Return to Transcripts main page

Erin Burnett Outfront

FBI Chief Warns Of "Deeply Disturbing Uptick" In Violence Against Law Enforcement; "Horrible": VP Harris On Video Of Agents Chasing Migrants; House Votes To Avert Govt Shutdown; Republicans Say They Won't Raise Debt Ceiling But Were OK With It Under Trump; Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) Discusses About Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill That's In Jeopardy; Coroner Rules Gabby Petito's Death A Homicide; Search Ends For Petito's Fiance At FL Nature Reserve For The Night; FBI Chief Warns Of "Deeply Disturbing Uptick" In Violence Against Law Enforcement, Says An Officer Has Been Killed Every 5 Days. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired September 21, 2021 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, showdown on Capitol Hill. The first votes tonight to avoid a government shutdown, Sen. McConnell saying no way to suspending the debt ceiling. But why was he okay with it in the dozens of other times he's voted for it? Dozens.

And more breaking news, an autopsy confirms Gabby Petito died of a homicide. This as police retrace their steps in search of her fiance, so where is Brian Laundrie?

Plus, members of Congress who go against Trump not only risk losing their jobs, many are risking their own safety. Capitol Hill Police Chief on the threats facing those who dare cross Trump is my guest. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, standoff tonight. It is a major test for President Biden playing out on the House floor tonight. A little standoff between Republicans and Democrats over the debt ceiling. And later tonight, there's going to be a test vote on the House floor.

Now, this is important because no Republican that we know of at this time is willing to vote in favor of allowing the debt limit to rise. And here's why this matters to all of us, according to the Congressional Budget Office, if Congress does not do something, in other words, raise the debt ceiling so that the United States is allowed to issue more debt, the federal government is going to run out of money likely as soon as 10 days from now. It says October or November. October, obviously, starts in nine days.

And this is a big deal, because it would lead to the first American default in history. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warning in The Wall Street Journal op-ed this week and I quote, "Failing to raise the debt limit would produce widespread economic catastrophe. We would emerge from this crisis, a permanently weaker nation."

Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not going to help out. He's tweeting, "Let's be clear, with a Democratic president, a Democratic house and a Democratic Senate, Democrats have every tool they need to raise the debt limit. It is their sole responsibility. Republicans will not facilitate another reckless, partisan taxing and spending spree."

The problem is McConnell is on the record, making it clear that default is a disaster and it cannot happen. And let's be clear, this default has nothing to do with the money that they're about to put in these bills. This is just the stuff they've already chucked in there. They got to pay the bills.

And by the way, McConnell was willing to vote to raise the debt ceiling back in 2019 when it was Republican spending driving the crisis.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): We will never have America default. We will raise the debt ceiling because America can't default. I mean, that would be a disaster.


BURNETT: All right. So if that's what he thinks, well, according to The Washington Post that was actually one of 32 times McConnell did vote to allow more debt, to increase the debt ceiling during his career, so that's what he thought until now. And again, I just do want to be really clear here that we're talking about spending that's already been promised and put out there.

So when they conflate it with the spending in a bill that hasn't even passed yet, that's just bogus. And three of the times that McConnell voted to increase the debt ceiling, Democrats actually supported. They got on board and voted to increase it as well during the Trump administration. This time Republicans won't help Democrats.

Okay. The reason Congress has to raise the debt ceiling is literally, as I said, to pay those bills that are already due, including massive bills that have been racked up in recent years and in that case, they were by Trump. So the 2017 bill, the tax cuts, that added more than $2 trillion to the federal debt. The coronavirus aid package cost more than $3 trillion.

So when you added it up, the national debt rose by roughly $7.8 trillion during the Trump administration. That is a 40 percent increase in the entire standing national debt of the United States of America under one president in four years. Okay, if that's how you measure fiscal recklessness, that would be the gold medal.

But, of course, many wrongs on, well, let's just spend more, don't necessarily make a right and Democrats have their own spending problems right now too. Just eight months into the Biden administration, President Biden has already spent $1.9 trillion on a coronavirus relief package and now the Senate has approved a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes half a billion dollars in new spending.

And that's not all because Biden wants another three and a half trillion dollars on everything from more tax cuts, to child care, to education, to health care, to immigration, to climate change, there's a whole lot of things in that bill, the list goes on. All of it just means the debt continues to surge and so do the problems for Biden, because while the debt ceiling matters, it is not even his biggest issue on this, because now his biggest issue is not that Republicans won't step up on the debt ceiling, his biggest issue is Democrats, a revolt from within his own party.

