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House Judiciary Chair Nadler Questions AG Barr's "Back Channel" for Receiving Giuliani's Ukraine Info; Biden Mocks Buttigieg's Experience as Mayor in New Ad; Coronavirus Cases on Quarantined Cruise Ship Double Overnight, 24 Americans Among 135 Cases. Aired on 7-8p ET

Aired February 10, 2020 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, voting about to begin in New Hampshire. The Mayor of Dover, New Hampshire, which has correctly predicted the top four finishers in the last four primaries is OUTFRONT. So who does he think will win?

Plus, Trump gets revenge targeting anyone he perceives as an enemy, including a red state Democrat Doug Jones. The Senator responds live.

And trapped on a cruise ship as the number of passengers infected with the Coronavirus nearly doubles overnight. We're going to go live to an American author who is on that ship right now.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, voting about to begin in New Hampshire. The first vote set to come at midnight tonight and Dixville Notch and it is make or break for some candidates, which is why they have been blanketing the state today using every minute they have.

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are actually still holding events at this hour. Vice President Joe Biden also held two events today going on attack mode as he is struggling to regain momentum after his Iowa finish which is fourth place and, of course, the person they're all trying to beat is also a New Hampshire tonight, couldn't resist holding his own campaign rally this evening.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT and she's in Rochester, New Hampshire tonight. Kyung, the Democratic candidates have been campaigning today and literally trying to use every minute of the day that they have. No signs of slowing down for many of them tonight.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Right. Amy Klobuchar's event tonight is just about to begin and this isn't even her last event of the night. Mid day, her campaign tacked on another event starting at 9:30 tonight Eastern time, they're trying to jam in as many events as possible. Klobuchar like the other top-tier candidates crisscrossing the state all day today, understanding that this is it. Their last chance to deliver a final message.


LAH(voice over): Closing out New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders argues energizing the progressive left and his army of small donors is the best path to defeat the president. A clear swipe at Pete Buttigieg who has courted traditional Democratic donors.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tomorrow you have a choice. You have a choice about going forward and voting for a campaign, which will defeat Donald Trump. You all my donors. We don't go to rich people's homes and get advice from millionaires and billionaires.


LAH(voice over): Sanders and Buttigieg are atop the field in the Granite State, two philosophies on the ballot. Buttigieg called the primary a choice.


MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We cannot risk alienating Americans at this critical moment. And that's where I part ways with my friend, Senator Sanders, where your own choices are between a revolution or the status quo is a picture where most of us don't see ourselves.


LAH(voice over): Buttigieg is also the target of Joe Biden's campaign. The former Vice President downplaying Buttigieg's experience as mayor.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We want to compare records, it's easy to do. I get it, he is a good guy. He's a great mayor. But guess what? He was a mayor.


LAH(voice over): As he runs fourth in Iowa, Biden told voters give him another shot in New Hampshire.


BIDEN: My name is Joe Biden. I'm a Democratic candidate for President -- look me over, OK?


LAH(voice over): He's looking beyond the Democratic field and focusing on the President.


BIDEN: Trump is going to tell us over and over again that the economy is on the ballot this year. It sure is and I'm going to make sure he understands this on the ballot, because working class and middle class people are getting clobbered.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have one job in November, beat Donald Trump.


LAH(voice over): Elizabeth Warren closing with a message about taking the fight to Donald Trump.


WARREN: I've been thinking about unwinnable fights. Well, they're only unwinnable if you don't get in the fight and fight it.


LAH(voice over): And Amy Klobuchar seeing her last events filled to capacity turned her debate moment into her closing ad, hoping that message will turn her from underdog to contender.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... surprise the country. So please do this for me ...



LAH: So now whether or not she can actually pull that off when I press the campaign, hey, are you going to do this? Can you predict where you will end up? They won't dare go there, Erin. All they will say is they want to beat expectations and stay in this, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Kyung, thank you very much.

If you want to know how New Hampshire will vote tomorrow, go talk to someone from the City of Dover. Dover, New Hampshire has picked the winner in the state's passed four Democratic presidential primaries and Dover voters have even correctly predicted the exact order of the top four finishers.


So OUTFRONT now, someone who can best tell us what's going to happen in Dover and what voters are thinking there, the Democratic Mayor of the City, Bob Carrier.

Mayor Carrier, I appreciate your time. So you're born and raised in Dover, you're the mayor. Nobody knows the situation better than you tonight.


