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Erin Burnett Outfront
Giuliani Denies Wrongdoing After FBI Raids His Home, Office; His Assistant Subpoenaed to Appear Before Grand Jury; Giuliani Breaks His Silence on FBI Raid; Biden Touts "Biggest Jobs Plan in This Country Since WWII"; Reports: DOJ Moving Forward with Plans to Charge Chauvin. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired April 29, 2021 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Rudy Giuliani speaks out. What he's saying about the stunning raid on his home and office, will he turn on his old boss, Donald Trump? His son, Andrew, is my guest.
Plus, the images are shocking, bodies burned day and night. Makeshift crematoriums as the pandemic devastates India. Tonight, CNN is on the ground as the United States is scrambling to provide any help.
And the new witness speaks out to CNN about what she saw before deputy shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, her account is ahead. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, preparing for battle. Federal authorities now bracing for Trump's ally and personal attorney to fight them in court over the electronic devices seized from his home and office. Tonight, Giuliani is speaking for the first time about the extraordinary raid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: Truth will win out. These bullies can't get me down. Just can't happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And in another sign that this investigation into Giuliani is growing, Giuliani's assistant has now been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury. Also, tonight, Trump's former fixer, Michael Cohen, who you may recall in the last extraordinary rate of this sort saw his home and office raided by the FBI, tells CNN that he believes Rudy Giuliani will turn on Trump and that privately Trump is worried.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICHAEL COHEN, FMR. PERSONAL ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: Donald Trump
cares about only one person and I say it all the time, he cares about only himself. So, he doesn't care that they raided Rudy's home. He doesn't care that they raided Rudy's law office. What is it going to do to affect me is all that he's thinking right now? What did stupid Rudy do? What did his stupid Rudy write? What sort of text messages or emails? What sort of stupid things was Rudy up to that's now going to implicate me?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: As for the former president, he is taking care to stay on Giuliani's good side today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rudy Giuliani is a great patriot. He does these things - he just loves this country, and they raid his apartment, it's like so unfair and such a double - it's like a double standard, like I don't think anybody's ever seen before. It's very, very unfair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. In just a moment, I'm going to speak to Rudy Giuliani's son, Andrew, about all of these developments. First, though, I want to make sure that you all have the latest on the investigation.
So, Evan Perez has been reporting on this OUTFRONT live in Washington. So Evan, Giuliani is speaking out tonight as I know you've been hearing federal officials are preparing for a court fight. Tell me what you're learning.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're anticipating that Giuliani and Giuliani's team and perhaps even the Trump team will go to court to try to fight them on what exactly they get to see from these documents that - from these devices that were seized in this raid, Erin. This is standard operating procedure for the Justice Department. They set up a separate team to go through it to make sure that they protect any attorney-client privilege material that doesn't belong with this investigation.
And at this point, we talked about this last night, this is an investigation about foreign lobbying. And at the center of it, of course, is this effort by Giuliani working with some Ukrainians to try to get dirt on the Biden family. And part of that effort also coincided with an effort to get rid of the ambassador there in Kiev, Marie Yovanovitch.
So this is an investigation that is probably still months long to go before they make a decision on whether there's charges. But you can bet that between now and then, there will be more fighting perhaps from Giuliani and from the Trump team on what they get to see.
BURNETT: Right. I'm sure, because anything criminal related to the warrant or not would go to prosecutor, so it'd be a battle on every step of the way.
So Evan, President Biden today addressed questions about whether he knew anything about the raid in advance. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I learned about that last night when the rest of the world learned about it, my word. I had no idea this was underway. It's not the role of a president to say who should be prosecuted, when they should be prosecuted, who should be not prosecuted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Evan, is there any reason to doubt what President Biden is saying?
PEREZ: Well, I think one thing that we know is White House officials were not thrilled that this raid happened on the day that the President is delivering his big speech. It was a day that was going to be centered on his agenda. And instead of that, we spent hours on this and other programs talking about Giuliani and the Trump administration.
So that's one way we know that this was not coordinated. We have no reason to believe that this was coordinated with the Biden White House.
BURNETT: All right. Evan, thank you very much. As I said, Evan has been breaking all of this. And thank you so much, Evan.
And as promised now, I want to go to Andrew Giuliani now, Rudy Giuliani's son. And Andrew, I appreciate your taking the time. So let me just start here, obviously, federal investigation into your father, it's obviously serious. It escalated into execution of a warrant, which was an extraordinary thing and a rare thing.
You heard Evan say that it could take months for them to make a charging decision. How concerned are you that your father could be charged?
