Return to Transcripts main page

Erin Burnett Outfront

NC Town Declares State Of Emergency, Braces For Protests As Calls Grow For Release Of Deputy Bodycam Footage; Family Attorney Says Bodycam Video In Deputy Killing Of Black Man Shows "His Hands On The Steering Wheel While Being Shot At"; Minnesota AG: "Sufficiently Concerned" About Potential Chauvin Appeal, But Believes Trial Was "Solid" And "Fair"; Interview With Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY); Trump Advisers Urge Him To Make Vaccine PSA; Rep. McCarthy Defends Trump, Rewrites History On Capitol Riot. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 26, 2021 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. You can always follow me on Twitter and Instagram @WOLFBLITZER. You could tweet the show @CNNSITROOM. Please be sure to join us at our new time, 6 pm Eastern Monday through Friday. See you tomorrow.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, a state of emergency in Elizabeth City, North Carolina after attorneys for the family of Andrew Brown say they were shown just 20 seconds of bodycam video. The family calling it an execution of the 42-year-old man. So why won't officials show the family and the country the rest of the video?

Plus power shift, the first census results are out, Democrats losing House seats, Trump states are gaining them.

And President Biden about to announce new guidance on masks. What are the new rules? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, 20 seconds. Twenty seconds of video from one bodycam. It has been five days since Andrew Brown Jr. was shot and killed by Sheriff's deputies in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. And that is all the family of Andrew Brown Jr. was shown today according to their attorneys.

And the family said they expected to transparency but what they got instead, according to their attorneys, they described it as disrespect, delays and incomplete information. Disrespect they feel because they were made to wait two hours so the county could blur the faces of some of the people in the video.

And by the way, let's just be clear here, it's been five days they've been asking for it so that extra two-hour wait felt disrespectful and also disrespect when they were shown with their attorneys after all of that called a 20-second snippet.


CHANTEL CHERRY-LASSITER, Brown FAMILY ATTORNEY: Let's be clear, this was an execution. Andrew Brown was in his driveway. The Sheriff locked him in his driveway so he could not exit his driveway. Andrew had his hands on his steering wheel. They run up to his vehicle shooting. Now, keep in mind this is 20 seconds.

BEN CRUMP, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: They are trying to ha something. They don't want us to see everything.


BURNETT: You see Ben Crump there. Of course, he was the attorney for George Floyd's family. And if that case taught this country anything, it is that video is vital to holding those in power accountable. It was the context around. It was the whole nine minutes and 49 seconds. It was all of that, right?

So this comes on the same day the DOJ announced a federal investigation into policing practices in Louisville, Kentucky after the death of Breonna Taylor who was killed during a raid at her home last year. At that time, officials were criticized for not being transparent. And now, of course, we're hearing the same complaints when it comes to officials in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, which is why yet again we are seeing a familiar scene now in this country, protesters beginning to gather demanding answers.

Natasha Chen is OUTFRONT. She is in Elizabeth City for us tonight. And Natasha, the city declaring a state of emergency ahead of potential unrest if this video is finally released to the public.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, Erin. The city was prepared for a strong reaction from the community if the contents of the video were very disturbing. Now, the description of it certainly was, but what's even more disturbing to the people that have been marching around town is that they only seemingly got 20 seconds shown to the family in private.

One of the women who's marching tonight said that she actually came here. We saw her this morning at 7 am in this parking lot. She says today felt like a waste of her time but she will continue to come back every day until there's more transparency.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want?

CROWD: Video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want?

CROWD: Video.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHEN (voice over): More than five full days after Pasquotank Sheriff's

deputies shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Brown's family viewed body camera footage from the shooting.


KHALIL FEREBEE, SON OF ANDREW Brown JR.: My dad got executed just by trying to save his own life. He was not in no - the officers was not in no harm of him at all. It's just messed up how this happened.


CHEN (voice over): The family said they were shown only 20 seconds of video from one deputy's body camera. Even though Sheriff Tommy Wooten told CNN previously that there were multiple body cameras worn by deputies on scene and only after the county attorney made redactions including the blurring of faces.


LASSITER: He had his hands firmly on the steering wheel. They run up to his vehicle shooting. He still stood there, sat at his vehicle with his hands on the steering wheel while being shot and so he backs out, not forth but backs out away from the officers who's still shooting at him.


CHEN (voice over): Letting the family see only 20 seconds of body camera footage further stokes suspicion from Brown's family and community.


CRUMP: When the video came on, they were already shooting him. And so obviously they are still trying to deflect and hide everything on the video.


