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Erin Burnett Outfront
Source: "Deep Concern" at White House About Trump Mar-a-Lago Docs; Cheney: January 6 Panel in Talks with Pence Counsel About Testimony; Russia, Ukraine Blame Each Other for Attacks Near Nuclear Plant; Cook Report: Senate Control is now a Toss-Up After Predicting in Spring that GOP Would Have Majority. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 19, 2022 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, CNN learning there is deep concern within the White House over the classified material that Trump took to Mar-a-Lago. Could the documents put American national security at risk? And what about that material on the French President Emmanuel Macron seized by FBI agents?
Plus, the January 6th Committee speaks with Pence's attorneys about his potential testimony, but what about Trump himself testifying. I'm going to speak to a member of the committee this hour.
And will overturning Roe make men more responsible fathers? That is the one argument that one anti-abortion advocate is making to our reporter Elle Reeve. You'll want to hear the exchange for yourself.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT on this Friday, deep concern. White House officials privately expressing what's described as deep concern over classified documents found at Trump's Mar-a-Lago home. The White House has remained silent publicly, but CNN learning tonight that behind closed doors it's a very different story. Concerns are mounting that the information found at Mar-a-Lago could put sources and methods of the U.S. intelligence committee at risk.
And part of that concern is likely stemming from the new documents released by a federal judge relating to the search of Mar-a-Lago. These are the papers that contained specific information about what the Department of Justice is investigating in terms of potential offenses. The words right here in that document under the search is related to a violation of, you see this line, willful retention of national defense information.
That is important language. It is language that sharpens the focus on Trump himself as a possible subject of the criminal probe.
And the developments from the White House tonight come as there are developments until the January 6th and Georgia criminal investigations.
Tonight, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney telling ABC's Jon Karl that discussions are, in fact, going on about former Vice President Mike Pence possibly testifying at this point before the House January 6th committee.
Karl asking Cheney about Pence's comments this week that he would consider testifying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): So we've been in discussions with his counsel.
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS HOST: So you think we'll see him here in September in this room in front of the committee?
CHENEY: Well, I would hope that he will understand how important it is for the American people to know every aspect of the truth about what happened that day.
KARL: What about Trump? Before you wrap up, will you ask him to testify?
CHENEY: I don't want to make any announcements about that this morning. So let me just -- let me just leave it there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, we're going to speak with another member of the committee, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren in just a few moments.
I want to update you though on Georgia, though, a development there where a federal judge denies Trump's ally Senator Lindsey Graham's latest attempt to avoid appearing before the special grand jury. The Fulton County district attorney's office said that Graham is, quote, crucial to the investigation because according to the subpoena, Graham made at least two calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger after the 2020 election.
Just to make it clear why this is so important, Graham does and did not live in Georgia. He is the senator from South Carolina. He was a very close ally of President Trump's.
And here is how Secretary Raffensperger said he understood his calls from Graham.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRAD RAFFENSPERGER (R), GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, just an implication that look hard and see how many ballots you could throw out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Look hard and see how many ballots you could throw out. That's what he took away with a call from Lindsey Graham, the senator from South Carolina, that's what he said to the Georgia secretary of state who's responsible for elections in Georgia? Well, that call, of course, now exists in the context of the now infamous call that Trump made to Raffensperger.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: All I want to do is this, I just want to find 11,780 votes.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: Kaitlan Collins begins our coverage tonight at the White House.
And, Kaitlan, I mentioned the news you broke at the top of the show. You've been working on this, and you found out there are deep concerns at the Biden White House about the documents found at Mar-a-Lago. So, what more are your sources telling you?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. The White House is not saying basically anything about this investigation, certainly not publicly, Erin, but we are told that internally there is a pretty high level of concern about what exactly documents were taken to Mar-a-Lago, and what potentially could be at risk by the fact that they were taken there, not in a secured facility as the way that the federal government defines that and certainly not the way the intelligence community defines that as.
And so as more information has emerged as we have now seen what exactly was taken from Mar-a-Lago, we don't know specifically what the documents were. But you saw that inventory list that came out last week after the judge unsealed it, that did list what they took, including some information that is only supposed to be viewed inside secure government facilities. It's what's known as a SCIF to people here who work at the White House, or --in Congress.
You go into a certain room to read this. You're often not allowed to wear things such as an Apple Watch to look at this information.
