Return to Transcripts main page

Erin Burnett Outfront

In Blow To Biden And Pelosi, House Delays Infrastructure Vote After Progressives Warn It Needs To Move With Spending Bill; Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) Discusses About The Delayed Vote On The President Biden's Agenda; Sources: Jan. 6 Committee Losing Patience With Former Trump Chief Of Staff Meadows; May Seek To Force His Compliance; Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) Talks About Her Committee Being Impatient And Looking To Hold Mark Meadows In Criminal Contempt; Carlson Touts Unhinged Alternate Reality In Series On Jan. 6 Riot; Complaint Alleging A Sex Crime Filed Against Ex-Gov. Cuomo. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 28, 2021 - 19:00   ET


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Tsai telling me though now is not the time to back down against Beijing, but the time for Taiwan to unite and be resilient and strong.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: CNN's Will Ripley in Taiwan for us. Thank you very much, Will. Excellent reporting.

Thanks very much for watching. I'll be back here tomorrow for our special coverage from Rome.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Biden's presidency in a pivotal moment. The President announcing what he calls a historic framework for his sweeping spending bill but missing his own deadline to pass that bipartisan infrastructure bill. So where does his agenda stand tonight?

Plus, the Committee investigating January 6th growing impatient with Mark Meadows and now considering whether to hold Trump's former White House Chief of Staff in criminal contempt.

And a criminal complaint just filed against Andrew Cuomo accusing him of a misdemeanor sex crime. The former New York Governor has been told to appear in court. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Poppy Harlow in tonight for Erin Burnett.

Breaking news, the House delaying a vote again on the President's infrastructure bill. The earliest that vote could take place is now next week. This comes as Biden is on his way to Rome, despite not landing a deal on his domestic agenda.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been pushing all day trying to bring his trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill up for a vote. This is the plan that invests in roads and bridges, mass transit and much more. But the vote delayed because she didn't have the votes for members of her own party.

Progressive Democrats demanding votes on that infrastructure bill and the spending bill at the same time. A draft of Biden's economic agenda, nearly 2,500 pages, it was unveiled today after the President traveled to Capitol Hill delaying his overseas trip by several hours, so that he could personally plead with Democrats to fall in line with what he calls a historic deal on the social safety net programs that he has been talking about since the campaign trail.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am pleased to announce that after months of tough and thoughtful negotiations, I think we have a historic, I know we have a historic economic framework.


HARLOW: Biden wanted an agreement and a vote on this infrastructure bill before arriving overseas and he is not going to get it. But make no mistake, if this deal on the sweeping spending bill comes together and hold, it will be a huge victory for the President, for this administration.

This deal touches virtually every American at many points in their life. It includes extending the child tax credit billions of dollars for homecare, two years of free pre-K, $500 billion in clean energy and incentives and much more. But as I mentioned, it is not done yet despite Pelosi warning her caucus today not to embarrass, her words, the President and former President Obama calling this a giant leap forward.

Some progressives are still standing firm still refusing to vote for the smaller infrastructure bill unless that vote is paired with a vote on this sweeping spending bill.


REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): We've been very clear from the very beginning that both bills, the infrastructure bill as well as the Build Back Better Act have to go together.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): We intend to vote for both bills when the Build Back Better Act is ready.


HARLOW: And tonight the major questions that have left Biden's agenda in the air. Where do powerful senators, Democrats, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, where do they stand on this deal? What's going to happen in the end? Where will their vote be? Will their approval be enough for Democrats to move forward Biden's agenda? A lot of moving pieces tonight.

Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT live at the Vatican where the President is headed. Manu Raju on Capitol Hill.

Phil, let me begin with you. How disappointed is the White House tonight?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, White House officials acknowledged this morning when I was talking to them that they were taking a calculated risk. The President announcing a framework that didn't have full agreement with everybody involved. The President going to Capitol Hill and making a pitch for an agreement on that framework and a vote on his infrastructure package, knowing that both of those things weren't exactly lined up yet.

