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Erin Burnett Outfront
House Dems in Talks to Extend Length of Mueller Hearing; Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) is Interviewed on Game Plan for Mueller Hearing Amid Fears About Limited Time for Questioning; Kamala Harris Joins Sanders, Warren in Courting Ocasio-Cortez. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 10, 2019 - 19:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Team's fame to improve the world. Congratulations to the women once again. That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, no apologies. Embattled Labor Secretary Alex Acosta defending his handling of the sex crimes case involving Jeffrey Epstein. Was his defense enough to keep his job and clear that up. Plus, the Fed Chief pushing back against the President vowing to stay on the job despite Trump's attacks. Peter Navarro, assistant to the President is out front. Plus, Kamala Harris, the latest 2020 contender to embrace Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Is it enough to win the rising star support and does it help or hurt Kamala's efforts. Let's go out front.
And Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, itching for a fight. That is President Trump's attitude tonight according to a senior administration official and it's all about the growing calls for Trump's embattled handpicked Labor Secretary to resign for not prosecuting Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein is accused of raping young girls.
The President sending Alex Acosta before cameras for nearly an hour to defend himself and it costs to perform for an audience of one. He was unapologetic, fiercely defending his role in securing the 2008 sweetheart deal for Epstein.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX ACOSTA, LABOR SECRETARY: A state grand jury brought that single completely unacceptable charge. A state official allowed Epstein to self surrender. I wanted to help him, that is why we intervened. We did what we did because we wanted to see Epstein go to jail. He needed to go to jail. There was value to getting a guilty plea. You can always look at a play after the fact and say should that have been the safe play or should we have gone for the big score.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, Acosta certainly went for the safe play despite authorities having evidence that Epstein sexually abused dozens of teenage girls. The deal that Acosta hammered out resulted in Epstein serving just 13 months in a county jail. He was allowed to leave every single day or six days a week, I'm sorry, for 12 hours a day.
If Epstein had been convicted, he could have served life behind bars. That was a sweetheart deal. Yet Acosta today portrayed himself as a hero.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: There is a value to a short guilty plea, because letting him walk, letting what the state attorney was ready to do go forward would have been absolutely off. Simply put, the Palm Beach State Attorney's office was ready to let Epstein walk free. No jail time, nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK, just to say it again because of Acosta's deal, Epstein was able to walk out of jail six days a week for 12 hours a day and when pressed by our Kaitlan Collins as to whether he would make the same agreement today. Epstein said he couldn't say. Why? Well, he says times have changed. But that doesn't seem to add up and here's why, because under Acosta's watch at the same time as he hammered out that Epstein deal and at the same year, same timeframe, there were other sex trafficking cases that Acosta prosecuted. They resulted in much tougher sentences.
Meantime, back at the White House, another official echoing what Acosta claim today when it comes to having President Trump's full throated support.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How would you describe your relationship with the President, the news of the cycle here with Epstein is charging that?
ACOSTA: My relationship with the President is outstanding. He has, I think, very publicly made clear that I've got his support. He called me this morning to say, if asked, that our relationship is excellent too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Pamela Brown is out front live outside the White House. And Pamela, we hear Acosta's version of what Trump thinks. What did Trump think of what Acosta did today that defines our long question and answer.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, so far embattled Secretary Acosta is getting high marks from the White House over this nearly long press conference that Trump ordered him, directed him to do. White House officials tell me that he still does have the president support and that the President wants him to keep his job.
Vice President Pence he just spoke moments ago and he said that the administration welcomes Acosta's explanation for that controversial 2008 plea deal that critics, as you pointed out, laid out there say was inadequate. Now, here at the White House, Erin, I'm told that the posture is to fight the controversy and stand behind the Labor Secretary.
That has not always been the case in the past with cabinet secretaries under fire, but as one source put it to me, President Trump has an affinity for Secretary Acosta. But, of course, this could all change depending on the news coverage, how long it lasts, how much of a political liability he becomes.
[19:05:08] But as you pointed out, Erin, Acosta remain defiant, unapologetic today, he portrayed himself as the hero who intervened to give Epstein as stiffer punishment than at the state level. But Epstein's victims have said they feel let down by him and want him to do more. For now, the administration though appears to be standing behind him behind him, they accept his explanation and the hope here, Erin, is that this controversy will die down soon like it did earlier this year when the plea deal Acosta reach with Epstein first came under scrutiny, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Pamela, thank you very much. Hard to imagine how that could be, obviously, as more is going to come as this case comes out. All of the pictures of these young girls and Epstein safe and those sort of horrible headlines are going to keep crossing. Harry Sandick is former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Gloria Borger, of course, is our Chief Political Analyst, Sam Nunberg also joins me tonight, a former Trump campaign aide who said he tried to raise concerns about Trump's relationship with Epstein before the presidential campaign.
