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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Interview with Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Interview with Former U.S. Congressman Bob Inglis; Trump Slam Ally for Funding Terror "At Very High Level". Aired on 7-8p ET
Aired June 9, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:03] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OutFront next, breaking news, President Trump says James Comey is lying and the President says he's willing to testify under oath. Plus are there tapes of conversations between Trump and Comey? The President promising an answer soon, bringing it up multiple times today. And a Republican calling out Paul Ryan tonight, he said if Trump were a Democrat, there'd be talk of impeachment. That Republican is my guest. Let's go OutFront.
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett, OutFront Tonight, the breaking news. Trump versus Comey, one of them is lying. The President of the United States up in the ante against fired FBI Director James Comey saying he would, quote, "100 percent testify under oath about conversations with Comey, including the charges that he urged Comey to dropped the investigation into General Michael Flynn."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He did say under oath that you told him to let the Flynn -- you said you hoped the Flynn investigation --you could let --
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: I didn't say that.
KARL: So he lied about that?
TRUMP: Well, I didn't say that. I mean, I will tell you, I didn't say that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Trump then denied ever asking Comey to pledge loyalty to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: And did he ask for a pledge of loyalty from you? That's another thing he said.
TRUMP: No, he did not.
KARL: So, he said those things under oath. Would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of those events?
TRUMP: One hundred percent. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: One hundred percent. Trump agreeing to be deposed by special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia investigation. It's incredible development and it comes as tonight house investigators have now sent letters to Comey and the White House. They want the memos and they want the white house tapes if they exist. Sara Murray is OutFront tonight at the White House. And Sara, this is pretty stunning here. You now we're going to have if one person said it under oath, the other who has made it clear that he will say it under oath. And it already comes out of with his point of view. This is one man's word versus another.
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHTE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It's a he said, he said situation. Both guys say the other one is lying. But the difference of course is James Comey delivered his testimony under oath already knowing what the penalty would be if he lied. Now President Trump says he's willing to do the same.
TRUMP: No collusion, no obstruction, he's a leaker.
MURRAY (voice-over): A defiant President Trump says he's willing to testify under oath about his conversations with James Comey.
KARL: So he said those things under oath, would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of these events?
TRUMP: One hundred percent.
MURRAY: After restraining himself during Comey's testimony on Thursday, today, Trump is going on offense.
TRUMP: Frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said and some of the things that he said just weren't true.
MURRAY: One day, after Comey made clear he thought President Trump lied. Trump accused the former FBI director of lying under oath. But he refused to say whether he has tapes of his conversations with Comey.
TRUMP: I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future. You're going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer.
MURRAY: This, as Trump and his allies adopt the questionable defense strategy insisting the President is in the clear because Comey testified that Trump was not under investigation when Comey still led the FBI? But arguing other parts of Comey's testimony are a fraud. Trump insisted he never asked Comey to back off the investigation in the former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
TRUMP: I didn't say that.
KARL: So he lied about that? TRUMP: Well, I didn't say that. I mean, I will tell you, I didn't say that.
MURRAY: And Trump also said he never asked Comey for loyalty.
KARL: And did he ask for a pledge of loyalty from you? That's another thing he said.
TRUMP: No, he did not. I hardly know the man. I'm not going to say I want you to pledge allegiance. Who would do that?
MURRAY: Both statements that directly contradict Comey's testimony. And while the President may feel exonerated, members of his own parties are still airing their concerns and saying the President crossed a line.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: The president asked Mr. Comey to do an inappropriate action and that was to drop the investigation of General Michael Flynn. That was clearly inappropriate. It crossed a boundary that the President should not have crossed.
MURRAY: Now, remember, President Trump is the one who initially raised this idea that he could have taped of those conversations with James Comey and they basically been playing coy about it at the white house ever since. Well, seems like that game is going to be come to an end its House and Senate investigators say they want to see those tapes.
BURNETT: I'm sure they do. And will find out if they do exist. Also tonight House and Senate investigators are now calling in the White House to turn over any private recordings and the FBI director. Ryan Nobles is OutFront in Capitol Hill tonight. And Ryan, you know, the President is not even saying if those recordings exist although he continually brings it up, continually encourages questions about them. What are you learning about the requests to obtain them?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Erin. I mean that speculation just been swirling around Washington since the President sent out that tweet on May 12.
