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Erin Burnett Outfront

DeSantis, Abbott Send More Migrants To State Runs By Dems; Federal Judge Selects Special Mater In Mar-a-Lago Docs Case; Interview With Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg; CNN Exclusive: Mark Meadows Complies With DOJ Subpoena On Jan 6; Line To See The Queen Now Nearly 5 Miles Long, A 9-Hour Wait. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired September 15, 2022 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, doubling down. Governor Ron DeSantis not backing down after sending planes of migrants to Martha's Vineyard. Tonight, a massive humanitarian effort and a war of words on the ground.

Plus, President Trump making a thinly veiled threat. Should he be indicted? And contradicting his own legal team.

And as Russia faces mounting losses in Ukraine, Putin meets with the Chinese president today. So is there a split their or are they closer than ever militarily?

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, a cruel political stunt. That is the quote. Those are the words from the White House after the Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent two planes full of migrants to the wealthy enclave of Martha's Vineyard.


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: What they are doing is a legal stunt, it's a political stunt. And it's really just disrespectful to humanity. It doesn't afford them any dignity. It is just cruel.


BURNETT: So, here's what happened. Fifty migrants, including children, arrived at the vacation destination with no warning, according to local officials. Planes just landed and that's who got off. Local leaders say that they now try to move heaven and earth to provide the families with food, clothing, and shelter. They have nothing.

It is a challenge for an island that reportedly has just one homeless shelter with room for only ten people.

As for Governor DeSantis, he is proudly taking credit for this.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: We are not a sanctuary state and it's better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction, and yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you and be able to go to greener pastures.


BURENTT: Okay, facts do matter here. Whether or not Florida's is a sanctuary state, these migrants should not did not come from Florida, so they weren't seeking sanctuary there at all. The migrants that DeSantis flew to Massachusetts were not in Florida. He had to go to Texas to find them. So, the Texas governor's office says, they were not involved in the, quote, initial planes. Initial was their word, so you can see where that leads, to Martha's Vineyard. So, this could just be the beginning.

Okay, according to officials in Massachusetts, the migrants were promised jobs and housing before they left. In reality, they were left in parking lots. Some of them even had text messages from, you know, people had by just one name, promising them a job and other things that they got on the plane.

There is a lot here to unpack, but the move by DeSantis is a clear escalation of what Republican governors have been doing for months. Since the beginning of the year, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has passed over 8,000 migrants to Washington, D.C. and 2,500 to New York City, 600 to Chicago.

The Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has bused more than 18,000 migrants to the nation's capital. This influx of migrants is forcing Democrats, like New York City's mayor, Eric Adams, to admit that he needs help. Adams saying, quote, in this new and unforeseen reality, where we expect thousands more to arrive every week going forward, the city's system is nearing its breaking point. Of course, we should note if you live in those states in the South, you know, they've had about 1 million over the past eight months come over the border.

So it is a reality that they live every day. In Washington D.C., today, over 100 migrants were dropped off today outside Vice President Kamala Harris's home, and another political move. Mayor Muriel Bowser there has asked for the national guard to step in twice, each time she was denied. Bowser today saying, her city is not equipped to handle the influx of migrants.


MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER (D), WASHINGTON, D.C.: We are not a border town. We don't have the infrastructure to handle this type of level of immigration to our city.


BURNETT: Miguel Marquez begins our coverage. He's OUTFRONT live in Martha's Vineyard tonight.

And, Miguel, I know you've had a chance to speak to people there and what have you learned about the situation?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, look, two parts. The people here in Martha's Vineyard are stepping up and I want to show you what's happening here right now. Lawyers who have been chatting with the immigrants there, they are giving a very brief sort of preview of what they have heard today, so that in the days ahead, maybe a day or two, most the people who are here in Martha's Vineyard tonight will be on to other locations.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Ubaldo Arcaya was in San Antonio yesterday, along with 50 other Venezuelan migrants. Today, he's in Martha's Vineyard.

When you got off the plane, I ask him, what did you think of this place?


Beautiful, gorgeous, he says. The people are very friendly.

He says in Texas, he was promised help if he got on the plane, no idea where he was going.

There were three options, he says, Washington, Utah, here in Massachusetts, whatever was available. The plane left and brought us here.