JANET BUTAR, ELIZABETH CITY RESIDENT: We got fed up what we've heard. They've been getting away with a lot of (inaudible) dirty (inaudible) and they just got caught up in it and that need to be put away. They got to pay the price too. They're not better than us.


CHEN (voice over): The crowd gasped when Attorney Bakari Sellers described the tense interaction with the Pasquotank County attorney over what the family and attorneys would be seeing and who could be in the room to view the footage.


BAKARI SELLERS, Brown FAMILY ATTORNEY: I've never been talked to like I was talked to in there. Mr. Cox told me, a grown black man that he was not (inaudible) going to be bullied.


CHEN (voice over): A copy of the death certificate obtained by CNN shows Andrew Brown Jr. died by homicide with a penetrating wound to the head. CNN also obtained a search warrant that shows the Sheriff's Department had been authorized to search for crack cocaine and other narcotics as well as evidence of other criminal activity, but the warrant was marked not executed. The Sheriff's Department had previously said they were there to also serve an arrest warrant.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A warrant does not mean you're guilty. A warrant should not mean your execution. A warrant should not mean you get shot in the back.



CHEN (on camera): The family attorney described the 20-second video starting when the shooting was already underway. Now, The Sheriff, Tommy Wooten, posted a video to Facebook this evening saying the whole event happened so quickly, it was over in 30 seconds.

Wooten also said that his office has now officially filed a request with the court for a judge to grant the release of that video to the public. A group of media outlets, including CNN has done the same and that hearing will be on Wednesday, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Natasha, thank you very much. And obviously that's going to be an important hearing and we know the rules in the State, you've got to get the court approval.

I want to go to Wayne Kendall, attorney for Andrew Brown's family now. Because, Wayne, I want to give you a chance to respond right away to what Natasha is saying the Sheriff said right. He said the whole incident, the entirety of it, was less than 30 seconds.

So the clear implication from the Sheriff is, well, if we gave you 20 seconds, you saw pretty much everything. That's what he's trying to imply. Do you believe that the family has seen pretty much everything in the 20 seconds they have?

WAYNE KENDALL, ATTORNEY FOR ANDREW BROWN'S FAMILY: Well, Erin, thank you for having me, first of all. We don't know how long it lasted. We were shown or at least one of our colleagues was shown of 20 seconds. The attorney for the county refused to let myself, Mr. Sellers, Ben Crump and Harry Daniels to view the video because we are not barred in the state of North Carolina. We felt that was unfair, unjust and certainly outside the bounds of a statute to cover this particular type of disclosure.

We as attorneys for the family, as attorneys for Mr. Brown's - as his personal representative, we should be allowed to see that video. We don't know how long it last. We don't know how long this incident last. But it is very important to see the entire video from start to finish. You don't know what happened. That could be extremely important information in that 10 seconds even if it is a 30-second video.

BURNETT: Yes. So when you look at this, Wayne, what are the biggest questions you have? So now your team has seen 20 seconds. What is the biggest question you have now that you didn't get answer from that 20- second snippet?

KENDALL: Well, we don't know how this started. I mean, according to our colleague who was in the room, they were already shooting when the video started. It's very (inaudible) not too to know what commands were given to Mr. Brown before the shooting started or did they just roll up on his vehicle, which I understand was parked on a parking pad pointing toward the street.

We want to know what commands were given, did he or did he not comply with those commands, why did they just show the video after the shooting started and not before the shooting started. And my (inaudible) is that all during this time that they did show it, they were shooting into the vehicle and he was trying to apparently avoid being hit by bullets and they were raining down on him.

BURNETT: Certainly, what you're saying it's pretty obvious that you would feel this way. I mean, they need to show you what happened before the bullet started. I think we all can understand why that is absolutely imperative.

I want to ask you also, Wayne, about the timing here because the family had hoped they would see the video on Friday. That's the implication I'd gotten from Ben Crump was the hope that's what would happen and it didn't.


And then they were supposed to see the video at 11:30 am today but then it was delayed for another two hours after five days in total, because the county attorney said the video needed to be blurred. So what do you make of that? I know the family felt disrespected after all that time then you sit and have to wait for two more hours just for the video blurry.

KENDALL: We've had rolling discussions with the County Attorney, Mr. Cox for the last several days about being allowed to see this video. Yesterday, I had a brief conversation with him and the conversation is centered around who in the family would be allowed to see the video.

They never raised any issues with regards to attorneys being able to see the video, he never told us that we would need to be barred in the state of North Carolina in order to see the video.

And all of these excuses that they came up with today were just that, excuses. And then they came up this morning and said, well, there's going to be a delay because we need to redact the video. We don't want to show the faces of the officers that were on the scene engaging in this horrific activity of shooting into a moving vehicle.

