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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Source: Trump Knew Flynn Misled FBI, Lied To Pence When He Urged Comey To Drop Probe; New Questions For Flynn's Deputy K.T. McFarland; Prosecutors Want Manafort Bail Deal Pulled After Contact With Russian With Ties To Russian Intelligence. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired December 4, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:02] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much for doing that. That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in the SITUATION ROOM. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, OUTFRONT HOST: OutFront next, above the law. It's a question swirl around whether the President obstructed justice. His lawyers say it's not legally possible because he's the President. Plus, Paul Manafort busted the former campaign chairman contacting a Russian with ties, the Russian intelligence while he was on bail.
And breaking news, the Supreme Court allowing the Trump travel ban to take effect as he wished it to. Let's go OutFront.
And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, obstruction of justice. That's what the President of the United States could be facing tonight. CNN is reporting that President Trump knew General Michael Flynn misled the FBI when he urged James Comey to drop the FBI investigation into Flynn.
And we're learning that the President knew Flynn misled the FBI weeks before he actually fired Flynn. A source telling us that White House Counsel Don McGahn told Donald Trump in January that Flynn misled not just Vice President Pence but FBI investigators. And McGahn recommended the President fire Flynn. The President of course did not act on that recommendation for weeks.
This is a bombshell development and it creates huge problems for the President, who even today tried to defend his ex National Security Adviser.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I feel badly for General Flynn. I feel very badly. He's led a very strong life. And I feel very badly, John. I will say this, Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI and nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life. I think it's a shame.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: In all of these, Trump leaving unanswered this key question about General Flynn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you lie to the FBI?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Will Trump's problems began when he fired off a series of angry tweets this weekend in the wake of Flynn's guilty plea to lying to the FBI. Among them, Trump tweeting, "I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI."
Remember, back in may, Trump said he fired Flynn, because he lied to Pence. He did not mention in anyway shape or form at that time that Flynn had lied to the FBI.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: My White House Counsel came to me. They had, I believe, two meetings. And we ultimately fired, but we fired for a different reason.
LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: You're talking about General Flynn?
TRUMP: General Flynn, yes.
HOLT: Because of lying to the Vice President?
TRUMP: Yes, but everything plays in. Everything plays into it. But we fired him because he said something to the Vice President that was not so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now again, we are reporting that Trump fired Flynn because he lied to Pence and the FBI. We're reporting that Don McGahn, the Counsel, told Donald Trump about the FBI lie in January.
Now, keep in mind when the President met with the FBI director, the day after firing Flynn, he asked Comey if he could, quote, see his way to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. That's according to Comey's notes about meeting.
Now, John Dowd, Trump's personal attorney jumped in to do damage control today. Trump claiming that he wrote Trump's tweet, saying it's a simply a matter of sloppy wording. Now, that excuses troubling because Trump has tweeted nearly 3,000 times since he was elected President to date. No one has come forward to take the blame of the credit for writing a single one of Trump's personal tweets until this one.
So this tweet is a first time. Trump isn't responsible apparently. And then there's this. Trump's tweets are official statements, according to his own spokesman. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are President Trump's tweets considered official White House statements?
SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, the President is the President of the United States, so they're considered official statements by the President of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: They are considered official statements by the President of the United States. Except for when they don't like what it says and they want to blame it on one of his attorneys for the first time in 3,000 tweets. Look, this list Trump's attorney Dowd in a really bad spot.
So he tried one other way out today, saying, in an interview with Axios, "The President cannot obstruct justice, because he is the chief law enforcement officer under constitution Article 11, and has every right to express his view of any case." So he's admitting the tweet was obstruction it sounds like, but saying the President can't be charged with it just because he's the President?
Sara Murray is OutFront tonight at the White House. And Sara is there any sense inside the White House that this attempt to do damage control over this tweet is working or making things worse?
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, they're certainly not acknowledging publicly that this was a misstep. But I think as you've heard from legal analyst throughout the day today, that in the best case scenario, this was a clumsy attempt by the President's attorney to try to sort of clean things up or explain things. But in a worse case situation, this could potentially open the President up to even more legal jeopardy.
[19:05:12] Now, it is a bizarre situation as you pointed out, we are used to the President crafting his own tweets, dictating his own tweets. Maybe with the help of some lower level aids. We're certainly not used to any of his lawyers coming forward and insisting they're the ones who are crafting these tweets.
And Erin, as you know, from covering a number of investigations, normally, a lawyer in a situation like this, isn't encouraging someone who is at the center of it, to get out, to speak out publicly. I think part of what you're seeing in this White House is a story that we've seen time and time again. Which is the President is often dead set on getting a message out. He is going to do it whether his staff wants him to or not. And a big part of working in this White House has been swallowing hard and dealing with the aftermath.
