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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
EPA Critic Takes Charge Of Agency; Trump Admin Unveils Sweeping Plans For Deportations; Sweeping New Rules Target Undocumented Immigrants; Trump: Anti-Semitic Threats "Horrible" And "Painful"; Aired 7-8p ET
Aired February 21, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER HOST: -- good work. That's it for it me. Thanks very much for watching. Erin Burnett OutFront starts right now it.
ERIN BURNETT, ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT HOST: OutFront next, the Trump administration unveiling sweeping new guidelines for deporting undocumented immigrants appear spreading across the country tonight. Tonight, the White House trying to control the panic. Plus my guest it says the Trump administration is the most anti-Semitic in U.S. history. Is that even fair? And Education Secretary Betsy DeVos now under U.S. Marshal protection. Why? Let's go OutFront.
Good it evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight. Immigration crackdown a dramatic shift in immigration policy, this major change announced by President Trump's administration zeroing in on how immigration laws are enforced. These changes could set the stage for massive deportations of undocumented immigrants. The new guidelines leave protections in place though for the children of undocumented immigrants known as the Dreamers, otherwise known as the DACA but they do target virtually all others undocumented immigrants.
Now, the guidelines call for the hiring of thousands of border patrol agents to enforce current laws giving the agents broad leeway to make immediate decisions about whom to arrest. White House Spokesman Sean Spicer spelled out the reason behind the guidelines earlier today while trying to calm fears within the immigrant community it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: The memo regarding the executive order border security and immigration enforcement improvements outlines the steps that it DHS will take to secure the nation's southern border, prevent further illegal immigration and to repatriate illegal immigrants swiftly, consistently and humanely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Pamela Brown begins our coverage OutFront tonight. And Pamela, obviously this is a dramatic shift. They're talking about enforcement but this is a real shift in the way things have been done.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It absolutely is. Under these new DHS guidelines, basically the nearly estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States could be subject to deportation. So those who were not targeted under the Obama administration can now be targeted but the Trump administration saying that today that the sweeping changes do not impact for now the protections in place for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Tonight the Department of Homeland Security releasing new guidelines that could massively expand the number of undocumented immigrants detained or deported from the U.S. They broaden who ICE may target and a expedite the removal of undocumented immigrants from the U.S. Recently immigration and customs enforcement arrested more than 680 in raids in just one week and said most of them were criminals.
SPICER: Everybody who is they're illegally is subject to removal at any time. The priorities that the president is laid forward and the priority that ICE is putting forward through DHS' guidance is to it make a sure that the people who have committed a crime or pose a threat to our public safety are the priority of their efforts first and foremost.
BROWN: Under President Obama, ICE focused ion deportation n three categories. Convicted criminals, public safety threats and those who recently crossed the border illegally. Under the Trump administration, anyone who is even accused of a crime such as a DUI is eligible for deportation. And the new memos may clear immigration agents now have broader discretion to decide who to round up. CNN rode along with ICE Agents in 2015 when they targeted an undocumented criminal at this auto shop in Chicago when another undocumented immigrant working at the same shop took off running. He had no criminal background, so ICE let him go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good luck to you man.
BROWN: But now under it the new guidelines, that same man could be detained and possibly deported.
GRESA MARTINEZ, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT: We're scared.
BROWN: Gresa Martinez was brought to the U.S. from Mexico 20 years ago. The White House says people like Martinez known as Dreamers will still be protected under DACA for now.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They were brought here in such a way, it's a very -- it's very, very tough subject. We are going to deal with DACA with heart.
BROWN: But Martinez says she's still unsure what her future holds in the U.S.
MARTINEZ: Why is that Donald Trump wants to have it both ways? So mercy in public and then in the middle of the night, pluck documented people from their beds.
BROWN: And the memos also end so-called catch and release where people in the U.S. unlawfully are released while they wait for the proceedings instead the memos call for expedited removal as this is all going on, Erin. We've learned that DHS Secretary is going to Mexico and Guatemala this week to discuss border security. Back to you.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. And I want to go now to Sara Murray, she's OutFront at the White House. And Sara, the Trump administration is trying to calm fears tonight. They're saying, look, these policies were in place under President Obama. Is that true?
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, the laws may not have changed but certainly the guidance, the enforcements surrounding them is changing under the Trump administration. We saw Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary today deny the notion that this is the beginning of mass deportations. He says that the president simply wants to prioritize people who are a threat to public safety. But that can mean a lot of things.
And in that same pressure today, Sean Spicer also said that they want to take the shackles off of immigration and border patrol officers. They want to essentially give field agents more leeway in who they decide to detain and who they decide to deport. So that means that people who were considered criminals and for deportation under the Obama administration, that could be a much broader universe under the Trump administration. Now, the one thing as Pam pointed out that is not changing at least for now is how the administration will treat the Dreamers. So, while that may be welcomed news to many undocumented immigrants in the United States, that's the kind of thing that could open President Trump actually up to criticism from people who voted for him on the right. Erin?
