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Erin Burnett Outfront

Dems Hope for a Deal By Tomorrow, Still at Odds on 5 Key Issues; Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) Discusses About the Issue on Bipartisan Bill Between Democrats; FDA Advisers Recommend Pfizer's Vaccine for Children 5-11; NYT: D.A. Won't Rule Out Criminal Charges in Movie Set Shooting

Aired October 26, 2021 - 19:00   ET


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Trump, of course, fired back calling Francis' comments disgraceful, Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Brian Todd, excellent report. 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, Democrats scrambling to seal a deal on Biden's agenda before he leaves town, but progressives threatening to revolt if they don't get their way. Can Biden save his agenda tonight?

Plus, a major move to vaccinate 10s of millions of children, an FDA panel voting to recommend the Pfizer vaccine for kids five to 11. So how soon could they get their first doses?

And breaking news, The New York Times reporting criminal charges are possible after the deadly shooting on the Alec Baldwin movie set. This as an actor in the movie is speaking out about frightening scenes with guns. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the standoff over President Biden's spending bills. Progressives and moderates digging in their heels as top Democrats scrambled to find a middle ground before the President leaves town Thursday. House Speaker Pelosi claims the framework for the President's sweeping Build Back Better plan, as they call it, is about 90 percent there.

Well, 90 percent is nothing if you don't have the progressives on board. And Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is not on board. She leaves the Progressive Caucus, they want more than a framework, if they're going to back Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, that's the bipartisan one. And Pelosi is shutting that down.


Congresswoman Jayapal just said that a framework agreement is not enough to vote for the BIF.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Well, I think it is.


BURNETT: So Congresswoman Cori Bush responding in a tweet, "It's not enough for me. And there are more of us." It's a threat from progressives to the rest of the Democratic Party. In many ways, it is a Democratic civil war. They control the White House, and Congress and the Senate. And the only reason they haven't gotten this done is because they're disagreeing among themselves.

Progressives feel they're being hung out to dry when it comes to their wish list. The wish list that excludes major expansion of Medicare, Medicaid, paid family leave, immigration and, yes, taxes. Progressives are standing firm when it comes to some of those issues. Just listen to Sen. Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT): Any serious reconciliation bill must include real Medicare negotiations with pharmaceutical industry to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Any serious reconciliation bill must include expanding Medicare to cover dental, hearing aids and eyeglasses.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): If you think both things are really important, we're in the midst of a health crisis and we need to be doing significant pieces of work on healthcare for us to get through.


BURNETT: The only problem is that as of tonight there is no indication that Sen. Joe Manchin for one is willing to budge on his opposition to expanding Medicare as Sen. Sanders insists must occur. And Sen. Kyrsten Sinema hasn't shown a willingness to move on prescription drug pricing proposals.

So those are the things that Sen. Sanders says has to happen. The other Democratic senators are saying no. And then that's just in terms of what they want to pay for. The actual money to get to do this, there is still no complete plan on how to pay for this sweeping spending bill.

Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden just releasing some details of his plan to pay for it, which includes a 15 percent minimum tax for companies with a billion dollars in profits. Now, more details from Wyden are expected in the coming hours. One can debate how much it would raise but not very much relative to the total here. Wyden is, therefore, also expected to include a billionaire's tax.

That idea though has already been panned by others in the Democratic Party, Congressman Jim Himes saying it's 'more of a PR solution'. Another Democratic member telling CNN 'it's a stunt'.

Look, these are not just minor sticking points that have to be worked out, these are major sticking points that hinge on principle. They're not negotiating items for plenty of people involved in it. But if you listen to Manchin, he still claims tonight the Democrats are determined to iron out their differences.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): But everything is under negotiation, everything is under constructive talks, everybody's talking constructively. Everybody's trying to work and find a pathway forward.


BURNETT: Again, this is Democrat on Democrat. Every single disagreement here has been a Democrat with a Democrat. Manu Raju is OUTFRONT live on Capitol Hill. And Manu, these negotiations over what's in the bill, in terms of what it will do and expand, and how they're going to pay for it. Now, some of this had seemed to be set in stone for a while, parts of it. Now, all of a sudden, everything seems to be changing hour by hour, so where are we?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's still uncertain whether a deal can be reached by the time that Joe Biden leaves on his overseas trip in which he wanted to have a deal in hand on the larger package as well as having the House moving to a final vote on that separate infrastructure bill, $1.2 trillion has been awaiting action in the House.


