Return to Transcripts main page
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
$50,000 Reward In Manhunt For Facebook-Murder Suspect; North Korea: Nuclear War Could Break Out At Any Moment; Pence To North; Don't Test Trump; WH: Trump's 2016 Taxes Won't Be Released Due To Audit; GOP Sen: Cotton Booed For Defending Trump On Tax Returns; WH: Trump Has No Plans To Release Tax Returns; Critics Slam Trump Over Transparency On Taxes; Visitor Info; Nationwide Manhunt For Suspect In Facebook Killing; Nationwide Manhunt After Video Killing Posted To Facebook; Aired 7-8p ET
Aired April 17, 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 THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER HOST: Brynn Gingras reporting for us. Thanks very much. That's it for me. Erin Burnett OutFront starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT HOST: OutFront next. North Korea warning a nuclear war could break out at any moment as the president ramps up the tough talk and sends his V.P. to the DMZ.
Plus, arrest of undocumented immigrants soaring under President Trump one-way tickets back to Mexico. So, why are you paying for them?
And it's the nudge seen around the world. Melania Trump's reminder to her husband. Let's go OutFront.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, threat of nuclear war. North Korea is not backing down. Neither is the United States. The rogue nation unleashing a savage verbal assault on America threatening, blaming, and warning about more than a war of words. Just listen to the country's U.N. ambassador erupting against President Trump and the United States this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMBASSADOR KIM IN RYONG, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF NORTH KOREA: It has been created dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war break out in any moment on the peninsula and poses a serious threat throat to world peace and security, to say nothing of those of Northeast Asia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: A thermonuclear war at any moment. The vice president, Mike Pence on a visit to South Korea has a warning of his own tonight. Don't dare Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the Armed Forces of the United States in this region. The era of strategic patience is over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The president himself spoke two words about the crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any message for North Korea, sir? Kim Jong-Un?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Got to behave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And tonight, all options are on the table. We're live around the world on this major developing story. We begin with Jeff Zeleny at the White House. And Jeff, a very clear escalation tonight. The White House though refusing to draw a formal red line.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDNT: Erin, they are refusing to draw a red line simply not saying how far North Korea can go in its provocations here, but this White House is carefully watching the nuclear ambitions of North Korea without question. This is emerging as the biggest foreign policy challenge at the moment for this administration here. And the administration is saying look, strategic patience as they say is running out.
They are not going to take the wait and see attitude in their description that the last administration did, but they are hoping that China will step in and ease this threat, but, Erin, the language on China so different than it was six months ago, even less than that when this president was railing against China. Now they are hoping that China will sort of help deal with this threat here, but the White House in fact the president not saying much at all about this, but behind the scenes here at the White House with the vice president, of course, in the region there, they are watching this very, very carefully, but again not saying what options are on the table. But clearly as President Obama said when he was in his final meeting with this president, North Korea is your biggest threat and now they're seeing why, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jeff Zeleny. And meanwhile, the vice president spent the day literally in the DMZ, the demilitarized zone between north and South Korea. If you go there, you feel the military presence. You feel that this is still a war. Dana Bash was with him. She is OutFront from Seoul tonight.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: The demilitarized zone on the Korean peninsula is always a place on edge especially now as the vice president visits and tensions are escalating. The vice president wasn't going to come out here outside. He was initially supposed to stay inside, but he said he wanted to come out and you can see what's happening. If you look over there, not only are the U.S. and South Korean troops getting ready for it, you see right over, the man on the other side of the blue building, that's a North Korean military officer.
Here comes the vice president now. You see those soldiers on the other side of that concrete barrier taking pictures, those are North Korean soldiers taking photos of the vice president. If you swing around right here, Dave, of the vice president getting a briefing. So, they're taking a picture. Many pictures of the vice president looking at them and looking into North Korea. Minutes later Vice President Pence whose father was a decorated soldier in the Korean War spoke exclusively with CNN. I was watching you watch what is behind you earlier. What was going through your mind looking at North Korea?
PENCE: This is a frontier of freedom. Now for more than six decades, U.S. forces and forces of South Korea have held the line for freedom here at the DMZ.
BASH: But there are estimates that North Korea could have a missile ready that could hit the continental U.S. Seattle by 2020 which is going to be on your watch. I mean, is that weighing on you and is that a deadline that you all have in mind?
