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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Trump Hypes Stock Market Highs But It Grew More Under Obama; NYC Tightens Security Ahead of Ball Drop, Citing Terror Attacks. Aired on 7-8p ET

Aired December 29, 2017 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[19:00:00] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Brianna Keilar. Thank you so much for watching. For our viewers in the U.S. and around the world, a very happy New Year. Erin Burnett OutFront with Poppy Harlow starts now.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: OutFront next, President Trump says he believes the Mueller investigation will be fair to him because in his words, "There is no collusion." Is he sending a message directly to the special counsel?

Plus, Wall Street had record shattering 2017, does President Trump deserves the credit? And dangerously cold temperatures during the New Year, how bad will it get? We are live in Time Square. Let's go OutFront.

Good evening, everyone, I'm Poppy Harlow in tonight for Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, Trump's message to Mueller, President Trump sending a clear message to the Special Counsel, declaring his belief that Mueller will treat him fairly in the Russia probe even if he insists that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia.

In fact, the President repeatedly drew from that point saying the words "no collusion" 16 different times in the course of a 30-minute interview with the reporter from the news he favored, that he regularly calls "the failing New York Times."

Now, at a restaurant inside of his golf resort, the President gave this impromptu interview with remarkably without a single White House aide to President. And making waves, the President did an about-face from his charges that this investigation is a "witch hunt," taking a much more optimistic view saying about Mueller, "I hope he's going to be fair. I think he's going to be fair. There's been no collusion, but I think he's going to be fair."

Trump also used the words "fair" or "fairly" at least eight times when talking about Mueller and the Russia probe. But for each mention of "fairness" came the insistence that a fair investigation would find this, "Frankly, there is absolutely no collusion."

Ryan Nobles is OutFront tonight in West Palm Beach, Florida, near Mar- a-Lago. Look, it's a startling interview in so many ways and so much to get through from it. RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's really no

doubt about that, Poppy. And even the way the interview came together is pretty startling.

The President happened to be at his Golf Club. A friend of his, Chris Ruddy from NewsMax invited the reporter from the New York Times, Michael Schmidt, there for lunch, and the President came upon them and then just sat down for this very lengthy interview. And he touched on such a wide range of topics.

You mentioned, of course, the special counsel investigation where the President seemed to take an about-face from one point when he called the Mueller investigation a witch hunt, now saying that he believes that Mueller will treat him fair.

Also, something we should point out tonight, what the President has to say about his Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He still seems to be upset over the fact that Jeff Sessions did not refuse himself from the investigation into Russia.

And then in kind of a bizarre turn, he found a way to bring Eric Holder into the conversation, the former Attorney General, where he talked about the loyalty that he believes Holder showed President Obama, holding back on certain investigations that perhaps the Justice Department could have looked at a little bit more harshly.

So, Poppy, I think in many ways, you have to look at this interview as perhaps a preview of what's to come in 2018 for President Trump. He's not going to back down on many of these big issues that are confronting him.

And at the same time, he talked about finding ways to work with Democrats. He talked about really tough stands that he wants to take with China as it relates to North Korea. You know, if we thought that this President was going to back down from some of these big issues as he starts the New Year, I think this interview shows that we were sadly mistaken -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Yes, I don't think that that is in his lexicon. Thank you very much, Ryan Nobles there in Florida for us.

Joining me now, Democratic Congressman of Texas Joaquin Castro, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee. It is nice to be with you on this Friday evening. Thank you for joining us.

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), TX.: Yes, thanks for having me.

HARLOW: Look, as you know, your committee is one of the committees investigating this and the Russia probe. This is the President who has consistently called the probe -- Mueller's investigation a witch hunt. Now, he says over and over again, he believes that Mueller will treat him fairly. Do you believe that the President was telling the truth before calling it a witch hunt or now?

CASTRO: Well, it's hard to read the President's mind and exactly what he means. He often contradicts himself and issues contradictory statements.

But I believe and I know many people in Congress believe, and the American people believe that Robert Mueller is doing a fair and thorough investigation and that he should be left in place to continue that investigation, to get to the bottom of the facts about whether there was any kind of collusion, or coordination, or conspiracy between any Americans and the Russians who interfered with the 2016 elections.

And also in the case of the President, possibly whether there was any obstruction of justice over the firing of James Comey and other issues. So, most of all, as long as Donald Trump doesn't mess with Robert Mueller, I think we're all fine.

HARLOW: All right. So you said, though, earlier this month, on this network, that you were concerned, that in your words, "The President may be continuing to lay the groundwork to get rid of Bob Mueller." I wonder, Congressman, tonight are those concerns swayed a little bit for you.