And the same issues have been dividing the party, both on the strategy and as well as the policy that under strategy, Nancy Pelosi has made clear to me earlier today that she believes if they get a deal on the larger plan, they should move forward on that final vote on the infrastructure package, send it to Joe Biden's desk, get him to sign it into law.

Progressives, meanwhile, are threatening to vote in mass against that infrastructure package if the larger deal has not been signed off on. And there are still significant issues dividing both liberals and moderates over that larger package; Medicare, Medicaid, also how to deal with climate change, immigration. They're still sorting out how to finance that package. We do expect more details on the taxes.

But still, none of that has been settled. There are some issues that are closer to agreeing on, dealing with childcare, dealing with Universal pre-K. But still some of those sticking points are outstanding. And Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, we are told, are at the White House now talking about these issues. Can they get a deal?

That is still a major question, but they get to get all sides together with virtually no margin for error in both the House and the Senate, Erin. BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you very much. So I want to go now to

Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee, because she is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She also sits on the Appropriations and Budget committees and thus you're at the center of all of this, Congresswoman.

So you're Chair of the Progressive Caucus, Congresswoman Jayapal today said a 'framework' on the spending agreement is not enough to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill. She wants more than that to vote for the bipartisan bill. Speaker Pelosi is pushed back, she tells CNN, "I think it is. It is enough." So what is it for you and what do you say to the Speaker?

REP. BARBARA LEE (D-CA): Well, listen, let me just tell you, I think we're 90 percent there, first of all. Secondly, it's interesting and I want to just note that this is a Democratic bill and we're in the process of negotiations and this is what takes place when you're trying to put forth a transformational bill, legislation to bills to move forward to the president, because the President has indicated that he wants to sign both bills and both bills should move together.

Now, he indicated that and having said that, we have to figure out what the mechanism is and the process to do this. And so I think what you're hearing and what you're seeing is an important step toward us getting this job done. And in fact, once again, you don't see any Republicans in the mix, because they really have just abandoned the people here. We've gotten close to an agreement and we're going to keep working until that's done.

BURNETT: All right. So let me just ask you about a few points here, specifically, the point of cost. In your caucus, originally, the price tag have been $6.5 trillion. And Congresswoman Jayapal has been very clear that going to 3.5 was a major concession as she sees it.

But you've now got Sen. Manchin today, he's never moved not by a dollar. He is still at $1.5 trillion. He says I'm still fighting for $1.5 trillion.

The bottom line is, if you end up having to choose, it's $1.5 trillion or nothing, would you vote for it?

LEE: Let me just say, we all know and I think you've seen these negotiations move forward that we all have to give up something and so we're negotiating the best deal that we can get, given the senators opposition and we're getting there. But of course over $6 trillion was what we needed to really make a dent in ensuring that people's quality of lives are what they should be, regardless of their background, where they live and their income status.

But in fact, because we've gotten to this point in the negotiations, we're looking at some of the wins. And I think we've won a lot at this point in terms of the care economy. Of course, we didn't get everything move on it in terms of childcare or the child tax credit. But these are still issues that we're negotiating, we're not done yet. And so I hope that you understand that everybody is working very hard to get this done. BURNETT: Absolutely. No, absolutely. And I understand and as I said

the other day to someone, if you go from zero paid leave for businesses under 50 to four weeks, that is significant. That is significant. I understand you wanted a lot more than that and there will be some who will see you getting a lot less as a failure. But you're getting something very significant and I think that is important.

But my question to you is, do you feel like progressives, because every single thing has been you coming down or giving up, have been basically just asked to roll over and take whatever Sen. Manchin and Sen. Sinema want?

LEE: No, I don't. Because we've been negotiating. We set forth our priorities. I mean, let me just call your attention to the issue of racial and gender equity. We wanted to make sure the childcare provisions were in the bill. We don't know what we're going to land at in terms of the dollar amount, but we're going to make sure the childcare is there and so we've been involved in the negotiations throughout these progressives, very practical also.


We know our bottom lines and we know that we have to fight for people. People who've been shut out and really address the issues around the economic agenda, which President Biden put forth during his campaign. And so progressives have negotiated and we're going to continue to negotiate to get the best deal for the American people.

BURNETT: Congresswoman Lee, I appreciate your time. I always do. Thank you.

LEE: Thank you.