Harry, Acosta obviously basically pointed the finger at the state of Florida. "Not me. Not my problem. I did the best I could." So now just moments ago, the former Palm Beach State Attorney who was involved in the case is slamming back at Acosta and I just want to read his statement to you.
He's saying, "I can emphatically state that Mr. Acosta's recollection of this matter is completely wrong. Federal prosecutors do not take a backseat to state prosecutors. That is not how the system works in the real world."
Harry, do you buy Acosta's argument that it was the state, not him?
HARRY SANDICK, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: No. Not at all. The state's attorney is right. The U.S. attorney has tremendous power, tremendous discretion and there were all of these investigative leads that apparently were not followed even without following those leads they had a 50-page draft indictment, charging Epstein with all sorts of serious crimes.
And for reasons that we still don't fully understand, Acosta, in his plea negotiations gave it all away. The things that he talked about today about deferring to the state district attorney or about needing to be mindful of the Department of Justice and that defense lawyers kept making appeals, none of those things add up.
Why didn't he get a search warrant to get the images that the U.S. attorney here in New York got just a few days ago? Why did he immunized the co-conspirators instead of charging them and trying to cooperate them to build a case against Epstein? Why didn't he make a public search for victims the way the U.S. Attorney here has done in New York in order to bring out more evidence? All of these are mysterious to me.
BURNETT: I mean they're mysterious and they're bizarre, Gloria. I mean, unless you're just going to say money and powers just able to trump anything, including the rule of law on those who are charged with upholding it. I mean, Trump told Acosta to hold this presser today. So Acosta goes out and does this defiant performance and make sure it's been happening to me a lot, Gloria, totally I hear you, let me play the sound bite. Here's what Acosta said about Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: My relationship with the President is outstanding. He has, I think, very publicly made clear that I've got his support.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. So that's a Costas version. Everything is wonderful. He's fully behind me. But yesterday, Gloria, Trump said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I met Secretary Acosta is first time. I know when I made the deal to bring them on into the administration. I can tell you that for two and a half years, he's been just an excellent Secretary of Labor. He's done a fantastic job. Now, part of it is our economy is so good, our unemployment numbers are at record lows, so many good things are happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So he clearly gave himself an out, Gloria, then Acosta gives this performance. Did he save himself and Trump's eyes today?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he might have. I mean, you're not hearing any screeches out of the White House. They believe that he behaved appropriately. One thing he did which the President likes is he refused to apologize. Not at all.
So he was given lots of opportunities to apologize to these victims. And he didn't. And if you work for Donald Trump, an apology is seen as weakness. And so the President would look at him today and say, "Well, he explained his position well. He had a 53-minute press conference and he seemed rational." And I think for now, at least, the President will be watching to see what the public reaction is going forward.
BURNETT: So Sam, let me just play what Acosta said today about Epstein, because obviously it doesn't fit with, I mean at least the tone of it, with what he actually chose to do in that sweetheart deal. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ACOSTA: He's a bad man and he needs to be put away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:10:01] BURNETT: And so putting aside, Sam, that Epstein could have been put away for life if convicted in Florida if Acosta hadn't given him that sweet deal, Trump obviously knew Epstein during the years he committed these crimes. The Miami Herald dates them back to 2001. So in 2002, when Trump said about Epstein, quote, I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It's even said he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."
Look, you told The New York Times, Sam, that you raise concerns about Trump's relationship with Epstein and you did it early. You did it even before the formal campaign. What do you know about their relationship?
SAM NUNBERG, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE: I know that the relationship as the President said yesterday had come to a close. There was an issue that the President alluded to, to me, that happened at the club and he said that he had not spoken to Epstein in many years. He's completely barred from any of his properties and he was actually very disgusted when he spoke about Epstein.
He said something along the lines of the guy was a real creep, was I think the word he used to me. So this was an issue that, Erin, if you remember in around late mid 2014, there were already civil actions coming out against Epstein. And there was going to be a lot of circumstances coming out about Bill Clinton, we had thought, in line of what we had heard from the National Enquirer.
So the President was very forthcoming about this as well as opposed to other times when I spoken to him and he didn't want to talk about certain issues.