BURNETT: I guess if you're Jim Dowd trying to edit or help construct a tweet that says what the President wants it to say. Thank you very much Sara Murray.
And now, more breaking news in the Russia investigation. We've just gotten some court documents in a few moments ago, appearing to reveal a major contradiction by K.T. McFarland, the Deputy Former National Security Adviser under Michael Flynn.
The contradiction is this. When she was asked if she was aware of any communications between Flynn and the Russian ambassador, well, it appears she's saying different things. Manu Raju was OutFront. And Manu, what are you learning from these documents?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Yes, that's right. K.T. McFarland was nominated by President Trump to be the ambassador to Singapore. And as part of her confirmation proceedings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, she was asked this, according to documents that we have just obtained. It's a question from Cory Booker, the Senator on that committee said, did you ever discuss any of General Flynn's contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak directly with General Flynn? And in response, McFarland said, quote, "I am not aware of any of the issues or events as described above."
Now, Erin, this is significant because in those court documents that were unsealed on Friday, they revealed that a senior transition official in late December did speak with General Flynn about what Flynn should talk to Sergey Kislyak about, in the aftermath of the Obama administration, imposing new sanctions on Russia.
So clearly, a contradiction from what she told the committee. And what these documents are now revealing from Mueller's case. We reached out to McFarland's representatives to see if they wanted to comment in anyway. And so far they are not commenting. But the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ben Cardin, his spokesman saying that she needs to come back and clarify her testimony before there's a full vote in the United States Senate, to confirm her to the post.
No word yet whether or not that will happen yet. But clearly, Erin, new pressure on her in light of these new revelations, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you so very much.
And I want to go now to the former Special Prosecutor during Watergate, Richard Ben-Veniste, former White House Ethics Lawyer under President George W. Bush, Richard Painter, and former Director of the Nixon Presidential Library, Tim Naftali. Thanks to you all.
Tim, I will just you a chance to react. Of course, if you have this happen now, you have the -- they want to see if there's an apparent inconsistency with K.T. McFarland?
TIM NAFTALI, FORMER DIRECTOR, NIXON PRESIDENTAIL LIBRARY: Yes. And she then could face some real trouble. I mean, she'd have some legal jeopardy.
You know, part of the -- what's going to be very interesting to find out is whether the Trump team decided on a specific -- the Trump team started -- decided on the specific approach to how to deal with the Kislyak problem. Whether there was in fact a concerted effort to have the same story that K.T. McFarland would give the same story, that Flynn would give the same story and the President would give the same story. We don't know that at the moment. But that is something I'm sure the investigators would be looking at.
BURNETT: And of course, that would be conspiracy?
NAFTALI: That would be conspiracy. That was a Nixonian cover-up, yes.
BURNETT: All right. So Richard Painter, did Trump commit obstruction of justice? When you look at what we're learning out, the tweet he sent out, but also that we are now learning. White House Counsel Don McGahn told him in January that Flynn misled the Vice President and the FBI. He told him that weeks before he fired Flynn, and, of course, he told him that before he asked Comey to drop the investigation.
RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER W.H. ETHICS LAWYER FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: We knew that the President committed obstruction of justice when he fired the director of the FBI. And they lied about it, and said they fired him for other reasons. And it turned out that the President fired the director of the FBI, James Comey, because of the Russia investigation, and basically said as much in front of the Russian ambassador on television in the Oval Office.
And this just fits right into that picture. Here, we have the President knows that General Flynn had lied to the FBI, committed a crime, and he is pressuring the FBI not to investigate General Flynn, not to pursue the Russia investigation. And then when James Comey won't do that, James Comey gets fired. That's obstruction of justice.
[19:10:03] And this argument that his lawyer, Mr. Dowd is making, is absolutely absurd that the President is somehow above the law, and cannot obstruct justice. That's just as bad an argument as the argument that President Trump was making, that the President can't have a conflict of interest.
We live in a Republican former government. We don't have a king. We don't have a dictator, and he's not above the law. Nixon tried that argument, and he got booted for it, and I think that's where Trump may have to go as well.
BURNETT: Richard Ben-Veniste, obviously, you were a special prosecutor during Watergate, what do you make of this argument John Dowd is trying to make? "The President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer," citing Article II of the Constitution?
RICHARD BEN-VENISTE, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR DURING WATERGATE: It doesn't hold water. Clearly, the President can obstruct justice. Anybody can be charged with that crime, if they have the sufficient intent to obstruct an investigation that's ongoing. And has the means to do it.
