO, Jack Dorsey. And she actually pointed to six other tweets. She says they violate Twitter's rules of conduct. She says the president uses his account to, quote, target, harass and attempt to out the whistleblower, suggesting that violence could be incited should Congress issue formal articles of impeachment against him.
You have a groundswell of support on social media. Is Senator Harris right, that President Trump should be silenced?
WANG: Well, I think that there was a stronger case for him not being able to use some of these platforms before he was the president of the United States. Now that he is in office, it's much harder to say, look, he shouldn't have access to something like Twitter. But I'm friendly with some of the technology leaders. They say at this point, they want to work with the government to find appropriate standards. They feel like it's tough for them to be in position where they are making these decisions, including regarding Donald Trump's Twitter account.
BURNETT: Right. I mean, do you believe fundamentally he has the -- he has the right of free speech and he is the president of the United States? He should be allowed to do, however he is going to use it, in a sense the rules -- some of the codes of conduct may not apply?
WANG: Well, I think it's a much harder case to make when you are talking about a political office holder, in case the president of the United States, that you are going to be able to kick him off one of these platforms, because at this point, he is major, major public figure in saying he is not allowed to use a particular service is very difficult.
BURNETT: So, let me ask you today. I'm sure you saw this earlier, the editorial board at "USA Today" came out against your freedom dividend plan. And they conclude, their final sentence was: Andrew Yang's freedom dividend is one of those too good to be true proposals that are hard to take seriously.
They go through your plan. They say that you would give, for example, a young affluent couple $24,000 a year, right, $12,000 each, while a single mother of three would get $12,000.
BURNETT: What do you say to them?
YANG: Well, what I say is that the freedom dividend is intended to be a foundation or a floor for all Americans and that we can't stop there. If you do have a single mother of three, there are programs designed to help make it better for her and more fair for her. And those programs continue to evolve. And that's where we should be investing.
So, the freedom dividend isn't meant to solve every problem for everyone, but it would make us stronger, healthier, mentally healthier and give millions of Americans a leg up and a path forward in an evolving economy.
BURNETT: Before we go, I want to ask you about Bernie Sanders, obviously, your rival for the nomination. The senator is obviously had a heart procedure for stents to be inserted in his arteries. He says he is taking time off the campaign trail to recover.
What's your message to him?
WANG: Bernie, you are a national hero, a role model and inspiration for so many of us. And you just need to get well. The country will still be here waiting for you when get back on the trail. I'm sure that will be very soon.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Andrew Yang. I appreciate your time.
YANG: See you in Ohio, Erin. Thank you.
BURNETT: All right.
And next, Trump tries to deny a report he wanted snakes and gators in a most around his wall, if only that's what his tweet said.
BURNETT: Moats and President Trump, it's a moot point.
Here is Jeanne.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the same day President Trump said --
TRUMP: I want my words very, very closely.
MOSO: He tweeted moot when he meant moat. A moot stuffed with alligators and snakes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Moot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Moat.
MOOS: But maybe the whole idea of a gator-filled border moat is now moot since the president is denying he ever suggested it.
TRUMP: Never said it. Never thought of it. It was a total lie.
MOOS: It was "The New York Times" that reported the president brought it up in a meeting. A water-filled trench stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate.
I would estimate it costs an arm and a leg in mockery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Dr. Evil come up with that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that is to have sharks with fricking laser beams attached to their heads.
MOOS: There were sketches of a border moat and memes. Get back in the moat and silly gator GIFs.
People have been floating the border moat idea for years, as a joke.
President Obama jabbed Republicans.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Maybe they will need a moat. Maybe they will want alligators in the moat.
MOOS: Did what "The Onion" satirized 12 years ago actually make it to the White House? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should America build a moat?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a fact that Mexicans are not buoyant. They sink like rocks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I also think we should look into sea monsters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was going to say alligators but yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some sort of monster.
MOOS: Forget snakes on a plane.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have had it with these mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) snakes.
MOOS: We've got to get these mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) snakes into these mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) moat, read another tweet.
What do we want? A snake and alligator filled moat. And who is going to pay for it?
MOOS (on camera): Moot moat is not potato potato.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Potato potato, tomato tomato.
MOOS (on camera): When it comes to gators and snakes in a moat --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's call the whole thing off.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
MOOS: And thanks to all of you for joining us.
"AC360" starts right now.