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Sanders: I "Misspoke" When I Said I'd Scale Back Campaigning; Warren, Struggling with Black Voters, Makes Her Pitch; Interview with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). Aired on 7-8p ET

Aired October 9, 2019 - 19:00   ET


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOSTI am Brianna Keilar in for Wolf Blitzer. Thank you so much for watching. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, Trump ramping up his attacks on the whistleblower. Democrats entering a new stage in their impeachment investigation. Plus, the President pressing Nancy Pelosi for a vote on the impeachment inquiry and he's not alone, because now there are some Democrats supporting the idea, so does Pelosi? And Bernie Sanders, his first major sit down interview since suffering a heart attack, what he's saying tonight about the future of his campaign? Let's go out front.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, growing unease in the White House tonight as fears of the impeachment probe deepen. And tonight, Trump is losing his cool. The timestamps on his Twitter messages show he barely slept last night. And today he lost his cool as he went back to his go-to attack lines targeting the whistleblower and the complaint, which is at the center of the impeachment investigation.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They heard a whistleblower who came out with a false story. People say, "Oh, it's fairly close." It wasn't close at all. What the whistleblower said bore no relationship to what the call was. We have a transcribed call done by professionals and the call was a perfect call.


BURNETT: OK. So he keeps saying it and some people may believe it, so it's time for a fact check. I want to start once again with the story, which was true. And you say, "How do you know that?" Well, we have that professionally transcribed call and we have the whistleblower's complaint, so we can compare them on the core issues here. They're more than fairly close.

I mean, for example, according to the complaint, the President claims Ukraine was behind the interference in the 2016 election. According to the transcript, the President says, "They say a lot of it started with Ukraine." Now, by the way, not only do those two things match, but I need to mention that that is a debunked conspiracy theory even according to Trump's own former Homeland Security Advisor, Tom Bossert.

OK. Then, take this example. The whistleblower complaint says, "Trump pressured Mr. Zelensky to initiate or continue an investigation into the activities of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden." So what was actually said according to the professional transcript released by the White House was worse, because it was after Zelensky brings up U.S. military support that Trump asks for this investigation.

The Ukraine President talks about getting Javelins. "We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes."

Trump's reply, "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." He goes on to say, "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me."

So the story that Trump calls false is actually not only backed up, but made worse by his professionally transcribed call. OK. So now let's go to the other allegation that the President today when he was losing his cool threw out there.


TRUMP: Then it turns out that the whistleblower is a Democrat, strong Democrat, and is working with one of my opponents as a Democrat that I might end up running against.


BURNETT: So let's lay out why this is false on both fact and insinuation. First the facts, the whistleblower's attorney responding a short time ago writing, "Our client has never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign or party." He added, "Our client has spent their entire government career in a political civil servant positions in the Executive Branch."

OK. So let's get to the insinuation, which is what this is all about. That the whistleblower's career history was kept secret, that this complaint is political, because the whistleblower is a Democrat. Now, the whistleblower told President Trump's handpicked Inspector General about his or her politics. Trump's Inspector General looked into the whistleblower's past and even though the whistleblower is a registered Democrat, the IG made clear that the person's political beliefs 'did not change my determination that the complaint relating to the urgent concern appears credible, particularly given the other information the ICIG obtained during its preliminary review'.

So he deemed it credible and urgent on merit. The messenger is not the issue, the message is the issue and the message was deemed urgent and credible. Oh, and by the way, President Trump's Acting Director of National Intelligence testified that the whistleblower acted in good faith.


JOSEPH MAGUIRE, ACTING DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I believe that the whistleblower and the Inspector General have acted in good faith throughout. I have every reason to believe that they have done everything by the book and followed the law.


BURNETT: So what the President said today was false, so it comes as House Democrats are now preparing a whole flurry of new subpoenas. Sources tell us they don't expect their witnesses to show up voluntarily. The White House is going to pull them as they did earlier this week, so they are now threatening with subpoenas.


Let's go to Kaitlan Collins out front live outside the White House. Kaitlan, you're getting some new reporting about the White House saying it's cooperating, but behind the scenes maybe not, a different preparation.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Behind the scenes we're seeing they're actually kind of preparing for impeachment to happen, acting like it could very well happen which they're starting to realize and they say the President is starting to understand because at first they had thought the President was in denial over this.

