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Erin Burnett Outfront

Authorities: Tiger Woods Suffers Serious Injuries After Crash Involving High Rate of Speed, Several Rollovers; Dwayne Wade Played Golf With Tiger Woods A Day Before Rollover Crash, Says It Had Been "A Great Day"; GOP Senator Uses First Hearing On Insurrection To Push False Claim That Fake Trump Supporters Stormed Capitol; Capitol Officials: Riot Was Planned, Involved White Supremacists; Tandem Nomination In Limbo As She's Slammed Over Mean Tweets. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 23, 2021 - 19:00   ET


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So that's another way, Wolf, that we're all rooting for him to do well here.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We hope for the best. We are rooting for him. Brian Todd, thanks very much. And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. CNN special coverage of the Tiger Woods' car accident continues right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next the breaking news, Tiger Woods suffering serious injuries after that massive car accident you see there. Police say emergency crews used an axe and a pry bar to peel the car away from his body. We have the latest details.

Plus, Republicans used the first Senate hearing on the deadly insurrection to point fingers and push a dangerous conspiracy theory.

And Biden's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, her nomination hanging by a thread in large part because of her tweets. Now her supporters say she's being unfairly targeted because she's a woman. Is she? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, Tiger Woods taken to the hospital in serious condition. The golf champion suffering multiple fractures to his legs in a one-car crash. We know he has undergone surgery. Officials are not revealing how many surgeries he's had in the past hours or whether he is still undergoing surgery as we speak.

Officials say Woods was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his car. It rolled multiple times. The airbags deployed. There was extensive damage to the front end of the car. Officials say emergency crews had to arrive within moments.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We used a Halligan tool which is a tool used for prying and we also use an axe to pry him from the vehicle.

ALEX VILLANUEVA, LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF: He was conscious and that's the extent of that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the evidence of the impairment because there was no evidence ...

VILLANUEVA: There was no evidence of impairment.


BURNETT: Officials telling reporters that Woods was not able to stand on his own when emergency crews arrived. Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT live in Los Angeles. Kyung, from what you are hearing, it's pretty clear Tiger Woods is really lucky to be alive.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, especially when you look at those devastating aerial images of the vehicle and how much damage it's sustained in this role over accident. As of this report right now, Erin, we know very little about his exact condition inside the hospital.

The last report we have of his condition is that he was in serious condition as officers pulled up to this terrible accident.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Traffic collision, ALS now, person's trapped, sheriff on scene.


LAH (voice over): The emergency dispatch call came just after 7 am Pacific Time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hawthorne Blvd, Palos Verdes Drive North, vehicle off the side of the road.


LAH (voice over): That vehicle was a silver SUV that lay mingled on its side. The windshield broken and gone. Its front smashed. Inside was golf legend Tiger Woods.


VILLANUEVA: He was alive and he was conscious.


LAH (voice over): Los Angeles law enforcement source tells CNN Woods suffered from non-life threatening injuries, which include compound fractures in his legs. No field sobriety test was given due to the seriousness of his injuries. Firefighters say he was transported to Harbor-UCLA Hospital in serious condition, whether at the time of the crash clear and the roadway ...


VILLANUEVA: No skid marks, no braking, so apparently the first contact was with a center median and from there then cross into the opposing lane of traffic. Hit the curb, hit a tree and there was several rollovers during that process.


LAH (voice over): The words Genesis Invitational are visible on the SUV's door. Tiger Woods was listed as a tournament host for the event that ended on Sunday not far from the crash site. At the tournament, Woods told CBS Sports he was looking forward to the Masters Tournament in April after fighting through five back surgeries in recent years.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So Tiger seven weeks from today, final round of the Masters, you're going to be there.

TIGER WOODS, GOLFER: God, I hope so. I got to get there first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You feel like you ...

WOODS: A lot of it's based on my surgeons and my doctors, my therapists and making sure I do it correctly and because this is the only back I got.


LAH (voice over): Reaction across the sports world came quickly across social media and from his fellow professional golfers.


JUSTIN THOMAS, GOLFER: I'm sick to my stomach. It hurts to see one of your - I mean, now my closest friends get in an accident. And, man, I just hope he's all right. I just worry for his kids. I'm sure they're struggling.


LAH (voice over): And shock from the entertainment world. Before news of the crash, three different celebrities had posted photos golfing with woods. Among them, this video from former NBA star, Dwayne Wade.


DWAYNE WADE, NBA PLAYER: Tiger, thank you for teaching me something.



LAH (voice over): An iconic athlete who broke barriers both in sports and culture for decades now faces another challenge.