[19:05:03] And now, House intelligence leaders would like to put that speculation to an end, firing off a letter today, to White House counsel Don McGahn demanding to know whether or not these tapes exist. And if they do exist to hand them over to the committee and they've set a deadline. That deadline is June 23rd. That would be two weeks from today.
And they're looking for those memos that James Comey wrote after those interactions with President Trump. They've sent a letter to Comey specifically asking for him to hand those over.
And, you know, just like the tapes, the memos are something that many here in Washington have been asking for for some time. In fact, the Senate Intelligence Committee has demanded those memos for quite a while. They talked about it often during that hearing where James Comey detailed what he wrote in those memos.
They've now sent a letter to Daniel Richman. He is the Columbia law professor who Comey talked about who he gave those memos to. And then Richman eventually handed them over and talked to reporters about them.
Everyone wants to know what happened in these conversations between Donald trump and James Comey. And it seems that the leaders on Capitol Hill are getting a little bit closer to getting some more insight into that. Erin?
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Ryan. And OutFront now, James Gagliano, former FBI agent, Paul Callan, our legal analyst, John Dean, Former Nixon White House counsel, April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, Mike Rubino, former senior adviser for the Trump campaign, and Dan Pheiffer, former senior advisor to President Obama.
John Dean, let me start with you. President Trump says 100 percent. He is 100 percent willing to speak under oath. How significant is that?
JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Well, if it's -- if it becomes one-on-one, it really is going to weigh in favor of Comey for this reason. He made contemporaneous notes of his conversation. Those actually have evidentiary value.
A good prosecutor or a good -- a lawyer, just if we're depending on the circumstances, can bring that into evidence and that will tilt most juries, if not the American public, in their opinion. And if they're looking at it without any -- just coldly, without any partisan viewship of it --
DEAN: -- it favors Comey clearly, I mean, overwhelmingly.
BURNETT: So Paul, Comey says Trump is lying under oath. OK. And Trump is willing to say Comey's lying under oath. So, who is lying?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This case goes no place on that evidence because you have one person's word against another person's word.
BURNETT: But you have the memos as John pointed out.
CALLAN: Well, you have it. As John Dean points out, that is some evidence --
CALLAN: -- that Comey's testimony may be getting more credit. But very few sets of jurors will convict on the word of one person against another usually unique. And the corroboration here is just the memo written by one of the witnesses. You usually like to see other corroborating evidence and I'm not seeing it so far. BURNETT: Well, of course, there could've been people in the room, right? The navy stewards who allegedly reserving them, they I'm sure will be brought to testify or -- in front of the special prosecutor.
CALLAN: Well, another evidence might be the president's history of demanding loyalty oaths from his aides and employees.
CALLAN: That's going to come out in evidence as well.
BURNETT: Which is something, James, we have heard a lot about, about this president. Loyalty, it is important, it is the most important thing.
I have known him for a dozen years. I know this as does anybody who has interacted with him. The -- Comey says the president requested a pledge of loyalty. The president today didn't leave any gray area. He just said it's not true. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There would be nothing wrong if I did say it according to everybody that I've read today. But I did not say that.
KARL: So he said those things under oath. Would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of these events?
TRUMP: One hundred percent. I didn't say under oath. I hardly know the man. I'm not going to say, "I want you to pledge allegiance." Who would do that? Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath? I mean think of it. I hardly know the man. It doesn't make sense. No, I didn't say that and I didn't say the other.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES GAGLIANO, FORMER FBI AGENT: Erin, careful, Mr. President, this is reminiscent of Kenneth Starr compelling William Clinton to testify and give a deposition in the Monica Lewinsky ordeal.
I have been on CNN. I've been full-throated, robust, unwavering in my support for this director. I believe of the seven that we've had, I served under four, he is a man of impeccable, impeccable credentials, honorable and decent. I think he ceded the moral high ground. I do.
Yesterday, when he began his testimony --
BURNETT: When he admitted the leak.
GAGLIANO: When he admitted the leak, I was disappointed and disheartened because he ceded the moral high ground. The president now controls the narrative. The president now can go, "You're taking the word of the leaker."
Now, leak is an unauthorized disclosure of unclassified information. Anything within the four corners of a document that you draft as an FBI agent or FBI director belongs to the government. And for Director Comey to give that to a surrogate to leak to the New York Times, he's given the narrative back to the White House.
