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Erin Burnett Outfront
McCarthy Finalizing House GOP Picks For Jan. 6 Special Committee After Threatening Members Who Accept Offer To Serve Panel; Interview With Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA); Rep. Greene Compares Biden Vaccine Push To Nazi-Era "Brown Shirts" Despite Recent Apology For Holocaust Remarks; Trump Files Lawsuits Against Social Media Companies Who Suspended His Account After Jan. 6 Insurrection; Moments Of Silence For Condo Victims, Operation Turns To Recovery. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 07, 2021 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: And that's it for me. Thanks very much for watching.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Kevin McCarthy's likely shortlist for Republicans on the January 6th special committee have one thing in common, Trump defenders. This as the former president today sticks up for the rioters at the expense of Capitol Hill police.
Plus, Trump lies are bad for business. Rudy Giuliani's law license now suspended in Washington, D.C. after he was already suspended in New York State.
And a moment of silence in Surfside, Florida this hour. That rescue operation is now officially a recovery operation. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, McCarthy and the Trump defenders. Kevin McCarthy is about to pick the Republicans for the January 6 Special Committee. Now, actually doing this moving to pick them is a big shift in strategy because just days ago that same Kevin McCarthy threatened any Republican who accepted an offer from Nancy Pelosi to serve on the panel.
So you might say, oh, well, he's putting people on it now. He's woken up. He wants to know the truth. No. At least right now, this appears to be McCarthy making a farce of the truth, because many of the likely Republicans on his list have something specific in common and that is that they're Trump's defenders about the insurrection. Any of them have helped to whitewash what happened on January 6th.
When a mob of Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol, breaking windows, forcing doors open, beating officers with whatever they had on them, hockey stick, an American flag, a fire extinguisher. People die. Officer lost an eye. People were yelling hang Mike Pence.
So do McCarthy's likely GOPers want to know why this happened? Are they open to the truth? Do they want to know? Well, just listen to them because they've already made up their minds about who was not responsible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They impeach the President of the United States for saying peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.
REP. JIM BANKS (R-IN): The president was clear in his speech. I've watched it over and over. I've read the transcript. He told his supporters to go to the Capitol, make your voice heard and do it peacefully. He was clear about that.
REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): This is not what the President had in mind. He said clearly he didn't want anybody to storm the Capitol.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Ignoring what happened that day, ignoring what happened in the months before. Those are words from people. Those words showing they have no intention of wanting to know the truth. And as for Trump, not only as he tried to whitewash the entire incident, he continues by the way to say the whole election was rigged and he won it.
Today, he lionized one of the rioters. That rioter, Ashli Babbitt. Now, she was shot and killed by a Capitol Police Officer while trying to climb through a broken window in order to access the Speaker's lobby.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There were no guns in the Capitol. They burned - except for the gun that shot Ashli Babbitt and nobody knows who that man were. Why isn't that person being opened up, and why isn't that being studied? They've already written it off. They said that case is closed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: We know. They know about it and know all about it that officer who risked his or her life by the way to defend the U.S. Capitol that day was cleared of any wrongdoing by federal prosecutors. And by the way you heard Trump there say, oh, no guns except for the one that killed her. No, that's not true. There were guns on Capitol grounds in addition to the one that killed Babbitt, brought by rioters. The Justice Department charged the rioter just last month with bringing a handgun on to Capitol grounds that day.
It's hard to have to sit here and just correct basic facts but we all know facts have always been optional for the former president. And they seem to be now alluding to people that McCarthy is likely to pick to investigate what happened on January 6th, at least publicly. Because when you hear what a lot of these folks say publicly say do they really believe this. Well, who knows what's in their heart, in their mind, but one of their colleagues for sure says they do know better but just won't say it out loud.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I think the vast majority, if not all of
them, my colleagues believe that this was a Trump incited insurrection.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That was Republican Adam Kinzinger.