ANDREW GIULIANI, RUDY GIULIANI'S SON: I'm not concerned at all, because I think this is the continued politicization of Justice Department. I will even say the corruption of the Justice Department.
The fact that there's privileged material from a former President of the United States and his lawyer there and they now have access on it is very scary. And I think any American, whether you're red or blue, if you believe in the red, white and blue, you should be really, really scared and afraid what's going on here.
BURNETT: The thing is, of course, to get the warrant that they got, as you know, Andrew, takes a lot. You have to have ...
A GIULIANI: Who's signed the warrant, Erin? I just want to know who signed the warrant.
BURNETT: The Justice Department and a federal judge.
A GIULIANI: The judge. The judge. Who appointed the judge?
BURNETT: So, you think the judge is corrupt ...
A GIULIANI: President Barack Obama.
BURNETT: ... because of who appointed them?
A GIULIANI: What I will say is there has been a tradition, I would say, tradition. Since Eric Holder became the Attorney General, we have seen the Justice Department continually get politicized. And what I've seen now is we have an Obama-appointed judge who has signed this warrant where no other judge would sign this warrant.
I think you're going to see tonight exactly how absurd this one.
BURNETT: You have proof that no other judge would sign the warrant?
A GIULIANI: I don't have any proof, but do you have proof that any other judge would sign the warrant?
BURNETT: Well, I do have a faith in our system, and I trust the Trump judges who turn ...
A GIULIANI: Why would this judge ...
BURNETT: ... the Trump judges who turned down effort after effort by your father and the president to overturn election results in states across this country, many of those were Trump-appointed judges.
A GIULIANI: I read over two 200 affidavits, that's all I will say about that. But the truth is, I am shocked now that the FBI would do this when my father and Bob Costello, his lawyer, were actually cooperating with them. Why would they do this at a time when John Kerry, when there were questions going on about him right there? Why would they do that?
BURNETT: So let me ask you, though, because this is important.
A GIULIANI: Yes.
BURNETT: They go through this information that they have. And I understand you're going to fight them every step of the way, but just so people understand the warrant is about a specific thing, registering as a foreign lobbyist.
A GIULIANI: Yes.
BURNETT: However, anything that they find that could possibly be criminal in their search of these electronic communications, there is no crime that is protected by attorney-client privilege. So, a crime would go to prosecutor, so this is opening Pandora's box, right? A GIULIANI: I mean, basically, I think what you're trying to allude to
is are there any crimes that my father may have committed (inaudible) ...
BURNETT: Yes. I mean, are you worried about that? You may not even know, I'm not presuming you know everything your father did or didn't do, but you got to be worried.
A GIULIANI: When I think of Rudy Giuliani, I think one of the greatest New Yorkers in history of our country, in the history of our state and our city. I mean, this is the greatest mayor in the history of New York. The reason why New York is somewhat safe right now is because of Rudy Giuliani's policies. And by the way, he's also the greatest U.S. Attorney in the history of the Southern District.
So, if you're asking me if Rudy Giuliani is a man of integrity, I say yes.
BURNETT: So, let me ask you about that U.S. office, attorney's office that you mentioned.
A GIULIANI: Sure.
BURNETT: That very office that he led is now investigating him. OK. So those are people who work for him that they're investigating. They have found grounds to investigate. What is his reaction been to that?
A GIULIANI: I think it's the same thing that I said right at the top of the show, which is this is the continued corruption of the Justice Department. I believe the Justice Department should be independent of politics. When the Justice Department treats people, who are related in any capacity, Donald Trump, different than they're related to a President Obama or a President Biden, we see major issues right there.
All of the cases that have come from the Justice Department recently have been on Republicans. What about James Clapper? What about John Brennan? I know they come on your station a lot. Why were not their lies to Congress, why didn't the Justice Department look into them? Why did they (inaudible) ...
BURNETT: So, let me tell you, I will just make one point here, Andrew, that I think it's important. The Hunter Biden investigation is ongoing. It's being led by an attorney appointed by President Trump.
A GIULIANI: I didn't mention Hunter.
BURNETT: I know but I'm just saying.
A GIULIANI: Yes, I didn't mention Hunter Biden.
BURNETT: You said only Republicans and so I'm just making the point that the current President's son is being investigated and nobody's tried to stop it and being investigated by someone appointed by your father. I just think it's an important point to make when you try to say it's only Republicans. A GIULIANI: No. So, it's a good point and actually, I think it
actually is great in terms of what I want to talk about. So, the FBI did come into my father's house yesterday morning and they wanted devices.
They took two phones. They took an iPad. They did not take a laptop and that laptop was Hunter Biden's former laptop. Why would they not take that when ultimately, they knew if there is an investigation going on, does that not tell you that the Justice Department was completely corrupted?
