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Erin Burnett Outfront

New Videos: Capitol Rioters Assault Police, Take Shields; U.S. General: GOP Criticizing Military On Diversity Is "Offensive"; Judge On Whitewashing Riot: "Don't Know What Planet" GOP Is On; Interview With Rep. Val Demings (D-FL); FBI Chief Explains Crime Surge: COVID Caused Trial Backlogs, Early Releases, Unemployment; White House And 10 Senators Strike Bipartisan Deal On Infrastructure; Interview With Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 23, 2021 - 19:00   ET


MEHRAY MEZENSOF, WIFE OF DETAINED UYGHUR: I can't imagine not seeing him again.



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Heartbreaking indeed. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, six new videos of the January 6th insurrection, rioters attacking police with a skateboard calling them effing traitors, pigs and A holes.

Plus, a deadly COVID outbreak in a Florida county government building, two people died, four hospitalized. Only one person exposed to the virus in the office didn't get it and he was vaccinated. I'm going to speak to the wife of one of the two people who lost their lives.

And I just want my life back, those are the words of Britney Spears asking the court to end her conservatorship. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, six new videos just released by the Justice Department showing up close the horrors from January 6th, the day of the deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill. Some of the video clips showing almost an hour of the siege from officers' body cams as the crowd harasses officers. I'm going to show you some crucial parts here and I warn you that these videos are disturbing. They contain profanity. However, we are not going to blur or bleep any of it because it's important, it happened and it gives you the full context.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not the left. We are not the godless left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're killing us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So how do you guys (inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're one of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) you fucking traitors (inaudible) ...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You must die. You must die.


BURNETT: Blank traitors, pigs, A holes, prosecutors say there's also a video of one of the rioters, Grady Owens, attacking police with a skateboard.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...


BURNETT: The chilling new images also show a man wearing a Trump Make America Great hat, Make America Great Again, I'm sorry, hat, clashing with police with chaos then ensuing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out. Get out. Get out.


BURNETT: Prosecutors say the video shows one of the riot defendants, Brian Mock of Minneapolis yelling and shoving an officer. He's also accused of kicking an officer to the ground. Four minutes later we see a police officer with a riot shield has fallen after another skirmish with the pro-Trump crowd. The rioters surrounding the Capitol then began chanting U.S.A., U.S.A. (inaudible) prosecutor say Mock could be seen taking riot shields from the officers.

The release of these new videos comes as the Joint Chief Chairman General Mark Milley forcefully fired back at a Republican congressman today who questioned why there was a seminar at West Point called 'understanding whiteness and white rage'. Gen. Milley saying he wanted to understand white rage, because he wanted to understand what caused the insurrection.


REP. MICHAEL WALTZ (R-FL): Can you agree at least that understanding whiteness and white rage presented in ICOL (ph) over a hundred cadets probably is something that we shouldn't be teaching our future leaders of the United States Army?

GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I want to understand white rage and I'm white, and I want to understand it. So what is it that cause thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America, what caused that? I want to find that out. I've read Mao Tse-tung, I've read Karl Marx, I've read Lenin, that doesn't make me a communist.


So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend? And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States Military, our general officers, our commissioned, and noncommissioned officers of being 'woke' or something else because we're studying some theories that are out there.


BURNETT: Also today, a judge who issued the first sentence for one of the charged rioters and rebuked Republicans who have tried to downplay the insurrection saying, "I don't know what planet they were on, and that the release of new videos of the insurrection 'will show the attempt of some congressman to rewrite history that these are tourists walking through the capitol.'" Well, the judge did not name names, but we know exactly the congressman she's talking about.


REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): The propagandists claim that this was an armed insurrection, but no guns were found.

REP. JODY HICE (R-GA): It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others.

REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): As a result, the DOJ is harassing peaceful patriots across the country.

REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): 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: False, false, false, false, yet the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy today admitted that he has not said anything to Republicans like those, like Mr. Clyde who have pushed lies and conspiracy theories about the insurrection.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Yes. I haven't talked to those members.


BURNETT: "I haven't talked to those members," he says. Paula Reid is OUTFRONT. So, Paula, these new videos and we're showing some parts of them, but obviously extremely disturbing what you're seeing, these assaults on police officers.

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: It's incredibly disturbing, Erin, and today the Justice Department released these never before seen clips and they mostly come from body camera footage and surveillance footage and clearly show rioters harassing and attacking police on January 6th.