[19:10:00] BURNETT: So, April, you know, you've -- you now have been to countless press conferences with this president and other presidents, you know, you hear James saying that he got the moral high ground because Comey admitted the leaking. Was the president taking a stand today when he said 100 percent and it's all untrue. Was it convincing?
APRIL RYAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: He took a stand. But what would be convincing more so is once he actually does do what he said he would do, under oath have a deposition. I was there when Ken Starr deposed William Jefferson Clinton. That was a chilling day in the map room of the White House.
Now the question is year's later, will this happen? People want to hear the truth. Yes right now as he said-he said. But right now even with what's happening James Comey has credibility according to the American public.
This president has thrown this issue in the atmosphere by tweeting it. And now we have to find out really what's going on, so it's left up to the president for stand by what he says and the question is will he tell the truth.
BURNETT: And Mike, here's the thing. The president wants to have it both ways. Because today he said, listen, Jim Comey tells the truth so much so that he vindicated me. And then in the next press he says Comey's a liar. Here he is.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: We were very, very happy and frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said and some of the things that he said just weren't true.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: So the president says Comey vindicated him because he told the truth and then he said Comey's a liar. So Mike how can both be there true?
MIKE RUBINO, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER FOR THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN: James Comey committed sins of omission and sins of commission. He publicly corrupted all of his trust and the reason he did that is because he has a messiah complex.
So what we've seen is this is a gentleman who wants to do partisan and political things from a nonpartisan and nonpolitical organization. He has no credibility left. Donald Trump is a 100 percent vindicated and there's really nothing left here about political theater.
BURNETT: So you just think he just made it up. So this meeting happened, he decided to make something up and write it down and then not say anything about it and wait and then one day he's going to come and share this made-up story?
RUBINO: James Comey has obviously been never Trump from the very beginning. He has done things to constantly undermine the president and his agenda. He has three opportunities to do something for the president and it was very simple. All he had to do was remove the cloud from the president and that cloud was, sir, you are innocent and he is innocent --
RUBINO: And --
BURNETT: I will just say I want to bring Dan in here but he did do something in late October which was obviously very positive for this president whether that was his intent or not. I don't think anyone can deny that. Dan?
DAN PHEIFFER, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Right. Well walk at the -- Erin, you hit on it. The Trump explanation here is absurd. It can't be that James Comey tell us the truth only when it helps are Donald Trump and when it doesn't he's obviously lying.
And to your point, look, we don't know what was said in that room but we can use our common sense. Comey wrote these things down in real time, talked to people in real time about them. Prosecutors will go back and talk with those witnesses.
Comey has a decades-long bipartisan reputation for integrity and rectitude. And we know for a fact that Donald Trump lies all the time. We know he's lying about these tapes and we will know that soon when the white house counsel has to tell the house intelligence committee that there are no tapes.
BURNETT: All right, we're going to hit pause because we're talk a lot more about these tapes. The president had something to say today about it today. That's very important.
Republicans also coming to Trump's defense saying he doesn't know any better and that that's why all of this happen. Is that a defense? Plus another blockbuster congressional hearing. Jeff Sessions about to be are grilled over his interactions with the Russians and more developing on that. How much trouble could he be in? And the president's attorney celebrating, even handing out cigars to celebrate the president's vindication as he sees it.
[19:17:49] BURNETT: Breaking news president Trump promising more information on tapes, tapes of his conversations with the fired FBI director Jim Comey and whether we will know if there are tapes. Here he is today.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future. So I'm not hinting at anything. I'll tell you about it over a very short period of time.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: My panel's back with me. Mike, let me go straight to you on this. Why? Why I'll tell you about it in a very short period of time? This is not a new on stereo (ph), right? There are either tapes or there are not tapes. Why isn't he answering the question?
RUBINO: Erin, I don't work for the White House. They have a phenomenal com shop there. And the president does speak for himself.
But here's that I will say, I hope that there are tapes because it whether further vindicate the president. Yesterday's testimony by James Comey was an egregious outlandish shed of statements from a guy who's obviously so hell-bent on bringing down this president that he has nothing else left to lose.
So I hope that there are tapes because this president will further vindicate himself and he will then move on to his agenda of making America great again, which is what 63 million people voted for him to do.
