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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Adviser: Trump Administration Put Missile Order For Ukraine On Hold; Mulvaney Concerned About Angering Russia; Mulvaney Plans To File Separate Lawsuit Over House Subpoena, Withdraws Request To Join Kupperman Lawsuit; Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) Is Interviewed On Whether Trump Administration Withholding Aid To Ukraine Is Illegal; Ukraine Adviser: Bolton Warned That Rudy Giuliani Was A Key Voice With The President On Ukraine; Trump Says He'll Release Transcript Of First Zelensky Call This Week; New Poll: Biden Holds Narrow Lead In New Hampshire; Warren, Sanders & Buttigieg Tied For Second Place; Michael Bloomberg To Skip First Four Primaries If He Runs; Warren Mocks Billionaires Over Wealth Tax Criticism As "So Sad". Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 11, 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: We thank our military veterans for their service. And 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 tonight breaking news, a key impeachment witness testifies that the White House put an order of Javelin missiles for Ukraine on hold over fear it would anger the Russians. Plus, another witness testifies the Department of Defense was worried about team Trump breaking the law when it came to withholding aid from Ukraine. And Joe Biden, he will join me tonight for an important town hall as a new poll shows an even tighter race among the top four Democrats. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett here at Grinnell College in Iowa, site of tonight's town hall where I'll be talking to Vice President Joe Biden. He will be joining me right behind me later on tonight. But first the breaking news, Democrats releasing a trove of impeachment transcripts tonight and they tell this story, Trump and his defenders withholding crucial aid to Ukraine in an effort to please Russia.
Catherine Croft, the current Special Advisor for Ukraine negotiations telling lawmakers the President's Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, had the Office of Management and Budget put a hold on delivering Javelin missiles to Ukraine, because Mulvaney was concerned 'that Russia would react negatively to the provision of Javelins to Ukraine'. To be clear, the story, Mulvaney, bending over backwards for Russia when according to Croft's testimony all other parts of the U.S. government involved in the Javelin deal supported it.
Also tonight, we're learning Christopher Anderson, a career foreign service officer testified the President's special envoy to Ukraine believed Rudy Giuliani 'was an obstacle to improving relations and putting pressure on Russia'. And there's a third testimony that we are seeing tonight for the first time, from top Pentagon official Laura Cooper, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense telling lawmakers about a meeting back in July where officials raised concerns about whether it was illegal for Trump to withhold crucial military aid for Ukraine in exchange for dirt on Joe Biden.
Cooper saying, "Immediately deputies began to raise concerns about how this could be done in a legal fashion." That's a quote from the testimony. So what is President Trump saying about these three transcripts that we are seeing tonight?
Well, we tweeted twice today that Congressman Adam Schiff is fabricating the transcripts which, of course, is false. These are the transcripts. Republicans have been in these hearings. They have been asking questions and not one Republican has come forward to say that Democrats have lied and doctored the transcripts. It's an absurd claim.
This is all unfolding, of course, as Trump is about to face the biggest threat to his presidency. In less than 48 hours, Democrats will take their case for impeachment public. Holding the first historic public, televised hearing with Bill Taylor, Trump's top diplomat in Ukraine.
Now, remember it was Taylor who laid out that evidence of a quid pro quo testimony that for some Republicans was a game changer. Kaitlan Collins is traveling with the President tonight and she is OUTFRONT live in New York. That's where the President is, outside Trump Tower this evening.
Kaitlan, so I mentioned those tweets but how is the President feeling tonight with these public hearings looming?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, the President has spent most of the days indoors inside Trump Tower here behind me ever since he gave those remarks, the Veterans Day Parade earlier today. And tonight, he's lashing out, repeating that claim that he believes Democrats are putting out doctored transcripts, even though as you noted no Republicans who were in the room for those closed door testimonies had disputed the accuracy of them.
But the President is also seeming to let the deadline slip on when he's going to release the transcript of his first call with the Ukrainian president, something that he told me on Saturday he was going to be doing tomorrow. Now he just says it's going to happen sometime this week.
Now, Erin that's coming as something really notable is happening with his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who was attempting to join this lawsuit filed by the former Deputy National Security Adviser who is essentially asking the courts to decide does he have to listen to House Democrats or the White House when it comes to testifying on Capitol Hill.
Charlie Kupperman said he didn't want Mulvaney essentially to be on that lawsuit. He didn't think they have the same reasons given that he was a National Security official who's no longer in the administration and Mick Mulvaney isn't a National Security official who still works in the White House.
