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Erin Burnett Outfront

Dow Drops 1,100+ Points, Its Biggest Loss In Nearly 2 Years; Pennsylvania GOP Senate Primary Close To Call, Votes Still Being Tallied; Interview With Gisele Barreto Fetterman, Wife Of PA Lt. Gov. John Fetterman; Momentum Has Shifted In Favor Of Ukraine, NATO Official Says; Buffalo Grocery Store Employee Describes Hiding In Break Room; WSJ: Flight Data Suggests Chinese Plane Crash Was Intentional. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 18, 2022 - 19:00   ET




Breaking news. The Dow plunging today. Target and Walmart CEOs say they're getting crushed by surging prices.

Inflation worries affecting political races across the U.S., including the Pennsylvania Senate race that is still too close to call at this hour. John King is at the magic wall with these latest numbers coming in.

And a NATO official says the war has shifted significantly in favor of Ukraine. Is that why more Russians are speaking out against Putin?

Plus, a Chinese Eastern Airlines jet, remember the one with 132 people that nosedived straight down from 29,000 feet? Well, tonight, U.S. officials reportedly say that Boeing crash was intentional.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, stocks plunge. The Dow closing down more than 1,100 points today. That is the biggest loss since 2020, at the height of coronavirus when there was so much uncertainty. No vaccine, the dead -- the numbers were surging.

This is the biggest drop since then. It's because one of the biggest retailers in the country, Target, said it's getting crushed by inflation, which is hurting the entire economy. The CEO of Target saying, quote, overall costs have been rising much faster than retail prices. Well, it's always the last lever we pull, when external conditions letters to raise prices across a broad set of items in multiple categories.

And it was just yesterday that Walmarts stocks suffered its worst day since 1987. Same reason, surging costs. The CEO telling investors: Bottom line results were unexpected and reflected the unusual environment. U.S. inflation levels particularly in food and fuel created more pressure.

And that pressure is hurting Americans. It is outpacing any wage increases, and it is doing so everywhere, and the economy is the number one issue for voters. We are seeing it at the polls, including in Pennsylvania where the biggest race, the one that could determine which party controls the Senate, is still too close to call this hour.

Right now, there are only 1,200 votes that separate the Republicans, TV doctor Mehmet Oz and retired hedge fund executive David McCormick, one back by Trump, one much more moderate and traditional Republican. I mean, this is the fault line of the GOP here, and it's too close to call.

Former President Trump urging his candidate, Mehmet Oz, to declare victory, a move, of course, straight from Trump's 2020 playbook. Trump also suggesting something nefarious may be underway in Pennsylvania -- again, baseless claims of voter fraud.

Today, on his own social media site, Trump writing: Here we go again. In Pennsylvania, they are unable to count the mail-in ballots. It is a big mess.

Now, Trump crying foul when it comes to the Senate race in the state, but when it comes to the race for governor in the exact same state, no complaints, everything is cool and above board. Funny how that is, right? Well, it's because his candidate won.

Election denier Doug Mastriano, now the GOP nominee for governor, an election denier, who has said things repeatedly like this.


DOUG MASTRIANO (R), PENNSYLVANIA STATE SENATE: Half of the nation believes that this election was stolen from President Trump, and I agree with that. And that's not -- that's a fact.


BURNETT: Of course, it's completely wrong. Athena Jones is OUTFRONT live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

And, Athena, I mean, it is incredible here at this moment, and we should say, Mehmet Oz has not done what Trump has asked him to do, which is to declare victory when he doesn't have victory yet. If he does, we'll see.

Any indication of when we will know who won the GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania?

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it could take several more days, Erin. Leigh Chapman, who is Pennsylvania's acting secretary of state said earlier today that by next Tuesday, they will know if the margin is small enough to trigger that automatic recount.

And also according to the secretary of state, only about half of Pennsylvania's 67 counties were able to finish counting all of their ballots last night. That's probably to do with having a bunch of mail in ballots that, by law, can't even be open until 7:00 a.m. on Election Day.

But here in Lancaster, the problem was different. More than 20,000 misprinted ballots that couldn't be scanned.


DAVID MCCORMICK (R), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: We can see the path ahead. We can see victory ahead, and it's all because of you. So thank you, Pennsylvania!

JONES (voice-over): A fight to the finish in the Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania, with thousands of votes still left to be counted.

DR. MEHMET OZ (R), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: When it's this close, what else would you expect? Everything about this campaign has been tight.

