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Erin Burnett Outfront

As WH Assesses Afghanistan Chaos, State Dept Officials Blame Intel Community, Intel Officials Say WH Trying To Scapegoat; Top U.S. General Milley On Whether U.S. Military Would Coordinate With Taliban To Combat ISIS-K: "It's Possible"; Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) Discusses About Minority Leader McCarthy's Threat To Companies Who Will Cooperate With The January 6 Probe; Tornado Causes Damage In MD; Watches For Philly, NYC. Biden To Visit Louisiana, Nearly 1M Customers Without Power; Joe Rogan Says He Has COVID, Taking Livestock Drug Despite Warnings. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired September 01, 2021 - 19:00   ET



Erin Burnett "OUTFRONT" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the blame game. CNN learning the finger pointing over the fall of Afghanistan has already begun. Officials at the White House and State Department wondering why they're getting the blame instead of the Intelligence Community.

Plus tonight, Kevin McCarthy's new threat. The House Minority Leader now vowing to retaliate against companies that cooperate with an investigation into January 6th.

And controversial podcast host Joe Rogan who's railed against vaccine requirements says he has COVID and took a drug intended for livestock. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, CNN learning the blame game over the fall of Afghanistan is about to ramp up and big time. So here's what we know, as the White House begins reviewing what went wrong from the Taliban's sudden takeover of the entire country, including Kabul to the deadly and chaotic evacuation operation, officials now are pointing fingers.

Intelligence officials believe the administration is trying to use the Intelligence Community as a scapegoat. This is a very bitter back and forth over who got it so terribly wrong and the context of all of this is what I'm about to show you, which is one Taliban commando, showing what could be in store from the Taliban. Here is the chilling warning today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will kill the Americans 10 times more than that. In the future, god willing, we will go to their land and destroy their countries 10 times more than they did to our country.


BURNETT: Just one commander in the Taliban. And across Afghanistan, the Taliban are taking a victory lap. I'll show you some of the images. The ones here are from Kandahar. Militant showing off dozens of American armored vehicles, of course, which were left behind and what appears to be a Black Hawk helicopter now carrying the white flag of the Taliban.

Now, Taliban leaders, of course, leaders as opposed to the commando that I just showed you. Leaders say that they've changed, that they're more tolerant. They're more willing, for example, to work with women. But, of course, we've seen images already. Fighters beating citizens at the airport and on the streets. We've seen them painting over pictures of women billboards. We've heard stories of militants going door to door looking for Afghans who helped U.S. troops, all of these things are happening.

And the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley tonight says he is not convinced that the Taliban has shed its extremist ideology.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: We don't know what the future of the Taliban is. But I can tell you from personal experience that this is a ruthless group from the past and whether or not they change remains to be seen.


BURNETT: All right. We have a lot to get to tonight. Jeff Zeleny, of course, is at the White House. I want to start though with Natasha Bertrand. She is OUTFRONT live in Washington as well tonight.

And Natasha, I know you've got new reporting on this developing blame game.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Erin. So what we're learning is that as the White House begins this hotwash review of what went wrong in Afghanistan doing this internal assessment, essentially, of strengths and weaknesses, what they could have done better to put it lightly is that many of the administration are starting to blame the Intelligence Community.

In the White House and State Department, they are wondering, privately, why many officials there are getting the blame when they say that the Intelligence failed to predict that Kabul would fall so quickly to the Taliban in a matter of days rather than months and even years as some intelligence assessments had predicted that the White House National Security Council and State Department had been relying on for a long time.

Now, the Intelligence Community in turn says that the White House and the State Department are using intelligence officials as a scapegoat because the Intelligence Community had, in fact, predicted in several assessments that the potential fall of Kabul very quickly was a likely possibility.

Now, of course, it's not the job of the Intelligence Community, they argue, to make a judgment essentially about how many days essentially this was going to take before things all really went downhill and the Taliban ended up controlling the entire country. But they say that the White House and State Department did ignore grimmer assessments that the IC was putting forward throughout the year, frankly, saying that this was a possibility that the Taliban was gaining strength and that Kabul was very vulnerable and the Afghan security forces were vulnerable.