PHEIFFER: Well, the fact count the millions where have been voted for him to do it. But it is so obvious that Trump does not have tapes. He can barely organize his White House. So it's hard to imagine in the early days he'd installed a secret White House taping operation and he won't admit it because he's incapable for admitting his wrong.
BURNETT: One of those spy pens that you can get at hammer slender (ph) or something like that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you know, I think it's far more likely that if he had a taping system it was something like one of those small pens that you have in your pocket that he may be holding back. That's a possibility.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sounds it get smart.
And how Mike can say the tapes will vindicate the president. I hope they release. You've obviously never represented people in criminal cases. Because let me tell you something, they surprised their lawyers all the time. And unless you were in that room you have no idea whether the president is telling the truth or lying about that encounter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that James Comey obviously has proven himself to be a liar time in and time out. And I think that the president obviously has proven himself to be speaking for the American people and to be a straight shooter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You ever see the tape on YouTube of lies presidents have told there in civil depositions? Have you ever seen that tape, Mike?
[19:20:04] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because for about 45 minutes of demonstrable lies told by the president under oath. Have you seen it?
RUBINO: And that just classic liberal media spin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no I'm just curious. Have you seen the tape?
BURNETT: But, you know, but the question, is you guys are talking about isn't that just liberal --
RUBINO: I guess we won't get the answer to that question. You could take the tip if you like, I'm sorry.
RYAN: If you're talking about classic media spin, it is not media spin. This president talked about himself on Twitter from his brain to his thumbs to the keyboard (ph) to Twitter about he was hoping there was a tape. And, you know, many people who I've talked to have said, you know, it's not beyond the realm of possibility because of what has happened with him in the past with business dealings. And you guys are talking about this --
RYAN: -- phone pen or microphone pen or whatever it sound, like get smart and the code of silence and the shoe phone but, I mean that's for a lot of people who -- that was way back. But, anyway, but here's the issue, and going way back, if there is a tape, this is very Nixonian and people are fearful of this because --
RYAN: -- it does not look, presidential, it t seems sinister. And so, you know, as people are celebrating --
RYAN: -- you got to remember the base of this.
BURNETT: I have to tell you, I had a conversation with him about a year ago, year and a half ago. In it we were talking about how there were a lot of Chinese companies in his building and whether he was wiretapped. And, you know what he said? He said I assume every conversation I have ever had was wiretapped because I'm in New York City real estate and people are out to get me. OK, that was what the president's then candidate Trump told me. But James, you know, Jim Comey saying Lordy, I hope there's tapes.
GAGLIANO: Erin --
BURNETT: So, again, whoever it is who's lying is doing so in the most grazing --
BURNETT: -- and egregious and frankly -- GAGLIANO: Yes.
BURNETT: -- horrible way ever.
GAGLIANO: And let's stipulate to the fact that the political surrogates, if Jim Comey does something to attack Donald Trump, the Republicans are going to side with -- or the Democrats are going to decide there. If he does the other way, the Republicans will side for that. I'm going to call balls and strikes here.
There were two losers in the testimony yesterday. The first and it's hard to say this but I'm going to say this. The first was Jim Comey because no one, no one thought he could have been knocked often the high ground and he was knocked off the high ground this day --
BURNETT: The (INAUDBLE) really.
GAGLIANO: Absolutely. The second and with my apologies to Dan, the second was the Obama administration and the politicalization of the DOJ. Many of us in the FBI work set by the set by -- what came out yesterday. We knew this to be true but to hear it stated by the director that then Attorney General Loretta Lynch said this is a matter and not an investigation, which was a Clinton campaign talking point.
BURNETT: All right. I want to get back to the issue of tapes, though, John, if there were tapes wouldn't we already know about it, right? I mean, it's not possible that he could have it and be hiding it and it never showed up, right? I mean wouldn't we already know, I mean this whole business he's saying of all that you know, very soon, very son, we'd already know, wouldn't we?
DEAN: The easy answer is go to the Secret Service. They sweep the White House on -- often and many times a day to make sure there's no surreptitious taping going on.
DEAN: The other thing is the telephone that he has is the one that Obama had. That telephone actually has the capability of recording, all you have to do is hit a switch and the voicemail becomes a recording system. So, some of his phone calls could just be a switch away from recording.
BURNETT: So --
BURNETT: Yes, go ahead, April.