It's a risk. It's a roll of the dice and at least in this 24-hour period, it is a bet that did not pay off. And White House officials are cognizant of that fact. You don't send the President up to Capitol Hill and expect him not to be able to get something across the finish line and yet that's exactly what happened today.

And it happened through the lens of the President making clear behind closed doors for the last several days to members of the House and Senate that he wanted an agreement before he arrived in Europe for this foreign trip. He's going to be here in about an hour, maybe a little bit more. He very much will not have that agreement in hand or the infrastructure proposal.

But when you talk to White House officials, Poppy, they acknowledge and you laid this out quite well, they are closer now than they've ever been. There's no question about it. And closer now than they've ever been for a very significant and very expensive package despite the elements that have dropped out because of those negotiations.


However, it is not over the finish line yet. There is certainly more work to do. One thing a couple officials have pointed out, the progressives who made clear the votes were not going to be there to move forward today did endorse the overall framework. They see that as a positive towards moving things forward.

I would say the President didn't hedge when it came to the stakes here saying he believed his presidency in the House and Senate majorities will be determined by this next week. The first day of that hasn't gone as well as White House officials hoped.

HARLOW: That's true. But you got six more days left in a week, so let's see what happens. Phil, thank you.

Let's go to Manu Raju on Capitol Hill. Manu, good to see you. Where do you think it stand? You have the inside beat, what's going to happen?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's unclear when a vote ultimately will happen. But ultimately, there will be a vote in the House now that they have voted to extend this - the vote that just happened in the House was to extend funding for transportation programs that were set to expire at the end of the week, which is why they set a deadline to have a vote on this infrastructure bill, so they wouldn't have to extend the funding again. Now, this new deadline is December 3rd. The question is can they get

their conference together in both sides in the House and the Senate by December 3rd. It's uncertain at the moment, because of those two senators that Phil just mentioned, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

Manchin just put out a statement saying a little bit more about the overall bill that he has in the past, saying that there's the result of a series of good discussions, positive discussions, but he again did not say if he endorses this proposal. That is what progressives want to hear. They want to hear Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema say they will adores the larger proposal. And at that point, they say they'll be willing to vote for that infrastructure proposal that Pelosi delayed tonight.

HARLOW: But Manu we did hear, I believe, Joe Manchin today at least say he's not for the $1.75 trillion price tag. And progressives don't just want to hear it, they want to see it in writing from Manchin and Sinema, right?

RAJU: That's absolutely right. And he refused all day long to say anything about this. He'd only say to us we're in good faith discussions, good faith discussions. And what has irked liberals in particular is the fact that they have made a number of concessions moving towards Joe Manchin. They agreed to drop paid family leave over his concerns. They did not go as far on the Medicare expansion over his concerns, they came down in the price tag from $3.5 trillion and now at $1.7 5 trillion, because he initially said he would only go up to $1.5 trillion.

Now, he did, as you said, he acknowledged to me that he's willing to go up to $1.75 trillion, but still has not embraced that full proposal and until we get to that point, it's still uncertain how this ends up, Poppy.

HARLOW: Okay. Manu, thank you so much for your reporting literally day and night there on the Hill on this.

Let me bring in Democratic Congressman of New York Adriano Espaillat, a member of the Progressive Caucus. Congressman, good evening.


HARLOW: Thanks for being with me.

ESPAILLAT: Thank you.

HARLOW: So Speaker Pelosi told your caucus today she wanted to vote today on the infrastructure bill because, and I quote, "When the President gets off that plane we want him to have a vote of confidence from this Congress." Your Progressive Caucus not willing to vote on this tonight. What do you achieve for your constituents here in New York by delaying again?

ESPAILLAT: Well, in my case, I am very strong for immigration reform and I'm happy to report that there are new elements in the reconciliation package of immigration reform. We have the registry proposal, as well as the word permit proposal, 400,000 visas recover as well as over a hundred billion are allocated for immigration.

We still just need a few more things just in case everything falls apart. But really, we've been supportive of President Biden all along. We've been with him from the very beginning and we will stand by him and we will get this done.

HARLOW: Okay. Well, here's how the President sees it, his message earlier today about these two bills, listen.


