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Erin Burnett Outfront
President Trump's Chief Strategist: Media is "Opposition Party"; Interview with Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired January 26, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: -- Room. Erin Burnett OutFront starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT HOST: OutFront next. Breaking news, Trump versus Mexico. The meeting between the two leaders canceled. Trump now considering a major tariff on Mexico. Is the White House walking it back?
Plus more breaking news, the White House promising more executive orders on the way tonight. Democratic Senator Cory Booker is with me tonight to respond. And Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club just got a lot more expensive. The fee to join now doubled. Profiting from the presidency? Let's go OutFront. Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, the breaking news, the war over the wall. The president now battling not just Mexico but members of his own party. First the White House Press Secretary suggested and then seemed to be open to negotiation, but talked about a hefty tax on imports from Mexico.
They said it would pay for the wall. Today republican leaders said the wall could cost anywhere from $12 billion to $15 billion. Trump's first diplomatic controversy playing out on Twitter for the world to see today. It all started with Trump firing the first shot, tweeting in part, if Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting. Mexico's President hit back with this tweet, in Spanish, this morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the scheduled work meeting for next Tuesday with POTUS. A short time later, President Trump getting in the final word.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: The president of Mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting scheduled for next week. Unless Mexico is going to treat the United States fairly, with respect, such a meeting would be fruitless and I want to go a different route. We have no choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That different route a possible 20 percent tax on Mexican imports. It's a stunning number. It would affect cars and food and a lot of other things. Already that suggestion getting some big push back from republicans. Senator Lindsey Graham tweeting, simply put, any policy proposal which drives up costs of corona, tequila or margaritas is a big-time bad idea, Mucho said. Trying to make light of what frankly what isn't a very light matter. Leyla Santiago is OutFront live in Mexico City tonight. I want to start though with Jim Acosta who's live in Philadelphia, that's where the president spoke earlier today when you saw him. And Jim, you know, this is an incredibly quick upping of the ante. What more is the administration saying about this? Right? At first, they came right out with a 20 percent tariff.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. Some confusion coming from the White House over President's Trump's plan to have Mexico pay for that wall on the border. Earlier today, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer came out and talked to reporters and said that the president was considering a 20 percent tax on Mexican goods coming into the U.S. as a way to force Mexican to reimburse you as taxpayers for the cost of the wall. And then, just within the last couple of hours, Spicer at the White House called reporters back in and said that was just one of several options that are being looked at this point.
And even the White House Press or - excuse me, the White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus came into the room and emphasized the reporters this was just a buffet of options is what he called it, a buffet of options that they're looking at at this point. As for this canceled meeting between Donald Trump and Enrique Pena Nieto, the President of Mexico, you recall earlier today here in Philadelphia when he was speaking to that GOP retreat, he said it was a mutual decision to scrap that meeting. But that is in conflict with what Pena Nieto said earlier this morning when he that he called the White House, so that they called the White House and canceled the meeting.
Now, one thing we should point out, some of the - some of the congressional leaders that were here, among them was the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, he said that lawmakers are looking at ways to pay for that $12 billion to $15 billion price tag for the wall. He said he's going to let President Trump deal with the diplomacy and the fallout of all of this which is of course what he's dealing with tonight, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Jim. Thank you. And now I want to go to Leyla Santiago, she's OutFront live in Mexico City. Leyla, you know, pretty stunning development, the Mexican President had to save face. What is the reaction there to the -- him cancelling his trip to meet with Trump over the wall?
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's really being applauded here, and it's because a lot of Mexicans say they just don't want to be bullied, right? There's a lot at stake here and they want to be able to have a bit of dignity when it comes to the back and forth between these two countries. And right now, President Enrique Pena Nieto really sort of needs that. And let me put this into perspective. President Donald Trump, we're talking about approval ratings in the upper 30's right now and as for President Enrique Pena Nieto, his approval ratings are at 12 percent according to the latest polls. So, there needs to be for him something that sort of restores faith in the Mexican people and this may be it for him. Now, remember, all of this went down as Mexico had a top delegation in Washington, D.C. They are expected to return tonight so I suspect President Enrique Pena Nieto will be listening to what they have to say, what their take-away is, and then we'll have to wait and see what comes next in this sort of war of words on Twitter. Erin?
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Leyla. OutFront now Jorge Ramos, he's an anchor at Univision News And Fusion. And Jorge, I appreciate your time, you just heard President Trump. He said it would be fruitless to meet with the Mexican President Enrique Pena . Do you agree with President Trump at this point?
JORGE RAMOS, ANCHOR, UNIVISION NEWS AND FUSION: Well, absolutely not. It -- President Pena was in an impossible situation. Let's say that you want to build a fence in your house and then you pretend to force your neighbor to pay for it. That's exactly what President Trump was asking for for -- from President Pena . And look, I'm no friend of President Pena . I think he's been a terrible president. He has no support. His government is full of corruption and violation of human rights. But he didn't want to be seen as a -- as a wimp. He didn't want to be seen as a weak president. He had been humiliated twice by Donald Trump, first last year in Mexico, and then yesterday when his foreign minister was in Washington. So, no, that's the only option that Mexico had.