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Sara. And OutFront now, the president of the California Senate, democratic Senator Kevin De Leon and the former republican congressman from Colorado and former republican candidate Tom Tancredo also with us our senior political analyst Mark Preston. Senator, De Leon, let me start with you. The White House is downplaying this, right? They're saying, look, these rules are on the books. We're now just going to be enforcing more of them. How dramatic of a change is this?
KEVIN DE LEON, (D) CALIFORNIA SECRETARY LEADER: Well, Erin, I think that this is an extraordinary departure from the former policies of then President Obama. They are right that the law is the law, but the reality is this, that it's never been the custom and practice to go after mothers and fathers, hardworking law abiding tax paying residents of California for that matter the rest of the country. Historically they have gone after criminal felons. That has been the main focus. But this is something that's dramatically different.
And I think they're speaking of two sides of their mouth. On one end, they're really pushing the narrative of the criminal felon, the murderer but at the same time they broadened the criteria to include without a doubt, nannies, housekeepers, bus boys. So this is a -- the beginning signs without a doubt in my estimation of mass deportation.
BURNETT: Congressman, beginning of mass deportations? TOM TANCREDO, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Of course that's a
phrase that people like to use in order to scare the immigrant community and rile up the base. It has nothing do with what is going to happen, nothing to go with what Donald Trump has proposed. Here is the great the big headline, massive news, holy macro, president to enforce immigration law. That's it. And that is what's driving everybody crazy.
Now, he's even said, yes he's going to expand the priorities that have been set in place by the previous administration, big deal. You know, when we talk earlier about people who are sent back -- who had committed serious crimes it was just about murder and a few things below that. But hell, if you had been here and committed how many DUIs, it didn't matter, nobody was going to send you back even though you were a danger to the people here and you were committing crimes that were serious. Never happened. Now maybe they will be sent back. And they should be. And there is nothing wrong with actually enforcing the law. It is a brand new day and I'm glad to see it.
BURNETT: So Mark Preston, you know, the president said that no one should be surprised by his actions on immigration and frankly nobody should be when it comes to -- did they expect this to happen. In fact, it doesn't go as far as some might expect because it's just enforcing existing law. Here's the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is a campaign promise that some people are so surprised that we're having strong borders. Well, that's what I've been talking about for a year and a half. Strong borders. They're so surprised. Oh, he having strong borders. Well, that's what I've been talk about to the press and to everybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Does he have a point? I mean, this is what he said, Mark. He's doing what he said.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. No doubt, Erin. And he certainly is keeping to his campaign promise. Not only are we going to see an increase from ICE and other law enforcement officials. Moving forward and increasing the deportations, but he also talked about building the wall, they also spoke about that as well as today taking more steps to make that happen. It was going to be very interesting though specifically in the State of California and perhaps Senator De Leon talk about this is will we see state and local police who under these orders that were discussed earlier today who are going to be granted a greater power to arrest undocumented workers, will we see state and local police helping ICE Agents in some of these raids? And if not, what will be the outcry back in Washington and from the Trump administration.
BURNETT: Yes. Senator, what happens? So as soon as this takes effect, what do you think is going to be different? I mean, they're going to -- do you actually think they will be going in people's homes and taking a nanny away from the kids or I mean, what do you see that's going to be different?
DE LEON: Well, Erin, we're not sure yet. But let me get to the point that Mark had just underscored, one, in order for Donald Trump -- President to be successful, he needs to commandeer local police departments, highway patrolmen as well as local sheriffs. The reality is -- regardless of how many numbers they increase with regards to ICE Agents or border patrol agents, they're not going to be able to deport, detain more than 11 million immigrants nationwide.
They do have to commandeer local police departments. And I can be very clear about this for the State of California, we won't spend a single cent or lift a single finger to be in extension of the federal government in separating the mothers from their children and children from their mothers. This is an extraordinary departure and I can tell you this, Tom Tancredo was Donald Trump -- way before Donald Trump became Donald Trump on the issue of immigration, the anti-immigrant animus that he harbored in his days of Washington, D.C. was something that we've never seen before. But the reality is this, no one's ever had a debate or argument with the --
BURNETT: OK. Hold on. Hold on. I just want to -- I just want to give Congressman Tancredo a chance to respond to what the senator just said about you.
TANCREDO: Right. Well, you have me -- he did give me a great compliment there by saying that I was, you know, Donald Trump before he was in office on the issue of immigration. But this anti-illegal immigration animus, animus, this word, it is used against me , against Trump and others because it hopes to then change the conversation from the actual law and enforcement there of to individuals that you can demonize by using such (INAUDIBLE) but it's not true.it.
