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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Congressional Baseball Game About To Start Despite Shooting. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 15, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, OUTFRONT HOST: Good evening I'm Erin Burnett. And welcome to a special edition of "OutFront" right now. I'm coming to you live from Nationals Park right here in Washington, D.C. It is, of course, the site of tonight's Congressional Baseball Game, Republicans versus Democrat. It is annual charity game. And then, of course, has taken on an incredible significance tonight, coming just one day after the horrific shooting at the Republican team practice session in Alexandria, Virginia.
Congressman Steve Scalise, the third ranking Republican in the House is out of his third surgery tonight. According to a source, he is still in critical condition at this hour after being shot in the hip. To honor him tonight, both teams will wear the same hat supplied by Scalise's alma mater, Louisiana State University. Also badly wounded, the former Congressional staffer Matt Mika, he though has been upgraded to serious condition in a bit of this news this hour.
The British Ambassador is going to be trilling out the first pitch any moment now. We're going to bring that to you live. We're also, of course, going to have the introduction of the teams. And I'm sure what and I'm sure what will be a very emotional national anthem right here at Nationals stadium.
The shows of unity that we are seeing of course are coming amid some significant developments tonight in the Russia probe. Vice President Mike Pence has just announced that he has hired his own outside counsel to represent him in the investigation.
And the President of the United States, President Trump tweeting furiously today in response to a report that he's under investigation personally for obstruction of justice. Several tweets coming up from the President today including this, he said it's "phony story, turning the focus to a familiar target Hillary Clinton." That's what he was tweeting about today.
"OutFront", now we have our panel along with Republican Congressman Will Hurd, who sits on the Intelligence Committee. He is a former CIA undercover agent. And my panel with here for the hour, Mark Preston, our Senior Political Analyst, Gloria Borger, Chief Political Analyst, and Chris Cillizza Reporter and Editor-at-Large for CNN Politics. Congressman, you know, thanks for being with us. And, obviously, an emotional moment, we're seeing everybody gathering here. We're going to have the announcement of each of the teams, the first pitch and of course a very emotional national anthem.
REP. WILL HURD (R), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: It is. You can feel the energy walking in here. There's more people than ever before. I think the estimates that we're going to have over 25,000 people which means, we're going to raise more than a million dollars for charity. This game is a charity game and we've added a new charity here. It's for fallen officers to help with the bravery that our two capital police showed and the Alexandria police showed a couple of days ago.
BURNETT: What does it mean for you to be here tonight? I mean, this is something that Americans don't even know happen. That the game that's been happening on and off since 1909, and obviously and recent decades it's an annual thing. But tonight it's different.
HURD: Tonight -- it's very different. Tonight this is about us showing solidarity, showing that an attack on one of us is actually an attack on our Democratic institutions. And the goal for all of us tonight is got to be, can we take this feeling of bipartisanship? Can we take this feeling of unity and continue it beyond just tonight? And that's going to be the responsibility of our political leaders. And it's going to be the responsibility of the American people to say we demand everybody continue to work together.
BURNETT: But you are unusual in many ways. One of which is, you know, you have done a lot of bipartisan things. You did a road trip with the Democrat. You know, you come on, you do interviews and you talk about this investigation. And you're asking tough questions as a Republican but you're open minded.
I can't say that about all of your colleagues in Congress. And, in fact, over the past few days, some people have been blaming the left because the shooter was obviously a Bernie Sanders supporter, a Trump hater, GOP hater. When you hear those sorts of comments, does that upset you or do you think that there's something fair to it?
HURD: Look, we all going to take a deep breath, all right. We all have contributed to the divisiveness, right? And one of the things I learned on my road trip is that, you know, we agree on more than we disagree. And we should be focussing on those things.
But if we want to see different outcomes in our government, we got to change the way we think. If we got -- and if we change the way we think, we may change the way we behave and that's going to lead to different outcomes. And I hope everybody uses this as an example to show that bipartisanship is not a dirty work and that we can disagree without being disagreeable.
BURNETT: And in terms of how things are going to change. I mean, on a physical base, as you've heard a lot of people, look, it's understandable. There's fear. And there would be fear, there should be fear, it's natural after what just happened. You're a former CIA agent. You're obviously allowed to carry a gun. You -- I'm sure own a gun. I mean, are you going to change your security because of this? Are you going to carrying your gun around, because you're actually allowed to do that?
HURD: Well, one of the things that's natural in the situation like this, and unfortunately I have too much experience with these kinds of activities. It's -- be afraid. Be nervous. Be angry. All that stuff is natural. But we also have to realize we can't let this stop us from doing our job and that's representing the American people. I spent nine and half years as an undercover officer in the CIA. I've been looking over my shoulder all my life and I've continue to do that in this job.
[19:05:05] And I think most -- the American people need to realize the number of threats to the elected officials, I think has been increasing over the last couple of years. And Republicans and Democrats are seeing these problems.
BURNETT: So Congressman, I want to ask you one thing and then bring in our panel. And this is just to the point that tonight is obviously a moment of unity. But then tomorrow, what will happen, right? Republican Congressman Steve King, one of your colleague, he talked about blaming, at least in part, Barack Obama for the divided political climate. That he says actually lead to the shooting yesterday.
He gave a radio interview. And I just want to play it brief clip. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: I do want to put some of this at the feet of Barack Obama. He contributed mightily to dividing us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree. Oh, I do agree.
KING: He focused on our differences rather than our, you know, things that unify us. And this is some of the fruits of that labor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What's your reaction when you hear from that your colleague?
