tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN January 5, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
those officials have been purged or executed by kim jong-un and include king's uncle. >> brian todd reporting, thanks very much. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the "situation room." "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. next, the bombshell book that's raising a question loud and clear, is donald trump fit to be president of the united states? plus, damning new revelations in the russia investigation. do they point to obstruction of justice by the president? and defiant over pot. the growing outrage over the attorney general's move to get tough on pot. let's go "outfront." good evening, i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, fitness for office. the explosive tell-all about trump's white house with a major claim. that 100% of the people around trump question his fitness for office. "fire and fury: inside the trump white house" went on sale today and the author, michael wolff,
spoke out. >> one of the overarching themes is that according to your reporting, everyone around the president, senior advisers, family members, every single one of them, questions his intelligence and fitness for office. >> let me put a marker in the sand here. 100% of the people around him. >> 100%. so what are the things that wolff says they're seeing in president trump that makes them so worried? >> they say he's a moron, idiot. actually, there's a competition to sort of get to the bottom line here of who this man is. let's remember, this man does not read, does not listen, so he's like a -- he's like a pinball, just shooting off the sides. >> one of the more disturbing observations you make in the book is that the president's
close advisers, people around him, have noticed him repeating stories, expression for expression, you say, within a short period of time. >> in a shortening period. so they've all tracked this. it used to be, i know people would point out that in the beginning it was, like, every 25 or 30 minutes you would get the same three stories repeated. now it's the same three stories in every ten minutes. >> and what's the suggestion there? because that goes beyond saying, okay, the president's not an intellectual. what's -- what are you arguing there? you say, for example, he was at mar-a-lago and didn't recognize lifelong friends. >> i will quote steve bannon. "he's lost it." >> bombshell claiming ins ther book already topping bestsellers lists comes in the same week trump tweeted this. "north korean leader kim jong-un stated the nuclear button is on
his desk at all times. will someone from this depleted and food-starved regime inform him i, too, have a nuclear button but it's a much bigger and more powerful one than his and my button works." before the book sparked question about president trump's mental stability and fitness for office. >> i'm very concerned about this mental state because the decisionmaking role of the president in terms of nuclear war is extremely significant. >> we've gotten to a place, a very weird place, where it really doesn't matter what the president of the united states says anymore because it is so bizarre, strange, not true. >> conservative commentator bill kristol tweeting, "i trust v.p." reference, of course, mike pence's twitter handle. has asked his counsel to prepare a draft document transferring power, section 4 of the 25th amendment, in case it's suddenry needed and he's discussed this with chief of staff kelly. the 25th amendment offers a way
to remove a president who is mentally or physically incapable of fulfilling official duties. now, all of this is a pretty stunning place to be in if you think about it. and the white house day after day this week was forced to talk about the president's mental state. >> should americans be concerned about the president's mental fitness that he appears to be speaking so lightly about threats regarding nuclear button? >> i think the president and the people of this country should be concerned about the mental fitness of the leader of north korea. >> what's the president's reaction to the growing number of suggestions, both in this book and in the media, that he's mentally unfit to serve as president? >> the same way we have when it's been asked before, that it's disgraceful and laughable. if he was unfit, he probably wouldn't be sitting there, wouldn't have defeated the most qualified group of candidates the republican party has ever seen. >> today, even the publicly reticent secretary of state rex tillerson, someone the president, of course, has
personally slammed, was forced to step in and defend his boss' sanity. >> everybody in this book, you know, questions his mental fitness. have you ever questioned his mental fitness? >> i've never questioned his mental fitness. i have no reason to question his mental fitness. >> jeff zeleny begins our coverage tomorrow "outfront" at the white house. jeff, the white house obviously far from happy with this now barrage of questions about the president of the united stat statstates' mental fitness and stability to do the job. >> reporter: erin, no question, not pleased about the line of questions, thinking that has come out and amplified by the release of the book. these questions were raised during the republican primary campaign and president trump, then-candidate trump, of course, won the republican primary. now it feels like it's a different moment here because there's specific examples and things that is connected to it, and, of course, he's dealing with so many other issues. i can tell you, erin, the white house is more upset and worried
about other allegations in the book, other comments in the book about the russia investigation, other things like that. but, look, the reality here is we don't really know what the president's health is like. he's going to have his first physical as president next friday at walter reed. i'll be surprised if too much information is released from that. but, look, these questions have sort of taken on a life of their own. so far, democrats largely have been raising them. republican senators i've spoken to, members of congress who meet with the president, will not say that they see anything wrong here. so, interestingly, they're all meeting this weekend in camp david. we'll see what they say after that, but, again, so far this seems like more of a partisan attack than an actual concern about his mental health, but temperament, erin, is perhaps the biggest issue we've learned from this book. >> thank you very much, jeff zeleny. i want to go to the democratic congressman john garamendi meeting next week on president trump's mental health. a lot to ask you, congressman. so let start with this. what specifically concerns you
on this topic of the president's mental fitness? >> everything. absolutely everything. obviously, north korea. i mean, we got a crazy leading the north korea and got a crazy in the white house. just a small mistake, a small error somewhere on that peninsula, and we could have a nuclear war. we could have hundreds of thousands of people killed. maybe not in a nuclear war, but just in an all-out war. it is a very, very serious problem. what if you had an uncle, what if you had an uncle that lied to you, did untruth 1,951 times in the last 11 months, and every morning you wake up wondering what in the hell is the tweet going to say this morning? that's what america faces. and we got a bully. we saw him bully every one of those candidates in the republican primary. and do the same thing, stalking hillary clinton in a debate, and then who knows what he's going to say. it is downright frightening for
