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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Threatens To Terminate Iran Nuke Deal "At Any Time"; Trump Kills Obamacare Subsidies That Help Lower-Income Families; Priebus Interviewed by Special Counsels Team In Russia Probe; More Women Come Forward Accusing Weinstein of Abuse; Trump: Loves Puerto Rico, Blames Island for Its Problems Aired 7-8p ET
Aired October 13, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: "OutFront" next, words of war. President Trump calls Iran's revolutionary guard terrorists, a top Iranian official tonight calling that tantamount to a declaration of war.
Plus, breaking news, major developments on the special counsel's Russia investigation. Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus taking questions from Robert Mueller's team, that breaking news this hour.
And the president says he loves Puerto Rico, but still tonight, 90 percent of residents there have no power.
Let's go "OutFront".
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. "OutFront" tonight, a war of words. That's what Iran's top nuclear chief says President Trump is doing today. Trump calling Iran a murderous regime and formally labeling the elite military core of Iran a terrorist group. And this is a big thing because tonight the head of Iran's nuclear agency says what President Trump did today was Trump did today was, "Tantamount to a declaration of war."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The revolutionary guard is the Iranian supreme leader's corrupt personal terror force and militia. I am authorizing the Treasury Department to further sanction the entire Islamic revolutionary guard core for its support for terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, the president is also moving to go back on the biggest U.S. foreign policy deal in at least 40 years. That is of course the Iranian nuclear deal. Declaring today that Iran is not in compliance with what was President Obama's signature foreign policy deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The Iranian regime has committed multiple violations of the agreement.
The Iranian regime has also intimidated international inspectors into not using the full inspection authorities that the agreement calls for. Iranian officials and military leaders have repeatedly claimed they will not allow inspectors on to military sites.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: If all of that is true, and a problem, then why are the president's own top advisers saying that Iran is in compliance with the deal?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JOSEPH DUNFORD, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: Iran is not in material breach of the agreement, and I do believe the agreement to date has delayed the development of a nuclear capability by Iran.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: My view on the nuclear deal is they are in technical compliance of the nuclear arrangement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So what does the president know that his own top advisers don't? I mean, one thing we do know is that the president zeroed in today on an infamous Iranian chant to explain his move.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Given the regime's murderous past and present, we should not take lightly its sinister vision for the future. The regime's two favorite chants are death to America and death to Israel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The president is right. Death to America is an Iranian chant. I've heard Iranians chanting just that at a political rally.
This is what I heard on the eve of the 2013 presidential election in Tehran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(Foreign Language Spoken)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: One key thing to note here though, the hard line candidate who was there on that podium leading the chant that you are hearing lost the election. Jim Sciutto is "OutFront". Jim, Iran's nuclear chief says Trump is declaring war tonight.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ali Akbar Salehi, familiar previous Iran negotiator, nuclear negotiator here, I mean, this gets to the important of the revolutionary guard core to Iran. It's the regime's own army. They have their own army, their own navy. These are the little ships that have been harassing U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf and tremendous business importance to the regime. They have their own businesses. They take it very seriously.
The Trump administration making a bit of a technical play here and that they designated them a terrorist organization under the Treasury Department as opposed to the State Department which is not quite the equivalent, whether Iran accepts that distinction is another question, but clearly, Iran not happy with this.
And you heard that as well from the foreign minister, Javad Zarif, he was the chief Iranian negotiator for this deal. He tweeted a series of tweets tonight, but this is one of them saying, "That allegations, threats and profanity will never intimidate Iranian. Trump will eventually discover this as every predecessor." So Iran there certainly putting on a brave face. I can tell you, I know that you have many of America's European allies who are also part of this deal, communicating with Iran now, trying to in effect keep them in this agreement which Iran's president said they will do going forward.
BURNETT: And obviously, it's important to note, right? This isn't a deal between the U.S. and Iran. There's a lot of other countries involved.
BURNETT: The U.S. gets out. All they lose is a view into the nuclear program that they had in the deal.
[19:05:02] Now, you've got this talk of war, which is obviously significant here, and now the president is saying Iran is not compliant with the deal itself. We just heard two of his top advisers say Iran is compliant. So, Jim, what's the truth?
SCIUTTO: Listen, every one of his top adviser, in addition to that U.S. intelligence agencies which are in charge of monitoring this along with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, which would supervise this, sends the inspectors in. They all say that Iran is in compliance as do U.S. allies. So when the president said today that Iran has had multiple violations of agreement that just doesn't stand up to the facts. And his own advisers contradict them on that.
What he can say is that from his point of view, it was not a good agreement and for the other things that the U.S. wants to deal with here, whether the missile program, terrorists, et cetera, which were not part of this deal, yes, you could rightly criticize Iran, but to be clear, those were not part of this negotiation.
BURNETT: Right, that's right. And getting out doesn't necessarily give you leverage on those issues. That's the crucial question here. Jim Sciutto, thank you very much.
