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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  April 10, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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make a move on his own that would forestall that until it's on the table from the trump administration. >> we know president trump called president netanyahu to congratulate him. or ren lieberman in jerusalem, thanks very much. >> that mpgs to our viewers for watching. erin burnett "out front" starts right now. "out front" next, a conspiracy theory. the president's attorney general sounding more like president trump saying he believes the trump campaign was spied on. where's the evidence? plus, president trump sitting do one federal prosecutors, should president trump be concerned? and breaking news, the deadline for trump's deadline to turn over his taxes is tonight. the treasury department is just responding. let's go "out front." good evening, i'm erin burnest. "out front" tonight a stunning claim from the attorney general bill barr. he said he thinks the obama administration spied on the
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trump campaign. >> i think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. >> you are not suggesting, though, that spying occurred? >> i don't -- well, i guess you could -- i think spying did occur. yes, i think spying did occur. >> okay. all that pausing and up, well, then the key word, i think, i think, i think. of course the problem of think is not the appropriate standard for the highest rasking law enforcement official in the united states, proof is the only acceptable term for such an incredible actation is to be leveled in public testimony to the american people. so when barr was asked directly, did he have proof? on what basis was he making this accusation of spying? here's what happened. >> i a him now asking what the basis is or the facts are that leads to you that thought? >> okay. i felt -- i am concerned about it and i was asked about whether
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there was any basis for it and i believe there is a basis for my concern. but i'm not going to discuss the basis. >> felt and believe. neither of those words are synonymous with proof. again, we are talking about an accusation of spying, which he says he has some concerns about and basis for, but he backed up with absolutely no proof. and barr is an incredibly accomplished lawyer. he few exactly what he was saying. because what he was doing is repeating what we have all heard from his boss. >> there is a big thing going on right now which is spying. they spied on me. they spied on our campaign. >> bill barr knew that donald trump was watching today. not just the american people, but the president. and the one person he seems to be speaking directly to is president donald trump. is there a "there" there. vice chairman mark warner, who
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has been investigating interference in the trump campaign for nearly two years was asked today by cnn. have you ever heard anything about this accusation, spying on the trump campaign from the intelligence community. here's the answer. >> so you have never been told what he said today? >> absolutely not. >> absolutely not. >> reporter: so the attorney general of the united states who knows that the entire genesis of the mueller investigation, itself, is already being looked at by barr's inspector general. that's been under investigation for over a year. comes out today and says he thinks there was spying. if barr has something to say about those results, he should put out the facts. by the way, before he levels accusations based on feelings, thoughts and beliefs, why not let the country read the mueller report? caitlin collins is out front at the white house tonight. caitlin, what bill barr had to say today must have been music to the president's ears? >> reporter: yeah. this is a major assertion by the top law enforcement official in the country.