And that's evident enough in itself that they are bringing on Trey Gowdy as outside counsel to the President, an idea the President was initially resistant to. He was telling people he didn't want to bring on anyone, hire any new additional lawyers or form any kind of impeachment defense strategy team, because he thought it would make him look weak and now we're saying that Trey Gowdy is expected to be named soon as this outside counsel to the President.

Now, all of these comes as there are questions inside the West Wing about who exactly is going to be the person running this impeachment defense strategy. There are some people whose say it's Jared Kushner, the President's Senior Advisor and son-in-law. There are some people who say it's the Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney.

And then, of course, there are a lot of people who say, "Nope, it's just Trump himself." And as with the Gowdy situation, if the President can be convinced of it, and once he's on board, then they'll move forward with that idea.

Something else we're seeing is the White House and the President's campaign working to schedule some of these rallies and some aide said they believe that's because the President needs a way to channel some of his frustration that you've seen him expressing not only there in the Roosevelt room today, but also on Twitter over this. And that includes not only a rally in Minneapolis tomorrow night, but another that was scheduled pretty close at the last minute for Friday night. Now, the question is going to be going forward whether or not aides

feel like the President is focusing too much on this impeachment inquiry and not enough on anything else, leading him to lash out as you saw him do today during an event that was not obviously related to impeachment. So that's really the question going forward.

But, yes, Erin, you're seeing the White House say, publicly, we are not going to be cooperating with what Democrats are doing right now. But behind the scenes, they're kind of gearing up facing this, realizing that it could be inevitable.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kaitlan, from the White House. And I want to go out front now to Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York. A member of the Judiciary Committee, also the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

So Congressman, look you're one of the leaders here of the Democratic Party and according to our reporting, look, you all have pretty much said you're not going to expect anyone to show up voluntarily or maybe they themselves would like to come but they're going to be not allowed to do so by the White House. So what are you going to do now?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Well, I think we're going to continue to follow the facts, apply the law and be guided by the U.S. Constitution. We're not going to let Donald Trump's strategy of obfuscation, obstruction, the cover up, the stonewalling delay us from uncovering the truth and presenting that information to the American people.

The bottom line here is that we know the central facts that are an issue that Donald Trump withheld without justification $391 million in aid from Ukraine at a moment when they are very vulnerable and under attack from Russian-backed separatists in Crimea. We know that Donald Trump on a phone call on July 25th pressured a foreign government to target an American citizen for political gain. That is textbook abuse of power. Those facts are not in dispute.

BURNETT: Well, as we just showed, that's the transcript, that you can see, but look you all have said you're going to find more facts, you're going to interview people. The former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine actually was relevant to that call, Marie Yovanovitch, she's an important player.

She's scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill for an interview Friday. It would seem, I would assume, that she herself would probably be fine with doing that. But obviously she was a State Department employee during all this, so is there any chance she shows up?

JEFFRIES: I think it is likely that she will show up based on the fact that she's no longer operating within the umbrella of the Department of State. You are going to see cooperation moving forward from patriotic Americans who understand that the wrongdoing that occurred here by Donald Trump undermine our National Security, undermine the integrity of our elections, undermine the United States Constitution. That's why people are stepping forward.

BURNETT: So you think because she's no longer a current employee, she'll be able to defy their requests?

JEFFRIES: Well, that is correct. Well, their request has no basis in law.


JEFFRIES: And so their ability to restrict people who are no longer within the umbrella of the Trump administration is limited. In fact, it's a nonexistent, Erin.

BURNETT: OK. So there are small but influential group of Democrats who some of them privately, but some of them publicly saying the House should go ahead and hold that impeachment inquiry vote that the President in his letter said, "You have to do that or else." It doesn't say he's going to cooperate if you all do it, but obviously it was done for Clinton, it was done for Nixon. There is precedent for it, although not constitutionally required.

Here are two Democrats today.


REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): I do think that it's time for us to put a vote on the floor resolution for the inquiry structured in such a way that it can move forward with full power of the Congress behind it.


REP. BETO O'ROURKE (D-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'd love to remove that as a talking point or a reason for the kind of obstruction that you're seeing from the President.


BURNETT: So you're the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. You're talking to everybody all of the time. What are you hearing? Is there going to be a vote?

JEFFRIES: Well, the support still exists for the position that Speaker Pelosi has articulated in a strong fashion. She's a constitutional officer. The Speaker of the House is one of the few positions actually mentioned in the United States Constitution.