In "OutFront" now David Gergen, who served as advisor to four presidents. Jen Psaki, who served as White House Communications Director for President Obama, and was apart with John Kerry of this deal itself. And Mark Dubowitz, he was the CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, also knows a lot about this deal.
The two of you know more than pretty much anybody except for maybe Zarif and Kerry themselves.
David, let me start with you, though. Was this the right move? What the president did today. Going against at least the public utterances of his top advisers?
DAVID GERGERN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's a huge and dangerous gamble on the part of President Trump. He's gambling with what may lead to conflict down the road.
Erin, to me, the big, there was a big surprise hidden in this. We understood that he was not going to certify that Iran was in compliance and then would turn it over to Congress to figure out where to go from here. And today, he really raised the bar. He said I'm not only not going to certify, but I'm telling the Congress and our allies unless we get a new deal unless we go back to the table and get a negotiate a new deal with Iran that meets my satisfaction, we're going to terminate the deal. We're going to terminate the deal. That is going make a much tougher future for where we go from here.
The United States is now solidly isolated from its friends, its allies. The other nations that have signed this deal, there are six other nations that signed it. And when the UK and Germany and France came out and said they're sticking with the deals, --
GERGEN: They are not sticking with the United States. It really underscored major countries. It just didn't have the support of major countries to go back and renegotiate this.
BURNETT: And Mark, that's the crucial question, right? That people -- we need to be clear here. This is not a deal between the United States and Iran, right? There are other countries involved. And it goes, the deal goes on without the United States. If the U.S. gets out, it just loses any ability to see inside Iran's nuclear program, right? I mean, you lose leverage at this point. Forget whether you like the deal or not, it is the deal. So what is the point?
MARK DUBOWITZ, CEO, FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: Erin, I think the point is to make it very clear to the Europeans that the United States is not going to prepare to live with a deal that gives Iran patient pathways to nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles because the restrictions on the program go away over time. And I think that signal has been sent to Europeans which is precisely the reason why French President Emmanuel Macron has come out on three occasions and said, that as long as the United States keeps the deal, France is prepared to start to examine other issues to supplement or compliment the deal including dealing with the (INAUDIBLE) Iran's missile program and, of course, Iran's destructive regional behavior.
And so you seen a shift in the French position for sure from a position of keep it while others have been saying nix it to a position today where the French are saying we're prepared to fix it as long as the United States under Donald Trump is not going to --
BURNETT: Jen, do these other countries as Mark accurately portraying this, that they care so much that the U.S. stays in, that they'll do whatever Trump wants to keep the U.S. in?
JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I think you pretty saw clear responses from a number of leaders around from around the world. You also hear privately them about their concerns, about how erratic and reckless Trump's statement about the Iran deal has been.
I think Mark touched on a key point here. That is not consistent with what Trump said, which is to keep and maintain the deal. I think everybody would like to address ballistic missiles. We certainly would have in the deal. And if deal making was about getting the art of the perfect, we would have. But the question is, are we better off without this deal or better off with the deal? And I think most people in the national security team in the Trump administration, leaders around the world and people in the national security community feel we're better off with the deal. So there are some additional things we need to address separately.
[19:09:55] BURNETT: Well, you just heard, you know, the chairman of the joint chiefs, Trump's chairman, saying I do believe the agreement today has delayed the development of a nuclear capability by Iran. I mean, Mark, that's pretty significant. So you can say, you know, and I don't want to relitigate (ph) the deal here itself, but whatever you want to say about it, he's saying it's delayed the development of nuclear capability. Isn't that what he wasdesigned to do?
DUBOWITZ: Well, actually, you know, Jen and her team talked about the fact that this deal was going to cut off all pathways to nuclear weapons. And now we're acknowledging the reality, which is it delays it and delay is important. And delay is important because it gives time for this administration to work with our allies.
BURNETT: I think they were pretty clear it was going to delay it, right, --
PSAKI: Mark --
BURNETT: -- by the term of the deal 10 years.
BURNETT: And you know, holding their feet to the fire on this repeatedly, right, that they always said delay.
DUBOWITZ: Well, actually, Secretary Kerry actually said permanently cut off pathways. So I mean, the fact of the matter is, I get -- relitigate this. I think the more important thing is we all agree, let's keep the deal. Let's try to strengthen the deal. Let's build consensus with our European allies. And more importantly, I think the headliner is -- Trump speech today is, let's roll out a comprehensive policy using our instruments of American power to deal with Iran's destructive behavior outside the deal which I know Jen and David and everybody agrees needs to be done. PSAKI: But that wasn't what he announced today. He said he would rip up the deal. He would get rid of the deal. So what he created is a very dangerous and reckless tight rope walk here that puts members of Congress in a difficult spot, puts our allies and partners in a difficult spot. No one is suggesting that it's giving us more leverage to accomplish a deal on ballistic missiles or some of the human right abuses that we all have concerns about.