JONES: The deadlock between former hedge fund executive, David McCormick, and celebrity doctor, Mehmet Oz, could trigger an automatic recount.

RAY D'AGOSTINO, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, LANCASTER COUNTY: I want to make sure we have integrity, voracity and transparency. So, in order to have that in a process like this, we have teams of three people each.

JONES: Ballots remain to be counted across the state.


And in Lancaster County, about 22,000 mail-in ballots were misprinted with an incorrect bar code and are now being remarked by hand in order to be scanned.

There would be an automatic recount if the margin is half a percent or less once the counting is complete.

LEIGH CHAPMAN, PENNSYLVANIA ACTING SECRETARY OF STATE: By next Tuesday, we'll a good sense as far as whether or not there will be in automatic recount.

JONES: The now two-way fight for the Republican nomination will see a nasty primary battle extended. But without Kathy Barnette, the conservative commentator who saw late surge in the race, but fell short of arrivals in Tuesday's results.

KATHY BARNETTE (R), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: I am so grateful. So do not be discouraged, because we have a country to save.

JONES: All three candidates align themselves with Donald Trump, but it was Oz who scored the coveted endorsement from the former president.

OZ: Do we love President Trump, Pennsylvania?

JONES: Even while votes were still being counted.

OZ: When all of the votes are tallied, I am confident we will win.

JONES: Trump today encouraging Oz to declare victory.

LT. GOV. JOHN FETTERMAN (D), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: We're going to miss Pat (ph), let's be honest.

JONES: The eventual winner will face current Democratic lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, who cruised to victory from a hospital bed, after suffering a stroke late last week and had a defibrillator implanted on Election Day.

GISELE BARRETO FETTERMAN, WIFE OF JOHN FETTERMAN: Now, you might have noticed, I am not John Fetterman, the next senator of our great state.


JONES (on camera): Now, the ballot counting here in Lancaster is over for today. It will resume tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in the room behind me. Officials tell us they only have about 3,800 ballots left to count and they expect to finish that by tomorrow. We'll certainly be here watching until the end -- Erin.

BURNETT: Yeah, absolutely. Then we get a result. You see where it is. You see the recount. I mean, this as you say could be quite a process as you say. Athena, thank you so much. I mean, this is obviously a crucial race.

I'm going to be speaking to John Fetterman's wife who you saw there about the latest on his condition, coming up this hour.

Let's go to John King, though, OUTFRONT live from the magic wall, because, John, I mean, this is unbelievable to be watching this. I mean, in a primary, to have something with stakes this high, this close, this unknown, and I should say both candidates are waiting, waiting, not taking the Trump bait, at this point from Dr. Oz.

So what do you see in Pennsylvania right now?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I guess, Erin, we should be used to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania giving us very close elections, whether presidential general elections or primaries. What we're seeing right now, as Athena just noted, this is pretty wild, 1,243 votes. Dr. Oz, Dr. Mehmet Oz is on top at the moment and David McCormick right behind him. Kathy Barnette mathematically is not going to catch up here. But she is a factor in the race as you can see.

So, what do you see when you look at the map? Let's look back in time how this played out last night. Early on when the first results came in, they've McCormack took the lead. He looked good throughout most of the state. I want to go through some of the time. At midnight, David McCormick was still leading. Then at 4:00 a.m., is when Dr. Oz past him, 12:38, excuse me, is when

Dr. Oz past him. And the Oz lead built up during the night. As you could see, early this morning, it was 2,600 votes. But if you come to where we are here now, it's down to 1,243 votes.

And Athena was just in Lancaster County. There are votes out everywhere. There are votes out in several counties, I shouldn't say everywhere. There are mail-in ballots still to be counted, some places they are having a little issue with their final election day ballots.

Then you have military and provisional ballots, that could take until next Tuesday. But these are the three counties we are watching most, Allegheny County and then up here in the northern part, Bradford County, a smaller county population-wise. But look at the McCormick lead -- this is why we are pointing this out, the math.

McCormick is trailing right now, but he's leading in Allegheny County and he's leading here, and he's coming in second down here in Lancaster County. This is why the McCormick campaign says, hey let's count all the votes. We think we have a chance.

There are other counties as well, Erin, still some counting to do, but Athena noted, we should have a much better sense tomorrow of the mail- in ballots and the election day ballots. Then it will depend who is on top and what the margin is to figure out, OK, how many military ballots, how many provisional ballots, how long will this take?