Now, what makes this footage so extraordinary is that it is taken from the viewpoint of the police as they were overrun and it's just the latest chilling frame by frame account of how the pro-Trump crowd broke into federal buildings as police tried to protect themselves and the Capitol. Assaulting police is one of the charges the Justice Department has brought against dozens of Capitol riot defendants among their nearly 500 federal criminal cases.

Now these videos also, though, were only made public after more than a dozen news outlets led by CNN fought to make them public. See these clips, these have been used in court cases against defendants charged in the attack but they're not made public until news outlets fought for the public to be able to see them.

Now, these new videos released today are specifically, they have been used in the case against Grady Owens. Now, he's accused of attacking officers with a skateboard after he and his family allegedly came to D.C. to support the former president's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Now, one of these clips is actually 50 minutes long and there you can actually see Grady Owens holding his skateboard, engaging with police officers. Now, Owens has been charged with six crimes including assaulting officers with a dangerous weapon, impeding passage through the Capitol and other violence on the grounds. He has pleaded not guilty.

There was a lot going on today with the Capitol riot cases, Erin. Actually, interestingly, another judge actually applauded Chief Judge Beryl Howell for making public these tapes, saying how they would show Republican lawmakers how serious the siege was and that the rioters were far from acting like tourists as one Republican suggested as we saw in your intro.

And again, these clips are so critically important at this moment, Erin, as right-wing websites and some lawmakers continue to try to shift blame for the insurrection away from the President and his supporters. But these videos, they provide a frame-by-frame account of exactly what happened that day, which is why CNN and other outlets will continue to release more.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Paula. And of course, obviously, that's so crucial, which is exactly why we show them to you in full. We don't try to audit them in any way.

OUTFRONT now Democratic Congresswoman from Florida, Val Demings. She's also a Democratic candidate now for Senate in the State of Florida.

Congresswoman, I appreciate your time. So you see these videos and yet you hear the deniers in the Republican Party. They were there that day. They actually saw what happened. Video shouldn't need to be there for them to know what happened. And the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says he hasn't talked to any of the Republicans who are pushing lies and conspiracy theories about that day. Will anything change these people's minds when they were there as I said that day and they still don't admit the truth?


REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): Well, Erin, it's great to be back with you and I appreciate you playing - given the perspective of the full context of what occurred on January 6th. I was there that day as well as the Republicans who are involved in lies and conspiracy theories.

I'm not really sure what they are going through. I think it's disgraceful that they can see these images, which you're right, they don't have to see the images. They were there, scrambling for their lives as well. As matter of fact, some of the ones who have had the most to say, denying what happened were some of the first ones to run for safety. But what the police went through that day was absolutely horrible.

As a former law enforcement officer when we went through training, basically, we learned that if you're in an all out fight, you're only good for about 30 seconds in an all out fight. What we know is that the men and women in blue on that day were engaged in combat for hours. And I think it's just disgraceful that the Republicans and the Republican leadership in particular has not taken responsibility and frankly have no interest in getting to the bottom of what happened.

BURNETT: So you heard the exchange today between Congressman Waltz and Gen. Milley. Gen. Milley, you could hear the passion and the outrage in his voice. He says it's important to understand white rage because he wants to understand the insurrection. Do you think that's what it was about?

DEMINGS: Well, I commend Gen. Milley for saying that he wants to understand what happened on January 6th. We all want to understand what happened on January 6th, the American people do.


DEMINGS: The only people who don't want to understand or know are my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. But Gen. Milley also talked about understanding is important to the discipline and the cohesiveness of our military and so I commend him. The political gains for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, as you saw in that here and are simply disgraceful. But I commend the General for his comments today.

BURNETT: So in the hearing, Congressman Gaetz had a heated exchange with the Defense Secretary Austin and this was about three words which have become kind of go to for some in the GOP and those words are critical race theory. Let me play the exchange.


REP. MATT GAETZ (D-FL): How should the Department of Defense think about critical race theory?

MILLEY: Could I make a comment, Secretary? I'm sorry.

GAETZ: Well, I'm very limited on my time, Gen. Milley.

MILLEY: Well, I just want to make comment (inaudible) ...

GAETZ: Well, I know, but I've asked the question to the Secretary Austin.

JAMES AUSTIN, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I don't know what the issue of critical race theory is and what the relevance here with the department. We do not teach critical race theory. We don't embrace critical race theory and I think that's a spurious conversation.


