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Erin Burnett Outfront

Jan 6 Panel: Trump Attempted To Call A Witness After Last Hearing; DOJ Notified About Possible Witness Tampering; Jan 6 Panel Details Hours-Long Trump Meeting Filled With "Screaming;" January 6 Rioter Who Pleaded Guilty Embraces Officers At Hearing; Uvalde Video Reveals Disturbing Police Response Amid Gunfire; As January 6 Panel Warns Of Threat To Democracy, GOP Embraces Autocrat; New Image From Webb Telescope Shows Where Stars Are Born. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 12, 2022 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We'll see how that unfolds. Okay, guys, thanks very much. Jeremy Diamond, Hadas Gold, appreciate it very much. I'll see you tomorrow from Jerusalem as President Biden makes his trip here to the Middle East. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, new January 6 evidence showing Trump planned well in advance the call to his supporters to march to the Capitol. This as the allegation surface of Trump potentially calling a witness to tamper with that witness.

Plus, new video just released from inside the elementary school in Uvalde and the video is unbelievable. You just see it, officers waiting in the hallway doing nothing as you hear the sounds of children and teachers being shot.

And the most powerful telescope ever made capturing stunning new images of distant galaxies. We are going to show you the picture of a real star being born. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, accusations of potential witness tampering. Congresswoman Liz Cheney at the end of the January 6 Committee hearing today accusing President Donald Trump of trying to contact an unidentified January 6 Committee witness in recent days.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation. A witness you have not yet seen in these hearings. That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump's call and instead alerted their lawyer to the call. Their lawyer alerted us. And this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice.


That's a serious point to make. Obviously, she's making a serious allegation because the Justice Department does have the power to prosecute, if they see the former president tampered with a congressional witness. Sources tell CNN meantime that Trump is absolutely fixated by what is playing out in front of the world in these hearings.

Today throughout the Committee's seventh public hearing, there were more devastating revelations. The Committee accusing far-right extremists of, quote, 'openly homicidal planning', after Trump tweeted on December 19th, "Big protests in DC on January 6. Be there, will be wild."

What followed was calls for violence across the internet by Trump supporters.


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Some of the online rhetoric turned openly homicidal and white nationalist such as "why don't we just kill them every last Democrat down to the last man, woman and child and it's time for the day of the rope. White Revolution is the only solution."


BURNETT: Trump stirred all this up fully knowing he had lost the 2020 election and that is really crucial here. We have heard this point made so loudly and clearly that the President's closest advisors told him that he had lost, told him that the conspiracy theories were just that. Told him the 2020 election was not stolen.

And the White House Counsel Pat Cipollone testified that he explicitly told Trump to just concede, accept defeat. But as we know, Trump did nothing of the sort, never has, not even since then. We know that Trump had planned to tell his supporters, planned, nothing spontaneous about this. He planned to tell his supporters to march to the Capitol building.

The January 6 Select Committee obtained a draft tweet from the National Archives, which includes a stamp stating 'President has seen'. It reads, "I will be making a big speech at 10 am on January 6 at the Ellipse. Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the steal."

That's just one example, showing that this had been something that had been discussed and plan. There were many points laid out to support that today to prove it even further. It was not a spur of the moment decision to send the crowd to the Capitol. It was planned. And once they were there, once they got there, an armed crowd that the President had been told was armed, the rioters did their business and waited on Trump to tell them to stand down.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What made you decide to leave?

STEPHEN AYRES, CAPITOL RIOTER: Basically, when President Trump put his tweet out, we literally left right after that come out. To me, if he would have done that earlier in the day, 1:30, I - we wouldn't be in this - maybe we wouldn't be in this bad of a situation or something. (END VIDEO CLIP)


BURNETT: Manu Raju begins our coverage OUTFRONT live on Capitol Hill today. Manu, what more can you tell us about we - what we learned today?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Once again, the Committee is showing that Donald Trump ignoring the advice and the urging of a number of his closest associates, those who said that there's absolutely no widespread fraud. Trump continued to press on, discussing the possibility of seizing voting machines, discussing the possibility of naming an election denier as a special counsel even issuing a tweet that led to a chain of events, ultimately to the deadly violence that we saw in the Capitol on January 6th. But there were some Trump aides who tried to stop it in an intense White House meeting on December 18th.



PAT CIPOLLONE, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I was not happy to see the people in the Oval Office.


RAJU (voice over): Four days after all 50 states certify the electoral results, Donald Trump convened a tense meeting in the White House, where several top aides engaged in a screaming match over the effort to install him into a second term in office.