BURNETT: And David, you have seriously do you take the head of the Iran's nuclear agency? Mr. Ali Salehi saying that this was tantamount to a declaration of war, and by that, I'm referring specifically not to the president's decision about the deal itself, but his treasury labeling the Iranian revolutionary guard core a terror organization. They're saying that's tantamount to war.
GERGEN: I don't think we should take that as representing all of Iran. You know, there are different power centers in Iran. We need to listen to all of them before we know what direction they're going in.
So you know, I don't think we're on the edge of war in that sense and this wasn't a declaration of war. What I do believe is there's a distinction and what if the president had said, we're going to keep the deal. But now we want to launch a separate negotiation with our allies and with Iran to figure out you know, how do we handle this when the deal expires. And what do we do about the Iran's behavior in the Middle East. Those were very important to us going forward.
I think we could have all said that's fine. But that's not what he's saying. As Jen points out, what he's saying is unless the deal is renegotiating, we're getting out of it. We're terminating it.
BURNETT: So Jen --
GERGEN: We're throwing it away and that is what scares a lot of allies and Iran, and that is going to unleash Iran, not -- it could be onto 10 to 12 year, it's going to unleash Iran very quickly.
BURNETT: So, Jen, do you think that that's true, that Iran would get out of this deal and get on that fast track to a nuclear bomb?
PSAKI: Well, I think it's a risk and look, the situation we have now --
GERGEN: That's right.
PSAKI: -- at this point is the hope that members of Congress will find their higher power here and not be partisan and not put snap back sanctions in place because that would be violation of the deal. And if that happen, then it could be a domino effect with our partners who have been in the deal and with Iran and then where are we left. Not in a better negotiating position. We're left without monitoring and verification tool, without visibility into what Iran is doing. And I don't think that's better than where we were a few years ago.
BURNETT: All right, we're going to leave it there. Thank you all so very much.
And next, Trump tears into Obamacare, taking another the step to kill it. Is he determined to take down Obama's legacy?
And the breaking news this hour on the Russia probe. The former Chief if Staff Reince Priebus interviewed by the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller's team, today that just wrapping up. We have the breaking news from that.
And more accusers, tonight, coming forward to talk about Harvey Weinstein. I'm going to speak to a woman who worked for him. She called him out publicly seven years ago. But nobody heard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:17:55] BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump making his biggest move yet to dismantle Obamacare, ending the subsidies that help lower income Americans pay for health insurance.
Tonight, Trump says the move will help improve health care.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: What we have to do is come up with great health care. Now that's what I did partially yesterday. That's going to cover a big segment.
Now, if the Democrats were smart, what they'd do is come and negotiate something where people could really get the kind of health care that they deserve being citizens of our great country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: "OutFront" tonight, Steven Moore, who is senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign, Zeke Emanuel, Former Obama White House Health policy adviser. Thanks to both.
Zeke, let me start with you. About 6 million Americans, just under, receive these subsidies. We're talking about people who make less than $30,000 or for a family of four, less than $61,000. Just to give people an understanding what does this means, if you have a deductible of $3,600, these subsidies can make sure that you're paying only a few hundred dollars. What is the impact of this move, Zeke?
DR. ZEKE EMANUEL, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it means that insurance companies aren't going to be compensated for the subsidies to help people pay the deductibles and the copays. As a consequence, they're going to raise their premiums and the most recent estimate from the urban institute just a few hours ago is they'll go up 23 percent.
Lots of people also with the premiums going up, a lot of people will stop buying insurance that's estimated about 1 million people will stop buying insurance. So those are two big effects and then because the premiums go up, the federal government has to give people subsidies to help buy health insurance, and the federal government's bill will go up by $200 billion over 10 years. So it's like a triple whammy. Pretty bad policy and it does not answer what the president has said, which is to give people more choice and better health care.
BURNETT: What do you say, Steve?
STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMICS ANALYST: Well, that's what it's all about for Trump, is more, a lot more choices, a lot more competition, which is what you don't have under Obamacare. I mean, you know, what Zeke was just talking about, my goodness, people might have to face higher premiums and people might drop out of the insurance market. That's what's happening now under Obamacare, big time. And I just got back from Arizona. A state where, you know, the premiums have doubled in just the last two years.
[19:20:14] So, you know, you've got these exploding costs. And I think, look, the reality that I think some in the media have not be covering is that Obamacare is in a financial collapse and within two or three --
EMANUEL: And that is totally --
EMANUEL: Steve, Steve.
MOORE: Zeke, let me finish on this.
EMANUEL: That is total --
MOORE: But it is wrong.
