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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
ISIS Claims "Fighter" Carried Out Paris Shooting Attack; Police: "There Might Be Accomplices" In Paris Attack; Sources: U.S. Prepares Charges Against WikiLeaks' Julian Assange; Trump On Deadly Paris Attack: "It Just Never Ends"; Official: China Bombers On "High Alert" Over North Korea; Trump: "Iran Has Not Lived Up To The Spirit" Of Nuclear Deal; Trump: "Good Chance" Of New Health Care Bill Soon; Sessions: "Amazed" That "Island" Judge Can Block Travel Ban; Sessions Slams "Judge Sitting On An Island In The Pacific"; Aired 7-8p ET
Aired April 20, 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: That's it for me. Thanks for watching. Erin Burnett OutFront starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT HOST: -- responsibility for a deadly attack on the famous Champs-Elysees in Paris. New details coming into CNN at this moment. We are live on the scene. Plus the attorney general under fire tonight. Why did he slam a federal judge and insult the State of Hawaii. And a top democrat investigating Trump's ties to Russia. Just back from a trip overseas investigating what he found on the ground, we'll tell you tonight. Let's go OutFront.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, the breaking news. Paris attack. ISIS claiming responsibility moments ago for an attack on the world famous Champs-Elysees in Paris. Gunfire breaking out at the popular tourist destination around 9:00 in the evening, Paris time. This is what we know right now. A gunman jumped out of a car, opening fire with an automatic weapon, shooting and killing a police officer, wounding two more police officers and a female tourist.
Police ultimately shot and killed the attacker. This is the scene though, as you can see, right outside the Arc de Triomphe. Tonight, we're learning that police are searching for possible accomplices they believe could be on the run. Parts of central Paris are on lockdown tonight. Heavy police presence all along the iconic boulevard as French officials launch the terror investigation. The shooter again known to French Security Services for radical Islamic activities. Americans have been warned to avoid the area. Late today President Trump speaking at the White House where he was quick to call the shooting an act of terror.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a very, very terrible thing that's going on in the world today. But it looks like another terrorist attack and what can you say, it just never ends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: We begin our breaking coverage with Melissa Bell. She is at the scene of the shooting in Paris tonight. And Melissa, what more can you tell us about the attacker and the fact that ISIS has now claimed responsibility?
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESSPONDENT: What was so interesting, Erin, was that that claim of responsibility came so quickly. The attack happened here on this avenue four hours ago. The claim of responsibility came through about an hour ago. With that mention of the word fighter, so ISIS claiming in the statement that the man who committed this attack tonight was in fact an ISIS fighter.
Now, what we've seen over the course in the last weeks here in France, no longer the big attacks that cause massive civilian casualties, but a series of much scale smaller attacks specifically targeted at security forces.
We saw it in the Louvre just a few weeks ago when an attacker armed with machete who's tried to take on soldiers. We saw it at Orly Airport, Paris's second largest airport just a few weeks ago when a man tried to take on the military who were patrolling in the airport. Once again, security forces attack but where is the previous two that I've just mentioned, where sort of ISIS inspired with no firm link between the attacker and ISIS.
This very quick claim of responsibility with the fighter in question named. Which does suggest a stronger link perhaps between the organization and the attacker that carried out this dreadful attack this evening. Now, for the time being, the Champs-Elysees remains completely closed off. The whole of this area really on lockdown. Huge police presence that continues here in France, a -- an investigation, an anti-terror investigation has been opened to try and work out precisely how this man who was under surveillance could have got his hands on an automatic weapon and found himself in front of a police truck and carried out this atrocity, killing that policeman. That will be really the question to be answered, how did this man being watched by authorities manage to carry out this attack here tonight?
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Melissa. And now, Juliette Kayyem, former assistant secretary of Homeland Security in the Obama administration joins me. Along with our Paul Cruickshank, our terrorism analyst. Paul, you literally been talking to your sources. Of course we do know this man was known as al-Balijiki coming from Belgium. What can you tell us tonight?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Isis identifying him as Abu Yusuf Al-Baljiki. That could mean he could have lived in Belgium or be Belgian according to that (INAUDIBLE) from ISIS. But I'm told by sources close to the investigation that according to the preliminary identification they believe this is a French national, a French national known to French Security Services for quite some time, known as an Islamist extremist but also known before that as somebody who is engaged in violent robberies. Implicated in a number of those cases. And all the way back in 2001
he was stopped by the police and got into gun fight with his own weapon with the police when he was stopped. Managed to shoot two of the police officers at the scene, wounded them. Was then taken into custody all the way back in 2001. An while he was in custody under interrogation, he grabbed the weapon of a third police officer and also wounded them. I'm told he was convicted in relation to these offenses. So obviously, he at a sudden point was released from jail. None of those police officers died but they were wounds were quite significant.