BURNETT: And so I want to go to Dana Bash now, our Chief Political Correspondent and, of course, co-anchor STATE OF THE UNION. So Dana, let me just ask you to respond to what Congresswoman Lee is saying. I mean, what I hear her saying is, let's take what we get, let's get something and get it done. Because I don't want to walk away with nothing much more conciliatory than we're still hearing from many other members of the Progressive Caucus.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. She's a veteran lawmaker and she knows what it's like to be a progressive without the numbers that she now has in her progressive brethren in the House Democratic Caucus and the Senate as well.

I heard the same thing, Erin. What I'm also hearing behind the scenes is, and I think this became even more clear after listening to what Congresswoman Lee said to you, is that because the Progressive Caucus is so large, they're not a monolith and there are different points of view, not just on where they should draw the lines on what's really important here, which is what is the policy, but also on the structure and the process.

Meaning, can they just have a level of trust that they can say, okay, the House speaker can vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the one that passed the Senate months ago with roads and bridges and so forth, and we just believe that we will get this framework done or not. It seems as though there are enough progressives who say, no, no, no, we don't trust that, that they are going to hold off as they continue to negotiate.

BURNETT: And they say they're 90 percent there and putting aside that agreeing on a framework is not the same thing as actually getting a deal done, because that's a far cry from that. But if they all want to declare victory and we go overseas and everything's good, okay, fine.

But how are you going to get there when Bernie Sanders says Medicare and Medicaid have to be in there the way he wants and Joe Manchin says no way. And Bernie Sanders says prescription drug pricing has to be in there and Kyrsten Sinema says, no way. Those are just two examples. We both know there's eight to 10 more. How do you get there in hours?

BASH: There are eight to 10 more examples, but I'm so glad that you brought those up, because those, I think, are among the most significant and here's why, Bernie Sanders is kind of the heart and soul of the progressive movement generally in the modern times, but also right now in terms of these negotiations. Although, I just said, they're not a monolith and people have different points of view if and when Bernie Sanders puts his stamp of approval or good enough on it.

They're going to go with it, because Bernie Sanders carries a lot of weight. The fact that the things that he cares some most about in this bill right now, getting him back in expanding Medicare, making a certain thing that seniors have hearing and have vision and have dental, and also being able to negotiate prescription drug prices, which you know, Erin, that is very, very popular out in the real world to be able to have that, to be able to lower drug prices for people.

The fact that he doesn't feel like he's going to get that right now, there clearly has to be another side negotiation or discussion going on about how he can get that elsewhere if it doesn't happen here, because it's not just his vote, it's his stance on this that matters in terms of the votes and also matters, Erin, in terms of how this is going to be sold and looked upon by Democrats.

BURNETT: Right. And, of course, you put it separate then it's more spending, it's more pay for it, which is a whole, a whole separate can of worms right now.

BASH: Right.

BURNETT: All right. Dana, thank you very much thing.

BASH: Thank you.

BURNETT: And I want everyone to know that Dana has a new special report, exploring the real impact of lies about election fraud. Don't miss Stop The Vote: The Big Lie's Assault on Democracy that is Dana's special doc tomorrow night at 9.

And OUTFRONT next, a key FDA panel voting to recommend the COVID vaccine for children, so how soon could they get the shot?

Plus, why an actor on the set of Alec Baldwin's film Rust is concerned about his safety before the accidental deadly shooting?

And secretaries of state who pushed back on Trump's big lie reveal exclusively to CNN tonight the death threats that they are still receiving.


KATIE HOBBS, AZ SECRETARY OF STATE: I am a hunter and I think you should be haunted.




BURNETT: New tonight, a major step towards COVID vaccines for children. An FDA panel this afternoon backing Pfizer's vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11, saying the benefits of vaccinated children clearly outweighed the risks. Now, if the FDA and CDC sign off on the panel's recommendation, 28 million kids could start getting the shots as early as next week.

OUTFRONT now, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who advised the White House medical team under President George W. Bush. So Dr. Reiner, the FDA panel saying these vaccines are safe for five to 11 year olds and I should note so everyone understands, they've been testing a different dosage, these are smaller people. How significant is this?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Oh, I think this is a watershed moment, Erin. So kids between five and 11 comprise the largest block of Americans still ineligible for vaccination. And kids have been getting sick. We've seen recently about 130,000 to 150,000 infections per week and pediatric hospitals have been filled and this now is an opportunity to protect this huge block of kids.

