Return to Transcripts main page

Erin Burnett Outfront

Oath Keepers Leader, 10 Others Charged With "Seditious Conspiracy"; DOJ On Jan 6 Charges: Oath Keepers Organized Into Teams On That Were Willing To Use Force, Transport Firearms Into D.C.; Senators Manchin And Sinema Just Met With Biden At WH To Discuss Voting Rights After Biden's Trip To Hill Falls Short; Trump Allies Made Fake Certificates Declaring Trump Won 7 States; Awaiting Australian Minister's Decision On Novak Djokovic's Visa; Supreme Court Blocks Biden's Vaccine Mandate For Large Biz. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired January 13, 2022 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. You can always follow me on Twitter and Instagram @WOLFBLITZER. You can always tweet the show @CNNSITROOM.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the Justice Department charging the Oath Keepers' founders and 10 others with seditious conspiracy for trying to undermine the election. The indictment alleges a chilling plot and reveals how they tried to carry it out. And now the question, who is in the Justice Department sight's now?

Plus, breaking news, President Biden just meeting moments ago with the two senators who will decide whether he gets voting rights passed, after a trip to Capitol Hill today the odds are against him.

And the Supreme Court delivering a devastating blow to Biden's vaccine mandate. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the Justice Department for the first time in the January 6th investigation, charging 11 people with seditious conspiracy. It is a charge rarely used. The 11 people include Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the far-right extremist group, the Oath Keepers.

Now, this is a major move in the investigation and the indictment is damning. It's 48 pages here. I'm just going through here Rhodes' indictment. It details prior planning, the use of military tactics, a stash of weapons, hotel rooms and a comfort inn outside Washington, where they gathered, where they stored weapons before the deadly insurrection. It's really shocking the level of planning here.

Well, people say, oh, we've gotten so used to a certain chorus of people saying it, it just kind of sort of got out of hand on the fly and there were some bad actors there. That is not what this lays out. I mean, when you get to page four, this really stood out to me. Page four, "Rhodes and certain co-conspirators to include selected regional leaders, planned to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power by January 20, 2021, which included multiple ways to deploy force. They coordinated travel across the country to enter Washington, D.C. equipped themselves with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and were prepared to answer Rhodes' call to take up arms. Some co-conspirators also amassed firearms on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., distributing them among quick reaction force, QRF teams, and planned to use the firearms in support of their plot to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power."

It's just incredible. This is one of the men charged in this document, Kenneth Harrelson. You see him there, rolling what appears to be a rifle case, inside that comfort inn outside Washington, D.C.

According to the indictment, it is clear that this was not a group of tourists that some Republicans have claimed very publicly. There was a lot of detailed planning and preparation. In fact, as you read through these 48 pages and I really would encourage anyone who hasn't to read the whole thing. It's incredible.

Plotting began, according to investigators, two days after the election, on November 5th. In encrypted group chat, Rhodes messages his followers on that day, "We aren't getting through this without a civil war. Too late for that. Prepare your mind, body, spirit. Then on November 7th, the day Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election, Rhodes again, sends a message, "We must now do what the people of Serbia did when Milosevic stole their election. Refuse to accept it and march en-mass on the nation's capital."

Planning continued and then late December 2020 via encrypted applications, Rhodes and various co-conspirators coordinated and planned to travel to Washington on around January 6th, the date of the certification of the Electoral College vote. Then on January 6th, members of the Oath Keepers were there.

Court records reveal here that - and these military terms, I talked about these quick response forces, these QRFs, well, some Oath Keepers formed what they called a stack, one line in front of another, a tactic used by law enforcement and militaries as they prepare to enter buildings. They had a stack planned.

According to investigators, stack one joined the mob, some of whom attacked officers with pepper spray, flag poles and improvised weapons and projectiles making their way inside the Capitol. Thirty minutes later, stack two, they lay this out. Stack two marches towards the east end of the Capitol, enters the building.

Around that time, another one of the men charged today in this document, Thomas Caldwell, was positioned on the west side of the Capitol. Here he is.


THOMAS CALDWELL, OATH KEEPERS MEMBER: Every single (inaudible) in there is a traitor. Every single one. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Prior planning, coordination, sedition, weapons, the 11 people charged today were conspiracy and they're not small fish like many of them, were more than 700 people already charged. Some of whom may have been wrapped up in the moment, not the case with these individuals.