CASTRO: No, not really. Like I said, because the President flip- flops on different things, so his public statements sometimes contradict other public statements and also what he's doing privately. So I think the nation, most of all, needs to be vigilant and make sure that this President stays in check and doesn't fire Bob Mueller.

I do think that over the last several months, he's been saying things to undermine the credibility of the special counsel, and also undermine the credibility of the FBI and our intelligence services, possibly lay the groundwork to fire Bob Mueller.

[19:05:00] HARLOW: Of course, as you know, he doesn't have the power to fire Bob Mueller. He would have to go through Deputy AG Rosenstein. Deputy AG Rosenstein has said under oath in front of Congress he sees no reason to do that nor has anyone asked him to do that.

But let's move on to something else stunning from this interview in New York Times and he's part of it, "Mr. Trump repeated his assertion that Democrats invented the Russia allegations as a hoax, as a ruse, as an excuse for losing an election."

And then it goes on to say, and he said, "There was collusion with the Russians and the Democrats, a lot of collusion." He's pointing to you and your Democratic colleagues, your reaction?

CASTRO: Yes, I think that it's distraction. Basically, he's trying to point the finger at the other side to distract from -- I think his own guilty conscience which becomes clear in the eight or nine or whatever number of times he mentioned the word "collusion" in his interview with the New York Times.

What we've seen from public record even is attempts and connections with -- and meetings with Russian operatives during the 2016 election among trump campaign associates and from Donald Trump himself as a candidate, openly inviting Russians to interfere with the 2016 election, asking them to basically put out or find Hillary Clinton's e-mails, for example.

So we've already seen what has been described as collusion. The question is who exactly did it and that's what we're investigating and what was its effect?

HARLOW: I hear you and all of the things you mentioned. I vividly remember that moment in front of that rally saying, "You know, Russia, if you're listening, find the 33,000 deleted Hillary Clinton e-mails." Some would say that was jest, who knows? But I would say those -- there's no -- are you arguing there's a smoking gun, there's one string, one thread that connects all of those to make collusion?

CASTRO: I think that it's become clear based on what's been made public already and the admissions of meetings, for example, that there was collusion. I would say to your point, Poppy, about this being a jest, when you're a candidate for the presidency of the United States, that's not something that you joke about --

HARLOW: I don't know if it was in jest.

CASTRO: -- openly inviting another country, an adversarial country to interfere with our elections. So, yes, you know, the President's got a big personality and he may think that's a big joke. But when you're running for president, you don't do that. You know, if you're running for community college for president, maybe it's fine, not when you're running for president of the United States.

HARLOW: Let me get you on bipartisanship because I think all American citizens were happy to see a mention of bipartisanship. They're happy to hear any of you talking about bipartisanship and they hope that it actually happens.

The president did tell the New York Times, he hopes Democrats will work with him on a deal for so-called "Dreamers," these young immigrants brought to this country as children with the average age of 6 by their parents, by no fault of their own.

This morning, though, the President tweeted this that, "The Democrats had been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to what he calls horrible Chain Migration and a ridiculous Lottery System. We must protect our country at all costs."

Will you be willing to support at least part of a border wall funding for some sort of border wall in exchange for protection for dreamers?

CASTRO: I think Democrats have been very clear that we don't support a border wall across America, and that the issue of dreamers is separate from the issue of building a wall. These are kids who have been here for many years.

HARLOW: In your mind, but not his, clearly. I mean, in his mind, clearly, no.

CASTRO: Well, no, I think you're right. But, look, this is not a question of convincing the American people, for example. Dreamers have the support of 80 something percent of the American people.

HARLOW: 83.

CASTRO: So, you're right, it is a question of convincing Donald Trump and the Republicans to listen to the American people, but it's not a question of convincing the American people who's got to be listened.

HARLOW: But just to be clear here, you would be willing to give up then legislation that would protect dreamers, you know, because you won't fund any portion of a border wall, is that what you're saying? You will not give ground on a border wall even if that means giving up the hope of this protection for dreamers?

CASTRO: If the President wants to use dreamers to achieve building his big border wall, that's going to be very tough deal to make.

HARLOW: We appreciate your time, Congressman. Don't have too much fun on New Year's Eve, but have a good one.

CASTRO: Thank you.

HARLOW: Thank you very much. All right. So OutFront next, the President says he can do whatever he wants with the Justice Department. Really? Can he?

