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Erin Burnett Outfront

Rep. Cheney On Eve Of Vote To Remove Her From Leadership Position: I Will Have Something To Say "In A Little Bit"; Protesters On Streets As Brown Family Sees More Shooting Video; Andrew Brown's Family Sees About 19 Minutes of Video of Deputy-Involved Shooting; AZ Governor Signs Bill Removing Tens Of Thousands From Early Voting List As GOP-led Audit Goes On; Interview With Arizona Secretary Of State Katie Hobbs (D); Florida Governor DeSantis Declares State Of Emergency, Activates National Guard Over Gas Shortages. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 11, 2021 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: You can always tweet the show @CNNSITROOM.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Congresswoman Liz Cheney promising she'll have something to say as the Republican Party gears up to cancel her for not touting Trump's election lie.

Plus, breaking news, protesters gathering in Elizabeth City, North Carolina after the family of Andrew Brown Jr. views more body cam video. They called the fatal shooting unjustified.

And states of emergencies, long gas lines, markets tanking in the United States. Fears of a gasoline shortage growing. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, Congresswoman Liz Cheney tonight promising she will have something to say 'in a little bit'. This as the former president's Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, a Trump handpicked is going to testify tomorrow and he's going to testify this, I quote him, "The department had been presented with no evidence of widespread voter fraud at a scale sufficient to change the outcome of the 2020 election." No evidence of stolen election.

Now, just to be clear, all Rosen's doing is reaffirming what the Attorney General Bill Barr said, what the FBI Director Chris Wray said, what more than 50 court cases across this country already concluded. They're all consistent. They're all saying the same thing, the truth.

But for the leaders of the GOP, the truth literally does not matter. The party's number two leader in the House, Steve Scalise, on the eve of the vote to remove Liz Cheney from her powerful leadership posts tell CNN, "It is not about right or wrong. It is not about right or wrong. It is about the focus of our conference and focusing on pushing back on the agenda that's being pushed by the Biden administration." OK. I want to take this in two parts. First, just the basic thing,

though, that I said this is not about right or wrong. So one of the two major parties in this country says that right or wrong on the basic fact of whether a presidential election was fraudulent and stolen does not matter. That's incredible.

Now, let's take the second part of what Scalise said that kicking Cheney out of her leadership post is actually just being done so they can actually focus on pushing back on Biden's agenda. Well, that is a reason for kicking Liz Cheney out of her leadership post is demonstrably false. I mean, just listen to yourself to Liz Cheney in recent days talking about Biden's agenda.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Around the globe, we're watching as our adversaries test us, as our adversaries threaten us and so far the Biden administration has been lacking sadly in its response.

They massively increase spending. They massively expand the size and scope of the federal government and then they come back around and impose middle class tax increases.


BURNETT: Foreign, domestic consistently against Biden's agenda. In fact, that's just consistent for Cheney. She stood up for her conservative policies her entire career. Her conservative score from the Heritage Action For America is 80 percent. It is not anything to do with Biden's agenda, that is the problem here. It is that issue of right or wrong. It's only this one thing that is getting Cheney kicked out of her leadership position.


CHENEY: There really was, the president and many around him, push this idea that the election had been stolen and that is a dangerous claim. It wasn't true.

The election wasn't stolen.

The notion that the election had been stolen or that the election was rigged was a lie and people need to understand that.


BURNETT: So that, that is why the GOP is kicking her out of leadership and canceling Liz Cheney. So I mean, I just laid it out, I showed you it's pretty clear what the facts are here. But you don't need to hear it from me, you could just listen to Republican senator Joni Ernst. She said of the effort to remove Cheney, "Cancel culture is cancel culture, no matter how you look at it. I support President Trump and his policies, so I have a slightly different view on that - but I still think we shouldn't be trying to cancel voices."

Well, she says it like it is and the truth is, of course, the Republicans say they know a lot about cancel culture. It's become a rallying cry that's constantly on their minds. In fact, it is usually the first line of defense that they throw out there went under attack these days.


SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): I'm not going to be silenced. I'm not going to be canceled.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): If it continues, it won't just be Republicans who get canceled. It won't just be the President of the United States. The cancel culture will come for us all.