It's a tactic we've seen in Texas, Arizona and now, Florida. Republican governors shipping migrants to so-called sanctuary cities and states with little to no notice.

DYLAN FERNANDES (D), MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE: There's no low that those people will go. They'll keep going lower and lower and they're willing to use humans -- children, women, families -- as political pawns for their own game.

It is depraved. It is evil. It is wrong.

But what makes America great is what we see here today which is an island community and a state in Massachusetts is coming together to support the people here.

MARQUEZ: Arcaya, a 27-year-old mechanic from Venezuela, says he's been welcome with food and new clothes here on the island. He tells us he made a difficult month and a half long journey for liberty, democracy and the promise of America.

UBALDO ARCAYA, MIGRANT: So, hello, Americano.

MARQUEZ: When you step on American soil, you feel at ease that you're here and well-protected. You lose the stress of the journey we had to go through in seven countries. Very stressful across all of Central America.

This parish house bustling with activity, volunteers and organizers working since yesterday to provide food, shelter and immigration services.

LARKIN STALLINGS, MARTHA'S VINEYARD COMMUNITY SERVICES: We've got the bodies to do this. The biggest problem was the short notice. And that was obviously intentional.

MARQUEZ: Just 20 minutes' notice says the airport manager. A deliberate move by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who is taking credit for the surprise trip.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: Our message to them is, you know, we are not a sanctuary state. We don't have benefits or any that. There are some sanctuary jurisdictions, and that would be better.

MARQUEZ: That message not sitting well with officials here in Martha's Vineyard.

FERNANDES: We're going to come together and support whoever shows up here. And we're going to make sure that people have the food, water and shelter that they need. You know, Ron DeSantis and Republicans might want to play political games with people's lives, I believe that's incredibly inhumane to be using women and children and families as a political pawn.


MARQUEZ (on camera): Now, what they are talking about here, these are lawyers who have been meeting with the immigrants here throughout the day and what they are saying is that across the board, that these individuals were lied to, were sold sort of a bill of goods in Texas, and then brought here to Massachusetts to Martha's Vineyard, without them knowing where they were going.

And, of course, as you mentioned, the grand sort of bizarreness of this is that these were not immigrants who were in Florida. They were in Texas and moved here for Ron DeSantis's own purposes. And that was the same time a bus from Texas showed up at the vice president's home in Washington, D.C. So, my guess is we are going to see a lot more of this.

BURNETT: Right, right, obviously, back to that kind of words from Governor Abbott's office, right? They didn't know anybody in these initial planes, initial being the modifier there that matters.

Thank you very much, Miguel.

And I want to go now to Democratic Massachusetts State Senator Julian Cyr who represents Martha's Vineyard.

So, you just -- you're there and you just heard Miguel's reporting about what these migrants are saying they were -- they were told that they would be going somewhere else. They were told that they would have jobs, they were told a lot of things that are not true. What do you have to say to Governor DeSantis tonight?

JULIAN CYR (D), MASSACHUSETTS STATE SENATE, REPRESENTS MARTHA'S VINEYARD: I mean, this was a cruel ruse, Erin, that manipulated families, vulnerable families, who were seeking a better life.

And, you know, I just was -- you know, I'm just down the street from your reporter. You can hear the same crickets in the background.

BURNETT: Yes. Of course, yes.

CYR: And Martha's Vineyard is a welcoming, you know, a community we have worked so hard on to make sure that we are treating these migrants, mostly Venezuelan migrants, with dignity, with respect, you know? But this is not -- you know, if this were about sort of alleviating capacity in border towns or in helping migrants seeking a better life, you know, you don't do it by essentially, you know, a surprise unannounced transport, right?

Massachusetts actually has participated in border related efforts. I think back to a number of years ago when Massachusetts actually assisted, under Governor Patrick, working with the federal government to help unaccompanied minors who were at the border.

This is -- this is a shameless political stunt and it's preying on vulnerable people who are simply looking for a better life and who, in many ways, right, most of -- these are all Venezuelans. You know, you could really argue that they are coming for a better life from a political perspective, as well, given the really abusive Maduro environment in Venezuela.


BURNETT: So, what happens next? I want to just hone in on what we heard from Governor Abbott's office, right? That they had no knowledge of these initial planes. Are there more coming? Do you have any idea of what's happening there?

