Return to Transcripts main page

Erin Burnett Outfront

White House Aide: Trump Tweet On Pence Like "Pouring Gasoline On The Fire"; Rioters Came Within 40 Feet Of Pence On January 6, Panel Says; White House Aide: Trump Vilifying Pence Via Tweet Was "Last Thing" Needed; Questions Grow About GOP Rep's Capitol Tour On January 5; Third American Missing In Ukraine Is U.S. Marine Veteran. Aired 7- 8p ET

Aired June 16, 2022 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, 40 feet. That's how close rioters were to the vice president on January 6th. This has Trump, quote, poured gasoline on the fire. Witnesses say he was told his scheme to overturn the election was illegal.

Plus, inside the dramatic blow-up between Trump and Pence on January 6th, and the insults Trump hurled at his vice president and what Pence and his family thought of Trump's actions on that day.

And this photo just surfacing of two missing Americans in Ukraine, on the back of a Russian military truck, hands apparently tied behind their backs. Where are they now?

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight: Donald Trump was, quote, pouring gasoline on the fire. That's how Trump's former White House deputy press secretary describes Trump's actions, actions that put Pence's life in danger on January 6th.

This testimony was shown by the January 6th committee at its third public hearing this afternoon, as the committee revealed that rioters came within 40 feet, 40 feet of the vice-president at the Capitol.

The committee showed these never-before-seen photos of the vice president and these pictures are of Pence in a secure location they are taken after rioters breached the Capitol so when he's in that, you know, sort of rushed into that little back area of attempted safety, including this one that shows Pence looking at the video Trump tweeted, asking rioters to leave the Capitol, the one sent many hours after the violence began, and hours after Trump had repeatedly stoked the violence.

Remember, after it started, he tweeted that Pence, quote, didn't have the courage to do what should have been done. It was that tweet and a tweet Trump sent after he was told about violence at the Capitol in his repeated proclamations to supporters that Pence had the right to overturn the election that continued to inspire his supporters to violence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He deserved to burn with the rest of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This all escalated after -- Pence didn't do what we wanted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pence voted against Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. That's when all this started?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, that's why we marched on the Capitol. You've been shot at with rubber bullets. Tear gassed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just heard that Mike Pence is not going to reject me fraudulent electoral votes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right, you heard it here first. Mike Pence has betrayed the United States of America.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Pence has betrayed this president and he has betrayed the people of the United States. And we will never, ever forget.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's real simple. Pence betrayed us, which apparently anybody knew he was going to. And the president mentioned it like five times when he talked. You could go back and watch the president's video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is our Capitol. Let's be respectful. There's 4 million people coming in, so --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all a matter of time. Justice is coming.


BURNETT: But what these Trump supporters that you see there may not have known at the time is that the man behind the false arguments that Trump could overturn the election, Trump attorney John Eastman was well aware. He knew that he was telling a lie.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did John Eastman ever admit or, you know, in front of the president, that his proposal would violate the Electoral Count Act?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe he did on the 4th.


BURNETT: So on the fourth, John Eastman, in front of the president of the United States, said he knew this was against the law. And Eastman was so well aware that just days after the riot he emailed another attorney to the president, Rudy Giuliani, and in that email, said, quote, I should be on the pardon list if that's still in the works.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill.

And, Manu, I know you've been talking to the committee members since the hearing ended today. What are they telling you?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the chairman of the committee, Bennie Thompson, told me tonight, quote, some people in the crowd obviously took Donald Trump's word to mean -- to do physical harm on the vice president of the United States.


Now, this all comes, Erin, as the committee is debating how far to go and ultimately recommending to the Justice Department to prosecute, to investigate, to potentially charge Donald Trump with any crimes related to January 6th. Thompson telling me tonight that that decision has not yet been made.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Pence has betrayed the United States of America!

RAJU (voice-over): The pressure campaign was relentless. Donald Trump for months try to get Mike Pence to do something nobody had ever done: reject the will of the elections and the install him as president for a second term, right up to this heated phone call, on the morning of January 6th, just before Pence was presiding over a joint session of Congress, to certify Joe Biden's victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He called him a wimp.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP: It was a different tone that I had heard him take with the vice president before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember what she said her father called him?