BURNETT: I mean, it couldn't have been more clear there. He's saying this is spurious. We don't embrace it. This is not something we do and yet the GOP keeps pushing it. They think that pinning that concept on Democrats on this administration is somehow going to be good for them politically. Do you fear that that's true?

DEMINGS: Erin, what is sad is that the Republicans have no real agenda. They have no real agenda and they've been spending the majority of their time putting up smoke and mirrors. They believe that if they can divide our country along racial lines, then somehow they gain some type of win. Well, the American people aren't falling for it and they keep pushing whatever theories they can.

Let me just say this, I think Secretary Austin handled it well. We will not allow ourselves to be divided along racial lines. We are going to make the Republicans focus on the issues that people care about and how about let's get to the bottom of what happened on January 6th. Let's talk about that, because I think all Americans are interested in that.

BURNETT: Now, of course, as you talk about, you're a former police chief, our Jeff Zeleny is reporting that there's growing concern in the White House about the surge in violent crime that we are now seeing across this country. He's reporting that they're worried it could give Republicans the upper hand against Democrats in 2022. As I said, you're a former police chief but it's playing out already on your Senate race. Here's what Sen. Rubio had to say about you.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Congresswoman Demings was on TV calling plans to defund the police thoughtfully and describing a violent riot as a beautiful sight. So in the weeks ahead, the voters of Florida are going to be reminded of my record of significant and common sense achievements. And they're also going to learn more about how ineffective, and far-left and extremist the real Val Demings is when she's in Washington.



BURNETT: You responded with a photo showing you in your police uniform with a puzzled look on your face. And as I said, you're a veteran of law enforcement, 27 years, the first female police chief in Orlando history. But Rubio is trying to paint you obviously as anti-police. Do you have any concern in the broader context right now that that could be successful?

DEMINGS: I have absolutely no concern. I spent 27 years as a law enforcement officer. Had the honor of working my way up through the ranks to become chief of police. I was concerned about violent crime then. We worked hard along with our community to reduce violent crime by over 40 percent.

We're concerned about violent crime now and the Democratic members on my side of the aisle are the ones who are really trying to do something about the increase in crime that we see throughout this nation. I don't know of anything Sen. Rubio has done to address crime in this nation.

As matter of fact, Sen. Rubio voted against an independent commission to investigate what happened on January 6th. So look, the bottom line, Erin, desperate people do and say desperate things and obviously the Senator is desperate.

BURNETT: All right. Congresswoman Demings, I appreciate your time tonight. I thank you.

And that spike in crime, President Biden addressing it. The crime spike across this nation: murders, shootings, cities on edge. I'm going to speak to two police chiefs next. Are they getting what they need?

Plus, new details about that COVID outbreak in a Florida county office building in which two people died, four more hospitalized. A woman whose husband died says he wore a mask but was not vaccinated. She's my guest.

And Britney Spears savaging her family going off in an explosive court hearing hoping to regain control of her life from her own father. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BURNETT: Tonight, the summer crime surge, President Biden struggling with how to handle the surge in violent crimes across the United States.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Crime has historically rises during the summer. And as we emerge from this pandemic with the country opening back up again, the traditional summer spike may even be more pronounced than it usually would be.


BURNETT: This is a major issue for the President and he knows it, concern is rising within the White House about what's happening across this country. And when you look at a few of the biggest cities in this country, the numbers are shocking. All but one of the top cities with crime surges run by Democratic mayors, according to the Major Cities Chiefs Association in Chicago, the major city with the highest number of homicides so far this year at 37 percent increase in homicides in the first quarter compared with a year ago.

Miami, a doubling, Los Angeles a 41 percent surge, Philadelphia, 25, City of Baltimore was up six. That looks good, comparatively. Oakland, California's rate tripling, 200 percent increase. I'm going to speak with the police chiefs in Baltimore and Oakland in just a moment. As for mass shootings, there have been at least 293 in the United States so far in 2021, which is a 40 percent jump at this point in 2020 which already had an increase of its own.

Some Democrats concerned about police violence against Americans, though do not believe that police can solve the problem.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): What are you willing to sacrifice to make sure that overfunded police departments are defunded?

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): The Minneapolis Police Department is rotten to the root. And so when we dismantle it, we get rid of that cancer.

REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): I understand that people don't like the slogan, I get that, but I don't like death. I don't like black death. I don't like to keep seeing my people die at the hands of police and nothing is happening.


BURNETT: And Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib recently tweeted, "No more policing, incarceration and militarization. It can't be reformed." Now, to be clear, this is an idea President Biden has never supported. He was clear about that before he took office and he's been clear since. Nonetheless, this is now a crisis facing this country and, of course, he is president.

