Return to Transcripts main page

Erin Burnett Outfront

Ocasio-Cortez: Greene's Behavior Shows She is "Deeply Unwell"; Marjorie Taylor Greene Tells AOC to "Get Rid of Your Diaper" Through Office Mail Slot in Now-Deleted Video; Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) Discusses About Her Republican Colleagues who Downplays January 6th Insurrection as if Nothing Happened; House GOP Votes in Stefanik to Replace Cheney as New No. 3; Interview with U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh; Bill Maher, NY Yankees Hit By Breakthrough COVID Cases. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 14, 2021 - 19:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: And, of course, you can always catch Fareed Sunday mornings 10 am Eastern on his GPS program. I never miss it.

To our viewers, thanks for watching. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, newly unearthed video shows Marjorie Taylor Greene taunting Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez through her office mailbox slot. Ocasio-Cortez tonight calling her deeply disturbed as Greene's behavior becoming a Congresswoman or is she just trolling, looking to just make another viral video as her entire point of being in Congress.

Plus, Matt Gaetz' wing man plans to plead guilty to six federal charges, admits to having sex with an underage girl multiple times. How much does he have on Gaetz who's also under investigation for sex with a minor?

A new video tonight of a mentally ill man who died in police custody after being tased several times. A deputy holding him down with a knee to his back. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, deeply unwell. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez sounding an alarm tonight about her Republican colleague, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): This is a woman that's deeply unwell and clearly needs some help. And her kind of fixation has lasted for several years now. At this point, I think, the depth of that unwellness has raised concerns for other members as well and so I think that this is an assessment that needs to be made by the proper professionals.


BURNETT: Questioning someone's mental health is not something that should be done lightly or thrown around, but this is happening after CNN's KFILE reported on a disturbing video of Greene from 2019. She traveled to Capitol Hill at the time to taunt Ocasio-Cortez and her staff through a mailbox slot.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, I'm an American citizen. I pay your salary through the taxes that you collect for me through the IRS because I'm a taxpaying citizen of the United States. So you need to stop being a baby and stop locking your door and come out and face the American citizens that you serve. If you want to be a big girl, you need to get rid of your diaper and come out and be able to talk to the American citizens. Instead of us having to use a flap, a little flap. Sad.


BURNETT: That video coming to light after Greene chased Ocasio-Cortez down the halls of Congress this week, repeatedly screaming, "Hey, Alexandria." A Washington Post reporter who witnessed the whole episode said she was so taken aback and surprised by Greene's behavior at that moment. She very clearly said Greene was screaming.

Now, Greene denies what several witnesses all say happened. Some of it actually was even caught on tape.


GREENE: I was talking to AOC saying you need to debate me about the Green New Deal. She doesn't need to file ethics violations or whatever she's doing, that's reacting like a child. Adults are able to debate policy.


BURNETT: OK. As I said reporters say that is not what happened, people who were there who saw it. Greene's behavior as you can see from going through the mail flap and everything is obviously not OK. Not OK in any way, shape or form by any standard. And yet, when the Republican leader of the House was asked about Greene harassing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, this was Kevin McCarthy's response.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I didn't see that. I don't know what happened.


BURNETT: He didn't see what happened. He doesn't know what happened. That was more than 18 hours after The Washington Post posted its story describing the entire incident, which the reporter saw with their own eyes. Was the 'I didn't see it' excuse? It's McCarthy's MO these days. Just like McCarthy says, he didn't know anything about his Republican colleague, Andrew Clyde, when he compared the deadly insurrection on the Capitol to a quote tourist visit.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Why don't you have concerns about what Congressman Clyde said yesterday in the hearing, suggesting that 'it was like a tour'?

MCCARTHY: I don't know what Congressman Clyde said.


BURNETT: He doesn't know what he said. McCarthy seems to have a little bit of a problem, obtaining and retaining information. It was impossible to miss what Clyde said. Because even if McCarthy really hadn't heard what Clyde said and listen to it or checked it out, because it's so outrageous, Manu Raju did tell him what Clyde said in his question. So McCarthy simply could have said, well, that's just totally not OK. That's a foolish statement.

But just in case, McCarthy still wants to claim he does not know what Clyde said. We want to provide the full context for him. You'll see this on your screen. On the right side you'll see what really happened just in case McCarthy forgot.



REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): It was not an insurrection and we cannot call it that and be truthful. The Cambridge English dictionary defines an insurrection as, and I quote, "An organized attempt by a group of people to defeat their government and take control of their country usually by violence."