BURNETT: Which I understand, I'm just curious in your view then if he was - he obviously said he was a creep and he's disgusted. Obviously, the quote he gave certainly didn't sound like that. It sounds like he knew about young women, I mean, whatever he said, on the younger side, beautiful women but at least he sounds like he was making light.
NUNBERG: But I don't think he about underage women was the impression I got. I don't think he knew about these underage women or any conduct like that. You can say a lot of things about Donald Trump, Erin, I've said them on your show. So behavior like this is something that he finds absolutely appalling. And I would assume that he's actually very happy.
BURNETT: So why were you worried then, Sam, about the relationship if you thought that there's nothing there? Why are you worried?
NUNBERG: Well, we wanted to get exactly his story, because as you know in any campaign issues like this would be brought up and especially because Epstein was going to be an issue that was brought up in conservative media on Fox News, on Breitbart. There was lots of talk about it in conservative radio and the President did have an association with him, which was public including it was already reported in New York Magazine profile, Erin, that he had even been on Epstein's plane. But I think that the President ...
BURNETT: Yes, that is true.
NUNBERG: ... but from what I heard from not only the President, Mr. Trump, but also people in his office, they did not have any communication at all for a long time.
BURNETT: So Harry, I want to play what Acosta said today when he was asked to be made the same agreement today. As Gloria said, no apology. That might have been what succeeded at the White House but let me just play that part, Harry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: So these questions are always very difficult because we now have 12 years of knowledge in hindsight and we live in a very different world. Today's world treats victims very, very differently. Today's world does not allow some of the victim shaming that could have taken place at trial 12 years ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Harry, I pointed out that he did prosecute, go ahead with other cases at the same time, sex trafficking and get longer sentences than he was able to get in the Epstein deal. Does this answer add up?
SANDICK: Not to me. It's not a matter of hindsight. Look, prosecutors, state prosecutors and federal prosecutors have as long as I can recall made cases involving exploitation of children, whether it's child pornography, sex trafficking, rape of children to be among the highest priorities that they have. Everyone I knew when I was a prosecutor including me had cases that involve some issue of child exploitation in your career, and you made those your top priority. So the idea that only in hindsight do we see this as a serious crime, I don't understand what he's talking about.
BORGER: It's hard, Erin. He was allowed to plead guilty to prostitution. This isn't prostitution. This is rape of children and I don't think Secretary Acosta really explained that well when he was asked today. He was asked today, "Do you think these young women were prostitutes?" His answer was no.
Yet in the agreement, that's exactly what they were called. And still he found no need to show any regret and no need to apologize and really no need to explain, including what new evidence he talked about that the Southern District of New York has that he did not have, after all he did have 36 victims.
BURNETT: Thirty-six victims. I mean, I just think about the time that's passed and now more people, young women, it's horrible. Thank you all very much. BORGER: Thanks.
[19:15:06] BURNETT: And out front next, Trump's Fed Chairman insists he will not go anywhere even though the President keeps threatening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have the right to demote him, I have the right to fire him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Plus, Democrats just wrapping up a meeting to go over the game plan for Robert Mueller's crucial highly anticipated testimony. So what are they going to do? And the asylum crisis, tonight we're going to go to the Mexican border town where thousands of migrants are waiting fearing for their lives as they wait to be called.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you heard of people saying, "I don't want to wait in line anymore. I'm going to sneak in illegally," and try to avoid being caught?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, a lot of them.
[19:19:24] BURNETT: Tonight, defiant. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell telling lawmakers today he would not leave if President Trump tried to fire him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): If you got a call from the president today of tomorrow and he said, "I'm firing you. Pack up. It's time to go." What would you do?
JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE: Well, of course, I would not do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean that was a matter-of-fact answer, it's taking on the President. It's standing firm. Waters then went on to ask Powell why. Why would he refuse to leave if President Trump fired him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WATERS: Because you think the president doesn't have the authority, is that why you would not leave?
[19:20:07] POWELL: I've kind of said what I've intended to say on the subject and what I've said is that the law clearly gives me a four year term and I fully intend to serve it.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Now, to be clear, the law says Trump can't fire Powell
without cause. The president though begs to differ.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have the right to demote him, I have the right to fire him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. Just to be clear, president Trump hired Powell. He didn't inherit Powell. Powell is his guy. But Trump has been angry of Powell's decision over time to raise interest rates, something Trump thinks could hurt his economic record. But that is not cause to fire the Chief of the most powerful and important central bank on earth because it is independent.