And so, a number of threads have been pulled together by this panel. You've heard some of them that lead to skepticism. At the very least as to what the President was doing, why was he so intent on protecting General Flynn against what? Why was he trying to rehabilitate him after he lied to the FBI, and he knew that.
And so, these questions sprung forward from the very beginning. And now we have in addition to that, the fact that he fired the investigator, you have all these Nixonian counterparts. And Nixon said it's not illegal if the president does it. And nothing could be further from the truth, and it cost him his office.
BURNETT: Well -- I mean, Tim, you know, here's the other thing. You have, you know, even when it comes down to this tweet, we've got a few thousand tweets since he was elected. No one's ever claimed credit for one before. Now they come out and claim credit for this one. They obviously know what's the problem.
And, you know, acting as if it doesn't matter. But here's the thing, they've already said it reflects the White House and the President of the United States everything on that Twitter account. They cannot run away from this tweet or blame it on someone else.
NAFTALI: Well, they got a problem here because they have two legal theories. The first theory -- the first defense was, President Trump didn't actually write this. And there's a new theory which is it doesn't matter whether he wrote it or not, he couldn't be held responsible anyway.
Richard Nixon, who is a pretty good lawyer, wasn't a very good lawyer for himself, but he was a pretty good lawyer. He understood that even he could not impede a criminal investigation for political reasons. And that's why he wanted to keep the smoking gun tape away from the public and Congress.
If he thought that he had the right to obstruct justice because of the Constitution, do you think he would have cared so much about the tapes? So, he knew it. And I suspect most people in Washington knew it.
BURNETT: So, Richard Painter, this begs the question. Is he obstructing nothing or is he --you know, in terms of an underlying crime, or does he know that there's an equivalent of a Nixonian tape out there, that he is trying to keep out of the public eye?
PAINTER: I don't know what he is trying to avoid the public finding out except for everybody in the administration, if there's to be connected with all sorts of Russians and then consistently lie about it. And we keep hearing a new story every other day or so, about more Russians and more people lying about the Russians either to the FBI or under oath. It does to vote (ph) it before Congress.
And I think these comparisons to President Nixon are really on fire with President Nixon. There were a lot of probes in the Nixon administration. But at least he wasn't getting in bed with the Russians or with the foreign adversary to commit the Watergate break in or anything else.
So, this is critical to our national security. And the idea of high ranking officials in the government lying about contacts with the Russians is unacceptable. BURNETT: And Richard Ben-Veniste, what about that underlying issue here, aside from the Russians, that the White House Counsel Don McGahn, according to the reporting tonight, told the President of the United States in January that his National Security Adviser had lied to the FBI? And the President did not fire him for weeks? That just in and of itself, forget what the lie was about, he lied to the FBI and President Trump did not fire him.
BEN-VENISTE: Well, it's important what it's about. But I agree, he did lie, he lied to the Vice President, he lied to the Chief of Staff as well. And President Trump did nothing but protect him for some 13 days, as I recall.
And so, the question is, what was it that President Trump was so concerned about the Russians? And why, if you start peeling the onion what do you find beneath the first layer?
[19:15:09] BURNETT: And that is obviously the crucial question raised now tonight with this disturbing development. Thanks to all three of you.
BEN-VENISTE: We got it.
BURNETT: And next, breaking news, stunning revelations about Paul Manafort at this hour. This is just breaking, you are not going to believe who Trump's former campaign chairman was in contact with just days ago, days ago while he's on bail. It's a Russian, that's your hint.
Plus, more breaking news. New details about a top agent on bob Mueller's team banished (ph) from the Russia probe for alleged anti- Trump actions. And the new development in the Alabama Senate race. A woman sharing new evidence of a relationship with Roy Moore when she was 17.
BURNETT: Breaking news, Paul Manafort busted for contacting a Russian with ties to Russian intelligence while he's been on bail. Special investigators working with Robert Mueller say the former Trump campaign chair violated the court issue gag order like ghost writing in editorial and his political work Ukraine with the Russian contact. He finally says Manafort was writing the so far unpublished draft as recently as last week.
Jessica Schneider is OutFront. And Jessica, this is a guy who, you know, if convicted could be spending the rest of his life in jail. This is shocking.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It is. A lot of court watchers, Erin, scratching their heads.
[19:20:04] Really, the biggest implication in all of this could be the Paul Manafort's chances to revise his bail. That could all be out the window. So it was about a month ago, that the judge in this case ordered all parties not to make any statements that could prejudice the case.
