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Erin Burnett Outfront

Judge Orders DOJ To Release Redacted Mar-a-Lago Search Affidavit; Trump, Allies Privately Concerned About Probe Over Mar-a- Lago Docs; Biden About To Hold Major Rally As Dems See Momentum; Biden Gives Major Speech On Midterm Strategy. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired August 25, 2022 - 19:00   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, a federal judge ordering the release of a redacted affidavit used to justify the FBI search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago. The release of that crucial document could happen at any moment.

Plus, first on CNN, Trump's inner circling questioning the competency of the former president's legal team as concerns grow over the influence of one particular conservative legal voice. Why?

And Biden's victory lap. We're standing by to hear from the president live, his most significant political speech of the midterms as Democrats gain more momentum in key states.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan in for Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, all eyes on the DOJ. A federal judge ordering the Justice Department to release the redacted affidavit used to justify the FBI search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago home. The release could happen anytime between now and noon tomorrow. Search warrant affidavits typically contain pretty crucial information, like why investigators want to search a property and what potential crimes they're looking for.

Judge Bruce Reinhart is ordering the affidavits' release agreed -- who is ordering the affidavit's release agreeing with the Justice Department that certain portions of the document should remain sealed. This is how he put it.

Quote: Disclosure would reveal the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties, the investigation strategy, direction, scope, sources, and methods, and grand jury information. So, now, the question remains -- what will the DOJ reveal, and what will it tell us about the investigation into the sensitive material that was taken from Mar-a-Lago?

This comes as we're also learning there is growing concern inside Trump's inner circle that the former president's legal team is outmatched. Sources tell CNN the former president is turning to outside legal advice, including advice from Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton, a close Trump ally who is clearly telling the former president exactly what he wants to hear.


TOM FITTON, PRESIDENT, JUDICIAL WATCH: Trump should get every single document they took from him back. These are all personal records.


BOLDUAN: We'll have more on the concerns about Trump's legal team coming up.

But first, I want to get over to CNN's Evan Perez. He's OUTFRONT live in Washington for us tonight.

Evan, I know you've been speaking to your source at the Department of Justice about all of this. What more -- what more are you learning?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, the justice department could -- that see ability to release this document right now. I mean, the judge obviously took the document that they submitted in court and said this is the version that is okay to release to the public, and, you know, it's not clear -- we're certainly not getting any signs from the Justice Department that this is coming anytime soon. Obviously, they have until noon tomorrow.

But, you know the judge today really looked at what he -- obviously, he was familiar with this document and he obviously had looked at it and approved the search warrant. I'll read you just another part of what he said. He said he was -- he viewed the government had a legitimate interest in trying to protect aspects of this investigation, and that he said this was -- the version that the Justice Department presented was the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire affidavit.

He had clearly signaled that he, you know, was familiar with it and knew that there were parts of this that could be made public without damaging aspects of the Justice Department's investigation. So, as you point out, you know, there's a lot of information here, there's lots of room for the Justice Department to show why they did this unprecedented search.

And a lot of it has come out in the last few days from memos we've seen indicating all of the months that went by as the national archives and the Justice Department were trying to get Trump to return all of these boxes of documents, including stuff that had very sensitive documents.

BOLDUAN: Yeah. It's good to see you, Evan. Thank you.

OUTFRONT with me now, Robert Litt, former principal associate deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice, and former general counsel for the director of national intelligence. Stephanie Grisham is here, former Trump White House press secretary.

And, Elie Honig, CNN senior legal analyst and former assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York. Good evening, guys.

Bob, Trump said that he wanted the whole affidavit released at one point at least. The Justice Department wanted it to remain secret, obviously. So who wins here in what we've learned?

ROBERT LITT, FORMER PRINCIPAL ASSOCIATE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, DOJ: Well, I think it's significant that Trump did not call for release of the affidavit until after the Department of Justice indicated it was going to oppose release of the affidavit.


I think that he probably doesn't want the entire affidavit released and would be much happier with the ability to point to black out spaces and say, look, what they're hiding from you. I think at the end of the day, this is probably a net plus for the government.

It's very atypical, almost unprecedented to have a search warrant affidavit released at this stage in the proceedings, but the government has the ability and has exercised that, and the judge has found that they have excised all information that would compromise sources and methods or that the Justice Department would be concerned about. We don't know yet how much is going to be left for us to see, but I think that on balance this is probably better for the government.