CYR: So, we don't know and actually, Governor DeSantis is taking credit for this, but I think there's some real questions as to who actually finance these planes. When you talk to the migrant families, it's clear that they were in San Antonio, they were approached by a woman named Perla who promised them expedited work permits, housing, but real orchestrated manipulative campaign, even to the extent of when the planes landed here in Martha's Vineyard, there was no notice. Not notice anyone of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, but they went out of the way to make sure that there was a camera capturing the images of these migrants landing here in Martha's Vineyard. There were fans to bring them to our social service agency.

So, this is -- you know, this is a very cruel, shameless political stunt at the expense of vulnerable people.

BURNETT: Senator, where they go? I know Miguel is saying that they're there are arrangements being made. But I mean, obviously they are in the country illegally. What are you going to do for them? What happens here?

CYR: So, we moved to have -- Martha's Vineyard to set up this shelter. It's akin to what we would do in a hurricane or in a nor'easter. But this is a small, rural communities, especially in the off-season about 20,000 year-round residents. So to me, the current shelter is only going to work for another day or two.

There's been extensive conversations in Massachusetts dusting off that label we use for these unaccompanied minors and I expect we will hear more of the governor, Governor Baker mentioned looking at Joint Base Cape Cod which is actually not terribly far from Martha's Vineyard. It's a 45 minute ferry ride, then a relatively short ride. That may be an option that we see to support not only, you know, support these folks, also there are questions about other migrants who come to the state.

I've heard from colleagues originally in Boston about a number of Haitian migrants who have been coming, apparently coming on buses. So, this is something we are working, you know, broadly to respond to. I think we also have to really push back and say, this is unacceptable, this is un-American to be exploiting human lives, vulnerable human lives from political game.

BURNETT: Senator Cyr, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

CYR: Thank you so much.

BURNETT: Now, we know the latest, as he understands there, of course, he represents Martha's Vineyard.

OUTFRONT now, David Urban. Republican strategist and former Trump campaign senior adviser, along with Van Jones, our political commentator and former special adviser to President Obama.

So, David, I just want to start with the man that we heard in Miguel's report. He didn't know where he was going and then you heard what the state senators here just said, that there was a woman named Perla. Some of these migrants had text from her on their phone that she had said, promised expedited work papers and jobs, you know, if they got on this plane.

Obviously, that is not the situation and nobody involved thought that would be the situation. And yet, here they are.

Do you agree with what Governor DeSantis did here?

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So, Erin, I can't speak to the specifics here. I don't know anything more than what I just heard. So, I'm not prepared to condemn or praise, either case.

What I am prepared to talk about, though, is the overwhelming crisis in our southern border, 2 million. At the end of this fiscal year, end of September, it'll be over 2 million illegal immigrants crossing the southern border, an all-time record. And that's a direct result of the Biden administration's failed immigration policy. Their own -- their own Customs and Border Patrol lead said, under

oath, in a deposition on July 28th, the Biden administration's no consequences policy is directly responsible for the surge.

You heard earlier today, you know, you saw Muriel Bowser there talking about how it's cruel, all these things are cruel. The city is not prepared. How about the city of El Paso? Do you think El Paso is prepared for 1,000 immigrants crossing over a day?

So, what's -- the problem here is the Biden administration's lack of policy --


URBAN: -- which is allowing and luring these immigrants across the border into a nation that's ill-prepared to do it.

BURNETT: So, Van, I will say to what David is saying, this is now the lead on national television. It's lead on national television because of what DeSantis did. Does that have any benefit?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, there is no excuse for tricking people, trapping people, traumatizing people, who have come to the United States.

BURNETT: Human beings.

JONES: Human beings. This just -- listen, there is a way to deal with this. I have a great deal of sympathy for the folks who are in border towns.

But if you want to deal with it, there's something called the National Governors Association. DeSantis could call them, it's a bipartisan group, they could coordinate this and handle it. They could say listen, we are full out. We can't handle anymore.


But you coordinate it, you do it in a way that's responsible and make sure that your fellow governors and your fellow officials can handle it. You ambush people by dumping human beings in front of facilities (ph) where there's no services. That is a stunt.

You're not trying -- you're trying to make a point. You're not trying to solve a problem. So I think it's literally despicable what they're doing.