When she declared that we are in the midst of an impeachment inquiry, that has the full force and weight of the United States Constitution and we also know that the overwhelming majority of the House Democratic caucus and one independent in the Congress support impeachment. So a majority in terms of the inquiry, so a majority of the House of Representatives supports an inquiry.

BURNETT: Right. No, I mean, constitutionally of course, I guess the question is politically, as Beto O'Rourke said. Get rid of the talking point where they say you did it for Clinton, you did it for Nixon, why not do it now, what are you afraid of. Do you end up worried that you'll end up being in that position? I know that would give them the ability to call witnesses. They could

call Hunter Biden. Obviously, there's concerns that you have, but do you think it's possible that ...

JEFFRIES: Well, it's our expectation and as the Speaker has consistently indicated, we're going to treat President Trump fairly. We just want to get to the bottom of what occurred with this whole sordid episode and present that to the American people, because we believe the facts are on the side of serious wrongdoing, having occurred.

And the question really is what is the President afraid of. He's going to continue to throw up procedural roadblocks to us uncovering evidence. If he has nothing to hide, stop hiding from the American people. Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence, the secretary or the Attorney General, Rudolph Giuliani, all of the President's men continue to hide from the American people, because they can't address the substance of the allegations here which is the undermining of our National Security.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman Jeffries. I appreciate your time.

JEFFRIES: Thank you.

BURNETT: Good to see you in person. And OUTFRONT next, Trump challenging the way Democrats are conducting the impeachment investigation.


TRUMP: You can't have lawyers, you can't ask questions, you can't have anybody present ...


BURNETT: So is there anything to that or not? The experts are next. Plus, the Vice President and the Secretary of State coming to the President's defense tonight. Though, could they soon find themselves in trouble for what they did in the Ukraine controversy? And Joe Biden taking an apparent shot at Elizabeth Warren, is he getting worried?


JOE BIDEN, FORMER UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It takes proven ability to get things done. We're not electing a planner.




BURNETT: Breaking tonight, President Trump lashing out against House Democrats as he stonewalls their impeachment inquiry. The President hedging when asked whether he would cooperate if they hold a vote to authorize the investigation.


TRUMP: Well, we would if they give us our rights. It depends if they vote and say, you can't have lawyers, you can't ask questions, you can't have anybody present all of these crazy things. And even some of the reporters said to me it really is an unfair situation.


BURNETT: Out front now Greg Brower; former Assistant Director for the Office of Congressional Affairs at the FBI under President Trump and a former Republican state lawmaker. Anne Milgram; former New Jersey Attorney General and CNN legal analyst and Doug Brinkley, excuse me, CNN Presidential Historian. Evan Perez is also with me, our Senior Justice Correspondent.

So Greg, let me start with you. The President says, "Oh, even journalists are telling me, I mean, it's just unbelievable, we should have lawyers, ask questions, have people present." He calls the whole inquiry unfair. Is there any truth to that?

GREG BROWER, FORMER DEPUTY GENERAL COUNSEL, FBI: Oh, hi, Erin. I would say there is not any truth to that and I'm not a journalist, but I would guarantee you that not a single journalist has said anything like that other than maybe somebody out there on the fringe that isn't a real journalist. The facts are these, the House sets the rules. There is no precedent whatsoever for an adversarial type proceeding with respect to an impeachment inquiry.

It is a one-way process. The House conducts an investigation. It is not unlike a grand jury investigation in the criminal context where the Department of Justice conducts its own investigation in secret. The target of the investigation has no opportunity to call witnesses or even really know what's going on.

But rest assured when that criminal defendant is charged, if he or she is charged, or in this case if the President is impeached, he will then be able to present witnesses, present evidence and that process in the Senate looks much more like a trial. But this process, this impeachment inquiry process is not that.

BURNETT: And Anne, I think this is really significant, because the President keeps saying that, oh, the fact that it's done in secret, the fact that we can't call witnesses as if that in and of itself is unfair.


BURNETT: A lot of people at home look at that and they go, "OK." But as Greg just laid out, no.

MILGRAM: Greg did a great job of explaining. This process, the congressional process at this moment in time, it is like a grand jury investigation and the investigation is the most important word. In that, they're going to gather documents, they're going to interview witnesses. Oftentimes, they'll depose witnesses before they even call them before the committee.