BOLDUAN: Stephanie, if Trump didn't get what he want -- what he said he wanted here, which he said he wanted it released, but knowing him like you do, do you think he's happy with this order from the judge?

STEPHANIE GRISHAM, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You know, I think that bob is correct, that he's going to use it to just point to the redacted portions and say what are they hiding, they're not being transparent. I think he's going to use it to play victim even more, probably fund raise off of it a little bit more.

I do think, though, they're going to be scouring what is there to try and figure out exactly, you know, what they have. And, more importantly, who they've been talking to because I know from people I've been talking to that that remains a number one issue around there, is who's talking, who's the mole, et cetera.

BOLDUAN: Elie, I want to read again from the judge's order where he notes that the Department of Justice convinced him portions should remain sealed, and reason being as it said, quote, disclosure would reveal just a slew of things, right? The identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties, the investigation strategy, direction, scope, sources, and methods, and grand jury information.

When you lay it out that way, if that's what's out, what's going to be in?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, Kate. Well, DOJ succeeded at least in protecting those things you just laid out, which are the most sensitive pieces of information. Those are the pieces of information that DOJ prioritizes the highest.

So, what could we see tomorrow when this comes out? I can think of a few things having done a few of these affidavits. First of all, there's always going to be legal boilerplate laying out the law, the premises to be searched, all that kind of thing. But more importantly, I think we could see DOJ's account of the ongoing negotiation between Archives and DOJ and Donald Trump's lawyers.

Now, we've seen great reporting on that. We know that that negotiation went on for over a year. But this could be a definitive specific account of that.

Also, Kate, we could get DOJ's account of what documents they got before the search warrant, because remember, Trump's team turned over 15 boxes to archives. There was a subpoena. We don't know yet exactly what was in those boxes. We can find that out as well.

And if there are any aspects of the investigation that are not covered by those categories you just showed, aspects of the investigation that are already over and sort of safely done, we could learn those too and that could be important as well.

BOLDUAN: And, Stephanie, you talked about what Trump could do with this information that does come out, like to fundraise off of it. But do you think he sees -- he will see any downside to that specific information that Elie saying could be coming out, that specific information coming out?

GRISHAM: Well, absolutely. I mean, I'm sure deep down he's nervous, but he's never going to show that. He's going to use whatever he can to, you know, double and triple down like he always does, and right now, he just seems to be playing the victim.

So, I'm sure that he's nervous about whatever pieces of information will come out. And, look, the media coverage, even with Fox, has not been good for him. I mean, he kind of had a meltdown today on his social media network. You can tell he's getting very, very nervous. I think that that's something to think about.

BOLDUAN: You think that he's already feeling this in what you see on his social media?

GRISHAM: Well, yes, especially this morning. He was just -- it was just so him. It reminded me of his early-morning tweets when I was in the White House when something was on his mind.

I'm sure that against people's wishes this morning, you know, people were shaking their heads. I think he's very worried. I don't think he'll admit it. I think that for the first time, things are really -- I'm going to say the walls are closing in. That's been said so many times I've grown numb to it, but I think he's nervous, yeah.

BOLDUAN: Elie, is there a potential impact of this affidavit's release if the Department of Justice does decides to bring charges against anyone involved here, against Trump or anyone else in this investigation? HONIG: Yeah, Kate. Well, politics aside, this is a tactically

advantage for Donald Trump because in virtually every other case, nobody would see this affidavit, certainly the person who was searched would not see it, the public would not see it, unless and until someone is charged.

And tomorrow, Donald Trump is going to see at least part of this affidavit. That is tactically advantage that virtually no other suspect ever has in front of the Justice Department.

And so, there's going to be an interesting dynamic here. Future people whose homes get searched may say I'd like to see part of the affidavit against me. Why don't I get to see it?

[19:10:02] Donald Trump got to see it just because he's powerful, just because he's famous?

So DOJ is going to have to continue wrestling with this. But people ought to understand just how rare it is that somebody in Donald Trump's position gets to see the affidavit at this early point.

BOLDUAN: Bob, I'm interested in your take on that as well, the legal implications of this order could be going forward.

LITT: Well, again, it's a little hard to tell until we know what's actually going to be released.


LITT: One thing -- one thing that I'm pretty confident is, we're not going to learn a lot about how the Justice Department knew that there was, in fact, more classified information at Mar-a-Lago because it's very difficult to imagine that being described without being identifying the witnesses who gave the information.