CROWD: We want Pence. We want Pence. We want Pence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we came this far, what do you say?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a job to do. That's why we're going to kill these people, 'cause we got a job to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want our country back.

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

CLYDE: This is the truth. There was an undisciplined mob. There were some rioters and some who committed acts of vandalism. Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walk through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes, taking videos and pictures.

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

CLYDE: If you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.


BURNETT: McCarthy didn't hear what he said. It's pretty incredible. That was a sitting member of Congress who said that. And today when House Democrats and Republicans announced they struck a deal to create a commission to investigate the attack that people like Clyde are trying to say was like a tourist visit, a commission that's going to have five members from each party. McCarthy has so far refused to sign off on it. Why, you may ask, why would McCarthy refuse to do so? Well, given what I've just shown you, it may not surprise you that his response is this.


MCCARTHY: No, I have to - no I have to read through it. I haven't read through it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't sign off on it before Katko agreed to it?



BURNETT: Hasn't read it, doesn't know about it, didn't hear it, whether it's about Marjorie Taylor Greene, the insurrection or even the former president and Trump's lies offensive tweets and remarks.


MCCARTHY: I didn't get to see the rally.

I didn't see what the president said.

I don't quite know about the subject itself. I don't know this subject well.


BURNETT: He might be like the most clueless person out there if you take him at his word. Maybe Republicans could consider having a leader who would know a little bit more.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill. And Manu, you have been talking to Republicans in Congress all day, including people like Clyde. It's just a tourist - like a tourist visit on January 6th. You talk to others who have been speaking the truth. What have you been hearing?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. One Republican who actually did see what Congressman Clyde said told me that she was offended by his remarks, that's Sen. Lisa Murkowski. She's the veteran Alaska Republican Senator who told me earlier today and she said I'm offended by that when I asked her about the downplaying and whitewashing of events and suggesting it was simply like a tour on the day of January 6th. She says we got to get behind that rhetoric and acknowledge that what happened were acts of aggression and destructions towards an institution.

Now, I also tried to ask those same members of the House, those Republicans who had been downplaying this all week about why they are making these remarks, given what we have all seen. And when I tried to ask several of them, they refused to answer our questions.


RAJU: Earlier this week, you had suggested that maybe Trump supporters were not responsible for what happened on January 6th.


RAJU: No comment.

Can I ask you about what you said at the hearing that got a lot of attention? You said Trump supporters may not be - they're the ones who - who were the ones who are victims, essentially, on that January 6th, I'm curious. It got a lot of attention. Can you explain that? Comment, sir.

REP. JODY HICE (R-GA): Not to you.

RAJU: Why are you downplaying what happened on January 6th? Hello, sir.

REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): Would you please get out of the way?


RAJU: Now, also on the House floor today, Louie Gohmert, the Texas Republican Senator or Congressman also downplayed the what happened on January 6th, said this was not an armed insurrection. I asked him why are you downplaying what happened that day and he told me - he says any violence should not be downplayed, but people who are not engaged in violence should not be charged with a crime, Erin.

BURNETT: I can't believe avoiding the question altogether, incredible. Manu, thank you very much.

I want to go now to Democratic Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett.


She served as impeachment manager for Trump's second trial. Congresswoman, I appreciate your time.

So you know, I don't know how much you could see there, but Manu literally today both outside the Capitol, inside the Capitol, at the elevators trying to get several of your colleagues who happened to be Republicans who have downplayed January 6th to explain why they have done so. They wouldn't speak to him. No comment. Please get out of here. What do you say to them?

STACEY PLASKETT (D), DELEGATE TO U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Well, we don't say much to them at this point, because you cannot debate ignorance. And so what we're trying to do is I'm grateful that we do have some Republicans as in the Ranking Member, John Katko, who's willing to partner with Chairman Bennie Thompson to create this commission that is going to look at January 6th as sort of 9/11 commission that is equally divided and we'll be able to see what were the factors that created an insurrection on our democracy, be able to make recommendations work with those federal agencies that are doing ongoing investigations to say that there was no violence there.

We know that people died that day, over a hundred officers were injured. Police officers battled for four, five hours trying to keep the Capitol safe and it's just - that is the reason that we continually have to have these discussions, because we have members on the Republican side who continue to gaslight, who continue to lie about what happened.