BURNETT: I mean, Juliette, this is what is stunning here is yet again, and this I think make -- is what make people so afraid is to the depth of these problem in the cells, this man was known. He had a very deep and severe record. He had served time in jail. He knew he was an Islamic radical. They were watching him and yet he pulled off an attack tonight.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY, HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT: Yes. But it -- look, it's a resource issue at this stage. There are so many people that the French are following, let alone other European countries at this stage. We just don't know what they had on him specifically, but I will say just picking up on what Paul just noted, we are out of the stage of the ISIS-inspired attack, the kind of things we've seen here in the United States.
This was clearly ISIS directed. They knew who it was, they knew when it was going to happen. They had announcements taking credit in multiple languages all over social media within an hour or two. So they are more organized than we're often led to believe by some of the successes that are going on in Syria and Iraq in terms of disrupting the center of ISIS. They're still planning these things and this wasn't a large one but nonetheless it was an attack on law enforcement, which is very scary, because they're supposed to be the people that can protect the public.
BURNETT: And, you know, Paul, here's thing as Juliette points out. They claimed it quickly. They knew this guy. This wasn't inspired, this was directed. They're not looking for accomplices. We know that even the cells involved in the Paris attacks in November a year and a half ago. Do we even know if all of these people have been found? No, right?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, they're very wide that there could be other people out there and they'll be looking into whether he was in communication with ISIS, given they've made such a big bold kind of responsibility, identifying him by a fighter name, not by the real name but by a fighter name. And in the last few years we've seen a whole string of plots where ISIS operatives in Syria have been using encrypted apps to communicate securely with fighters, sympathizers back in the west.
Now, I'm going to say since 2014, half of all terrorist plots in Europe have seen some kind of ISIS direction over these encrypted apps. It's a huge and growing problem. It is revolutionizing the terror threats out to the west because they confirm can plan these things securely. They can pull all the strings from Raqqah. BURNETT: And now, here again, we are looking at these pictures at
Paris, a city partially on partial lockdown in fear of terror attacks. I can't believe that this is so (INAUDIBLE) again. Thank you both.
And we are following that breaking story. We are following another breaking story at this hour. And this, U.S. officials preparing charges at this moment against the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Pamela Brown is OutFront. And Pamela, a big development here. What are you learning?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It is certainly significant here, Erin. U.S. authorities we have learned have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder against Julian Assange. This is according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter talking to me and my colleague, Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz. Now, the justice department probe of Assange and WikiLeaks as you all recall dates back at least when he can when the site first gained widespread dissention proposing thousands of files stolen by the former U.S. army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning. And prosecutors over the years have struggled with whether the first amendment precluded the prosecution of Assange but we have learned they now believe they have found a way to move forward and the attorney general today was asked by our Laura Jarrett about the focus on within Assange. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA JARRETT, CNN REPORTER: You said crime reduction overall is one of your top priorities in the department. And last week we heard from the CIA Director Mike Pompeo really accepting the scourge of WikiLeaks, I mean, Chelsea Manning. Can you talk about whether it's a priority to your department to arrest Assange once and for all and what do you think you'd be making now?
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to step up our efforts and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks on all leaks. This is a matter that has gone beyond anything I'm aware of. We have professionals who have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks. And s me of them are quite serious. So, yes, it is a priority and we've already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And obviously now trying to do that now, Pam. I mean, has something changed? Because years I think Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have been in the U.S. crosshairs for years, they wanted to bring in to the U.S. They have wanted to take him through the courts. They have wanted to put him in prison. What's changed?
BROWN: Right. And during President Barack Obama's administration, Erin, Attorney General Eric Holder and officials at the justice department determined at that time that it will be difficult to bring charges against Julian Assange because WikiLeaks wasn't alone in publishing some of these documents stolen by Manning. Several newspapers including the New York Times did as well. But the investigation continued. The interest continued in this.
