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Erin Burnett Outfront

Trump White House Counsel Testified Before January 6 Panel For Nearly 8 Hours; FBI Chief On January 6 Probe: Following Facts "No Matter Who Likes It"; Trump Weighing Waiving Executive Privilege Claim For Bannon; White House Flags At Half-Staff After Assassination Of Shinzo Abe; 8-Year-Old Shot During Parade Off Ventilator, Condition Upgraded; Biden Signs Order To Protect Abortion Access, Weighs Doing More; Biden Signs Order To Protect Abortion Access, Weighs Doing More; U.S. To Supply Ukraine With Another $400M In Military Supplies. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 08, 2022 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, new details about White House counsel Pat Cipollone's testimony before the January 6th committee today. One committee member saying that nearly 8 hours behind the closed doors, Cipollone provided significant new information. It comes as the FBI director issues a new warning in an exclusive interview with CNN tonight.

Plus, the 8-year-old who's now paralyzed from the waist down after a gunman opened fired fire at the Fourth of July parade. We have an update on his condition tonight.

And President Biden signing an executive order on abortion. But is it enough for critics in his own party?

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight on this Friday, significant, new information. That's with the January 6th committee says it learned from Trump's former White House counsel today. Pat Cipollone, spending nearly eight hours behind closed doors with the committee.

So, here, as you can see, leaving that marathon sessions tonight. Now, we know a few things. We know his testimony was taped. And we know the committee says it was important.


REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Mr. Cipollone did appear voluntarily and answer a whole variety of questions. He did not contradict the testimony of other witnesses. And I think we did learn a few things which we will be rolling out in hearings to come.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM: Can you say if you learned any significant, new information from him? LOFGREN: I think a few things, yes.


BURNETT: The answer is yes, and obviously, nearly eight hours. That is a lot of time with a crucial witness.

Now, that's the January 6th committee. As for the Justice Department's investigation to the events of that insurrection day, a stark warning tonight from FBI Director Christopher Wray. Of course, his agency is heading up the DOJ investigation.

Here is speaking in an exclusive interview with our Evan Perez.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: There are way, way too many people in today's world who are taking there very passionate held views and manifesting them through violence.


BURNETT: So, keep in mind when he says, that the DOJ has already brought charges against more than 800 people involved in the Capitol riot, more than 100 Americans.

And Wray says more charges could be coming.


WRAY: We are going to follow the facts wherever they lead, no matter who likes it.


BURNETT: And now, one person who the DOJ has already charge is offering to testify before the January 6 Committee.

The leader of the extremist groups, the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, says he will testify. Now, he says he will only do so if it is public. Rhodes is currently in jail. He is awaiting trial on seditious conspiracy charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

We do know quite a bit about his role in the insurrection and his connection to the former president. We know Rhodes was at the Capitol on January 6th. That's important and prosecutors say that members of the Oath Keepers had the weapon stockpile that I'm showing you on screen, they were keeping that at a hotel nearby.

One member of the group testified under oath that on January 6th around 5:00 p.m., quote, Rhodes called an individual of the speakerphone. Rhodes repeatedly implored the individual to tell President Trump to call upon groups like the Oath Keepers to forcibly oppose the transfer of power.

Evan Perez is OUTFRONT in London tonight where he just interviewed the FBI director, Christopher Wray.

And, Evan, I want to ask you more about that exclusive conversation in a moment. I want to start, though, with this news here. Since we're just wrapping up from the January 6 committee, the nearly eight-hour testimony from White House counsel Pat Cipollone, what more you learning about that?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, you know that one of the things we know about Pat Cipollone is that he is very careful. He is very measured, he doesn't say more than he has to.

And according to everything we heard today, this is what he did in this committee hearing. Importantly, we know that other witnesses have said that Pat Cipollone warned people that some of the things he was witnessing, and he was there throughout all of those events in the lead up to January 6th and after, he was warning them that there were things that he was witnessing that may have violated the law.


And so, we expect that he did not contradict some of that witness testimony. And we expect that we're going to see some of the recorded testimony that he gave today at future hearings from the committee, an important witness, certainly, for this investigation.

