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Erin Burnett Outfront

New Capitol Riot Video Shows Brutal Assault on Officer as Jan. 6 Panel Pursues Criminal Contempt Charges Against Bannon; Jan. 6 Panel Chairman: Not Ruling Out a Subpoena for Trump; Chicago Mayor Firm on COVID Vaccine Deadline as Police Union Tells Officers to Defy it, Claims Force Will be at 50 Percent; GOP Nominee in VA Governor's Race Distances from Trump even as Trump Calls into Rally to Praise Him; "Death Blow": China's State-Run Media Warns U.S. on Taiwan Conflict; Sources: White House Vetting Former FDA Commissioner to Lead Agency Again. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 14, 2021 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Well, thank you so much for doing this documentary, Elie Honig. And to our viewers, you can watch Elie's new documentary on our website, very, very important.


BLITZER: Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, new video just in to CNN showing the brutal assault on a D.C. officer during the January 6th insurrection, as the Committee investigating the riot moves to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt. Will the man who bragged he would bury Biden on January 6th be forced to testify?

Plus, the most closely watched race in American neck and neck tonight. The Democratic candidate for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is my guest. How did Virginia go from a solid Biden state to a tossup in this crucial race?

And the once prominent South Carolina attorney whose wife and son were murdered is a person of interest in their deaths tonight, according to his lawyer and now he's under arrest for the second time in a month. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, criminal contempt. The House January 6 Committee saying today it will officially moved to hold former President Trump's close ally, Steve Bannon, in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with the subpoena. This as tonight we are getting this new video, a violent assault on a police officer during the January 6th insurrection.

You're looking at the mob pulling D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone from inside the Capitol building out into the crowd. Prosecutors say the man pulling Fanone yelled, "I got one." Rioter stole Fanone's badge and radio and threatened to kill him with his own gun.

And it's hard to see, but right here, right there as it freezes, prosecutors say a rioter is jabbing a taser into the back of Fanone's neck. Now Fanone suffered a heart attack and a concussion during the insurrection and is now dealing with a traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder. This is exactly why figuring out how this all happened is so crucial and it is why Steve Bannon's refusal to cooperate with the Committee investigating is, yes, expected but also shameful.

The deadline for Bannon to comply was today. He has repeatedly cited executive privilege is the reason he won't talk to the Committee. Now, of course, unfortunately for him, President shows neither he or the former president can actually assert that privilege, it resides with the actual executive office in power right now, President Biden.

But here's the problem for the Committee, they need Bannon. He's important here. According to the book Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, it was Bannon who pushed Trump to return to Washington from his home and Mar-A-Lago for the January 6 rally.

In a call on December 30th, Bannon told Trump, "You've got to return to Washington and make a dramatic return." Woodward and Costa wrote that Bannon went on to tell Trump January 6 was a moment for reckoning. He tells Trump, "People are going to go, 'What the eff is going on here?' We're going to bury Biden on January 6th, effing bury him."

Bannon was also clear publicly about what he was expecting to happen that day, no beating around the bush here. Here he is on his podcast the day before the insurrection.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. And tomorrow it's game day.

I've met so many people through my life said, "Man, if I was at the revolution I would be with Washington at Trenton." Well, this is for your time in history.


BURNETT: So much for the argument that it just sort of happened. Look, he was rallying the troops, Trump knew that. And we know that Woodward and Costa's reporting is correct, because Bannon said so himself soon after the book was published. Just listen to him.


BANNON: This illegitimate regime is starting to collapse. There's a quote from me, I guess, in the book and they're all over about it that I was talking to the president in late January that we could kill the illegitimate Biden regime in the crib. Well, guess what it killed itself. But we told you from the very beginning, just to expose it, just expose it, never back down, never give up and this thing will implode.


BURNETT: So the Committee needs to hear from Bannon, but the path to getting him even with criminal contempt charges isn't so easy for Congress. First, they need the Justice Department to actually prosecute Bannon and the DOJ has not weighed in yet. In fact, the last time anyone was actually indicted for criminal contempt of Congress was back in 1983 and a jury then subsequently found that person not guilty.

So this isn't to say the DOJ won't get involved and that Bannon won't be found guilty this time. It's just to show this isn't easy. And keep in mind the President and the House majority are of the same party and the President was clear just last week that he won't protect Trump from this investigation.

A letter from the White House refusing to assert executive privilege on Trump's behalf put out by the Biden ministration reads, "The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself."