MOORE: When you have -- what you have Zeke, under the situation that you all developed is you have healthy people dropping out of the insurance market. And sick people signing up. And that's the reason that the premiums are going up so much. You know, the promise was that the average family was going to save $2500 on their health insurance and average family -- I mean, I talk, Erin, to people all the time they're saying I can't afford it anymore. It's three, four, five --
EMANUEL: Steve, let's get --
BURNETT: OK, Zeke.
EMANUEL: Let's get to the facts. Both the Congressional Budget Office and standard & poor's have said that prior to this announcement by the president, the exchanges are stable and they're fine.
BURNETT: Yes, standard and poor's, they said to me this year, we'd start to see those increases coming way down.
EMANUEL: Add to that, add to that, that in 2018, no county is bare without an insurance company in it and the fact is, that premiums have gone up because before the insurance companies didn't know who was in the market. Now we know who's in the market and it doesn't add to get healthy, young people buying insurance to tell them we're not going to enforce the mandate. It's a joke and to bad mouth the exchange. That doesn't help get people in.
BURNETT: So, Zeke --
EMANUEL: And the president has been doing that consistently.
BURNETT: Zeke, can I ask you a crucial question, though, here on this issue of subsidies?
BURNETT: Are they helping make health insurance more affordable for people who can't afford it? Or are they enabling health insurance companies to plump up the cost of it because people are getting money and essentially charged even more.
EMANUEL: No, no, no. The insurance companies are limited by how much they can raise by the maximum on their MLR, the Medical Loss Ration.
BURNETT: But, I mean, you talk about rate. I'm talking about just overall, right? If I'm giving someone $1,000, does that mean the insurance company goes, OK, great, I can start there.
EMANUEL: No, no.
BURNETT: Because that's from Uncle Sam. And then I go on top of that.
EMANUEL: No, that's not the way the subsidies work. The insurance companies bid for people to buy coverage and that includes people who aren't getting subsidies. People who make more than 400 percent of the poverty line or about $98,000 and they bid and then the government comes in and says we're going to provide subsidies, balanced to the second lowest silver plan. And that means no one knows when they start bidding what the second lowest silver plan is. So they can't just bump up --
EMANUEL: -- how much they're going to charge people.
BURNETT: So Steve, before you jump in --
EMANUEL: So that's just totally false.
BURNETT: OK. So before you jump in Steve, let me just play what the president says because he obviously sees this completely differently. Here's how he put it today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: That money was a subsidy and almost, you could say, a payoff for insurance companies. The subsidy is really a subsidy for the insurance company. That's not going to people. That's making insurance companies rich.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK, so Steve, does he misunderstand? He just explained it totally differently.
MOORE: No, it is. It's a bailout of the insurance companies and the exchanges. And, look, you know, one of the central promises, Zeke, was that Obamacare wasn't going to add to the budget deficit. Remember that one? That was another lie. I mean, now we've got to put another 10 or $15 billion behind the exchanges this year and I guarantee you, Erin, if we're here next year, it's going to be $20 billion because the costs are escalating so much.
MOORE: Let me make one --
MOORE: You were just making the point that the CBO says the system --
EMANUEL: You're not telling the truth. I'm not going to let you tell lies. You're telling a lie here.
MOORE: No, you said the system is stabilizing --
EMANUEL: We saved $100 billion --
BURNETT: OK, hold on. So Zeke, you're saying what, you saved $100 billion on what?
EMANUEL: First of all, everyone says we saved $100 billion and we saved even more because health care inflation has actually been pretty steady over the last five years. And the Congressional Budget Office keeps ratcheting down how much actually Obamacare is costing.
MOORE: Well, Zeke --
EMANUEL: The second point --
MOORE: Wait a minute --
BURNETT: OK. Hold on. Steve, respond to his point. Steve respond to the point.
MOORE: If you're right that the inflation rate is down for health care, then why are people's premiums going up 25 and 50 and 100 percent? And it makes no sense -- (CROSSTALK)
BURNETT: Why is that, Zeke?
BURNETT: Why are premiums going up?
MOORE: -- going down not up.
EMANUEL: I will explain, Steve, if you give me a second.
MOORE: OK, go.
EMANUEL: The reason the insurance premiums are going up is not because underlying health care costs are going up. The reason the insurance premium going up in the exchange is because of the pool.
MOORE: That's right.
EMANUEL: How many sick people versus how many healthy people. That's not about health care inflation, Steve, and you seem confused about that.
MOORE: No, but -- but Zeke --
EMANUEL: There is a pool.
MOORE: And most people care about --
[19:25:00] EMANUEL: Steve, would you let me finish.
MOORE: -- paying for insurance and that's going way up. They don't care about the overall cost of the whole health care system. What American families --
BURNETT: OK, Zeke, go ahead.
MOORE: So, OK.
MOORE: Go ahead.
EMANUEL: What President Trump just did is going to send insurance premiums up an average of 23 percent. That's hardly lowering them and it is not, this comes -- the cost sharing subsidies are not as the president said, a bailout to the insurance companies.
