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CNN Tonight

Jared Kushner Testifies To Grand Jury In 2020 Election Probe; How Awkward It Is To Be Ron DeSantis Right Now?; Who Left Bag Of Cocaine Found In White House? Manhunt Intensifies For Escaped Prisoner; Actors Union To Strike At Midnight Pacific Time. Aired 11p- 12a ET

Aired July 13, 2023 - 23:00   ET



HOLLY G, FOUNDER AND CO-DIRECTOR, BLACK OPRY: I think that a lot of people assume that we are like trying to call out or talk down, but I'm criticizing country music because I love it and I want it to be better and I want to feel safe in it and I want people like Tracy Chapman to have her -- have their own success without somebody else having to bring them to the top.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It harkens back to James Baldwin's famous quote, I love this country more than any other, and for that reason, I reserve the right to perpetually criticize it. Holly G, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it.

HOLLY G: Thanks so much, Laura.

COATES: CNN TONIGHT starts right now with John Berman. Hey, John, I have a new song stuck in your head. Enjoy.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you so much, Tracy Chapman, who performed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In the meantime, the special counsel and Jared Kushner. Is Ron DeSantis the new Jeb Bush exclamation point? It turns out the safest place on earth to hide your stash is the White House.

I am John Berman and this is CNN TONIGHT or CNN very nearly tomorrow. And tomorrow, we might still be counting the new developments in the investigation into Donald Trump because they have been coming in every few minutes.

Jared Kushner before the grand jury, Hope Hicks before the grand jury, Alyssa Farah Griffin before federal prosecutors, and we will get to all of it. But at the center of it, three major questions that perhaps reveal what the special counsel is up to. Now, a warning to our viewers, these might seem insultingly obvious or simple, but they are legally pivotal.

Number one, did Donald Trump know he lost the election? Number two, did Donald Trump say he lost the election? Number three, how on earth could he not have known he lost the election, and are you actually serious this could be a viable defense? This is at the forefront tonight as CNN has confirmed that the president's son-in-law testified before the grand jury investigating Donald Trump's actions around January 6th.

"The New York Times" reports he was asked, Jared Kushner was asked, if he ever heard Trump acknowledge he lost the election. The "Times" says Kushner is said to have maintained that it was his impression that Mr. Trump truly believed the election was stolen, according to a person briefed on the matter.

However, we also know that former Trump communication director and CNN contributor, Alyssa Farah Griffin, has been interviewed by federal prosecutors, and she earlier told the January 6 Committee that Trump said to her after the election -- quote -- "Can you believe I lost to Joe Biden?"

There are also new developments in the Mar-a-Lago documents case with the special counsel lashing out at the Trump team for the request to delay the trial. We are going to have more on that shortly.

First, what did Trump know and how could he not have known it? With me here, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former attorney, host of the "Mea Culpa" podcast, principal of Crisis Acts, and author of "Revenge." But first, Michael stand by, I want to bring in CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig.

Elie, I want to break down this line of questioning. I want to set the legal framework for this discussion. Why is the special counsel asking people, did Donald Trump know he lost the election?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Because they're trying to establish intent. That's, by the way, the hardest thing for a prosecutor to do. The best possible way you can establish that Donald Trump knew he lost is if he acknowledges that he lost.

You know, we saw a lot of testimony in the January 6 Committee from people who said, well, Donald Trump was told he lost. Bill Barr told him that he lost. Ivanka Trump told him that he lost. That is okay. But the problem with that is that there are other people, maybe delusional people, but other people, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell telling him, no, you didn't lose, there has been massive fraud and you need to fight it.

And so, the best possible proof that he knew what he was doing was wrong, that he had to know it was unlawful is if he acknowledges it, as Alyssa, our colleague's testimony seems to establish and others.

BERMAN: Let me play testimony before the January 6 Committee from both Alyssa Farah Griffin and joint chiefs of staff, you know, Chair Mark Milley, who did suggest that Trump said some version of he lost or he knew. Listen.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, U.S. JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF (voice-over): So, we're in the Oval and there's a discussion going on. And the president says, I think -- it could have been Pompeo, but he says words to the effect of, yeah, we lost. We -- we need to let that issue go to the next guy, meaning President Biden.

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: I remember maybe a week after the election was called, I popped into the Oval just to like give the president the headlines to see how he was doing. And he was looking at the TV and he said, can you believe I lost to this effing guy?


