tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN March 11, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
did that, thanks so much, alex marquardt, for joining us. and to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. follow me on twitter and instagram @wolfblitzer. you can always tweet the show @cnnsitroom. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, nancy pelosi in a major statement to her party and the nation, saying trump is not worth the trouble of impeachment. despite the fact that she says he's unfit to lead the country. plus, did the president really say democrats hate jewish people? the white house struggles to answer today. and the faa demands boeing modify its 737 max jets after the second deadly crash involving the planes. why are u.s. carriers still flying them? let's go "outfront." good afternoon. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, he's just not worth it. those words from the house speaker, nancy pelosi, when asked about impeaching president
trump, telling "the washington pos post", quote, impeachment is so zw divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, i don't think we should go down that path because it divides the country. and he's just not worth it. "not worth it." even though she also told "the washington post" that she thinks president trump is ethically unfit, intellectually unfit, curiosity-wise unfit. no, i don't think he's fit to be president of the united states. so let's just summarize here. she thinks all of thoese things but she thinks he should remain president. this could be the moment, the moment the democratic party thinks, because this is what some other democrats are saying. >> we're going to go in there, we're going to impeach the mother [ bleep ]. >> i believe that we have everything that it needs to basically impeach him. i believe that. >> we won't be having these conversations on whether to do it, but it's going to be when and how. >> moments after pelosi's comments were made public
tonight, the man who has made impeachment his calling, who has spent millions to get other democrats onboard, billionaire tom steyer released a statement that reads in part, is doing what's right worth it? or shall america just stop fighting for our principles and do what's politically convenient? so why is nancy pelosi doing this right now? well, it might be because she just re-watched this. >> a resolution impeaching william jefferson clinton, president of the united states, for high crimes and misdemeanors. >> the impeachment of president bill clinton in december of '98. clinton not only survived those impeachment hearings, he thrived. a cnn poll at the time found clinton's approval rating jumped ten points after the house voted to impeach him. so let's be clear, three days before impeachment, clinton's approval rating was 63%. a day after, 73. an all-time high. a surge. and at the same time, the unfavorable view of the republican party, which, of
course, led the impeachment proceedings, also jumped ten points. and the price was not just in the short-term polls. the next election, republicans lost seats in the house and bill clinton cruised to re-election. pelosi doesn't want to repeat history. phil mattingly is "outfront" live on capitol hill. phil, look, this is not going to go over well with a whole lot of passionate and outspoken democrats. >> reporter: yeah, there's no question about it, erin. there are a number of democrats who ran on impeachment. certainly the grassroots of the democratic party has been urging impeachment, even though it's only two, three months into the democratic majority. but there's a couple of things here, and you laid out quite nicely one key component of it. and one is the political reality. there's a recognition, and speaker pelosi says this in the interview, that basically, as of now, where things stand, this would only serve to divide the country in her view of things. there's also a recognition of numbers. while the house can pass a resolution on a simple majority, the senate would need at least 20 republicans to join all 47
democrats to be able to move it through, something that no one thinks is even possible. and that's what more than anything else that speaker pelosi has pointed to. don't do it just because the house can pass it, only move forward with it if you can believe it can actually come to fruition or there's an actual end game there. the other thing, and i think this is important to keep in mind, when i'm talking to senior democrats over in the house a short time ago, several made this point, it's not just the progressives in the democratic caucus right now. there are several many, many moderate members who are essentially the reason why pelosi is now speaker of the house once again who don't want to deal with this issue. don't necessarily want to go home and answer questions for this issue. there are chairman who are now just launching investigations into the trump administration who don't want to be rushed in those investigations. as one senior democratic lawmaker told me just a short time ago, speaker pelosi is running cover. she will basically saying, i will take the hits for this and give the rest of the caucus the opportunity to be able to avoid the question for the time to come. there's no question there's going to be tremendous pressure