BURNETT: No. No.
A GIULIANI: OK.
BURNETT: And I will say it's an active investigation. I don't think they can compare ...
A GIULIANI: It is active, so why (inaudible) ...
BURNETT: ... the timeline of one investigation to another, that's a completely false premise.
A GIULIANI: So, if that's the case, then why would you want material that would help that investigation?
BURNETT: So again, it's an ongoing investigation.
A GIULIANI: You just ignore?
BURNETT: I don't know what they're going to do or not do.
A GIULIANI: You would ignore ...
BURNETT: No, I'm simply saying ...
A GIULIANI: ... the material?
BURNETT: ... it's an active investigation ...
A GIULIANI: If it's ongoing, would you ignore it?
BURNETT: ... being led by an attorney ...
A GIULIANI: I understand.
BURNETT: ... appointed by President Trump into the current president's son.
A GIULIANI: I get it. It's (inaudible) ...
BURNETT: And he hasn't done anything to stop it. But to your point about politically ...
A GIULIANI: You're right, Erin. It's active.
BURNETT: ... yes, it is active.
A GIULIANI: It's active, but if it is active and there's information that could help solve the investigation ...
BURNETT: Then I would assume that they're going to get that information.
A GIULIANI: Why won't you get that information?
BURNETT: There's nothing to say that they wouldn't.
A GIULIANI: It's there.
BURNETT: Let me ask you something.
A GIULIANI: It's right there. Why won't you get it?
BURNETT: Let me ask you something important ...
A GIULIANI: OK, please.
BURNETT: ... about your claims of political motivation.
A GIULIANI: Yes.
BURNETT: President Biden was asked today, I played part of this, but he was asked about it today whether he had any heads up the raid.
A GIULIANI: And he gave his word.
BURNETT: OK. Let me just play more of what he said for you, Andrew.
A GIULIANI: He gave his word. OK.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I gave him my word, I was not. I made a pledge. I would not interfere in any way order or try to stop any investigation the Justice Department had underway. I learned about that last night when the rest of the world learned about it. My Word. I had no idea this was underway.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Do you have any reason to not take him at his word, Andrew?
A GIULIANI: The same guy who plagiarized, basically, his speech in 1988? Yes, I do. I don't trust his word.
BURNETT: OK. Again ...
A GIULIANI: (Inaudible) ...
BURNETT: ... I'll just make the point again that his son is under investigation. He's done nothing to stop it.
A GIULIANI: So you don't think he has the motive to actually intervene in that investigation if his son is under investigation?
BURNETT: He may but he hasn't done it and it would be the wrong thing to do.
A GIULIANI: The motive is there.
BURNETT: And he's not going to do it.
A GIULIANI: Now, I know ...
BURNETT: He didn't even try to change the attorney. Again, this conversation is about your father. They're two separate things, I brought up the point for a very specific reason.
A GIULIANI: But you brought up Joe Biden. But you brought up Joe Biden.
BURNETT: I did. I brought it up very specifically ...
A GIULIANI: (Inaudible) I want to go (inaudible) if you want to talk about it.
BURNETT: ... to talk about politicization.
A GIULIANI: Yes. No. And I think it has been politicized. So do I trust the Joe Biden gave a seven-second media clip and that his word is good on it? No, I don't. And I look at the history of his word and I look at how he's lied. I didn't trust also that he didn't know what Hunter Biden was doing in other parts of the world when he was vice president. That's my opinion on it. I think a lot of Americans feel the same way that I do.
BURNETT: So let me ask you about the situation your father is in from something Michael Cohen said. He obviously was Trump's personal attorney before your father.
A GIULIANI: I know the guy. I trust him very well.
BURNETT: He served time for things that he did while working for the former president when he was at the Trump Org. And Michael Cohen predicts that your father would flip on Trump. Let me just play it for you.
A GIULIANI: OK.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: I think Rudy knows that he has trouble. I think Donald understands that Rudy will provide whatever information that he has to the SDN-wide, because Rudy has no interest in going to prison and spending the golden years of his life behind bars that I'm certain of.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: So would your father turn on Trump to protect himself if
that's what it takes?
A GIULIANI: I can't believe I'm answering something from Michael Cohen. I mean, no. I mean, he has - there is I don't really know how to respond to this because it's theoretical. My father represented the president in good faith and I don't - this is all theoretical. If there was something that illegal that happened, there's nothing illegal that happened so (inaudible) ...
BURNETT: Well, even on registering as a foreign lobbyists, just to make the point, I've made the point that anything else they find they could bring. But on that alone what the warrant was for, you could have at least - you could have up to five years in prison. I mean, that's five years in prison for that charge that they have a warrant for alone. So I mean that's a legitimate question.