As I mentioned, two big city police chiefs who are dealing with this rise in crime in their own cities are with us now. Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison is here with me for the East Coast and from the West in Oakland, California Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong who participated virtually in President Biden's event on policing today and I appreciate both of you.

Chief Armstrong, let me start with you because you've dealt personally with violent crime with a horrible loss in your own life with your brother who was shot and killed and you deal with it every day now as a professional. How worried are you about what you're seeing and your ability to do something about it?

LERONNE ARMSTRONG, OAKLAND, CA POLICE CHIEF, VIRTUALLY ATTENDED BIDEN EVENT TODAY: Well, I'm extremely worried. When you see numbers like you just presented of 200 percent increases in homicides, that is extremely concerning, concerning for the residents of Oakland, concern for my own police officers. It is a difficult time right now in Oakland, when you have 61 homicides in our city so far this year. And to hear what we're hearing in the community from some about defunding is concerning because we risk public safety.

BURNETT: I mean, those numbers and how people feel when they suddenly feel insecure makes people think twice, some people. Commissioner Harrison, I want to play for you what the FBI Director said today about why he thinks this is happening.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: COVID had a huge impact. You talk about everything from trial backlogs, early releases, unemployment, et cetera. We have more juveniles committing violent crime and there's all kinds of challenges in our legal system for dealing with them.


BURNETT: Chief, if something big is not done here, how bad could this get?

MICHAEL HARRISON, BALTIMORE POLICE COMMISSIONER: Well, first of all, Erin, thank you for having me on and hello to Chief Armstrong. I think the Director was spot on. My mayor and I talk about these things all the time.


HARRISON: The COVID factor. But there are a number of dynamics at play. You have people without jobs, you have education, addiction, the whole drug market that's fueling the violence retaliatory acts.


But then we're also seeing a spike in domestic violence and close acquaintance, shootings and killings that have all to do with conflict resolution or the lack thereof of conflict resolution skills. And so we're working with a number of dynamics that if something doesn't happen quickly, we're going to see even more violence in.

Although our increase is only 6 percent, our numbers are still astronomically high and we're working as a city to bring that down with comprehensive, multidisciplinary solutions that helps people have a life away from violent crime, along with the enforcement against those who are perpetrating that violent crime.

BURNETT: Right. And I understand just to be clear what you're saying here is there's policing and there's things you do in addition to policing. Some of the people that we heard though, some elected officials, they are against policing all together. No more policing, incarceration and militarization. It can't be reformed. That's Rashida Tlaib and she's not alone in that sentiment, Chief Armstrong.

I know that you participated in President Biden's event today. He has been clear all the way through before election, after election that he does not support Tlaib's point of view. He does not support defunding the police. Here's his record.


BIDEN: I've totally opposed to defunding the police officers.

I don't support defunding the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can we be sure that we don't over legislate police officers so that they can't do their job to protect the law abiding citizens who live in these high crime neighborhoods and yet trained officers to police with compassion?

BIDEN: By, number one, not defunding the police.


BURNETT: I mean, he's saying very clearly what he thinks, Chief. But is he doing enough right now to give you what you need?

ARMSTRONG: Yes, I think today was a tremendous step forward. The idea that funding would be available to support additional officers, funding to support violence prevention work because I think that's key. That is not just about enforcement. That is also about violence intervention.

And then when he spoke about additional resources to support our efforts to reduce guns coming into our community, particularly ghost guns, the additional staff into our strike forces from the ATF will be really helpful in the City of Oakland. We have guns that continue to come in our community from across state borders and I think what they talked about today, the President, as well as the Attorney General could be really helpful for the City of Oakland to give us the support we need to address the violence in our community.

BURNETT: Commissioner Harrison, President Biden says he's going to allow $350 billion in COVID funds to go to police departments that have seen an increase in crime. Has the broader conversation out there right now, though, about policing and about police reform, has it negatively impacted morale or your officers feeling that they can do their jobs?

HARRISON: Well, that's a great question. Our department is in a federally mandated consent decree in year four. And so we are four years ahead of where most people are beginning to start when it comes to a reform.

And though we have a long way to go, you can have reform and fight violent crime at the same time. They're not mutually exclusive and there's always a morale issue, but it's all about training the officers to do their jobs the right way and that's what we're asking of our police officers.