But I think from a legal point of view, I don't think it's going to be make much difference one way or another. I mean, if Trump were charged at the end of the day, he would undoubtedly make motion to suppress the evidence seized from Mar-a-Lago and he would -- his legal team would get to see the backup for that at that point. I think it's much more significant in the political realm than in the legal realm.

BOLDUAN: Interesting.

Good to see you all. Thank you so much.

OUTFRONT for us next, first on CNN, concern among members of Trump's inner circle over the growing influence of one person in particular.

And live pictures out of Maryland. We're going to show you where President Biden is about to give his most important speech ahead of the campaign season so far, going after what he called the extreme MAGA philosophy and also going after Republicans' stance on abortion.

And it's a story you'll see first on OUTFRONT. We follow one family's two-month-long journey through 10 countries and then bused to New York. And now, a new struggle to find work.



BOLDUAN: Tonight, CNN is learning new details about who has been advising Trump to withhold presidential documents from the National Archives. According to reporting first on CNN, Tom Fitton from the conservative legal activist group Judicial Watch told Trump it was a mistake to give any presidential records to the Archives.

CNN is also learning Trump's inner circle is increasingly concerned about the competency of his legal team.

Gabby Orr who is part of the CNN that broke this story, she's OUTFRONT with us now.

It's good to see you, Gabby. Tell us more about how much Fitton's influence over Trump has grown.

GABBY ORR, CNN REPORTER: Well, Kate, we're learning tonight that earlier this year, after that initial trove of 15 boxes from Mar-a- Lago was returned to the National Archives, former President Donald Trump started receiving calls from Tom Fitton, who is the head of Judicial Watch, a very conservative legal activism group.

And in their conversations, Fitton told him, first of all, you shouldn't have returned those boxes to the national archives because they're yours, and he laid out his case for why he believes Trump has full authority over any records that he brought from the White House to his properties when he left the presidency. Now, of course, Donald Trump didn't necessarily listen to Fitton all the time. We know that in June attorneys for the former president did hand over additional documents to federal investigators.

But he became more and more uncooperative, our sources tell us, after Fitton penetrated his orbit and started influencing him and telling him he had authority over the presidential records that were at Mar-a- Lago, and that if archives or federal investigators came knocking again, he didn't need to give those things back.

BOLDUAN: And also, Gabby, there seems to be a lot of angst right now over Trump's legal team's competency. Why?

ORR: Kate, I think the sheer volume of attorneys that are circulating around the former president right now just alone speaks to how chaotic things have become. I want to walk you through some of those names that we've become familiar with just over the past two weeks.

Christina Bobb is the most part-facing attorney advising the former president right now. She's a former One America News host, which is a far-right, right-wing network. She also advised and helped Rudy Giuliani in his plot to overturn the 2020 election. She's drawn the most criticism from inside Trump's orbit as not necessarily being the most competent foreign represent him at such a time of legal jeopardy. There's also Lindsey Halligan, a Florida-based attorney who's

primarily worked in insurance litigation. Alina Habba, a New Jersey- based attorney who has long been a representative of former President Trump, but whose background is also not in criminal defense.

And then there's Jim Trusty, who among Trump aides and advisers we're told is really seen as the most trustworthy, the most competent of these attorneys around the former president. He's a former U.S. attorney himself. He also worked as a prosecutor for the Justice Department. So he's definitely seen as the highest caliber in Trump's orbit -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Gabby, thank you for that.

OUTFRONT with me now, George Conway, longtime conservative attorney.

It's good to see you, George. Thanks for coming in.

You just heard Gabby Orr's reporting about -- first about the advice that Tom Fitton has been giving Donald Trump, that he shouldn't have given any documents to the Archives and Trump should have full control of them and any document he took from the White House. In doing so, he was citing, according to the reporting, a 2012 court case involving former President Clinton. What do you see there?

GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE ATTORNEY: Nothing, nothing that would help Donald Trump here. That case really came down to the proposition that was decided by Judge Amy Jackson Berman of the district court here, who said that basically Joe Schmoe like Tom Fitton doesn't have to right to sue to tell the national archives what it should deem to be presidential record or not a presidential record.

And the records that were issued in that case were completely different. They weren't presidential records. They were these conversations that bill Clinton had taped with a historian to discuss his presidency, and it was not done through use of White House resources. It wasn't -- these weren't documents prepared by the National Security Council, for example, as is the case with Donald Trump.


