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Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) is Interviewed About Trump Asking GOP to "Stick Together" in Impeachment Fight; Klobuchar Attacks Warren In Bid to Woo Moderate Dems. Aired on 7-8p ET

Aired October 21, 2019 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, toughen up, that is President Trump's message to Republicans. Will it work? Plus, he was the first Republican to call for impeachment and then he had to leave the party. What's Justin Amash's next move? He's out front tonight. And Elizabeth Warren says she has a plan to pay for Medicare for All, what is it? Let's go out front.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, President Trump slamming Republicans saying Democrats are more loyal to each other. Accusing his party of not being tough and not standing by him.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In fight, we have some that are great fighters but they have to get tougher in fight because the Democrats have tried to hurt the Republican Party for the election, which is coming up. They don't have Mitt Romney in their midst. They don't have people like that. They stick together. You never see them break off.


BURNETT: That is how Trump is trying to motivate Republicans to defend him against a mounting impeachment investigation. An investigation which is about to hear from a star witness, Trump's top diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor.

In just a few hours, Taylor will defy Trump's efforts to stay silent and testify behind closed doors. Taylor could be one of the biggest threats to Trump's presidency at this time, that is because what he says tomorrow could cause more cracks to emerge in the president's Republican firewall.

Remember, it was Taylor who texted this to the President's Ambassador to the EU back in September, "As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with the political campaign." It is that line which says it all, right, withhold assistance for help with the political campaign that is at the center of the impeachment investigation.

It is, of course, the definition of a self-dealing quid pro quo. And Trump knows that those Republicans that he's worried about breaking off will be listening to Taylor's every word.


REP. FRANCIS ROONEY (R-FL): I want to hear what Ambassador Taylor has to say Tuesday. What I've heard so far is quite troubling.

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): Holding up funds to a foreign nation particularly one that's under military threat in order to fulfill a political purpose is a real problem.


BURNETT: Trump is clearly feeling the pressure as he hears people like Romney, Rooney, Murkowski, Collins and Sasse raise red flags. Red flags showing that his go-to defense may not hold up even with Republicans.


TRUMP: No quid pro quo.

There's no quid pro quo.

No quid pro quo.

No quid pro quo.

No quid pro quo.


BURNETT: Of course, as we've seen, that defense has been decimated by Trump's Chief of Staff, by Trump's phone call with Ukraine's President where he asked for a 'favor' when the Ukrainian president brought up military aid. And, of course, by Trump's own public comments on camera.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, what exactly did you hope Zelensky would do about the Bidens after your phone call? Exactly.

TRUMP: Well, I would think that if they were honest about it they'd start a major investigation into the Bidens.


BURNETT: Boris Sanchez is upfront live outside the White House. Boris, Trump clearly - look, he's nervous, he's stressed, he's going after his own party today.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Erin. The President sounding lonely today complaining about unity within his own party. The president here attacking Democrats saying that they're vicious and lousy politicians, but then sounding a bit envious saying that they stick together. As you heard there, they don't have a Mitt Romney. All of this is happening at a very delicate moment for this White

House, because keep in mind in recent weeks, Republicans have struggled to defend this president, not only over his actions on the phone with the Ukrainian president, but also the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. Something that received widespread condemnation and his decision to host the G7 at his Gulf property in Doral, Florida, something else that Republicans struggled to back him up on.

The president scrambled to fix the situation in Syria. He abandoned the G7 plans this weekend, but the feeling is still there. This president recognizes that some of these voices that are being critical of him, he is going to need to defend him at a very important time because some of these same voices will be the only thing that stands between Trump at a potential early end to his presidency, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Boris, thank you very much. Out front now, Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley who sits on the House Intel committee which is of the committees which will interview Bill tomorrow. Good to have you with me, Congressman. So what are your key questions for Bill Taylor?

REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL): Look, he's obviously a witness to this scheme, what else did he see, who else was involved, what don't we know. I think you're right, he texts what most Americans are thinking. It's crazy to have a quid pro quo involving military aid. It's also extraordinarily wrong and who else might have stepped up and said the same thing.