PENCE: I know the president of the United States has no higher priority than the safety and security of the American people. The president's made clear that we're going to abandon the failed policy of strategic patience, but we're going to redouble our efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear on North Korea.
BASH: Yet later in Seoul a thinly veiled threat.
PENCE: North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the Armed Forces of the United States in this region.
BASH: That little more than an hour after visiting a DMZ post overlooking North Korea where propaganda blares from speakers all day. I was just holding the microphone out so you can hear what we're hearing which is music right now coming from that way and that way is North Korea. The music now is oftentimes propaganda that the North Korean regime is notoriously sending out. An up-close view of a rogue regime becoming more and more dangerous.
Now, the vice president is now meeting with some South Korean economic leaders, business leaders and after that, Erin, he is going to visit another very, very important ally in this region and one that is also quite concerned and has been for decades about North Korea, especially and I'm talking about Japan, and that is especially since when North Korea attempts to test its missiles even earlier this month as a perfect example, they tend to land a little too close for comfort to Japan in the Sea of Japan.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Dana. And OutFront now, a top democrat in the foreign relations committee, senator Ben Cardon. I appreciate your time tonight, sir. You know, you heard North Korea's U.N. Ambassador speaking out today. You know, his view very clear, U.S. Military action in Syria and Korea in recent days has created a situation where "thermonuclear war may break out at any moment." Is president Trump responsible retches up the situation, is he responsible for this? BEN CARDIN, (D) FLANKING MEMBER, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: No, the
-- it's the North Koreans that are making this issue so tense. They're violating their commitments not just on a nuclear stockpile, but also on developing a missile that could deliver that nuclear weapon to the continental United States. So, it's North Korea's actions that need to be responded to. Quite frankly, we need to find a diplomatic solution to this issue.
We need to change the equation for North Korea and their China is a key player. We've already imposed sanctions, United Nations has imposed sanctions, United States congress has given additional sanctions. For it to be effective, China must really tighten the economic sanctions against North Korea.
BURNETT: The White House today said though, Senator, they will not discuss any red lines for North Korea and the president did explain a little bit of his reasoning this afternoon. Here's President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don't want to telegraph what I'm doing or what I'm thinking. I'm not like other administrations where they say we're going to do this in four weeks and that -- it doesn't work that way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is he right? Are you fully supportive of how he is handling North Korea right now?
CARDIN: No. I'd like to know how he is handling North Korea. We don't have a policy -- the Trump administration has not presented to the congress a coherent policy in regards to North Korea. It would be good for us to hear that. We do hear him responding to certain things that are taking place, including the failed launch this past week in the parading of North Korea's military weapons, but we don't have a coherent policy as to how we're going to bring North Korea to change its behavior.
We don't know who's with us and what actions may be taken. We don't have a clear understanding as to what he will do under certain circumstances.
CARDIN: Quite frankly we could use a coherent policy presented on it the congress and the American people.
BURNETT: Right. Because he's saying he's not going to telegraph what he's doing, right? He doesn't want to telegraph because he doesn't want them presumably to know. I mean, you mentioned the parade, this picture is up. We're looking at the newest missiles that Kin Jong-Un has. Some of are containers for intercontinental ballistic missiles. They will conduct tests as often as weekly. The U.S. Response becomes paramount. But first, let me ask you, Senator. Do they really have that capability to do weekly tests? CARDIN: Well, North Korea has nuclear capacity. They have also developing quite quickly their missile capacity. Is it as sophisticated as the United States? No, not even close to that, but is it danger not just to the region and it's a real danger to the region. I've been to the DMZ zone. I know how exactly tense it is under normal circumstances. Right now I can only imagine how tense it must be at the DMZ which is only literally a few miles from Seoul. So it's a-- it's a very tense situation.
I'm not asking the president to telegraph his actions to the North Koreans. I am asking him to confer with us the congress of the United States so that we're all together on this. Our concern is that we don't know if he knows what his policy is in regards to North Korea. It would be good for us to be able to get engaged so we have a coherent policy.
BURNETT: The Russian State television today, I don't know if you saw this, Senator, said "Trump is more impulsive and unpredictable than Kim Jong-Un." What do you say?