Think of it this way, if we can successfully get about 80 percent of these kids vaccinated. That'll prevent about a million infections and about 5,000 hospitalizations. Plus, it's going to keep kids in school. It's going to keep parents from having to stay home with the kids. And sadly, several hundred children have died from this virus, so I think it's a big deal.

BURNETT: Okay. So let me ask you about this. I'm a mother of three. I hear the conversations people have. One of the hesitancies that I keep hearing is that - so people have this hesitancy, so according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children account for 0.3 percent of all COVID deaths, 0.3 percent.

Now, the vaccines that parents who are totally open to vaccinating their kids, MMR, all of those, they've been tested for years for decades.


So you're not putting something new in your kid's arm, you're putting something that you know is tried and true. This is seven months being tested. So what do you say to parents who say, gosh, it's seven months, 0.3 percent of the deaths have been among young children, why don't I wait? What do you say to them?

REINER: I'd say don't wait because your child will get infected if you don't vaccinate them, it's just a matter of time. Delta is all over the United States. It's really the only variant circulating and it will infect your child. I would say to these folks, these vaccines have been given to almost 4 billion people on this planet.

We know the safety profile for these vaccines generally and the clinical trials are showing the safety profile for this vaccine in this dosing range for kids. Look, I'm a parent, my kids are big now. But I believe in bike helmets, and I believe in seatbelts, and I believe in car seats, and I believe in holding kids hands when they cross the street and I believe in vaccines.

We can prevent your kid from getting infected, give them the shot. And mostly, if you have any concerns, talk to your pediatrician. Ask your pediatrician what they recommend, I know what they're going to tell you.

BURNETT: And do you think that there'll be doing this in schools to make it incredibly easy for parents that don't even have to do that pediatrician visit?

REINER: Well, I would love to see that mass vaccinations in schools. Send the permission slip home and give it in school. And here's the other thing, if you don't want your kid to wear a mask, this is the way to get kids to drop masks in school. When you vaccinate the entire school, none of these kids are going to need to wear masks anymore.

BURNETT: Yes. All right. I appreciate it, Dr. Reiner. Thank you very much.

REINER: My pleasure.

BURNETT: And next breaking news, reports a district attorney is not ruling out criminal charges in the accidental shooting involving Alec Baldwin.

Plus, the lives of top election officials threatened by supporters of the big lie, now, now, today, were standing up to the truth.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to say Katie Hobbs, pain is coming. There is no place to hide.




BURNETT: Breaking news, the Santa Fe District Attorney telling The New York Times that criminal charges are not being ruled out in the fatal movie set shooting involving Alec Baldwin. The DA says investigators are trying to determine who loaded Baldwin's gun before it was discharged, killing crew member Halyna Hutchins. Lucy Kafanov is OUTFRONT.


LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT(voice over): This may be the last image of 42 -year-old Halyna Hutchins alive on set with Alec Baldwin while filming the movie Rust posted on social media by a crew member. Filming now halted indefinitely according to a letter from the production team obtained by CNN as chilling details emerge about what may have happened in the hours leading to the fatal shooting.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two people accidentally shot on a movie set by a prop gun. We need help immediately.


KAFANOV(voice over): One of the actors on Rust, Ian Hudson, opening up about frightening moments on set.


IAN A. HUDSON, "RUST ACTOR": When the rounds were released, when they shot at me, I actually did feel the blanks hitting my face and my body. And I could feel the wind from the shotgun being discharged. It was heavy, it was strong. I would talk to my fellow cast members afterwards and we all agreed how intense that was and how scary and real it was.


KAFANOV(voice over): This as The Wrap citing a source with knowledge of the set reporting that hours before the cinematographer was killed, some crew members used guns with live ammunition for target practice to pass the time.


SHARON WAXMAN, CEO & FOUNDER, THE WRAP: There's this pastime that crew members sometimes do is called plinking. And they go out into the rural areas and they shoot at beer cans. This is with live ammunitions.


KAFANOV(voice over): CNN has not been able to confirm the report. In a statement, the producers of Rust said they were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set and will be conducting an internal review of procedures while production is shut down.

According to the report, one of the guns used was later handed to actor Alec Baldwin who was rehearsing for a scene. Court documents obtained by CNN show ammunition was found on the set and seized by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office. Authority seized three revolvers, 9 spent shell casings, ammo and 14 swabs of suspected blood. Court documents don't reveal the type of ammunition, whether it was live or blanks.