BURNETT: As you say important --


WRAY: It doesn't matter whether you're upset about an election, upset about a trial, upset about the criminal justice system.


BURNETT: Sorry about that. Obviously, that was -- that was a mistake, Evan. But we're going to get to it in a second because I do want to ask you about that exclusive conversation you had with the FBI director. So, he told you, and I played the original sound bite, when he said, they're going to follow the facts wherever they lead, no matter who likes, which was sort of an interesting little bit of a dangle. What else did he tell you?

PEREZ: Yeah, that was his response to me asking him if what he was saying, Erin, the fact that the FBI is devoting so many resources to going after everybody who was involved in January 6th, if that included people who were clearly helping to foment some of that -- some of that activity that happened on January 6th. Here is what he had to say about what's the focus of with the FBI is doing here.


WRAY: It doesn't matter whether you're upset about an election, upset about a trial, upset about the criminal justice system, upset about any issue. There's the right way to express yourself under the First Amendment. And violence, destruction of federal property, or in the case of January 6th, those things plus interference with a sacred part of our constitutional process, then we are going to have to act.


PEREZ: And, Erin, he was equating frankly would happen on January 6 with the greater phenomenon that he says people seeming to take out whatever frustrations they have, including those against the government, extremist groups and so on, by carrying out violence. He says the FBI is not going to stop until they get to the bottom of all of this.

BURNETT: All right, Evan, thank you very much with that exclusive conversation with the director.

Also tonight, as part of all this, Trump may be clearing the way if he can, for his allies, Steve Bannon to testify before the January 6th Committee. Apparently, Trump is considering sending a letter to Bannon saying that he's waiving executive privilege. Keep in mind, Bannon was charged with contempt of Congress in November for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

OUTFRONT now, Isaac Stanley-Becker, a reporter for "The Washington Post" who first broke the story.

So, Isaac, you know, I guess you have to look at this with a sense of Bannon obviously had long been in Trump's inner circle, has made sort of a mockery of this process. Why would Trump think about doing this now?

ISAAC STANLEY-BECKER, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: It's tough to get inside the mind of the former president, but I think there are two possible reasons. The first is as you say, Bannon is a key ally of Trump and it's possible that Trump could see him as potentially useful as a witness before the committee if he were to appear live and contest some of the committees claims and present Mr. Trump's case before the committee and before the American public.

And, you know, second, this could be useful to Bannon himself, who, as you say, faces this trial on contempt of Congress charges. This could provide him an avenue to say he is cooperating with the subpoena there can be an agreement reached on the terms of the appeared before the committee.

BURNETT: And, Isaac, again, I'm being skeptical of their most tips for obvious reasons. You know, obviously, the current president who controls the White House now has waived the executive privilege which residents with whoever is in the White House, that's Joe Biden.

So, it's not even clear the Trump has executive privilege to waive, right?

STANLEY-BECEKER: Well, it's certainly worth emphasizing that this claim of executive privilege is highly disputed. The committee -- the members of the committee have repeatedly said that executive privilege is not -- there is no executive privilege here. Mr. Bannon was a private citizen at the time of January 6th, 2021. And that there is no proper claim to executive privilege here. BURNETT: All right. Isaac, thank you very much. I appreciate your

being with us with your reporting.


BURNETT: All right. I'm going to go straight to Elie Honig now, former U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York.

So, Elie, a lot to go through here. I want to start with the new reporting that Isaac just shared -- Trump considering waiving executive privilege for Steve Bannon. Putting aside for a minute whether even has the privilege to waive, what do you interpret is going on here? What do you think this is about? And what would it mean?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Erin, first of all, he is thinking about waving something he almost certainly does not have in executive privilege as an initial matter.


I don't know with the endgame is here, if this is some kind of stunt. If Trump envisions this scenario where Steve Bannon is going to march into the committee and give them a piece of his mind, and set things straight. I mean, first of all, the committee does not have to give Steve Bannon open, public forum.