BURNETT: Aren't they already going up 20 something percent on average, Zeke? They're already going up by that. So if you're getting rid of subsidies, which is money in, and premiums are going up the same, that would seem unbalanced, just back of the envelope cheaper.
EMANUEL: No, you don't have that correct. Premiums have been going up because there are more sick people because the president has bad mouthed the exchange, said we're not enforcing the mandate and healthy people are dropping out as a result. The pool is sicker. That is rate as premium.
On top of that, the --
MOORE: That's the point I was just making.
EMANUEL: On top of that, Steve, let me finish.
MOORE: OK, go, go.
EMANUEL: On top of that because the cost sharing subsidies are being eliminated, it would be an additional 23 percent.
And let me tell you something.
EMANUEL: The people who are really hit by this are people who are paying out of pocket full price and getting no subsidies, because the people who are getting subsidies to the premium are actually somewhat buffered by those prices.
BURNETT: OK, and I will pause there.
EMANUEL: And the people who are buying the insurance.
BURNETT: Thank you both. Thank you both so very much.
MOORE: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, breaking news, Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus just interviewed in the Russia probe today by Bob Mueller' team. Who from the White House is next? And what did Priebus say? We have the breaking news. Our Pamela Brown is breaking the story.
And the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal, growing tonight. The list of accusers tonight, longer. A former employee of Weinstein "OutFront" tonight with her shocking story.
BURNETT: Breaking news in the Russia investigation --
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:30:13] BURNETT: Breaking news in the Russia investigation. CNN tonight learning that former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus has just been interviewed today by special counsel Robert Mueller's team. Mueller looking into Russian election meddling and, of course, possible obstruction of justice by President Trump himself.
Pamela Brown is the one breaking this story. She's OUTFRONT now on the phone here, as you were just breaking this moments ago.
Pamela, what are you learning about Reince Priebus' interview today?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, we're learning through his lawyer that Reince Priebus was part of a voluntary interview with the special counsel investigation, Robert Mueller's team. That interview happened today. And what we have been told by people familiar with the matter is that what they're particularly interested in when it comes to Reince Priebus is what he knew in terms of the firing of James Comey. That has been one of the focuses of Mueller's investigation, as part of the obstruction case.
And so, presumably, we don't know what was asked. But presumably, that was the focus because Reince Priebus was there. He was in the Oval Office during some of those interactions between President Trump and James Comey and he talked to James Comey as well when he was the chief of staff. Of course, he left the White House a couple of months ago.
But this certainly indicates, Erin, that the investigation is progressing that they have now interviewed the former chief of staff to the president of the United States. It is significant in that regard and this is really just the beginning in terms of interviews of current and former White House staffers, Erin.
BURNETT: And where are they on that panel? I mean, who is left when you talk about the big fish still to be interviewed? Where are they on this?
BROWN: Well, there seems to be several people. We know that in the last couple of weeks, these interviews have begun. He has, Mueller's team has interviewed General Keith Kellogg about Michael Flynn.
And his time at the White House and the circumstances surrounding the firing of Flynn as national security adviser. He has been interviewed. He was interviewed in recent weeks. We expect Sean Spicer, the former press secretary, to be interviewed, White House counsel Don McGahn, as well as communications director Hope Hicks among others.
And I'm told by a person familiar with the matter that the expectation is that at least in this first round of people, that the interviews will wrap up by the end of this month. As we reported, the White House is very anxious for this investigation as a whole to wrap up. They view this as a cloud hanging over president.
BURNETT: All right. Pamela Brown, thank you so much as always. Breaking so much of this story as she's done all the way along. James Gagliano is with me now, retired FBI supervisory special agent,
along with Paul Callan, our legal analyst.
James, this is the most senior member of Trump's, you know, inner team. Obviously, Priebus was let go. But what does this say about where this investigation is? That he is now interviewed?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Sure. Erin, there's two channels. There's the current intelligence channel and the criminal channel. We know in the counterintelligence end, we know that Russia attempted to influence the election. Now, did any of the upper echelon Trump transition team members and now, you know, Priebus is no longer with the administration, but did they have any knowledge of that?
The second piece is the criminal end. The criminal end could go back during the transition to a violation of the Logan Act. The Logan Act, 1799, which says that private citizens, which a president-elect still is, and his transition team still is --
GAGLIANO: -- did they have any contact with a foreign -- especially a hostile nation -- in regards to effecting U.S. policy before the president became president? So, those are the two angles.
BURNETT: And so, Paul, when we talk about Priebus, he was obviously the chief of staff when the president fired Jim Comey. And Pamela saying that's the focus there, because all these meetings, some of which we heard what the president said, for example, in the Oval Office, right, with Lavrov, but this is crucial. That Priebus is -- what information he gave him about Comey.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, it's absolutely critical. And, you know, it shows that Mueller has been quite methodical in the way he's conducting this investigation. He started on the outside perimeter and he's working his way up toward the central figure, the president himself. I mean, to be interviewing the former chief of staff about the Comey firing indicate to me I think that he's now focusing on the top people in the pyramid.