But what prosecutors say that they uncovered is a draft editorial that related to Manafort's political work in Ukraine. They said that he was writing it as recently as just Thursday, just a few days ago. And that he was working on it with a Russian with ties to the Russian intelligence service.
Now the exact content of this proposed editorial, it wasn't released nor was the publication Manafort was writing it for. But prosecutors talked about it in a filing today saying this. They said, "The editorial clearly was undertaken to influence the public's opinion defendant Manafort, or else there would be no reason to seek its publication, much less for Manafort and his long time associate to ghost write it in another's name."
So this disclosure is coming just as Manafort's lawyers were on the verge of potentially reaching a bail agreement that could have freed Manafort from house arrest by putting up about $11 million in property as collateral. Erin, now prosecutors, though, with this disclosure, they're pushing back on any revised bail agreement. They consistently argued that Manafort is a flight risk. They're planning to this as well.
And now both sides are gearing up for that next status hearing on December 11th, when we could get more details about this.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jessica.
And I want to go straight now for Jessica's reporting to Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Judiciary Committee, which obviously is conducting a Russia investigation. Senator, your reaction to Paul Manafort working on this draft op-ed as recently as Thursday of last week?
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Erin, the temptation is to kind of scratch your head or even smile at the obvious stupidity of it. But actually it's pretty serious because what Paul Manafort is demonstrating here is a contempt for the court. And I think that's the way the judge will react.
He faces a total of 80 years in prison if he is convicted on all of these accounts. And put apart the flight risk and danger to community which are the normal criteria for -- what he's demonstrating here is sheer contempt for the judicial process.
BURNETT: And I want to ask you about the other breaking news this hour, of course, K.T. McFarland, you know, is testifying -- you know, taking questions obviously to become ambassador to Singapore, was asked explicitly, did you ever discuss any of General Flynn's contacts with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak directly with General Flynn. She responded I'm not aware of any of the issues mentioned above.
Of course, CNN is reporting, based on the court documents on Friday in our reporting that she did have conversations with General Flynn about the Russian Ambassador. BLUMENTHAL: That point is very important, because K.T. McFarland is emerging as a key actor in the potential obstruction of justice and collusion with the Russians. She is apparently one of the individuals in the Trump transition who directed Michael Flynn to contact the Russians and engage in talks about them. Flynn lied about those contacts and, of course, she is implicated.
And now, she is denying in what she has said to a congressional committee that she is aware of any issues or events, as the way he put it, that clearly she knew had happened. She has some serious exposure now as well.
BURNETT: So, this all comes down obviously aside from what underlying crimes there may have been with the Russians. The issue of obstruction of justice tonight. You know, the President obviously sparking new debate about this, with his tweet over the weekend, when he says he had to fire General Flynn, because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.
We are reporting that he was told by the White House Counsel that Flynn had lied to the FBI in January, weeks before he fired him. So -- and he's admitting here in this tweet, he knew that that was a lie to the FBI. Is that tweet in and of itself proof of obstruction of justice to you, Senator?
BLUMENTHAL: It is very powerful evidence of obstruction of justice. Let's be very bland (ph), Erin. The evidence shows there is a credible case of obstruction of justice involving Donald Trump and it's not only the tweet and the report that you mentioned which is very important by CNN. But other mounting evidence that's available publicly, including his attack yesterday on the FBI, his earlier effort to reach out to Dan Coates, the Director of National Security, to suppress the investigation in that way, there is a growing accumulation of evidence showing Donald Trump is potentially culpable of obstruction of justice. There's a credible case against him.
[19:25:02] And the specter of his political interference in the Special Counsel investigation now is real an urgent. That's the reason that I'm going to be pressing for the Judiciary Committee to mark up the legislation that I and others have introduced, bring it to the floor so we can send a message. We're going to protect the Special Counsel from political interference. That's what the legislation does. And also, the Judiciary Committee should press forward with its investigation of obstruction of justice.
BURNETT: So let me ask you, what should be the punishment. Obviously, you heard John Down, the President's lawyer, you know, try to say he had send the tweet and, you know, then tried to say, well, OK, it doesn't matter if the President is responsible for the tweet. He can't obstruct justice because he is the President. He is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America. Your response?
BLUMENTHAL: There are two points. First, that John Dowd is responsible for those tweets, and when is the last time that anybody put words in Donald Trump's mouth? Has anyone ever put words in Donald Trump's mouth?
BURNETT: This is the first tweet of nearly 3,000 since Election Day that anyone has purported to take responsibility for other than the President?