And so, they are concerned, what we are hearing from sources, it could potentially put the methods and sources that the U.S. intelligence committee puts at risk. They're not sure whose hands this was in, what has happened to the information. Obviously, it was not held in a secure facility. That's why they were so concerned about it.
And so, they do have great concerns about that. And we know that representatives for the intelligence community have spoken to the Justice Department. They talked to the congressional intelligence committees. They talked to the National Archives, because they do have a level of concern about this. And so, that's something we're hearing from the White House about what they are wondering here and they want to know what it was that was taken to Mar-a-Lago.
BURNETT: So, after the FBI search Mar-a-Lago, Kaitlan, we got the property list of what they took with them, right, when they released the warrant and the receipt. There was one curious entry line, 1A, info re: president of France. And I know you have been looking into this. What are you learning?
COLLINS: Yeah, that's actually one of the concerns that the White House has is, you know, does this potentially affect diplomatic relations. They don't know what that information was.
It is notably under -- it is 1A, it is under 1, which is talking about a note about clemency for Roger Stone when Trump granted him clemency. And so, that is another concern, why these two are connected on that inventory list.
The White House has not commented. The French embassy is not commenting on that. It has raised eyebrows about what that information is. That's their concern, is that this could put intelligence sources and methods at risk, but also the idea that there's information about world leaders. They don't know what it is, that is also was in a basement, kept in a basement at Mar-a-Lago.
BURNETT: Absolutely. Kaitlan Collins, thank you so much, from the White House tonight.
And let's go now to Ryan Goodman, who is co-editor in chief of "Just Security" and former counsel at the Defense Department, along with Olivia Troye, former homeland security and terrorism adviser to then Vice President Mike Pence.
So, Olivia, you know, you hear Kaitlan's reporting there. If you were still working in the White House, right, so you're in what is now the Biden White House, how worried would you be about the documents that former President Trump had at this point given what we know about them?
OLIVIA TROYE, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY & COUNTERTERRORISM ADVISER TO VP PENCE: Well, I'd be incredibly concerned. It's a guessing game right now to figure out what exactly was in these documents, and who saw them, and where they ended up or where they copied or where they get into others or foreign adversaries, considering the amount of foreigners that go on to that property, and so I'd just be concerned about what was there, what is known, and whether any of our defense capabilities, weapons systems or intelligence officers on the ground, whether any of this information is at risk.
And so, they're right to be concerned, and I think that, you know, I could see across the national security community, anybody who holds a clearance, or really cares about our homeland security and national security as a whole, would be concerned about this.
BURNETT: So Ryan, it's one thing if, as Olivia is saying, they would be completely justified in these concerns. It's another to sort of have it come out publicly that the White House is weighing in, right? They have so far steadfastly remained silent, outside of al kinds of accusations about their involvement, they did not know about the raid until it happened, the media broke it, and they have been silent.
Should officials even be talking like this?
RYAN GOODMAN, CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, JUST SECURITY: It's really hard. I think they're in a no win situation, because this has to be a major concern for them, but at the same time they're not supposed to be having any conversations with the Justice Department about an ongoing criminal investigation. So what do they do in a situation? I do think that it's a real intelligence concern, and that the people at the highest level within the White House need to have an answer to that. Maybe they get the answer from the intelligence community like the office of -- direct office in national intelligence, but they can't really speak to the Justice Department.
BURNETT: At all, right.
So, Olivia, there are also concerns inside the White House because of that 1A, right? That 1A. It stood out to all of us, information about the French president, Emmanuel Macron.
You say it does not surprise you that that specific thing would have been found in the documents that the former president kept with him. How come?
TROYE: Well, I don't think that Donald Trump was necessarily a fan of President Macron, to be honest with you. I think it was a tense relationship there along the way. Honestly, when I saw that that was part of the information, I was like, well, that makes sense.
Donald Trump's vindictive. He's known to be. Any information like that, he would probably hang on to.
We don't know. We don't know if it's classified information on the president of France, or we don't know if it's a memento or a letter, or something that he was planning to do or send.
So, I mean, all bets are on that. We have no idea.
But, you know, Donald Trump, he -- you know, he is a man who holds grudges and does not forget. It is concerning to wonder why he felt the need to preserve that. If it is intelligence information related to that, that actually, it hurts our relationship internationally. It hurts our partnerships.
There's intelligence hearings that goes on between our partners. I'm sure that if I were the president of France might be wondering the same question. What kind of information is this? And also questions of relationship.