And, second of all, I think if Steve Bannon ever did answer a question from the committee, that would go quite poorly for Donald Trump, especially given that Steve Bannon, let's remember, was at the Willard Hotel in that war room in the days leading up to January 6th.

BURNETT: All right. So, just interesting the Trumps at the point where he thinks Bannon can help. No other way to see this at this time. However he plays out, he clearly thinks it's in his interest.

Let me talk to you about Pat Cipollone. That's part of the reason Trump is doing this. His former council spends nearly eight hours with the committee today. That is not claiming executive privilege and saying I'm not going to talk to you. It's not.

And Lofgren said, Zoe Lofgren, the congresswoman said to Wolf Blitzer, that Cipollone gave them new information. She also said this, Elie, she said Cipollone didn't contradict other witnesses. But also didn't necessarily confirm what they said.

She said not contradicting is not the same as confirming.

There were things he might not have been present for, or in some cases, could not recall with precision.

What do you make of what we know his testimony -- and what she just told Wolf about it?

HONIG: So, first of all, Erin, eight hours in an eternity when you talk about questioning a witness. Just for perspective, that would probably come out to something in the range of 300 to 400 transcript pages. That's how much new information or information we're talking about here from Pat Cipollone.

I think it's really interesting that Representative Lofgren said he did not contradict any of the prior witnesses. Most importantly, I think Cassidy Hutchinson. She had some vital testimony last week. Several pieces of which related to conversations that she heard Pat Cipollone said.

Now, she also said perhaps that he did not necessarily back up everything. And that could be for exactly the reason you say, Erin. Different witnesses sometimes remember different. You typically tend to remember conversations you have with higher ranking people more than with lower ranking people.

But I think it's very significant and I think it suggest that Cassidy Hutchinson is corroborated here that there was no contradiction from Pat Cipollone.

BURNETT: Right. This is obviously going to be crucial. As you, said nearly eight hours from the witness that everyone agrees is a person with a solid reputation who clears deeply about it, a respected individual.

All right. Elie, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

So, now, let's talk a little bit more about Evan's interview exclusive conversation with FBI director Wray.

You heard moments ago, Chris Wray issuing a sharp warning about the rise of political violence and threats of violence in the United States of America. That environment is what's leading to more resignations of officials who see oversee elections across the United States -- including our next guest, who's leaving her job after more than a decade, after threats from people who wrongly believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

And Leslie Hoffman is OUTFRONT now, of Republican recorder in Arizona's Yavapai County. She oversees voter registration and administers early voting.

And, Leslie, I really appreciate you taking the time. And frankly, being courageous and coming on and putting your face on television talking about this.

So, I know you sent us some examples of some threats you received, and they're vile. And in some, people call you a fraud, a liar, they say you're corrupt. In some of them, they have gotten so bad, police have been patrolling your neighborhood as a security precaution.

I just have to ask you, Leslie, you know, you dedicated a decade of your life to overseeing elections. What has this been like for you, personally?

LESLIE HOFFMAN (R), YAVAPAI COUNTY, AZ RECORDER: It's been really tough. This is been my community, my home for my entire life. I know most everybody. We're not a very large community. We're a medium-sized county. And so, it's been very hard to think that some of your friends, your counterpart and party are making these kind of accusations.

BURNETT: I mean, what makes it also absurd, I mean, just people understand, your county went nearly 2 to 1 for Trump in the 2020 election. And yet you got people still accusing you of fraud. What are they saying to you? I mean, what is their possible rationale for this belief?

HOFFMAN: I don't think there is one. One guy said, he went to the one here. One comment was, it should've been by her. And then comparing our county, which is the model county for the state, we do great elections here. What about this county? What about that state?

And I try to explain to them, we do our own elections here, and we cover everything that we do, but because they believe that it happened elsewhere, it must be happening here. And so they want to take control of the elections.


BURNETT: So election workers like you are experiencing the same personal attacks, threats of violence as you are-- they're resigning.

And the truth is, though, Leslie, if not for a handful of great Republican elections officials like yourself who stood up for what is right, for the truth, for the elections you held, American democracy could have fallen into chaos. It is still a real risk.

How worried are you that less principled people are going to take these positions, whether it be yours or in other counties and states?