BIDEN: This agenda - the agenda that's in these bills - is what 81 million Americans voted for. More people voted than at any time in American history. That's what they voted for. Their voices deserve to be heard, not denied or, worse, ignored.


HARLOW: Not denied or worse, ignored. By delaying this vote, you're ignoring those 81 million votes.

ESPAILLAT: Well, we don't feel so. In fact, we felt that $3.5 trillion was what we began with the President. That was his vision and it has been cut down to $1.75 trillion. We want to have assurances that whatever is left, won't go to the Senate and we'll be hijacked by one or two senators there. We want to make sure that this gets through and that the President gets the victory that he deserves.

We're very supportive of the President. He's our leader. We'll continue to support him. In case, we got some immigration provisions in the reconciliation bill.


We're just one step away and I think we'll get there. We'll get that. We're a abroad party with diverse opinions.

HARLOW: I hear that and the diversity of opinions is critical. But let's take a look at what some of the key things in each of these bills, under the current framework, the spending bill would mean universal pre-K three and four for every child in America, $150 billion to expand access to affordable housing, more than $500 billion in clean energy incentives. In the infrastructure bill, major, major funding to remove all lead pipes from the nation's water supply lines, rebuild 20,000 miles of roads and repair. Also, here in New York City, Sen. Schumer says nearly $11 billion would fund our subways here in this city.

How do you explain your constituents watching tonight that yet again all of this is punted?

ESPAILLAT: Well, these are all great initiatives and we fought very hard to make sure that we're included in this reconciliation bill. But guess what, we also supported free community college. We supported paid family leave. We supported changes to Medicare to make sure seniors get eye care, hearing care and those things were stripped away.

And we went ahead and we accepted that, but we want to make sure that whatever is left, the $1.75 trillion, that that's preserved and that the President slams down this bill and it's a victory for all Americans. And that's why we fight tooth and nail to make sure there's some guarantees that this doesn't get hijacked in the Senate.

HARLOW: Congressman Espaillat, thank you for the time tonight.

ESPAILLAT: Thank you so much.

HARLOW: So let me bring in Paul Begala, who is an advisor to former President Bill Clinton. Paul, great to have you and I'm so glad to have your voice tonight, because you've got good perspective on what it means for president going all the way back to Johnson and before when you don't get everything you want, but then maybe you get it a little bit later.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. Successful presidents, right or left, but particularly progressives, know that they get what they can, they bank that success and then they come back again, you never oppose a bill for what is not in it. I learned that when I stupidly foolishly advocated that Bill Clinton threatened to veto any health care bill that didn't cover every single American, a hundred percent or nothing. Well, so we got nothing. Okay. that was a huge mistake. I'm informed by that mistake.

We could have had basically Obamacare 20 years earlier and it would have been great. Look at what Barack Obama did. The first thing liberals wanted was Medicare for All. He compromised down to public option and then we lost the public option too. But Barack Obama signed that bill, by the way, Bernie Sanders voted for it. Why? Because it was progress.

Progressives are progressives not perfectionist and I'm urging Democrats, moderates and the liberals, to get behind this President. This will be the most important boost to the middle class in 50 years and they ought to just bank the wind and then come back for the other things that Congressman Espaillat was talking about that didn't make it into the bill.

HARLOW: They've got time now. I know next week is the earliest this could come up for vote, but given the extension on the highway funding that just went through tonight, they've got technically until December 30. Do you think this thing could fall apart, lack of momentum?

BEGALA: It could but what this President has that President Clinton did not have is Nancy Pelosi. I'm sure she's the most able legislative leader of either party that I've ever seen and maybe in American history. She is playing such a tight margin, so as Chuck Schumer, by the way, the Democratic Leader in the Senate.

Clinton had 57 senators, and Barack Obama had 60 for a time, and Johnson had 68, and FDR had 60 and this guy got 50 and he's got a three vote margin in the House. Nancy Pelosi is going to get it through. She really will. I'm serious. I would never ever bet against her, but this is the most difficult thing I've ever seen the legislative leader try to pull off.

HARLOW: We'll see. Paul Begala, thank you.