According to an affidavit for a search warrant, Dave Halls, the assistant director of the film grabbed one of three prop-guns that were prepared by the film's armorer Hannah Gutierrez.


BILL DAVIS, ARMORER, FIREARM TRAINER FOR FIELD & TELEVISION (CPT): Live ammo has no place on a motion picture or television studio set. It has no place on a set anywhere at any time.


KAFANOV(voice over): Neither Halls nor Gutierrez responded to a CNN request for comment. A veteran prop master tells the L.A. Times he turned down a job on the movie Rust saying the film was an accident waiting to happen. Neal Zoromski speaking to NBC News this morning.


NEAL ZOROMSKI, VETERAN PROP MASTER: I turned the job opportunity down on Rust because I felt it was completely unsafe. I impressed upon them that there were great concerns about that and they didn't really respond to my concerns about that.



KAFANOV(on camera): A source tells CNN there were three full safety meetings since the start of production, including the morning of the shooting. No charges have been filed. Although the district attorney told The New York Times that criminal charges are on the table, both she and the sheriff will be updating the public right here tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the production company tells CNN that the DA has not reached out to them. They continue to cooperate with authorities, they tell us. Erin?

BURNETT: Lucy, thank you very much. And I want to go now to Rachel Morrison. She's an Oscar-nominated cinematographer for the film Mudbound and she's also worked on many major films, including Black Panther and Fruitvale Station.

So Rachel, I appreciate your time. And we're seeing this new picture of Halyna Hutchins on set before her death and you see her in the middle with the white beanies standing across from Alec Baldwin.


This is the picture that a crew member had just posted on social media. She was a rising cinematographer, following in the footsteps of women like you.

What was your reaction when you heard this? When you heard that she had been shot and killed?

RACHEL MORRISON, FIRST WOMAN NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY: I mean, I think everything from being appalled, being devastated. The -- you know, disbelief and rage. I mean, it's -- it's -- it's gut wrenching.

I mean, I -- I can't even -- can't even begin to digest this. I think what all of us universally have -- have been experiencing.

BURNETT: You have such experience, you know, extensive experience working with prop guns on set, obviously. You know, here is some clips from your film "Mudbound." you were working there with World War II battle scenes, explosions, several types of firearms. People are seeing this here. I can see explosions. Shooting war scenes.

In "Fruitvale Station", you told the story of Oscar Grant who was shot and killed by police in 2009.

Can scenes like these be filmed without real guns? Or do you think not?

MORRISON: They absolutely can. I mean, technology has been advancing at such a rapid pace, and one thing I would just point out is those two scenes in "Mudbound" were done with VFX. We did it for a number of reasons, the least of which is safety. Or the -- sorry, the -- the most of which is safety.

But, you know, as -- as the technology advances, there is really no need for -- live fire is a bit of a misnomer but even -- even blanks, you know, none of that should be allowed on set anymore. And I think, you know, as soon as there is a need, there will be a solution. I have been talking about interactive light cartridges that can be fired from rubber guns, that are just a lighting effect, a sound effect. And already, in place of blanks, often we just clap wood together to make a loud noise.

The thing that, you know, personally kills me is hearing that it was during the day. You know, the only reason left to use blanks, ever, is for that interactive light at night. So to shoot them during day is just -- it's -- it's --

BURNETT: There was just no need.

MORRISON: Appalling.

BURNETT: So, you know, one of the actors was telling TMZ about how the cast talked about how scary and real it felt when they were shooting similar to guns. MORRISON: Yeah, it never should have gotten to that point. For me

watching this, I file feel the rage bubble up again because there are levels and levels and levels of protection to not let this happen. And the second I heard this, I knew there are also layers and layers of negligence to ever let it get to this point.

And the warning signs were there with this production. You know, as that AD -- the AD that didn't take the job spoke to. You know, we know the camera crew had tried to -- or had walked earlier that day. There was lack of sleep, lack of turnaround, you know, negligence on so many levels.

But yeah, you shouldn't -- you shouldn't -- blanks are blank -- you know, blank is a reference to a quarter load or a half load. We rarely use half loads. You know, and now, we rarely even need quarter loads and hopefully moving forward, we won't use any of them, but you shouldn't feel that. Like, you should not feel air from a gun. You should not, you know, it -- all of it is -- is not the way things should be done. Yeah.