BLUMENTHAL: And it just happens to be the one that puts him in the most danger of potential criminal charges or obstruction of justice. But even if his lawyer wrote it, he has to own the words, just as I do, and anyone else does for speeches we give that someone else perhaps.
It makes no difference whatsoever who drafts the words. They are Donald Trump's words. And he has yet to disown them or disavow them or say I'm firing my lawyer, because he independently without my permission used my Twitter account.
Here's the other point that's very important, you just raised, Erin. Obstruction of justice is a crime. No president is above the law. And this point is very serious, for the President's counsel even to suggest that any president is above the law really raises, again, a question of respect for the law, and the rule of law, and also potential contempt for the rule of law. I think it is that serious.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much for your time, Senator. Good to talk to you.
BLUMENTHAL: Good to talk to you. Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, more breaking news. New details about a top FBI agent on Mueller's team, fired because he sent text messages critical of Donald Trump. Does Trump now have new ammunition in his fight against the FBI?
And more breaking news, the Supreme Court tonight letting Trump's travel ban take effect. It is happening and it is happening now.
[19:30:34] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Breaking news tonight about the FBI agent dismissed from Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation. The top counterintelligence expert was taken off the investigation after sending text messages that were critical of now President Trump.
We're now learning more about that agent's role in the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation.
Laura Jarrett is OUTFRONT.
And, Laura, this is obviously where the story gets very, very important. What more are you learning?
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, tonight, we're learning from sources, Erin, that the FBI's electronic records show Peter changed key language in former FBI Director James Comey's infamous statement, clearing Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing in that e-mail probe. We're told the process of drafting this statement was a collaborative team effort, but Strzok was the one who changed the description of Clinton's actions in handling classified materials from, quote, grossly neglect to extremely careless.
Take a listen to how Comey described the clearing of the former secretary of state back in 2016.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JARRETT: Now, Erin, the softening of language from grossly negligent to extremely careless makes sense, since Comey ultimately decided no reasonable prosecutor would pursue charges against Clinton. But from a political optics standpoint, this news obstructs direct hand in the statement, officially clearing Clinton, combined with the fact that he was dismissed from special counsel Mueller's team this summer after exchanging those private messages could be seen as favoring Clinton and mocking Trump, may now give further ammunition to those seeking to discredit special counsel Mueller's work as partisan, at a time when this investigation is reaching critical height into the members of the president's own inner circle, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Laura, thank you very much for that reporting.
And, now, let's go to Asha Rangappa, former FBI special agent, and Mark Preston, our senior political analyst.
Asha, how damaging is this development? We find out that the guy who was leading the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation not only turned down the wording significantly, but then was on the Mueller investigation. And was saying negative things about Trump?
ASHA RANGAPPA, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Yes, I think Laura had it right, this was bad for optics. It's you never want to give anyone in the outside the appearance that the FBI is biased at all. One of the things they train you very strongly, they emphasize all the time is that perception is reality, and you always have to maintain the utmost objectivity.
So, you know, I think the changing of the language was changed to actually reflect what was the final conclusion. And Comey is a lawyer, and he wanted it to be accurate, and it was accurate based on what he was saying. But, yes, it doesn't help Mueller's case that this agent was on there, and has this history.
And, Mark, you know, look, this has got to be music to the president's ears, right? He's repeatedly called this investigation a witch hunt, lest you forget, here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.
The entire thing has been a witch hunt.
There's been no collusion, no obstruction, and virtually everybody agrees to that.
The Russia story is a total fabrication. It's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Mark, look, this is music to his ears.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Not only is it music to his ears, but it's music to those of his supporters who are looking at the investigation right now that's being politically driven.
You know, there's two ways to look at this investigation. And I think Jeffrey Toobin often talks about this. There's the legal ramifications, right, which is the path that we should be looking at. And then there's the political ramifications which in many ways is what's clouding and coloring what's happening legally right now.
So, absolutely right, optically, it does not look good. But there is something to be said that this agent was dismissed as soon as it was found out in the investigation continues on. It shouldn't be used as it will be, it shouldn't be used as a distraction, as a shiny object off in the corner to try to take our attention away from what they're really trying to discover.
[19:35:03] BURNETT: And, Asha, let's talk about the story out there, because the president is in a battle with the FBI right now, one of the tweet's this weekend saying, after years of Comey with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation and more running the FBI, its reputation is in tatters, worst in history. But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.
Look, that's -- what's the reaction -- you know, you are a special agent, running the FBI is in tatters, the worst in history.
RANGAPPA: Well, I think the president should read up on his history. The FBI had some dark moments in the past, this is not one of them. It's a very professional agency right now.