HURD: Pointing fingers doesn't have -- doesn't help, right? We can only control our own actions. We can only control the way we talk about things. And if you want to see a difference, then you have to be that difference, and you have to be that change. So we all should be talking about politics the way we want everyone talking about it instead of pointing fingers.
BURNETT: All right. And as -- you could hear a little bit of a cheering. You the Democrats coming out the second base. As I said, they're going to be introducing for the Democratic team, the Republican team. We're going to have that first pitch which we anticipate to be from the British ambassador at this time. We'll have the national anthem which, of course, we are going to bring to you live.
Mark Preston, what's interesting though when you heard Congressman Hurd here. And I think you also have interviewed him. You know he is someone who does somewhat very open-minded. But when you hear comments like those from Steve King, what happens tomorrow? When we're doing this -- we're hearing USA chants right now. Not Democrat and Republican chants.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, we've seen this in the past, right. We saw this after 9/11 as well, where there was this moment of unity. I remember standing on the capital and singing -- seeing Members of Congress come together on the steps and sing in unison. You know, we saw that again when we saw President Bush go, you know go down to, you know, Lower Manhattan stand in the rebel (ph), you know, it was a moment.
I think the Congressman is right though, agreeable people have got to understand that they can be disagreeable. And understand that they're not going to agree on all the big issues. But you're going to find place where you actually can agree. I don't have high hopes that partisanship will be erased (ph) tomorrow. I think we're going to go back to what it is always been unfortunately, but here we are.
BURNETT: And of course as you can see Democrats there in a moment of prayer, as we are getting ready. Let's just listen in for a moment please.
Everyone involves. You see this with the Democrats. You'd obviously going to see Republicans in a moment and the national anthem. And I think it's a moment and part of the reason we're here broadcasting is for Americans to feel how important this moment is.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, you watch these people taking a moment, these Members of Congress, praying for the other side, praying for the other team. And we don't see that very often. And I think that of all the people who are here tonight, used to be root for the Democrats, root for the Republicans. You heard the chants of USA.
People are just want to be here for this moment to applaud the people who have sacrificed Steve Scalise, who's fighting in the hospital and for our system. And I think everybody has realized that we all need to take a step back and tone (ph) it down. And so I think this game is going to be a celebration of both sides. And honestly, I don't think anybody here is rooting for any team. I really don't.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & EDITOR-AT-LARGE: You know, Mark and I having worked at roll call newspaper which long ago started sponsoring us. That's where we both came from that so we know one another. We've been to these games before at rebase that state (ph) in other places.
Gloria is right a little bit at a different moment here for obvious reasons. But one thing I would add to what the congressman said about, is this a moment or is it something more. The reason that you see a lot of statements out of Members of Congress on both sides that are not the sort of thing that are going to make this more than a moment is because, unfortunately, voters often reward that. We have a lot of districts in the country. The Congressman does not represent one. He represents one evenly, very evenly split.
CILLIZZA: Actually a little bit Democratic threaten it from long ago.
HURD: Right, Chris.
[19:10:04] CILLIZZA: The problem that you have is that Steve King will pay no political price for a comment like that. And, in fact, it may do him some good. And that's a big part of why we have these moments in time that are meaningful, are different. Do suggest we have more in common than we have difference. But they are moments rather than any kind of extended period.
HURD: And Erin if I can just add to that. But you've highlighted Steve King. But over the last two days, there have been a number of Republicans in plus 27R, plus 30R districts that have said and talked about bipartisanship in a way they've never that done, and the same thing for my Democratic colleague. And so, one of the things that I would, you know, ask from you all who many people turn to and look for what's really going on, is highlight some of those folks that are actually doing that behavior that we want to see continue, because there's plenty examples of that. We don't always highlight that enough in or-- on T.V. or in --
BURNETT: It's a fair point. That's part of the reason you're standing here tonight frankly is that we wanted someone like that, Mark.
PRESTON: You know, it's interesting because Gloria and Chris and myself spent a lot of time covering Capitol Hill before going out on the national campaign trail. If you look at Congress 10 years ago, it's much different than what Congress is now, very much more polarized.
It's actually refreshing to see someone like Congressman Hurd come in and want to work across the lines. Because we are seeing younger members coming in that are more polarized representing districts that whether will not pay a price because they are so backed by either the hard right or the hard left.
BRUNETT: Yes, go ahead.
BORGER: It's a different Congress now than it was when we were all --
PRESTON: Yes, yes.
BORGER: -- covering Congress, not to age ourselves. But people come here for a term or two and leave, either they're term limited or they self-limit themselves. People don't know each other well because they go home to their district every weekend because it's demanded of them. There's a lot more pressure on Members of Congress because of social media, and the constant news cycle that they have to deal with. So, there isn't as much time. And Congressman, you can talk about this if I'm right, for members to really get to know each other and appreciate each other, that's why games like this are important, because --
BORGER: -- Republicans can bond with Republicans and with Democrats.
BURNETT: Well, as you were coming out Congressman, we were talking about the issue of security. And you were saying that you had hosted 400 political public events in the past two years.
BURNETT: That's not just a security question. That is, as Gloria point out, that is now demanded.
BURNETT: And it's important that you do that for your constituents. But it doesn't mean that you're not able to deal with the people who are here as much.
HURD: Absolutely. But I think everyone's recognizing that. And what I would say about my class and the current class, one of the things that's deepened (ph) the people to come here is we've all had backgrounds in other industries, right? We haven't been career politicians. So, we have a bias towards action. And that's Republicans and Democrats.