Ryan Nobles is OUTFRONT live on Capitol Hill to begin our coverage tonight. And Ryan, this is really crucial because whatever comes out of Capitol Hill here is going to go into the national consciousness, into the history books. It may not be what it should have been. But these things matter. These committees matter. And now I know the Democratic side of the January 6 Select Committee just wrapped up a strategy meeting. The names of these potential Republican members obviously are crucial for them and how this is going to go.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's no doubt about that, Erin. And that's why this decision by Kevin McCarthy right now is the next big thing that we are waiting to see because it will determine just how partisan this investigation by the House Select Committee will end up being. And we're told that Kevin McCarthy is strategizing as to who the five people he will select to be on this committee will be and he's trying to find a balance here and it is a careful line that he has to walk here.
He wants people that will be considered serious, legislators that care about the process but at the same time will be loyal to the Republican Party, loyal to him specifically and then you have to assume by extension the former president, Donald Trump.
But we're also hearing that what he's probably not going to do is select someone who represents the far conservative and controversial wing of the Republican Party. Members like Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia or Matt Gaetz of Florida. Those names right now not being considered but no matter what, Erin, the names that McCarthy selects will have to go through and be approved by the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
And it will be interesting to see how those names are revealed, does McCarthy revealed them publicly before bringing them to Pelosi putting her in an awkward position as to whether or not she wants to pull one of those names off before the committee's work begins. That will also be an important part of this process.
Everyone involved wants to get to the bottom of what happened on January 6th. They want it to be clear and transparent and also find the truth. But if it starts out right from the beginning as a partisan bickering match as to who is going to sit on the committee, that's going to make the process a whole lot more difficult, Erin.
BURNETT: Of course, poisons the water and poisons public perception, which may be, in fact, the entire point. All right. Ryan, thank you very much. I want to go now to Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff because he is
part of the House Select Committee on January 6 and is also Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. So Congressman, I appreciate your time.
First, if you can, what are you able to tell me about your meeting today and your plans moving ahead for witnesses on this committee?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Well, I can't go into the particulars, but I can tell you that we want to move quickly so we're already discussing our first hearing, we want to bring in some of the rank and file police officers who defended us and the Capitol that day. Many of whom have not been heard by the public. The public has heard from some of the leadership of the department. But we want to make sure that those voices are heard as we were discussing that initial hearing, as well as some other hearings.
We're also very determined to go forward with subpoenas to preserve records and make sure that we get them in a timely way. And just once again, underscore the seriousness of what we're engaged in.
BURNETT: So Congressmen, our Melanie Zanona is reporting some of the specific names here that the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is considering, like finalizing. Some of them we just heard there in that group of sound bites that I just played; Jim Banks, McCarthy ally, Mike Johnson, former constitutional law attorney who is a Trump impeachment surrogate and two top Republicans who are among Trump's most loyal allies, Jim Jordan, all the way along and, of course, most recently Elise Stefanik.
So look, these GOP picks have to be made in consultation with Speaker Pelosi. So my question to you is has McCarthy sort of played this well? He's not putting Marjorie Taylor Greene or Matt Gaetz or Gosar or anybody like that on there. But some of these names are clearly people who - we all know where they stand and we know how they see this. Aren't any of these acceptable to you?
SCHIFF: Well, first of all in terms of whether he's played this well, no, not at all. We offered thanks to the negotiation of Bennie Thompson and John Katko, the bipartisan negotiation commission would be completely evenly divided in which neither party could issue a subpoena without the acquiescence of at least one member of the other party.
McCarthy didn't want that and he didn't want that because Donald Trump didn't want it and that's the only criteria for Kevin McCarthy. So that was defeated in the Senate and it didn't earn that many Republican votes in the House. Now, we have a select committee and he's complaining about the composition of the select committee.
You can't have it both ways, but that's what he's trying in terms of whether any of the people he's contemplating are acceptable or not. I can only hope that he will appoint people that will take the task seriously. I don't care whether they're conservative or not, or ultra conservative. What I would hope for are people that are willing to work in good faith to get to the truth. That has not really been Kevin's priority.