This group had a level of combat training. They were prepared to use force. They had a stash of weapons that they brought for that specific intent. And the question tonight is now this, now you've got a conspiracy, you've got planning, you've got it all laid out, how much higher does that go?


STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this, all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.


BURNETT: In the context of what we've learned today, those words seem less idle and random than ever. That's Steve Bannon on the eve of the insurrection after he got Trump to return to the Capitol to attend this crucial rally.

Evan Perez is OUTFRONT live in Washington to begin our coverage. And Evan, as I said, anyone who hasn't read this really should. It is fascinating and frankly stunning. What else do you know about these charges and how they got here, having a grand jury doing all these things really unbeknownst anyone?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look, I think there's been a lot of work that has gone on, on this case, Erin, in the past year. We know that, for instance, the Attorney General Merrick Garland had some hesitation and other officials here had some hesitation when prosecutors tried to push this charge, this idea of seditious conspiracy on some of these defendants about eight or nine months ago.

And what I'm told is that, there's a lot of work that has gone in to bringing us to where we are today, including getting some cooperation. You can see that they have access to some of these encrypted communications. Stewart Rhodes, talked to the FBI himself, sat down for an interview sometime last year. All of this went into where we are today.

And what you can see from the discharge is prosecutors are making the case that this went beyond January 6th, this went beyond trying to block the certification of the vote. This went, according to them, I'll read you just a part of it. It says, "They're continuing to plot after January 6, 2021 to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power." According to prosecutors, Stewart Rhodes on the night of January 6th met with some of his co-conspirators and to talk about next steps. They talked about Civil War 2.0, which they thought would continue after President Biden took office. And so that is part of what the allegation here by prosecutors is that this goes beyond just the blocking of the certification. They wanted to carry this much further.

BURNETT: Yes. I mean, it is really incredible, Evan. And as you point out, that they did then continue, it continued, Civil War 2.0.

PEREZ: Right.

BURNETT: And that they intended to take this even further and to organize more local militias.

PEREZ: Right.

BURNETT: All right. Evan, thank you very much. I want to go now to Elie Honig, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Dana Bash, Co-Anchor of STATE OF THE UNION.

So, Elie, look, this was done really - you know there have been this whole grand jury that all this was sort of being assembled and put together. These are the first cases related to January 6th, where they lay out prior planning, prior organization, military intents, seditious conspiracy as a specific charged to overthrow the government. How significant is it?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, this is such a powerful statement by the Justice Department. On one level, it lays out the charges against these 11 defendants in a very clear, concise and I think powerful manner. The evidence looks quite strong to me.

Bigger picture, though, this is a cold, hard-hit of reality. This indictment is sort of the ultimate myth buster. When you think about all the myths that have risen up around January 6th, it just takes them out one at a time. This myth that, well, it was just broken windows and trespassing. No, this is now seditious conspiracy. This myth that, well, it was individuals. It was rogue actors. Oh, no, this was organized by a domestic extremist group.

The myth that this was peaceful, that people were hugging and kissing. No, no, there were firearms involved. There were plans to use deadly force if necessary. So this indictment is different than all the others that have come before it and I think it's a big step forward.

BURNETT: I mean, they've got stack one, Dana, stack two, they've got a comfort inn where they're amassing weapons. I mean, it is incredible. How significant do you think this indictment is for Trump and for his allies? As I ended there with that bite from Steve Bannon on the eve of the insurrection, now even more sinister, when you hear those words of all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is the question of the answer to that politically and then, of course, criminally. And for the ladder, criminally, we don't know the answer to that question yet. We do know from reporting ABC News and others have video of Roger Stone.


Somebody who is - has been known to be in the president's orbit for a long time outside the Willard Hotel, which we also know, was the place that the president's allies were staging. He was there with the very Oath Keeper, Mr. Rhodes, who is part of this indictment today. So you have to imagine it's not a big leap to say that the Department of Justice and, by the way, the January 6 Committee is looking into that as well.

The other thing I just want to say here is that, and Elie can speak to this too, Andrew McCabe has been saying until he's blue in the face, one of the things that we're probably not talking about enough is that this was a major failure by law enforcement and intelligence to the extent that they can surveil in the United States and this is proof of that.