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erip. as you showed right there it's echoing what president trump safor month though in less concern terms. several people in the west wing were not expecting bill barr to make the statement he did today. even though the president insisted for months his campaign has spied on, people in the white house have been less hess that want to say as much, they said they haven't gone that far. now what bill barr said is already being cheered by the mr. president's allies, including mark meadows, the congressman from north carolina. you can expect more statements like that to come from president trump once he sees these remarks, because he has been traveling all day in texas while bill barr has been testifying. be every the president left for texas, he was already talking about this he was saying that the mueller investigation was essentially illegally started. he said he believed it was an attempted coup on his campaign. erin, that was way before bill barr even made those remarks. so certainly when the president sees them, he is going to take
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full advantage of them. >> thank you very much, caitlin. i want to go to senator bloomenle that and former attorney general for kept. senator, so, you and the minority leader chuck schumer among the democrats calling on the attorney general to retract, formally retract his statement that spying on the trump campaign did occur. you know, you heard. he said he thinks. he believes, he says he has basis for his concerns. do you think he's making up that he has basis for that concern? or could he really have something? >> reporter: first of all, he acknowledged there is no evidence. that's his term. no evidence for the claim assigned. second, his credibility will be absolutely shredded he fails to retract this assertion. as attorney general of the united states, he is supposed to represent the justice system and the people of the united states not serve as donald trump's
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consigliere or his roy cohn as donald trump wanted an attorney general to be and that's exactly what he's doing. he is feeding that false narrative. he is creating an ad for donald trump's next campaign. you can bet you will see that clip in the donald trump campaign. and i think he has to withdraw this remark. >> so, why do you think he did it? i pointed out, look, this is a person who is respected by a lot of people. a lot of people on both sides of the aisle. a person with a long and very credible career. do you think he went out there today and basically knew he was going to kind of trash that reputation? >> you know, erin, it's really a mystery. here's a man who was highly regarded as an institutionalist. that was the term used about him during his confirmation hearings, you could agree or disagree with him. but he was going to be a professional. and this remark is about as
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unprofessional for any prosecutor as could possibly, this term is literally stunning for anyone who has done under surveillance or intercepts or criminal investigationles. i think it will forever taint his tenure. >> so, obviously as i pointed out, the inspector general has been look at the genesis of the mueller investigation, from is an investigation which would preclude anything that happened as a predicate to the mueller investigation. barr says it seems another investigation as to whether this spying on the trump campaign happened. let me play a part of that exchange, senator. >> i don't, well, i guess you could -- i think there was spying did occur. yes, i think spying did occur. >> the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated. i'm not saying it was adequately
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predicated. i need to explore that i think it's my obligation, obviously, i am concerned about intelligence actions and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane and i want to make sure that happened. >> does he have a point there? >> well, his point is well taken for any kind of under surveillance, there has to be a predicate. what that means. >> right. >> in law enforcement terms is there has to be an alleged violation of law raising probable cause for this intrusion into personal privacy. that's what fisa courts look at what other courts look at before they issue a warrant for a wiretap, for example. >> yes. >> where he's off the rails is referring to it as spying and saying he has unanswered questions that need to be answered before he can reach a conclusion without acknowledging there is an investigation. his own inspector general is looking into that.
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you made the point earlier, it is perhaps the most important points here, one way to answer some of his questions would be to disclose the mueller report. likely that report will answer most of these questions. >> right, of course, we need to see, we know there were fisa warrants on carter page and paul manafort before and after but not during the campaign. those are what we know thus far. barr then commented further on his concerns about whether there was again the word spying, of course, a deeply charged word. and an inappropriate word, it would seem. but i want to play his reasoning for why he thinks it's important for the american people to know what he is saying. here he is. >> there also can be abuses that may not arise to the level of a crime, but that, you know, people might think is bad and want to put in rules or prophylasis against it.
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>> the argument there is based on the mueller report. there could be abecauses that may not rise to a level of crime, but people have a right to know about them? >> he is right if there were abuses, if there were violationles of law, which his own inspector general is likely to at least find out, that is whether there were, then there should be action. but the point is, the american people deserve to see the mueller report. that's the reason i authored legislation, bipartisan legislation i lakthat would com disclosure. give the american people what they need and deserve. they paid for this investigation. they deserve to see it. >> he also talked about obstruction of justice today, right? it was his decision to say the mueller report. he would not go ahead with anything on that front. so he said, you know, mueller did not make any determination on the obstruction of justice as we know. barr said it's a big question as
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to whether the attorney general wanted to make a decision or whether he wanted that to go to congress the mueller report did not exonerate. then it goes out there. barr chose to make that decision, himself, not send it to congress. here's how barr answered questions about it today. >> did he express any expectation and leaving the obstruction decision to congress? >> not that, he didn't say that to me, no. >> so he said the obstruction decision should be up to you? >> he didn't say that either. >> but that's generally how the department of justice works. generally grand juries are to investigate crimes and a prosecutor's role at the end of the day is binary. are there charges or no charges? or is this a crime or not a crime? >> is he right, that's how it works. he did the right thing in making the decision because mueller didn't? >> no, that is not how it works.