And I will say that, you know, when I was in the bureau, there's a lot of stuff happening on the outside. Agents keep their heads down and they do their work. They take the facts where they lead them, they stay professional, they present the evidence to the prosecutors who are going to decide if a crime has occurred.
So, I think the DOJ and FBI do their jobs and, you know, I don't think that they want to get in a fight with the president. They don't want to politicize the FBI at all.
BURNETT: And yet, of course, with a this news of Peter Strzok, of course, Mark, that does -- there is politicization here. But also, this is -- this is the president continuing to go after American law enforcement, FBI, CIA, U.S. intelligence.
PRESTON: Absolutely true. And in fact, you know, we've just been noticed now that there's going to be a news conference tomorrow where you're going to have at least 10 members of Congress that are coming out and they're asking questions about how the FBI conducted their investigation into the Clinton server situation, as well as Donald Trump and supposed meddling with Russia right now.
So, now what we're seeing is the conflation, and really, the tying together of two very separate investigations. But yet, we're seeing President Trump's allies on the outside, and certain in Congress right now, trying to put them all together. And when you do that, you're creating a lot of white noise which creates even more confusion right now, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you. Mark, Asha, thank you both.
And next, breaking news, the Supreme Court handing Trump a major victory, and it is on the travel ban. It's going ahead.
And it's official, Trump calling Roy Moore and saying, good get 'em. This as a new woman shares evidence of a relationship she had with Moore when she was 17 and he was 34. Moore's top campaign strategist is OUTFRONT tonight.
[19:40:56] BURNETT: Breaking news: the Supreme Court will allow President Trump's latest travel ban to take effect, pending appeal, marking the first time a first version of the ban has been allowed to move forward. This is an historic day.
Now, the latest edition of the ban puts restrictions on people entering the United States from eight countries, the ban applies to -- and they're mostly Muslim countries. They threw a couple others in there to add to it. But as you see, Iran, Syria, Libya, Chad, Yemen, Somalia, and then there's Venezuela and North Korea. I'm not sure the last time we had a North Korean come into the United States.
Supreme Court reporter Ariane de Vogue is OUTFRONT.
And, Ariane, I make that point simply because obviously, he has put on here the Muslim countries that he wanted and he added in two others, so it's not called a Muslim ban. There's no question this is a big win for the Trump administration. What does it mean?
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Well, you're right, it is a significant temporary victory for the government. The Supreme Court has allowed the third version of this to go fully into effect pending appeal, right? But it's the first time the justices have allowed any version to go entirely into effect. And, you know, it's still being played out in the lower courts.
But it could signal that a majority of the justices think that this could pass legal muster. It is definitely more tailored to the countries. The government did ask for the full version. Only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sotomayor said that they would deny it, Erin. So, it is a significant, temporary victory.
BURNETT: So, Ariane, what happens next? And I guess the crucial question is now, it can go forward, you got a ban on eight countries. What does it affect? What happens right now?
DE VOGUE: Well, the government hasn't said so right away tonight. I talked to the ACLU. They expected to take effect pretty immediately. It has to do with the issuance of visas, so that could take time.
But keep in mind, Erin, the lower courts had allowed the travel ban to go into effect, except for those with a bona fide connection to the United States. And so, now, even those people, the travel ban applies to them. So, that's what's next.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Ariane. I appreciate it.
Obviously, a significant victory for the president tonight.
And next, new developments in the Alabama Senate race. A woman with new evidence of a relationship she had with Roy Moore. At the time, she was 17, he was 34. This is on the same day that the president of the United States has endorsed Roy Moore.
And on a much lighter dose, Jeanne Moos on Trump's road diet, 2,400 calories per meal.
[19:46:27] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight: new evidence, Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore did in fact know at least one of the women who say he pursued them when they were teenagers. Debbie Wesson Gibson telling "The Washington Post" she found a graduation card from Moore who was 34 at the time taped to her senior yearbook.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEBBIE WESSON GIBSON, ROY MOORE ACCUSER: I came across a card it was a high school graduation greeting card from Roy Moore. I wanted to give you this card myself. I know that you'll be a success in anything you do. Roy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, Gibson says that she dated Roy Moore for a short period of time, kissed with her consent. Showed "The Washington Post" looking back, she's glad that nothing more happened, the card seems to contradict what Moore stated about these women, the accusers, less than a week ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROY MOORE (R), ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE: Let me state once again, I do not know any of these women, do not date any of these women or not engage in any sexual misconduct with anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This new details coming on the same day President Trump officially endorsed Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate. According to Moore, the president said, go get 'em Roy.