So what we're going to see moving forward is all of this is going to come out into the open as these congressional hearings ramped up, which are expected to begin really next month. The big question looming over all of this is how did the administration get it so wrong with regards to the timeline and why weren't things put into motion sooner with regard to the evacuations.

BURNETT: All right. Natasha, thank you very much. Of course, it's going to get very ugly but the American people, the world need answers to those questions.


I want to go to Jeff Zeleny who is at the White House. And publicly, of course, Jeff, the President and the White House are trying very hard to move on from this to say, OK, let's just go to the next thing here.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORREPONDENT: Well, at least for now and it's notable that they're moving on to really a list in series of daunting challenges. Of course, the economic agenda is still not stalled, but it certainly did not make the progress that they had hoped in the month of August, still the stubborn fight against COVID- 19 and now a potential humanitarian issue if not crisis on the golf course in Louisiana.

The president, we learned today, is traveling there on Friday, so there are other matters to work on, no question. But it was notable today that President Biden did not talk about Afghanistan, did not take questions about Afghanistan when he met in the Oval Office today with the Ukrainian president who was visiting. And he actually offered his condolences for the deaths of the 13 American service members last week and the President certainly accepted those, but did not talk about Afghanistan.

But the reality here is, Erin, they know that this issue is not going away. And one of the central reasons for that is, of course, the blame game, as Natasha was talking about, but also the Americans still there, so 100 to 200 Americans there. So this issue will not rest for this White House until that is resolved and also those hearings on Capitol Hill. This is something that we are seeing, even from Democrats, many Democratic members of Congress really want to get to the bottom of this.

So the White House knows it will not be able to dispense this, but for now at least they are trying to, if not a pivot fully to their agenda, at least start talking about that a bit more. But there's no doubt this Afghanistan crisis will be with them for some time to come, Erin.

BURNETT: That is for sure. You talk about 123,000 refugees and where they're going to go. I mean, it is in a sense the beginning in so many ways. Jeff, thank you very much.

I want to go to Seth Jones now, because he's the former Adviser to the Commanding General of U.S. Special Ops in Afghanistan and Dana Bash is with me, our Chief Political Correspondent and, of course, Co-Anchor of STATE OF THE UNION.

So Seth, let me start with you. I showed briefly, but these images of the Taliban showing off all this American weaponry, which they obviously have a lot of it. They're celebrating their victory here. How important are images like this for the Taliban?

SETH JONES, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Well, I think these images are really important in part because they're getting such traction, Erin, across the jihadist community. I've seen these images on chat rooms in West Africa for al-Qaeda-linked groups, in North Africa, in the Horn, in Somalia, in Yemen and then across Iraq and Syria.

So, I mean, they're touting this and we can take this with, obviously, a grain of salt. They're touting this as the most significant jihadist since the Soviets were defeated in the late 1980s. So it's gaining a lot of traction.

BURNETT: Well, it's pretty incredible when you talk about it that it's being used in so many different settings and how it's being portrayed.

Meantime, Dana, President Biden ignored questions from reporters about Afghanistan. Jeff Zeleny mentioned this, but he did appear in front of reporters with the Ukrainian president who is visiting. The Ukrainian president did mention Afghanistan, but Biden did not and Biden wants to turn the page. He's given his speech. He's made his point of view clear. He now wants to put this in the rearview mirror, but it's not going to be that easy, is it?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's not at all for lots of reasons, not the least of which as Jeff said there are still Americans inside Afghanistan who want to leave and that is a very big priority not just for the administration, but for members of Congress who are not going to let this issue die down anytime soon, broadly, in terms of policy, but certainly in the short-term, getting Americans out not to mention, still potentially some Afghans who, I've talked to lawmakers who are still trying to figure out a way to work the system to let that happen.