Also, Trump on a Twitter run about all sorts of things, why is he talking and tweeting about the Post Office, climate change, his approval rating? And Times Square filled with police tonight and bomb sniffing dogs, nothing being overlooked when it comes to celebrating New Year's Eve in America's largest city.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:10:00] HARLOW: Tonight, President Trump says he can do whatever he wants with the Justice Department, making the comments during an impromptu interview with the New York Times, asked whether the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation should

be reopened, he said, "I have the absolute right to do what I want with the Justice Department. But for the purposes of hopefully thinking I'm going to be treated fairly, I've

stayed uninvolved with this particular matter."

Evan Perez is OutFront tonight, and Evan, set the record straight for us, what can and can't the President do with the Justice Department?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, Poppy, the fact is the President controls the Justice Department in the sense that it's part

of the executive branch that reports to him. He hires and has the right to fire the attorney general or deputy attorney general, the political appointees there. But, you know, when it comes to, say, ordering an investigation of his

political opponents, which is kind of what the conversation that was part of the context there, you know, there is a limit to what he can do, simply because there has to be a legal basis for doing such an investigation.

And if he try the force the Justice Department and the FBI to carry out an investigation of his political opponents for which there was no legal basis, I think he'd get a lot of pushback from the career people there. He'd get a pushback from the attorney general, certainly, Jeff Sessions. I think that's part of his frustration.

You're hearing a President who is used to be being a CEO, who's used to be being able to tell people what to do, and that's a limitation that he has to deal with now as President. And that's when we've heard from him repeatedly his frustration with Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department because he had seen repeatedly -- and with James Comey, the FBI Director that he fired, he's seen repeatedly that there's a limitation to his powers as President.

HARLOW: Indeed, it's very different than running a private organization, not even a public company where you're responsible to a public board, very different certainly now.

PEREZ: Right, exactly.

HARLOW: Thank you so much, Evan. Have a great weekend.

PEREZ: Happy New Year.

HARLOW: Happy New Year to you, too. OutFront now, former ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, Richard Painter, and former White House Counsel under President Nixon, John Dean. Gentlemen, nice to have you with me.

John, let me begin with you. The President says, "I can do whatever I want with the Justice Department, you say?

JOHN DEAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL UNDER PRESIDENT NIXON: I don't think he can. The Justice Department is a creature of Congress. It was actually created in 1870 after the Civil War and they laid out what the rules are. And the President's job under the Constitution is to faithfully execute the

laws. That doesn't mean he can rewrite the laws and do what he wants.

HARLOW: Richard, this comment from the President is interesting because it somewhat contradicts what he said about the Justice Department, about the FBI in a radio interview last month. Let's listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The saddest thing is that because I'm the President of the United States, I am not supposed to

be b involved with the Justice Department. I'm not supposed to be involved with the FBI.

I'm not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing and I'm very frustrated by that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: It's notable, though, that he did lament over not being able to do those things. What's your read overall on this?

RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER ETHICS LAWYER UNDER GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, I think he picked the wrong country to be president of if he thinks he has absolute power to run the Justice Department however he wants. That may be the way it works in Putin's Russia and other places. That's not the way it works here. There are laws and he has sworn to uphold the law and the Constitution of the United States.

He has the power to remove the attorney general, to remove all of his appointees in the Justice Department. But he does not have the right -- the legal right to use that power to either get the Justice Department to investigate his political opponents which is the way business is, it's not a dictatorship. So it's not the way we do it in the United States.

He has no right to do that. He also has no right to remove the attorney general or pressure the attorney general to fire Robert Mueller to stop the Justice Department from investigating the White House and members of his campaign who were currently members of his administration -- or some of them, so he may not obstruct justice as President of the United States.

He is not above the law and that's the bottom line. He is not above the law. He is not a king. He is a President in a constitutional system of government.

HARLOW: And to be clear here, you know, Mueller's boss, Rod Rosenstein, testified to Congress. You know, John, as you know, that no one has asked him to

fire Mueller. He doesn't see any reason to fire Mueller.

One of the most stunning things of this interview was that the President said he thinks Mueller is going to treat him fairly. This, at the same time, John, you know, a growing number of his fellow Republicans have been attacking Mueller's integrity and the investigation. Here are just some of those attacks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If everyone was dismissed from the Mueller team who was anti-Trump, you wouldn't have anybody left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mueller, I have said since day one, since he was appointed, he's bad news. He's out for a scalp. He would love to get Trump scalped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has really spun far beyond what Mr. Mueller's authority should have been limited to and we have to bring it back in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: What do you think, John? Do you think the President wants those Republicans to stop those attacks on Mueller and hear him on the fairness comment or not exactly?