RAJU: Trump even revising his January 6th speech in a rally of his supporters to take aim at the vice president.

FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP: Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn't, that will be a sad day for our country.

RAJU: The rioters echoing the president's remarks. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm telling you, if Pence caved, we're going to drag the mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) through the streets.

RAJU: Even after rioters breached the Capitol that afternoon, Trump still attacked Pence on Twitter, just as the mob was 40 feet away from the vice president.

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): The vice president's life was in danger.

RAJU: Trump had been told repeatedly that Pence had no authority to take such an unconstitutional action.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it your impression that the vice president had directly conveyed his position on these issues to the president? Not just to the world through a colleague letter, but directly to President Trump?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he had been consistent inconvenience position to the president?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very consistent.

RAJU: The committee focusing today on the role of Trump attorney John Eastman, who pushed the theory that the vice president could overturn Joe Biden's victory.

JOHN EASTMAN, ATTORNEY: All we are demanding of Vice President Pence is this afternoon at 1:00, he let the legislatures of the state look into this so we get to the bottom of it.

RAJU: Privately, White House officials were alarmed and pushed back on Eastman.

ERIC HERSCHMANN, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Yeah, they thought he was crazy. I said, are you out of your f'ing mind? You're going to cause riots in the streets.

RAJU: Even Fox News personality, Sean Hannity, sending these text messages to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, saying on January 5th, I'm very worried about the next 48 hours.

But as he was peddling the theory, Eastman knew it was bogus, writing in October 2020 that nowhere does it suggest that the president of the Senate gets to make that determination on his own.

Pence's former counsel recalling tense deliberations in the White House, including this demand from Eastman on January 5th.

GREG JACOB, FORMER COUNSEL TO VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: What most surprised me about that meeting was that when Mr. Eastman came in, he said, I'm here to request that you reject the electors. He came in and expressly requested that.

RAJU: And as Trump and Pence were privately sparring about the vice president's role, the White House issued a statement that he and the vice president were in total agreement, that Pence had the power to act.

JACOB: We were shocked and disappointed, because who ever had written and put that statement out, it was categorically untrue.

RAJU: The message came from Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He dictated -- he dictated most of it.

RAJU: As for Eastman, he had this request for Trump, he sent through Rudy Giuliani.

AGUILAR: Dr. Eastman's email stated, quote, I decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works.


RAJU: Now Eastman refused to talk to the January 6th investigators, taking the Fifth Amendment, but the committee is still interested in some of his interactions, namely with Ginni Thomas, who is the wife of the Supreme Court justice, Clarence Thomas. Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist. She had emailed Eastman and pushed the idea that the elections could be overturned.

Thompson, the chairman of the committee tells me that they sent a letter asking for her testimony. And Ginni Thomas told the conservative news outlet, "The Daily Caller", that she looks forward to talking to them and clearing up any misconceptions -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Manu.

And I want to go now to Laurence Tribe, constitutional law professor at Harvard Law. House Democrats consulted Professor Tribe on impeaching former President Trump for inciting an insurrection.

And, Professor, I appreciate your time. I'm glad to have you back.

From everything that you've seen so far, including the hearing today that focused so much on Trump causing violence against Pence, do you believe the committee has proven that Trump himself, knowingly committed crimes?

LAURENCE TRIBE, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Without any doubt, beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond any doubt. And the crimes are obvious.


The most obvious is that he was ordering his vice president to do what everyone in the room knew would be illegal, namely, exercise power to pick the next president. It would be very convenient if Al Gore could have picked himself as the next president in 2000. Very convenient if Richard Nixon could have done it in 1960.

The testimony showed that Eastman on the 4th of January, in front of the president, told the president what he was urging as a special theory was illegal, would violate the Electoral Count Act. But the president went ahead anyway.

