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Erin Burnett Outfront

As Dems' Own Deadline Nears, Biden Admits "We're Not Going To Get $3.5 Trillion" On Spending Bill; Dems Still At Odds; Biden: Justice Department Should Prosecute Those Who Defy January 6 Committee Subpoenas; Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Discusses About President Biden Comments To Those Who Defy Subpoena From Select Committee; Buttigieg Fires Back At Tucker Carlson Over Paternity Leave; Bill Clinton Hospitalized For Fourth Day After Sepsis Scare; Police: "Terrorist Incident" Motive In Murder Of British Lawmaker, Potentially Linked To "Islamist Extremism." Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 15, 2021 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: All right. Ryan Nobles, Jeffrey Toobin, Kaitlan Collins, guys, thank you very, very much. And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the Biden agenda stalled as the President claims he's still optimistic and wants to make sure his plans are paid for by people paying their fair share of taxes, so what is fair?

Plus breaking news, the President just telling reporters that the Justice Department should step in and prosecute those who defy subpoenas. Will the DOJ act, force Trump ally, Stephen Bannon, to testify before the January 6 Committee.

And Pete Buttigieg fighting back tonight against Tucker Carlson who mocked him for taking parental leave. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, Biden's misplaced optimism. President Biden returning to Washington moments ago after spending the day in Connecticut trying to sell his massive spending bill. That bill along with much of the President's agenda stalled tonight yet Biden says he's still optimistic.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I told you before, what my neurosurgeon years ago said when I had an aneurysm. He said, "Your problem -" and I was then a senator, "Your problem, senator, is you are a congenital optimist." But I'm convinced we're going to get this done. I am convinced we're going to get it done. We are not going to get $3.5 trillion, we'll get less than that, but we are going to get it and we are going to come back and get the rest.


BURNETT: Well, the problem right now for the President is that these negotiations over a $3.5 trillion spending bill aren't just holding up that bill, they're actually holding up the $1.2 trillion by partisan infrastructure bill, a bill that passed the Senate with 19 Republican senators on board. That's epic. It's amazing. And yet they can't get that thing passed. It's a bill progressive Democrats in the House refused to vote on until they get their much bigger spending bill. And here's why the President's optimism on that bill is so hard to understand.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT): We came down from $6 trillion to $3.5 trillion, okay. That is a huge, huge compromise. So I think at the very least in my view, we have got to be at three and a half trillion.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): My number has been 1.5. I've been very clear.


BURNETT: Okay. So, I mean, just right there you see it, the stalemate between progressives and moderates in the Democratic Party has been going on for months. And tonight, there is no sign of a breakthrough, no matter how optimistic Biden wants to be. And it's not just the price tag that's holding things up, it's what's in the bill.

According to our Manu Raju, Manchin raised the number of big concerns of the bill on a call with a small group of fellow Democrats this week, a whole bunch of them. Let me just give you one example and that is the proposed expansion of Medicare to include dental, vision and hearing coverage. Manchin is opposed. Okay.

This is the substance of the bill. But for Sanders, it's a red line.


SANDERS: Eighty-four percent of the American people want to expand Medicare to cover dental, our hearing aids and eyeglasses.


BURNETT: So that list of disagreements does not end there, it's substantive point after substantive point. And earlier today, the President seemed unable or unwilling to answer the key question of 'then what now'.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, is it's time for negotiations to end with Congress?


BURNETT: And there are larger problems for Biden and the United States here, too, especially with the President's plan and I hope you heard this part. They get the less than 3.5 trillion, but they're going to come back and get the rest, maybe some nod to progressive, just get what we can get and we'll get the rest for you.

That doesn't seem very likely. And the bigger picture reality here is that the United States has had for a long time a massive problem of spending more money than it has. Right now the United States has more than $28 trillion in debt that is greater than the size of the entire economy. And yet again, here we are, Groundhog Day, in a few weeks, yet again, the United States won't be paying its bills unless Congress acts yet again.

Remember that whole kick the can down the road for a few weeks? They haven't been close to proving that they're able to do anything about this problem in a meaningful way.

And we also know that even Sen. Manchin's $1.5 trillion likely doesn't mean $1.5 trillion at all, because the Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee already passed a version of the President's original $3.5 trillion plan. And the committee for a Responsible Federal Budget calculated that the real cost of that plan, which they said was about $1.5 trillion was $5 trillion to $5.5 trillion over a decade, assuming that the policies are as progressives fully intend them to be made permanent.