I think today's announcement gives us the ability to move forward. It enhances our ability to have programmatic solutions in addition to enforcement. So once again, help people have a life away from violent crime along with the enforcement for those who are perpetrating and terrorizing our streets. It helps us, number one, solve crimes and slow down the stem of guns coming into our city and focusing on the violent repeat offenders who are pulling the trigger.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Chief Armstrong, Commissioner Harrison. I appreciate you both.

ARMSTRONG: Thank you, Erin, for having me.

HARRISON: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, workers in a Florida government building sick with COVID. Two of them have died. The wife of one of the people who lost his life is my guest.

And Democrats say the Voting Rights Bill was one of the most important pieces of legislation of this time, but was there ever actually a plan to actually pass it?



BURNETT: Tonight, we're learning new details about a deadly COVID outbreak at a government office in Florida.

Two people have died, four others hospitalized. The only worker who was directly exposed and didn't get sick was vaccinated. The county is getting ready to hold a vaccine clinic to prevent something like this from happening again and it comes as we're learning the names of the two people who passed away after this outbreak: Alphonso Cox, you him see there, and Mary Knight.

OUTFRONT now, Kim Strong-Cox, Alphonso's wife.

Kim, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I know to this point imagining what is happening is impossible to grasp. So I am so sorry. I know that your husband had been going into work throughout the pandemic. He had been wearing a mask. He had been going to work. Finally fell ill a few weeks ago.

Again, at this point, we're so far through this. At what point did you realize something was really wrong?

KIM STRONG-COX, UNVACCINATED HUSBAND DIED AFTER COVID OUTBREAK AT FLORIDA OFFICE: Well, he went to -- he was at home and he just, you know, not feeling well and just looked, you know, chills here and there, and then he decided Wednesday to take the COVID test and he got the results back and it was positive. So -- and then -- so he stayed home. We, you know, did some things to try to get better and everything so he end up going to the hospital a week later, like that Wednesday.

He told me he didn't -- he couldn't take it anymore because he was complaining of his back and side and he said he couldn't take it anymore. So he ended up going, he told me to call EMS and I did.


BURNETT: Were you able to be there with him?

STRONG-COX: No, I was not able to be there with him at all. I had contracted -- I had COVID, as well.

BURNETT: I'm just so sorry. So I know your husband was a faithful mask wearer and, you know, you said he had a drawer full of clean masks. He had been going to work through the pandemic wearing his mask. I know he had not gotten the vaccine but it was something I understand you talked about, Kim.

Is that something he was considering?

STRONG-COX: Yes, both of us was considering it, you know, looking into it but we still had the unknown of the vaccine. We just -- we wasn't ready yet, you know, so we just were still researching and trying to follow up, you know, about the vaccine. So we just wasn't ready yet.

BURNETT: What would you -- you know, you say to others who might be in your situation and it's understandable. We all know people that are hesitant in trying to, you know, like you were to get to that point. But what do you say to someone now who is thinking about it who is not vaccinated yet? I mean, given that this is just a horribly sad and tragic thing has just happened and up ended your life, your children's life and your grandchildren's life.

STRONG-COX: Again, it's their choice not to be vaccinated. However, you know, if you're vaccinated, you know, just keep everybody safe. You know, keep everybody safe. If you're not vaccinated, again, like I said, it your choice and, you know, we don't have to, but the only thing, take precaution.

You know, you don't know, wear your mask around others. Keep your hands clean and, you know, all the protocols on that but I mean, again, like I said, it's our choice. It's our choice not to be vaccinated. But just be considering others and wear your mask and be safe.

BURNETT: So, you know, when you think about what happened in that office, the county I know now -- I talked about the vaccine drive they were going to try to do. They don't require vaccination or masks actually in that administration building. Do you think that -- I guess you don't think vaccines should be required but should masks be then, do you think?

STRONG-COX: I think masks should be required. I do. Because you never know who is vaccinated and who is not. But I still think masks should be required and then maybe gradually take it away but as of right now, it's still out there, corona is still out there. COVID is still out there. So I really truly believe masks should still be required.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I really appreciate your time, Kim, and I'm so sorry for your loss and Alphonso and for your family, kids and grand children. I hope people here hear you. Thank you so much.

STRONG-COX: Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. And I want to go to the Manatee County administrator, Scott Hopes, who is also an epidemiologist who worked on the SARS epidemic.

Scott, I know we talk the other day, and, you know, Kim's case is tragic he lost her husband at this point so many people in this country believe this pandemic is over and maybe that's why more masks were off, right, people think it's behind them. But this variant is highly transmissible. Could be more deadly. You know, what do you say to this tragic situation?

