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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  February 13, 2020 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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british royal family, "the windsors: inside the royal dynasty" premiers sunday. follow me on twitter and instagram @wolfblitzer. erin burnett "out front" starts right now. breaking news, the president's attorney general says he won't be bullied by trump, speaking out after intervening in roger stone's sentencing. but is he really taking a stand against the president? plus trump taking on his former chief of staff after john kelly publicly slammed him. and michael bloomberg, a billion dollar juggernaut, already bigger than president obama's 2008 whole campaign. is it working? gooechb, i'm erin burnett. out front tonight, barr speaks out against trump's tweet. the president's attorney general
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saying trump is making it impossible for barr to do his job. think about that. now, barr is defending his decision to intervene in the sentencing of trump's long-time friend and convicted felon, roger stone. he tells abc news tonight he was going to break with prosecutors. he was planning to do that. he was planning to push for a lighter sentence than the one they publicly recommended. but then trump got involved tweeting that the recommended sentence was horrible, unfair, miscarriage of justice. so, barr looked like a patsy, like he was doing trump's bidding. barr says trump forced him into an untenable situation. >> once the tweet occurred, the question is well, now what do i do? and do you go forward with what you think is the right decision or do you pull back because of the tweet? and that just sort of illustrates how disruptive the tweets can be. >> so you're saying you have a problem with the tweets? >> yes, i have a problem with some of the tweets.
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i'm happy to say that in fact the president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case. however, to have public statements and tweets made about the department, about our people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in their department that we're doing our work with integrity. >> mr. barr, the president does not like to be told what to do. he may not like what you're saying. are you prepared for those ramifications? >> of course. as i said during my confirmation, i came in to serve as attorney general. i am responsible for everything
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that happens in the department. but the thing i have most responsibility for are the issues that are brought to me for decision. and i will make those decisions based on what i think is the right thing to do. and i'm not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody. and i said whether it's congress, newspaper, editorial boards, or the president i'm going to do what i think is right. and, you know, the -- i think the -- i cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me. >> so, just to be clear here, did you talk to the president at all about your decision regarding your recommendations? >> the recommendations on this case? never. >> anybody from the white house call you to try to influence you. >> no. nope. >> so, you -- >> i have not discussed the roger stone case at the white house. >> so, barr says he never talked
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about the stone case with trump. barr just happened, he says, to want the exact same thing that trump wanted which is many issues for barr from the wish investigation for the bidens to the mueller report. what trump wants from barr, he has tended to get and trump knows it. he talked about it today. >> do you ever wonder what your life would have been like if you had picked william barr instead of jeff sessions? >> yeah, my life would have been a lot easier. >> well, there you have it from his mouth. kaitlan collins is out front live outside the white house. barr is saying i agree, i wanted to do the same thing. but he got involved with a tweet and it makes it impossible for me to do my job and basically he needs to -- i'm trying to find a polite way to put it -- he needs to stop tweeting. how is the president reacting to barr's comments? >> reporter: he's saying it looks like the attorney general
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is taking directions from the president which is the criticism prompted by the tweet from the president. tonight the white house was caught off guard by this interview based on several officials we have spoke to. barr is free to air his opinions publicly, but we also note this is a president who does not like to be criticized, certainly not publicly challenged by one of his favorite cabinet members. so, what the president is thinking is likely to play out in the next several hours because often the way he views an event is shaped by the coverage of it. that is going to be the question going forward here. when someone disagrees with the president on the record, he has pushed back strongly. that's the question going forward here and what the president does then. barr was saying he feels like he was put in an untenable position by the president's tweet and what he wanted to do. but the president seems to be in