I mean, these were conspiracies that were being formed and organized on American soil and actually executed at the United States Capitol. And they were clearly communicating and the fact that it wasn't caught at all beforehand is a big failure.

BURNETT: Yes, it is pretty incredible, especially because it is a known group.

BASH: Exactly.

BURNETT: Elie, I know you had some frustration, you talked to me about that the actions from the DOJ didn't quite meet the rhetoric when Merrick Garland spoke out last week. That you were concerned, there weren't signs that it was going after people in power.

So then now the DOJ has done this and this is a pretty stunning thing. Okay. And it's established conspiracy and sedition and all of these things in the charges. But now, Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, the former president himself, do you get the sense from this that the DOJ is going to go higher?

HONIG: Well, that's exactly my big question now, Erin. There's no question. As I said, this is a big step forward. But this should not be treated as some sort of mission accomplished moment. I mean, this does not wrap up everything. This is 11 people now who've been held and charged properly to account. This does not mean that the story is over.

Now, there are some things we know and some things we do not know. What I know from my own experience is people flip in federal cases all the time, will any of these 11 flip and cooperate? We'll see. The evidence is very strong. They are looking at serious time here. The heaviest sentence we've seen so far in a January 6 case, is just a tad over five years. These defendants are looking at multiples of that, so they have incentives to flip.

BURNETT: Right. HONIG: What we don't know is will DOJ continue to climb the ladder, will they be able to make links from this group of 11 Oath Keepers into more powerful people who are not physically present at the capitol today, potentially to the people you name, Erin, who knows where it goes, but let's see what DOJ is able to build on from here.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate your time.

HONIG: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next breaking news, President Biden's meeting tonight with Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. It literally just ended. They refused earlier to change the rules of Washington in order to pass voting rights. Have they changed their minds?

Plus, Biden's vaccine mandate shot down, adding to the growing list of political setbacks for the President. And the world waiting on a decision of one man tonight who will decide whether Novak Djokovic can compete in the Australian Open.



BURNETT: Breaking news, Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema just leaving the White House. They had a meeting with President Joe Biden. That meeting we understand went for about 75 minutes. Main topic, voting rights. And it came just hours after President Biden made that special trip to Capitol Hill to meet with Democratic senators to push the legislation. It was clear that meeting did not go the way he wanted.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don't ask questions about complicated subjects like can you get this done, I hope we can get this done. The honest to God answer is I don't know whether we can get this done. I hope we can get this done, but I'm not sure.


BURNETT: He's not sure and he's not sure because Manchin and Sinema made it abundantly clear that they are not on board with getting rid of the filibuster or changing it to get this done. The only option to get the voting rights passed is to change that filibuster, so Democrats can push through voting rights on their own on a party line vote.

Sinema and Manchin, though have remained steadfast that they will not change the filibuster. Today, Sinema giving an impassioned speech on the Senate floor and Manchin backing her up right afterwards.


SEN. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-AZ): While I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country. The debate over the Senate 60-vote threshold shines a light on our broader challenges. There is no need for me to restate my long standing support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I think it's the points that I've been making for an awful long time and she has too. We need changes to make the Senate work better, not getting rid of the filibuster.


BURNETT: Okay. You heard them today. They're not getting rid of the filibuster. And regardless of how you feel about that, it's a deeply unfortunate situation because there are Republicans who back voting reforms.


SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): I have said that I would be supportive of getting to it, because I think that there's some changes that I think we can make.


BURNETT: Sen. Murkowski supports some changes. She doesn't support all of Biden's changes in the bill and she certainly wouldn't support killing the filibuster to make them. So it seems that Biden is happier getting nothing instead of some real legitimate reforms and that is his own choice because he has thus far presented voting rights as a morally right or morally decrepit choice, that there's a right and there's a wrong. Here he is this week in Georgia.


BIDEN: Consequential moments in history, they present choice. Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the sides of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?



BURNETT: On the side of right or the side of racism, that's what's being presented. Even the second ranking Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin, said Biden 'went a little too far in his rhetoric' in that particular comment. And a right versus wrong simplistic view here is a problem. First of all, because more people voted than ever before in the last election.

So to just broadly talk about voter suppression may miss that very crucial point. And take vote by mail as one example. Here's what Biden said this week criticizing Georgia's new law.


