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Intel Committee's Impeachment Report Released; Dems Announce Witnesses In Next Public Hearing; Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) SpeaksAbout Her Expectation On The Report; House Intelligence Members Reviewing Impeachment Report; House Dem Leader Officially Announces No Recess The Week Before Christmas; Impeachment Vote Expected; GOP Ignores Witness Testimony, Issues Report Saying Trump Did Nothing Wrong On Ukraine. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired December 2, 2019 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOSTWorld leaders will be listening closely and so will we. Thanks very much for watching. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, a major new report out this hour laying out potential articles of impeachment as Democrats announce their next public witnesses. Plus, a minority report Republicans countering with a lengthy rebuttal claiming President Trump didn't do anything wrong. The problem is the key points don't add up. And the former FBI attorney that Trump loves to attack says she's had it. She's fighting back and breaking her silence. The reporter who interviewed Lisa Page is my guest. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, the impeachment report is out, released just moments ago by the House Intelligence Committee to members of the committee. Now, look, this report is crucial. It details the evidence that Democrats have collected over the past eight weeks, lays the groundwork for the specific articles of impeachment and frankly sets the clock ticking on that formal vote to impeach Donald Trump.

In less than 48 hours, the Judiciary Committee is going to hold its first public impeachment hearing and they of course then are going to be writing those formal articles of impeachment. We now know who will be testifying at this public hearing, four impeachment experts.

President Trump taking to Twitter today to protest and his tweet, "The Do Nothing Democrats get 3 Constitutional lawyers for their impeachment hoax (they will need them), the Republicans get one. Oh, that sounds fair."

But it's important to note that that tweet doesn't add up. I mean the White House declined to participate in Wednesday's hearing. In fact Trump could have had another person there, someone under oath in that hearing representing him and has chosen not to do that. A lot to get to tonight.

Manu Raju is out front live on Capitol Hill. Manu, what more are you learning about what's in the Democrat's report? This crucial report that is now been handed to the full committee to read before it goes to the Judiciary Committee.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Members have just been given the opportunity to review this report starting in the last hour, so they have about 24 hours to do just that. It's expected to detail the findings of this investigation that has lasted more than two months detailing what the Democrats believe are abusive of power by the President in his dealings with Ukraine and laying out the witness testimony that we saw in two weeks of public hearings, and we've seen the transcripts of these interviews, these witnesses were deposed behind closed doors.

And it'll probably be in line with what Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman just said in response to the Republican report put out earlier today. He said that the report, the findings of their investigation 'more accurately suggested' the President's actions were 'outside' the law and constitution and a violation of his oath of office.

So essentially, Erin, this report will detail everything they've found and will form the basis of articles of impeachment that would ultimately be considered by the House Judiciary Committee. Those proceedings in the Judiciary Committee are expected to begin on Wednesday when there's a public hearing and that panel before more proceedings take place including a likely vote on articles of impeachment by the end of next week seems likely according to democratic sources before it moves into the full House likely before Christmas.

And then after that assuming that House does vote to make President Trump the third American president to be impeached by the House. Then, that would, of course, move to the Senate for the trial phase and that could take some time as Republicans seem very likely to acquit the President on any charges and not remove him from office.

But this week, this report is significant because it will lay out everything that has been found in this investigation. Will make the case in the Democrats' terms why the President deserves to be removed from office and we expect it to be very detailed, laying out why they believe the President should not have handled Ukraine the way he did and leveraging his power against a country that needed U.S. support desperately, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you very much. And I want to go now to Democratic Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, member of the House Oversight Committee. Congresswoman, I appreciate your time.

So what are you looking for in this report which you may see in ours once the committee approves it.

REP. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON (D-DC): Well, I think we've had a good understanding of what should be in the report, because we've had two weeks of open hearings. And we can conclude I think that the report will act on what those hearings showed us. And remember what we're dealing with here, this is the prosecutorial side of the impeachment inquiry and I was on that committee that dealt with that inquiry.

Republicans got to be in there as just as much as I was and now we're in to prosecuting and that's what you are seeing as I speak.

BURNETT: So, obviously, Republicans have released their own report which they call a rebuttal, but they're issuing it.


I mean I suppose a rebuttal to what you say you know will be in it, the hearings we all heard.