BURNETT: All right. So you look at this and, again, to be clear here, Trump endorsed Dr. Oz. What do the primaries in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, other crucial states, of course, you know, Idaho, Oregon, Kentucky, North Carolina, tell you about how successful Trump's endorsements have been?

KING: Let's be clear at the outset, we are still early in this primary season. But we do have a trend so far. We will see what happens as we move on through the primaries.

But remember this number. Dr. Oz is Donald Trump's candidate in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He gets 31.2 percent. Well, let's go back a couple of Tuesday's.

Let's go over to the state of Ohio in the big Senate primary there. J.D. Vance was Donald Trump's candidate, 32 percent. Remember, right about the same as of you got.

Let's move, you mentioned some governor's races. Let's look at the Republican side. Nebraska, we went through that primary on Tuesday ago, Trump's candidate was at 30 percent, again, roughly 30 percent.

Last night out in Idaho, Trump was on the losing end. He supported the lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, what did she get? Thirty-two percent. Erin, you noticed that pattern here? It happens in House races as well.

Let me give you a chance to look at it. These are Trumps endorsements, some of them, not all of them, in recent primaries. But you see a line, 30 percent, 32 percent. Mastriano in Pennsylvania is an exception at 44, Vance, 32, Oz, 31.

And even in House races, even in House races, it was enough in North Carolina for Bo Hines, 32 percent was enough. He beat his opponent there. It was enough, 32 percent, for JD Vance in the Ohio Senate race. We will see if 31 or so is enough for Dr. Oz.

What we do know, Erin, it depends how many candidates are in the field and how strong they are. Because in North Carolina, the incumbent, Madison Cawthorn, got the late endorsement from Donald Trump, he got 32 percent yesterday, but it wasn't enough.

BURNETT: Right. And again, people here 30 percent and kind of trigger in your mind, but I want to emphasize when we talk about Trump space in polling, it's always been 30 percent of the overall population. Now you are talking about 30 percent of the GOP motivated voting population, which is a much smaller number.

So, if you're down to 30 percent of that, it raises a question for us.

KING: If you have a crowded field of credible candidates, credible Republican voters in that state, 30 percent is a great start. The question is, is it enough? And like I said, in some places, it was enough, in Madison Cawthorn's district, it was not.

BURNETT: All right. John King, thank you very much.

And speaking of that district, I want to go now to North Carolina State Senator Chuck Edwards, because he is the one who beat the sitting Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn for their party's nomination.

And I really appreciate your time, Senator Edwards.

So, I just want to start off first with what happened late last night. You've got a gracious phone call, as you described it, from Congressman Cawthorn. He conceded the race. Were you surprised that he did that, and that he conceded so readily?

CHUCK EDWARDS, NC GOP PRIMARY WINNER OVER REP. MADISON CAWTHORN: I was not surprised at all, to get that call from Congressman Cawthorn. He and I have always had a good, solid working relationship.

And we weren't that far away from the end of the election. I think we were only a handful of precincts not yet having been counted. And we got a lot of rural precincts here in the mountains of western North Carolina. So I don't think there were that many votes left to count.

BURNETT: Well, let's talk about Cawthorn in terms of how you got here. I mean, look, there's a long list of scandals facing him. Some -- you know, some were leaked, some -- you know, how they got out there is the question. But a lot of national and state Republicans chose to endorse you instead of him.

You know, Cawthorn accused people in Washington of having orgies, doing cocaine, later admitted he exaggerated. He's been stopped at two occasions in airport for carrying a gun, one time loaded. Lewd videos on social media which I will not detail.

Senator, what do you think took this over the line for voters?

EDWARDS: Well, I just would like to remind you, and all of your viewers out there, that after serving in the North Carolina Senate for six years, when Congressman Cawthorn had announced that he was moving to an adjacent district and actually filed to run in that district, this seat was open. So I filed to run at that point, recognizing that we needed someone with some legislative experience, some business background to step up and put themselves forward to represent people here in the mountains.

BURNETT: So, former President Trump backed Cawthorn and did so even at the last minute, saying to people to give him a second chance regarding all the things I laid out. So, obviously, he didn't back you.

You have supported a lot of the former president's policies, though. Did you want his endorsement, Senator?

EDWARDS: Well, one thing that I have heard very clearly from the people here in western North Carolina, they don't like to be told who to vote for. They want to make up their own minds and they certainly exercised that right in this race.