BURNETT: So how does it look? Who are Dover voters favoring right now? CARRIER: Well, I've talked to a lot of people all over the city and I

think it's very diversified. I've seen some of the candidates come into the city and they've all gotten good responses. I've attended a few of the presentations. They've spoken very well. There's a lot of differences between them though and I think a lot of voters ...

BURNETT: So what's your feel of the energy?

CARRIER: ... what's next.

BURNETT: What's your feel of the energy right now, Mayor?

CARRIER: Well, I think there's two that are really on the top and that's Bernie and that's also Pete. And I think the other, I think, Amy is right behind there, Elizabeth Warren is doing quite well and the other candidates, I think, they're coming up pretty good, too.

They're all getting good responses from the state. They go to some of these venues and they're getting anywhere from 600 to a thousand people. So that's telling you there's a lot of people ...

BURNETT: Look, that's a lot so people know ...

CARRIER: ... some of them are undecided.

BURNETT: ... I mean, your city is 29,000. When you talk about 600 to a thousand at rally after rally, I mean, it's a lot of people. People take their role very seriously there in terms of the importance of their vote.


BURNETT: But you go through, as you said, Bernie and Pete at the top. And then you said Amy and then you said Elizabeth Warren, but you did not say Joe Biden in that top group. That sort of stands out to me.

CARRIER: Well, I think he is a very good candidate. The only thing that I've talked to some of the residents in the city is that I think he's kind of flat. I don't think he's got the, what should I say, the energy that the others have. And I think that's what a lot of the millennium people are looking for.

They're looking for somebody that's going out there and they're really vibrant. They're going after the good causes, environmental, climate change, all of the above. And I think Joe Biden has his points, but I don't think he's got the energy that the others have.

BURNETT: It's an interesting observation and it may, indeed, be very prescient in terms of what we see. I mean, another thing, Mayor Carrier, is obviously just the sheer number of candidates. There are so many and maybe because of the chaos from Iowa, it seems even more unsettled.

But when you're talking about Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, four of them right there, does this feel different to you than in prior cycles since you are so familiar with how this goes that there doesn't seem to be some overwhelming favorite at least in terms of what you're seeing?

I think it's totally different. I really do. First of all, I have never seen so many candidates running for president, which is good because you get a lot of choice. But to have like four of them in the top running without a lot of decisions being made out there until they go to the voting booth, that's different. That's definitely different. And I think beyond the generation ...

BURNETT: And you feel like people are going to make their decision tomorrow, I mean, when you say people haven't made up their minds even now.

CARRIER: Yes, I think tomorrow, honestly. I think a lot of people are waiting till the last bell rings and I think tomorrow is the day that they'll make their decision, a lot of them.

BURNETT: All right. Well, it's going to be pretty exciting to see then from how you describe it. Mayor Carrier, thank you so much. I appreciate your time tonight.

CARRIER: Oh, you're very welcome. Thank you.

BURNETT: So we'll see if that is what pans out. I mean, next we're going to talk about the voting block, which Pete Buttigieg believes is crucial. It could be his secret weapon.


BUTTIGIEG: Future former Republicans ...

Soon to be former Republicans.

Future former Republicans.


BURNETT: So could that do it for him tomorrow? Plus, Trump's impeachment revenge, he is now targeting more people including Democratic Senator Doug Jones who, of course, comes from a red state calling him a lightweight and a do nothing stiff. Jones response OUTFRONT.

And Elizabeth Warren asked who will be her Mike Pence. Her answer tonight, now making headlines.



BURNETT: All right. At this hour, we are really literally hours away from polls opening in New Hampshire for the nation's first primary. They're going to be voting starting at midnight. Democratic candidates crisscrossing the state to make their final pitches and some continuing up until nine, 10, 11 o'clock tonight. Some like Pete Buttigieg just took the stage in Milford. He is trying to win over a specific group, Independents and

Republicans, who are allowed to vote in this primary. So is that what Buttigieg needs to make it two for two in the race for 2020? Abby Phillip is OUTFRONT.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT(voice over): It's a pitch former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg makes at nearly every campaign stop.


BUTTIGIEG: I think we're going to defeat this president by inviting everybody to be at our side and get this done together.


And it's aimed at New Hampshire's famously independent voters like Jeffrey and Kathy Poston, who helped to make up a whopping 40 percent of Democratic primary voters in 2016.


JEFFREY POSTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE INDEPENDENT VOTER: We probably received 10 to 15 calls a day from campaigns.