MADDOW: I mean, you know, as -- and obviously, you know this as -- it's your life, it's your profession. But when I was seeing that -- you know, "The Wrap's" reporting just before the shooting, hours before, crew members had been using the guns on set with live ammunition to pass the time, including the gun that was later handed to Alec Baldwin. And they found loose ammo on set.

And somehow, then, you know, the layer of that -- I mean, I found that outrageous but then when I found even more outrageous is that apparently is not that uncommon. So you are actually shooting a gun with live ammo, like, for fun and then it goes on a set?

MORRISON: That is -- I -- I think that is uncommon. I think that this whole set is an anomaly. And, you know, I have been hearing people refer to it as an accident. An accident is somebody falling off -- you know, tripping or falling off a ladder.

This was not an accident. This was negligence at, you know, a really high level. Nobody should be firing guns anywhere, you know, on their off days bringing ammo to set. Like, that is -- it's outrageous.

And I don't -- I don't think that's the norm. And that said, if the proximity between a blank and a real, you know, real ammo is to the point that this could ever happen again, then we don't need blanks. It's not worth it, you know, I think it's very simple to -- to sort of find a new solution. Yeah, everything about -- sorry.

BURNETT: No, I'm just saying I hope people hear what you are saying because it's that you have specific ideas and solutions of how to do it and you have done it yourself. So, I hope -- I hope that it's heard.

Thank you so much --

MORRISON: Can I just say one more thing?

BURNETT: Yes, please.

MORRISON: Which is, you know, the reason -- the way that things should operate on a set is there is a prop master and if there's -- if there are guns -- if there is an armorer, they should keep those guns in locked boxes. They should check them in the morning. They should check them again before use.

They should show them to the ADA who checks them to make sure they are indeed empty. They then show them to the actor who's firing them to show that they are empty. They show them to anybody that is having the gun fired near them and around anybody who wants to see it and none of those protocols were done. Not one.

So I'm sorry, I'm just -- it's -- it's --

BURNETT: It is outrageous. It is outrageous, and I understand you are at a loss for words and I think so many of us are, it's just shocking.

Rachel, thank you.

MORRISON: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, more on the story in a moment. I am going to speak to actress Alyssa Milano, who's been around gun on sets as well. Does she think it's time to eliminate any real firearm when filming?

Plus, hear the death threats that are terrorizing some of the United States' top election officials as we speak.


BURNETT: New tonight. The Biden administration officially tapping a Republican who fought Trump's big lie to lead election security efforts. Washington's Secretary of State Kim Wyman will help DHS coordinate with elections officials across the country because it comes as secretaries of state across the U.S. are facing ongoing death threats for standing up to Trump and reporting the real election results.


Sara Murray is OUTFRONT.


VOICEMAIL LEFT FOR AZ SECRETARY OF STATE KATIE HOBBS (D): I am a hunter and I think you should be hunted.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That message for Arizona's Democratic Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, just one of threatening vitriolic voice mails shared exclusively with CNN.

VOICEMAIL LEFT FOR AZ SECRETARY OF STATE KATIE HOBBS (D): I would like to say Katie Hobbs, pain is coming. There's no place to hide. Your elections were a fraud. MURRAY: Nearly a year after the 2020 presidential contest, election

officials accustomed to the bureaucratic and largely uncontroversial task of administering elections are still grappling with hateful messages and in some cases even death threats.

JENA GRISWOLD (D), COLORADO SECRETARY OF STATE: These are things like I see -- I -- I am watching you sleep. I know where you live, posting my address. Telling me repeatedly how they are going to kill me. So yes, this is not policy disagreements.

MURRAY: Most of the threats aimed at Democrat Jena Griswold, the Colorado secretary of state, were posted online to a personal and public social media accounts or sent via e-mail and when it comes to female officials, the attacks are particularly vile. I'm really jonesing to see your purple fats after you have been hanged, one e- mail says. Another message says, the dog is going to be wondering where you went and your husband will have to tell it that you were hung for treason.

GRISWOLD: I think it is partially gendered. Predominantly, Democratic women secretaries of state are getting the brunt of it but it's not exclusively to Democrats or women.


GRISWOLD: In Georgia, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger faced threats as well, after standing up to former President Trump's baseless claims of fraud. But among the most disturbing were those directed at members of his family.

RAFFENSPERGER: Sending your wife who you met to high school, sending your wife sexualized text and all that other kind of insulting garbage, and then, breaking into your daughter-in-law's, you know, townhouse and leaving lights on and you know that they were there and then driving by our house.