But any possible charges were put on hold according to these officials we spoke with involved in the process then. We were told the U.S. View of Wikileaks and Assange began to change and evolve after investigators found what they believe, proof that Wikileaks played an active role in helping Edward Snowden , the former NSA analyst disclose a massive cache of classified documents. And then last week, CIA Director Mike Pompeo gave a strong hint of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: Wikileaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service. It has encouraged its followers to find jobs at the CIA in order to obtain intelligence. It directed Chelsea Manning intercepted specific secret information. It overwhelmingly focuses on the United State while seeking support from any democratic countries and organizations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And Erin WikiLeaks has long defended itself as publishing in the public's interest and then compares itself to media organization. In fact, Assange's lawyer tells us he had sought to talk to the justice department about this and he hasn't received response.
BURNETT: And one final question to you before you go, Pam. Assange is sitting in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, right? They have been protecting him. So, now the U.S. wants to charge him. OK. So, what? Can they get him?
BROWN: Right. No. It's a good question. You know, this could be viewed as political since Assange as you point out is untouchable as long as he remains there in the Ecuadorian embassy and the Ecuador does not changed its stance on his extradition. Now, in recent months, U.S. officials had focused on the possibility that a new government in Ecuador would expel Assange and he could be arrested but the last (INAUDIBLE) presidential candidate who won the recent election in the South American nation has promised to harbour him, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Pam. And OutFront now, let's go to Jeffrey Toobin, our senior legal analyst. So, Jeff, I mean, you know, they've wanted to do this for a long time. The fact that they're finally doing it, they say, we got the goods, we're going to charge this guy. Why is it so significant?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, because traditionally the way the U.S. has handled leak investigations is to prosecute the leaker, the person with legal access to classified information who gives it to someone else. Usually or often a newspaper or media organization. What is different about this prosecution if it happens is that the recipient of classified information, which is a kind of new organization, Wikileaks, would be prosecuted.
And the concern has always been what is WikiLeaks? Is it like the New York Times? Is it like CNN, a news organization, or is it an active participant in getting the classified information to which it's not entitled. The Trump administration seems to be taking the view that this is not a news organization. It is as the CIA director says is a hostile news - a hostile intelligence entity.
BURNETT: Which of course they're making the point with Snowden and no doubt, it seems they will likely also with some of the leaks in the Russian -- hacking of the U.S. election. If Assange comes to the U.S. and that's a big if because you just heard Pam say, right? That we don't know that that would happen. Would he go to jail for the rest of his life?
TOOBIN: Oh, I think if they managed to get him on trial, it certainly would seem like a pretty easy case since Assange has been bragging about his role in prosecuting -- in publishing this material. There would be significant legal impediments. There are first amendment issues here but if this case ever winds up before a jury with Julian Assange sitting in American courtroom, by far a done deal, I think he'd been in desperate trouble and I think he would wind up in prison for many, many years.
BURNETT: Al right. Thank you very much, Jeff. And next, Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions taking on a federal judge and slamming the State of Hawaii. Plus, China bombers on high alert. Tonight, North Korea threatening a nuclear strike that it says would reduce the U.S. to ashes. And Jeanne Moos this hour with late night send off to Bill O'Reilly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back to you, Megan, I mean, Greta, I mean, Bretchen, I mean, Bill, I mean, who's left?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Breaking news. President Trump speaking out about the deadly attack in Paris, quick to call it a terror attack eve before ISIS claimed responsibility. Athena Jones is OutFront.
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Our condolences from our country to the people of France.
JONES: President Trump expressing condolences after a shooting on Paris's famed Champs-Elysees that French authorities are investigating as potentially terrorism related.
TRUMP: I looks like another terrorist attack and what can you say? Just never ends. We have to be strong and we have to be vigilant.
JONES: His remarks coming during a press conference with Italy's Prime Minister that touched on the growing list of foreign policy challenges facing the U.S. Among them, efforts to convince North Korea to rein in its nuclear ambitions. The president has been leaning on China, the regime's main trading partner to do more and seemed to indicate he was pleased with the progress he's seen on that front.
TRUMP: I can say that all of the pundits out are saying they've never have seen China work like they're working now. Some very unusual moves have been made over the last two or three hours. And I really have confidence that the president will try very hard.
JONES: Those unusual moves he mentioned, Chinese air force assets including cruise missile capable bombers put on high alert Wednesday. The president also had tough talk for Iran, suggesting the regime isn't fully complying with the multination nuclear deal even though his secretary of state told congress this week Iran is abiding by the pact.