Out front now, Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy. Great to have you with me. I appreciate having you back, Peter. What do you make of what Jerome Powell had to say? He's pretty clear, President Trump could tell him to leave and he would, of course, not do that.
PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE TRADE ADVISER: Well, what I heard today from Jerome Powell that was meaningful was the fact that he's probably going to lower interest rates this month. And let me make the case as to why we in the White House are so disturbed by what Powell has done.
Basically, J Powell when he auditioned for that job he basically promised the President that he would be dovish on interest rates and starting in March of 2018 he did four interest rate hikes of a hundred basis points. Now, if you use the Fed model to basically determine what would happen with that hundred basis points, what we have was an eight percent increase in the value of the dollar.
What does that do? Well, that makes our exports more expensive our imports come in more. We get our trade deficit up. And the Fed's own models say we lost more than a half a point of growth over time because of this. We lost close to 400,000 jobs and our trade deficit is going to go up by about $170 billion. President Trump ...
BURNETT: But here's what I'm concerned about, when you started to answer my question, you used the word auditioned and promised and those sort of made me really nervous and I think will make a lot of people nervous. The Fed is supposed to be independent. You're not supposed to make promises to the President as the Fed Chief.
NAVARRO: When a Fed Chairman comes in, when somebody comes in for that job, they should be forthright about what they're going to do and what they say they're going to do they should do. But here's the point, let me finish this point, because this is the point. We have a monitory policy ...
BURNETT: But shouldn't we be watching what's happening in the economy and doing what the right thing is to do, that's an independent central bank. NAVARR):" ... that is going to cost the American people more than a
half point of growth, a higher trade deficit and close to 400,000 jobs. And what we need to do and what we think the Fed is going to do based on what Jerome Powell said today is start to lower interest rates. Halfway through that, Erin, and you know this well because you used to be a financial anchor, halfway through the Fed's interest rate hike, the yield curve started to invert.
You could see that clearly. Meaning for your viewers, that the long bond interest rates began to decline signaling very clearly that Powell had made the wrong decision. So my bottom line, I run the office of trade manufacturing policy, this is a president that's created 5 million jobs, half a million manufacturing jobs, got a million more people in the workforce. Every day he gets up, lives and breathes putting American people back to work particularly those who work with their hands.
And we try so hard everybody and when the Fed makes a mistake by raising interest rates ...
BURNETT: Well, look, Peter, there are some though who would argue, of course, that the reason Powell had to change course was because you guys started throwing sanctions and starting a trade war. But can I just ask you, Peter, because look, I hear you ...
NAVARRO: Well, that's another issue. But to finish my point ...
BURNETT: ... but when Jerome Powell was asked today, hold on, hold on, but I do want ...
BURNETT: ... because it's really important. You talked to the President, so you know what he's thinking.
BURNETT: If you got a call from the President today or tomorrow and he said, "I'm firing you, what would you do?" Powell, "Of course, I would not do that." Have you talked to the President about his reaction to that, what he thinks about what Jerome Powell just said and he ...
NAVARRO: No, I haven't.
BURNETT: ... basically just told him to go and take a hike.
NAVARRO: Look, my role here from a policy point of view is to point out what the implications of J Powell raising interest rates by a hundred basis points from March through December of 2018. It's going to cost us more than a half a point of growth, close to 400,000 jobs and it's going to spike our trade deficit.
And what it does is it undos all of the good things we are doing in terms of trade policy, tax policy and regulatory policy. So we can't fight the Fed. We don't want to fight the Fed. And let's be encouraged by what Jay Powell said today. Clearly, the markets interpreted his remarks as the Fed likely to cut interest rates in July. I hope he goes 50 basis points.
[19:25:00] BURNETT: Yes, it did - the market went up today, first time ever over 3,000.
NAVARRO: And what we're about, Erin, what we're about at that White House and this is very different from any president in many, many decades. We're about creating good jobs and good paying wages. We have the lowest unemployment rates for women, blacks, Hispanics and the general population.
We got rising wages and the Fed Chairman is trying to undo that so we get a little annoyed with the Fed Chairman when he doesn't read the tea leaves correctly, full stop.
BURNETT: I think though that many would take issue and rightfully so with you trying to characterize it. The Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve was saying he's trying to undo economic growth in the United States that in and of itself is a kind of a bizarre thing to say, don't you think?
NAVARRO: Well look, clearly, Erin, he raised hundred basis points from March through December and the yield curve in ...
BURNETT: He's trying to do what he think is the right thing. He's not trying to undo and hurt the economic, right?
