Return to Transcripts main page

Erin Burnett Outfront

Google, Facebook, Netflix Join Major Companies Mandating Vaccines As Cases Surge; Debate Intensifies On Masks, Booster; Pfizer: Data Shows Third Vaccine Dose Can "Strongly" Boost Protection Against Delta Variant; Biden To Announce Federal Employees Must Get Vaccinated Or Tested; Florida County Defies DeSantis, Votes To Mandate Masks In Schools; Seventeen In GOP Join Dems In Vote To Proceed On $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 28, 2021 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We'll then see what happens to the House of Representatives. There will be a battle there as well. Ryan Nobles up on Capitol Hill. Thanks very much for that update. We'll continue to monitor the vote.

And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, get the vaccine or you're fired. That's one New York company's blunt message to its employees tonight as mega corporations like Google, Facebook and Netflix join in on mandates. Are companies leading, doing what the government should be doing right now?

Plus breaking news, the deal is made. The White House announcing a major agreement on the President's signature economic plan. Some in his party, though, are already balking. Will it even survive the Democrats?

And who could be getting the first subpoenas from the January 6th committee; Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan or Donald Trump himself? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, "Vaccines required." As COVID cases and hospitalizations rise exponentially, corporate America is taking matters into its own hands announcing a flurry of vaccine mandates tonight. Google requiring all 10s of American employees to be vaccinated. Facebook mandating the vaccine for all U.S. employees. Netflix reportedly requiring actors and crew to be vaccinated for all U.S. productions.

And leave it to a New York real estate developer to put aside the niceties. The Durst company telling its 350 employees if you don't vaccinate by Labor Day, "You'll be fired." Loud and clear. Let's not have any ambiguity, aggressive action from companies. At a time when the federal government's guidance on the pandemic is confusing, the Surgeon General today giving this message. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: At this point, I want to be very clear, people do not need to go out and get a booster shot.


BURNETT: The Surgeon General saying you don't need a booster shot and saying so within hours of Pfizer saying the opposite. The CEO of Pfizer defending his conclusion saying a third dose is exactly what's needed, because the vaccine's effectiveness wanes over time.


ALBERT BOURLA, PFIZER CEO: The vaccine is very well protecting with a second dose, until the first months, then in the six months we start seeing waning of the efficacy. We already have tested the third dose, and the results are so extraordinary, particularly for Delta - I'm not speaking about generalities now, I'm talking about how the third dose will protect against the Delta variant. The neutralization titers against Delta, after the third dose, are approximately 10-fold higher than after the second.


BURNETT: I mean, that is extraordinary and it's data. But the Biden administration says no, no booster shot. Confusing it best. And this contradiction over the vaccine comes on top of the CDC's confusing mask guidance. The agency recommending that all Americans, vaccinated or not, mask up in areas of substantial or high transmission. And how they measure that, well, we'll show you what qualifies 63 percent of U.S. counties in the United States.

So the vaccinated need to mask up, but not get a booster that's 10 times more effective against Delta after a time period? I mean, this does raise obvious questions. Biden is making it clear today that the vaccines right now are for the unvaccinated who are driving the pandemic.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We still have a lot of people not vaccinated. The pandemic we have now is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.


BURNETT: A pandemic of the unvaccinated and yet it is the fully vaccinated who are being told to mask up again. According to a source, the CDC's reversal on masks is primarily based on new data, unpublished data as of yet, showing that vaccinated people infected with the Delta coronavirus variant can have as much virus in their system as those who are unvaccinated, which, of course, does contradict what we have been explicitly told about the vaccinated.


that people get infected after a vaccine, the resulting infection is more likely to have a lower viral load, the shorter in duration and likely less risky of transmission to others.

MURTHY: If you are, again, fully vaccinated, your risks of getting sick and transmitting the virus are low.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: So even though there are breakthrough infections with vaccinated people, almost always the people are asymptomatic and the level of virus is so low, it makes it extremely unlikely not impossible, but very, very low likelihood that they're going to transmit it.


BURNETT: OK. When the data develops and circumstances change, the guidance needs to as well. It's an important point to make. But officials do need to level with the American people more. If the chances of a vaccinated person getting COVID and transmitting it to others is really so low, why are they being asked to wear their masks again?