to start to move forward on something, but at least at this point in time, speaker pelosi is making very clear, impeachment is not on her agenda, it's not on the party's agenda. and for the time being, they're going to focus on the investigations and continue doing their legislative work, not moving forward on impeachment, erin. >> thank you very much, phil. and i want to go "outfront" now to democratic congressman john yarmouth. and i appreciate your time. congressman, you were among the group of democrats, you had introduced articles of impeachment in november of 2017 for president trump. so you've already introduced articles yourself. you've said repeatedly that president trump has committed impeachable offenses. what's your response to speaker pelosi saying, it's not worth it? >> well, with you know, i think there's a lot of validity in what nancy i said. and i respect that, and ultimately, it's going to be her call. i just think that -- i have a little bit different perspective that if you think the president has committed impeachable offenses, which i do, and most recently, i think it's been at least documented that he committed a crime while in
office, that impeachment means nothing if you don't use the power and begin the process. so, to me, it's not a question of whether, it's a question of when. and probably right now is not the right time, but i think at some point, it's going to be inevitable. >> okay, so let me just be clear. so you're saying, you think he should be impeached and you think that there have been crimes committed that would rise to that bar, right? you're making that very clear, but you're saying, not now. why not now? if it's a matter of principle and you already have what you need, then why would you way? >> well, i think there are these other investigations going on. i think if you were a prosecutor, i'm not a prosecutor, but if you were, you would want to have all the information available to you to make the case. i think there's plenty of information already, but some don't. and we still would want to have a process where even if we can't convict the president on impeachment, we at least are able to get an impeachment resolution passed in the house. so i understand why we should wait for a lot of these
investigations to take their course, but, again, i think it's a question of when, not whether. >> okay. with president bill clinton, d - right, and the numbers that i just laid out, i don't know if you heard them, but basically i was just showing you his approval rating jumped ten points in a matter of three or four days, before if impeachment vote and then after when he was impeached. it was good for him. and it was good for him because who knows why, but because it looked political, right? it looked completely political. because you couldn't get democrats onboard. you're in the same situation right now. you're not going to get republicans onboard. it's not even going to be close in the senate at this point. >> right. >> so do you think that she has a point? you might actually be helping the president by impeaching him in the house? >> i think she does have a point. again, i believe that the impeachment power is in the constitution for a reason. and if we don't use it, then it becomes meaningless, particularly when you have a president who's committed crimes while in office, who has abused
the power of his office, and many other reasons why i think he's committed impeachable offenses. so, i think she's absolutely totally right. and i think that affects timing. but i don't think it can be a political decision or a political calculation. i think it has to be a constitutional -- recognition of a constitutional responsibility. >> okay, so it sounds like what you're saying is there's already enough there, but you'll try to get enough more, right, that you can get republicans onboard. >> that we have enough democrats onboard. >> okay. so -- >> we would still have to have 2018 democrats vote for an impeachment resolution. i'm not sure we're there yet. >> okay, so you think you need to do more to get democrats. bipt to but i want to be clear, you don't buy this whole bipartisan basis -- because she uses the word bipartisan specifically. impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan -- i don't know what it would take to get something to get those 20
senators onboard. i don't know if you know what it will take. >> no, i don't either. and i know we can't get any republican votes in the house, so -- but again, i just keep coming back to the fact that impeachment's there for a reason and i was a staffer here on the hill during the nixon impeachment process and remember it very, very well. and it's there for a situation like this. i mean, the analogies between the nixon situation and now are very real. >> but just to be clear, you believe and you will support going ahead with this, even if it isn't bipartisan, which would put you at odds with the speaker. >> well, you have to understand, the process, so the judiciary committee holds hearings on an impeachment resolution. they gather evidence and hold hearings. that's the first phase of it. and then if they decide to have enough, they vote on articles of impeachment. i think the process actually probably has begun with the investigations that the judiciary committee has