REP. MATT GAETZ (D-FL): They can't cancel this rally or this movement or this tour or this Congressman.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): This cancel culture has gone too far and we've got to change that.

REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): I refuse to bow to the cancel mob.


BURNETT: Well, of course, in this case they're not bowing to the cancel mob.


They are the cancel mob. Canceling, their word, a leader of their party who dares to speak the truth, again, about something so fundamental and basic to our confidence and our country as to whether a presidential election was fraudulent and stolen. This should upset anyone, no matter your party. No matter who you voted for.

And in fact, I do want to point out that it is upsetting a few elected Republicans as well. Notably today, the third highest ranking Republican in the Senate, John Thune, said and I quote him, "The only thing I can say is if we continue to rehash the 2020 election, we're going to lose the '22 election."

And he went on to specifically say, Thune specifically said that the election was legitimate and was not rigged saying, "That's settled. Let's move on."

In fact, Thune today joined a number of Republicans, a few who are elected and are raising concerns with Cheney's purge.


SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): It will be perceived by the American people as she's being ousted for disagreeing with the President. We need all Republicans on boar and if people feel like they're not heard, then that doesn't work.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): She is being run out for one thing: her consistency. She said the exact same thing that Kevin McCarthy said on January 6th which is Donald Trump is responsible.


BURNETT: And that is true. That is what McCarthy said then, not what he says now.

Sen. Mitt Romney also tweeting, "Expelling Liz Cheney from leadership won't gain the GOP one additional voter, but it will cost us quite a few."

Still, though, I just gave you all the voices that we have on the record calling this out. They're not zero, but they're just a little handful compared to a mass pile of elected Republicans in Washington.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT live on Capitol Hill. And Manu, that's the point and I know you just spoke with Congresswoman Cheney. She told you she has something to say 'in a little bit'. I know you've been speaking to all these members of Congress. What are you hearing from Cheney and from the Republican caucus?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that Cheney is not going to go quietly. She would not answer my questions. Just moments ago, I tried to ask her about Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader who is moving behind the scenes to oust her and she said very clearly I have something to say in a little bit, so we'll see what she ultimately says.

And I did just ask Kevin McCarthy about all this. He also declined to answer questions. But he did confirm that he did recently speak to Liz Cheney within the last few days even during all of this as McCarthy has tried to align himself with Trump and as Trump has sought Cheney's ouster for her vote to impeach him as also her calling out Donald Trump for lying about the election.

But what I can tell you in talking to a wide cross section of House Republicans, it's very clear that most of them are in fact siding with Donald Trump, are in fact siding with Kevin McCarthy. They believe that Liz Cheney, her comments or fight with Donald Trump has been nothing more than a distraction.

Many of them don't want to call out Donald Trump about what he did in the run up to January 6th or the fact that he continues to say the election was stolen and rigged. They don't want to get crosswise with the president, but they also don't want Liz Cheney bring the issue up in which they will have to answer questions about what their number three Republican leader is saying about all of this.

Now, this all comes ahead of tomorrow's key vote. We do expect in the morning overwhelmingly the conference will vote to oust her and then the question will be how quickly will they move to replace her with Elise Stefanik. And Erin, I can tell you there are some concerns from some conservatives who are worried about Stefanik's more moderate record even as she's aligned herself with Donald Trump and, of course, gotten his endorsement for that leadership job, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you very much. And I should point out so everyone knows to Manu's point on that measure by which Liz Cheney has an 80 percent perfect conservative voting record on that same measure Elise Stefanik who is likely to replace her has a 48 percent conservative voting record. You can see the difference.

OUTFRONT Jamie Gangel, our Special Correspondent and the Republican former Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, who endorsed Joe Biden for president in 2020.

Jamie, let me start with you. You have some new reporting tonight. What is Liz Cheney's thinking on all of this right now ahead of this vote?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as Manu said, she expects it to be a lopsided vote, very different from in February where she won 145 to 61. This time, I think, she's expecting the opposite to happen.

But I think that she does not look at this vote personally. She looks at it as a vote of principle. And she looks at it actually as a vote on her colleagues, and whether or not they are willing to stand up for the truth. They're willing to stand up for democracy and this is just the beginning, Erin. There is going to be life after leadership for Liz Cheney.