OUTFRONT tonight, Dean Young is a long time friend of Roy Moore. Roy Moore's chief political strategist. He's been a very vocal defender of Mr. Moore.
I appreciate your time, Dean. I want to first ask you about the president's endorsement, I know that he spoke with Roy Moore this morning.
Can you tell us what they talked about?
DEAN YOUNG, CHIEF POLITICAL STRATEGIST, ROY MOORE CAMPAIGN: I talked to Judge Moore right after they spoke, and he told me the president was very nice, very cordial, and the president told him he would be with him 100 percent, and go get him.
The president wants to make sure that his agenda is accomplished in Washington, and that we don't elect some liberal extremist Democrat to a Senate seat up there. So, the president was very encouraging and Judge Moore was very thankful.
BURNETT: And, you know, as I mentioned, just so people know, I'm also curious, Dean, how long and how well have you known Judge Moore?
YOUNG: I've known -- I've known Judge Moore for 25 years, I was with him before the ACLU moved into Gadsden, Alabama. I've known him. My kids were raised with his kids. His kids were raised with mine. So, we're very close friends and have been for 25 years.
BURNETT: All right. As I mentioned, "The Washington Post" tonight reporting that Debbie Wesson Gibson found a card in her high school yearbook which she says is from Roy Moore.
Obviously, the Moore campaign has said, you know, Roy Moore didn't know any of those women, that he was referring to those who accused him of sexual assault. Now, I want to be clear, Gibson says she doesn't buy it. She says that Moore is a liar. What's your response to her?
YOUNG: Well, I mean, here we go again with "The Washington Post' bringing out more stuff.
Listen, in Alabama, it's very common for people -- politicians to write notes to people and say, hey, I hope you do well. So, I don't know how we're going to -- the fake news is going to try to spin this, but that's no big deal. All the time, politicians write everyone -- not everyone, but people all across the state say, to say, we hope you do well in your future, and if we can help you, let us know.
So, once again, here we are trotting out some letter that Judge Moore in that letter, says, I hope you do well in life. So, I don't know. This isn't going anywhere. Alabamians don't believe this. This fake news that started in "The Washington Post". The latest CBS poll with Real Clear saying that Alabamians aren't buying this.
[19:50:00] And so, when you have people that are outside of Alabama, and they're scratching their heads because that's all they know about Judge Moore, that's what the fake news has told them and the last three or four weeks, you know, we give them a pass. But the people of Alabama, the other people that don't know Judge Moore, we know Judge Moore and we know that this is fake news and we see Gloria Allred trotting out there pretending like she's got something --
BURNETT: Gloria Allred does represent one of the women. Of course there are eight of them now. "The Washington Post" as you know, Dean --
BURNETT: -- they spoke to more than 30 people who backed up the claims of the six women that they initially reported on, 30 people, both men and women who have talked to these women.
YOUNG: That's what they said, right? Isn't that what they said?
BURNETT: Yes, that's what they said.
YOUNG: And like I said, they're the same ones that put all this stuff out about Trump that was fake and the people of Alabama know that this was a hit job.
BURNETT: But these women -- these women have put their name on it, dean. Four of them alleged sexual abuse.
YOUNG: That doesn't matter.
BURNETT: Four said they were pursued by Moore as teenagers. So, you're not calling "the Washington Post" a liar. You're calling these individual women liars.
YOUNG: Well, what I'm telling you is this, the people of Alabama know Judge Moore and they believe Judge Moore. They don't believe these other people, these women. It's that simple.
So, when people have watched you for 25 years, do what's right and just and fair, they know who you are. Judge Moore has been around this state 25 years, as long as I've known him. People can eyeball him and I've known him and he's never ever said anything derogatory or sexual toward any person, any person, man, woman, ever.
He loves his wife. He's been married for 32 years. So, all this is make-believe because Mitch McConnell couldn't beat him with $30 million and then "The Washington Post" is trying their stuff with George Soros registering felons. It's all to keep Judge Moore from getting into Washington and it's not going to work.
BURNETT: But, again, you have women here putting their name on the record, right? They have come out here. I have a list of all these women's names, right? They're willing to put their names on the record and let you come out and say all these things about them.
You know, it's pretty hard to come out and put your name in the record.
YOUNG: I didn't say anything about them except that I don't believe them.
BURNETT: Right, right.
YOUNG: I'm putting my name on the record. I'm putting my name on the record saying I've known him for 25 years and the people of Alabama have known him and he doesn't --
BURNETT: So, you take his word over those women and the people who have verified those stories, those 30 people, one versus 30. You know him so that's why you trust his word.