Ordering your vice president to violate the law in order to stay in power is a very serious federal crime, but there are other crimes as well. One that occurred to several people today is attempted murder. You know, under the critical code of the United States, the attempted murder of the vice president is punishable by life imprisonment.

What we saw with the president egging the crowd on, telling them that basically, his own vice president was a traitor, while he knew that the mob had the gallows waiting for him. That is pretty serious stuff. You don't have to go to law school to know that there is something seriously criminal about that.

There are other crimes that have been proven. Those are -- those were plenty to start with.

BURNETT: Well, I mean, you know, it's pretty incredible to hear you say that, right? I mean, attempted -- attempted murder. Do you believe, Professor Tribe, that Attorney General Merrick Garland will bring any charges against Trump?

TRIBE: I think he will. I don't think he will charge attempted murder. I was making that point really to show how extreme this was.


TRIBE: That we can even talk about that shows how far from normal this all is. But I do believe, though he's doing it meticulously, and not as quickly as some would like, that Merrick Garland will approve criminal charges against this president. I think he knows deep in his heart and as a lawyer that the rule of law will not survive. That as judge Michael Luttig said today, we are still in a situation where the former president is a clear and present danger to the survival of the republic, not to indict him from what he has done is to invite him or his designee to try it again if they don't manage to get a win in the Electoral College in 2024. And then it will be over.

BURNETT: I want to ask you about Ginni Thomas, the wife, of course, of the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. And, Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the committee, today said the committee sent a letter to Ginni Thomas asking her to talk to them. And this comes after we learned that Ginni Thomas was communicating by email with John Eastman, right, Trump's attorney.

TRIBE: Right.

BURNETT: And her husband, Justice Clarence Thomas, of course, has been involved into election-related cases related to this that reached the Supreme Court. He could be from this point evolved into more. Do you think that's okay?

TRIBE: Certainly not okay for Justice Thomas to violate the federal law which says that no federal judge or justice can sit on any case in which a spouse or her spouse might have a direct interest. He violated that at least twice.

It would not be okay for Ginni Thomas to stonewall the committee. She said she would like to talk, but we've heard that before from other witnesses who conveniently then don't talk, but she has been in direct communication with a guy who took the Fifth about 100 times and who asked for a pardon and who clearly violated federal law.

We need to know what those communications were, because it looks like she may be in on the conspiracy to overthrow the United States government. It's called seditious conspiracy. The most serious crime you could commit short of treason. It's not a small matter.

But I do not think it matters whether the committee refers Ginni Thomas or Eastman, or for that matter, Trump, to the Justice Department for prosecution. They don't have any formal role there. It's not like referring prosecution for contempt of Congress.

The attorney general said he is watching. He's watching every minute. It has been referred for every practical purpose.

BURNETT: Yeah. He can -- he can make up his mind and make decision, as we all watch.

Thank you so much, Professor Tribe. I appreciate your time.

TRIBE: Thank you.

BURNETT: And Mike Pence has been hailed as a hero today by Democrats and Republicans.


That may be the last thing, though, that Pence wants. We'll explain. Plus, growing questions about a Republican congressman's tour of the Capitol the day before the insurrection. Does his explanation add up?

And tonight, the first photo of two Americans missing in Ukraine, shown in the back of a military truck, hands tied behind their backs. And now, we're just learning a third American is reported missing.


BURNETT: Tonight, new testimony revealing how White House aides reacted when Trump tweeted, quote, Mike Pence didn't have the courage, as rioters were already storming the Capitol where Pence was.


SARAH MATTHEWS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I remember getting a notification on my phone and I was sitting in a room with Roma and Ben, and we all got a notification so we knew it was a tweet from the president, and we looked down and it was a tweet about Mike Pence. It was clear that it was escalating and escalating quickly.

CROWD: Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! MATTHEWS: So when that Mike Pence tweet was sent out, I remember us

saying that was the last thing that needed to be tweeted at that moment. The situation was already bad.


And so, it felt like he was pouring gasoline on the fire by tweeting that.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Ryan Goodman, co-editor in chief for "Just Security", Gloria Borger, our chief political analyst, and Bill Kristol, editor at large at "The Bulwark" and former chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle.