Tonight we're learning that Mick Mulvaney plans to file his own lawsuit asking the courts to decide whether or not he has to respond to that subpoena on Capitol Hill. And Aaron, that's notable not only because he's the chief of staff who still works for President Trump, but also because of the role he played in that White House letter. Remember that eight-page letter that they published essentially telling White House officials not to comply with any requests from Democrats, giving them protection essentially not to.
Now Mick Mulvaney wants to leave that decision for him in the court's hands.
BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much. And I want to go to Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly now. He sits on both the House Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees. And Congressman, a lot to talk about tonight, obviously.
But I want to start with some of this new information that we're getting from transcripts. Cooper testified, Laura Cooper that is, that there was concern withholding aid from Ukraine was not even legal. Do you believe from everything you've seen, from being in the room, from seeing these transcripts, that President Trump's administration was indeed breaking the law?
REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D-VA): We're going to have to, obviously, mull that one over. I believe the President broke the law in extorting a president of another country by withholding the military aid. I believe given the fact that Congress wanted this lethal military aid, including the Javelins, to go to Ukraine, the President ignoring it, suspending it is in a very questionable area.
But there's no question that by withholding the aid for the purpose of extortion, that was an illegal act.
BURNETT: So in the newly released transcripts, another thing we're learning from Catherine Croft in this case, she testified that Mulvaney was concerned and I quote from her testimony that Russia would react negatively to the provisions of javelins to Ukraine. And she also, of course, says that every other administration unit that was involved supported providing these Javelins to Ukraine.
So, OK, let me put it this way, Congressman, is there any situation in which this would be true? They would have withheld this because they were concerned about Russia's reaction that makes sense to you.
CONNOLLY: No. In fact, it's actually a repugnant thought. Javelin missiles are very effective anti tank weapons. The Russians and their paramilitary forces have tanks and other military equipment in active combat in the eastern part of Ukraine.
Ukrainian government wanted those Javelin missiles to defend itself, to protect itself. For Mick Mulvaney, the President's Acting Chief of Staff to be concerned about the Russian reaction as opposed the need of Ukraine's government is a very warped sense of values and really a horrifying thing to contemplate that somebody so senior in our government would put Russia's concerns ahead of the those of our ally, Ukraine.
BURNETT: So you mentioned Mick Mulvaney and, of course, he's now saying tonight where he had joined a lawsuit with John Bolton's deputies. He's now out. He's going to file his own lawsuit to let a judge decide whether that he needs to honor your subpoena and testify in impeachment inquiry.
And I just want to make sure, first of all, any lawsuit would take time. You all have made it clear, you're going to go ahead and you don't need his testimony. Does this change anything for you? Are you going to wait for the court to decide on this or not?
CONNOLLY: No. In fact, some of the subpoenas as you know were withdrawn so that we're not held up in litigation in the courts, which just take way too much time. We need to address this and address this in real human timeframes.
I will say that the craziness continues for the President today to assert based on nothing, the transcripts were doctored and don't really reflect the deposition of the witnesses we heard from. And by the way, those transcripts are reviewed by those witnesses and their attorneys before they're released for accuracy.
But secondly, of course, to have the Chief of Staff of the President actually suing his own White House to get a decision about whether or not he's required to respond to congressional demand for testimony or the White House directive, it really brings us into all new territory in terms of craziness and it's really disturbing to watch.
BURNETT: Yes. I mean, he says there's no daylight between him and the President and that's just a technicality, he worked with the Chief White House Counsel, so this whole suing the White House don't read anything into it, but it is odd because it's hard to explain, no one really can understand it. And you're also saying you don't need his testimony anyway, so this doesn't make any sense to you either?
CONNOLLY: No. And it sounds like it's daunting Mick Mulvaney that he may be the fall guy for the President.
BURNETT: So you think it's protection? He's working on protecting himself.
CONNOLLY: I think it's dawned on him that he needs protection and my guess is his own attorney has advised him as such.
BURNETT: Now, we do understand, of course, from all of the testimony we hear, right, it keeps - even when we read the transcripts that there was orders for a quid pro quo would come from the Office of Management and Budget directly from Mick Mulvaney or Mick Mulvaney told us but the President told him. Do you have any concern that you need him to show that the President of the United States issued this order for a quid pro quo when it came to military aid and an investigation into his political rival, Joe Biden? CONNOLLY: Obviously, it would be helpful if he was going to testify
to that effect and wanted voluntarily to come before us, but I don't think we need it.