The Ways and Means Committee proposed a series of tax changes to offset some of the spending. But according to the Joint Committee on Taxation that will raise less than $2.1 trillion.


So you're still trillions of dollars in the hole and as you can see, a price tag is never really a real price tag. Another problem for Biden and for the Democrats is that Americans right now are not seeing full value in the President's proposed spending plans.


BIDEN: My plan still has the overwhelming support of the American people when they're told what's in it.

They understand that when families have a little more breathing room, America has a lot better shot.


BURNETT: According to a new CNN poll, though, Americans either are not being told clearly enough or they don't like what they're hearing. Unclear what is the motive here, but if Congress were to pass both of the spending bills, only a quarter of Americans say that their family would be better off, 32 percent say they would be worse off. So more families think they would be worse off than better off. And 43 percent say they would be about the same.

Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT at the White House. And Phil, I know you've been talking to a lot of people there tonight and I know patients must be starting to wear thin. Where are they?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think you can put it in a combination of impatience, some trepidation but also some resolve. I think, Erin, when you talk to White House officials, it's very clear that they would like to move forward. They would like to have the votes to move forward and they would like to get this done as quickly as possible, whether you look at potential end of the month deadlines or whether you looking at the Virginia governor's race, whether you look at the fact that the stakes right now are enormous.

This is at the core. This is the backbone of the President's entire domestic agenda, really, in large part and animating feature of his entire time in office and they need to get it across the finish line. The reality is they don't have the votes yet.

Erin over the course of the last several days, White House officials and their Congressional counterparts have been involved in intensive behind the scenes negotiations with Senators Manchin and Sinema. The President spoke to both of those senators this week is expected to speak to them again next week.

And the way it's basically been read out to me is these negotiations are granular. They are detailed and there is a recognition that everything the President put on the table, yes, everyone knows it's not going to be $3.5 trillion, but there's also going to be programs reduced. There's going to be durations reduced. There's going to be specific pots of money for those programs reduced as well.

What they haven't found yet is a way to thread the needle to ensure those two moderate senators come on board. That's where the impatience comes from and I think some officials that I've spoken to have made clear at some point, Congressional leaders and the President are going to have to essentially say, we're moving now, you're either with us or not. They are not at that point yet.

The President made that clear tonight when he returned from Connecticut. He said he's working hard to do it as quickly as possible. White House officials want that to be very soon, Erin.

BURNETT: Yes. I mean, of course, there are certain things once you start a program just ending it, there's just a lot of existential questions here. All right. Phil Mattingly, thank you very much.

I want to go now to Robert Reich. He's was, of course, the U.S. Labor Secretary under President Bill Clinton. Also with me, the former Republican Governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford who served in Congress where he was a member of the Budget Committee and the Joint Economic Committee. Thanks very much to both of you.

Secretary, let me start with you. The Democrats, obviously the stalemate within their own party right now, Manchin and Sinema, absolutely no to $3.5 trillion, Biden has admitted that won't happen. Sanders is digging in $3.5 trillion or bust and then there are the deep substantive disagreements about what would even be in, what they include.

But the big question, Secretary, is can Democrats really afford all of this when you're looking at an overall debt load of $28 trillion?

ROBERT REICH, FORMER U.S. LABOR SECRETARY UNDER CLINTON: Well, I don't think the question really, Erin, is whether Democrats can afford it. The question is whether the United States can afford it. And I think the answer there has got to be a resounding yes simply because we are the richest country in the world, we have not made these investments in childcare in key pre-K, in Community College, in children in general in years and Americans need it.

I mean, in West Virginia, for example, you talk about Medicare benefits, dental benefits and other forms of benefits that seniors don't have. The West Virginians need that and if it's pointed out to them that they need it and in Arizona they need it as well. We have the money. I mean, look at just what has happened over the past - well, during the pandemic, the 660 wealthiest Americans increased their wealth by a total of $1.8 trillion. That's half the whole cost of what we're talking about here.

I mean, it's absurd that we're having this discussion right now. Look at the military budget.

BURNETT: Right. Okay. So I will say there's complexities. I mean, in New York we have universal pre-K, they need more on child care but the devil is in the details, what are you going to credit in New York taxpayers because already paying for it or not, I mean, I just make the point. It's complicated.