As I said, the Senate has passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and the House has not. So House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set a deadline. She said six days from now we're going to vote on that bill and progressives are threatening to tank the entire thing. Tank Biden's own plan, because they want to get a vote on their way, way, way bigger spending package first.


It is a spending schism within Biden's own party.


REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): $3.5 trillion it's just that, a ceiling. No one has ever said that that's the exact number or that's a floor.


BURNETT: Well, I've lived in an apartment building and somebody's ceiling is somebody else's floor, and in this case, his ceiling is somebody else's floor. Progressive Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib tweeting in response, "$3.5 trillion is the floor."

Now, this is going to take time, if they can even figure it out, likely more than the six days Pelosi promised, because when your floor is someone else's ceiling, you're not on the same page, you're not in the same apartment, not philosophically, not politically, not in reality. And one thing we do know right now is that Biden's legacy hangs in the balance.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill. And Manu, the President is facing a number of stumbling blocks and separate even from this whole debt ceiling potential fiasco, he's got a crisis in his own party.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And the question is whether he can get these major legislative bills done in the next several days. It's very possible, we can see the entire effort collapse because of a lack of agreement between the wings of the party, progressives who are pushing for a very expansive role for government, the $3.5 trillion package, the expansion in social safety net, the moderates who want to pare that back and also timing. This is essential to almost everything here, because there is not just

the larger Democratic only approach, but also that narrower infrastructure bill that passed the Senate last month, that $1.2 trillion plan. Nancy Pelosi has given assurances to her moderate members that there will be a vote on September 27th on that bill, that bill that was supported by 19 Republicans in the United States Senate.

But the question is will progressives be there at the end of the day. Progressives, including the leader of the Progressive Caucus, Pramila Jayapal met with Nancy Pelosi earlier today. And she made clear that more than half of her 96 member caucus will vote against that plan, the infrastructure plan on Monday.

If that larger Democratic plan is not approved by Congress by Monday. And Erin, there is no chance that the larger Democratic plan will be approved, because they don't even have an agreement within their own party about what that ultimately will look like. So the question is now will Pelosi delay that September 27th vote. I just asked her off the House floor moments ago whether she would be open to delaying that vote in order to get both these bills through as the progressives want.

She did not go that far, she said they're still pushing ahead. I said, "What about these threats by the progressives in their caucus?" She said, "We will cross that bridge when we get to it." She said this is a legislative process, so no doubt, Erin, there's going to be a lot of pressure negotiation in the days ahead.

And Joe Biden himself getting in the mix expected to have one-on-one meetings with some of these House Democrats to get them to fall in line, can they do that? The big question is Pelosi only has a three vote margin in the House, Erin.

BURNETT: This is incredible. All right. Manu, thank you very much.

And I want to go now to Democratic Congressman Josh Gottheimer. He is Co-Chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus and he sits on the House Financial Services Committee. Well, problem solvers are required here. But obviously, I don't mean to just (ph) about it. I mean, look, the reality of it is, are you concerned about the fate of Biden's agenda right now? I mean, you have this whole bipartisan infrastructure bill. That whole thing is actually now even in jeopardy, too.

REP. JOSH GOTTHEIMER (D-NJ): Well, thanks for having me. I'm very optimistic that we will on Monday, bring it up, we'll get a vote and it's going to pass the House. This is an historic once in a century infrastructure package. As you pointed out before, 50 Democrats, including Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin in the Senate and 19 Republicans including Mitch McConnell.

There is no reason why we can't get this done and we're going to bring it to the floor on Monday, we'll debate it as every single Democrat in the caucus agreed to do and as obviously Speaker Pelosi did. And listen, there's no one better than Speaker Pelosi getting votes and so I'm optimistic that we'll get it done on Monday. BURNETT: So I know she'd given you assurances, but I mean it's this

weird brinksmanship where you've got people like Congresswoman Jayapal saying, no, they're not going to vote on it until they vote on the $3.5 trillion and that's not even written yet. And you heard Manu say there's no way that will be written and ready on Monday and then they're going to vote against your $1 trillion if they don't get theirs first. Are you confident that you've got the votes and you're going to get the $1 trillion bipartisan bill through before this whole other giant thing?

GOTTHEIMER: There's too much on the line. We'll get it done. I'm incredibly optimistic. We'll have Democrats and Republicans voting for the bill on Monday. It's what the country needs. You're talking about 2 million jobs a year crumbling infrastructure that we've got to address right away.