And these weren't -- he wasn't doing it with the people at the White House. So it was a completely different kind of case and the bottom line is they said that the Archive -- the judge said that the archivist of the United States gets to decide what is a presidential record and what is not. This is -- no one can challenge that in court. It had nothing to do with what Trump has --

BOLDUAN: A separate situation -- a separation and not bolstering his case to not turn over documents to the National Archives for sure. CNN is reporting Trump's become increasingly concerned about this entire situation, even asking his inner circle about possibly being indicted. And advisers are saying this seems more dangerous, at least that's the kind of sense, than any of the legal troubles that he's faced before. Do you agree? CONWAY: Yes, I do. I mean, we have not heard in the two and a half

weeks since Mar-a-Lago was searched a viable defense articulated by Trump on anyone his own behalf. And the reason why this case to me represents the shortest distance between Donald Trump and an orange jumpsuit is the fact that it's so simple.

You know, January 6th involved dozens of people and dozen of different possible conspiracies and dozens of objects and a lot of people moving around and a lot of facts, and ultimately hundreds of people going up to Capitol Hill. And, you know, that requires a lot of investigation. Here, it was just Donald Trump doing this pretty much by himself and being told by a handful of people who he should have trusted instead of Tom Fitton that those documents belong to the United States and they need to go back.

And he has his fingerprints literally and figuratively apparently on these documents. He himself was reviewing them and deciding which ones should go back and which ones shouldn't. He had multiple opportunities to turn these documents back over to the government as required by law, and he blew those opportunities. And the fact that there are the most secret and most sensitive documents that are in the national security portfolio at issue here quite possibly only aggravates the situation. He's really dug himself a hole here.

BOLDUAN: George, I want to ask you about what Gabby was also reporting about people questioning the competency of his legal team and people close to Trump now questioning the competency of his legal team, privately. She laid out who's some of these people are. One of them being Christina Bobb, a former One America News TV host. She's been the face, really, of Trump's legal team on conservative media. Her name has been out there as we were talking about the search warrant and such.

I want to play for you what she said about the FBI search.


CHRISTINA BOBB, TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: This was a completely unnecessary power flex. It was a weird flex. Quite honestly, it's sad to see what they've done to our country. No, there is no security that something wasn't planted. I'm not saying that's what they did.


BOLDUAN: Should people be questioning the competency of this legal team?

CONWAY: Oh, absolutely. I mean, they haven't done anything that's really sensible or right. The motion they filed last week was incomprehensible. And clearly, except perhaps for Trusty or Corcoran, there's nobody there who's qualified to represent the former president of the United States in this kind of investigation.

I mean, the problem he's had all along is good lawyers will not work for him in his personal capacity because he doesn't pay them, for one thing, and he doesn't follow their advice. And he goes around shopping for advice and undermining any good and discarding good advice he may receive from his lawyers. That's illustrated by those conversations he had with Tom Fitton.

BOLDUAN: Yeah. George, thanks for coming in.

OUTFRONT next, live pictures out of Maryland tonight, we're going to show you, where President Biden is expected to give his most important speech yet of the midterms. Are Democrats' fortunes changing?

Plus, he's a PhD student with nearly a quarter million dollars in student loan debt and interest just keeps filing up around $10,000 a year. So, what is his reaction to Biden's loan forgiveness plan?



BOLDUAN: We're looking live at pictures out of Maryland where President Biden is about to give a major speech to the Democratic National Committee about his midterm strategy, including the semi- fascism behind the, quote, extreme MAGA philosophy. This is the first time we've heard directly from the president in extensive remarks about the upcoming election, of course.

It comes as Democrats are growing more bullish about the midterms with a big win in a House special election and several Republican Senate candidates flailing right now. But is it enough?

Phil Mattingly is traveling with the president and he joins us now.

Phil, how confident is the White House right now about the midterms?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Kate, I think the best way to frame things right now is significantly more confident than they were just a couple weeks ago. There's no question about that. The legislative wins, some positive economic moves and what they've seen after the Roe v. Wade decision. They feel like there's a possibility they certainly turned a corner, whether they turn things around entirely remains an open question.

However, you'll hear the president come out strongly trying to show a contrast, trying to create some momentum, and trying to highlight both the Supreme Court decision and those legislative victories. They feel like they have something to run on and a message to run on, and this will be a very clear launch of a midterm campaign season for both the president and the Democratic Party, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Phil is standing by. We're waiting to see the president come out and what he has to say.

Phil, we'll see you in a second.

OUTFRONT now, former Democratic mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and Ed Goeas, he's a Republican pollster and strategist.

It's good to see you both.