So, Ryan, let me start with you. Today was an important day for these hearings and had a real -- clear narrative, a clear focus, subject, character. You've been following all of them very closely. Did they make the case today that Trump was directly responsible for endangering Mike Pence's life?

RYAN GOODMAN, CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, JUST SECURITY: I think they did, it was pretty devastating, at least as a factual matter, direct causal connection between Trump's tweet and the violence that ensues. And as we see just from the video, the witnesses, the people that are in the White House, they think that's what's happening. So reasonable person would anticipate that would be the result, pouring gasoline on a fire.

As she said, you know, us -- she remembers us saying, just a multiple people, that this is the very last thing that needed to be tweeted at that moment and we know from prior testimony, that Marc Short, the vice president's chief of staff, anticipated this.


GOODMAN: In fact warned the Secret Service that Trump would lash out and endanger the life of the vice president and that seems to be what happened.

BURNETT: So, Gloria, we also have a source telling our Kaitlan Collins that Trump and Pence have not spoken in more than a year and we're learning all of this was going on behind the scenes. You know, you've got never before seen photos, right, where Pence is reading Trump's tweet, right? He's actually reading the tweet while he's there, you know, 40 feet away from people that were chanting that he wanted to kill him.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It's just -- it's just remarkable. It's an almost Shakespearian relationship at this point, Erin. You know, in Donald Trump's own head, he's the guy who rescued Mike Pence from obscurity as a governor, put him on the ticket, became vice president, and you'll recall, as all of us do, that there was never a more loyal vice president than Mike Pence who kept telling us we all stand on Donald Trump's broad shoulders, remember that? And I was talking to somebody on the committee the other day who said

to me, you know, at the beginning, it was almost as if Mike Pence was going around trying -- asking people, trying to find a way to even please the president on this question of certification.

Just asking all these questions, you know, maybe -- maybe there's a way, and then, of course, he realized after getting advice from his own counselor, as well as others, that of course, including Dan Quayle, that there was no way he could do that, and then there's the president of the United States calling him all kinds of names, tweeting at 2:24 on the afternoon of January 6th when he knew Mike Pence was not going to do what he wanted him to do and endangering his own vice president's life, it's remarkable.

BURNETT: It's remarkable. One thing you say there is remarkable and I think, you know, people talk about Mike Pence being a hero. He did the right thing and he stood up with great courage to do it, but it's, you know, unclear what his motive was at the same time, running around trying to see if there are ways to please the president on this issue when the facts showed everything the president said was a lie and Pence knew that Trump lost the election should not be left out of this conversation.

BORGER: Exactly, no, absolutely.

BURNETT: But, Bill, the committee did praise the former vice- president at every step of the way today. Listen to this.


REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): Vice President Pence did the right thing that day.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Vice President Pence understood that his oath of office was more important than his loyalty to Donald Trump.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): We are fortunate of Mr. Pence's courage on January 6th.


BURNETT: So, Bill, how do you think Pence's team feels about that praise as he weighs a 2024 presidential run himself?

BILL KRISTOL, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO VICE PRESIDENT DAN QUAYLE: I mean, who knows. They should welcome it, because at the end of the day, if you think Trump is right, you're not for Pence and Pence's best chance would be more Republican voters to sign on that January 6th was unacceptable.

And I think that might be gradually happening, I doubt if it's enough to get Mike Pence the nomination. But look, Pence did the right -- I mean, Pence went along with much too much over my view over these four years, he could have spoken up on January 7th when the impeachment became in question.


KRISTOL: There's so much more Mike Pence could have done, but he did the key thing, he refused to participate in the criminal conspiracy, and that is big. And I do think, don't you think that's the main effect of the hearings? How long, went a week, right? It seems like a lot longer.

It feels to me like a week ago, we all thought, reasonably thought, Trump had been reckless, irresponsible, demagogic, dereliction of duty. It wasn't quite as obvious that he was at the heart of a criminal conspiracy and I do think that's what the hearing so for have made much more, as Larry Tribe said, close to obvious, or at least very, very, very likely.