And so they bring a different mentality here that we haven't seen in a while. And that's why I'm hopeful for the future is that there are some of those members that are committed to getting things done.
BURNETT: So, we're just hearing the announcement by the way. I believe the Republican team and then we'll see what happens then after that. Of course, we're going to have the color guard and the national anthem. And then we'll have that first pitch.
Chris, let me ask you about something, the President we understand has taped a message. We'll see what happens to this opening pitch.
BURNETT: We have (INAUDIBLE) the British (ph) Ambassador. But he is not here tonight.
CILLIZZA: Right. BURNETT: He obviously gave some very emotional comments yesterday about what happened. Today, though, he has been on Twitter, five times tweeting about Hillary -- crooked Hillary, witch hunt, the "Washington Post" report on Bob Mueller being phony. That's what he's done today.
CILLIZZA: Right. So, what's difficult is that, he just saw Roger Williams from Texas wearing the TCU -- the purple TCU walking out on crutches because he dove head first in for the dug out yesterday morning to avoid someone who was hunting Members of Congress. What's difficult is the President does this. It's a boom-bust cycle. He gives a speech that I think anyone, Republican, Democrat --
CILLIZZA: -- bringing (ph) Libertarian would say that's kind of the message we want to hear. Let's -- let the folks say anything about what these guys said on -- the shooter said on social media. Let's focus on the victims and what matters here.
And then at 6:55 in the morning, he's on the special counsel. And then at 4: 30 in the afternoon, he's on Hillary Clinton, which makes it harder. I think, you know, I hear from a lot of Republicans who say why don't you guys just focus on the issues, from Democrats who focus on the issues. What's difficult is this is not a private citizen offering his thoughts. This is the single most powerful politician in the country, maybe the world, who is constantly suggesting that his priority in terms of what he feels personally is not this stuff. That's it.
Look, it is a good thing that CNN is here at this game. That we are here, that people are getting to see us. People need to understand, if you don't like the way in which people interact in Congress.
[19:15:03] You need to elect different people. You need to elect people who are more committed to bipartisanship, who do believe that working across the aisle is a good thing. That compromise is not capitulation. You have to change at that level. We can't change it from this level. Congressman Hurd can do if he can but you can't fundamentally alter that makeup of the Congress in a day or a week.
BURNETT: Well, there's also the question too of where leadership comes from? And I think Congressman the point you're making that it should come from everywhere. And this part -- you're making it is too come from voters and all of that is true. But it also needs to come from the President of the United States. And it did yesterday. But today when you get tweets like this it isn't something that the media can just ignore that they didn't happen. He is the leader of the country. This is what he has chosen to talk about today on this day.
HURD: But here's what great about our country. There is a -- there's co-equal branches of government, and Congress is one of those. And so, the President has -- he can say what he wants to say but our government is actually run by Congress as well and the judicial branch has a role also. And so, that's why we're resilient. That's why we can agree -- that's why we can disagree and that's why we can have a battle of ideas. But we need to make sure that we're talking the way we want our children to talk. And the way that we want our grand children to talk and it starts with some of the basic things we learned in kindergarten. Be nice to people, right?
HURD: Be honest.
BURNETT: Well, it isn't things like crooked Hillary, at 4:00 in the afternoon today. I mean, that's just the reality, that's (INAUDIBLE).
PRESTON: Well, a couple of things. One is I absolutely agree with the Congressman about the three branches of government. And I do think we get caught up at least people look at the White House and say the President, and say it begins with him and ends with him. But the fact of the matter is in some ways he does and he needs to lead by example and he hasn't lead by example.
I actually have a lot of sympathy for the Congressmen here, who -- as they are trying to go out and get policy things done, they have to answer questions from us day in and day out about whatever President Trump is tweeting about at his political enemies. That's got to be hard and difficult Congress (ph).
HURD: Well, I'm glad you recognize that.
BORGER: Can I just --
HURD: I hope somebody is recording this.
BORGER: Can I just say there is nothing more American than baseball. And you have -- these are not the boys of summer out here. They are --
BURNETT: They may have a summer, many summers. So that is what makes it
BORGER: They all came here and did not want to cancel this game.
BORGER: And I think it is important to point that out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
BURNETT: And all as we said by the way wearing the same hat --
BURNETT: -- in honor of Steve Scalise.
BORGER: Yes. All wearing the same hat and there they are. I mean, this is --
PRESTON: And you walk toward at that point, they're playing against each other and they want to have a winner and loser. And in politics you have winners and losers as long as the game is played fairly, and I think that's --
BORGER: Right. Exactly.
BURNETT: By the way on that note, Chris, they come in tied tonight.
CILLIZZA: Yes. Well, tied over all and I would know, this is the time that nerd about these things. The Republicans --
BURNETT: About congressional baseball match?
CILLIZZA: Yes. Republicans have lots -- this is the only time that whoever come in, the Republican have about seven, eight games in a row because Steven Pressman (ph) who's a Member of Congress from Louisiana to amazing Democratic picture. Last year Republicans one by one run breaking the street, so it's a tie breaker. And now I will resign myself --
BORGER: They didn't take him out of the seat?
CILLIZZA: No, he was not (INAUDIBLE).
BURNETT: Jeff Zucker was looking for a hoop (ph) and for baseball and I think you've just answer that question.
BORGER: Not me.
CILLIZZA: We have some new talents. We have new talent that's going to be rolled out tonight.
BORGER: -- question, that was emerge.