BURNETT: What do you think about that, David? Trying to make a point, not trying to solve a problem? I mean, isn't that what Governor DeSantis did? These immigrants were not in his state. He went to another state to get them to put them into a third state.

URBAN: Erin, fair criticism. But what I would like to hear van say is that the Biden administration has failed to do anything. The immigration czar, the vice president, has yet to visit the border. There's a border crisis in America. Fentanyl is streaming across the

border. People are dying in record numbers, and the administration has not gone, the president hasn't gone. The vice president hasn't gone.

If this is something you're serious about addressing -- go, make a stand. Don't be in the Rose Garden with James Taylor singing songs. Go to the border. Fight the war.

It's laughable, Van. This is laughable that the administration is now indignant.

JONES: Let me say a couple things. I know a stunt or photo opportunity is something conservatives have been calling for, but the thing is governing by photo-op and stunt is not going to solve the problem. The way you solve the problem isn't by dumping people here or having somebody go to a photo op there, is that you sit down and you come up with real solutions.

And the problem is that the Republican Party has not put forward any solutions. They're demagoguing the issue and I understand that's good politics. But it's horrible for people.

And I think, you know, I'm willing to work with anybody on any issue at any time. But this is not the way you do it. This is not the way you do it.

URBAN: Van, I'm not -- I'm not condemning you, Van. I'm not disparaging you. But I remember Democrats demagoguing kids in cages for months and months and months by putting forward. I remember the vice president going and standing outside the facility and demagoguing.

Now she has an opportunity to make a difference, and she's not even visiting the border. It's despicable.

JONES: Here's the thing. What they didn't do was to dump those kids out in front of services where there's no services. What they didn't do was ambush officials.

Here's the deal. If it were your kid, or your family member, it was me or if it was you, getting tricked and then trapped and then traumatized in a completely different country, in a city that you thought something good was going to happen and now something bad is going to happen, you wouldn't think it was cute or funny or fair.

So, I just think --


URBAN: Van, I am incredibly --

JONES: They made their point. The last thing is, they make their point if that's what they're trying to do. Now, where's the follow-up? Where's leadership?

I want to see -- if DeSantis wants this problem solved, stunts is not the way to do it. I would call upon the Biden administration. If they want to open the door to this conversation, I hope Biden brings all the governors in and they work it out, but this is not the way to do it.

URBAN: I do too --


JONES: It's embarrassing on the world stage for us to be doing this.

URBAN: I agree, Van, and I feel incredibly empathetic for those people who are fleeing their countries, looking for a better life. If that were you or I, Van, we'd be doing the same thing for our families.

So, I am -- I am not -- you know, I am sympathetic and emphatic, but I just cannot condone an open border and this administration doing nothing about it.

JONES: We'll talk much more. I know we got to go.


All right. Thank you both. It's good conversation, though, and I'm glad we could have a good conversation about it.

Next, the breaking news. A federal judge naming a special master who will review those documents seized at Trump's Mar-a-Lago. So who is he? It is a he. Details are next.

Plus, catastrophe averted for now. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on how he helped prevent a massive strike that would have impacted every single American.

And Putin meeting with President Xi of China today. Are there cracks in their relationship over the war? Or are they closer than ever?



BURNETT: Breaking news, a special master has been named to oversee the review of more than 100 classified documents seized from Trump's Mar-a-Lago. The DOJ and Trump's attorneys going back and forth for weeks on candidates to review the highly sensitive materials.

Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.

Evan, this is what we've been waiting for. Who is it going to be? Tell me who it is, what you know about him.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. His name is Raymond Dearie. He is a senior judge in Brooklyn, a federal judge in Brooklyn. And he is somebody that -- the only candidate, actually, that the two sides actually agreed could be acceptable to both sides. And so what we know from the order from the judge, she says that he

has until November 30th to review all of the documents, everything that was taken from the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. And she also says that he should prioritize looking and reviewing all of the classified documents that were seized by the FBI.

So, this -- November 30th deadline is a lot longer than what the Justice Department wanted. They wanted something like mid-October for this to be completed. The Trump team was contemplating up to 90 days for this review.

One of the interesting parts of this review too is that the Trump team -- legal team will get to review the classified documents according to the order from the judge, Erin.