Look, I came here today with the guy who is a driver who said to me the on the way, you know, I hear from Croatia, I came 17 years ago, I came the right way and you know what, I don't like the fact that people can sneak into the country and get essentially the same benefits that I got after doing it -- after being inline for years. And that's what I say over and over again it. How do you square that --
DE LEON: Erin, let me give a chance to respond.
TANCREDO: If you are -- you can -- I will give any -- you do not put this whole thing open to a vote, let's have ever legal immigrant in this country vote on it. I'll take their outcome.
DE LEON: Erin?
BURNETT: All right. So, Senator De Leon, what do you -- what do you say to that though?
TANCREDO: Because they -- it's a slap in their face. BURNETT: About the people who waited in line for years, Senator?
DE LEON: Tom, let me -- let me give me an opportunity to respond.
BURNETT: How people -- how people in this country who didn't it come in fairly expect to be treated the same way?
DE LEON: Let me say this. Let me (INAUDIBLE) you clear about this. Immigration in the United States is actually at an all-time throw. When Tom was it in the congress, obviously he did not have the ability to move forward a comprehensive immigration package that dealt with border security as well as the pathway to citizenship. This is also reflection to the members of congress who have not been able to do their duty, their responsibility as legislators and legislate and find common ground so we can move forward in the immigration package just like then-republican Ronald Reagan did with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
Immigrations to U.S. is an all-time low. So why the demonizing, the scapegoating and pitting one group against another and taking advantage of economic insecurities that do exist, they're real. But by demonizing a certain individual by racializing this issue as President Trump has done along with Steve Bannon, along with Steve Miller and Tom Tancredo when he was in the congress. It doesn't really bring this country together. What it does is that tears up the fabric of this nation and who we are.
BURNETT: Congressman, I'll give you the final words since the Senator --
TANCREDO: What a lie. What a bald faced lie. Racializing this issue, it's ridiculous, it's got nothing to do with race. Zero. Nothing. It's got to do with -- I mean, because there are -- we take in more people right now even under what you describe as the lowest in history, we take in more people legally in to this country than any other country in the world. Well over a million a year. That is not being shy about the issue of immigration.
DE LEON: Well, Tom, you should have done your job when you were in the congress.
TANCREDO: It does not matter what color they are.
DE LEON: Tom, you should have done your job when you were in the congress.
TANCREDO: No matter how like -- how you would like to make this a racial issue, you can't, you can't do, not in good fate.
DE LEON: Tom, you should have done your job when you were in the congress. You didn't do your job when you were in the congress. You didn't do your job when you were in the congress.
TANCREDO: Hey, buddy, I tried.
DE LEON: I took the bottom line. TANCREDO: You know I tried.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. One of many heated conversations on this issue.
TANCREDO: Thank you.
BURNETT: All right. Next, the president speaks out condemning anti- Semitism. Is it too -- little too late? Plus Trump on the angry protests at republican town halls tweeting tonight that they're planned buy, "liberal activist." And Jeanne Moos on how to protect yourself from the Trump grab -and-yank handshake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He goes to pull in, I step in, grab in here, wristlock.
BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump condemning a rising of anti-Semitic threats across the nation.
TRUMP: The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful harmful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.
BURNETT: This comes after the president was asked twice about a surge of threats to Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Organizations around the country and did not answer the question as directly. Brynn Gingras is OutFront.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It becomes a familiar scene police responding to a Jewish Community Center after a bomb threat. This one happened at a San Diego JCC this morning, the second false alarm for the center this month and latest in the rash of bomb threats to JCCs across the country. New York, Michigan, Wisconsin and Texas are among the 27 states where the FBI is investigation a total of 70 threats since January.
DAVID POSNER, STRATEGIC PERFORMANCE DIRECTOR, CC ASSOCATION OF NORTH AMERICA: We do see that there's a unprecented number of these threats taking place. We've not seen this before.
GINGRAS: This disturbing incident in Missouri. More than 100 grave stones at a Jewish cemetery toppled over, some belonging to holocaust survivors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
GINGRAS: The president's comments this morning about the spike in incidents coming not soon enough for some. Hillary Clinton tweeting this just before the president's remarks, JCC threats, cemetery desecration and online attacks are so troubling and they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out starting with POTUS. Her daughter Chelsea tweeted a similar post adding, now will Trump condemn anti- Semitism? The President Trump given an opportunity do just that last week when a reporter from a Jewish publication raised the issue.
JAKE TURX, AMI MAGAZINE REPORTER: And what we haven't really heard being address is an uptick in anti-Semitism --
GINGRAS: Trump saw that as a personal attack.
TRUMP: I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life.
GINGRAS: Critics argue it was a missed opportunity just like the day before when the president seem to deflect the question while standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
TRUMP: Jewish people, so many friends, a daughter who happens to be here right now, a son-in-law.