They also, I understand, blurred the weapons that were being used, but we know from our colleague who was there and asked the specific question what type of weapons were being used and they told her that it was a 223 AR-15 assault style rifle. Now, why do you need an AR-15 assault style rifle to execute an arrest warrant or a search warrant? And she also said that the guys had all assault gear.

BURNETT: Right. I mean, look, I understand there's a lot that we don't know. So, I guess, the main question I have for you then, Wayne, is why? I mean, do you think they're trying to hide something at this point or do you think this could just be a case of, I don't know, just that they want to do it their way and they don't want to be pressured into something or do you think they're trying to hide something?

KENDALL: Well, it's pretty obvious to us that they are trying to hide something. I mean, there's obviously no reason to not allow the family to see the entire raw video. I assure you they had Andrew Brown been doing something that he should not have been doing, he had been doing something that was incriminating. He had been (inaudible) something that would have justified his shooting, we would have had that video the same day, just like it was released in the Columbus, Ohio shooting.


KENDALL: When the law enforcement officers feel they are justified, they release videos immediately. When they feel that they are not justified, then they want to redact, hide the faces, they want to hide the weapons. They come up with all of these excuses for not releasing the video and it's clear that this video under North Carolina law should be seen by the family members of Mr. Andrew Brown and the law specifically states properly without delay.

So we have different reasons to be upset as to why we have these delays going on with showing this video.

BURNETT: All right. Wayne, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much. As I said, Wayne Kendall is an attorney for Mr. Brown's family.

I want to go to our Senior Legal Analyst, former Federal Prosecutor, Elie Honig just to give you a chance to react to what you just heard here, Elie, from Wayne. Important things, he said that the video - the shooting has already started when the video started. So they say the whole thing lasted 30 seconds.

Whether it did or didn't or how one counts that, we obviously can't tell because all we have is 20 seconds, all the family has is 20 seconds. And the video shooting already started when the video started. Is there any justification for not showing more to the family?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't see any justification for that at all. The only legitimate justification, Erin, would be if something about showing the video would tip off the family to something about the investigation that could endanger the investigation. I see no such facts here.

I think the problem, the fundamental problem, is the local authorities are playing by the old school playbook, which for a long time in law enforcement has been we'll show you whatever we want, maybe nothing, maybe something, maybe a lot, whenever we want and there's nothing you can do about it. But the law is changing, the politics are changing and you end up with a scenario like this one where they've lost the family's trust and the public trust.

BURNETT: So Bakari Sellers is representing the Brown family as well and he also today talked about Mike Cox, the County Attorney who Wayne just referenced. He said Cox actually cursed at him today. Let me just play what Bakari said happened.



SELLERS: I just want you to say I've never been talked to like I was talked in there. Mr. Cox told me a grown black man that he was not (inaudible) going to be bullied.


BURNETT: So what does this mean in terms of where this goes? Does this stay at the County Attorney? Does this go to the AG? I mean, where are we in this, Elie?

HONIG: First of all, it's unprofessional and outrageous for any attorney to speak that way to any other attorney, obviously. I think the Attorney General of the State here has to take over this case. Now, the way it works in North Carolina is the District Attorney, the county level prosecutor that has the case now has to request that the AG take the case.

But the AG needs to get on the phone and call the DA and say, look, you guys have blown this. You don't have the public trust. We need to take this case over. You need to make that request. The only way for this case to go ahead with any modicum of credibility is for the AG to take it.

BURNETT: Well, all right, Elie, thank you very much.

And OUTFRONT next, the Attorney General of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, speaking to CNN about Derek Chauvin appealing his guilty verdict.


KEITH ELLISON, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MINNESOTA: You asked a critical question, am I worried about it. I'm sufficiently concerned.


BURNETT: Plus, the first census results are in and Democratic strongholds are losing House seats, pro-Trump states are gaining them. And President Biden about to announce new mask guidelines, will it help the effort to get the very significant portion of the population who has chosen not to get vaccinated to get vaccinated?



BURNETT: Tonight, sufficiently concerned. Those are the words of Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison, who led the prosecution of former Officer Derek Chauvin about a potential appeal to overturn the verdict.

Omar Jimenez as you know has been covering this case and he is OUTFRONT in Minneapolis. And Omar, you had a chance to sit down with Ellison and everybody wants to hear what he has to say. So tell me about what you found out.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, he said for starters while the world was watching, they were only speaking to 12 jurors and he feels the difference in getting this verdict didn't come down to a single witness or video, but rather the fact they were thorough. Now, he wouldn't comment on the coming trial of the other officers potentially being more difficult, but he did speak on the potential for an appeal from Chauvin.