Look, the smoking gun is in front of us. The White House released it itself and that's the transcript of the call of July 25th between the President of the United States, and the newly elected President of Ukraine. Out of Trump's own mouth he says, "Yes, I know you want that military aid restored, including the Javelin missiles, but before we do that, I have a favor to ask, though."
And that word, though, is the direct connection that establishes a quid pro quo or the extortion shakedown. And I think that's prima facie evidence of the President's clear direct involvement in both on the abuse of power and conspiracy to commit a crime.
BURNETT: Thank you very much, Congressman. I appreciate your time.
CONNOLLY: My pleasure, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, Trump's former UN Ambassador with shocking claims of backstabbing in his administration. Is Nikki Haley setting herself up for what? Plus, the Democratic field of candidates may be growing larger and yet again a former governor now considering a White House bid who is it? Tonight, a talk of shaking things up in Iowa, why one 2020 candidate wants to change the long held political order?
BURNETT: Breaking news, President Trump listened to Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine. That is the testimony from a former Ukraine advisor and transcripts just released from the House impeachment inquiry. Christopher Anderson testifying this about former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
"He cautioned that Mr. Giuliani was a key voice with the President on Ukraine, which could be an obstacle to increase White House engagement." He's then asked, I'm sorry, "What did National Security Advisor Bolton say about Rudy Giuliani?" And Anderson answers, "To the best of my recollection, He made a joke about every time Ukraine is mentioned, Giuliani pops up and that the President was listening to Giuliani about Ukraine."
OUTFRONT now former Assistant FBI Director and Republican State Senator in Nevada, Greg Brower, our Chief Political Analyst, Gloria Borger, and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Elliot Williams.
So Elliot, let me start with you. Look, we have this new testimony coming in from Christopher Anderson yet again and very explicitly and clearly he is testifying that Giuliani is key when it comes to Trump and his policy toward Ukraine. All of these witnesses have come out and spoken about this crucial role of role of Rudy Giuliani. They can't all be wrong, right?
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: No, they can't all be wrong. And look, let's be clear, President Trump deputizing Rudy Giuliani isn't itself unlawful, but it's problematic. And what it did was it highlights the fact that the President was going outside the normal bounds, the normal diplomatic channels, the normal governmental channels and allowing himself to self deal.
So any evidence that supports a Mayor Giuliani's role, any evidence that suggest that he was either dealing directly with individuals in Ukraine or through intermediaries is itself supportive of the notion that the President simply was not behaving properly. So, again, while the testimony itself today isn't itself what's going to impeach the President of the United States, it's all supportive of the broader theme we're looking at here.
BURNETT: And Gloria, look, the New York Times is reporting one of Rudy Giuliani's indicted associates admits there was a quid pro quo on Ukraine, Lev Parnas, who's obviously indicted. His lawyer says Giuliani had Parnas deliver an ultimatum to the incoming Ukrainian president, announce an investigation into Joe Biden or no military aid and no Mike Pence at Zelensky's inauguration.
I mean, he was extremely explicit about this. Gloria, I guess the question is, is it possible that Rudy Giuliani's elevated role and seeming to call the shots in so many of these transcripts ends up helping Trump? It gives Trump a fall guy. It was all Rudy, it wasn't me.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: People are going to blame Rudy Giuliani, obviously. And first of all, they're going to say that Parnas is lying, number one. But they're going to blame Rudy, sure. He's an easy fall guy, but who was Rudy talking to?
We know that Rudy was talking to the President. We know from the summary of the phone call, the President said to the President Zelensky, "Talk to Rudy Giuliani, he's a great guy and talk to my Attorney General." So we know that they were in cahoots on this and we know that Rudy Giuliani was feeding these conspiracy theories with the President and with everybody else.
And maybe one day the President will realize that Rudy was doing it for his own self interest in terms of lining his own pockets. And when the President realizes that he may get upset at him and he may throw him under the bus, but we're not there yet.
BURNETT: And Greg, look, I mean, this comes as you've got this whole role of what was Rudy Giuliani, but also we're learning from Catherine Croft on the other side of this, Mick Mulvaney. She's saying that Mick Mulvaney put that hold on Javelin missiles going to Ukraine, which all of the other organizations in the U.S. government supported happening because, "Mulvaney was concerned that Russia would react negatively to the provision of Javelins to Ukraine."