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the prosecutor generally makes a recommendation. when i was u.s. attorney and chief federal prosecutor in connecticut, i don't think there was a single case where the prosecutor, the line attorney who is with the grand jury did not make some recommendation. so, the facts here are extraordinary and what bill barr has done is taken a jumpball for whatever reason, bob mueller did not make a recommendation and he's tipped that jumpball, tossed it to the president. he's performed the function again that the presidented wanted his consigliere, his roy cohn to perform, which is his protector. that's why the american people, again, need to see that mueller report. not the barr summary, which has been very successful in shaping the headlines without providing the substance. >> all right. senator blumenthal, i appreciate your time. thanks. >> thank you. next, house speaker nancy
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pelosi with very harsh words for the attorney general tonight. >> the chief law enforcement officer of our country is going off the rails. >> a former fbi assistant director who says barr may have crossed the line is out front next. breaking news, federal prosecutors about to sit down with one of trump's favorite targets, amazon ceo jeff bezos. yes, this is about to happen. why? the secretary general responded to the deadline to turn over the taxes by midnight. what is the message? dad, we need to talk about something important. you don't need to go anywhere dad, this is your home. the best home to be in is your own. home instead offers personalized in-home services for your loved ones. home instead senior care. to us, it's personal. run with us in the unstoppable john deere gator xuv835,
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if your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms develop or worsen, or if you've had a vaccine or plan to. serious allergic reactions may occur. how sexy are these elbows? ask your dermatologist about cosentyx. off the rails, democrats fuming after attorney general bill barr testified without providing evidence that spying did occur on president trump's campaign. >> the chief law enforcement officer of our country is going off the rails yesterday and today. he is the attorney general of the united states of america, not the attorney general of donald trump. >> out front now greg broward, former fbi assistant director under jim comey, white house correspondent for radio network and jack weiss, former federal
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prosecutor. greg, this was a stunning comment, obviously, coming from the top law enforcement officer of the united states. you worked under comey in the fbi, did barr cross the line? >> well, at best, erin, it was confusing. at worse it would appear he may have crossed the line. the only correct answer to that series of questions was to simply say that the d zo j office of inspector general is looking at all this, so i will not comment any further, but what's more puzzling to me, not that this would be appropriate for the attorney general to discuss in this hearing, but he is uniquely positioned to know all of the facts underlying this investigation. open his first day in office, he could have summoned rod rosenstein and others who know all the facts to his office and said, organization, guys, the bureau and the department are getting killed with this stuff. i need to know what happened. he could have been briefed up completely. it's puzzling to me he purports to not know what the facts are.
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>> so this is the question, right, jack? he would know the facts? he is the top law enforcement official of the united states, he is now presiding over what is a one-year inspection by the inspector general over the genesis of the report, which would include all this. >> instead he sounds like he is using devon nunez' talking point. if you sound like devon nunez, you are do, it wrong. remember, this is someone over the past weeks he has been precise in his language, the purposely vague letters of the report. yesterday in the house saying i'm not making news today and saying nothing. so when he used the word spying today. he meant it. the question is exactly what game was he playing, but it's not a slip. it's not an accident, it's not something we should give him a pass on. >> april, he used the word spying. look, the word spying is a heavily charged word. it is also, it's a legal word. okay. when someone is an informant or
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an act or a spy or under, you know, investigation, these are very specific terms. spy is not a specific term. spy is a term but evocation certain things that seem to play to the audience of one. >> right. there are a couple things here, erin. in that audience, one is always watching. but especially in their executive time. but, erin, the word spying and this moment was a strategically placed moment for shock and awe. william barr knew exactly what he was doing. he indirectly went after hillary clinton, and barack obama, former president of the united states without calling tear names. why? i talked to sources about this. barr would never say that, you know, on the hymn. but that's what he was saying indirectly, according to these sources. if you put the pieces of the puzzle together, you know, why allegedly was this president being spied upon?