RYAN: On the Secret Service issue, I did asked the Secret Service --
RYAN: -- about taping for security or for any purposes, and some persons in the Secret Service said there did nothing in there to -- that they use to tape. So, they don't have any recording devices at all, visual or audio for that matter. Erin?
BURNETT: All right. Well, yes, go ahead, quickly, Dan.
PHEIFFER: The fact of the matter is -- go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I was going to say, look, we'll find this out for sure. I'm confident there isn't one. The White House counsel is to tell the House Intel Committee that there are no tapes, and Trump will be proven a liar, or who released the tapes, one of the two.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all, I appreciate it. And next, the Senate Judiciary asking Comey's friend to hand over any memos from the fired FBI Director, the friend of course that he asked to leaked them to the press. The deadline is tonight. Will they get them?
Senate Judiciary Committee OutFront. Plus, a Republican comes out swinging against Paul Ryan saying the speaker would be looking at impeachment right now at Trump for a democrat. That Republican, a friend of Paul Ryan is OutFront tonight
[19:28:29] BURNETT: Breaking news right now all eyes on Capitol Hill. There is another dramatic hearing coming. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifying before Senate Appropriations Committee, Tuesday.
Democrats already warning they will use the opportunity to talk to him about his possible ties to Russia. This comes as Sessions is still waiting phenomenon a public vote of confidence from the president of the United States. Jessica Schneider is "OutFront."
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The embattled attorney general facing new scrutiny as he's about to be grilled on Capitol Hill about his interactions with Russians. CNN has told James Comey revealed to the senators Thursday in a closed door briefing that Jeff Sessions may have had a third undisclosed meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. It's an encounter Comey alluded to earlier many his testimony.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russian related investigation problematic
SCHNEIDER: The possible meeting took place on April 27th, 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington where then-candidate Donald Trump was delivering his first major foreign policy address. Investigators caution the encounter learned about the Russian to Russian intercepts may have been exaggerated sources say. A Department of Justice spokesperson has said the meeting never happened and if it did, Senator Richard Blumenthal told Erin Burnett it could put Sessions in serious legal jeopardy.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, (D), CONNECTICUT: They in fact denied possibly and violation of the law that denial is in Former Director Comey said to them --
BURNETT: So could it be perjury?
BLUMENTHAL: Could be perjury.
SCHNEIDER: The allegations arrive as a source close to Sessions says President Trump and the attorney general have been at odd in recent weeks engaging in a serious of hated exchanges.
The tension sparked after Sessions step aside from the Russia investigation in March.
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign.
SCHNEIDER: That came after the attorney general admitted that he failed to disclose at his confirmation hearing two meetings with Ambassador Kislyak during the election. But the Justice Department and Sessions maintain the recusal was solely because of his relationship with the Trump campaign. That recusal left the president livid, according to a source. At one point, Sessions offered to resign. But a source says the president knows accepting that resignation would ignite another firestorm.
REPORTER: Are you going to resign?
SCHNEIDER: And tonight, congressional investigators are asking for memos James Comey wrote about his conversation with the president. The House Intelligence Committee made the request directly to Comey to turn them over by June 23rd.
And, Erin, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent the request actually to Comey's Columbia Law professor friend. Now, we've learned from a source that that friend, Daniel Richman, has been in touch with the Senate Intelligence -- the committee and been in touch with them through the special counsel Bob Mueller. And we understand through that source that, quote, the matter will be addressed on Monday. Not exactly clear if that means he'll hand over the memo but it sounds like they're in talks -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jessica.
And I want to go OUTFRONT now to the Democratic senator from Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar. She sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee. She's also a former prosecutor.
Senator, great to have you with me. Let me start that the demand --
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: -- that your committee put out. You asked for Jim Comey's friend to turn over what he has by tonight. Do you know at this time whether you will get them this evening? KLOBUCHAR: No, I don't know that, but I do think given that we know
there's no classified information in those memos, that I hope that we will get them. I suppose there's a chance that the special prosecutor asked that they be kept in his purview for a period of time, but I just have no doubt that eventually we will get those memos, if not now, soon.
BURNETT: So, the latest reporting we have -- I don't know if you just heard -- but that David Richman, this friend of Jim Comey's who has the memos, that he's been in touch with Bob Mueller's office and communicated to your committee that this matter of the memos will be addressed on Monday.
Do you know what that means?