BURNETT: So let me just ask you, do you think, Congressman, and this is a tough question, because people can change their mind based on information on Trump having a significant part of this. We all have enough information to know that but there's a lot of details.
So are there Republicans that you would think could be honest and about this who didn't support impeachment or who didn't support investigating the election?
SCHIFF: Yes. I mean, I think there are any number of Republicans that could be very serious about this and they might even question their own assumptions of a few months ago. I don't know whether those are the kinds of people that Kevin McCarthy wants. My guess is and I think your analysis is spot on, he wants people who will defend him and defend the president without question.
And even that I would prefer to others who just want to make a circus out of the proceedings and cast aspersions on the whole work of the committee. But at the end of the day, we're going to do our work, we're going to do it thoroughly, we're going to try to create a report that's as comprehensive and holds up to time as the 9/11 commission report. We'll do that if we have good willing partners and we'll do that if we don't, because the work just has to get done.
BURNETT: So I just played a moment ago, I don't know if you heard it, as you were hooking up, Congressman, about what the former President said today about Ashli Babbitt. Obviously what he says about the guns is incorrect, but this is not new. He keeps talking about this even within the past week. In fact, this has become a rallying cry for him. So here he is, again, from today and then from his rally just a few days ago on Saturday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There were no guns in the Capitol except for the gun that shot Ashli Babbitt and nobody knows who that man were. Why isn't that person being opened up, and why isn't that being studied? They've already written it off. They said that case is closed.
If that were on the other side, the person that did the shooting would be strung up and hung, OK? There was no reason for it who shot Ashli Babbitt. It's got to be released.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This is after Republican Congressman Paul Gosar are claimed Babbitt was executed. How dangerous is talk like this, Congressman?
SCHIFF: Well, it's very dangerous and it's very specifically dangerous when the president is trying to reveal the identity of a police officer that he knows, he may put in their life in jeopardy if that person's identity becomes public. So it's very serious as well as just sort of fanning this right wing talking point, but that's what Donald Trump does.
The last thing he wants to talk about is his own culpability in all of this. The last thing he wants to talk about is the big lie that he put out about the election and continues to put out. And this is both a good distraction, it's a way of endearing himself once again to the right wing base. But if he does that in the process and endangers this person's life, he's perfectly fine with that.
BURNETT: Congressman Schiff, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
SCHIFF: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next Marjorie Taylor Greene, she just can't seem to help herself. This time comparing the White House encouraging vaccines to Nazi era brown shirts as a new book reveals that Trump said Hitler 'did a lot of good things'.
Plus, Trump goes after Facebook and Twitter in a new lawsuit filed today. Does his suit have any merit?
And ESPN's Rachel Nichols back on the air tonight. The network pulled her from covering the NBA Finals after she was caught on tape questioning whether a black colleague got an assignment because of her race.
BURNETT: Tonight, lesson not learned. Republican Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene, again, comparing COVID measures to Nazi Germany. This just three weeks after visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and apologizing for comments that she made when she compared wearing mask rules to the Holocaust.
But now Greene is doing it again, this time specifically responding to remarks from President Biden. He was talking about mobilizing people to go to unvaccinated people at their homes to try to give out vaccines. Greene tweeting, "People have a choice, they don't need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations."
The brown shirts, of course, is the notorious paramilitary force that helped Hitler gain power. It should go without saying yet here we are saying things again like comparing the rise of Hitler and the mass murder of 6 million Jews to encouraging Americans to get the vaccine is at best anti-Semitic, I don't know.
Abby Phillip is Anchor of INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY and Bill Kristol is Editor-at-Large of The Bulwark.
Bill, a trip to the Holocaust Museum, then an apology, now doing it again. I struggle to understand why this could possibly continue happening. One doesn't just come up with a reference to brown shirts.
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE BULWARK: I mean, she believes that the current American government is a dictatorship but full of people who have ill will towards their fellow Americans. I take that she believes that people who work for the CDC or public health organizations at the state level who might try to get people to take the vaccine are morally equivalent to people in the Nazi regime. She seems to think that the Biden administration is somewhat like a dictatorial administration.