TRUMP: We're analysing it very, very carefully we'll have something to say about it and in the not too distant future. But Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement. And they have to do that. They have to do that.
JONES: And with the 100-day mark fast approaching, the president is hoping to notch a big legislative win. Pressing house republicans to take another at repealing and replacing Obamacare. Negotiations appear to be bearing fruit but sticking points remain, putting a vote next week in question. Still, Trump sounded an optimistic notes.
TRUMP: The plan gets better and better and better and it's gotten really, really good. And a lot of people are liking it a lot. We have a good chance of getting it soon.
JONES: The president says he would like to say that vote would take place next week whether it happens next week or shortly thereafter. He said, I believe we will get it. We'll have to watch it through what actually happens in Capitol Hill to find out that optimism was misplaced but this latest push comes as a Quinnipiac poll out today shows that just 36 percent of American voters want republicans to try again to repeal and replace Obamacare.
JONES: Six percent said they should move on. Erin?
BURNETT: All right. Thank you, Athena. And now, let's go to the former republican senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum along with our political analyst Kirsten Powers and senior political analyst Mark Preston. Senator, here we are. Here we are again. It's like it's ground-hog day. OK. You just saw the president. He said the healthcare plan keeps getting better and better and better and there's a good chance of getting it done soon. Those are his words, better and better and better. Do you believe him or is this the craziest thing you have ever heard?
ROCK SANTORUM, (R) FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Well, I am hearing that, you know, conservatives are talking, working and reaching some accommodations. Whether they can get that bill that's now a little bit more conservative oriented through the house. It's sort of an open question, but from what I'm hearing is that conservatives are making progress and feel like they can get a majority of the freedom caucus, a big chunk of the freedom caucus to join them, they can do that. Then I think they can pass the bill.
BURNETT: Can they do it, Kirsten, next week?
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, if they're going to get majority of the freedom caucus, then the question is going to be how are they going to get it to the senate because ti's going - that means that the bill will be pulled to the right in a way that it's just not going to get approval in the senate. So, maybe they'll get it through the house though. To your question, I think that's pretty quick turnaround considering that we don't even have any, you know, draft language to, you know, out there where there's consensus around. And so, to think that between now and next week that they're going to have something that's going to be voted on is a little - is a little hard to believe.
BURNETT: So, Mark, the attorney general, Jeff Sessions is coming out and making some headlines tonight and these have nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with judges in the State of Hawaii. And I have to play it for you to hear it. This is Jeff Session and what he said about the Trump's travel plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SESSIONS: I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional powers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Sitting on an island in the pacific. Of course, that island is the State of Hawaii. It is a place. It is a state in this nation. What's he trying to say here, Mark?
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I think what he's trying to say is that they're out of touch and the fact is there is this underlying theme, perhaps, that this person may be un- American. And I know that might take some people off guard by saying that but that's what's intoned. Now, the justice department put a statement now, Erin, that said this. They doubled down on it. They said Hawaii is in fact an island in the pacific.
If everyone that took sixth grade geography, the justice department is correct, it is an island in the pacific. And it's beautiful one where the attorney general's granddaughter was born. The point however is that there is a problem when there's a flat opinion by a single judge who can block the president's orders. Basically, what they should have done he said, he misspoke, he didn't mean to see that. He thinks the president's judiciary is you know, an -- is activist and it shouldn't be that way. However, to do what he did, I think was a huge mistake.
BURNETT: So let me -- he just went on Fox News and he said -- similar to that statement, he said it's a beautiful island. I mean, Senator, here's the thing. The democratic senator from Hawaii, Mazie Hirono tweeted in response to Sessions' comment. Hey, Jeff Sessions. This island in the pacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years and we won't succumb to your dog whistle politics. Hawaii was built on the strength of diversity and immigrant experiences including my own. Jeff Sessions' comments are ignorant and dangerous. Does she have a point when she says dog whistle?
SANTORUM: Well, no, I don't think she has a point. I - look, Jeff Session is expressing the frustration that many republicans have with respect to individual district court judges. I mean, if he would have said some judge sitting in some skyscraper in New York or some judge sitting in Pittsburgh, which is where I'm from, now you could say, oh, well, he's, you know, dissing Pittsburgh. No. He's making the point that at judge in a little small corner of the world is making a decision on national security that affects everybody, not just here in the United States but beyond that. And that's not the role of a district court judge. So, I think he's just pointing out that yes, this is a corner of the world. There are lots of corners of the world in the United States. And he's just - and he's pointing out one of them and that's the frustration. It wasn't an attack on Hawaii which is a beautiful island I might add.