LAH (on camera): Now in speaking to reporters, the sheriff said this very easily could have been a fatal crash. The airbags did deploy. And I found this quite striking, Erin, what one of the responding officers said that he had seen many accidents like this of this nature where the passenger and the driver did not survive. What very well made a difference for Tiger Woods is that he was wearing his seatbelt, Erin.

BURNETT: It is just one of those things. Those basic things you tell your children and in this case it may be the reason he's alive. Thank you so much, Kyung.

And I want to go now to Sam Farmer who has been breaking so many of these details for the Los Angeles Times. Also Tim Schmitt, the Managing Editor of Golfweek and our Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

So Sam, let me start with you. You have been reporting on this, breaking this throughout the day. What is the latest you're learning?

SAM FARMER, LOS ANGELES TIMES SPORTSWRITER: Well at the Los Angeles Times are reporting that Tiger has a shattered ankle. Among his injuries, a shattered ankle, two broken legs, two leg fractures, including a compound fracture. We've gotten that from a source, so that's the Los Angeles Times.

BURNETT: Wow. I mean, so let me just - before I ask you for more, Sanjay, let me just give you a chance to respond to that. This is the greatest golfer in the world with shattered ankle and two broken legs.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, these sound like pretty significant injuries. And on top of that he's listed in serious conditions, so when you have these types of fractures and a compound fracture or fracture in multiple places on the bone, we don't know and I don't know if Sam knows if they specifically mentioned if it was the upper part of his leg, the femur or the lower part of his leg, the tibia and fibula. It makes a bit of a difference in terms of his overall prognosis.

But nevertheless, serious injury probably means there was a significant amount of bleeding. That's typically what causes someone to potentially at least intermittently have vital signs that are not stable. And that's why they'd be considered serious.

But it's more information. It's just hard to know exactly the significance of all of these if they're all going to need surgery, how bad they are overall. I guess we'll get those details in the days to come.

BURNETT: So Sam, what else are you able to tell us about what happened? I mean, we understand high rate of speed, no skid marks, so no evidence of any effort to break early in the morning, coming, I guess, maybe from a hotel. But a very upscale, the Peninsula, Palos Verdes' area, suburban area of Los Angeles. Tell me what you know. FARMER: Well, Tiger was in town. As you know, he was the host of the

Genesis Invitational. Didn't play, but he was in town for two extra days, doing a shoot for Golfweek promotional shoot at Rolling Hills Country Club. And as we saw the celebrities, David Spade and Dwayne Wade who played golf with him yesterday. Actually he didn't play, he didn't hit balls, but he was there for the promotional shoot and that was continuing today.

I know that that stretch of road is particularly perilous, so much so that there's a bailout, a gravel truck bailout on the side of the road and people who drive it frequently have told us that you can get a speeding ticket without even accelerating. It's just that type of slope that takes you down and you could be going 60, 70 miles an hour pretty easily.

Apparently crossed over, obliterated the Welcome to Rolling Hills estate sign. Our photographer who was there, Wally Skalij, on the site said there was a fluid on the southbound lane of Hawthorne Blvd as well as the license plate. And that he narrowly missed a telephone pole which we can see in the video before careening up the hill. It's numbingly surreal, this accident and really hard to believe it's happened.

BURNETT: So Tim, tell me what you are learning, I see you nodding part of what Sam is saying here, what are you learning from your sources?

TIM SCHMITT, GOLFWEEK MANAGING EDITOR: Sure. And Sam, I appreciate it. It was a Golf Digest shoot. I wish it was a Golfweek shoot. Tiger, obviously, the biggest name in golf.

But the interesting part about that stretch of road is it then starts to speed up after where Tiger careened over the medium and across the street. So as crazy as this is that we're saying this, it's really fortunate that he is alive. If this is another thing that happens a quarter mile down the road, an eighth of a mile down the road by Peninsula High School, I don't think there's really any chance maybe the Tiger would still be around.


So the fact that that happened where it happened is painful as this whole thing is, every one of the folks that we've talked to, USA Today folks have talked to on the ground said the same thing. I mean, this in so many other cases is a fatal injury. So again really that's putting a very smiley face on the whole thing on a horrific incident.

BURNETT: I mean, so let me ask you about that, Sanjay. Because again, the breaking news here that Sam's reporting here at this moment that Tiger Woods has suffered a shattered ankle and two broken legs with compound fractures, the latest that he has. When he was found by rescue crews, they had the jaws of life to get him out. They then interacted with him and here is what official said happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I asked him what his name was. He told me his name was Tiger. And that moment I immediately recognized him. I asked him if he knew where he was, what time of day just to make sure he was oriented. He seemed as though he was lucid and calm.

He didn't seem concerned of his injuries at the time, which is not uncommon in traffic collisions. Many times people tend to be in shock. It's a traumatic experience.