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well, if we go back, when he was a candidate, he charged and dared russia to go into hillary clinton's e-mails, to hack her e-mails. he publicly said this. so that along with some other issues raised concerns with the intelligence community. and, therefore, if barr wants to call it spying, he can call it spying. but there was a probe. >> that is the reason for this probe into then candidate donald trump who is now president in his relationship with russia. >> now, the issue also came up today as to what the trump campaign really knew about the issue of foreign interference in the election. this is important. because we have reported the trump campaign was told explicitly, right? in august of 2016, the now president of the occupation was personally told by a senior intelligence officials that there was interference. okay? and that this was an issue. yet today barr claimed, the trump campaign was never told of
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any possible interference. >> they had two former u.s. attorneys if chris christie and rudy guiliani involved in the campaign and i don't understand why the campaign was not advised. >> so, greg, trump tweeted in may of last year why didn't the crooked highest officials of the fib football or justice officials call ne to tell me of the phony russia problem. what barr echos what president trump said in may of last year. again the president was personally warned. you hear bill barr saying the campaign was not advised. is somebody lying or is there ambiguity? erin, in my experience, i think it's been reported that after the conventions, the major party convention, the vice presidential, vice presidential and presidential nominees and their staff are given briefings, so they know what to look for by usual effort by foreign powers to infiltrate and get intel from the campaigns. so that clearly happened.
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secondly, what was missing from today's discussion is let's say hypothetically, that there is concern on the fbi based on intelligence that a certain campaign is perhaps coordinating with a foreign power, let's say hypothetically the candidate might be implicated in that conduct. the last thing the bureau is going to do is to broo ev that candidate in that campaign on -- brief that candidate on that campaign on the ongoing investigation into that potential activity. >> that itself discorrect. >> so you are explaining why it would be that they would warn but perhaps not explicitly on every detail? and that, and that little distinction there is what barr may be grasping on to today? >> that and the other disconnection, the distinction or disconnect is there is a difference between the ordinary briefing of a campaign and a candidate for defensive purposes and the idea that the subject of an ongoing counterintelligence investigation that goes beyond
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defensive would be clued into the status of that investigation. >> that simply would not happen. so hypothetically, if that was the case, that would explain why the trump campaign was not or campaign in that position would not 'fully briefed. >> i want people to note, obviously, i note you worked under president obama and jim comey, a republican law maker. you are coming at this from both sides not just in terms of your expertise but politically. jack, what do you make of that, that the attorney general chose to raise that issue? i want to make it clear. he's a guy with a really amazing resume. he knows everything that greg just said, yet he chose to say what he said today. >> it's a key debating point. the real question is why didn't don jr. and jerry kushner tell trump they were meeting with russians? why didn't manafort tell him he was dealing with constantine kilimnik? i'm responding to trump's own
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tweet or is it the case that they might have and is it the case that we might learn from the report that bill barr and perhaps trump, himself, have read, perhaps we will learn from that report what those folks told trump about their contacts with the russians. >> april, what happened in the meantime? nancy pelosi says bill barr is going off the rails. you heard bill blumenthal say he has to co-scant or else. what's the what else? >> the bottom line is there will be a lot of talk on the hymn. but in essence, you know, bob barr, william barr, excuse me, will have to come up with something. he's not going to recant. what's going to happen is he is trying to raise the bar, raise the level going forward in trying to change the rules of how probes are conducted into presidents and these candidates. that's what he's ultimately trying to do. so ultimately in time, while the conversations and what figuring out what can be done against
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william barr, bull market barr is going to have to put up with shutting up or put up with this. balls it's all about trying to change what has happened with the u.s. president as it relates to donald j. trump. >> all thank you all very much. next breaking news, one of trump's favorite targets, jeff bezos, now he is about to speak to federal prosecutors. the same prosecutors who are looking into the hush money payments related to trump. plus, trump says he can't release his taxes because he's under audit. is that true? here's the commissioner of the irs. >> i don't think i will answer that question, though. but she might not be sweatpants cool. not quite ready to face the day? that's why we're here with free hot breakfast. book at for our price match guarantee. hampton by hilton. our mission is to provide complete, balanced nutrition for strength and energy! whoo-hoo! great-tasting ensure. with nine grams of protein
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. new toornts, major players in president trump's inner circle, were interviewed by new york prosecutors as part of the probe in the hush money payments made to women who claim they had affairs with trump. the "wall street journal" reporting that investigators questioned former white house communication director hope hicks and trump's long-time body guard steve schiller. who people always by trump's side and we know they have talked to national enquirer david pecker and allen weiselberg, chief financial officer, all of whom intimately involved with these payments. shimon peres is out front. now we know hicks and schiller very interviewed. what does that tell you about how broad this now is? >> it's much broader than we anticipated or thought it was. the fact that they're going deeper into the folks who were the closest to the president during the campaign certainly and into the white house, when you think about hope hicks, she was very close to him.