KRISTOL: John Eastman took a Fifth against self incrimination. What laws was John -- at who's behest was John Eastman probably breaking a bunch of laws?


At Donald Trump's.

BURNETT: Right, right.

And, I guess, Ryan, you know, all heroes are deeply flawed. So in that case, you know, Pence would fit with that from antiquity.

John Eastman was obviously the big target, right? You know, the one who kept peddling lies to Trump, and admitted on the 4th, actually, this would be violating the Electoral Count law and then asking to get on the pardon list of Rudy Giuliani, right? So he was the kind of big, the big kind boogie man in the room today along with Trump.

Who else, though, do you think should be worried after all this testimony?

RYAN GOODMAN, CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, JUST SECURITY: I think Mark Meadows should be worried. In fact, he should speaking to his defense lawyers, the prior hearing we heard from Bill Barr and Mark Meadows basically acknowledged Trump lost, so he knew Trump lost, and then today's hearing we know that Mark Meadows admitted to Marc Short multiple times that he knew that Pence didn't have the legal authority yet Marc Meadows is running point for many of these criminal conspiracies or schemes so he has extreme, I would say, criminal liability.

And then you obviously got Giuliani as well. Giuliani admits as well that he thinks that Pence doesn't have the legal authority, yet he is trying to help pressure Pence to do the wrong thing, which is part of the crime.

BURNETT: Right. So they admit they know it's wrong. They admit they knows it's illegal, and yet they go and try to do it anyway.

So certainly, not only did they do it, but knew exactly what they were doing.

So, Bill, pence's lawyer testified that one of the big arguments against Eastman's theory was that Republicans wouldn't want Kamala Harris or a Democratic vice-president to do what Trump wanted Pence to do. Here is how he says Eastman replied.


GREG JACOB, FORMER COUNSEL TO VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: He said absolutely, Al Gore did not have a basis to do it in 2000. Kamala Harris shouldn't be able to do it in 2024, but I think you should do it today.


BURNETT: What did you make of that moment, Bill?

KRISTOL: I mean, it's why Eastman took the Fifth, I think. And, again, the next question is, did -- was Eastman acting in Trump's direct behest and taking orders from doing what Trump wanted? And the answer is pretty obviously yes.

The interesting thing is, like, you know, in Nixon, there's at least a pretense of legality, because you have the attorney general, a White House counsel sort of telling him a while it was okay. It's not an accident that Eastman is outside of government. He's even outside the campaign. Trump has to go find someone who will give a fake legal justification. His own Justice Department says no, his owns White House council office says no.

If you're president of the United States, you can't just say those are interesting opinions but I found some guy out there that says it's okay. Eastman really is at the heart of the criminal conspiracy as opposed to Trump's general irresponsibility.

BURNETT: Gloria, what else does the committee need to prove going forward and what do know and believe they still need to prove to the public?

BORGER: They are going to continue, they believe, because they're already started. It is we've been talking about to draw this straight line between Trump knowing, actually knowing that he lost the election, and then telling people to do something he also knew was illegal because he couldn't stand the thought of losing. And so ordering his vice-president to do something that he knew was illegal and we don't know exactly what his conversations with Eastman were, but we can sort of figure it out. Eastman meets with vice-president's people one morning and then the next, you know, within hours, he's changed his mind. Next thing is the 25th amendment.

I want to know about what those conversations were with members of the cabinet among themselves, sort of talking about the president's mental health, and what they're going to say about that.

BURNETT: Yeah, yep, and of course Pence not moving ahead with that even after all of this. BORGER: And why, yes.

BURNETT: And why.

Thank you all very much, I appreciate it.

And next, nothing to see here. That is what a congressman is saying about his tour group the day before the Capitol riot. Retired Lieutenant General Russell Honore knows about security in that building. So what does he think? He's OUTFRONT.

And an exclusive interview with Ukrainian defense minister who says he was promised by U.S. officials they would never stop helping Ukraine.