NAVARRO: Look, it was either a rookie mistake or he's not fit for the job. He's not an economist, that's for sure. A hundred basis point hikes. The dollar goes up by eight percent and it's going to cost us half a point of growth or more and hundreds of thousands of jobs that's not good for the American people.
I think he's got the message. Wall Street's given him the message. His own members of the Board of Governors have given him the message. The president has given him the message. He was very dovish today and I think moving forward I think we can have a good outcome.
BURNETT: OK. Do you think part of the problem though is the sanctions and the trade war that you all have. The talk that you've been doing that has caused the economy to weaken and thus caused Powell to have to move the other way? Even on your radar to consider that that's the way it's going?
NAVARRO: There's nothing that suggests that the economy has weakened. We had record numbers on the unemployment rate. But what I like to do as Wayne Gretzky said is skate to where the puck is going to be. I worry when the Fed raises rates too high and our currency gets overvalued and that hurts our exporters.
So I'm worried about what's going to happen in the next two, three, four quarters the next year if the Fed is making rookie mistakes like that. So again I think we're back on track, the Fed was - and Powell was encouraging today, but we can't make those kinds of mistakes. He has an important job and he made a mistake. I think everybody believes - I don't know anybody who's defending what he did - that they defend the independence of the Fed, but nobody is defending J Powell for raising rates to 100 basis points.
You find that person and show them to me because I can't find them. So he made that mistake and the American people have to live with that. But again let's be encouraged, Erin, by his testimony today.
BURNETT: And I'm also curious, Peter, to see what the President has to say. I mean J Powell did tell him to take a hike today. He said, "Go ahead and fire me, I will not leave." Which understand you said that's not what matter about what he said today.
NAVARRO: Well, I can assure that the President is not going to do what J Powell tells him to do.
BURNETT: But I will tell you, I think it matter.
NAVARRO: Yes. Well, it's nice to talk to you, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. I appreciate Peter. It's always good to have you with me.
NAVARRO: My pleasure.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you. And next Democrats just meeting to go over there, game plan for questioning Bob Mueller. The Congressman who was in that meeting is next. Plus, we travel to Mexico where thousands of migrants are waiting to request asylum. And you know what, they're being told they have to wait a long time. So what are they doing? Well, we found out.
[19:32:15] BURNETT: Breaking news, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee just wrapping up a meeting on their game plan for Bob Mueller. The Judiciary and Intel Committees are really racing against the clock now to try to break new ground with Mueller. This is their one shot, public testimony a week from today. One shot.
And now confirming to CNN, there are talks to extend the length of the judiciary hearing amid real fears that they won't get anything in a two-hour hearing.
Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.
So, Evan, obviously they want more time. But this had been the time that Mueller was willing to give them. So, would he ever go for this, for extending this and giving them more time?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, he is a reluctant witness. He didn't want to do this in the first place. So, I don't know -- I think you can tell from the -- from what we are hearing from the Hill, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb up there. They don't know he is going for this.
And part of the strategy that they have, that the Democrats have is that they want to get something meaningful from Robert Mueller. They want to make sure that they can make the case, those of them who want to push for impeachment inquiry, they want to make the case and they want Robert Mueller to make that case to the American people live on television. They have two to two and a half hours. Both committees are going to have that.
And their strategy here is to try to have some discipline, try to restrict their questions, to try to make sure they get something out of him. And when he tries to avoid answering certain questions, to try to come back and pin him down.
Now, we don't know that that will work. Mueller is a very disciplined man and he likely will stick to his guns.
And the other wild card here, Erin, is the fact that the Republicans' other plans, they want to use this hearing to undermine and to question the origins of this very investigation which Mueller, of course, is going to defend. So, we'll see -- this is obviously Congress that is not known for discipline. So, we can see -- we'll see whether or not in plan that they are coming up with will work.
BURNETT: All right. All right. Thank you very much, Evan. Of course, Mueller said as everyone knows, right, that he's only going to talk about what's already in the document. But the whole conversation with Bill Barr when he talked about whether it was misrepresented, what did I feel was misrepresented? Why -- that's an area he could go outside the report, that could be extremely illuminating.
OUTFRONT now, one of the members on the House Judiciary Committee, Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu from California.
Congressman Lieu, I appreciate your time.
So, you were there in the meeting as you were trying to get the strategy together. What was discussed?
REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): Thank you, Erin, for your question.
Let me first say that the Mueller report by itself is very damning. Many Americans have not read it. So, all we need Robert Mueller to do is highlight the main portions of his report to the American people.