And, Erin, the good news is we will immediately continue working on that reconciliation package which also has so many important priorities in it, just like the infrastructure package, which deals with climate change and climate resiliency, and roads, and bridges and the gateway tunnel.


So many important priorities. There are so many things in the reconciliation package, which are important as well. And we're working in making great progress on that and we're going to keep doing it and get that done also.

BURNETT: Okay. So you're optimistic, but let me just play for you what Congresswoman Jayapal told CNN tonight. She said she'd been talking to you, but this is what she said.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): I spoke with Josh. He's a good colleague of mine. I spoke with him multiple times in the last couple of weeks and I made it clear that this is where we were. The decision was made to split it up into two bills. Fine, we didn't like it, but we ultimately agreed to it because it was a two track strategy and we were very clear.

Three months ago, I think, is the first statement I put out after we talked to our caucus members that we would go along with that, but only on the condition that we passed the reconciliation bill first.


BURNETT: Okay. That's the opposite of what you're saying. But you're confident you guys are going to come together on this?

GOTTHEIMER: I am. We'll get there. There's just too much on the lines. Obviously, the White House wants it, the President wants it, the country needs it and there's just too much at stake here to do anything but come together and we will. We'll work it out. We've got several days to do it. Sometimes a little messy on the way there, but it's too important not to.

And we can also work on reconciliation, which we're doing right now. We can do both. But the bottom line is the vote is going to be on the 27th. We have a commitment from the Speaker and every Democrat in the caucus voted to bring it up on the 27th. We did that in August. So the bottom line is we'll do that we'll consider it on Monday and then, of course, we'll pass that in and continue our work on reconciliation.

BURNETT: Well, I mean, look, I'll be honest with you, I didn't expect you to be as definitive as you're being, because what this comes down to as people watching they say, okay, well, it's a timing on which you vote for first, okay, and that is what it comes down to, I know, procedurally, that really matters.

But the reason you guys are not able to agree on the timing of what you vote for is because you're not agreeing on the amounts, you're just not on the same page. You've got people who want to have this whole floor ceiling thing. With the floor and ceiling, you could meet right there, but that's ...

GOTTHEIMER: On the second bill, yes.

BURNETT: Yes, on the $3.5 trillion. It wouldn't be hard to vote on that if you all would come to agreement on how big it is. Your party is simply not there. I mean, are you going to be able to find something that will satisfy everybody? I mean, you've got people like Congresswoman Jayapal saying, well, it should be $6.5 trillion. You're lucky I cut it in half. And you have all the moderates saying, we think one and a half is the right number, forget three and a half. I mean, this is really far apart.

GOTTHEIMER: Well, of course, we're there on the infrastructure package. We agreed on that. And as I said, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and 50 Democrats and 19 Republicans agreed on that and these are two separate packages. They're distinct issues and we should consider them separately.

And then we're working through the other one. It's a really important package. There are so many issues like climate and reinstating the state and local tax reduction or so (ph). There are so many things that are so important in there. We're working together on that. It takes time, but the bottom line is we're at the table.

So it just doesn't make any sense to stop one while we're working on the other. That's why I'm optimistic that we'll do it and, of course, have assurances that as it's happening right now, that we'll keep working on the other one.

So yes, I'm optimistic, it's critically important the White House is behind this. Just this morning, the Speaker, and whip Clyburn and leader Hoyer all committed to bring it to the floor on the 27th and it's what our colleagues want, so we'll do it and we'll get there.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Congressman, I appreciate your time. And like I said, I'm glad to hear you take a stand ...

GOTTHEIMER: Thank you so much.

BURNETT: ... and be definitive. And we all hope you're right, because we would like to see progress made, something that was bipartisan is rare and something should be (inaudible) ...

GOTTHEIMER: It's got to happen, right.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

GOTTHEIMER: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next breaking news, the coroner confirming that remains found in Wyoming are Gabby Petito's as the hunt for her missing fiance intensifies.

Plus, horrible, that's what Vice President Harris is saying about the video of border agents on horseback chasing migrants at the border. Will an investigation actually get to the bottom of what we saw in those videos and photos?

And remember Rudy Giuliani talking about fraudulent voting machines? Well, team Trump seemingly already knew that was all a lie.



BURNETT: Breaking news, a tragic update on a case that has captivated the country. An autopsy confirming Gabby Petito died of a homicide. The 22-year-old was found dead in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming where she was on a cross country trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie.