BEGALA: Thanks.

HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, Mark Meadows testing the patience of lawmakers investigating the deadly insurrection. What will the Select Committee do? A member of that Committee joins us next.

Also, Fox News personality, Tucker Carlson, stooping to a dangerous, delusional new low preparing to air a special that makes this claim, watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: False flags have happened in this country. One of which may have been being January 6th.


HARLOW: Also, the Republican candidate in Virginia's closely watched race for governor calling on his supporters to monitor the polls. Is there any reason to be concerned? We'll get the facts ahead tonight.



HARLOW: Tonight, the House Select Committee investigating January 6th now considering holding former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in criminal contempt. Multiple sources tell CNN that Committee members are losing patience with Meadows as he fails to comply with a subpoena for documents and testimony. So now the Committee is considering more aggressive steps to get him to cooperate with their investigation.

Paula Reid is OUTFRONT. Paula, good evening. What more can you tell us about where this Committee's head is, the thinking around getting Mark Meadows to cooperate fully?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, good evening, Poppy. We've learned that lawmakers are increasingly frustrated with Meadows. It's been over a month since he was subpoenaed. And during that time, the Committee has said that he was at least engaging, which we've learned meant negotiating possible terms for possible cooperation.

But a source familiar with these talks says at this point, it's clear that Meadows has no intention of providing any testimony or any documents, which is why we've learned that some committee members are ready to amp up the pressure on Meadows. And they could do that by setting a deadline, which will force him to either comply or potentially be referred for criminal contempt, which is of course what they did with Steve Bannon.

Now, Poppy, that is a risk. Because unlike Steve Bannon, the former chief of staff has a much stronger claim for potential privilege protection. Now, will he get it, ultimately, that will be up to President Biden. But so far, Biden has not asserted privilege for Bannon or records from the Trump White House.

White House Counsel has said, look, this is an extraordinary circumstance and the President has concluded that it is not in the best interest of the United States to assert privilege. So what will happen with Meadows, well, the White House tells me they're assessing every question about privilege on a case by case basis.

We know from our sources that the White House has been in touch with the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department, which is noted that they've been discussing Meadows.


But it doesn't mean that he's definitely going to get any kind of privilege protection because I've been in touch with the Justice Department about other matters and declined to assert privilege over those.

Now, Meadows' team declined to comment on our new reporting.

HARLOW: Okay. Paula, a very important reporting, thank you very much.

Let me bring in Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Florida, a member of the January 6 Select Committee. Good evening, Congresswoman. And thank you for your time. You just heard Paula was reporting, Meadows dragging his feet and clearly testing your Committee's patience, no agreement on testimony, no agreement on documents, some conversation with the Office of Legal Counsel, do you believe you've reached a point where Meadows should be held in contempt?

REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-FL): Well, it's great to be with you, Poppy. And I will tell you that our Committee does not have limitless patience. And once we realize that we have hit a point in time where we are not getting the information that we want, in the timeline that we need it, we will take more assertive action.

And so I'm not going to try to get ahead of the Committee right now, but we don't have any tolerance for this. But the other thing that is important to point out is that whether some of these high profile individuals who have the resources to defend themselves decides to appear before this committee or not, we will still be able to continue to pull people in front of this committee and interview them and get the information that they have, so that we can continue to build the picture of the planning and the execution of January 6, so that we can prevent this from ever happening again.

HARLOW: But how important is Mark Meadows to that picture, given his conversations with the President?

MURPHY: It is clearly a key piece of information that we need, because he was engaged both in the political side as well as in his official capacity. However, I think we can also get the information from others who were engaged in those conversations. But we will not let him slide by. We are going to ensure that we pursue all the tools that are at our disposal to ensure that he does provide information to this committee and if he doesn't, there are consequences.

We are willing to pursue consequences for Steve Bannon, we are willing to pursue consequences for anybody who believes they are above the law.