NORTON: Why don't you call it prebuttal because we hadn't issued ours yet.

BURNETT: Right. Right. Right. So they have 123 pages and they have several things in there that do not add up when you check them against the facts. But they do write this, Congresswoman, "There is also nothing wrong with asking serious questions about the presence of Vice President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, on the board of directors of Burisma, a corrupt Ukrainian company, or about Ukraine's attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election."

Obviously, the President's former Homeland Security advisor said there were no such attempts to influence the presidential election. But what's your response to the point about Hunter Biden?

NORTON: They have yet to produce any evidence that Hunter Biden has been involved at all. And anything that has happened here, this is a man who went as a private citizen onto a board of a company in Ukraine. What does that have to do with whether we should impeachment the President?

They're just trying to find witnesses to embarrass former Vice President Biden, because they see him as the frontrunner for the nomination on the democratic side.

BURNETT: And President Trump claims that this is unifying the Republican Party. His tweet today, the Republican Party has never been more unified. This impeachment scam is just a continuation of the three-year Witch Hunt, but it is only bringing us even closer together.

And look, he has a point here, doesn't he? I mean, despite the facts here, despite witness after witness including the President's own million dollar donor saying there was a quid pro quo at the behest of the President of the United States himself. Not one Republican has said they'll vote to impeach.

NORTON: Actually we had two Democrats who didn't vote with us and previously voted with us, but both sides are pretty much dug in. But nobody more than the Republicans unlike the Nixon impeachment where Republicans thought for themselves and you had much more of a bipartisan approach to impeachment.

Here you see impeachment simply mirrors what the House looks like today, a completely polarized House, more polarized than at any time since the Civil War. BURNETT: I mean, look, it's an incredible thing to say it as starkly

as you did since the Civil War, because I think it feels that way. It feels that way to people, whatever the facts are people just - they go with what their political point of view is now. President Trump does have a line of response.

Obviously, he's saying, oh, this is unfair, even though as you know, Congresswoman, he could have had his own person in this hearing that the Judiciary Committee is set to hold. He chose not to, that's his choice. But he did say this before he left for London this morning where he is at a NATO meeting, here he is.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democrats, the radical left Democrats, the do nothing Democrats decided when I'm going to NATO, this is setup a year ago, that when I'm going to NATO, that was the exact time, this is one of the most important journeys that we make as President.


BURNETT: And putting aside the great irony of him saying that going to NATO is one of the most important journeys of a president when he is questioned the need for NATO to exist. Does he have a point here? This has been scheduled forever and Democrats are holding an impeachment hearing and he's out of the country.

NORTON: But isn't that the point? Isn't that the point that Democrats didn't say, "When will he be out of town?" These things happen to coalesce. We're trying to get this done by the end of December. We don't want to run on impeachment. We want to run on all of those bills we passed and have not gotten any credit for, because impeachment has been standing in the way.

What got us into the House? What got us into the House, of course, was what we did on medical care for all Americans. And now we want to go back to that and we can't go back to that if we're going to spend the whole next year doing exactly what we've done this year. Blotting out all of our tremendous accomplishments for impeachment.

Let's get this over with by the end of December, then let the Senate have their way. By the way, they're controlled by Republicans, we're controlled by Democrats. So I suppose everybody will be satisfied in the long run.

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

NORTON: My pleasure.

BURNETT: And next breaking news, one of Rudy Giuliani's associates now plans to cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee. How worried is the President and his lawyer. Plus, Republicans are counterpunching, releasing a report of their own before the report that the rebutting is even out. But they are ignoring some very obvious facts.

And breaking her silence about Trump's attacks on her.



TRUMP: ... Strzok or his lover, Lisa Page, the two great lovers.


BURNETT: The writer who sat down with Lisa Page is out front.



BURNETT: Tonight, momentum. A source telling CNN democrats believe they have momentum coming off the House Intelligence public hearings. Now, democrats on the judiciary committee, of course, have now wasted no time. They're going to hold a mock hearing tomorrow morning ahead of their public hearing on Wednesday where they put it in front of all of us.

This as the House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has officially announced tonight the House will not go on vacation for Christmas as planned, the week of December 16th. They're now going to stay in session so that final votes will take place on December 20th which, of course, paves the way for the 45th President of the United States, President Trump to be impeached before Christmas.