JIMENEZ: Moving forward, are you worried about an appeal?

ELLISON: Well, look, any case is going to be appealed and you asked a critical question, am I worried about it, I'm sufficiently concerned because I need to be. We're not going to get careless, but I feel that the trial was solid and it was fair and that Derek Chauvin had an opportunity for a full and fair trial.

JIMENEZ: Were you concerned at all when comments from Congresswoman Maxine Waters not only got the attention of Judge Cahill but really caught his anger as we saw play out as part of the court proceedings?

ELLISON: Well, I'm a firm believer in the 1st Amendment, I mean, and I know Maxine Waters. She was my Committee Chair when I was in Congress for 12 years. You're not going to stop folks from commenting on matters of public concern. The jury pledged to only decide the case based on the evidence and to avoid media. I trusted that they did that.


JIMENEZ: He trusted the jurors there but also around other potential influences, including the killing of Daunte Wright that happened in nearby Brooklyn Center in the middle of testimony for this trial. And he added he felt Judge Cahill handled all of these potential influences correctly in this.

BURNETT: So Omar, I know as part of your conversation, you did ask him about the path ahead and obviously that hits the appeal, it hits the other officers, but what else did he say? JIMENEZ: Well, for starters, he looked at this as one case and what

needs to be many cases to actually make meaningful change. But in the immediate aftermath of this verdict, we saw how much even this case meant to so many people. And so I showed him a video that we took in George Floyd's where seconds after the verdict came down of a man in particular from the Minneapolis area and he said he saw a little bit of himself in that video.


JIMENEZ: And I want you to just - you just go and hit play on that video. This was seconds after the verdict was announced.


CROWD: George Floyd.


CROWD: George Floyd.

ELLISON: Hey, man, I'm right there with right there with him. I'm right there with him.

JIMENEZ: What do you see when you see that video?

ELLISON: I see a man who probably is in my age range who has vivid memories of unfairness. And to see one case turned out right, even though it's just one case, means everything. It probably makes him feel more confident about his son or grandson or granddaughter for that matter, being able to go home and come back safely, being able to say, officer, I need help, without fear of what that could mean.


JIMENEZ: It's incremental, but it's something. That's the sense that I got. But he also knows the importance of policy and once that George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to get passed in Congress that would, among other things, ban police chokeholds but also make it easier to prosecute police officers.

And finally, he said that prioritizing police reform in this country is absolutely President Biden's business and he wants to see it done, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much, Omar, for that great interview.

Next, the first official numbers from the 2020 census have just come in. They are good news for red states and they are bad news for blue states.

Plus, why Trump's advisers are telling the former president that his legacy could be at stake if he does not work to get more shots in the arms of his supporters.


BURNETT: Tonight, power shift. The very first 2020 census results are in and Democratic strongholds are losing House seats while Trump red states are gaining them. So let me just show you how it breaks down. OK. Texas is going to gain two states in the House. Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each gain a seat.

For the first time and this is really significant when you think about how this country has structured its power for so long. California is going to lose a seat, New York is going to lose a seat, as well Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

OUTFRONT now Senate Majority Leader Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York whose State just lost a seat by a margin of, and I know you know this all too well, Majority Leader, 89 people. So all in red states gaining blue states losing, New York losing that seat and the Census Bureau is where I got that number. They said if they just counted 89 more people in New York, you wouldn't have lost that seat. That's got a burn.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, look, Erin, I haven't yet seen and studied the census data they came out this afternoon. So I'm not going to make any detailed comments till I take a look at them tonight.

BURNETT: OK. So I won't I won't push you here on the 89, I respect that.


But what about the overall point that we are seeing a gain and a net gain, right, for states that voted Trump and a loss for some of those traditional blue states. Is that concerning?

SCHUMER: Well, obviously. But, you know, we try to win voters, Democrats, independents, Republicans. We're doing very well at that right now. And we got to continue to do that.

We won in states like Georgia and Arizona, which, you know, last instance, you would have said Republican states.

BURNETT: Right. That's a fair point.

So, you know, in this context, there has been some bipartisan work being done, not much but some, right? And we've been talking a lot about police reform, the latest news out of North Carolina, in Elizabeth City, Tim Scott, the Republican, and Cory Booker, the Democrat, have currently have been working on a police reform bill as you know all too well.

The issue qualified of immunity, though, was still a major sticking point, right? Democrats want to get rid of protection for officers against civil lawsuits and Republicans don't. And some Democrats have drawn a very, very stark line on the sand on this.

Here are two. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): We compromise on so much, you know, we compromise, we die. We compromise, we die.