DEAN: I think his comments were pretty clear. He was throwing signals -- friendly signals towards Mueller, but also encouraging those who were being critical of the investigation to continue being so. He called his base strong. He gave them praise for what they were doing.

He certainly didn't rebuke them, but rather was sending, in essence, a message to Mueller That, "If you'll exonerate me, I think you're fair."

HARLOW: So, also, John, just building on what we've seen in terms of the reaction of his comments about the Justice Department, et cetera, former Attorney General Eric holder fired back on Twitter today.

Here's what he wrote, "Wrong/dangerous. Trump doesn't have absolute rights to the DOJ. But women and men absolutely do have the duty to follow the Constitution and rule of law -- not a man. Career DOJ people have ABSOLUTE right to defy illegal orders. And they will, I know it." What do you thinking of that?

[19:15:00] DEAN: Well, I think it's a very accurate statement of the way the Department of Justice works. I once worked in that department. It's a story that the department --

it has really wonderful career people who do want to uphold the law, who are public servants and they're not going to hear a President giving orders that are contrary to the regulations and rules

that they really have pledged to follow.

So I think Holder just nailed it and told the President how he should be thinking.

HARLOW: I mean, Richard, also staying on the Eric Holder beat for just a moment, the President brought up Eric Holder, the former attorney general. He

talked about being upset about his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions accusing himself in the Russia probe.

And then he said this, "I don't want to get into loyalty, but I will tell you, I will say this, Holder protected President Obama, totally protected him. When you look at the things they did and that Holder protected the President, I have great respect for that, I'll be honest."

When you initially read that, that he clearly sees part of the job of the attorney general is to protect the Commander in Chief, what did you think? PAINTER: Well, to protect the rule of law and what President Trump is

doing there is casting dispersions on President Obama without any specifics in terms of what

they did. There is absolutely no evidence of serious law-breaking during the Obama administration.

There were one or two scandals that I kept my eye on during those eight years. I was the chief White House ethics lawyer under President Bush. We had our scandals there. But President Obama did not need protection from investigations because President Obama didn't break the law and he didn't have people working for him who were breaking the law.

And that's the problem here; it's that President Trump thinks that the Justice Department's job is to protect him from investigations into his campaign and then members of his administration and indeed of himself because he engaged in obstruction of justice when he fired James Comey. That's not the role of the Justice Department to cover for the

President.

[19:20:00] HARLOW: You believe that. Just to be clear, that's your belief.

PAINTER: Well, it's written in the Constitution. Well, I think it's very clear in the statutes and in the Constitution, you know, that we do not have a system where the Justice Department functions to politically protect the President and his officials if they're engaged in illegal conducts.

HARLOW: No, no, no, I'm just saying it's your belief that the President obstructed justice. That is part of what Mueller's team is currently

investigating right now.

PAINTER: Yes, yes.

HARLOW: Finally, back to you, John, President Trump did try in this interview once again to really distance himself from his former campaign chairman, Paul

Manafort.

Here's part of what he told the Times, "Paul," meaning Paul Manafort, "only worked for me for a few months. He worked for Reagan. His firm worked for John McCain,

worked for Bob Dole, worked for many Republicans for far longer than he worked for me. And you're talking about what Paul was many years ago before I ever heard of him."

Talk to me about what you think this strategy is here because, you know, we don't know that Manafort has flipped at all, that he's talking, we don't know. Like, we know with Flynn that he is cooperating.

DEAN: Well, I think he is trying to remain friendly with Manafort. You're right, it doesn't look like Manafort is cooperating at this point and he's still on Trump's side. But I think what Trump is leaving out as most conspicuous is that he knew Manafort's partner, Roger Stone, quite well for 20 years during the whole time he's mentioned him.

So I don't think Paul Manafort is the mystery man and that he's pretending. Plus, he was there at the crucial time in his campaign when he secured the nomination,

and that's a big role.

HARLOW: It is a big role any way you cut it. Gentlemen, have a great new Year. Thanks for being here.

PAINTER: Thank you, Poppy.

DEAN: Thank you.

HARLOW: So the President ends the year where he began, pretty consumed with his predecessor, President Obama, mentioning the former President in yet another new tweet. We'll dig into that.

Also, 2017 was an epic year for the stock market. The president claims a lot of credit for it. Does he deserve it? OutFront next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:25:00] HARLOW: Tonight, if President Trump's Twitter account is an accurate read, he's got a lot on his mind. In the last 24 hours, he has, give or take, he has tweeted about immigration reform, North Korea, his approval rating, the cold weather, the U.S. Postal service. What does this all mean for the New Year?