BURNETT: So, a lot of Republican candidates want to Trump's endorsed front. A number of his endorsed candidates won. I don't know if you just heard John King going through that.

The Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano, of course, top of that list. That was a very easy win for him in Pennsylvania. He obviously very publicly has supported Trump's election fraud lie, something which you have not. Are you okay with that? Does that concern you?

EDWARDS: Does it concern me that someone else -- I'm not sure I understand your question?

BURNETT: I mean, does it concern you that you have somebody who could potentially be picking the secretary of state in a crucial state, you know, who would be determining elections, and how they are counted, who says that the 2020 election was a fraud and a lie?

EDWARDS: Well, I think it's time we put the 2020 election behind us. We've got the 2022 election right in front of us, and we need to do everything that we can, like we've done here in North Carolina, to ensure a good, clean election.


In fact, President Trump came to North Carolina back in 2021 and praised North Carolina for the good clean election that we gave him here.

BURNETT: Well, of course, he won. So, that's not what he says about states where he lost. All right. I appreciate your time, Senator Edwards, thank you so much

for talking to me.

EDWARDS: All right. Thanks for the opportunity to be here. Have a good evening.

BURNETT: You, too, sir.

And next, she said she saw something was not right with her husband's mouth and told him he needed to go to the hospital immediately. The wife of Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman, Gisele, who's been so central to the campaign trail, talks about the warning signs and how her husband is doing tonight.

Plus, a former Russian colonel changing his tune after criticizing Putin's war. And now, maybe going back? What's going on? This is a really crucial moment that happened on Russian state television. We're going to show you.

And a store supervisor who was working at the time of the racist massacre in Buffalo speaks out tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People were scattering around the place. There was screaming, crying, yelling, talking about there's a shooter in the store. There's a shooter in the store.


BURNETT: Tonight, the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania's crucial open Senate seat will be back to work as lieutenant governor on Monday. That is with the governor's office is saying. John Fetterman does remain in hospital tonight, recovering from a stroke he suffered on Friday. As voters cast their ballots yesterday, propelling him easily to a 32-point victory -- as that happened, he was undergoing a procedure to implant a defibrillator in his chest.


OUTFRONT now, Gisele Barreto Fetterman, John Fetterman's wife, the second lady of Pennsylvania, obviously been incredibly active on the campaign trail then -- before and, of course, during your husband's illness.

I know you're in your car, Gisele, on the way home from being with him. How is he doing tonight?


But I think we have a few more days until we have him home. So, he -- the surgery all went really well, and he is well on his way to a full recovery. BURNETT: So, have his doctors given you a clear timeframe, you know,

on that when he can leave the hospital and when he can go back to work and, importantly, campaigning?

FETTERMAN: Not yet, but it's looking like a couple of days. I don't want to jinx it, but I think it's three days-ish is what I'm hoping for.

BURNETT: Of course, it's got to be hard to have a spotlight on something so deeply personal. But, you know, your husband is lieutenant governor. You both are in the midst of this campaign.

So I just do want to ask you so people understand, I don't know if you saw -- and you got other things to do right now -- but Dr. Jonathan Reiner is a longtime cardiologist of the former Vice President Dick Cheney. And so, he said having a defibrillator implanted just days after a stroke, in his view, would be very unexpected and could suggest a weakened heart.

Have your husband's doctors said anything about that situation and his strength right now?

FETTERMAN: I mean, he has A-fib, which is something that we've been very open about. His father has it, it's a family thing.

So, the A-fib is what caused the stroke. The stroke was able to be completely reversed because we got there so quickly. We had amazing experts to treat it.

And now, the heart is weakened because of A-fib, right? A-fib creates an irregular rhythm to your heart.

And the pacemaker will make sure that it's the strongest heart possible. It's a standard, you know, surgery, and it's something that will extend the quality of life for a really long time.

BURNETT: So, you know, you mentioned when you -- how you caught this, and this is crucial, I know you are on your way to a campaign event together. And your husband hadn't been feeling very well.


BURNETT: You saw his mouth move very slightly and something about it concerned you. What was it that made you just say stop?

FETTERMAN: So, it was a movement that a mouth wouldn't naturally make. It wasn't something that if I tried to make, that I couldn't make. So, it was involuntary.

And it was a slight -- you know, it went down for just a second. It wasn't three seconds, it wasn't five seconds. It was just one second down.

And I immediately knew something was off. I had read, you know, about stroke symptoms, what to look for. I'm not particularly aware. I don't pay a lot of attention. But in this moment, I did and I noticed.