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an impuzzled situation because barr is one of his favorite cabinet members. he is carrying out the agenda is president wants but he is publicly challenges him in a defiant way. i think we have to wait to see exactly how the president himself weighs in on all of this. >> it's a fair point. barr making it clear, public statements and tweets makes it impossible for me to do my job. it could not be more of a direct in your face than that. kaitlan, thank you. and i want to go out front now to democratic congressman val demings. she's on the house judiciary. she served as a house impeachment manager. you saw her in the senate day after day making the case. what do you think about the way this is happening? why is barr choosing to speak out in this way in a public national interview instead of privately? >> it's good to be back with you. let me say this, it's interesting to hear attorney
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general barr talk about what he said in the confirmation hearing. he said all the right things in his hearing. someone once said don't listen to what i say, look at what i do. if you look at what attorney general barr has done, there's been no daylight between him and the white house. attorney general barr, as you remember miscategorized the conclusions in the mueller report, basically misleading the american people. the attorney general then helped president trump congress's in oversight. i have no faith or confidence in what william barr has said. i think roger stone has turned up the heat awe bit. the president has been impeached and just went through a trial really can't take that. and i think i would not be surprised, erin, if the attorney general and the president were not in ka hoots in terms of barr making a public statement to the american people. >> interesting. so, when barr comes out and tells trump to stop tweeting -- let me play that part again to
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the point you just made, i want to play that again. here it is, congresswoman. >> to have public statements and tweets made about the department, about our people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department and about judges before whom we have cases make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we're doing our work with integrity. >> so, this is interesting, congresswoman. so, are you hearing there then this isn't about the tweets. that's the fig leaf. what this is really about is barr saying i wanted a more lenient sentence for roger stone. yeah, president and i were in agreement. what i want you to take away is i want that separate from him, geez if that guy would stop tweeting, all this would go
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away. so, the tweet is the fig leaf? >> i think that's correct, erin. i'm not falling for it. i hope the american people are not falling for it. wo we know the president. he loves to boast and be out front. i do think when the president and his attorney general has a plan that they think can work, when the president tweets about it, it does call complications for the attorney general but not in terms of doing the right thing but in terms of doing the wrong thing and really undermining the department of justice that we have in this country. >> you, as i mentioned, congresswoman, were one of the house members. you were making the case to remove this president from office due to his actions with the ukrainian president. the point you made repeatedly was that if trump gets away with questions ukrainian president zelensky, he will do it again. i want to be sure you heard what president trump said about future calls with world leaders.
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here he is. >> when you call a foreign leader, people listen. i may end the practice entirely. i may have to -- i may end it entirely. >> you're on the judiciary committee, intelligence committee, what do you say to that? >> i say first of all that i am not surprised. but i certainly hope the senators who voted to acquit the president hear loud and clearly what the president has said. let me also remind you in our case we tried to make it quite clear through documents and evidence that was presented through the senate that the president would not only u use/abuse his power to get government powers involved, that he could use his powers in a domestic way to withhold money and funds to coerce people into basically doing what he wanted them to. so, it doesn't surprise me. the president has no intentions on stopping his wrong doing. he just wants to continue to cover it up and will look to people like william barr, others
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in the senate, and others in the house who have turned a complete blind eye and deaf ear to his wrong doing. >> all right, congresswoman demings. i appreciate your time together, and i thank you. next you hear barr rejecting criticism that he's carrying the president's water. is he his own man or not? you heard congresswoman demings questioning that? more of his own words. trump lashing out at john kelly. why did it bother him so much? the president's long-time friend is out front. the cdc giving a dire warning, the coronavirus can spread from people who have no symptoms. this coming as the number of cases spikes. this blt is delicious!