PHILLIP(voice over): Four years ago, Senator Bernie Sanders' massive victory over Hillary Clinton was powered by independent voters. But this year, candidates like Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are also competing for their support.


KLOBUCHAR: But I add to that being able to bring in Independents like you have in this state, as well as moderate Republicans, because there are so many of them out there that are looking for a candidate.


PHILLIP(voice over): The Granite States' unique primary means undeclared voters can either vote in the Republican or Democratic primaries. But this year with President Trump running largely uncontested, the action is expected to be with the Democrats.



KATHY POSTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE INDEPENDENT VOTER: At this point I won't vote Republican probably for a long, long, long time. The Democrats have made right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PHILLIP(voice over): They'll have company joined by what Buttigieg

calls ...


BUTTIGIEG: Future former Republicans.

Soon to be former Republicans.

Future former Republicans. I see a few acknowledging right here. We are glad that you're here and you are welcome to be at our side in this struggle.


PHILLIP(voice over): In Iowa, Buttigieg performed well in areas that flip from Obama to Trump. And here in New Hampshire, campaign aide say they're following up with former Republican voters who expressed openness to his message.

Like Rick Mellin, a lifelong Republican who is now a registered Independent in search of a candidate.


RICK MELLIN, NEW HAMPSHIRE INDEPENDENT VOTER: I think that there's a few of them that really want to bring the country back together, likewise (ph) a calmer and more sensible sort of direction.


PHILLIP(voice over): And with undecided Independents like Kathy Bachelor, who after three years of Trump are looking for a change of tone.


KATHY BACHELOR, FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN VOTER: That's too negative. So I want to think positive. We need his positivity in our life.



BURNETT: So Abby, it's interesting to hear him trying to aggressively reach out to that group. You showed how important Independents were at least when it came to Bernie Sanders' victory last time around. So what role will independent voters play tomorrow?

PHILLIP: Yes. Well, Erin, I think the big question is will Bernie Sanders have the same kind of appeal that he did the last time and there are some real differences this time around. A lot of these voters split their vote last cycle. Some of them voted on the Republican side, maybe to put a thumb on the scale opposing Trump, others were not even Democrats in 2016. And it seems based on what we have learned from talking to these

voters, that many of them are looking for a more moderate voice, they're looking for a unifier. And it seems to suggest that, perhaps, Bernie Sanders may not be as strong as he once was, but again some real questions about exactly how big this universe really is of potentially new independent minded voters who might play tomorrow night in New Hampshire's primary. I think that's one of the big wildcards going into tomorrow night, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Abby. And perhaps a really important question just to ask overall, so many people are saying, oh, Independents are this huge chunk, the biggest chunk, but are they?

I mean, OUTFRONT now, National Political Reporter for The New York Times Lisa Lerer. She is in Manchester, New Hampshire tonight and our Senior Political Analyst, Mark Preston.

So Lisa, in New Hampshire, what kind of turnout are you expecting to see from Independents tomorrow from all the reporting and rallies you've been at, is this going to be a big part of tomorrow?

LISA LERER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Independents are typically a big part of the primary electorate here in New Hampshire, particularly this year with President Trump who's running essentially unopposed. All of the action is going to be on the Democratic side. I think the broader question is how big turnout is going to be overall for Democrats.

New Hampshire officials have predicted all kinds of record breaking turnouts, but we just didn't see that in Iowa and Iowa turnout was close to 2016. And it fell really short of expectations and also short of where it was in 2008 when democrats really turned out in force. So that's a question that everybody will be watching very closely tomorrow.

BURNETT: I mean, it's a pretty important point, right? Because if we see turnout flat like in Iowa, I think you're going to have a lot of people starting to ask some very serious questions.

Mark, when it comes to Bernie Sanders, obviously, he won the independent vote by, what, 50 points we saw on Abby's piece, but overall by more than 20 percentage points in 2016. So what does that mean for him this time? That sort of sets a bar. Does it set a bar that he needs a runaway win for this to be a solid victory this time? I mean, if he ekes it out by a couple points, is that really a victory for Bernie Sanders or not?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think certainly in this state of the campaign, a victory is a victory. But with Bernie Sanders, I would add this to - if you go back to October, most people left him for dead like literally for dead. I mean, he had a heart attack on the campaign trail.

Politically, people didn't think he would be able to come back from it. He does come roaring back from it. He gets the endorsement of AOC and other young leaders or future leaders of the Democratic Party and look where we are right now.