But just like Jeff was saying, Erin, I spoke with an administration official earlier who said, no, the notion that we think we can just pivot away from Afghanistan is 'over cracked'. They understand that it is going to be something that they will talk about, but the reality is there are lots of other really big issues, crises. COVID is far from over, just for example. His legislative agenda is still moving through Congress. They just haven't been there for most of August.

So it's sort of the balance because the immediate crisis when it comes to the airlift and the total withdrawal that is now behind him.

BURNETT: So Seth, I want to play again what Gen. Mark Milley said, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs about the Taliban. Here he is.


MILLEY: We don't know what the future of the Taliban is. But I can tell you that from personal experience that this is a ruthless group from the past and whether or not they change remains to be seen.



I mean, the big incentive, Seth, for them to change is that their currency is cratered. They need the world to see them as legitimate to have an economy. International aid is nearly half of the economy of Afghanistan and it's all sort of halted right now till they show who they are.

But, Seth, the question is, is that enough incentive for the Taliban to change or will commandos like the one I played earlier saying we will kill the Americans going to be the ones who end up ruling the day, because it may not matter what a central Taliban government says if you've got commanders in the field doing something else?

JONES: Well, I think that's true. Erin, I think it's also true that as we've seen with the Taliban in the past, at the end of the day, they have shown a proclivity to stick to their ideology. Now, the Taliban may be able to make up for some of their lost revenue if they don't get it immediately from the U.S. or the West, from the Chinese on their border, from the Russians who have been willing to keep their embassies open and have indicated willingness to cooperate.

But the bigger challenge that I take from Gen. Milley is unlike the U.S. experiences in Libya or Somalia or Iraq or Syria, the U.S. has no ally on the ground in Afghanistan. As we've heard, the Taliban is an enemy. It's got no basis right now to fly drones, either in Afghanistan or the region and it's got almost no intelligence architecture right now to collect.

I mean, I've been involved in these campaigns in Afghanistan, if the U.S. is going to conduct some action and the future is about as difficult as I've ever seen.

BURNETT: It's incredibly sobering. And Dana, Republicans in response to some of this have been calling to impeach President Biden for his actions in Afghanistan. Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader keeps sidestepping the question he's been asked. But the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, he did not. He was very direct today. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): There isn't going to be any impeachment.

I think the way these behaviors get adjusted in this country is through the ballot box.


BURNETT: So Dana, does McConnell control how this goes? Does this go away or no?

BASH: It's hard to see it getting very much traction. First of all, he also said, Erin, that the reality is right now that the Democrats control both the House and the Senate, so that's one of the main reasons in the short-term that impeachment proceedings won't happen. But having covered Mitch McConnell for many, many years that I read that is that he was somewhat carefully saying, give me a break, guys, this isn't something to go forward on and try to push impeachment on for any president, because this isn't an impeachable offense. That's the way I read between the lines on his statement.

BURNETT: Right, which of course you've got some and each caucus now think anything is an impeachable offense if they don't like somebody.

All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate your time.

And next, Kevin McCarthy warning that any company that turns over communication records to the January 6th committee will be violating federal law. So is the Minority Leader right or is he actually the one violating the law?

Plus breaking news, tornadoes tearing across parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania tonight as the storm system that was Hurricane Ida now moves east.

And the judge now ordering one hospital to give a COVID patient a drug contended for livestock after the hospital allegedly refused.



BURNETT: New tonight, Republican Congressman Mo Brooks vowing to fight any attempt by the House Select Committee investigating the deadly insurrection to obtain his phone records. Now, Brooks told Trump supporters on January 6th to 'start taking down names and kicking ass' and then he called the Committee's probe, a witch hunt.


REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): There are private communications between my wife and I. What right does this Gestapo KGB-like entity have to investigate the personal information and communications of myself with my family members, my grandchildren, things of that nature? I really hate the idea that they're trying to turn this into a police state.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: That's coming after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

threatens companies to cooperate with the January 6th probe. McCarthy saying in part, "If these companies comply with the Democrat order to turn over private information, they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States. If companies still choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law." Pretty incredible threat.