BURNETT: Right, absolutely. It's interesting -- the commentary you provided about Trump's feeling vengeful and not liking the president of France.
Ryan, top Trump allies have repeatedly change their talking points as this progressed to defend why Trump would be in possession of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Here's the latest defense from his former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER PERSONAL TRUMP ATTORNEY: They want to make him responsibility for having taken classified documents and preserve them. Really, if you look at the Espionage Act, it's not really about taking the documents. It's about destroying or hiding them, or giving them to the enemy. It's not about taking them and putting them in a place that is roughly as safe as they were in in the first place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Your response?
GOODMAN: It's really an extraordinary exchange. There he is as a kind of representative for Trump and he's admitting to the key elements of the Espionage Act. If we look at just the cover note that was revealed yesterday for the restaurant, the words are that they are investigating Trump for the willful retention of national defense information.
What did Giuliani just say? He actually is admitting that there was a deliberate attempt to keep national defense information.
BURNETT: It's not about taking, it is about destroying it or disseminating it.
GOODMAN: That's right. He's dead wrong. It's actually the provision that they cited is when he just described. So, he's trying to back into a corner with a new excuse, but he's actually admitted key elements of the Espionage Act.
BURNETT: Of course, the other part of that, the stuff was sitting around. You don't know whether people could come into contact with it or take it. So you know, maybe you were disseminating or at least giving in an environment where it could be disseminated. So, that part is not right either.
Thank you so much, Ryan and Olivia. I appreciate it.
I want to go straight now to a member of the House January 6 Committee Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.
And, Congresswoman, I appreciate your time.
Just moments ago, before that conversation, I played your colleague Congresswoman Cheney in a conversation with John Karl, where she said today there are discussions going on with Pence's counsel about having the former vice president testified before your committee.
How far along are these discussions?
REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Well, I'll say, when the vice president said in his speech that he would entertain the idea of coming in to speak to the committee, my ears perked up and I think everyone on the committee did. So, you know, if he needs an invitation from us to come in and do that, I think we would like to accomplish that. We have learned an awful lot about what happened with the vice president, because so many of his close associates have come in and testified quite honestly and at length.
But sure, it would be great to hear from the vice president, and I don't know whether it was an offhand comment, or whether it was a message to us to send him an invitation. But we are certainly going to pursue it.
BURNETT: Right. You are referring to obviously what he said when he was in New Hampshire, I believe earlier this week, he said he would consider it.
So, just to make sure I'm interpreting what you are seeing correctly, Congresswoman. You are saying that discussions haven't been going along for a long time and now recently gotten more intense, is that he said that and that opened the door. So, it's this week could this happen?
LOFGREN: I don't want to contradict our vice chair. I think she summarized it quite adequately. And I for one would very much like to hear from him.
BURNETT: So, we also heard Jon Karl asked Cheney about the former president, President Trump, himself testifying. Cheney's answer there was very interesting. You know, sort of, I -- I just want to talk about that this morning, right? Politely.
BURNETT: But what more can you tell us about that possibility? Because clearly it is one.
And, Congresswoman, I just have to put it in the context of, you've already had, right, seven hearings. You've already presented so much to the country, that to do it at this point, it says something. I may not know what something is, but it says something.
What more can you tell us about his possible testimony?
LOFGREN: Well, you know, the committee rules done allow either of us to announce, you know, witness lists or what witnesses had said in testimony. I'll just speak for myself, saying that I would very much like to hear from the ex-president, but I really can't make an announcement as to, you know, our witness list, you know, unless the committee votes to do that, and there's been no vote at the committee to do that.
BURNETT: Your committee did recently interview the Trump former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And he after that has spoken. Here's what he told FOX News last night about that interview with your committee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE POMPEO, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: They were chasing witches, right? This was -- this was a far field, wandering interview.
I spoke the truth to them. I can't tell you the details, Laura. They were looking for discussions about the 25th Amendment, discussions that I never seriously undertook with any of my counterparts. They were -- they were looking to build a storyline, the conclusion of which was already written.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Chasing witches, Congresswoman?
LOFGREN: I think my colleague Adam Kinzinger described this very well. I think, as Adams said, this has been on the part of the former secretary of state and our former colleague in the House. He certainly doesn't want to alienate Trump supporters, as he is hoping one day to run for president.
We're not chasing any witches in any of these hearings. We're asking questions. We're hoping to ascertain the facts. I think, you know, one of the things that I mentioned the other day, the 25th Amendment was not invoked.