HONIG: So, what you do, is you produce that testimony to a jury or a grand jury and you say, if you believe this, if you believe Alyssa Farah Griffin and General Mark Milley, there you go, there is the intent. That is a crucial part of the case. So that is why this testimony is so important.

There might be other testimony, Jared Kushner saying, I don't think he actually thought he lost. That maybe we're getting into sort of, you know, epistemological questions about what is in his mind. How does one ever know what they know?


BERMAN: So, to be so clueless --

HONIG: Right.

BERMAN: -- or to be so misinformed or misguided to think or believe that you lost the election or won the election I should say --

HONIG: Right.

BERMAN: -- that could be a viable defense?

HONIG: I think the category would fall under legally is what we call advise of counsel, meaning here I am, Donald Trump, and I have these lawyers, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, telling me that I can fight this, or to use example of pressuring Mike Pence, well, John Eastman, constitutional scholar, former Supreme Court clerk, he is telling me the vice president does have this authority. I can rely on that. That is the defense.

BERMAN: Okay. Counselor, stand by. Michael Cohen, obviously, you were, you know, persona non grata for some time before any of this actually happened. However, you spent a lot of time with Donald Trump. You know how he talks. You know how he thinks. As you look at this, do you honestly think that he did not know or believe that he lost the election?

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: He never thought that he would lose to Joe Biden. That is true. He never thought he could possibly lose. He considers Joe Biden to be a loser. And as a loser, how could he as a winner, lose to a loser? That is the circular nonsense that goes on inside of Donald Trump's head. What he is going to end up saying, how they are going to prove intent by Donald? It is a very difficult -- Elie and I have had this conversation dozens of times. Dozens of times where I have always said that Donald is going to play the intent card.

BERMAN: He believes he won.

COHEN: If he doesn't believe it, you will never know because that is what a narcissistic sociopath will do. They convince themselves that they are right even though they know they are wrong, but they will never admit it and they will continue to perpetuate the lie again and again and again until such time as everybody believes the lie.

BERMAN: You were around him for a long time when he said a lot of things that were not true. Did he believe the not true things he was saying when you were around him?

COHEN: No, but what he does is he will then convince himself by saying it over and over and over. It is like -- it's a Stalinistic (ph) approach.

BERMAN: Elie, if I can bring you back in. Sorry, I am a narcissistic sociopath. Is that a viable defense in the courtroom because that is what Michael Cohen has said?

HONIG: I don't think it is. And I want to make it clear, you can't just say, well, my attorney told me something, hence it is over. You can't get away with anything. It has to be within the realm of reason. You can't say, my attorney told me it was okay to shoot that person, to rob a bank.

And so, there will be an argument about was this advice at least reasonably probable? But, look, Donald Trump -- Michael Cohen knows this, you lived this, Donald Trump is an expert at using his attorneys as blast shields.

COHEN: Yes. As scapegoats.

HONIG: Yeah.

COHEN: He will also then turn around and he will attack General Milley. He will attack Alyssa Farah Griffin.

BERMAN: Alyssa Farah Griffin.

COHEN: Yes, that is what he does. He starts it off with the attack, he continues the attack, he gets his acolytes in order to continue the attack, in order to discredit them, and he will continue to do this. They just have an ax to grind with me. They don't want me to be president again because I fired them. He will make up some story that we all know is not true, but he will try to convince you that that story is true.

BERMAN: So, Jared Kushner was in the hot seat before the grand jury. Someone you know also. How do you think he felt about being there?

COHEN: So, this is puzzling to me because we all have to acknowledge that Jack Smith is (INAUDIBLE) professional. And being someone who has been before the grand jury, why would Jack Smith bring Jared Kushner -

BERMAN: You went before this grand jury?

COHEN: No, to a different grand jury, to the Manhattan D.A. Why would -- why would Jack Smith bring Jared Kushner to the table unless he already knew what Jared is going to say? Elie, of course, can speak to that at greater length. But there is no way that Jack Smith brought Jared in there to impeach, you know, the information or the testimony that he has. That is just not how the grand jury system works.

BERMAN: So, the reason you put Jared Kushner in the grand jury is to find out what he has to say. You can use the grand jury to explore. Sometimes, you take a witness who you know might be a problem for you, might give testimony favorable to the defendant. Great. Let me find that out now. Let me know what is coming.

I think all of this really sorts of highlights why this is a more difficult case when you get to intent than the documents case. Right? The documents case, you can prove its intent by the fact that he had it, by his statements, by his effort to obstruct, by the audiotapes of him talking about the information. It is a good example of why this is a trickier case for -- not a possible but trickier for prosecutors.