In the text, he alludes to a phone call as we said on the phone, who else did he talked to, to say this. And I guess and finally why aren't there more whistleblowers? Why didn't more people step up and say, this is horribly wrong, we can't do this. The American people need to know.

BURNETT: I mean it certainly sounds like, Congressman, that - I mean, look, the response to this text was from Gordon Sondland and Gordon Sondland as said was essentially dictated by the President, when Sondland respond there was no quid pro quo.

But this sounds like an honest text not one necessarily sent thinking that it was going to see the light of day, if you know what I'm saying, as opposed to the response from Sondland which was clearly dictated by the President. But yet, it does read like it's someone who wanted to create a record.

QUIGLEY: I see that and in the light of day looking years, months and years back, sometimes a text or some sort of message makes sense in one manner or another. The fact is he said the right thing at the right time and I do believe in my heart of hearts there's more people out there like him, each witness sometimes leads us to other information and other people who might testify. And that's why these ongoing depositions matter so much, what else do we need to know.


QUIGLEY: So I think the American public has the majority of the case in front of them.

BURNETT: Well, certainly from the transcript which is public, they do, right, they saw military aid brought up by the Ukrainian president and the response from President Trump being, "But first a favor," and I should note that this text predated any public knowledge of that transcript. So this is what somebody thought thinking none of this would ever see the light of publicity.

Look, the deposition schedule, Congressman, for this week appears to be shrinking. One source is telling CNN tonight that some witnesses may have been removed because they still need to find counsel, so then they've got a reschedule, that pushes dates out, no depositions will be held on Thursday and Friday due to honoring the late chairman Elijah Cummings of oversight.

Are you going to get all of this done, the people that you need to interview and get a vote on impeachment articles before Thanksgiving?

QUIGLEY: Look, I think that's quite possible. Certainly delays won't be attributed to us. I do want to stress this, what we talked about the case has been made. It is resonating with the American people. It's not just the transcript and the complaint, it's the text and, oh, by the way, the admission by Mr. Mulvaney and the President himself in his own public comments.

What we need to do is build this case, solidify it. None of these witnesses have contradicted anything in the complaint. They have done nothing but corroborate. They feed into each other. This won't be easy. There is obstruction and if the President thinks he can halt this investigation through obstruction, he may hurt one element but he is certainly building a stronger case for obstruction.

BURNETT: So, look, the Republicans are fighting back. They tried to force a floor vote to censure Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for certain misleading conduct. They're referring to his paraphrasing the phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president. The President tweeted about this today, "Censure (at least) Corrupt Adam Schiff! After what he got caught doing, any pol who does not so vote cannot be honest, are you listening Dems?"

Look, does any of this make it tough for Schiff to continue in his leadership role on this impeachment proceeding.

QUIGLEY: Not at all. He has the complete backing of the caucus and I think the American public trust him. I watched him for three years now lead us in an extraordinarily complicated and difficult leadership position on the Russian investigation and now Ukraine. But don't let the Republicans do what they're trying to do here, they're trying to deflect.

They're talking about process, they're talking about Adam Schiff, because they don't want to talk about the President, what he did and his abuse of power. BURNETT: Congressman, before we go, I want to ask you about something

else the President talked about today, which is the accusation by Hillary Clinton against your fellow sitting congresswoman, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard. Clinton said the Russians are grooming Gabbard to run as a third party candidate to champion their interests, referring to her being possibly a Russian asset.

Here's what Trump said about that today.


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton, have you heard of her? She's the one that's accusing everybody of being a Russian agent. Anybody that is opposed to her is a Russian agent, so that's a scam that was pretty much put down. Tulsi, I don't know, Tulsi, but she's not a Russian agent.


BURNETT: Congressman, do you think Congresswoman Gabbard is Russian asset, that she's being used by Russians?

QUIGLEY: I simply don't have any knowledge or information on this, partly because I've been focused on this. And the fact of the matter is Hillary Clinton has a right to be upset, the Russians did a full- throttle attack on her and the entire intelligence community agreed.


All 17 entities with a high level of certainty that the Russians attacked her. They attacked the democratic process to help President Trump.

BURNETT: Does that justify what she did though to Congresswoman Gabbard?