So, you know, to suggest that there is some kind of scheme to prove something, no, we are just trying to find the facts, and that is the job that has been assigned to the committee. I guess our former colleague is trying to make sure that he doesn't alienate Trump world.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Congresswoman Lofgren. I appreciate your time.
LOFGREN: You bet.
BURNETT: And next, dangerous rhetoric from candidates running for office right now.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CARL PALADINO, NEW YORK GOP CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: An administration of people like Garland, OK who should be not only impeached, he probably should be executed.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: Plus, Vladimir Putin's playing nuclear fire, that one nuclear expert described the showdown in separate Ukraine, home to the largest nuclear plant and Europe.
And trouble for Dr. Mehmet Oz and several other Republicans in much win races for the GOP to win the Senate. Are Democrats going to pull a surprise in the Senate?
[19:21:01] BURNETT: Mentally unstable and a total nut, that's how the current Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan describes the Trump endorsed candidate in the race to replace him. This after Dan Cox sent a fundraising emails saying he would, quote, use the Maryland state police and guard to stand against all rogue actions against the out of control, tyrannical Biden administration.
It is just one example of the dangerous, violent language being used right now by candidates and elected officials in the U.S.
Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.
JOE KENT (R), WASHINGTON CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: We are at war.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It has escalated into an alarming battle cry of the far-right.
KARI LAKE (R), AZ GOVERNOR CANDIDATE: These people sent politically motivated, federal agents to President Donald Trump's home and raided it. How dare they?
SERFATY: Many Republican candidates reacting to the FBI search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago home with violent incinerate rhetoric, taking their defense of the former president to new dangerous levels.
PALADINO: To raid the home of a former president, people are scratching their heads and saying, what is wrong with this guy?
SERFATY: New York Republican congressional candidate Carl Paladino suggesting the attorney general should be killed.
PALADINO: And administration of people like Garland, OK, who should not only be impeached, he probably should but be executed.
SERFATY: Trying to walk back moments later.
PALADINO: I'm just being facetious. I mean, the man should be removed from office.
SERFATY: Maryland Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Cox posting on Facebook that if elected, he would use state police against President Biden's government, saying, quote, as governor, I would use the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, the Maryland constitution and Declaration of Right, the MSP and Maryland Guard to stand against all rogue actions of this out of control, tyrannical Biden administration, with fierce tenacity, and comparing the FBI search of Trump's resort to communists Stasi police state tactics.
Republican congressional candidate Joe Kent on the day he beat incumbent Representative Jamie Herrera Beutler in Washington state's primary --
KENT: When we take back power in 2023, we have to play smash mouth.
SERFATY: Erroneous the claiming that Merrick Garland broke the law after the FBI search at Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.
KENT: We're going to go after people who have violated the law.
SERFATY: Meantime, some elected Republicans and Trump loyalist are demanding retaliation, the defunding and dismantling of the FBI.
ANTHONY SABATINI (R), FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: If it was up to me, I would totally defund the FBI, completely defund the FBI.
SERFATY: Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeting: "Defund the FBI", and selling T-shirts with the same slogan on them.
The former vice president is calling them out.
MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: The attacks on the FBI must stop. Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police.
BURNETT: You hear the former vice president there, Sunlen, at the end of your report. What has -- well, I guess current Republican leadership had to say about the dangerous rhetoric being used when throwing the word execute around regarding the current attorney general?
SERFATY: There's a big and important words, and Republican leadership is not doing much to tone down the rhetoric. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, keep in mind, he is someone who could potentially become the next speaker if the Republicans take the House. He was asked specifically about this rhetoric and if he has any responsibility to temper down. And in that moment, he chose likely surgically not to answer at all. He turned the question around on the attorney general saying Garland is the one here with a real problem.
And then you have the number three Republican in the House, Elise Stefanik, and she had previously endorsed Carl Paladino. He is the candidate in New York who said he wanted Garland to potentially be executed, and he is no stranger to incendiary language on his own. He has a long line of very controversial statements. So, Republicans here, Erin, largely choosing to look the other way.
BURNETT: Thank you very much, Sunlen Serfaty, with that report. Sobering.
And next, tensions rising at the nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia. It is the largest nuclear plant and the entire continent of Europe, and it's in danger. But Putin is now claiming that Ukraine is showing it, and there could be nuclear Armageddon. What dangerous game is he playing? We're there live with the latest.
And is Dr. Oz, the Trump candidate running for Senate in Pennsylvania in real trouble?