BURNETT: So, Kirsten, pointing out that he's out of touch in Hawaii or being a racist? Which was it?
POWERS: Well, I think that, you know, Senator Santorum just said if he had referred to Pittsburgh, well, he didn't refer to Hawaii. He didn't even use the name of the state. He talked about it like it's this exotic kind of place that's maybe not really part of the United States, maybe technically it is but something not quite right in Hawaii.
And so, I think there was something that was a little strange about what he said. And also, you know, he is the attorney general and his sort of confusion over the idea of the separation of powers and checks some balances and, you know, actually this judge does have the authority to do it what they did whether he likes it or not. They do have the authority to make this kind of judgments. The Trump administration, the U.S. government had an opportunity to make their case and they did a very bad job at making that case. So, you know, I think that - I think this is something that he frankly should have apologized for and to have the justice department putting out statement, doubling down on it, I mean --
BURNETT: So, let me just quick play, Mark, for you, Jeff Sessions was just asked about it on Fox News. He had a chance to say he was sorry and instead here's exactly what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SESSIONS: Well, Hawaii is a beautiful island. We got about 800 federal judges, one, protected perhaps by the ninth circuit is stopped on executive order by the president of the United States that I believe is constitutional and that I believe is explicitly approved by statutory law. So -- but the law will -- process will go forward. Appeals will be held.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: So, Mark, obviously not apologizing. That was the beautiful
island line. Does this make it go away?
PRESTON: No. I mean, look, we're talking about it right now. I think we're going to continue to talk about it. I think its endemic of a bigger problem right now with the administration and it's as problem we see right, you know, beginning right at the top. They refuse to acknowledge a mistake. You know, they refuse to acknowledge a mistake on healthcare, Donald Trump refuses to acknowledge mistakes frequently and of course this is just another example.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all. I appreciate it. And next, the top democrat just back from an overseas investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia. What did he find on the ground? He joins me us next. And we're live on the coast of Louisiana tonight. It is ground zero, a climate change in America and tonight, something you don't want to miss. This is a special report on climate change deniers in spite of the evidence right in front of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just don't think climate change is real.
[19:31:11] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news: tensions rapidly escalating tonight over North Korea. China now putting its bombers on high alert. An extraordinary number of Chinese military aircraft now ready to respond if Kim Jong-un acts.
CNN's Barbara Star is OUTFRONT.
Barbara, what are you learning about China's moves? They seem very unusual tonight.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Erin.
The U.S. watching this carefully as China puts its air force on a much higher alert and readiness status, just to be ready in case there's, what people are calling, a North Korean contingency.
What are we talking about? If North Korea were to conduct an underground nuclear test, would the Chinese somehow respond? Are the Chinese perhaps responding to the imminent arrival of that U.S. aircraft carrier off their coastline? Are they worried about U.S. military presence in the area?
Nobody is really very clear on why the Chinese have taken this step. But indeed, that carrier, the Carl Vinson, expected within days to begin operating in the East Sea, the Sea of Japan, between the Korean peninsula and Japan. It's something the Chinese don't want to see. They don't like having U.S. military power too close to them.
So, this may be a signal from the Chinese government -- look, we're here, too. We're ready to take care of things. But the problem is this is the kind of escalation, the U.S. military doesn't like to see. It's the kind of thing they worry could lead to miscalculation in a region that is already so tense -- Erin. BURNETT: All right. Barbara, thank you very much. Of course,
miscalculation brings with it that great risk of a very horrific war.
OUTFRONT now, Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
And, Congressman, you hear the breaking news tonight. China putting its bombers on high alert. Other Chinese military brought up to full readiness as the USS Carl Vinson and that strike group come into the region.
How on edge is the situation?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Yes. This is getting a little nervous, to say the least. I have no idea what the Chinese have in mind. Obviously, we're not in Washington, D.C. to get briefed, if we had information at all about what we've heard from the Chinese about their intentions.
BURNETT: So, it -- from here, you said -- it's just sort of operating in a black hole in terms of whether there's going to be a nuclear test, if that's why China is ramping up, or if it's because of North Korea, we just don't know?