And while we're at it, if the vaccinated are increasingly at risk, why not go with what Pfizer is pounding the table on and let them get those incredibly extraordinarily effective booster shots if they're six months pass their second dose, instead of just wearing a mask?

The confusion is hurting the government's credibility and it feeds right into the conspiracy theorists to stoke doubt about the science behind pandemic policies. Here's Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert seen just after throwing a mask back at a floor staff who offered her one today. She literally threw the mask back at the person.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying Democrats, "Want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state." For the record, here's how Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to that comment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leader McCarthy says it's against the science.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): He's such a moron.


BURNETT: Not a good look for anyone. And the responsibility right now does lie at the feet of the Biden administration. They need to clarify the message to a confused America. Vaccines are the best tools we have right now to fight this pandemic, full stop. And right now it is corporate America stepping up and taking action with full on mandates to get the vaccines. Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT traveling with the President in

Pennsylvania tonight. And Phil, corporate America moving fast mandating vaccines. You either get one or you get fired or you get one and you're not, if you don't get one, you're not allowed in the office.

But the federal government's idea of a mandate isn't even close at least thus far. It's been sort of like get the vaccine or get tested regularly. Lab is a totally different message than corporate America is sending not even close to as tough. What is the President set to announce tomorrow?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Look, Erin, it's an important point. What the federal government and what the President is going to roll out tomorrow isn't a mandate at all. It is a requirement that individuals that work for the federal government attest to the fact they've been vaccinated. And if they choose not to be vaccinated and make that clear, they will be subject to stringent protocols; masking, social distancing, a series of other elements.

And it's important to note that what the Biden administration has been doing and they haven't officially confirmed this is coming, sources have confirmed it to us, is they've been in the midst of a review. And that review, I'm told, is kind of been comprised of trying to find out what's possible legally, what would work politically and policy-wise what would underscore the urgency administration officials feel right now.

For all those reasons you laid out, Erin, the data that they're looking at right now, the confusion over different policies, most importantly, how can you start to juice those vaccination numbers given where things stand at the moment. And for the administration, what the President will announce tomorrow on this requirement is a dramatic shift.

They have made clear, Erin, that they were very cautious, didn't want anything to do with requirements or mandates for the better part of the last several months.


MATTINGLY: The decision to change on that underscores just how serious they view this moment in time. Now, one of the interesting elements as the president kind of rolls things out tomorrow is this tone. There has been a tonal shift. It's not gently trying to push people towards vaccination. They're making very clear the unvaccinated are the reason the country is in this position right now, that needs to change and for federal workers that means a requirement, Erin.

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

I want to go OUTFRONT now to Dr. Jonathan Reiner who advised the White House medical team under President George W. Bush and David Frum, senior editor for The Atlantic.

So Dr. Reiner, it's a tough moment for White House. You've been in tough moments. Here you have companies coming out saying get vaccinated or you can't come in at best. It's pretty clear what the threat is. The Durst company making it clear if you don't vaccinate by Labor Day 'you'll be fired'. That's what corporate America is doing.

The Biden administration, meanwhile, you can get vaccinated or submit to regular testing and other protocols. That's encouraging, but it is not a mandate. Do you think the administration is being strong enough on this?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, I think they're moving sort of deliberately towards the right answer. Look, I've said for a while that vaccine mandates are pro business. And look, if you own a business and half of your people have to be quarantined for 10 days, because there's been an outbreak, that bites into your profits.

So businesses are starting to understand. You would think the GOP would be leading in this, because they appear to be the pro business party. But as for the White House, look, a vaccine mandate is not a vaccine mandate if you can refuse the vaccine and simply opt for testing.

Testing and vaccines are different things. A vaccine prevents you from getting the virus and testing tells you when you have the virus. So it's kind of a little bit of weak sauce here. I'd like to see the administration embrace the notion that all their employees need to be vaccinated and testing is not a replacement for vaccination.


BURNETT: And David, companies clearly get this. I mean, when you look at what they're doing, is this just the beginning of vaccine mandates? Which obviously could end up being a bigger fight even than a mask mandate, honestly.

DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: The government of France has enacted a national system of vaccine mandates. That's a very French solution, an edict from the strong central state. It doesn't look like the United States is going to do that.

We're groping, instead, to a very American solution. This is going to bubble up from civil society, 500 bars in San Francisco have said you're not welcome in our bar if you can't prove that you've been vaccinated. New York nightclubs are making the same demand.