BURNETT: Former CIA agent, used to the dark arts, why are you here?
HURD: Well, I'm a basketball player. I'm a basketball player.
HURD: So, you'll see me in that game.
BURNET: So, this is a -- obviously, Republicans here have fanned out as we're finishing the announcement. From this time we're going to have the color guards just to let everyone understands where we are. There will be the color guard and then the national anthem and then there will be that first pitch. Which as I said, Chris, supposed to be the British (ph) Ambassador that could theoretically change. We'll see. CILLIZZA: I have to say it's striking to think that, you know, literally almost -- the shooting started at 7:09 yesterday morning. So we're 36 hours and 10 minutes away from that, what a -- to be able to do this and have these guys out here and it is meaningful and we should stop and take picture -- it does speak to resilience. It make too much of one thing. But it does speak to resilience, persistence, getting knocked down and get up, right. Thirty-six hours ago a man with a riffle was shooting at and struck a member of Congress as well Matt Mika. A guy who --
BURNETT: These members out here -- I mean, Congressman Kelly --
CILLIZZA: Right. U.S. capital --
BURNETT: -- Congressman Palmer said he was shot out aimed at Congressman Kelly. They are out there and now playing.
BORGER: And the crowd side is so much more -- they were reporting today that they were selling 500 tickets an hour. It's not to late $10 of ticket, come on --
BORGER: It's for charity. And usually you're not going to draw a crowd side. This sounds like I don't know, 20,000 --
[19:20:06] PRESTON: Well, and this is why could people walking around to get it ready to sit.
BURNETT: So some of them could have people buying to contribute but many of them are --
BORGER: But she walks right after the window, right now at Nationals Park. Yes, the tickets are for 10 bucks and it goes to great causes. And this is the bigger turn out and I hope now every year, not just this year, but every year we do this in honor of what occurred 36 hours and so (INAUDIBLE)
CILLIZZA: This is -- OK, this is a much bigger or more emotional thing than any years passed. That said, this is an ads being all the way since I remember my girlfriend now wife at the time when I'm doing the three-legged raise and doing based on stage and then like the middle of the sixth inning in the congressional baseball game. This has regularly been a really good event where if you felt that partisanship was crushing, that Members of Congress hated one another, they can bring enough -- this has always been that. It's nice that it's getting --
CILLIZZA: -- it is a sad way for it to get more publicity, frankly but it is nice.
BURNETT: It is. And Congressman, that was also what we learned, you know, they were out practicing at 6:30 in the morning. They were all there. They have been out doing that for a couple of months. I mean, this is something that, you know, they don't just show up that day. They care passionately about.
HURD: They care, it's serious and I can't which to find a point on this. The members that, little bit over 24 hours a day, saw their life passed before their eyes, right? And that's not going to sink in to everybody today or tomorrow, but it is. And they're going out there. This is part of the healing process for them as well. And think about all the staffers that are here that had one of their own, you know, with a gaping chest wound just yesterday. You know, this is what a lot of people here and it's authority (ph) and it's good that we're able to all appreciate that.
And instead of showing highlights of Steve King, I would suggest you go back and show Roger Williams talking the other day about how this is something to represent those men and women that are still willing to put on a uniform, put themselves in harms way in order to protect others.
CILLIZZA: Just in our defense, we did, I thought, run a great -- Joe Barton, the manager of the Republican team and Mike Doyle from Pennsylvania, the manager of Democratic team did a preservable ability. And which they spoke in very emotional terms about their own lives. Obviously Congressman Barton's 1-year old son was at --
CILLIZZA: -- the practice. So I think that that's stuff really -- people should, if you haven't seen it, go back and watch it. Because it shows that -- we forget some friends. Members of Congress are dumb but Members of Congress are human beings.
BURNETT: Yes. I think that's right.
BORGER: And truly affected by this. Members were truly affected by this, because they knew thereby the grace of God and --
BURNETT: We're seeing the color guards, just for everyone knows right now coming at the empire central. This is a color guard. Juts a moment ago Pelosi, Ryan, Schumer and McCarthy, out of leadership were all together sort of laughing and smiling. And go ahead, as the color guard comes out.
PRESTON: I think there's two very important points because, you know, we're seeing around the world here and we're often -- here on CNN -- and we're often talking about the division here. And certainly have for plus 150 days, right, here at United States between the President, Democrats, Republicans and what have you. This is a very big moment I think for people around the world to see.
BURNETT: And let's just listen in here and then we'll have the national anthem.
[19:25:43] BURNETT: Moment in the stadium and --
(OFF-MIC) BURNETT: An impromptu and emotional moment there, certainly was and the game ball coming out. We're going to see the first pitch in just a moment and then this game.
BORGER: Scalise playing second base, right? Where was he?
BURNETT: Scalise played second?
CILLIZZA: He was at second base at the time, that's right.
BURNETT: Now the congressional course obviously had started that National Anthem and then everybody joined in here, everyone in the stadium as we were talking about, up to 20,000 tickets sold. That is -- we've never seen anything like that game. It is an incredible moment.
As the players are going back to their dugouts, Democrats and Republicans, we will get ready here for the first pitch. Just standing here, I'm sure when you watch this, you feel this, just look of the quiet Chris, but hearing those songs --
BURNETT: -- here as Americans, which we all are, was a very special thing.
CILLIZZA: I've been here many times for Nationals games with my kids, and it is -- yes, you don't -- it's like a lot of things you take for granted until you don't. You know, and I think again I sometimes wish that we could bottle moments like this and send them around to everyone who hates Washington, who hates politics, who hates the media. At the end of the day, we're 99.9 percent similar and .1 percent different, right?