If your dad is looking - if they're able to charge and they haven't, investigation is to the point where they charge, five years in prison or tell me a few more details here about the former president?
A GIULIANI: Well, what I would say is I do wonder if Hunter Biden's going to be charged with the four allegations that are out there against him. So in terms of that, that's where I wonder. I'm very confident my dad did everything, everything that he did on the up and up, so that's where I'll leave it there. I trust him. I trust his relationship with the President and I know he's a man of integrity when it comes to his representation of the 45th President of the United States.
BURNETT: So Andrew, let me ask you about one other point because your father obviously has talked about his activities in Ukraine, which are at the center of this entire investigation. And he's talked about whether Trump would turn on him to protect himself, so here's what your dad said in 2019.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
R GIULIANI: I've seen things written like he's going to throw me under the bus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
R GIULIANI: When they say that, I say he isn't, but I have insurance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, I know, Andrew, he later claimed about that specific comment that he was being sarcastic. But we looked it up and he has talked about having insurance other times. We found at least two. So was this more than a joke? I mean, it almost sounded like one of those things where I could say I was joking, but I was sending a message. What did he mean by it? A GIULIANI: I think he has state farm (ph), but I'm not sure. I think
that's what he meant. I don't know what he was actually saying at that point in terms of, but I know he is a sarcastic guy. I know, you've interviewed him before and I know you can attest to that. I'm sure that was a joke in some capacity and some of his jokes land and like other people's, some of his jokes don't.
BURNETT: So there's been a lot of speculation, Andrew, about your future, and what your plans are politically. So what will you say? I mean, are you now planning to take on Cuomo to run for Governor of New York?
A GIULIANI: Well, I'm certainly considering it. I'm very disturbed what's happened to our great state. New York is one of two states that's actually going to lose population over the last 10 years along with Illinois. And I was down in Florida, Erin, helping the former president get settled in down there and I have to tell you that intangible feeling we used to feel in New York existed in Florida.
I really, really miss that in New York and I think what we need is we need a reason, incentive to bring New Yorkers back. So what I would say is I'm closer to yes than ever. I'm making a decision in the next couple of weeks.
BURNETT: Quickly before you go. You mentioned meeting with President Trump. I know you were just down there last weekend, obviously, before this raid on your father. Did you talk about the Governor? Did he talk about an endorsement?
A GIULIANI: We talked about a whole array of things and I always like to keep those conversations private. But we did talk about the governor's race. We talked about a lot of different House and Senate races coming up in 2022 and we talked about a whole bunch of things. He's been an advisor and a friend to me for over 25 years. So I've gotten questions on other networks about whether I would run away from President Trump and would that be politically the right thing to do.
Well, the first thing that I would say is I'm a genuine person. I'm proud of the four years that I worked with President Trump in the White House. And I always admire, I always love our relationship, we'll put it that way.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Andrew. I appreciate your time.
A GIULIANI: Erin, thank you very much for the time.
BURNETT: All right. Andrew Giuliani there. And I want to go now to Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York which, of course, is leading this investigation into Rudy Giuliani.
So Preet, you heard Andrew Giuliani trying to say that the judicial system is corrupt, the Southern District is corrupt and tried to say but look at Hunter Biden, why is that all so wrong?
PREET BHARARA, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: As an initial matter, I don't begrudge Andrew Giuliani's love for his father.
BHARARA: His support for his father. He's wanting to defend his father. That's what people do. I would hope that my children would defend me if I came under hard times, so you have to take that with a little bit of grain of salt.
Rudy Giuliani knows, better than anyone, like I did because I had the same job as he did in Southern District for a number of years. When people are targets and people are subjects and people are defendants, the people around them will accuse you of things and be very angry with you.
I sat in the back of a courtroom once during the trial of an elected official in New York and the spouse of that elected official actually walked out of the courtroom said audibly to a lot of people in the room, I hope you burn in hell. So that's the kind of rhetoric you can expect from people who are close to folks who are in jeopardy.
Putting that aside, putting the identity of the messenger aside, you have to think about the message. Multiple times, when you ask questions about his father, specifically, he began to talk about Hunter Biden where he began to talk about lots of other things and they're not that relevant.
The other thing that he sort of alluded to here and he made a comment about earlier that I think he wanted to strike fear in the hearts of red blooded Americans was that if this can happen to the lawyer of the former President of the United States, it can happen to anybody as if that's alarming.
That, to me, is a clarion call of what makes our democracy great. No one is above the law. And just because you were the former lawyer to the former president, if you commit acts that fall within the prohibition of the law, you can be held accountable because no one is above the law.