Well, that's what the White House Counsel says. But, of course, this is in the hands of the DOJ.

Ryan Nobles is OUTFRONT. So, Ryan, tonight the January 6 Committee Chair says the Committee has not ruled out a subpoena even for the former President Donald Trump himself.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's right, Erin. And Bennie Thompson made it clear he is hoping that this information that they've requested from the National Archives from the Trump administration, which the Biden administration is now saying they are not going to hold back because of executive privilege, provides them a lot of information about what they're looking for about the connections that could possibly be made between actions made by the Trump White House that led to that dangerous and violent day here on Capitol Hill.

And he said that as a result, they are not ruling out subpoenas for anyone and that includes the former President Donald Trump himself. And he also took aim at Donald Trump for the way that he has responded to the Select Committee's work. He's put out a number of statements where he picks on the Committee calls them the unselect committee.

And Thompson said that if he continues to think that he's going to be able to get away from this in the events of January 6 by putting out cute press releases that he's sadly mistaken. So it shows that the Select Committee is not avoiding a direct confrontation with the former president if they feel that is necessary and that goes back exactly to the work they did today by saying that they're taking these initial steps at a criminal contempt referral. Yes, it has a lot to do with Steve Bannon himself, but it also has a

lot to do with this other group of individuals that they've subpoenaed, demonstrating to people like Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, Kash Patel, the group of rally organizers, Jeffrey Clark that they are willing to do whatever it takes to get the information that they are looking for and that includes taking this step of referring it to the Department of Justice and prosecuting these individuals.

So the Committee, this is a strong signal from them today, Erin, and this was the step that they felt that they had to take and as they said before, they aren't messing around and today they demonstrated that.

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

And I want to go now to Norm Eisen, because he served as counsel to House Democrats during the first impeachment trial of President Trump. He was also the Ethics Czar in the Obama White House. And Gloria Borger also with me, of course, our Chief Political Analyst.

So Norm, as I laid out though, look, they can go for criminal contempt, but it doesn't mean that it's just easy. It isn't a check the box. It's an uphill battle. Now you were very involved in the House fight to go ahead and subpoena back during the impeachment hearings of Don McGahn. That fight lasted two years. It went to court. Trial was over by the time this was even settled. I mean, this is what happened. So can Democrats really fight in this way? I mean, time is not on their side.

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Erin, thanks for having me back. It's important to consider the criminal contempt proceedings against Steve Bannon in the context of everything else that is happening and however long it may take. And these cases can move much faster if the courts determined to move them.

But however long or short, remember, this is a committee that has hauled friendly witnesses in like the Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, startling testimony we know he has to give. The privilege that would have stood in the way waived by the Biden administration, the same as you mentioned in the open with documents. They're getting a ton of information and ingredient in that is not just the carrot but the stick and this Bannon contempt however long it may take is this stick. I think it will bring other witnesses to step forward so it's a good move.

BURNETT: So Gloria, I want to show the video again that we just got because it does just remind people the horrible stakes of what is at stake and what happened. Brutal assault against officer Fanone by rioters on January 6th and he's pulled out his badge, just taken taser to his neck. This is a man who subsequently that day had a heart attack, PTSD, brain injury and yet we lay all this out. Steve Bannon was the one who said all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.

Steve Bannon wasn't hiding in the corners of Facebook and not noticed by the FBI. Steve Bannon was out there saying this. I mean, it's clear he doesn't want to cooperate. GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. I spoke with a

source who's familiar with the Committee's thinking today and they're thinking this, look, Steve Bannon is an unsympathetic figure. He is low-hanging fruit because he is the person who has the least claim to executive privilege since he did not work in the White House. And it is their way of showing that if they're going to be this serious about Steve Bannon and charge him with criminal contempt potentially, then they're going to be serious with everyone else and they believe that it will encourage other people with whom they are speaking to cooperate in one form or another.

The attorneys, for example, for Kash Patel and Mark Meadows are speaking with committee attorneys.


Will they be able to come up with some sort of arrangements that would get more documents, that would get some more testimony? Perhaps.


BORGER: This will show them that maybe they should. And also don't forget, they've got a lot of stuff already as Norm Eisen was saying.


BORGER: The DOJ has a lot of stuff already. So they need Steve Bannon, yes, but they want to make an example of Steve Bannon too.

BURNETT: Right. Which is important, because when you talk about things like the Secretary of State from Georgia, Brad Raffensperger. He said he doesn't want to come in, but he's put the entire transcript from his call with the president out there, right?