And what they're also doing because, look, the proof of vaccine that we all have is the best of 1930's library checkout technology, a piece of cardboard with ...

BURNETT: Yes, the little white card, I know. Yes.

FRUM: Right. But what private sector people in New York are saying, we will authenticate your CDC vaccination and then we will put it on a QR code that you can show at the nightclub at The Comedy Store.

So we are going to have, it looks like, private sector solutions. Business will lead. Progressive states and progressive city governments will lead and the federal government will lag and that may be more in keeping with the national culture. But we are going to see, I wrote for The Atlantic last week, last week was the week that vaccinated America decided we've had enough. We've had enough coaxing, we've had enough empathy, we've had enough understanding, we've had enough putting the medicine in the teaspoon and saying choo, choo, choo as please swallow the choo choo train.

Now, things are about to change and they are going to change very fast. And I suspect by this time next month, the majority of Fortune 500 companies will be saying, you have to be vaccinated if you want to work for us.

BURNETT: So Dr. Reiner, the Pfizer CEO now says a third booster shot increased antibodies, five-fold in younger people against the variant and 10-fold in people over age 65. You heard the CEO describe it as extraordinary.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is telling vaccinated people don't get a booster shot, but you do need to wear a mask. It does really seem confusing.

REINER: It really does and we really need a central clearinghouse for this kind of data to the American public. I don't want to hear this on earnings call from Pfizer. Look, there are two pieces of information. The announcement that a third shot increases antibody levels, that's just biology. That's what vaccines do. That's what they should be expected to do, so good. You get higher antibody levels with a third shot, I would expect that.

The other piece of data though is do we need it and Pfizer released a preprint today of their six month data, which shows a relatively modest decrease in efficacy over six months. The efficacy of the vaccine for preventing symptomatic infection drops from about 96 percent to 83 percent or so out in six months.

But importantly, prevention of severe disease, which is really what this whole ballgame is about does not change a bit. It remains 97 percent out. So we can boost but the big question is do we need to boost and this is the dilemma that the CDC is facing.

BURNETT: So David, President Biden today repeats his line that the country is in a pandemic of the unvaccinated and yet again, the policy, the restrictions apply to everyone and when you ask people to mask up, generally speaking, the vaccinated are the people who sort of respond to those mandates too, right?

So you're basically punishing the vaccinated for the sins of the unvaccinated. If everyone were vaccinated, we wouldn't have this issue. What message does is send?

FRUM: This was always a pandemic of the unvaccinated. From the beginning it was a pandemic of the unvaccinated. At the beginning, we were all unvaccinated because we had no choice because the vaccine hadn't been invented yet. And then the vaccine had been invented but it was difficult to get. Now the vaccine is everywhere. So I would say this is not a pandemic

of the unvaccinated. This is a pandemic of the willfully unvaccinated, the anti-socially unvaccinated. So it's not some, I think we have to stop talking about this as if this is some tragic thing that has befallen you that you are unvaccinated.

If you are unvaccinated, you are choosing to expose your fellow citizens of your neighborhood, your country, your planet to harm. Now, maybe you're doing it because you're irrationally anxious. Maybe you're doing it because you're disconnected or disorganized. Maybe you have some sympathetic psychological reasons.

But maybe you're just being anti-social that many of the people are unvaccinated. They invoke other in very insulting ways to say they're being discriminated against. Look, in this country, race is a protected category. You can't be discriminated against. Sex is a protected category. Sexual orientation is a protected category. Being an anti-social jerk is not a protected category.

BURNETT: Well, and I guess we'll end it on the Durst employee company. If you don't vaccinate by Labor Day you'll be fired. That's a quote.

I thank you both very much for your time tonight.

And next, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis rejecting the CDC's guidance that recommends masks for kids in school, calling it anti-science.


Yet, when CNN asked him about it, you'll see what he said.

Plus, the Department of Justice saying it won't defend Congressman Mo Brooks in a lawsuit about his role on January 6th.


REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.


BURNETT: Congressman Eric Swalwell who's behind the lawsuit is my guest.

And it's the epicenter of the debate over defunding the police after George Floyd's death. Tonight, the Mayor of Minneapolis is in the middle of that fight. He's OUTFRONT.