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upper respiratory tract infection and headache may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines, and if you're pregnant or planning to be. otezla. show more of you. tonight attorney general bill barr defending himself against accusations that he's acting like president trump's personal attorney. >> we are in a very polarized situation, and so in that kind of situation i expect a lot of low blows and there are a lot of low blows. but i don't respond to that, as you say. but i do think that in the current situation, as i've said, you know, the fact that the tweets are out there and correspond to things we're doing at the department sort of give
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grist to the mill and that's why i think it's time to stop the tweeting about department of justice criminal cases. >> out front now, my panel. bill barr coming out and doing this instead of -- if the whole pount w point was i agree with everything you say on some sense, mr. president, but you're making it impossible for me to do my job by putting out tweets. why does he need an interview to do that? why can't that be done in another way? does this add up? >> you know, that is actually one of the surprising things here because it does lend itself to interpretations, right? and i think, erin, in the end everyone knows that the president is a voracious consumer of media. you know, frankly you can have conversations with him in the oval office and it sort of just doesn't resonate. but if it gets covered in the
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press and he gets his tivo, he catches up with his tivo later in the evening and early in the morning, that's when it actually sinks in what is being said. i think that might be the strategy here. also the other part of this is to give it some consumption for people at the justice department who i do think in the last couple of days have been very shaken by the events that the attorney general set into place and that the president's tweets have also kind of called into question. >> right. you know, barr is trying to say i came to the same conclusion. i thought the sentence was too aggressive. he's saying he was surprised these career prosecutors all chose to leave the case. tonight he says in this interview it's a low blow, it feels like a low blow for anybody to say he is the president's personal attorney.
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>> but here's the deal. the attorney general is to blame for some of that perception because he has used some of the rhetoric, some of the charged rhetoric that the president has used. and he has chosen to do that. t he didn't have to say some of the things he said about the mueller investigation, about the russia investigation. he has chosen to do some of those things. so, that's part of the reason why there is that perception. so, i know he is sort of like now reinventing history and saying i have no idea why people think of me that way. but he is the cause of that. >> so, paul let me explain to people it isn't just that he says i thought roger stone's sentence was egregious so i was going to move to have it cut back and i'm doing the president's bidding, i'm not a patsy. it's things like this on the issues of immigration, on issues of national emergency, on issues of spying on the campaign and it's false, here it is.
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>> my administration is planning to end the rampant abuse of our asylum system. >> people are abusing the asylum system. >> i'm going to be signing a national emergency, and it's been signed many times before. >> your declaration of an emergency on the southern border was clearly authorized under the law and consistent with past precedent. >> they spied on me. they spied on our campaign. >> i think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. i think spying did occur. >> just to be clear, paul, of course the president's own fbi chief said it didn't, was the wrong word to use and was clear about that multiple times under oath. but tonight paul, barr says he's his own man and he's insulted if anyone says anything else. what do you say? >> i don't see any reason to credit him at all given the history that you've just played for us. it seems pretty clear that he's
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already internalized what the president wants. even if it's true that the president didn't call him to ask for a lighter sentence for stone, it's precisely because he knew that barr already knew what it was that the president wanted. i think even more importantly in order to achieve what the president wanted, barr himself overrode not just four career prosecutors but the sentencing guidelines who put sentencing in place. the recommendation for stone was the recommendation that would have been made for any other person similarly situationed. the problem for barr is that stone was president trump's friend and he knew he had to act. that's what reveals him as the president's enabler. >> this comes the same day the president said this. let me play it. >> do you ever wonder what your life would have been like if you
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had picked william barr rather than jeff sessions? >> yeah, my life would have been a lot easier. >> sort of says it all, doesn't it? >> yeah, it does. i think those clips that were played the and in that comment there goes to why people do think that the justice department under barr isn't as independent as it was under sessions and as it was under previous presidents. i think in the coming weeks of this justice department bears the investigation into russia interference. i think you see that this attorney general is trying to gain some credibility i think in advance of this investigation that the president wanted into russian interference. he of course made claims this was a biased investigation, the whole idea is fine. i think in some ways it has to be looked at in that light. he's trying to emerge as his own man, so whatever report the justice department releases will have some credibility and won't
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look like this is just the president ordering something from the justice department to confirm some of his conspiracy near near theories about russia investigation. the american public has every reason to believe that the president has been influencing barr's language and his approach to justice. >> what do you make, paul, of why he did this interview? was it just so justice department employees will believe him? he had an issue with the president's tweets, he could have just told him. >> i think there's two reasons. first is as we've already said i think there was a revolution going on inside the department of justice. he's trying to calm those waters. the second of course is the republicans in the house and senate who have their talking points. they can say barr said he wasn't influenced. he was going to do it already. and even though it's strange
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decr creditty to believe that's true, they have a hook to hang their ignoring of this problem. i think that's the other audience out there. >> all right. i thank you all very much. next, michael bloomberg, why is he getting under president trump's skin? trump's long-term friend chris ready is my guest. plus why won't china let american health officials into the country? it's time for the ultimate sleep number event on the sleep number 360 smart bed.