HOFFMAN: It is a concern, but what we do is very refined work. Not a lot of people know how to do elections. There are so many lost to follow. I still learn something every single day and I've been here for over 10 years, because things change and laws change.

And losing some of that institutional knowledge is a concern. It's not something you learn overnight. It's not something you jump in and you just know it. Not everybody can do this. There are certifications. It is lifelong learning when you're in this business.

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

And again, as I say, thank you for talking about this because I know in and of itself, as awful as it is to say, it is a courageous act and I thank you.

HOFFMAN: You are very welcome.

BURNETT: And next, the man suspected of assassinating the former Japanese prime minister shooting him with a homemade gun, revealing a motive tonight. This in a country when there was only one that done related death in all of last year. Plus, an 8-year-old boy shot and paralyzed in the Fourth of July

shooting asking to see his twin brother and his dog.

And President Biden tonight talking bigger about abortion.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a moment -- the moment. It's the moment to restore the rights taken away from us.


BURNETT: But is the president doing enough for Democrats in this moment?



BURNETT: Tonight, the White House flags at half-staff as President Biden reacts to the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


BIDEN: I'd like to say just a few words about the horrific, shocking killing of my friend, Japanese Prime Minister Abe. Service to his country and his people was in his bones even after he stepped down for public office to focus on his health. He stayed engaged. He cared deeply and I hold him with great respect.


BURNETT: Investigators are now trying to determine why a 41-year-old Japanese man shot and killed Abe with a homemade gun. The country has one of the lowest rates of gun violence on the planet, with only one shooting death all of last year.

Will Ripley is OUTFRONT and I do want to warn you because so much of this is on camera, some of the video you are going to see will be disturbing.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A campaign speech in central Japan, one of many in the long career of former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe, but this would be his last. The country's longest-serving prime minister and one of Japan's most high profile figures laying on the ground shot twice , bleeding profusely from wounds in the neck and chest.

He would later die after being rushed to the hospital. A team of 20 doctors unable to save him.

His alleged attacker, 41-year- old Yamagami Tetsuya, also laid nearby, tackled by security. Police say he had a handmade gun and similar pistol-like items in his home. They're investigating his motive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect confessed he committed the act as he had a grudge against a specific organization and believed former Prime Minister Abe was part of it.

RIPLEY: A shooting like this is almost unthinkable in Japan. Guns are strictly controlled here. It is a long and complicated process to buy one, involving classes, background checks, mental health evaluations, and drug screenings. It has resulted in one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

In Japan, there were only 10 shootings last year with only one death. In the United States, that figure exponentially rare. According to the Gun Violence Archive, firearms were responsible for 45,000 deaths last year in the United States. Keep in mind, Japan has about 40 percent of the U.S. population.

The U.S. is eclipsing Japan with number of guns in the country. In Japan, there are 0.3 tons for 100 people. In the U.S., 120 guns. That is more guns than people.

Disbelief on the street in Tokyo, a crime most people here only hear about in other countries, not their own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's unbelievable to see an attack like this in Japan, which is very safe. It's unbelievable that someone was walking around with a gun like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are many gun crimes happening abroad but I never imagined it would happen in Japan.

RIPLEY: At the scene of the shooting, mourners laid flowers for the former leader, some shedding tears for the man who is widely admired and at times controversial and one whose death weighs heavily in the country unfamiliar with the grief of gun violence.


RIPLEY (on camera): At least 70 Japanese police officers are now working this investigation, Erin. They raided the house of the suspect and found a number of homemade pistol-like weapons. The question and the investigation now turns to his motive. Deeper into the motive, he gave police a statement but it has not been extraordinarily cooperative. He did say, though, Erin, he has absolutely no remorse for what he's done.

Meanwhile, Shinzo Abe's widow, Akie Abe, the former first lady, a vibrant woman who I had a chance to meet a number of years ago, she's now driving with her husband's body at this hour back to Tokyo.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Will Ripley.