And the politics that we have now accentuates that .1 percent but moments like this remind you of our similarities. I believe that's Joe Torre --
BURNETT: Joe Torre, that's Joe Torre.
CILLIZZA: The -- with MLB, former Yankees manager.
BORGER: Congressman, did you see who it was who was went out before second base and kind of --
HURD: I didn't.
BORGER: -- knelled a little but that's where Steve Scalise was --
HURD: Yes, absolutely.
BORGER: -- when he was hit.
BURGER: Looks like its Joe Torre who's going to throw the pitch here.
[19:30:01] HURD: I don't think we have to worry about Joe Torre, looks like 50 cents. So I think --
CILLIZZA: They'll get it there.
PRESTON: I can say that we have spirit of a political warfare, as a Red Sox fan, why is Joe Torre out there, OK?
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Is the partisanship entering into this talk, Mark?
REP. WILL HURD (R), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: So, Aaron, you were talking earlier about the songs, right? The 400 events I did in the last two years, I can easily say in half of them, I don't care if I was in Democratic towns or Republican towns when everybody starts off with singing the national anthem. A lot of times you hear "America the Beautiful".
It really is one of those things throughout the country. People really care about their country and if we remember that, I think we're going to always be better off.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm still struck by the size of this crowd and people still coming in here tonight.
BURNETT: Which we can see -- I don't know if you can see it on television.
BURNETT: It is still a full flow.
BORGER: And, you know, they're not going to see Major League Baseball but they did witness some major league event here which is something we don't get to see.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, that's --
BURNETT: The police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BURNETT: Capitol Hill police. He was injured. Yes, that was incredible.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BURNETT: And that's David Bailey, the Capitol Hill police officer, who so heroically rushed, injured, kept firing, kept running, run towards the shooter to try to say the lives.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Twenty-four hours ago, that guy was rushing at a man with a rifle shooting members of Congress. I mean, it's stunning stuff. Like that's really legitimate heroism.
BORGER: I think it's not the first pitch he ever wanted to throw out but he's sure glad he's doing it.
BURNETT: And he did it with some humor.
BURNETT: It was David Bailey and Crystal Griner, who was the two Capitol Hill police officers both injured. She has been in the hospital, recovering, of course. Both of them heroes as every single person there are.
HURD: They're both quiet professionals. I've gotten the chance to know them over the last two years. These are people who care about their country, are true professionals, and these are the kind of people you want your son and daughter to grow up to be.
CILLIZZA: Quickly --
CILLIZZA: By anyone's account saved a number of lives that day.
BURNETT: It wasn't --
CILLIZZA: If there weren't anyone there like them, we'd be talking, I think, a very different story.
BORGER: And they were because Steve Scalise who's a member of the leadership gets protection.
BORGER: And if he hadn't been there, you heard Rand Paul say, you heard other members who were there say it, there could have been a very different outcome.
BURNETT: And I think it's important saying that. The field they were practicing had a chain link fence around it. There was only one means of egress. Several congressmen have pointed to the fact that they were sitting ducks. They had nowhere to go but that one exit.
And these officers saved all of these lives.
And, Congressman, what I find so incredible, if this day ever happens, they would be ready. But no one ever expects this day to happen, never mind on a beautiful day at 6:30 in the morning on a baseball field. And it did, and they were ready.
HURD: They were ready. They were ready and they've been doing that -- you know, how many meetings, how many events have they gone to in their career where absolutely nothing happens and when the time comes, they react.
BURNETT: This is the video message from the president. Let's listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to thank members of Congress, their staffs and baseball fans across the country for supporting tonight's congressional baseball game. This game is always an important moment for both parties to come together to support charity, build friendships, and celebrate our national pastime.
But as you all know, tonight's game has taken on a much deeper level of meaning, beyond anything that we would have thought. By playing tonight, you are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence, or assaults on our democracy.
[19:35:03] The game will go on.
I want to take a moment to send our thoughts, love and prayers to Congressman Steve Scalise and his entire family. Steve is our friend. He's a patriot, and he's a true fighter.
I know you all will be playing extra hard tonight for Steve. We pray for all of the victims of this terrible crime who are still recovering, including Zachary Barth and Matt Mika, both of whom are respected and cherished by so many.
We also praise special agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey of the Capitol Hill for their heroic deeds that saved so many lives. What a great job they did.
And we thank all of the members of the Alexandria fire, police, and rescue.
In Washington, we have our disagreements, but we all agree that we are here to serve this nation we love and the people who call it home. That's the source of unity. And more than ever, we must embrace it, so that on this special night, I leave you with three great American words that for generations have torn down barriers, built bridges of unity and defied those who have sought to pull us apart.
Ladies and gentlemen, let's play ball!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And that, Congressman, is exactly what you would want to hear from the president of the United States.
BURNETT: Uplifting emotional message of leadership.
HURD: Right on point, right on point. And this is what tonight is all about, and I think he hit it perfectly. And I think we're going to have fun tonight. I do believe Republicans are going to win tonight and, yes, you know -- and --
BORGER: Nancy Pelosi --
BURNRETT: Gloria, yes?
BORGER: Nancy Pelosi --
BURNETT: Yes, Paul Ryan, the leadership together.
BORGER: And she's wearing an LSU t-shirt --
BURNETT: In honor, of course, of Congressman Scalise. But, Chris, you know, that is exactly what the country needed to hear from the president.