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new tonight, president trump versus mayor mike bloomberg. it is getting ugly. trump mocking bloomberg's height for the third time this week, calling him minimike and bloomberg responding, we know many of the same people in new york. behind your back they laugh at you and call you a carnival barking clown. i have the record and the resources to defeat you and i will. this is bloomberg building a
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massive operation to take on trump, willing to spend a billion dollars in his fight against the president and to not mince words. jeff zeleny is out front. >> michael bloomberg is taking delight in suddenly being center of attention in the democratic presidential race. >> that's why he keeps tweeting about me. thank you, donald. keep sending it. i love it. >> he's trying to win the nomination fuelled by multibillion dollar personal fortune. >> you don't see many presidential candidates here in greenz borrow. they're spending all their time in south carolina but i think the voters in north carolina deserve just as much attention. >> the former new york city mayor didn't happen to be in the neighborhood. he breezed through north carolina today as early voting opened for the primary on march 3rd, also known as super tuesday, when he finally plunges into a race he's already
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reshaping. the first test comes that day when voters in 13 states weigh in. he spent nearly $130 million on super tuesday ads and $381 million overall trying to make the point he's the strongest candidate to challenge president trump. >> angry out of control president. >> no matter where you live in america, bloomberg is inescapable, at least on television. that has allowed him to shape his own narrative until now. he's suddenly on the defensive over the controversial stop and frisk policy in new york where bloomberg argued one way to reduce violence was to throw minority kids up against the walls and frisk them. >> i don't think those words reflect how i led the most diverse city in the nation. and i apologized for the practice and the pain that it caused. >> in three stops across north carolina today, he did not address it. several voters we talked to who
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admire bloomberg say they wished he would have and believe he must. >> it's really an issue. if he resolves it, we can move on and get my vote. >> days before he jumped into the race last year, he rejected the policy. >> i realize back then i was wrong and i'm sorry. >> but he's rarely addressed it since, hoping to move beyond through a series of high profile endorsements from african-american members of congress and big city mayors. one way is through an ad featuring barack obama's praise. after only declaring his candidacy less than three months ago, bloomberg is building a massive campaign battleship, 2,300 employees and growing. it's all part of the bloomberg plan to overwhelm his democratic rivals in hopes of showing signs
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of strength against a man he's aching to run against. >> let me be clear. i am running to defeat donald trump. >> so, as democratic candidates are scrambling to raise money, mike bloomberg is racing to spend money. of course he has an unlimited fortune and he's putting that to use. it is through those television ads he has shaped his own narrative. we're entering a new phase of the campaign, joe biden, elizabeth warren, and others saying they want to inspect the bloomberg record as well. that could happen as early as next week if he qualifies for the debate. >> outfront now, patty doyle, former political campaign manager to hillary clinton. mike bloomberg is bringing it to donald trump in a way no one else has and people have tried every single path. he's doing it in a slightly different way and trump is responding, aggressively so. how worried should he be about
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michael bloomberg? >> well, look, i think one of two things. michael bloomberg is either going to win the nomination and he will be crowned the, you know, biggest political genius of our generation, or he's going to lose the nomination but still put a billion or maybe $2 billion towards defeating donald trump. so, regardless of the outcome i think donald trump should be very worried about michael bloomberg. >> it's interesting, jeff weaver, senior adviser for bernie sanders said they wouldn't take a dollar of michael bloomberg's money. certainly they would benefit from it. you are featured in cnn's new season of "race for the white house." it premiers sunday. i want to play a quick clip for viewers. >> barack obama wasn't on our radar as a candidate in early 2006. i think the general feeling was he just got to the senate.