BURNETT: Tonight, hybrid warfare on steroids, those are the words that Western officials are using to describe the situation right now at this separates a nuclear power plant in Ukraine. It is the largest nuclear complex in all of Europe.
Now, Vladimir Putin has claimed that the Ukrainian military was showing their own plant, in the middle of their own country but new satellite images, it may not surprise you that there are no signs of systematic shelling at all. This is a senior U.S. defense officials says Russia has shown a disregard for the plant security, calling it the height of irresponsibility.
Sam Kiley is OUTFRONT. He's there on the ground in Zaporizhzhia tonight.
And, Sam, Russia has occupied to plan since March, right? Ukrainians have been going to work there and been in this bubble, right, unable to get out of it. But they -- the Russians have controlled it. And now, we have both sides making accusations about military action around the plant. The situation getting increasingly precarious. What are you seeing on the ground?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, I think that -- in fact, I was hearing in early March when the first prospect of a nuclear disaster was raised because, of course, that was just after the Russians had captured that location, firing shelves, firing machine guns and so on, and causing extreme consternation.
That consternation has come back to the national discourse because in the last few weeks, Russian troops have been using a location very, very close if not inside the very much next to the nuclear power station to shell across the river using rockets, shelling the town of Nikopol, they killed 13 people there. I was in the village a couple days ago, they killed people -- sorry, injured people, and destroyed some villages, houses, not whole villages, excuse me, in a number of areas within range of these Russian shells.
The Russians have claimed that the Ukrainians have been hitting back, but now this latest satellite imagery indicates very clearly, as far as CNN's analysis of it goes, that there has been no significant increase in the damage to Russian locations and Russian held locations around the nuclear power station for a month. So, that really gives the light to the latest statement coming from the Russian president, which according to the Kremlin readout of the phone call with the French President Emmanuel Macron in which Vladimir Putin used the term of systematic shelling and systemic attacks being conducted by Ukraine.
So, that has been proven to be untrue, but it is on the front line. It is an extremely vulnerable location. And on top of that, Macron is the latest person to draw attention to this. There were deep concerns about potential Russian plans to reroute electricity from the Ukrainian network into one controlled by Russia. That is fraught with technical issues that could also cause a disaster, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Sam, thank you very much. Live from Zaporizhzhia tonight.
I want to bring in now Dan Rice. He is a special adviser to the commander-in-chief of Ukraine's forces. He's also U.S. former army officer. He returned from his famous visit with the commander in Ukrainian forces.
So, Dan, I appreciate your time.
DAN RICE, SPECIAL ADVISER TO UKRAINIAN COMMANDER IN CHIEF: Sure.
BURNETT: Putin warning about large-scale catastrophe at Zaporizhzhia. He's warning of that. He's blaming it on Ukraine and saying the systematic chilling, which it just hurts him make very clear, it's not occurring. No evidence of it.
Nuclear expert Joe Cirincione says Putin is playing with nuclear fire. What is Putin doing here?
RICE: He's clearly a terrorist at this point. I mean, he's holding hostage the largest nuke plant in all of Europe. He is firing at it. I have confidence that the Ukrainian reports are accurate.
The Ukrainian strategic communications chief is a friend of mine. And she always tells the truth. I think that's why Ukraine has won over the world. Russia always tells to two truths and a lie, you cannot believe anything they say. Ukraine is not firing at their own nuclear plant and within their country.
Russia is and that's basically called a false flag attack.
BURNETT: You think that's what it is, that it's a false flag, to justify what? What's the possible ramp here?
RICE: The worry is that instead of dropping a nuclear weapon he would just hit and have a meltdown. He would sabotage it and say that Ukrainian Nazis destroyed it, caused major fallout. Just a horrible, like Fukushima type of a fall out. And then use it as an excuse to remove forces from Ukraine, saying they're exposed to radiation.
So, he's losing in Ukraine. He needs a way out with dignity, and this could give him the false flag attack giving him an excuse to pull his forces out and say the Nazis did it, which is nobody but people in Russia would believe. People in Russia believe have his propaganda, but nobody in the rest of the world does.
BURNETT: So, it's incredibly -- it comes in the context of what would have been recently some -- I know you've got very much stalled front line here on both sides. And there have been a couple of public things that Ukraine has done recently, successfully in Crimea, which was totally controlled by Russia. People didn't really expect Ukraine to do anything there, and they did.