And next, a critically injured child in gun violence in America. An 8-year-old who was shot on the Fourth of July regained consciousness today. He is paralyzed from the waist down after a bullet from that mass shooting severed his spinal cord. President Biden signing an executive order that he says will protect

abortion rights, but what does it really do and will it be enough for many in his own party?



BURNETT: Tonight an update in the aftermath of the Highland Park parade massacre. Cooper Roberts, you may remember him from last night. He's the 8-year-old boy who was paralyzed in the shooting. He's now off the ventilator. He's no longer in critical condition. The family says he asked to see his twin brother and his dog when he was briefly conscious before being sedated due to the pain.

This as the parents of the gunmen just obtained a new lawyer who vows they will try to cooperate with the investigation.

Josh Campbell is OUTFRONT once again in Highland Park.


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first three services were held today for the victims of the July 4th parade shooting in Highland Park, a memorial for 63-year-old Jacki Sundheim, a funeral for 88-year-old Stephen Straus, and a funeral for 78-year- old Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza.

For those recovering from the massacre, healing is a long way away.


Eight-year-old Cooper Roberts, his twin brother, Luke, and their mother, Keely Roberts, a local superintendent were all injured that day. Cooper was struck in the chest and his spinal cord severed. He underwent several surgeries and is now in serious condition, paralyzed from the waist down.

ANTHONY LOIZZI, ROBERTS FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: Keely and her husband Jason, the parents, are just so 100 percent focused at being on Cooper's side right now. Keely herself was shot twice in the leg and had several surgeries. She demanded to be discharged so that she could be with her son, Cooper, who was at a different hospital.

CAMPBELL: Today, Cooper was briefly conscious, the first time since he was hospitalized. He has been removed from a ventilator and has been asking to see his brother, Luke, who was injured by shrapnel, and to his family dog, George.

The family spokesperson says Cooper had to be sedated again today because he's in so much pain but said he doesn't appear to have suffered any brain damage.

LOIZZI: Everybody obviously knows it will be a long road with a lot of therapy and treatment and potentially more surgeries. Then it is going to be a new normal for him moving forward. Obviously, he won't be able to walk. He was a very active little boy. Active in soccer, baseball, loved sports.

CAMPBELL: Cooper is the youngest victim on among the dozens injured in the shooting. The wounded ranging in age from 8 to 85.

Now, the traumatized residents of Highland Park are beginning to reemerge after the shooting that killed seven people and injured at least 30 one more and devastated an entire community.

CHIEF LOU JOGMEN, HIGHLAND PARK POLICE DEPARTMENT: In an event like this, the horror and the pain caused on our community, you know, you can try to look clearly as a human being for something moving forward, right? We are concerned about the community. We take it very personally.

CAMPBELL: Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen was at the parade with his family when the gunmen opened fire.

JOGMEN: It went from a beautiful day to complete chaos. Noise was bouncing off the buildings. People were pointing in different directions.

CAMPBELL: Law-enforcement is still investigating the shooting but the yellow barricade tape could come down as early as this weekend and the sidewalks will be opened once again.


CAMPBELL (on camera): Now, Erin, this has obviously been a very painful week for the community and even after the police vehicles behind me eventually depart, the crime scene tape removed, the scars from this tragedy will long endure. This wonderful community just beginning to lay to rest those that were killed. Of course, dozens of others were injured, there is a long road to recovery -- Erin .

BURNETT: Yeah, that story is so hard to hear.

All right. Josh, thank you very much.

And Josh's reporting comes as a family of the gunmen continues to insist that they never thought he was capable of doing such a horrific act. Here is his father and his uncle, both who lived with the gunmen on and off for years.


ROBERT CRIMO JR., FATHER OF THE PARADE SHOOTER: This has taken us by complete surprise. Three days before the Fourth, my wife had asked him, hey, do you have plans for the Fourth? And he simply said no.

PAUL CRIMO, UNCLE OF HIGHLAND PARK SHOOTER: He is not the type of guy that would do something like this. And I can't even believe it. It is out of character. I saw no signs of trouble with him, I mean, at all.


BURNETT: All right. OUTFRONT now, Jim Fallon, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at UC Irvine who has done extensive studies on the brains of psychopathic killers. He's also the author of "The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain".