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she helped craft many of the statements, many of the public responses, so you can see why prosecutors would want to talk to her. on the schiller side, it's very interesting. it's really the first time that we're hearing that federal investigators were talking to him. there has been a lot of questions around him. his thing is he also was very close to the president. a lot of phone calls sometimes, you wanted to get in touch with the president or donald trump during the campaign, you'd have to no through schiller. so you can see why perhaps prosecutors wanted to see who is schiller in contact with? they were working this case to try to figure out, what did the president know? what did donald trump know about these hush money payments? >> stay with me. have you more news. i want to add into the conversation here. u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, a former title and former very vice president for corporate relations firm american media. as shimone points out, keith
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schiller, 20 years with donald trump. in the stormy daniels case, steve schiller is the guy that brokers the meeting in the room. he is not only involved in the campaign and would know probably e possibly about any payments, he knew what happened at the time in terms of the facts of what happened and with whom. hicks, of course, was a much newer entrant but few the president. how significant is it that these two people are now a part of this? >> it's very significant. what it shows now the curtain is being pulled back a bit on the southern district investigation is that it was never just, this is what michael cohen said. that was the a to z of the investigation. they talked to other people, very close to trump as we know from the reporting and we've learned from other places, they've obtained e-mail, search warrants, before it was a public investigation, they knew a tremendous amount about what was going on. so the pick it was a painted in the story about shimone is of a very mature investigation that mostly seems to be at an end.
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>> so, let me ask you, america media is national enquirer, david pecker is ceo of american media. he and trump go way back. he would buy stories, hide them. put them in the back of the room, they'd never see the light of the day. hope hicks calls david pecker about a story at "wall street journal" story on the karen mcdougal, the playmate that the president allegedly had an affair w. why would hope hicks make that call? >> well, as a corporate communications person, your job is to protect your client. her client is trump. if off know and outlet has a negative interview on you, her idea is to put spin on it? she would know i would presume? trump would have said call pecker or she didn't know? >> i'm sure that's not an independent decision of hers. i'm sure she was told to call and make it work. >> shimone, let's get to the
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other breaking news on this, the ceo of amazon, jeff bezos. this story is incredible. he is now expected to meet with stourn district of new york prosecutors, same southern district investigating the hush money payments, bezos, of course is the one that says saudi arabia was behind the enquirer story that outed his affair after "the washington post". which he owns, was so critical of saudi arabia. >> right. so this tells us they are taking this senior verriously. this investigation court of you can argue know is escalating. they're meeting with the alleged victim in this entire situation, what they want to know, obviously, is whether or not they can prove these allegations from jeff bezos and his team that the saudis hacked his devices, somehow got into his phones, got into his devices and were able to maybe leak some of this information the other thing they are very interested in is this extortion, potential extortion scheme by ami and
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whether or not there is any criminal charges they can bring against southern district against ami. obviously the saudis, too. the fbi is very interested in all of this material as well. why all this is also important, obviously, the role that ami played in the hush money payments. right? they already have an agreement, a non-prosecution agreement from the southern district of new york because of their role in this entire scheme. to you that could get ripped up. essentially they could face charges for that and now this as well. that's something that prosecutors want to question him about what he knows, his communications with ami and obviously, they want his device, they want to go through his phones, his computers to see exactly if the saudis got in. the bezos people say we have the evidence. we have the proof? right. >> what they have and the fbi wants and what proof they need to make a case perhaps could be two different things. we'll see. it's definitely very significant. if the richest man now in the world now meeting with prosecutors in new york who have