FETTERMAN: And a gut instinct told me to get him in.

BURNETT: So, how hard did he resist? I mean, was he saying he's okay? At this point, you're in the final days of the campaign, right? I would imagine the last thing he wanted to do was to say, OK, sure, Gisele, let's go to the hospital.

FETTERMAN: Right. I mean, he didn't want to cancel events, of course. He never wants to let anyone down or disappoint anyone. But, you know, there are a lot of cuss words that were coming from me, as I made sure he got in and got the care he needed.

BURNETT: So, you know, so as part of this -- look, it's scary to people, you know, whether this can happen to others. And, you know, he's talked about a lot of his challenges, right? I mean, he weighed more than 400 pounds a few years ago and then lost about 150 pounds. He talked a lot about that. He said he stopped eating grains and sugar. He exercised more.

You know, he told a paper once, you know, have the burger but don't have with the bun and the fries. So, he's talked openly about this.

Obviously, it can be a lifelong battle, and weight can play a role in these sorts of conditions. How hard of a struggle has it been for him?

FETTERMAN: Well, strokes can happen to anyone. You know, we saw Hailey Bieber just had one at 25.


FETTERMAN: Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke. So it's much more common than I think we think. I'm happy that we're talking about it now, because this may help save other lives.

But he's very disciplined. So once he made the decision to -- you know, whether it was when he cut grains, or walked more, or when he makes the decision he sticks with that. I have full confidence that he'll do the same to treat now his A-fib and moving forward.

But this is something that is very common, that we should all be aware of and be looking for symptoms and know how to respond if we do witness them in someone that we know or love.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Gisele, thank you very much. We all appreciate your time. And again, I know you're, you know, in the middle of an exhausting process here and on your way home from a hospital. So thank you.

FETTERMAN: Absolutely. Have a great day.

BURNETT: All right. You, too.


And next, a NATO official says new intelligence shows the war is significantly turning in Ukraine's favor. But what's being said on Russian state television tonight is really crucial. We're going to show you.

Plus, CNN speaking to a supervisor at the Buffalo supermarket where ten people were murdered. He says he actually remembered seeing the alleged gunman back in March.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had on him same as that clothes, I remember that. The ugly green pants and them -- the ugly green fatigues.



BURNETT: Tonight, dramatic new video of Ukraine's national guard blowing up a key bridge in Luhansk to stop Russian forces from their advance. This comes as a NATO military official tells CNN the momentum in the war has shifted significantly in Ukraine's favor, and that some NATO officials believe Ukraine could retake control of Crimea and the Donbas, territories that Russia has already ceased. That, of course, could be an existential crisis for Vladimir Putin, but it comes as more critics of Putin go public in Russia.

Matthew Chance is OUTFRONT.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Defenders of Ukraine turned prisoners of war. The latest images released by the Russian military of Ukrainian forces surrendering after their defiant stand, some limping with wounds or exhaustion. As one of this conflict's most grueling battles at the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol finally draws to a close.

Nearly 1,000 Ukrainians have surrendered so far, Russia's defense ministry spokesman announces triumphantly. Before detailing Russia's latest rocket attacks on what he says are U.S. supplied weapons on the battlefield. Has ever, no hint of any problems or setbacks in what Russia still refuses to even call a war.

Shocking then that Kremlin-controlled television would allow Russia's special military operation to be ripped apart on air by respected military commentator, a former Russian colonel. He pulls no punches.

Let's not take information tranquilizers, the retired colonel advises, and pretend Ukraine's armed forces are nearing a crisis of morale, because that's not even close to reality, he says.

The pro-Kremlin anchor pushes back, saying there have been individual cases that show otherwise. But the colonel is insistent. With European military aid now coming

into full effect, he says, a million Ukrainian soldiers could soon join the fight. Well, frankly, the situation for Russia, he says, will get worse. It is scathing.

But he went on. We are geopolitically isolated. The whole world is against us. Even if we don't want to admit it, he says.

Telling millions of Russians who get their news from this state channel what many of them, given the international sanctions on Russia, most of already suspected.

The recent days have seen the official veil of denial slip, too, like when the pro-Kremlin Chechen leader, whose forces have been fighting in Ukraine, try to tell Russians students what is really going on.

We are fighting Ukrainian nationalists backed by NATO, and the West is arming them, he says. That's why our country is finding it so difficult there. Though it's a good experience, he says.