BURNETT: New tonight, public schools in Broward County, Florida defying Gov. Ron DeSantis and voting to institute a mask mandate for the upcoming school year. Just one day after DeSantis blasted new federal masking guidance as anti-science. Let's just, of course, be clear here that kids aren't vaccinated.

It comes amid an explosion of coronavirus cases in Florida which is leading the entire United States in new infections over the past week. Rosa Flores is OUTFRONT.



AGNES VELASQUEZ: Yes. I come here and ask you for the healing for my baby.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Agnes Velasquez has not left her 15-year-old daughter's side since she was placed on a ventilator in a Florida hospital about 10 days ago.



VELASQUEZ: She's in induced coma and she's also medically paralyzed.


FLORES (voice over): Her daughter, Paulina, was not vaccinated. Agnes was fully vaccinated and they both got COVID around the same time.


VELASQUEZ: The toughest part for me being - seeing how she suffer.

WALENSKY: If you are vaccinated, you could potentially give disease to someone else.


FLORES (voice over): In Florida, which makes up 20 percent of the nation's COVID cases reported in the last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis has maintained an anti-mask stance, especially in schools. Saying through a spokesperson, "Experts have raised legitimate concerns that the risks of masking outweigh the potential benefits for children. Fortunately, the data indicate that COVID is not a serious risk to healthy children."

But there is no evidence that the risk of wearing masks outweigh the benefits. And CDC evidence shows COVID can be a serious risk to children.


WALENSKY: If you look at the mortality rate of COVID just this past year for children, it's more than twice the mortality rate that we see in influenza in a given year.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R) FLORIDA: Hello, I'm Gov. Ron DeSantis. We have a panel here today ...


FLORES (voice over): DeSantis defiant on the facts holding a private roundtable discussion this week with hand-picked out of state experts. Parents and students who effectively reinforce his anti-mask ideology. The press was not invited to the event and when CNN asked why his office didn't respond.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you again, Governor.


FLORES (voice over): So we tracked down the Governor at a press conference today, but after the last speaker finished talking, DeSantis walked away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor, could you take a question please about COVID.


FLORES (voice over): Not taking questions from the press.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're all wondering why the press was not invited to the roundtable on masks?


Perhaps because reality in his state is not as cut and dry as DeSantis' closed door roundtable made it appear.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Masking is a simple risk mitigation that we can and should use.


FLORES (voice over): With parents and students across the state ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) on freedom, baby. Don't use (inaudible) ...


FLORES (voice over): On both sides of the issue.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Hillsborough COVID positivity rate is at 18 percent. Do you remember the last time it was that high? Trick question. It never has been. Requiring mask is the least you can do.

VELASQUEZ: The blue one is what I (inaudible) they told me it's the oxygen.


FLORES (voice over): Agnes doesn't know exactly how Paulina got COVID. But she knows she's part of the growing number of unvaccinated people who are getting the deadly disease.


FLORES (on camera): What was the last thing that she told you?

VELASQUEZ: She told me that she loved me.


FLORES (voice over): And she hopes telling her and her daughter story saves lives.


FLORES (on camera): In light of the CDC's new guidance, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the largest school district in this State just announced that they are reconsidering Florida's optional mask policy. They're going back to the drawing board. Now, earlier this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis threatened to call a special session of the legislature to protect children from masks, Erin.

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

And the Broward County School Board voted moments ago to mandate masks for the upcoming school year a day after a group of mask burning protesters. Yes, there is such a thing. Brought the school Board's meeting over mask requirements to a halt.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is time to cast off this symbol of tyranny, this symbol of child abuse. We will not stand for it anymore.


BURNETT: Tyranny and child abuse. The kids aren't vaccinated.

OUTFRONT now Anna Fusco, President of the Broward County Teachers Union. She was the target of many of those anti-mask protesters. And Anna, I know the school Board meeting on mask requirements descended into chaos. You had to have it rescheduled to today. A lot of the anger was directed at you, which must be deeply unsettling. Can you tell me what happened? ANNA FUSCO, PRESIDENT, BROWARD COUNTY TEACHERS UNION: Well, they

showed up around 9 am to give a little protest that they didn't want their children wearing masks turned into literally dousing it with lighter fluid, burning it in a pan and chanting, "Teachers are child abusers. Teachers are murderers. Our school Board Members are abusers."