KLOBUCHAR: I don't. I guess we'll find out Monday. But I do know one thing, is that we would like to have Attorney General Sessions come before the Judiciary Committee since that is the venue in which he made his original statement that he wasn't dealing with the Russians. I know he's going to Appropriations.
But all of these issues really center on the work of the Judiciary Committee and our oversight over the Justice Department. I also believe that we don't want to screw anything up and I don't think the Intelligence Committee has done that. You look back at Iran Contra and the Oliver North hearings and how that actually messed up some of the criminal investigations --
KLOBUCHAR: And so far, I believe the Senate Intelligence Committee has handled this as well as the rest of the Congress.
BURNETT: So, when you bring up Attorney General Sessions and you want him to testify before your committee, you heard your colleague Senator Blumenthal, he said that it could be perjury if Sessions indeed had a third meeting with Russia's ambassador, a matter which is now being investigated.
Is he right? Do you agree that if that happened, that that would be perjury by the attorney general?
KLOBUCHAR: Yes, I don't make any of those suppositions because I don't know if the meeting happened. I want to find out the facts. That's what I always did as a prosecutor. You look at the evidence first.
But, obviously, what happened before when Sessions met with only three days after the president of the United States, then President Obama had met with Vladimir Putin and told him he was not lifting the sanctions and then in fact said it publicly, I still continue to be amazed that Sessions then met with the Russian ambassador. We still need to find out what was discussed at that meeting.
And the other thing is, remember, that started the domino effect, because then that led to Rod Rosenstein having jurisdiction and then giving it to the special prosecutor.
BURNETT: So, Senator, President Trump today claims he's vindicated in terms of the allegations by Jim Comey, right, about the Flynn investigation, about the loyalty fledge among other things. Here's the president today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yesterday showed no collusion nor obstruction. We are doing really well. That was an excuse by the Democrats who lost an election that some people think they shouldn't have lost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: No collusion, no obstruction, closed case. Your reaction?
KLOBUCHAR: I don't think anyone knows that at this appointment. We are awaiting the work of the special prosecutor and that special prosecutor has brought authority to look at everything in this matter.
Also, let's not lose the fact that this is about a foreign country attempting to influence the American election, a super power trying to intervene in our democracy, and that means much more that this criminal investigation.
[19:35:12] It means we have to protect ourselves. It means we have to look at highway we handle campaigns. It's a lot more than just this investigation.
BURNETT: Before you go, Senator, I want to ask you about your colleague, Senator Gillibrand. She's making some headlines for something she said at a conference on technology and democracy. Let me play it for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: What about President Trump? Has he tests any of these promises? No. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) no. Fundamentally, if we are not helping people, we should go the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Obviously, we had to bleep that twice because of her language. What --
BURNETT: What's your takeaway from that? Is that OK?
KLOBUCAR: Well, Kirsten is very passionate about the people she represents in New York state and she doesn't like what he's doing. Do I use those words in Minnesota? No, I don't, but I've always enjoyed that she's someone that speaks her mind and she decided to do it at that moment. BURNETT: All right. Senator Klobuchar, thank you very much. I
appreciate your time tonight.
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, celebrating with cigars. Trump's attorney takes a victory lap before Jim Comey is even done testifying. Is the Washington outsider really ready for this?
And one Republican who voted to impeach Bill Clinton says the questions surrounding Trump are much more serious. That Republican OUTFRONT this hour.
[19:40:33] BURNETT: Breaking news: President Trump's attorney planning to file a complaint against James Comey. Sources tell CNN attorney Marc Kasowitz is focusing on Comey's testimony, that he leaked the memos about his conversations with the president.
Now, Trump, of course, just hired Kasowitz late last month to represent him in the Russia investigation. Of course, he's known it for more than a decade from personal legal matters. Kasowitz is now front and center. But is he up for this job?
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
MARC KASOWITZ, PRIVATE ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: The president never in form or substance directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As soon as Comey's written opening statement emerged, a source tells CNN the president's attorney was buying cigars and celebrating what he calls vindication for his client.
KASOWITZ: Mr. Comey has now finally confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told President Trump privately. That is, that the president was not under investigation as part of any probe into Russian interference.
FOREMAN: At $1,500 an hour, Marc Kasowitz who's been seen chatting with first daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump is widely acknowledged as a powerhouse attorney, the toughest of tough guys. He's been enlisted by the president to beef up his legal team after a special counsel was chosen to lead the Justice Department's probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election. And after a former CIA director talked about --
JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign.