So that's Mick Mulvaney, obviously, then that is coming directly from the President of the United States. Greg, I ask you, is there any situation in which that would be the outcome that makes sense that they would withhold this against the interest of the U.S. government for the conclusion of US government agencies, because of Russia's interests?
GREG BROWER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: No, it really doesn't make sense at all, Erin. We clearly have a foreign policy as a country, the United States as a foreign policy with respect to Ukraine of wanting to help them vis-a-vis Russia. But the President seems to have a different agenda, so you have Congress appropriating money for this aid and President in this unholy with Giuliani and others apparently withholding it for no good purpose, no National Security purpose and without telling Congress.
This whole thing is beginning to remind me of the Rod Blagojevich situation. If you remember, back to Illinois a few years ago where the Governor Blagojevich referred to his ability to appoint a successor to Senator Obama as effing golden. He knew he had something that was worth something and so he was going to get something in return.
And I can see Giuliani saying to the President, we have something effing golden here. Let's not give them the aid and tell him unless we get something in return.
BURNETT: Elliot, to be clear Rod Blagojevich went to prison.
WILLIAMS: Yes. He did. Right.
BURNETT: And I mean, Gloria, here is the question though, President Trump is tweeting tonight. He's trying to come back and go back on the offense as these transcripts are coming out and we're hours away from the public testimony. He tweets, "In order to continue being the most Transparent President in history, I will be releasing sometime this week the Transcript of the first, and therefore most important, phone call I had with the President of Ukraine. I am sure you will find it tantalizing."
OK. Look, he's going to try these moves, but is there any chance that this sort of thing works?
BORGER: Well, he's getting us ready for the big reveal and clearly he knows what's in that first phone call. And maybe what was in that first phone call was much more benign than what was in the second phone call. I'm assuming it is or he wouldn't be throwing it out there. And what he wants to do is wait until you're in the middle of hearings and divert from the diplomats who are testifying otherwise about what was going on at the State Department or not going on at the State Department vis-a-vis Ukraine.
So he's an entertainer. He's setting this up as a competing narrative and he thinks it'll be great to just kind of throw it in there in the middle of the hearing like some kind of grenade. BURNETT: Yes. All right. Thank you all very much. And next,
another Democrat reportedly now thinking about jumping into the race for the White House tonight. Will another candidate help? I mean, you need more running or hurt the party's bid to defeat Donald Trump? Plus, I'll be talking to Joe Biden on the stage behind me tonight as a new poll just out shows a race tightening among the top Democratic contenders.
BURNETT: Tonight a new poll showing a tight race in one of the key early stage, Joe Biden at 20 percent in New Hampshire. This is according to Quinnipiac University. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg are tied for second.
This comes as Biden is escalating his attack on Elizabeth Warren. The former Vice President calling Warren 'condescending' and 'elitist' after Warren claimed that Biden was, her words, running in the wrong primary for not supporting Medicare for All.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, FORMER UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you don't agree with Elizabeth Warren, you must somehow be not a Democrat. You must somehow be corrupt. YOU must not be as smart as she is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think Vice Biden would be describing you as angry and condescending if you were a man?
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Why don't you ask him that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now David Chalian, our Political Director, O. Kay Henderson, News Director for Radio Iowa and Mark Preston, CNN's Vice President of Political and Special Events Programming and Senior Political Analyst. Thanks to all.
All right. So David, Warren took that on.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes.
BURNETT: Look, she's not afraid of conflict. She's not afraid of fighting, but this is a new tone.
CHALIAN: But she has been very, very carefully orchestrating her campaign to not respond to these daily tips, the to and fro of the campaign trail. But that went out the window here. She wanted to take this on. She sent that email to supporters and she said, I'm tired of this calling women angry, alluding to another word that the Vice President used in his medium post last week. I think we're in a new phase in this battle between Warren and Biden
specifically where over the last week to 10 days, we've seen them ratchet up and not be afraid to really much more sharply draw the contrast with each other. It's a new phase in their relationship on the trail.
BURNETT: So Kay, as we see this new phase and obviously they're both here crisscrossing Iowa, does painting Warren as an elitist, condescending in the words that Biden used, does it work for voters here?
O. KAY HENDERSON, NEWS DIRECTOR, RADIO IOWA: I think it's a really difficult line to cross, because you have a lot of Warren supporters who were Hillary Clinton supporters last time around. And they are still chafing from the idea that the country didn't elect a female president.