Jim, I appreciate your time.

When you look at this gunman, you say you're not surprised by this horrible -- horrible act that occurred. Tell me why.

JAMES FALLON, NEUROSCIENTIST: Well, every new minute of information that comes out about the family points to something that looked pretty predictable and, you know, it is a fairly typical story. There are different recipes for disaster, for creating a brain of a murderer or mass killer. Probably the most likely one has to do with either psychopathy or sociopathy.

And part of the mix has to do in biological psychiatry, interaction of nature and nurture, and that's between genes and environment, and especially early environment. To create a psychopath, that happens between birth and two or three years old. Sociopaths are created later during the growth period leading up to 10 or 12 years old.

When I first looked at this, it was a 21-year-old man, he was kind of a loner. You hear the story all the time. He could look a little strange but there is nothing about being eccentric at all. There is Boo Radley, but that is different than someone who is genetically susceptible who was then abused very early, or who is brought up in a broken family, a family of chaos.


And now, we learn every minute more and more, and we find out this whole family was loaded with chaos right from the time he was one or two years old at least. So, this is the recipe that sort of seems to be percolating.

BURNETT: So we found out police were called to the home multiple times to settle domestic disputes and I'm talking about obviously when he was young, not his own homicidal and suicidal comments, which his own family called in in 2019. I'm talking about 2010 when he was obviously a child. There was an incident of domestic violence between his parents. When he was a toddler, his mother was accused of leaving him in a hot car for 30 minutes.

I mean, does any of this stand out to you as possibly relevant in any of this?

FALLON: Well, you look for irresponsibility and when you first hear that he was left inside a hot car, this happens to normal people, too. Once you start having multiple cases of fighting and substance abuse and irresponsibility, this then it develops the pattern that seems to have been there all along. So, who knows how much went on and how much this kid was traumatized early on by the parents and by the parenting?

You know, most parents and most people will say, no, he seems normal. I don't understand this. But the more we find out minute by minute that there is a chaotic family, a broken family. This is a very necessary ingredient in many cases where you have criminal behavior that really starts ticking very early on. That brain has been changed.

If they have the genetics, we don't know if it is genetic, so it's hard to say well, he has this and this is why he has it that the more information you have, you can do brain imaging, genetics, and you find out more about the history and what he did and you start to separate whether he is a sociopath, or psychopath, et cetera.

BURNETT: All right. Jim, thank you very much. I appreciate the context and the nuance that you added here. Thanks.

And next, President Biden signing an executive order aimed at protecting abortion access. Why some Democrats are saying though this is not nearly enough.

And the U.S. providing Ukraine with four more mobile artillery rocket systems in the face of what are major Russian gains in the east. Will this give Ukrainians the firepower that they need to win?



BURNETT: Tonight, CNN learning President Biden is considering additional steps to protect access to abortion. It comes after the president signed an executive order today that he said would fight back against the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you read the decision the court has made clear, it will not protect the rights of women, period. This is a moment -- the moment, the moment to restore the rights that have been taken away from us.


BURNETT: So, the president says that his order will safeguard access to reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception, but -- I mean, if it actually did that, it would be going back to Roe, right? It's not clear how this order will be enforced and that's the reality, right? It seems like a lot of words. Plus, he acknowledged Congress ultimately has control over the issue.

And several Democrats are simply saying this is not anywhere close to enough. People like Congresswoman Judy Chu who tweeted, quote: With Republicans working endlessly to pave a way for a federal abortion ban, this is not enough.

OUTFRONT now, CNN senior reporter Edward Isaac Dovere.

Isaac, earlier this week, you came out with reporting from dozens of Democratic sources who you report are frustrated with Biden's lack of urgency on this particular issue. One of them you quoted called the White House rudderless, aimless and hopeless. Another you quoted said, there's no fight.

Did today's announcement change anything?

EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: Another Democratic member I spoke to that story said to me the White House does everything right but they do everything late and that is the feeling that today's actions seem to have generated from a lot of Democrats.