Gov. Sanford, what's your response to what Sec. Reich is saying that there's a no brainer that there's the money and this should be paid for?


MARK SANFORD, (R) FORMER GOV. OF SOUTH CAROLINA: Resoundingly, they're respectful disagreement and that is we don't have the money. The fact is we're on a borrowing binge. In fairness, it begun under Trump, borrowing increasing levels, and now we're putting that on steroids as you look at what's being contemplated here. We're looking at structural $2 trillion a year budget deficits going forward.

And the question at some point in terms of the middle class is fatigue. They're already beginning to see the effects of this barrowing bans, which was 5.4 percent inflation over the last 12 months. People are seeing that in the way that erodes their checkbook. They're seeing it in the way that it increases the cost of the things they have to buy to make a living and people are rightfully saying there is sticker shock here.

Enough is enough and I want to hold off on barring a bunch more money to pay for a bunch of new programs that will necessitate still more borrowing.

BURNETT: So let me ask you, Secretary, because you talk about the top 660 Americans and President Biden has continued on a theme, obviously, that he has been repeating consistently, that the richest in this country need to pay more in taxes to pay for his spending. Here's how he's put it.


BIDEN: My friends on the other side never had any problem for adding $2 trillion in tax cuts for the very wealthy. Look, I don't think you shouldn't be able to make a million or a billion dollars. I'm a capitalist. But guess what? I'm also listed for 36 years as the poorest man in the Congress. But I make big money now; I'm President. But all kidding aside, I don't think we should punish anybody. But just pay your fair share. Just pay your fair share.

It's paid for because big corporations and the very wealthy ought to start paying their fair share.


BURNETT: So Secretary, that was all today and I just want to go through the numbers, because I know what he's saying is compelling. But I think we got to talk specifics. The top 20 percent of taxpayers in America pay 78 percent of the nation's taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center.

The top 1 percent in the latest tax share available in 2018, they are 20.9 percent of the income in America. Their share of federal taxes was double that. They paid 40. So in this country, when you work for a living and you earn more, you pay more, it's a progressive system. So Secretary, I ask you, if the top 20 are already paying 80 percent of the taxes, what is fair?

REICH: Erin, the big change that has happened in the American economy over the last two decades is that we're no longer talking about the top 20 percent. In fact, we're not really talking any longer about the top 1 percent. The wealth of this country is now largely in the hands of the top one-tenth of 1 percent.


REICH: And when I talk about the 660 billionaires who increase their fortunes by $1.8 trillion dollars during the course of this pandemic, I'm talking about ...

BURNETT: Are you frustrated then that the bills that they're putting forth ...

REICH: I really (inaudible) ...

BURNETT: ... the tax increases don't actually target that one-tenth percent of people?

REICH: Well, if we had a wealth tax, we could certainly do that. We could also just repeal them with a $1.9 trillion Trump tax cut. I mean, why can't we do that? But that tax cut went mostly to the wealthy and to big corporations, they didn't need it, get rid of that tax cut.

And when you look at what we are spending on the military, remember the Afghan war is over, what happened to the peace dividend? What happened to all of the money that we are no longer spending or should no longer be spending on military? Well, we are spending about $300 billion, let's say, $720 billion a year on so called national defense. You think we ought to do that? What about the defense of our people in terms of their health? What about childcare? What about all of the needs we have as a society? This is absurd. I think we're having a discussion that has no basis in reality right now.

BURNETT: Governor?

SANFORD: The reality is let's pretend we can just take all the money a couple of percent, it still does not solve our problem and in that regard, this is a complete red herring of an argument, which is let's just go after those guys or those gals. But there's not enough juice there to get you there, to your earlier point, Erin, as you were pointing out a fairly large chunk of the taxes already paid by this group, we could tax them some more, we could tax them right up to the top. But it's still mathematically does not solve the problem of the structural deficits that are built into the curve.

If you look at, for instance, the Social Security tax and the Social Security trust fund, there just is not enough out there in the way of millionaires or billionaires to cover it. It's going to come back to all of us and people sense that which is why I think there's some measure of pushback from the likes of Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema saying, wait a minute, this is that what we're hearing from our folks.


They don't want to see a bunch of promises that necessitate future taxes coming back to me, the middle class.

BURNETT: All right. I appreciate both of you very much. I look forward to having you both back together. I think it's an important conversation and the two of you great to have it with. Thank you so much.