QUIGLEY: I have no idea whether or not that's accurate. I can only reflect on the matters that have been before me that I have knowledge of. If it's accurate, she has every right to confront her with that and the Russians will try to make an asset of anyone that they possibly can.

BURNETT: All right. Congressman Quigley, I appreciate your time. And, of course, I should note that Hillary Clinton did not put forth any evidence or proof of her comments the other day.

OUTFRONT next, more Republicans speaking out against the White House tonight raising concerns about Trump's Acting Chief of Staff. So Mick Mulvaney, is he out? Plus, President Trump railing against the impeachment investigation now calling it unconstitutional.

Strict constitutionalist, Congressman Justin Amash is out front. He was the first Republican to call for impeachment. And can Senator Amy Klobuchar ride her post-debate momentum?


reality check here to Elizabeth.




BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump slamming Democrats over their House impeachment inquiry calling it crap and illegitimate.


TRUMP: It's a very bad thing what they're doing. The President of the United States should be allowed to run the country, not have to focus on this kind of crap. It's so illegitimate. It cannot be the way the founders, our great founders meant this to be.


BURNETT: Out front now, CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger, Political Editor for The New York Times Patrick Healy, former New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram, and former Senior Counsel for the Whitewater investigation of President Clinton, Paul Rosenzweig.

Anne, President Trump, his words, crap, illegitimate, couldn't be our founders wanted. Your reaction?

ANNE MILGRAM, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I think that's the opposite of the truth and when you look at the United States Constitution it talks about impeachment. It gives the power to the House in order to conduct an impeachment inquiry. And so it's clear the President doesn't like what's happening, but to actually say that the U.S. Constitution and what it allows for is crap and illegitimate, I can't even believe we're having this conversation in some ways.

BURNETT: I mean, it is in many ways, I mean, Paul, look, historian Ron Chernow whose biography on Hamilton is the B (ph) biography, the one used for the Broadway musical wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post. He says Hamilton who was a defender of executive power would have supported impeaching Donald Trump.

He cites one of his Federalist Papers where Hamilton writes in part, "When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity, to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government and bringing it under suspicion, it may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and direct the whirlwind."

Hamilton warning such a leader will begin a demagogue and a tyrant. This is what Chernow thought were the important lines to pull out. Does it sound like Hamilton even so long ago could have been warning about a person like President Trump, Paul? PAUL ROSENZWEIG, FORMER SENIOR COUNSEL, KEN STARR'S WHITEWATER

INVESTIGATION: Well, what he's warning about is an authoritarian populist who destroys American institutions as a way of maintaining power and cowing his political opposition. He was experienced with that in his times, people who had ambition and avarice and I think that it's very much a lesson that should be translated into what's happening today.

As Anne said, I can't imagine how anyone could think that a process that is explicitly provided for in the Constitution as a check against abuse of authority was itself an illegitimate act by Congress. It just boggles the mind, I think.

BURNETT: And Gloria, President Trump railing against the impeachment inquiry. In the meantime, he's refusing to back the person who should be leading his fight, his cavalry, well, who was leading it, Active Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Obviously, we are understanding that Trump is increasingly frustrated with Mulvaney's inability, as Trump sees it, to communicate on impeachment. Here's Mulvaney on Fox yesterday, Gloria.


CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, FOX NEWS: You said it happens all the time.

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Yes. But go back and watch what I said before that. I don't think eyes can cue it or not. There was a long answer about corruption and a long answer about foreign aid.

WALLACE: No, you totally said that.

MULVANEY: There was never any connection between the flow of money and the server.

WALLACE: But, Mick, I hate to go through this, but you said what you said.


BURNETT: He did and just to cue the point, Gloria, here is what Mulvaney said.


MULVANEY: He also mentioned to me, in the past, that the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that. But that's it and that's why we held up the money. Now, there was a report ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the demand for an investigation into the Democrats was part of the reason that he ordered to withhold funding to Ukraine?

MULVANEY: The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about. We do that all the time with foreign policy.


BURNETT: I mean, Gloria, it's two parts. One, is Mulvaney a dead man walking? And two, if not Mulvaney leading the cavalry, then who?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, to take your first question, I think if he's not a dead man walking, he certainly doesn't feel well today. Because the President as you were saying has grown increasingly frustrated with him.