Now, that doesn't mean the investigation is going to end immediately, but I think it means that it's moving quickly because -- and efficiently -- because of Mueller.
BURNETT: So, let me ask you both though, because Priebus at least publicly when he was asked about collusion, has been adamant that there was none, right?
[19:35:05] That's the central question here we still don't know the answer. He's been adamant about it. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: So no collusion whatsoever between anybody involved with Trump and anybody involved with Russia in the 2016 campaign?
REINCE PRIEBUS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: No.
The collusion story is a joke. I don't think -- I honestly don't believe there's a lot of people out there that actually believe that campaign people were sitting on telephones and having meetings and passing secret messages trying to figure out how to mess around with the election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CALLAN: Priebus was head of the RNC, the Republican National Committee, during most of the campaign.
CALLAN: So the fact -- I just don't think he would have been in the position to know if there was collusion going on. So, I'm not surprised.
BURNETT: If there was, he may not have known.
CALLAN: He may not have known.
BURNETT: And that's not just him coming out and boldfaced lying.
BURNETT: And it's not him actually saying it from any knowledge. Because he was in a position you're saying to know.
CALLAN: No, he wasn't. He was an outsider to the Trump campaign at that point.
BURNETT: And that's where this is the crucial point though because if there was collusion --
BURNETT: -- the crucial point, one of the points that would have happened was during the campaign, whether it's voter registration, whatever, where it was, he wouldn't have seen it at that time.
GAGLIANO: Erin, we're conditioned that where there's smoke, there's generally fire. In this instance, and again, it pains me to say this because part of it is emanated from my former organization, the leaks. You had leaks coming out on Michael Flynn, Carter Page, Paul Manafort and yet they don't have a smoking gun yet on the president. And that's what tells me, man, if they had something, we would have known it.
BURNETT: We'll see.
BURNETT: Obviously, we'll see what comes out of Manafort, who at this point certainly seems to be the center from the criminal perspective.
All right. Thanks very much to both of you.
And next, another Harvey Weinstein accuser worked for the mogul. And her story is something you need to hear. You'll hear it OUTFRONT next.
And Trump at it again. The president blaming Puerto Rico while sending victims of the storm this message tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I love the people of Puerto Rico and we're going help them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:40:46] BURNETT: Breaking news: a list of women accusing Harvey Weinstein of abuse growing tonight. At least four women have now alleged Weinstein raped them. Dozens more alleging assault or harassment. There are more coming out every single day since the story broke one week ago.
OUTFRONT now, Ivana Lowell. She worked for Harvey Weinstein. She also wrote about being harassed by him in "Why Not Say What Happened". And we're going to talk about because that's not something she put out in the past week, everybody. This is something she wrote about directly and honestly in 2010.
Ivana, thank you so much for coming on to talk about your story.
IVANA LOWELL, WORKED WITH HARVEY WEINSTEIN; ALLEGES HE HARASSED HER: Thank you for having me.
BURNETT: So, Weinstein harassed you multiple times.
BURNETT: I worked for him for about a year, but I want to start when you first met him. And you write about this in your book. You met him at a restaurant. You know, send you over champagne, says, sure, I'll give you a job. Come to my office.
You go in his office to figure out what the job is. You're essentially hired.
BURNETT: And then what happens?
LOWELL: Well, the first time I went into his office, there were several assistants buzzing around, all pretty, all women. And Harvey was just introducing me to them and trying to figure out what role I could have in the company, and where I would fit in. And then we went down for some lunch to discuss everything that I
would do and what I would do and it was decided that I would work in anything literary, because my parents were writers and he knew I was well-read and educated. He said, OK, you'll be in charge of everything books, which I thought was great. I loved to read and --
BURNETT: Yes, dream job.
LOWELL: Absolute dream job.
Then we went back upstairs, up to his office and this time, the assistants were gone. I went in. And he shut the door. But there was a secretary outside his door answering the phone. So, I was like, slightly sort of, OK, I thought we had this interview, but -- then Harvey got behind his desk.
And he said, do you like having oral sex? And was just like, what kind of question is that? Are you joking?
And I chose to believe that this is some kind of sort of weird test, or some really warp sense of humor. And I said, he edged towards me and I kind of edged away. And then we had this cat and mouse game of I was sort of moving around his desk and then he was sort of getting nearer.
And I just was thinking, what could he do if he caught me? There's someone right outside. The walls are paper thin. If I screamed, he's not going to be able to actually do anything.
But it was still incredibly unsettling. And this went on for about several minutes. It seemed like an hour. But it went on for several minutes.