So, look, a win is a win out of New Hampshire, but it is an overall win where he comes out very, very cleanly, that's going to spell trouble for the rest of the candidates, Erin.

BURNETT: Now, Lisa, Elizabeth Warren is well known in New Hampshire. She's from neighboring Massachusetts. I don't know if you just heard the Mayor of Dover, he was putting her in the top four, but she was the fourth out of four. Could she afford to finish third as she did in Iowa or fourth? What kind of finish does she need to really get the momentum that she really does need to keep going from here?

LERER: I think fourth would be a really hard finish for her. She hasn't quite settled on where her lane is in this race and what you see is all of these other candidates biting into her support. You have Bernie Sanders coming in from the left.


You have Pete Buttigieg coming in and taking over college educated voters who have been a strong part of her base. You even have Amy Klobuchar kind of coming in and taking away from people who might want to see the first female president.

So she's in a really tough spot here and I think she needs a strong finish as she can possibly manage or she may start to see some of the enthusiasm drain away, some of the money drain away and it will just get harder and harder for her to continue in this race.

BURNETT: So Mark, former Vice President Joe Biden is campaigning right now. This is a live picture. He's out there until the last moment. He's called his fourth page, place, I'm sorry, finished in Iowa, a gut punch. Downplaying expectations in New Hampshire at the debate sort of surprising everybody by indicating it could happen again. Can he afford another fourth place finish or even worse?

PRESTON: I think anybody coming out in New Hampshire will be very difficult coming out from fourth place and then trying to move forward from that. However, in the case of Joe Biden, they try to write the headline after that debate. They basically try to get that out of the way.

As you noted, lower expectations with the idea that they can get into South Carolina, that they can build this firewall and then it will open up the south for them. And we all know certainly from polling and from past electoral experience, Joe Biden is going to do well with the African-American voters.

Having said that, if he comes out of New Hampshire and he's really, really hurt, then we'll look at South Carolina, we'll look out in Nevada and we'll start to see if there's any slippage amongst African- Americans in the south and Hispanic voters out in Nevada.

He could still do well and turn this around. By the end of February, Erin, there's only 4 percent of delegates that are actually apportioned. Now we know that that isn't how the game is necessarily played, but that's the game the Biden campaign is trying to play.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.

And next, is President Trump getting even with key impeachment witnesses?


KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: They are not the only ones who have left recently and not the only ones who are expected to leave in short order.


BURNETT: In short order.

Plus, quarantined on a cruise ship. I'm going to speak to an American author. She's been trapped for six days. The number of passengers with the deadly coronavirus on that ship spiking, doubling overnight. How is she coping?



BURNETT: Tonight, Kellyanne Conway not ruling out more government officials leaving their jobs after Gordon Sondland and Colonel Alexander Vindman were fired on Friday.


CONWAY: They are not the only ones who have left recently and not the only ones who are expected to leave in short order.


BURNETT: In short order. Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT. She's at the President's rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, where, of course, he has chosen to be on the eve of the Democratic primary. Kaitlan, I mean, when you when you hear Kellyanne Conway in short order, is President Trump's retaliation only beginning?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Officials close to him say it's not, the motion of who specifically he'll target whether he'll fire anyone else is still a question. But people like Kellyanne are also insisting that those firings on Friday, Erin, were not retaliation when, of course, you see all signs essentially point to it was.

And people close to the President privately will not deny that it was. We also have some new reporting to CNN tonight that really does indicate exactly how the President did want to get paid back because those two officials who are fired on Friday, Lieutenant Colonel Alex Vindman and E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, sources tell us were both quietly planning their own exits after the impeachment trial wrapped up. People told the President that they would likely leave after the trial

was over, like let them go quietly, they said because then the President would be spared that criticism of firing people who were witnesses in his impeachment inquiry and, of course, testified about his dealings with Ukraine. But Erin, our sources tell us the President didn't want that.

He didn't want them to be able to leave the administration quietly and that's why you saw him fire them so abruptly on Friday. Now, clearly, impeachment is something that's still very much on the President's mind. He's here in New Hampshire tonight. His first rally since he's been acquitted and within minutes of this speech beginning, he brought up Speaker Pelosi, complaining that she was talking over his shoulder during the State of the Union. He described her as mumbling and angry.