And I believe she will be campaigning against Donald Trump far into the future.

BURNETT: So Gov. Kasich, on this point about Congressman Steve Scalise that I quoted, here's what he told CNN, "It's not about right or wrong. It's about the focus of our conference and focusing on pushing back on the agenda that's being pushed by the Biden administration."

Obviously, when you - I played Liz Cheney on both foreign policy and domestic policy, scathing criticism of Biden's agenda, OK. The only thing that they dislike her for is her calling out right and wrong. What do you say to Scalise?

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Erin, the whole thing is so crazy. And here's the thing, it's all about pursuing power, that's what this is about. The Republicans think they've got to kind of suck up to Donald Trump because they need him to fire up their base and they're counting on redistricting, which is where they take the map and they make it good for their own party to win a majority so it's all about power.

When Scalise says they're out fighting Biden's agenda, I haven't heard anything about that. I hear Mr. Potato Head and I hear about Dr. Seuss and I hear about the cancel culture. I mean, what are they thinking about healthcare? What are they thinking about prescription drugs? What are they thinking about the environment? What are they thinking about the spending since they went out the door on spending under Donald Trump?

BURNETT: Right. KASICH: So it's pathetic. Now, Erin, I'll say this, if they win the

majority, they will moderate Joe Biden. I'm surprised at Joe Biden's performance so far. If they win the majority, they're in the House, they will moderate Joe Biden, I'll be happy with that. But the problem is what are they going to be for then and what are they going to do to improve the lives of Americans, because that's why you get elected. You don't get elected to be in power to be on the leadership.


KASICH: You get elected to try to improve people's lives and this is a sad day in our country. Another sad day, but we'll get through it.

BURNETT: So Jamie, I just want to ask you about this vote, because as you point out last time, a couple of months ago when there was the vote about Cheney retaining this position she wanted. She wanted 145 to 61, now it's going to be a secret ballot again tomorrow. It was a secret ballot so maybe people could say, oh, we hate you for this Trump stuff. But we're going to vote for you.

GANGEL: So ...

BURNETT: But she doesn't think that the secret ballot will go her way.

GANGEL: No. And maybe it won't be a secret ballot. So Gov. Kasich knows this better than I do back from his days on the Hill. When you have a conference vote and keep in mind, Erin, Liz Cheney tomorrow morning will be chairing this conference. She will be calling it to order. She may even do the ultimate power play and bring the vote to the floor herself. It could just be a voice vote, the yays and the nays.

But if there are people on the other side, and I am guessing there are, who want that number out there, who want to say she lost by X, then someone can call for a secret ballot and it takes, I'm told, five people to second it. I think there are five people to second it. And then you will get that secret ballot and then you will see the lopsided vote.

But make no mistake, Liz Cheney is doing this, Erin, because she thinks Donald Trump remains a threat.

BURNETT: And that's the thing. So Governor, let me ask you, because I put when I was talking about the handful of Republicans who have stood up to this other than Liz Cheney, right?


BURNETT: So I played or quoted Romney, Kinzinger, Cassidy, those are all people who voted for impeachment. But they had John Thune in there, OK, in leadership in the Senate. John Thune did not vote to convict Trump, but today he came out and said what very few elected Republicans will say, which is that the 2020 election was legitimate. It was not rigged. He was very clear about that.

What's the role for somebody like John Thune in the party who says that now but did not vote to convict Trump for his belief in that and the insurrection that came from it?

KASICH: It's a really great question. I mean, I used to serve with John Thune. We were in the House together. I like them a lot and I just think he's telling it like it is. As you know, he's under fire from Trump because he said that the election was legitimate. So Trump is after him, too. He's trying to figure out how to do in Thune and Thune is - he's a great athlete. He isn't going to take any bunk from Trump. He'll be out there, win or lose, he's going to hit the boards hard.

And, Jamie said I was in the Congress. When I was there, I actually went to Congress. I didn't go to the circus and now what we're seeing is we're seeing the circus. I mean, we have a terrible thing going on in Israel in the Middle East right now. We've got the cyberattack on our pipelines. We've got rising healthcare costs, potentially rising inflation and this is what they're messing with.