DEL. STACEY PLASKETT (D-VI): Qualified immunity has in many instances become the hood for bad police officers to in fact add as modern day Ku Klux Klan members against black and brown people in this country. And it has got to stop.


BURNETT: So, Stacey Plaskett there linked qualified immunity to modern day Ku Klux Klan members. I mean, are you open to Senator Scott's compromise that would keep protection for individual officers but would allow lawsuits against police departments? Or do you agree with Representatives Plaskett and Bush?

SCHUMER: Look, I'm not -- Erin, I'm not getting into the details. I met with Cory Booker for 45 minutes just an hour ago. I encouraged him to see what we can do. Obviously, it's a very, very serious problem that must be dealt with in a strong way. There's a systematic -- systemic bias in policing and in law enforcement and we have to do everything we can to erase it.

Cory Booker believes he's making good progress and I think we have a decent chance of getting a strong bipartisan bill.

BURNETT: Do you think there is some immunity required, though, if you want to attract great people to be police officers and not have them be afraid of being sued?

SCHUMER: Erin, I am not going to prejudge what Corey and Tim and others are working on. I have told them we want a bill, we want it to be a strong bill, this is a very, very serious issue and we have to -- we need strong medicine.

BURNETT: So, the other issue that you're dealing with here, of course, as President Biden talks about his hundred days in office is, he's expected to roll out the second half of his infrastructure proposal on Wednesday, in his address to Congress. We know that that's expected to cost about $2 trillion which would bring the total for the overall plan to $4 trillion. The second half is expected to cost the same.

So, it appears you and the president both support using reconciliation to get this done so you pass it with 51 votes. You would need every Democrat but no Republicans.

So, my colleague Dana Bash asked Joe Manchin yesterday, he's going to be crucial vote, if he supports using reconciliation to pass any of the infrastructure bill, here is how he answered her question.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): No, I -- if people would just think about, if we go through the process that we are supposed to. We never used to use filibuster and reconciliation is only used for budget. And that's why you have the guardrails put on with the Byrd Rule. So, we have to get back to getting it into the committees, let the committee chair and the members of those committees work it.



BURNETT: That was a pretty stark answer, no.

SCHUMER: Look, the bottom line is we need big bold action that's what America needs. We want to do as much of that as we can in a bipartisan way. And we are proceeding to do that. The water bill that will be on the floor this week came out of the committee unanimously, and it's quite similar to what the 10 Republican members of the gang of 20 proposed.

The America Competes Act, which is a major, major piece of legislation to deal with our problems in making sure we compete well in science and new jobs, that's going to happen.

But I want to say one other thing, Erin --

BURNETT: Uh-huh.

SCHUMER: -- this is our first 100 days. When it started out, there was all the skepticism. This is my first hundred, Joe Biden's first hundred. It's a rare moment that those have coincided with majority leader and president.


SCHUMER: They said, Schumer, you're never going to get this done. You've got to do an impeachment trial. You've got to do the president's cabinet. You've got to give the American Rescue Plan done. It's impossible.

We got it done. And now, people are really happy with us, people are after these first 100 days, people are getting injections in their arms. They are getting money in their wallets, small businesses and businesses are opening up again, life is beginning to get back to normal.

We're going to have a very good next 100 days, because the demands of the American people are so, so important, and we will get it done. We will try to do as much as we can, in a bipartisan way, and that's good and that's working in a good way. But if there are needs of the people that can't be done in a bipartisan way --


SCHUMER: -- our caucus will put our heads together. We will figure out how to get it done. Certainly, no decisions have been made yet, but reconciliation is on the table. We will get it done.

BURNETT: It is, though, 20 percent. The infrastructure bills alone, as they have been, you know, put out there. That's 20 percent of the size of the U.S. economy last year.

SCHUMER: We have significant -- we have significant problems in this economy. The ARP, which was $2 trillion and some of the pundits, some of our Republican friends, it's much too big. It's overwhelmingly popular, not only with Republicans.


SCHUMER: Not only with the population, but with 60 percent of Republicans. I believe the bills that President Biden has proposed, already the indications are they're equally popular. And we will get them done.

BURNETT: OK. To this point, I want to ask you about a profile which I know you have seen. But I happened to read -- just the other day, I thought it was in your home, "New York Magazine". The title is: Chuck Schumer has changed, why is the former angry centrist pushing his party to go bigger, bolder and more progressive?

And I want to just --


BURNETT: And let me just read one quote, then I'll give you a chance to respond to it, Senator.