So for me it's not just about the inappropriate in this, the vulgarity, the trivialization of the Holocaust, which is pretty disgusting. It shows how anti-American Marjorie Taylor Greene and her part of the Trumpist right is they hate, they don't think that these are - think of the way they attack the military, people who served the federal government, physicians at the CDC, they think these people - they think nothing of calling, as you say, of comparing these people to Nazis.
BURNETT: So Abby, I want to play what Greene said after visiting the Holocaust Museum a few weeks ago, because she did apologize then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): The Holocaust is - there's nothing comparable to it. It happened and over 6 million Jewish people were murdered. And there are words that I have said and remarks that I've made that I know are offensive. And for that, I want to apologize.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That came after House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy had condemned her comments then. Abby, nothing from GOP leadership on the latest comments about brown shirts. I mean, will McCarthy take real action here or does green ultimately know that she can pretty much say whatever she wants at this point, Abby.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I do think that it's been clear for a long time that Marjorie Taylor Greene is setting the agenda in a lot of ways when it comes to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He has been reluctant to push back on her, reluctant to do it privately and publicly.
And the reason that she gave that apology, which I think now we can call what it is, is a stunt. It was because McCarthy was attempting at that time to try to pressure Democrats to pull the committee assignments of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and also trying to create this sort of scenario in which green apologized for her controversial comments while Congresswoman Omar did not.
So I think the whole purpose of this was just a little bit of a political stunt and Marjorie Taylor Greene, obviously, based on her comments then knows better. She knows that the comparisons to the Holocaust are completely inappropriate and terrible, but she's doing it anyway because she also knows that there are no consequences when it comes to Republican leadership. BURNETT: And Bill, so it's Greene's latest comments about the
Holocaust. But we're also learning about former President Trump's comments as well. According to an upcoming book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender, then-President Trump allegedly praised Hitler during a discussion with his White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, this was in 2018, Trump reportedly said and I quote, Hitler did a lot of good things.
So Bill, of course, Trump spokeswoman denies he said that. Who would admit to having said that? Can you just talk about that for a moment that such a thing could have been said and why you think those comments are different from Greene's Nazi comments?
KRISTOL: Just one more word on Greene, I mean, she needs to apologize to the people who work at the CDC, the people who work in public health, the officials at the U.S. government, civilian employees, military employees and of state governments, and of hospitals all over the country, et cetera, who are doing their best to help their fellow Americans. They're the one she's insulted the most. It's not just that she's trivialized the memory of the Holocaust.
The Holocaust, it is what it is and it will survive (inaudible) history will survive the comments of Marjorie Taylor Greene. But she needs to apologize to her fellow Americans. In terms of Trump, I mean, there I think it does reveal something about him, which is he admires authoritarians. I'm not going to say he admires Hitler entirely, that would be maybe a little unfair.
But he's praised the Chinese for Tiananmen Square. He criticized at the time Gorbachev for being too soft and that's crushing dissent (ph) he admires strong men. And in that respect, he may not admire everything. One hopes that we did, but he can't help but sort of have that - say something nice about him.
John Kelly should step forward. I mean, so this is reported by Michael Bender, a very reputable journalist based on presumably information from Kelly. I think they're the only two in this conversation, right? Maybe not directly from Kelly, maybe from a third party to whom John Kelly reported this conversation. Trump's spokeswoman is now just flat out denying it. So who's telling the truth? I mean, John Kelly should confirm or not whether Trump said this.
BURNETT: Right. Well, of course, Trump's spokespeople have not earned anyone's credibility. But yes, john Kelly knows what happened so he should say exactly what happened with the context whether it's true or not.
So Abby, how do comments like Trump's, like Greene's play with GOP voters?