CIPOLLONE: I don't think any of these people were providing the President with good advice.


RAJU (voice over): Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone telling the January 6 committee about the December 18th meeting. One of the aides called it unhinged. It involved Trump and election deniers, including Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn, Rudy Giuliani and Overstock CEO Patrick M. Byrne.


RASKIN: What ensued was a heated and profane clash between this group and President Trump's White House advisors who traded personal insults, accusations of disloyalty to the President and even challenges to physically fight.

ERIN HERSCHMANN, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE ATTORNEY: What they were proposing, I thought was nuts. RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER PERSONAL LAWYER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: I'm going to categorically describe it as you guys are not tough enough. Or maybe put it another way, you're a bunch of pluses.

HERSCHMANN: Flynn screamed at me that I was a quitter, and everything. He kept on standing up and turning around and screaming at me. And then at a certain point, I had it with him. So I yelled back, "Either come over or sit your effing ass back down.


RAJU (voice over): And during the six-hour meeting that ended after midnight, Trump even suggested naming Sidney Powell a special counsel, even though he was told repeatedly, there was no widespread fraud to investigate.


SIDNEY POWELL, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN LAWYER: The president said, okay, you know I'm naming her of that and I'm giving her a security clearance. And then shortly before we left it totally blew up.

CIPOLLONE: I was vehemently provided (inaudible) ...


RAJU (voice over): The meeting resulted in this draft Executive Order, commanding the Secretary of Defense to seize the voting machines.


CIPOLLONE: Telling federal government to seize voting machines, it's a terrible idea. That's not how we do things in the United States.


RAJU (voice over): And within hours after the meeting ended, at 1:42 am, Trump tweeted, "Big protests in DC on January 6. Be there, will be wild." The Committee revealing this led to a rallying cry for right- wing extremist groups to converge on Washington.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is now calling on we, the people, to take action and to show our numbers.


RAJU (voice over): Behind the scenes, Trump's longtime associate Roger Stone was in touch with these groups who provided him security.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will be (inaudible) ...

(END VIDEO CLIP) RAJU (voice over): And was included in encrypted chats with the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. Former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was also in communications with these groups, according to the Committee. And three days after the heated White House meeting, a group of house conservatives met at the White House to discuss how to get Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results while presiding over a joint session of Congress on January 6th. Cipollone was excluded.


CIPOLLONE: My view is that the Vice President had - didn't have the legal authority to do anything, except what he did.


RAJU (voice over): The Committee also revealing that before Trump's former aide Steve Bannon recorded a podcast on January 5th, saying this ...


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


RAJU (voice over): He spoke with Trump for 11 minutes, according to White House phone logs. Bannon and Trump spoke again later that evening. Lawmakers also presented evidence showing Trump planned days before January 6th to order supporters to march to the Capitol after his speech at the rally that day, including a draft tweet that was never posted and rally organizers who said, "POTUS is going to just call for it unexpectedly."

Stop the steal organizer, Ali Alexander, knew of Trump's plan.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.


RAJU (voice over): Trump even adlib in his speech he'd be joining the rally goers at the Capitol, while he didn't go, his supporters did and the deadly riot ensued. In the wake of the attack, Trump's former campaign manager Brad Parscale said that Trump's rhetoric may have killed someone. Katrina Pierson responded, "It wasn't the rhetoric." Parscale said, "Katrina, yes it was."



RAJU (on camera): Now, after the hearing ended, Liz Cheney, the Vice Chairman of the Committee indicated that after the last hearing, the - President Trump tried to call one of the witnesses. It's a witness who has not yet been seen by this committee and that witness' attorney reached out to the Committee to inform them of that call. The Committee shared that information to the Justice Department.

The Committee though, Erin, declining to say whether or not they have made a criminal referral to Donald Trump or declined to disclose any more information about who that witness was who would have received that phone call from Donald Trump, Erin.

BURNETT: Obviously, could be a really crucial question. All right, thank you very much, Manu.

I want to go now to Elie Honig, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Janet Napolitano, former Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama and David Urban, adviser to Trump's 2020 campaign in a prior life.

Secretary Napolitano, let me start with you. There's so much to talk about here, but I want to start first with something Manu mentioned, which is that December 18th meeting at the White House that Manu was going through the details of. You have not obviously been there in that capacity, but you've been in an administration, you've been in meetings like this, what was your reaction when you heard these details?

JANET NAPOLITANO, FMR. SECRETARY DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY: FMR. ARIZONA GOVERNOR: Well, I don't know whether I've ever been in a meeting quite like that.