CARDIN: It's outrageous. It's just ridiculous. So you're talking about a lunatic in North Korea who has no sense of responsibility at all. He's violating so many of the international norms and requirements. So, no. We have a very dangerous leader in North Korea who has shown that he will execute people who disagree with him even if they're members of his own family. He has put his own people at risk and violating their basic needs so, no, there is no comparison. The North Korean leader is extremely dangerous to the international community.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you, Senator Cardin. I appreciate your time tonight. And next, Trump's tax returns, a lot of new talk on this issue tonight. And breaking news, nationwide manhunt for the Facebook murder suspect, fear tonight that he could kill again.
Plus, watch the first lady's left arm. Then watch the president's reaction. Why did he need a nudge? Well, Jeanne Moos is on the case.
TRUMP: Tonight, the White House saying President Trump's 2016 tax returns are staying secret one day before the deadline to file.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECETARY: Warn that the same audit that existed and so nothing has changed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it times to say once and for all, the president is never going to release his tax returns?
SPICER: Well, I have to get back to you on that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or he may?
SPICER: No. I said I'd have to get back to you on that. I think that we're -- he is still under audit. The statement still sends. BURNETT: All right. The audit excuse has obviously been given over
and over and over since the campaign. Of course, nothing legally stops Trumps from releasing returns under audit and it actually -- it's even more interesting than that. Joining me now live is Sunlen Serfaty in Washington because, Sunlen, there's a big question here, right? He has -- was under audit in the past. Will he be under audit for the 2016 taxes which of course all Americans have to file by tomorrow?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, they do, Erin. And his 2016 tax returns are automatically under audit. That's because every president and every vice president gets audited each and every year. It's something that the IRS describes as something called a mandatory examination. And tax experts that we spoke today though, they say importantly that this audit does not prevent Trump from releasing his tax returns. That's the important point there.
So for instance, we saw former President Obama whose taxes underwent the very same kind of mandatory audit still released his every year and as you noted this follows a very same pattern that we saw Trump do as a candidate where he leaned on the audit as an excuse now to publicly release some of his returns.
BURNETT: All right. Which is a very interesting as you point. All presidents are under audit while they're president and the rest of them obviously for about 40 years have chosen to release their taxes despite that. I mean, republicans, Sunlen are now having to answer for this, town hall just today, Trump's taxes coming up and there's quite a bit of fury there.
SERFATY: That's right. There seems to be a lot of furry. Senator Tom Cotton for instance was asked about this at his town hall this afternoon. An angry constituent asked him about this in Arkansas and he really tried to defend President Trump for refusing to release his returns. The crowd was not too happy with his answer. Check out this moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM COTTON, (R) ARKANSAS: As far as I'm aware president says he's still under audit and he says he's going to release them. It was a central issue in the campaign. Hillary Clinton and her campaign repeatedly --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: It's hard to hear, but at the end Senator Cotton said Trump won despite all of that. And notably recently there have been a handful of other republicans who have come out and called on Trump to release his tax returns including three republicans from the House Freedom Caucus, they have signed on to a democratic measure to try to force the release of the Trump's returns.
BURNETT: Big move there. All right. Thank you so much, Sunlen. And OutFront now, Keith Boykin who worked in the Clinton White House, Jeffry Lord, Trump supporter and former White House political director into Reagan, and Chris Cillizza, our politics reporter and editor at large. Keith, under audit, no returns. The president is being consistent, isn't he?
KEITH BOYKIN, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE AIDE: No, because actually if you think about it before he used the audit excuse he actually did say going back to -- as far as 2014 that he would release his tax returns. He said at first with regard to President Obama. If President Obama releases his birth certificate, I'll release my tax returns. He didn't do it. Then in an interview with an Irish television in 2014 he said again, if I run for president I will absolutely release my tax returns. He didn't do it. So, it's a question of honesty and integrity.
This is a president who lied about repeatedly about his willingness to release his tax returns to the American public and people like Jeffry and the republicans who voted for him should be ashamed that they continue to support him because he is consistently inconsistent about the tax returns.
BURNETT: He has completely moved the goal post again and again, Jeffrey. That is true. And this is also true, right? You just heard Sunlen. Every president since Gerald Ford has released tax returns while in office even though they are all definitionally under audit. So, Jeffrey, no matter how you look at it, Trump is on an island on this one.
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: No. I don't think he's not on an island. He's on -- if he is, he's on an island with 36 presidents who didn't release their tax reform. The income tax came in in 1913, so that means every president Woodrow Wilson to Lyndon Johnson --
BOYKIN: Jeffrey, this is 2017. Why are you going back to Woodrow Wilson? That has no relevance to what we're talking about today. You can't go back to the prehistoric example to talk about what Donald Trump is doing. And you haven't explained why he's lying.