BURNETT: All right.

So in this situation, seems like a pretty big loss for the DOJ. They had also given, of course, the off-ramp, right, as you and others have referred to it, and said, okay, we'll accept a special master, but allow to us review the documents while the special master is doing the review for executive privilege. And the judge rejected that, right, rejected their ability to do that? So that's a blow. What does that mean?

PEREZ: Well, it means that the Justice Department is likely to file an appeal. They've already said that they're planning to appeal. We expect that appeal to happen now within the next 24 hours. We -- again, the Justice Department obviously was asking, Erin, for her to delay at least that part of her ruling so that the FBI could continue reviewing these documents.

They say that it is inextricable the link between what the FBI is doing and this intelligence risk assessment that was going on. She doesn't really buy that argument. She says that she wants to continue this stay while the special master is doing his work.

So now, we expect that the justice department is going to go to the 11th Circuit Court of appeals in Atlanta to go try to get around what this judge has ordered, Erin.

BURNETT: Right. But this, of course, makes it all go longer and longer and longer, well into a political season, past the midterms when Trump could have announced his candidacy for the White House.


He did, by the way, Trump give an interview about the investigation today and he made a threat about what happens if he's indicted. Let me play it.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: I think you'd have problems in this country, the likes of which perhaps we've never seen before. I don't think the people of the United States would stand for it. Especially since they know I'm totally innocent.


BURNETT: So, Evan, making that thinly veiled threat, and also saying he declassified the documents seized by the FBI, which his lawyers have not claimed at all. So he split with his legal team.

PEREZ: Yeah, exactly. Look, I don't think it's thinly veiled. I mean, the former president of the United States is saying that if the Justice Department does this investigation and finds evidence to bring charges against him, that there are going to be problems. That's one of the reasons why you have seen, Erin, the Justice Department take extraordinary action to, for instance, shield the names of some of the law enforcement people who are doing this investigation, some of the FBI people, simply because of the threats.

This is kind of thing, the action they take in organized crime types of investigation. So we're dealing with the former president of the United States, and what you're hearing from the former president is that there are going to be problems if he is indicted. As you pointed out, he said in this interview -- one of the interesting things he said in the interview was he has declassified all of these documents.

This is something that his legal team has not actually said in court. What they've said is, you know, we don't accept that everything here is actually classified. They say that they want the special master to make some of that determination.

So, look, one of the things that this is going to prompt is an entire legal fight over what is classified and what isn't. You can bet that this is going to go not only to the appeals court, but probably all the way to the Supreme Court.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.

And next, a rail strike, another economic crisis averted for now. The transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will be OUTFRONT.

And Ukraine tonight claiming it just scored a major success on the battlefield against Putin's forces.



BURNETT: Tonight, catastrophe averted. Labor unions and rail lines reaching a tentative last-minute deal to stop about 50,000 workers from striking, which one analysis says would have cost the U.S. $2 billion a day and lead to shortages of everything from food to cars. It would have been a catastrophe.

President Biden meantime praising both sides for avoiding what could have been the industry's first strike since all the way back in 1992.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This agreement is a big win for America. With unemployment still in the record lows and signs of progress and lowering costs, this agreement allows us to continue to rebuild a better America with an economy that truly works for working people and their families.


BURNETT: All right. So, what's in the deal? Here's what it is, an immediate 14 percent raise with back pay dating back to 2020, and then raises totaling 24 percent through 2024. Cash bonuses, $1,000 each year. And greater flexibility for time off for medical reasons.

OUTFRONT now, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg who helped make that deal.

Secretary, of course, a strike would have had a crippling effect on this nation at a time when supply chains are already under incredible pressure and have caused a huge problem across the United States. Union workers still have to vote, obviously, when someone just, you know, layperson hears the terms of the deal, it sounds -- it sounds good for the workers, 14 percent raise immediately, nearly 24 percent over the next couple of years.

Do you have any doubt that the union will vote for the deal?

PETE BUTTIGIEG, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: As this deal goes out to union members to ratify, it enjoys the support of the union leaders as well as the railroads that were at the table negotiating it, and an administration that really believes that this is going to be mutually beneficial.