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there's no way he's going to run for president. that would be pretty audacious. >> that word, and of course we're seeing a lot of candidates who aren't waiting their turn. why should they? you see aoc, pete buttigieg not waiting his turn for the nomination. president trump of course had no political experience. did obama forever change american expectations for a presidential candidate? in other words, you don't need to have a résume? >> well, look, first of all, i was -- i'm lucky enough to have been able to see the docuseries yesterday, and it is very good. so, i encourage your viewers to please watch it because i think, you know, not because i was in it but the 2008 campaign was really such a historic campaign. we had these political power houses running for president. you know, icons, really. you had the first african-american president of the united states running against the first woman ever to win a party's nomination.
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and then after the primary season, barack obama running against a war hero and then of course enter sarah palin as the vp nominee. so, yeah, absolutely. i think barack obama -- and that campaign in general really changed the way people practice politics. it was an incredible battle. but what i really -- as i watched it last night, what really struck me was you can fight to the bitter end and really get, you know, sort of roll up your sleeves and battle it out. but in the end, these people all came together, you know? barack obama chose hillary clinton as the secretary of state. so, i think 2008 really changed politics for the better. but it's also -- it's a good sign of what could come. >> and we shall see of course. and don't miss a new season of "race for the white house,"
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patty and others. next president trump is lashing out at john kelly. why did john kelly's criticism coming out today bother trump so much? trump's long-time friend chris riotta is my guest after this. plus trump's national security adviser refusing to rule out that the coronavirus may be a biological weapon. grandparents! we want to put money aside for them, so...change in plans. alright, let's see what we can adjust. ♪ we'd be closer to the twins. change in plans. okay. mom, are you painting again? you could sell these. lemme guess, change in plans? at fidelity, a change in plans is always part of the plan.
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new tonight, war of words, president trump slamming his former chief of staff john kelly, tweeting, quote, when i terminated john kelly, which i couldn't do fast enough, we knew full well he was way over his head. being chief of staff just wasn't for him. he came out with a bang, went out with a whimper. colonel vindman did the right thing by raising concerns about trump's phone call with ukraine's president. and he said, quote, he did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave. we teach them don't follow an illegal order. and if you're given one you'll raise to whoever gives it to you
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that this is an illegal order and tell your boss. out front now, chris ruddy, also a close friend of president trump. chris, i'm glad to have you on. chris, you see this obviously kelly has stood by vindman and said he did the right thing. you heard the president's response. obviously kelly is a four star general, a very respected general. is this a fight trump should be having? >> erin, this is a president that likes to have fights. he enjoys the jousting and likes telling people what he thinks. i'm always amazed by people who are shocked by what the president says when the country set ging used to the fact that the president likes to speak his mind. donald trump was elected president of the united states. general kelly was an appointed official, aide, chief of staff. the chief of staff doesn't run the country. and it's not that consequential what his views are because he
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was not elected by the president. and you can see by the tone of the language he used that that really -- that graded on hum. and i think i agree with some of the things that general kelly said. i think migrants are good people. i think vindman was following procedures by what he did and so forth. but at the end of the day, the president decides if he doesn't like vindman, those people work at the pleasure of the president. he's the chief executive officer and he's not breaking the law by firing any of these people. >> and yet you say these things, that you know, you think that vindman did the right thing or that the call with zelensky was not perfect. the president doesn't come out and castigate you. chris, i'm just wondering when general kelly was his chief of staff, trump was very proud. go ahead and respond to what i'm saying. you can criticize him and he doesn't come out and say you're a horrible, pathetic piece -- person. >> i'm one of those, i always
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joke with him. i'm an enemy of the people that actually supports him. i'm a member of the press. i will give it and share my views just like he shares his views. i'm not employed with him. if i was working with him, i would not be out publicly disputing him. and i think some people feel they have almost like a duty to criticize him. a lot of his positions are quite popular. when he criticized the sentence of roger stone for seven or nine years, most americans think for lying to congress, most members of congress, some people argue they lie all the time. he's getting seven to nine years in prison for that? and the beltway, they're all shocked that somehow he criticized prosecutors on this. this is a president that cares about people. i know that's taboo to say on the cnn. but the senate passed laws that put minorities in jail,
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incarcerated them. the first person to do something about it is president trump. >> i'm just talking about criminal justice reform which is certainly impossible to argue that is his biggest bipartisan thing that he's done. but what i'm trying to understand is why he behaves the way he behaves. i understand you're making a point that it may not matter. why are you guys talking about this, he does these horrible ridiculous tweets but who cares. i get your point. but i'm trying to understand why he hates criticism so much. bill barr, he doesn't tolerate perceived disloyalty. he lives for twitter. i don't know if you heard today -- you probably did -- but bill barr today said that the president's tweet about roger stone's sentence was not okay. i want to play again what barr said and i'll give you a chance to respond. >> you're saying you have a problem with the tweets?