OUTFRONT now a member of the January 6 Select Committee Democratic Congressman Pete Aguilar and I appreciate your time tonight, Congressman.

I want to start with this threat from the Minority Leader McCarthy, very clear threat. Do you think that it will force telecommunication companies or social media companies to not cooperate with your investigation?

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): I don't. I don't think it will have any bearing, because I think people see it for what it is. It's a hollow threat. It's a political threat and we're going through our process, but I think what's important here is to step back. We are investigating a violent attack on the capital on the seat of democracy and democracy itself.

And so we're going to take every step possible in order to be thorough, be fair, follow the laws of the land. But in order to do this, we're going to have to go through a process and that's exactly what we're doing here. But I don't think anybody's surprised by Kevin McCarthy carrying Donald Trump's water on this issue.

BURNETT: So you heard Congressman Brooks there and he was saying why do you need to look at text between him and his wife. I wanted to give you a chance to answer that, why do you need all of that. But also to his choice of comparing your committee to the Gestapo and the KGB?

AGUILAR: Well, I don't put a lot of stock in what most says these days, given what he said outside to the rally.


Outside the Capitol, so all I will say is that all we have sent in this respect, the letters that went out over 30 to telecom companies and others was to preserve the records of a number of individuals who might have information leading, that could be helpful to the Committee in its investigative steps down the line.

In the days and weeks ahead, we'll have more comments and we'll take more steps along the way. But that's all we're asking that they not get rid of these and that they preserve the information. So nobody should be scared by this, this is a normal investigative process and we will follow out of respect for the individual's privacies we haven't named any of the individuals listed.

BURNETT: Right. They're naming themselves. I mean, so there are some, including Congressman Brooks, who are calling for president bind to be impeached over Afghanistan. Minority Leader McCarthy, in this case, Congressman Aguilar, has stopped short of getting involved with that. He's basically been saying I'll deal with it later once all the Americans are out, so he's punted it.

But the Minority Leader in the Senate, McConnell, was clear he doesn't support it. The reality is there will not be an impeachment with a Democratic House and Senate. He thinks that this should be decided at the ballot box. So what happens here, Congressman Aguilar? Do you think McCarthy and his caucus will really let this go or not?

AGUILAR: I think what's clear and that sounds like a question that maybe Mr. McCarthy should answer, but I think it's very clear given the comments that he's made over the last 48 hours that he will go exactly where the Republican Conference wants him to go. And so if they want him to push back on us by calling this effort political, then he will do that. If they want him to call for impeachment of the President, he will do that.

So it doesn't it doesn't fool anyone and I think everybody sees it for what it is. What we're focused on are, with respect to the Committee here, in the January 6 Committee is following the facts and getting to the truth. That's what we're going to do and not in a bipartisan way, but in a nonpartisan way. So that's what we have done to date and that's what the American public and our colleagues in Congress can expect of us in the future.

BURNETT: Congressman Aguilar, I appreciate your time. I thank you.

And I want to go straight now to our Senior Legal Analyst, Elie Honig to talk with this.

So Elie, Minority Leader McCarthy says any telecom or social media company that turns over communication records to the January 6 Committee will be violating federal law. That's the claim that McCarthy is making, so is he right or wrong?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Kevin McCarthy has it exactly backwards here. A subpoena is a formal command backed by law to produce evidence. It's not optional. It's mandatory. Unless a judge steps in and says you don't have to comply with that which almost never happens, then a phone company, a service provider has to comply with the subpoena, has to turn that stuff over.

Now McCarthy saying, well, they'll violate federal law if they do. Let me just sort of end any suspense here. There is no such law. He's just making this up. He's just posturing. There's also an argument and it's close to the line that McCarthy's actions here may be obstruction of Congress. He's clearly trying to derail the investigation. He'd probably respond. He's just exercising his legal rights. But that's something that I know Eric Swalwell and others have asked the Justice Department to look at.