When Mulvaney first went out there, he thought it was fine. Then, he was watching all of the press and he may have watched the Chris Wallace interview, who knows, but he has grown to believe that Mulvaney did not do a good job and that's a problem and he's hearing it from Republicans on Capitol Hill who are pretty outspoken that Mulvaney did not do a good job.


So I think these things will build and Mulvaney will probably leave although I've been told that they were looking to replace him before this even occur.

BURNETT: So Patrick, look, here's the thing, when you talk about who's leading this, there are Republican - John Cornyn, all right, really senior Republican, he told CNN today, "I wish the Chief of Staff, Mulvaney, wasn't holding press conferences. Maybe have like your communications person, your press Secretary do that? Have you heard of that before?"

OK, first of all, that doesn't happen in this White House.

HEALY: No. No, it's not.

BURNETT: Secondly, that is a real slam and a level of sarcasm or snark coming from a very senior Republican Senator.

HEALY: Yes. And John Cornyn comes from basically the same wing of the party that Mick Mulvaney comes from. These are not people who you think would be on the opposite side of the fence. But what you're seeing with Cornyn, what you're seeing from other Republicans on the Hill is incredible frustration after weeks now of a lack of any coherent messaging coming from the White House.

And not just coherent messaging, but Mick Mulvaney admitting to a quid pro quo and then followed up by ...

BURNETT: After the President was shouting to the mountaintops that there wasn't one, people like Cornyn, well, not necessarily Cornyn, but others were publicly saying, OK, no quid pro quo. It's not there.

HEALY: Right. Now, I don't know actually exactly what Cornyn wants in terms of the just the Press Secretary spinning and spinning, well, what we actually got was, it look like the truth from Mick Mulvaney in terms of quid pro quo. But then you also have issues of certainly the Doral club that was going to be used for the G7 and these sort of side issues that the Republicans on the Hill feel like they have no sense of either strategy or messaging or cover that's coming from anyone.

Now, whether the communications director or press secretary would be any better at it with this White House, I think that might (inaudible) ...

BURNETT: It's just leading, Anne, where the person who is the only person who speaks on this is the President.

MILGRAM: Yes, I think that's right and what's interesting is I thought Mulvaney in his press conference, he came the closest to saying what the President has been saying about the conversation with Zelensky, the Ukrainian president. But Trump has never said no quid pro quo and to Patrick's point I think the challenge here is that their whole defense and the defense has changed a million times, but it's still is some version of no quid pro quo like there was no collusion with Mueller.

And for then the Chief of Staff to go out and say there is a quid pro quo and again I think there is a quid pro quo and I would argue you don't even need that, but for that to be an admission is an extraordinary thing.

BURNETT: Gloria.

BORGER: Can I just say that none of this Republican reaction from Cornyn and others, today you had Mitt Romney, it doesn't happen in a vacuum. There's a lot of stuff coming at them, not only the G7, not only Mick Mulvaney, but also Syria, which weighs very heavily on them and they've been very outspoken about it.

And you put it all together, Donald Trump has a lot of political loyalty, because he is popular with the Republican base. But he has absolutely no personal loyalty from any of these Republicans. And if he were to tank in popularity, they would go their own way in a minute and we'll have to see what happens but you can just sense that frustration on Capitol Hill.

BURNETT: And certainly Paul, his defense, right, when he said no quid pro quo, obviously, then he himself and that publicly said I'd hope they'd investigate the Bidens, never mind Mick Mulvaney. And then the other thing he does is called the whole thing a hoax and slammed the whistle blower, which he tried to do again today. Here he is.


TRUMP: What happened to the whistleblower? They're gone. Because they've been discredited, these whistleblowers, they have them like they're angels, OK. So do we have to protect somebody that gave a totally false account of my conversation? I don't know. You tell me.


BURNETT: Paul, of course, the problem is he keep saying that, but it does not seem to be falling on ears, welcoming ears even among Republicans, right? They all know that what's in the whistleblower's report has been backed up by the transcript, by the President's own words, by Mick Mulvaney, yet, that's still the best defense he has is to say don't look behind the curtain.