And so, those are the kind of things are, you know, stuff that you notice. You do look over your shoulder. And that was all just ginned up all by lies. And all by people that were stirring the pot.

MURRAY: Across the U.S. and across political parties, election officials continue to be falsely accused of mishandling and rigging the 2020 election. There are fears the threats will increase into next year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I guess, if you count all the fraudulent votes.

MURRAY: As some Republicans spin up doubts about midterms and spout conspiracies as a central plank of their campaigns.

MATT MASTERSON, FORMER SENIOR CYBERSECURITY ADVISER: Local election officials are going to leave and then that opens the door to adding more political actors, less professional, more political actors into the election space which, again, is incredibly dangerous. MURRAY: A report in 2021 from the Brennan Center for justice found

that roughly one in six election workers surveyed received threats of violence. While almost one in three said they feel unsafe because of their job.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department and the FBI formed a task force to address the rise in threats against election officials. But Griswold tells CNN she has yet to see action.

GRISWOLD: The FBI says they are not monitoring the threats. I don't believe at this point the DOJ has prosecuted any of the threats. So, the response has not been sufficient.


MURRAY (on camera): Now, John Keller, the Justice Department official overseeing this task force says that in the past, these kinds of threats used to be state and local matters. He tells CNN this is changing rapidly in response to the surge in threats nationwide since the last election cycle.

The Justice Department is now supplementing state and local efforts with resources, national coordination, training, and intelligence.

But, Erin, obviously, as you heard, for a lot of officials, that still isn't going far enough.

BURNETT: Yeah. All right. Thank you very much. Incredible just to hear all that. Imagine receiving that.

Thank you so much, Sara.

So OUTFRONT next, actress Alyssa Milano. She's testified before Congress, even been arrested while protesting restrictions on voting rights and her role as an A-list activist is just getting started. She is my guest next.

Plus, at least five former Trump staffers have spoken with the January 6th select committee. Who are they and what could they know?



BURNETT: Looking at live pictures out of Virginia with just one week to go until Election Day. President Biden about to speak at a rally there for Democrat Terry McAuliffe and the state's race for governor. It is the most closely watched race in the country -- a race where McAuliffe is neck in neck with Republican Glenn Youngkin.

This, despite Biden beating Donald Trump by ten points last year in the state, wasn't even close then. Now, Youngkin is also holding a rally right now.

OUTFRONT now, actress and activist Alyssa Milano. She's also the author of the new book, "Sorry Not Sorry," which just came out today. So, I really appreciate your time and I know you have been obviously vocal in your support online for McAuliffe. Both candidates are saying this race is crucial. It is about the direction of the country.

In your book, you talked about, you know, you have learned campaigns are not about candidates, obviously, but about voters, which is really interesting observation. You are a Democrat and a progressive.

What -- what do you make of the fact that this race is as close as it is? What message does that send about voters?

ALYSSA MILANO, ACTRESS, ACTIVIST: Well, actually, polls show that the election is tied which is incredible. You know, McAuliffe is a former governor. He's got the experience. He is a DNC head.

And Youngkin who, in my opinion, is very Trumpy but trying to hide that aspect of who he is. So I feel like Virginia is really at a crossroads.

And, you know, I get it. I know that many people are tired and I feel like politics is tiring. But as president Obama said the other day in Virginia, we can't afford to be tired. We have to get out there and vote. Also, I have a soft spot in my heart because Virginia was the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

And last Thursday, I testified in front of Congress to lift the poison pill deadline placed on the Equal Rights Amendment. So, yeah, please, Virginia, get out there and vote.

BURNETT: So you talk that testimony. And you did testify before Congress. You want them to pass obviously the legislation to end gender discrimination. This is you here last week and you were arrested during a protest outside the White House over the push to protect voting rights and you write about this in your book and your decision to care so deeply about these things, why you do this.


And things that President Biden has promised to stand up for.

Here it is.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To make real the full promise of America, we've got to protect that fundamental right, the right to vote, the sacred right to vote.

I told my girls and my grand -- my daughters and my granddaughters not a single thing, not a single thing, that a man can do that a woman can't do equally as well. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. And I will not be satisfied until that's recognized.


BURNETT: So, you write about it and you have also acted on it, right? You have testified. You have been arrested in -- in -- for this cause.

Do you believe President Biden is doing enough to make these realities to actually get this legislation passed? Or could he be doing more?