BURNETT: So Sanjay, you hear that this is a person who had his fifth back surgery two months ago, was still recovering from that, and now you have what we just heard, and two broken legs and a shattered ankle. What does this mean?

GUPTA: Well, I mean, when you're approaching a scene like this as a EMS or trauma doctor, whatever it may be, you're trying to basically rule out the worst things first. So when you hear the - all of these were clues, important clues, describing Tiger Woods is calm and lucid, able to say his name. Asked him if he knew where he was, what time it was, these are basic sort of mechanisms to see if someone is oriented to person, place and time. And gives you a good idea of if there's a potential brain injury and if anything's happening with their airway. Things like that, that would sort of be of the most immediate concern.

After that, this deputy made the decision to wait. I don't think they necessarily use the jaws of life, but they pried open the windshield, use an axe and got him out through that. They noted at the time during the press conference that he appeared to have severe injuries to both of his legs, had not heard about the ankle before until Sam just mentioned that.

But you can see the crumple zones of the car all crumpled, but the cabin of the car was intact. That's why he didn't have torso, chest or sort of brain injuries. But Erin, with respect to your question, it's just very hard to speculate in terms of the impact this may have had on his spine. I know that people have been saying he didn't stand at the time.

It would have been very unusual under any situation to ask someone to stand. You have to assume people may have a potential spinal cord injury and you always try and put them immediately in an immobilization sort of board or something. Maybe even put a neck collar on, you may put pressure garments on to stop any kind of bleeding. You're doing all of that at the scene and sort of the scoop and run mentality.

So as far as longer term, the impact of these injuries, it's going to take some time to know.

BURNETT: So Sam, let me ask you, I want to play a little bit more of what the sheriff said about what happened at that incident. And specifically, this part about there being no skid marks. Here he is.


VILLANUEVA: No skid marks, no braking. So apparently, the first contact was with a center median. And from there then cross into the opposing lane of traffic. Hit the curb, hit a tree and there was several rollovers during that process.


BURNETT: Sam, again, we know this happened very early this morning. Do you have any knowledge as to - I mean, it sounds like he had no idea what was about to happen, he didn't even tried to break. It happen so quickly. But as to why he was there driving like that, I mean, we know that he was at the golf tournament, but that time of the morning where he was going anything?

FARMER: Yes. That's just sobering to hear those small details, it's so surreal. No. I think we're piecing together exactly where he was going. Presumably it was to the second half of this Golf Digest shoot that he was committed to after the tournament. But the details are so scat (ph) and it's so cryptic right now. We only have just the smallest scintilla of clues but the fact that he didn't break on the northbound side of that is just remarkable and chilling.

BURNETT: And Tim, it is also chilling that it was just Sunday when Tiger Woods was talking about how he hoped if his back was willing, and I talked about five back surgeries, if his back was willing to return to the Masters in April. Here he is.


WOODS: God, I hope so. I got to get there first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel like you'll be ...


WOODS: A lot of it's based on my surgeons and my doctors, my therapists and making sure I do it correctly and this is only back I got so I don't know how much more wiggle room left there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the plan would be maybe to get one tournament in before that, I guess.

WOODS: I guess I don't know what the plan is. The plan is right now is just to go ahead and get the MRI and see if the annulus is sealed and if scarred over and then we can start progressing.


BURNETT: Tim, those words are haunting to hear now. That was just days ago.

SCHMITT: Yes. And remember, this is a guy who coming into this year only played in nine golf tournaments last year. You're talking about back issues, back surgeries. He's had knee issues forever as well. This is a guy who made his mark on this game. And by the way he became one of the greatest to ever play by using the most forceful swing.

I mean, I don't know you'd ever seen when he first came on the tour, his body at 45 years old is pretty beaten up. And so the fact that he was already thinking about will I be able to make that next tournament, will I be able to be a part of the Masters and then to see this, I'll be honest, it makes me very nervous about the future of Tiger Woods if there's any future for him in the game of golf.

We're lucky that he's alive, but this is really something I don't know if he can come back from.

BURNETT: I mean, Sam, today NBA legend Dwayne Wade posted images of him on the golf course with Tiger Woods. As you mentioned, they were playing together at this tournament over the weekend. And he just addressed the car accident just moments ago on TNT. Here he is.


WADE: I picked up the golf club like many in the black community because of Tiger Woods. And I got that opportunity yesterday to get out there and get him to - he taught me a few things, hopefully it translates. But to be out there with the GOAT in my eyes in that sport and be able to talk to him about Sam and Charlie and his father, it was a great day.

And I woke up today so proud to be able to post that moment for the world to be able to give like a little snippet of our moment together. And I took a nap and I woke up, and I woke up to the news.


BURNETT: All right. Sam, this is just an incredibly horrible thing to have happened. Everything changing here in an instant.