And then the phone buzzed. And he had someone more important to deal with. And I kind of just slipped out thinking oh, my God, that was an interesting day at work the first day.
BURNETT: And yet, I mean, it was your dream job. I mean, understandably, you -- you know, he said, OK, I'm going to go ahead with this job. When you started working for him, in the book division, the harassment continued. And you write about the time, he even came to your home, you were lucky you had a friend there with you. And it's a disturbing story.
LOWELL: The first time -- no, the first time, it was actually the day after I started working for him. And I was at home and it was late. And my buzzer, my doorbell rang and actually my door man announced it. It's Mr. Weinstein coming up. I was like, Oh, OK.
And very quickly, he was at my door and he came barging in to my apartment and just sort of swept right past me and went straight into the bedroom. Lay down and said, oh my God, I'm so tired. I need a massage.
BURNETT: Just barged into your apartment, knew where you live and came up in your --
LOWELL: Absolutely, and just lay there and then for the next sort of 20 minutes, he just that had this diatribe of complaints.
[19:45:03] He was f'ing and whining (ph) about this person, that schmuck who screwed him over, what he was going to -- how he and his brother were going to get revenge on everyone who slighted him and he was like venting on my bed.
And I was sitting on my bedroom chair just perched like a nervous cat. Oh, when is -- is he ever going to leave?
BURNETT: So, Ivana, you wrote about a lot of this --
BURNETT: -- in 2010.
LOWELL: Yes, I did.
BURNETT: And at that -- OK, so just to be clear, that's seven years ago. Does it frustrate you that nothing happened then? I mean, what has change d? Now, all of a sudden, everyone is coming out with their stories. You came out seven years ago.
LOWELL: I came out seven years ago. Not only did I come out and I was very lenient because I was still nervous. It was -- it took courage to say what I said at the time.
And I knew that they were going to be some repercussions. And Harvey went ballistic when he first read the book. He said -- he called me out. And he said, you make sound like a pervert and I'm going to sue you and you've got pull the pages from your book. And it was just like --
BURNETT: So after you worked there for a year, you ended up dating Weinstein's brother, Bob.
BURNETT: And that was pretty much the end of your working for Harvey. That was it. He didn't want anything more with you.
LOWELL: He said, your Bob's property now.
BURNETT: Oh, property, OK.
BURNETT: So, do you believe that Bob Weinstein knew?
LOWELL: I think that he chose to turn a blind eye. He actually asked me just several days after we first started sort of dating, he said, did you ever sleep with my brother? And I said, no, but it wasn't for want of him trying, aggressively trying.
BURNETT: But he asked you --
LOWELL: He did.
BURNETT: -- if you slept with Harvey.
LOWELL: Yes, he did. And then I went on to say and the -- I wasn't the only one. Then he just didn't want to know. Kind of shut me down.
BURNETT: Shut you down.
LOWELL: Yes, completely shut me down.
BURNETT: Ivana, it takes a lot of courage to do what you're doing and to tell the story, and I can see it in your eyes even know. I mean, it's hard, I know.
BURNETT: Harvey Weinstein yesterday was outside his house and reporters came to him and he said, quote, guys, I'm not doing OK. I'm trying. I've got to get help. You know what, we all make mistakes. Second chance, I hope.
BURNETT: Do you think he deserves a second chance?
LOWELL: He was -- I don't know whether he's just so ill that he doesn't realize what he did and how wrong it was. I don't think he can come back from this. It's just -- I mean, I was willing to sort of -- I was willing to forgive him until I heard all the allegations and there were so many.
And then the rape word was mentioned. At that point, my heart just, oh my God, I just wish I said something before. I could have perhaps stopped this. It was -- it just, it was just too much. It was too much and I don't think that you can get back from this.
BURNETT: Yes. Well, Ivana, thank you so very much --
LOWELL: You're so welcome.
BURNETT: -- for coming and talking to me. I appreciate it.
LOWELL: Thank you for having me.
BURNETT: Ivana Lowell.
And next, President Trump, he says he loves the people of Puerto Rico, but he threatens to take away their aid as more than 90 percent of the island tonight is still without power.
Plus, the Trump/Corker feud just got -- well, a lot more graphic. Wait until you hear what just happened.
[19:51:58] BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump once again taking credit for Puerto Rico recovery. Once again playing the blame game, saying his administration has done a great job. He's blaming the U.S. territory for its problems.
So, how is the situation?
Leyla Santiago one again OUTFRONT.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three weeks after Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico is still struggling to survive. Ninety-one percent of the island still without power and a third are without fresh water.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: First and foremost, a humanitarian disaster.
SANTIAGO: House Speaker Paul Ryan witnessing the devastation today, his tone a stark contrast to President Trump.
TRUMP: I love Puerto Rico. We've done a great job in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has to get the infrastructure going.