MILANO: So just to clarify, I was arrested actually because, you know, in my opinion, we elected a -- a Democratic government, specifically -- specifically -- sorry -- to get his agenda done. A progressive agenda done.

And in my lifetime, this agenda is the most progressive agenda and it's what people want. So now, we need our government to deliver. And so, I was arrested. You know, I took a fight right up to the White House.

The Freedom to Vote Act is something that means a lot to this country. The freedom to vote is the bedrock of our nation. States have introduced 425 bills making it harder for people to vote, 13 Republican-led states have passed 33 laws aimed at making it more difficult to vote.

And I went to the White House with People for the American Way, and we want Biden -- we're demanding of Biden -- to use all of his power and influence to -- to get passed the Freedom to Vote Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and D.C. statehood as soon as possible even if that means getting rid of the filibuster.

BURNETT: And of course, obviously, the president is -- maybe, started to move a little bit on that. But -- but has not as of yet. I want to ask you about one other thing, Alyssa, because I don't know if you heard Rachel the cinematographer who was on before you came on. But she was dust -- just her loss and outrage at what happened. Talking about Halyna Hutchins who was killed obviously when Alec Baldwin discharged that prop firearm. Um, you know, when we were having you on tonight, was thinking about, you know, your experience with this.

We found a video of you in 2008 holding a gun in scenes, right? You have been around guns on sets. You have dealt with this.

And Rachel Morrison, who I just mentioned the Oscar-nominated cinematographer. She just told me there is no need to have real guns on set anymore. Do you agree?

MILANO: I agree. But I also want to refocus this conversation because it's not just about my industry. We need common sense changes to the way we interact with guns across the entire nation. Also, there's almost 1,700 accidental shooting deaths so far this year. That's on pace to have nearly 2,000 by the end of the year.

And so, you know, mandating safe storage, trigger locks, and investing in a biometric system for weapons could really reduce all of these accidental shootings. And -- and it's so sad to me that things always have to happen in industry where people are sort of famous to get the country to pay attention. But I want to remind people that children are shot in mass shootings every single year and it shouldn't be easier to fire your gun than it is to unlock your iPhone.

BURNETT: Well said.

All right. Thank you so much, Alyssa, I prefer appreciate your time.

MIILANO: I appreciate you.

BURNETT: Your new book is out, "Sorry Not Sorry", and it just came out today. Thanks again.

And next, five Trump associates now voluntarily talking to investigators about the deadly insurrection. You will hear more next.



BURNETT: Tonight, CNN is learning at least five former Trump White House staffers have voluntarily spoken to the House Select Committee investigating the deadly insurrection of January 6th. The committee is looking to learn what happened inside the White House on the day of the riot. And this news comes as the committee has asked former top homeland security officials, including the former Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli to voluntarily speak to the committee.

Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT with this new reporting.

So, Kaitlan, what more have you learned about the select committee's interactions with these former Trump aides which is so significant, right, in light of the stonewalling coming from others, whether it be mark meadows or Steve Bannon?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, these are people, Erin, who have not gotten subpoenas. They are not legally compelled to go and speak to the committee and they are doing so voluntarily, at least five of these former-White House Trump staffers who have gone in and spoken with either members or staff on the committee. And we know what the committee is trying to figure out, which is really essentially what was happening inside the west wing on that day?

What were the conversations like? What did it really look like? What was the president saying? What were his top aides saying?

They are really trying to figure out and piece together what that day looked like from inside the West Wing which has kind of been this black hole as we have talked about what was happening with lawmakers, with staffers and whatnot on Capitol Hill.

And so, this is significant the fact that these five -- at least five former staffers have gone in, spoken with the committee. And it doesn't necessarily mean that nano exactly what Trump was doing in the Oval Office but they could know something that could be helpful potentially to the committee.

And the reason for them going in without a subpoena or any kind of legal reason, we're told, is either because they believe they have information that they would like to share with the committee or they do fear that eventually it could take that legal route. And they could be compelled to come in by the committee because it's pretty clear who the committee has wanted to talk to during this.

So, this also comes, though, it doesn't seem like this effort is over because we know committee staff and attorneys are reaching out to other former White House staffers seeing if they would also like to come in voluntarily. And so, we haven't heard from the former president on this. Though, of course, we know his opinion is that he believes his top officials who were subpoenaed should not compel -- or should not give testimony, should not provide documents or anything of that nature.

BURNET: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much.

And thanks very much to all of you.

Anderson starts now.