And remember, those committees are bipartisan. When witnesses go before the committee, whether it's closed door or public, those individuals are being questioned by both Democrats and Republicans. That's the investigation.

At the point that impeachment is brought, that's filing a formal charges. Then, you would go on to a trial in the United States Senate where all of those things are truth. The President gets lawyers, gets to cross-examine witnesses, gets to call witnesses but not now.

BURNETT: Right. So, OK, so we've exposed that as not true what he's saying there. I mean Doug, the House Speaker is resisting calls to hold that vote and you heard Congressman Jeffries saying they're towing the line on that, although we've heard some Democrats come out and say they should vote.


So she's responded to that White House letter, the one that they said, "Absolutely we will not cooperate at all." "The White House should be warned," this is her today, "the continued efforts to hide the truth of the President's abuse of power will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction. Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable."

I wanted to ask this of you, because you've said it's so much history. I mean obstruction is tough. The public looks at it as, "OK, fine." Even in the case of Mueller, they care about the underlying crime and it was maybe the least compelling of the Nixon articles of impeachment. Will it work now, obstruction?

DOUG BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I don't think so. I think Pelosi though just wants to build the case a little bit more for the next couple of weeks. They're going to have to take a vote. It's going to have to be either before Thanksgiving or in early December, because he's busted.

I mean, the evidence is already there. They can move right now forward on impeachment. So I think the people wanting what's the investigation going to be, it's well underway. There's going to be more information, but in the end by Christmas season, Donald Trump will probably have an eye on his chest forever. Meaning, he was impeached by Congress and then Senate will be at trial. They'll take on a whole different contour then.

BURNETT: Right. And we're going to talk more about that. But Evan, look, the letter is - I'm sorry, what I say is the transcript is what the transcript is of the call, right?


BURNETT: It's there. So either people see that as enough or they don't, is there fear in Congress that they're running the risk of right now the American people have seen that, they understand that, they're focused on it, but the longer this draws out and you already have the 'smoking gun', you don't get more. Do they lose momentum?

PEREZ: Yes. Look, I think there is a concern about that and I think that's one of the reasons why you see some of the nervous comments about perhaps trying to hold a vote sooner rather than later. And I think that's what the President's aim here is. That's what his teams may aim here is to drag this out, make it essentially a battle of wills and make it appear to be just a partisan fistfight or food fight rather.

Because in that case, he believes he will win and I think that's one of the reasons why you see this strategy that is emerging from the Republican side, from the President's side. So the Democrats do have to be concerned that like the Mueller thing which dragged on for two years that if this goes on too long, they will lose a momentum on this from a political standpoint.

BURNETT: And Greg, look, President Trump tonight is foreshadowing his strategy. He sent a letter yesterday saying, "You hold the vote," and doesn't say he'll cooperate necessarily, but maybe. But he's fighting everything. He's fighting every single witness and here's how he puts it.


TRUMP: We wrote a letter yesterday and probably ends up being a big Supreme Court case, maybe it goes a long time, I don't know.


BURNETT: How long does this go on, Greg? That's clearly his strategy, right?

BROWER: Clearly and it's been his strategy all along to prevent the facts from coming out, to prevent witnesses from testifying, to refuse to produce documents. And the House will have no choice but to either litigate those issues, which ultimately I believe will be decided against the President, perhaps ultimately by the Supreme Court, but that takes time.

Or, option B for the House is simply as it has indicated, it intends to do in part to simply add those examples of obstruction to an article of impeachment centered around obstructive conduct and simply move on. But, yes, it appears that delay game is what the White House wants to play. The letter from the White House Counsel it seemed to me to be much more of a political argument that any kind of cogent legal argument.

Clearly, the White House counsel's client, the President has said, just do whatever you can to refuse to cooperate and delay, and that's the plan.

BURNETT: So Doug, is there anything that Congress really, when you look at this, can do to stop him from pushing the clock? I mean ... BRINKLEY: Yes. They have to take a vote. I mean, look, the American

people understand since George Washington, presidents aren't supposed to encourage foreign countries to interfere in our political process.

BURNETT: And you mean a vote on an inquiry or a vote on an article based on what's in that transcript?

BRINKLEY: I think on the article based on the transcript. I think they're going to have to nail him on that, because there's fatigue after a couple years of the Mueller and going on and kicking it down and looking at the politics of it. This is a political moment that even if it's all Democrats or one independent, they have him. There would be a dereliction of duty if the Democrats didn't push this forward and send a message for future generations that that kind of behavior of what Trump do with the Ukrainian leader is unacceptable.