BURNETT: OK. Go ahead, Jeffrey. But still -- Jeffrey, 43 years ago is when this changed. Jared and Ivanka weren't even born then.
LORD: Keith, let me ask you something --
BOYKIN: Just answer the question. Just answer the question, Jeffrey. Just answer -- just answer Erin's question.
LORD: Did you release your tax returns when you worked in the White House?
BOYKIN: If I'm president of the United States, Jeffrey, that's the dumbest question -- (CROSSTALK)
BURNETT: Let me bring you in here to break the verbal onslaught that's happening. How big of a deal is it though? Because look, it is 40-year tradition, I get it. You -- past 40 years, you would -- one would call that the ancient history, they didn't but this is a president, 40 years they released.
LORD: Well, two things are true, one is that most Americans, 74 percent in a poll conducted right before President Trump's inauguration said they would like him to release his taxes, things he should. 49 percent of people who said they support him said that. Now, the other thing that is true is that Donald Trump isn't going to win or lose an election based on whether or not he released his tax returns. Kellyanne Conway said people care much more about what their tax returns look like than Donald Trump's. I think that's broadly speaking, right. Now, that doesn't mean that it's the right thing to do but this idea that he would lose --
LORD: Same thing with the travel logs. The idea that he would lose because some of these transparency questions, it's not borne out in the vote.
BURNETT: And Jeffrey, you know, President Trump attacked President Obama over transparency many times, right? At one point he treated sort of feels like a gem tonight, OK? Here, I quote him, "Why does Obama believe he shouldn't comply with record releases that his predecessors did of their own volition? Hiding something?" Now, I could tell you that was over tax returns (INAUDIBLE) it was actually over college records, OK? But it certainly sound like the same thing. I mean, Jeffrey, do you feel like you're in a position here that you have to defend complete hypocrisy frankly when it comes to transparency in this president?
LORD: You know, I think where issues arise is matters of government. I can understand why people -- I mean, I may not agree with him because I'm not up to date on the security information of the -- of the White House log, but I can understand why people would raise a question about that. But I just think it's a matter of principal. If we're -- if we're saying that every president and therefore every person of influence in this country who has influence should release their tax returns then let's go for it. Big time.
BOYKIN: Why do you keep throwing up red herrings?
BOYKIN: I'm surprised you didn't use the (INAUDIBLE) excuse, Jeffrey. This is ridiculous. We were focused on 2017, Presidents in the modern era release their tax returns and -- (CROSSTALK)
BOYKIN: President who run campaigns on the issue of transparency should be even more incumbent upon them to release their tax returns. Donald Trump lied when he said he was going to release his tax returns. He never did it. Hillary Clinton released 39 years of her tax returns but have nothing from Donald Trump.
BURNETT: OK. I want to ask a broader issue because you mentioned the logs. Sean Spicer was asked today about the logs, those White House logs and why Donald Trump administration is not going to be releasing them when Barack Obama did. Here is how Sean Spicer answered the question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPICER: It's the same policy that every administration had up until the Obama administration and frankly the foe attempt that the Obama administration put out where they would scrub what they didn't want put out didn't serve anyone well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Chris, I'm wondering from your perspective. Does Sean Spicer have a point? I mean, President Obama didn't put out the logs out of the goodness of his heart and the interest of transparency. He put it out because he was forced to in a court case.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: Yes. Look. I would say that Sean is right on parts of it which is every president before Barrack Obama didn't release the White House visit logs in any way, shape, or form. And as you note, Erin, these weren't always released right on time. Not everything was released. Now, to call them foe releases is I think is a little bit of a spin here, but look. the reason that the President Trump is not releasing the White House visit logs is because they don't want to.
And because he thinks that there's no political price to pay and frankly you can debate again, you can debate whether it's the right thing to do, but politically speaking he's probably right. I don't see Donald Trump running against a candidate -- to a democratic candidate in 2020 who says -- and we need to -- we need to defeat Donald Trump because he didn't publicly disclose the White House travel. It's just not an issue that's going to resonate with people.