HARLOW: The result though, for the American people is delay and waiting and waiting even if prosecution is the next step. But let me move on to something else that I think is very important in telling on the issue of the insurrection and that is that the Chief Federal Judge in D.C. is absolutely slamming the Justice Department for what she calls schizophrenic and puzzling, those words, approach to punishing January 6th insurrectionists saying judges' hands are pretty much tied because a number of prosecutors keep offering basically misdemeanor deals to rioters, recommending probation, fining some of them just $500. What's your reaction to all of these plea deals many with really minimal sentencing levels for people who stormed the Capitol?

MURPHY: Well, I have great respect for the division of power between the branches. I tend to agree with the judge in this case that you have to meter out punishment that deters future insurrectionists. You have to ensure that the punishment that these people who tried to overturn an election, who tried to use violence to ensure that they got their political outcome that they wanted, are deterred in the future.

So I tend to agree with her, but I am also happy to allow the judicial branch to do the work that they need to do in order to do that. And it's not my job as a legislator to engage in that process, but I tend to agree with her.

HARLOW: All right. Before you go, the other big story obviously we're following tonight is the congressional negotiations around President Biden's domestic agenda. The now twice delayed vote on these bills. You said earlier this month on October 12th, you were 'profoundly disappointed and disillusioned' when the vote on the infrastructure bill was postponed. Now, it's been postponed again. I wonder what you are now.

MURPHY: My constituents have been waiting for members of Congress to deliver to them better roads, a better commute to work, safe bridges, clean water, broadband for their children, all of these things and I am disappointed that my colleagues, a small sect of my colleagues have decided that they are going to deny the American people this much needed investment for their own political purposes.


I think outside of the beltway, nobody understands that. Nobody understands that for political wrangling people are denying them much needed investments.

HARLOW: Well, they say they're pressing for more, for better, for more for their constituents. You say it's politics. MURPHY: We have to be as bold as the votes will bear and we have

always needed to set better expectations about what the votes could bear, given that we have a 50-50 Senate and a four vote margin basically in the House. And so we should take the incremental but substantial investments in infrastructure that we have in front of us, historic infrastructure investments into rail, historic infrastructure investments into public transit.

There is so much good in this infrastructure bill and my constituents are waiting for us to deliver for them. And I wonder why my colleagues won't follow me in voting yes for this.

HARLOW: Congresswoman Murphy, thank you.

MURPHY: Thanks for being with me.

HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, Fox News' Tucker Carlson drawing bipartisan backlash tonight for planning to air a series loaded with lies about the deadly insurrection. And also breaking tonight, a criminal complaint alleging a sex crime has been filed against former New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, what we're learning this evening?



HARLOW: Fox News' Tucker Carlson is attempting to rewrite history around the January 6th insurrection. Carlson releasing a promo for a new series that promises the truth about the insurrection, but it's filled with lies and includes a false assertion that it was a false flag operation instigated by the U.S. government to target conservatives.

Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The domestic war on terror is here. It's coming after half of the country.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: The helicopter left Afghanistan. Now they've landed at home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The left is hunting the right. Sticking them in Guantanamo prison for American citizens, leaving them to rot.

CARLSON: We have begun to fight a new enemy in a new war on terror.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Not al-Qaeda, white supremacy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: False flags have happened in this country. One of which may have been January 6.



OUTFRONT now, Bill Kristol, editor at large of the Bulwark. And two decades ago, Carlson worked for him at "The Weekly Standard," and Juliette Kayyem, former homeland security assistant secretary and our national security analyst.

Good evening.

Bill, let me begin with you as I pick my jaw up off the floor. As someone who worked with Carlson, granted he's changed a lot since you did, but what do you make of this?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE BULWARK: It is appalling. He has been pretty appalling for quite awhile, but this is just another step down the road to giving up at any pretense of not just reporting the news, or analyzing the news, but what he is doing is inciting violence, dealing in the most terrible conspiracy theories, making it -- claiming that the U.S. government is waging war on terror on American citizens.

Here is what I was thinking as I was watching it again here, would Tucker Carlson be upset if there were another January 6th? How could one say that he would be? Isn't this just an incitement to another January 6th? Is that what Tucker Carlson wants?