SCOTT HOPES, MANATEE COUNTY, FLORIDA ADMINISTRATOR: Well, first, you know, my thoughts and prayers go out to the Coxs and Knights and Mrs. Cox and Allen Kim (ph) had given so much to the community decades to the children of Manatee County and the school system and it's an incredible loss.

The pandemic is not over. The virus is still with us. It's getting more virulent. And in the cases we've seen here, more deadly.

And the vaccine works. We know how to prevent it. If one chooses not to get vaccinated, we know that N95 masks work. We know that handwashing and social distancing works as Ms. Cox said, it's a choice and we've provided that choice. And the county commissioners provide N95 masks to everybody who wants to use them when they enter the building.

But I think we've been desensitized. I mean, it's been going for a year and a half now, and I think people tire of it. But that doesn't mean the pandemic ended, and it hasn't. This is a perfect example.

And here in Manatee County in this situation, we've shown the vaccination works.


In fact, the virus hit a fire wall when it went to the sixth person who was vaccinated. And after that, it stopped.

BURNETT: Right. That person is the person who didn't get sick. And as you talk about, I mean, as you write, people are desensitized. You know, you see a life lost here.

You mentioned the sports academy. You know, they put a statement out saying Coach Al Cox personified dedication and selflessness. He gave genuinely of himself. You know, he did so much for his community and now he's gone.

What can you tell me, Scott, about the employees, the other employees with families and lives and full deep lives now hospitalized at this point fighting for their lives?

HOPES: Well, and none of the employees were hospitalized now. They're out of the hospital, but a lot of sorrow. These are -- these are employees that knew al for like 20 years. I was on the school board. He was active with the school district as Kim has been.

And it's just an incredible loss, and it's unfortunate, and these types of losses are preventable and look, the vaccine works. And life is too precious, especially someone like Coach Al who daily gave so much, not just in his job but in his spare time he continued to give so much to the community and it's going to be a great loss to Manatee County.

BURNETT: Well, as you say, every death from the virus at this point is a great loss. The CDC said as you said, every one is preventable and makes the tragedy more the painful.

Thank you so much, Scott. Appreciate talking to you.

HOPES: And these are younger people.

BURNETT: Right. As you point out, younger people as young as 40 hospitalized. All right. Thank you very much, Scott.

And next, more breaking news. There is an agreement apparently on an infrastructure deal between the White House and the ten group -- group of ten bipartisan senators. This news is just coming in. So, we're going to get details for you next on Capitol Hill.

And we've obtained exclusive emails between an angry Biden campaign and Facebook questioning why the social media giant was allowing misinformation from Trump with, they said, little to no consequence.


BURNETT: Breaking news, Republican Senator Mitt Romney and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin saying a deal has been reached with the White House on a bipartisan infrastructure bill. The total cost, all right, this is a deal that they said, this isn't just a bipartisan group of senators. They've got a deal, D's and R's, plus White House equal deal, $1.2 trillion is the total cost over eight years, $579 billion in new spending included in that.

So, both senators say the bill is fully paid for.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill.

Manu, obviously, this is really crucial.


There'd been all discussions about using COVID relief funds, right, roll that over and then you would need additional pay-fors. What can you tell us about this deal?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, we do know there is this bipartisan overall agreement on the top line of the deal you laid it out there, $1.2 trillion over eight years, as well as $579 billion in new spending. But we don't have all the details given to us yet about how exactly this will be paid for.

But the senators say that they have reached an agreement with the White House about how this would be paid for and what they've said all along is that would not raise taxes and talks about redirecting already spent COVID relief money. There have been resistance from the White House of raising the gas tax subject to inflation. We don't expect that ultimately got in this deal.

But they do say after days of marathon negotiations including the last two days they have signed off on this. This is ten senators from both sides including several White House officials inside the room. And right at the moment, the leaders of that -- Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, are meeting with this deal in the works as well.

And tomorrow is a key meeting. President Biden will meet with the senators tomorrow at the White House. The White House confirmed that and what they're calling this they made progress towards an outline of a potential agreement. They don't go as far as saying there is an absolute agreement on the table. They are saying progress towards an outline of a potential agreement.

But the senators who came out of the room, Joe Manchin, Mitt Romney, Bill Cassidy, senators from both parties said there is overall agreement about how this deal would look like.