You know, if you look at what was won at the bargaining table for workers, not just a substantial pay raise, but something that was very important to them, which was more flexibility, because of the way railroad workers are scheduled, it could be very difficult for them to get time off, even on paid time off, sometimes when they need it.

That was a major issue at the table and one that was resolved by negotiators working late into last night and even early into this morning. And, of course, we stressed and the president personally got involved to stress to the parties just how important it was to find that deal space, to make that agreement because the consequences of a shutdown of our rail system are simply unacceptable.

BURNETT: They are. And, of course, those rail workers worked through the pandemic, right, making sure, you know, the rail workers, truck drivers, the heroes of the pandemic, making sure that things moved around. They were there doing that.

But when we look through these numbers, of course, you share the fears of everyone about wage price spirals and inflation. You look at 14 percent raise immediately, obviously that's back pay. But then 24 percent raises through 2024 bonuses.

Are you concerned that will feed through the system? That those -- that then they charge more for it, more to ship, and more to the buyer and then, all of a sudden, you have an inflation issue?

BUTTIGIEG: This is actually coming at a time when railroads have found ways to become more and more profitable partly through steps that have reduced the number of workers that are required in order for them to operate. So I don't think it is automatic that this will get passed on to customers.

Most importantly, what's most important for customers, most important for the system is stability, reliability, the ability to recruit and retain excellent workers. As you mentioned, these are workers who've been working on the front lines of the pandemic, just like our truck drivers, our aviation personnel, our warehouse workers, and others.

They can't come to work on Zoom. And if they weren't working, America simply wouldn't function. So we owe them a great deal.

And these negotiations, it's important to point out, they actually began in January of 2020. So, as you look at just the accumulation of how much time has gone by, that's part of why you see those retroactive pay increases being so important, and then an overall package that is going to work for them. The greatest indication, I think, that this deal is a good one is the fact that the railroads and the workers were able to come to the table and agree on it.

It meant everybody had to move like every negotiation. No party got everything that they wanted, but this is keeping the trains running and, I think, allowing both the railroad companies to benefit from having, again, those excellent workers they can retain, and, of course, workers benefiting from these hard-won benefits that they have now won at the bargaining table.

BURNETT: I want to ask you about the story here from Martha's Vineyard. Obviously, Governor DeSantis sending 50 migrants there, Governor Greg Abbott sending more than 100 to the vice president's residence in Washington.

Here's what Governor DeSantis said today, Secretary.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: We take what's happening at the southern border very seriously, unlike some, and unlike the president of the United States who has refused to lift a finger to secure that border. Now, what would be the best is for Biden to do his damn job and secure the border.


BURNETT: Secretary, record 750 migrants have died at the southern border so far this year. There have been more than 2 million border apprehensions, also a record, expected by the end of this month.

Doesn't President Biden need to do more on his part to address this?

BUTTIGIEG: Look, you know, those very same people who seem eager to take political advantage of this situation have often been people who have stood in the way of a comprehensive solution on immigration, not just in this administration, but in multiple administrations over time.

We're talking about human beings, not political props. And what we see time and time again is that when politicians decide to try to score political points by taking advantage of vulnerable people, it's usually a sign that they don't have concrete solutions for the issues that Americans face, lacking concrete solutions for immigration reform is just one example.

But I think it's part of a broader story where you got a lot of political figures who don't want to explain why they have been blocking $35 a month insulin for Americans. They don't want to explain why they stood with the big pharmaceutical companies against the president's work and the work that thankfully passed Congress to allow Medicare to negotiate, don't want to explain why so many of them even opposed the infrastructure legislation and infrastructure funding which ironically I just announced today among other things we're using to fund improvements at the border like inspection facilities in Texas. So you can either be part of the solution or you can be part of the problem.

BURNETT: All right. Secretary Buttigieg, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

BUTTIGIEG: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, Putin acknowledging that China has, quote, questions and concerns over his unprovoked invasion. That's a pretty incredible admission to make. So, is there a split or not?

And Prince William speaking today about the death of Queen Elizabeth II, his grandmother.



BURNETT: Tonight, the Ukrainian military claiming to have wiped out a significant number of Russian troops and equipment in eastern Ukraine, which is the latest Russian setback amidst the Ukrainian counteroffensive. So, all of this in the context of Vladimir Putin today, meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping. This was a crucial meeting. It is the first the first time they met since the invasion. You may remember back at the Olympics, right? But this is the first time since the invasion.