COHEN: I agree with him. I cannot argue with Elie on that one.

BERMAN: Jared Kushner, how do you think he feels about being pulled back in like "Godfather 3," every time he thinks he's out, you know, he gets pulled back in?

COHEN: Sure. He is unhappy about it. Look, the entire familial relationship has gone south. You see Jared and Ivanka stepping away. And I said it on CNN program with Alisyn Camerota about a year ago, that I do believe that Jared and Ivanka were the inside moles. Not that I have any information to prove it but --


BERMAN: You think they were the ones --


BERMAN: -- talking to --

COHEN: Yes, because Jared does not want to see the inside of a prison cell. He knows what it is like through his father's eyes. He knows how difficult it was for him and his siblings. He doesn't want to do the same thing to his children.

I have always believed it, especially the fact that Jarred was always known in the White House as the secretary of everything. And with all the things that went on, how come there is no investigation into Jared? He comes out, several months later, he has got two billion from the Saudis, a couple hundred million from the other Gulf Coast countries.

There is no investigation into the relationship between him and Saudi when he has absolutely no capability and he has never run anybody's money before to the point that the finance committee of the Saudi investment authority said, he does not meet our criteria until Mohammed bin Salman turned around and said, no, no, give him the money. But there is no investigation.

BERMAN: There is one thing that you just said, Elie, that I want you to weigh in on here, because Michael was suggesting that Jared will tell the truth or say whatever is really happening to the prosecutors because he does not want to end up in prison because his father, Charlie Kushner, did serve time. So, Jared is going to be careful to be honest to the investigators.

Doesn't that mean if he is telling them that Donald Trump always believed he won the election --

HONIG: Yeah. There are things you have to tell the truth about and things that you know that nobody is going to be able to cross-check. Right? And so, there's a difference between sort of lying about a disprovable fact versus maybe shading your impression of what may have been in someone's mind.

The reporting is that it was always Jared's impression that Donald Trump actually thought he won. That is a little different than him saying, you know, we had a heart to heart about it, and he was absolutely convinced.

BERMAN: Again, you've been around him a long time, does he slip up and say things like Alyssa, our friend, Alyssa Farah, saying that, you know, I can't believe I lost to this guy? Do you think it's plausible that he at some point during that three-month (INAUDIBLE) said, yeah, I lost or this really pisses me off?

COHEN: Oh, absolutely. He probably sat there moaning and groaning and crying to anybody that will listen. That's just how he does. He will speak to anyone in order to put out a grievance or to complain about something, which is probably -- how could I have lost? You know, I can't believe that I lost to him.

He will turn around, he will say that he never believed it. And again, as Elie just said, it is one of those facts that is not provable unless he comes out and he tells the truth. You know Donald Trump is never going to tell the truth.

BERMAN: Okay, Elie, so, if the special counsel has been going down these various avenues and has sort of conflicting testimony about whether Donald Trump said or didn't say that he lost the election, believe or didn't believe he lost the election, did or didn't believe he lost the election, does that close of any avenue of prosecution?

HONIG: No, not necessarily. If you have testimony that it is a mixed bag like that, you do have the right and the discretion as a prosecutor to say, not just I believe side A as opposed to side B, but I think side A is more reasonable and backed up by other evidence. This is important, if as a prosecutor you get evidence that is favorable to a defendant, you have to turn that over. That is part of your obligation as prosecutor.

COHEN: Not unless it is the Southern District of New York.

HONIG: This gets into Michael --

COHEN: We're not even going to go there.

BERMAN: Are there crimes that the special counsel, the prosecute, that would not require belief or knowledge that he lost the election?

HONIG: Yeah, I think there are. Even if Donald Trump genuinely thought he won the election, there is a point that you cannot go beyond. You cannot threaten an election official. You cannot extort or shake down an election official even if you think you have actually won.

COHEN: Donald doesn't care about rules and he doesn't care about the law. He will push that limit to the line, past the line, and then passed that line and then try to pull it back and claim that it wasn't me, it was somebody else.

BERMAN: Elie, news late today that the special counsel's office has filed before the judge its argument that the trial in the Mar-a-Lago documents case should not be delayed until after the election, which is what the Trump team says they want to do.

Some people described it as a scathing response. They note that there isn't as much testimony and documents to go through, that there isn't as much footage to go through as the defense team says that, you know, they can see the jury in time. What about those?