Not the experience though that Vladimir Putin, who presided over a slightly muted annual Victory Day parade earlier this month, is likely to have expected when he sent his troops across the border. Russia hasn't lost its latest war, but expectations of a quick and easy win are being rolled back.


CHANCE (on camera): Well, Erin, tonight, that same retired colonel has again appeared on Russian state television. But this time, there's a marked difference in his tone. Take a close listen.


MIKHAIL KHODARENOK, RETIRED RUSSIAN COLONEL: When people talk about Ukraine acquiring the ability to counterattack, well, it's a big exaggeration. And as concerned as the actions of our supreme command, there's every reason to believe that the implementation of these plans will in the near future give Ukraine an unpleasant surprise.


CHANCE: There you have. It after that controversial outburst the night before on state television, the retired colonel is tonight much more supportive of the Russian government and much more critical of Ukraine's military performance -- Erin.

BURNETT: Matthew Chance, thank you very much.

And I want to go now Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and other of the new book, "The Power of Crisis", which I have -- I have one here.

So, Ian, so let's talk about this, because earlier in the day we were talking about the colonel -- it's an incredible moment. I would encourage everyone to watch in full. IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP: State media in Russia.

BURNETT: State media -- and you have them pushing back. No, no, no. Russia is doing great. He's like, no, you've got to be realistic. And now, it's as if he said the sky was blue and now, the sky is purple again.

BREMMER: And I told you before he came out the second time that I thought that this was enormously unusual that he -- I was surprised he was still going to be on the air again, because in Russia, you just don't come out like that. And, of course, what we've just seen in the last hour is that literally, he's a different human being his next appearance on Russian state television.

BURNETT: I mean, it's incredible to see it. How do you read into it, though, the fact he even said that at all and then he comes back?


BREMMER: It was live.

BURNETT: Yeah, it was live.

BREMMER: It was live. He is a respected military analyst, a former colonel who had been saying before the war that it was a bad idea, and it was, again, live television.

And I think that -- just the anchor was just surprised. They weren't ready to push back and obviously did not have a sufficient level of immediate censorship to shut him down, but they got to him.

And, you know, it's very clear that it's not acceptable. People have gone to jail for less in the last two months in Russia.

BURNETT: But it is just stunning in terms of what it says, that somebody could, you know, I don't want to say lose their cool, or maybe it was very planned, who knows? But there was an avenue for that to happen at that moment.

You know, in your book, you talk about several crucial things that are shaping the world and one of them, of course, is Russia and Putin. So, when you see this narrative out there that NATO is saying, oh, gosh, Ukraine is doing so well, they could even take Crimea. Others on the ground are saying absolutely nothing of the sort is occurring. Russia, in fact, has solidified some of that, even the Ukrainians are doing well in other areas like Kharkiv.

How close to a worst-case scenario is this war right now for Putin?

BREMMER: It's close to about as badly as it could possibly go for Putin. We -- this war has been going on since February 24th. And literally, every week since then, things for Putin have deteriorated. The level of military support for Ukraine has increased every week, from defensive to offensive weapons, from more countries increasing.

Remember, it wasn't going to be tanks, now it's tanks. BURNETT: Right.

BREMMER: The military, the intelligence support it's getting real time on the disposition of Russian forces on the ground from the U.S., from the UK, from others, has been increasing every single week. And the level of sanctions, the punishment that has been served against Russia, the freezing of his assets. It's the first time it's ever happened for a G20 economy.

The fact that SWIFT, they're being removed from SWIFT. First, you know, it's a bunch of oligarchs.

BURNETT: The banking system.

BREMMER: The banking system.


BREMMER: Then, it's coal. Now, it's oil. Soon, it's gas.

BURNETT: Is it yet the existential crisis, though, that puts him in a corner of horrific things?

BREMMER: In fact, I would say it's quite the opposite, and I do say this in my book. What is interesting is that Putin didn't believe any of this was possible. He thought the west was in disarray. Biden was weak. Merkel was gone, Macron was going his own way. Trump had said NATO was obsolete. Macron said it was brain dead.

So he's all in. He didn't think it was possible that the West could come back from that invasion.

BURNETT: You see that optimism.

BREMMER: And actually, what's happened is, today, you know what happened. In additional, what we've been talking, Finland and Sweden formally applied to NATO. And the fact is, Ukrainians are doing better. NATO is stronger than it was before.