And we were out there watching it and I just don't stand by and allow people to say untruths and rhetoric. So I countered their comments and they push back, we push back on each other. When we got into the building, it escalated into more banter and disagreements and so forth.

Most of those parents, well, they say they're parents, their children don't attend Broward County Public School. They attend either parochial school or attend private schools, just ranting that teachers and educators don't care about the student and that's not the case at all.

And being a teacher myself and a mother myself and I am the elected Broward Teachers Union President, I couldn't stand by and be OK with it.


So I would counter every wrongful comment, negative comment that they were screaming out into our building.

BURNETT: I mean, you talk about being a mother and also a teacher. I mean, they're shouting these epithets at you, child abuser, these horrible things. Some of the people they brought along with were children. What kind of went through your mind, I mean, just emotionally to have that be the response?

FUSCO: It was multiple emotions. I was upset, sad. There's moments of, as being a human, frustration and anger. I just wanted them to stop and be rational. No matter what anybody would say to them, they weren't willing to calm down or be rational. They were just wanting to get their narrative out there and they are anti-vaccination, anti- anybody wearing masks. They don't believe that COVID is real. That new variant out there is only going to affect vaccinated people.

They had all types of comments in their own narratives out there of what is real and everyone else that doesn't agree with that narrative, then we're fear mongers, we're abusers.

BURNETT: So what about the role of Gov. DeSantis? Obviously, he's not allowing companies to do mandates and companies are now doing mandates across this country for the vaccine. He doesn't support any kind of mask mandates. He calls it anti-science, although, of course, it is supported by the science. But he's been incredibly vocal the kids shouldn't wear masks. Here he is.


DESANTIS: We need our kids to be able to be kids. We need them to be able to breathe. It's terribly uncomfortable for them to do it. Parents obviously can equip their kid to go to school however they want. But there shouldn't be any coercive mandates on our schools.


BURNETT: How much responsibility does he hold for how divided your community is over this?

FUSCO: He's a major, major role play in the division. He is our elected Governor. A lot of people want to have faith and trust in him. He's stepped up and said, he's vaccinated, get vaccinated. And then once it fall into this conversation of not mandating mask when it is giving people an opportunity to slow the spread and put in some risk factors that can be lower, we have so many different types of mandates in schools from school uniforms to the type of shoes that you wear.

To say to not allowed to wear a mask when it's for the safety of others is just a really big irresponsible narrative to put out there to have people think that we're harming the student by mandating mask that could actually help slow the spread.

And Broward County Public Schools took great pride in having no spread in our schools. We had positive cases, but the precautions we put in there and masks were one of them that the spread did not happen. So that shows that it can help.

BURNETT: It can help. All right. Well, Anna, thank you so much. I appreciate your time tonight.

FUSCO: Thank you, Erin. Have a great night.

BURNETT: All right. You too. And next, the breaking news, the $1 trillion infrastructure plan just passed the key vote in the Senate. But it's President Biden's own party that's balking now.

Plus, Liz Cheney with a warning to her fellow Republican lawmakers, subpoenas could be coming fast as the January 6th Select Committee enters a new phase. So who's on the list?



BURNETT: Breaking news, the Senate just advancing President Biden's infrastructure bill. In a procedural just taking place, the Senate voted 67-32, 17 Republicans voting to proceed. The trillion dollar bill is the center piece of President Biden's economic agenda now.

And our chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju is on Capitol Hill joining me now.

So, Manu, obviously, you know, you get the votes here. Seventeen Republicans, you know, you only need ten to overcome a filibuster to look at it and go, hey, this is really significant they get through this procedural hurdle. But where are we -- where are we really? President Biden says not everybody got what they wanted. MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, and this is

the first hurdle but they will have many hurdles to come and there is still an open question about whether they can actually overcome those hurdles. But no doubt about it, an achievement to get to this point. This is a painstaking negotiation that's occurred over months and this is -- there are times it was on the brink of collapse. This has been resuscitated over the last day or so.

And Senator Rob Portman, along with the top White House adviser, Steve Ricchetti, worked behind the scenes for hours on end to help reach this deal that was endorsed by a bipartisan group of senators and had the support of 17 Republican senators, including Senator Mitch McConnell to open debate. This vote is a procedural vote to begin the process but the legislative text has not been released.