BORGER: Exactly.

BURNETT: There's a lot of information that they have. But Norm, the context of all of this is that if you're relying on the DOJ, you're relying on a deeply bruised DOJ, its reputation has been bruised over the past five, six years and Merrick Garland is trying to turn that around. He does not want to be perceived as political in any way. So now this is on his plate, whatever he thinks the right thing to do is he doesn't want to look political. You have known him a long time, what do you think he's going to do?

EISEN: Well, this is not a close case as Gloria was saying. There's no executive privilege here, because it belongs to Biden. Bannon was not even - even if there were executive privilege, Erin, he wasn't working in the executive branch at the time this conversation happened. He's claiming attorney-client privilege, but he's not an attorney. I mean, this is an open and shut case.

And if there's one thing we know about Merrick Garland, when it's clear that the law has been violated, he's a law man. That's what he proved all those years as a judge. He's not going to turn his back on this. And in a clear case like this, it can move quickly. And I have to ask

what does ban and have to hide? Why not come in and cooperate? Why is Trump covering all this up? Why are we having this stonewalling that we had in the White House when he was there? They're hiding and it's not going to work.

BURNETT: So Gloria, will any of this actually scare Bannon or get him to comply?

BORGER: It's hard to know. I mean, this is something that appeals to his demographic, his fans.


BORGER: That he's fighting the Democrats in Congress and that he's standing up for Donald Trump. So who knows, this thing is going to play itself out. He doesn't have a president anymore who's likely to pardon him for anything, so that is a potential problem for him. But I think right now, I think he wants to run the string out on this, as well, because to a certain group of people he's a hero, as a result of this. He's a martyr as a result of this.

So you could say in a way that this is fine with him. I think Steve Bannon knew exactly what he was doing when he's sending these letters, yes.

BURNETT: Well, I mean, he may be in the camp of just keep spelling my name right. He's glad he's somehow be seen as irrelevant.

BORGER: And let it drag on.



BURNETT: Thank you both very much. I appreciate it.

And next, standoff between Chicago police and the mayor over COVID vaccines. The deadline is just hours away. Could as many as half of the police force of Chicago defy the city's vaccine mandate and be off the job.

And Republican Glenn Youngkin is running for governor of Virginia, keeping his distance from Trump tonight even as the former President called into a rally for Younkin and lied about the election.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We won in 2016, we won in 2020, the most corrupt election in the history of our country.


BURNETT: And once prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh arrested again. His own lawyer says he's considered now a person of interest in the death of his wife and son. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BURNETT: Tonight, the police union in one of America's largest cities facing off with the mayor over COVID vaccines. The deadline is just hours away for all police officers in Chicago to either get vaccinated or agree to be tested all the time, neither side so far backing down. The head of the police union claims that 50 percent of the force won't be on the streets this weekend if the deadline holds, 50 percent. Omar Jimenez is OUTFRONT.



MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D) CHICAGO: Our expectation is that people will comply.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT(voice over): Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is doubling down.


LIGHTFOOT: It's pretty straightforward, are you vaccinated or not? If you are, you upload your information. If you're not, then you go to a separate page and you indicate that and that you'll be taking the testing option.


JIMENEZ(voice over): At the center of it all is the city's requirement to disclose vaccine status by Friday. City employees including police officers who don't comply would be placed on unpaid leave.




JIMENEZ(voice over): The deadline is midnight Thursday night.


CATANZARA: If we suspect the numbers are true and we get a large number of our members to stand firm on their beliefs, that this is an overreach and they're not going to supply the information in the portal or submit the testing, then it's safe to say the city of Chicago will have a police force at 50 percent or less for this weekend coming up.


JIMENEZ(voice over): There's currently no way to corroborate those estimates and Catanzara didn't respond to a request for comment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we're ready, we'll get right to it.


JIMENEZ(voice over): The leadership at the Chicago Police Department directly contradicted the union head, calling the policy mandatory for officers.


CHIEF BRIAN MCDERMOTT, CHIEF OF OPERATIONS, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: I know residents and businesses have expressed concerns that the department will not be properly staffed heading into the weekend, I can assure you that this is natural. Chicago Police Department will be fully staffed and ready to protect the citizens of the city.


JIMENEZ(voice over): On vaccinations, employees who are not fully vaccinated by October 15th, including employees who have received an approved medical or religious exemption must undergo regular COVID-19 testing on a twice weekly basis, with tests separated by three to four days until the end of the year. This standoff comes after all four Chicago police officers who died in the line of duty in 2020 died because of COVID.