I mean, come on. Erin, it's preposterous, isn't it? And you've been around a long time and you've covered a lot of stories over the years that have been very important for our country financially. The issues that people really care about and they're just not doing it and it's sad. It's sad day for the party. We'll see what happens, it's still early.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much and we'll see what Liz Cheney said. We'll hear what she has to say in a little bit.

Well, next protests on the streets of Elizabeth City, the family of Andrew Brown Jr. was able to see some more body camera footage from the day Brown was shot by police, but now two totally different stories coming out here. The family attorney is OUTFRONT next.

Plus, Florida has just joined a growing number of states declaring state of emergencies as fears of a gas shortage grow. This is an urgent crisis for Americans right now. Long lines at gas stations and the markets are plunging because of it in a fear of price surges. How serious is the situation?

And the trainer of the Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit first blamed cancel culture when his horse failed the drug test, but now he's got a new explanation.



BURNETT: Breaking news, protesters taking to the streets in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. That's where the family of Andrew Brown Jr. was able to view more body camera footage of the deadly shooting today. The family's attorney says it showed a 'unjustified killing'.


CHANCE LYNCH, BROWN FAMILY ATTORNEY: When the first shot fired, he was sitting in his car and then he began to back up. At no time that we see him go towards a sheriff deputy at any time.

KHALIL FEREBEE, SON OF ANDREW BROWN JR.: He wasn't in the wrong at all. It wasn't a light - it wasn't a dog who will come to the light.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now Wayne Kendall, attorney for the Brown family. And Wayne, I appreciate having you back on the show. So tell me what the family saw in this video.

WAYNE KENDALL, ATTORNEY FOR ANDREW BROWN JR.'S FAMILY: Well, as Chance Lynch told you earlier today when there was a news conference, there was an unjustified killing what we saw the last time in the 20-second clip that they showed a couple of weeks ago. We saw a 19 plus minute clip today from five body cameras and one dash camera.

And it essentially showed the same thing that we had previously seen what we had all expected to see, which was that this was indeed an unjustified killing with sheriff's deputies firing into the vehicle unprovokedly (ph). So we are at the same conclusion we were at before.

BURNETT: OK. So the District Attorney says, this is their version of it, they said deputies only fired when Brown drove towards deputies. Now, I know that today you all had a chance to see this, your co- counsel said the first shot was fired before the car even moved and that Brown never drove in their direction whether going forwards or backwards.

To me this would seem, I think, to a lot of people watching like, gosh, when you see this, this would seem like a pretty basic verifiable fact. What happened, right? Did the shot come first? Which way did the cargo? Where do you think this discrepancy is coming from Wayne?

KENDALL: Well, obviously, the officials want to paint the picture in their best light, but the facts just don't bear what they say out. I've been to the scene. I've seen the tire tracks. That vehicle was in reverse backing up and then it sped across that vacant lot to the east and ran into a tree in the neighbor's yard. I mean, the tire tracks don't lie. I mean, you can see that that vehicle never went toward those deputies who were standing in a driveway, of a driveway path and they were unloading from their driveway path into their vehicle as it sped across the lot.

I don't think that vehicle went toward those deputies in any way, shape or form at any time. And that's what Chance Lynch identified today when he reveal what he saw on the 90-minute video.

BURNETT: So when you say the 19 minutes, OK, I know there's almost two hours of footage, right?

KENDALL: That's correct.

BURNETT: So today, the family only saw 19 minutes. But you just laid out but they did see whatever they saw that was a compilation included five body cams and a dash cam angles. The Judge says the rest of it right is 'not appropriate for disclosure'. Do you have any idea what the Judge means by saying that?

KENDALL: Well, I think what the Judge is saying is that the petitions that were found to reveal these recordings show Mr. Brown's image in all of the 19 minutes. But there are other videos that show other aspects of his shooting. And the judge said that well I can only let the family see was in a video that depicts Mr. Brown's image.

We want the entire video. We want the entire two hours and some almost two hours worth of video so that we can see what happened in the lead up, what happened in the aftermath, all of those moments are important for purposes of putting together what actually happened on April 21st.

BURNETT: All right. I appreciate your time, Wayne. Thank you so much.

KENDALL: Thank you for having me.