They are happy that he did it, they're wondering why he didn't do it two weeks ago when the decision came down, or even why it wasn't started two months ago when we got the draft decision leak. Now, we're -- one of the announcements today with the president was asking Secretary Becerra, the Health and Human Services secretary, to take the next 30 days to produce a report about other possible steps they would take. So, we're far down the line from more actions being taken here.

So, there is this feeling of -- there was a statement from NARAL, a pro-choice group, that said we applaud what the president is doing. We want them to do more. We expect they will do more. That is where things are.

I think the other thing you are seeing is a desire to see more of some of what came out of the president today, when he was talking, for example, about the 10-year-old girl in Ohio who was raped and who couldn't get an abortion in Ohio, and saying, this is extremism. And he said over and over again, 10 years old, that passion is something the Democrats need a lot more for.

BURNETT: Right, right, you're seeing and now and, of course, there is only so much he can do. As you hear the frustration, the president seems to be trying to motivate voters, right? To motivate voters to turn out to vote for Democrats on the issue of abortion, right? To turn on this perception that it will be a Republican sweep in the fall that abortion could turn more of that around.

Here's more of what he said today.


BIDEN: The court now, now practically bears the women of America to go to the ballot box. I don't think the court or for that matter Republicans who for decades have pushed their extreme agenda have a clue about the power of American women, but we are about to find out, in my view.



BURNETT: In his view.

I will say, though, Isaac, and a poll is a point in time and it's just a poll. But the poll from Monmouth this week showed that only 5 percent of Americans consider abortion to be their top issue. So, that would, of course, raise into question whether you are going to see masses of women turning out to vote on that issue alone.

Based on what you're hearing from your sources, is the passion from the president there translating?

DOVERE: We'll see. It is a long way to November. We'll see what fades and what crops up.

But what it seems to have done, you see other polling questions that show people do care about it, they are energized by it, they are angry about it. Will that be energy that goes into voting or will it go into other things as there is a sort of fatalistic view of what the voting can do?

There is a big desire to see the president to leading this charge and saying more things like more extremism, and this is what they need to do. The Monmouth Poll said 88 percent of the people think the country is going in a wrong direction, 36 percent of people think that Biden is doing a good job, 36 percent of people say that they want Republicans in control of Congress.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Isaac. I appreciate you showing your reporting.

And next, Ukraine. The Ukrainians are bracing for a Russian offensive in the key city of Kharkiv tonight. Our special report from the ground tonight.

And this elaborate dance, the synchronized head rock that starts a new courtship. It's an amazing thing, this happens on earth, in Patagonia, the only place you can see it, a place that is now under threat. We'll take you there.


BURNETT: Tonight, the Biden administration says it's going to provide Ukraine with four more highly coveted artillery rocket systems. This is part of a new $400 million security package. It comes as Russian troops have been making major gains in Eastern Ukraine.


Alex Marquardt is OUTFRONT in Kharkiv, which is a region in the east where Ukrainian troops have been able to push the Russians back.


ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In downtown Kharkiv, this team of postal workers is gearing up for a trip to the front lines, a village, until recently, was occupied by Russians.

Their mission is critical. They have cars full of cash to deliver to Ukrainian pensioners who rely on the funds to survive. They drive past fields littered to mines, to Vilkhivka, where the older residents have already gathered in the small post office, pockmarked by shrapnel. Only the most vulnerable people stayed here, says the head of today's

operation. During the Russian offensive, it was impossible to evacuate these people. We come here because no one else will help them.

Bills are counted out and one by one, they collect around $100 at the counter. Their pension for an entire month.

Seventy-eight-year-old Stepania Leskiv has come from nearby. We walk back with her past a school destroyed. Stepania's home also lies in ruin, hit in late March.

She bursts into tears at the sight of it. And says the shelling happened right in front of her. The house started burning. I fell down and I managed to crawl out to the road, she said. In 20, 30 minutes, everything was burned down.

She is staying with a neighbor, but worries what will happen when winter comes. She is a widow whose son died from the Chernobyl disaster.

I wish it was over for me, she says. When the bombing starts, I don't know where to hide.