Western officials saying that the shelling of that Russian airbase in Crimea has put half of Russia's fighter jets in its Black Sea naval fleet completely out of use. We could see the extensive damage on the screen here. Now, this is half the fighter jets in their Black Sea naval fleet, obviously, that's not where most fighter jets reside, but nonetheless, that is significant.
You see the bridge going from Crimea to Russia jam-packed with traffic. Russians who, literally, look at that -- going on vacation during the war trying to leave, all trying to flee. How big of a move was this for Ukraine?
RICE: I think this tells the Russians that there is nowhere in Ukraine to hide. They are at risk anywhere. So, Russia took Ukraine in 2014 and has occupied it since. And General Zaluzhnyi told me, one of the biggest regrets they had was not dropping their bridges when the invasion happened. The reason they didn't was because --
BURNETT: For Crimea.
RICE: For Crimea. They wanted to come back and reoccupy and use their own bridges to liberate their towns. They realize their mistake and the invasion of 2022, they dropped all the bridges into Kyiv, and that's why the Russians got stalled. That's why the battle of Kyiv was successful.
So, I think that Crimean Bridge is going to be taken down soon. I think the major target --
BURNETT: That big one that we just saw full of people going home?
RICE: That's correct. It's a 12 mile bridge. It's the majority of the way to connect the Donbas over Crimea, over to what they want to take with Odesa, all the way out. They basically with choke off Ukraine by taking the majority all the way to Moldova and Transnistria.
And so, right now, Crimea was attacked. Ukrainians are not saying how. They are attacking all across the front with conventional forces. Special operation forces, and this partisans behind the lines, attacking Russian -- the Russians are getting hit, but they're not claiming which one of them did it.
BURNETT: So, we have new footage from "Time Magazine" and this shows Ukrainian pilot training on flight simulators to fly American made Cold War era A10 fighter jets. These fighter jets are designed to attack tanks, right, specifically the type of tanks that the Russians are using in this conflict. Now, the U.S., I want to be clear has given no indication that they would ever provide Ukraine these jets or any others.
You've obviously spent a lot of time with commander-in-chief. You're advising him of the Ukrainian armed forces. Does he believe they're going to get these jets?
RICE: I can't speak for what he believes on that particular topic, but I have spoken with him, I think what we want to provide him and what Congress is discussion, the House passed it in a needs to go to the Senate, when they come out of recesses, is F16s and F15s coming out of mothballs.
Now, those aircrafts are better for this environment in my opinion than a A10, it's a relatively slow aircraft. It was effective in Afghanistan going against insurgents. It did not have a lot of air defense systems. The Russian air defense systems and the Ukrainian are so significant, you need mach 2.5 aircrafts like F16s and F15s.
So, I think what we need to start doing is we need to start training those pilots in the U.S. now. If Congress and the president eventually decide to give those aircraft, they'll be trained in addition to maintenance troops. That's the listen we learn from the multiple launch rocket systems.
The president approved it but no Ukrainians are trained on it. So, it took four weeks to bring them to Germany and Poland to get them trained so we could get them in. We need to do things and sequential order now and start thinking ahead. If we train them and then the president chooses not to use the F15s and F16s, it's not a big loss. Those pilots don't have aircraft right now.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Dan Rice. Appreciate it.
RICE: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: Special adviser to the Ukrainian commander of armed forces.
And next, the numbers moving left and some big Senate races. We're going to tell you which Republicans are in trouble tonight and why.
And young and emboldened, the face of the anti-abortion rights movement may not be who you think. Our reporter Elle Reeve speaks with one young advocate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPP)
ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you really think abortion providers just want to take your money and kill your child?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in Pennsylvania, and he's doing that to campaign with election denier Doug Mastriano, who is running for governor in Pennsylvania. While he's there, DeSantis will not be appearing with Mehmet Oz, whose Senate campaign is currently flailing.
"The Cook Political Report", which has a very solid record of accurately predicting the outcome of elections, has moved that particular Senate race to leans Democrat, and overall, "Cook Political" has changed the Senate outlook to a toss-up. OUTFRONT now, Jessica Taylor, senate and governors editor for "The
Cook Political Report".
And, Jessica, I really appreciate your time. Let's just start here with Pennsylvania. Remember Dr. Oz got in. That was all this big fanfare. He won that primary against the moderate Republican.
Why did you think Oz's odds of winning have diminished so much in these past few weeks and I guess a couple of months?