Investigators are still looking for Laundrie. He has not been seen in a week, conducting a massive search at a Florida nature reserve. Athena Jones is OUTFRONT.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): An autopsy conducted today confirming the remains found in a remote part of Wyoming on Sunday are those who 22-year-old Gabby Petito. The FBI saying in a tweet, the initial determination for the manner of death is homicide. The cause of death is pending autopsy results.

The search for her fiance Brian Laundrie intensifying today. Police returning to this 25,000-acre reserve. Officers searching by foot with canines using all terrain vehicles and drones to cover the vast area of treacherous wilderness.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Terrain is very difficult. Essentially 75 percent of it is underwater and other areas that are dry we're trying to clear.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JONES(voice over): Authorities not saying what led them back to the

25,000-acre reserve today, after calling off the search there Monday morning. A search warrant obtained for an external hard drive found in the van the couple had been traveling in noting more and more tension between Laundrie and Petito and detailed what Petito's mother, Nicole Schmidt called an odd text she received from her daughter, calling her grandfather by his first name saying, "Per the mother, she never calls him Stan."

Petito stopped posting anything on social media after that message.


GABBY PETITO: We have been fighting all morning and he wouldn't let me in the car before.


JONES(voice over): We're also learning more about their August 12th encounter with police in Moab, Utah captured on body camera. Officers concluded the situation was the result of a mental health crisis and suggested the two separate for the night. No charges were filed.


A National Park Service Ranger there for the stop revealing to a newspaper that she told Petito her relationship seemed toxic. Also telling the Deseret News, "We thought we were making the right decision when we left them."


MIRANDA BAKER, ENCOUNTERED BRIAN LAUNDRIE NEAR CAMPSITE: On August 29th, my boyfriend I picked up Brian at Grand Teton National Park.


JONES(voice over): And authorities looking into an encounter with Laundrie in Wyoming where this woman says he was hitchhiking. Picking him up in an area near where Petito's body was later discovered. According to the woman, Laundrie told the couple he had been camping alone for days, while Petito stayed back of the van to work on social media posts.

Once Laundrie realize the couple was not going toward his destination she says he became agitated and quickly left their vehicle.


BAKER: He kind of like hurried out of the car.

And he said all he had was a tarp to sleep on, which you think if you're going camping for days on end, you'd want food, need a tent and he had none of that.


JONES(on camera): And with the corners finding that the remains found over the weekend in Wyoming are those of Gabby Petito, the FBI is once again asking for the public's help in locating her fiance, Brian Laundrie, calling on anyone with information concerning Laundrie's role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact them. Erin?

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

And I want to go now to retired FBI Special Agent, Bobby Chacon. Bobby, thanks very much for your time. So when you hear the coroner coming out and saying that this was death by homicide, they were able to determine that, of course, even though nearly 17 days had gone by since Gabby Petito was missing or last heard from. What does it tell you that they were able to make that determination?

BOBBY CHACON, RET. FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, it tells me that your worst fear in these cases is that the body will be so degraded either by the weather or by animal activity in the area that you won't be able to determine that. It tells me that they have enough to determine that her death was caused by the intentional infliction of injuries by another person, that's a homicide.

Now the cause of death, whether it would be blunt force trauma or strangulation, that's yet to be determined, more examination needs to take place. But they have enough of her body left to determine that her death was caused by an intentional injuries caused by another person.

BURNETT: So a crucial development today, Bobby, was the decision by police to resume their search at that nature reserve in Florida as Athena was reporting and that search is for Brian Laundrie, Petito's fiance. Now, yesterday police had said they had 'exhausted all avenues at that location', but they were back today.

So you have extensive experience with these kinds of searches, what does it suggest to you that after saying they had exhausted everything there, they're back today.

CHACON: When you look at what happened, what transpired between their statement that they were done there and now, well, they removed a bunch of things from the home. And so in my opinion there is a good possibility that something they found in the home, either on a hard drive or in a journal, something that they took and were examining last night may have led them back there.

It's also possible that a person could have said you looked in the wrong place of that reserve, you were looking over here and you should be looking there. So I believe you look at what transpired between then and now and what transpired was all of that, the information that they got from the search warrant last night.

BURNETT: So we're learning new details tonight about that domestic dispute between Petito and Laundrie on August 12th, that was at Utah. We had the 911 call and now we have a witness telling police in a sworn statement that we have just obtained, quote, "They were talking aggressively at each other, and something seemed off. At one point they were sort of fighting over a phone. I think the male took the female's phone. It appeared that he didn't want her in the white van."