BOLDUAN: You know, Mayor, earlier today at a fundraiser, Biden laid out, you have to say, some of his -- some of the campaign strategy he wants to push, which is framing the midterms as a vote for or against -- the way he put it, it's fundraiser -- the, quote, extreme MAGA philosophy, which means Donald Trump, and also comparing it to semi- fascism.


Do you see that frame as a winning move for Democrats this cycle?

GOEAS: Are you posing that to the mayor.

BOLDUAN: To the mayor, yeah.



Do I think it's a good message? I apologize. It is an open question. You know, I think there's no mistake why he's in Maryland. He's in Maryland because he could not find a friendlier audience, except for maybe in Delaware.

And he's going to -- I feel like he's kind of throwing some stuff on the wall and seeing what sticks, what's going to get us to where we need to be by the midterms. I don't know if talking about the MAGA movement being fascist is going to move the needle for Democrats. We see the enthusiasm gap closing, but I think it's more to do about choice and abortion rights, the restricting of abortion rights, than the fact that the MAGA movement or extremists.

I'm eager to hear his message because we need to have Biden and everyone else that has a voice in the Democratic Party working to get -- make sure our momentum and enthusiasm peaks when it needs to on election day.

BOLDUAN: Ed, what do you think of that choice that Biden's making at this fundraiser?

GOEAS: Yeah, I think he's playing a different game than what most are seeing this as. He's been stuck between a rock and a hard place for several months now, and that he automatically when he took office, Republicans somewhat knee jerked and were very negative about -- about his job in office, even before he took the job in office.

That was just the way the reaction was based on the 2020 election. He lost independents during the fall of Afghanistan. And that's where she saw him being extremely incompetent in terms of handling that situation. He lost them for good.

The recent numbers in the last six to eight weeks where he dropped below a 30 percent -- below a 40 percent approval down to 30 percent, was actually the progressives of his party who are not happy with him pushing their agenda enough. And so, he's stuck between how Republicans and independents saw him and how the progressives saw him.

All of the moves he's taken in recent weeks is to try to get the progressives back. He was seeing some signs with the Supreme Court decision that he was getting some of them back, and he's trying to solidify that now.

But talking about these other things is not going to move him into the independents. It's certainly not going to move him into the Republicans. It's going to be a dollar -- a day late and a dollar short.

BOLDUAN: And let me ask you about the Supreme Court decision, because it was a big question after the Supreme Court overturned Roe what impact it would have on the elections. We've seen multiple examples in the primaries and, you know, votes, if you will, where the issue has moved the needle, moved voters, helped Democrats. Since Roe was overturned, there's also been a significant increase in women registering to vote in ten states that "The New York Times" looked at, including Kansas, which is key when we know what happened there, where a referendum allowed lawmakers to ban abortion and it was overwhelmingly defeated and states could be key to Senate hold like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Do you think Republicans should we be concerned about this issue?

GOEAS: I think we have to. It's going to be our turn to explain what's happening there. I think at the end of the day, most of the country is going to see what the Supreme Court did as a positive thing, and that for decades, we have had fights between the extreme left and extreme right. Those people that call themselves pro-choice that are for abortion anytime, anyplace, anywhere, and those that were against, are pro-life and against abortion who didn't want it to exist at all.

But that's not the majority of the country. The majority of the country falls in a category of they know abortion exists, they think it should be regulated to a certain extent. I know dozens of people who believe in having abortions up to 16 weeks who call themselves pro-life, and dozens of people who call themselves pro-choice. And now they're going to have a say as opposed to the extremes, which is all we've been hearing from for 30 years.

BOLDUAN: That does raise -- sorry, keep on.

GOEAS: And I think one of the things that's missed in terms of what happened in Kansas is 60 percent of the Republicans voted against that. So when they were given a real say on should there be a total ban, or should it be exists at all times, which was not the other half of it was, they voted what they truly believed. They said, no, there shouldn't be a total ban, but they also believe it should not exist anytime, anyplace, anywhere. And Democrats made a mistake on that.

BOLDUAN: And, Mayor, what Ed is getting I think at is how people talk about this now is maybe critical in what happens when -- in how voters respond, because you have some Republicans very clearly trying to -- I don't know if it's thread the needle or walk the line, or describe it as Ed as saying in more clear terms, their stance.

For one example is Tiffany Smiley who's running -- she's a Republican running to unseat Democratic Senator Patty Murray in Washington. Let me play this for you.