the entire world. all around this, in my own district, people are asking me, what in the hell is going on in washington? what is that president going to do? and i know from national leaders and key people in other governments that are going, can you explain this? yeah, i can explain it, we got a guy in the white house that is unstable and not fit for office. >> do you have any proof of that, though is you know, as jeff zeleny was saying, you got people like bill kristol, it's being talked about in way it wasn't before. the american public on election day, 60% of them, 61% in a poll saidy iey eied to be in office. they voted for him, anyway. is this just a partisan opportunity for folks like you? >> it's -- well, i wish it was only that. if that was all it was about, an opportunity for democrats to hit at the president, that would be okay. but the reality is there. you wake up in the morning, i wake up in the morning, i'm
going, oh, my god, he said that in his tweet? what is that going to do? and he's constantly going after a guy that does have a -- the fourth largest military in the world, north korea. constantly badgering him. every year, every -- every few months there's some incident on the korean peninsula that has in the past brought us very, very close to a war. we don't need to have the kind of uncertainty that this president is creating. we know, we have to go to negotiations. every time tillerson begins to talk about negotiations, he's undercut by the president. we have to have china on board. we start working toward that and suddenly the president comes out with a tweet that undercuts those negotiations. >> so -- >> who knows what's going to happen because this guy is totally unstable, totally unfit for office, and downright dangerous. >> so, so let me ask you on this issue of partisanship, because obviously if this is really going to proceed further, it has
to be bipartisan, right? definitionally must be. >> absolutely. >> so i know you're going to be ta attending a meeting next week on the president's mental health. have you talked to your republican colleague? >> yes. >> are any of them in agreement with you, or -- >> they're certainly not going to say it. the republicans have a political agenda. day wantthey wanted a massive t cut for corporations and the wealt wealt wealthy. they got that because they have a republican president. they want to cut entitlement programs. they're going to do that in the next months ahead. what are we talking about here? we're talking about social security, medicare, medicaid. they -- >> you're saying that because of that agenda which they need him for, they're not saying it, but are they saying, have you had one-on-one conversations where they're agreeing with what you're just telling all of our viewers tonight? >> yes. >> yes, you have? >> i'm not going to tell you who they are, but i'm telling you they are key people in the republican congress that they're going, they're shaking their heads and going, oh, my god,
look what he did today. they're concerned. they know what's happening. they know the lies. they know the untruths. 1,951 of them. be over 2,000 by the time his first year is over. and you know the bullying, you know the -- you know that he's -- this president has a constant need for praise. he needs somebody sitting around saying, oh, you're the most wonderful biggest most huge thing in the world. well, he has a huge military and has to be used wisely. but we got a man that's in the white house that is neither wise nor stable. >> so when you say key republicans, i know you can't say who they are, that would be a violation obviously of their confidence. >> that's right. >> you're talking about leadership here, then, in some of these cases? >> i think i've gone far enough, let's just say these are people that are important in the republican caucus. >> so, when you're going to be briefed next week, and i know there's a meeting, but the yale psychiatrist that i understand is involved, dr. bandi lee, she
edited a book called "the dangerous case of donald trump" which includes more than two dozen psychiatric experts asset z assessing his mental health. not just lee. neither lee or these other experts have actually treated the president. does that concern you? i mean, that's -- that's really unprecedented in a certain sense. certainly i've talked to doctors who are willing to weigh in on what they thk, but to come out and do so publicly, is that an overstep? >> it's downright frightening. this man is a very public person. he's on television, he's tweeting, he's talking. he's not writing, but he is constantly out there in the public and people are capable of assessing who he is and what he is. and based upon that, not necessarily having him on the couch, but in a very public and in a very way that's quite open, they've made an assessment that there is a very serious problem with the president. >> all right. congressman, i appreciate your time.
congressman garamendi. i thank you for coming on the program tonight. >> thank you. and next, the white house reeling from a new scandal this hour. what was the president's role in issuing, at the very least, incredibly misleading statement about that infamous trump tower meeting with the russians? plus michael wolff had extraordinary access to the white house while writing his book on trump. who let him in? and the president's obsession with size, it does never seem to get old. certainly not for him. >> i guarantee my i.q. is much higher than any of these people. this is the largest tax cut. he referred to my hands, if they're small, something else must be small. i guarantee you there's no problem. when heartburn hits... fight back fast with tums smoothies. it starts dissolving the instant it touches your tongue... and neutralizes stomach acid at the source. ♪ tum tum tum tum... smoothies... only from tums [ gasps, laughs ] you ever feel like... cliché foil characters scheming against a top insurer for no reason?
nah. so, why don't we like flo? she has the name your price tool, and we want it. but why? why don't we actually do any work? why do you only own one suit? it's just the way it is, underdeveloped office character. you're right. thanks, bill. no, you're bill. i'm tom. you know what? no one cares. steyer: the president's national security adviser -- guilty. his campaign chairman -- under indictment. his son-in-law -- secret talks with russians.
the director of the fbi -- fired. special counsel robert mueller's criminal investigation has already shown why the president should be impeached. you can send a message to your representatives at needtoimpeach.com and demand they finally take a stand. this president is not above the law. coaching mea makigh choices. jim! you're in! but when you have high blood pressure and needthat works fast, the choice is simple. cetw cidin hbp ishe #1 brand that gives powerful cold symptom relief without raising your blood pressure. coricidin hbp.