If they would, in fact, say what happened, we could have the commission do their work and move on to the people of America's business. But because they have a leader like Kevin McCarthy and others who are too afraid to stand up to Donald Trump, who does not want us to continue to discuss what happened on January 6th, because he was the person who led the insurrection. He was the person who tried to overthrow our democracy for his own gain and that is why they have to continue to lie.

BURNETT: So you saw the newly uncovered video of Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene when she traveled to Washington before election to harass Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her staff, yelling through the mailbox, talking about her wearing a diaper and other things, calling her crazy eyes. This is not the only time Greene has harassed the Congresswoman or others, what do you make of her behavior?

PLASKETT: Well, I don't make much of her behavior. I think that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez is being very kind when she talks about her having mental instability and that is being very generous with her. I think a lot of what she does is performative politics, attempting to get information, get an audience, a platform that we're providing for her.

One day she's going to say something to the wrong person and they're not going to walk away. Some of us are not going to walk away when she attempts to harass us or come and say anything to us.

BURNETT: So when Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez says Marjorie Taylor Greene is a woman that is deeply unwell, I'm concerned about her perceptions of reality, you think that's fair? Would you agree with that assessment?

PLASKETT: I think that that's being generous to who Taylor Greene really is.

BURNETT: And one final question before we go. Obviously, you have to work with Republicans and I know there are some you do work with, but you're going to have to work with them to pass priorities like Biden's jobs and infrastructure bill that you hold dear. Can you work with someone like Marjorie Taylor Greene on anything or Louie Gohmert on anything?

PLASKETT: Well, thankfully, most of the work that is going on for the American Jobs Plan and the other bills are taking place in committees, and she doesn't have a committee assignment. So there isn't a need to work with an individual like her. There are those who want to support the people of America, who are willing to sit down.

I represent Virgin Islanders who need jobs, who need climate change, who need job training, who need the components in President Biden's bill and I'm very willing to work with them. Unfortunately, what I think will happen is that we will attempt to negotiate. We will work on something that is bipartisan among the American people. And many of these Republicans, most of them are not going to vote for it. And then they're going to take credit for it in their districts.

That's been their MO and that's probably what they'll do. They did it with the American Rescue Plan bringing support to the American people during the COVID pandemic to bring us out and to stop the bleeding that was going on in this country. And I suspect they'll do the same with the American Jobs Plan that is going to jumpstart our economy and move us into the 21st century.

BURNETT: Congresswoman Plaskett, I appreciate your time. As always, thank you very much.

PLASKETT: Thank you.

BURNETT: And I want to go now to Dana Bash.


So Dana, you hear or you see what Marjorie Taylor Greene has been doing. You hear the reaction. Congresswoman Plaskett says it's being generous to question her mental stability. You have all of that going on, performative politics, chasing people down the hall screaming and then you have the new leadership of Republicans. Elise Stefanik replacing Liz Cheney as the number three Republican.

But a lot of conservatives today, people who are conservative on policy were noting that Stefanik's ranking from a leading conservative group, The Club for Growth, when you compare it with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar who the conservatives despise that Stefanik's scores actually lower than Omar's. Omar is more conservative than Stefanik.

So you have you have this performative politics. McCarthy is saying I don't hear anything. And you've got the number three leader among the Republicans who Ilhan Omar is more conservative than she is. Have you ever seen chaos like this in a party before?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No. I mean, not even close. Because if you think about the closest that we have come certainly for me in my professional life covering Capitol Hill was the Tea Party and that was chaos, for the most part, based on ideology, based on the fact that the people who were fighting at the Tea Party fight wanted less spending. They wanted smaller government and it came out of a number of things, but one of the things it came out of was the health care bill, the stimulus bill and their fellow Republican George W. Bush spending too much money while he was in the White House.

That's not about this at all, which is why that figure that you just showed is so fascinating, Erin. It just kind of exposes that this is not about ideology, this is about fealty. This is about fealty to one man and that man is Donald Trump. If it were about ideology, Liz Cheney would still be in the Republican leadership because she's as conservative as they come.

Elise Stefanik is in the leadership because she saw her district which is in Upstate New York district change when Donald Trump was on the scene. It was Obama before, but then the populace kind of lashed on to Donald Trump and that's why she - one of the reasons she did the same thing.

BURNETT: So Congresswoman Cheney spoke to Jake Tapper earlier tonight, let me play a clip.