Now, of course, we know the man who called 911 after that dispute claim Laundrie was slapping Petito. One of the officers said she told Petito that their relationship seemed toxic. So as you get more and more data points coming in, Bobby, where does it lead you?

CHACON: Well, it leads me to believe that there is a history of some kind of either coercive control or domestic violence in this couple's past. And this stuff can be very subtle and very nuance and grow over time. And maybe the fact that they were spending so much time in close proximity to each other basically living in that van for over a month, that history could have gotten worse and exaggerated we know from her mother that she was exhibiting more anxiety as that trip went on.

And so I think that whatever problems they had were exacerbated and aggravated by this close proximity living in that van.

BURNETT: Do you think that they believe right now that Brian Laundrie is alive?

CHACON: There's only two ways to go with this. He's either a fugitive on the run trying to stay away from law enforcement or he's going somewhere to do harm to himself or maybe suicide by cop type of thing. So I think right now the search of that reserve area because it's so remote, it's not a place you'd go if you were looking to run away.


When you're running away from law enforcement, you go where they won't find you. That's places where you've never been before. He's going back to someplace that's if he's in fact there, he's going back to someplace he's comfortable with and that he knows. That to me tells me that he could be looking to maybe harm himself at the end of this or put himself in a position that the police have to harm him if, in fact, he's there.

We don't even know that he's there. We don't know what the basis is for them searching there.

BURNETT: All right. A fair point. All right, Bobby, thank you very much.

CHACON: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, fearing for their safety and their lives. Congressman Anthony Gonzalez not only announcing his retirement after voting to impeach Trump. He's now revealing that he and his family faced multiple security threats too.

And Vice President Kamala Harris sounding off on this video from the border calling it horrible.


should never be treated that way.




BURNETT: New tonight, FBI Director Chris Wray warning of an alarming increase in attacks on law enforcement amid a rise in domestic terrorism.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Our workforce has been battling the threat of terrorism and every other threat we face right through the teeth of a pandemic and rising danger to their own safety. And I say that because over the past year, we have seen a sharp and deeply disturbing uptick in violence against the law enforcement community.


BURNETT: Director Wray saying that that increase includes 52 law enforcement officers being murdered on the job in the first eight months of this year, 52 murdered. One every five days, and more than in all of 2020.

OUTFRONT now, U.S. Capitol Police chief, Tom Manger.

And I appreciate your time, Chief. Thank you very much.

You know, when we hear these numbers, 52 law enforcement officers being murdered so far this year. And -- you know, one every five days and we look at that video, video, after video. It says, every day, still more video comes out about what happened on January 6th. What your officers were subject to in the violence of that mob. How concerned are you given the warning that you got today from the FBI director?

TOM MANGER, CHIEF OF POLICE, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: Well, I'm greatly concerned. I'm greatly concerned for the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police Force and, frankly, every law enforcement officer in this country.

I think that there are a number of -- of reasons for this. I mean, the -- the narrative about policing over the last three, four, five years has certainly -- focused on the -- this small number of officers that have done in some cases criminal acts. And this -- the narrative has just been, I think, broad brushed to a point where folks just think they don't trust cops. They don't like cops.

And I -- I think that that, in addition to the -- what happens on social media -- just -- just continues to inflame this and, again, I'm -- I'm fearful for the safety of -- of anybody, you know, doing this job. BURNETT: You know, the context, obviously, that you give is

important. I also wanted to play something that two Trump supporters told our Donie O'Sullivan about the insurrection on January 6th. Here they are.


JERRY FITZGERALD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: The only person that got killed that day was a Trump supporter. And her name was Ashli Babbitt.

CASSANDRA FITZGERALD: And she was murdered.


BURNETT: Of course, she wasn't the only person who died that day. And, you know, four of your officers died shortly thereafter by suicide, as well. After going through what they went through on that horrific day. Your officer who shot Ashli Babbitt has been cleared of any wrongdoing in an investigation. And yet, you hear the former president and then his allies repeatedly try to make Ashli Babbitt a martyr. Say that she was literally murdered by police. That is the word that he uses.

How much do you think this narrative, those words put your officers at risk?

MANGER: Well, when -- you know, there -- there have been case again, over the last five or six years where a lot of folks have said, you know, this police officer murdered this individual. And again, this narrative certainly -- when it's heard often enough and repeated often enough, it -- it just gets -- I think the general public to be less trustful of the police and certainly put police in a bad light. All police. Which is -- which is not fair but it's -- but it's understandable with this constant narrative that folks are talking about.