NAPOLITANO: But the notion that Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn and the guy from Overstock just one wandered into the White House and got up into the Oval without it being a scheduled meeting and without any White House staff there. Fortunately, Patrick Cipollone heard about it and was able to run in and intervene.

But that started that whole dramatic six-hour exchange where the former president just refused to take no for an answer. No, they didn't have any evidence and that ended up with him drafting that very significant tweet calling on his supporters to be at the Ellipse on the sixth.

BURNETT: Elie, and that is that the goal. The entire focus today for the committee was to link the armed extremist groups and in the words of one person who testified who had been with one of those groups today, their intent to spark a new civil war to tie that directly to President Trump. Did the Committee succeed?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: They got partway there and a significant part of the way there. I think they've now shown us what the links in the chain are. We now know for sure, Michael Flynn and Roger Stone both had connections to domestic extremist groups QAnon, Oath Keepers, Proud Boys. We know Mark Meadows was in touch with Michael Flynn and Roger Stone on January 5th and we've had testimony that that happened, because Donald Trump ordered it to happen. So you can see the links in the chain.

What we don't know and it's very important is what exactly was said, what was communicated. The one guy who could answer that definitively who has a realistic chance of testifying is Mark Meadows. And that's why it's so significant. Remember, he started cooperating with the Committee.


HONIG: He stopped for some reason, we still don't know. And now he has gone away. He has refused to comply and no consequence.

BURNETT: And we do not know, by the way, who the President called last week, at some point, who is an important witness. We don't know who that is and that person did not either - they either missed the call or they didn't pick it up, so we don't know if it's witness tampering.

But a president - a former president who was willing to make that call, could there have been more?

HONIG: Yes. It's a horrible idea by Donald Trump to call anyone who might be a witness. He may have had bad intentions. We don't have enough evidence to call this witness tampering. It's an unanswered call. But yes, the Committee has to be very much on guard.

Remember, we had evidence at the prior hearing of two messages, one of which was related to Cassidy Hutchinson saying you have to protect who you have to protect. That I think crossed the line. So the Committee needs to guard its investigation. They need to be very aggressive about policing this kind of tactic.

BURNETT: So David, I mentioned Mr. Van Tatenhove who today talked about that the goal was to spark a new civil war. And I want to play more when he said. He's a former spokesperson for the Oath Keepers. So obviously, one of the groups that was central to the entire insurrection. Here's what he said.


JASON VAN TATENHOVE, FORMER OATH KEEPERS SPOKESMAN: I think we need to quit mincing words and just talk about truths. And what it was going to be was an armed revolution. I mean, people died that day. Law enforcement officers died this day. There was a gallows set up in front of the Capitol. This could have been the spark that started a new civil war and no one would have won there.


BURNETT: Some of these words today from Mr. Van Tatenhove, David, from the Oath Keepers and from Mr. Ayers, who was there that day. He said fully because he thought the President wanted him there at the time and placed to the President's choosing. These words were chilling.

DAVID URBAN, ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP'S 2020 CAMPAIGN: Yes, troubling, definitely troubling. And just to be - a point of clarity, I think that he may be in the stake and I don't believe any law enforcement officials died on January 6th, just to be absolutely clear about that.


But they're terrifying, and you listen to what these folks said, listen, there were clearly people who showed up on January 6th with bad intentions, and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

You heard -- I was listening to the testimony and some programming earlier on, on this network and some of the law enforcement officials who were there and on January 6, said, Look, you know, there are a great deal of people who came and for whatever reason, they protested, they went home.

There were a handful 850 or so I think have been charged, they should be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for the bad things they did.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Right. And just to be clear, obviously, you're using the word, you know, "quickly," but obviously, 800 people is a lot of people.

I understand it is not all of the people.

URBAN: I am not trying to minimize it, yet.

BURNETT: I understand the point you're making. No, I do, I do. I just want to make it clear.

But Secretary Napolitano, I mentioned Mr. Ayres, one of the rioters who was there that day, something important. He said he left the Capitol, specifically when Trump told rioters to go home.

Now, Trump did not do that until 4:17 PM, despite the begging of many people around him, the desperate begging for him to do it earlier.

At that point at 4:17 PM, a lot of bad things had already happened, one of his supporters had been shot and killed, police officers were injured as David said, none died at that time. There were of course, in subsequent days, suicide and death.

Trump could have tweeted at any time, right? At any time, he could have said go away. So, here is what Pat Cipollone said.


QUESTION: Was it necessary for you to continue to push for a statement directing people to lead all the way through that period of time until it was ultimately issued after four?