FOREMAN: Kasowitz has precious little government experience, but his firm has represented some big names. BILL O'REILLY, FORMER FOX NEWS HOST: Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.
FOREMAN: Former FOX News host Bill O'Reilly, actors Robert De Niro and Mia Farrow and for about 15 years, Donald Trump. When journalists wanted to see records of Trump's divorce from his first wife Ivana, Kasowitz kept them sealed. He's handled the lawsuit against the author of a book on Trump, financial battles over Trump's casinos, disputes about Trump University and the claims of women who say Trump touched them improperly.
And now, Kasowitz is taking on Comey.
KASOWITZ: Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the president.
FOREMAN: Kasowitz has potential issues of his own at least in terms of public perception, since he has represented some Russian interests, but his vigorous response to the Comey testimony shows that won't back him down a bit when it comes to defending the president.
FOREMAN: And if you wonder why President Trump did not tweet during the Comey testimony, "The New York Times" suggests that may have be Kasowitz, too, having told the staff not to mention it to the president so he could stay focused on other matters -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Tom Foreman, thank you very much.
Someone telling me they think Kasowitz is one of the few people who will tell Trump not to do something.
OUTFRONT next, the Republican who voted to impeach Bill Clinton. He says the questions surrounding Trump and Russia are much more serious. He's my guest.
And Trump putting the squeeze on the U.S. military partner over money for terror.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding. They have to end that funding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:47:53] BURNETT: Tonight, a former Republican congressman challenging House Speaker Paul Ryan after Ryan said he would not consider impeachment if the president were a Democrat. Former Congressman Bob Inglis tweeted: Speaker Ryan, you know this isn't true. You know that you would be inquiring into impeachment if this were a D. OUTFRONT now, Congressman Inglis, who served two terms in Congress,
also serving in the Judiciary Committee, which impeached President Bill Clinton, which, of course, is obviously very relevant to your thinking here.
Congressman, you know, you actually said today among your tweets: Speaker Ryan, if the investigation leads to the president, his family or his campaign, so be it. Don't obstruct justice. Put country first.
These are strong words for the speaker of your party.
BOB INGLIS (R), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Well, Paul is my friend and I want him to succeed, and I also want my party to succeed. And the way to do that is to put country first. And then the rest will follow.
But what I'm afraid so if we are responding to that 38 percent that Donald Trump has and is fed to by "Fox and Friends", it makes it so the republic can't govern itself really, because it's just that 38 percent --
INGLIS: -- that determinant in the outcome of Republican primaries. Yes.
BURNETT: And, you know, Speaker Ryan obviously coming out with this, as you know, Congressman, it's not the only time that he's come out and defended the president. He's done it a lot. He's come out in highly controversial moments and said, oh, the president is unconventional, right? And even yesterday when talking about all of the allegations from Jim Comey, the speaker's response was that Trump is just new at this.
Here's Speaker Ryan overtime.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The president's new at this. He's new to government. He's learning as he goes.
The last thing I'm going to do is prejudge anything.
Like I said, this is going to be an unconventional presidency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Do you think he's apologizing for the president too much?
INGLIS: Yes. I think that the reality is that any president should know that you don't try to lean on the top law enforcement officer of the United States and when he doesn't give you what you want, you don't fire him.
[19:50:05] I mean, that's -- just imagine if the shoe were in the other foot. If Hillary Clinton had won, Comey reopened the investigation of her email server, and then she didn't like the way that Comey was going, so she fired him. I'm quite certain that at that point, my party would rightly by howling. We'd be saying, we've got to get to the bottom of this.
But to -- when the shoe is this foot, it's like, oh, well, he's new at it, or maybe hope is not an obstruction of justice. So, Erin, here's the thing -- nice car you got there, hope nothing bad happens to it while you're in the restaurant having dinner.
You might perceive that as my offer to protect your car for say 10 bucks while you're having dinner. That was the use of the word "hope".
INGLIS: But it clearly wasn't about hope. It was me threatening you about your car.
INGLIS: Jim Comey was threatened about his job. That's what we should be howling about. We should be saying, wait a minute, time out. Why is the president of the United States threatening the job of the chief law enforcement officer of the United States?