FARMER: Yes. And Tim mentioned that this is a guy who's had a combined 10 back and knee surgeries, possibly more, who's emblematic of recovery, if you think about his performance in the 2019 Masters and what he meant was sort of transcended golf and maybe even transcended sports. And that this is a pop culture icon more than - you just can't overstate it, more than a generational talent. It's one of the most remarkable figures in our lifetimes, at least in sports.

And so to have this happen is unbelievable. So I don't know what to see beyond that.

BURNETT: No, it's true. But Sanjay, I think this is the thing. It does go beyond sports and he does transcend sports. I remember 10 years ago, more than 10 years ago, when he crashed his Escalade on Thanksgiving, destroyed his career, his marriage, his family, entered rehab, divorce. It was front-page news around the world.

And it was in his press conference where he came out was taken live everywhere. I remember that day. There were very few things that you take live network to network. This was one, because Tiger Woods did transcend the sport in a very significant way. And here is what he said that day on that stunning fall from grace.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know that your children are one of the reasons

you were motivated to come back and play competitive golf again. But I wonder when you were down and you were struggling and you looked in the mirror, what did you see?

WOODS: Well, I couldn't move. I couldn't even get to the mirror, so there were times when I couldn't get to - I mean, I couldn't stand up, so ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But when you did?

WOODS: But when I did, I saw a guy that could move very well. Hunched over and needed help to get around the house, to go to the bathroom and just anything and that was a long period of time. So I'm very thankful that those dark days are behind me.

I know I have barely disappointed all of you. I have made you question who I am and how I could have done the things I did. I am embarrassed that I have put you in this position.

For all that I have done, I am so sorry.


I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable. And I am the only person to blame.


BURNETT: Sanjay, it's haunting to hear that now. And at that moment, so many people were rooting for his comeuppance. And he got it. And then he came back. And people have been rooting for him. It's an incredible story, an absolutely incredible story. But what he has to come back from now is, in some ways, so much more difficult, because he may never have that sport to go back to, again, the core of what he does.

GUPTA: Yes. I think you're right. First of all, I remember all of those moments exactly like you do, Erin. I mean, it is amazing how much it permeates. And I think as a doctor as well, I mean, it's pretty remarkable just to - I do these operations, I do back operations to have someone come back from five of those and pay at that level is pretty remarkable, including a spine fusion as well. And I'm sure those are all going to be evaluated. His spine work is going to be evaluated as part of what he's going through right now.

But I got to say, in some ways it makes you say, well, this is going to be tough to come back from, but he also came back from very difficult medical challenges in the past. So I don't know, I think it's just too early to speculate at all right now. We don't know the nature of these leg injuries. We know that they sound like there were significant amount of bleeding involved, which is typically what makes someone unstable in these sorts of situations, but we'll see.

I mean, hopefully we'll hear from the doctors just how significant was their blood vessel injury as part of these fractures that we've heard about, was there nerve damage as a part of these fractures, was the pelvis also affected, was it the upper or lower part of the leg, all these things make a big difference in terms of trying to determine the overall prognosis in the days, weeks, months to come.

BURNETT: All right. Sam, Tim, Dr. Sanjay - quickly, go ahead, Sam. Yes.

FARMER: I don't want to get out over my skis here, but this people have drawn the eerie comparison to - at Ben Hogan's accident in 1949, February 1949, rear ended by a Greyhound bus and the legendary recovery of Ben Hogan. We don't know if Tiger Woods will play golf again and what the condition of Tiger Woods is, but there are sort of eerie parallels to that.

BURNETT: And there are people hoping and rooting for him in such a significant way. This is why we're all talking about it right now. Thank you all so very much. We'll keep you updated if we hear more, of course, this hour on his condition from those surgeons.

Next, Congress holding its first hearing on the deadly insurrection and Republican Senator Ron Johnson used his time to push the conspiracy theory that fake Trump protesters were behind the riot.

Plus, one of Biden's cabinet picks, her nomination about to be derailed and her supporters say it's sexist. Well, is it?

And a major concern tonight about new contagious strains of coronavirus. One state seen 20 cases of different variants in just the past week and now there are more.



BURNETT: Tonight, deny, deflect and lie, some Republicans using the first hearing on the deadly insurrection at the United States Capitol to whitewash what happened before during and after January 6th. One of the biggest offenders was Sen. Ron Johnson, who today proved that there is no conspiracy theory that he won't pedal to defend Trump, while questioning current and former law enforcement officials who were in charge that day. Johnson spent his time pushing deranged theory from an alleged eyewitness.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Although the crowd represented a broad cross- section of Americans, mostly working-class by their appearance and manner of speech, some people stood out. A very few didn't share the jovial, friendly, earnest demeanor of the great majority. Some obviously didn't fit in.