So I took the reverse message from his statement.
BURNETT: So Michael Cohen, obviously, is making this claim that Giuliani would turn on President Trump. And I made the point to Andrew Giuliani that whatever else they may or may not find, if they do find enough to charge him on this lobbying registration alone, that prison term could be up to five years for Rudy Giuliani. So Rudy Giuliani is looking at five years or maybe some more information about his friend and former boss. Do you think Michael Cohen is right that Rudy Giuliani would sell out Donald Trump?
BHARARA: I don't know if that's a question of psychology about a person who seems to have changed a lot since the years that he was the United States Attorney. People keep talking about this invasive search of a lawyer's home. Originally, I was a U.S. Attorney for a number of years. I guarantee
you that he oversaw the searches under proper circumstances of lawyer's offices, it depends on a lot of things, whether or not he will tell the whole truth about everything that the Southern District will want to know about if and when, we're getting ahead of ourselves, if and when he is ever charged, though he may not be.
BHARARA: And it depends on what his calculation is and what his level of loyalty is. But that's a hard thing to predict about particular individuals.
BURNETT: So Preet, what do you think all this means for Donald Trump?
BHARARA: For Donald Trump, I mean, look, the first step is what does it mean for Rudy Giuliani and because it means something so significant for Donald Trump if, as you say, the speculation is that he would flip and there's a charge against Donald Trump. That's a couple of bank shots away.
BURNETT: Yes. Interesting.
BHARARA: I think the important immediate question is what does it mean for Rudy Giuliani. There are people whose premises and offices get searched and they are never charged and that happens. That's why you do the search to see if the investigation leads you somewhere.
I will say, though, that the combination of circumstances here that includes the delicate nature of the investigation, the status of Rudy Giuliani as a former U.S. Attorney, as an attorney generally and as a close associate and defender of the former President of the United States to take a move like this, that they wanted to do for a long time, according to reports, suggested that they're fairly far along in an investigation, and probably believe there's a decent likelihood of bringing the charge.
That's speculation on my part, but it's somewhat informed speculation. You want to be really careful when you bring a case like this. And then also to the extent that people have been criticizing, it's very easy right now, for Andrew Giuliani and others to say this is politics, this is nonsense and there's nothing there. Because he hasn't read the affidavit. I haven't read the affidavit. You haven't read the affidavit in support of the search warrant application.
So people can talk trash now, if they want and we'll see. The good news for Rudy Giuliani is we have a justice system in which all this can be debated and rebutted and defended in court and so we'll see.
BURNETT: Right. The very justice system that they're calling corrupt is what will give them the certainty and the facts, of course. Thanks very much, Preet.
BHARARA: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, bodies are burning, thousands are dying every day, thousands upon thousands. We're going to take you to India where coronavirus is taking the punishing and terrible toll.
Plus, President Biden is in Georgia tonight selling his massive economic plan. This as science are pointing to a major economic boom post-COVID. Are we about to hit the roaring 20s and forget about the decade after that?
And federal authorities are reportedly planning to charge former officer Derek Chauvin and a three other former officers involved in George Floyd's death with federal civil rights violations.
BURNETT: Hundreds of bodies burning in crematoriums, hospitals on the verge of collapse, the daily death toll from COVID in India is nothing short of staggering. And now the first flights carrying U.S. emergency supplies to India are on the way, cases soaring deaths too, and the variant that has taken hold there is now spreading beyond India's borders. All of this forcing people to deal with death at every turn.
Our own Sam Kiley has an exclusive report from a makeshift outdoor crematorium in New Delhi. I want to warn you that what you're about to see is disturbing and graphic.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, I'm joining you from the Seemapuri Crematorium. And I have to say it's been a long and miserable day. In this area alone right now burning or nearly burnt out are the pyres of nearly 50 people. They've dealt with 150 bodies here. The latest figures show that in this town of New Delhi, about 600 are being burned every day, but we suspect that that may be a significant underestimate, because in this location, the dead have to join a queue.
I'm standing next to the body, the most recently arrived body, recently deceased of COVID. People looking after the deceased have to take a ticket like you would in the offices of a bank or to see a doctor in the west. This ticket means that the dead join a queue before they can end up on a pyre and see their last rite.
In very few cases, Erin, that we've been able to talk to any family members, because they're reluctant to come here, they may be suffering from COVID or they're not allowed in. Now as a consequence, they're being burned by workers here, by people who are being paid by the body effectively and they're very reluctant beneficiaries, obviously, of this pandemic, which is now ripping across some of the most populated states.