BURNETT: All of you stay with me. Next, Lindsey Graham has a message for the House Speaker tonight.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I want Nancy Pelosi to know that Republican Senators are not going to peach this president.



BURNETT: Are there signs that could change? And Bernie Sanders in his first major sit-down interview, trying to clarify what he said last night when he said he was scaling back his campaign. What he's saying tonight?



BURNETT: Breaking tonight, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence defending the President and their roles in the Ukraine scandal.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I never discussed the issue of the Bidens with President Zelensky.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I was on the call. I listened to it. It was consistent with what President Trump has been trying to do to take corruption out. I found that to be wholly appropriate to try and get another country to stop being corrupt.


BURNETT: Everyone is back with me.

So, Anne, you know, two different situations there, shall we say. ANNE MILGRAM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes.

BURNETT: We start with Pence. I mean, he's involved with this whether he likes it or not, and from what we understand, he was the one who delivered the message of no aid.


BURNETT: Maybe he didn't understand the whole context of what he was a part of.

MILGRAM: Right, I agree. And what's interesting is Pence has been out of the hurricane largely through the Trump presidency and this is the first time he's in the crosshairs of something that's happened where he's now obviously a witness -- an important witness.

What's fascinating about all of this is that Trump, as we know, even during the past week, has repeatedly changed his defense, his argument -- you know, it was a perfect call, the whistleblower is a political, China should do it. And now, we're seeing sort of -- I think both Vice President Pence and Pompeo really locked in to defending the president. And so, what will be interesting is when they have to testify before Congress, when they have to provide documents, whether they'd be any indication that they've had some of these conversations or have expressed doubts or concerns.

BURNETT: Right, which certainly so many others on that call found it to be wholly inappropriate, as well as those who listened to it.

I mean, Evan, Pence and Pompeo obviously under immense scrutiny. You got Pompeo refusing for anyone from the State Department who's -- you know, that they can control and not allowing them to testify. You're reporting tonight, though, on one person in Trump's orbit who is escaping so far, but could be very important, who is that?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's Bill Barr. I mean, look, in the beginning of this, he was in the crosshairs of the Democrats. They were faulting him not only because he was mentioned by the president on the phone call. If you remember, the president says to the Ukrainian leader, I want you to work with my attorney general and my personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on this issue with the Bidens.

But, you know, beyond that, the Justice Department, if you remember, produced the legal guidance that blocked this whistleblower complaint from going to Congress. So, the mystery has been why the Democrats have been holding their fire on Barr and instead just focusing on Pompeo and the State Department. What we're hearing is they're not quite saying they're not going to say that, but right now, they're laser focused on Pompeo and the State Department. They think that's where the story has obviously more merit right now and we'll see whether or not they'll go after Barr down the road.

BURNETT: Which obviously is a big question.

Greg, I want to ask you though about when you heard Mike Pompeo say, given that we've seen the transcript of the call, given that, you know, even though Republicans have spoken out about it, look, what the president said about a favor was inappropriate. Mike Pompeo says, I was on the call, it was consistent with what the president has been trying to do to take corruption, I found it to be wholly appropriate to try to get another country to stop being corrupt.

What do you make of that? Obviously, he's avoiding the whole issue of the Biden part of it. But what do you make of his -- I mean, he's in hook, line and sinker here.

GREG BROWER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FORMER GOP STATE LAWMAKER: Well, he is, and he seems to be simply, blindly following the president and taking his cues from the president. It may be that the vice president doesn't know much, and it wouldn't be the first time that a vice president is completely out of the loop on something important. But that's what we need to find out and that's why Congress needs to get the facts.

But, clearly, the secretary of state was in the loop, knows all about it, but I think it's simply, as I said, it's blindly defending the president.

BURNETT: So, Doug, Senator Lindsay Graham is now stepping it up when it comes to the Senate because that's where he believes it will come. He says he's going to ask his Republican colleagues to sign a letter saying that they don't believe the Ukraine call is an impeachable offense, all right? He's trying to get his people aligned and behind him. Here he is.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I want Nancy Pelosi to know that Republican senators are not going to impeach this president based on this transcript, so she can stop now before she destroys the country.