HARLOW: And the imagery, Juliette, that we just showed in that clip which by the way, is going to be a series. There is going to be a lot of that imagery. I just wonder from a national security perspective, what it means to you?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So, it's meant to create outrage. The purpose of this is fueling anger. And it's because Tucker Carlson, Fox News. But also, remember, all the Republican senators and congressman willing to go on air and kiss his ring is to continue to incite violence for two purposes, one is to make violence and the threat of violence part of our democracy which it clearly is now. That goes to the voting rights purges, to the attacks on secretaries of state.

But the second reason is these mini January 6 which we should pay attention to, whether it is at school board meetings, about masking, violent protests at an NBA game because one of the players isn't allowed to play, or some of the protests surrounding vaccinations and some of the violence that we see. He is creating many January 6th to create violence, to continue to create violence on the threat of violence, because that is the only way they win.

That's their ammunition. That is their political strategy now. That is why these prosecutions, and everything else are so important.

HARLOW: This is obviously, Bill, coupled with the persistent, and continuing big lie pushed by the president and so many others. But you've got Fox News, owned by Murdoch, and Murdoch's "Wall Street Journal" editorial page that put out that lie filled op-ed by Trump, and defending it today with this statement saying, we think it is news when an ex president who may run in 2024 wrote what he did, even if we, perhaps even if his claims are bananas.

How do you see it?

KRISTOL: This is a role "The Journal" has played. Fox News has played the role of the instigator, as Juliette says, of violence, of conspiracy theories, creating anger and hatred, and resentment to say the least for American people.

"Wall Street Journal" role is to speak to the elites, to the establishment, and to go along with that. Occasionally, to say it is a little crazy some of these things Trump is saying, kind of bananas.


As if it's just kind of harmless, silly fantasies he has. Maybe he has some odd views about the moon being created out of cheese or something.

But that's not it. Trump wants to overturn the next election, he wants to overturn the last one. He wants to limit voting and overturn elections at the state level, create the predicate for a real overturning, usurpation of democracy in this country.

So the establishment enablers, the establishment acquiescers, the establishment excusers and minimizers of the damage, I really think they have as much to answer for as the more rabid conspiracy theorists of Fox News.

HARLOW: And, you know, reading what "The Journal" put up today, there was a strong point by point fact check of the presidents claims. They could have done that in tandem. If they're going to publish what the president said, they could've done it on real-time, or what have you. But the big picture is, what does this do to those that believe the lies?

KAYYEM: I mean, this is what is so outrageous about "The Wall Street Journal" did. To quote the president, it gives a fleece vest to this radicalization. This radicalization in a fancy fleece vest. And that's exactly what "The Wall Street Journal" has done at this stage.

So, you have to think about radicalization is. It is a major army, that's what Tucker Carlson is doing, and you need people to forgive the army. They are really not that bad, we are going to excuse them. This is sort of the perfect storm that we are seeing now.

It is a shame that you do not have a strong political pushback from the radicalization that is going on. So, it is heading towards whether it is the elections, you eventually silence it, it is the de- platforming which has to continue to be done, it is these lawsuits, but it is also beginning to expose exactly where the establishment is doing, which is promoting violence as a voting -- sort of -- as an essential part of voting.

You see it in Virginia, you see it in Georgia, you see it every. Violence, and the threat of violence, in particular against minorities who would assert their constitutional right, it is now part of the GOP plan to win elections. Unless it is called out, they are going to get away with their fleece vests and their "Wall Street Journal".

We are going to talk more about the Virginia front in just a moment, thank you, Juliette, Bill, good to have you both.

OUTRONT next, the criminal complaint alleging a sex crime just filed against former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Now, Cuomo's attorney is responding, and the Republican running for Virginia governor taking a page from Trump's playbook calling on supporters to monitor the polls on election day. Why? Next.



HARLOW: New tonight, a criminal complaint alleging a sex crime has been filed against former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. It is related to an incident that allegedly happened inside of the governor's mansion. Cuomo has been subpoenaed to appear in court on November 17th. He has been summoned to appear in court on the 17th of November, less than a month from now.


MJ, good evening. What more are we learning about this complaint?