Even the previous Chicago police union president died of COVID earlier this month, but shootings are up 11 percent compared to last year and up almost 70 compared to the year before, leaving no room for a shortage of officers heading into the weekend when violence typically surges.

In a letter to Mayor Lightfoot, two city aldermen are urging her to drop the mandate.


"We can lose officers if they get severely sick or die from COVID-19 or we may confront a further unraveling of violence on our streets if officers decide not to work because of this mandate. For now, we are asking you to reconsider." The Mayor not backing down.


LIGHTFOOT: But our goal is to create a safe workplace and the best way that we can do that, the biggest tool that we have is by getting people fully vaccinated.



BURNETT: And Omar, it's a stunning situation that you're reporting on amidst all the challenges Chicago faces, if this is true half the force could walk off because of this. Another thing that struck me in your reporting is that all the police officers that died in the line of duty last year died from COVID. They died from COVID and still to think that half the force doesn't want to have this vaccine mandate, it's hard to understand.

JIMENEZ(on camera): Well, and there's a lot of factors at play here. I mean, you talked about the four that, of course, tragically died last year because of COVID. Well, we've had none die this year because of COVID and this is a time period where vaccines have been readily available.

And another factor to keep in mind here is this is really the disclosure of the fact that you've gotten vaccinated or not. So part of this might just come down to contentious relationships that we've seen at times between the police and the Mayor's office.

Now, when we asked the Mayor whether she was concerned about a lack of officers tomorrow and into this weekend, she said she wasn't and she doesn't expect it to be an issue. She didn't want to get too much into contingency plans, but she did say that they do have state policing resources they can lean into if needed, Erin.

BURNETT: Wow, this is going to be fascinating. Omar, thank you so much.

And next, Republican candidate for Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin says he's no Trump clone, but a rally meant to support him is headlined by Steve Bannon with a special calling from Trump himself, so can he really walk this line?

And Chinese state media warning the United States tonight that if it gets in the middle of a Taiwan-China military conflict, it will be a 'deathblow to American troops'.



BURNETT: New tonight, the White House says President Biden will likely head to Virginia in the coming days to campaign for Democrat Terry McAuliffe. The election for governor is now less than three weeks away and it is tighter than ever between McAuliffe and the Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin. This as Youngkin is distancing himself from a rally that was organized to support him last night, a rally headlined by Steve Bannon where former President Trump called in. Rally goers pledged allegiance to this flag that was purportedly carried at Trump's rally on January 6th. Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORREPONDENT(voice over): Donald Trump loves standing at the front of a big rally. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'm thrilled to be back.


ZELENY(voice over): But in the Virginia governor's race, the former president can be heard but not seen.


TRUMP: I really believe that Virginia is very, very winnable. But everybody has to go out and vote.


ZELENY(voice over): As Republicans hope to launch a comeback in the biggest campaign of the season, Trump is not invited, at least for one of his signature rallies. Instead, he called into an event last night.


TRUMP: We're going to take it all back.


ZELENY(voice over): Headlined by longtime Trump advisor, Steve Bannon, to build support for the GOP ticket. Trump used the forum to spread election lies.


TRUMP: We won in 2016, we want in 2020, the most corrupt election in the history of our country.


ZELENY(voice over): Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin said again today Biden was legitimately elected, but quickly moved to change the subject. In the latest sign of how he's walking a tightrope, embracing the Trump energy to fire up his base while trying to avoid alienating other voters.

In the final days of a race that has Democrats on edge, Terry McAuliffe is calling in the cavalry, President Biden this summer. First Lady Jill Biden on Friday and former President Barack Obama next weekend, reprising a visit he made in 2013 when McAuliffe first narrowly won.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The next governor of the great Commonwealth of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe.


ZELENY(voice over): This time McAuliffe is blasting Youngkin as an extreme Trump clone, releasing a new ad today to link the two.


GLENN YOUNGKIN, (R) VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I was honored to receive President Trump's endorsement.


ZELENY(voice over): But Youngkin is trying to stand alone.


YOUNGKIN: All eyes are on Virginia.


ZELENY(voice over): Mindful he needs to win over some of the very Virginians who previously voted democratic, including for Biden who won last year by 10 points. In a race that will turn on enthusiasm, it's a tricky balancing act with Trump.


ZELENY(on camera): Would you like to see him campaign here?