So, it says: The man who used to call himself a law and order Democrat, then an angry centrist, who dined at Morgan Stanley headquarters the night before Election Day 2008, has, at the same time long insisted he believes in the power of the government. And now, finally a top of the Senate at the time of unified Democratic control, he's ditched his positions that were better suited to Bill Clinton's Democratic Party than today's version.

SCHUMER: I've had a lodestar my entire career. I come from a working- class background. My father was an exterminator.

Helping the middle class and the people struggling to get there, needs changed. Climate is much worse than it was then. Income equality has gotten much worse in the last 10 years. The racial sores in America have not healed and maybe have been made worse.

So, I'm always focused on the needs of average working families, middle class and people struggling to get there. That's what I -- that's what I'm doing right now, and, of course, when climates worsened, there is more urgency. Of course, when middle income -- when income inequality is worse, there's more urgency. That make sense, that's my job.

BURNETT: So let me ask you with the naysayers, say because you hear this. I want to give you a chance to respond to.

They say that you're doing these things, that you're embracing some of these more progressive causes that you hadn't historically been known for, because you're worried, about the challenge on the left that maybe someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will challenge you. What do you say to those people?

SCHUMER: What I say is I'm -- I always do what's good for the people of New York, and good for the people of America and it is always worked out. And that's just what I'm continuing to do.

BURNETT: All right. Majority Leader, appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

SCHUMER: Thank you, bye-bye.

BURNETT: All right. And next, Dr. Anthony Fauci not holding back on Trump's response to the deadly pandemic, and the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy trying again to rewrite history when it comes to Trump and the insurrection.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The end of the call was saying, telling me to feel put something out to make sure to stop this, and that's what he did.




BURNETT: Tonight, advisers to former President Trump urging him to make a public service announcement, encouraging his supporters to get the coronavirus vaccine, two former senior Trump administration's officials tell CNN. This as new numbers from the CDC show that among the 10 states with the lowest vaccination rates, all of voted for Donald Trump, with the exception of Georgia. The vaccine supply said to outpace demand in United States. President Biden is urging to trying to tackle a very significant challenge which is vaccine hesitancy.

Gloria Borger is OUTFRONT.


JEFF ZIENTS, COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR, BIDEN WHITE HOUSE: From day one, it's been about urgency, overwhelm the problem, we're at war with the virus.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): For the last 100 days, how to get vaccines into the arms of hundreds of millions of Americans, and convince the hesitant to get a shot has been an immense historic undertaking, and also personal, for those on the frontlines.

ZIENTS: I'm worried that people have lost loved ones, people continue to lose loved ones. People's lives have been up turned. This is hard, people are tired, which means that there's a tendency to let down our guard, which we can't do. DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I f you had told us, 100 days into

President Biden's tenure, that it would be open season for every adult American that once a vaccine to be able to get one, I think we would have all said that's really incredible.

BORGER: The country with the highest number of confirmed deaths worldwide, now vaccinating at a speed more than four times faster than the world average.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Progress we've made has been stunning.

BORGER: Donald Trump's Operation Warp Speed developed the vaccine.

PAUL MANGO, TRUMP HHS SENIOR OFFICIAL: It turned out to be the most significant medical discovery and manufacturing achievement, in American history.

BORGER: Nothing short of a miracle.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Do you realize what a dire situation we would be in if we did those vaccine trials, oh my God, they were 20 percent effective instead of 90 plus effective?


BORGER: But in the beginning, the transition did not move at warp speed.

TRUMP: You know, we won Georgia --

BORGER: President Trump was preoccupied with finding votes, not shots.

FAUCI: It was much more of a concentration on the president on reelection and a dissociation from the fact that we were having an epidemic.

GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R), MARYLAND: I was somewhat critical.

BORGER: Governors who are left wondering who would be running the show.

HOGAN: I raised the issue to Mike Pence several times about hey, you know, regardless of whatever stuff the president is saying, we got this vaccine saying that we've got to make sure that these guys know what's going on, as soon as they get up. He assured me that was going to be the case.

BORGER: And then --

ZIENTS: There was no plan to get shots into arms.

BORGER: No plan?

ZIENTS: There is no plan, really doses of Moderna and Pfizer are being shipped to states, there is not enough places for people to get vaccinated.

BORGER: They say that we're using their playbook on vaccine distribution.

ZIENTS: I just think that's not true.

MANGO: I have to say it's frustrating when they spend all of their time disparaging what we did.


They say would have a plan --


MANGO: We had 65 plans.

BORGER: Localized, not centralized.

MANGO: We had the fundamental belief that local leaders understood their counties, their townships, their states, their islands had a greater detail that we ever could.