We don't need a hole in one here. We just need to not whiff and I think we will accomplish that. And we would obviously like more time, but we believe if Robert Mueller would simply highlight the American people that the Russians interfered in our elections, that the Trump campaign welcomed interference and then president obstructed the investigation numerous times, that would be very useful to the American people.
[19:35:13] BURNETT: OK. So -- so I hear what you are saying. But obviously part of the issue here is, you know, whether you are right about that, right, or whether people need more or dots connected that weren't connected. The other part of course is time and how much time. I know you expressed concern with that. You are looking at about two, two and a half hours with your committee. You've got 41 different members, I know 22 would likely be
questioning. Twenty-two people in about two and a half hours -- if you are not incredibly disciplined and even if you are congressman, it's really hard to imagine getting much there.
LIEU: Right. So, we are going to be incredibly disciplined and coordinated. We're going to know before we walk into the hearing the likely questions we are going to ask. Keep in mind, we are also going to have four total hours right now. So, two for Judiciary committee and then two for Intel Committee in open hearing. I think that's going to be very useful.
BURNETT: And are you coordinating between committees too, one is additive upon the other?
LIEU: Yes. So, Intel Committee will largely focus on volume one of the report, which is the Russian interference into American elections. And the Judiciary Committee will focus on volume two, largely the president's obstruction of justice and the number of times he tried to obstruct an investigation into the Russian interference.
BURNETT: Have you considered at all -- you know, Bob Barr said this would just be a spectacle. And I'm curious as to you know we look back at Brett Kavanaugh and the use of an outside expert how effective that was. You had one person building, building with a heck of a lot of legal expertise. A lot of you guys have that as well, I understand. But you're a lot of different people.
Is that something -- you know, why did you all dismiss that? When people say this is about you getting your moment, your sound bite, what do you say to that?
LIEU: So, what's going to be important at this hearing or not the words of members, it's the words of Robert Mueller. And I find it incredibly interesting that Bill Barr thinks this is going to be a spectacle when Robert Mueller says he is stick together four corners of his report.
The reason Bill Barr doesn't want that to happen is because when Robert Mueller sticks to the four corners of the report. The American people will see that Bill Barr lied to the American people when he misrepresented the report.
BURNETT: Congressman Lieu, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
LIEU: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, Kamala Harris attaching herself to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, could it back fire.
Plus, we travel to Mexico where desperation is setting in for thousands of those who are going to apply for asylum.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He says he is fighting through it all here but he is not sure if he has the patience to -- how much -- how much longer his patience will last.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:41:36] BURNETT: Tonight, the fight for 2020. Kamala Harris becoming the latest candidate to attach her name to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Harris introducing legislation today with Ocasio-Cortez which aims to provide fair housing to people with criminal records.
And Harris is not alone. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren have also teamed up with the progressive star in recent months.
OUTFRONT now, Democratic strategist Aisha Moodie-Mills. And Paul Begala, CNN political commentator and former counselor to President Clinton.
So, Aisha, look, you know, obviously, we have seen this push towards the left, towards the progressive left in the Democratic primary. But in 2018, the Democrats who led that charge back to win the House, majority were moderates, right, when you look across the country. So, could it end up hurting in the long run for Harris to attach herself to someone so far left?
AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, first I want to kind of reframe the narrative here because we keep talking about pushing towards the left, pushing towards the left. And I think that what we are seeing a push towards the future.
What is a winning strategy, what Obama's winning strategic was, frankly, and what will continue to be winning strategy for Democrats is aspiration. Who do we want to be as Americans, who do we want to be as Democrats? What policies will shape our future and be able to support us as we move forward?
And I think that, you know, no matter who the candidate is, the base is going to be looking for that. I do not think that it is a losing strategy by any stretch of the imagination to actually appeal to what excites and animates people. And the truth is, is that the Democrats need an inclusive base of folks who are people of color, who are young people, who are women, who are very much animated about the idea of progress and where we go in the future and are forward looking.
So, yes, I think the progressive values are what riles folks up. When it comes down to the general, the candidate is going to need to be able to animate and excite and maximize turn out in order to beat Donald Trump and that's what we should be thinking about.
BURNETT: OK. So, Paul, the latest CNN poll shows that strategically, liberal voters are far more enthusiastic about voting in the election. So, 80 percent of them say they are extremely enthusiastic -- or extremely or very enthusiastic. Sixty-seven percent of the moderates.