initiated. so i think we're actually on a course and whether we get to the point where there are enough democratic votes or enough votes to get a majority in the house, i don't know. i don't know when that will be. but i think we need to begin the process. >> all right. and i want to ask you before you go, you're also the chairman of the house budget committee, which is obviously an important position, given that we've gotten a budget today. the president releasing his 2020 proposal. he asked for $8.6 billion for the wall. of course, he's already declaring a national emergency that will get caught up in the courts, but nonetheless, he was going to get money that way. but now he's asking again. the last time he asked, he got a shutdown. is this going to cause another shutdown? >> ultimately, it could. my co-kentucky legislator mitch mcconnell said once, you don't learn anything from the second kick of a mule. apparently, donald trump wants to get that second kick. maybe it will take that to make him learn he's not going to get the funding he wants for the border wall. if he wants to precipitate
another shutdown as he did in december, then we can't do much about that. we're going to proceed with trying to fund the government for the next two years. that's what our responsibility is. again, it's a battle we've already fought, he lost, and he would lose again. so it's up to him what ramifications come from that. >> all right. thank you very much, congressman yarmouth, i appreciate your time tonight. >> absolutely. and next, why can't the white house press secretary, sarah sanders, answer a question that is sort of absurd? >> yes or no, does the president truly believe that democrats hate jews? >> i am not going to comment. >> all right, plus, president trump claims michael cohen asked him directly for a pardon. so why won't the white house give the evidence? this should be pretty easy. and new details about the former owner of the spa where the new england patriots owner robert kraft is accused of paying for sex. is the owner trying to give the chinese access to people in the
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we're all under one roof now. congratulations. thank you. how many kids? my two. his three. along with two dogs and jake, our new parrot. that is quite the family. quite a lot of colleges to pay for though. a lot of colleges. you get any financial advice? yeah, but i'm pretty sure it's the same plan they sold me before. well your situation's totally changed now. right, right. how 'bout a plan that works for 5 kids, 2 dogs and jake over here? that would be great. that would be great. that okay with you, jake? get a portfolio that works for you now and as your needs change from td ameritrade investment management. new tonight, sanders sidesteps. white house press secretary sarah sanders today refusing to confirm or deny an axios report that the president told donors that, quote, democrats hate
jewish people. here's one exchange. >> does the president truly believe that democrats hate jews? >> uh, i am not going to comment on a potential leaked [ inaudible ] -- >> -- that democrats hate jewish people as he said on the south lawn today? >> i think they've had a lot of opportunities over the last few weeks to condemn some abhorrent comments -- i'm trying to answer, if you would stop talking, i'll finish my statement. >> just yes or no. >> the president has had and laid out clearly his position on this matter. democrats have had a number of opportunities to condemn specific comments and have refused to do that. that's a question, with frafran should ask democrats, what their position is, since they're unwilling to call it what it is and call it out by name and take members against members who have done things like this, like the republicans have done when they had the same opportunity. >> it kind of was a strange thing. and honestly, it's like, these are the moments where you're like, i can't believe we're asking the press secretary of the united states if the president said democrats hate
jewish people. but according to axios, he said it. and by the way, here's what we know he said publicly, can i just remind everybody what why this is so realistic. >> the democrats have become an anti-israel party, they've become an anti-jewish party. and that's too bad. >> okay. so from anti-jewish to "hate jewish people," not a big step to make when you're in a room where everybody agrees with you, you think. outfront now, rob astorino and keith boykin, democratic strategist. okay, keith, so if -- you buy it? i mean, she won't answer this. she's dancing around the issue. >> well, if she knew that trump didn't say it, then she would have said that. so i think her non-denial is a statement in itself. it's a reflection of the continued divisiveness, divisiveness from the president. it's also ridiculous, considering democrats consistently do perform well with the jewish community.
70% in presidential elections routinely, 71% for hillary clinton. every member of the united states senate that is jewish is a democrat. all but two jewish members of the house of representatives are democrats. the democrats are not the problem. really, the problem is the republican party. donald trump is out there saying offensive things and the republican party members are saying offensive things repeatedly, including about charlottesville, most notably. the idea that when neo-nazi are marching, saying jews will not replace us, and the president says, they're very fine people, that is a party that has a problem with anti-semitism. >> all right, well, how do you explain louis farrakhan? >> louis farrakhan is not a member of the democratic party. he's not even a part of this discussion. >> i'm drawing the same parallel. the congressional black caucus routinely consults with him. you have maxine waters and others taking pictures with him. and no one will condemn him and he is the biggest anti-semite and has used extraordinarily hateful language -- >> if this is the best you've got, this is ridiculous.