BURNETT: Questions tonight for the Capitol police, after the chief, Tom Manger, said there was nothing suspicious about a Capitol tour that Republican Congressman Barry Loudermilk gave the day before the insurrection.

Sandra Garza, the partner of late Capitol Police Officer Ryan Sicknick, who died after defending the Capitol on January 6th, slamming the U.S. Capitol Police, and Manger for exonerating, Loudermilk, despite this video, OK? So, I want to show it to you again?

This is the video -- this is Loudermilk's tour, and this man on the tour is taking pictures of stairwells. He also took pictures of tunnels the day before he marched with members of the pro-Trump mob to the Capitol, and threatened violence against top Democrats.


SANDRA GARZA, PARTNER OF FALLEN CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER BRIAN SICKNICK: I have to say, very unhappy. I'm disappointed with the Capitol police leadership. He's a law enforcement officer first. If he wants to play politics, then he needs to run for office. He's a law enforcement officer first.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore who led the review of Capitol security after the deadly insurrection.

General, I appreciate your time.

So what do you see in that video of Congressman Loudermilk's tour, where we see the video of march the next day, seeing pictures of stairwells, tunnels, and actually those screening machines you walk through when you enter the building.

LT. GENERAL RUSSEL HONORE (RET.), LED REVIEW OF CAPITOL HILL SECURITY ON JAN. 6: Well, I think, Erin, when you put this in context of what happened the next day, the context that what, why these people were taking picture of entrances, exits, security stations, when you put it in that context, Chief Manger's response, is it not syncing with the average person who might know that some of those people eventually ended up being a part of the mob the next day, standing outside the Capitol.


And the mixed messages coming from the House of Representatives, Loudermilk, about not knowing, didn't do it, then admitting to it, then not knowing the people, make it very suspect.

The other thing I saw in a quote from Chief Manger on "Roll Call" where he didn't acknowledge there was anything unusual about that and there were no tours that day. So the Justice Department has all that tape and might be in better shape to review that by the Capitol Police. Capitol Police does not have a strong investigating arm, but to laymen like me, it look like something more like a recon than it was a historical tour of the basement of the capitol, which is an unusual place to conduct a tour.

BURNETT: Well, right, and I presume some level you're being tongue in cheek, a laymen like you. I mean, you're not. You're a general and you led review of the Capitol Hill security the day after this. So you know more than almost anyone.

So, General, in part of his statement, chief manger says, quote, we train our officers on being alert for people conducting surveillance or reconnaissance and we do not consider any of the activities we observed as suspicious.

What, what do you think the issue is here? Are they worried they're going to look as if they've messed up and they blew it? Or, I mean, is this a cover-up of that nature? Is this as Sandra Garza indicated, Brian Sicknick's partner, somehow Manger being political? I mean, what do you think?

HONORE: Well, I think it's a little bit of both. I think to admit that when people returned the capitol the day before when they were not allowed, these representatives, when they come in and show that pin, it's like don't ask me no questions, I'm bringing you, they get a pass.

At some checkpoint they went through and escorted these people. It may have not been the representatives themself, may have been a member of staff with the same authority to bring people in there, but there were not supposed to be any tours that day.

Point two, the other position Manger is in, he's looking out a few months and next speaker of the house could be Kevin McCarthy. That's going to be one of his future bosses. So, it does not shape well on the loyal members that I know and got to work with for two months, the Capitol police, that the leadership, I think they might want to take a knee on this, go back and let the FBI do the analysis and not the Capitol police, because it is a self admission. People were conducting tours when they shouldn't have been conducting tours and this is before Manger -- this is even before he took watch.

BURNETT: Right, right, fair. Well, General Honore, appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

HONORE: Good evening.

BURNETT: And next, they're still denying the 2020 election results and now they are running for bigger offices and they may very well win. And we now have the first photo of two missing Americans, captured by Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. As we now can report a third American, a marine veteran is also reported missing.