Out front now David Gregory, CNN Political Analyst, Dana Bash, CNN Chief Political Correspondent and Ryan Goodman, former Special Counsel at the Defense Department.


David, look, we've had the week of a few days people have been gone for Thanksgiving. The House was not in session. Obviously, people were working away but they weren't in session, they weren't getting all of the publicity from that. Do they have the momentum right now?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't know if they have political momentum, I really don't. I think that you see how united Republicans have remained, how defiant the President has remained, it doesn't seem like much public opinion is moving. I think this is a topic around Thanksgiving dinner tables as people tried to sort through not so much what the facts were because we knew the story going in, but what do you do with it.

I do think there's a debate about, OK, well, is this impeachable, is that the right step forward. So I think Democrats are thinking about right now is, is there momentum to be gained by synthesizing all of this, bringing it all home to people so they understand it, they understand that it's a clear case. There'll be another case, a defense that's made, but can you make the

case that all of this adds up to something high crimes and misdemeanors that should force the removal of the President before a presidential election next year that gives voters that chance. And I've always thought, that's the biggest obstacle for Democrats, is why shouldn't Republicans say, look, if this is so bad, let the voters decide.

BURNETT: Right. Right. Especially when you are so close. I mean, Dana, you have when you talk about momentum. I mean, there's the raw speed of it. Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer has officially announced the House isn't going on recess. They're staying through Friday, December 20th when they're going to have their final votes, and one would presume an impeachment vote would be on that day, if they aren't able to get it before. I mean, they are really trying to race towards a vote here.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: They are. They have a timeline. There is no room for error because you have this one hearing this week, one or two next week and then behind the scenes, of course, we know that they are keeping it close hold on this. They're beginning to craft articles of impeachment.

But then you're going to have the votes in the committee and then votes on House floor. And past this prologue, each article gets its own debate, gets its own votes. So Steny Hoyer is saying officially what we already knew, which is that they're going to have to stay to meet that deadline.

One quick point, I totally agree with David. Momentum is in the eye of the beholder. Democrats may think they have momentum, because they feel that they have a clear case. Republicans feel the same way, which is what you saw and we'll talk about it in a little bit.

But you saw what they laid out in their prebuttle, but it speaks to what they're hearing at home, what they're seeing at polls, and the ata boys, people like John Kennedy, he's a senator, of course, are getting from a president when he even - goes back, he flips and flops and goes back to maybe an iteration of a position that he had publicly a couple of weeks ago on the conspiracy theory that Ukraine was involved in meddling in the 2016 election.

That all speaks to the comfort level that Republicans have, voters and constituents with the fact that they don't think the President should be impeached and it potentially helps them politically.

BURNETT: And they're being aggressive, Ryan. I mean, obviously, we're hours away from this public hearings in the Judiciary Committee. We've got law professors coming in, OK? But the top Republican in the House Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins, is saying, "Oh, I want to see the Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff testify. Here's what he said.


REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): First and foremost, the first person who needs to testify is Adam Schiff. Adam Schiff is the author of this report. He's put himself into that position. If he chooses not to, then that really question his veracity and what he's putting in his report.


BURNETT: They want to force him to talk about the whistleblower which, of course, is a moot point. Because what the whistleblower put in the report has been now proven by sources who were not tertiary. So it's a moot point, but they're trying to throw this in the water. It's like putting chum into the water. Is there any chance this happens and what does it mean to the timeline when new battles like this going on?

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SPECIAL COUNSEL: So I do think it just kind of throws mud in the air and makes a lot of noise. But I don't think anything like this is going to materialize. There's no reason for Adam Schiff to be a witness, because the only implication is, as you mentioned, this idea that he might have had contact with the whistleblower, which he has said he has and the whistleblower's lawyer has said whistleblower has never met Adam Schiff and it's irrelevant.

At this point, we have overwhelming corroboration of the whistleblower's complaint, so once again what's the whole point of that. And if anything, do we really want to go down that path if Adam Schiff were there, maybe Devin Nunes should be there too since he's been implicated on some of that.

BURNETT: Right. Then it becomes a circus, right, then you're in the world of Hunter Biden. I mean, look, David, the lawyer for one, Rudy Giuliani's associates today, Lev Parnas, says he wants to work with the House Intelligence Committee. He now wants to talk, that's what we're hearing.