PAT CIPOLLONE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I felt it was my obligation to continue to push for that, and others felt that was their obligation as well.

QUESTION: Would it have been possible at any moment for the President to walk down to the podium in the briefing room and talk to the nation at any time between when he first gave him that advice at two o'clock and 4:17 when the video statement went out?

Would that have been possible?

CIPOLLONE: Would it have been possible?


CIPOLLONE: Yes, it would have been possible.


BURNETT: Yes. Okay. I mean, just to state the obvious here, Secretary Napolitano, it would have been possible. He could have done it by a tweet, he could have done it by a statement. He could have done it by vid -- he could have done it in any way, but he didn't.

And in the time that he didn't, bad things happened. Did the Committee make the case for criminal responsibility on the President of the United States for what happened during that gap?

JANET NAPOLITANO, FORMER SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY, FORMER ARIZONA GOVERNOR: Well, they certainly made some progress toward that end. And Mr. Ayres' testimony, I think demonstrated that many of Trump's followers were really under his direction and control on that day. They went down to the Capitol because he told them to go there and they stayed until he told them to get away.

And you know, I thought Mr. Ayres testimony was compelling in its own way. He was a Cabinet making supervisor in Ohio, very dedicated to his family who fell under Trump's authority, et cetera.

He went to Washington because Trump summoned his followers to Washington. He went to the Ellipse because Trump summoned them there.

He went to the Capitol because Trump told them to go there, and he stayed until Trump said they could leave.

That's a lot of steps toward kind of a command and control setup.

BURNETT: Yes. They did, of course, humanize him in the sense of, you know, his wife was there.


BURNETT: As well -- David Urban, I want to show you the video from right after the hearing concluded. And at that moment, January 6 rioter, Stephen Ayres went over to the Capitol police officers who were attacked that day. They've been sitting in every hearing, they were sitting in the front row today.

He hugs them, and he shakes their hands. This is the individual that Secretary Napolitano just talked about. And you know, he was compelling in his own way. He was apologetic.

Sources tell CNN that, you know, what do you make about this, David? When you see that, what does that moment -- URBAN: It's humanizing, right? So this gentleman screwed up, he made a giant mistake. He went in. He's been charged with the crime now. He is the latest who probably turned upside down.

But you know, you hear Liz Cheney talk about this afternoon about, you know, the President is not some child, he's responsible for his actions. Every one of those individuals that breached that barricade is responsible for their actions. They're not children.


URBAN: They are personally responsible for the bad things they did, and they have to be held accountable. So, I believe in personal responsibility.

Look, the President should have gone down. You heard Pat Cipollone, say at two o'clock in that two-hour period, he could have gone down easily to the podium and said "Go home, everybody."


URBAN: But you know what? Those people up there, they could have done it on their own without being directed by the President. They could have gotten home knowing they were doing something wrong.


BURNETT: Elie, to take that point though to the final word here --

NAPOLITANO: If I might say so -- if I might say so, the President however, at that time is the Commander-in-Chief and the US Capitol is under attack by thousands of people. So, you have to ask first those --

URBAN: Madam Secretary, he is not --

NAPOLITANO: ... in that circumstance.

URBAN: Madam Secretary, he's not the Commander-in-Chief of any of those troops on the ground. They actually, if you look at the line of chain of command for the Capitol Police and for the DC National Guard, the President isn't in that chain at all.

It's the Speaker and the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House who is in charge.

BURNETT: Right, but the people who were attacking the Capitol, I think, the point she's making where people he knew were there because of him.

URBAN: Oh, yes, absolutely.

BURNETT: And he didn't -- he didn't stop it, which, Elie brings me to the point. David is pointing out rightly that the people who stormed should be held accountable, they are. Ayres is being held accountable. Is that as high up as it's going to go? Is the guy who told them to go there and the guy who encouraged them being there and the guy who didn't tell them to go home going to be held accountable?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It better not be that way, because it's a perfect contrast when you see this. Are they both personally responsible for what they did? Donald Trump, Mr. Ayres --

BURNETT: Or is it only Mr. Ayres responsible?

HONIG: Of course. Well, right, in the cosmic sense, they're both personally responsible. There's no comparison between the level of the then President ...

BURNETT: Of course.

HONIG: ... and this guy, but at this point, and this is, I think, the injustice. That's really frustrating people.

We've seen Mr. Ayres prosecuted -- convicted now, he has pled guilty.


HONIG: Donald Trump DOJ doesn't appear to be anywhere particularly close to it.