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>> yes -- well, i have a problem with some of the tweets. you have public statements and tweets made about the department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department and about judges before whom we have cases make it impossible for me to do my job. >> what do you think the president's going to do about that, just ignore it, let bill barr say it publicly? >> well, the president and i spoke this afternoon. it's interesting we were talking about some of the background on this, not that issue directly. but, you know, the president said to me they spent, the dnc and hillary campaign, they spent a lot of money on that dossier. it turned out to be completely baseless. $15 million in public funds was spent investigating it, on what
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basis? all the fisa investigations found without basis. he suffered for two years, so i understand his angst. when the attorney general says i have a problem with the president's tweets, i think the president's view is i have a problem with a justice system that puts me under the gun for two years, finds nothing, and starting incarcerating people for almost a decade for no underlying crime. and i think he's got a view this is highly political. i think he should try to work with his attorney general. i think the tweets would be better if he did a lot less tweeting. but he's a guy that likes to tell it like it is. and at the end of the day people are going to judge him -- right. people are going to judge him by his record. michael bloomberg might have 50 billion, but donald trump has something worth more, an incredible economy. >> yep, 63%. >> the happiest best lives.
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if you watch networks like cnn, you would think somehow this country was in turmoil and on the edge of revolution, and we're seeing, if anything, the democratic party is on the edge of revolution. they just picked a candidate twice now this two primaries that said he's happy to be described as a marxist. >> well, socialist, democratic socialist. >> no, he said he was happy being called a communist. >> yeah. >> and the choice is pretty clear here. >> all right. i appreciate your time. of course i want to talk to you about michael bloomberg because that gets complicated. i appreciate your time. i hope you'll come back, thanks. next the cdc with chilling development about the coronavirus and who can spread it. plus jim jordan, sexual abuse allegations.
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tonight the coronavirus can spread from people who aren't showing symptoms. the troubling information coming from the cdc that is also saying tonight it still has not been allowed into china, raising big questions about the truth of what is happening there. "outfront" gordon yang, analyst at the daily beast. gordon, one-day increase of 15,000 for coronavirus cases. unclear why suddenly they miscounted or whatever the case may be. total now 60,000. huge questions, though, what it really is. death toll more than 1300. you say the truth could be much different? >> well, certainly. we've been seeing reports over weeks that suggest that this is many more infections, many more deaths. the thing that's really troubling, erin, is especially since january 26 or so, the communist party has put much more effort into suppressing information. and because of that, there's got to be a concern with these numbers do not adequately reflect the severity of the situation. >> so senator tom cotton has raised the idea that the coronavirus originated in a chinese government lab.