And for him to go after Warren and draw these comparisons is really upsetting to many of them. I remember talking to some of the women in Clinton events and they were upset because they didn't get promoted, and they wanted to see a woman promoted.
And so for the Biden campaign it's a really unusual strategy, because I don't think the Warren supporters or people who are thinking about Warren are the voters in Iowa that he needs to build a coalition to put himself at the top of the ticket.
BURNETT: I mean, Mark, and yet Biden is now responding, when she came out as David said, sent that email, she's taking it straight on, he's calling me angry and that's the thing people use to demean women. Our Dana Bash asked him specifically whether that language was sexist, what's his response and here's what he said to Dana.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: It's not anything that I did or was intended to do. It had nothing to do with that.
It had to do with the fact that it started when she said, you know, Biden is running in the wrong primary because I disagreed with her Medicare-for-All proposal that cost trillions of dollars to pay for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, latest national poll for Monmouth University, and again national.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
BURNETT: And I know one can argue, let's look at states. But this is the national poll.
Biden is statistically tied with Warren among women. Statistically tied. PRESTON: Right.
BURNETT: She's obviously making a bet that she can change that by calling out his rhetoric.
PRESTON: Yes, and this is -- I mean, a couple of things. As David said, we're in this new phase of the campaign. People are going to be fairly nice to each other, but as you get closer the Iowa, as you're closer to New Hampshire, they're going to have to take their gloves off, right? They have to show that they're a fighter.
Specifically in this election, more than any election that we've seen certainly in our lifetime, where they have to take on Donald Trump. They have to be able to be a fighter.
Biden is in difficult situation because we're still many this era of the #metoo movement, right, where no matter what you say can be interpreted a certain way. And you have to careful what you say. But Joe Biden is right that he was attacked first. Joe Biden is still playing by the rules from a decade ago, where he could come back and --
BURNETT: Right. He doesn't want -- so I fight back and you're going to say, that I'm doing it --
PRESTON: What did I do wrong? I don't understand.
BURNETT: Right. So, David, now, again, I mention the national poll. Let's get back to states because this new one out of Quinnipiac is obviously important, New Hampshire. Joe Biden is slightly ahead but it's really a four way race, right? Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg right up there.
CHALIAN: It is a four-way race, Erin, but think about two of those people, Sanders and Warren, they live right next door on either side of New Hampshire. You have the Massachusetts senator and you have the Vermont senator, and yet Joe Biden is actually holding onto a narrow lead. This is going to be very welcome news in the Biden campaign.
It's one poll. We shouldn't, you know, over-interpret it.
CHALIAN: But for the snapshot in time after he has taken so many hits about his performance on the trail or under attack from the president on the Ukraine issue, he is showing resiliency. I think this poll points to that.
BURNETT: And, Kay, as we're getting ready to speak to Joe Biden here, right? You have Michael Bloomberg in recent days and now tonight, Duval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts, considering running for president. "The New York Times" is saying the same reason as Michael Bloomberg. He doesn't think anybody can defeat Donald Trump.
What's the reaction to that here in Iowa when you've got 84 days until the Iowa caucuses and then Bloomberg wouldn't even be playing in that obviously?
HENDERSON: They want fewer candidates. They don't want more, number one. Number two, they don't know who Duval Patrick is. They do know who Michael Bloomberg is.
And what you hear from the grassroots, especially the Warren and Sanders wing. Sanders has been through the state the past few days, boy, oh, boy, Sanders has been unloading on the, quote-unquote, billionaire class.
BURNETT: Right, right.
And, Mark, what does this say about the state of the Democratic primary? I mean, I can say, you know, look, Michael Bloomberg has been itching to get in for months and, OK, so here we are. But two people 84 days out from Iowa saying I don't think the fields got it, I'm getting in?
PRESTON: Democrats are always nervous about their nominee, right? I mean, this is -- this is something we've seen, you know, in past elections as well, where -- when someone --- when they are zeroing in on somebody, that person could fall.
Go back to Howard Dean. We thought Howard Dean was going to roll into Iowa and win Iowa, and he was off to the races. And guess what? We all remember the scream, right? And his campaign collapsed and John Kerry came out of nowhere.
I think what you're seeing right now is that there's such a battle within the Democratic Party within the real liberal forces, the AOCs who's out here with Bernie Sanders, the more centrist, more establishment Democrats, and in the middle, they just can't seem to get together as one to try to defeat Donald Trump. And that's why you get more names in it.