Federal prosecutors now have 29 electronic devices connected to the defendants in that case, thousands of documents.


These are people who are accused of serious crimes that were embed with Giuliani when it came to business in Ukraine. How worried is Giuliani, is the President about someone like Lev Parnas at this point?

GREGORY: Well, I think it's a separate concern. I mean, I think if you're the President, the most incriminating information has already come out and he released that partial transcript and said has said, "Yes, I did it."

I mean, again, we have to remember we're in this unique fact patterns of President Trump where he admits what he did right away. It's not who done it, it's who cares. That's his argument.

BURNETT: Yes. Yes. GREGORY: That's his defense. And so I think the President ultimately

might throw Giuliani under the bus if it gets to that and I think that's where Lev Parnas could be difficult. But it says something about the intelligence committee is still open for business even though they're drafting this report.

What this is really about though and having these Judiciary Committee hearings where they're bringing in experts on impeachment, it is a show for the public. I don't think the finders of fact in the Congress, in the House or the Senate are going to be moved by any of this. The question is, will the public be moved by any of it.

And You do have the President on the other side, we should remember our recent history of impeachment. Bill Clinton used to say during impeachment in the '90s, he went after Republicans and his attack was they can't beat me with their ideas, so they go to this stuff, they go to my personal life, they go to other mistakes, they go to impeachment.

BURNETT: And it worked.

GREGORY: And it worked. And it worked. And Trump and a very united core of Republicans are doing the same here. It's a huge obstacle. But again, the opportunity is to clarify to synthesize and to really make a compelling case which no one is defending the facts on the President's side. We should note that.

BURNETT: Right. Well, and again if everyone who's going to vote here knows what they're going to do and has paid attention to the hearing, so if the report they're putting out is for the American public, then they shouldn't do what the republicans did, which is do 123 pages. They got to find a way to make this a lot more clear.

I hear your point. It was clear in the transcript, but they have to find a way to thread that needle. But next, you're all going to stay with me, because I want to talk about that Republican report, 123 pages. Republicans rallying behind their president and putting in a whole bunch of stuff that is completely counterfactual. We're going to go through the key points.

And she's had enough, a former FBI attorney trashed by President Trump is fighting back because of this.


TRUMP: Lisa Page, who was forced to leave the FBI and her lover, Peter Strzok.


BURNETT: The reporter who spoke with Lisa Page is out front tonight.


[19:27:05] BURNETT: Breaking news, House Republicans defending President Trump.

They've got a new 123-page prebuttle to the democratic findings. In it they argue there's no evidence of bribery, extortion or any high crime or misdemeanor.

So look it's 123 pages. There's a lot in there. But here are some of the crucial things. This is to still it down, at one point they write, "President trump is a deep-seated, genuine, and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine due to its history of pervasive corruption."

Well, I mean, maybe some people would share that concern, but that's not true for the President. Here's what the truth is.


DAVID HOLMES, COUNSELOR FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS, U.S. EMBASSY IN UKRAINE: Ambassador Sondland agreed that the President did not give an expletive about Ukraine. I asked, "Why not?" Ambassador Sondland stated that the President only cares about big stuff. I noted there was big stuff going on in Ukraine, like a war with Russia. And Ambassador Sondland replied that he meant big stuff that benefits the President like the Biden investigation that Mr. Giuliani was pushing.


BURNETT: There's that genuine deep-seated skepticism of corruption. OK. Well, what about this claim? They also say in their report, "The summary of the July 25, 2019 telephone conversation shows no quid pro quo or indication of conditionality, threats or pressure.

Of course, the memo of the phone call quote, the President of the United States says, "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." Continues to talk about the Bidens in the context of military aid. So that's the summary of the call and that doesn't add up to the Republican analysis.

And then they continue to say this, "The evidence does not establish that President Trump withheld a meeting with President Zelensky for the purpose of pressuring Ukraine to investigate Burisma, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden or Ukrainian influence on the election." Of course, under oath testimony shows the complete opposite to be the case.


GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: Was there a quid pro quo? As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.