GINGRAS: His daughter Ivanka later became the first Trump to touch on the subject tweeting, America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship and religious centers. The White House now says the president will continue to combat anti-Semitic incidents.
SPICER: -- that is going to be a president that brings people together, that unites them and that speaks very, very forcefully against those who are seeking to do hate or to tear people down because of their religion or their gender or the color of their skin.
GINGRAS: And one group, the Southern Poverty Law Center attract the hate groups across the country, but it says it's seen a recent spike in anti-bias attacks since the election though started counting and it narrowed down the numbers for saying about 250 incidents have been reported, whether it'd be swastika vandalism or anti-Semitic attacks. And again, if you look at the JCC, those leaders their, Erin say that the numbers they're saying, the fourth wave of bomb threats, well, they've never seen anything like this before. Erin?
BURNETT: All right. Brynn, thank you very much. And OutFront now, the executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect Steven Goldstein and Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany. So Steven, after Trump's remarks today, you came out very forcibly, you wrote the president's sudden acknowledgement is a band aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his own administration. His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension make no mistake. The anti-Semitism coming out of this administration is the worse we have ever seen. That is a serious charge.
STEVEN GOLDSTEIN, ANNE FRANK CENTER FOR MUTUAL RESPECT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Absolutely. Erin, time and again, this president has had on opportunity to condemn anti-Semitism. He had a chance to include Jews and Holocaust members, he didn't. He had a chance to speak out against the desecration of Jewish cemeteries this weekend, he didn't. He had a chance to speak out against bomb threats against JCCs and he didn't.
Today when he was forced obviously by some staffers because it came several new cycles after, he finally spoke out. Is our country so lower in its expectations of what to expect from a president that we are supposed to say congratulations, Mr. President, you recognize anti-Semitism? That is pathetic.
BURNETT: Kayleigh, what do you say, he was asked about it directly twice in the past week. There were all these incidents. It wasn't until his daughter tweeted yesterday that he then suddenly in a prepared speech that he read said the words.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: For those wanting to give the president a fair chance, you would have heard him condemn anti-Semitism and I have his exact quote from the first he was asked this question. He said, I want peace in this country, I want to stop crime and long simmering racism. That sounds like a condemnation to me. But some people on the left are using the veil of anti-Semitism, in the charge of anti-Semitism to further their own political causes. It's dangerous. I agree with Alan Dershowitz fully that we should be loosely throwing this term around and I've got to ask you straight on, so you think the president does not like Jews in his (INAUDIBLE) about President of United States.
GOLDSTEIN: You bet. And do you know why?
GOLDSTEIN: And (INAUDIBLE) right, Kayleigh. Do you know?
MCENANY: So they hate his daughter because they hate --
GOLDSTEIN: Do you know what, Kayleigh? You know what, Kayleigh, I am tired of commentators like you from the right thriving out his daughter, thriving out his son-in-law as talking points against the president's anti-Semitism. They are Jewish but that is not a talking point against anti-Semitism and that is a disgrace.
GOLDSTEIN: Have you know -- have you know ethics than to invoke -- and to invoke people's religion as a talking point?
MCENANY: Let's make this a dialogue.
GOLDSTEIN: That itself is anti-Semiting.
BURNETT: Ok. Go ahead, Kayleigh.
MCENANY: Let's make this a dialogue instead of a monologue. Do you think the president dislikes his daughter?
MCENANY: Answer the question. Answer because you said he doesn't like Jews and his daughter is Jew.
GOLDSTEIN: You know what, I have no obligation to answer a (INAUDIBLE) question.
MCENANY: You can't answer the question --
GOLDSTEIN: Because it's a nonsensical question based on nothing. You can't answer the question.
GOLDSTEIN: Why didn't the president condemn anti-Semitism this weekend?
GOLDSTEIN: Why didn't the president condemn anti-Semitism this weekend?
BURNETT: All right. I want to play --
BURNETT: Hold on. Kayleigh read a quite from the press conference that he did with Benjamin Netanyahu. Kayleigh, he was directly asked about anti-Semitism, OK? He didn't answer. He talked generally about racism but I want to play how he -- the question that was asked and how he answered in in full to get your reaction. Here he is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you say to those among the Jewish community in the States and in Israel and maybe around the world who believe and feel that your administration playing xenophobia and may be racist (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: Well, I just want to say that we are, you know, very honored by the victory that we had, 306 electoral college votes. We were not supposed to crack 220, you know what, right? There was no way to 221 but then they said there's no way to 270. And there is tremendous enthusiasm out there. I will say that we are going to have peace in this country. We are going to stop crime in this country. We are going to do everything within our power to stop long simmering racism and every other thing that's going on.