BIDEN: Voting by mail is a safe and convenient way to get more people to vote, so they're making it harder for you to vote by mail.


BURNETT: Okay. Well, New York is one of the most reliably Democratic states in the United States and New York requires people to request absentee ballots, just like the new Georgia law does. Now, Georgia allows anyone to request an absentee ballot. New York does not. In New York, it's actually more restrictive, there are specific guidelines as to who can request an absentee ballot.

In fact, back in November, New Yorkers voted down a constitutional amendment that would allow anyone to request an absentee ballot for any reason at all by 55 percent to 45 percent, in an overwhelmingly Democratic state.

And let's take a look at early voting. Georgia, the new law, the law that sort of Abraham Lincoln versus Jefferson Davis allows for 17 days of early voting, New York only has nine.

Now, I'm not saying this to say that vote reforms are not needed, not at all. It's just to point out that it isn't as simple as saying all GOP-backed laws are segregationist and racist. That is too simplistic.

I want to go now to David Axelrod. So David, I mean, this is, it seems to me, part of the issue here is that this has become oversimplified in many ways, that there is a right, that there is a wrong, that there's the side of right and there's the side of being a racist and it's just that simple. And that seems to be part of the problem here.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Look, I don't think the President's rhetoric in Atlanta was particularly useful, the clip that you played. And I also think that there are two elements to this voting issue. It is absolutely true that voter suppression is offensive to our values as a democracy.

But there's another element to these bills that is more - even more insidious and the President have referenced today when he was leaving the Senate and that is those elements of these bills that would allow a partisan legislatures and their designees to undermine election officials across the country. That is precisely what President Trump tried to do in the aftermath of the election and that should be discouraged, not encouraged. And that's a real threat to our democracy.

So there are real issues here and they shouldn't be obscured by hyperbolic rhetoric and I agree with that.

BURNETT: Right. A few points on this, one is just where the President is spending his time right now. And when you look at voting rights is just an example, it's not high on anybody's agenda when it comes to voters. I believe it's 6 percent of voters say that this is a top agenda item that they want worked on.

And the CNN poll of polls, the latest shows that Biden's approval rating is down to 42 percent. That's down three points from right before Christmas. So today, the President goes and pushes on voting rights. Again, despite the fact that another poll shows only 6 percent of voters mentioned it as one of the top problems they want the government to be working on. So what's driving why he's spending his time on this?

AXELROD: Well, first of all, I don't think any president should determine exactly how they spend their time based on polls. There are issues that are important, that transcend polling and politics, and you ought to pursue them. And he obviously does feel that some of the issues related to the functioning of our democracy are such that he has a responsibility to pursue them.

He's also under political pressure. Let's be honest about it, there's a lot of pressure from the base of the Democratic Party to pursue this aggressively. I think the speech he made in Atlanta was as much to signify to the base of the party that he is working on these issues and then necessarily a way to move in the right direction.

He's been caught between two polar opposites here. One is the fact that the base really wants action on this and millions of Americans do. On the other hand, he knew that Manchin and Sinema and perhaps others opposed changing the filibuster.


And without a change in the filibuster despite what a couple of Republican senators have said in terms of cooperating, without changing the filibuster, you're never going to get the bill done and so he knew that. So he's been trapped between these two places.


AXELROD: And he's tried to thread the needle and it's been problematical for him.

BURNETT: So let me ask you, though, David, what you think, and when you hear Sen. Lisa Murkowski say she supports certain things in the bill, but not all of it. And President Biden knows, perhaps, more than any president, in living memory, what it's like to not get everything you want in legislation.


BURNETT: Because he's been there.


BURNETT: So why not go for a couple of the key things that they want, even if they don't get everything? I mean, and maybe they end up there, but is it better to go for everything and get nothing?

AXELROD: No, I've never believed that. I don't think Joe Biden believes that. But remember, in the summer, Joe Manchin went and tried to find partners in the Republican Party for his version of a voting rights bill and he couldn't find them. And Sen. McConnell made clear that he didn't want Republicans cooperating with Manchin on this. So there's a there's a fairly implacable opposition to many elements of these bills, not just some. I agree with you, narrow it down, get what you can, but it's not clear that you can get anything if - that you can find 10 Republicans who are willing to join. So I think that's the reality of the President faces.