BURNETT: And so, you know, as you know, a lot of people even in Trump's inner circle all the way through this campaign they said the wall is a rhetorical thing. It clearly is not a rhetorical thing, right? It is clearly to Donald Trump. And I know you're saying that President Pena didn't want to be seen as a wimp, but did he make a mistake by shutting down communication with Trump? Because now obviously, Trump is upping the ante with this threat of tariffs.
RAMOS: Well, the fact is that Mexico really had no option. Many people in Mexico think of Donald Trump as a bully and the only way you have to deal with bullies is confronting them. That's the only way to do it. They tried many different ways. They tried Mexican diplomacy and then it just didn't work. So now the wall seems to be a reality but I wonder, Erin, President Trump has reminded us time and time again that he's very smart and that he's a businessman but I wonder if he's really that smart and such a great businessman, how come he wants to build a $12 billion to $15-billion-wall that is completely useless and we -- that's going to be with paid with taxpayers' money, because Mexico is not going to pay fort that wall.
It's useless, Erin because almost 40 percent of all undocumented immigrants, they come by plane, they come with a visa. So here, you -- he wants to build a wall that won't work for immigrants and for drugs you have people like El Chapo who are going to build to tunnels. So, if he wants to stop undocumented immigration, he better try something different.
BURNETT: And, you know, to that point, Eddie Lavandera has been going -- actually traveled the whole 2,000 miles of the border for our show and he found pretty powerful video which you're well-familiar with, you know, covered this but, you know, places where is the wall just ends in the middle of open terrain, right? A sandy area, some scrub on the edge of the desert in another case, he's found numerous tunnels obviously that go beneath the wall. Is there any wall -- putting money aside, Jorge, is there any wall that could stop tunnels or ladders or people who are determined to come across that particular border?
RAMOS: It is -- it is -- it is simply impossible. It is simply impossible because immigration is a problem, supply and demand. And as long as we need undocumented immigrants or immigrants in this country who are doing the jobs that nobody else wants to do, they're going to keep on coming.
BURNETT: And, you know, when you say Mexico won't pay for the wall, obviously now Trump is saying he's going to put this 20 percent tariff on Mexican imports. And, you know, this is something he can do without congressional approval. There are various ways to make Mexico pay for the wall that Mexico can't control. That would be one of them. What is Mexico going to do about it? If this is what happens, do they respond in kind? Can they afford to do so? I mean, what does Mexico do if he's going to build a wall and put a tariff on and Mexico pays for it?
RAMOS: Well, it seems that Trump wants to declare a commercial war and if that's the case, Americans just better be ready to pay thousands of dollars more for their cars, for their TVs, for their dishwashers, for the super bowl. Mexican avocados are going to be incredibly expensive. I don't remember going back to history since Mexican-American war in 1848 that there's been so much tension as the ones that we're seeing right now and it's completely unnecessary. Again, Mexico is not the U.S. enemy. Mexico is not the enemy, immigrants are not the enemy. The wall won't work. And I wonder why Donald Trump is doing exactly this. I really can't understand it.
BURNETT: All right. Jorge, thank you. I really appreciate your time.
RAMOS: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: OutFront now, Mark Preston, our senior political analyst, Jamie Gangel, our special correspondent. Mark, Trump tripling down, look -- he has left no room to do this any other way without losing massive face himself. Right? You can't build the wall and have Americans pay for it. He can't do that. Where does the administration go now? Because if they're going to start talking about tariffs, Mexico can respond in kind. Americans will feel pain.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. You know, I just spoke to a senior Trump official, an official close to the president and they said as far as the 20 percent discussion, they said, listen, that is one of many different things we're thinking about doing and that we are working with Paul Ryan up on Capitol Hill to try to figure out a funding mechanism in order to make this happen. But as Jorge Ramos just said and as you just mentioned as well, if you put a 20 percent tariff on goods coming in from Mexico, that is going to hit the pocketbooks of Americans here. And they are going to feel for it. So in many ways they would be paying for that wall, right? Because Mexico companies are going to be putting these tariffs back upon us.
BURNETT: Jim, that is the whole thing about this and this is why it becomes about who's going to save face in one scenario, but I mean, it's stunning this has escalated this quickly. You now have -- they're not going to meet. Peta isn't even going to coming here.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. But this is CARLSON: assic Donald Trump. Diplomacy by tweet. And while the state department folks in Foggy Bottom, I'm sure their heads are spinning. This is what we've seen Trump do time and time again. And let's not forget, he started his campaign about the wall. He's not going to let go. I think the question is is he he going to learn from this or is this going to be an example of diplomacy to come? Is this the art of the deal or is it going to turn out to be a disaster?