BURNETT: Transparency is certainly has not hurt him. There's no question about that even despite his own words saying that it mattered. Thank you all. I appreciate it. And next, breaking news on the nationwide hunt for the alleged Facebook killer. Law enforcement warning the public tonight, his friends are begging him to surrender. One man who knows him very well OutFront next. And a new report on Paul Manafort's meeting this with a Chinese billionaire. The billionaire is calling Manafort Trump's special envoy. Really?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Breaking news, an urgent nationwide manhunt under way right
now for a man authorities are calling armed and dangerous accused of gunning down a stranger then putting video of the attack on Facebook. The suspect Steve Stephens, police says he filmed himself shooting Robert Godwin, Sr. a grandfather. He then went on Facebook live blaming the bloodshed on his girlfriend. He claims now to have killed 13 people. As we speak, investigators are desperately chasing down leads, schools put on lockdown. Brynn Gingras is OutFront with new developments.
CALVIN WILLIAMS, CLEVELAND, OHIO, POLICE CHIEF: Our message to the community at large is to be careful.
GINGRAS: A cross-country manhunt for a cold blooded killer as schools are placed under lockdown and communities in five states are urged to take precautions. 37-year old Steve Stephens is on the run after he shot 74-year old Robert Godwin on Sunday and post the video of the killing on Facebook. The video shows Stephens randomly choosing his victim as he can be heard saying, "Found somebody I'm about to kill, about to kill this old guy right here, this old dude." Then Stephens is seen getting out of the car and pointing a gun to Godwin's head. Brittany Rodriguez is Godwin's granddaughter. After watching that, what was your reaction? I mean, this is your grandfather that you're watching.
BRITANNY RODRIGUEZ, VICTIM'S GRANDDAUGHTER: I just immediately ran and screamed because I just -- it's like you watch stuff like this on TV. You never imagine that it would hit so close to home, someone that is in your family and it just goes to show you no one is exempt from something like this happening.
GINGRAS (voice-over): The video stayed up on Facebook for hours before it was taken down. Many who saw it called 911, but Stephens was already on the run, describing himself in a separate video as a monster with "built in anger and frustration".
CHIEF CALVIN WILLIAMS, CLEVELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT: Steve, if you're out there listening, call someone.
GINGRAS: Those pleas coming from Stephens mother. She tells CNN her son says he was shooting people because he was angry with his girlfriend. Seconds before the killing, Stephens can heard in the video asking Godwin to say a woman's name, quote, "She's the reason why this is about to happen to you."
Stephens also boasted on Facebook about killing at least a dozen others, but police say no other victims have been found.
WILLIAMS: We've interviewed several people involved in this and I don't think there's any rhyme or reason for it happening.
GINGRAS: Authorities say the woman Stephens references in the video is cooperating and safe. She has told multiple news agencies that she and Stephens had been in a relationship for several years, texting CBSN News, quote, "Steve really is a nice guy. He was kind and loving to me and my children." In fact, Stephens mentored young children helping children in the foster care children find jobs, according to a spokeswoman with Beech Brook, where Stephens worked since 2008. But that's little consolation to Robert Godwin's family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People need to know that dad, he wasn't just somebody who want (INAUDIBLE)
GINGRAS: Godwin had ten children of his own and 14 grandchildren.
RODRIGUEZ: We all love him and I just hope that he knows how loved he was and I can see all the people that are coming from all over the world and supporting him and I feel like everyone is mourning with us. A lot of people are mourning with us.
GINGRAS: A $50,000 reward is on the table. Authorities hope that is what will help lead to information or lead to his arrest. And as that manhunt continues, investigations on the ground continue as well. We know authorities have searched several homes associated with Stephens. They have recovered some weapons, but we also know tonight, Erin, that he did have a conceal carry permit -- Erin.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thank you very much, Brynn.
It's a shocking story. OUTFRONT now, Walter Madison. He's an attorney. He was a fraternity of Steve Stephens.
And thank you. I know you're literally pulling aside in your car to talk to me, Walter. I appreciate it.
I know you're in shock. You knew Steve well. You talked to him. You've known him over a long time. What's your reaction to what you're hearing?
WALTER MADISON, FRATERNITY BROTHER OF SUSPECTED KILLER: Well, it's really difficult to reconcile Steve, the gentleman I knew for a number of years, a person I had no concerns about my safety around him or he around my family, and what I saw on Facebook yesterday. It's just very difficult. It's shocking to say the least. And there's nothing in his behavior that would have indicated he had some propensity.