i will personally condemn louis farrakhan as an anti-semite if that gets you to -- >> there's a growing problem -- >> donald trump is the one that's been repeatedly anti-semitic. >> come on! >> remember when donald trump went to the republican jewish coalition and he said, you probably won't support me because i don't need your money. he said that -- >> he tweeted a star of david. >> tweeted a star of david on a pile of cash as an attack on hillary clinton. not to mention the democratic national committee going against tom steyer talking about an international cabal. kevin mccarthy apologized for that tweet. >> just because they happen to be jewish. >> and he knew what he was saying, they were buying the election. >> that's the money that you're so opposed to, but -- >> it's the whole notion of using -- >> if we're going to make these equations, and by the way, i think we can all acknowledge that just because you think somebody is not calling out hate doesn't make it okay for someone else to not call it out, okay?
so these kind of false equivalencies. representative omar has tweeted and said some things that were broadly considered to be anti-semitic. they put this resolution out, it got broadened, watered down, depending on what side of it you're on. but the president was quick to jump in on her, quick to say that all of these things about her, that she should be called out. but when steve king is called out, a guy with a long history of supporting white supremacy and white nationalists, he was asked about steve king, whether he would call it out. i want to play for you how he responded in that case. >> you know, i don't know anything about the situation. when did he announce it? >> today. >> i have not seen it. we'll have to take a look. >> okay, hasn't a seen anything, hasn't seen anything. with ilhan omar, he's constantly saying, she should be relieved of her committee. >> the reactions were very
different zp different. >> what do you mean? >> the republicans in the house condemned steve king by name and they took him off the committee. >> okay, what about the president? what about the president pretending hep didn't know about steve king? >> the question -- >> let me just say this, does the democratic party have a problem with anti-semitism? let's go back to this. because they have a very big brewing problem. >> let rob finish. >> there's a massive brewing problem right now in the democratic party. if they can't even agree within the democratic caucus to go after anti-semitism alone, period, full stop -- >> why are there no jewish members of the united states senate who are republican? >> -- wait a minute. then they come up with this ridiculous nonsense of condemn everything under the sun -- >> rob, rob, okay, steve king -- >> the spin afterwards is 22 republicans voted against it and it was a condemnation of anti-muslim bigotry. >> steve, the difference between ilhan omar and steve king are not the same. secondly, steve king is a 69-year-old member of congress
who's been there nor nearly two decades and it took them that long before they finally said a damned thing about it! meanwhile, ilhan omar has been in office for barely two months. she's a freshman representative, 37 years old. she's just getting started. >> so what? >> and you have the nerve to attack the democrats when you guys did nothing for two decades about a white supremacist in your own ranks! >> so, they blew it, but why does that then excuse the other side? >> i think not everybody agrees on every issue. >> she wasn't condemned and neither -- >> anti-semitism -- no. the democrats have routinely condemned anti-semitism. again, as i said before, the democrats routine ly win the presidential vote among jewish voters. there's no question that the democratic -- and the president of the united states needs to not be dividing people on these issues about anti-jewish. >> he calls out ilhan omar, okay? she is an african-american muslim woman.