There are summaries of this bill that is $1.2 trillion over eight years and $550 billion in money dealing from everything from electric vehicles to public transit systems to rural broadband to roads and bridges, water systems, a wide range of projects members of both parties want.

But the big fight has been all along about how exactly to pay for it. They will not raise taxes on this. They will not raise the gas tax, either but try to do things like redirect already enacted COVID relief money that has not actually been spent yet and help pay for it that way.

But, still, Erin. So many details need to be looked at. This will be on the Senate floor open to amendment and they need 60 votes to get off the bill and we'll see what happens in the House.


Big question there, as well.

BURNETT: OK. So, I mentioned right, that you got these 17 Republicans, right? And I understand it's just step number one. But even so, something to note.

The problem here in fact may actually be the Democrats, right? That the progressive members of the House are signaling they may withhold votes, right? They want a bigger package. They want tax increases. They're not getting these things.

RAJU: Yeah, and what they are saying is they will only get behind anything like this if the Senate were to adopt the larger $3.5 trillion package that's separate from this. That is one they want to move on the process that allows them to prove it just by Democratic votes alone, that $3.5 trillion package would expand the social safety net, move much of Joe Biden's jobs and family agenda, which is vigorously opposed by Republicans.

Nancy Pelosi today reiterated to me that she will not move on the bipartisan Senate deal unless the Senate approves that $3.5 trillion proposal. But there's a problem, Erin. Senator Kirsten Sinema today said that she would not support price tag up that level. So, negotiations still need to be had and hurdles remain. Can they get there? Still a question.

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

And next, Congressman Jim Jordan could soon be subpoenaed to testify about his conversations with the former president on January 6th. Well, here's a hint at his possible defense.


REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I can't remember all the days I've talked to him, but I've certainly talked to the president.


BURNETT: You know, like, I can't recall.

And Minneapolis, it's become the heart of the "defund the police" movement after George Floyd's death. Tonight, that city's mayor has a major decision. He's my guest.



BURNETT: Tonight, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney making it clear that subpoenas issued by the January 6th Select Committee will be issued and enforced quickly and some of the people called to testify could very well be members of her own party.

Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The January 6th commission is making it clear, subpoenas are coming and coming soon.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): Interviewing, subpoenaing and doing whatever is required to get to the truth.

SERFATY: Those subpoenas likely to hit many of the top Republicans and the president's biggest allies in Washington as the committee tries to piece together every minute of the timeline before, during and after the insurrection, every meeting and every phone call made in and out of the White House as the riot unfolded.

JORDAN: Why wasn't there a proper security presence that day?

SERFATY: Republican Congressman Jim Jordan will very likely be called to testify.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Congressman Jordan may well be a material witness. He's somebody who was involved in a number of meetings in the lead-up to what happened on January 6th, involved in planning for January 6th -- certainly for the objections that day as he said publicly. SERFATY: Jordan, again, admitting he spoke with then President Trump

the day of the insurrection.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Did you talk to the former president that day?

JORDAN: I've talked to the former president umpteenth times.


BAIER: I mean, on January 6th, Congressman?

JORDAN: Yes, I mean, I've talked to the president -- I've talked to the president so many -- I can't remember all the days I've talked to him, but I've certainly talked to the president.

SERFETY: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, too, was on the phone with the president and his soon in law, Jared Kushner, that day.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I was the first person to contact him when the riot was going on. He didn't see it. But he ended the call with saying -- telling me he'll put something out to make sure to stop this, and that's what he did. He put a video out later.

SERFATY: Members of the committee indicating he too will likely be brought in to testify.

CHENEY: I wouldn't be surprised if were subpoenaed. I think that he very clearly and said publicly that he's got information about the president's state of mind that day.

SERFATY: The committee likely to subpoena Mark Meadows who was the president's chief of staff had numerous interactions with Trump that day. According to the book "I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year", Meadows called in Ivanka Trump to the Oval Office multiple times to try to get her father to call off his supporters.

And according to documents obtained by CNN in the run-up to the insurrection, Meadows worked privately as Trump's behest, pushing the Department of Justice to investigate baseless conspiracy theories and fraud claims about the 2020 election.

Cheney saying the committee will listen to the officers' advice.

OFC. HARRY DUNN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: It was an attack carried out on January 6th and a hitman sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that.

SERFATY: Leaving open the possibility the committee will subpoena the most consequential witness President Trump himself.