My sympathy and I share the pain for that family who they've lost a loved one on Easter Sunday nonetheless and I also -- you know, we just hope and care enough for Steve that he surrenders safely and transitions into justice here for everybody. And so, you know, we just can't really find the words to make sense out of this.
BURNETT: I mean, I know you're saying it doesn't fit at all with the man you knew over many years. I mean, just from what you do know of him, could you begin to think what could have caused him to snap and do something so unbelievable and hard to understand?
MADISON: Well, I think what -- I think what everyone would -- they would do themselves a favor and realize how serious this mental health issue is in our community and in the African-American community in particular. There are 40 million individuals who suffer from mental health issues and the mind is so fragile. We're all so fragile. I just have compassion for those who suffer.
However, the suffering may come and we are a community based organization. Community service-oriented and, obviously, there's nothing about Steve that was inconsistent with what we stand for, but for what we saw yesterday.
BURNETT: And, Walter, you know, authorities are saying he's armed and dangerous. Obviously, this horrific murder happened on Easter Sunday. He says that he killed at least a dozen other people. There's no evidence of that at this time. But do you believe he is capable of killing someone else since he did this horrific random act of violence?
MADISON: Well, anything that we heard our friend Steve Stephens say yesterday, we have to consider the context. Obviously, he engaged in deranged behavior. He made deranged comments. So, I don't know what is going on in the mind of him at that time.
I do know that he's demonstrated that he can, that's certainly a concern for all those involved that may encounter him, but we encourage our partners in the law enforcement community and citizens to communicate with them if they see him to help to surrender.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Walter, I appreciate your time. And again, thank you for talking to us.
To try to understand this story, Art Roderick is with me now, the former assistant director for investigations for the U.S. Marshals.
We have a nationwide manhunt on tonight, Art. You're talking to people involved in that hunt. Do they fear he will kill again?
ART RODERICK, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR INVESTIGATIONS, U.S. MARSHALS: Well, absolutely. I mean, you have to look at this individual's mindset. We've heard people come out and talk about what a good individual this person was. But to have him snap like this and just randomly commit this horrendous crime and just picking an individual off the street and shot him in the head, I mean, he's obviously capable of doing it again. The nightmare scenario here for law enforcement is they have got to locate this individual before he kills somebody else.
Now, what I'm hearing out there now is that there's no major leads that they're following. There's sort of a three-part investigation going here. You have the actual crime, the homicide that was committed, but then you have this cell phone pinging issue which I know investigators are all over, but you also have --
BURNETT: Let me just -- I want to interrupt for a second to show a map. They got a ping on the cell phone with his number about 100 miles away from where the murder happened, but they obviously haven't found him there yet and as you pointed out, they may not have been an accurate, quote/unquote, "ping". RODERICK: Right. Exactly. It might not be accurate.
But, I mean, he could be anywhere at this point in time, not just within that five state perimeter that we've been talking about, he could also have got up into Canada.
So, there's a lot of different things going on here and as time goes by, I mean, there just seems to be radio silence right now on any major leads. I mean, there could very well be a possibility here that this individual has gone ahead and killed himself also, and we just haven't located the body yet.
So, this investigation is wide open at this point. And with no major leads to follow, this could take some time to locate this individual.
BURNETT: All right. Art, thank you very much.
RODERICK: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, questions swirling around the president's former campaign manager and his meeting with a Chinese billionaire. What does it mean?
And the airline no one wants to fly. Its passengers are being deported and you are paying the bill.
[19:41:39] BURNETT: New tonight, President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, facing new questions. "The Financial Times" reports that Manafort met with a Chinese billionaire last Tuesday and that billionaire telling the "FT" that he met with, quote, "Trump's special envoy" to talk about getting in on Trump's trillion dollar infrastructure plan.
Manafort's attorney says he did nothing wrong, saying in part that Manafort's, quote, "work does not involve any current or future infrastructure projects or contracts in the United States."
Now, you're going to hear his full response in a moment. But news of this meeting comes as Manafort is already core to the congressional investigations into the possible collusion between Trump campaign and the Russians to rig the 2016 election.
OUTFRONT, Demetri Sevastopulo. He helped break the story for "The Financial Times". The paper's chief Washington bureau chief. And Jim Sciutto, our chief national correspondent.
Demetri, the Chinese billionaire runs the largest private company in all of China, right? This is a very important person. What does he say happened?