BURNETT: And this is -- that is the crucial question whether there will be an indictment.

Thank you all three very much.

So next, I want to talk to Trump's former White House lawyer, Ty Cobb, for his perspective, he'll be my guest.

He has said -- he says Trump deserves blame for the deadly riot, but where is he tonight on criminal culpability?

Plus, for the first time we are seeing surveillance video from inside the elementary school in Uvalde, and it is horrific because you see it.

You see them do nothing, you see them hide, and you hear the shots.

And the most influential group of conservatives in the United States is embarrassing a notorious authoritarian who is undermining his own country's democracy.



BURNETT: Tonight, Congresswoman Liz Cheney sending a strong message to the Justice Department as Federal prosecutors look into whether former President Trump himself will face charges related to January 6.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): President Trump is a 76-year-old man, he is not an impressionable child.

No rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion and Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind.


BURNETT: OUT FRONT now, Ty Cobb, former Trump White House lawyer.

And Ty, I appreciate your time.

TY COBB, FORMER WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: My pleasure, Erin. Nice to be with you.

BURNETT: Nice to see you.

So, Congresswoman Cheney using obviously a legally important word "willfully blind," but laying out an important case, saying a 76-year- old man is not a child, no rational or sane person would have believed any of this pile of garbage that was being thrown at him, and that he therefore bears the responsibility, clearly and fully, and cannot escape it by being willfully blind. Do you agree?

COBB: No, I don't really agree, because it's not -- I mean, I think she was targeting what are the standards and elements of proving an offensive sedition or conspiracy and that's a very difficult case to prove. You really have to prove, I think in this instance, that Trump --

You would have to prove that Trump did not believe the Big Lie. I think that's a challenge in and of itself, and you would have to prove that he didn't believe, you know, silly, though they were, the legal theories that he was being fed by Sidney Powell and Rudy and others.

BURNETT: So you still believe that you have to prove belief? I know that because I know there are some who were raising the question, and I mean, she's saying rational and sane, right?

That every single person around him had laid out, this isn't true -- in excruciating detail that it was all bogus, right, so that no rational or sane person would have thought it was real. But you think he still has the grounds that he could have believed that legally?

COBB: Well, that will be his argument. That would be his lawyer's argument. That would be his argument if things progressed that way.

You know, I think Trump may revel in that a little bit in the sense that it's been six years since anybody called him rational or sane.

BURNETT: Well, yes, I mean, that is the point where people are saying, right, he is questioning his mental state, and now trying to say that well, no sane person would believe that he was sane.

Neal Katyal, who I know you're familiar with him, he was Acting Solicitor General, under former President Obama. He has predicted tonight in light of the hearing we saw today as the seventh hearing that Trump will be indicted, and I wanted to play for you part of his rationale, Ty, here he is.

COBB: Sure. Thank you.


NEAL KATYAL, FORMER ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL: I know Merrick Garland quite well, I have argued in front of him, and so on. He is incredibly cautious.

But when you're looking at this mountain of evidence to use Claire's words, I think it's very hard. It's actually unthinkable for me that he doesn't indict in the end.


BURNETT: So Ty, I guess in the context of asking you whether this is true, I just remind everyone of Mr. Ayres today, right, one of the 800 people who has been charged, right, for what he did, and he was there because of Trump.

COBB: Right.

BURNETT: And he was there for Trump and he was there because of what Trump said and he left when Trump told him to go home. Is it possible that Mr. Ayres and 800 other people are going to be charged and convicted, and the former President of the United States is not?

COBB: I think that I think that is possible. I'm not sure that will be the outcome, but it's certainly a possible outcome. I thought -- I felt very sorry for Mr. Ayres and for other Americans like him who believed in the President and trusted him when he insisted that the election had been stolen, didn't have the information available to parse in a way that they could make their own decision and, you know, sort of follow him blindly, and obviously suffered severe consequences.

I think I think that, you know, so far in the 800 prosecutions -- 800- plus prosecutions -- you know, people have tried to blame the President, and the prosecutors have pushed back on it.


I think that you know, I think this Committee has one view of control and accountability, which tended to go along with one of your previous speakers who was talking about the personal accountability of the people that actually have been charged.

And then I think the Justice Department -- excuse me, I think the Justice Department clearly believes that those people were responsible for their own actions. And it's -- it's quite a pivot for them to insist that Trump control that.

I was particularly taken today by the lack of evidence, frankly, of direct coordination. I expected that for the insurrection claims and sedition claims, the government would have some more evidence of direct coordination or communication between the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, and the violent elements with Trump or his aides.