Russian forces occupying much of this region have been pushed back by Ukrainian troops. Fear is growing they will try to come back soon. These Ukrainian soldiers claim they are ready.

They might be stronger than us in numbers and in weapons. You know that, this soldier says. But we are much more motivated. We will be fighting until our last bullet, so they don't take our land.

These Ukrainian forces have positioned this rocket launcher here among the trees to try to hide it on the edge of this field. This is called an Uragan. It's an old Soviet-era Ukrainian rocket launcher, much more basic with far less range than the handful of American rocket launchers that have just been given to the Ukrainian military.

But this is what these troops have. And they tell us that their commanders today have given them the coordinates of a Russian position inside Ukraine to fire on. In a couple moments, they will drive the truck with its rockets a short distance away and target that Russian position.

The launcher rumbles into the middle of the field and fires four rockets in quick succession. Black smoke trailing into the sky.

We move out in case there's a response, but the soldiers' day is just getting started.

Alex Marquardt, CNN, Kharkiv, Ukraine.


BURNETT: Thanks to Alex there on the ground.

And next, we're going to take you to one of the last wild regions of Planet Earth. And this is just one of the amazing things that you are going to see.



BURNETT: Patagonia. It's one of the last, fairly untouched places on earth. And now the new CNN original series, "PATAGONIA: LIFE ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD" takes you on a journey to the region, revealing people, places and wildlife and, frankly, you will never see it anywhere else.

Take a look.


NARRATOR: This is Patagonia. See this land of extremes like never before, where animals and humans, once enemies, now fight together against unique challenges. What does it take to live in one of the most like wild and isolated places on earth?


BURNETT: Joining me now with a special preview of the "PATAGONIA" series is Bill Weir, our chief climate correspondent.

And, you know, I mean, the footage is incredible, we were talking about -- places we want to go back to in this planet. You know, Patagonia. And I know that you have felt quite a bit there. So tell me what you have seen.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF INNOVATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, this -- what's stunning about this particular series, it was commissioned originally to have these British BBC history units -- these are gold standards directors of photography. COVID prevented that. So these are all local directors, Argentinian, Chilean, who had incredible access, not only with the scientists, but also they lived there, so they have the patience to wait for the most magical moments.

It takes months, months to find -- take this, for example, take this mating ritual of something called a red-headed grebe.


NARRATOR: Now courtship can begin with a water dance. The male makes a first move, the dunk.

Step two, the synchronized head bump. Step three, head turns.

The female ends the dance. That'll do.


WEIR: It's very bumble, the Patagonian bumble there. That's hundreds of millions of years of evolution to come up with that. They made for life. Now there's about 900 left because the ponds, the lakes they live in

are shrinking as the planet gets warmer. So, there is also an existential threat going through.

BURNETT: It's incredible. I would say one of the things I remember from a trip to Patagonia was flamingos up in the mountain, so you are in the glacier, and their flamingos. They're just things you don't expect. And there's just so much of it because it's so vast but so much of it is under threat.

WEIR: And so many different ecosystems, deserts, to mountains, we are finding things affair that you would think existed. Look at this, these scientists went to the bottom of the glacier. We're talking 50 stories down to the bottom to study what is called the Patagonian ice dragon. It's a tiny insect that thrives in these freezing temperatures, and they're trying to figure out the DNA of their anti freeze blood, basically, and use it in our medical technology, who knows what they can discover. But that is dripping away, melting away, one at a time.

But the series, if you like to watch the shows as we do with the kids, you know, from all the mountains, to the coast, all that, Pedro Pascal (ph), who did the voice of, this I am proud of these new directors who are on the ground down there.

BURNETT: Well, beautiful. And I like the music there. They said the groves --

WEIR: The grebes. The grebes.

BURNETT: The grebes.

WEIR: You could put some hip-hop on that.


BURNETT: All right. Bill Weir, thank you so much.

And we do hope that you will tune in. The all new CNN original series, "PATAGONIA: LIFE ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD", premieres Sunday at 9:00 p.m., only here, on CNN.

Thanks for joining us tonight.

"AC360" with Anderson starts now.