PHILLIP: I think the very fact that Greene is making the comments that she's making publicly and repeatedly tells you that she believes that this is popular in the Republican base and I think that that's probably right. If you are online and you kind of are in the circles where conservatives, Trump conservatives are talking, they make these comparisons too. So it's not as if this is coming out of left field. This is something
that has resonance in that part of the conservative movement and that's why it's happening. It's sad to say but the truth is, it has, I think, almost no negative effect when it comes to Trump's voters if not - she's doing it because, I think, she thinks it'll help her.
BURNETT: Positive effect. All right. Abby, thank you very much. Bill, thank you.
And next, another major blow to Rudy Giuliani, Trump's former personal attorney has now been suspended from practicing law in Washington, D.C. after he was suspended from his home State of New York.
Plus, a moment of silence taking place tonight as officials in Surfside, Florida shift the search and rescue operation to a recovery one.
BURNETT: Tonight, Trump's Hail Mary. The former president announcing class action lawsuits today against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube almost six months after being blocked by the platforms' for his response to the Capitol Hill riot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Our case will prove this censorship is unlawful, it's unconstitutional and it's completely un-American. If they can do it to me, they can do it to anyone. And in fact, that is exactly what they're doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Jennifer Rodgers, former Federal Prosecutor and Dan Eberhart, longtime Republican donor. Good to have both of you back with me.
So Jennifer, let me start with you. You take this lawsuit in Florida, does it hold any merit?
JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: None, Erin. Sometimes we say, oh, we'll have to wait for the facts to develop or we'll say it's a very complicated area of law, not here. This doesn't even set forward a cognizable legal case with merit at all. So the fact that he claims a First Amendment violation, which is the only thing that he claims here, he's claiming against private companies.
You can only claim of First Amendment violation against the government.
So, right out of the gate, this has no merit at all. I suspect it will be swiftly dismissed.
BURNETT: So, Dan, this, you know, was seemed to be coordinated at some level. Less than an hour after he announced the lawsuit, a text message goes out to his supporters trying to fund raise off of it.
How successful will that be? I mean, how much do you think this riles up the base?
DAN EBERHART, GOP DONOR: Well, I think it will be successful from Trump's point of view, and that he's just trying to stay relevant and stay in the news and we're talking about him. The lawsuit will go nowhere. And I think the fund-raising -- the ultimate rewards from the fund-raising attempts will be just a blip here.
But, you know, Trump was silenced. He said that when he was de- platformed, he said he was going to launch a media empire, and that's basically fizzled. I think this lawsuit is an admission of that.
BURNETT: So, Jennifer, the lawsuit does claim, you raised this point, that Facebook is a state actor, not a private company. So, conservative lawyer George Conway, husband of Kellyanne, tweets, quote: What makes this meta-insane is he's claiming that Facebook was a federal state actor because it was entangled with the federal government at a time when he was president of the United States.
Now, Jennifer, you take a look at this, Trump has filed 1,900 lawsuits according to "USA Today", right, before he even became president, right? Filing lawsuits, many of them frivolous and dismissed is his M.O.
But, you know, when you take a big picture look at this, even though this may be frivolous and I know you think it's going to be dismissed, do you have real questions about the whole issue of these private companies now seemingly controlling free speech in this country in many ways?
RODGERS: Well, it's really interesting because what he's doing here really is lobbying. I mean lots of people have those questions. Congress has been in all sorts of hearings over the past few years about this question. And Congress can regulate it. They can legislate in this area.
So, what he really should be doing is making this point, calling his congressperson. Taking out ads, using the huge megaphone that he still has, notwithstanding that he's been kicked off these platforms to make this point.
But what you don't do is file a lawsuit. I mean, that's an abuse of the court to use the court for something that really is lobbying, not setting forth a legal reason that you've been injured and you're entitled to compensation.
BURNETT: And I know you made it clear you think this will be quickly dismissed.
I mean, Dan, this fight against big tech, though, and the way Trump is fighting this fight, right, by doing things like this lawsuit that don't have merit have sort of become a rallying cry for the right. Just listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): The Internet's hall monitors out in silicon valley, they think they can suppress us, discourage us.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Big tech I believe poses the single greatest threat to free speech in our country today and poses the single greatest threat to democracy in our day.