HONIG: It's a lukewarm response in my view. It's not a ripping apart in my view. Look, let's just look at this objectively. Donald Trump's team -- let's forget about the political issue. Just pure facts here. Donald Trump's defense team says, we have been given 800,000 documents, nine months of video footage. There is no trial that has gone to trial, from indictment to trial, in anything like six months. They give examples of cases that took three years.

And really, all the DOJ says, there is some sharp language, but they say, yeah, there is 800,000 documents, but we told them 4,000 are the most important. That doesn't (INAUDIBLE) it. You still have to go through them all as the defense lawyer. I should say, even DOJ is unable to show a single classified document that ever went to trial in six months.

BERMAN: Does Donald Trump think he's ever going to trial on this?


COHEN: What he is going to try to do is right out of the Trump playbook, delay, delay, delay in the action where he is suing me for $500 million. As the plaintiff, we have now asked for his deposition. Delay, delay, delay. They want to do it 90 days after the election. But who brings the case and then decides that they want to do it 90 days after the election, which is like in 17 months?

I mean, that is the Donald Trump playbook. In his mind, he thinks that he is going to be able to delay the system, they will do whatever they can, they will have his lawyers file more frivolous actions and motions until such time as the campaign will be in full force, he will be -- it will already be super Tuesday, it will be -- he will be right heavy on the trail, and he will claim that it is unfair that they are impeding on his ability to run.

BERMAN: Michael Cohen, thank you so much for coming in. Elie Honig, as always, appreciate your work, counselor.

HONIG: All right.

BERMAN: So, next, why are Ron DeSantis donors sniffing around elsewhere? A, he is being manhandled by Donald Trump. B, the war on woke. C, he is a little awkward. D, why pick a fight with Disney?




BERMAN: Welcome back to CNN TONIGHT or CNN very nearly tomorrow. And tomorrow, Ron DeSantis is in Iowa, probably hoping it gets easier to be Ron DeSantis, because at this moment, it seems awkward. Look at the headlines tonight. From Politico, top donors souring on DeSantis. From NBC, confidential DeSantis campaign memo looks to reassure donors amid stumbles. From "Rolling Stone" earlier, Murdochs start to sour on Ron DeSantis. They can smell a loser.

You know the old saying, with thoughts like this, who needs enemies? That is, well, awkward. The terrific political reporter, Mckay Coppins, notes -- quote -- "Anything could happen but it is remarkable how the DeSantis hyped cycle has followed the 2015 Scott Walker trajectory almost beat for beat. Now, that is not a comparison any Republican would want. Walker went nowhere. He is on the Mount Rushmore of GOP candidates who are supposed to be all that and turned out all dud.

Jeb Bush explanation point. You can clap now. Or for history buffs, John Connally in 1980 spent upwards of $11 million, that's 40 million in today's dollars, and famously ended up with a single delegate, Ida Mills of Arkansas.

It's a lot of shade for DeSantis who is still number two in all of the polls with all kinds of money. But the "Politico" piece says donors -- quote -- "faith in the Florida governor has been shaken by early campaign missteps and his hardline positions on abortion, transgender rights and other culture war issues."

So that might be the why, but how about the what's next? Well, CNN has confirmed that donors, including one-time DeSantis backers, are meeting with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. Both DeSantis and Tim Scott will be at the family leadership summit tomorrow in Iowa. Yes, tomorrow's news tonight.

And that could be awkward. Why? Because NBC reports that there is a new DeSantis campaign memo that mentions Scott. It reads -- quote -- "While Tim Scott has earned a serious look at this stage, his bio is lacking the fight that our electorate is looking for in the next president. We expect Tim Scott to receive appropriate scrutiny in the weeks ahead."

If you follow the bouncing ball there, DeSantis donors meet with Scott, DeSantis campaign swipes at Scott. There are few coincidences in politics. So, just how awkward will it be in Iowa?

With me now is Jay Michaelson, he is a "Rolling Stone" columnist, and David Urban, CNN political commentator and former Trump campaign advisor. Gentlemen, I appreciate you being with us.

I'm going to ask this if you bear with me in the form of multiple choice questions. We've been doing that.


BERMAN: Why are DeSantis donors sniffing around elsewhere? A, because he is being manhandled by Donald Trump. B, because of the war on woke. C, because he is a little awkward. D, why pick a fight with Disney?



URBAN: Yeah, exactly, where is all of the above?