YOUNG: Yes, me and the Alabamians that elected him chief justice twice, we take his word for it, we do. And we already admitted, Gloria Allred was one of them who was a complete fraud. You know that and I know that. So, it's just -- it's fake. All of this stuff --
BURNETT: I certainly don't know that at this time.
YOUNG: Judge Moore is going to win.
BURNETT: I want to ask you about Sean Hannity.
YOUNG: Well, you do, too.
BURNETT: Sean Hannity, and I know you watched this interview. I want to play for you the part, Dean, so you can explain it to people, so they could understand it. Sean Hannity asked Moore --
BURNETT: -- whether he had dated teenagers when he was a man in his 30s and here's how he responded.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?
MOORE: Not generally, no. If I did, you know, I'm not going to dispute anything but I don't remember anything like that. I don't remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother.
(END AUDIO CLIP) BURNETT: So, Dean, are you OK with if he did this that it was OK, for a man in his 30s to be dating teenagers?
YOUNG: What I'm OK with is Judge Moore made it perfectly clear, if he did date a teenager, he didn't know about it. So I can't tell you how many times I've been on a date and then asked a girl how old she was, especially after I asked her mama if I could date them.
BURNETT: Well, he's not saying he didn't. He's saying I don't remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother. That's not saying he didn't know their age.
YOUNG: OK. OK. Well then, I mean, here's the situation, Erin. In Alabama, we believe that Judge Moore is a man, a godly man of integrity that doesn't do all the things that the fake media is trying to say that he does. And he doesn't.
So, all this is out of character and all of this again is just, all of a sudden, one month before he's becoming the next senator -- and he will be the next senator from Alabama -- that's when all this stuff explodes out in the open. So --
BURNETT: Yes. And I understand that.
YOUNG: That's the way it's going to be.
BURNETT: And that's a fair question and perhaps that's because they feel like this person is now going to be in one of the highest offices in the land and they feel like it's finally time to speak out.
YOUNG: That's right.
BURNETT: I don't know.
But I do know I spoke to one of Moore's accusers, Dean --
YOUNG: I don't know either.
BURNETT: -- Tina Johnson and she says that Moore groped her in his office in 1991. And I asked her what she would say about Moore's campaign if someone like you came out and called her a liar. And here's what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TINA JOHNSON, ROY MOORE ACCUSER: The Lord that I serve is not the one Roy Moore serves. My Lord knows that he did it. He knows it and I know it. He can say whatever he wants to say.
[19:55:02] The truth was seen when the world won't and that's the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is there a part of you in your heart, Dean, that wonders if maybe you're wrong and all these women are right? YOUNG: No. There's not a part in my heart that wonders that because,
like I said, I've known him for all these years and I've never seen anything like that or I wouldn't be hanging around him. This guy's a man of character, utmost character and has integrity. That's just who he is and the people of Alabama know it.
And so, you know, I hate that people want to come out and get on TV, all of a sudden, but that's the way the world is now and we just keep seeing this and the people of Alabama -- again, a poll was taken by CBS, 71 percent of the people believe these are absolutely false allegations against Judge Moore. And they are false.
And by the end of this week, a week and a day from now, Judge Moore will be the next U.S. senator. And he'll be the best one up there and he will help President Trump pass his agenda.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. I appreciate your time, Dean.
YOUNG: Thank you, Ms. Erin.
BURNETT: All right. And next, Jeanne Moos on the burgers, shakes of President Trump.
BURNETT: Trump's four food groups revealed. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candidate Donald Trump was always half in the bag. A bag of McDonald's.
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, AUTHOR, "LET TRUMP BE TRUMP": Hot and ready and on time. It's a stressful thing and I'll tell you, I made a lot of food runs.
MOOS: In former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski's new book "Let Trump Be Trump", he lets us in on a typical Trump dinner.
A Big Mac, 540 calories, times two. Fillet of fish, 410 calories, times two. A small chocolate shake, 530 calories. Bringing the grand total to a gut-busting 2,430 calories.
The estimated daily calorie needs for a man of president Trump's age? Twenty-two hundred for the day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did Donald Trump order?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESDIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Fish Delight sometimes, right?
MOOS: Learn your menu items, it's Filet-O-Fish, not fish delight. According to Lewandowski, on Trump Force One, there were four major food groups, McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke. Eating a 1,100 grams of fat in one meal makes Trump America's file-o- president.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: Makes me want a filet-o-fish. It's been a while since I've chosen that over a quarter pounder with cheese.
Thanks for joining us.
"AC360" starts right now.