REICH: Thanks, Erin.

SANFORD: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next breaking news, President Biden moments ago saying those who defy January 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted as CNN obtains new video of one of the first successful breaches of the Capitol Building recorded by one of the rioters.

Plus, sepsis. It is a life-threatening medical emergency that put Bill Clinton in the hospital. And tonight, the former president is still there.

Plus, a faceoff between Chicago police and the Mayor over vaccine requirements, so how many officers are willing to go on unpaid leave to make their point?



BURNETT: Breaking news, President Biden says the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the January 6 House Select Committee.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: What your message to people who defy congressional subpoenas on the January 6 Committee?

BIDEN: I hope that the Committee goes after them and hold them accountable (inaudible) ...

COLLINS: So they'd be prosecuted by the Justice Department?

BIDEN: I do, yes.


BURNETT: "I do, yes." Very clear. And it comes as CNN obtains harrowing new video from the January 6th insurrection on Capitol Hill which shows one of the first moments that rioters were actually able to breach the Capitol.

OUTFRONT now Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, member of the January 6 Select Committee. So Congresswoman Lofgren, I'm glad to have you back on. So President Biden says the DOJ should prosecute those who defy subpoenas as Steve Bannon is refusing to cooperate with your committee. Are you concerned though that the President weighing in looks like he is trying to pressure the DOJ and his Attorney General?


REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Well, no, I'm not, because the critical issue here is whether or not Steve Bannon's assertion that he doesn't have to even appear, because former President Trump has asserted executive privilege. That's a decision that the current President makes. And clearly, he has rejected the idea that executive privilege prevents people from testifying and that is very much a decision to be made by the current President of the United States and I'm glad he reached the conclusion he did.

BURNETT: So I know you're preparing to take the first step towards holding Steve Bannon specifically in criminal contempt for refusing to cooperate with your committee. Your colleague, Congressman Eric Swalwell, told CNN today that he doesn't think that there's any chance Bannon will cooperate in any instance. Here's how he described what it was like interviewing Bannon in a prior deposition.


REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): It was like sitting with the Joker from Batman in the Dark Knight. The guy, he was maniacal. He laughed at most of the questions. Refused to answer most of the questions. He's not going to cooperate. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: I mean, I put that in there just to say even if you win, that may be what you get someone who mocks and makes a joke of the entire process. Are you confident that you will actually get Bannon to tell you the real the real story?

LOFGREN: Well, we'll see. But he's obliged to do so and his bogus claim that he doesn't even have to come in is ridiculous. I mean, he needs to come in, he needs to testify, he needs to provide the documents that we've asked for. It's his moral obligation. It's his legal obligation and we expect them to fulfill that.

BURNETT: So your committee I know was supposed to sit down today with the former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. He postponed his appearance. So Meadows is different, because when you point out Steve Bannon claiming executive privilege, not only is Trump not the executive anymore but, of course, Bannon was not employee of the executive. But Meadows was different, he was the chief of staff at the time working for the President in the White House and he is claiming privilege. Do you think that his situation is different when it comes to privilege because of that?

LOFGREN: Well, clearly he was an employee. However, executive privilege is not absolute. And in fact, courts have found many times that the privilege does not apply. So there's an overwhelming need to get the information from Mr. Meadows. I think it's important that his attorneys and the attorneys for the committee are engaging with each other.

Surely, he must not believe that when he was addressing people other than the President, that somehow that is covered by executive privilege and I pointed out that we had a very lengthy legal battle on a different subject, of course, where ultimately the White House Counsel was required to testify to the Judiciary Committee that there was no privilege that overcome the need of the Congress to get the information, so we'll get it.

I think the former president's bag of tricks has always included delay and obfuscation.


LOFGREN: We're aware of them and we're not planning to let him win in that way either.

BURNETT: So I wanted to ask you, because the original document that went out, just the request for documents, there were, I mean, thousands of pages of documents that would come back from that. Now, specifically, President Trump, they didn't want any of it to go out. But then they objected specifically to 45 documents on that list that would come from the National Archives.

They said 45 of those they did not want to be shared with your committee, that they believe are protected by executive privilege. What is in those documents? Why do you think he doesn't want you to have them?

LOFGREN: Well, I would never speculate as to the former president's state of mind. But I will say this, the current president has rejected the claims of executive privilege relative to the archive documents. We expect to get them. We need to get them and we need to be able to get to the truth, so we can tell the American people.