BURNETT: So, mark, you know, Jorge Ramos I thought was -- gave a pretty stunning statement there. He said things haven't been this bad between the U.S. and Mexico since the Mexican-American war. That was 1848. And he also used the words commercial war. That's a pretty significant thing to say because if it's true, it doesn't just affect our large trading partner, it obviously is something that would set the stage for all of the trade deals that are about to be renegotiated.
PRESTON: Yes. Certainly going forward too. And if you look at Mexico, I mean, and another stunning thing he said I think which was not repeated enough is that Mexico is an ally but they're not our enemies necessarily. And quite frankly, folks with Mexican heritage are woven into the fabric of the United States. But to your point too as we go ahead, every other trade deal is you're going to go along these lines where you have a dictation from the United States saying this is it, or else. And in diplomacy and negotiating, that doesn't necessarily always work.
BURNETT: And there is no way for Mexico to agree to pay for this wall. I think that's what people need to understand, I think Jorge made that point clear. There is no way for them to negotiate and say we'll pay for this but not that. They can't agree to pay for a wall that the United States wants to build to keep Mexicans out. They can't.
GANGEL: Right. So -- and here we -- now, I would like to see the thought bubble on top of Speaker Paul Ryan's head when he's agreed, you know, Trump came to him and said we need to find money to do this and he said OK. Republicans -- the wall is different. It may have to do with homeland security, immigration, but they're fiscal conservatives. This is not what they want to be doing. What we're seeing is for a little while republicans are going to let him run with it.
But between this, the infrastructure bill, they're really concerned about this. And privately they're shaking their heads and they're very concerned. Show me the money, where is it going to come from?
BURNETT: Big spending. Big spending. Populism, not conservatism. Thank you both.
And next, breaking news, the Trump administration vowing more executive orders imminent. Are they legal? Plus, Trump Chief Strategist Steve Bannon in a rare interview saying the media should keep its mouth shut calling reporters, "Outright activists," and that was actually one of the nicest things he said. And Trump set to launch an investigation into voter fraud. Senator Cory Booker respond tonight. He's my guest.
BURNETT: Breaking news, a freeze on refugees coming to the United States, source telling CNN the Department of Homeland Security has suspended all staff trips to interview refugees abroad. That's the interview process that they do to decide who gets to come to the United States. This breaking news coming as we're awaiting an imminent executive order from the president that would include a temporary ban on all refugees and a suspension of visas for citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries. Sunlen Serfaty is OutFront.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: From President Donald Trump's first day in office it has been a flurry of activity, signing one executive action after another.
TRUMP: It's an executive order minimizing the economic burden of the patient protection and Affordable Care Act.
SERFATY: From healthcare.
TRUMP: We'll see if we can get that pipeline built. A lot of jobs.
SERFATY: To reviving the keystone pipeline.
TRUMP: We've been talking about this right from the beginning.
SERFATY: To immigration. Putting his signature on 11 executive orders and memorandums.
TRUMP: Since taking office, I have taken major contractual steps to restore the rule of law and to return power to everyday Americans. And even though it's only a few days we've done it in record numbers.
SERFATY: Of Trump's actions, four are executive orders. By comparison, President Obama had signed five executive orders in his first week. George W. Bush zero. While Clinton had signed two. But are the executive orders, actions and memoranda all for show or a sign of real change? It's a bit of both. Legal experts say actions like these need to have some root in a statute or in the constitution, but that doesn't mean they won't be challenged. On Obamacare, Trump is setting in motion the takedown of the Affordable Care Act.
TRUMP: On my first day in office I signed an executive order to roll back the burdens of Obamacare and pave the way for real reform like health savings accounts that empower individuals to choose, to customize plans that is truly right for them. SERFATY: While the order contains a broad mandate for the heads of
agencies to minimize the economic burden of Obamacare, it doesn't specify any single action that would be taken. Truly ending Obamacare needs to be done by congress.
TRUMP: Our legislative work starts with repealing and replacing Obamacare.
TRUMP: On immigration, Trump is directing the Department of Homeland Security to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
TRUMP: The secretary of Homeland Security, working with myself and my staff, will begin immediate construction of a border wall.
SERFATY: Even though his campaign promise of having Mexico pay for the wall seems to be put on hold.
DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: So they'll pay us back?
TRUMP: Yes. Absolutely. 100 percent.
MUIR: So the American taxpayer will pay for the wall at first.
TRUMP: Well it is. As we'll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we'll make from Mexico.
SERFATY: But for now funding from the wall has to come through a congressional appropriations, which is bound to set up a legislative fight.
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: The point is we are going to finance the secure fence act, which is the construction of the physical barrier only the border.
REP. JIM HIMES, (D) CONNECTICUT: Now he's saying, you know, well, we're going to find $14 billion to build a wall which won't work. I mean, you sort of step back and say what in god's name are we doing and what are we talking about? Our relationship with Mexico is important.
BURNETT: Sunlen, we're expecting an executive order from the president tonight and that to be on voter fraud. He wants that investigation. The White House abruptly canceled that signing. What happened? What's the bad story?