BURNETT: So Kayleigh, you know, when he's asked the question, he goes off for 20 seconds about his electoral college victory and then he mentions racism. Later on he does say as for the Jewish people, I have a daughter. Does that do it for you?
MCENANY: Yes. Stopping crime and long simmering racism sounds like a condemnation. And Mr. Goldstein could not answer -- could not answer --
GOLDSTEIN: No. You can't answer the question as to why --
MCENANY: Let me finish. Let me finish. Steven? Let me finish.
GOLDSTEIN: Thank you.
MCENANY: There is a flaw in your logical reasoning. You told me -- the first thing you said is the president dislike Jews, the second thing you said when I asked does he dislike his daughter, you said, I don't have to answer that question.
GOLDSTEIN: You know what, Kayleigh, that's very nice, that's very nice and --
GOLDSTEIN: You are using fake news arguments. Shame on you.
MCENANY: You are using --
GOLDSTEIN: Because you just didn't what was on there. He responded about the electoral college.
BURNETT: Isn't it true though? Putting aside just your immediate discussion here, but it is true that when someone is close to somebody, they can see them differently as they see others. They can see others as another and they could see a person, well, you are this but it doesn't matter. When it comes -- I mean, if you look at what happens about history that's certainly been true with anti-Semitism and many other things.
MCENANY: Of course. Well, he stood next to the Prime Minister of Israel who said I've known this man my whole life, essentially Donald Trump and he is the greatest defender of the Jewish people, I know. And I think it's very sad that we have liberal commentators, Steven particular who is using charges, file charges like anti-Semitism with no evidence behind it.
BURNETT: Kayleigh is right. The Prime Minister of Israel did stay that. He did.
GOLDSTEIN: But listen to what Donald says --
GOLDSTEIN: He talked about the electoral college. We're talking about Donald Trump, we're not talking about BB Netanyahu here. When Donald Trump had an opportunity to speak out strongly against anti- Semitism, he's talking about the electoral college. How ridiculous, Kayleigh.
MCENANY: You're doing a disservice to your own cause because by telling out first charges with anti-Semitism you're neglecting the times where there actually a case that we need to put aside.
BURNETT: You know what, and why don't you respond to it instead of responding to electoral college?
BURNETT: Thank you both. Next, he's been friends with Trump for decades. The two head lunch together today. What is Trump telling him about chaos in the White House? Tom Barrack is my guest live next. And Breitbart Senior Editor Milo Yiannopoulos, tamed for his shocking statements resigns under incredible pressure. His critics say he finally crossed the line. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[19:31:31] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news: President Trump taking on the town hall rage. The president just tweeting moments ago, "The so-called angry crowd in home districts of some Republicans are actually in numerous cases planned out by liberal activists. Sad."
This was the scene at Republican Senator Joni Ernst's town hall in Iowa today. Protests were shouting down the senator. The crowd actually ended up overwhelming her. You see them there. She was forced to end the event after just taking a few questions.
Now, the outrage from voters have been spilling out into the streets since the president's inauguration. We've been covering the rowdy town halls, members of Congress are getting, hearing a lot from voters as they return home.
OUTFRONT now, Tom Barrack, who had lunch with the president today, a close friend, business associate of the president, who's known him for more than 30 years.
And, Tom, you know, we see this tweet. Obviously, he's angry and frustrated in that tweet. How was he at lunch today?
TOM BARRACK, HAD LUNCH WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP TODAY: He was amazing. He was calm. He was happy. He was thoughtful.
And, you know, I went with no agenda, really just to see a friend.
BURNETT: Sort of two friends.
BARRACK: Yes, and sort of thinking he's got to be tired and worn out.
And the resilience of the man is amazing. Forget about the politics, but just the cadence of what he has to deal with every day is overwhelming. And you feel, when you walk into the White House, especially the West Wing, that power and the burden of the office takes over.
As I walked into the Oval Office, he was sitting at his desk, papers stacked, phone ringing. He looks great. And as we sat down and started to talk just as pals, just as friends, saying, you know, how are you doing? How are you feeling?
He said, I'm feeling good and I think I'm doing a good job. What do you think? Which was interesting --
BURNETT: That's what he said. I think I'm doing a good job, what do you think?
BARRACK: Because it's how he manages. He's the best instinctive perceptor that I've ever known. So, he kind of tests everybody and listens, which is a great trait of his.
I said, look, it's an amazingly difficult job. You're trying to accomplish a ton of things with various constituencies, and there's always going to be rift in that. But how are you doing? How is your team, how is the perceived chaos?
And, by the way, I was there an hour and a half earlier and so, I had met with most of the staff who are also all --
BURNETT: Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, everybody?
BARRACK: Yes, Jared, K.T. McFarland, and everybody was upbeat. Gary Cohen, he's got a group of great adults in the room all focused on what they're doing. And the temperament was all very good.