ROSENZWEIG: Well, it really strikes me. I sometimes wonder what color the sky is in the President's world. He lives in a fantasy bubble where all of the true facts that the whistleblower has put out, not just the summary of the conversation but that the transcript have been moved to a highly classified server have been repeatedly confirmed.

He also ignores what I think is the fundamental problem which is that whistleblowers are not the percipient witnesses, the actual witnesses to these events are people like Volker and Sondland and Taylor who we're going to hear from tomorrow and the transcript itself. So it doesn't matter what the whistleblower says.

BURNETT: That's right, what matters is what the truth is. And, of course, the truth has happened to back exactly what the whistleblower alleged.


All of you, please stay with me. Next, Trump telling Republicans to stick together, but will they? Well, Republican turned Independent Congressman, Justin Amash speaks out next out front. Plus, Trump calling the Constitution phony.


TRUMP: You people with this phony emoluments clause.




BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump paying a backhanded compliment to Democrats today.


TRUMP: I think they're lousy politicians. But two things they have, they are vicious and they stick together.


They don't have Mitt Romney in their midst. They don't have people like that. They stick together. You never see them break off.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT now, one of the Republicans who did break off. He's now an independent, Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan, who supports impeaching the president. And when you made that choice, you had to, quote/unquote, break off,

as the president, I suppose, would describe it, Congressman.

Look, you used to be a Republican. You had to leave the party in July when you made it clear where you stood on impeachment.

Do you think when Trump talks like he did today, that he will get other Republicans to stay in line and back him?

REP. JUSTIN AMASH (R-MI): You know, I think that a lot of Republicans are scared of the president or they're at least scared of Republican primary voters. I had problems with the party going back for several years with the party system.

I think when the president says the Democrats are different, and they're vicious and they stick together, I think he's just -- you know, just talking. I think that Republicans have their own viciousness and their own sticking together that happens. And sometimes he just projects as well.

BURNETT: So, Republican, Congressman, you raise the point, you know, about people being afraid of their own voters. So, Congressman Rooney, you know him, of course. He says he's now open to impeaching the president. But then immediately after he said that, he said he's not going to run for re-election.

So, I guess my question to you is, can a Republican support impeachment and get re-elected as a Republican?

AMASH: I think so. It really depends on the context. If someone has been in office for several years, they could do that. And I could have run as a Republican in my district and won the district.

But I was really just tired of the two-party system and really think it's important to come to Washington and present an alternative to the two parties.

But I do think it's possible. The problem is that a lot of the Republican members haven't been here long enough or they spent so much time with their partisan nonsense over the years that it's really hard for them to win the trust of voters if they're going to break from the president. So, most of them will stay with him. And I would be surprised if, at this point, more than a couple of people broke off, if any.

BURNETT: OK, which is great context, because you would know this better than anyone. I mean, look, President Trump impugns the impeachment process every chance he gets -- as you know, I know, as everyone watching knows.

Here's what he said about it today.


TRUMP: It's so illegitimate. It cannot be the way the Founders, our great Founders, meant this to be. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: And, Congressman, you're a lawyer. And you describe yourself as a strict constitutionalist. So, when the president of the United States describes this process as illegitimate and not what the great founders meant it to be, what do you respond?

AMASH: He's wrong. The process for impeaching the president is in the Constitution and that it's left up to the House to conduct the impeachment, which is like the indictment. And the Senate conducts the trial. And the House and Senate design their own rules for the process.

So, he's just wrong about it. It's' constitutional process. And I think again, he's lashing out at anything, and now, he's lashing out at the Constitution.

BURNETT: So, you served with the White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. I mean, you obviously know him pretty well. You were active members of the Freedom Caucus. So, you worked together.

And, look, he is struggling to explain why he clearly admitted, proudly admitted, a quid pro quo on Ukraine and then claimed he never said what he said, as you heard Chris Wallace say.

I mean, here is one of the president's biggest supporters, Sean Hannity, had to say about Mick Mulvaney.


SEAN HANNITY, "THE SEAN HANNITY SHOW": What is Mulvaney even talking about? I just think he's dumb. I really do. I don't think he knows what he's talking about. That's my take on it.


BURNETT: What's your take on it?