So clearly it is going to be something that the President uses, according to campaign officials as really a cornerstone in his 2020 pitch to voters.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kaitlan. And President Trump is also targeting some other senators who voted to remove him from office. He's targeting Mitt Romney, of course, more today and then also tweeting, "So good to see that Republicans will be winning the Great State of Alabama Senate Seat back, now that lightweight Senator Doug Jones cast a partisan vote for the impeachment hoax. A do nothing stiff!"

Well, Senator Doug Jones is OUTFRONT. So Senator, OK, lightweight, do nothing stiff, your response, sir?

SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): Well, I think I've said it all. I complimented him, thanking him for complimenting me on my weight. Nobody's done that in a while. But the fact is I also thanked him for signing into law the 17 bills that I co-sponsored that are going to help the people of Alabama. It's a pretty good record for a freshman senator, Erin.

BURNETT: And look, kudos to you for not responding in kind. Let me ask you though, Senator, it's not just you, I mean he's now called your colleague, Senator Joe Manchin, who, of course, he thought would vote with him on impeachment, weak and pathetic, that's a quote. And he told the Governor of Utah today that he can keep Mitt Romney and he said plenty of nasty things about Mitt Romney over the past few days.

Senator, are you afraid that these attacks no matter how childish and absurd they may seem to be, may be effective politically?

JONES: No, I don't think they are at all. In fact, I think it's just the opposite. I think that people are getting really tired of this, Erin. People want to see a president with character and class and he's not showing that right now. And I think that people are getting really - there's a lot of fatigue about this in his tweets.

I think if the American people had their way, they would take his phone away from him right now and just let him try to govern this country and not tweet every 30 seconds. BURNETT: So the former Attorney General Alabama Senator, ironically

someone the President got rid of, Jeff Sessions, now is supporting him, running to take his seat back from you in November.


And he tweeted today that you're controlled by the socialist left. You know, again, these are monikers people are throwing out.

Why do you say to that? Are you controlled by the socialist left, Senator?

SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): Have you -- Erin, you probably followed my record. I think the people of Alabama followed my record. That's just -- those are kinds of things are just laughable, I mean, because anybody that knows my record knows I'm working on health care.

I'm trying to keep people with health care coverage that have pre- existing conditions. We've been working to eliminate the widow's tax. We did that. We've been working for HBCUs.

Everything we have done we have affected and done such positive things for a cross section of Alabama. That's what's important.

And where they come out, they're not looking at my record, they're just talking -- it's talking points from Senator McConnell and others just trying to attack me. You know, we can address all of that. I'm not too concerned about that. If that's the best they've got, we're going to be in great shape come November.

BURNETT: So President Trump, as you know, got rid of two impeachment witnesses, Gordon Sondland, who, of course, was a political appointee and million dollar donor. But nonetheless, he came out and testified under oath, and the president didn't like what he said, he's gone. Alexander Vindman, career public servant in every sense of the word, also gone.

And, Kellyanne Conway said this about Colonel Vindman and his twin brother who worked in the White House and also is gone. He and his brother escorted out of the White House by security on Friday.

Here's Kellyanne.


KELLYANNE CONWAY,COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: They are not the only ones who have left recently and not the only ones who are expected to leave in short order.


BURNETT: Is that a threat as you hear it, Senator? Is there anything you can do about it?

JONES: You know, I don't think there is. I mean, the president has a lot of authority. Look, let's say this. Let's call that what it was, Erin. That was not

an escort. That was a perp walk that they had.

And it disrespected our military and all of the great people that wear the uniform and have the medals like Lieutenant Colonel Vindman did.

You know, it's -- we expect more. I don't think anybody is surprised. Those people who had said the president had learned his lesson, I think they were wishing upon a star because they said that when Donald Trump was running for president and he -- you know, they thought when he got elected he would be more presidential. He wasn't. After the Mueller report, they thought he had learned his lesson, and he didn't.

And so, now, no one should be surprised that Donald Trump is who he is. And you can't change the stripes. People know that. They love him or they dislike him.

I fully expect more heads to roll as many as possible for him. Anybody that opposes him, and I don't know if there's much we can do except call attention to it.

BURNETT: So, you're a member of the Armed Services Committee. This is something also important to call attention to. We have learned now that more than 100 U.S. service members have been diagnosed with a range of traumatic brain injuries after that Iranian missile attack on the Al Asad military base in Iraq.

Now, initially, the president said there were no service members injured or killed. The Pentagon concurred. It turned out that, of course, was not true. The president said when he was at Davos, sort of, that some of them have in his word, quote, headaches.