BERMAN: You can pick that.

URBAN: All the above. You know, interesting, John, that you talked about the NBC reporting earlier in this piece here. If you read the memo, the memo itself says that it was an embargo for DeSantis's friends and family. The strategy is to do more earned media and educate more electorate about the benefits of Ron DeSantis. One, that he is a veteran, and two, that he is a dad. When they find that out, he is going to magically rise in the polls. That's basically what the memo said.

And he said that we're saving our money, we're not going to put any money to Super Tuesday or to focus on these early states. I've got a little bit of news, they are not going to have to worry about Super Tuesday if they don't get focused on these early states and do a little better than just being a dad and a veteran. So, we will see. You know, it is a long way away but things are not going so well.

BERMAN: I've covered a lot of campaigns. And in every campaign that is not going well, at one point, the campaign staff says, if they only knew the candidate better, he would be doing better. MICHAELSON: Although in this case, it actually doesn't seem to be the case. I mean, the more voters get to know Ron DeSantis, the more he can seem a little bit off or a little bit awkward and not quite -- you know, maybe he looks better on paper than actually on person.

And, you know, personally, for me, I feel a sort of mixed emotions. On the one hand, you know, DeSantis is kind of a weak candidate. So, as someone on the progressive side, I would've loved to see him in the general.

On the other hand, this is someone who is causing real harm to vulnerable populations. I was concerned, you know, being in the LGBTQ community myself and caring about these issues, I was really worried. You know, these are -- people are not really quite all on the same page around these issues and there is a lot of space for respectful disagreement.

But DeSantis didn't do that, right? He went way to the extreme, banning books and banning all kinds of medical care and just going way, way beyond where the center is. And so, I am gratified really that that has been rejected.

BERMAN: But that really is upsetting to donors?

URBAN: I don't know. Here's another interesting thing to think about. So, in 2020 elections -- in 2022 elections, Ron DeSantis is the hero.


BERMAN: Yeah, he did great.

URBAN: He's the hero of '22, right? Trump is blamed for the downfall of the party. And so, November, the day after the election, Ron DeSantis is going to be president.

Then he did something that is very unusual. If he doesn't become the president, I think you look back and lament this, he said, I'm not going to get in until after the legislative session is over, right? And then kind of -- everything just went quiet and DeSantis's world, right?

And then Trump got indicted, he became super popular again, and people forgot about Ron DeSantis. When he got in the race, he was kind of already baked at that point, right? So, that period, I think, is going to come back to haunt him.

BERMAN: He left the vacuum there. All right, question number two, why is Tim Scott a unique threat to Ron DeSantis? A, because he is more likable, if you believe that. B, because he represents the new Republican Party. C, because South Carolina is a key early state. D, because he has some establishment support? There are people in the Senate who like Tim Scott.

MICHAELSON: He's also (INAUDIBLE), right? He is not a sort of strident culture warrior. We were talking before we came on. His positions actually are, you know, on the conservative end of the party, but he is not sort of staking out this kind of very coarse position like DeSantis did. So, he has got a softer touch, he has got a more appealing personality. Look, he has a compelling personal narrative.

BERMAN: As a progressive, are you more scared about Tim Scott?

MICHAELSON: Oh, absolutely. I'm scared and not scared. It's tough for progressives in this election. On the one hand, right, you know, you want to keep the White House. On the other hand, the risk of having Donald Trump be the nominee is so terrifying. It literally keeps me up at night.

URBAN: You could vote for Cornel West. He's going to be good.


I know, right?

BERMAN: I want to jump ahead to some reporting from Isaac Dovere of CNN, some terrific reporting on angst within the Democratic Party about the Biden campaign. A couple of quotes from this piece, from Isaac's piece. Quote -- "If Trump wins next November and everyone says, 'how did it happen,' one of the questions will be: What was the Biden campaign doing in December of 2023?

Here's another quote, "I'm not what sure which is harder: Getting people to focus on the campaign, or getting people excited about it."

So, multiple choice, the democratic concerns about the Biden campaign are A --

MICHAELSON: I think because we talk too much on these things, now we have to only say one letter.

BERMAN: A, spot on. B, predictable because these are Democrats, after all. C, what you get with an 80-year-old candidate. D, an example of how people have underestimated Biden again and again.