OutFront now, former communications director for President Trump's transition team, Bryan Lanza, and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, nice to have you both here, gentlemen. And, Bryan, because you know the mind of the President, having been his communications director, help me understand what this all portends for the New Year.

BRYAN LANZA, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: You know, this is what a high energy President means. They're working on a lot of things. They're working through a lot of items and that's obviously reflected on his tweet in the last 36 hours, whether it's the polls, whether it's the Post Office, you know, whether it's climate change.

HARLOW: The Post Office?

LANZA: I mean, this is a very active President.

HARLOW: The Post Office?

LANZA: He has tweeted about the Post Office.

HARLOW: Yes, he thinks Amazon is ripping off the Post Office. LANZA: I think the Post Office has been a defunct government entity

for a long time and it needs to fix itself, and that may result in higher postal rates. You know, as a true businessman, he's looking at the model and say it doesn't work. It's failing. We have pensions we need -- or responsible for. How do we make sure we fund it going forward?

This has nothing to do with Amazon. This has everything to do with the Post Office that has been a 10, 15-year problem for government.

HARLOW: All right, he wrote about Amazon in a tweet. But, Mayor, how do you see it? how do you see it?

[19:30:01] MICHAEL NUTTER, FORMER PHILADELPHIA MAYOR: Thanks, Poppy. Nice try, Bryan. It would just be nice out of all of that, beyond doing public policy over Twitter if the president could actually work on some things that truly matter to the American people, like unemployment in many communities, like infrastructure. Like trying to bring the country together, not just talking to the 30 or so percent of folks that represent his base.

So, you know, I mean it's kind of like a Twitter machine at this point. But it's all about distraction. All of it, of course, reflects back on him. I mean, so, if it's not about him, it's not worth talking about in his mind and his sickness. So, you know, none of it makes any sense.

HARLOW: I will say a lot of Americans wanted tax reform. It happened. This isn't an overly popular bill. I will say that. But he did get tax reform through.

NUTTER: A majority opposed to it, but --

HARLOW: Bryan, in this interview with "The New York Times," he said something stunning. And let me read it to you.

Here's his words: Another reason I'm going to win in another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I'm not there because without me, their ratings are going to go down the tube. So, basically, they have to let me win. It went on from there.

I mean, he is saying that he thinks the media is going to throw the election to him. Putting aside the fact that the media can't do that, doesn't do that. What do you make of that statement?

LANZA: Yes, I'm in Sacramento, California, right now where we had a celebrity governor, Schwarzenegger. He learned something and I learned something from him early on. That the media loves these types of headlines with their celebrity politicians, whether it's Arnold Schwarzenegger or President Trump.

And so, you know, he is living in the media's head rent free right now. Everything you guys -- everything the media does is trying cover it on 13 different angles when he's just speaking very linearly to you. So, I think there is some truth to that, that the media needs Trump to be successful just like the California media needed Arnold Schwarzenegger to be successful.

Because let's be honest, the other candidates that the Democrats are putting forward are actually rather boring candidates. They don't excite anything. They don't represent anything other than anti-Trump. They don't represent any core values other than just against something.

So, I think there is a lot of truth that the media needs Donald Trump to keep their success going. Very similar to like the media needed Arnold Schwarzenegger in California.

HARLOW: What he's saying though, Mayor Nutter, is he thinks that the media will throw the election, that he's going to -- the media will somehow try to give him the election, as if the media, you know, has -- I mean, the media has covered this president very fairly and he says it's not fair. It's fake news, et cetera. Now, he's saying the media is going to help him win?

NUTTER: Yes, again, it's the contradictions that flow through his mind. He contradicts his own contradictions. This is absurd as you try to point out to Bryan.

What the media needs is a truthful president. What the media needs is actually to calm the country down a little bit and start to bring people together as opposed to much of the divisiveness that Donald Trump represents. And so, he has no theory of governing and apparently ignores the fact that actually, voters put elected officials in office, or take them out of office, notwithstanding whatever their media coverage may be.

But, you know, again, he's talking about polls, he's talking about the DOJ, he's talking about -- he just runs his mouth on a regular basis. None of which leads to a child getting an education or, you know, a person actually getting a job who's been unemployed for a long period of time or repairing bridges and roads. That would be like work.

HARLOW: He talked about infrastructure.

NUTTER: Sit at your desk and do some things. He talks, hasn't done anything about it. That's the problem with Donald Trump.