DEMETRI SEVASTOPULO, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, FINANCIAL TIMES: So, we were -- basically my boss was interviewing him in his office in Shanghai, and he walked in and met him and he looked at the wall and there's a map of the U.S. and he said what's a map of the U.S. doing here in your office, and he said, we put this map up because we're about to meet Trump's special envoy Paul.
And this is done through translation. So, we asked him who he meant and he wouldn't say and he mentioned Paul through Chinese a little bit later. So, my editor translator said who are you talking about, Paul Manafort. He's coming here at lunch time.
BURNETT: So, I mean, it's pretty stunning, right? A person familiar with the outcome of the meeting, Demetri, I know told you all that it went smoothly. What else did you learn about what happened? I mean, it's pretty incredible here to make the point that the Chinese billionaire is describing Paul Manafort as Trump's special envoy.
SEVASTOPULO: Well, we know that the meeting went ahead. We tried to ask the billionaire later if he met Mr. Manafort. He wouldn't say anything, but we found out through other means that the meeting had gone ahead, it went very well, and that evening, Mr. Manafort was taking on a tour, a river boat tour of the Huangpu River in Shanghai.
And we were then told he was going to come back in a month's time for further discussions. Now, when he put that to Mr. Trump's spokesman he said that Paul Manafort knew so much about his travel plans, and knew more than he did. But they didn't deny that he was going back to China.
BURNETT: I mean, it is pretty stunning, Jim. I mean, Manafort's attorney has released a statement. I read a clip of it. I want to read the whole thing, because I think it's actually very significant. It says, "The Pacific Construction group," that's the group that Demetri is talking about, "was an impromptu meeting added to Mr. Manafort's schedule at their request, because the Chinese are interested in U.S. infrastructure. Mr. Manafort's conversations with international business leaders involve many projects worldwide. However, his work does not involve any current or future infrastructure projects or contracts in the United States."
And here's the operative line, it seems, "As he has said before, he is not engaged in government affairs or lobbying for corporations, governments or individuals."
The thing is, Jim, we now Paul Manafort has a long resume of being involved in just that, right, government affairs. So much so, in fact, that he's finally registering as a foreign agent.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: He is. I mean, listen, we don't know how Paul Manafort represented himself to the Chinese official.
SCIUTTO: Did he say -- did he claim to still have ties to Trump or channel to the president?
[19:45:04] And oftentimes you have former officials doing that, trading on their contacts. To be fair, there are a lot of former U.S. officials who do this kind of consulting work for foreign governments and they do it and they make a lot of money doing it and there's nothing illegal about it. And in fact, some will argue there's some positive benefits. There are a lot of states in the U.S. that are looking for foreign funding for infrastructure projects. So, that should be noted.
On the foreign agent thing, this is potentially significant because it's a second Trump tie official who reactively is registering as a foreign agent, because, of course, Michael Flynn did the same thing. But to be fair, again, there were a lot of folks who do this kind of consulting work who don't register as foreign agents. But the law is a little confusing and apparently, since the 1960s, the U.S. feds have prosecuted half a dozen people under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
So, you know, to register in retrospect doesn't mean the guy is necessarily going to go to court over this.
BURNETT: Which is a fair point. Of course, it matters perhaps in the context of the Russian investigations ongoing in Congress.
Demetri, before we go, though, Manafort's spokesman changed his story about this meeting as you asked about, right?
SEVASTOPULO: Well, when I first -- I emailed Paul Manafort, and he forwarded my email to his spokesman and then when he we talked on the phone he said, hold on a second, Paul Manafort was in China on personal business. He wasn't there for work.
Now, when I told him that we had talked to the Chinese billionaire on the record and he had made these claims, he got back to me shortly afterwards and said, oh, it turns out that Paul Manafort was on business, but of course he wasn't doing anything to do with infrastructure projects and pushed back and that's where we have it.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much, raising some important new questions tonight about Trump's campaign chairman.
And next, arrests of undocumented immigrants are surging and some of them are leaving the United States on what's called ICE air. You've got to see this to believe it.
And President Trump has a new right hand man at the White House.
[19:50:45] BURNETT: New numbers tonight of arrests of undocumented immigrants under President Trump, arrests of immigrants in the U.S. illegally surging by more than 30 percent. And the number with no chemical record more than doubling. These numbers are from U.S. c Customs and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, usually referred to as ICE.
So, how does ICE get people out of the country? With an airplane literally called ICE Air funded by you.