QUIGLEY: Yes. And at this point in time, I'm sort of reminded of the Cuban missile crisis. And I'm reminded of what President Kennedy said at the time. He had hoped that everybody who is involved in the process had read "The Guns of August", and understood that when you got a threat like this, any spark in this kindling can set up a much larger issue. We have to be very mindful of this.
And what I would remind the Trump administration is rhetoric doesn't help at this point in time. Diplomacy is always first and foremost. And he has to come to Congress, the president does, if he wants to take this further. So, at this point in time, I would continue to work the Chinese on diplomatic and economic pressures to get the North Koreans in line.
It's interesting despite all the rhetoric, the thing that seems to be working most of all is the Trump administration's talk of the defense missile system in the South and working with the Chinese. Ironically enough, this sounds more like an Obama administration policy.
BURNETT: All right. And I want to turn to Russia, which is obviously very important tonight. Your committee has been investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. And you now are not just reading all the papers that are coming in. You've actually been out in the field doing some of the legwork. You've just returned from Cyprus, which you have said is, quote, "where Russians launder money." This is your first national television interview since your trip.
What did you find?
[19:35:00] QUIGLEY: Look, I think you have to ask yourself why you go to Cyprus. It has been known as Russia's Laundromat. And it's part of our Intelligence Committee work.
We need to understand how the global money laundering network works. It is absolutely critical to American foreign policy that our sanctions work. Well, people launder money to avoid taxes and to avoid sanctions. So, I mean, you have to put the two together to appreciate.
QUIGLEY: We use sanctions on North Korea. We use sanctions obviously on Russia involving Ukraine, so you put the two together. That's why you go, to fully understand that process as well.
BURNETT: So, "The Associated Press", of course, as you know, is reporting that as part of an anti-corruption investigation to Paul Manafort, the president's former campaign chairman, treasury officials obtained information that Manafort had gotten financial payments through Cyprus, through Cypriot banks. Now, of course, Manafort has strongly denied any wrongdoing.
But did you find otherwise? Because, obviously, you go to Cyprus, we take what you're saying money laundering, you take all of these other things with Manafort, what do you find?
QUIGLEY: Yes. Let me put it this way. I can't reveal what I was told in confidence.
What I can say is, again, raise the question, why do you go to Cyprus? That's because -- you go there because the Russians launder their money there. It has been a key focal point for the Russians laundering money and key figures in this investigation.
QUIGLEY: So, I guess if you put two and two together, you understand why go there, the totality of circumstances helps us connect the dots and unfortunately, it creates more dots for us to connect.
BURNETT: Did you find evidence of wrongdoing, of collusion, of anything illegal?
QUIGLEY: You know, again, I can't reveal what I was told in confidence. I can tell you there was an important part of the investigation for me when I went to Ukraine and I went to Cyprus. This is where a lot of money laundering takes place. This is where the Russians act and this is where key figures in the investigation have played as well.
BURNETT: In the Trump's side of things is what you're saying?
QUIGLEY: Right. As part of this administration, absolutely.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate your time, Congressman Quigley. Thank you.
QUIGLEY: Thank you. BURNETT: And next, there is no sympathy, just scorn for Bill O'Reilly
tonight. Jeanne Moos on the outrage.
And a special report we're very excited about. You're only going to see it OUTFRONT. Climate deniers in the face of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These trees depend on fresh water. But so much salt water has pushed north and risen up from the Gulf of Mexico that these trees are simply withering away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:41:39] BURNETT: Tonight, the massive iceberg everybody is talking about towering over a small town in Newfoundland. Here it is. Experts say it's about 150 feet tall, drawing tourists from around the world. I mean, it's pretty amazing, just like right there off the coast.
Of course, it's beautiful but raising concerns because of the record warm winter, officials say, 648 icebergs have been seen in the area this week. That is about triple to normal.
Yet, images -- despite images like this, some people do not believe in climate change even when they come face-to-face with evidence in their own backyard.
Here's Ed Lavandera with the story you'll only see OUTFRONT.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): For more than 30 years, Jeff Poe has guided fishing trips, chasing speckled trout and other fish in these waters near Lake Charles, Louisiana.
(on camera): You consider yourself an environmentalist on some level?