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been investigating. >> that's incredible. >> the trump campaign, have been investigating these hush money payments, have been investigating other issues surrounding trump, this is significant. >> this comes in the context of the yelling about "the washington post," yelling about fake news, gleefully celebrating the end of jeff bezo's marriage, saudi arabia, in support of saudi arabia, which has provided a lot of money to "the national enquirer". i know it's complicated. but all roads lead to trump. do you now have the richest map of the world, a foreign power and donald trump and prosecutors involved in investigating things related to trump all in one sentence. >> and the prosecutors can really go wherever this leads. they're go him to start, not surprisingly talking to the victim, as shimone says, talking to the victim, for instancically who hacked into these devices and from where. if it leads to saudi arabia, they can go there. they can charge people anywhere around the world. now, whether they'll come here and face charges on another story, that will allow them to
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still the story of what happened here. who you this very wealthy and powerful man was sort of brought down in this very public way. >> who knows what they will find. if they go there, you have the questions raised. about the president of the united states, choosing to take saudi arabia's side over that of his own intelligence actions, as "the washington post" was doing all that very, very incredible reporting on jamal khashoggi's death. sue, we have a report tonight from "the washington post". which reports "the national enquirer" is expected to be sold imminently. what do you make with that? >> well, as i've said for a long time, david pecker is a very smart businessman, more importantly, he's a survivor. i predicted he was going to land on his feet. this is his out to land on his feet. the hedge fund company who owns them, clearly threw their arms in in the air. >> disgusted by the bezo's reporting what do you you think about that in. >> on the one hand, they should
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have known who they were going into business with. david is a master salesman and did a sales job not knowing what they were buying into. this isn't the first time the things hit the fan. this is a bigger level. but there has been many other topics where the inquire irhas been under the gun before. >> perhaps jeff bezos will buy it. thank you all. and next, president trump saying no way will he turn over his taxes to the house ways and means committee before tonight's deadline. >> i'm under audit. i won't do it. if i'm not under audit, i wouldn't do it. i have no problem with it. >> a member of the house ways and means committee responds. plus, president trump is standing by his federal reserve pick herman kane. >> herman is a wonderful man. he has been a supporter of mine for a long time. including nasal congestion,
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. breaking news, the treasury secretary moments ago responding to the democrat's demand for six years of trump's tax returns. the deadline for those returns is tonight. secretary steve mnuchin says he won't meet the deadline and is getting the justice department involved. he says quote in a letter -- the "'s request raises serious issues concerning the constitutional scope of congressional investigative authority, the legitimacy of the
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asserted legislative purpose and the constitutional rights of american citizens. he stand firm. he is not giving up his tax returns. >> i am not under obligation to do that while i'm under audit. no lawyer would tell to you release your tax returns while are you under auto it. >> the irs commission charles reddick said the president could release them this audit thing, not so much. >> if anybody's tax return is under audit, is there a rule that would prohibit that taxpayer from releasing it? >> i think in answer to that question, no. >> it was a definitive answer. out front, a member of the house ways and means committee, good to have off with me, sir. secretary mnuchin. let's start with him. he says this sets a dangerous precedent? right? he is making a point that probably could resonate with some people that congress shouldn't be able willie nillie pick a fame out of the pot and say i want your tacks because i want them? is he right, this sets a