BURNETT: So we know McCarthy spoke to Trump on January 6th, we all know this. And Republican Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, she says that McCarthy told her that when he talked to Trump and urged Trump to tell the mob to leave the Capitol and she took copious notes, as you know, you and I've talked about this, and that Trump says to Kevin McCarthy, "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are." That's in quotes.

And according to a GOP lawmaker and familiar with the call, McCarthy fires back, "Who the f--k do you think you're talking to?" As he tells Trump clearly these are your people to the president, to President Trump. Now, McCarthy says he has no problem testifying about the phone call to the Committee, we've heard that, Elie, but he's also saying a totally different thing about what happened on the phone call. Here he is.


MCCARTHY: I was the first person to contact him when the riots was going on, he didn't see it. What he ended the call was 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.


BURNETT: That's a guy who doesn't want to testify about what happened on the call, because that version is not anything - very different than what I laid out. So what happens here? If he testifies, he would have to tell the truth or it's perjury.

HONIG: Yes. He could be subject to perjury. This is exactly why Kevin McCarthy needs to testify. Rep. Herrera Beutler needs to testify because we have contradicting claims about what was said. Well, this is what congressional proceedings are for, certainly what trials are for, this is not a trial, but this is how we get to the truth.


And one thing I think it's really important to notice, either way, either one of McCarthy's versions here is bad for him, because the question is why did you call Donald Trump when these folks were storming the Capitol? Either way he acknowledges that he talked to Trump about trying to control these people, what made you believe or understand these people were acting for Donald Trump and subject to his command, so you see why he's angling to get out of this.

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

HONIG: Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: And next the breaking news, the storm, a tornado touching down in Maryland, tornado warnings now posted for New York City in Philadelphia as the storm system that was Hurricane Ida heads east and along the Gulf, the suffering deepening.

Plus, controversial podcast host Joe Rogan, announces he has COVID but he took a drug pushed by anti-vaccine activists.


[19:29:49] BURNETT: Tonight, the remnants of Hurricane Ida bringing life

threatening flooding and tornadoes to the northeast. Videos from Maryland to tornado touching down in Annapolis, Maryland this afternoon badly damaging buildings.


Another tornado hitting southeastern Pennsylvania bringing down trees and power lines. In one western Pennsylvania town, floodwaters making roads impassable, 41 passengers had to be rescued from a school bus that was trapped in the flooding.

It comes as we're learning more about the destruction, the utter destruction that Ida left behind in Louisiana.

Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ronald Robertson hit the road to get out of New Orleans. He made it 30 miles outside of town before running out of gas.

RONALD ROBERTSON, NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT: We had enough gas to get there but stood in the line like this and we ran out of gas trying to get in this line. That's why we pushing so they went to get a -- we had a little can. We just trying to get by to get to Lafayette.

LAVANDERA: More than half of the gas stations with power in New Orleans and Baton Rouge don't have fuel. Many gas stations still haven't even been able to reopen. Nearly a million customers are without electricity, many water systems across the region aren't fully functioning and cell phone service is sporadic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Been like hell. I never been through nothing like this.

LAVANDERA: The lines for the food and water distribution site snake out for blocks and blocks with temperatures soaring, residents are trying to get supplies to those who need it most.

RAE MCMURRAY, LAPLACE RESIDENT: Helping the elderly and our friends with young people. So that's what we're here for. Anybody that we can help.

LAVANDERA: Some residents are returning to the hardest hit areas in southeast Louisiana. Floyd and Jane Poindexter rode the storm out here in the town of Raceland. Their supplies of food and water are quickly running out.

FLOYD POINDEXTER, RACELAND RESIDENT: It's horrible. You know, especially with no lights and no water. It's bad you know what I mean? We can't even get no ice. You know? We in trouble for the next couple weeks.

LAVANDERA: The Poindexters are cleaning up the storm damage but life after Hurricane Ida feels like being stranded on a deserted island.

JANE POINDEXTER, RACELAND RESIDENT: It was hard. I didn't sleep last night. I didn't get no kind of sleep in two days. It's miserable out here. It's hard. I pray to God we can get back to life and get some water or something.