FAUCI: It's complicated. There is not really a well articulated long- range playbook to get the vast majority of people vaccinated. That's where I think the full court press of the Biden administration really, really stepped up to the plane did it well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, Mr. President.

BORGER: The new president inherited a surging pandemic, more than 3,000 deaths a day. Only about 15 million vaccinated.

HOGAN: In the very beginning, the frustration was huge demand no supply. So the anger and frustration everywhere across the country was why can't I get an appointment for a vaccine?

BORGER: Biden became a national vaccine pitchman, setting targets.

ZIENTS: He also ultimately decides.

BORGER: And announcing every milestone himself, eager to show any momentum, starting with what looked like an attainable goal.

BIDEN: A hundred million shots in the first hundred days.

HOGAN: We were already doing more than 1 million a day at that point, so if he did absolutely nothing we would've done 100 million in the first 100 days, even if he didn't show up.

BORGER: But he did show up, repeatedly.

BIDEN: One hundred million more Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply for every American adult by the end of May. By my 100th day in office, I have administered 200 million shots.

BORGER: I heard early on, the president was very impatient.

FAUCI: He is, he is, you know, that's the truth, he's impatient. Like okay, is that the best we can do? He asks specific questions, what about this and why are we doing this? Are we doing the best in that?

BORGER: Biden could not control the delays due to winter storms, governors who eased restrictions. He abided by the decision from the FDA and the CDC, to temporarily pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a move that some saw as overcautious and confusing.

BIDEN: The checks are providing a heck of a lot of needed relief.

BORGER: The president did jump-start a substantial federal response, a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

BIDEN: America's coming back.

BORGER: Deployment of active duty military and FEMA, a federal pharmacy program, a network of community health centers to increase vaccine access and equity.

DR. MARCELLA NUNEZ-SMITH, CHAIR, BIDEN COVID-19 HEALTH EQUITY TASK FORCE: We have to always start with access, making sure that people can get vaccinated in places where they are comfortable, where they trust the people who are vaccinating them.

BORGER: Many in communities of color are skeptical. Vaccinations of younger people, those in rural areas are lagging. With a number of overall daily vaccinations wavering, appealing to the hesitant is crucial.

NUNEZ-SMITH: We always will meet people where they are, we always have to make sure that messages are tailored. So that's about saying, what are your particular concerns.

PROTESTERS: We want to be free!

BORGER: And politics as always, comes into play.

Fifty percent of Republican men say, they are not likely to take the vaccine. What would you say to them?

HOGAN: I would say that's absolutely crazy, because the people who that say hey, we want to get rid of these masks, we want to open up all the businesses. The only way we get life back to normal as if we get enough people to get that vaccine.

BORGER: So why not explain the rewards of vaccinations earlier?

WEN: If what we're saying to them is get vaccinated, it's great, this is such a safe and effective vaccine, but by the way you can't really change much of your daily activities I don't think that people understand what's in it for them.

BORGER: And why not open schools sooner?

WEN: I think this was a major mistake at the very beginning, was to not prioritized teachers for vaccination.

BORGER: The administration's answer has always been the same, let the science lead.

ZIENTS: I used another example where we follow the science, the CDC put out guidance as to how to make sure to open schools safely, keep them open safely.

BORGER: Now a new phase in the effort, an immense get out the vaxx PR campaign. A TV blitz.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With vaccines we can trust --

BORGER: Celebrities getting jabs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vaccine, vaccine!

FAUCI: It really is kind of a race between getting vaccinated and the virus trying to the centrally surge up again. Every day that goes by, you get closer and closer to that virus really not being able to do anything, because when you get an overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, the virus has no place to go.

BORGER: The country is at a tipping point, with coronavirus variants on the rise, the next 100 days and beyond will still be a tough race with the final finish line not yet in sight.



BURNETT: So, Gloria, you know, Biden is expected to make an announcement tomorrow on mask-wearing, right? And, what vaccinated people can do. So, what is he going to say? You have plenty of people out there wearing masks to be polite, and sort of wondering when they can take them off.

BORGER: Right. Look, they have a very difficult right now, because it's a bit of a mixed message, Erin.

Now, on the one hand, they need to incentivize people to get the vaccine, so you have to have a reward if you're vaccinated. If you're vaccinated, maybe you don't wear a mask when you walk outside. Maybe there are other things they will tell us.

On the other hand, they are also saying, don't give up. You must be cautious here, because there are variants out there, and we still need to be very careful. They're trying to, kind, of walk a fine line here.

And it's not a clear message to the American public, but they realize, if they attack hesitancy, they need to say to people, okay. If you are vaccinated, here's what you get for it.

BURNETT: Right, there has to be some payoff for the vaccine hesitant.