BURNETT: The most important thing I may ever say, those were the exact words of Mike Pence about the statement that he would make as he certified the election on January 6th. That is according to new tapes (ph) of testimony from Pence's attorney today.


GREG JACOB, PENCE'S ATTORNEY: The vice president said this may be the most important thing I ever say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The statement --

JACOB: The statement, yeah, he really wanted to make sure that it was just so.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, someone who knows what it's like to be one of the Republicans to stand up to Trump, Al Schmidt. He's a former elections official in Philadelphia, targeted by Trump for not debunking Trump's election fraud lies. He also testified before the January 6 committee and did so Monday.

So, Al, I really appreciate talking to you. And I know you and I have spoken many times since you stood up to the president on this issue of the election. So you know personally what it's like to go against him and those in your own party who believed that lie or even not believing it perpetuated it.

What did you think when you heard the testimony today about the pressure on Pence, behind the scenes, from President Trump, when you find out Pence was just 40 feet away from the rioters?

AL SCHMIDT (R), FORMER CITY COMMISSIONER OF PHILADELPHIA: It must have been incredibly intense for him in that situation. I know just a little bit what it's like to have the former president unleash his angry supporters on you, but that doesn't begin to compare to what the vice president must have gone through and the precarious position that he was in, in person on Capitol Hill, on January 6th.

BURNETT: So I want to play some more video evidence that we all saw today, from today's hearing. Watch this, Al.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It all escalated after Pence -- what happened, Pence -- Pence didn't do what we wanted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pence voted against Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, and that's when all this started?


CROWD: Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!


BURNETT: Mike Pence was truly in danger that day, you know? That wasn't all just rhetorical. The committee members were very clear on that.

Here's Congressman Aguilar.


REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): Make no mistake about the fact that the vice president's life was in danger. A recent court filing by the Department of Justice explains that a confidential informant from the proud boys told the FBI, the Proud Boys would have killed Mike Pence if given a chance.



BURNETT: Did you think, and you've heard those chants so many times, right, Al? Hang Mike Pence. It's -- you hear that and obviously, you know, it's not as if you don't take it seriously and don't believe it's real, but did you believe that those rioters were being literal? I mean, it certainly now appears that they were.

SCHMIDT: Oh, I've had no doubt about it. I mean there was clearly this concerted effort and to use their own words, it was clear they were being very literal about what they were going to do in their effort to chase down or locate different members of Congress who they felt were standing in their way. And in the vice-president's case, he, according to the former president, was in a position of deciding whether the election was going to be certified or not.

So, all of their anger was clearly directed his way.

BURNETT: Al, thank you very much. Appreciate talking to you, always have.

SCHMIDT: Likewise, Erin. Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, two missing Americans feared captive in Ukraine. Here's the first photo of them believed to be in Russian hands now.

And heavy rains and flooding in Yellowstone, changing the landscape of one of America's greatest treasures.


BURNETT: You're looking at the first photo of 27-year-old Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, and 39-year-old Alexander Drueke. These two Americans travelled to Ukraine to fight Russians and have been missing now for a week. In the photo, it appears that they have been captured. They appear to be in a back of a truck with their hands appearing to be bound behind them.

It comes as the State Department now identifies a third American who went missing in action in Ukraine.


Former U.S. Marine Grady Kurpasi has been missing since the end of April.

I want to bring in Matthew Chance who is live from Brussels joining me now.

And, Matthew, what is the U.S. saying about these missing Americans tonight?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, I mean, it's saying, Erin, that they're in contact, of course, with the families of these missing Americans. They're in contact with the Red Cross to try and organize access to them. And, of course, they're in contact with the Ukrainians as well, as well as British officials. Of course, Britain has two of its own nationals that are being held in eastern Ukraine, having fought with Ukrainian forces in that region.

Also, what the United States are saying they're not in contact with is Russia. They say they don't have credible evidence or reports at the moment that Russia is actually in charge or has these individuals in custody. So, that's slightly interesting situation. It implies that the men are being held not by Russia itself but by the Russian-backed rebels in the east of the country -- well, as that conflict continues to take a human toll and the toll on Ukraine has been, of course, enormous.