BURNETT: OK. Everyone is back with me. So Ryan, look, point by point we were just able to kind of eviscerate those points. Those are just three that we grabbed out. They don't comport with the facts. How effective is this report though? GOODMAN: So I think it's not effective. I think they played their

hand, whatever hand they had, and it does have Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan's name right at the top and I think that's for a reason. So it's an across the board on every single fact, it's for the President that everything was correct and appropriate for the President. And it defies what we just learned for the last two weeks in the public hearings.

It defies the fact that three or four Trump appointed senior officials reported the phone call itself, criminal referral to the Justice Department. It defies the fact that the GOP witness, Kurt Volker, said that in retrospect he understood it was about Biden and the 2020 election and he would have objected if he understood it at the time because it was unacceptable.


BURNETT: Yes. (Inaudible) about that.

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER DEFENSE SPECIAL COUNSEL, NYU LAW PROFESSOR: -- Volker, said in retrospect, he understood it was about Biden and the 2020 election and he would have objected if he understood it at the time because it was unacceptable.


BURNETT: Right. He was very clear about that.

GOODMAN: So, it's just -- I think they lose a lot, because many Americans, Republicans as well, say they think the president acted inappropriately, but it's not impeachable, but at least it was inappropriate. They get to that point.

BURNETT: They don't give you that, right? And it goes against the facts.

I mean, so, Dana, the Republicans are saying Trump was -- I mean, I'm sorry, this line, it's just -- I mean, it's ridiculous. He's got a deep-seeded genuine and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine due to its history of pervasive corruption. The history part is true, the president's concern is not.

Here's the statement from the president himself, OK. Dana, just to remind people. We don't even need to go to David Holmes saying the president -- he overheard the president, you know, saying Gordon Sondland said the president doesn't give a you know what about Ukraine. We have the president himself saying what he wanted from Ukraine. It wasn't about corruption. It was about this.


REPORTER: What exactly did you hope Zelensky would do about the Bidens after the phone call? Exactly.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I would think if they were honest about it, they would start a major investigation into the Bidens. It's a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens.


BURNETT: The president said it himself, Dana. And yet, Nunes and Jordan have come out with a report saying the facts aren't the facts.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Black is white, up is down. I mean, it's -- it's where we are, unfortunately, and this is why, you know, we have such a tribal situation here in Washington and across the country. But they feed on each other.

It's tribal in large part because you have reports like this which as you just played so well and showed so well, it just doesn't match with the reality that's in front of our face, that the president himself said. So, you know, they took it, this report, you know, maybe not just two steps too far, ten steps too far because they can, because they believe they can get away with it, with the people that they care about, the Republican base. And history shows the current state of affairs shows that they're not wrong.

BURNETT: I mean, this is the thing, David, that is so shocking about it. Let me give you another one. Okay. Again, Congressmen Nunes and Jordan. The evidence does not support President Trump orchestrated a shadow foreign policy apparatus for the purpose of pressuring Ukraine to investigate Burisma, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, or Ukrainian influence, OK? They say this factually.

Here is Trump's million dollar donor, his E.U. ambassador, Gordon Sondland, under oath.


GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: In response to our persistent efforts in that meeting to change his views, President Trump directed us to, quote, talk with Rudy. Mr. Giuliani emphasized that the president wanted a public statement from President Zelensky committing Ukraine to look into the corruption issues. Mr. Giuliani specifically mentioned the 2016 election, including the DNC server, and Burisma as two topics of importance to the president.


BURNETT: I mean, David, they explicitly say that didn't happen, that he didn't have Rudy Giuliani doing this and it had nothing to do with Burisma, Biden, or Ukrainian influence. Here it is, talk to Giuliani about Ukrainian influence and Burisma.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think a lot of their argument comes down to what was the president's intent, versus what other people thought it was or opinions of others on what the president actually wanted. I think it's so clear based on the president's own words in the July 25th phone call, the sound bite you played from the south lawn. The fact that he's the president of the United States, and he's got a newly elected leader who is completely beholden to the United States for existential aid to fight Russia on its eastern front, that you will do what the president suggests you should do, and it was to get dirt on Biden. All of that is painfully clear.

But we're not operating in a court of law. You know, I feel like these reports are meticulously written legal briefs, but then somebody is going to stand up in front of the jury and unlike in a courtroom, there's not a judge who is going to instruct the jury and charge them with what they have to consider based on the evidence to reach a verdict. Here, it's the American people. It's completely in the political domain.