And he describes four different types of people; plainclothes militants, agents provocateurs, fake Trump protesters, and then a disciplined uniform column of attackers. I think these are the people that probably planned this.


BURNETT: Fake Trump protesters, agent provocateurs, this is not true. It's a lie. The riot was led by Trump supporters. Supporters who were repeating Trump's call to action to the halls of the Capitol.



CROWD: Stop the steal. Stop the steal. Stop the steal.

TRUMP: We'll lose everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man, we're going to - lose it all.

TRUMP: That's treason. That's treason.

CROWD: Treason. Treason. Treason. Treason.

TRUMP: Protect our constitution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To protect the Constitution of the United States.

TRUMP: This is country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is our house. This is our country. This is our country.


BURNETT: Look, it is absolutely ridiculous that Johnson said what he said. As Kevin McCarthy told Trump on that heated phone call of the day in the interaction, "They're your people. Call them off." And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell clearly stated the facts, clearly when he spoke to the nation following Trump's impeachment trial.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): A mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags and screaming their loyalty to him.


BURNETT: These are the facts and facts are facts. But Johnson was not the only one still trying to ingratiate himself to the former president and amplify something that is counterfactual that is not true today. Sen. Josh Hawley, of course, pictured with his fist in the air as he greeted Trump supporters outside the Capitol on the day of the deadly insurrection today tried to point the finger at Nancy Pelosi. Someone the mob was vocally trying to hunt down and threatening to kill.

Hawley trying to indicate it was the House Speaker who delayed the deployment of the National Guard. Here is Hawley getting knocked down by the former House Sergeant at Arms who resigned after the attack.


SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): So you did not consult congressional leadership. You weren't waiting at any point for input from congressional leadership. Is that your testimony, Mr. Irving? I got that right?

PAUL IRVING, FORMER HOUSE SERGEANT AT ARMS: Yes. I advised them, as we would do with many security protocols.


HAWLEY: But you weren't waiting at any point. There was no delay you're saying in getting National Guard requests because you didn't at any point wait for the input of the speaker or the majority leader or anybody else.

IRVING: No. Absolutely not.


BURNETT: No, absolutely not. There was no delay due to the speaker or the majority leader. Again, the facts here. We know Trump was the one who initially resisted mobilizing National Guard.

So, when there were calls on radio, National Guard, National Guard, and hours passed by, Trump is the one who did not do it. It was Pence who helped facilitated the decision to send troops to the Capitol, according to a source.

Jessica Schneider is OUTFRONT with much more on what happened inside that hearing today.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, new revelations from Capitol Police that an FBI report warning of violent war at the capitol January 6th was relayed to Capitol Police headquarters one day before the violent insurrection, but it was never seen by the department's leadership.

SEN. GARY PETERS (D-MI): How could you get not got that vital intelligence on the eve of what's going to be a major event?

STEVEN SUND, FORMER CHIEF, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: I know that's something that's going to be looked at. I think that information would have been helpful to be aware of.

SCHNEIDER: "The Washington Post" reported last month that the FBI bulletin quoted individuals saying be ready to fight, go there ready for war. We get our president or we die.

But Steven Sund who stepped down as Capitol police chief days after the insurrection said he was only made aware of the report yesterday. Sund stressed it was just raw intelligence, but the D.C.'s acting police chief said more should have been done to alert officials at the Capitol.

ROBERT CONTEE III, ACTING CHIEF, DC METRO POLICE: I would certainly think that something as violent as insurrection of the Capitol would warn a phone call or something.

SCHNEIDER: Sund said even intelligence relayed did not forecast the destruction that followed.

SUND: None of the intelligence we received predicted what actually occurred. We properly planned for mass demonstration with possible violence. What we got was military style coordinated assault on my officers and violent takeover of the Capitol building.

SCHNEIDER: All of the officials testifying agreed groups that converged on the Capitol were in fact coordinated.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Do you agree that there is now clear evidence that supports the conclusion that the January 6th insurrection was planned and it was a coordinated attack on the U.S. Capitol?

SUND: Yes.

KLOBUCHAR: Would you agree the attack involved white supremacists and extremist groups?

SUND: Yes.

SCHNEIDER: The most pressing question surrounded delayed deployment of National Guard which former Chief Sund said was initially held up because he needed an emergency declaration from Capitol Police Board.

CONTEE: Chief Sund was pleading for deployment of the National Guard, and in response to that, there was not an immediate yes. I was just stunned that I have officers that were out there literally fighting for their lives and, you know, we are kind of going through what seemed like an exercise to check the boxes.

SCHNEIDER: Many on the Capitol Police Force are still feeling the effects of the breakdowns that day.