she wears a head scarf. steve king is a white guy. the president pretends he doesn't know what he says. >> it's either wrong or it's not. right? >> yes. but hold on. but hold on. there is an important thing here. why does the president of the united states think that he's going to call out one and pretend he doesn't know about the other? >> because he's a hypocrite! >> he should have called out steve king immediately. >> okay, that's all i was getting at. >> absolutely. >> why don't you call him out for when he said that he doesn't want black people counting his money. he only wants jo s jews with y counting his money. this is just not an acceptable argument for -- it smacks of hypocrisy. if you want to talk about anti-semitism, let's talk about the 50% increase in anti-semitic incidents in 2015 after donald trump took office. there was a surge in anti-semitic incidents, including predominantly -- or,
excuse me, largely, from trump supporters in 2016. >> quick word to rob, keith, since you started. >> this started off as, is there a problem in the democratic party, and let's put this aside because we don't want to deal with it, let's make it all about donald trump. and that's the argument that's happening now in america. it's all donald trump's fault. this was a single issue, omar, period, stop. >> it's not a singular issue. this is a larger context. >> then, you know what? rob, you know what, sarah sanders should have said, you bet, he said democrats hate jewish people. she should have said it. then she should have said he didn't say it. >> she doesn't know. nobody knows. >> she knows he said they're anti-jewish and she knows he's in a closed-door room. she knows like we all know that it's totally possible and very likely he said what he said. she didn't want to deny it. she should have denied it if he didn't say it. how can you even -- how can any of us even think it's okay that
we're discussing whether it would be true? we should be saying, there's no way the president of the united states would speak like that. >> correct. >> but we aren't saying that, because he does speak like that. >> what he says on the record, we should be attacking. we should be talking about that. >> and he's the leader of the country and the most divisive president we've had -- >> it's all donald trump -- >> the fish rots from the head, rob. you've got to show leadership. the buck stops somewhere. you can't continue to pass the buck to everybody else. >> there's a lot of rot in the democratic party right now and they're not dealing with it. >> all right. pause there. thank you both. and next, president trump insists michael cohen asked him directly for a pardon. so why won't the white house just come out and provide the evidence? he's been black and white about it, the evidence should be black and white. plus, new questions about the former owner of the spa lid linked to robert kraft's prostitution solicitation case. why was she trying to give chinese executives access to people close to trump? the way they subscribe to movies. we don't follow the naysayers.
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new tonight, a white house refusing to back up president trump's claim that michael cohen directly asked the president for a pardon. trump made that claim in a tweet. you see it there. he directly asked me for a pardon. i said "no." and here is sanders' nonreply when asked about the details of this today. >> i'm not going to get into the specifics of things that are currently under review by the oversight committee and other committees. >> ahh! joerks oh, my gosh, the overnight committee! i guess now they're going to coordinate, they love it, all 81 people and entities, give it all over. we're going to work with oversight committee.
kaitlan collins is at the white house. kaitlan, the president, when it comes to this issue, no problem saying that michael cohen asked him for the pardon, point-blank, and he said "no." so why can't sarah sanders just answer the question and give the specifics? >> reporter: well, that's really the question of the hour here. because it was the president who made this remark. typically sarah sanders is there to either explain the president's remarks, elaborate on them. but the president made this remark on twitter and reporters haven't had the chance to question him about it since then. so today when sarah sanders is asked, she simply referred back to the oversight committee. but reporters wanted to know if the president did -- if michael cohen did ask the president for a pardon and he denied him, how did michael cohen ask the president? when did he ask him? was it here at the white house? but those were answers that sarah sanders did not give to reporters today. now, there's a chance she just doesn't want to say, and that's why she said that it's before the house oversight committee and that's why she couldn't go there. but erin, i've talked to some people inside the white house and she said there's also a chance that sarah sanders doesn't know what the answer to
that is. it's not that long ago that sarah sanders said she didn't know about those hush money payments to women when later the president actually revealed he did know about those payments. we've seen that pattern with white house spokespeople before. they don't want to get out ahead of the president, because they fear being contradicted later on and that could be what the case is with this tonight. but that wasn't the only thing related to michael cohen she wouldn't talk about. she wouldn't answer those questions about the checks that the president wrote him while in office, which he said were to reimburse him for those hush money payments. so a lot of questions about michael cohen tonight, but very few answers tonight. >> thank you, kaitlan. we'll talk about that check exchange in just a moment. i want to go now to former nixon white house counsel, john dean, american urban network's april ryan and our political analyst, john avlon. so john, here's what i don't understand. sarah sanders does her first press briefing in 42 days. she knows these things are going to be asked, and yet, this is what we get. >> yeah.