HARLOW: Let's see. He says they're going to do this in the New Year. Let's wait. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Let's see what happens.

NUTTER: We'll see.

HARLOW: Brian, to you, on the approval ratings. Here's what the president tweeting today. My rating December 28th, 2017 was approximately the same at Obama's, which was 47 percent.

He's talking about a Rasmussen poll. It does not meet CNN's polling standards. Here are four polls that do. CNN's poll shows at that same period of

time, at the end of the first year for President Trump, 35 percent, 54 percent for President Obama. Gallup, 38 percent for Trump, 51 percent for Obama. CBS, 36 for Trump, 50 percent for Obama. Quinnipiac, 37 percent for Trump, 46 percent for Obama.

You get where I'm going here. Those are the numbers. Those meet our polling standards. My question to you, why this insistence on comparing himself to President Obama?

LANZA: You know, let's address the polls. I mean, Rasmussen poll last election was probably the closest one that picked President Trump as being the winner. So, he's going back to what was the most accurate in the last election cycle.

CNN didn't hit that mark and then NBC didn't hit that mark and neither did Gallup poll hit that mark. So, let's start with that. So, he's going off something there.

The second thing is everybody talks about the president is obsessed with President Obama. The president made a promise to the American people to undo a lot of the dangerous policies of President Obama and he's keeping his promise. I know that's unique and bizarre to politicians in Washington, D.C. keeping their promise, but this guy is a business guy and he knows how to achieve goals.

And that was his goal when he -- that was the promise he made to the American people and that's been his singular focus. It's not initially focused on Obama. It's focusing on the promises he made to the American people. I got to tell you, it's enlightening, it's different and it's very refreshing.

HARLOW: So, Mayor, he -- Bryan clearly thinks all those polls I put up are wrong. What do you say?

NUTTER: Yes. Well --

LANZA: That's not what I said. I said Rasmussen was the most accurate. I didn't say they were wrong.

HARLOW: Not as accurate.

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: What do you say, Mayor?

NUTTER: Yes, well, anyway. He took the one that best made his case. But clearly, the president's also having some math problems, which he clearly could not have learned all those lessons important here in Philadelphia. He's everything is going to be what's in his best interest -- size of crowd, big as this, big as that.

He's intimidated actually by President Obama and if you have time, you could put up the clip of when Donald Trump visited the White House, President Obama graciously welcomed him. He couldn't even look him in the eye. So he is intimidated and envious of the record of President Barack

Obama and is constantly trying to compare himself to people who had been successful.

HARLOW: Gentlemen, thank you both very much. Have a good New Year's.

LANZA: Thanks, Poppy.

NUTTER: Thank you.

HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, markets having the best year in a long, long time. Is it because of the president?

Also, stepped up security here for New Year's Eve celebrations in New York and a number of major cities across the country. Times Square will be on lockdown as 2 million people gather to watch the ball drop. We're there live tonight.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:40:49] HARLOW: New tonight, President Trump touting the strength of the stock market as an indicator of economic growth during his first year of the president. Today, the Dow closing the year out 24,719. That is up nearly 25 percent since the president took office. The president certainly likes to remind people about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The stock market has gone up massively since the election.

The stock market since our election is through the roof.

The stock market hit an all time record high today.

The stock market is at an all time high.

The stock market is at an all time high.

Our stock market is at an all time high.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

HARLOW: He's right. It is. The Dow has hit more record highs this year than in any previous year. It is right near the record 25,000 mark.

It builds though on the huge gains we've seen from the market during President Obama's final years in office. How does it all measure up?

OUTFRONT now, former senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign, Stephen Moore, and Democratic strategist and author of "The Essential Bernie Sanders: His Vision for America", Jonathan Tasini.

Nice to have you here.

Stephen, let me begin with you because you advised the president on all things economic, and economy and markets. Here is what some of the president's biggest supporters in that key state of Michigan which he flipped, told me when I asked him does this president get credit for the remarkable market rise. Look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Did the president get credit for the stock market?

SAL MOCEN, MICHIGAN TRUMP VOTER: No. No. He doesn't -- because he doesn't run any of these companies.

HARLOW: But he takes a lot of credit for it.

MOCEN: This is America. These companies have come to fruition and to be major billion dollar corporations because of the American people. Not Mr. Trump.

HARLOW: Does he get credit for the rise in the stock market?

RICKY QUINN, MICHIGAN TRUMP VOTER: I believe he does because I think a lot of the investment, a lot of the things that have happen and the stock market are related to what people see and think are going to happen in the future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: What do you think, Steven?