BASH: Yes.


GREGORY: And this prebuttle goes a long way to kick up dust on this.

BASH: It was written for the court of public opinion, not for the court of law, for all the reasons Erin just played. It's so easily, you know, contradicted by facts.

BURNETT: And, Ryan, to that point, David raises the point, what is the intent of the president?


What they're trying to get at, and they explicitly do. There is no direct first-hand evidence of any such scheme. The Democrats are alleging guilt on the basis of hearsay, presumptions and speculation, right? Presumptions, right, I think capturing David's point of, well, they are presuming what the president wanted when he said something.

What's your response to this argument at this point about hearsay? Given that we did not hear John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney or Mike Pompeo or Rudy Giuliani say what the president told them directly, we have simply heard many other people say what those people told them the president said directly.

GOODMAN: Right, even in a court of law, you could convict somebody of a crime off a lot of hearsay evidence. There's so much of that evidence that it at some point accumulates --

BURNETT: The preponderance.

GOODMAN: Preponderance of the evidence. And here, it's not a criminal proceeding. It's not beyond a reasonable doubt. And it's only about whether or not you send it to the Senate for a trial. It seems to easily cross that threshold.

And we do have some direct evidence. We have the phone call itself, which is direct evidence released by the White House.


GOODMAN: We have people who are on the phone call, like Lieutenant Colonel Vindman who said that he understood it as a demand. We have Sondland saying the president instructed me that I must work with Giuliani and that Giuliani will convey his instructions, and then Giuliani conveyed his conditions. And we have Mick Mulvaney on national TV saying, yes --

BURNETT: Get over it. Yes.

GOODMAN: Get over it. We did condition the security assistance on the investigation to 2016. So, that's an overwhelming amount of evidence. That's why Judge Napolitano on Fox News said that he thinks it's an overwhelming amount of evidence in favor of impeachment.

So, I think that that's what the American public will be presented with, and on Wednesday, they'll have constitutional experts explain what the legal standard is. So that they can judge what is an abuse of power.

BURNETT: All right. I appreciate all of you very much. Thank you.

And next, an ex-FBI lawyer targeted by President Trump is speaking out after two years of her silence. The reporter who broke that story is my guest next.

And could the M-word win votes for Joe Biden?


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, we're on a no malarkey tour, meaning we're telling the truth.




BURNETT: Tonight, breaking her silence, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. So, you remember her. She's the one who made headlines when her anti- Trump text messages were made public and she is now speaking out. And she is detailing what it has been like to be a constant target of the president.

So, just in case you don't fully remember, right? The texts between Page and former FBI agent Peter Strzok revealed that the two were having an affair, OK? So, they were talking about things in the investigation and they were also having an affair.

And so, President Trump has seized upon that and obsessed about it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Strzok or his lover, Lisa Page, the two great lovers.

If you look at Strzok, if you look at his lover, Lisa Page, his wonderful lover.

Lisa Page, who was forced to leave the FBI, and her lover, Peter Strzok.

Phony people like McCabe and Strzok and his lover. You had Lisa Page, his lover.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Molly Jong-Fast, "The Daily Beast" contributor who just interviewed Lisa Page.

And, look, she said nothing to anybody. So, she chose to speak to you and talk about this.

You know, today, the president saw your story.


BURNETT: OK. He slams Page, goes on Twitter, and the tweet begins, when Lisa Page, the lover of Peter Strzok, right? More than 30 tweets, 30 tweets, the president of the United States has sent about Lisa Page, using that word.

But she tells you it was this moment that made her choose to speak out now and decide to talk. Here's the moment of what he said.


TRUMP: I love you, Peter. I love you, too, Lisa. Lisa, I love you. Lisa, Lisa. Oh, God, I love you, Lisa.

And if she doesn't win, Lisa, we've got an insurance policy, Lisa.


BURNETT: That was the moment, and that was in October when she said enough is enough.

JONG-FAST: Yes. I actually talked to her about two weeks after that. And she -- so part of it was she couldn't defend herself when she was working at the FBI. And so, these texts were leaked by the FBI -- by the DOJ.

And she -- and there's a lot of reporting about it and there's been FOIAs and there's -- you can read all of the whole story. Natasha Bertrand wrote about it.