it gives the impression of a press secretary who is forced to go up and basically issue absurd denials, because she's got nothing. because she can't even trust the president's own word. i mean, the president tweeted that. why not say, well, the president has spoken. she's concerned that actually, that might not be true. we see that over and over again. it's one of the worst jobs in america. >> she didn't say, the president said what he said, and that's the facts. she said, i refer you to the house oversight committee, who is supposed to investigate who's lying. >> over and over again, it's, don't believe what you're saying, don't believe what you've heard, and as little as exposure as possible, because too often the white house press secretary's job is being a paid liar to support the president who's lying. she's only as good as the information she gets and she knows it's bad. she's got a bad job. >> why she is asked for evidence of what the president said, right, that michael cohen asked me directly and i said "no" comes from cohen saying something during the hearing. when he was under oath, he said he never asked trump for a pardon. here he is. >> i have never asked for, nor
would i accept a pardon from president trump. >> okay. now we know that his lawyers did, at one point, okay? so that's an issue. but then the president said it happened to him directly and he weighed in on it publicly on friday. here it is. >> michael cohen lied about the pardon. it was a stone-cold lie. >> okay? then the tweet came out an hour later, john dean, right, when he said, he directly asked me for a pardon, i said "no." this is obviously hugely significant if it happened. why not just give the details to back it up? this should not be hard, john. >> it should not be hard. erin, i've seen a press room under fire before, in my time, but i've never seen one as non-responsive as this one. it's really quite remarkable. she goes out there and she's either unprepared or afraid to get out on a limb, because he's going to change his position, as soon as she takes a position.
so it's just a consistent performance. you've had clips of it throughout the broadcast tonight. and it's kind of sad, really. i don't even know why she bothers. because she's not responsive when she does come out. >> i mean, april, the question is, you know, why did this happen? it's been 42 days. she comes out today and this is what we get. why even bother to do it, if she's not going to answer the most basic questions. and to be clear, these are the questions she knew she was going to get. these are not hugely shocking or insightful questions. these are the basic questions she knew she was going to get today. >> yeah. today, erin, sarah was the queen of dodgeball. but at the same time, you have to remember, it's best for everyone involved to keep their mouths shut, even though the president went on twitter and tweeted something, sarah is in a situation where it's a he said/she said, and she probably felt that she shouldn't say it, number one, because she's now starting to take the advice of real lawyers, to keep their mouths shut until everything is
done and you're in court or in hearings. but at the same time, she knew she couldn't win, because the president says one thing, his credibility is shot, and then you also have michael cohen whose credibility is shot. and you don't know which way to turn. but you know, why have a briefing? because of transparency. people need to know what's going on. and the unfortunate thing, you see it unravel in realtime that she is the queen of dodgeball. >> and right, and perhaps, you know, she's hoping that the takeaway from this will be, why bother, so she doesn't have to do it again. no, the takeaway is, keep coming out, you know, and start giving us some answers. and john, on that point, she was also asked about the hush money payments. michael cohen has produced the check, multiple checks now, and some to congress and more to the "new york times," that were from the president, reimbursing him for payments for stormy daniels. okay, we all know that's what they were for. the question poeses the motive for why the president was doing that? campaign finance violations or personal reasons.
he was also involved with hush money payments to karen mcdougal, and the southern district of new york, part of the reason why they sentenced cohen to prison, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of individual 1. we all know who individual 1 is. okay, this is kind of like, we all know who individual 1 is, okay? >> not hard. >> okay. sarah sanders today was asked, who is individual 1. >> during his time at the white house, does the white house deny that the president is individual 1. >> i'm sorry? >> individual 1 in the southern district of new york -- >> again, i'm not going to comment in that, on an ongoing case. what i can tell you is that the president has stated his position and made it clear. >> i mean, look, again, it is a terrible job, being the white house press secretary. but it's also involving buying into the reality distortion field. we all know who individual 1 is, so cousdoes the press secretaryt she can't go out and say it.
we know she's been caught in the president's lies with the checks, and now she can't deal with those facts on its face. april calls her the queen of dodgeball. there needs to be more transparency, but he actually cannot -- doesn't have the confidence that her principles are telling the truth, so she can't go out and acknowledge basic facts. >> so john dean, before we go, the chairman of the house intelligence committee, adam schiff, says he believes that special counsel bob mueller is making a mistake by not having the president testify in person and at this point, we believe that train has left the station, not going to happen. let me play for you chairman schiff. >> i do think that ultimately, it's a mistake, because probably the best way to get the truth would be to put the president under oath, because as he's made plain in the past, he feels it's perfectly fine to lie to the public. >> john dean, was the ultimate victory for the president, that he seems to have gotten away without having to do that? >> i think chairman schiff makes a very good point. and i say that because the law
is strongest when the grand jury is seeking information from a president. that's where the most precedent is, and that would be the most likely way to get him under oath. so i think the chairman is making a very good point that a special counsel on behalf of the grand jury could force this issue. much more easy than the house or the senate or any other body that would likely look at this. so it's a point well taken. i'm not sure the game is over yet, though. i'm not sure that the special counsel won't. >> that is an interesting takeaway from this conversation. thank you all very much. and don't miss john dean, brand-new cnn original series coming up this weekend. his historic testimony during watergate featured in tricky dick, which airs sunday night at 9:00 on cnn. and "outfront" next, the former owner of a spa linked to the bob kraft prostitution allegations reportedly has ties to president trump and chinese executives. this is like, are we living this a spy thriller?