CAPT. CARNEYSHA MENDOZA, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: I received chemical burns to the face still haven't healed to this day. Of the multitude of events I worked in my nearly 19-year career in the department, this was, by far, the worst of the worst. We could have had ten times the amount of people working with us, and I still believe the battle would have been just as devastating.

As an American and as an Army veteran, it is sad to see us attacked by our fellow citizens.


SCHNEIDER (on camera): It was also revealed most of the Capitol Police officers were not equipped with riot gear or the right training to respond to the violence they faced. There will be another hearing next week, Erin, with FBI, Homeland Security, and Defense Department, and certain to be more inquiries and maybe answers why it took so long to get National Guard troops to respond to the Capitol -- Erin.

BURNETT: I mean, that is such a crucial question. Jessica, thank you so much.

See them on the radio, calling, hours go by before that actually happens, it was not for want of asking.

OUTFRONT now, Asha Rangappa, former FBI special agent.

So, Asha, you know, we heard the ridiculousness today that was put out there that's untrue, but there still are so many questions about how with so much of this sort of out there, in your face, we're planning to do this, here, we're going to be, we're going to do this, but we still don't seem to know who was, in fact, responsible for the security failure here.

Did you learn more today?

ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL & NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think what we learned is as you noted, this wasn't an intelligence failure. This wasn't failure to connect the dots, for example, like before 9/11. The picture was there, but it was not properly acted upon or prepared for.

So I think the question is where in the flow of information did the blockage occur, if it didn't make it up to the decision makers? And was it because of negligence or was it because there was any kind of, for example, direct or indirect pressure to really not make a big deal out of this threat?


We know that there is a DHS whistle-blower, for example, who claimed that he was asked in his analysis to downplay the threat of right wing extremism. So, was this playing out in other ways as well in events leading into January 6th?

BURNETT: So, what about this memo. Jessica is reporting on it. How is it possible the memo made it to Capitol Police, made it to Capitol Police, and not to the chief?

RANGAPPA: Yes. This is where someone saw this. If it made it to the entity, to the department, the agency, then didn't make it up to the top decision maker, someone saw this and assessed it didn't need to go any further. So that's -- that point, that person needs to be identified.

But, Erin, let's also remember we can't be relying on just one FBI warning. I can't believe this whole thing would have rested on that. You don't need to be an FBI agent to know there was potential for violence just from what was out there in public reporting --

BURNETT: Yeah --

RANGAPPA: -- and the messaging that was out there.

So even if that report didn't make it, there should have been better preparation for this event.

BURNETT: All right. Asha, thank you. Good to see you.

RANGAPPA: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, one of Biden's cabinet picks on thin ice, in part because Republicans are, all of a sudden, offended by mean tweets. The White House tonight says it is not worried, they still think they'll get this one through, but should they be?

And Ted Cruz, hear what he is saying after caught jetting to Cancun on vacation during the state crisis.



BURNETT: New tonight, the White House digging in on Neera Tanden, President Biden's pick to run the Office of Management and Budget, saying they feel good about her confirmation. But this comes as her confirmation is on the brink of collapse over her tweets. Tanden is controversial for several reasons. But those that want to derail her nomination specifically point to her tweets, a first for a cabinet nominee.

Republican senators who were pretty much silent through years of Trump's tweets are now suddenly outraged.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Calling Mitch McConnell Moscow Mitch is probably not a good thing to say.

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): You called Republicans criminally ignorant, corrupt and the worst.

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): You wrote that Susan Collins is, quote, the worst. Tom Cotton is a fraud. That vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz.


BURNETT: OK. To be sure, inappropriate tweets. Those tweets about those senators are insulting. But not one of the senators you heard had any trouble voting to confirm former President Trump's ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell. Ric Grenell, anyone who knows him, was happy to tweet disparaging comments about a whole host of people, talked about Michelle Obama's appearance, Newt Gingrich's weight, saying Joe Biden -- suggesting that Joe Biden used Botox, going after President Obama's daughter.

Ironically, we cannot show you his tweets because like Tanden, he has deleted many of them. All of this has led noted conservative Bill Kristol to say of Tanden, quote, I feel like there's a little sexism going on here. It just seems like these tweets sound harsher to old guys because they're coming from a woman.

Now, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin who may have all but killed Tanden's nomination when he said he opposed it, you have to have that vote in 50/50 split Senate. He also voted to confirm Grenell in 2018, and he says Tanden's tweets, quote, will have a toxic, detrimental impact on her relationships in Congress.

OUTFRONT now, Dana Bash, our anchor and chief political correspondent, and Michael Smerconish, host of "SMERCONISH".