CHALIAN: And that's just the key. As Mark is saying, the party is so hungry for a Trump defeater. Above all else, they want the dragon slayer. And so, I think what you're seeing when you see these folks weighing publicly of getting in so late, it is this hand-wringing that the dragon slayer the real Trump defeater has not emerged.
HENDERSON: But then when you get right down to it, they're reticent about the dragon slayer. They picked a John Kerry because they think he's more, quote-unquote, electable.
BURNETT: Right. Well, we'll see.
All right. Thank you all very much.
And, obviously, coming up in a bit more than an hour, I'm going to be speaking to Joe Biden live from Iowa. We're in the room. That's going to be the stage. Our audience is filling up and that is coming up with the presidential town hall at 9:00 right here on CNN.
And OUTFRONT next, can a presidential candidate succeed without running here in Iowa? That's Michael Bloomberg's most unconventional strategy and Elizabeth Warren not backing down on taking on America's billionaires.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So sad, so sad that they might have to pay two cents out of their bazillion dollars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, one of those billionaires Warren is talking about is OUTFRONT next to respond.
BURNETT: Tonight, is it possible to win the White House without competing here in Iowa first?
Jessica Dean is OUTFRONT.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If Michael Bloomberg ultimately decides to run for president in 2020 --
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Good evening, everyone.
DEAN: -- his road to the Democratic nomination will not go through Iowa. An adviser to the former New York City mayor says Bloomberg will employ a strategy that's never been successful in history of modern presidential politics: skip the early states in favor of focusing on Super Tuesday states and beyond.
Drake University professor of politics, Arthur Sanders, has studied presidential politics for decades and believes Bloomberg has misread the political landscapes.
ARTHUR SANDERS, LEVITT DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR OF POLITICS, DRAKE UNVERSITY: Candidates since Jimmy Carter have understood that if you don't get into those early states and start developing momentum and getting the stories that you need, you're in trouble.
DEAN: The Iowa voters we spoke with said Bloomberg's decision to skip the Hawkeye State sends a message.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It says that he doesn't care about the Midwest and the heartland and all the people, and all the problems that affect more than just Iowans.
DEAN: As Bloomberg looks past Iowa and New Hampshire, Democratic candidate Julian Castro is questioning their status as first in nation contests. JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Demographically, it's not
reflective of the United States as a whole, certainly not reflective of the Democratic Party and I believe that other states should have their chance.
DEAN: Since 1972, Iowa has held the first Democratic nominating contest. Troy Price is the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party and he says Iowans take their role in the process seriously.
TROY PRICE, CHAIR OF THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY: I will challenge anyone who make comments like that to take a look, come to our events and hear what Iowans are asking about. Iowans ask the questions that are on the minds of Americans.
BURNETT: All right. So, Jessica, do Iowa Democrats want more people? I understand the strategy you're talking about Bloomberg, but Bloomberg and now Duval Patrick, is that they want? More choice?
DEAN: Well, if you look at the national polling, Fox News says 69 percent of Democrats are happy with the field. An NBC News poll said, "Wall Street Journal" poll said 85 percent are happy. So, that's the data.
If you talk to people anecdotally as we go around Iowa, I will say that a lot of them come out and say, look, I wish we would kind of winnow the field down so we can get to know them.
BURNETT: Going in the wrong direction?
DEAN: Yes. So, that's what we hear on t trail.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jessica Dean, who as we said has been on the trail here in Iowa.
And next, one of the nation's top businessmen slamming Elizabeth Warren, saying she is either grossly uninformed or warping the facts for her own political gain. He's my guest.
And President Trump's complicated relationship with the U.S. military.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You are America's greatest living heroes.
I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, taking on the billionaire. Senator Elizabeth Warren mocking billionaires who say she's vilifying them with her plan for a wealth tax.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: Maybe you've heard there's some billionaires who don't like this. Yes, they've been interviewed on TV I've noticed lately.
So sad, so sad that they might have to pay two cents out of their bazillion dollars. Here's the thing. They say I've worked hard, you know, unlike anyone else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Warren's comments just hours after Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO of the nation's largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, doubled down on his defense of the wealthy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMIE DIMON, JPMORGAN CHASE: I think we should vilify Nazis. We shouldn't vilify people that worked hard to accomplish things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. Now, one of the billionaires, Senator Warren, is talking about is Leon Cooperman. He's a hedge fund manager, the chairman and CEO of Omega Advisers. He recently sent an open letter to Senator Warren, criticizing her economic proposals and laying out his opposition in detail.