TIFFANY SMILEY (R), U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE FROM WASHINGTON: Patty Murray has spent millions to paint me as an extremist. I'm pro-life, but I oppose a federal abortion ban. Patty Murray wants to scare you. I want to serve you.


BOLDUAN: What do you think of that, Mayor?

RAWLINGS-BLAKE: I think it's a smart message, but I don't think it's consistent with what we're seeing across the country. I think the Republican in legislatures across the country -- we are being -- the states are being controlled by the far right. We have senators or people in the legislature that are voting for these total bans, yet they think that they're exceptions in their law.

So, I think the Republicans have really, really missed the mark on this. They have allowed themselves to be co-opted by an extreme part of the Republican Party, and what you're going to see is states having to roll back some of these extreme bans because they're going to start to see women die and doctors not performing life-saving procedures because they're afraid of being arrested or being sued. And that's not sustainable.

So I do think that's going to bring more and more women, more independents to the polls, and I think the Democrats will benefit from that.

BOLDUAN: What we're looking at, for viewers at home, we're looking on the screen, we're waiting to hear from President Biden. I'm now after this discussion very interested to see which tactic -- which approach he takes in this discussion that we're talking about right now, because that could be a sign of where Democrats are headed in terms of their campaign message going forward.

It's good to see you both. Thank you for being here.

GOEAS: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT for us next, President Biden taking heat from both parties over canceling student debt. Does it go too far or not far enough? I'll speak to one man who owes nearly a quarter million dollars.

And a growing war of words between Texas Governor Greg Abbott and New York City Mayor Eric Adams as Abbott sends another busload of migrants to New York.


BOLDUAN: Just in, you're looking live at pictures of President Biden who just began major speech to the Democratic National Committee about his midterm strategy where he's expected to tout a number of recent wins, including his new plan just announced to cancel some student debt.

But it comes as the White House has declined to say exactly when that student loan debt will be canceled for Americans who qualify under the plan. Also declining to say whether it will even happen before the pandemic-era pause on student loan payments is lifted at the end of the year. This is just as Biden is facing criticism both that his plan goes too far and also doesn't go far enough.

OUTFRONT now, Valentino Wilson, PhD student in Chicago with nearly a quarter million dollars in student loan debt.

Valentino, it's -- thank you so much for coming in to talk about your story and your experience right now. What did you think when you heard the formal announcement about $10,000 is going to be forgiven?

VALENTINO WILSON, ELIGIBLE FOR STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS UNDER BIDEN PLAN: Quite honestly when I heard about it, it was a mix of finally he kind of went with what he promised and he's going to fulfill one of his -- things that he promised everyone when he was going for election.

But, on the other hand, in my personal situation, $10,000 barely covers the interest on this year. And so I was a little bit underwhelmed and was like, OK, thank you, fantastic, I'm grateful that you did it, and I'm sure it's going to help people in other financial situations.

But in my personal kind of experience, it's not going to do too much in order to help me out. So, a little bit underwhelmed but still thankful as well.

BOLDUAN: Valentino, can you tell us more about your story? You say your parents had saved up to help pay for your college, but then life happened. Your mom got sick and that money had to go to cover her medical bills. That is where these student loans came in and started piling up.

WILSON: Yes. So about ten years ago my mom had a gall bladder removal surgery, when they went to take it out, they had found a tumor the size of a chicken breast nestled inside her rib cage and growing through her intercostal nerve bundle. So the surgeon decided to take out the tumor and sever the intercostal nerves.

So, one thing in the field is you never want to sever the nerves because they'll never grow back together. And so, her resulting situation was chronic pain and life debilitating pain. So we've been through ten years of surgeries. It's almost about 20-something operations in order to figure out ways for her to get her life back and be able to move and not have to measure out what her activity level is for a certain day because at the end of the day with her condition, she has to -- if she wants to watch a sports game or support us in a certain event, she's going to have to rest up the day before and then pay the consequences the day after.

And so because of that and because of the insurmountable amount of medical bills, that college fund had gone towards paying those bills off, and our previous arrangement with our parents of doing 50/50 for college kind of had to go out the window, and that burden is now on our shoulders.

One caveat in that as well is, in my name I only have $70,000 in debt, but because my parents had to take out parent plus loans, there's an additional $160,000 of debt. And I'm paying that on 10 percent of my dad's salary because the government doesn't recognize that $160,000 is also in my name -- not really in my name, but I'm responsible for that since I'm not going to have my parents pay that on top of the medical bills as well. And so it's kind of -- yeah.