So, Dana, you're doing a lot of reporting on the Tanden situation. Interesting things I know you've been hearing about a possible double standard at play here. But here's the real question. Is anyone saying this is sexism or not?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I have been communicating with lawmakers all day. More than a half dozen, mostly women. And the general gist I heard is that, of course, there is sexism in general because it is sort of implicit here and tends to be when there is a controversial woman, particularly a woman of color as somebody said to me, you know, when there's a man who is aggressive and assertive, he is sometimes called bold, when it is a woman, she's a bitch, right?

Having said that I actually heard more from even and especially women that on this particular issue it is more than that, it is more than sexism. It is the content of what she was saying and especially in light of the bar that the man who nominated her set for people in his administration, so when you talk about Ric Grenell. Yeah, I mean, he was vile on Twitter. But so was his boss, the president of the United States.

Joe Biden is different and that is why the perception here is a bit different, and never mind the fact that there's a completely different situation with regard to fellow Democrats.

BURNETT: So, Michael, that's a really interesting point, right, because -- just because one person tweets badly, gets nominated, doesn't mean another person should. I don't want to be like let's compound the inappropriate behavior, but I do know here that you have Republicans that are happy to vote for a guy that talked about people's weight and they should use Botox, Michelle Obama's appearance, all the things Ric Grenell did, and now are offended by things that Neera Tanden had said.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sexism, I am not sure. Hypocrisy, a very easy case to prove based on what's displayed.

BURNETT: Yes, yeah.

SMERCONISH: I think that, you know, it is unbecoming of someone that wishes to serve at the cabinet level and frankly like Grenell, I think deletion looks wholly incriminating. Big mistake in retrospect. But, you know, the point I think you're making is that they're setting

a bar, because they're saying, well, this is at odds with the mantra of now President Biden about unity and comity, ITY.


Well, OK, if you're going to articulate that standard, I'm saying this not to the president but to members of the Senate who are standing in her way, you yourselves better be ready to live to it because implicit in that is we have all reached a point now where we are going to get along, act like adults. Okay. I am waiting to be shown.

BURNETT: So, Dana, let's talk about Joe Manchin. He stands out here. He is the one that's going to torpedo this if he votes no as he said he is going to. He did vote for Grenell. He says, though, that his opposition to Neera Tanden is not personal. Here's what he said.


REPORTER: There's been some complaint that your opposition to Neera Tanden is sexist. What do you make of that?

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Oh come on. It's not personal at all.


BURNETT: So, what's your reporting where he is coming from, Dana?

BASH: Look, Joe Manchin, you're right, he was very open about the fact that it was the content of many statements that Neera Tanden has made about Republicans and Democrats and he reviewed a lot of them. But he, like Susan Collins, for example, my understanding is that the fact as Michael said that she deleted a lot of them, that it is a judgments issue.

For Joe Manchin, it's something bigger, and that is -- again, the promise that President Biden made to be bipartisan, to change the tone and tenor of Washington, and he is very openly not happy with the fact that there hasn't been more bipartisan outreach let's say on the COVID-19 relief bill.

I'm not saying that he is using this as a way to send a message but it is unique for someone like him. He is a former governor, he is somebody who historically likes to give the chief executive, in this case it is the president, the nominees they want. It does say a lot.

BURNETT: So, Michael, then what about the White House saying they feel good about her confirmation. Are they just on another planet? I mean, if you don't have Joe Manchin, that means you are counting on getting a Republican. What do you see here?

SMERCONISH: Well, right. And the usual suspects among Republicans, Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, et al, are not showing any indication, in fact are showing indication they won't be that sole vote.

BURNETT: Well, she did write Susan Collins is, quote, the worst. SMERCONISH: Right. How do you come back from that?

So, you know what it reminds me of, a month into the Biden administration, the person that really fell in, I guess I can't say that even on cable with divided government is Senator Manchin. He is the Anthony Kennedy of the composition of the current United States Senate.

He is the swing vote. He is the one everybody now looks to to see which way it is going to go. He is in the position of immense power. And I know, I am not buying what the White House is saying. It's got the precursor now of withdrawn appointment by end of the week.

BURNETT: Hmm, and we shall see. Yeah, true. And to your point, because it is so inconsistent with what the president has said, the kind of conduct that he wants around him.

All right. Thank you both. Good to see you.

And next, Ted Cruz telling people not to be A-holes, that's what he said after, of course, he was caught on that plane flying to Cancun.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Treat each other as human beings, have some degree, some modicum of respect.


BURNETT: Plus, Republicans and Democrats come together tonight to honor the 500,000 Americans and counting who have lost their lives to the virus.



BURNETT: Here's a suggestion. Just don't be A-holes. That is a direct quote from Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, trying to blame everyone else for his mistake. His mistake was going to Cancun on vacation in the middle of a Texas massive power crisis. When he was caught on it, he did say it was a huge mistake.