And even in the United States, where everyone hates each other, the one thing we agree on is that, first, Pelosi and then McConnell both make the exact same trip to Kyiv to show their support for Ukraine. It's power crisis.

BURNETT: And you talk about three threats. One of them of course is the pandemic as well. And I'm curious about the overlay between that and Russia, because he did this, and all those things come into it.

But it was also in the light of all these images we saw. You know, that big long table, nobody could be around them, and he wouldn't talk to his advisors, and this complete and utter isolation, which is related to the COVID crisis. How much of an impact has COVID had on Putin?

BREMMER: It's clearly unhelpful that this is a man that has not been able to go around and talk to military troops in the field as they were training, for whatever this invasion was going to be.

Look, I think there are lots of reasons why Putin, no matter what, COVID or not, clearly would have made the decision he made to invade because he did see winter is here. All these other things came together. But the one thing he absolutely had no assessment of is he really didn't believe the Ukrainians were going to fight. And I think if there had been better communication, he would have gotten more of that.

Remember, he only had 190,000 troops on the border. I say only because that is fewer than the Ukrainian troops in the field. No one would say you would go in if you had 2 or 3 to 1, but not 0.8 to 1 in terms of troops.


BREMMER: Remember, he calls it a special military operation, not a war. We say that's propaganda.

In reality, Putin believed it wasn't a war because he believed the Ukrainians weren't going to fight.

BURNETT: Right, and he was going to be welcomed, yes.


BURNETT: Right, and I think that's a really important thing to say, as to why he's saying it's not just propaganda.

All right. Well, I hope everyone over this because you do talk about the threats, climate change also on the list.

Ian, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

BREMMER: Erin, always.

BURNETT: "Power of the Crisis".

And next, the suspected gunman in the deadly shooting in Buffalo revealed his plot in a private chat room just 30 minutes before he opened fire.

And a plane crash, the one that, you know, straight down, is apparently not an accident. "The Wall Street Journal" reports U.S. officials say someone in the cockpit did it on purpose, did it intentionally.



BURNETT: Tonight, a survivor of the mass shooting inside the grocery store in Buffalo speaking to CNN, recounting what it was like, barricading inside a conference room in the back of the store with customers. As the gunman was killing and massacring. It comes as we learned new details about what the suspect was doing just minutes before the attack.

Shimon Prokupecz is OUTFRONT.


SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Did you think that you will die when you are in the break room and you're hearing all these gunshots?


PROKUPECZ (voice-over): Jerome Bridges, an employee at the Tops Market, was inside the store when the suspect the government opened fire and ran for the break room.

BRIDGES: I thought to myself, he might come blasting through the door, so here is an old oak table that I pulled up to the door with one arm and barricaded the door.

PROKUPECZ: You grabbed customers?

BRIDGES: Actually, I told them -- I told the customers to get inside the break room. I had to tell them to be quiet and just lay down on the ground because he was getting closer and closer to the back, to the point where he was actually shooting at the display.


PROKUPECZ: According to post on social media, the 18-year-old suspected gunman publicly revealed his attack plans on a communication app, Discord, shortly before the shooting on Saturday.

In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for Discord says his online chat logs are visible to some people about 30 minutes before the shooting began, saying, quote, what we know at this time is that a private invite only server was created by the suspect to serve as a personal diary chat logs.

CNN analyzed the post shared on Discord and other social media sites, revealing troubling warning signs from the alleged shooter. It's and that the suspect made three visits to the Buffalo supermarket in March, doing reconnaissance and writing about the activity inside the store, including how many black and white people were inside.

You remember seeing him in March?

BRIDGES: Yes, he had on the same exact clothes, ugly green pants, ugly green fatigues.

PROKUPECZ: And no one thought, it's just -- no one thought anything of it? People did?

BRIDGES: No, I didn't think -- no, but I thought he was a lost shopper. I didn't realize he was sitting there scoping out the score for something like this. PROKUPECZ: Days after the massacre, Jerome Bridges can't bring

himself to remove his name tag. The Buffalo, New York supermarket just a few blocks from his home was more than just a job, he says.

You still wear this?

BRIDGES: Yes, because eventually, if they do decide to open up the store, I'm going back. I'm not going to let anybody scare me. We're all family.

PROKUPECZ: You lost them?


PROKUPECZ: Tonight, the New York state attorney general says she's launching an investigation into the social media companies used by the suspect to plan, promote and stream the attack, as authorities search for answers.