Putin acknowledging China has quote concerns and questions over the war, which is interesting that that acknowledgment happened, because Xi himself never even mentioned the war in his public remarks.

OUTFRONT now, Josh Rogin, "Washington Post" columnist and our political analyst.

So, Josh, Putin acknowledges China's concerns with his invasion. Why did he do that? China -- President Xi didn't bring it up. Was this the deal? You have to go out there and say I have an issue with it? What happened here?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Well, the beginning signs that we see out of this historic meeting between Putin and Xi are that, on the one hand, Russia/China alliance is getting closer than ever. We see the military exercises. We see the economic cooperation and we see deep cooperation between China and Russia in setting up a new world order that evades U.S. sanctions and advances Russia's war effort in Ukraine.

At the same time, it's pretty clear that Putin is now the junior partner and Xi is now the senior partner. That's not a comfortable position for Putin. Traditionally, in the first Cold War, for example, Russia was also the senior partner or the Soviet Union, and China was always the junior partner. That's flipped now.

So, Putin is dependent on China. But it's a situation he can't get out of. But the bottom line is these two dictatorships are linked together and becoming closer than ever, and that's not likely to change.

BURNETT: It's interesting what you say. It's sort of like -- I don't want to put too much weight on my word choice, but Russia is become a vassal state, or, you know, subservient state to a rising China?

ROGIN: Right. Well, the bottom line is Putin is under pressure. He's fighting the war right now. But both Putin and Xi know that in a couple years, it could be the other way around. And if President Xi is intending on attacking Taiwan, and we hope he doesn't, but he just might, in that situation, Putin is going to have the upper hand.

So, right now, Putin has to say the things that makes Xi happy.

But in the end, their fates are tied together because they're both aggressive totalitarian dictatorships that are allied against us, that are building a world order adverse to us. And so, yeah, he's got to play nice with Xi at the moment. But in the long run, their fates are intertwined.


BURNETT: Yeah, with their shared foe. Thank you very much, Josh. Always appreciate it. Good to see you.

ROGIN: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, first on CNN, Trump's former chief of staff complying with a federal subpoena as part of the Justice Department's investigation into January 6th. Complying, and he is a significant witness, now at the center of multiple investigations.

And Prince William revealing how difficult it has been since the Queen's passing.


PRINCE WILLIAM, PRINCE OF WALES: Doing the walk yesterday was challenging. It brought back a few memories. (END VIDEO CLIP)


BURNETT: Tonight, the January 6th committee asking for more than 3,000 emails from John Eastman, the former Trump attorney who is central to the plot to try to overturn the election with fake electors.

Another significant witness who could have information about that plot and much more is Mark Meadows. CNN exclusively learning that Trump's former White House chief of staff has complied with the DOJ subpoena for thousands of texts and emails around January 6th.

Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): During Trump's lost election, the insurrection and his reluctant exit from the White House, chief of staff Mark Meadows was at the president's right hand. And now he appears to be right in the middle of a Justice Department probe into all of that and more.

ELIE HONIG, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: If prosecutors could fully and completely get cooperation from any person involved in this, I would think Mark Meadows would be at or near the top of the list because he had such close proximity to Donald Trump and because he was inside the room for so many crucial meetings and conversations.

FOREMAN: Meadows has complied with the subpoena, turning over thousands of text messages and emails, sources tell CNN, the same material he gave to the January 6th select committee. But he's also invoked executive privilege to keep some dealings with Trump private. So for federal investigators --

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The big question, will he cooperate?

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: I just want to find 11,780 votes.

FOREMAN: Meadows could offer inside looks at efforts to flip vote tallies, install slates of fake electors in several states, and stymie congressional certification of Joe Biden's victory.


BILL BARR, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I said how long -- how long is he going to carry on with this stolen election stuff?

FOREMAN: He could shed light on how Trump and some of his allies kept the claim of a false stolen election alive even as they were advised against it.

BARR: Meadows had caught up with me. He said, look, I think that he's becoming more realistic and knows that there is a limit to how far he can take this. FOREMAN: He could also expand on efforts to get Trump to return

presidential records. Meadows was working to get documents back to the U.S. Archives before the FBI searched Trump's Mar-a-Lago home and found classified documents.