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): Last I checked, I thought that the declaration said that our rights come from God, not from Google. Is that right? I mean last I checked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean, it's a rallying cry, Dan, on the right and you hear the crowd at CPAC cheering there to Senator Hawley but you think this move could hurt the Republican Party. Explain why.
EBERHART: Well, I think this is going to hurt the Republican Party. What we need to be doing, this naked fund-raising appeal an hour after he filed the lawsuit, you know, people are going to see it for that and it's not going to mean anything in the long term. We're damaging the Republican brand.
What we need to do to win in 2022 to take the White House back in 2024 is we need to appeal to centrist voters go to work everyday, that have families and concerns of their own. So, I think we need to be focused on being the loyal opposition to Joe Biden's policies and trying to make them stronger and better for American families and we need to be focused on legislation.
This kind of stuff -- Trump is out, has got this #metoo brand of politics. His tours, his rallies are really like this kind of never- ending revenge tour. This kind of stuff is not the path back to the majority.
I think that he's trying to have this purity test that --
BURNETT: So, Jen -- yeah.
EBERHART: -- a Barry Goldwater purity test that will leave us with a smaller minority, not with a governing majority like Reagan would want.
BURNETT: And, right. And then you can't win those national elections.
Jennifer, I mentioned before the break one other thing I want to ask you about which is Rudy Giuliani. We're learning he's been suspended from practicing law in Washington, D.C., which is just weeks, of course, after he was suspended in New York. The reason for spreading lies about the 2020 election.
How unprecedented is this, Jennifer?
RODGERS: Well, it's not uncommon for one state to piggyback on another if you're licensed in more than one state. So in that sense, I would say it's not that unusual. It saves a lot of resources for the Washington, D.C., folks not to have to look into this and all the facts like the New York appellate judges have.
But what's really crazy about it is this is the suspension. So it's nothing permanent yet. For them to decide that they need to suspend him from practicing law, they have to have found that he's essentially a danger.
That it's not in the public interests for him to practice law while this process is making its way through, while they are having an adversarial hearing if that's what he wants.
So, you know, that's what's extraordinary that he's a danger and two courts have said so.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much. Jennifer, Dan, I appreciate both of your time.
And next, a moment of silence just taking place at the site of that catastrophic condo collapse. Officials marking the moment the search and rescue operation turns to recovery.
Plus, Rachel Nichols is back on ESPN tonight, one day after the network sidelined her from covering the NBA finals because she was caught on tape suggesting a black colleague was picked for a plum assignment because of her race.
BURNETT: Breaking news: officials in Surfside, Florida, saying search and rescue efforts now shifting to recovery, just now making the transition with a moment of silence -- as the possibility of any remaining survivors of the catastrophic building collapse is, quote, near zero, according to the town mayor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will observe a moment of silence. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The confirmed death toll tonight, people they have found, is 54. Now that it's a recovery mission, that you've got 86 people unaccounted for, 140 people possibly dead, that's now the reality.
Leyla Santiago is OUTFRONT.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight after 14 tireless days, the search and rescue effort in Surfside shifting to a search and recovery effort.
CHIEF ALAN COMINSKY, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY FIRE RESCUE: This decision was not an easy one. As our hearts still hope to find survivors.
SANTIAGO: A moment of silence held by rescue teams before the transition.
MAYOR DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: It is with deep profound sadness that this afternoon I am able to share that we made the extremely difficult decision to transition from operation search and rescue to recovery.
SANTIAGO: Families informed this afternoon at their daily briefing with officials, as bodies are more quickly being discovered now that the debris field has opened up after Sunday's demolition. Officials say it is the right time to make the transition.
COMINSKY: This decision was not based on any other reasons except on facts that emerged during the extent of this search and the rescue operation.
SANTIAGO: Several survivors of the building collapse revisiting the site of the debris today. Families being assured the recovery effort will not slow down.