MJ LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, this is a criminal complaint that has been filed against Andrew Cuomo, the former governor for an incident that allegedly took place in December of 2020 inside the governor's mansion. This complaint said that he forcibly placed his hand under the victims blouse and touched her breast. The victims name is redacted.

Now, this complaint was filed by the Albany sheriff's office, but interestingly, the DA's office saying tonight in a new statement that they were actually surprised to see this filing. That seemed significant, the seaming lack of coordination given that it is now up to the DA to decide whether to further pursue these charges.

Just to take a quick step back, you will recall that there were multiple women who made allegations against Andrew Cuomo. These were complaints that ended up being detailed in the AG investigation, and he ultimately, of course, resigned. Throughout that process, he has maintained and denied these charges of sexual misconduct.

We have heard again from Cuomo's lawyer tonight. She said in a statement that Cuomo has never assaulted anyone, and even went on to question the motives of the sheriff's office. In terms of what is going to be next, you said it, November 17th, that is the date that the court has summoned him to appear before court.

We do expect that in those intervening weeks, there will be other news, so we will be following those developments as they come in, Poppy.

HARLOW: Okay, MJ Lee, thank you very much for that reporting.

OUTFRONT now is Jennifer Rodgers. She is a CNN legal analyst, a former federal prosecutor. Jennifer, good evening.

I want to be clear, this is a misdemeanor complaint. It is not a felony complaint. Still, given that, what kind of legal trouble could the governor be facing?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Poppy, you are right. The fact that it is a misdemeanor means that he could only face up to one year in prison, which obviously is less serious than a felony would be. Still, it is a very bad day for the governor if the DA ultimately pushes for these charges because this is criminal, he could go to prison. This is not being pressured to resign, or facing the threat of impeachment, this is his liberty at issue.

I think it is a very serious matter, but only up to one year in prison is what it means to be a misdemeanor.

HARLOW: So now what? What happens November 17th when he appears in court?

RODGERS: Well, some of it depends on when the district attorney does. In the meantime, I was very surprised to hear that there was a coordination between the sheriff and the DA. I think that is highly unusual. If there is a formal charge filed, then the former governor will have to enter a plea, and it will be assigned to a judge, and they will proceed with scheduling.

The discovery will happen, there will be a trial set, and all of those things. It really depends on whether DA David Suarez, who is the district attorney in Albany, is intent on proceeding or not.

HARLOW: Right. So, back in August, the New York attorney general issued that report detailing repeated incidents of alleged sexual harassment by Cuomo.


He has that he has made mistakes, but he has denied all of the serious allegations.

Do you think that this is the tip of the iceberg? Do you foresee potentially more criminal complaint being filed?

RODGERS: I really don't, because this was always the incident that seems to most clearly fit within a criminal statute. Many of the episodes were more about harassment or a hostile work environment, and not potentially criminal. So, this was always the most serious one, it is also a recent one.

There is some incidents that were beyond the statute of limitation. So, I don't expect this to open up a whole bunch of criminal problems for the governor, and the former governor, this one by itself could be enough trouble for him.

HARLOW: Right, it could carry prison time if convicted. Jennifer Rodgers, thank you very much. OUTFRONT next, the Republican candidate for governor in Virginia's

race now calling for poll watchers and election official from Virginia is here to respond.

A CNN exclusive, our very own Don Lemon sits down with the jurors from the Derek Chauvin trial. Why they struggled they say, to reach a verdict. You will see it all tonight.



HARLOW: Republican gubernatorial candidate, Glenn Youngkin, says he has no plans to camp in former President Donald Trump ahead of Tuesday's election against Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. But, Youngkin calls on volunteers to make sure there is no election fraud. Listen.


GLENN YOUNGKIN (R), VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Friends, we need you. We need you to be election observers. We'll train you, we have turning all day long. We will turn you to show, up and ensure the vote is counted right.


HARLOW: Republicans' emphasis, unquote, election integrity, inspiring hundreds of conservative poll watchers to flood to Virginia.

Joining me now, Scott Konopasek, who is the Fairfax County registrar.