And it doesn't matter, you know, it -- someone's -- you know, the ideology of the person who is saying this. I mean, you've got folks from -- from just about every, you know, from the far left, the far right, in the middle who, you know, have said things about police officers, you know, when they're involved in a deadly-force situation.

So, it's always going to be controversial. It's always going to be difficult for the public to accept. Even with body-worn cameras. You know, people can see the same video and come to completely different conclusions about what occurred.

BURNETT: So, there is also a troubling rise in threat against members of Congress, chief, as you know, of course, because you are dealing with this right now to protect them. One example that I mentioned was the Republican Congressman Anthony Gonzalez. So he said he and his familiar were greeted at an airport with extra security after he voted to impeach then-President Trump and he then received many threats against his -- his family and himself.

How much of a rise in threats against members of Congress are you seeing?

MANGER: So, when we -- we've been keeping track of these for many, many years and in 2016, we had less than a thousand. If things continue to go the way they are in -- in 2021, we are going to have over 9,000. So we go from 900 to 9,000 in a span of about five years. So that's -- that is a pretty significant uptick.

BURNETT: It's horrible. I want to ask you about one other thing as you know it's been getting a lot of attention. I know disciplinary action was recommended against six Capitol police officers for their actions on January 6th and I understand it was conduct unbecoming for an officer, failure to comply with directives. And we at CNN are aware of some internal documents that show a lieutenant told a tip line, that a high-ranking Capitol police officer who supported Trump told those under his command not to wear riot gear on January 6th.


Here's what former-President Trump has said about your officers on that day.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: In all fairness, the Capitol Police were ushering people in. The Capitol Police were very friendly. You know, they were hugging and kissing.


BURNETT: Is -- is that -- is it as simple as that?

MANGER: No, it's not. Frankly, that is not accurate information. The -- the officers that -- we have investigated and disciplined, the cases that we investigated. They -- they run from minor infractions to -- to officers making very poor judgments for more serious misconduct.

But this notion that the Capitol Police were somehow allowing these folks into the capitol, inviting them in, helping them, just simply not true.

BURNETT: All right. Chief Manger, I appreciate your time. Thank you for coming on.

And next, DHS says migrants camped out under a bridge in Texas will be cleared out in days but are tens of thousands more heading to take their places?

And "The New York Times" reporting tonight the Trump campaign knew lawyers' claims about voting machines were false. Conspiracy theories, at best. So why did Trump continue? And by the way, still continues the lie.


[19:40:22] BURNETT: Tonight, horrible. That is the word that Vice President Kamala Harris used to describe the video of border patrol agents on horseback confronting Haitian migrants, with whips. This is 8,000 migrants are still living under a bridge and up to 30,000 migrants in Colombia tonight may be looking to travel north to the border.

Josh Campbell is OUTFRONT.


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Disturbing images drawing scrutiny over the U.S. government's response to the latest surge of migrants at the southern border. Border patrol agents captured on camera aggressively confronting migrants attempting to cross the Rio Grande. Some having journeyed for weeks, if not months, to get this far.

The Biden administration now on defense, from the president --

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will get it under control.

CAMPBELL: -- to the vice president.

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Human beings should never be treated that way, and I'm deeply troubled about it. And I'll also be talking with Secretary Mayorkas today about it.

CAMPBELL: And the secretary of homeland security saying the matter is now under investigation.

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: One cannot weaponize a horse to aggressively attack a child. That is unacceptable. That is not what our policies and our training require. We will not tolerate mistreatment. And we will address it with full force based on the facts that we learn.

CAMPBELL: Republicans slamming the Biden administration's actions, including the Texas governor at the border.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: The Biden administration is a manmade disaster of inhumanity, of epic proportions.

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): Do you bear responsibility for the crisis in Del Rio? Yes or no?

CAMPBELL: And Senator Josh Hawley laying into Secretary Mayorkas on Capitol Hill.

MAYORKAS: Senator, the -- the smuggling organizations --

HAWLEY: Yes or no, Mr. Secretary? Do you bear responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in Del Rio? Yes or no?

MAYORKAS: Senator, it is my responsibility to address the human tragedy. CAMPBELL: This as the mayor of Del Rio says some 8,600 migrants

continue to live in squalid conditions under the bridge waiting for their fate to be decided by U.S. authorities. Thousands so far loaded onto buses and planes bound for a one-way journey out of the United States. We are here at a checkpoint not far from that migrant camp where we have seen these migrants gathered under the Del Rio Bridge.