BOLDUAN: It's just -- it's overwhelming and it's a lot to even just think about all of that hanging over you as you're trying to make your life.


It's a huge thing. But you -- as you said, you wish this plan from the president would go even further and I'm sure you heard this now, but there are people in both parties, Democrats and Republicans, who are saying that any amount of loan forgiveness is not the right way to go, that it's unfair is how it's being described, it's unfair for people who have paid off their loans or for people who chose not to go to college and now will have to foot some of the bill.

I mean, one of them is Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan who said -- who said this, said waiving debt for those already on a trajectory to financial security sends the wrong message to millions of Ohioans without a degree working just as hard to make ends meet.

What do you say to that?

WILSON: Honestly, all I can say is I understand. When I was 18 and went away to college, I knew the -- that I was taking out loans. I knew that that debt was going to be on my shoulders by the end of it.

One thing that I want to stress is that for people that are looking for student loan forgiveness, it's not that we're looking for hand-me- outs or, you know, just relieve the debt because this is right of way. It's more of the fact of just making it -- making the payments more manageable for us.

One thing that I want to see in the future is just the interest -- that's the part that's a killer because even if I pay 30 years of payments, I'm barely going to be tackling that principle amount. It's all going to be going towards interest and I'll be left with, you know, that tax bomb that student loan borrowers should be aware of by the end of their term of paying those loans off. But, again, I don't want to be like the one that's saying, oh, I want

a hand-me-out. I don't. It's just the fact that -- yeah.

BOLDUAN: Yeah. Thank you for coming on. It's really nice to meet you. Good luck. I know you're now in this PhD program and good luck with it all. Seriously. Thank you.

WILSON: Thank you so much.

BOLDUAN: Let's go back to Maryland right now. Let's listen to President Biden speaking live at this rally. Let's listen in.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- at this point in anyone's presidency. Three-point-five percent unemployment rate, near record low in the history of this country. A 15 percent drop in child poverty compared to two years ago. And more than 220 million Americans vaccinated.


Record, record small business creation.

A big reason for all this is the American Rescue Plan that I signed into law shortly after I took office with the help of your members of Congress. That plan took America -- America in crisis to economic recovery. And not a single Republican, not one single one voted for it, not one. Not a single Republican.

We also passed the once-in-a generation investment in our nation's roads, highways, bridges, railroads, ports, airports, clean water systems, high-speed rail, Internet, the biggest investment in America since President Eisenhower's Interstate Highway Act. We got a little help. We did get some help from some Republicans passing the bill and I'm thankful for that.

But the truth is, there's a lot more Republicans taking credit for a bill they actually voted against. You see it all over America. Right here in Maryland. You got a Republican congressman named Andy Harris.

Now, old Andy is out there touting funding for a key dredging project existing that he voted against. It's happening all over. Maybe he'll, as they say, in southern (INAUDIBLE), may the boy (ph) get some religion.

Look, folks, we passed a Chips and Science Act, a groundbreaking law.

We're going to once again manufacture semiconductors as we invented that power everything our lives, right here in America.

This law will create tens of thousands of construction jobs, bring billions of dollars in investment to America, and revitalize American manufacturing.

Look, folks, it means -- it means we're going to build the future in America.


With American workers and American factories, producing American-made products.


We took on the NRA.


We took on the NRA and we beat them. We just passed the first significant gun safety legislation in 30 years in this country.

And I promise you, we're not stopping here.


I'm determined to ban assault weapons in this country.


I did it once before and we will do it again.


We're going to do it for those families in Buffalo, Uvalde, Newtown, El Paso, Parklands, Charleston, Las Vegas, Orlando --, I've been to almost every one of those places to meet with those parents.

We all got to do it --

BOLDUAN: President Biden right there speaking at his first major political rally of the midterm season, touting the successes of his presidency so far. We're going to continue to monitor the speech for you.

OUTFRONT for us next, 200 more migrants arriving to New York on buses from Texas. 1,000 migrant students are expected to enroll in public schools this fall. Can New York City keep up?


BOLDUAN: Tonight, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is telling CNN that Texas Governor Greg Abbott's efforts to bus migrants to the northeast is, quote, throwing the whole processing system out of whack. Buses carrying 200 more migrants arrived in New York City today, escalating a feud between Abbott and Mayor Eric Adams.


Abbott criticizing the mayor's policies in an op-ed this week, saying this in part, Mayor Adams likes to pat himself on the back for welcoming migrants with open arms to his sanctuary city, that is until he actually has to follow through on those lofty promises.