And for him, he was amazingly respectful. The most interesting thing to me was here is a man who is accomplished, who is tough, who has been all over the world, and sitting in the room he started to describe the desk, the resolute desk that came from a ship that was -- that sunk -- an English ship that was sunk, that was sent back to England, Queen Victoria then had desks made.
BURNETT: He's talking about the items, his favorite things.
BARRACK: Yes, and a new portrait of Andrew Jackson that was to his left. His dad's picture that was on the back of his desk. Teddy Roosevelt to the left. And Frederic Remington Bronco Buster saying, that's what I do everyday is bust these broncos.
[19:35:06] But you could feel the respect and the power of the office in such a compassionate way. And people miss that.
BURNETT: So, all right, you said perceived chaos. So let me ask you about that. Because it's not just perceived in terms of what we've heard.
Admiral Harward, right, who is the selection for the national security adviser told us he turned down the job because it was an expletive sandwich in the White House. Chaos was the shorthand. He had used the expletive.
Headlines running everything from the "Wall Street Journal," obviously more friendly to some of Trump's policies to the "New York Times", to "USA Today", saying the administration is in turmoil, in chaos.
You have seen him run an organization for 30 years. You disagree with the term chaos, but you think it's being run purposely in your way?
BARRACK: A thousand percent. I mean, this is Donald Trump being Donald Trump.
BURNETT: So he wants the chaos?
BURNETT: The fighting, all of it?
BARRACK: Absolutely, because he is the best instinctive manager that I've ever seen. Different than other people. I don't have that ability.
So, if I go into manage a situation, I give command and control to various people like most managers and allow them to either get the results or not get the results and you judge them at the end of the day. He has this ability of going into a cappuccino down underneath the phone, let experts deal with it to the phone, and his perception of the espresso is unbelievably good and he will let them vie with each other.
This is organized chaos. This is Donald Trump at his best. This is not --
BURNETT: So, to you, that's not an oxymoron. Organized chaos, that is what he is doing? All of it purposeful.
BARRACK: Absolutely. And his staff understands that. In other words, they're not at odds with each other. They're giving various points of view and he curate those points of view.
So, there's no disharmony. As a matter of fact, I was shocked at the harmony that was -- you know, the West Wing is a funny place because it's tiny. So everybody is with each other.
But there was no back stabbing. There was no moaning or groaning about each other. And I think they're getting their cadence.
Remember, there's team in place. There are still 3,300 jobs that are unfulfilled and the cabinet is not in place.
BURNETT: So, you talk about a lot of things. I want to talk to but something else he talks about incessantly, his number one topic in fact because he brings it up every single time he can. Here he is since he took office in January.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The dishonest media which has published one false story after another.
The press has become so dishonest. The level of dishonesty is out of control.
The fake news media doesn't like talking about the economy.
It's all fake news. It's phony stuff. It didn't happen.
Your organization is terrible. You are fake news.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BURNETT: He really believes all this?
BARRACK: Yes, he does. And I tell him every day that I think this is the greatest thing that's ever happened, greatest thing for journalism. It's greatest thing for CNN. It's greatest thing for FOX News. It's the greatest for Breitbart. And it's the greatest thing for we the American people. That this dialogue is 24/7.
And with 4 billion people in the world, you're not going to get could not census. So, you know, the edges of what he perceived as really being a point of view that is going after him which quite honestly I don't believe and I tell him that I don't believe that, that's not what's happening. Everybody is doing their job a, is a good thing for him.
BURNETT: When you say they're not going after you, does he listen or just sort of in one ear and out of the other? He thinks what he thinks?
BARRACK: No, he absolutely listens. He listens to everything. But in his belief, the assimilation of the facts are disparate. So, he's not getting a fair shake, which of course is always the case in a political situation because it's politically motivated.
But at the end of the day, it's a great thing, right? It's a display of the First Amendment. So really even the vocabulary and the cadence of the debate has accelerated at such a level that is good to him.
Some of the centrists come back to him. Other people go to the other side. But at the end of the day, he knows one thing, which we talked about. By the way, his favorite dish was meatloaf. The lunch was terrific.
BURNETT: He made you eat the meatloaf?
BARRACK: The meatloaf is unbelievable.
BURNETT: You -- he forced the meatloaf on you? All right. Well, it's good.
BARRACK: Yes, the meatloaf is incredible.
BURNETT: Oh my gosh.
BARRACK: But that he only needs to produce three or four things of what he's promised, and that's what he's doing. So, he's got a staff and that staff is not filled out yet. Cabinet is being completed.
He's executed more in the first 30 days than anybody in history has. But the difficulty is getting through the system because the teams aren't in place.
So, he looks and says, you know, I'm going to do what I said. I got four or five things that I said that I needed to do. I've got economic policy. I've got immigration, I'm got security in the U.S., I need to create jobs, and I've got Obamacare. I'm going to get those things done and people will judge me at the end of the day on the efficacy of what I said, by the results that I get done.