AMASH: Well, Hannity is wrong. Mick Mulvaney is a bright guy. In fact, he's one of the smartest members I've ever served with.

And he's a good guy. I like Mick a lot. We're friends.

But I think anyone working in this administration is going to have a hard time explaining what's going on. You're asking a lot of these officials to go out on stage and try to keep the stories straight.

So, I think Mick was as telling the truth there, that there was a quid pro quo. And then he went back and realized, oh, well, that's not what the president wants to hear.

BURNETT: And so -- and so, now, he's got to try to play cleanup. I mean, this is a problem. You're basically saying these guys, people around the president, are now being essentially -- they're forced to lie. AMASH: Yes, and it's a shame. And I think they know better and I

think deep down, they wish they weren't, you know, trapped in this position. And I hear that from my colleagues on the House floor. I hear them talk about how they wish they weren't doing this.

And, frankly, I think a lot of the retirements that we hear about are people who are just trying to ride out this president and they might think of coming back into public office later on, once this president is gone.


BURNETT: President Trump also talked about Syria today. I know it's a topic you care deeply about, Congressman.

He said this about his decision to pull troops out of Syria.

Here's what he said about ISIS.


TRUMP: I'm the one that did the capturing. I'm the one who knows more about it than you people or the fake pundits.


BURNETT: Does he deserve the credit for the capturing of ISIS fighters?

AMASH: No. I mean, he is always taking credit for what our brave men and women in the armed forces are doing. And, you know, he has unleashed real problems right now by not planning ahead.

You know, I'm not for having our troops in Syria. I would have withdrawn the troops long ago if I were president. But I would have had a plan ahead of time to do it without creating chaos. And he didn't plan ahead at all.

BURNETT: All right. Congressman Amash, I appreciate your time as always. Thanks, sir.

AMASH: Yes, thanks so much, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, Trump claims he's so rich that he doesn't need to promote his properties. So then why did he do this today?


TRUMP: I have a place that's in the best location. It would have been the greatest G7 ever.


BURNETT: Plus, one 2020 candidate riding a post-debate wave of attention. Are voters taking notice?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For the first time, I thought she came across as being a lot more forceful. She was a force to reckon with.




BURNETT: New tonight, the president of the mocking one part of the Constitution of the United States, one specific part.


TRUMP: You people with this phony monuments clause.


BURNETT: OK. Well, it's not phony. It's there. And the emoluments clause forbids elected federal officials from getting gifts, contributions from foreign governments. It is central to the concern that even many Republicans have about the White House when they announced next year's G7 would be held at Trump's Doral resort.

Now, Trump was forced to reverse that decision but it did not stop him today from -- well, deciding that it was good opportunity since the cameras were rolling, to do this.


TRUMP: Doral was a very simple situation. I have a place in the best location. Everybody in the G7 would have had their own building. It's a beautiful place. It's new.

Everything is good. Got massive meeting rooms. One of the biggest airports in the world. It's only minutes away. It would have been the greatest G7 ever.


BURNETT: Gloria, Patrick, Anne and Paul are back with me.

Gloria, look, you know, you could see there were some flashes in there, because he kept going on and on and on and on. He went into a sales pitch for the Doral.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right, he can't help himself. I mean, look, he plays golf at his golf resorts every weekend. You know, this is a president, and I think it was Mulvaney who said it, who still believes he's in the hospitality business. It's a big part of -- it's a big part of who he is.

And he doesn't understand, I guess, what seemed obvious to everybody, including his Republicans in Congress, was that this was a violation of the emoluments clause. And, by the way, even if it weren't, let's put the Constitution aside for a moment if we can, the president still should not be doing this, because the optics are bad. It looks bad.

This is his private company. He does make money off of it still. So I don't understand why, you know, why anybody inside the White House would have said to the president when he thought this was a great idea, yeah, this is better than those other dozen places we were talking about. This is a great thing to do.

BURNETT: You know, Paul, the emoluments clause, let me just read it, no person holding any office of profit or trust under them shall, without the consent of Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever, from any king, prince or foreign state.

Phony, Paul?