The mere fact that somebody knew Roger Stone or knew another Trump ally, that really doesn't -- that doesn't get -- that doesn't get a prosecution over (INAUDIBLE). You have to show that Trump and his allies actually did something in concert with those people that would amount to intentional force.

BURNETT: Right. Ty Cobb, thank you very much. I appreciate your perspective.

COBB: My pleasure. Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. And next, chilling surveillance video from the Uvalde, Texas school shooting. We've just seen. And so, you know they waited over an hour, right? Then you actually have to watch it.

The police show up three minutes after the shooter. And they wait and they wait, and they duck and they hide and they do nothing.

Plus, brilliant new issues images of our solar system taken by the most powerful telescope ever built. One image showing the birth of a star.



BURNETT: New tonight, the video from inside the elementary school in Uvalde. This as the shooting unfolded, and it's the first time it's being seen publicly. "The Austin American Statesman" newspaper publishing edited portions of the surveillance footage.

And it shows what the police were doing. Not much of anything. And the parents of the children who were killed in the shooting are outraged by the leaked video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are pissed. This family didn't deserve it. I don't deserve it. That's a slap to our babies' faces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The least you could do is have some freaking decency for us. That is unacceptable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He didn't have to do this. I wanted him (INAUDIBLE). I didn't want to hear the gunfire.


BURNETT: Rosa Flores is OUTFRONT with more and we should note that CNN is not airing the audio of the gun fire inside the classroom until the gunman is killed. We want to warn our viewers, that what you'll see nonetheless is terribly disturbing. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An edited version of surveillance video released today by "The Austin-American Statesman" shows that at 11:32 on May 24th, the first shot were fired outside of Robb Elementary School, an audio of the teacher calling 911.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The kids are running! Oh, my god. Get down! Get in your rooms! Get in your rooms!

FLORES: Then at 11:33, school surveillance video shows the gunman entering an empty hallway, unhindered, walking casually with his gun hanging down. He slows down, peeks around the corner. A boy sees him as he starts shooting and the boy runs.

According to the statesman, the gunman fired his weapon, an AR-15 inside two classrooms for two and a half minutes, stopping and starting multiple times.

"The Statesman" saying they edited out the most disturbing sounds, including screams, the surveillance video that lawmakers, Texas DPS and even the Uvalde mayor have been pushing to release, shows seven police officers arriving arm. Some with rifles.

They entered the hallway, weapons drawn at 11:36, just three minutes after the gunman arrived while shots are being fired. In total, the material revealing over two of the more than 70 minutes the police were in the hallway before killing the gunman. Some rushing toward the classrooms. Other officers, hanging back.

Within one minute, shots are heard, 16 rounds in total. And police can be seen retreating. Running back, hallway to take cover. One officer appears to touch his ear.

At 11:52, 19 minutes after the gunman enters the school, the timestamp on the video shows more officers arriving. Heavily armed, some with ballistic shields. Still, they wait.

At 12:04, the video jumps 31 minutes after the gunman enters the school. And law enforcement is still waiting.

At least 19 officers are now in the hallway, according to the official timeline. At this point, a girl in one of the adjoining classrooms calls 911, sharing her location, pleading for help and calls back minutes later saying multiple people are dead.

At 12:15, a tactical team arrives. And a minute later, a 911 call saying, eight or nine students are still alive. At 12:21, 45 minutes after police arrived. The gunman fires another four shots. Police start to move down the hall again. Remaining outside the classrooms.

At 12:30, one officer uses the hand sanitizer dispenser in the school. At 12:43 and 12:47, more 911 calls to send police, and the caller says the children are aware the police are outside the door.

(GUNFIRE) [19:40:05]

Then at 12:50, 74 minutes after the police first arrived, officers breached the classroom door and killed the gunman. At this point, the video shows officers in the hallway pushing to go in.

The video account, now adding to the toll of 19 students and two teachers who were massacred at Robb Elementary have to endure.


FLORES (on camera): The families of the victims are outraged by the release of this video to "The Austin-American Statesman". In their words, they say, the final moments of their loved ones were shared with the world before they got to see them.

These families were preparing themselves emotionally to watch the entire 77 minutes with the Texas House Investigative Committee on Sunday, which is when they were expected to view the entire video.

Erin, I should mention that "The Austin-American Statesman" defending their release of the video, stating on their website, quote, we have to bear witness to history and transparency and relenting reporting is a way to bring change -- Erin.

BURNETT: Rosa, thank you very much.