BURNETT: All right. And next, Arizona's Governor signing a bill that purges 10s of thousands from early voting lists. The State's Secretary of State is OUTFRONT.

And breaking news, Florida now the fourth state to declare a state of emergency over fears of gasoline shortage and those fears sending socks plunging as well.



BURNETT: Tonight, Arizona's Republican Governor signing into law a bill that critics say could remove 10s of thousands of people from the State's early vote by mail list. This comes as a Republican-led audit of 2.1 million votes cast in Arizona's most populous county, Maricopa, stretches into its third week despite two previous audits, two previous audits which found no evidence of any widespread fraud.

The State Senate president who led the charge on the latest audit says it's about instilling confidence in the voting process despite two audits already showing there to have not been an issue.


SEN. KAREN FANN (R-AZ): The sole thing is to get answers so that if we have any problems, we can fix them and we make sure that the next election is safer, cleaner and run smoothly.


BURNETT: The audit itself though, of course, has produced more questions than answers. A firm called the Cyber Ninjas was hired by Republicans to oversee the effort. That company's Chief Executive has amplified election conspiracies. OUTFRONT now, the Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs who is a Democrat.

And Secretary Hobbs, I appreciate your taking the time. Let me, I want to talk about the audit but first since you run the state's elections, I want to talk about this bill. You urge the Governor to veto it. It removes people from a list.


Will they automatically receive a mail-in ballot? And it removes them if they haven't voted over four years.

He though went ahead and signed it into law.

What's your reaction? What do you think the damage of this could be?

KATIE HOBBS (D), ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE: Well I want to first make clear, it doesn't just remove voters who don't vote in four elections, it removes voters who might vote but they might choose not to use their mail-in ballot to vote with, which is an option we've long enjoyed in Arizona.

The permanent early voter list is something that was passed into law by the Republican majority legislature. Currently, 3.2 million Arizona voters are on this list, about 75 percent of our registered voters.

So across all parties, it is very popular, and the effect of this will have is just going to make it harder for people to vote. Again, it is really unfortunate that this is the politicians' response to election results that they didn't like. And it is not doing anything to instill confidence or improve the system. It's making it harder for people to vote.

BURNETT: Okay. So, all of that is important and the fact that you're saying 75 percent of people get them, you got 3.2 million people.

The governor, though, says, look, no one is going to lose their right to vote. You got a notification, hey, you're going to be removed from this list because you haven't, you know, been using this. And if you want to say on it, you can say, I want to say on it. If you don't reply, you don't get that mail-in ballot, but you can still go vote in person. No one is going to like take you off the role to vote altogether.

So, basically, Republicans say, look, we're just not going to send ballots in the mail to people who do not use ballots in the mail. Put that way, a reasonable person could go, okay, I can see that. Why is that sinister?

HOBBS: Well, look, the senator who sponsored this legislation has introduced this bill or similar bill for the last ten years. Clearly, it is not popular because it has not passed the legislature for ten years. I voted "no" on it eight times when I was in the legislature.

She's now using this past election and the so-called voter confusion or the need to fix problems to now justify this bill and its passage which isn't necessary. This election was the safest, most secure and highly participated election in recent history, and there's nothing that needs to be fixed.

And so, this is just fixing a problem that does not exist. And we've worked really hard to educate voters about how the vote by mail system works. And they're used to it now. And so, any time you make changes, especially changes like this that don't need to be made, then you're going to create more voter confusion, you know, making it harder for people to vote.

BURNETT: So, now, let me ask you about the audit because as I pointed out, the audit obviously, Maricopa County, your most populous county, two audits already done showed there to be no problems of any magnitude.

So, now, you've got your Republican, you know, led officials hiring a private firm called Cyber Ninjas to oversee it. The chief executive of Cyber Ninjas has talked about various election conspiracies.

So, do you think that that is going to lead to this, you know, finding some kind of fraud where there is none? Where prior audits have shown there to be none? Do you have that fear?

HOBBS: Well, look, this audit is clearly just an attempt to continue promoting the big lie and to continue sowing doubts in the election systems and creating disarray and confusion when in fact we had one of the most problem-free elections in recent history. And so, yes, I'm very concerned.