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owner roger kraft is accused of soliciting prostitution. it's like, right there, i sort of, kind of, jaw drops. but then, "the miami herald" is now reporting that she arranged for chinese business executives to attend a trump fund-raiser in new york city. and that she now runs a consulting company that promises chinese investors access to people in trump's orbit. cayl kaylee hartung is "outfront." >> reporter: this photo introduced us to li yang, who goes by cindy, seen here with prrp president trump at a super bowl party at one of his florida golf clubs. "the miami herald" first reported that she's the former owner of the massage parlor where prosecutors say roger kraft and others sought solicitation. yang now runs a consulting firm based in florida. gy u.s. investments. the firm advertises to the chinese business community, its
website in mandarin, promising access to dinners at the white house, on capitol hill, and vip-only activities at mar-a-lago. these pictures from her firm's website show yang delivering on her promises, giving her clients the opportunity to mingle with the president, members of his family, and other political elite. we're blurring the images of people we cannot identify. "the miami herald" points to a fund fund-raiser for donald trump in december 2017 as an example of this. yang reportedly arranged for a group of chinese investors to spend the new york city event. >> we interviewed a source who said that miss yang gestured widely to a group of chinese businessmen from mainland china and said, essentially, they're all my guests. >> reporter: campaign finance laws allow foreign visitors to attend u.s. political fund-raisers, as long as they don't pay their way in. only american citizens and permanent residents can donate to political campaigns. fec records show in the days leading up to the 2017 event, yang donated nearly $30,000 to
funds supporting trump. if any of yang's foreign guests reimbursed her for their cost of admission to the event, that would be illegal. yang is a naturalized u.s. citizen, according to the "miami herald." the rnc sponsored the fund-raiser and tells cnn in a statement the president's campaign only accepts contributions from american citizens in accordance with the law. they deny any wrongdoing on the part of the rnc or trump's campaign. yang, who has not returned our requests for comment, tells "the miami herald" she's out of the spa business. the herald reports she's made a new business out of selling access to the president and people close to him. >> miss yang seemed to appear out of nowhere politically speaking. she hadn't voted in ten years before the 2016 general election. in 2016, 2017, starts to give tens of thousands of dollars to the point where she is able to have access to the president, the governor, ron desantis, one of florida's u.s. senators, rick scott, at, you know, seemingly
as often as she wants. >> reporter: three weeks ago, this day spa was closed following a raid by local police. that led to this complicated web of connections being uncovered, which has led us to put president trump, robert kraft, and cindy yang's names in the same sentence. robert kraft, the only one of the three charged with doing anything illegal, allegations he denies. he'll be arraigned at the end of this month. but erin, as it was said on this program the night we first saw that super bowl selfie, the optics of all of this are just very difficult to wrap your mind around. >> they really have, so well said, kaylee. put all those names in the same sentence, it's unbelievable. i want to go now to former cia operative, bob baer. so, bob, it is hard to understand hold up all these three names could even be in the same sentence. you say you have no doubt whatsoever that any interactions that li yang had with president trump or his associates, that any of those, the chinese government knows exactly what happened. why? what makes you so confident?