LAVANDERA: We're just beginning to grasp the horrific damage Hurricane Ida inflicted on the barrier island of Grand Isle. The island is decimated. One area official says it could take up to five years to rebuild.

BRYAN ADAMS, DIRECTOR, JEFFERSON PARISH FIRE SERVICES: The people are very sad. A lot of people lost their homes talking about they don't know if they can go back or not.


LAVANDERA (on camera): And, Erin, that is the question facing thousands of people across southeast Louisiana, what do they do going forward? So they're balancing the immediate needs. Many people starting to run out of vital supplies that they had collected before the storm.

You know, we're almost four days into this aftermath and they're starting to run out of supplies. That's why food and water stations like this are very vital across the region but long term, many people trying to figure out what they're going to do and how and when or if they're going to rebuild -- Erin.


Thank you very much, Ed.

I want to go now to Louisiana State Representative Randal Gaines because he represents St. John the Baptist Parish, which you saw last night as well on our program one of the hardest hit areas of the entire state right now.

So, Representative, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me. I know you've been in a helicopter to be able to survey the destruction from the air just to be able to see the wide swaths of it.

Please tell me about what you saw.


Certainly, the most devastating storm that -- the most powerful storm that hit this area, that's impacted the parish area in the last 50 or 60 years. In most cases, when the storms have come through, Gustav, Isaac, which came through in the last 15 years, you had pockets of damage, isolated pockets of damage where the storm was the strongest. But in this case, no area was spared and the damages are universally and uniformly across the parishes. It was really bad.

A lot of devastating damages to homes, businesses, infrastructure. No area was spared. BURNETT: And, Representative Gaines, you know because you've lived

there. You served in Louisiana National Guard during Katrina, so you were part of the medical response at that time, and you saw how bad that was.

But I know that, at least I understand, you think that this property damage is worse, that this is the worst that you have ever seen.

So tell me why and how long do you think it will take to recover?

GAINES: I did. I served as a medical coordinator for task force (INAUDIBLE) during Hurricane Katrina but Hurricane Katrina's damage was concentrated in New Orleans area primarily because of the flooding, 80 percent of the city was in water. The rural parishes are, particularly, did not take significant amount of -- did not incur a significant amount of damage after Katrina or after Hurricane Isaac, which brought a lot of flooding.


This particular hurricane because of the strength of the wind and the power of this particular hurricane, this particular hurricane caused more property damage than any hurricane that's impacted this area in decades and I believe normally we would take two or three days to restore power, another two or three days to restore the ingress and egress of the highway system because of the debris that may have gone -- have flown onto the highway, because of the infrastructure damage to the energy and power delivery systems, including the power lines that are down, this is going to be a prolonged recovery period and it's going to take a lot longer to recover than it has in the previous years.

BURNETT: So, you know, we have I understand nearly a million people without power. We saw the lines of people lining up with food and water, people can actually still have gas to do that. President Biden we understand is going to come at the end of the week on Friday.

What do you need the most from the federal government right now?

GAINES: Right now, the most needs we need is food, water, those personal sustainment items people need to get through the day. The day to day needs, food, water, ice, things that are comfort, things that allow personal sustainment until we can really get stores back we can restore infrastructure that we can regain in normal lifestyle.

Now, they have been an immediate response to the immediate needs from the National Guard. They parts and distribution sites located around the parish that have been response from the state. FEMA is on board. They're going to be bringing in tarps tomorrow and throughout the rest of the week.

So those immediate needs are being met but we still are going to have a continuous need because of the extensive damage.

BURNETT: Representative Gaines, I thank you.

GAINES: Thank you very much.

BURNETT: And next, Joe Rogan, one of the most influential podcast hosts, who has dismissed the COVID vaccine completely, has just announced he has COVID and he's being treated with some drugs including one intended for livestock.


JOE ROGAN, PODCAST HOST: All kinds of meds. Monoclonal antibodies, Ivermectin, Z-Pak, Prednisone everything.


BURNETT: Ivermectin is what should stand out to you there.