And on January 6th, as the pro-Trump mob sacked the Capitol, chanting --

CROWD: Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!

FOREMAN: -- Meadows may explain why Trump apparently spent hours making no apparent effort to end the violence.

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: I remember Pat saying something to the effect of, Mark, we need to do something more. They're literally calling for the president to be f'ing hung. And Mark had responded to the effect of, you heard it, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it.


FOREMAN (on camera): Meadows and his attorney did not reply to CNN's request for further comment. It is not clear what he could do with federal investigators if he wanted to cooperate or what they might ask of him. What is clear, though, Erin, is this probe is getting bigger and it's beginning to touch almost every aspect of Donald Trump's attempt to overturn his 2020 election loss.

BURNETT: Yeah. Tom Foreman, thank you.

FOREMAN: You're welcome.

BURNETT: And next, live pictures from London. Thousands still lined up to see the Queen. The line, the queue last I checked is about five miles. And we hear from her grandson, Prince William.



BURNETT: Tonight, the new prince and princess of Wales, William and Kate, making their first team appearance solo since taking their titles. The future king overheard telling the crowd outside Sandringham Estate how difficult this past week has been.


PRINCE WILLIAM, PRINCE OF WALES: Doing the walk yesterday was challenging. It brought back a few memories.

It's one of these moments where you kind of think to yourself, "I've prepared myself for this but I'm not that prepared". It's this weird kind of things, because we knew she was 96.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: It comes as the line to pay respects to the Queen at Westminster Hall is nearly five miles long, an estimated nine hours wait and it is 1:00 a.m. in London.

Anna Stewart is OUTFRONT.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): A new day, an old line. It started days ago. They've come from near and far, hundreds of thousands of people.

Why you're here today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To go and celebrate the Queen's life and pay our respects.

STEWART: From Big Ben to Tower Bridge. By lunchtime, the line stretched beyond four miles, and it could go longer still.

The government warning it already takes nine hours. Stamina is a must. There is little chance to sit down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was at the coronation as a young boy.

STEWART: You were at the coronation?


STEWART: And you're walking four miles?


STEWART: Good work. Best of luck with it, sir.

You can see there are so many people here. And actually, we've seen estimates that say it could top 750,000 over the coming days. People have traveled across the UK to be here, and even from further afield. I've met some people who flew in from South Africa to be here.

There is a multitude of reasons to be here, primarily of course to pay their respects to the Queen. There is also a big moment in history, a moment they want to mark and remember, and they can do that by walking through London's landmarks, making new friends, sharing memories of the Queen and their hopes for a new king.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he understands what it is to be king. That's what he's certainly shown so far.

STEWART: What about Harry and Meghan? Do you think they'll come back to the fold?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they will come back, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they will come back, with what's happened. I think the family should be reunited. STEWART: You hope they're reunited?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They will. I think they will.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They will. Keep the fingers crossed.

STEWART: What about the new Prince of Wales and Princess of Wales?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, we love them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love them very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wish them all the best. We hope we will see one day when they sit on the throne.

STEWART: As the line reaches Westminster, excitement turns solemn. Inside, a deafening silence. Everyone in their own way marks the moment. Many overcome with emotion as they say their final farewell.

That brief moment worth the hours and the miles.


STEWART (on camera): On Monday, the Queen's coffin will move once again from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey for a state funeral and a procession which will be followed on foot once again by her son, King Charles, his siblings, other members of the royal family.

Her majesty will be surrounded by her close family members before entering Westminster Abbey where, of course, she'll be entering where there are up to 2,000 people, heads of state, including U.S. president Joe Biden, dignitaries, European royals, all there to mark her life in a two-minute silence before it concludes. And, of course, the whole world is invited to watch.

BURNETT: Absolutely. Anna, thank you so very much.

And we'll be in London on Monday to cover the extraordinary events surrounding the Queen's funeral, as Anna was laying that out as the U.K. and the world says goodbye to such a person who played such a pivotal and special role in global leadership and politics.

CNN's special coverage will begin at 6:00 a.m. on Monday.

Thanks for joining us. You can always find the latest episode of our show on our podcast. And you can search for ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT.

"AC360" starts now.