Leyla Santiago is OUTFRONT.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the deported, the repatriated or as President Trump calls them --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These are bad dudes, we're getting the bad ones out.
SANTIAGO: When Trump says bad hombres.
DAVID PADILLA, DEPORTED MEXICAN IMMIGRANT: No, my DUI, that's what they got me with. I was never selling the drugs.
SANTIAGO: David Padilla is one of 135 Mexican nationals who arrived on this flight from El Paso to Mexico City. It's a scene repeated three times a week year round. It's called ICE Air, an airline funded by the U.S. government and run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a fleet of commercial planes flying deported individuals out of the United States, each costing U.S. taxpayers an average of $2,000 last year.
PADILLA: It's just so hard. They just --they just pull you away, you can't even say bye to anybody. So hard.
That's my daughter.
SANTIAGO: Padilla explains he was separated from his two young daughters in early March, when immigration officials pulled him over on his way to work and took him into custody. He blames President Trump.
PADILLA: I would have been pulled over the day that happened, without Trump being in office, I think I would have been able to go home.
SANTIAGO: Others have similar stories. Alonzo Diaz was convicted of a DUI in 2008. This man, domestic violence in Colorado and that's all he would tell us.
Twenty-one-year-old Eduardo Hernandez, a convicted felon, his record, fleeing and alluding. He's happy to see his family, the last time he saw his family was 13 years ago when he illegally into the U.S. with his parents. On the ICE Air flight back --
EDUARDO HERNANDEZ, DEPORTED MEXICAN IMMIGRANT: I know everybody thinks about their family. They're leaving their families, they're leaving their kids, they're leaving everything behind to start a new life.
SANTIAGO: ICE Air is not listed on the arrival screen. Aboard the flight, deportees are provided a meal, they're also handcuffed. Upon arrival, they carry a take home bag with water, snacks, paper work, along with some personal belongings.
Then there are those on ICE Air like Guadalupe Figueroa. ICE confirmed her criminal record consists only of deportations.
She tells us she's not a dangerous criminal, and can't understand why she's been separated from her two children in the United States.
PADILLA: They don't treat you like a human being.
SANTIAGO: Padilla, who claims ICE cut off his shoe laces, but none of it is enough to keep him from his family in the United States.
What do you tell your kids?
PADILLA: That I will be back.
SANTIAGO: And you know, while we are seeing that increase in the number of arrests, here's the deal, Erin, when you take a look at the numbers of deportations, what we're seeing here at Mexico City's international airport, we do not see that same increase. I took a look at the numbers, from February and March of last year, under the Obama administration, and February and March of this year, and we're actually seeing a 5 percent decrease in deportations under the Trump administration despite his calls for tough and strict immigration policies.
BURNETT: All right, Leyla, thank you so much. A fascinating piece.
And next, Easter at the White House. Jeanne Moos on a roll.
[19:57:46] BURNETT: An Easter tradition rolled on today at the White House. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You'd think he was a head of state rather than just a head inside a bunny suit.
ANNOUNCER: The president of the United States and Mrs. Trump, accompanied by the Easter bunny.
MOOS: And to think at times during the Bush administration, the bunny was none other than current Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who this year merely posed alongside the bunny. While "SNL's" Melissa McCarthy portrayed him briefing in his bunny suit.
MELISSA MCCARTHY AS SEAN SPICER: Just eat as much candy as you want, because this is probably our last Easter on earth.
MOOS: Asked what he thought of the "SNL" portrayals, Spicer dodged.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I usually am fast asleep by the time it comes on.
MOOS: The president need a little wakeup call.
Oh, say, did you see? The first lady nudged the president during the national anthem. Tweeted one viewer, "Is it just me, or did he seem to have a problem
finding his heart?"
The president whistled, the start of several Easter egg races. He signed hats and tossed them.
This one handily retrieved by its owner, while a girl writing cards to the soldiers, seemed pleased to find herself next to the first lady who rewarded her with a hug.
But when Melania read a book called "Party Animals", one audience member acted like one.
At least she didn't try pulling the Easter rabbits ears, the ear have a funny way of getting around, around the head of the gunnery sergeant who sang the national anthem, around the head of the president. Wrap your head around this.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks so much for joining us. Don't forget. You can watch OUTFRONT anytime anywhere. You just have to go to CNN Go.
We'll see you back here tomorrow night.
"AC360" with Anderson starts now.