Leon, look, it's nice to have you on the program.
Senator Warren, I wanted to give you chance, today she came out clearly talking about you and perhaps Mr. Dimon, right? People who have been interviewed recently. So sad they might have to pay two cents out of their bazillion dollars. So, here's the thing they have to work hard, yes, unlike anyone else. What's your response to her?
LEON COOPERMAN, BILLIONAIRE INVESTOR: No, that's not the -- that's not the point. That's not the point. That's not the point.
I think she's a politician in the worse sense of the word, OK? What I mean by that is more poor people than rich people so she's trying to appeal to the larger group. But the reality is what is the purpose of vilifying successful people that have done well for society? I don't get it.
She can say that wealthy people should pay more in taxes. I happen to agree with that. I believe very strongly in the progressive income tax structure. I believe rich people should pay more.
And the question that we have to do as a nation is coalesce around the question, what should the maximum tax be on wealthy people? Why she criticizes wealthy is for political gain.
You know, I love to tell a story. He's a friend so I know his story intimately well. You know, Bernie Marcus was terminated during the holiday season, along with his partner and basically had three children, a large mortgage, no income, very, very depressed.
And he called up his friend Ken Langone to complain about his situation and Langone said, what are you complaining about? You have a vision of this super hardware store. I'll raise you money and we'll start a company. I think Ken raised $2 million, $50,000 from 40 people that had average means. So, it's $2 million.
Today, the company has $250 billion. They employ 400,000 people and 3,000 employees become millionaires in their stocks. He's giving away millions of dollars to charities. Why do we villainize that? Why don't we say we have problems in the country and have to deal with those problems?
BURNETT: But you're saying you agree with her that the wealthy should pay more. Are you saying you agree in principle that you agree on the progressive tax system or are you saying in practice now you agree that the wealth should be paying more?
COOPERMAN: They do -- should be paying more and they are paying more. If they want to raise the taxes on the wealthy, that's fine. I have no problem with that.
But the wealth tax is a stillborn idea. It's been tried in 14 countries. Ten of which dropped it. It's a nightmare to track of.
The IRS is promising us, you know, simplicity in the tax code for over 50 years. I'm 76. So, more than 50 years.
This would be an impossible thing to supervise. At the end of every year, are you going to calculate your net worth and hide a percentage of the net worth? What happens if you have a wealthy family whose wealth is caught up in a family farm? Are you going to sell 2 percent of your farm every year?
Let's decide. Take the 37 percent tax rate and raise it. Get rid of the loopholes. Seven years ago, one of the competitor networks, I said, get rid of the carried interest for hedge funds and private equity.
BURNETT: Right. When she --
COOPERMAN: It's 2 percent of wealth. Raise --
BURNETT: Right. But when she says that it's only people over $50 million --
COOPERMAN: Number one, it's unconstitutional.
BURNETT: You're saying you don't have a problem with the concept. Right, I understand your point. You're saying it's targeting a specific group. By the way, there are Democrats in Congress --
COOPERMAN: No, no, I have a problem with the concept --
BURNETT: -- seem to agree with you. Yes.
COOPER: I would say the most intelligent people would agree with me.
BURNETT: When you say closing loopholes, you are essentially taxing the wealth more. So -- I'm sorry, we have a bit of a delay. But you're saying you agree with what she's saying, you just don't agree with what she's calling?
COOPERMAN: Listen, let me explain something.
COOPERMAN: No, I disagree with the concept of the wealth tax. I agree with the progressive income tax structure. I believe rich people should pay more, OK, but there are other ways of going about it. The federal tax rate is 37 percent. Raise it. I have no problem with that.
Get rid of Section 1031 which allows the real estate guys to defer forever the capital gains on their real estate holdings. Get rid of the carried interest that gives hedge funds and private equity funds a tax break. Do something with capital gains. I have no problem paying more.
You know, I have to tell you, Erin, you're talking to a guy who tends to give it all away. This is -- we're talking about a matter of principle. Nine years ago, I took the giving pledge of Warren Buffett, and Mr. Buffett will say this publicly because he said it already.
COOPERMAN: When I took the giving pledge, if you're talking to wealthy people asking them for half isn't asking them for enough. I told him, I intend to give all of my money away. I'm not, you know, crying over my personal income tax liability. I'm distressed over the dialogue. Why villainize wealthy people?