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

LOFGREN: You bet.

BURNETT: And next, Bill Clinton remains in the hospital tonight after requiring urgent care for a condition that kills 10s of thousands of Americans each year. Just how serious is his infection and how common is it?

And Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg takes on Tucker Carlson after the Fox host mocked him for taking parental leave.



BURNETT: New tonight, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg firing back at Fox News host Tucker Carlson who mocked Buttigieg for taking parental leave during America's supply chain crisis after Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, adopted twins over the summer. Here's Carlson's comments and Buttigieg's response moments ago.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEW HOST: Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child. Paternity leave, they call it. Trying to figure out how to breastfeed, no word on how that went. But now he's back in office as the Transportation Secretary and he's deeply amused, he says, to see that dozens of container ships can't get into this country.

PETE BUTTIGIEG, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: I guess he just doesn't understand the concept of bottle feeding, let alone the concept of paternity leave. But what's really strange is that this is from a side of the aisle that used to claim the mantle of being pro- family. What we have right now is an administration that's actually pro-family.

And I'm blessed to be able to experience that as an employee.


BURNETT: All right. OUTFRONT now Hilary Rosen Democratic Strategist, mother of two, Scott Jennings, former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, father of four. I'm a mother of three, so there we go. We've all experienced the sleepless nights and all sorts of feedings.

All right. So Hilary, what is your reaction to what Tucker Carlson said? HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Tucker, father of

four, by the way ...


ROSEN: ... can't possibly think that it's not a good idea for fathers to stay home and help their spouse with newborns.


I -- I think that there's a -- you know, this insidious attack on paid-family leave because the Republicans don't want to have to vote on it, because they know that most of their constituents actually want it and -- and it is in the Biden build back better bill. And that is a policy that we should be endorsing. Families across America need paid family leave, and for Pete Buttigieg is a really good thing.

BURNETT: Okay. So, Scott, in a statement to CNN about the paternity leave for Secretary Buttigieg, the DOT says in part, the secretary took leave to be approximate with his new family starting with the rival of his twins in august. He was mostly offline, except for major agency decisions and matters that could not be delegated.

But, Scott, to be honest, you know, it wasn't like he -- when he -- and he was very proud about the announcement of his children, right? But there was no announcement at that time of paternity leave. They didn't -- they didn't come out and proudly say it, and take that stand. That is not how this was handled. So why do you think that is, Scott? We are only finding out about it now.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, they were hoping no one would find out about it, number one. And number two, I think the -- the PR danger here for Secretary Buttigieg is we are in -- in the middle of one of the biggest transportation crises in recent American history, all this chaos at the ports and supply chain issues. And he's not been at work.

And I am a pro-family leave guy. I believe in it. As you mentioned, I got four kids. And my company, we have been generous with letting people take time off with their families and I think that's a good thing.

But when you accept an assignment from the president of the United States, and you are confirmed by the U.S. Senate, you're accepting a higher level of responsibility, a higher level of public service. And frankly, you ought to know that goes with some personal sacrifice.

So the fact that they have let this chaos go on at the ports while Secretary Buttigieg has been off doing this and now they want to present it like it's an anti-family stance to question that, I don't think that's right. Look, he is not a middle manager (INADUIBLE), OK? He is the secretary of transportation and that has to come with a higher level of responsibility.

BURNETT: Hilary, what do you make of that point? That perhaps given the job, given the responsibility, given the moment and the crisis, that he could take a leave but maybe not at that moment? Maybe, put it off and take it later because he is in a very specific and special job.

ROSEN: It's a good question but I don't think there's any reality to it. We know that the secretary has been available multiple times to the department and to the White House over the course of this leave. And has keyed in on special calls and -- and assignments.

We know the deputy secretary of transportation, that -- that there is an entire department there doing the work. And we've got port policy happening.

President Biden is keeping the Los Angeles and California ports open 24/7. Secretary Buttigieg was involved in that decision. So, this is just really -- a smokescreen because it's not true that he can't get his job done, and it's not true that we have to make that choice in America between getting your work done and taking care of your child. Falling into that trap is dangerous.

BURNETT: Scott, what do you say? Again, given the context here of the job.

JENNINGS: I mean, look, number one, if he was getting his work done, the ports wouldn't be a total disaster for the Biden administration and the president, himself wouldn't have had to step into this all these months later.