SERFATY: Well, this is interesting, Erin, because all morning White House officials for saying yes indeed he would be signing this executive action in the Oval Office this afternoon. And then you had the situation where the pool of White House reporters were gathered outside the Oval waiting to go in and as you said that was abruptly canceled at the last minute. White House aides say that he will likely sign it on Friday or Saturday instead so certainly a postponement of this.
The official word Sean Spicer is blaming the time. He said they returned from Philadelphia late today and that President Trump had several other meetings on his agenda he need to get to. But notable that while they are blaming the time here, according to our records, Trump was only 24 minutes late. Erin?
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Sunlen. OutFront now the former senator and former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Matt Miller, former chief spokesman for the Department of Justice in the Obama administration. Matt, can the president really govern this way? Obviously it seems he can do a lot of things without congress, right? Tariffs on Mexico, halting refugees. The lists go on and on.
MATT MILLER, FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CHIEF SPOKESPERSON UNDER OBAMA: You know, no, he can't in the long term. The president can of course issue executive orders but what we've seen in the last few days I think, you know, President Trump he made a lot of unrealistic promises during the campaign and he wants to show he's doing something. So he's putting forward these executive orders. A lot are just really press releases masquerading as executive orders. The wall is a great -- is a great example.
You know, that executive order isn't going to do anything to build the wall. He's still going to have to get funding from congress. And, you know, what he's doing is raising expectations again and when he comes back and isn't able to get any funding, which I think is likely to be the outcome, he's going to have a big backlash from his supports on his hands. And it's, you know, if you just look at -- we keep seeing reports that members of his own cabinet aren't seeing these orders before they're released.
They clearly aren't being well vetted. I think that's obviously what happened with this investigation of voter fraud that they were going to order because they didn't have it ready in time, probably found some last-minute problems. It's governance through chaos, you can campaign that way, you can't govern that way.
BURNETT: So Senator, can President Trump execute on everything that he has been signing? Obviously he's been signing a lot of these executive orders without anyone in place to implement them in the immediate time frame, right? He doesn't even have a cabinet. But can he execute?
RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, in part he can. I think it's a misstatement to suggest that the order on the wall is something that he has to wait for congress. There's available funds right now that he can direct to begin the process of building the wall. So, that's just not true that he can't begin that process, there are funds there. There's an -- there's an authorization by congress that was passed 10 years ago to build the wall. I was there, I voted for it and it hasn't been adequately funded because to submit the prior administration didn't want to do it.
So, yes, he can get the ball rolling but you're right, to complete the wall and do the major part of it, he's going to need appropriations to do that and you heard Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell said, you know, we're going to provide some money. They're not going to build it one year or one month, it's going to take several years to build this wall out. But they can begin that process. That's one. The Affordable Care Act is another. Can -- has has he started the ball rolling on repealing Obamacare? Yes, he has, by giving states and flexibility and by having the existing regulations not enforced that are in place.
BURNETT: The thing is thought is they're just -- I mean, this is the way it always is and this is why I think why so many people so disgusted by Washington which is always just depends on which side of the aisle you're on versus the president on what you say. Here is what Paul Ryan said about President Obama in 2014 and then what he said today about Donald Trump. Both of these comments are about executive orders. Here's Paul Ryan.
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: He should not try to go it alone with university with unilateral actions with executive orders. He should sit down with the new congresses and find out where we can work together. President Obama uses pen and phone and executive orders to exceed his power in our perspective. Everything that President Obama did by executive order this new president can undo. We would like to see these things undone and we'd like to see power restored to the people in the states not the federal government. And that is what this new president is doing.
BURNETT: Senator, it's awful when President Obama does it but it's great when President Trump is doing it.
SANTORUM: Well, two different things. Number one, what Paul said was correct and what Donald Trump is doing is undoing what President Obama did, which did exceed his authority, particularly on immigration. He had no authority to do that. And in fact, the courts have knocked him down for exceeding his authority. So that's number one. Number two, he's doing executive orders consistent with what congress would like to have done. As opposed to being frustrated by congress and not being able to get things done and then going over congress' head and doing executive orders. So executive orders actually work very well to sort of get the ball rolling if you have a congress, which he does in this case, that wants to cooperate with him.
MILLER: Well, I think there's a lot of hypocrisy here. You know, George bush issued more executive orders than president Obama did and we never heard republicans complaining about that. It was only when Obama started issuing executive orders they disagreed with that you heard a lot of criticism. Look, there's nothing wrong with issuing executive orders per se. If they exceed the president's power, of course those will be challenged in court, you know, ultimately the courts will decide. I think what we've seen here though is that these executive orders, you know, they're bad ideas, they're bad policy, and ultimately I think a lot of them just really are press releases.
That Obamacare executive order doesn't do anything to get the ball rolling. The immigration executive order promises 10,000 new ICE agents. He can't do that by executive order. Congress has to do that. And it's, you know, a press release masquerading as policy.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much. Of course when he says no more refugees he can do that. We're going to be talking about that with Cory Booker coming up.