And now the hard part, though, comes, Erin. They have to draft the legislative details that will take some time and sell it to each respective caucus. They have to get the votes to get it out of both chambers, narrowly divided chambers in the House and Senate and this is a fraction of what a lot of liberals want, a lot of Democrats want and what the White House want, which is $4 trillion to spend on infrastructure and expanding social safety net. So, there's one piece of a larger puzzle here, but the White House has been pushing for a bipartisan deal.

It appears they have it. And the question is, what does it look like when we see the details and will they have the votes? Erin? BURNETT: Those two crucial questions.

All right. Manu, thank you very much.

So, let go to someone that has a lot to say about the answers to those two things -- Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado.

And, Senator, I really appreciate your time.

So, you know, obviously, we hear the deal, $1.2 trillion over eight years, $579 billion in new spending.

Senator Portman who's a lead negotiator says both sides were able to, quote, get there on the pay-fors but there are some details that still need to be worked out, which is, you know, kind of like I'm throwing that there at the end but I know it really matters.

Senator, do you -- do you -- are you-- does this sound good to you? Do you think there really is a deal there?

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO): It sounds like there is and, sure, I think it's good if there's bipartisan agreement, that is something that the American people would like to have. Some of us have always known that the Republicans were never going to be willing to touch a single one of Donald Trump's tax cuts for the wealthiest people in America and so, that pay-for has been completely unavailable in the course of this negotiation.

So, as Manu said, I think this is a piece of a much larger discussion that we're going to be having with respect to a reconciliation bill going forward, and these two things are going to have to, I think, travel together for either of them to have a chance of passing.

BURNETT: Okay. So then you're talking about reconciliation. You know, you could obviously get this through with fewer votes. Are you confident Democrats have the votes to pass it?

BENNET: To pass, which? The reconciliation bill?

BURNETT: Well, to pass the infrastructure bill. I know you're sort of implying that one can't go without the other.

BENNET: No, I think there are two pieces of this. So, one is and I've learned not to predict the future around this place but one is there -- it seems that there is a bipartisan deal on an infrastructure bill that may or may not be paid for but is not paid for by reversing the Trump tax cuts for the wealthy. That, I think, will get more than 60 votes in the Senate probably and will pass.

But whether it gets 60 votes is going to be contingent on whether there are votes for reconciliation packages as well to do all the important things that still need to be done like my bill to cut childhood poverty almost in half in this country.

I think the things are likely to travel together and that means that we're likely to succeed, which would be really good for the American people who have not seen a descent infrastructure bill or investment in them in almost 50 years.

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

BENNET: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

BURNETT: All right. Senator Bennet there.

And now, to a CNN exclusive, we've obtained emails sent by the Biden campaign to Facebook, ripping the company for they say not doing enough to stop the disinformation that Trump and Trump allies were putting out before the election.


Donie O'Sullivan is OUTFRONT.



DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just weeks before the election, this video from then President Trump's son begun circulating online.

TRUMP JR.: The radical left are laying the groundwork to steal this election from my father. We need every able-bodied man, woman to join army for Trump's election security operation.

O'SULLIVAN: The video's release on Facebook prompted a flurry of frantic emails between people working the campaign and Facebook. The fact this video is on your platform and being used to recruit some sort of and, I quote, army for Trump's election security effort is astounding, a senior Biden campaign official wrote to wrote to Facebook.

When a Facebook official responded saying it didn't violate their policy so the video would not be removed from the platform but it would be labeled, the same Biden official responded to Facebook: The Trump campaign has received the message that they may put videos on your platforms saying that millions of fraudulent votes would be used to steal the election. And the solution to that is for able-bodied people to enlist in an army. Good gracious. I struggle to believe that is the precedent you are intending to set.

The Democratic National Committee is worried misinformation is restricting voting rights and will be a major issue in next year's midterms.

SAM CORNALE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: The question for me is what has Facebook done to address what happened? The incitement of violence, the spreading of misinformation now being used to justify anti-voter legislation. And I just simply don't think they've done enough, Donie. O'SULLIVAN: In the days after the election, the Stop the Steal

movement began spreading on Facebook. A DNC official flagged to Facebook one group that was said to be suggesting political violence and included content from QAnon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is still your president!

O'SULLIVAN: Meanwhile, Trump supporters began taking to the streets repeating some of those lies they had seen on social media.

The ballots that you said you saw are lying around the place or in trash cans or whatever, where are you hearing that from?

ANDREW WALKER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, the videos are going viral everywhere. I've seen them on TikTok. I've seen them on Facebook. I've seen them on Fox News. I've seen them on the local news around my area.