Abbott continues, worst of all is Adams' hypocrisy. He complains that he and New York City are overwhelmed to migrants to such an extent that he demands federal help and discourages Texas from sending more buses to his city.

Well, the mayor's office is hitting back not surprisingly with this. Someone get this man a dictionary. Hypocrisy is claiming you love America and then decrying the words on the Statue of Liberty.

Polo Sandoval is OUTFRONT with a look at who's on these buses and why.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You wouldn't know it as they stroll through Brooklyn, but this family, dog included, has been through hell to get here. Navigating the concrete jungle that's their home today pales to the Central American jungle Chrisman Urbaez (ph) and his partner Annabel Gonzalez (ph) survived this summer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): We made it! We made it alive! We made it, thank God!

SANDOVAL: The young Venezuelan couple documented their two-month family that took the family of four, five if you count their dog Max, through ten countries. They carried only a few belongings on their backs and occasionally their 6 and 9-year-old as well as they trekked through the gap linking South and Central America.

At times, they even swaddled their pup like a baby to sneak them on to buses and into hotels fearing they would be separated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There goes Sebastian and Criszanyelis.

SANDOVAL: But the blood, sweat and the countless tears were worth it for this moment, the day they waded across the Rio Grande --


SANDOVAL: And onto U.S. soil for the first time officially requesting asylum. After a brief stop in Texas, it was on to a bus and a three- day drive to New York City where they wait for their asylum cases to be heard.

What's next for you, the next few days or weeks?

Annabell explains they came to the U.S. not for a handout but to work. She's one of over 7,000 asylum seekers that officials say have turned to the city for shelter since May alone, into a system that was already overwhelmed by homeless New Yorkers, long before the governors of Texas and Arizona used these families to make a political point.

KATHRYN KLIFF, STAFF ATTORNEY, LEGAL AID SOCIETY: Unfortunately, the city was not prepared to meet the need and capacity, so we have a capacity crisis, which we've had since early June.

SANDOVAL: Attorney Kathryn Kliff says she saw this coming. Her organization ensures the city of New York adheres to its right to shelter law, which requires anyone eligible and in need to be offered a bed, be they an asylum seeker or New York falling on tough times.

KLIFFE: There's been so much focus on migrant families coming into the system but it ignores the reality that we have had mass homelessness in New York city for a really long time.

SANDOVAL: According to New Yorkers we met, there is a general desire for New York city to embrace this latest wave of tired, poor and huddled masses as it's always done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it will be great. That's the best thing about New York is, we come from everywhere.

SANDOVAL: But there's also a call to fix pre-existing issues, like the shelter crisis.

MATTHEW RACHMINOV, NEW YORKER: I think the city has always been kind of a beacon to people who arrive here from other places, but I think that there's a lot of things that need to be fixed here. There's a lot of kind of work that needs to be done.

SANDOVAL: City immigration official an immigrant himself says he understands those concerns even as public schools expect an additional 1,000 migrant students this fall.

Is New York City in a position where it is able to welcome thousands that have arrived and thousands more that will come here?

MANUEL CASTRO, COMMISSIONER, NYC MAYOR'S OFFICE OF IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS: Look, you know, we're constantly improving. We're adjusting. We're adding capacity. We're continuing to open hotels to be used as shelters. We're contracting with community-based organizations to add additional services. So, yes, we continue to improve.

SANDOVAL: Those improvements can't come soon enough for the Urbaez/Gonzales family back in Brooklyn.

There's a sense of frustration in Chrisman's voice as he tells me, he's pleading with city and federal immigration officials to speed up the process of securing work permits for asylum seekers.

At 27, this young father knows the sooner he can legally provide for his family here, the sooner he won't have to rely on New York's overburdened shelter system.


BOLDUAN: Quite a journey, Polo. As you're mentioning, this also comes at a time when the city's resources are already stretched. How much strain on the system does this add?

SANDOVAL: Well, Kate, there's a key metric that answers that question which is the New York city shelter system's occupancy rate. City officials like to keep that about 5 percent. That's 5 percent of available beds that are open and available.

However, for the last several months, that number instead of being 5 percent, which is what they like to see, it's at or below 1 percent and much of that is because of the migrants that we have seen arrive here in New York City. And that is really what's fueling this call for the federal government to help expand the shelter system. They know that many more are coming, 460 migrants arriving here in the heart of Manhattan at port authority just in the last 48 hours -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Polo, thank you for bringing us that story.

Thank you all so much for being with us tonight.

"AC360" starts now.