JONG-FAST: But what's interesting is then she -- then she -- she couldn't talk, and the FBI didn't defend her. Like, they made it clear they weren't going to put out a statement. And so, she was sort of in the wind for like two years.

And finally, I sort of found her, and I messaged with her a lot and wrote to her and said, I have written a lot about women's plight under Trump and interviewed E. Jean Carroll and other women who have had this experience, and I really think I could show the human side of what it's like to be targeted by the president of the United States.

BURNETT: And I want to be clear, when you say, I mean, the DOJ inspector general concluded that the text messages between Page and Strzok were inappropriate, right?


BURNETT: They said, look, this is inappropriate stuff, but, and this but is really important. Every American should know about it. They also concluded there was no bias in the agents' work.

JONG-FAST: Uh-huh.

BURNETT: OK? So, they're texting things personally, but professionally, there was no evidence of any bias.

And Page was not afraid her texts were political. Here's what she told you. OK? So this is your interview with her.


BURNETT: At the end of July, in 2017, I'm informed by the DOJ Inspector General's Office that I'm under investigation for political text messages and honestly, I have no idea what they're talking about. I have no recollection.

Initially, they're very coy about it. They don't tell me much about it. I don't have the first clue what they're talking about.

What I do know is that my text messages will reveal that I previously had an affair.


BURNETT: I'm overwhelmed by dread and embarrassment at the prospect that investigators, Andy McCabe, and my colleagues now know or could learn about this deeply personal secret.

And she told you inspectors told her that the affair part of this would not ever be made public, and yet it was.

JONG-FAST: Yes. That's right. And it was -- it was a "Washington Post" reporter who was told about the affair. We don't know how he got the story.

And she begged him not to say anything. And it was a really -- I mean, I think this woman has been through two years of like the worst hell imaginable.

BURNETT: And look, you know, people make decisions, people make mistakes. She had an affair.


BURNETT: It's a personal thing and a personal issue.

She writes, though, about how now, you know, when she gets on the Metro, the subway in Washington --

[19:45:03] JONG-FAST: Yes.

BURNETT: -- she winces, wondering if people recognize her. If she sees someone wearing a Trump gear or MAGA hat, she walks the other way.


BURNETT: To put distance between us because I'm not looking for conflict.


BURNETT: What I wanted the most in this world, she tells you, is my life back.

And I think this is an important point. That people may want to know about, that you found out. She's married to her husband.


BURNETT: And he has been her biggest supporter.


I mean, there was -- she was taking a trip, and she was like, you can text my husband. And I was like, wow. I mean, they're still together, and they have little children, and she just wants to have a life.

And she -- I don't think she ever would have done an interview if he hadn't done that thing in that Minnesota rally.

BURNETT: Right, that disgusting --


BURNETT: Obviously, I don't need to describe what it was he was doing, but yes.

So, look, you do this story. The president responds to it --


BURNETT: -- Molly, and then Fox News criticizes you for the entire interview.


BURNETT: Let me just play for you what they said.


BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS HOST: Page says, the first, of course, the FBI gets the predication to look into Trump by George Papadopoulos, which starts the whole Russia investigation. Which goes back to the biggest questions people have, who was talking to George Papadopoulos? Where is this professor that started the whole thing? Where is the ambassador that meets him by chance in a bar?

This goes back into it, and there's no follow-up question from "The Daily Beast" reporter.


BURNETT: You are that reporter, and you are not standing down from that fight.

JONG-FAST: Yes. I mean, to have my journalistic ethics questioned by the president's propaganda morning show is pretty amazing. I -- you know, I'll go on, man. I mean, you know, it's a show for an audience of one.

So I don't think that -- and the idea that I should ask her about these conspiracy theories that we know from Fiona Hill have been completely debunked, but that the Republican Party has continued to use as talking points, is just really silly. I mean, I'm honored that they read so much of it. I was shocked they did, and you know, like when Trump tweeted about it, I don't think he read it, but no, to have my journalistic ethics questioned by those guys is hilarious.

BURNETT: Well, it's a really great article and it's fascinating just to hear her speak, and I think on a human level, and again -- again, I say in the context that they concluded, the inspector, that she did nothing wrong --


BURNETT: -- professionally, that her personal life has been so, you know, demeaned and publicized in such a crass way by the president so repeatedly, it is -- I think a lot of us are so fascinated to hear what she said had to say.