BASH: Yes.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): I also think that you have more members who believe in substance and policy and ideals than are willing to say so. And in some cases, I mean, if you look at the vote to impeach, for example, there were members who told me that they were afraid for their own security, afraid in some instances for their lives.


BURNETT: Afraid for their lives, Dana, and yet many of them still did not vote to impeach and voted to get rid of Liz Cheney.

BASH: Yes. Well, that's a really good point. You wonder if impeachment were a secret ballot like the voice vote that happened about Liz Cheney, how would it actually have played out. There probably would have been a lot more than 10 Republicans breaking from Donald Trump and voting to impeach and that was the point that she was trying to make.

For some of them, it wasn't just and it isn't just about supporting the big lie. Maybe even not even fear for political retribution from Donald Trump, but actually safety. And that is all wrapped up in the misinformation disinformation that is getting out to these people starting, first and foremost, with the former president himself.

BURNETT: Yes. All right. Dana, thank you very much.

BASH: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, close confidants of Congressman Matt Gaetz striking a deal with federal prosecutors and admits he engaged in sex acts with an underage girl at least seven times. It's depraved and disgusting, but the question is what could it mean for Matt Gaetz?

Plus, could this bridge shut down because of a dangerous crack and be the key to getting Republicans to back Biden's multi trillion dollar infrastructure bill?

An HBO political talk show host Bill Maher the latest to announce that he has tested positive for COVID despite being fully vaccinated. Eight members of the New York Yankees also reporting the same thing. What do we need to know?



BURNETT: Tonight, Joel Greenberg, who Matt Gaetz reportedly called his wing man and was potentially facing decades behind bars plans to plead guilty to six federal charges, including sex trafficking of underage girl. A girl that Greenberg admits he engaged in sex acts with at least seven times. That is according to a new court filing and it comes as Greenberg also plans to cooperate with a sweeping probe which includes examining whether Matt Gaetz also broke federal sex trafficking laws and if he also had sex with an underage girl.

Paula Reid is OUTFRONT. And Paula, obviously, this is a significant development that we're finding out about this. What more have you learned about Greenberg's plea deal?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: It's incredibly significant, Erin, and it's part of this deal, Greenberg has to cooperate in all ongoing federal investigations where he is requested by investigators to provide information. And while he's a close associate, Congressman Matt Gaetz is not mentioned anywhere in this plea agreement. He has not been charged with a crime.

We know from our reporting that the Congressman is under investigation for possible sex trafficking, prostitution and allegations about having sex with a minor. And Erin, I think the most important part of this 80-page plea agreement is where we learn that Greenberg is going to admit in court that he introduced a child to other adult men who then engage in commercial sex acts with that minor. The question is, of course, who were these other adult men.

Now, a spokesman for Congressman Gaetz denies any wrongdoing, notes that the Congressman isn't mentioned here. Erin, he also makes another important point. He knows that in this plea agreement, Greenberg admits to falsely accusing someone else of being a pedophile. A reference to a stalking case our he claimed that a teacher who is challenging him for his tax collector's seat was a pedophile.

It's an important note because even if Greenberg has all this information about whomever he is potentially a problematic witness, but we'll learn more on Monday when he's expected to appear in federal court.


BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. All crucial details and, of course, as Paula is reporting, they know this is about Greenberg, that he is a liar. So when you get to the point of giving someone a deal who's a known liar, it means you've corroborated a lot of what they have to say. You don't need people to trust them. You have other goods.

OUTFRONT now Elie Honig, Senior Legal Analyst for us as well as former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. So Elie, on this point, Greenberg agreeing to give substantial assistance to prosecutors. They've spent a lot of time with him already. So this would mean, it would seem like, that when you go in, you could have charged him with 33 counts. They come out with six. They seem to have a lot of what they need already checked, confirmed, corroborated, right?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Erin. So first of all, it's important people understand the essence of any cooperation deal like this one is it's transactional. It's about business. It's about the bottom line. Joel Greenberg is not cooperating because he suddenly become a good person or seeing the light. He's cooperating because he wants a lower sentence.

You can bet the defense lawyers are going to go at him hard and he is very vulnerable to all sorts of attacks and cross examination. He's a horrible person who is about to plead guilty to horrible crimes and that's why prosecutors have to been able to answer two questions. First of all, is he corroborated? You use the exact right word. Have we been able to back him up? And second of all, are we willing as prosecutors to pay the costs so to speak of letting him potentially getting lower sentence in exchange for the benefit, which in this case, has to be charges against somebody else or some other people?