[19:40:01] And that's what I'm going to do.
BURNETT: All right. Tom Barrack, thank you very much.
BARRACK: Thanks, Erin. Great to be here.
BURNETT: And next, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos now under the protection of federal marshals tonight. Why?
And Milo Yiannopoulos under fire for comments on pedophilia. Even one time supporters say he has finally crossed the line. But why were they OK with this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILO YIANNOPOULOS, FORMER BREITBART EDITOR: You're wearing a hijab in the United States of America. What is wrong with you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: New tonight, the controversial Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos is out, resigning from the media organization effective immediately. Yiannopoulos holding a news conference today to do damage control amid growing outrage over comments he made about pedophilia.
Suzanne Malveaux is OUTFRONT.
YIANNOPOULOS: These past 48 hours has been a horrible and humiliating and degrading experience for me.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirty- two-year-old Milo Yiannopoulos, who once claimed he was the most fabulous supervillain on the Internet now falling from grace faster than a speeding bullet.
YIANNOPOULOS: I will never stop making jokes about taboo subjects.
MALVEAUX: The Twitter troll who's made a living out of trashing women, blacks, Muslims and transgender people now deemed even too toxic for the right wing website Breitbart News, where he was a senior editor.
[19:45:08] YIANNOPOULOS: I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues' important job, which is why today I'm resigning from Breitbart effective immediately.
MALVEAUX: The final push, comments from two videos released over the weekend by a conservative website, highlighting his discussion about men having sex with minors.
YIANNOPOULOS: In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, the sort of coming of age relationships, the relationships in which those older men have helped those young boys to discover who they are -- HOST: It sounds like Catholic priest molestation to me.
YIANNOPOULOS: And you know what? I'm grateful for Father (AUDIO DELETED)
MALVEAUX: He continues on to say he would never be as good as a certain sex act without the priest. And it force him do something he's never done.
YIANNOPOULOS: I haven't ever apologized and I don't anticipate ever doing it again. I do not support child abuse. It's a disgusting crime of which I've personally been a victim.
MALVEAUX: The apology coming too late to save him from being disinvited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference this week. CPAC's chairman, Matt Schlapp, stating Monday there is no disagreement among our attendees on the evils of sexual abuse of children.
Then, publisher Simon & Shuster cancels Yiannopoulos' contract for his upcoming book dangerous. Yiannopoulos says his guilty only of using imprecise language and that the videos were deceptively edited. He defiantly he takes on his critics, vowing he will lead a revolution for free speech at any cost.
YIANNOPOULOS: This is a cynical media witch hunt from people who do not care about children. They care about destroying me and my career. Don't think for a moment that anything that has happened in the last 48 hours will ever stop me being as offensive, provocative and outrageously funny as I choose on any subject I please. America has a colossal free speech problem.
MALVEAUX: It was Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart chief executive who recruited Milo to the website, giving him an enormous platform to promote his highly controversial views. As Milo carves out his own independent media brand, Bannon's influence is being felt in the White House as one of President Trump's top White House advisers -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Suzanne, thank you.
And now, the chairman of the American Conservative Union which organizes CPAC, Matt Schlapp.
And, Matt, you know, you heard Milo in his news conference. Did he say anything that could give you second thoughts that you could invite him again to your conference or change your mind?
MATT SCHLAPP, CHAIRMAN OF CONSERVATIVE ORG. SPONSORING CPAC: No. I think we've made the right decision. I don't think the CPAC stage is the right place for him to try to rehabilitate his image. That's up to him and I think he started yesterday on Facebook and started with his press conference today. He's got to address these very troubling words. You know, our stage -- we're OK with controversy on our stage. An
invitation to CPAC is not an endorsement of someone's views. We have people from across the political spectrum who speak in our stage.
It creates a conversation and a debate and a dialogue. We are interested on that when it's about political issues. And I think when those tapes came to my attention this weekend, we believe that he, you know, careened off of a proper path and really broke through a boundary that we are not comfortable with.
BURNETT: So, he has made a lot of controversial comments before.
SCHLAPP: He has.
BURNETT: As you're referencing, Matt, of course.
SCHLAPP: He has.
BURNETT: Before you invited him. So you invited him knowing that he had said all of the things I'm about to play here. Here are a few of them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YIANNOPOULOS: You're hearing a hijab in the United States of America. What is wrong with you?
Muslim migrants are going to come in here and arrive with their signature delicacies: lamb chops, yogurt and gang rape.
If there's a racially supremacist movement, it's Black Lives Matter.