We did all of the post-election audits, plus additional ones and nothing was found. There were nine post-election court cases with no evidence to support any fraud. Nothing was found. And yet, here we are trying to rehash the 2020 election, and this is going to do nothing but undermine our democracy.

BURNETT: All right. Secretary Hobbs, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

HOBBS: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, Florida joining a growing number of states tonight declaring a state of emergency, over fears of a gas shortage. You can see the line there on the screen after the pipeline. Just how bad could this be?

And a top Republican urging colleagues to not support Elise Stefanik to replace Liz Cheney. Well, how come?



BURNETT: Breaking news, Florida just becoming the fourth state to declare a state of emergency. One of the largest pipelines in the United States is shut down, shut down after a cyberattack. And drivers are lining up to fill up on gas, amidst fear stations will run out, which is becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy. The Dow plunged nearly 500 points today in part because of the growing concerns about gas supply and a surge in prices.

The Colonial Pipeline is what's at stake here. It starts in Texas. It's on your map there, runs all the way up to East Coast. It is responsible for nearly half of all fuel consumed in the region throughout the passes.

OK. So, this is -- this is a huge thing is shut down the hackers, the whole thing is pretty terrifying unsettled.

However, in terms of supply, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says there's no need for panic.


JENNIFER GRANHOLM, SECRETARY OF ENERGY: There was no cause for say, hoarding toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic, there should be no cause for hoarding gasoline, especially in light of the fact that the pipeline should be substantially operational, by the end of this week and over the weekend.


BURNETT: Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT at the White House.

And, Phil, you know, publicly, the administration is saying no cause for concern here. But, obviously, the reaction that we're now seeing in the public and in these states is unsettling. So, what's going on now on the White House, behind the scenes?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, look, part of the reason you see the White House and top misdirection officials making clear there should not be any reason for concern is because they recognize, that this could get very serious, and spiral very quickly if you see the crunch and demand like you seen over the course of the last 24 hours.


Look, when you talk to White House officials, they made clear, they've already taken a whole of government approach to this. Obviously, on the regulatory side, from the EPA, the Department of Transportation waivers to try and mitigate some the effect it's having on specific states that are in this pipeline's path. That's something that's happening.

I think you're also seeing a big public communications effort. Obviously, they've had experts or top administration officials in the White House briefing. You're seeing top administration officials in regular phone calls with the governors of the states where they are most affected, trying to get the message across, that again this isn't expected to be long term.

And if everything was normal, the supply should technically be enough at this point in time, and if it's not, they're trying to surge or at least provide the regulatory side of things to allow them for the surge of more supply.

But again, this is what people see and how they react, I think that's the biggest concern right now at the White House as they push forward on this.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Phil.

So I want to go to Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize winning author of the prize, all about oil, expert analysts on energy and the vice chairman of IHS Markit. Also the author of "The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations".

No one knows more about this than you, Daniel. So, let me just ask you this basic question. You've got four states declaring states of emergencies, lines, gas stations running out of fuel.

Is there a legitimate supply issue right now for gasoline?

DANIEL YERGIN, VICE CHAIRMAN OF IHS MARKIT: Yes, it's not a complete disruption. It's 45 percent of the supply. The southeast is particularly vulnerable, but you have now is self fulfilling, it's a panic bind. So, some of the gas nations we talked to in the Southeast have volume four times as much as normal, as people see these reports. Instead of having their tanks one quarter full, with their tanks completely full.

And, so I think it means the next few days as this is going to continue like that, until we start to see a restart of the Colonial system.

BURNETT: So, you know, you talk about gas nations you spoke to, in these 4 states with states of emergencies. Right now, we're hearing 30 percent of Metro Atlanta gas they shuns are now out of gas? That's deeply unsettling, 30 percent of gas stations in Metro Charlotte and Raleigh also reportedly out of gas. How bad could this get, Daniel?

YERGIN: I think if it continues, we've heard about the pipeline and government saying it will start up by the weekend. That means by next week, it would start to improve. If it takes longer to get on, then it becomes a more serious problem and as you say, if the stations are out there means of people being impacted inability to get around.

There are things you can do, bring up gasoline by tanker from the Gulf Coast, they're beginning to give approval for that that would make a big difference. We see more ships coming from Europe, letting truck drivers who drive tank trucks operate will make a difference.