BURNETT: OK. So according to the filing, Greenberg admits he met this underage girl at hotels, often with others, crucially others, adult men, and engaged in 'commercial sex acts' with her at least seven times. Again, this is an underage girl.

Now, Greenberg also is going to admit that he introduced her, as I said, to other adult men who also engaged in commercial sex acts with her. So I mean, look, as I said, it's depraved, it's disgusting and there's a lot of stuff around this which is going to be that and even more. But do you think given all that's been out there that there's any question that this seems to be about Congressman Gaetz in addition to others, possibly?

HONIG: Well, it's certainly pointing in that direction. First of all, the fact that the cooperation plea agreement does not mention the name Matthew Gaetz is irrelevant. It's meaningless. I've done, I've drafted many, many of these agreements. I've never once stated the name of a person who we're investigating. So I know Matt Gaetz's representatives have said that's significant, it is not. You would never do that. You would just be tipping that person off.

But here's what we know, the prosecutors have corroborated Joel Greenberg. He's particularly vile even within the already vile world of cooperating witnesses. And to take the example you gave, OK, Greenberg said we met at hotels with young girls who we had sex with. As a prosecutor, you're saying what hotel, when, subpoena those records. How did you pay? Go get those credit card records. How did you get there? Get those travel records. Did you email? Did you text? Let me have those. Did you take photos, et cetera.

So I am confident prosecutors would not sign up Joel Greenberg as a key witness unless they had him corroborated left, right and center.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Elie. I appreciate it.

HONIG: Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, this crucial bridge shut - I mean, look at that, look at that, that big like crack on it, shut down because of that crack. There are 45,000 other bridges though across this country that are at even worse shape that anybody could be driving over any day. So will this help Biden sell an infrastructure planning?

And HBO's Bill Maher says he's feeling perfectly fine after testing positive for COVID after being fully vaccinated. Eight members of the New York Yankees same situation, all positive for coronavirus after getting the vaccine.



BURNETT: Tonight, all traffic shut down on a crucial transportation route that more than 10,000 freight trucks use every day to move goods across the United States. It all came to a halt because of this crack, discovered on a major bridge in Memphis, triggering a massive backup of traffic on the ground and on the Mississippi River below.

It's coming at a huge cost, $2.4 million a day every day that bridge is shut down. You can see what is below. Imagine. Imagine the horrific tragedy that it could be.

It's not just Memphis facing this problem, because more than 45,000 other bridges in this country is in a state where you are sitting, most likely, are considered structurally deficient. And that level, by the way, those 45,000 bridges one of which could be yours is actually even lower rank and the bridge in Memphis.

OUTFRONT now, the Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. He's been tasked by President Biden to help sell his $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill to Congress.

Secretary, I appreciate your time.

So, even after all of this, Tennessee's Republican senators say they will not support Biden's infrastructure plan. They're saying $2.3 trillion is way too much money. They note that only $115 billion of it is for bridges, roads and highways, right? I mean, that's -- that's a really small percentage. I mean, how do you -- how do you respond to that criticism?

MARTY WALSH, LABOR SECRETARY: Well, there is more money in it for roads and bridges than $115 billion. But, you know, when you think about the American Jobs Plan, it's infrastructure in our roads and bridges and public transportation. We're seeing in the case of, as you just mentioned, bridges all across America in desperate need.

The last Congress, they had an opportunity to pass legislation to do infrastructure, they didn't get it done. And you can't keep kicking the can down the road because when you do, this is what happens.

We also have money in there for infrastructure and broadband access. Many parents had their kids learning from home this year because of the coronavirus. And we have $100 billion plus to do broadband access.

We have 400,000 pipes, lead pipes in the country. There's money in there to replace those lead pipes.

There's money in there for the cares economy.


I'm sure we're going to talk about unemployment in a minute. But a lot of parents can't go back to work because there's no places for their kids to go during the day.

So, this bill, this plan that the president put forth is great for the American people and for our infrastructure. The president has been very clear as I had been, and other secretaries. I've seen them on your show, that says, we're ready for a bipartisan solution. We're ready to have a conversation.

And I think that, you know -- I don't know what will make that happen, but right now, it's only getting worse. The infrastructure is only going to get worse.


WALSH: Not just the infrastructure for bridges and roads but everything else.

BURNETT: Well, obviously, you know, right now, you don't have bipartisanship from the Republican senators of Tennessee.