CILLIZZA: It is. My gosh, I don't want to be a downer in a moment like this because I think this is really nice.
HURD: Don't be a downer.
CILLIZZA: Donald Trump needs to understand that statements like this and his Twitter feed are equally important. That's all I'll say.
You can't -- these two things are both things come from the office of the presidency. We need more like this and the statement yesterday. This is not a partisan statement.
We need more as a country, we need to show our children that when things like this happen, the way in which we react is we come together. We recognize, as a country, we're all in this together.
BURNETT: Well, Congressman, I would also say to Chris' point, you know, you're frustrated we play Steve King. Well, part of the reason we do is he has -- a lot of people listen to him. And also because the president himself was out tweeting. What he was acting like today was different from what we just heard.
But when he does this, it sets a tone for everybody else. This is how to act, this is what's OK. Not that --
HURD: Words matter. And I spent a lot of time in schools, middle schools, high schools. And I was recently with a bunch of sixth graders, teaching them how to be kind online, right? And those re the message I tell them, your words matter. Words can inspire. That's the only thing that actually does. And so, I would agree. We've all got to choose our words better and it does start at the top.
BORGER: And also, I think the floor of the Congress has gotten a lot hotter, a lot more heated than it used to be. And I think that's a real problem.
Congress's approval rating is what now, 9, 10, 12 percent? And so, I think that's a lesson for members, because as people watch, whether it's on C-Span or whether it's excerpts that we run or other news organizations run, members of Congress are role models and should be role models.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: As is the president, living by example.
BORGER: As is the president.
BURNETT: And just to understand, do we know why -- obviously, that was a meaningful and good message he just sent but why he wasn't actually here?
PRESTON: It was a security issue or they said it was a security issue. Secret Service would not be able to come here and secure the place. I'm not a security expert. The congressman would know much more, I think you're going to come here with magnetometers. This is not an unsecure area.
You could have kept them -- I will say, there are other members of the administration here, Ivanka Trump.
BURNETT: Ivanka Trump was here, yes.
PRESTON: She was here. Gary Cohn is here. Steve Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, is here. Kellyanne Conway.
So, it's not that it's not represented. But it would have made a statement if he had showed up.
HURD: There's an increase -- there's an increased threat to this location with did number of folks that are here. It was going to make it a lot more difficult for folks to really enjoy the game.
And so, I think we can't be critical of the president for this and the fact that he was here and delivered a message is what we should take away. It was the right message that tonight is about us being Americans.
[19:40:03] CILLIZZA: And, Erin, you know, tonight is meaningful and it matters. But what's more important is how Donald Trump acts tonight --
BURNETT: Tomorrow morning at 6:55 in the morning.
BORGER: But it's not only Donald Trump. It's all of us.
CILLIZZA: No, it certainly not.
BORGER: It's everyone.
CILLIZZA: But that's -- it's not -- it's not -- the moments matter. I remember I was covering Congress when after 9/11, they came out, they sang. You had a real sense -- I would add after Newtown, as well, there was the sense that something fundamental had changed. Then the truth is nothing fundamental changed.
CILLIZA: It's not about -- the moments matter, clearly, but it's about extending the moments into something new -- a day is fine, a month.
BURNETT: All right. We're going to take a brief pause and we will be back here from Nationals Park in Washington with this very special game in just a couple of moments.
BURNETT: All right. And welcome back.
We have breaking news tonight on the investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russia here at this congressional game. "The Washington Post" reporting special counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior advisor.
[19:45:03] This comes, of course, after Kushner --previously, we reported was under scrutiny over meetings with Russia's ambassador to the United States and the head of a Russian state-owned bank who had trained at a top Russian spy school.
Sari Horwitz broke the story. Your headline, special counsel investigating Jared Kushner's business dealings, literally just breaking here this hour. What have you learned?
SARI HORWITZ, JUSTICE REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, we've learned that the investigation is widening again. We learned last night, there are obstruction of justice charges being considered by special counsel Mueller. And tonight, what we're learning is that they're looking into the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner.
Now, again, in the end, there may be no charges coming out of this investigation, but we know they're looking at business and financial dealings as they are with other Trump associates.
BURNETT: Now, Jared Kushner in particular had meetings with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, and also a meeting with the head -- Gorkov, the head of one of the top banks in Russia, a Putin insider.
BURNETT: Someone who is trained at Putin's school. Is this a relationship or a meeting of particular significance as far as you know?
HORWITZ: Well, we don't know. This is what special counsel Mueller and his team are looking at. And Jared Kushner, his lawyer, has said tonight that he's willing to speak to Hill investigators and also anyone else investigating his finances and dealings with the Russians.
BURNETT: This is obviously hugely significant. It's Jared Kushner. It's the president's son-in-law. It's business dealings. But it's also showed an investigation that the president had hoped would be narrow in scope, is now possibly, as you point out, getting significantly broader, right? We all remember, Whitewater started off as Whitewater and ended up with the president's sexual exploits in the Oval Office. This is getting bigger, not smaller.
HORWITZ: Exactly, and President Trump tweeted today, the biggest political witch hunt in American history. Pretty angry, I think, about the news about possible obstruction. And I think he said after Comey testified that he felt vindicated because Comey said he wasn't under investigation.
BURNETT: He said he felt completely vindicated, right?
BURNETT: Now, Gloria, you had a chance to talk to Jared's lawyer today
BORGER: No, I haven't yet.
BURNETT: Jamie Gorelick.