JEFF POE, FISHING GUIDE: Yes, for sure, for sure, without a doubt. But that's just my thing with climate change. I just don't know that there's anything we can do about it.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): We're traveling these waters because according to a new study from Yale University, this part of southern Louisiana has one of the highest concentrations of climate change deniers and skeptics in the country.
POE: Speckled trout. I'm not a denier. Won't put it that way. But my skeptical as to, you know, how much control we have over it.
LAVANDERA: Climate change experts say the skeptics are denying what's unfolding before their very eyes, and around here, climate change is a hard sell. As we quickly discovered after sitting down with Cecil Clark and Leo Dotson. LEO DOTSON, CAMERON RESIDENT: I don't just think climate change is
LAVANDERA (on camera): Is there anything a scientist can say to you that would change your mind? Or show you any kind of evidence that would change your mind?
DOTSON: If he was 500 years old and he told me it's changed, I would probably believe it. But in my lifetime, I didn't see any change.
LAVANDERA: You'd have to hear it from a 500-year-old scientist?
LAVANDERA (voice-over): One scientist described Louisiana coastline to us as the ground zero of climate change in the United States, where the coastline is disappearing, in large part according to scientific studies, because of rising sea levels. A new Tulane University study calculates sea levels along the Louisiana coast are rising 10 to 13 millimeters per year. It might not sound significant, but scientists say it's more than enough to cause significant damage in the next 50 years.
Pilot Charlie Hammonds has seen the Gulf of Mexico march north since he was a teenager. That's how long he's been flying over this vast Louisiana marshland. Hammonds says the Gulf waters spread north like a cancer and that much of that water you see below used to be land.
CHARLIE HAMMONDS, PILOT: Yes, this is gone. Probably, when I was a young pilot, at least three or four times what you see here.
LAVANDERA (on camera): You literally used to land next to islands?
HAMMONDS: Oh, yeah. Well, way out of the bay. I'm talking about out in the bay, all right? And they are gone.
LAVANDERA: Those islands are gone?
HAMMONDS: They're gone, yes, that's right.
LAVANDERA: You couldn't land next to it today if you tried?
HAMMONDS: No, no. Open water, open water.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Just look at how the Louisiana coastline has changed.
[19:45:02] NASA recorded these satellite images, and from the mid 1980s to now, you can see a subtle yet steady change around the town of Huma, capturing how a significant amount of coastline is disappearing.
Charlie Hammonds says the Gulf of Mexico water keeps swallowing up land.
HAMMONDS: Like a cancer. I mean, it just keeps moving -- I watch it every year. It keeps moving farther and farther and farther every year.
LAVANDERA (on camera): And eventually, everyone's going to have to retreat?
LAVANDERA: Along these desolate roads of the Louisiana bayou, one of the first signs things aren't quite right is when you come across cypress and oak trees like these simply withering away. These trees depend on fresh water. But so much salt water has pushed north and risen up from the Gulf of Mexico, that these trees are simply withering away, leaves and limbs have pulling off, eventually these trees will simply crumble into the marsh. Spots like this around here are often called a ghost forest.
(on camera): After all this, you'd think Charlie Hammonds and others would be on the climate change bandwagon.
(on camera): There's a lot of people that believe sea rising is contributing to what you're seeing.
LAVANDERA: But you don't buy that?
HAMMONDS: Well, I don't buy that.
LAVANDERA: Hammonds and many others minimize the impact of climate change and say other factors are in play, like the impact from the Mississippi River. They say marshland is naturally sinking, something called subsidence.
And oil companies have carved canals through the marsh here, allowing salt water to creep north.
JONATHAN FORET, SOUTH LOUISIANA WETLANDS DISCOVERY CENTER: It's depressing.
LAVANDERA: But for environmental activist like Jonathan Foret, the skepticism is bewildering.
FORET: I don't get how you can look at scientific data and see this, very, very plainly and then say it's not happening.
LAVANDERA (on camera): That climate change isn't happening.
FORET: Climate change, yes.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): In front of Chris Brunet's house in Isle de Jean Charles, there stands one dying tree, the clue that underground, not all is right. From, withered scrapbook photographs, he can see how the landscape and trees have disappeared.
For generation, Isle de Jean Charles has been a Native American people where 350 people once lived. Now, it's down to about 70. They fled north to escape the encroaching Gulf waters. The island once covered 2,200 acres, it's now dwindled to about 350 acres.