PAUL ROSENZWEIG, FORMER SENIOR COUNSEL TO KEN STARR ON WHITEWATER INVESTIGATION OF PRESIDENT CLINTON: Not phony. Obviously, text of the Constitution. Its origins were at the heart of the American Revolution and our fear of foreign interference in America's nascent democracy. It was written precisely to prevent then much larger European nations from using their wealth, their power, their influence, the offer of titles or money to try and buy America's affection.

So, what we're seeing or what we might have seen at the Doral is almost at the very core of what drove the inclusion of that clause in the Constitution. To say it's phony is almost to say that the entire Constitution is phony, which makes, I guess, President Trump a phony president.

BURNETT: I mean, you know, Anne, this is something to be said for when he doesn't like something, it's phony or it's fake. And I suppose that's part of the reason I had the tone I had when I said it. This is what it says.


BURNETT: It is the Constitution of the United States. And if you are a believer in the system and a believer in this religion called democracy that we have created in this country, you can't call that phony.

MILGRAM: Absolutely. And the whole point of the constitution is we're a nation of laws, not of men. And the problem here -- and I think it's worth stopping on this for a second, is that the emoluments clause is meant to prevent political corruption, from self dealing. This is a textbook example of what that would have been. The president would personally have profited.

Now, when he's called out on it, he's trying to undercut the very document that underscores the fabric of our country and sort of say, it's not legitimate. And it's deeply problematic that he's going on the offense against the Constitution when it's plain as day that this is political corruption.

BURNETT: And, Patrick, you know, this comes as -- look, I think we would all know how Mitt Romney would like to vote on impeachment. We don't know what he will do. But he talks about how he's reading the Federalists Papers, and you have other Republican senators who are making those same sorts of noises, reading the Constitution. Reading it.

Do you think that many of them are doing that with truly genuine intent?


BURNETT: Meaning to actually read and understand to cast their vote or are they -- I don't mean to say they're not genuine, but are they saying that to give themselves cover for protecting him?

HEALY: Right. I mean, I think we're a ways away from a Senate trial. That looks like that's where we're going. And I think that, at least for some Republican senators, Romney, Murkowski, you're probably going to see it with Susan Collins and some others.


They're going to be going back to founding documents. You know, if they're going to really weigh seriously whether the president has violated his oath of office, violated his duties under the Constitution, they're going to want to be bulletproof on that. And I think you're going to have people looking at what was spelled out, what was -- what sort of the clear lines of law were.

And the degree to which the president, as Ann said, it's just a sort of gross violation of self-dealing and clearly someone who, whether he wanted to make a buck or not, just sort of saw his property as the best and decided, hey, you know, this is where everybody should stay. You know, I think it sort of speaks for itself.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much.

And next, 2020 candidate Amy Klobuchar hitting back at Elizabeth Warren for suggesting that she is not thinking big enough.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I guess big enough only means that everything is free? Is that what it means?


BURNETT: And who is Pierre Delecto?



BURNETT: Tonight, Elizabeth Warren backed against a wall. The 2020 presidential candidate announced she will soon release a plan to fund her Medicare-for-All proposal. It comes as her fellow candidates continue to blast her with refusing to say how she would pay for it. Among them, Senator Amy Klobuchar who is now hoping her attacks will propel her in the polls.

Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.


KLOBUCHAR: Hey, guys. Wow.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senator Amy Klobuchar is on the move, with no time to mince words or hold back.

She's racing across Iowa, trying to turn her moment on last week's debate stage.

KLOBUCHAR: I want to give a reality check here to Elizabeth.

ZELENY: Into momentum on the campaign trail. It's clear she's tapping into something.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you plan to address all the free stuff other candidates are promoting, nothing in life is free?

KLOBUCHAR: OK. Well, there we go. Well, we're going to give you all a free chocolate chip cookie when you leave, no.

ZELENY: At a town hall meeting in Davenport, that question was submitted by Susan Strodtbeck, a retired teacher who likes what she hears from Klobuchar.

(on camera): And elaborate who you're talking about when you say free stuff.

SUSAN STRODTBECK, IOWA VOTER: I'm talking about Bernie, I'm talking about Elizabeth Warren, and how college is going to be free, how health care is going to be free. I'm sorry, we can't do that.

ZELENY (voice-over): A fresh sense of urgency is surrounding Klobuchar's candidacy as she scrambles to qualify for the November debate. Still an underdog, her confidence is rising.