Thank you so much, Molly.

JONG-FAST: Yes, thank you.

BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Joe Biden's no malarkey tour, as voters in Iowa weigh in.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The country is so ready for him, and I just feel like it's his time.


BURNETT: And breaking news on President Jimmy Carter tonight. He's back in the hospital.


[19:51:54] BURNETT: Tonight, former Vice President Joe Biden is in the middle of his "No Malarkey", that is what he calls it, that's his bus tour through Iowa. Will his folksy manner translate to victory?

Arlette Saenz is OUTFRONT.


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER (voice-over): Nine weeks before the Iowa caucus, Joe Biden barnstorming the state on what he calls the no malarkey tour.

BIDEN: The reason I named it no malarkey because the other guy is all lies.

SAENZ: The phrase, a staple of Biden's political career.

BIDEN: With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey.

It's such a bunch of malarkey.

SAENZ: It's now splashed across his campaign bus on a tour through Iowa, connecting with voters over eight days in 18 counties. Biden's swing for the state comes as he sits at the top of the Democratic field in national polls.

But here in Iowa, it is a different picture. A recent CNN/"Des Moines Register" poll in the Hawkeye State showed Pete Buttigieg ahead of the pack, with Biden battling for second with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth warren.

BIDEN: We're here to translate the polls nationally. I'm going to win. I'm not running to come in third or fourth or fifth.

SAENZ: Biden's main focus this trip, meeting voters in rural communities.

BIDEN: When we win, god willing, we have to focus on the core and the heart and the soul of this country which is small town and rural America.

SAENZ: Along the way, he's been accompanied by former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and his wife Christie, two influential figures in the state who are supporting Biden who see rural areas as key.

TOM VILSACK (D), FORMER IOWA GOVERNOR: It is important to send a strong message about the importance of rural America and I think it's a message that Democrats in the past have sort of ignored at their peril.

BIDEN: Thank you very, very much.

SAENZ: Biden is no stranger to Iowa's political landscape, having run here unsuccessfully twice before, and Beth Chinline (ph) has been with him from the start.

(on camera): What do you think is different for Biden this time around compared to his 1988 and 2008 runs?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The country is so ready for him. And I just feel like it is his time.

SAENZ (voice-over): But many are still taking their time to decide which candidate is the right fit.

BRAD KNOTT, UNDECIDED IOWA VOTER: I don't think he's been here enough, spent a lot of time here. That is what it usually takes for most Iowans. They feel -- they got to see the people several times before they make up their mind.

SAENZ (on camera): And so, when do you think you'll make your mind up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe the night of.

SAENZ: So, not a month in advance or two months in advance like she did?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like to keep my powder dry.

SAENZ (voice-over): Biden is betting his face time with voters --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I campaigned for Obama. I'm yours.

SAENZ: With selfies and one-on-one conversations will help carry him over the finish line come caucus night.

(on camera): So do you feel you're winning over voters on this bus tour?

BIDEN: I think so. I think so. Here in Iowa and the early states, they want to touch you, they want to feel you, they want to get a sense, is this real?


SAENZ: Now we just learned moments ago that Joe Biden raised more in the last two months than the entire last quarter. The campaign isn't saying exactly how much that is.


But last quarter, he raised $15.7 million, significantly less than many of his rivals.

And, Erin, one other thing to note, Joe Biden isn't in Iowa. He's actually taking a detour to Chicago for fundraisers and will be back in the morning holding an event here in Mason City, before heading to New York for more fundraisers to raise that money to stay competitive here and the states beyond -- Erin.

BURNETT: It's a brutal schedule. Thank you very much, Arlette.

And next, breaking news on former President Jimmy Carter's health. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: All right. Tonight, some news on President Carter. The former president is back in the hospital. It is only days after he had spent two weeks there.

According to a statement from the Carter Center, the 95-year-old is being treated for a urinary tract infection but we are told, though, that he is feeling better and hopes to return home shortly. Carter was hospitalized a few weeks ago for a procedure to relieve pressure on his brain which was successful. And, of course, as we learn more, we will get that to you. But again, he does look forward to returning home soon.

Thanks to you for watching us.

Anderson starts now.