Bill Gates has done a lot for society. David Rubenstein has done a lot for society, you know? Jeff Bezos has done a lot for society. They should be complimented, not criticized. And the wealth tax makes no sense.
Just take the 37 percent tax rate and raise it.
BURNETT: Let me ask you. You were very emotional in a recent interview you gave talking about this issue. And the prospect of the general election matchup between --
COOPERMAN: I was emotional because I was talking about family. No, no, no, no, no. You don't get it. Excuse me. I apologize.
I get emotional when I talk about my family. I don't want to go down that path. Something to do with my family and I got emotional. Yes, you can play it. Make a fool out of me.
BURNETT: I'll play it so people understand exactly what happened and then give you a chance to explain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People can not only see the emotion on your face but hear it in your voice when you talk about this, lee. Why?
COOPERMAN: I care. That's it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPERMAN: That's a good answer. I care. You know, I'm an emotional patriot. I think the country is going down the wrong path.
Twenty-five years ago, I was honored by an organization and Jack Kemp was the guest speaker. Jack Kemp said, in America, people don't hate the wealthy, they want to become them, OK? And we're just hanging in a wrong path.
I don't know of any wealthy person, billionaire or otherwise, who is not prepared to pay more in taxes if it helps the system.
My problem is -- on two scores, on two levels. Number one, a dialogue is vilifying people that should not vilified, and that's pandering to the majority to -- the masses. I need a politician that rises above that.
Number two, our economic ideas are junk and I have spoken to Nobel laureates and people that have much greater economic sophistication than me. They say the ideas don't work. The costs are off the chart.
We have a tax system in place. If you're not happy with the 37 percent tax rate of wealthy people, raise it. Get rid of 1031. Raise the capital gains tax rate. Get rid of carried interest.
There are so many other things you could be doing rather than going down this path of a nightmare.
Let me ask you a question if I may since you're full of questions. I know you went to Williams, I believe, it was, a very hard working student. I know you work very hard. I watch your program periodically.
Now many months of the year do you want to work for the government and how many months of the year for yourself? That's a question for you. I'm willing to work six months for the government and six months for myself, 50 percent tax rate.
BURNETT: I know you did say that. That's right. You did. And you said you were proud to do that. [19:55:01]
Which I thought was a significant thing.
BURNETT: And is important for people to realize.
Look, Lee, it's good to talk to you and I appreciate your time.
COOPERMAN: OK, my pleasure.
And we're going to take a brief break. When we come back, on this Veterans Day, President Trump's love/hate relationship with the military.
BURNETT: Trump's relationship with the military is complicated, and on this Veterans Day, the president's controversial statements remain a sore spot for some.
Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT.
TRUMP: Those who threaten our people don't stand a chance against the righteous might of the American military.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump sticking to prepared remarks on Veterans Day.
TRUMP: You are America's greatest living heroes.
STARR: When he appears before troops, the president is cheered. But for some, this Veterans Day appearance didn't go down well.
PAUL RIECKHOFF, ARMY VETERAN: We have the most divisive president in my lifetime. So, by showing up, he is politicizing it.
STARR: The president did salute families of the fallen.
TRUMP: To every Gold Star family, we will stand by your side forever.
STARR: In 2016, Trump attacked the Gold Star parents of an army captain killed in Iraq in 2004.
TRUMP: His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably -- maybe she wasn't allowed to have something to say.
STARR: Mrs. Khan says she couldn't speak. She was still overcome with grief at her son's death.
Impeachment signs in the window with the military present even as the Pentagon has tried to stay out of the impeachment inquiry, but there is growing unease about what is seen as the president's impulse of national security decisions.
TRUMP: I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me. I would bomb the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of them.
STARR: But with ISIS largely defeated, the president is going a step further.
TRUMP: But we are leaving soldiers to secure the oil. Now we may have to fight for the oil.
STARR: The Pentagon has identified Russia as a major challenge to national security, but Trump now considering Vladimir Putin's invitation to stand in Moscow's Red Square for the next mayday parade of Russian military might.
TRUMP: I was invited. I am thinking about it. It's right in the middle of our campaign season but I am thinking -- I would certainly think about it.
STARR (on camera): CNN has learned that at least two senior military officers were reluctant to appear alongside the president at public events because they were worried he would make political partisan remarks -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Barbara. Thank you very much.
And thanks to all of you for joining us. I'll see you back here at 9:00 for our presidential town hall with Vice President Joe Biden.
"AC360" starts right now.