SANTIAGO: Earlier this week, President Trump tweeted a FEMA video highlighting the government's relief effort, saying, no one could have done what I've done for Puerto Rico with so little appreciation. So much work.
But this is the reality on the ground, 45 minutes south of San Juan, in Caguas, the town's hospital evacuated when the generator failed. One of the doctors told us they are operating on a day by day basis, without reliable power.
(on camera): Do you think you'll get that help?
DR. CHRISTIAN RODRIGUEZ, HOSPITAL MANONITA DE CAGUAS: We hope so.
SANTIAGO: Do you need the help?
SANTIAGO (voice-over): Eight-year-old Diego is lucky. He's getting off the island, a rare medical condition means life is particularly hard and mom tells us he's running out of the medicine he needs to stay alive.
SANTIAGO (on camera): (INAUDIBLE) it's tough to get this now, she could only imagine what it will be like in the days or weeks (INAUDIBLE)
(voice-over): In the last ten days, Florida says more than 36,000 people have fled there from Puerto Rico.
Three-year-old Nayeli (ph) is from a mountain top community will soon be one of them, another family torn apart by Maria.
(on camera): They're cousins and now, they're going to be separated because she's going to Connecticut and she's going to Florida. Their parents are worried about the conditions here.
RYAN: We're in a crisis moment of making sure lives are saved, that people are put out of harm's way, that hospitals are running, that water is flowing, that power is up and running.
SANTIAGO: The government has a long way to go for water, for power, for a sense of normalcy to come back to the island of Puerto Rico.
SANTIAGO: You know, one over the things the speaker mention was the $36 billion aid package that was passed last night. He said it wasn't the first and he also said it will not be the last in terms of recovery efforts for Puerto Rico and commitment from the House.
When I talked to one of the former governors of the Puerto Rico, he said that Ryan seemed engaged, a different experience from President Trump's visit -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Leyla, thank you so much for your incredible reporting from Puerto Rico.
And next, Trump versus Corker. Well, it is getting to a new level tonight and voters are taking sides.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:55:04] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grow up, be a big boy and get to work and do your job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Breaking news, Senator Bob Corker upping the ante with his battle with President Trump. Corker tonight telling "The Washington Post" that the president could be pushing the United States closer to war because he is, quote, castrating his own secretary of state. Let's just be clear, didn't say castigating. He said castrating.
Here's the quote, you cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice. That's Corker referring to war. Quote the tweets, yes, you raised tension in the region and it's very irresponsible. But it's the first part, the castration of Tillerson that I'm more exercised about.
Athena Jones is OUTFRONT.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From Nashville to Chattanooga, the feud between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker has voters in Corker's home state talking. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman calling the White House an adult daycare center.
Trump dubbing him, Little Bob Corker.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like Senator Bob Corker. I think he's very well-versed for foreign policy.
SCOT MACGREGOR, HORSE TRAINER, MACGREGOR STABLES: I don't think he represents any of Tennessee.
JONES: In horse country, trainer and Trump supporter Scott McGregor thinks Corker has forgotten where he comes from.
MACGREGOR: You cannot say you're going to support and do things and make no effort at all to accomplish them because somebody offended you. I'm sorry that the president offended you, too bad, grow up. Be a big boy, grow up and do your job.
JONES: He says establishment Republicans need to work with the president or get out of the way.
MACGREGOR: That's what the next election is going to present, is that we're going to see a lot of old-timers lose their job to people that are willing to accomplish the goals that were set, you know, a year ago.
JONES: Martha Child, who boards horses here, disagrees about who bears the blame.
MARTHA CHILD, HORSE BORDER: I think there is a disconnect between the warehouse and Congress.
JONES: Who do you think is responsible?
CHILD: I think that in a large part, the president is responsible for it simply because he does not have the experience in working in government.
JONES: At a climbing gym in Chattanooga, a place where Corker was once mayor --
(on camera): Do you agree with any of those statements from Corker?
MARK SHARRAR, TRUMP VOTER: Unfortunately, I think I do.
JONES (voice-over): Trump voter Mark Sharrar wants results from the president.
SHARRAR: Within a certain time, you know, his presidency will be over and he needs to know that he needs to accomplish some of those things.
JONES: Despite his concerns he says he'd vote for Trump again if presented with the same choices.
In Nashville, Trump supporter Matthew Nelson who topped the charts in the early '90s says the division with the GOP means Trump is increasingly isolated.
MATTHEW NELSON, MUSICIAN, "NELSON": He's kind of a man without a country. I think he'd have a little more faith than he should have with how easy it was going to be to get started and I hope that he gets enough support to be able to govern and to help.
JONES: One thing everyone agrees on, the message for Washington.
NELSON: Get it together boys. You know, it's not -- it's not preschool.
JONES: Athena Jones, CNN, Nashville, Tennessee.
BURNETT: And thanks for joining us. Have a great weekend. Anderson's next.