But as you said, President Biden says he wants to, he is prepared to compromise. So, Minority Leader McConnell says the bill should cost no more than $800 billion, right? So, Biden comes at $2.3 trillion. McConnell counters with $800 billion.

And I mentioned that and those two numbers specifically because this is exactly, Secretary, as you know what happened with the COVID relief bill. Republicans came in. They had this great meeting with Biden. They came out everybody said it was great. They're going to compromise. Republicans put out a number that was less than half of what Biden

wanted. And then he just said, too bad, stream-rolled them and passed his bill the way it was.

Are you willing to accept anything less than the infrastructure than what you put on the table?

WALSH: Well, to be honest with you, I think the conversations of what do we cut because tonight, we're talking about infrastructure. Six months ago on your show -- on your station, we were talking about lack of access for the Internet, which on your show in the past, you had stories about dirty drinking water. On your shows in the past, we're talking about childcare.

So, again, this isn't -- this plan that the President Biden has put forth is a plan for the American people and the American people like the plan. And there's a way to pay for it. And the plan does good things. I mean, the plan does lots of great things. Not for the Democratic Party, not for Joe Biden, does great things for Americans.

I think when you look at the plan, and when we get a chance to talk about it -- and I'm on here now talking about it -- I mean, these are investments in the future of America. These are not one time investments that you're going to make an investment and everybody's going to pay for it. It's going to be paid for by corporations. And it's going to be investments in the American people and the future of the American workforce, as well as the infrastructure of America.

And how we define infrastructure in this bill is not just roads and bridges. It's all types of infrastructure.

BURNETT: So you mentioned the unemployment piece of this. And in just the past week, 17 states said they're going to eliminate the $300 weekly federal pandemic unemployment benefits early. They're saying that they just -- people are choosing to take that instead of coming back to work as the economy reopens.

Those are Republican states. But those labor shortages are not just happening in Republican states. They're happening in your state, too. An official with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association told "The Boston Herald" today, quote: We absolutely have a labor shortage and the $300, I believe, is definitely a contributing factor.

And as I said, as you know, Secretary, we're hearing this from state to state. These benefits are supposed to go through September 6th.

So, is it time to acknowledge things have changed and say, look, maybe we should not be doing that over the next three months as we want the economy to reopen and everybody to go back to work and have a summer season?

WALSH: The $300 that was in the rescue plan is less than the $600 that was in the CARES plan. It's about creating opportunities for people that gone through a very difficult year. And we're still living in the midst of the pandemic. I don't see strong evidence across the board that there's 8 million

jobs open. There are Americans that won't go to war because of a $300 additional. Lots of people want to go back to work. Lots of people want to get back into the workplace.

I think when you think about this, we had just a jobs report last Friday and in that jobs report, it showed strong growth in areas of hospitality and restaurants. It showed more people looking for work in the month of April than in the month of March.

We're seeing -- you know, we've been talking about the light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic, but we're still living with the pandemic. People still have challenges. People still have childcare challenges.

Kids are still learning, hybrid and school, childcare facilities not fully open. People worried about their personal health. Not everyone is vaccinated.

You know, we are getting to reopening and we will start seeing -- these industries really quite honestly in some cases, just not opening in the last three weeks. So, I think as we move forward over the next couple of weeks, those concerns that people have today will start to go away because people want to get back into the job site.

BURNETT: All right. Well, of course, we'll see what we see, as you said, those -- what those numbers show.

Thank you so much, Secretary Walsh. I appreciate your time.

WALSH: Thanks for having me.

BURNETT: And next, HBO's Bill Maher, eight members of the Yankees, all testing positive for the coronavirus after being fully vaccinated. What is happening here? There is a broader thing we should all be thinking about.

A new video tonight of a mentally ill man being pepper-sprayed and tased before his death. Tonight, a South Carolina county sheriff is responding.



BURNETT: Tonight, HBO talk show host Bill Maher thanking fans for their support after he tested positive for COVID, despite being fully vaccinated. The real-time host, "The Real Time with Bill Maher", I'm sorry, says, he feels perfectly fine. They have canceled this week's taping, of course, because of the positive result.

It comes after eight members of the New York Yankees tested positive. They had all been fully vaccinated, in their case, with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

OUTFRONT now, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, what do you make of these cases, which we only found about,

because they're being tested?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is not entirely surprising, Erin. We knew that these so-called breakthrough cases, meaning someone's been vaccinated, and they still test positive, was possible. The vaccines, in the original trials, were shown to protect against people getting sick. And they also do a good job against protecting people from getting infected, but they're not perfect.