So at this point from a strategic point of view, is jumping onboard with AOC, the right thing to do? PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, perhaps in that primary with the first caucus in Iowa, which is a very, very progressive place. And so in that sense, it is.
Just in terms of talent -- I think Aisha makes a great point. AOC is an enormously talented. I can't think of someone that young, that new to Congress who has been this influential.
Now, having said that, Democrats need web issues that can stitch together their base and those voters they need to win the majority. They did that in 2018.
To pick up on Aisha's point, Democrats ran the most diverse field of candidates they have ever put together in 2018, and the most moderate field of candidates they have ever put together. So, people like Sherisse David who won in Kansas, when the last time a Democrat won in Kansas? She is a Native American, lesbian kick boxer and a moderate.
So, I think these things ought not to be at war. I mean, what we need to do, you need two wings to fly a plane, Reverend Jackson used to say, a left wing and a right wing. Democrats have got to find ways to stitch together the base they must have in order to be in the game, and those swing voters that they need.
BEGALA: And that's what they ought to be looking for. They should not say anything.
[19:40:02] BURNETT: I understand you guys are all trying to come together.
BURNETT: But, Aisha, here is a question I have, OK? So, when you look at you know you're talking about the bill, housing for people who had been convicted of criminals. You look at the stage when 10 Democrats raised their hand that they would provide health care coverage for people, for undocumented immigrants. We're hearing talk about free college, student loan forgiveness, Medicare-for-All and often keeping health insurance is left off which Americans find popular.
The reason I point this out, Aisha, is that 57 percent of Democrat haves a positive view of socialism, and that means in a primary could be very powerful. That's according to Gallup. But overall, that may not be the case. A recent Monmouth poll, 57 percent of Americans say socialism is incompatible with American values.
So by doing this in the primary, do you lose the general?
MOODIE-MILLS: Yes, so I mean, I guess I just reflect these kind of false dichotomies that we are having. So, the reality is that politics and policy should absolutely be about the people and be about lifting up the people. So, all the policies you just rattled off, whether about helping people deal with crushing student debt, making sure that everybody has health care, making sure the people get a fair shake, the real comparison here is about whether or not we're going to stand for the people or we're going to stand for corporate special interests.
I think that that's the dichotomy. It's not socialism versus capitalism. In fact, Elizabeth Warren also talks about the fact that she's just a smart capitalist.
BURNETT: She says that.
MOODIE-MILLS: Exactly, and I think some of the stuff turns into wedge sound bites. But at the end of the day if we focus on the people, then the Democrats win.
BURNETT: But, Paul, providing all this stuff for free, it's not free. Someone is paying for it.
BEGALA: Yes. Well, that's exactly right. And I think when -- when Aisha talks about focusing on the people, I think that's right.
There are a lot of people who busting their tails in soul sucking corporate jobs so they can keep their health insurance. And we want to make sure they have options, right? Some in the Democratic Party raised say, we're going to take away that employer-provided health insurance but we'll give you Medicare-for-All.
I think the better choice is what many other Democrats also running for president are saying, which is let's have Medicare for anyone. You can buy in. If you like the corporate provided health insurance, fine. If you don't, if you want to by in Medicare -- in other words, I think can you find ways to appeal to the swing voters without alienating the base.
I'm worried right now -- I'm terribly worried that those things that Democrats are doing to fire up the base is going to alienate the voters they need when they want to beat Donald Trump.
BURNETT: That's going to be the big question.
All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate the conversation.
And next, we travel to Mexico where officials claim thousands of asylum seekers are having to wait in dangerous towns.
Plus, Jeanne Moos on the women's World Cup celebration that ran afoul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGAN RAPINOE, CO-CAPTAIN, USWNT: New York City, you're the mother(EXPLETIVE DELETED) best!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:51:21] BURNETT: Tonight, this is still a crisis. That's the message from Customs and Border Protection, reporting agents arrested 95,000 people in June for crossing the southern border illegally. This is thousands of migrants grow desperate. They are waiting months in Mexico to start the asylum process.
Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For three months, little Marvin has spent most of his days in Juarez, Mexico, in this makeshift classroom. Volunteers created the school to give migrant children a sense of normalcy, but today is Marvin's last day.
Lucero de Alva is a children's book author and spent most of the last year volunteering to help thousands of migrants who've showed up in this border. She says Marvin's family has been waiting for three months to request asylum in the United States but his mother is giving up and returning to Guatemala.
(on camera): And that's because the wait is very long. It takes a long time.