And for more on this, I want to bring Democratic Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde.

And, Senator, I know that you and I have spoken over these past weeks. Now you have seen the video of what actually happened. What did you think as you watched it?

ROLAND GUTIERREZ (D), TEXAS STATE SENATOR: Well, Erin, I mean, it's kind -- first off, I'm a little bit repulse of how this came out after parents were promised that they were going to be shown this in a more sensitive way. Clearly, somebody within DPS or somebody within this committee or the governor's office leaked this video out preliminarily when the parents were promised something entirely different. That's a big concern to me.

Obviously, the video is horrendous. We see the awesome power of an AK- 47, and that's what we hear. It's just appalling, everything that's happened here. These parents have already reached out to me and they are very disturbed.

BURNETT: So, I mean, as you point out, disturbed by what they're seeing, disturbed by how it's being presented, disturbed by the timing, disturbed by what they were told to be true, which was not true.

I mean, Senator, we -- the shooter walks into the school unimpeded. That's what we see on the tape. Police officers come in behind him, three minutes later.

And then, we see the waiting and waiting and waiting. They don't rush into the classroom. More than an hour goes by.

I mean, it is just stunning. I understand that we have heard the timeline, but to see it and to hear it, somehow, it's just -- it is just unbelievable.

GUTIERREZ: Erin, I mean, what's most horrific about this video is you hear the firepower from that -- from that machine gun and you see these officers taking cover in violation of all of their protocols. These children had to live that in that -- in those classrooms. They have to live that for those that were surviving and for those that may have been saved by the delay of officers simply meandering around, waiting for God knows what.

BURNETT: Waiting for God knows what and meandering, such an agonizing word to use in this context.

Do you think, Senator, that anyone should be facing criminal charges now that you're actually seeing this timeline unfold before your eyes?

GUTIERREZ: What's apparent to me, Erin, in all of this is that I don't see anybody in charge. My own cross-examination of Steve McCraw, I asked him if his officers were following the orders of Pete Arredondo. He said, he said no.

It's apparent that what we see here is officers just walking around aimlessly with no real direction, waiting for gas masks, for ballistic shields, waiting for bars to enter the room. And yet, there was nobody taking specific action and doing what the code book tells them to do. They didn't do it here.

I don't know about criminal actions. I'll leave that up to the people that will be judging the issue. But, certainly, there needs to be accountability from DPS at this time, as well as many of those other agencies.

BURNETT: So, I know there's a committee investigating the school shooting and the chairman of that committee has said it's important for the public, for parents to see the full video, especially the lack of police response, but in the full video.

Do you know what more is there that there is to be seen in the full video?

GUTIERREZ: Well, Erin, since I filed a lawsuit against DPS and the state of Texas, they've been a little bit less willing to give me anymore information.


Well, early on, they wanted to give me information, have me sign an NDA, which I refused to do.


GUTIERREZ: And so, that's why I filed this lawsuit. This is just -- this doesn't give us any answers as to who, if anybody

was in charge. Even if we see 77 minutes in the hallway, it's not going to tell us who is in charge or who should have been charged. And I think that's a sad statement of what happened on May 24th is that no one was in charge.

The Department of Public Safety had the most officers, with 91 officers on the scene, including the (AUDIO GAP) Operation Lone Star. And they simply did not take charge as they do in any every other situation in our rural communities.

BURNETT: Unbelievable.

Thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, Republicans have just invited an authoritarian to the most important and influential conservative gathering of the year. Authoritarian who among other things has cracked on the press, gay rights, and political opponents.

Plus, NASA's $10 billion telescope capturing a dying star's final performance, like we have never before seen.


BURNETT: Tonight, witnesses in the January 6 Committee hearing make it clear that democracy itself is under attack.


JASON VAN TATENHOVE, FORMER OATH KEEPERS SPOKESMAN: I do fear for the next election cycle because who knows what that might bring, if a president that's willing to try to instill and, and encourage, to whip up a civil war amongst his followers using lies and deceit and snake oil.


And regardless of the human impact, what else is he going to do if he gets elected again? All bets are off at that point.


BURNETT: That warning from a former Oath Keeper comes as Republicans have invited the leader of Hungary, Viktor Orban, to speak at CPAC, which is the most important meeting of the year in the U.S.

Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT with the right's embrace of a leader who has been chipping away at the foundations of democracy in Hungary.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Respected all over Europe. Probably like me, a little bit controversial. SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Viktor

Orban has become an icon on the right.

TRUMP: He really is a good man and he's done a fantastic job for his country.