What is your reaction to what we are learning now more than 100?

JONES: Well, two things. First of all, I think the department of defense and military is taking this very seriously. And they're doing all of the appropriate things for these service men and women. And that's the most important thing right now.

The president can downplay it all he wants. But let me tell you something -- anybody that's been in the military and has had service- related injuries know that those traumatic brain injuries can be very, very serious and life-threatening over the long haul. So, really, I'm not going to focus on what the president does. He's doing it for political reason trying to minimize this.

This is very serious. And our military is doing it correctly. They're following procedures as best I can tell. And, hopefully, there's not going to be more, but as we go forward, these are the kind of things that are going to manifest itself for some time to come.

I think the Department of Defense will stay on top of it regardless of what the president may say.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Senator Jones. I appreciate your time. Thank you. JONES: My pleasure, Erin.

BURNETT: And tonight in the House, the Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler is demanding answers about what he is calling a back channel and that back channel goes between Rudy Giuliani and the Department of Justice. This is coming after the attorney general, William Barr, confirmed that the Department of Justice is evaluating information that Giuliani has gathered from Ukraine, right, in that shadow foreign policy.

We know, of course, that Giuliani was focused on getting dirt on Joe Biden.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill.

So, Manu, this channel between the Department of Justice, Bill Barr's Department of Justice and Giuliani, tell us about it. It's raising a lot of questions now.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is what Lindsey Graham revealed. He said he had a phone call with the attorney general yesterday morning and said that on that phone call that the attorney general said that they had -- they were getting information from Rudy Giuliani to determine whether or not that information was legit as it relates to Ukraine.


Now, Graham warned against simply trusting those sources of information. But Bill Barr did confirm today that he, in fact, was part of the -- has established this channel but he also suggested that they were looking at it and may not act any further on it. Nonetheless, Democrats have a lot of questions about this effort tonight, whether or not it is another back channel effort by Rudy Giuliani to go after the president's political rival at the behest of the president himself.

And Jerry Nadler, the Judiciary Committee chairman, sent a list of questions to the attorney general, asking for information, and wants those questions answered by the end of the month. But if this has gone the way it's gone in the past, the attorney general has not complied with a number of House Democrats' request on the Judiciary Committee. So, we'll see if (INAUDIBLE).

But, Erin, there are Senate Republicans who are getting some information as it relates to Ukraine. It's part of their separate investigation, as Chuck Grassley and Graham, Lindsey and Ron Johnson, launched separate investigations. They defended their efforts tonight even as there are questions about whether they are pursuing the same investigations the president of Ukraine to do into the Bidens, Erin.

BURNETT: So, Manu, you're also -- I know I've had a chance to speak with some more Republicans and have a lot more information and reaction to what we've seen, right? These firings of people who testified under oath in the impeachment proceedings. Vindman, Sondland, Vindman's brother. RAJU: Yes, and a lot of Americans are defending the president's

actions, saying that he's simply allowed to do what he wants with his own personnel and they worked at the behest of the president. Very few willing to criticize the president. Even Lamar Alexander who is one of those whose senators who criticized the president's conduct, even as he voted to acquit the president and voted against moving forward on witnesses, I asked Lamar Alexander whether he believes that the president had learned any lessons from all of this.

That's what Alexander himself suggested last week he hoped the president would learn lessons. He again said today, I hope the president lessons. I said, well, do you actually think the president learn lessons? He just said, I hope he does. That's all I'll say -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you very much.

RAJU: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, Joe Biden with a scathing new ad targeting Pete Buttigieg.


AD ANNOUNCER: Pete Buttigieg revitalized the sidewalks of downtown South Bend by laying out decorative brick.


BURNETT: But is attacking Buttigieg for that working?

Plus, an American author trapped on a cruise ship with more than now 100 passengers, 135 now sick with coronavirus. The number of infected passengers on that ship doubling overnight. She is my guest live from the ship.



BURNETT: Tonight, Joe Biden continuing his attacks on Pete Buttigieg. Take a look at this ad saying Buttigieg doesn't have the experience to be president.


AD ANNOUNCER: Joe Biden helped save the auto industry, which revitalized the economy of the Midwest.

Pete Buttigieg revitalized the sidewalks of South Bend by laying out decorative brick.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Steve Adler, the Democratic mayor of Austin, Texas, who supports Mayor Pete Buttigieg. And, Mayor, you're friends with him. You've worked with him. What do

you think when you see that Biden ad demeaning and diminishing his experience as the mayor of South Bend?