Number two. Again, he's a cabinet secretary. And just a year ago -- just a year ago, he was asking the American people to make him the president of the United States. He was asking for this level of responsibility, and I'm sorry. Being president, being cabinet secretary, being confirmed by the Senate and taking on these big jobs, this is different than some, you know, minor, nonpublic job in middle America and corporate America.

And so, he took this on. He knew what he was getting into. And the fact that they didn't tell the American people what he was going to do, and now they are cleaning it up on the back end tells you they just mismanaged this and it makes me wonder if he has a level of seriousness commiserate with what's required to be a U.S. cabinet secretary.

BURNETT: Hilary, there is something to be said for that, right? They didn't embrace it at the moment, at all. I mean, this is -- I think it's pretty clear they were hoping people wouldn't notice.

ROSEN: They have been transparent about him not being -- available for certain things. But for emergencies, he has been available.


HILLARY: Right but, Hillary, that is really different than saying I'm going to take paternity leave because I think it's important and I'm setting an example. That just -- that's not what they did.

ROSEN: Well, it -- it is what they have done. And I think that that family is entitled to a level of privacy, just like other families are.

But having aid that, I think the country is not for the poor because Secretary Buttigieg is taken parental leave. The crisis at the ports has more to do with the supply chain issues coming from the Far East.


The administration, including the Department of Transportation, including Secretary Buttigieg, they are doing everything they can, working with shippers, working with suppliers, keeping that thing flowing as much as possible.

Scott talking about this being a crisis at the ports is just not true.

BURNETT: We do have a supply-chain crisis.


ROSEN: The crisis is at the point of distribution, where the supply chains are, and getting them into the United States.


JENKINS: Ship after ship after ship lined up in the ocean out off of both coasts. I mean, if this is not a transportation crisis, boats in the water, then what is?

ROSEN: Look, there is not much you can do other than keep the ports open 24 hours a day, which is what they are doing. They are facilitating as much transportation as possible.

I think that -- look -- it's in the Republicans' interest to try and turn this into a crisis and relate it to a -- a family decision which all men should pay attention to but it just -- they are just not related.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate both your time. We are all parents. I won't put anyone on the spot in what they would do in this situation. But thanks very much to both of you. I appreciate it.

And next, Bill Clinton still in the hospital tonight after a scare with sepsis. We will bring you a live update.

And COVID is the number one killer of police officers right now. Yet, many officers are saying no to a vaccine and willing to be placed on unpaid leave over it. Why?


BURNETT: Tonight, former President Bill Clinton spending another night in the hospital. Clinton has been in the ICU because of a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream.

Sara Sidner is OUTFRONT outside the UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, California. And, Sara, there was a possibility Clinton would be released today but

I understand he is spend another night in the hospital. So what can you tell us?

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. He got here Tuesday with fatigue and other symptoms. And doctors determined it was so serious that he needed to be admitted to the hospital and given intravenous antibiotics, as well as fluids.

But it turns out, he was supposed to leave today but doctors are really concerned and wanted to make sure that he is able to get intravenous medicines. And I will let you know we have gotten a statement from the Clinton's spokesperson and he told us this. Look, that all health indicators at the moment are trending in the right direction, including his white blood cell count which has decreased significantly.

And in order to receive, though, further IV antibiotics, he will remain in the hospital overnight. Meaning, that he will have been here four nights. You know, he had this urinary tract infection according to doctors. That led to an infection of the bloodstream.

And that can be very dangerous, even deadly, if it's not treated. But the president has been treated. He said he's been treated very well and is deeply grateful for the outstanding treatment he's gotten here at UC Irvine Medical Center.

So what you are hearing from him is he is in a good mood, he has been joking and reading and up and at 'em, but he needs another night, according to doctors, just to make sure he gets that intravenous medicine.

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

And I want to go now to Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, a prominent urologist, surgeon based in Florida. You can see his TED talks, as well.

Dr. Brahmbhatt, I really appreciate your time. So this is going to be the fourth night in the hospital. You know, Americans understand given -- given the state of medical care in this country. Being in the hospital for four nights is, generally speaking, an incredibly serious thing. You are not even in the hospital four nights when you have a C- section.

How serious of an infection is this?