MICHAELSON: Look, I don't think this is necessarily about age specifically. Paul McCartney is 82, Bob Dylan is 83, everybody is different. But the fact is that Joe Biden does not seem to have the kind of control that he used to have, he doesn't seem to have the sharpness that he used to have, and it is very -- you know, we have to be careful. We don't want to sort of stigmatize somebody based on their age.

At the same time, this is a reality with this candidate, that we do not know how he is going to perform on the debate stage, we don't know who he is even going to be, let's say 12 months from now, and it is very worrying because so much feels at stake, especially if he is running against Donald Trump.


URBAN: And some of the reporting there in the CNN piece, David Axelrod, our colleague, said to me personally in this reporting, he is concerned. There is no apparatus around Biden. He is not raising money. He doesn't have staff. It doesn't give the appearance that he is running when we put it together.

And people are looking at the numbers. The fundraising numbers are going to come out. They're going to compare them to the Obama numbers and say, look, he is the sitting president, he should have raised more money, what is he doing? So, I think there is a great reason to be alarmed. Plus, he is using the baby stairs on Air Force One every day now.

BERMAN: I would take the elevator if I could. All right, David and Jay, great to see you both. Thank you so much for playing. We really appreciate it.

So, you want to leave a bag of cocaine somewhere where you will never get caught? How about the White House? That is next.




BERMAN: So, in "The Breakfast Club," Judd Nelson hides his bag of illegal drugs down the pants of Anthony Michael Hall. It worked, but barely. It turns out a much safer place to hide your stash is the White House.

Last night, we told you tomorrow's news would be about the bag of cocaine found at the White House. Now, tomorrow is tonight, and the Secret Service says they don't know who left the cocaine there and they will never know who left the cocaine there.

Who needs your best friend's sock drawer when you have 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? They say too many people passed by the spot it was found. There's no identifying evidence on the bag itself and no cameras pointed at the cubby where it was discovered.

Let's bring in CNN law enforcement analyst and former Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow. I think the question a lot of the people have is, you know, okay, really?


BERMAN: I mean, really? Let's just see part of it. No camera pointed anywhere near the cubby where it was found? Is there anywhere in the White House that is a blind spot like that?

WACKROW: Listen, it is a blind spot, but it is a blind spot by design. When you look at the hearing that they had today, the briefing, part of it was behind closed doors, but part of it was classified, and there's a reason why there are cameras in certain locations at the White House that are part of the security structure and not in others. Now, you have to think about, with the location that this item was found, in the cubby, right on the ground floor of the West Wing, who comes in and out of that door? What meetings are being held right there? Do you want those interactions video recorded? Because people who are coming in maybe going to the Situation Room. They may be intelligence officials that are meeting with maybe foreign counterparts. So, there is a design to the White House.

In this instance, that design did not pick up a criminal act. From a threat perspective, the White House is extremely secure. They address their threats every single day whether they are weapons, explosives, chemical, biological, radiological.


From a criminal aspect, the Secret Service now has to go back and re- design some programs to make sure this doesn't happen again.

BERMAN: All right, hold that thought for a second. I want to play some reaction from a Republican congressman to this revelation or lack of a revelation today. Listen.


REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): They don't know who it is. They -- it is a complete failure. This thing is ridiculous.


BERMAN: All right. So, to what extent is the political outrage versus procedural outrage? What is the right thing for oversight purposes to be mad about when it comes to this?

WACKROW: So, let's define what failure is, right? The primary role (ph) of the Secret Service at the White House is to ensure that the complex and the president is protected from threats. This -- the introduction of cocaine into this environment was a criminal act. It is not primarily what they do.

So, if you are saying that the Secret Service failed, no. On the identification of the substance, they thought it was a threat. They thought it was ricin or anthrax. They took every appropriate measure to mitigate that situation and secure the White House.

Once it was determined that it was a substance that was not of harm to the complex or the president, then it became a criminal investigation. So, where is the failure? Is the failure in the criminal investigation?

Because the Secret Service laid out why today they could not solve and make attribution. One, there was no forensic evidence. If there are no latent prints, there is no DNA evidence, and there is no video evidence, how are you able to identify the pool of almost 600 potential people as to who did it in the attribution there?

The reality is that the Secret Service had been telegraphing the difficulty of this investigation from day one on making attribution. You just may not be able to solve it.

BERMAN: Do you think it's going to be harder to get cocaine in to the White House after this?

WACKROW: It is going to be slightly harder, John. Slightly harder.


BERMAN: Just wanted to know, for factual purposes. Jonathan Wackrow, it's great to see. Thank you very much for coming in.