Plus, a Republican congressman reportedly threatened embassy officials while trying to enter Afghanistan. You'll hear the story.



BURNETT: Breaking news, one of the world's highest paid and most influential podcast hosts, Joe Rogan, just announced he is positive for coronavirus. Rogan telling his 13 million Instagram followers that he was treated with several drugs including Ivermectin on the list, a drug use for livestock, that the FDA and CDC warn against using to treat COVID.


ROGAN: Turns out I got COVID. So, we immediately threw the kitchen sink. All kinds of meds, monoclonal antibodies, Ivermectin, Z-Pak, Prednisone, everything.


BURNETT: Now, Rogan has dismissed COVID vaccines to his listeners. It's unclear, though, whether he himself was vaccinated or not.

OUTFRONT now, Dr. Gregory Yu, an emergency physician in San Antonio, Texas, very familiar with Ivermectin.

So, Dr. Yu, obviously, you're familiar with this. Most of us were not until recent days when we started to hear about this, and I understand you fill daily requests for patients to be prescribed Ivermectin. Rogan touting it to 13 million people, saying he was positive for COVID and trying all these drugs including Ivermectin.

How dangerous is this drug and how dangerous for somebody who was so influential to be pushing it?


I'm very concerned about this. The data specifically for Ivermectin in the use of COVID-19 is very poor with low quality data. Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic for infections such as worms and scabies but it was not usually used for viral infections. The best evidence out there which is a systematic review of 14 studies did not support the use of Ivermectin for COVID-19.

So it's unclear that this is effective or safe for the use of COVID- 19. The NIH does not have a recommendation for or against the use of this and Infectious Diseases of Society of America, they have a statement out there recommending against the use for COVID-19 unless this is for clinical trials.

BURNETT: So, you got this thing that can be toxic to human beings and now vaccinated and unvaccinated people I understand are asking you for it on a daily basis. So, Dr. Yu, when someone comes to you and asks for it, what are their reasons for wanting the drug and how do you respond? How do you have this conversation with them?

YU: Yes, Erin. This is a great question.

I think there is possibly a lot of misinformation out there and maybe there is some mistrust. I think that people may want a cure for COVID- 19 or medication out there to decrease the length of their symptoms or the severity of their symptoms. What I say to patients is that I practice-evidence based medicine and right now the everyday on this is very much unclear.

The CDC, the NIH, as well as the Infectious Diseases Society of America have not recommended the use of this drug specifically for COVID-19. What is even more concerning is that people are going to animal stores and buying these liquids or paste that are intended for horses.


What I have right here is a 10ml syringe. This is actually seven times the dose for a human. So, it is very dangerous.

BURNETT: Wow. And yet, you know, an Ohio judge ordered a doctor to give Ivermectin to a severely ill COVID patient, the patient's wife who got a prescription from a doctor and filed a lawsuit against the hospital after the hospital refused to give it to her husband. How concerned is it -- I mean, are you that there are doctors prescribe it and you have a judge getting involved, you know, telling you got to inject somebody with it?

YU: Yeah, Erin, I think this is pretty tricky. I don't know all the politics in Ohio. What I do know is ivermectin has been used for humans for certain conditions such as the worms and scabies and lice. It is generally safe for those conditions. However, the Ivermectin trials for COVID-19 often have double and triple the human doses. So right now the safety aspect is unclear.

BURNETT: Dr. Yu, thank you very much. Appreciate your time.

And next, a Republican congressman reportedly threatening embassy officials while attempting a rogue mission in Afghanistan. And a fast-moving wildfire is closing in on a major tourist destination in California.



BURNETT: New tonight, a Republican lawmaker reportedly threaten American embassy staff after they refused to help him get into Afghanistan. "The Washington Post" reported that Congressman Mark Wayne Mullen wanted help hauling a large sum of cash into the country. It was an unauthorized trip to Afghanistan apparently to evacuate five Americans.