BURNETT: All right. Would a letter like that mean anything? We know where the vast majority of them stand. I mean, this would not be breaking news, but it would be a letter.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Nothing. It's about Lindsey Graham wanting to make news really right now, wanting to be a leader. It's the same day he called Trump foreign policy with the Kurds in Syria shameless foreign policy, denouncing Trump and now he's saying he's going to have a letter with signatures on them.

The show isn't in the Senate right now. The show is in Congress. Pelosi is leading the march onward with them moving towards impeachment.

And Lindsey Graham is the side player. He'll have his day, though, when eventually if he can end up getting Hunter Biden to speak or --

BURNETT: In front of his committee, right.

BRINKLEY: In front of his committee.

MILGRAM: But the thing that's troubling about this is we're at a point now where Congress -- you know, a democratically elected Congress said, we want information, we want information from the State Department, from the Pentagon, from the Office of Management and Budget, and the executive branch is refusing to turn over that information. So, Lindsey Graham and every other senator should be saying give them the information we want, we don't think this is impeachable. They can have any political argument they want.

But there is a more fundamental issue at play here that Graham has basically decided that the executive gets to not ever listen to Congress and that is deeply troubling.


BURNETT: Well, it's deeply troubling, because you know what? Eventually, the shoe will be on the other foot. They will come a time and they'll regret that.

Evan, it's going to take 20 Republicans along with Democrats in the Senate, right? If this even will move forward. There's no -- there's -- right now, that's a snowball's chance in hell. Things could change, but we're not there right now.

However, according to our count, there are eight senators who expressed serious concerns about the president's call with Ukraine, right? You've got Romney, you've got Sasse, you've got Portman. They're mad. Another six are calling for more information.

So when you take that together you get that 14, what do you think? Is that more than you would even think would be saying that at this point?

PEREZ: Yes, you know what? I am surprised that more are saying we want more information and that's kind of what you would expect members of Congress to be doing. As Anne just pointed out, usually members of Congress jealously guard the idea of having oversight of the executive branch that if they're asking for information that the executive branch doesn't just get to say no, and so you would think at least some of them would be saying we want to see more. We want to hear more.

But you know, I think the White House has been trying to get everybody onboard with the idea that this is all political and you need to stay in line because that's what the president wants.

BURNETT: You know, it's interesting, during Fast and Furious, it was Trey Gowdy, head of oversight, who said, I don't care what political party is in charge of Congress and what you think about it when the party in charge asks for information you hand it over, and hand it over and do it now. That was Trey Gowdy, he is now formally, Greg, just moments ago, according to Jay Sekulow, been named as an adviser and going to be helping the president in this.

So what does that mean? Does Trey Gowdy pretend he never thought or said that?

BROWER: Yes. I think that's exactly what we can expect. He will pretend he never thought or said that, just like Senator Graham is pretending that he never said and thought the things that he clearly said. There's plenty of videotape evidence during the Clinton impeachment where he vehemently argued that the obstruction of an investigation by the White House, by the president was in and of itself grounds for impeachment. And so, I think we're going to see a lot of amnesia going around.

The other thing I would point out if we listen to Senator Graham's comments is if you listen to what he said, he said that the Republicans in the Senate aren't going to impeach. Well, he knows that the House impeaches, the Senate tries and removes.

But putting semantics aside, listen, if we listen to what he said, he's basically saying we're not willing to listen to the evidence. We're not willing to have a fair trial.

What he ought to be saying to the speaker is madam speaker if you send us articles of impeachment, this is a very serious matter. We will do our best to put politics aside and listen to the evidence. I can't guarantee you that the votes to convict will be there, there may be there. They may not be there, they may not be there, but we will listen and take it seriously.

BURNETT: Yes, not at all what he's saying.

All right. Thank you so very much.

And next, Joe Biden for the first time calling for Trump's impeachment and not holding back.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's shooting holes in the Constitution, and we cannot let him get away with it.


BURNETT: Plus, Elizabeth Warren in South Carolina campaigning tonight. She's trying to court a group of voters that she must have for a big win.



BURNETT: Breaking news. Bernie Sanders defending his campaign's decision to wait nearly three days to disclose that Sanders had a heart attack. Here he is.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's nonsense. The first thing that we're trying to do is understand what's going on and not run to "The New York Times" and have to report every 15 minutes. You know, it's not a baseball game. So, I think we acted absolutely appropriately.