(on camera): You think this is part of the natural evolution of the planet or do you think manmade causes have created such a rapid change here in the Louisiana coast?
CHRIS BRUNET, ISLE DE JEAN CHARLES RESIDENT: I believe that the Gulf of Mexico is such a powerful force that it wants to make its way north. You know, more than one thing that's going on there.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Skepticism around here thrives, even as Chris Brunet and others prepare to be the next to pack up and move north.
BURNETT: Ed, I mean, you know, it's -- the images of the coastline vanishing are powerful. When the people you spoke to said climate change is not the reason, what were you thinking in the conversations we just saw?
LAVANDERA: Well, I think the real take away was there's an enormous divide between the scientific community and those who are really championing environmentalists who are pushing for changes and pushing this idea of climate change and what should be done about it and the people who are very skeptical of it. It's almost like a wakeup call that much more work needs to be done to convince those folks because, essentially, folks on one side of climate change want to see laws enacted and behaviors changed, but they have a lot of convincing to do of people on the other side.
BURNETT: All right. Eddie, thank you very much. And absolutely beautiful piece.
And next, Jeanne Moos on Bill O'Reilly.
[19:53:03] BURNETT: Bill O'Reilly, the former FOX News host, well, tonight, a punch line. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bill O'Reilly has traded the no spin zone for the no job zone. One cartoonist hung a "gone groping" sign on O'Reilly's door.
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, ABC'S "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": Bill O'Reilly was fired today.
MOOS: Talk show audiences --
CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, TEAM COCO: FOX News fired Bill O'Reilly.
MOOS: -- seemed delight.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, THE VIEW: Bill O'Reilly.
GOLDBERG: Is out at FOX. God bless you. And everybody in the room, God bless us all.
MOOS: The hosts of "The View" then reminisced about the time they walked off the set after arguing with O'Reilly. He sure had a way with words.
BILL O'REILLY, FORMER FOX NEWS HOST: Say you're a cocaine dealer and you kind of look like one a little bit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As do you. You look like a cocaine user.
DAVID LETTERMAN, LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN: In my mind, I think of you as a goon.
O'REILLY: I didn't hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.
MOOS: "Hey, Bill, how do you like my wig now?" read one tweet.
Like magic, poof, Bill O'Reilly disappeared.
Posters outside FOX saying "Nobody moves this man" were moved, is name vanished from his show mockingly compared to Stalin, airbrushing out comrades who fell from grace.
Stephen Colbert resurrected his old conservative pundit character based on O'Reilly.
STEPHEN COLBERT, THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT: You failed O'Reilly. All he ever did was have your back. If you're a woman, have a go at the front, too.
MOOS: Comedians reprised O'Reilly's most macho moments.
O'REILLY: Cut his mike.
Cut his mike out.
Because you were lying.
Come on, you coward.
MOOS: And then robbed it in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unlike Bill O'Reilly, we'll be right back.
MOOS: Funny or Die did a mash-up of Vin Diesel and O'Reilly's infamous outtake.
O'REILLY: Whatever it is, it's not right on the teleprompter. I don't know what that is. I've never seen that.
We'll do it live.
[19:55:02] We'll do it live!
MOOS: In honor of a loud host, a moment of silence.
Jeanne Moos --
COLBERT: Stay strong, papa bear.
MOOS: -- CNN, New York.
COLBERT: Oh, God, is this really happening?
BURNETT: All right. Tonight, we explore the iconic songs that defy history. It's this great new series. It's called "Soundtracks." It premiers tonight in just a couple of hours in case you aren't fully committed to watching, take a couple seconds to watch this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Music is an explosive expression of humanity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every movement has to have a song.
GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD U.S. PRESIDENT: I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you.
DWAYNE JOHNSON, ACTOR: The music will always remind us that it is possible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One small step for man.
RANDY JACKSON, TELEVISION PERSONALITY: That is what anthems are made of.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's about standing up for your rights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were killing our own children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought, what the hell are we going to do that for?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a cultural political statement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Music is a vehicle for revolution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That king of courage changed how I viewed human beings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The aftermath of 9/11, everybody was in it together.
JACKSON: Somebody has got to put this into words and emotions for everyone to hear.
(MUSIC) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is how we remember history.
ANNOUNCER: "Soundtracks: Songs that Defined History" premieres tonight at 10:00 on CNN.
BURNETT: And thank you for joining us.
"AC360" with Anderson starts right now.