WACKROW: Thank you.

BERMAN: So, on the run, potentially armed and dangerous. Officials are warning Pennsylvanians who might be planning on hiking or camping in the woods to watch out for an escaped inmate. What could possibly go wrong?




BERMAN: Planning a trip to the Pennsylvanian Woods this weekend? Well, police would like you to keep an eye out for any trace of an escaped inmate who could be in the wild. I don't want to make light of it, but what could possibly go wrong?


GEORGE BEVINS, LIEUTENANT COLONEL, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: People are out hiking or biking or whatever in the woods and through the area in the coming days. Particularly with the weekend, there will be an influx of people. We are asking them to just be alert to anything like that and if they see something, give us a call.


BERMAN: So, they are still searching for the escaped inmate who they believed to be armed and extremely dangerous. Take a look at Michael Charles Burham. Police say he escaped through a hole in the prisons' rooftop, dropping down using bedsheets tied together. And new tonight, this stockpile you are looking at right there is one reason why authorities believe he is still on the Pennsylvania area.

I want to bring in CNN senior law enforcement analyst Chief Charles Ramsey. Chief, thank you so much for being with us. The stockpiles that we just showed there are thought to be Burham's. How significant is that?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it is very significant. If they believe that he is still in that area, the question is, how did he get that particular stockpile? I mean, did someone provide it for him? Does he have an accomplice? Did he steal it? But they believe he is still in the area. I am sure that they brought up forensic analysis on the items that

they found to determine whether or not it belongs to him or not. You know, latent prints, DNA, things like that. And I would bet that they have found something pretty significant that really leads them to believe that he is still in that area.

BERMAN: You heard the warning to people who might be hiking in the woods this weekend. Also, you know, the call for help for people who might be there. What concerns you most about the fact that he could be hiding out where other people might be?

RAMSEY: Well, he is apparently a pretty dangerous individual. If you are out there and camping or whatever, I mean, he is trying to survive. I mean, I don't think that he would be above taking a hostage, certainly stealing other items and continue to survive. People need to really pay attention to their surroundings there.

If it were me, I don't think I would be camping in that park at this particular weekend until they find this guy. But this is such a huge expanse. I mean, it is right at the Allegheny National Forest, which is about a million acres or so. So, it is almost impossible to totally shut it down to keep people from going in there completely.

But they are going to do what they can to try to alert people, make them aware that this individual is potentially out there, and anything at all that seems suspicious, they should give police a call immediately.

BERMAN: So, one of the quirky things about this case is officials saying they are looking into a drone that was heard flying immediately adjacent to the jail just before the escape. So, why might that be relevant?

RAMSEY: Well, I mean, they are looking at the possibility that he had an accomplice. This was a planned escape and not just something that just randomly happened. I mean, it is not easy to get out of a detention facility and this person was able to not only get out but do it fairly quickly.

My understanding is that a guard actually saw on video that he was attempting to escape, and by the time he was able to alert other guards, he was already gone. So, they are looking at that possibility.


Did he have help from the inside, someone from the outside? So, that would play into that theory, and that is why they are trying to trace the source of that particular drone to see whether or not that leads them anywhere.

BERMAN: How long do you think this manhunt might last?

RAMSEY: I don't know. The longer it goes, the more difficult it becomes. It is like every other criminal investigation that you have. You want to try to wrap it up as quickly as possible. Hopefully, they can contain him in this area because as more time goes by, he could steal a car, he could do a variety of things to get out of the area. Of course, that expands the search grid into other states, other jurisdictions, and it just makes it more difficult.

BERMAN: Chief Charles Ramsey, always great to see you. Thank you so much.

RAMSEY: Thank you.

BERMAN: So, can't wait for a new season of your favorite T.V. show? Well, you might be out of luck because the actors are joining the writers on strike.




BERMAN: Tonight, I hope you like reading or public (INAUDIBLE) section because that is what you might soon be doing for entertainment. To date, the main actors' union, SAG-AFTRA, voted to go on strike, joining the writers' guild. This is the first time they both walked together since 1960 when SAG was led by known leftist Ronald Reagan.

Their issues include wages, a bigger slice of streaming revenue, and safeguards against artificial intelligence taking their jobs, which is notable given the limits of Arnold Schwarzenegger's acting in "The Terminator."





BERMAN: That aside, for writers and actors, this are serious issues, existential, they say, and not likely to be solved any time soon, which means a complete halt of scripted entertainment on screens. TV and movies, gone. Nothing new.