And next, Trump's Chief Strategist Steve Bannon speaking out in a rare interview. Wait until you hear what he has to say. Plus, Senator Cory Booker on Trump's claims of voter fraud, his executive actions as I said including refugees and whether he agrees with Senator Bernie Sanders who just said this --
BERNIE SANDERS, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM VERMONT: I don't have to tell anybody here that our country faces enormous problems. And that we have a delusional president.
[19:30:29] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news tonight, President Trump's chief strategist telling the media to keep its mouth shut. In a rare interview, Steve Bannon telling the "New York Times", of all places, "The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while." He continued, "You're the opposition party, not the Democratic Party. You're the opposition party. The media is the opposition party."
OUTFRONT now, our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, former Breitbart spokesman Kurt Bardella, and editor at large of "The Weekly Standard", Bill Kristol, who is chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle, which is highly relevant here. We're going to get to that in just one moment.
Brian, let me start with you. You know, this is obviously pretty stunning. This is one of men who has the presidency calling the media the opposition and doing so repeatedly.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: The media is not the opposition party. On one level, he's making an important point, though. He's talking about the press needing humility in this moment, needing to understand Trump's support, Trump's voting base. Tonight, Sean Spicer telling our Jeremy Diamond, actually Kellyanne Conway, telling Jeremy Diamond, I think we should all need to listen more to America, I think that is probably Steve Bannon's central point. That's a great point.
But on another level, this is highly inappropriate for a top administration official to be describing the media as the enemy. We heard Trump say he's in a war with the media. Now, Steve Bannon calling it the opposition party. Highly inappropriate.
BURNETT: So, Bill, let me ask you, because the conversation was initiated by Bannon, who was actually going to talk about Sean Spicer and some of the claims he's made that were untrue in recent days, including voter fraud numbers, crowd size at the inauguration. So, what Bannon said was, "We think that's a badge of honor, questioning his integrity. Are you kidding me? The media has zero integrity, zero intelligence, and no hard work."
BILL KRISTOL, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Such a sensitive guy, Bannon. Just a snowflake, really, right? Poor guy, he's in the White House, they've been there five, six days, right? He's been looking forward to four years. Six months ago, he's editing a fringe website, now, he's in the White House, has the president's ear.
And he's so insecure honestly, and his boss, Donald Trump, is too. All they can do is attack the media? I mean, fine. Let them go ahead and do it.
The media shouldn't apologize, shouldn't cringe, shouldn't say, oh, fascist was coming to America. They should treat this with contempt. Well, fine, if they want to think of the media as the opposition, that's their right. Let's go ahead and debate issues and see who wins the actual debates on the facts. Are they doing very well? Sean Spicer and Bannon and Trump having a good week do we think with all the idiocy?
I mean, let's not get away from Trump. I think it was a big mistake.
STELTER: Yes, this does reflect --
KRISTOL: Trump spoke at the CIA Saturday. Oh, Sean Spicer had a bizarre press thing. True. But what was Sean Spicer defending? He was defending a statement from the president of the United States. That as Brian pointed out, what is Bannon doing? He's repeating something the president of the United States has said.
KRISTOL: He's the insecure narcissist in the White House who thinks he can intimidate and bully people and criticize them.
BURNETT: So, Kurt, let me ask you, because you've worked with Bannon. You know him. He comes out and gives an interview to "The New York Times" which, you know -- maybe not the top but certainly up there of institutions he thinks is the opposition he dislikes or hates. What's his strategy in doing this and saying this now?
KURT BARDELLA, FORMER BREITBART SPOKESMAN: I think it's interesting. One, you have situation where the people who are so critical of the media are also hungry and thirsty for their approval and their acceptance and their coverage. I think, number two, what's really happening here, I think Trump and Bannon believe their best road to success is creating chaos and creating an opposition.
In the campaign, they had the luxury of 17 other Republican primary candidates, running against President Obama's record and, of course, against Hillary Clinton. And now that that's gone and they're empowered, they need another boogeyman to create to run against and they're going to make the media that person.
STELTER: Part of a perpetual campaign. That's what we've seen for these past seven days.
KRISTOL: If the media force Donald Trump to go to the CIA Saturday in his first day in office and give most inappropriate remarks, I mean, I've ever seen a president or any senior person give. Did the media force him to invent a crowd-sized event or make up the voter fraud stuff? I don't think the strategy will work very well.
BURNETT: They seem to think it will be effective saying it is the media.
STELTER: And it sure has been today.
BURNETT: Why would it check such a petty fact? You're the petty person, right? That's the game here.
STELTER: It creates confusion. That's right.
When we fact check the crowd size issue, suddenly, we're in this small debate. And I do think there is an element of this about confusion, about chaos, about not knowing what to believe and thus believing nothing. That is something we've seen in authoritarian climates and it's worrisome to see any administration do it. It will be troubling for a Democrat and today, it's troubling for Republicans.