O'SULLIVAN: There is a ton of social media platforms.


O'SULLIVAN: Why are we talking about Facebook here?

CORNALE: Well, Facebook has the biggest reach, and I think presents one of the biggest challenges. This challenge isn't for the Democratic Party. This challenge is for American democracy.

O'SULLIVAN: Katie Paul tracks extremism online.

KATIE PAUL, DIRECTOR, TECH TRANSPARENCY PROJECT: What Facebook should be doing right now is the exact same thing it should've been doing a year ago and two years before that, ensuring this content is not easily accessible on the platform.

O'SULLIVAN: Facebook did take down some of the posts of groups devoted to election lies and groups like QAnon, that were flagged by the DNC and the Biden campaign. Facebook declined an on-camera interview for this story, but Facebook's spokesperson Andy Stone told CNN: We've done more than any other internet company to combat harmful content, including limiting content that saw to delegitimize the outcome of the election both before and after January 6th.

But Democrats say Facebook is simply not doing enough.

CORNALE: We're not asking them to take down everything that we don't like. We're asking them to take down rhetoric that incites violence, that disenfranchises people from their constitutional right to vote, that spreads misinformation about democracy or about elected officials, or it makes it harder for us to compete on a fair playing field.


O'SULLIVAN (on camera): And, Erin, Democrats that my colleague and I, Don Merica, have spoken to our very concerned on what's happening online still about the Arizona audit, the Republican-led sham audit, and also going into the 20 -- next year's midterms.

Finally, I should just mention that after Donald Trump Jr., that video of Donald Jr. spewing lies about the election and calling for an army for his dad, Facebook did change its policies, to strengthen them around top of militarization, at polling locations. But it didn't apply to retrospective posts. So, today, still, that video from Trump junior is up on Facebook.

BURNETT: Amazing.

All right. Donie, thank you so much for that great report.

And next, Britney Spears lashing out in a court hearing in a legal fight with her own father, saying she is forced to even use birth control, saying she just wants her life back.



BURNETT: Britney Spears' life has been legally controlled by others including her father for more than a decade. She says it's enough. She's let out in a court hearing today.

Stephanie Elam is OUTFRONT.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Britney Spears is angry. She wants her life back, and she wants the world to know it.

Speaking remotely to a Los Angeles County courtroom, the pop singer said her wish and dream is for the conservatorship to end. A legal arrangement she's lived under for nearly 13 years.

In the status hearing, Spears expressed her frustration over the lack of control of her own life, saying, quote, I am traumatized. I'm not happy. I can't sleep, I'm so angry, it's insane.

The trouble for Britney Spears began in 2007. It was then that her girl next door image seemingly unraveled. The paparazzi there to capture many uncomfortable moments in the pop seniors personal life.

The following year, multiple health and psychiatric issues led spears to the hospital in January. Her father, Jamie Spears, filed a petition to Los Angeles County superior court that February, to place are under temporary probate conservatorship. Jamie Spears and attorney Andrew Wallet were made permanent coconspirators of Britney's estimated $60 million estate in October.

Her father was also given control of her medical care. Something Spears took issue with in this latest hearing, saying, quote, I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told I can't get married. I have an IUD inside me, but a so-called team won't let me go to the doctor to remove it because they don't want me to have any more children. This conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Usually, most conservatorship's in court are for

the elderly, people that have exhibited memory deficits or judgment deficits that are pervasive and most likely going to endure the rest of their lives.

ELAM: Yet, while under conservatorship, Britney Spears kept working, releasing several albums that went platinum.


ELAM: Holding down her domination Las Vegas residency, and serving as a judge on the "X-Factor". Attorney Andrew Wallet resigned in the spring of 2019, leaving Spears' father in control of just about every aspect of Britney's life.

In August however, Britney pushed back. In legal document, her court- appointed lawyer stated Britney is, quote, strongly opposed to having her father as conservator and requested that Jamie be removed. Instead, a judge in November added Bessemer Trust, a private wealth and management firm, as a co-conservator to oversee her estate.

Now, Spears says she wants to pick her own lawyer. And as she said in court, quote, I just want my life back.


ELAM (on camera): But before all of that, up next, likely another court date for Britney Spears to officially petition the court to remove this conservatorship. Also worth noting that after she spoke her piece that the whole world could hear, she also said now she believes all the proceedings should be sealed -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Stephanie, thank you very much. Pretty incredible story.

And thanks to all of you for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.