So, there are things to be done here, but it isn't a complete shortage. It is unlike a hurricane where it's knocked out, it's something less than half the supplies.

BURNETT: It is though, you know, as I said deeply unsettling, right? That we have a pipeline, that on its own is responsible for half of the supply of something without which modern side in our lives cannot exist, it just gets knocked out by a bunch of hackers in Russia, right? It's deeply unsettling --

YERGIN: Yeah, exactly up till now, Erin, we've had hurricanes, other things knock it out but this is a digital disruption. And I think this is the biggest attack on American infrastructure that I know of, biggest cyberattack in to say it's a wake up call would be an understatement. BURNETT: Final question, has the Biden ministration been a little slow

on this? That they can see that there would be the sort of panic?

YERGIN: Well, I think I can't say about that, but once you have the pipeline go down, you're going to get panic and just want to reinforce itself. So they're taking the steps now, sending the message for research and presumably they're in contact with the pipeline. Kind of part of the key thing is making sure the pipeline system is saved, resilient, and then how do you resolve dealing with these criminals?

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Daniel Yergin, I appreciate your time.

And next, a top Republican encouraging his colleagues not to back Congresswoman Elise Stefanik for Liz Cheney's leadership post, saying she's out of the mainstream. Well, that's true on policy, but what do Stefanik's voters think?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is a breath of fresh air.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's a miserable, ambitious demagogue.


BURNETT: And the trainer of Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit, offering up a new explanation as to why his horse failed a crucial drug test.



BURNETT: New tonight, Republican Congressman Chip Roy, a top member of the House Freedom Caucus, urging colleagues not to support Elise Stefanik to be the next House GOP Conference chair because of concerns she's not conservative enough. Another member of the caucus, Ben Cline, saying he also has reservations about Stefanik.

So, what do voters in Stefanik's own district make of her rushed to the right?

Athena Jones is OUTFRONT. She's a breath of fresh air.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is a breath of fresh air.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's a miserable, ambitious demagogue.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Essex County, New York, among the swingingest of swing counties, one of just 25 in the country to vote twice for Barack Obama, choose Donald Trump in 2016, and then pivot back to Joe Biden in 2020.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a classic purple district.

JONES: Maybe that's why opinions of Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, poised to become the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress after and embracing Trump's lies about the 2020 election, are decidedly mixed here in this small town of Willsboro.

BRADLEY FRENCH, ESSEX COUNTY RESIDENT: I know she's done a lot of good stuff for the town and counties around here. I think she would do an excellent job.

SANDRA MURPHY, ESSEX COUNTY RESIDENT: She is backing the big lie, and I, and Trump too, so I am not supporting that at all.

In her first term, when she ran up here, I voted for her. But then I wouldn't vote again for her.

JONES: The 36-year-old Harvard graduate worked as an aide for President George W. Bush and for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.


Brian Mann of NPR has covered Stefanik for years.

BRIAN MANN, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: I think any political observer two years ago would have said that Elise Stefanik would have been in Liz Cheney's corner in this fight.

JONES: Stefanik campaigned as a moderate in 2014.

REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): With new ideas and fresh leadership, together we can get it done.

MANN: She was someone who opposed Donald Trump early on things like NATO and his attack on NAFTA, moderate right down the line.

JONES: Stefanik was endorsed in the first run by Romney, now persona non grata among many base Republicans for standing up to Trump. Stefanik has taken a different tack, becoming a fierce ally of Trump during his first impeachment.

STEFANIK: This has been an unfair process from the start.

JONES: And voting to overturn the election results.

STEFANIK: Tens of millions of Americans are concerned that the 2020 election featured unconstitutional overreach by unelected state officials.

JONES: And she's won over some voters who are pro Trump, but had their doubts when Stefanik, who grew up in Albany, claimed to be from here.

STEFANIK: I'm Elise Stefanik, a small business woman from Willsboro.

DANA MARSHALL, ESSEX COUNTY RESIDENT: I wasn't impressed. If you can't tell your -- the people you are trying to represent where you are actually from, that spoke volumes to me, but I am really glad I put that aside, because she really is trying her best for the North Country.