SERFATY: Attracting the adoration of some of the Republican Party's top right-wing voices.

STEVE BANNON, FORMER TRUMP ADVISER: What Orban represents at one level, that is the MAGA America First movement here.

SERFATY: The authoritarian nationalist and socially conservative leader won a fourth term in office in April.

VIKTOR ORBAN, PRIME MINISTER OF HUNGARY (through translator): We have scored a victory so big, that it can be seen even from the moon, but definitely from Brussels.

SERFATY: He has restricted LGBTQ rights, taking a hard line on immigration, promoted government control of the press and pushed the white nationalist great replacement theory pushing his country further right.

ORBAN (through translator): Liberal thinking in Europe now became the archenemy of freedom. Liberals are the enemy of freedom in Europe.

SERFATY: While crusading against Western liberal values.

ORBAN (through translator): We should have our own media. We can only show the insanity of the progressive left if there's media helping us.

SERFATY: Often speaking directly to and attempting to influence Republicans in the United States.

In May, Republicans hosted another CPAC conference in Hungary, an unprecedented move. The first time the gathering had been hosted in Europe.

ORBAN (through translator): The first point in Hungarian formula is to play by our own rules.

SERFATY: And it was there where Orban outlined a 12-point plan for how other leaders could emulate his approach.

ORBAN (through translator): The second point, national conservatism in domestic politics.

SERFATY: His ideology is resonating in some far right circles. Fox's Tucker Carlson even hosted his show from Budapest for multiple days last August.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Hungary, a small country with a lot of lessons for the rest of us.

SERFATY: Holding up Orban's playbook as a model for the future of the Republican Party.

CARLSON: What a wonderful country. The people who have turned our country into a much less good place are hysterical when you put it out. The last thing they want is any kind of signpost to a better way.

SERFATY: As the country today is reminded again of the threat of growing right-wing extremism with the latest January 6 hearing. Democrats see warning signs for America.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): To praise Orban, that shows you where this party is headed under MAGA Republican domination.


SERFATY (on camera): And Orban will be traveling to Dallas for the CPAC conference which will be held the first week in August. And also it features a who's who of right-wing voices in the party like former President Trump, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert and Sean Hannity, Erin, among others.

BURNETT: Sunlen, thank you very much. Certainly, a fascinating, fascinating place and person.

And next, more images tonight from NASA's most powerful telescope. They are spectacular. Here is another one of the new images.

This is five galaxies, right? Milky Way is just one little galaxy. That's five galaxies. More of this, next.



BURNETT: Tonight, a star is born. What appeared to be mountain clips as you see there are actually the edge of a young star-forming region. And that region, you're looking at a picture more than 7,000 years old really. That's the truth, 7,000 light years away.

It's just one of the breathtaking images taken by the world's most powerful telescope.

Rachel Crane is OUTFRONT.


RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over) A portal to the universe 13 million years ago, colliding galaxies giving birth to new star formation, stellar and planetary nebula in all their glory. And the first glimpse inside the cloudy atmosphere of an exoplanet. An extraordinary milestone for the James Webb space telescope as NASA finally revealed the breathtaking first set of images, including the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the universe to date.

ERIC SMITH, PROGRAM SCIENTIST, JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE PROGRAM: We're making discoveries and we really have not even started trying out. The promise of this telescope is amazing. CRANE: More than two decades in the making and the result of a $10

billion investment, Webb is the largest and most advanced telescope ever to orbit the sun and sends back its groundbreaking data from 1 million miles away.

BILL NELSON, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: Every image is a new discovery and each will give humanity a view of the universe that we have never seen before.

CRANE: But it's more than just a telescope. It's a time machine.

THOMAS ZURBUCHEN, ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR, NASA SCIENCE MISSION DIRECTORATE: The way I think about it is a portal to the ancient times of the universe. The telescope is way more than just a way to look at nature. It's a way to unlock nature in new ways.

CRANE: Launched on Christmas Day of 2021, James Webb is 100 times more powerful than its predecessor, Hubble, and makes the mysteries of the universe observable using new technologies never before launched into space. Webb transforms the invisible infrared light of the cosmos into something the human eye can see, study, and investigate.

ZURBUCHEN: It's really our Apollo moment in science. It's -- we bet everything on it and we got there.

CRANE: Scientists see a once in a chance opportunity to just be questions about our existence. How did we get here and are we alone? And while we don't yet have answers as it's just the beginning, scientists are already blown away by the results.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is going to be revolutionary. These are incredible capabilities that we've never had before.

CRANE: Rachel Crane, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: And thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.