The big thing is that the Yankees, and Bill Maher, either had mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all. And that's sort of the key. That shows that the vaccines are working.

The newer science, I think, Erin, is really interesting here as well, and that is showing that even if you do have a breakthrough infection, your chance of being contagious, of them spreading the virus to someone else, really, really low. That's relatively new science, and that's sort of what to inform the CDC's recent change and recommendations. Remember, the agency say wear a mask even if vaccinated, because you could spread a virus, another saying that this quite low, so you don't need to wear a mask.

BURNETT: What about the Yankees? I know there's a lot we don't know. I know the NIH is looking into it. But, I mean, you know, those eight, either there were some issue with the injection, or they did all spread it to each other. I guess we don't know what it is, and it's hard to make of that one right, I guess.

GUPTA: Right. We don't know if they spread it to each other, if they contracted it somewhere else, or they all contracted it from the same person somewhere else. We just aren't sure about that.

But, I think only one person, if I read correctly, had any symptoms.


The others did not. I think that is the sort of key here.

There is not evidence, really, Erin -- I think it's really important to emphasize, that even if you have one of these breakthrough infections, that you would spread it. Like you say, we have to see what happened with the Yankees specifically, but we should -- I don't think we can jump to that conclusion yet.

BURNETT: All right. So, let me ask you, because obviously in these cases, they're sort -- they're all unusual in the sense of -- fully vaccinated people being regularly tested. That's not the case in general population. So, I guess we don't know what we will see if we were testing everybody. But let me ask you this case, because what we've been told, right, as there is a race between variants, and vaccine.

The variants spread in unvaccinated populations, and they can mutate and all of this. But if it's spreading even asymptomatically among the vaccinated, do you have any concern that it is also, then, mutating there, and, in fact, mutating in the presence of the vaccine in any way that could be troubling?

GUPTA: That is a really good question, Erin. I mean, this is something that I've thought about quite a bit. And, you know, the idea that you have a vaccinated person, they are now exposed to the virus, the virus is showing that this is a vaccinated person, I must behave differently as a virus, and mutate into a way that can sort of evade the protection from that virus, that is a real concern.

The metaphor would be like antibiotic resistance. You are sort of half treating an infection, and the remaining bacteria starts to learn how to evade the antibiotics power. That's a possibility, we haven't seen that yet, and what we do know is that the vaccine side there in the lab, or in real life, seems to be very protective against these variants.

But, the virus is still at, they're still continuing to spread, do, they essentially, become smarter, and mutate into a more efficient form? Possibly. I think that is the race. That is exactly what the race is between the virus and variants.

BURNETT: Yeah. All right. Thank you very much, Sanjay.

I want everyone to know, Sanjay has this incredible new film, produced by Sanjay, everything by you, Sanjay. "Race for the Vaccine", and definitely, you should watch it. Saturday night is the premier, 9:00 Eastern, with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

And next, disturbing new video of a mentally ill man dying in jail after deputies are seen using a Taser, and kneeling on his back.

Plus, they're two of the richest women in the world, Melinda Gates and MacKenzie Scott, formerly Bezos. How their divorces could actually make their multi billion dollar philanthropy even stronger.



BURNETT: Tonight, the Charleston County sheriff says an independent review of the department's use of force policies will be done. It comes as new body camera footage shows the death of Jamal Sutherland, a black man suffering from mental illness. He was repeatedly tased and pepper sprayed by deputies as they tried to remove him from his jail cell.

Ryan Young is OUTFRONT, and a warning that some of the video you will see in this package may be disturbing to you.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, newly- released video shows the events leading up to the death of 31 year old Jamal Sutherland, a black man awaiting a bond hearing for an alleged misdemeanor assault. Sutherland, whose family says he was diagnosed with mental health

issues, was involuntary treatment in the mental health facility in North Charleston, South Carolina. On the night of January 4th, authorities, responding to an altercation that broke out at the facility, arrested Sutherland after he, allegedly, assaulted a staff member. His family says, they were never notified, and are speaking out for the first time since the video has released.

AMY SUTHERLAND, JAMAL'S MOTHER: We got no information from anybody. We never knew he was taken from the mental health facility.

YOUNG: Sutherland died in custody the next morning, at the North Charleston detention center, after he was removed from his cell to attend a bond hearing.