These buses have been loaded up with migrants. As the federal government tries to process the thousands of people who have come here from places like Haiti and Central and South America.

Many Haitians now arriving back to a country devastated by earthquakes and political turmoil, and that many haven't set foot in for months or even years. This as CNN is learning that up to 30,000 Haitian migrants are in Colombia, and may be seeking to travel north to America's border according to a source with knowledge of the situation in Panama.

Governor Greg Abbott at the border today declaring they aren't welcome.

ABBOTT: If you are targeting Texas to come to, we're going to show up in force and shut down the border. We're not going to allow the disaster that we saw here in Del Rio to be replicated by additional caravans coming from wherever they may come from.


CAMPBELL: And, Erin, as the sun begins to set here in south Texas, I want to bring you these images. This is live from over the Del Rio Bridge being shot by our drone.

Immigration policy is obviously an intricate one. It's been hotly debated across the political spectrum but as we watch these images of thousands of migrants, preparing to spend yet another night sleeping in the dirt underneath a bridge, we can't lose sight of the fact this is first and foremost not a story about policy but a story about people. Our fellow people -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Josh, thank you very much. Those live pictures there.

And OUTFRONT next. Remember all the conspiracies about the voting machines? Well, we now know more about the falsehoods. "New York Times" reporting the Trump campaign knew they were lies long ago.

And a major truck driver shortage of this country and one woman's quest to solve it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The biggest change that we are making is by being a voice.

S.H.E. Trucking, how can I help you?




BURNETT: Tonight, Trump campaign aides knew there was no merit to voting machine conspiracies pushed by then-President Trump and his allies, court documents obtained by the New York ties show. The documents which are filed as part of a defamation lawsuit by an employee of Dominion Voting Systems reveal that Trump campaign aides prepared a memo actually refuting claims just like this one.


SIDNEY POWELL, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: The Dominion operators went in, and injected votes and changed the whole system.

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: The Dominion or Smartmatic people called a halt to the election.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Dominion. Nobody even knows who owns it. These machines are controlling our country. So, it was a rigged election.


BURNETT: Refuted every single one of those claims, from their own campaign.

OUTFRONT now, Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign.

So, Matthew, the Trump campaign, you know, had a memo. A spokesperson said, look, all these things are being said. Are these things true, right? Substantiate or debunk it.

And the staffers come up with this memo, and the court documents the times obtained say the memo debunk today all and had all the fact checking and reports out about it, saying it wasn't true. And then, the memo goes out to the campaign and they sat on it. They sat on it as the conspiracy spread. No one stood up and said it was false.

Does that surprise you at all?

MATTHEW DOWD, CHIEF STRATEGIST, BUSH-CHENEY '04 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Well, unfortunately, in that -- in that world, those people -- ends justify the means in this. To me, Erin, as I think about this, it is not just the lie in -- in it of itself that spread. It's the repercussions from the lie that have also spread.

To me, it's the same thing -- it's akin to somebody screaming fire in a crowded theater, right? And people stampede themselves and there is other people standing onstage that knew the truth that could have told people to say, no, there is no fire. Calm down. There's no reason.

And the ramifications of that, people dying, shutting down the theater, whatever happens to be, is the same thing as this. And I think we have -- we are still feeling as you know because you talk about this every night -- we are still feeling the ramifications of the lies and the pushing of these conspiracy theories every day in what's happening in to our democracy.


So, I think they are ethically, they are morally obligated to say something if they believe but they didn't. They stayed quiet.

BURNETT: So, last night I spoke with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and I asked him, Matthew, specifically about the letter that Trump just sent him. And in the letter, Trump demanded Raffensperger overturn the state's election results. Okay? And so, Raffensperger responded and I just want today play a little bit of what he told me.


BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: People said there were thousands of dead people that voted. It was less than a handful. They also told us over 66,000 underage voters voted. There were zero. They talked about unregistered voters voting. There were none of that. President Trump came up short in Georgia.


BURNETT: Okay. So he goes through, step by step by step. Right after the election, Trump asked Raffensperger to find him 11,780 votes, right? One more than he needed to win.

And now, 11 months later, he sends a letter, telling Raffensperger to decertify the election, that it was rigged. In that letter, by the way, Matthew, he calls President Biden an illegitimate president.

There is no end to Trump's obsession, right? No -- no end and he is continuing to sell this to his supporters.