Which is why you might need to find a good book, which it turns out we're not doing so much anymore. In a recent Gallup poll, Americans say they read an average of 12.6 books a year or did during the past year. That's the lowest number since they started counting.

One study found that Americans spend just 15 minutes a day reading. That is not going to fill the hole, so what will? For that, we did some internet research on what people did for leisure before TV and movies.

The Library of Congress has all kinds of information about leisure time. So, one thing, swimming. Great, except for the sharks and sea otters attacking surf boards, which is really happening in California. Roller skating, it is a fad the Library of Congress says that began in the 1880s and is still precious today.

And then the internet turned out this leisure time favorite from the 1740s and 50s, attending public dissections, watching corpses get taken apart. Public dissections were a big deal then, so much so that they needed new space to do it. There was actually a boom in building, what are called anatomical theaters, seriously.

One built in Paris in 1744 -- quote -- "is said to have had concentric rows of seats with a high balcony supported by eight Doric columns and a notable vaulted basement. Originally, it could accommodate 180 people."

So, that is life without scripted television. For more, let us bring in our senior data reporter, Harry Enten. Uh, so this is why it is important, Harry. Look, how much time do Americans spend watching T.V.?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: So, Neilsen (ph) have a study out from last quarter of last year. It was 294 minutes on average per day. Two hundred and 94 minutes. That is not one hour, that is not two hours, that is not three hours, that is not four hours. It is more than five hours. This includes streaming, obviously.

Basically, anything that is connected to your television. So, this, my dear friend, could be a disaster because what are we going to do? We're going to do reading? I don't think --

BERMAN: Like I said, 15 minutes a day is what most people do. That is not going to fill the void.

ENTEN: It won't fill the void. I am honestly hoping that maybe a few more people, you know, will not only read but maybe watch a little news.

BERMAN: That would be great thing.


BERMAN: Look, though, strikes have happened before. We've seen them with actors, we've seen them with writers, one time together in the 1960. How does it tend to change what's on air?

ENTEN: Yeah, you know, there are few things. Number one, you know, go back to a strike in the late 80s. I believe it is writers' strike. What we saw was the development of a show. "Cops" actually came on the air because of the writers' strike. It was a direct delineation from it.

"Mission Impossible" made a reoccurrence. They re-imagined "Mission Impossible" on television because they're able to reuse the scripts from the 1960s. "Moonlighting," which was a great show with Bruce Willis, that show basically went adios amigos in part because they just could not get the scripts going on time. It was one of those shows where they rolled up (ph) to the last minute. It was just one of those things where "Moonlighting" went adios in part because of that strike. BERMAN: It has a big impact. By the way, it's not clear that there is going to be a solution any time soon. In the past, what types of changes have people made to their behavior?

ENTEN: Yes, so, you know, one of the things that I think is so important to realize about this strike versus once in the past is that time have changed, John.

For example, the last that there was a writers' strike, I was in college. But it's also about what our viewing habits and what we have changed there. Right? So, like streaming was not really a thing. YouTube was not a thing really back in 2008, right? So, in 2007.

In fact, the percentage of Americans who watch stuff on YouTube, get this, back in 2007, 2008, it was only about 11% of Americans. Now, we're up to the upper 70s on that measure. So, perhaps, people will go and use YouTube more.

You know, another thing you were mentioning, John, was reading, right? Fewer Americans are reading than ever before.


So, you know, right now, the percentage of Americans who read at least a little bit per day is less than 20%. Now, that is not particularly high. It was higher back in the early 2000s when it was a little bit closer, 30% of Americans.

So, the fact is, you know, we are talking about reading, I am not sure that Americans are going to do that, but they may go watch some fun clips on YouTube, perhaps some "Moonlighting" clips. I do love that theme song.

BERMAN: Again, we're talking about a lot of people and their livelihood. There are a lot of jobs on the line here.

ENTEN: Yeah.

BERMAN: Hopefully, they'll reach a solution soon. Harry Enten, thank you very much for all of this.

ENTEN: Thank you.

BERMAN: We will watch "Moonlighting" together. So, as always, I asked for threads. And this time, I asked for you to give me advice on how to sign off tonight. So, this comes from Command 3RCN3R (ph). That's a heck of a screen there, right?


And I did use an earlier version in the show, but I love it so much I'm going to say it again right now. So, here we go. That's all for us, I'm John Berman, and tomorrow is now tonight. Our coverage continues.