BRIDGES: He killed so many innocent people, every night, I have been going in the house crying, for hours and hours and hours.

PROKUPECZ: He could potentially face the death penalty?

BRIDGES: If you get the death penalty, I will clap. I will be happy. Then everybody can go on about their lives knowing that justice was served because he wanted to be an idiot.


PROKUPECZ (on camera): And, Erin, I also spoke to him about his son, 15-year-old son, who was on the phone with him trying to reach him when he was here stuck in the back of his break room. He wouldn't answer the phone, he said he was too scared to answer the phone. He was afraid that the gunmen would hear him on the phone, and that would allow him or make him come into the break room.

The other thing he wanted folks all across the country to know is how thankful he is for all of the support that this community has been receiving.

BURNETT: Shimon, thank you very much.

And next, the China Eastern crash that killed 132 people on board may not have been an accident at all, not at all.

Plus, President Biden invoking a 1950s law, now finally trying to ramp up baby formula production. Will it work?



BURNETT: The China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 jet, the one that -- it's unforgettable, that vertical nosedive from 29,000 feet -- was crashed intentionally, killing all 132 people on board. This is according to an explosive report in "The Wall Street Journal".

Pete Muntean OUTFRONT.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the deadly final moments of China Eastern Flight 5735. Now, new details now suggest this vertical dive was done on purpose.

"The Wall Street Journal" says an early review of data recovered from the crash site suggests inputs to the controls pushed the plane into the fatal dive. The journal sites those familiar with the American assessment of the flight's data recorder sent by the Chinese to Washington for analysis.


MUNTEAN: Former NTSB managing director Peter Goelz says the new details only confirmed his suspicions. Initial flight tracking data showed the Boeing 737-800 leveling off at its cruising altitude of 29,000 feet and then starting a dive at extreme speeds, less than two minutes later, all 132 people on board were killed.

GOELZ: You've really got to make it do that. Ordinarily, the plane's nose wants to come up. It doesn't want to dive into the ground, and it takes a lot of energy and a lot of concentration to keep a plane and that kind of suicidal dive.

MARK WEISS, DREAMAERO INSTRUCTOR & RETIRED AIRLINE PILOT: This is what they would've heard in the cockpit.

MUNTEAN: The Boeing 737-800 is replicated at the DreamAero flight simulator at the Montgomery Mall in Maryland. Retired captain Mark Weiss says that it's notable that since the crash, there have been no major safety directives or groundings issued for the Boeing 737-800.

WEISS: Airplanes don't fall out of the sky. I mean, wings are made to generate lift. That airplane, even if it had lost both of its engines, would have glided. It would not have come down in the trajectory it apparently had.

MUNTEAN: One source told "The Wall Street Journal" that China Eastern plane did what it was told to do by someone in the cockpit. The question now, whether that person was a passenger or one of the pilots?

China is still investigating.

GOELZ: I believe that, unless some dramatic piece of evidence appears, this was an intentional act.


MUNTEAN (on camera): China Eastern Airlines insists its pilots were in good health before the crash, that there was no family or financial drama for them at home. Of course, there is the international element of all of this, Erin. Remember, the Chinese are leading this investigation, and the black boxes are only a part of it. The Civil Aviation Authority of China says its process will be rigorous and scientific, and that it's cooperating with all parties involved, including those here in the U.S. -- Erin.


BURNETT: Pete, thank you. Unbelievable.

And next, the White House and the House scrambling to deal with the baby formula shortage and crisis, a shortage by the way that has been going on for three months, three parents. When you are a parent to a newborn child or a child that needs formula, are you kidding me, three months? That has been so long.


BURNETT: Tonight, President Biden announcing that he will evoke the Defense Production Act to ramp up of baby formula and the House is voting tonight on two bills to address the issue.

Let's be honest, it is unacceptable that this has taken so long. The shortage in the United States is now going on three months. That is an eternity with a newborn baby. And the relief isn't even immediate. Abbott, the company at the center of the recall, says it would take a minimum of six to eight weeks after production resumes for formula to get on store shelves.

Now, the White House feels the pressure now. One thing they've done is launch a new HHS website with resources for finding formula. Among the resources on the site are manufacturing hotlines for customers.

So, do they work? Our White House reporter, MJ Lee, tested one out. She made the call. She was on hold for over an hour before she got a human being.

The FDA chief is expected to testify on the crippling formula shortage tomorrow on Capitol Hill. And there's a lot to answer for.

Thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.