STEPHEN MOORE, FORMER SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISER, 2016 TRUMP CAMPAIGN: The second gentleman. I think it's undeniable. There has been a Trump effect on the stock market.

After all, you know, you showed that one chart showing stock market's up 25 percent since I think -- I don't know if that was the beginning of the year or when he was inaugurated. But really, the starting point was remember what happened the day after Trump was elected, the stock market went up 700 points, which was one of the biggest days for the stock market in history.

JONATHAN TASINI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Obama's went up 31 percent from the same period.

MOORE: So let me --

TASINI: If you're trying to say any president has control of the stock, which by the way, on a bipartisan basis, I would say, no president should get credit for that. But if we're talking about the actual --

MOORE: Why do you think the stock market went up 700 points the day after the election?

TASINI: The bull market has been going on since 2009. MOORE: Yes, 700 points in one day?

TASINI: If you want to actually talk about what the effect has been over time, you should actually give it to Barack Obama, not Donald Trump if you go back to 2009. And as I said in the same period from Obama's inauguration, if you take the same period and Trump's, it actually went up higher as a percentage. And the other point to make --

HARLOW: Hold on, guys. One at a time. Stephen.

TASINI: The other point to make, Stephen, is --

HARLOW: Jonathan, Jonathan. Stephen.

MOORE: So, you can go back, I debated a lot of people on this network during the campaign. And almost all the liberal economists said if Donald Trump is elected president, he will crash the stock market. Some of the leading liberal economists, of course, we all know that didn't happen. He didn't crash the stock market.

Since Election Day, the stock market is up 38 percent. That's a $6 trillion increase.

HARLOW: But wait. Wait, wait, wait. Hold on, because you bring up many what all these people, liberal economists say about the stock market. Let's just listen for a moment to what the president said about the stock market in a presidential debate in September of 2016. His words. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're in a bubble right now. And the only thing that looks good is the stock market, but if you raise interest rates even a little bit, that's going come crashing down. We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: What?

[19:45:00] TASINI: Poppy, the reason we're talking about this as a story is because Donald Trump who's an ignoramus when it comes to policy is so insensitive to his public perception that he has to go around and talk about a falsehood. Markets are up all over the world. Stock markets have been rising everywhere, in Asia, in Europe, in Japan. Donald Trump has had no effect on that.

HARLOW: None? How can you --

TASINI: Of course not.

HARLOW: Hold on, look, I'm not an economist, but I cover business and I cover markets. Jonathan, how can you argue that a president has no impact whatsoever on a market? You've got unemployment at a 17-year low. You've got consumer confidence at the highest level since 2000. MOORE: Right.

HARLOW: If President Obama gets credit for that, how does President Trump not get some credit for this market?

TASINI: But, Poppy, the unemployment rate has been declining way before Donald Trump took office.

HARLOW: Yes, but it didn't start going up under President Trump.

TASINI: Look, the best way of saying is if shoe were on the other foot, if we were sitting here with a Democrat president for one year and an eight-year previous term for a Republican president, Steve Moore would be scoffing at the notion that in one year, any president could have any effect on the stock market.

HARLOW: I don't know. Steven wrote in his new piece for "Investor Business Daily". You wrote, Stephen, it's possible the market exuberance is over. Mr. Trump's deregulation and cuts policies have run too far ahead. You've even said this market may be too hot.

MOORE: Right. This market loves Trump's policies. No question about it. He's a very pro-business president. He does know a lot about businesses. I think that's one of the reasons small business and investor confidence are up so high, but sure.

I mean, I'm not going to predict where the stock market is going to go from here. I do worry maybe it's run a little bit ahead of itself. It's knocking on the door of 25,000. That's a big number.

But I will say this, it's not really for most Americans about the stock market. Although I think that's a positive thing. Look at the other indicators, this economy is red hot right now. It's hard to point to any single economic indicator.

TASINI: No, it's not true.

HARLOW: We have to leave it there. We really have to leave it there. Seriously.

TASINI: More workers are still out of the workforce than before.

MOORE: That's true.

TASINI: Most people and wages are too low.

HARLOW: All right. OK, we're leaving it there, but I'm glad you brought up wage growth because it hasn't kept up with the run in the market, and half of Americans don't have a penny -- half of Americans don't have a penny in the stock market. So, it's nice for them to look at. But it doesn't impact their reality.

Got to get to break.

(CROSSTALK)

HARLOW: You guys can continue this in the break. I appreciate you being here. Thank you very much.

TASINI: Happy New Year.