BARDELLA: Well, I think one of the things to remember is, when you go back and look at the tone and tenor of Breitbart under Bannon's watch.
[19:35:01] It was very adversarial, very confrontational, very much attacking the mainstream media as much as they could. And then candidate Trump comes along and starts adopting really that Bannon- esque style and now, he's ratcheted it up to an entirely new level. It's like, what came first, Trump or Bannon? I think in this case, really, Bannon and Breitbart did, and Trump is following that lead becase in his mind, he got elected, this type of messaging won.
And I think that, you know, it reminds of the "House of Cards" line. If you don't like the way the table is set, turn over the table. Well, whether it's the CIA, whether it's executive orders, whether it's crowd sizes they'll barrage people with content and controversy because they think that's what works for them and where they're most comfortable fighting.
BURNETT: Really insightful points. Bill, Bannon also referred to himself as Darth Vader which he's done before. That was, of course, Dick Cheney's nickname. You worked for Dick Cheney. I said this would come around.
I know from talking to Steve Bannon that he's proud of this Darth Vader thing. This whole dark thing, he likes it. He recently told the "Hollywood Reporter", "Darkness is good, Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, Satan. It only helps us when they get it wrong."
The question for you is, how powerful is Steve Bannon in the Trump inner orbit right now?
KRISTOL: Well, he certainly wants to give impression of power and that's what the bravado is about, that he's like Dick Cheney, as if he was secretary of defense, as if he was a serious policymaker in the House of Representatives and then two different administrations, three different administrations as Dick Cheney was. So, let's see how powerful Bannon is. Let's see how well they do in
foreign policy. I mean, let's -- how are they doing in Mexico? The border tax, that's not going to happen. The big story today is a little obscured.
You reported on it earlier, I think Wolf did, is the House and Senate Republicans were meeting in Philadelphia, they're not going to pass a lot of Trump's agenda. They're not in favor of the border. Serious people looking at what he -- the unnecessary fight he picked with Mexico today because he something insulting about the president of Mexico and had to cancel his visit.
If you're a serious Republican, you could be conservative Republican, a moderate Republican, a moderate Republican. You can be a hawk. You can be a dove, this is crazy. This is crazy.
He is -- so, the notion that they are winning or have had a good week, maybe some people in the media think it's sowing confusion, I think it's very destructive.
STELTER: We have to be careful. We should not be intimidated by this kind of talk, but we do have to be careful. Bannon's right when he says it only helps us when they get it wrong, when we make mistake. If we're not humble, it does play into his goal.
BURNETT: That's true. The MLK statue on that I think is exhibit number one.
STELTER: Small mistake but a great exhibit number one. Yes.
OUTFRONT next, President Trump wasting no time, signing a dozen executive actions in his first week. My next guest, Democratic Senator Cory Booker says Trump must be stopped. So, how does Senator Booker plan to do it?
Plus, Trump's Mar-a-Lago Resort just got a lot more expensive. In fact, it doubled. It's now $200,000 to join. It was $100,000 before he won the Oval Office. Is he profiting from the presidency?
[19:41:09] BURNETT: Breaking news, President Trump praising the mayor of Miami-Dade in Florida after he ordered county jails to comply with the president's crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities. These are the cities who refuse to turn over people in this country illegally to federal authorities. Trump tweeting, quote, "Miami-Dade mayor dropped sanctuary policy, right decision. Strong."
But other mayors across the country are threatening to defy Trump.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will not cower to fear! We are Americans! Just like you!
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Defiance to the White House's executive order on sanctuary cities comes not just from the street but from city mayors -- Chicago.
MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (D), CHICAGO: I want to be clear: we're going to stay a sanctuary city.
MAYOR MARTY WALSH (D), BOSTON: If necessary, we'll use city hall itself to shelter and protect anyone who's targeted unjustly.
LAH: Los Angeles.
MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES: You can't use federal money as a gun to the head to change some other policies.
LAH: L.A.'s mayor says federal funds weave through nearly all city services -- law enforcement, schools, veterans care.
GARCETTI: I'm talking to all mayors in this country.
LAH (on camera): Are the mayors going to unite to draw a line in the sand?
GARCETTI: We have. We want the federal government to protect those folks who have temporary legal status and we want the overall system to be fixed.
LAH (voice-over): One thing that many mayors of sanctuary cities say is broken, undocumented immigrants being held in local jails until federal authorities come to deport them. Many cities argue the extended detention is unconstitutional and costly.
Trump's executive order demands cities follow federal rules or federal funds will stop.
The president is fulfilling a campaign promise after the death of Kate Steinle. She was killed by an undocumented immigrant released from a local jail in San Francisco even though federal agents targeted him for deportation.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For these families it's been one injustice after another. But that all turns around beginning today.
LAH: Some estimates, more than 300 cities and counties are so-called sanctuary cities, while it's unclear exactly what federal funding the order would cut, San Francisco estimates it receives $1 billion in federal funds. New York nearly $9 billion.