But at the same time, Erin, we're seeing a collapse of the vaccination campaign. In Maharashtra State the one of the most populous, they were planning to vaccinate some 800,000 people a day. They've had to downgrade that to some 200,000 people a day and close the number of the vaccination clinics because the country is not producing domestically enough vaccine for local use, but they are or have been until recently exporting it internationally. And I spoke to the man who lit that pyre there for a friend of his
whose family was not able to attend and he said that he blamed the government squarely of Narendra Modi, the BJP ultranationalist Hindu party for allowing what is we've seen now over the last couple of months mass gatherings of Hindu, particularly at the Kumbh Mela celebrations on the banks of the Ganges many millions there, many 10s of thousands also attending political rallies particularly for the BJP all or rather none of them socially isolating.
So the estimates here is that it's very unlikely that the official figures are anything close either to the numbers of people known to be infected or indeed to those who die. What we do know is that the intensities of these fires, just like the fire of the pandemic is still going to rip on through India, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Sam, thank you so much. As I said, that's disturbing.
When you think about all these people dying and as Sam sitting there talking that people are reduced to putting the bodies on mass pyres and he's standing amidst the smoke of dead people, it is -- it is horrific.
All right. We're going to take a break.
When we come back, Joe Biden today trying to turn the conversation to the economy and his massive economic plan. How does it compare to other presidents? Are these FDR comparisons fair or not?
Doris Kearns Goodwin, of course, you all know her, she's next.
And protestors again taking to the streets as a new witness to Andrew Brown Jr.'s death comes forward and speaks to our Jason Carroll.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He started backing up and they started shooting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, President Biden selling his economic plan to a crowd in Georgia, touting the historic nature of his $6 trillion domestic agenda.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a once in a generation investment in America. It's the biggest jobs plan in this country since World War II.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This as new numbers today show the economy is booming, growing by 6.4 percent in the first three months of this year. [19:35:04]
For the largest economy in the world to be going at 6.4 percent, that is -- that is a stunning number. It's like double what you could do in a good ordinary year.
Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT in Duluth, Georgia.
And, Kaitlan, Biden signed the COVID bill in March, right? The first bill that would send checks out. The first quarter of economic growth is already baked in before that passed, before any of those checks went out the door. So, this incredible growth that we are talking about was already in the can.
But Biden is using this momentum to make his case for more spending.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, and I think it's going to raise some questions as we are seeing this debate is going to play out for quite some time on Capitol Hill, what the size and scope of this needs to be and if lawmakers agree with President Biden what he laid out last night.
We've already obviously heard Republican opposition. That's not surprising to us or to the White House. But you are hearing from people like Senator Joe Manchin also saying they have questions about just how big President Biden is trying to go.
But he is reasoning that, not in Washington but on the road today here in Georgia for his first stop. He's going to Pennsylvania tomorrow. He's got several more stops planned for next week as a top aides, because what they are focusing on is selling it as, I heard you talking about a transformational moment.
Yes, they view it that way, but also I think President Biden sees an opening here, given the pandemic, given the economic disaster that followed that. He sees that there is a spot here where he could actually succeed with getting a plan like this through with what he envisioned. That question of whether that actually happens still remains to be seen.
How do American voters feel about this? We know. We saw the polling on the coronavirus relief bill. But that coronavirus relief bill paired with the infrastructure bill and paired with this American Families Plan is about $6 trillion in spending. That's a whole lot of spending.
So, I think that is going to be a massive question facing them, but the way President Biden was trying to steal it here tonight and we are hearing from officials insist plan going forward is to look back at the past year and not only making sure that you give back to where they were before that, and really changing the government's role in education, in childcare and in pay family leave. Of course, how that actually ends up is so far from certain.
BURNETT: Yeah. All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much as always. And, Kaitlan, as I said, in Duluth, Georgia, where the president was speaking. I want to bring in Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns
So, Doris, you know, a lot of people have been surprised about how bold Biden's agenda, right? $ 6 trillion is 30 percent of our entire economy, right? This is not small change. This is -- this is massive and it is transformational.
"The Wall Street Journal's" Gerald Baker wrote something I thought was really interesting. He said Americans found that Trump presidency weary in his word. He said they voted for Biden because he was, quote, returning to normality. That is why they voted for him. Not because they wanted a transformational presidential level of FDR.
So, Doris, which change for Joe Biden once he won? Once he got in office?
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I think what changed for him is the pandemic and the economic fallout and the fact that he was facing a crisis that changed the country. It changed our view of leadership and it changed Biden himself.
You know, I think the reason why FDR gets talked about a lot is it's really the last time that the country felt this enormous fear and anxiety that we have lived with for the last year, and hungered for leadership. And when he provided that leadership, he said the government headline said, the government still lives, you know, we have a leader.