But now, he's slamming whoever leaked the text messages to "The New York Times". These were the text messages between Cruz's wife and neighbors in which she complained their house was freezing, and talked about the hotel rates in Cancun. She writes in a group chat, anyone can or want to leave for the week, we may go to Cancun. And it continued, they leaked the whole thing.

Well, here's what Senator Cruz is now saying, not about his decision to take that vacation, but about the person who outed him by telling the world that it was a vacation, and that Ted Cruz was indeed playing to stay for the vacation.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) CRUZ: Yeah, I will say, Heidi was pretty pissed about that. So, she texted several of our neighbors. Now, look, our neighbors, we've got a number of Republicans who are neighbors, but we also have a number of Democrats.

HOST: Right.

CRUZ: And so, you know, with folks on our street who put up Beto signs, which I thought was a little rude. But, you know, I didn't hold a victory party in our front yard when we won.

Obviously, it's a sign of how ridiculously politicized and nasty and just -- you know, here's a suggestion. Just don't be (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Just, you know, treat each other as human beings, have some degree, some modicum of respect.


BURNETT: Well, I guess, here's a suggestion. Don't go to Cancun and mislead everybody about it so your neighbors don't feel like they need to put the truth out there.

OUTFRONT now, Matthew Dowd, she's strategist for the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign in 2004, also a Texas resident, among the millions lost water and power during the storm, had to relocate to a hotel.

So, Matthew, what do you possibly say to Ted Cruz, who says to the people who outed him for trying to act like he was dropping his kids off, or I don't know whatever he was trying to spin there. That they -- don't be A-holes?

MATTHEW DOWD, CHIEF STRATEGIST, BUSH-CHENEY 2004 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Well, I would say to ted, I agree with him that we all ought to treat each other better and be more civil. But he ought to have a modicum of self-respect in this. When he says that and he lectures people on how they ought to behave and behave better, it's like Ty Cobb lecturing people on sportsmanship, or Bernie Madoff lecturing people on investment fraud and not doing investment fraud.

He's like he sits, on the quote elf, he sits on a throne of this kind of stuff that he pontificates from. So, I mean, I feel for Heidi Cruz --


DOWD: -- in this, to have that happen from a neighbor. But Ted Cruz is not focused on the problem. He needs to buy a mirror and look at the real problem in this and that's Ted Cruz.

Take responsibility for your actions, take accountability, and don't start lecturing people on things. I mean, he basically became an Internet troll, and don't lecture people on things you do every day of the week.

BURNETT: I mean, that's the thing about it. It's so amazing. Anybody looks at that, don't be A-holes, and even his allies had to look at that and say, are you kidding me?

All right. So, I want to play something else Cruz said last night on Fox News about the uproar over his Cancun vacation. Here he is.


CRUZ: I think the media is suffering from Trump withdrawal. They've attacked Trump every day for four years, and they don't know what to do. Now they're obsessed over my taking my girls to the beach.



BURNETT: So, now, he's blaming the media for this.

DOWD: Well, Ted is just -- as I've told you before, I know Ted, I worked with Ted in 2000.


DOWD: Ted is unshamable. Ted cannot be shamed, because Ted has no self-awareness and he doesn't really care. Keep in mind, Ted is one of the first guys that called Donald Trump during the primaries a pathological liar, and actually had tried to make plans during the Republican Convention to try to have a floor vote in that.

And all of a sudden, after Donald Trump attacks his wife, attacks his father, became his best friend and biggest defender. This has nothing to do with Donald Trump. Ted ought to just take a long look at himself, take a long look at himself, understand his own accountability, and his own responsibility in this. And then just, you know, go about his business and go do the work of the United States Senate.

Ted himself thought he could go to Cancun because he didn't think there was anything he could do in the midst of a water and power crisis in Texas. And his opponent, Beto O'Rourke, contacted a million people to see how he can help him, the guy he lost -- the guy he beat.

So, I just had -- you know, there's not a lot you can say about Ted that surprises me anymore. But I wish he would have a modicum of self- respect, and at least a counter and encounter some level of self- responsibility.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Matthew, thank you very much, as always. So well said.

DOWD: Thank you, Erin.

And next, how some health officials are warning of a fourth wave of COVID infections, even with the vaccines rolling out.


BURNETT: Republicans and Democrats coming together tonight leading a moment of silence to honor the half million people in this country who have died from coronavirus. Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer all there as you said. And this comes as tonight a Washington state official warns about a fourth wave of the virus, even with all the vaccinations. They think there could be a fourth wave.

Why? The variants. They've seen 20 cases of different strains just last week, and that number has already doubled. A sobering warning tonight.

Thanks so much to all of you for being with us.

"AC360" starts right now.