DR. JAMIN BRAHMBHATT, UROLOGIST, ORLANDO HEALTH: I mean, sepsis, when you are diagnosed with it, is as serious as it gets. And once you get that diagnosis, time is of the essence. So you saw the president was getting hydration and fluids and antibiotics.

The quicker you start initiating treatment, the better chance the patient has at surviving the overall symptoms of sepsis because sepsis has degrees to it. You have sepsis, severe sepsis, and then septic shock. The shock is where all the organs start failing and that's what we are trying to prevent. So it's pretty serious. If you have even mild symptoms and you have

any concerns, you should definitely get yourself checked out sooner, rather than later.

BURNETT: And I think what is frightening to a lot of people about this is he is otherwise healthy. Obviously, he's had heart conditions but he is otherwise a healthy person. He just feels fatigued and, all of the sudden, wait a minute. You are in the ICU. I know partly for security reasons but you know, you are there for something that could be very serious.

I understand that the cause of this in his case -- the specific cause of a urinary tract infection is not common in men. But -- but -- but more common than many people may actually think.

So -- so tell me about how common it is and -- and what people should know?

BRAHMBHATT: So over a lifetime, a guy has about 12 percent chance of getting a urinary tract infection. But you mentioned something very important. You don't have symptoms all the time.

In my office, I probably see a guy once or twice a month that ha just we find the infection based on a urine test that was done as a screening test. So that's why it's very important for men to go get their preventative screenings done, especially men. And these are the high-risk individuals for -- that will have complications from any infection, men over the age of 50, men that -- that are not emptying their bladder, they have prostate issues. Men with mobility issues so there's just not as active so their body's just not as strong as we need it to be, overall. And men with chronic conditions like really bad heart issues or uncontrolled diabetes.

All of these risk factors make you more prone to getting infections, but not just infections but more prone to getting some of these severe infections.

BURNETT: So obviously, you mentioned how deadly sepsis can be, right? That once you are in that state, it is as serious as it gets, I think was the exact phrase you used. I know that according to the CDC, 270,000 people a year die from sepsis. How common is it for someone to develop a UTI and have it turn into sepsis? Or what is the drivers -- the predominant drivers of sepsis?

BRAHMBHATT: I would say it's extremely rare. Once you have symptoms and you start initiating treatment -- actually, I see a lot of men in my office that have rip roaring urinary tract infections, they will never get to that point of sepsis.


Sepsis sometimes can be predictable and sometimes it can be unpredictable and that's why you just are to be aware of your symptoms. If you start having issues breathing. If you start having issues with your blood pressure, or if you start having this excessive fatigue or anything that may feel abnormal, you got to get yourself checked out.

And I think that's why men sometimes suffer more severe complications because they just don't have those symptoms. And when they do have those symptoms, they may just say, okay, maybe I'm tired or maybe I just drank something or maybe I'm dehydrated.

Now, you know, it could be something inside of you and that's why it's really important to get yourself checked out.

BURNETT: Doctor, I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

BRAHMBHATT: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Next, not giving an inch. The mayor of Chicago and the police union suing each other tonight as the battle over the COVID vaccine gets nastier. Why are so many police officers shunning the vaccine, ven though COVID is the number one killer of officers.

And breaking news from England tonight. The second -- second stabbing death in five years of a member of parliament. And police tonight have said it is potentially linked to Islamist extremism.



BURNETT: Just hours before a deadline to declare vaccination status, the Chicago mayor and the city's police union are suing each other. Chicago's mayor accusing the police union of trying to quote induce an insurrection by telling officers to defy the mayor's order to disclose their vaccine status or go on unpaid leave.

But Chicago is not the only city grappling with the police force that doesn't want to get vaccinated.

Ryan Young is OUTFRONT.


KAREN WEISKOPF, HUSBAND DIED DUE TO COVID-19 COMPLICATIONS: This was horrible. This did not have to happen.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Michael Weiskopf was a beloved officer with the police force for 18 years.

WEISKOPF: He was so strong. He was so healthy.

YOUNG: His wife says she pleaded with him to get the vaccine, but he remained skeptical.

WEISKOPF: I felt like Mike -- did not get vaccinated because he didn't have all the facts. There was a lot of information just kind of moving around. Moving parts, you know? And when that happens, you can see rumors, mis -- miscommunication, information. Science leaves -- leaves the picture. It just becomes chatter. It attacked his lungs. It made them look like baby Swiss cheese. YOUNG: Over a thousand miles away in Massachusetts, Jessica Desfosses

also lost her husband Stephen in January, about a month after he contracted COVID-19 on the job with the Norton police department. She says Stephen wanted to be the first in line to get the vaccine but never had the chance.