MAYOR STEVE ADLER (D), AUSTIN, TEXAS: You know, it seems like, you know, a typical kind of campaign attack. What I know is that mayors on the ground are doing great things in cities. I only wish that Washington worked like our best run cities.

It is a little demeaning and it's disappointing. You know, folks in cities like South Bend, like my own, we take our local issues pretty seriously. And having somebody who's actually on the ground in a place like a mayor having to get things done, changing cities in ways that Pete has been able to do in South Bend shows pretty considerable leadership.

So I see an ad like that and it doesn't -- it's inaccurate.

BURNETT: So Biden is not alone in his line of attack, right? They're all trying to say, you know, Buttigieg, he doesn't have the experience. He hasn't been around long enough.

Here are two more his rivals for the White House.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: While he is a beautiful speaker and he has profound experience with the military on behalf of our country, I just think you don't need another newcomer in the White House.

TOM STEYER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need people with experience. That's why I'm worried about Mayor Pete.


BURNETT: Why are they wrong, Mayor Adler?

ADLER: Because I think the experience that Mayor Pete Brings is the experience that we need. I mean, you're talking about somebody who took over leadership, executive leadership, and was able to move an entire city, taking a city that "Time Magazine" has said was dying. And the ability to actually move a people so they begin to think about themselves differently and about their city and community differently is great leadership.

He was able to do smart city and smart technological solutions in his city well beyond other cities moving forward. I think he showed with his military experience what he can do. Frankly, when you hear him speak, there's a -- there's a poise that he has, a grace that he has that I think everyone can see.

BURNETT: And, certainly, you know, Amy Klobuchar did reference that. That's undeniable.

Your home state of Texas, Mayor, votes on Super Tuesday. There's another mayor who's a player there, Michael Bloomberg. He's trying to be a player. The ad tracking company CMAG (ph) reports he spent $30 million in Texas so far. That is exponentially more than anyone else running on the Democratic side.

How big of a factor is Mayor Bloomberg in your state?

ADLER: Well, I think, ultimately, this isn't a position people should be able to buy. I think Mayor Pete represents generational change. I think he represents a really progressive policy and message that can unify and bring people together and actually get stuff done.


And I think that's what Pete stands for and I think that's what the country wants. If we look at the Democrats last four times we've actually elected someone president, it's been somebody who has been young and represented generational change.

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

ADLER: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, an American author trapped on that cruise ship which has been affected, ravaged by the coronavirus. I'm going to speak to her live from her cabin now.

Plus, Jeanne on Elizabeth Warren's response to who will be her Mike Pence.






BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Americans trapped at sea. A cruise ship with nearly 3,700 people onboard in quarantine, thanks to the coronavirus. Overnight, the number of people infected on the ship nearly doubling to at least 135, at least 24 of those Americans.

OUTFRONT now on the phone, Gay Courter, an American quarantined on the Diamond Princess, also, of course, an author.


And, Gay, I appreciate your time. I am just -- terrible talking to you under these circumstances. I mean, where you are -- I know you're in your stateroom right now. The number of people diagnosed on the ship where you are with that virus doubling overnight. You have been quarantined for six days. I want to show people some pictures you sent of just even what your

meals are like right now. What you're dealing with. What is it like onboard?

GAY COURTER, AMERICAN QUARANTINED ON DIAMOND PRINCESS CRUISE (via telephone): Well, you know, we have not been out of our cabin at all, except we're lucky we can go out on a balcony. We wake up every morning and you can look out the window and see what level of "B" disaster movie we're in. And this morning, about an hour ago, there were just some taxis on the docks, so I was feeling pretty optimistic.

I took a shower and now there must be 40 or more ambulances and emergency vehicles, some military vehicles. They have fire trucks lined up along the gangway where people are taken out to ambulances. And the fire truck seems to be there to block the view of the media. Of course, that doesn't block my view from the balcony right above, what's going on.

So you know, we're a little later -- a day later here in Japan. And so the 135 figures is from yesterday for us. And, from the ambulances I see, I have the first clue there's more cases.

BURNETT: So you're saying it looks like it has gone up by a decent, pretty big number, from what you can see?