New York's mayor telling CNN if Trump pulls funding, his next punch will come in court.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK: If an attempt is made to do that, we will go to court immediately for an injunction to stop it.
LAH: That's being echoed by major city mayors who are Democrats, also expected to join in the legal challenge, the state of California again a state led by Democrats. The state has already hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. He is outside counsel, his job to face off with the White House.
And, Erin, we did see a tweet from the top lawmaker in this state directed clearly to the White House, "see you in court" -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Kyung, thank you very much.
OUTFRONT now, the Democratic senator from New Jersey, Cory Booker.
And, Senator, great to have you with me tonight.
You know, on this issue of sanctuary cities, President Trump brings up the case of Kate Steinle who was shot and killed by someone in this country illegally and, of course, many Americans feel for the suffering her family is going through. So, why is the president wrong to want to stop the protections that enabled her killer to be in the U.S. in the first place?
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, first of all, when I was mayor, if we had any violent felon arrested for some action of violence, we would hold and detain that person. So, often, people want to use the extreme case.
I don't think there's a mayor in America who wouldn't want to get violent people off their streets. But what often happens is you get somebody detained for a minor nonviolent issue, and then you're asked to do what's called a voluntary detention of somebody just because their name matches an immigration database.
Now, imagine if you're an American citizen and about to be released but say wait, immigration asked us to hold you for a day, two, three days longer.
[19:45:04] That's unreasonable. That's against my values, American values to detain somebody who's a nonviolent -- somebody who's nonviolent just because they might happen to be somebody that's undocumented.
We have a very good federal system that says local law enforcement should not create an environment that actually creates more danger, more crime where local law enforcement is trying to enforce federal immigration laws. That puts a chill in communities that actually endangers people because now, you have immigrant communities afraid to report crimes or cooperate with local law enforcement.
There should be this distinction. And what Donald Trump is doing is actually making our communities less safe and creating environments that create schisms as opposed to cooperation that local law enforcement needs. BURNETT: So, I want to ask you about some of his other executive
orders. One of them he's going to sign is that he wants an investigation into voter fraud. He was actually supposed to sign that tonight, it's gotten delayed. You know, of course, he said 3 million to 5 million people could have voted illegally in the election.
What's your reaction to that?
BOOKER: Well, this is stunning and deeply offensive given the challenges we've had with voting in our country's history. We are a nation that wants free and unfettered voting.
Now, you're more likely to be struck by lightning in America than to have in-person voter fraud. What he's saying is just wrong and outrageous and in many ways, he's doing the bidding I think of those who want to try to undermine voting.
What we do know we have in America is a problem with voter suppression. We've seen this in real cases, in places like North Carolina where even a federal judge has said these laws were narrowly tailored to affect certain communities and stop them from voting. And so, now, we have president Donald Trump and soon to be God willing, hope we can prevent this but soon to be Attorney General Jeff Sessions who are not going into that office with this idea that we have a real problem with voter suppression in states like Texas and states like North Carolina where it's been documented and where the Justice Department used to be partners in going after that.
But instead they're going after a fiction that ultimately will play again into the hands of these kind of lies that Donald Trump is blatantly spreading. Absolute lies.
BURNETT: So, one of the things that was said that was untrue was that he said he had the largest ever inaugural crowd, which on many levels is a very petty thing. I want to bring it up, though, for one reason specifically and that is because Senator Bernie Sanders, your colleague, today questioned Donald Trump's mental state because of this claim. I wanted to play for you what Senator Sanders said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: I don't have to tell anybody here that our country today faces enormous problems and that we have a delusional president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: A delusional president. Senator Booker, do you agree?
BOOKER: Well, look, this is what I do agree with, and I don't understand why the media is treating Donald Trump with such kid gloves. These are not untruths, these are not alternate facts. These are lies and propaganda. And by not calling them by what we are, we have a person in the highest seat in the land --
BURNETT: I want to interject. On this show we called that statement a lie because it is a lie. So, I don't take the kid gloves at least to be fair but go continue. Go ahead.
BOOKER: Well, again, this is lies and propaganda. A week in office and we have seen the president of the United States and his officials repeatedly lying to the American public and pushing out what can be called, seen in other regimes throughout history, what can be called propaganda to mislead the public. He needs to be called on it and we as an American public should not accept a president that routinely lies blatantly to the American people.
BURNETT: Do you think he's delusional?
BOOKER: Again, I don't know his mental state. What I know is he is a liar, repeatedly so, someone who is repeatedly lying to American public and pushing propaganda that has an agenda that is not in concert with honor or with the facts.
BURNETT: So he is expected to sign another executive order that I know you care about, someone asked you about it -- banning refugees for up to four months. Tonight, he is saying why.
In an interview with FOX News that was just completed a bit ago, he said, Senator, "We've taken in tens of thousands of people we know nothing about them. They can say they vet them. They didn't vet them. They have no papers. How can you vet somebody when you don't know anything about them or have no papers? How can you vet them? You can't."