And it was a sense of responsibility on the government's part to the people that lasted until another transformational leader came along, Ronald Reagan, in 1981. Another joint session of Congress, his first speech, and he said government is the problem, not the solution. And a generation of conservatives followed, massive tax cuts, reduced federal spending.
Now Biden is coming back. It's the kaleidoscope turns again to say it's time for government to not have the trickle down theory, but instead to be responsible for the social being of the country.
BURNETT: Right, it sounds like the pendulum swings one way, and then it swings the other.
Now, when you consider the scope of what President Biden wants to do, right? $6 trillion and counting, to transform the economy, again, people do throw away -- or throw around these comparisons to FDR. And I understand they make sense.
But when you look at it across all of American history, how does Biden stack up with past presidents?
GOODWIN: Well, in terms of the scope of the proposals, probably it's only the New Deal and the Great Society under Lyndon Johnson. But in terms whether that scope gets realized in terms of accomplishments, that's what the next 100 days is going to determine. The permanent changes that happened from the New Deal, Social
Security, minimum wage, the TBA, infrastructure. Permanent changes from the Great Society: Medicare, Medicaid, voting rights, civil rights, immigration reform.
Whether those landmark bills will become law is what we will see in the next 100 days. So, it measures in terms of ambition. The question is whether it will measure in terms of accomplishment.
BURNETT: So during his address to Congress, Biden laid out what he thinks is the key challenge of our century. And it boils down to this, whether democracy can compete and win against an efficient autocracy like China. Here's how he put it, Doris.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Autocrats think that democracy can't compete in the 21st century with autocracies. It takes too long to get consensus.
They look at the image of the mob that assaulted the Capitol as proof that the sun is setting on American democracy. But they're wrong. You know it. I know it. But we have to prove them wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Of course, Doris, there is somewhat of an irony in that, because he said he will pass this transformational agenda without a single Republican if that's what it takes, OK? So, you know, he's saying this crucial democracy point as that's happening.
I bring that context in, because this is what I wonder about. How much weaker do you think our democracy is now than at other uncertain and perilous times in American history?
GOODWIN: You know, the interesting thing is, that in 1942, in February, when the war was at a really low ebb, FDR gave a speech that's reminiscent of what Biden just talked about. We had lost in Pearl Harbor. We'd be losing battles in the Pacific. And Western Europe had been conquered by Hitler.
And that they were saying in the world that democracy cannot compete with Berlin, with Rome, with what's going on in dictatorships because they can't produce at the level, they can't get the people to unite and work and fight. And Roosevelt said tell that to the marines, tell that to the sailors, tell that to our production people. And what happened is, within a year, American democracy was able to produce a plane every four minutes, a tank every seven minutes, a ship every single day, and then to use those supplies for the entire world.
And our soul of democracy, Biden said, could become an arsenal of the vaccines. That would be a great ending for all this.
BURNETT: Yeah. All right. Thank you very much, Doris.
GOODWIN: Thank you for having me.
BURNETT: And next, Joe Biden responding to Senator Tim Scott's remarks about racism in America.
And new details tonight on the arrest warrant the deputies were trying to serve Andrew Brown, Jr., when he was shot and killed.
BURNETT: Tonight, Joe Biden says the American people are not racist. This was in response to a question about Republican Senator Tim Scott's address last night to the nation. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INTERVIEWER: He said among other things, America isn't racist. Is it?
BIDEN: No, I don't think the American people are racist. I think after 400 years, African Americans have been left in the position where they are so far behind the eight ball in terms of education, health, in terms of opportunity. I think the overhang from all of the Jim Crow and before that slavery have had a cost and we have to deal with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So this comes as local media reports say the Justice Department is moving forward with plans to charge Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers with federal civil rights violations in connection with George Floyd's death.
Omar Jimenez is OUTFRONT.
So, Omar, tell me what this all means.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin.
So to start, the Justice Department plans to ask a grand jury to indict Derek Chauvin on federal charges of civil rights violations, along with the three other former Minneapolis police officers tied to George Floyd's death. That's according to local reporting, "The Star Tribune", citing a source in KSTP TV, citing sources.
And "The Tribune" also says that prosecutors intend to include a violent 2017 arrest by Chauvin of a 14-year-old, where he -- where Chauvin and a partner officer responded to a domestic assault call, and there seemed to be a struggle. Chauvin struck this 14-year-old multiple times with his flashlight, and then put his knee on this teenager's neck until he eventually went unconscious. And that's according to documents filed by state prosecutors.