YOUNGKIN: So no, the person that is going to be campaigning here for the next two and a half weeks is Glenn Youngkin. I'm on the ballot.

ZELENY: You hope he stays out of the state?

YOUNGKIN: You're going to see me campaign as Glenn Youngkin, the candidate who is marching to victory and you're going to see my opponent bring in everybody he possibly can because he can't wait on his own.



ZELENY(on camera): Now, even though Youngkin did not appear in- person at that rally, he did find himself answering questions all day long about it. And one particular incident, including the pledging allegiance to that flag that organizers said was present at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. This is what Youngking said about that.


YOUNGKIN: I wasn't involved and so I don't know, but if that is the case then we shouldn't pledge allegiance to that flag. And oh, by the way, I've been so clear there is no place for violence. None. None in America today. We have our right to assemble and protest protected in this great country and in this great Commonwealth, but there is no room for violence.


ZELENY: And then he quickly tried to change the subject.


But a few hours later, his campaign released a statement saying it was wrong and weird that organizers at that rally use that flag to pledge allegiance.


So, Erin, clearly, the Youngkin campaign is nervous about walking this tight rope, if you will, for the former president, the Trump's tight rope we'll call, it is certainly a challenge for him. But the McAuliffe campaign trying to tie him to former President Trump, so far, that's been a challenge -- Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right. Jeff, thank you very much.

So, let's go straight to Terry McAuliffe who's now OUTFRONT.

So, I know you stayed on message, Terry. You've been very consistent tying Glenn Youngkin to former President Trump, calling him a Trump- wannabe, your words, at one point, you know? But you heard Jeff Zeleny here and Youngkin himself denouncing what took place at that rally, making it clear. You know, he obviously wasn't there himself.

What's your reaction?

TERRY MCAULLIFE (D), NOMINEE FOR VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: First, Erin, this is what he does time and time again. Since the beginning of his campaign, he said one issue. For six months, all he talked about was election integrity. He originally would not say that Joe Biden was legitimately elected president of the United States. He said recently that if he were in Congress, he didn't know if he would have voted to certify on the January 6th date.

He's been endorsed by Trump five times. And that rally last night was for him. And he called the organizers and profusely thanked them. But now we know he's in trouble.

Trump said yesterday, Glenn Youngkin will do whatever we want him to do.

But they literally, a flag that was used, a flag representing the greatest democracy in the world that they used to try to destroy our democracy, taking a pledge of allegiance, it's so offensive. Glenn Youngkin needs to say that January 6th insurrection was wrong, the pledge of allegiance was wrong, and no, he has got to deny the president who said, Trump said he would do whatever he wants him to do.

That is with the issue is. He's a Trump wannabe. He's trying to play it both ways. And, you know, he's got an education plan designed by Betsy DeVos. That's just not who we are here in Virginia.

BURNETT: So, you know, he did of course, we talked about a flag. He said it's wrong to pledge allegiance to the flat connected to January 6th. And, you know, as the nominee for governor, and you point out he's been trying to walk us that's Jeff called it, the Trump tightrope, but he has repeatedly gone against Trump on some crucial things. Biden winning the reelection, early voting, believing that the election results that are going to happen in your own race. Here is Glenn Youngkin.


GLENN YOUNGKIN (R), NOMINEE FOR VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: Joe Biden was legitimately elected on president. And he took the oath and was sworn in.

I said there was immaterial fraud. I believe that the election was certifiably fair.

REPORTER: Do you have confidence in the integrity of early voting across Virginia?

YOUNGKIN: I do. I do. This is why we came to vote. And I think that the process is going to be fair.


BURNETT: Terry, that is the opposite of everything Donald Trump stands for, though, and Glenn Youngkin is saying those things loud and clearly.

MCAULIFFE: But, Erin, please. He has said it 10 months after he got into the race. He has said for 8 months, election integrity is the single most important issue in Virginia. For 8 months, that's all we heard out of him. It's only now that he is getting pushed and has made those you statements.

He owns the statement where he set so much of the reason why I'm running is because of Donald Trump. So, let's be crystal clear. Look at what he said from the beginning. He did not think Joe Biden, when he was running to get the nomination, he did not think Joe Biden was legitimately elected. He said just this week, let's do an audit of Virginia's voting machines.

So these are his own words, he has been held accountable for these words. We don't want Trump as divisive rhetoric back. I'm a uniter. That's why so much Republican support, so much bipartisan support.