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dangerous precedent? >> no, he's not right. have you as to wonder how many lawyers, how much time does secretary mnuchin need in order to understand that the word shall means shall? i mean, he's got the treasury department lawyers. he's got the internal revenue service lawyers. he's now got the department of justice and the attorney general. he's got the white house lawyers and trump's personal lawyers, but, obviously, president trump thinks that all these taxpayer funded public lawyers are his personal lawyers, his michael cohen of the moment. and all these lawyers are just in the way. what we have here is a fancy repackageing of what secretary mnuchin provided as real double talk when i questioned him in committee last month. he's using the same steal arguments that the republicans used to cover up my emotions for two years. we now have some oversight. the law is clear, they should move forward, promptly. also, secretary mnuchin is ignoring the delegation of
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authority that exists to the irs commissioner. it is only that commissioner whose comments you just played who should be making this decision. not obstruction from anyone else. >> the treasury signature obviously says he's going to be in charge here and consult with the justice department. let me play something that president trump said just a few days ago on this front. here he is. >> the commissioner of the irs is not to disclose to the house ways an means committee your tax returns? >> they'll speak to my lawyers and speak to the attorney general. >> that's what the treasury secretary is doing, he is doing what he wanted. speaking to the attorney general general? >> yes, it seems to be, it will be another form of obstruction. the presidents, the white house lawyers, his attorney general, all obstructing the irs commissioner from fulfilling what is really a statutory
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ministerial administrative duty to hand over what the law requires him to do. >> secretary mnuchin is, i want to be explicit here. he says he is supervisorsing the response to your committee's request. it sounds like you are saying that's not acceptable. but it should be the irs commissioner reddick presumably, right? so when secretary mnuchin specifically says he is overseeing it. what is that? >> yes, well, secretary mnuchin is ignoring what former secretary larry somers has pointed out. >> that there is a long-standing delegation of authority from the treasury secretary to not be involved in these individual tax matters and give that responsibility to the irs commissioner. >> that can be changed only by giving 30 days' notice to congress. which they have not done. so i think secretary mnuchin is trying to control what happens from the irs commissioner just as president trump from your comments is trying to use every lawyer at his disposal to say that shall does not mean shall
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and to put himself above the law. >> thank you very much, congressman, i appreciate your time. >> thank you. next, why is president trump defending herman kain? even as member over member is up in arms about kain's nomination to the federal reserve board. plus jeanie moos on president trump's advice for george walk. washington. feel the clarity of non-drowsy claritin
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read reviews, check hotel prices, book things to do, tripadvisor. tonight, president trump standing by herman cain, his pick for a seat on the fed, despite growing concerns over the controversial choice. mitt romney saying i don't think herman cain will be on the board of the federal reserve. pat roberts, "whether he's qualified to be on the fed, i don't know." cory gardner, flat out no, when asked he would support cain. can cain make it? athena jones is outfront. >> i like herman cain, and herman will make that determination. >> reporter: president trump fielding reporters' questions about his federal reserve pick, herman cain, while professing to know nothing about how the confirmation battle is unfolding. >> as to how he's doing in the process, that, i don't know. you go through a process, but herman is a great guy and i hope he does well. >> reporter: this, despite a growing kesh on capitol hill
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from trump's own party about cain's history and fitness for the job. senate majority leader mitch mp mcconnell playing it cool. >> we're going to look at whoever the president sends up. it's his choice to decide and once he makes a nomination, we'll take a look at it. >> reporter: sources say behind the scenes he's advising senators to make their concerns known to the white house before trump formally submits cain's nomination, to avoid a public fight. why the concern? for one thing, lawmakers worry cain's closeness to the president, who has called cain a friend and a very terrific man, could weaken the independence of the fed, the most powerful central bank in the world. trump has repeatedly blasted fed policy. cain founded the pro-trump political action group america fighting back. >> bottom line, folks, 999 means jobs, jobs, jobs. >> reporter: the former pizza executive whose catchy tax plan won him fame during his 2012