I managed to sit down with the Ukrainian defense minister here in Brussels. He was speaking to NATO defense chiefs, including the U.S. defense secretary, over the past couple days, talking about weapons shipments, weapon donations to Ukraine, so that they can fight Russia. But also, telling me as well why it was, perhaps, the Russia failed in the early days of the conflict in Ukraine to take the Ukrainian capital. Take a listen.


CHANCE (voice-over): This was the moment on the first day of Russia's plan for a lightning strike on Ukraine, started to unravel. We witnessed these lightly armed Russian airborne troops fighting for

their lives on the outskirts of Kyiv. Now the Ukrainian defense minister tells CNN written military orders were recovered from the body of a Russian officer killed here, confirming his Russian commanders expected a quick and easy victory.

OLEKSIY REZNIKOV, UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: He had to be in government quarters after 12 hours from the invasion, from the starting of the invasion.

CHANCE: Center of Kyiv.

REZNIKOV: Center of Kyiv.

He had to control building, office of president, parliament, and 72 hours after they were sure that, for example, president will be evacuated --

CHANCE: In retrospect, that looks astonishingly naive, doesn't it?

REZNIKOV: And, frankly speaking, our partners in the different capitals of the world also naive. They also told us that invasion are imminent and you will fall. You have only 72 hours.

CHANCE: But nearly four months now, Ukraine has been holding out, even defeating Russian forces near the capital with the help of armor- piercing weapons from the U.S. and others. The Biden administration has already committed to $40 billion to this fight, and the Ukrainian defense minister insists that Washington and its allies have assured him that support will continue.

REZNIKOV: Our partners will never stop. I was told that. I spoke with my friend Austin -- Lloyd Austin, secretary of defense of the United States, secretary of defense of UK, Ben Wallace, and our other colleagues. They told me, Oleksiy, don't worry. We will not stop.

CHANCE: Do you really believe that that is a genuine commitment by the United States to continue to militarily back Ukraine into the future no matter what?

REZNIKOV: I heard yesterday and I felt that it's absolutely honestly.

CHANCE: And the Ukrainians are honest too about what their new weapons will be for, weapons like these state of the art M777 artillery guns from the U.S. that we were shown in southern Ukraine earlier this month, or the multiple launch rocket launchers that will soon be in service here. The defense minister says they will help Ukraine take back occupied land.

REZNIKOV: We are going to liberate all our territories.

CHANCE: All of it.

REZNIKOV: All of it.

CHANCE: What about Crimea? REZNIKOV: Crimea is Ukrainian. For me, it's absolutely


CHANCE: So, you're saying that Crimea is a military objective of the Ukrainian armed forces with this weapon?

REZNIKOV: I assure that Crimea is a strategic objective for Ukraine because it's a Ukrainian territory. But we will move step by step. I mean, the first stage, it's stabilization.

CHANCE: The reason I ask --

REZNIKOV: I will finish my -- the second stage is to keep them out until the 24 February border situation. And third stage, we will discuss it with our partners how we'll liberate our territories, includes Crimea also.

CHANCE: None of that will go down well in Moscow. And even with advanced Western weapons to replace these old soviet ones, Ukraine looks set for a long fight.


CHANCE (on camera): Well, that fight continues to take a heavy toll. The defense minister confirming tens of thousands of Ukrainians have been killed but stopping short of putting an exact number on its military losses, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Matthew.

And tomorrow night on OUTFRONT, I'll be joined by Alex Drueke's mother, Bunny Drueke.

And next, how images of how flooding is completely changing the actual geography now of Yellowstone National Park.


BURNETT: New satellite images of Yellowstone flooding reveal a stunning thing, flooding in Gardner Canyon. It's been so intense that it actually altered the total course of the Gardner River. And rushing water carving a deep slash into the earth, Part of highway 89, which goes back and forth across the river's banks, inside the park completely disappeared. It's incredible to see this impact.

The northern region of the park will remain closed, likely through the end of the summer season.

Thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" begins now.