Now, that teenager eventually had to be taken to the hospital in 2017. But according to those same documents, the teenager said throughout the struggle, "I can't breathe" while that knee was on the neck and the mother was yelling officers to get off of him. Now, that case was one that state prosecutors wanted to include in the Derek Chauvin trial that just wrapped but the judge denied that admission.
On the federal side of things, we did have some idea that this could happen because we knew the Department of Justice was investigating George Floyd's death. The chief medical examiner that testified during the Chauvin trial testified that he had also testified in front of a federal grand jury already, along with being interviewed by the U.S. attorney's office, and if this federal case moves forward as it appears to be, we could be heading toward another trial.
I should note, though, the Justice Department has not officially commented on this. We did reach out to all four attorneys representing the relevant officers tied to George Floyd's death. None of them got back except for one, the attorney representing J. Alexander Keung, but just to say he's not going to comment -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Omar, thank you very much.
And next, we're hearing from a new witness to Andrew Brown, Jr.'s shooting death. What does she say happened? And a new look at CNN's new original series, "THE STORY OF LATE NIGHT."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Late night, you can have as much fun as you want, because children aren't watching.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So we have some new details about what led to the deadly shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. in North Carolina. We've just learned that deputies were serving brown an arrest warrant for possession of three grams of cocaine when he was shot and killed. This comes as one of Brown's relatives who witnessed the shooting is now disputing the D.A.'s account of what happened. Her account is new information.
Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT with it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They pulled him out and started chest compressions.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She does not want us to identify her, only to say that she is one of Andrew Brown Jr.'s relatives and lives on the same block. She says she saw the shooting unfold and has a very different account of what happened compared to what prosecutors are saying about the shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not what I saw. It's not what I believe.
CARROLL: She took these pictures after the shooting showing the sheriff's truck parked in Brown's driveway, the same truck that appears to be on this surveillance footage obtained by CNN as it sped by moments before the shooting. She says she watched in disbelief from her window after seeing sheriff's deputies in front of Brown's home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once they jumped out the back of the truck, he started backing up and they started shooting the front windshield of his car. Then he took off to go across the yard and they started shooting the back window of his car.
CARROLL: During a court proceeding Wednesday, the Pasquotank County district attorney says law enforcement opened fire only after Brown's car came in contact with them.
ANDREW WOMBLE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, PASQUOTANK COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA: The next movement of the car is forward. It is in the direction of law enforcement and makes contact with law enforcement. It is then and only then that you hear shots.
CARROLL: But she disputes the D.A.'s claim.
Did you see his car come in contact?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. No, I did not. He started backing up --
CARROLL: No, let me stop you there. When he was backing up, could you see if he was backing up toward any officers?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, he was not. There were none behind him.
CARROLL: She also took photos of Brown's car after the shooting. This one appears to show at least one bullet hole in the front windshield. She took us to brown's driveway where candles are now arranged spelling his nickname, Drew.
She still remembers the last time she heard from Brown, a text she received from him last Wednesday at 8:20 a.m., about three minutes before the shooting. It reads simply, O, Brown's way of saying hello.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Extremely heartbreaking, to have to watch and go through knowing he's one person that you can't bring back.
BURNETT: So, Jason, amazing that you had the chance to sort of talk about it with her. I know obviously she didn't want to show her face. I know that has this is happening, there's been a change in the status of some of the officers involved in the case. You're there. What can you tell me?
CARROLL: Yeah, that's true. According to the county sheriff, four of the officers that responded that day, according to what the sheriff is saying, those four officers did not actually fire their weapons. So those four officers that were on administrative leave are actually now back on active duty.
The three officers who did fire their weapons, those three officers still remain out on administrative leave -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jason, with that new reporting.
And OUTFRONT next, a look tonight at our new original series, this one is great and it's called "THE STORY OF THE LATE NIGHT."
BURNETT: For the past six decades, late night television has grown from a shot in the dark experiment to a thriving, cultural phenomenon, part of the heart of this country's pop culture.
Now the new CNN original series, "THE STORY OF LATE NIGHT" examines how late night TV not only keeps us laughing but actually shapes how we see the serious world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Late night you can have as much fun as you want because children aren't watching.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There really was a sense that, wow, you'd never see that from 8:00 to 11:00.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First is what we call the push technique. It's very gentle. There's no whack right in the face. It's just a nice, easy push.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look at Steve Allen's whole career. It was a certain subversive sensibility. It was the idea of doing things that in some sense didn't really belong on television.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's one more technique --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's the sneaky Johnny Wilson technique.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you go --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. Be sure to tune in, "THE STORY OF LATE NIGHT" premieres Sunday at 9:00.
Thanks for joining us.
It's time for Anderson.