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presidential run holds unusual sometimes controversial views. he has said the u.s. should return to the gold standard, and advised against raising the debt ceiling, even though not doing so could be catastrophic for the economy. >> i don't believe the debt ceiling should be raised. i don't believe the debt ceiling has to be raised. secondly -- >> reporter: wouldn't we go into default? wouldn't there be consequences? >> no, those are scare tactics. >> reporter: he floated conspiracy theories job line like this tweet accusing president obama's labor department of fabricating unemployment numbers, and sexual assault allegations from four women derailed cain's presidential aspirations. >> and he put his hand on my leg, under my skirt and reached for my genitals. he also grabbed my head and brought it towards his crotch. >> reporter: cain denies the allegations and defended himself on facebook over the weekend. >> so be it. let them go back and dig up eight-year-old stuff. i will be able to explain it this time where they wouldn't let me explain it the last time,
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they were too busy believing the accusers. >> reporter: treasury secretary steve mnuchin stopped short of vouching for cain but told cnbc -- >> i don't know cain very well but i have every reason to believe the president supports him and feels strongly, so yes, i would think he should be confirmed. >> reporter: white house economic adviser kevin hassett said earlier this week that cain's nomination is still being vetted and has not been yet sent to the senate. some gop senators like cory gardner of colorado have already indicated they won't support cabe, should he be formally nominated and since the party can't rely on any democratic votes they can only afford to lose a few republicans. >> thank you, athena. next, president trump reportedly criticizing george washington for bad branding. he says the first president should have been more like him. jeanne reports.
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trump reflecting on george washington, or the things that matter most. here's jeanne. >> reporter: leave it to president trump to give george washington advice. it was about a year ago the president and the president of france went on a tour of washington's estate. politico described it as trump's truly bizarre visit to mt. vernon. politico reports president trump remarked that if washington was smart, he would have put his name on it, meaning mt. vernon. you've got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you. >> i love to put my name on things, i have to tell you. >> reporter: the ceo of mt. vernon who was leading the tour noted that washington did succeed in getting the nation's capitol named after him. good point, trump said, with a laugh. the group that owns have nan didn't deny the reported comments, but said they do not properly convey the tone. queue trump critics, yes, if only washington had put his name on mt. vernon, then maybe people
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would have remembered him. yeah, maybe we wouldn't need reminders like the $1 bill or the george washington bridge. is there anything donald trump won't stake a claim to? >> trump steaks are the world's greatest steaks. i have trump international. trump magazine. trump airline. >> reporter: not to mention things other people name after him. >> drumpy bear. >> reporter: trump's produced trump vodka, trump wine. even donald trump jr. >> there's going to be a real wall. it's going to be a trump wall. >> reporter: and this could have been the george washington colonnade. politico reports president trump did approve of the bed in which washington died. trump felt the bedpost and pronounced it a good bed to die in. the good thing about not plastering your name on things s you won't feel the pain of people taking it off, like at these trump place apartments. >> isn't this great? it makes me think of the song
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"i'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair." ♪ >> reporter: and there's no rush to wash out the guy in the wig. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> thanks for joining us. anderson starts now. good evening. attorney general william barr says the fbi spied on the trump presidential campaign, his department is looking into it. his words, spying did occur. tonight, keeping him honest, given we know there was a duly approved counter intelligence probe under way at the time and there was russian interference in the campaign, what to those words really mean? are they his way of signaling he's merely ensuring all investigations are conducted properly or do they mean he's embracing the conspiracy theory of the origins of the russian probe? the answer matters because barr is the top law enforcement officer in the country and the person in that role is supposed to serve the country, not the president. he made a judgment call not to pursue an


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