BORGER: I haven't yet.
BURNETT: Not since this report.
BORGER: But I have since Jared's name came up in all of this. And what his people say is that Jared Kushner was the person who was the point man for foreign policy people and that what he wanted to do is establish what they call a backchannel to Russia. And that was why he met with Kislyak and that was where he met with Gorkov. And, you know, we have since learned about a backchannel that seemed to be turning into something of more of a secret channel and we --
BURNETT: So, communications that Jared Kushner was leading possibly, even going to the Russian embassy.
Your story makes an awful lot of sense given the fact that Jared Kushner was sort of the epicenter during the transition for diplomats, for people who wanted to get in touch in some way, shape, or form with the incoming managed he did have these Russia meetings.
BURNETT: And, Chris, obviously, the significance of this new story, you can't be estimated here. The president obviously now they're looking at personal obstruction of justice by Bob Mueller, his son-in- law. It can't get any closer than the president of the United States and his top advisor, his daughter's husband.
CILLIZZA: Yes. No. It can't -- and Sari makes this point, I think it's an important point, which is, this is why politicians live in fear of special counsels, because it often goes like this. Not narrow, right? It gets wider.
The reporting last night out of "The Washington Post" about obstruction of justice to me is of huge import in that we've talked about Trump aides. We've talked about Trump allies. We've talked about former Trump staff. Who we've never talked about in terms of being investigated is Donald
Trump. We are now talking about that. That makes it fundamentally different. Donald Trump's reaction to this is his reaction to many things, which is dismiss, detract, move --
BURNETT: Telling your story today, phony collusion with Russia you said you made --
CILLIZZA: But I would note, I'll defend Sari's -- so she doesn't have to. I would note neither Donald Trump nor the White House took any issue with it. Mark Corallo, who is a spokesman for Marc Kasowitz, the personal attorney said, the leaks coming out of the FBI. OK, but that's fine. A fair point but again, that has nothing to do with the detail of the story.
BURNETT: To Gloria and then we --
BORGER: I think it's wrong to say that this is just a broad fishing expedition.
BORGER: They have to go broad before they go narrow. They have to look at everything and focus in on what is potentially criminal and what is not. So, that's how this investigation --
BURNETT: All right. Well, congratulations, Sari, on all that incredible reporting.
Of course, we are live at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Democrats and Republicans right now are facing off on the field, at the charity baseball game.
[19:50:03] The House Speaker Paul Ryan and the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were there smiling together. They're now with Jake Tapper for their first ever joint interview -- Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks so much.
I'm sitting here with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California.
If you're wondering about their outfits, the Louisiana insignias are in honor of Congressman Steve Scalise is still in the hospital and Speaker Ryan is wearing a Capitol police shirt for this amazing event of bipartisanship.
Thanks so much for being here for your first ever joint interview. We appreciate it.
Speaker Ryan --
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It is, isn't it? TAPPER: Oh, yes.
RYAN: Yes, I didn't know that.
TAPPER: You should feel free to come by Sunday morning, we've got another one maybe.
So, let me ask you, Speaker Ryan, because Steve Scalise is a friend of yours and President Trump said today that, you know, he's in a fight here. This must -- this must be very tough on a personal level?
RYAN: Yes, it is. We spend every day together, working together. Our families are close. Our staffs are very close.
He's in the hospital. He's recovering. He's got a ways to go. We are praying for him. (INAUDIBLE) the kids are here.
He is a baseball player. So, he's -- he was supposed to start second base today. So, he is being missed. We're all praying for Steve, and the family is getting the support they need and he's going to recover. It's going to take some time.
TAPPER: And your moment, your speech on the floor of he House yesterday, I can't believe it was only yesterday, but your speech -- it was almost as if there were no parties anymore. It was just members of the House of Representatives, Americans.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Well, it is -- we're all close to Steve Scalise, he's a lovely person. But this game is a game where we always come to have fun, work for everybody and do their very best and hope that our team wins.
Tonight, we're all team Scalise. And he -- it's interesting for us because our pitcher is our best player, Cedric Richmond.
TAPPER: Cedric Richmond, yes.
RYAN: He's the best player of all the Republicans and Democrats, pitcher.
PELOSI: And he and Steve are very, very close.
RYAN: They're very close. They're very tight friends.
PELOSI: They're very close friends. In fact, the Republicans said since Steve can't play tonight, why don't you give up?
RYAN: Give us Cedric, we'll take him.
TAPPER: I'm sure, I heard he can throw the ball at 80, 85 miles an hour.
PELOSI: He's good. TAPPER: Let me ask you something on the minds of a lot of your
members, which is, are we at an age now where members of Congress need to have security with them at all times? Speaker Ryan?
RYAN: Well, it's a tough age. It's partisan, polarized country. What we're trying to do is tone down the rhetoric, lead by example, and show people we can disagree with one another and we can have different ideas without being vitriolic, without going to such extremes. And so, that's what we're trying to demonstrate here.
And members of Congress have to get out and see their constituents. They've got to interact with their constituents, and so, we can't have a deep barrier between members of Congress and their constituents. But we also have to be cognizant. Remember Gabby Giffords, yesterday, Steve Scalise. So, these are concerns that we have, but we have to do (ph) it in a balance, the openness and security.
TAPPER: When it comes to striking the right balance and tone down the rhetoric, neither of you are known for being vitriolic.
PELOSI: No, not between us.