JONES: Stefanik's political star has risen and her embrace of Trump is grown stronger, others here have complained she has left her district behind.

BARRY GOLDSTEIN, ESSEX COUNTY RESIDENT: There are a lot of very important issues here, as with many rural areas, drug abuse, health care, broadband access, which is critical now, education. I don't see her talking about the North Country and the issues that are involved here.

JONES: One thing seems clear.

MANN: She is a very different politician now than she was a couple of years ago, different policy ideas, different allies, shedding, you know, people who had been close to her for a long time, and that's turned out to be a winning strategy.


BURENTT: And that was Athena Jones reporting from Willsboro.

And next, a big announcement about the future of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit.



BURNETT: Tonight, Medina Spirit will be allowed to compete in the Preakness Stakes. The Kentucky Derby winner's status was in question after post-race testing revealed Medina Spirit had more than double the all-out amount of a steroid in his system.

Today, trainer Bob Baffert said Medina Spirit have been treated with a antifungal treatment that contains the steroid, but it comes after Baffert, who is a horseracing legend, had denied Medina Spirit had the steroid.


BOB BAFFERT, MEDINA SPIRIT'S TRAINER: That's the only way it can happen. Contamination is the only way, because that horse was not treated by anybody. And we're going to investigate who touched -- who touched the horse, who was near him. He went from the derby, after the derby everybody's up there touching.

I mean, there are so many ways these horses can get contaminated, and when they're testing at these really ridiculously low levels. This America is different, and it was like a cancel culture kind of a thing.


BURNETT: Of course, he has now admitted that Medina Spirit was treated with a steroid.

So, Nick Watt is OUTFRONT.

And, Nick, you know so much about this industry, and that's what it is. It's a huge business and Bob Baffert is sort of the king of it. Now he is admitting after saying cancel culture, the steroid was in an ointment that the horse got. Tell me what you know how this could happen. Why it's such a big deal.

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, I mean, listen, mistakes can happen. They are saying they did not know that the steroid betamethasone was in this ointment they were rubbing on this horse.

Now, we found out today that Baffert was actually dinged for using betamethasone back in September, a different horse, also in Kentucky. He was fined 1,500 bucks for that.

So, I've been emailing with his lawyer today and his lawyer told me, we decided to accept the punishment and move on. Importantly, after that event, a decision was made to not use betamethasone again in the Baffert barn. So we know that the only way it could have found its way into the horse's system in this case, and he says, by the way, it still needs to be confirmed by this split sample, he said the only way was through some sort of innocent contamination event.

Listen, that can happen, and the rules in horse racing are complex, different rules for different states. Also, a drug like this, you are allowed to use it out of competition in Kentucky. You just can't have it in the horse's system on the day the race.

Now, why is doping in horse racing a big deal? Well, it's not just a performance and enhancement. It's also about safety.


WATT: So, if you've got have a horse that's injured and you pump it full of pain killers, then it can run. It's oblivious to injury and does itself a very, very bad injury.

BURNETT: It's inhumane.

WATT: Erin?

BURNETT: So, let me just ask you. So, Medina Spirit gets to go in the Preakness, which is the next round of the Triple Crown.

WATT: Yeah.

BURNETT: And that's what makes horseracing habits widespread appeal.

Baffert, though, has now been banned from entering any of his horses into races at the Churchill Downs racetrack, which means that Baffert, who I said is sort of the king of racing, who has trained to horses who won the Triple Crown, essentially can never win the Triple Crown again. I mean, how big of a blow is this? WATT: Yeah. Listen, I mean, Baffert is a colossus in this sport, you

know, the white hair, the signature blue sunglasses. But it's not all flash.


WATT: You know, the numbers back that up. You know, he has won over $320 million in a 30-plus-year career, 13,000 plus starts. He's placed one to three in half of those. He is a big deal.

And, you know, if there is a stain on Baffert's legacy, then there is a stain on the entire sport. That's how big this guy as.

Now, he has had some issues in the past. He has gotten over them. We're not saying this is definite. The split sample still needs to come back, but if there is a stain on Baffert, there's a stain on the sport -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Nick, thank you very much.

And thanks to all of you.

"AC360" starts now.