>> oh, erin, i have no doubt about it. the chinese intelligence uses american chinese to get access to the white house wherever they can. that's their modus operandi. and for somebody advertising access to trump, they're not going to miss this. they're all over the net. they see it. whether she unwittingly provided information to chinese intelligence or not, we don't know. but then again, neither does the secret service. the reason he meets these people at mar-a-lago is there's not a list. and the national security council isn't allowed to intervene. they can't say, no, you can't see that person, they're probably connected to whatever. so they're getting around this. it's pay for play and intelligence services know this and they abuse it. >> how worried or how troubling is it to you that you see a picture of her, a selfie with her next to the president of the united states at that super bowl party? >> well, who knows what he's saying? i mean, he doesn't have a filter pip mean, what he's saying -- or who's whispering into his ear about policy. because he seems to get his
policy ideas down at mar-a-lago. he's not getting them from the national security or the state department or the cia. so i've never seen anything quite like it. >> all right, bob baer, thank you very much. and next, the second deadly crash of boeing's most important passenger jet in just months. there are calls tonight for american carriers to stop flying them now. and a much lighter note. why the president can't just let go of tim apple. ... matters. introducing the all-new 2019 ford ranger, it's the right gear. with a terrain management system for... this. a bash plate for... that. an electronic locking rear differential for... yeah... this. heading to the supermarket? get any truck. heading out here? get the ford ranger. the only adventure gear built ford tough.
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people died, but the announcement is only coming now, the day after another 737 max 8 crashed killing all 157 on board. that is two fatal crashes involving a 737 max 8 in legs than six months. while major airlines around the world have already grounded the plane, the three american carriers that fly the boeing jet max 8 and max 9, american airlines, united and southwest are still flying those planes as of tonight. tom foreman is "out front." what more can you tell us about the boeing max jet? >> i can tell you, erin, that the pressure from this accident to have these planes grounded has steadily been growing throughout the past couple of days. here's the issue. we're talking about the boeing 737 max 8. this is a plane that's growing in popularity, especially with american carriers out there and other carriers around the world are also having them. yet the faa said we're not going
to ground them. boeing says it's okay to keep flying them. but china, indonesia, now ethiopia among others are saying, no, we are grounding them until we know what happened. why? they're thinking as much about this other accident which happened off the coast of indonesia last fall, the lion air crash. 189 people died in that accident. very similar, shortly after takeoff. at the time even as the investigation began the federal aviation administration here issued a directive to pilots saying there is some software issue with this plane which can cause difficulty controlling the airplane's significant altitude loss and possible impact with terrain. in other words, erin, the plane can under certain conditions fly itself into the ground. >> possible impact with terrain. why one would write it that way. in practical terms, how could this happen? >> this airplane, if you take a look at a model of it, it has these very efficient engines of it. the placement of the engines
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it's take two for trump on tim apple. here's jeannie. >> reporter: forget an apple a day. how about an apple explanation every few days. all because of how president trump referred to apple ceo tim cook. >> we appreciate it very much, tim apple. >> reporter: late night laugh, twitter joke about other industry giants, bill microsoft. elon tesla. alexander graham telephone? but the president wasn't laughing when he tweeted monday, i quickly referred to tim plus apple as tim apple as an easy way to save time and words. trump saved a valuable .27 seconds snarked "the washington post" analyzing how long it would have taken to put the cook between tim and apple. he told a different story to a group of donors.
trump said he said tim cook apple and the cook part was soft as in hard to hear. media reporter at the white house briefing ask in vain. >> why does the president deny saying something that was caught on tape? >> reporter: almost a year ago the president botched the name of lockheed martin's ceo. >> i may ask marilyn lockheed. >> marilyn houston, lockheed martin. >> calling a ceo by the name is kid stuff. i once called a president by the wrong name. how do you blow nixon's name. president nixon. >> i've been called worse than that. >> reporter: tim cook didn't seem to mind either. he dished his old name. even ivanka trump seemed amused. the president avoids it. written in cj.
>> sell lest tino martino. he goes by dj and cj, he said call me either one. so we'll call you cj. >> reporter: for phi necessarying that, we award the president an apple. >> jeane cnn. >> anderson starts now. good evening. there's breaking news on the question of impeaching president trump. nans be si pelosi is opposed to it because in her words the president just isn't worth it. first, something the president said that he isn't sticking to. a blanket statement and an inflammatory one. the democratic party is antijewish. as you know, some in the party have been accused of precise