JESSICA TAYLOR, SENATE & GOVERNORS EDTIOR, THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT WITH AMY WALTER: Well, he had a bruising primary that he only narrowly won by over 900 votes against David McCormick. There were about $13 million just over that with negative ads against him.
He, really, after the primary, there was real complaints we were starting to hear from Republicans that he was going to his home in Palm Beach, and going to Ireland, and, you know, instead of trying to sort of rehab his image which polls were consistently showing after the primary and over the summer, that he was very underwater with voters. Those negative attacks had worked.
And remember, he moved to the state to run. So, he's facing a lot of carpet-bagging charges too. And Pennsylvania is a very parochial state. Being from their matters to a lot of voters and John Fetterman is.
Oz went to medical school there and got his MBA at the University of Pennsylvania. His wife is from there, but he's lived in New Jersey for the past several years where he's been working on his TV show. And so, he -- it's that and remember, even Fetterman has been off the campaign trail up until recently after the primary because he suffered a stroke.
So, I think it's a combination of all of those things. We have seen in the past few weeks is an uptick for Democrats across the board, it's sitting very hard in Pennsylvania, where we have consistently seen over the summer that Fetterman has had a double digit lead over Oz.
TAYLOR: Now, neither I nor Republicans or Democrats think this is going to be a double digit race. Pennsylvania is a very close state. This will tighten. But the lead is consistent enough and Oz's numbers are underwater enough at this point that we felt like it merited his rating change.
BURNETT: Which is -- and it's significant. It is significant. By the way, the context here stood out to me. It seems certainly from what you heard in the political discourse from both Republicans and Democrats that it was a foregone conclusion that Republicans were going to take control of Congress, right? They were going to take the Senate to. Now, you have races in Ohio, Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania, not sure things.
You had the GOP chances of flipping the Senate at 60 percent this spring. Now, it's a toss-up. It is not just Pennsylvania.
What's happening overall that made you changed your prediction?
JESSICA TAYLOR, SENATE & GOVERNORS EDTIOR, THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT WITH AMY WALTER: Well, we did see again that boost for Democrats that happened after the Dobbs decision. They have had -- Democrats and the White House have had the legislative successes recently. And then also, it's these weaker candidates like Oz, like Blake Masters in Arizona, Herschel Walker in Georgia, that really are worrying Republicans.
Now, again, I think the House is far more likely to flip at this point, but in Senate races, they are -- candidates matter more. However, we have seen over the past decade or 12 years that Senate races have become more parliamentary. That is what I have been attributing things to in May, is that these races, because at the national environment would be favoring Republican so much that Republicans would have the edge.
But we see candidates outrun Biden, his approval numbers in that state, can that keep up? We'll see after Labor Day.
BURNETT: We'll see after Labor Day. Obviously, then it really heats up coming into those midterms itself. Jessica, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
TAYLOR: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, an anti-abortion rights advocate says he once the promise of fatherhood to be a big motivator in the cause.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I I just don't understand why I need to give something up so that man can be better people? Maybe you can develop policy --
ANDREW BECKWITH, PRESIDENT, MASSACHUSETTS FAMILY INSTITUTE: What do you see yourself giving up?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And a little leaguer that almost died after a fall from the bone bed now up and walking and watched his team play in the World Series today.
BURNETT: Tonight, defiant. She's 21 years old and completely out of step with nearly three quarters of Americans her age, but Deborah Cumbee is one of the newest and strongest faces the anti-abortion movement. Elle Reeve is OUTFRONT?
DEBORAH CUMBEE, COMMUNICATIONS & RESEARCH ASST., MASSACHUSETTS FAMILY INSTITUTE: When I was 12, I was fundraising for a local pregnancy resource center, and during that time, I was watching videos of what abortion actually were. From that moment on, I knew that the rest of my life would be dedicated to working in the pro-life movement.
ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Deborah Cumbee is 21 years old and has spent half her life and antiabortion politics. She is trained in activism at conservative think thinks.
CUMBEE: The first thing I texted my best friend was in all caps, Roe v. Wade is overturned, and she text back and it's like, it's about time. We are absolutely ecstatic that the pro-life movement has been given his chance to modernize our loss.
REEVE: Cumbee is unusual, 74 percent of adults under 30 think abortion should be legal and most cases, but she embodies an effort and the antiabortion movement to present a more modern movement for the base. One still rooted in religion but with a pitch that makes claims on science.