I don't entirely believe in lesbians. There are, of course, a small, a tiny proportion of, you know, the dungaree-wearing types with the short haircuts. Your gender studies professors who probably will never see a penis. More lack of options than preference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. You said that his pedophilia comments broke through an important barrier, a boundary, which is the word you just used. So, pedophilia was a boundary, but nothing that he said there obviously was.
SCHLAPP: Well, remember, our audience is 50 percent college kids and younger, and I felt particularly troubled by his comments on child sexual abuse.
Now, like I said, an invitation is not an endorsement of what he said. I'm sure he could go on and on with the inappropriate things he said.
What he was going to address our audience about was being shut out of college campuses and what are the limits of the First Amendment and free speech on campuses. We all know, it's not a surprise that most campus administrators are not that open to conservative viewpoints and he was recently shut out of Berkeley where there were riots when he came to speak.
And we have to ask ourselves as Americans --
BURNETT: I hear you. But some of these things aren't conservative viewpoints. I mean, it's just offensive. I don't believe in lesbians.
SCHLAPP: That's right.
[19:50:00] BURNETT: They never see a penis, more of lack of options than preference. I mean, that's just offensive.
SCHLAPP: Yes, but you know, just so you understand, Erin, what we were going to talk about on CPAC stage was about being shut out as a conservative on campus.
And we are OK as conservatives with having controversies and debate and disagreement on our stage. And that unfortunately does not happen on college campuses enough. And we talked to him. He was not going to talk about his X-rated and R-rated material.
He was going to talk about what it's like to have a point of view and have that shut down. That really shouldn't be a conservative value. That should be an American value where people are allowed to talk about their viewpoint and conservatives are open to that.
BURNETT: Before we go, President Trump is going to be addressing CPAC. Obviously, he didn't last year, dropped out. What kind of reception do you think he's going to get?
SCHLAPP: I think, you know, that's a great question. I think he'll get a very strong reception.
Erin, we haven't had a president come to CPAC in his first term since Ronald Reagan came to CPAC in 1981. It's a generation ago. It's a big deal. It's an intimate and a respectful moment for conservatives and conservatives are now wondering what are we going to do now that we have this government responsibility.
So, I think this CPAC will be a much more practical CPAC. We're glad the president is coming. We're glad the vice president is coming. Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, Secretary DeVos, Kellyanne Conway, a whole slew of folks and conservative leaders, conservative media folks, and people from the Hill.
It's time for conservatives to talk what we need to do now that we've had so much success at the ballot box.
BURNETT: All right. Matt, thank you. I appreciate your time.
SCHLAPP: OK, thank you.
BURNETT: And next, the reaction to Betsy DeVos as secretary of education, so volatile U.S. marshals are now protecting her. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shame! Shame! Shame!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos under the protection of the U.S. Marshal Service, the security unprecedented. In fact, it's the first time the education agency has protected a cabinet level position in nearly a decade.
[19:55:02] Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT with more on how DeVos is quickly becoming a lightning rod.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than any other member of the new president's cabinet, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is under attack. Protesters have chased her down the street --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shame! Shame! Shame!
FOREMAN: She's been dogged in the media --
DEMONSTRATORS: Stand up, fight back!
FOREMAN: And online, the American Federation of Teachers has turned her from punch line to punch bag.
LAUREN WISHEK: We're not going to sit by as she privatizes public education.
FOREMAN: It's all prompted extra security for DeVos from the U.S. Marshal Service.
ART RODERICK, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: This level of protection is very strange. Usually when we get these types of orders from the attorney general, when we've had some strange orders for protection over the years, this is unique.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The vice president votes in the affirmative and the nomination is confirmed.
FOREMAN: What's made DeVos such a target? Maybe it was her confirmation by a single vote. Or perhaps her incorrect and instantly ridiculed claim about a Wyoming school and guns.
BETSY DEVOS, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SECRETARY: I would imagine that there's probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.
FOREMAN: But missteps beyond those of other cabinet members have also added up. After visiting a D.C. school where protesters initially blocked her, DeVos said of the teachers, "I can tell the attitude is more of a receive mode. They're waiting to be told what to do."
The schools' Twitter feed erupted with complaints. And even as she tried to recover, repeating earlier praise for the teachers, a former official added, "Sorry, lady. This is so amateur and unprofessional that it's astounding. We deserve better."
DEVOS: When you give parents choices, they make good choices on behalf of their kids.
FOREMAN: The Republican billionaire has long argued for making education better through vouchers. More charter schools, more private schools, more local innovation and less federal involvement.
DEVOS: Government really sucks. And it doesn't matter which party is in power.
FOREMAN: She's even hinted she'd be fine with the Department of Education going away, telling an online publication, "It would be fine with me to have myself worked out of a job."
FOREMAN: And this is one of the few things that she and her foes may agree on, at least in part. Only two weeks into her tenure, many of them would also like to see her out of a job -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you, Tom.
And we'll be right back.
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