KLOBUCHAR: And I'm a boss, I mean, come on.

ZELENY: We rode along to ask about her increasingly pointed message toward her rivals.

KLOBUCHAR: That's why I get concerned when some of the other candidates are making promises that I don't think that they can keep.

ZELENY (on camera): So, you're saying that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are not being straight with people by how they would pay for all these programs?


ZELENY: Have you made that case, do you think, to some of those progressive voters who say now is the time to think big?

KLOBUCHAR: Yes, but I'm thinking big, too.

ZELENY (voice-over): Essentially, Senator Warren said that you're not thinking big enough, not thinking bold enough.

KLOBUCHAR: I guess big enough only means that everything's free? Is that what it means?

ZELENY: There's little doubt that Warren and Sanders have stirred far louder enthusiasm. But Klobuchar is testing the appetite for a moderate message in a party moving unmistakably to the left. She's signing up voters one at a time, making the case Democrats must choose a candidate who can win in Trump country.

BETSY PILKINGTON, IOWA VOTER: For the first time I thought she came across as being a lot more forceful. She was a force to reckon with.

ZELENY: Betsy Pilkington took notice of Klobuchar last week and contributed to her campaign. She's one of the new donors who helped Klobuchar raise more than a million dollars in the first 24 hours after the debate.

PILKINGTON: I liked what she had to say that she was more centrist. She wasn't afraid to go up against Elizabeth Warren.


ZELENY: So, Senator Klobuchar again and again tells voters that she is the one who can beat President Trump because she has won in Minnesota in Trump country. But, Erin, of course, first, she must win that Democratic primary. It's such an interesting argument going back and forth between her and Senator Warren.

Finally, it pushed Senator Warren yesterday in Iowa to say, look, she will release a plan to say how she's paying for Medicare-for-All. Amy Klobuchar says if she had a good plan, we would have seen it by now. To be continued -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much.

And next, Mitt Romney's secret Twitter account exposed. Why did he go with the name Pierre Delecto?



BURNETT: Politicians and their alter egos.

Here's Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you think the name Mitt fits Romney like a glove, you haven't heard his alias. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pierre Delecto.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, back to Pierre Delecto.

MOOS: But first, back to Mitt Romney's secret Twitter account, a reporter for Slate dug it up after Romney mentioned it in "The Atlantic" and Romney confirmed the account.

MCKAY COPPINS, REPORTER, THE ATLANTIC: He gave me a two word response, c'est moi, which for those who don't speak French means it's me.

MOOS: It was a Twitter account intended mostly for following others, as Romney told "The Atlantic," what do they call me, a lurker?

He didn't tweet much, but liked quite a few a things.

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I like what I like. Unfortunately, there's not a dislike button.

MOOS (on camera): Of course, the fake name Pierre Delecto turned out to be the most delectable part of the story.

(voice-over): Pierre Delecto is an objectively terrific fake name. Pierre Delecto is French for Peter Delight. He had a beret and mustache slapped on him.

Pierre Delecto is the best pseudonym since Carlos Danger, dare you forget, that was Anthony Weiner's sexting alias.


MOOS: Letterman even dreamed up ten other Anthony Weiner pseudonyms.

LETTERMAN: Carlos Dangler.

MOOS: Carlos Danger is now joined by Pierre Delecto in the pantheon of aliases where Donald Trump is enshrined with at least three.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Miller, John Barron.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: David Dennison, is that an alias for President Donald Trump?

MOOS: Young Donald Trump was known for calling reporters pretending to be a spokesman for himself.

JONATHAN GREENBERG: What's your first name, by the way?



BARRON: John Barron. MOOS: John Barron and Pierre Delecto have been rough on each other.

ROMNEY: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud.

TRUMP: Romney choked like a dog, he went.

ROMNEY: The bullying, the greed, the showing off.

TRUMP: He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, Mitt, drop to your knees. He would have dropped to his knees.

MOOS: Maybe only if you called him Pierre Delecto.

Jeanne Moos, CNN.

ROMNEY: Oh, yeah.

MOOS: New York.


ROMNEY: Thank you for joining us.

Anderson starts now.