HARLOW: All right. So, OUTFRONT next, security very high in an unprecedented levels in New York City for the New Year's Eve celebration this year. We're live in Times Square.

And President Trump's penchant for pushing things around. Jeanne Moos takes notice.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:50:55] HARLOW: Tonight, cities across the country taking extraordinary measures for New Year's Eve after deadly attacks in New York City and Las Vegas this year. In Vegas, snipers will be on roof tops. National Guard set to be out protecting crowds.

Athena Jones is live for us in Times Square with more.

And, Athena, New York is always on high alert. But just to be clear, this is not because of a specific threat, right? This is about an abundance of caution?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Hi, Poppy.

Authorities here say there is no direct, credible threat to the festivities here, and no threat to New York City in general. This is out of an abundance of caution. And this is always a massive security undertaking. This year is no different.

But this year, we're going see a stepped up police presence. That is because of two recent terror attacks right here in New York, the Halloween attack, the truck incident in Lower Manhattan that killed eight people, and just earlier this month, when a young man detonated a bomb in the subway system, just a few blocks away from here. That is why we're going to see a stepped up police presence, in and around Times Square this year. There will be more uniformed officers, more police officers with heavy weapons and more dogs.

This entire area where I'm standing several blocks north, south, east and west will be blocked off on Sunday. There will be 12 access points for 2 million spectators expected to come out on Sunday night. They'll have to go through two screenings to get in place for the ball drop. That is all so that the folks can make sure that this celebration, this iconic celebration is kept safe -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Athena Jones, thank you very much. Stay warm, my friend. I know it's freezing out there.

Not only will Times Square have all this protection for New Year's Eve, it's going to continue to be freezing.

Allison Chinchar joins us from the CNN Weather Center.

Look, you've looked at the last week. You know, the eastern half of the country has spent much of the last week below average temperatures and it's going to get worse?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. So, we're starting to see that second wave of cold air enter, and there's another one on the heels of that. So here's a look at all of our brand new wind chill advisories, watches and warnings. When you look at the amount of people here, 30 million people impacted with wind chills that could be minus 20 to minus 40.

Look at Boston for example. You wake up tomorrow morning, it feels like minus 13. New Year's Day, you starting it off minus 22. In Monday in Chicago, minus 23. So, then the next wave that comes through today and to tomorrow, then the next wave Sunday into Monday, that's going to be a concern again for a lot of folks, especially as we talk about New York City, because here's the thing -- a lot of folks be out there.

When you're out there celebrating New Year's Eve in New York City, you're out there for 30 to 45 minutes, you're out there for hours on end. And, unfortunately, one of the coldest point of the week looks to be that point, Poppy, Sunday going into Monday when all those people are going be standing out there waiting.

HARLOW: I'm going to be in bed. That's why I'm not going anywhere on New Year's Eve. Thank you very much, Allison. Have a great one.

If you are going out on New Year's Eve, if you are staying in, wherever you are, turn on the TV and watch CNN. Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen ring in the New York. It all starts 8:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

All right. OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on the Trump shuffle.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:58:05] HARLOW: We learned a lot about the president's habits in 2017, including this. Here's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's your move, Mr. President. Whether it's a glass or a coaster, President Trump has a habit of moving things a few inches here, a few inches there.

A viewer alerted Jimmy Kimmel to the president's quirk.

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: He's more of a mover than a shaker.

MOOS: Moving individual items and even an entire place setting, apparently seeking the sweet spot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: General counsel.

MOOS: A shorter compilation circulated online, leading to comments like this is desktop manspreading. He's marking his territory and trying to intimidate others with the space he takes up.

The president's move inspired web gags and arm chair psychology. He thinks he's the master of everything. This is mine to touch.

TRUMP: Nice to see you.

KIMMEL: All I have to say is I hope the new health care plan covers OCD, because --

MOOS: OK, so everyone has an opinion, what's a professional think? Professor of psychology.

While declining to diagnose, Professor Kevin Volkan weighed in on what may be behind this type of behavior.

KEVIN VOLKAN, PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR, CAL STATE UNIVERSITY, CHANNEL ISLANDS: They're feeling anxiety about something, they control things, they move things around, they make lists.

MOOS: Or more likely, in someone with a narcissistic profile --

VOLKAN: They're just really bored. They can bore very easily, especially when the conversation is not about them.

MOOS: Internet posters likewise couldn't resist moving things, like the president's head, replacing it with a cartoon called business cat and adding a sound track.

(MUSIC)

MOOS: Funny, President Trump doesn't seem like the type to be a paper pusher.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARLOW: Thank you so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.