Talking to senior officials in places like Jordan, they will acknowledge this, that they cannot vet these people, they don't know who they are or where they're coming from, what their politics might be. Why is Donald Trump wrong about this?
BOOKER: Well, he's wrong again and we are America. I mean, our Statue of Liberty has said for so long -- the Statue of Liberty is actually called the mother to exiles. And what this is, is a violation of something we've been able to do for generations.
The refugee immigration status, the entry program takes a year to two years, and this is a vetting process that frankly involves our intelligence agencies. To say we have no capability of doing it and reducing the potential that anything could happen or that things could happen is just wrong.
[19:50:05] And so, if somebody wanted to come in and do us harm, there are easier ways to get into this country from student visas to visa waiver programs.
BURNETT: Yes, fair point.
BOOKER: This is just a wrong assault on people who are the most vulnerable, who are the most persecuted on the planet earth. We are the United States of America. This is not a time to allow terrorists to make us turn our back on our values. We should actually be doubling down the truth of who we are as a country. And so, for him to try to create this fear that a year to two year process involving the intelligence agencies, involving FBI, involving even the U.N., that often our children and kids and women, this is just so wrong- headed and such a betrayal of the truth of who we are and who we claim to be in the world.
We should be a beacon of light and hope. But we're allowing other countries who have the same concerns for terrorism to out-America us because they're stepping up to the plate during a time of crisis and welcoming persecuted people.
BURNETT: All right. Senator Booker, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight.
BOOKER: Thank you very much.
BURNET: And next, Trump Hotels reportedly planning an expansion, a Trump Resort doubling fees. Is Trump already profiting from his presidency?
BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump's lavish Mar-a-Lago estate just got a lot more expensive and exclusive. If you want to join it, now, it will cost you $200,000. That's a doubling.
Is Trump already profiting from the presidency?
Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's billed as the greatest mansion ever built. On its website, the Mar-a-Lago home page features a picture of Donald Trump and promises prospective members will get access to a royal lifestyle. The president in a tweet calling it "the winter White House."
TRUMP: Such an honor to have you all at Mar-a-Lago.
CARROLL: Now it's going to cost new members a lot more for their chance to rub elbows with the president. The membership fee $100,000 six months ago will now double to $200,000.
The managing director of Trump's private club in West Palm Beach, Florida, tells CNN the club had always intended to increase that fee and that the president had nothing to do with the decision. The director saying the initiation fee was actually $200,000 in 2007, but says due to the poor economy, it was cut in half to $100,000.
[19:55:01] Once the economy turned around, he says, the decision was made last year to return that fee to what it used to be. September 2016 it was increased to $150,000 and January 1st this year, it went up to $200,000.
The director saying, "I don't want what the fixation is, it's very simple."
But some ethicists do not agree. LARRY NOBLE, CAMPAIGN LEGAL CENTER: I think the optics of this are terrible. It looks like he becomes president and they are really going to try to financially benefit off of this.
CARROLL: Larry Noble also takes issue with possible Trump Hotel expansion plans.
(on camera): This after the CEO of Trump Hotels told Bloomberg News of its hopes to expand beyond the five locations across the country to 26. And that would include not only the brands luxury locations, but also newer lower-priced hotels as well.
(voice-over): When asked if Trump hotels are planning a major expansion, a Trump hotel spokeswoman says, "We see significant growth opportunity in the United States for both our hotel brands."
There were many calls for Trump to divest from his businesses once he became president and to put it into a blind trust. Trump did not. His lawyer saying in part it would be too complicated. Instead, he publicly announced he would turn over management of his company to his two sons, Donald Jr. and, Eric, and a Trump executive.
For some, that is not enough.
NOBLE: It looks like he's selling his name or looks like his companies are selling his name to increase the size, increase the number of hotels, to increase the fees at Mar-a-Lago. And that just -- that doesn't look good. I don't think his supporters want to see that type of thing.
BURNETT: I mean, certainly, you can't argue the optics on this.
CARROLL: Well, look, I think his supporters argue --
BURNETT: He wins and the fees double.
CARROLL: Right, right. But look, what team Trump has done is they've hired these team of ethics lawyers going forward to help out. They've also hired a chief compliance counsel, George Sorial, to sort of look at red flags.
The problems critics say with this guy Sorial, for example, is that this is someone who's already a Trump insider. He's worked for the Trump organization for years and years, so they question how can he be objective going forward? Of course, team Trump says he's perfectly able to do the job.
BURNETT: All right. Jason Carroll, thank you.
And we'll be right back.
BURNETT: Tomorrow, our Ed Lavandera, who has brought us this unprecedented and rare access to America's border with Mexico travels to California to uncover what happens to the border wall we have so far, smugglers building tunnels from Mexico to the United States. They're going to go inside them, underneath the wall that's there right now tomorrow OUTFRONT. You don't want to miss it. We'll see you then.
Anderson is next.