BORGER: Exactly. BURNETT: Yeah. All right. Gloria, thank you very much.


BURNETT: And next, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy now defending Trump's response to the Capitol riot. But, what he is saying about his own conversation with Trump doesn't add up.



BORGER: Tonight, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in a stunning display of revisionist history, attempting to defend then-President Trump's response to the Capitol riot.

So, here is McCarthy, finally talking about, this during an interview with Fox's Chris Wallace.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I was the first person to contact him when the riots was going, on he didn't see it. When he ended the call was saying, telling me, he will put something out to make sure to stop this. And that's what he did. He put out a video out later.


BURNETT: Okay, that flat out contradicts what happened. Let's just go through the facts. Trump, and McCarthy, got into an expletive-laced phone call. McCarthy was pleading for help, and trying to convey the severity of the attack, which Trump did indeed know about. Trump then told McCarthy, quote, well, Kevin, I guess his people are more upset about the election than you are.

Now, the people who have given these details about the call are Republicans. Republicans were briefed on the call, by McCarthy. In fact, the quote was confirmed by a Republican congresswoman, Jamie Herrera Beutler, who also said that Trump repeated the falsehoods to McCarthy that it was Antifa storming the Capitol. Obviously, this is not sounding at all like someone intent on stopping the riot, as McCarthy now claims.

And what about the idea that Trump, someone who watched TV news obsessively, and had been tweeting about it before this, didn't see the riot unfold? Even those be carried live, on every single new station. CNN reports, quote, to the dismay of his aides, he delighted in watching the riot, that injured dozens of officers, and sent fears of a coup racing across the capital.

He delighted in watching the riot. But when Trump did finally release a video addressing the rioters, it was two hours after the Capitol building had been breached, and this, of course, was Trump's message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: This was a fraudulent election, but we can't play into the hands of these people. We need to have peace. So, go home, we love you, you're very special.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, John Avlon, CNN senior political analyst.

So, John, McCarthy told a lot of people about what happened on the call, a lot of his Republican friends. Then they told a lot of people, and quotes came out directly from the media. Jamie Herrera Beutler, her notes to our Jamie Gangel, you know, changed the course, and timing, of the impeachment trial itself, of this call.

And yet, now McCarthy comes on, and gives a version of events that is in complete conflict with the reality we know.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. And it's pathetic. He is afraid of offending insurrectionists, tiptoeing around the ex- president like a baby with a hammer. This is the opposite of leadership. And that he is the leader of the Republican Party in Congress, and he has rewriting history from a position of weakness, and it's a dereliction of duty when his own institution was attacked.

BURNETT: So, McCarthy, obviously has been silent about this call. But, has never contradicted all of the reporting, and the quotes, from his own colleagues on it. Until now.

But what he did with Chris Wallace is consistent with what he's done since the election. He has worked hard to keep Trump on his side. He told "The New York Times" that upsetting Trump could be politically disastrous for Republicans saying, quote, he could change the course of history. This is the tightest tightrope anyone has to walk. He, of course, has walked it, right?

AVLON: Yeah.

BURNETT: Going to Mar-a-Lago, and kissing the ring. So -- but he's been quite clear here about the bargain he is making.

AVLON: Yeah, and it's not a typical political calculus. Don't believe the hype here. You do see political leaders saying, you need both wings to fly. But those are -- not about truth versus lies.

You cannot play footsie with fanatics. That is what he is doing. He is buying into the big lie, and you can see its impact on the polling, that shows a majority of Republicans believe the big lie.

This is about something bigger. This is about our democracy itself. If he can't find the spine, and the stones, to defend that, that's disqualifying?

BURNETT: So, a longtime senior aide and speechwriter to George w. Bush, Peter Wehner, wrote in "The Atlantic". I quote him: Right now, the Republican Party is a grave threat to American democracy. Not the only one, but a grave one. And unless and until a Republicans summon the wit and the will to salvage the party, ruin will follow.

AVLON: Yeah.

BURNETT: Do you see in a thing for Republicans to put it all out there? To exercise Trumpism?

AVLON: We shouldn't give up hope. There are some people who have got courage. Kinzinger, Cheney, and others. They are a small minority right now. But democracy depends on having a healthy, sane, conservative party. So, all Americans should hope that they succeed in pushing back against lies with the truth.

BURNETT: Right, in a two-party system, you need both parties to be viable, or else you end up with one agenda, and most people don't want one agenda.


BURNETT: So, all right. So, thank you very much, John, I appreciate it.

AVLON: Thanks, sure.

BURNETT: And thanks to all of you for joining us.

"AC360" with Anderson starts now.