CHENEY: It could. The committee will go wherever we need to go to get to the facts.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BURNETT: Sunlen, there is another Republican member of Congress, Mo Brooks, who is under legal scrutiny for a separate role that he played on January 6th, right?

SERFATY: That's right. There's a lawsuit, Erin, against Congressman Brooks, alleging that he used incendiary rhetoric at that rally near the White House before the attack on the Capitol and during that speech, Brooks claimed, of course, falsely that the election was rigged against Trump. Now, Brooks has tried to have this case dismissed. He said his remarks he believes were within the scope of his duties as a House member.

Now, the DOJ has just rejected the congressman's request for legal protection in court. Noting that his remarks at the Trump rally say they were almost entirely political -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.

So, as Sunlen laid out, the Justice Department is declining to defend Congressman Brooks in a lawsuit which would seek to hold him accountable for the January 6th insurrection, saying Brooks was acting in a political capacity, not an official role when he said those words, at a pro-Trump rally before the riot.

Here's what he said.


REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, the Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, who is behind the lawsuit brought against Congressman Brooks.


So, Congressman Swalwell, I appreciate your time.

What's your reaction to the DOJ rejecting Brooks' argument that he was reacting as a government employee at the rally.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): It's the right call, Erin.

And if you're a taxpayer, I don't think you expect that within your representative's job duties that includes what you saw Mo Brooks do right there.

I also just saw is reporting that they interviewed Mo Brooks, and Brooks said that as he gave that speech, he was wearing a wind breaker to conceal body armor he was wearing which, Erin, to me is foreknowledge he knew he was standing before a violent mob and chose those words anyway.

So, I think DOJ got it right. That's outside the bounds of any representative's official duties.

BURNETT: Well, if that is indeed the case, a pretty stunning revelation, that he's saying he was wearing a wind breaker to protect -- that he was wearing body armor.

Okay. So he denies any wrongdoing nonetheless. He says, you know, he was acting as a government official because the tweets he sent separate from those comments, that urged Congress not to certify the election were not written by him. He says they were written by his congressional staff. So that wasn't his problem and that the White House asked him to speak at the rally.

Does any of that add up?

SWALWELL: No, it reminds me of, you know, the Twinkie defense in the tragic murder of Mayor Moscone in San Francisco that, you know, he was overwhelmed by something else that the White House invited him. And other than Donald Trump doing that, he wouldn't have said those words. It just doesn't make sense.

He knew what he was doing. You could see in the speech, he's speaking from a prepared statement so again, that not only shows premeditation and the foreknowledge by wearing body armor, he's standing before a mob that was assembled by Donald Trump that was incited by Mo Brooks and Donald Trump, and then aimed at the Capitol to stop the count and threaten the members inside.

BURNETT: The body armor revelation is pretty stunning, if it's the case.

So "The Washington Post" tonight -- I don't know if you've seen this, Congressman -- is reporting that Trump called his then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, alerting him to claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, and that he did it directly and he did it constantly. This personal pressure campaign on the acting attorney general has not been previously reported.

Should the January 6th committee subpoena Rosen?

SWALWELL: He sounds like a relevant witness and the chairman has said that he's going to subpoena relevant witnesses. So I'll leave it to the chairman. They don't have the time pressure we had as impeachment managers in the Senate trial. And so, they can get the ground truth what was Donald Trump doing as the Capitol was under siege or what was he not doing, which is just as important.

And also, Erin, I hope the Department of Justice as they look at evidence like this, they consider whether Donald Trump, you know, should be held to account for criminal charges for obstruction of justice. Don't treat him any better or worse than any other American but again, this is somebody who so despises the rule of law that he would weaponize the Justice Department against his enemies or for his benefit and if that's the case, I hope they investigate that.

BURNETT: Congressman Swalwell, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

SWALWELL: My pleasure. Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, the mayor of Minneapolis at the center of a debate of whether that city should replace -- completely replace the police department. He's my guest.

And breaking news this hour, no baseball in Philadelphia after a COVID outbreak hits the Washington Nationals.



BURNETT: Tonight, eliminating police. The Minneapolis City Council approving a ballot measure asking voters whether the city should get rid of the police department and replace it with something called a public safety department.