BURNETT: Yes. Well, I mean, it is as Sen. Sinema said, whether you like or not the division is just deeply disheartening for all. Thank you so much, David. I always appreciate your time. Thanks for coming on.

AXELROD: Great to see you. Thanks.

BURNETT: All right. And next, newly released documents revealed just how far some of Trump's allies were willing to go to overturn the election. We're talking fake certificates signed by dozens of Republicans in states that Trump lost, fake certificates.

Plus, Novak Djokovic waiting tonight for word from the man who will decide whether he can compete in the Australian Open.



BURNETT: Tonight, as the January 6th committee is going through new details about the pressure campaign to overturn the 2020 election, these documents show just how far some Trump allies were willing to go. Look at these here. These are fake certificates signing them, falsely claiming he won seven states that he actually lost to Joe Biden.

These were actually submitted to the National Archives which rejected these fraudulent electors. But almost one year later, Trump still refuses to face the reality that he lost.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: If you look at the findings in Arizona, if you look at what's going on in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, by the way, take a look at Wisconsin, they're finding things that nobody thought possible. This was a corrupt election.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Kathy Bernier, the Republican Wisconsin state senator who has been outspoken against the Republican-backed election investigation in her state. She is the chair of the Wisconsin state elections committee and previously served as a county elections clerk for 13 years.

You know all of this better than anyone, Kathy. And I just want to start off by asking you about ten people from your state, ten of them, signed on to that fake slate of electors. It's not just ten random people picked from across your state. Among those ten, the former chairman of Wisconsin's Republican Party and a man who actually serves on Wisconsin's election commission right now, today.

How concerning is this? These are Republican leaders in your state signing a fake slate of electors.

KATHY BERNIER (R), CHAIR, WISCONSIN STATE SENATE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE: Yes. That's just disheartening to say the least, but those individuals were chosen as electors whether on the Democrat side or Republican side are usually stalwart supporters. And they firmly believed at the time, I think, that Donald Trump won the election. And I think that was prior to all of the investigations that we've held and this is news to me actually.

BURNETT: I mean, it does seem so shocking, of course, you know, we should note the margin of victory in Wisconsin 2020 was basically identical to the margin in 2016. Trump won the first time and lost the second.

So Republicans in your state are still conducting an investigation of the election and I -- we have had some fantastic reports on this here led by the former Supreme Court justice Michael Gableman. This is more than a year since the election. Why are they doing this now do you think?

BERNIER: Well, there were some unusual things that occurred with individuals in Green Bay and the third party funding and some issues we had in nursing homes, so the fact of the matters is there were some issues that we had, but by the same token, after the Legislative Audit Bureau finished, after the Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty finished, I'm confident that the election results are factual and that any other anomalies or voter fraud cases that we had, which I know there are a little over 500 or so that are being investigated.


That's not unusual and we need to move forward because Republicans need to focus on 2022. We need to win the House. We need to win the Senate and in the state here, we need to win the governorship.

BURNETT: I should just make the point as you point out, you know, things do happen. They should be looked into. You've looked into them again and again. I want to contextualize your number there, Kathy, because you talk about 500 things not being usual. I also want to reference that versus the margin of victory which, of course, was 20,682. So, it's not relevant at all in terms of the margin.

But the former president appeared to reference your state's audit in a clip that played a moment go. You know, when he said, quote, they're finding things nobody thought was possible. This was a corrupt election.

What's your response to this? You have spent your career running fair elections, investigating every one of those 500 votes and yet this is what he's saying now.

BERNIER: I would love to sit down with president Trump and explain the electoral process to him. That I don't think he really understands. It all boils down to each and every ward and each and every community, and those are people, volunteers from the community that are running the polling places.

So where the massive voter fraud is is beyond me. I just think he does not understand the electoral process and he has not bothered to learn about it.

BURNETT: Kathy, I appreciate your time and thank you very much for coming on and talking to me.

BERNIER: Thank you.

BURNETT: Next, the Supreme Court late today blocking President Biden's mandate requiring large businesses to vaccinate employees.

And all eyes tonight on a powerful immigration official in Australia about to decide whether Novak Djokovic's inconsistencies, dishonesty matters. Can he stay and compete or not?