BURNETT: So, when the word impeachment comes up, during your first term, of course, you were on the Judiciary Committee, Congressman, that impeached then President Clinton. You also personally called for Clinton to resign. Is what's happening in Washington right now in your view more serious than what led to Clinton's impeachment vote?
INGLIS: The substance of it is way more serious. In the case of Bill Clinton, we were dealing with sex in the White House with an intern, and then a cover-up. And that's quite different substance than a hostile country affecting the outcome of our -- or attempting to affect the outcome of a presidential election. And I might also point out that Bill Clinton never fired the FBI director -- I mean, when he didn't like the way an investigation was going.
So, in a little bit of defense of Bill Clinton, who I voted to impeach, I got to say, at least he didn't try to fire the guy that was after him. And so, but -- so, we've got a different situation here, it's much more substantive risk to America and it involves something more similar to the Richard Nixon situation, where Nixon in the Saturday night massacre tried to get rid of the people that were pursuing the investigation. It didn't work out for Nixon and I really think that Donald Trump might have learned from that, that probably not a good idea, because there's an awful lot of FBI agents now that want to make sure they get to the bottom of this.
BURNETT: And do you think, given your experience, that this president could be impeached?
INGLIS: Well, I think it's too early to tell, like I said, in this tweet to my friend, and he is my friend, Paul Ryan, it's not time to draft the articles of impeachment. But what the House has to is look at these facts and go full-bore at them, not hold back with any explanations, or minimizing it or explaining it away. But rather say, now, listen here, this is a serious matter, you have -- somebody here might have participated in a hostile country's attack on our, the heart of our republic, and we're going to get to the bottom of it.
And if it leads to the president or to his family or to anybody in his campaign, so be it. We got to get to the bottom of it. But this thing is just sort of explaining it away is just completely unacceptable.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Congressman Inglis, I appreciate your taking the time to be with me.
INGLIS: Great to be with you, Erin. Thanks.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Trump calling out a key ally, telling them to stop bankrolling terror now.
[19:57:02] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight, President Trump blasting one of America's biggest allies in the Middle East, accusing Qatar of funding terror at the highest levels and today, the president leveled a new warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level. The time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding. They have to end that funding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, of course, that funding is backed up business multiple statements of the United States Treasury over years. But Qatar is home to one of America's largest air bases, with 1,100 service members. It's a crucial country and the U.S. physical war against.
Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT live at the Pentagon.
And, Barbara, you know, today, I talked to sources and two of the country's, close to 10 countries, right, who that have cut diplomatic relations with Qatar. And, you know, they were -- if anything, when I was talking to them there, and for the long haul, they're ready to escalate this further. I mean, in that context, how significant was the president's statement's today?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Erin, he made it right from the Rose Garden, very hard language, and when a president speaks from the Rose Garden, you can't interpret it any other way than official U.S. government policy. So that hard line tonight very much being heard in the Middle East, and Qatar, of course, looking at it and looking at the presence of those 10,000 U.S. troops there, the core of the U.S. air operation against ISIS, no indication they're about to boot the U.S. out. But they have to be thinking about their way ahead with the U.S.
military and keeping the U.S. military there. That's something the Pentagon also very sensitive about. They know that the Qataris are thinking about all of this tonight.
BURNETT: They are. And, you know, one senior Qatari source was telling me that they are concerned about what the implications could be for the U.S. base, they're talking about purely supplying. They're very worried about this blockade.
And, you know, just -- today, they pushed hard for the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to come out and say, stop with this blockade. And he did it, he called on Saudi Arabia, and other nations to mend their rift with their Qatar. He did that just hours before the president spoke.
Here's Secretary of State Tillerson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The blockade is lost impairing U.S. and other international business activities in the region. The blockade is hindering U.S. military actions in the region and the campaign against ISIS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, he comes out and says that, and then the president hours later says the nation of Qatar has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level.
Is the president on the same page with the secretary of state or is he (INAUDIBLE)
STARR: Well, the president clearly -- yes, the president clearly continuing with his hard line. The White House is trying to soften it. But Secretary Tillerson making the point this is having real impact on people, there are food shortages reported in Qatar, families being separated. The Pentagon, the State Department perhaps taking a more diplomatic line, knowing that business must resume, business must be conducted, financial, economic and military -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Barbara, thank you very much, as the Middle East crisis continues.
Thanks to all for joining us.