As governor have a lot of things done transportation, on economic development, on veterans affair. I work with everybody.

Glenn Youngkin is an extreme. He wants to ban abortions in Virginia. He is against gay marriage. I could tell you, this is dangerous. For 50 years, we thought the Supreme Court would protect us in Roe v. Wade. That's over. Texas, abortions are now gone.


MCAULIFFE: Glenn Youngkin wants to ban abortions here in Virginia. It is so dangerous for women. They want to put doctors in jail. And, finally, though, Erin, I recruited 1,100 companies and I created

200,000 high paying jobs. No business is going to come to a state that discriminates against women or gays. They're just not going to do it. Amazon would not have come here. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, any of them.

BURNETT: So to this issue of Trump, and sort of why this racist so much tighter than anybody thought it would be, right, I mean, because it is.

MCAULIFFE: Yeah, yeah.

BURNETT: So, Glenn Youngkin is saying he does not want Trump campaigning with him. You, President Biden said today that he's likely going to come to Virginia soon to campaign for you, called you a friend. But, you know, you have not been shy to be critical of certain things about Biden of late, including how he's handled this push for the infrastructure bill, which is, you know, right now not looking very good.


I think everybody could agree on that. Here you are.


MCAULIFFE: We are facing a lot of headwinds from Washington as you know. The president is unpopular today, unfortunately here in Virginia. So, w have got to flow through.

If I were running the show here, I get everybody in the room --

HOST: What do you want Joe Biden to do?

MCAULIFFE: Let's get everybody in a room. Lock the door. What do you need, what do you need? And let's get this thing done.


BURNETT: So, when you said the president is unpopular today in Virginia. I mean, do you think that that is the issue, that that is why this racist so much tighter? I mean, he won the state by 10 points and now in polls, you're neck and neck with Mr. Youngkin.

MCAULIFFE: Yeah. Yeah. First of all, I'm very happy to see, a FOX poll just came out, had me up 6. It had the President Biden plus one. I do want to thank Joe Biden. He gave us $14.3 billion here in the American Rescue Plan, $300 billion for education, $77 million for vaccinations.

But I will say this: it's all of Washington. I'm frustrated. We have an infrastructure bill that passed the Senate with 69 votes two months ago. In that is $7 billion for Virginia roads, billions for bridges.

BURNETT: Yeah. MCAULIFFE: They've got to -- all of them, have got to get together. When I was governor, I brought -- I had an extreme Republican legislature. I got 74 percent of my bills passed. Why? I brought everybody in a room, I locked that door and said, let's figure out what's best for everybody.

And that's what needs to happen in Washington. I'm tired of their little chitty chat. I'm tried of them running to the press and doing press conference.

e need help in America. We need this infrastructure. It's the biggest infrastructure bill in the history of this country. It's passed the Senate. Do your job and passed this and get money out to us and help us. This is everybody in Washington.

So, you know, I love Joe Biden. I've been friends with him for 40 years. He's been great to the Commonwealth of Virginia. But this is about Virginia, it's about our future, and I have a plan to build this economy, lead us out of this COVID crisis, help with the biggest investment in education, race teacher pay, get 40,000 at risk 3 and 4 years old pre-K, I'm excited. I've got more energy today, Erin, than I had when I'm born.

We are going to take the state to the next level like it's never been seen before and I'm going to do it in a bipartisan way. I get things done. Glenn Youngkin's extreme positions on abortion and gay marriage will destroy this commonwealth.

BURNETT: Terry, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

And I want everyone to note --

MCAULIFFE: All right. Erin, thank you. Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you.

I want everyone to know that we do continue to ask Glenn Youngkin to be on the program. I hope you will. He is welcome on the show anytime.

And next, he was once a South Carolina powerhouse from an elite untouchable family. But tonight, Alex Murdaugh is a person of interest in the mysterious murders of his son and wife, according to his own lawyer. And he's facing new felony charges related to his housekeeper who died.

Plus, Chinese state-run media warning the United States tonight, no uncertain terms, getting involved in military conflict between China and Taiwan will be a death blow. We are live in Taipei with a special report tonight.



BURNETT: New tonight, Alex Murdaugh is considered a person of interest in the death of his wife and son, according to his attorney. Maggie and Paul Mardaugh were shot and killed in June at the family's estate in South Carolina. And it comes as Murdaugh is under arrest again for a second time in a month, accused of stealing settlement money from the family of his longtime housekeeper, who died in 2018 in his home, the time Murdoch said she tripped and fell. There was no autopsy.

Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fifty-three- year-old Alex Murdaugh was arrested at a drug rehabilitation facility in Orlando where he's being treated for self proclaimed opioid addiction. He's charged with two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.

Announcing the arrest, the South Carolina law enforcement division says these charges stem from a SLED investigation into misappropriated settlement funds in the death of Gloria Satterfield. Satterfield, a long-time housekeeper for the Murdaugh family, died after suffering some kind of fall at the Murdaugh home in 2018.

Satterfield's son at the encouragement of Murdaugh brought claims against him and reached a substantial financial settlement. But the Satterfield family now says they never received any money.

Meanwhile, authorities are looking into new questions as to how Satterfield died after the county coroner says no autopsy was ever conducted and her death was ruled natural.

It's just the latest in a myriad of investigations surrounding the once powerful South Carolina attorney, including deaths, murders, and allegations of thefts of millions of dollars from his former law firm and clients.

In June, Murdaugh discovered his wife and son Paul shot to death at the family's property.

DISPATCHER: Is he breathing at all?

ALEX MURDAUGH: No, nobody is.


SAVIDGE: In a recent interview with WHNS-TV in Greenville, one of Murdaugh's attorneys says Alex has been identified as a person of interest in the murder investigation by the South Carolina law enforcement division. But in the same interview, the attorney says his client was visiting his mother at the time of the murder, and has a witness to back that up. Murdaugh has not been charged in the deaths of his wife and son.

REPORTER: We've been called the hillbilly hitman. How does that make you feel?

CURTIS SMITH, FORMER FRIEND OF MURDAUGH: I laugh at it, I really do. SAVIDGE: Then there's the bizarre case of Curtis Smith who said he

was framed by Murdaugh to allegedly killed the attorney as part of a murder for hire insurance fraud scheme. Smith says on September 4th, Murdaugh called him for help. But Smith says he met Murdaugh on the side of a remote roadway, Murdoch pointed a gun at him. --

SMITH: And he said, you know, you got to take care of this, and I said, well, I can't do it. I grabbed his arm. He wanted me to kill him.

SAVIDGE: Smith says he never shot Murdaugh and got rid of the gun. But Murdaugh's attorney describes something different, saying in the incident, a bullet grazed Murdaugh's head.

Murdaugh and Smith were both later arrested and charged among other things, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. Murdaugh confessed through his attorney, he hoped by dying, his surviving son would collect $10 million life insurance policy. Murdaugh was free on bond for those charges when he was arrested again this morning.


SAVIDGE: Alex Murdaugh is expected to appear in a South Carolina courtroom tomorrow for a bond hearing. In a statement, his attorneys say Alex intends to fully cooperate with this investigation, as he has with the investigation into the murders of his wife and son. It remains to be seen if he will be allowed to go free on bond again -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Martin, thank you.

And I want to go now to Eric Bland, attorney for the family of Gloria Satterfield who was the Murdaugh's long-time housekeeper before her death as you heard Martin reporting.

So, Eric, what was the family's reaction when they learned that Murdaugh was charged?

ERIC BLAND, ATTONREY FOR ESTATE OF MURDAUGH FAMILY HOUSEKEEPER: It was surreal. They are shocked. In three weeks they learned $4.3 million was stolen from them. They learned that any criminal investigation is opening up regarding their mother's death and today they learned that somebody that they had great respect for, revered and thought was a family member is now criminally charged with stealing their money.

So, it's like we are in the middle of a three-ring circus, Erin. It's just -- everyday is a new level of disgust, quite frankly, regarding Alex Murdaugh.

BURNETT: So, let me ask you, because I know you mentioned the $4.3 million that you say Murdaugh stole from Ms. Satterfield's estate. And you're saying that the family was not even aware for settlement for file, right, they didn't even know about this amount. Then they find out about the amount.

Did you have any idea of what he did with that money?

BLAND: I know he went to a bank account in Bank of America, we know in that same bank account, a lot of the money he alleged to have stolen from his law firm went into that account. It's kind of hard I guess to get $3.6 million that he got from my client's amount, and then supposedly $10 million from his law firm. It will be interesting to see, we have a subpoena out to Bank of America, and we expect that subpoena is going to be complied with the next day or two.

So, it should tell us where that money went. For his crime, Erin, it's not where the money went. He could have given it to Mother Teresa, it was stealing it which got him criminally charged today.