CUMBEE: My faith imports me on how it should people but sciences would tells me that life begins at conception. I am not supposed to exist. I am a young woman who is a professional that is advocating for the life of children.
We are here to say, if you need to community to come alongside you and give you another option other than to take the life of your child and pay into an abortion industry that really wants to take your money and kill your child, we are here to tell you that you don't have to do that.
REEVE: Do you really think that abortion providers just want to take your money and career child? Do you think that is the motivation?
CUMBEE: It looks like to a lot of us that they are targeting disadvantaged women so that they can continue to have their practice and their stream of revenue coming.
REEVE: So that is a yes?
REEVE: That Dobbs decision brings the fight to the states. At the Massachusetts Family Institute, Andrew Beckwith thinks his state is the front line in the culture war.
BECKWITH: A child conceived in Massachusetts should at the same right to life and birth as a child conceived in Mississippi or Texas or Alabama.
REEVE: The infant mortality rate in Mississippi, a more pro-life state, is choices high as it is in Massachusetts.
BECKWITH: That's a tragedy. Here in Massachusetts, we've got some of the best medical care. It is a shame we don't leverage that to promote the culture of life.
REEVE: Legal scholar Erika Bachiochi is trying to create a socially conservative feminism that rejects the sexual revolution.
ERIKA BACHIOCHI, DIRECTOR, THE WOLLSTONECRAFT PROJECT: When you sort of enable through abortion, what you think is consequence for a sex, you are really just putting the consequence on women. We have left a woman with the burdens of fertility and we have really let men off the hook. I think what we have seen, I mean, in the last 50 years is this epidemic of fatherlessness.
BECKWITH: We believe men should be responsible and be fathers and not use abortion as an after the fact contraception or get out of jail free card.
REEVE: So, do you think banning abortion would many more responsible as fathers?
BECKWITH: I think it should. We're going to have to restore the culture to where fatherhood is valued. You will take it if something better than video games and Netflix.
REEVE: I just don't understand why I need to give something up so that man can be better people? Maybe you can develop policy --
BECKWITH: But do you see yourself is giving up?
REEVE: Why would a woman need to give up the right to an abortion so that man can eventually become better people? If you made policy to address man problems that is just a man problem directly?
BECKWITH: I think you are coming at it from a different place conceptually.
REEVE: The conceptual framework Bachiochi is working in imagines a less individualistic society, one that emphasizes the obligations people have to each other. Less abortion, more family leave.
Is the goal to convince progressive women to accept restrictions on abortion or is the goal to convince conservatives to create a more generous social welfare state?
BACHIOCHI: I would say the goal is to probably both. The GOP has been really captured by libertarian forces for a long time, and they have not understood the ways in which some economic transitions, going all the way back to industrialization have really harmed especially the working classes and the poor.
REEVE: The pitch is like, okay, sacrifice your individual rights, if actually in your best interests.
[19:55:04] You sacrifice your individual rights to an abortion, but we will still get all the good stuff. But the good stuff never comes.
BACHIOCHI: There is a real shift I think happening in the GOP that I hope happens more and more towards understanding the responsibilities that the community as a whole has towards families.
CUMBEE: We would love to see more organizations instead of paying for women to get abortions. We would love to see them offer other alternatives like paid maternity leave and having flexible hours for the women to have children.
REEVE: I am wondering, are you as focused on convincing conservatives at the necessity for a broader, more generous welfare state?
CUMBEE: Well, to be honest here, Massachusetts, all our time is taken by putting out the fires a pro-choice and anti-life policies. I want life to prevail if I am in the United States and in Massachusetts.
REEVE: Elle Reeve, CNN, Boston.
BURNETT: And next, the boy who is critically injured in a bunk bed fall honor today at the Little League World Series.
BURNETT: The news gets better and better for Easton Oliverson, the 12- year-old who fell from a bunk bed at the Little League World Series. He took his first steps after fracturing his skull on a fall Monday. Today, his team played without him. Supporters wore Team Easton bracelets, though, and "get well" messages on their shoes. His hat and glove were placed on the field, and his dad and little brother Brogan happy for small miracles every day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACE OLIVERSON, EASTON'S FATHER: Be more grateful and we are so proud of him for his strength and all the prayers and love and support we've received from everywhere around the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Easton, nicknamed Tank was some who know him, was watching it all from his hospital awake and later to see this message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Go Tank.
REPORTER: Go Tank.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tank's team lost, but he is miraculously and truly on the mend.
Thanks for joining us.
It's time for Anderson.