Scott, thank you for being here, I know it is busy, especially right now. You have Youngkin, calling on more people to come forward, and make sure the vote is counted correctly.

Is there anything anyone should be worried about, regarding the integrity of this election?

SCOTT KONOPASEK, FAIRFAX COUNTY GENERAL REGISTRAR: No, absolutely not. There is nobody who should be worried about the integrity of this election, in Virginia, or, elections, generally, in the country. I want to be perfectly clear, there was no fraud in 2020. This narrative that goes on, that has been given fuel to this need to prove fraud, or find fraud, really, is becoming counterproductive, in, and of, itself.

But voters can have confidence there never was fraud, there has not been systemic fraud, in my lifetime. It is a problem, and they are searching for a problem, that doesn't exist.

HARLOW: So, what are you seeing in your state? Who's coming in? Who wants to service poll watchers?

KONOPASEK: Poll watchers are a tradition, and a, right granted to both political parties. Both parties, usually, take advantage of it. But, we have seen the Republican Party recruits represent portions of the Republican Party, making an aggressive effort to recruit, and staff, political observers at our polling places. So, that is what is out of the ordinary.

HARLOW: Former President Trump, continuing to push lies about the election, about election results across the country. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: They found a million fraudulent votes.

I think you need to re-run the race, because it's a mess. No one knows what's happening with the ballots, and the lost ballots, and the fraudulent ballots.

You have a close race in Virginia, but it's not close if they cheat.


HARLOW: Putting it out there, even putting it out there, if they cheat.

You have Republicans, in your state, who is also very worried about this. One being, the GOP chairman, in your county was Steve Knotts, and the big lie is, quote, giving election integrity a bad rap. I just don't want people to conflate the big lie with election integrity.

From what you are hearing, on the ground, is that what you are seeing too much of?

KONOPASEK: I really appreciate the comments of the party chairman, here, with Fairfax County. But that's not consistent with the folks we are seeing, who are interacting with as election observers, and poll watchers.

You know, there is a line, somewhere, to be crossed, that when you keep repeating, over, and, over baseless claims of election fraud, that that act, itself, becomes the fraud. The question is, where is that line?

HARLOW: How worried are you about all of this?

KONOPASEK: I will say that I'm prepared, our staff is prepared. We have prepared our election workers. I am not worried, but, we are just prepared.

HARLOW: We appreciate you being with us tonight, Scott, as you do all of this prep work ahead of Tuesday. Thanks again.

KONOPASEK: My pleasure, thank you.

HARLOW: OUTFRONT, next, a CNN exclusive, Don Lemon speaks to jurors of the Chauvin trial. What they had to say about watching the videos of George Floyd over and over again.


[19:58:16] HARLOW: Tonight, a CNN exclusive, jurors who former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, guilty of murdering George Floyd are speaking out, publicly, for the first time. In an exclusive interview with our very own Don Lemon, they say it was not easy to reach a verdict on a 3rd degree murder charge, and what's the horrific video over and over of the man who had his knee on Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 2nd charges where we spend most of our time.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Okay. What happened?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we did the same thing. A vote right away, just to do a temperature check. I believe it was either 4, or 5 of us, initially, who said, not guilty, or undecided. That one, there was a split. I think we went through 3, or 4, different votes, total, before it got to all guilty.

So, we spent a long time. That is, actually -- for me, it was the first time I'd ever seen the video, in that courtroom, the whole thing, because I never -- I couldn't watch it before then. Then, we had to watch it over, and over, and over.

LEMON: The video?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The video. I can't even imagine what it was like for some of the people in the room. But, it's dramatic. So, we actually had a discussion, with one juror who said, let's not watch the video, just watch the video again, I can't stand any more of it.


HARLOW: Chauvin was sentenced to nearly 23 years in prison. He plans to appeal his conviction. You can watch that full, exclusive interview, with Don Lemon, tonight, it's in two hours, on "DON LEMON TONIGHT", 10:00 Eastern, here, right here on CNN.

Thank you for joining us tonight. I'll see you tomorrow.

"AC360" starts now.