BURNETT: So, recently the coroner raised questions about how Gloria Satterfield actually died. We know the family said there was a fall in the home and there was no autopsy. The death certificate came and concluded it was a natural death, which the coroner by the way says does not lined up with it being a trip or a fall accident. It's not a natural death.

Do you have any questions of the cause of her death as all of these pieces start to come together?

BLAND: I'm not really -- I don't. I take Alex at his words although his words are difficult to accept these days. I take him at his words and Maggie called 911 and we are in the process to get that tape subpoenaed. They told 911 that she told the EMS that arrived at the sign that she told them that she tripped and fell down the stairs because of the dogs. So, at this point, that's what we take happen and until something else proves otherwise, it was a negligence death that was unfortunately caused by their four dogs.

BURNETT: Well, then, of course, it's all tragedy on tragedy in this case.

All right. Well, Eric, thank you very much. I appreciate your time. I will be eager to hear what you find out in the next day or two when you hear more from Bank of America. So thanks.

BLAND: We appreciate you having us on.

BURNETT: All right, next death blow. Those are the exact words China's state run media is using tonight warning the United States, that's what will happen to American forces if they defend Taiwan. We are live in Taipei for this special report.

And the White House can be close for a nominee, nine months almost without a permanent leader for the FDA in a pandemic.



BURNETT: Tonight, Chinese state-run media warning the United States that defending Taiwan in a possible China-Taiwan military conflict, would be a death blow to military troops. "The Global Times" also telling Taiwan, don't be so sure of U.S. support for you is, quote, unquote, rock solid.

It comes as China is escalating its military training and threats, leaving the Taiwanese thinking that China is serious about an invasion.

Will Ripley is OUTFRONT in Taipei.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Chinese soldiers train for the invasion of Taiwan. A new propaganda video shows an amphibious assault. Beijing says this training exercise targets Taiwan's independence and interference by external forces like the U.S. A warning for President Biden and other U.S. allies who continue to voice support for Taiwan.

U.S. arms sales to the island at record highs. Taiwan's defense minister says China could launch a full scale war by 2025. He says military tension are the worst in more than 40 years. The mainland's massive army faces a growing threat to the world's only Chinese speaking democracy.

On the streets of Taiwan, I get a sense of the mood on the ground. It's not what you might think.

LOUIS YANG, BURGER RESTAURANT OWNER: China is for a long time, like they want to take over Taiwan, but they just maybe just saying we don't know that.

RIPLEY: You're still here.

YANG: Yeah, we're still here.

RIPLEY: Louis Yang owns a small burger restaurant. He believes Taiwan is a country, his country, not part of China.

Tea shop owner Lisu Su thinks the U.S. military would intervene.

LISU SU, HERBAL TEA SHOP OWNER (through translator): I think the United States has to help because of Taiwan's strategic position. As long as Taiwan does not give up on itself and has a strong defense ability, I think the United States will definitely help.

RIPLEY: This month, China flew a record number of warplanes near Taiwan, including fighter jets and nuclear capable bombers.

Beijing has never ruled out taking Taiwan by force, insisting the island is part of mainland China, even though it has its own government and military more than 70 years after China's civil war.



RIPLEY: But this is the first time in 70 years that China has actually had an army that analysts say may be mighty enough to take Taiwan, possibly in a matter of days, even with the backing of the United States and it also has a president, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who might just be president for life and who might want to put as his crowning achievement, some analysts predict, taking back Taiwan, a territory that China says will be part of the mainland eventually, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Will, live from Taipei there.

And next, will the FDA finally have a permanent leader soon?

The White House showing signs it's moving toward a nominee nearly nine months into Biden's term.


BURNETT: Tonight, finally, a major step toward a permanent leader for the Food and Drug Administration. A key agency during normal times, but this isn't a normal time. We're talking about a pandemic -- crucial vaccination approvals, treatment approvals. And the FDA has been without a permanent leader for nine months, nine months.

The White House is vetting Dr. Rob Califf for the job. It would be a return for Califf. He was already FDA commissioner once under Obama, while there's currently an acting chief of the agency, senators including Democrats, had strong objections to her holding the job permanently.

But here's the bottom line, there needs to be permanent leadership during the FDA at all times. They are responsible for the safety of food and drugs in the entire country, and we're in the middle of pandemic. Biden needs to put forward a viable nominee. It's not okay. This has been nine months and Congress needs to get its act together and get the right person confirmed.

Thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" is now.