Minneapolis has been the epicenter of the defund the police movement, since George Floyd's murder last year. It comes as the city faces a rise in violent crime, up nearly 20 percent over the past 12 months. The number of homicides on track to exceed last year which was in and of itself the deadliest in 25 years.

OUTFRONT now, the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey.

Mayor, I appreciate your time tonight.

So, you have this deadline. By tomorrow, you have to decide whether you're going to sign or whether you're going to veto this ballot question to get rid of the police department. So what are you going to do?

MAYOR JACOB FREY (D), MINNEAPOLIS, MN: Well, Erin, you are exactly right at this moment. Minneapolis is at the center of this global reckoning around racial justice and simultaneously, we and so many other cities throughout the entire country are seeing an uptick in crime and specifically violent crime and shootings.

I'm a believer we need a both end approach. So, there's parts of this amendment that I favor. There's part of it that I've not.

I support a comprehensive approach to public safety. I support the notion that not every single 911 call requires response from an officer with a gun, whether that's a mental health responder or social worker, we can provide a unique skill set to match the unique circumstances that are experienced on the street.

And we also need police. So I've never been a proponent of defunding or getting rid of our police department or our police officers, especially when we have one of the lowest per capita numbers of police officers of any city -- any major city in the entire country.

And so, I won't be supporting the amendment itself. The amendment will be going on the ballot though for this November.

BURNETT: All right. But you don't support it. So let me just ask you, you know, Minneapolis has been at the epicenter of the defund police movement, right, since George Floyd was murdered in your city last year.

And, you know, when I say at the center, you know, I mean it obviously because of George Floyd, but I also mean it because of rhetoric like this, right?

This is the Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar. Here's what she said at the time.


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.


BURNETT: Okay. Rotten to the root and a cancer. I know you disagree. Tell me why.

FREY: Well, let me say how I think we need change. I do think we need a massive culture shift in how our police department operates. I think we need deep structural change and reform and simultaneously we do have officers that wear the uniform that they do and wear the badge that they do because they want to make the city, our city a better and safer place.

And so, I believe we can hold these two truths in our heart at the same time. And I'll add that one of the big parts of this charter amendment that's moving forward that I do not support. I support the comprehensive approach to public safety.

What I do not support is this notion of having the head of public safety or the chief of police report to 14 different people, 13 council members and the mayor. I don't think that's a reporting structure that works.

BURNETT: And also, you mentioned something. You said there are police officers who do the badge because they want to make a difference, right? And those are the kinds of people that everyone in the country wants to become police officers. Those are the kinds of people police officers are.

You are facing very low morale in your police force. You've lost about 20 percent, if I'm correct, Mayor Frey, of your officers from January 19 to May of this year, amid the pandemic and, of course, the protests.


What do you say to your officers as they see this measure about to go on the ballot, a measure that you don't support, to get rid of the entire department?

FREY: Well, Erin, we've actually seen more than 20 percent of our department leave through attrition or retirement in some form. And the reality is is that when you have that amount of attrition in a department that is already one of the lowest numbers per capita officers in major cities in the country, there are consequences to that. And I think, nationally, what needs to happen is we have to stop the pendulum from violently swinging back and forth. Get rid of all of the police and abolish the police department on one side and do nothing on the other.

We can make deep structural change to how we operate. We can make sure that we're firing bad officers and making those decisions stick and simultaneously we can acknowledge that there are instances in our city whether it's domestic violence or shootings in a neighborhood where, yes, it does require response from a police officer.

We can hold these two truths in your heart and that's what I call a both end approach. What we need is a both end approach where we're being clear. Yes, absolutely. I'll tell every single officer in our department, we need a culture shift. It needs to happen yesterday.

And simultaneously, I appreciate the work of our police department when they're going out and helping to protect and serve.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Mayor Frey, I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

FREY: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. And next the breaking news of major league baseball team now in the midst of its second COVID outbreak, abruptly canceling tonight's game.


BURNETT: Breaking news: tonight's baseball game between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies off, postponed because of COVID. One of the Nats, Trea Turner, tested positive last night. The manager says now a total of 12 people have tested positive, four are players, and he believes only one of them was unvaccinated.

Major League Baseball says it needs time to allow for continued testing and contact tracing among the Nationals. And this is, by the way, the second outbreak within the team this year. The first was in April. Tonight's game has been rescheduled they hope for tomorrow.

Thanks for joining us.

Anderson starts now.