TAPPER: No, but not even separately. But members of your caucuses, people in partisan media, left and right, if you look at the Facebook feed of the shooter yesterday, there were things you would see at a rally against President Trump. Do you think that the rhetoric on the left has gotten too intense, too demonizing of Republicans on President trump?
PELOSI: No. I think the person who perpetrated the crime yesterday has. But I think that people feel very strongly in their convictions and some people -- I always say you can be passionate about your beliefs, but you have to be dispassionate on how you proceed.
You mentioned Gabby Giffords. And I had the privilege of speaking on Saturday at the commissioning of her ship, USS Gabby Giffords.
TAPPER: USS Gabby Giffords, right.
PELOSI: The second or third woman in history, living women, who have a ship named for her because of her courage, her strength, her dignity, following a terrible, terrible tragedy that happened to her. And what happened there also hurt some of her constituents.
So, when we evaluate the needs of our members, it's about protecting the members and the constituents as well.
TAPPER: Speaker Ryan (INAUDIBLE) interested in the game. The Republicans are up 2-0 right now. How do you --
RYAN: It is tied.
TAPPER: There you go, Democrats, the score is tied. Thank you for the color commentary and the play-by-play.
How do you balance letting Republicans in your caucus speak their minds while also setting a role, being a role model and saying that's too far, you've gone too far, don't say that, which happens sometimes in both your caucuses.
[19:55:13] RYAN: Sure. But I think all of us have a responsibility to watch our rhetoric. But we were passionate. We believe passionately about our causes, about issues, and we can do that without being vitriolic, without fomenting the kind of anger that's out there in the country. So, that's what leaders do and that's what members have incumbent upon them to have the responsibility to do that.
Sure, there is rhetoric on both sides of the aisle. It goes too far. And it's our job to help make sure that it doesn't go too far but that's still passionate. And that's basically the tone that we're trying to set.
TAPPER: In terms of tone, what else can you do beyond sitting here and rooting for Steve Scalise and rooting for your teams? Can you work together better, Democrats and Republicans? People outside of Washington look at this town and say nothing is getting done in a bipartisan way.
RYAN: The answer is always yes to that. But, by the way, there is a lot that we do do together. We just passed landmark veterans legislation last week. We worked together on the funding bill for government to help the military.
Most of what we actually pass is bipartisan. It's the stuff that's not that's controversial or very much in disagreement with one another that gets all the press attention.
PELOSI: That's right.
RYAN: But there are so many things that we do on a weekly basis that is bipartisan.
PELOSI: The -- what's newsworthy is what is controversial. What is in agreement -- the appropriations (INAUDIBLE) appropriations committee and in the intelligence committee, and those committees are notoriously nonpartisan. And so, left to their own devices, they can get their jobs done in a bipartisan way.
TAPPER: What about the issue of people with emotional problems being able to get guns, people who are dangerous with emotional problems being able to get guns. This is where we saw a problem with Gabby Giffords. This is where we saw a problem yesterday with Steve Scalise and the others, and it's a problem affecting more than members of Congress. Every day, somebody who shouldn't be able to get a gun is able to get one.
Is that an area where you two could work together?
RYAN: We passed a landmark, major House legislation, along with our 21st Century Cures bill, just in December. So, we have a brand new mental health law, the ink is barely dry that is now being executed and implemented, and what it does is it gets resources to the states so we can try to early identify people with mental illnesses. So, we made some pretty progress on that. We now had to execute and implement that progress.
PELOSI: In our caucus, our members want me to suggest to the speaker, maybe this is the place to do it, that we have a task force to study the issue rather than just put a bill put a bill, just study the issue and see what's some possibilities could be to reduce gun violence in our country. And that's something Gabby Giffords has devoted her life to now and her husband, Mark Kelly.
So, hopefully, we can -- with an understanding, a better knowledge of the issue, with evidence-based decision making. But that's not for today.
PELOSI: Today is about coming together and celebrating the greatness of Steve Scalise. He had an Italian-American connection. So --
RYAN: You would never see me wearing an SEC hat, let alone Louisiana Tigers hat for this.
PELOSI: Sometimes, it's sad, but it takes a tragedy to come back in touch with the humanity of people on the other side of the aisle. What can you two do to make sure that long after this baseball game, Democrats and Republicans are showing the same spirit you are showing right now?
RYAN: I think we need to find more opportunities for us to work together. We actually know each other well and many of our members do, but not enough (ph) to do.
RYAN: We need find more opportunities for Republicans and Democrats to break bread, I mean, literally, just go have meals with one another, travel with each other, do things with one another. We know that people on our committees, our leadership, the people we work with, but there are not enough relationship-building exercises between Republicans and Democrats. And we got work to do on that.
PELOSI: I thought you were going to brag about how much my grandchildren are a big fan.
RYAN: That's right. Her grandkids actually like me. Go figure.
PELOSI: I just think when families get to know each other, we're proud of differences of opinion.
PELOSI: That's not -- we have the responsibility to try and find common ground. If we can, we stand our ground. But we've never -- we have a professional attitude toward our colleagues, and that is to respect them. But sometimes, that --
PELOSI: -- that doesn't always work.
TAPPER: Leader Pelosi, Speaker Ryan --
PELOSI: Thank you, thank you.
TAPPER: -- thank you so much for doing this. Appreciate it.
RYAN: My pleasure.
TAPPER: Good luck to your team. I don't know if you can tell but I wasn't looking at either one of you.
Erin, back to you.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to you, Jake.
As we continue to cover the game and the breaking news that the special counsel is investigating Jared Kushner's business dealings. Let's hand it off now to "AC360".