LUCERO DE ALVA, MIGRANT VOLUNTEER: She's almost there, but she doesn't want to risk it.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): In January, the Trump administration rolled out the migrant protection protocols often called the Remain in Mexico policy. It forces migrants to wait in Mexican border towns until their number is called to cross the border and request asylum.
Juarez government officials say right now, 5,500 people are on the wait list to request asylum. The wait time is about four months. They have to wait even longer to get a court date in the U.S. As they wait, De Alva says thousands of people are crammed into the 14 migrant shelters that have opened along the U.S.-Mexico border since February, and they are feeling the stress, like 20-year-old Albert Ramirez who came from Honduras and has been waiting four months to request asylum. He says he rarely leaves the walls of the shelters because he fears the city around him.
(on camera): He says, right now, he's getting his strength from family to that send messages to keep waiting, to keep waiting but he's not sure how much longer that will last, and how much more patience he will have.
Have you heard of people saying I don't want to wait in line anymore, I'm going to sneak in illegally and try to avoid being caught?
DE ALVA: A lot of them.
LAVANDERA: A lot of them?
DE ALVA: Yes. They are desperate. LAVANDERA: Many migrants facing months and months of waiting here in
Juarez say they are taking matters into their own hands. They are too desperate so will come and jump over and dart across to the U.S. side, turning themselves into immigration officials. Because of that, the Mexican government deployed army soldiers along this stretch of the border and in other places to deter those migrants from doing just that.
(voice-over): U.S. immigration officials say the Trump administration's strategy is slowing the flow of migrants. Border Patrol says apprehensions dropped 28 percent from May to June.
KEVIN MCALEENAN, ACTING HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Our strategy is working. The president is engaging with Mexico, the deal to enforce immigration security on their southern border, to partner with us on tackling the organizations is clearly having an impact on the flow.
LAVANDERA: But critics say forcing migrants to wait in dangerous Mexican border towns is inhumane.
MARISSA LIMON, HOPE BORDER INSTITUTE: We're seeing upticks in the cases of kidnapping, assaults. I mean, these are people that are easily targeted, especially Central American migrants. It's very difficult and we're putting them at risk knowingly.
LAVANDERA: And, Erin, the Trump administration is expanding this Remain in Mexico policy forcing migrants to wait in the town of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, which is on the border with Texas and Mexico, considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world because of drug cartel violence. The Trump administration insists this is being done for humanitarian assistance and to ease the burden on processing centers here along the U.S. border -- Erin.
[19:55:06] BURNETT: All right. Ed, thank you very much.
And next, Jeanne on the must-see moments from today's women's World Cup parade.
BURNETT: Tonight, the U.S. women's soccer team takes a well-deserved victory lap and it's filled with many four-letter words like love, hate and -- well, I'll leave the rest to Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what having a good day looks like for Megan Rapinoe and you have to decide whether to hang on to your World Cup trophy or set it down to dance.
Or do both at the same time. She scooped up and tossed confetti, she got lots of practice during the Rapinoe pose.
But when it was the co-captain's turn to speak -- RAPINOE: Such at a loss for words. I mean, I'll find them, don't
MOOS: She found one in particular that maybe should have stayed lost.
RAPINOE: New York City, you're the mother(EXPLETIVE DELETED) best!
MOOS: The F bomb detonated on live TV.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow. We certainly want to apologize for the language at the end there.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Megan Rapinoe and that's live TV, everyone. Apologies. We cannot control Megan Rapinoe's speech.
MOOS: Neither can Megan Rapinoe.
RAPINOE: And anyone that knows me knows I use the F word way too much.
MOOS: The last time she used it publicly, it preceded the words White House. She was asked if she was visit if invited.
RAPINOE: We're not going to the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) White House.
MOOS: That led to this semi apology.
RAPINOE: I stand by the comments that I made of not wanting to go to the White House with the exception of the expletive. My mom will be upset about that.
MOOS: And now, again.
(on camera): Megan, Megan, your mom is going to have to wash your mouth out with soap.
(voice-over): Critics called out a role model for young girls everywhere dropping the F bomb. While a fan tweeted, Megan Rapinoe is a national (EXPLETIVE DELETED) treasury.
And to think it happened right after Rapinoe passionately declared.
RAPINOE: We have to be better, we have to love more, hate less.
MOOS: She seems to have a love-hate relationship with the F bomb.
RAPINOE: You're the mother(EXPLETIVE DELETED) best!
MOOS: A habit she can't kick, a word she can't kiss good-bye.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: And thanks so much for joining us.
"AC360" with Anderson starts right now.