RAY JADALLAH, ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF: The only thing that changes is just the term. Resources are still there. The men and women are still there.
LEVINE CAVA: Our first responders have truly searched that pile every single day since the collapse as if they're searching for their own loved ones.
SANTIAGO: Miami-Dade Mayor Levine Cava visibly shaken as the mission is taking its toll on everybody involved.
REPORTER: Have you seen any indication from any of the bodies that have been recovered so far that any of them survived the initial collapse?
COMINSKY: No, we have not.
SANTIAGO: As rescue teams continue clearing away and searching debris at Champlain Towers South, Surfside's mayor is still working to assure its sister building, Champlain Towers North built with the exact same specs is safe.
MAYOR CHARLES BURKETT, SURFSIDE, FLORIDA: They're in there with ground-penetrating radar and other tools to continue to assess the structural situation there at that building.
SANTIAGO: The building's collapse has raised questions about whether other seaside residential structures in Miami-Dade could be at risk. Forty of them have already been inspected. Only one found with a structural deficiency.
LEVINE CAVA: There will be changes. There will be improvements made.
SANTIAGO: As for the recovery mission, teams continue to work around the clock to bring closure for families.
BURKETT: As the chief and I have always promised to ensure that all of our loved ones are pulled from the rubble and reunited with their families.
SANTIAGO (on camera): And, Erin, as that moment of silence took place here at the building collapse site, we watched as loved ones gathered here. We saw a lot of crying, a lot of hugging, a lot of people holding each other during that moment of silence when firefighters would approach taking that helmet off. I also want to point out that on this side, we also have a large crowd gathering as Miami-Dade fire rescue puts up a sign right now saying that they mourn with the community. Loved ones are out there putting out flowers and signs as well.
BURNETT: Leyla, thank you.
And next, ESPN's Rachel Nichols back on the air tonight after being pulled from sideline reporting of the NBA finals because of what she said about a colleague on a leaked tape recording.
And an OUTFRONT exclusive tonight. We're going to take you inside Myanmar where people across that nation are risking their lives in order to take on the military junta.
BURNETT: Tonight, ESPN host Rachel Nichols back on the air after the network removed her from covering the NBA finals. ESPN hoping to contain controversy after Nichols was taped questioning whether a black colleague received a coveted assignment because of her race.
Brian Stelter is OUTFRONT.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The biggest story of the NBA finals is off the court and on TV, as a candid and cringy recording roils ESPN. "The New York Times" revealing the tape of Rachel Nichols, who was white, griping to a friend that the network gave a coveted job to a black reporter, Maria Taylor, instead of her.
RACHEL NICHOLS, ESPN REPORTER: I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world. She covers football, she covers basketball. If you need to give her more things to do because you're feeling pressure about your crappy, long-time record on diversity, which I know personally from the female side of it, but go for it. Just, you know, find it somewhere else. Like you're not going to find it with me and take my thing away.
STELTER: Nichols thought she was speaking privately but her words were beamed back to ESPN through a camera set up for her live shots. The recording which she called a spy video made the rounds inside ESPN last summer, stirring racial tensions amid a nationwide reckoning about racism.
ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: This is really an unfortunate situation.
STELTER: Now it's public and even the NBA commissioner is weighing in.
SILVER: I think it's particularly unfortunate that two women in the industry are pitted against each other.
STELTER: ESPN management is coming under scrutiny.
CLAY TRAVIS, FOUNDER OF CONSERVATIVE SPORTS MEDIA COMPANY OUTKICK: It's a huge mess for ESPN.
STELTER: Fierce ESPN critic Clay Travis, the founder of a conservative sports media company, Outkick, calling Nichols a hypocrite.
TRAVIS: Many of the super woke white people love the idea of diversity and inclusion as long as their own jobs aren't impacted by that diversity and inclusion push.
STELTER: Others are pointing out that this tape leak right as Taylor's contract is about to expire, possibly giving her more leverage.
She is not commenting but "The Times" quoted her email to executives last summer citing complaints about racial insensitivity. She said: Simply being a front facing black woman at this company has taken its toll physically and mentally.