Jessica Dean is OUTFRONT.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republican Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin says he's headed back to the United States writing in an Instagram post, he, quote, went dark for a little as he, quote, help get Americans out of Afghanistan. New reporting from "the Washington Post" reveals during his trip, Mullin, in his second attempt to enter Afghanistan in two weeks, threatened U.S. embassy staff in Tajikistan, becoming outraged when they denied his request for help in carrying a huge amount of cash through the country for an unauthorized evacuation effort in neighboring Afghanistan.

"The Post" reports Mullin told embassy staff he was planning to rescue American citizens, a woman and her four children flying from the country of Georgia into Tajikistan and onto Afghanistan. But U.S. embassy officials refused his request for assistance saying they could not help him bypass Tajikistan's currency restrictions.

NED PRICE, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: We have made it abundantly clear that travel to Afghanistan is not safe.

DEAN: Mullins' actions alarmed top officials according to "The Post" and defied House leadership in both parties who repeatedly warned members not to travel to Afghanistan.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Any member I've heard might go, I explain to them that I don't think they should. I think it creates a greater risk.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This is deadly serious. I do not want members to go.

DEAN: Unlike Representative Seth Moulton and Peter Meijer who went an unauthorized trip to Afghanistan they described as a fact-finding mission, Mullin is not a veteran. He's a former MMA fighter and small business owner who's been in Congress since 2012.

REP. SETH MOULTON (D-MA): I know Markwayne and I've been asking some of my friends and connections about him because I'm concerned for his safety.

DEAN: In a statement, Mullin's spokesperson says, quote, Congressman Mullin has been and is currently and completely safe. According to "The Washington Post," this is Mullin's second attempt to enter Afghanistan. Last week, he traveled to Greece but the Pentagon denied his request for access to Kabul.

REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D-NY): We will get those Americans that are remaining in Afghanistan who want to get out, there's process and plan to do just that. Don't need a member of Congress to go in. That's not his job or his responsibilities.


DEAN (on camera): And it remains unclear at this hour if the congressman was actually able to get anyone out of Afghanistan, Erin. I have reach out to his office but have yet to hear back on anymore details about that. We heard to the State Department spokesperson there. They said no one should be traveling to Afghanistan right now. He said those embassies are open they're focused on getting people out of Afghanistan and nothing else right now -- Erin.

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

And next fire crews in California warning the coming hours are critical, as they try to talk down a wildfire that has reduced hundreds of homes to ashes.



BURNETT: Tonight a massive wildfire threatening to wipeout a major tourist destination in California. More than 53,000 people ordered to evacuate the Lake Tahoe region. One official saying the coming hours are critical.

Governor Newsom of California has already declared a state of emergency in several counties. The Caldor Fire, only 20 percent contained, has burned more than 200,000 acres, destroyed more than 500 homes and now threatens another 35,000 structures. At least five people have been injured including three first responders.

And finally tonight the new CNN film going behind the scenes in the fight for equal pay. In this case we're talking about the women's national team that sued the U.S. Soccer Federation in 2019. You may not remember this but they did so because they were not being paid equally to the men's team.

Now, a federal court disagreed with them last year, throwing out the player's equal claim. The judge found that the women's team negotiated a different pay structure than the men's team and that the women players were already paid more than the men's team. So, they actually found.

But the women players are now appealing, saying in part that they need to perform more games and play better in order to make as much as the men.

Here's a look at the new film called "LFG" which stands for let's effing go.



To see it go through all generations is kind of incredible and, you know, to see the different emotion in all the different ages of eyes is really cool. All of them like, I know I'm never going to see it, but I hope you guys get it, you know? And then little kids saying it to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, Megan, we want equal pay for her, huh?

RAPINOE: I know, right? I probably won't get it, but you might.

Yeah, maybe I'll get it in one or two years in my career, hopefully. But, you know, really, it's going to be for all these little kids that are coming up now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's exactly what we're fighting for. We're fighting for that change. And literally people have stopped me in my tracks to say thank you, and that's because of this fight.


BURNETT: "LFG" premiers Monday night at 9:00.

Thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.