BURNETT: The senator is also walking back comments he made yesterday about scaling back his campaign schedule, saying: I misspoke the other day. I said a word I should not have said. We're going to go back -- get back in the groove of a very vigorous campaign.

So, just take a listen to what he did say yesterday after he met with his cardiologist.


SANDERS: I think we can change the nature of the campaign a bit, make sure that I have the strength to do what I have to do.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Patrick Healy, politics editor at "The New York Times" and Toluse Olorunnipa, a national political reporter at "The Washington Post".

I appreciate both of your time.

So, Patrick, Sanders saying, you know, he misspoke. Certainly, yesterday, he did sound subdued. He had met with his cardiologist. Today, he was much more the Bernie Sanders that we are all familiar with, you know?

But he said what he said yesterday and it wasn't just a word. It was much more than that. And now, today, he's purposely using the word vigorous.

What do you make of it?

PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: He's sending a message to the millions of people who are supporting him across the country and certainly were donating to him with living with a huge amount of cash on hand that he's still in this and that if you're going to win the nomination of the Democratic Party against Donald Trump, you have to fight for it and you're fighting for it every day.

So, he's sending a pretty clear message that he's not dropping out of the race. I think yesterday, after that quote, it changed the nature of the campaign and there were questions about whether this was a campaign that would essentially be closing down over time, but he still wants to at least fight for the issues and the policies that he's going for.

But I don't think it helped, Erin, that this came at the same time that he basically was saying that he waited for three days to disclose to the public that he had a heart attack. You know, his campaign was getting questions every day, by the hour. There was misinformation certainly on social media and out there among voters, questions about his health condition and they decided to sit on that for reasons that haven't been -- been clarified.

BURNETT: Yes. I mean, Toluse, you know, when you have Sanders, you know, and others, but, you know, always pointing out the lack of transparency on all these issues, certainly from the current occupant of the Oval Office, you know, they did wait nearly three days to disclose something that is -- I don't think anyone can argue, really, really crucial to the core to the entire situation and to Bernie Sanders. And he just dismisses any talk of that delay was an issue, as nonsense.

What do you make of that?

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think this is going to be a very long campaign.


And it really will depend on how Senator Sanders performs at the debate next week and going forward in the campaign as to whether or not this three-day length of time where we really didn't know what was happening and there was a lot of information that wasn't clear, whether or not that is a turning point in his campaign, or whether or not that was just a blip in a very, long and vigorous campaign, to use the word that he used.


OLORUNNIPA: And it will really depend on whether or not he's able to kind of come back from this and be the same Sanders that he has been on the campaign trail, campaigning regularly and often all over those early states.


OLORUNNIPA: And if he's able to do that, then it won't be as much of a problem. But if he struggles at the debate stage, if he doesn't look well, if he has to scale back his campaign, then people will wonder how much information they're --


BURNETT: It will change.

And as you point out, both of you know it -- I mean, look, he was the top fundraiser in the quarter. So, you know, for someone like that to give the impression that their campaign is somehow winding down, you know, would dramatically transform the race.

Patrick, I want to play for you Joe Biden today for the first time formally calling for impeachment and really coming out against the president. Here's one thing he said.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He believes he can and will get away with anything he does. We all laughed when he said he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and get away with it. It's no joke. He's shooting holes in the Constitution, and we cannot let him get away with it.


BURNETT: Patrick, he's clearly trying to turn up the heat and the intensity on this issue.

HEALY: Yes. I mean, he's -- he was unclear really for weeks where he ultimately stood on impeachment. He's been really slow to this and sort of allowing the House to do, you know, its investigation. But he's now getting to where the other leading candidate in the field is, Elizabeth Warren, who has been very clear and full-throated on impeachment. So, it seems in some ways he's catching up to her here.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.

And next, Elizabeth Warren trying to connect with a crucial group of voters, crucial to win the primaries.

Plus, the pint-sized sneak attack during one journalist's live shot.



BURNETT: Tonight, Joe Biden taking a not so thinly veiled shot at Elizabeth Warren.


BIDEN: It takes proven ability to get things done. We're not electing a planner.


BURNETT: Of course, the person with the plans, you see her there. This comes as Warren visits South Carolina where she's trying to appeal to a group of voters she must win over, if she wants to be the Democratic nominee.



SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe it's time to start the national full-blown conversation about reparations in this country.


MJ LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Time and time again, Senator Elizabeth Warren standing out as a crowd favorite at events hosted by black activists and leaders. But that warm reception has yet to fully translate to support for Warren among black voters across the country.