Nichols is apologizing.
NICHOLS: For appointing those I hurt, particularly Maria Taylor.
STELTER: And saying she's grateful to be on the team.
ESPN pulled her from sideline duties and appointed Malika Andrews who is black and it was Taylor who introduced Andrews on Tuesday night.
MARIA TAYLOR, ESPN HOST: And now it's my pleasure to welcome in Malika Andrews who will be on the sideline for the first time for an NBA finals game in her career.
STELTER: Now as onlookers speculate about Nichols and Taylor's futures at ESPN, the NBA commissioner is speaking out against cancel culture.
SILVER: People recognize people make mistakes, that careers shouldn't be erased by a single comment.
STELTER (on camera): In many ways, this is about a management screw- up. This tape was recorded last summer. This issue festered internally for a year. Now, it's leaked out at the same time Maria Taylor is trying to negotiate a new contract.
That certainly seems fishy. Let's face the facts here about management. Rachel Nichols, Maria Taylor, they're on the same side in some ways. They are women working in a white male dominated profession, pushing for more diversity in the profession. And at the end of the day, that's what viewers want and should expect. So, this is a real black eye for ESPN.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Brian.
And next we're going to take you inside Myanmar. This is an incredible and exclusive look for how rebels are planning to take on military junta and attempt to restore democracy.
BURNETT: Tonight, an exclusive look inside Myanmar, a Southeast Asian country where the United Nation says nearly 900 people have been killed since a military coup toppled the civilian-led government five months ago. The nation has been under military rule for much of the time since gaining independence in 1948 but it did have a taste of democracy over the past decade until the military seized control back in February.
Now, anti-coup rebels made up of villagers, students, young workers, are taking matters into their own hands in an effort to restore democracy.
Sam Kiley is OUTFRONT with this exclusive report.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A grueling journey through jungle eventually revealing this, a rebel base in Myanmar. Camp Victoria, a major headquarters in a nationwide uprising against the country's military junta.
Some 200 volunteers have come seeking the military skills they want to fight a regime that seized power in February and has brutally dashed hopes of democracy here.
They're villagers, young workers, and many are former students who protested the coup and now believe they must take up arms against it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sad, it's very sad. They killed many people of our country. This camp -- this can give me the power to fight the military junta.
KILEY: The instructors are members of the Chin National Front, a long standing separatist army that is in alliance with many others under Myanmar's national unity government in exile.
These troops are on day three of their training. They're only going to get 45 days' training, that includes drill, assault courses and above all weapons training before they're going to be thrown back into the fight.
Rebel leaders know more blood will flow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are more than 15,000 already and still coming and still organizing. I mean, mobilizing the armed fighters and this is what the NUG is trying to equip arms for them.
KILEY: It really is a civil war, isn't it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leading to the civil war. Now it's an urban guerilla type. But within moths, it will transform into a conventional civil war.
KILEY: Recent fighting with the junta forces has meant that reinforcements have been rushed to defensive lines.
The rushed training has dangerous consequences.
This young man, his comrades have told me, was blown up by an improvised explosive device that he was trying to plant as part of the defensive parameter around this camp and around some of the villages that are threatened by the government army.
Already refugees are on the move, leaving these idyllic villages for hillside camps.
(INAUDIBLE) told me that the women, children and elders fled their village when they heard the sounds of fighting. Many men stayed behind but everyone fears the military for its brutality.
The Chin National Front said it's trained 3,000 people at Camp Victoria. Those that have graduated have been immediately deployed.
Most of their weapons are bird hunting homemade shotguns stored with an open fire to keep the damp off. They believe that this is a just fight but they're short of weapons and rushed through training. It will take more than riotousness and shotguns to topple a military regime.
And as the conflict continues, the numbers of dead will rise to a level when eventually people may start to lose count.
Sam Kiley, Camp Victoria, western Myanmar.
BURNETT: Thanks so much, Sam.
And thanks to all of you for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.