BURNETT: Tonight, Australia's immigration minister could be moments away from revealing whether he will use his authority to deport Novak Djokovic or allow him to stay and play in the Australian Open. Djokovic is the number seed in the tournament. He's scheduled to play in just a few days when the opening round gets underway. But will he on the court?

Phil Black is live tonight in Melbourne.

And, Phil, obviously, time is running out. The tournament is about to begin. It's a big decision to be made and there's all these complicating factors, right, about the visa application was at best inaccurate. And things that are coming out about Djokovic being dishonest about his COVID status in an interview before he even came to Australia.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, indeed, that's right, Erin. It's not straightforward. It's interesting when senior members of the Australian government, including the prime minister, Scott Morrison, are asked about what's going on here, the answer is effectively, no comment.

And they're saying that it is a matter specifically for the country's immigration minister, Alex Hawk. He has the one with the personal powers of his office to cancel visas and it is up to him, they say, whether or not he will choose to do so in the Djokovic case.

What this shows is that it is a complex, difficult decision. There is a lot to consider, that the stakes politically and legally are really high. Decision by the minister to cancel the visa has to meet very specific criteria under immigration law and they've got to get it right. It has to be a watertight case. Djokovic has shown he has the means and the will to fight this. So if they mess it up, if it isn't a clean decision, if it is open to

legal challenge, then there is the possibility of further humiliation for the government and that could come with a bigger political cost as well.

BURNETT: Again, just ask you also putting aside the interview he did when he knew he was COVID positive, which adds a sort of level of disgust to the whole situation, there is a reality that in order to come into Australia, even if the visa is good, right, even if, I know that's an if, he had to have been able to not have traveled outside of the country he was in within 10 days. I'm not the one who checked that box. I don't know who did.

But isn't that inaccuracy enough to say no if they want to?

BLACK: Potentially, yeah. Potentially. Under the criteria through which the minister can make a decision, giving false information when applying or giving false information to border officials is potentially that sort of reasoning, but it may not be as straightforward as that legally if he is able to prove, perhaps, for example that he didn't do it, that it was human error, that it wasn't a deliberate attempt and so forth.

I think there is no doubt that the government wants to be able to enforce the border policy here. It believes that Djokovic should not have entered the country unvaccinated. It is just a complex legal question and it comes down to timing. We're just days away from opening here at the Australian Open.

Even if the government were to move on him today at this moment, midday on Friday, it seems very difficult how he could then get his time in court, argue his case and be back on court ready to fight for the title.

BURNETT: Even if he does remain, it would be a victory for many reasons as well. Tough for all.

All right. Thank you very much, Phil black.

And next, the Supreme Court blocking President Biden's vaccine mandate for large businesses adding to a list of setbacks right now for the Biden administration.



BURNETT: New tonight, the Supreme Court blocking President Biden's vaccine requirement for large businesses. It's a major blow to the president's strategy to fight the pandemic.

Right now, only 62 percent of Americans are considered fully vaccinated right now and almost every single state in the United States is reporting uptick in COVID hospitalizations.

John Harwood is OUTFRONT on this developing story. So, John, obviously, getting the news from the Supreme Court blocking

this, this is a major loss for the president, right? And let's be clear, vaccine mandates have worked to getting people vaccinated. But this is a blow here just out by the Supreme Court.

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Erin, it's a big blow on top of a series of other big blows the president has suffered, including the demise of voting rights legislation due to the insistence by Sinema and Manchin today to preserve the filibuster.


Of course, the difficulty with getting his Build Back Better agenda. But the core mission for the Biden White House is getting on top of this pandemic and the vaccine mandate was a way to try to do that. They have pretty much hit the wall of people who were willing to get vaccinated up front. They're using the mandate to try to get businesses to force some of the reluctant into getting vaccinated.

Now, businesses, many large businesses are for vaccination themselves. Many of them have their own mandates. Some of the airlines, for example. So, it's not clear how much of a setback this is going to be, but it's clearly not what the administration wanted and they have to lean on business to get it done.

BURNETT: And now, you know, you got Kamala Harris today answering -- the vice president answering some questions, talking about COVID. And the response to this one sort of widely panned. This is what she said. What could the administration to change or to improve what they're doing on COVID. Here's what she said.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is time for us to do what we have been doing, and that time is every day. Every day, it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down.