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he pointed out that wuhan has the only level 4 lab in china that deals with deadly pathogens. when asked about the possibility of bioterror, trump's adviser would not dismiss it, wouldn't rule it out. is this credible or a full-on conspiracy? >> well, we can't rule anything out right now. most people say this started from the wet market in wuhan, but if you look at the january 24 article in the lancet, which is the authoritative british -- >> yes, i read that article. >> most of the people who have initial symptoms had no connection with the wet market. we also know "the wall street journal" of china also posted an article that said sars in 2002 started naturally but was fueled by releases from a biolab. so who knows what's going on. >> it's pretty scary when you think about it, because the cdc, just to be clear, not allowed into china at this point. they are not allowing the cdc in. >> and the w.h.o., which has a delegation there has not been allowed near the scene of this.
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so they're just cooling their heels. and that shows that china does not want an investigation of the origin of this disease. that fuels speculations that we've heard. >> all right, thank you very much, gordon change. and next, congressman jim jordan facing serious accusations of trying to cover up sexual abuse allegations against an ohio state university doctor. edhealte advantage plans come with renewactive- a free gym membership, a personalized fitness plan, and more- a free gym membership- plus up to $115 in rewards for staying active go ahead, take advantage. plus100% online car buying. carvana's had a lot of firsts. car vending machines. and now, putting you in control of your financing. at carvana, get personalized terms, browse for cars that fit your budget,
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tonight one of president trump's top allies, congressman jim jordan facing new accusations of covering up introduce allegations against an ohio state university doctor. these are accusations that jordan has denied. brynn gingras is outfront. >> reporter: republican ohio businessman jim jordan, all smiles at a dinner with president trump the day after one of his former wrestling captains slammed him. >> see a coward. >> reporter: adam di sabato providing allegations of widespread cover-up of athletes at ohio state university. adam is directing much of his anger at jordan, a former assistant coach of the team for eight years, claiming jordan knew about the abuse athletes suffered at the hands of a
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former team dr. and turned a blind eye. >> that's the kind of cover-ups that's going on there. >> reporter: it's not the first time jordan's faced criticism connected to the scandal. in 2018, di sabato's brother mike exposed the alleged abuse he endured at the hands of dr. richard strauss when mike was on osu's wrestling team in the late '80s. at the time jordan denied knowing. >> no abuse, never heard of abuse. if we had, we would have reported it. >> reporter: fast forward to this week when adam di sabato told a room of ohio lawmakers that jordan not only knew, but the congressman took ate step further in 2018, asking him to contradict his brother's explosive account. >> jim jordan called me crying, begging me to go against my brother. >> reporter: at the state hearing for a bill which could give abuse victims the right to sue universities, di sabato also testified he told jordan about the alleged abuse, and in turn jordan said his superiors told him to keep his mouth shut.
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a spokesperson for jordan says the new claims are, quote, another lie, adding congressman jordan would never ask anyone to do anything but tell the truth. >> what you heard did not happen. >> reporter: it's another black eye for the man who the president saw as a shining star while he served on the house judiciary committee during the impeachment inquiry. on the day after the senate acquitted trump, he thanked jordan by oddly calling attention to his athleticism. >> he is the ncaa meeting a couple of years ago when he was in college wrestling champion. that means in all of college, he is a champ. you're the best. >> reporter: jordan took part in an independent investigation of the university last year, which concluded university personnel at the highest level had knowledge of complaints about strauss and failed to act meaningfully. it didn't mention jordan. strauss died more than a decade before the allegations surfaced. and last week a gop source says that jordan will be the next top republican in the house
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judiciary committee. that still needs to be approved. we'll see if this has any impact on that. unlikely, erin, if you remember back in 2018 when the accusations came out, there was hardly any political blowback. >> thank you very much, brynn. and thanks very much for joinings. anderson starts now. good evening. we begin with what sounds like a very public declaration of independence from attorney general william barr along with questions about his motivations and how much credence to give his statements, because there is new reporting casting doubt on what mr. barr is saying, which hit at almost the exact same time that he was actually saying it. first, here is what the attorney general told pierre thomas about being his own man and making his own calls. >>ly make those decisions based on what i think is the right thing to do, and i'm not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody, and i said at the time whether it's congress, newspaper, editorial boards, or the president. i'm going to do what i think is right. >> well, he also too