DOWD: Well -- well, to me, Erin, I mean if it was just some crazy person in the basement in Mar-a-Lago that was doing these things, fine. It's, you know, whatever. Deal with him. We all discount it.

But this person is listened to by 80 or 85 percent of the Republican Party and you have seen every single poll that a vast majority of the Republican Party now believes that Joe Biden did not win the election and he is not the legitimate president. Still, to this day. After all the reporting, after everything that's been discounted, after everything everybody's looked at and said here's the truth and all of that was lying and I think that's the huge problem.

Is Donald Trump can do what he can do and there is obviously no controlling him. Nobody's ever been able to control him. But the real problem is we have one of the two legacy parties that has completely bought into this, and does not want to hear anything else but a confirmation of that untruth that's been told. And that, I think, is the most dangerous thing facing our democracy. BURNETT: All right. Matthew, thank you very much.

DOWD: You're welcome.

BURNETT: And next, driver shortages in the trucking industry wreaking havoc across this country with deliveries and supply chain problems. But one woman is trying to do something about it.



BURNETT: Tonight, a massive shortage of truck drivers causing issues with supply chains across the United States. The industry is actually expecting to be short 100,000 drivers by 2023, basically, the next year. And these are high-paying jobs.

This summer in Utah, I saw an ad for a truck driver position offering roughly $80,000 a year to start. And one woman tonight making it her mission to bring more women into what is still an overwhelmingly male- dominated industry.

Sheree Moore is our champion for change.


SHARAE MOORE, FOUNDER, S.H.E. TRUCKING: I knew nothing about this industry before I got in. Everybody said I was crazy. You can't drive a big truck. You're 5'3". You can't reach the pedal.

BURNETT: Wait. Actually, how is it reaching the pedals when you are 5'3"?

MOORE: I push my feet up, and I get on down like anybody else. I entered into this male-dominated industry, and I instantly saw a need to create a space for women, for more women to come in. S.H.E. Trucking is the largest platform for women in the trucking industry. We have over 20,000 professional women drivers. I've helped a lot of women get an LLC, EIN, a Duns number, making sure they get their certifications, being registered in the different departments of government, to transportation goods.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: S.H.E. Trucking is definitely a sisterhood. If you need a shower, just post it girl. We got you. If you are stuck somewhere, that's' really what it is. It's just a sisterhood, even though we may have never met in person.

BURNETT: There is trucking in your -- in your blood, right?

MOORE: It is. My dad is a truck driver.

I'm excited.


MOORE: But I do this because of my mom. My mom is one of the strongest people I know. She is a bus driver. I

remember many days of open up the gate and have my mom back up her bus. And I saw her training women.

MOORE: Together, we helping others.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Together, we're strong. Building a legacy.

BURNETT: Nobody thought she could do it because she is 5'3". She walked into a room. She is the only woman. She was the only black person in the room. And nothing ever fazed her. She is trying to provide an opportunity to become a truck driver, and have a career and economic independence.

How are you making change in the industry overall?

MOORE: The biggest change that we are making is by being a voice.

S.H.E. Trucking. How can I help you?

I talk to drivers every single day to figure out what are their challenges? What's going on? A lot of drivers who come into this industry not in the best situation. It becomes your safe haven.

JOJON HARRIS, TRUCK DRIVER: I met Sharae about three years ago when I first started driving. I knew of no -- no female truckers. So when I found S.H.E. trucking, it was like magical for me. I have four children. I was always a single mother. I was also in an abusive relationship. It allowed me to get away.

I mean, you make good money in trucking. I could take care of my family.

MOORE: Hey. Welcome to S.H.E. trucking. S.H.E trucking is a (INAUDIBLE) for women drivers. It is here to encourage, support, and inspire women to become truckers.

I looked on YouTube. Learned how to build a website. Learned how to make my t-shirts. And it just grew and grew.

MOORE: You look at her now, who has more than 20,000 women that -- that -- that she is providing supplies for, that she is mentoring. That she is trying to change the trucking industry so that women can succeed and thrive and be safe in it.

What do you think about your child?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm proud. That's all I can say. I am so proud of her.

BURNETT: She's built this entire organization to helping other people and that's what a champion does.


BURNETT: Sharae's story is an amazing one. And we are going to continue to share these inspirational stories all week with you. Be sure to tune in on Saturday at 8:00 Eastern because you will get to see all of our champions for change in a one-hour special.

Thanks for joining us.

It's time for "AC360."