BURNETT: That wasn't a very strong answer, obviously, John.

HARWOOD: Look, she -- that was a word salad answer. She obviously didn't want to acknowledge in that interview the fact the administration has been behind the curve on testing. In their defense, of course, many people did not anticipate the breadth of the omicron surge and the amount of demand for testing kits that that would require.

Nevertheless, they have got to get on top of it. They're trying to. They had the 500 million which they say they contracted to be sent to people. Insurance companies are being required to cover them.

And they're going to have to do the best they can, but that was not her best moment.

BURNETT: Certainly not.

All right. John Harwood, thank you very much.

And next, more than a myth. Marilyn Monroe in a way that you've never seen.



BURNETT: The world knows Marilyn Monroe as a movie star, blond bombshell, cultural icon, but now, after a reckoning in Hollywood, the new CNN series, "Reframed: Marilyn Monroe", remembers her through a more modern, feminist lens. Not just the sexualization role we're all used to.

The series highlights how Marilyn Monroe fought against misogyny in Hollywood and actually stood up to Hollywood executives when the news broke that she had once posed nude for a calendar. Watch this.


MARILYN MONROE, MOVIE STAR: Did you pose for a calendar? And I said, yes, anything wrong?

JEANINE BASINGER, PROFESSOR, FILM STUDIES: For 20th Century Fox, we really think sin is bad. It was like, wait a minute, sin might be bad for business.

CHRISTINA NEWLAND, AUTHOR AND FILM CRITIC: Posing nude was such an explosive thing.

MONROE: There was great anxiety. Say you didn't. I said, but I did. You know, I should say that I did, and they were very unhappy.


BURNETT: Joining me now is Amber Tamblyn, Emmy and Golden Globe nominated director and actor, and the author of several books including "Dark Sparkler", where she writes about Marilyn Monroe and other actresses who died before their time.

So, Amber, you were interviewed for this new series, and you were in the midst of a lot of research on Marilyn Monroe.

What do you want people to learn about her story?

AMBER TAMBLYN, ACTRESS, DIRECTOR, AUTHOR & ACTIVIST: Thank you, Erin. I had a really fascinating journey researching more about her. I thought I knew a lot about her because my father, the actor Russ Tamblyn, was sort of in the same studio system era that she grew up in and she was thriving in. So, I knew a lot about the studio system era according to his experiences, but for a woman, it was vastly different. And I think one of the most fascinating things I learned about her is just how much she was sort of the arbiter of her own destiny, and she was really proud of that. There actually was no shame about her sexuality and that she used that

as a tool to sort of get herself where she needed to go and create the art that she wanted to create. I think we usually think of her as a victim, as someone who was taken advantage of, and she definitely was. But at the same time, she was really powerful in her understanding of her importance and the role that she played in culture and in art.

BURNETT: Which is really fascinating, because you're right, we kind of do tend to see it as one way. And I know when you're talking about your research, Amber, you're a founding member of the Time's Up Movement, which had has been fighting to dismantle misogyny.

In this series what's interesting is we learn in some ways Marilyn Monroe was ahead of her time in standing up to Hollywood executives and she refused to work on a film when she found out Frank Sinatra was being paid more than three times what she was being paid. That's not something you often hear about.

How does her story inspire your efforts today?

TAMBLYN: It's absolutely true. Some of the things that people don't know about Marilyn Monroe that I didn't even know, I didn't know she ran her own production company. Like, my head didn't know that, I think it was called Marilyn Monroe productions. She produced films, she optioned books.

She very much, you know, I would use this analogy in saying she was sort of the original Kim Kardashian in the sense that she was absolutely gorgeous. And she knew how to use that. And she was smart and had her own talents in her own way, on top of being a good actress.

So she was a fascinating woman, and I think when you hear stories like that at a time when women were not really allowed to speak out in that way because they were within the confines of the studio system, it really was a revolutionary act.

BURNETT: All right. Amber, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

TAMBLYN: Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: Really makes me eager to watch here. I hope you all will as well.

Tune in, the all new CNN original series "Reframed: Marilyn Monroe" premieres with back-to-back episodes Sunday at 9:00, only on CNN.

"AC360" starts now.