A Quinnipiac poll this week showing Warren with 20 percent support among African-Americans in the Democratic primary. It's a notable improvement from the 10 percent backing she had in August, but still far behind former Vice President Joe Biden who enjoys 36 percent support from the critical voting group.

In South Carolina, where Warren returned to campaign this week, that Biden/Warren gap even greater. A recent CNN poll showing Biden with an overwhelming 45 percent support among black voters in the state and Warren registering only 4 percent support.

Warren spending time in Charleston on Wednesday, speaking to local residents and community leaders.

WARREN: I'm showing up because I think that's really important -- showing up and shaking hands and talking with people.

LEE: One long-time Biden supporter saying he could be swayed.

SKIP MIKELL, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: I came here today in the back of my mind, I was still a Biden Democrat. I probably will change my mind. And I was impressed by her today.

LEE: Warren has steadily gained political momentum and is now at the front of the pack of Democratic presidential candidates nationally alongside Biden. She's emerged a favorite among liberals and women and college-educated whites. Her campaign pointing to Warren's myriad of policy plans as a major part of her outreach to black voters.

Since the start of her 2020 campaign, the senator has focused on themes of systemic racism and economic inequality, trying to address concerns specific to African-Americans and many of her policy outlines.

WARREN: African-Americans are about half as likely to own their own businesses, to start their own successful businesses.

LEE: The specificity of some of Warren's ideas striking a nerve.

WARREN: Doctors and nurses don't hear African-American women's medical issues the same way that they hear the same things from white women.

I got a plan.


And here's the plan.

LEE: But Warren has less than four months until voting begins to make deeper inroads with African-American voters, while Biden has fostered relationships with black leaders and voters over his decades in public life.

MIKELL: He's a known quantity and he's -- let's be honest, he was Obama's vice president so that makes a big deal. But before he was Obama's vice president, he was a progressive senator.


LEE: now here in South Carolina today Senator Warren making some significant news. She said for the first time that if she were to become the Democratic nominee, she will continue to not solicit wealthy donors or hold high-dollar fundraisers, continuing to expand her strategy in the primaries into the general election, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, MJ.

And next, Jeanne Moos on the best television moment of the day.


COURTNEY KUBE, NBC NEWS: Kurdish -- excuse me, my kids are here.




BURNETT: Here's Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one thing to help make a kid make a cameo and the other thing when the kid's cameo is a sneak attack.

KUBE: The concern is they want -- their concern is they want to have Kurdish -- excuse me, my kids are here. Live television.

MOOS: When in trouble go to the map.

MSNBC national security correspondent couldn't keep herself secure from her own kid.

KUBE: Excuse me, my kids are here.

MOOS: BBC dad, you're not alone anymore, someone tweeted, referring to the celebrated instances of kids barging into a TV interview as professor Robert Kelly tried to fend off his 4-year-old daughter, his 9-month-old son made his entrance.

ROBERT KELLY, PROFESSOR: I would be surprised if they do.

MOOS: Followed by his wife sliding in like it was home plate. Ducking, dragging out the kids.

KELLY: My apologies.

MOOS: Apologies? We loved it and the recasting that followed featuring Spicer, Trump, Ben Carson and Kellyanne Conway.

(on camera): Now maybe you think Rudy Giuliani is making a spectacle of himself on TV lately.

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: I'm not going to give you the documents, why would I give you the documents?

MOOS: But remember what his kid once did.

(voice-over): Twenty-five years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I, Rudolph William Giuliani --

GIULIANI: I, Rudolph William Giuliani --

MOOS: Rudy's son helped utter the mayoral oath of office --

GIULIANI: So help me God.

MOOS: And muscled in on the handshake.

Even a ball handler like Steph Curry had trouble handling his 2-year- old. Riley laughed at dad, told him to shush.


MOOS: And yawns.

STEPH CURRY, NBA PLAYER: He plays well and he did that --

MOOS: But sometimes the parent can claim victory. Commentator Rachel Sklar did an interview on the subject of Barbie while breastfeeding , there was only one tell tale tug of the top and then watch the hand appear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's cultural commentator Rachel Sklar joining me.

MOOS: Give that kid a hand.

Jeanne Moos.

KUBE: Live television.

MOOS: CNN, New York.


BURNETT: Thanks for joining us.

Anderson starts now.