JESSICA DESFOSSES, HUSBAND DIED DUE TO COVID-19 COMPLICATIONS: It's just absolutely sad as you would imagine, raising two small girls without their dad. And if he had had the choice to give himself that extra -- extra protection so he could continue to serve the public, and still come home to his family, he absolutely would have done it.

YOUNG: Jessica shared the final heartbreaking text messages the couple exchanged on Facebook hoping to plead with police officers to get the shots.

DESFOSSES: If you are serious about your commitment to protect the public and if you are serious about your personal commitments to your family, then that should be enough.

YOUNG: COVID-19 is the number one killer of American law enforcement officers over the last two years. Taking over 470 lives, according to Officer Down memorial page. Since the start of the pandemic, more than four times as many officers have died from COVID 1 as from gunfire, that memorial page says this despite being among the first groups to have access to the vaccine.

CHIEF DAN YANCEY, OWASSO, OKLAHOMA POLICE DEPARTMENT: Obviously, get vaccinated. It's an individual ride and I firmly still believe in that. But I would certainly encourage people to do that.

YOUNG: Across the U.S., some officers remain hesitant to get vaccinated. In Miami, officers are resisting a potential vaccine mandate. In San Francisco, at least 120 officers will be off the street after failing to comply with the city's order that high-risk employees be vaccinated. The San Francisco Police Association said the national police union is encouraging vaccinations, but is not in favor of a mandate.

JOHN CATANZARA, PRESIDENT, CHICAGO FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE: We are going to keep fighting this mandate and this dictatorship. You would think that there's no crime in this city to worry about. You would think that there's no murder, no robberies, no guns being fired.

YOUNG: Up to half of Chicago's police officers could be placed on unpaid leave after this weekend if they didn't disclose their vaccine status. The police union is telling officers to ignore the deadline, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot is accusing the union president of trying to induce an insurrection.

As Karen Weiskopf watches the battles raging across the country, she hopes her husband's death is a lesson to his fellow officers.

Do you think mike dying helped other officers in this department get the vaccine? WEISKOPF: Absolutely. To this day, I still -- I get -- I get letters.

I get calls. I'll get copies of people's vaccination cards in the mailbox that I don't know.


BURNETT: That's amazing, Ryan. I mean, you know, I know she says her husband's death led other officers to get vaccinated. That's amazing. That story she told you about the vaccination cards in the mail. But what did she tell you about how she feels for vaccine mandates for officers, specifically?

YOUNG: Well, she actually doesn't like them. She doesn't want any officer to be forced into making this decision. They face so many decisions on a day-to-day basis, her whole idea is we have been talking over each other this entire time and maybe if departments could sit down and hold massive education for officers, that way, maybe they will be encouraged to do it on their own.

One thing, Erin, that I want to show you, if you look behind me, those are two of the cars from Mike's unit. This department was hit hard by this loss. I mean, you think about the officers across the country who have lost their lives to this.


There is a lot of people asking questions. Of course, people are like just take the vaccine. But again, when you have so many things being pushed their direction, they just want to have that conversation to move forward and not face these mandates. At least that's what they are telling us.

BURNETT: Yeah. It's important to hear all this nuance.

All right. Thank you so much.

And next, the breaking news from England. Just now cross -- they are calling it a quote/unquote terrorist incident now as the motive in the stabbing death of a member of parliament. We'll be right back.


BURNETT: Breaking news. London's Metropolitan Police just confirming that a terrorist incident -- their words -- potentially linked to Islamic extremism was behind today's stabbing death of a member of parliament. The British lawmaker, David Amess, was at a meeting with his constituents when he was murdered. Amess is a member of Boris Johnson's ruling Conservative Party, described by those who knew him as a kind and decent man, and a committed member of parliament. And he was knighted in 2015 for his political service.

Amess's murder drudged up painful memories of the shocking killing of Joe Cox five years ago. That rattled the nation, rattled the world, and it led for lawmakers to receive personal protection when in public. And yet, this has happened again, tonight.

Amess was married, the father of five children. He was 69. His alleged attacker has been arrested.

Thanks for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.