COURTER: That's only a guess based on the number of ambulances. And every time we see a lot more ambulances, it means that in a couple of hours, we'll find out that there's more. So --


BURNETT: Gay, I mean, it must be -- you must be quite -- I mean, I don't want to, you know, put feelings on you, but it feels like you must be quite frightened and I know you haven't been able to leave your room, but for maybe 90 minutes a day. At least that's what we understand. Is that even true? I mean, you're essentially trapped there.

COURTER: No, we don't leave the room at all. We have permission to go up on deck for about 30 minutes a day, but the people in the inside cabins without windows, all of that, they get the priority, as they should. We just go on our balcony.

But it's -- it's -- you know, the whole situation is worrisome. They've stepped up the food and I think my personal hero right now is the pastry chef. He even brought creme brulee without the crust, but that was absolutely delicious. And nobody's counting calories in this situation.

BURNETT: I just can't even imagine what it's like. I mean, how do you feel about -- I mean, what the plan is? Do you have any idea what the plan is? I know the quarantine is supposed to end, but then more and more people get sick, the quarantine keeps getting extended.

I mean, do you even know what the plan is for when you would get off the ship? How they're taking care of you? They're never taking all that?

COURTER: The Japanese government says if we're healthy, we get off the 19th, but I don't -- I'm not going to trust that statement, because so many more are getting sick. I don't know what they're going to do with us.

Our wish, our fervent hope is that the United States government is working on a plan to get the 400 Americans out of here. We've been told by our medical people at a pretty high level that quarantining well people with sick people is a crazy idea and you never do it.

Now, even though we're segregated in the room here, we have not been tested. So, for instance, I don't know if I'm positive and my husband's negative. And I don't know if any contact with people we've had, people we ate dinner with, any of those people have been positive.

I realize that one of our friends is a smoker and she goes into the smoking room, which is a tiny, crowded room with -- keeping the smoke inside, so, you know, did she get infected in the smoking room and bring it back to our table? I'm having all of these nightmares about it. And --


COURTER: And I look outside at people running around in hazardous material suits of different colors and it's like I've landed in a "B" movie and I can't wake up.

BURNETT: Well, Gay, we are -- I am thinking of you. I feel terrible. And I think anyone watching feels terrible, just the uncertainty and the not knowing and the feeling of being trapped. My goodness. My thoughts are with you. I hope that you are OK, that you stay okay, and that you can get off soon. Thank you very much.

COURTER: Well, I think we're at the higher level of American government and the will to do it.

BURNETT: All right.

COURTER: So, that's -- that's what we need at this point.


BURNETT: All right, Gay.

COURTER: You know, send the marines.

BURNETT: Thank you very much. We'll be talking to you. And I thank you.

And Jeanne is next.



JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We're not sure if Joe Biden won over the polar bear demo, but he did shake bear's paw and seemed to touch his nose.

And that's not even the wackiest Joe Biden campaign moment. This is when a student asked about his poor showing in Iowa, he jokingly bantered.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Have you ever been to a caucus? No, you haven't. You're a lying dog-faced pony soldier.

MOOS: Lying dog-faced what? It was a joke insult unknown in these parts, any parts. A 1953 John Wayne movie called --


MOOS: -- was cited as the origin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And on top of that, you smell all over like a woman.

MOOS: Or maybe it was this other John Wayne movie.

Does John relate to Hondo, the most exciting man you'll ever meet?

Speaking of dogs, someone asked Elizabeth Warren if she ever pondered --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is going to be my Mike Pence? Who is going to look at me with adoring eyes?

WARREN: I already have a dog.

MOOS: Though Bailey, famous for posing for selfies, is also known for sleeping while his owner speaks. Something President Trump would never let his VP do.

It's unlikely the Democratic contenders would swear like the president.


MOOS (on camera): OK. B.S. may be too much for the Democrats. But as the race tightens, they are loosening their tongues.

BIDEN: I would have been so damned angry, I don't know what I would have done.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No matter who wins this damned thing --

BIDEN: I'll be damned if I stand by and lose this election to this man. MOOS (voice-over): But with Tom Steyer, the damns broke.

STEYER: So many darned times.

MOOS: So many darned times we've seen Biden licking ice cream. He told reporters, it's never too cold for ice cream or too dark for sunglasses.

But his rival, Bernie Sanders, may be eyeing one of his campaign co- chairman for cabinet post, that would be Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's going to be the minister ice cream when we win.

MOOS: At least we can all look at ice cream the way Pence looks at Trump.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: Thank you for watching.

Anderson starts now.