The newly released body cam shows the timeline of what occurred, in the moments leading up to Sutherland's death. It shows officers, at his cell door, for several minutes, telling him to put his hands out to be cuffed, warning, if he doesn't comply, they will use force.

After several more failed attempts to coax him out, he's hit with more pepper spray, and they opened again, this time, deputies Tased Sutherland, and tell him to get on his stomach. He could be heard, asking, what's the meaning of this?

Deputies into the cell telling him to relax and not to resist. Deputies tased Sutherland multiple times to get control of him on the cell. He can be seen and heard, screaming on the ground. Two minutes later, Sutherland is eventually cuffed, and slipped out of his cell. His family saw the video for the first time, just one week ago.

A. SUTHERLAND: Mental illness does not give anybody the right to put their hands on my child.

YOUNG: Sutherland's father says a mental health professional, in the cell with his son, would've changed the outcome.

JAMES SUTHERLAND, JAMAL'S FATHER: He was already afraid and confused about the situation. And there was nobody in there to talk to him, with any compassion, to try to reason with him.

YOUNG: Today, Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano speaking out.

SHERIFF KRISTIN GRAZIANO, CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC: I won't tolerate any acts of violence against our citizens, or our residents at our facility, and I will not -- any acts of destruction that jeopardize the safety of that community.


YOUNG: Erin, the two deputies involved in this case are now on desk duty, but this is a difficult video to watch. It lasted more than 8 minutes and you can see it go on, and on, with no one stepping in. This investigation, continuing, but obviously, there's a lot of questions about what happened to this man inside the cell.

BURNETT: All right. Ryan, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

And next, they are two of the most influential philanthropist people in the world. And tonight, these two women may be even more powerful than before.



BURNETT: Two of the most popular women on earth once married to the richest man in the world, now possibly with more clout after divorce.

Here's Dan Simon.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They married two of the greatest entrepreneurs in history. But in their lives, Melinda Gates who recently filed a petition for divorce from husband and Microsoft founder Bill Gates and MacKenzie Scott who divorced Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2019 could be even more powerful driving forces behind their multibillion dollar philanthropies.

For more than 20 years, Melinda Gates has been deeply involved in the foundation she co-founded with her husband which they still plan to run together. The Gates Foundation directs grants to 135 countries to help fight poverty and disease. As of 2019, it had given away nearly $55 billion.

Her divorce could open a new chapter of giving opportunities for the world's largest charitable organization.

As for 51-year-old MacKenzie Scott.

MACKENZIE SCOTT, FORMER WIFE OF AMAZON CEO JEFF BEZOS: I tend to be interested in complex problems more than simple ones. I like to work on long projects.

SIMON: She publicly announced in a December media post that she had donated more than $4 billion in the course of just four months.

TAMMY TIBBETTS, AUTHOR: I think Melinda Gates and MacKenzie Scott remind us with great power comes great responsibility, and they're modeling for everyone.

SIMON: Tammy Tibbett is an author and the co-founder and CEO of a girl's education and advocacy group called She's the First.

TIBBETTS: Women of all income levels give more than men, give differently than men. So, you can only imagine when it's a woman who has billions of dollars, just the impact is through the roof.

SIMON: Recently remarried to a high school science teacher, MacKenzie Scott's philanthropy has focused on food banks, historically black colleges and universities, and charities helping women among other efforts. She met her former husband while working at a New York hedge fund. And Scott, who like Bezos, had graduated from Princeton, helps start Amazon in 1994.

Given her decades of work at the Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates is more well-known. She famously met Bill while working in product development at Microsoft.

MELISSA EFFRON HAYEK, DIRECTOR, UCLA WOMEN AND PHILANTROPHY: It's really inspiring to see women who have resources and are willing to support organizations entities with those resources and really make a statement. It empowers women to think I can make it myself, maybe not at that level but they're going to, you know, whatever I give will have meaning and will be important.

MELINDA GATES, CO-CHAIR, BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION: You invest in women's health. The other thing you do is you lift women up economically.

SIMON: Melinda and Bill's divorce announcement took the world by surprise. She hasn't indicated how her philanthropy could change once their divorce is final. But empowering women, and young girls has been a consistent priority for the 56-year-old. It's a key part of our work with Pivotal Ventures, and investment and incubation company she launched in 2015.

And, MacKenzie Scott has made it clear, she will continue with a rapid pace of giving. I have a disproportionate amount of money to share, she wrote. I will keep at it until the safe is empty.

Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco


BURNETT: And thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts right now.