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Erin Burnett Outfront

DeSantis On Relocating Migrants: This Is "Just The Beginning"; Trump White House Counsel Told Archives Mar-a-Lago Docs Were "Just Newspaper Clippings", Counsel Got Info From Mark Meadows; Dozens Of Elected Russian Politicians Demand Putin Be Impeached; Line To See Queen's Coffin Now Nearly A 20-Hour Wait. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired September 16, 2022 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next: He's not done yet. Governor Ron DeSantis vowing to send more immigrants to American cities, as the White House compares DeSantis and other Republicans to human smugglers.

Plus, news clippings, that is what Trump's team claimed was being stored at Mar-a-Lago. That was how the former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, described to Trump lawyers. Did Meadows know that that was not true?

And more Russian politicians speaking out and calling for Putin to resign. Why a former CIA official based in Moscow is now saying the word coup. He's my guest.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, Ron DeSantis says he's just getting started, vowing that his two flights of undocumented immigrants to Martha's Vineyard are just the beginning.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: These are just the beginning efforts. I mean, we've got an infrastructure in place right now, there's going to be a lot more that's happening. So, I got 12 million for us to use, and so, we are going to use it. And you're going to see more and more.


BURNETT: Now, ironically, that $12 million he refers to is coming from interest earned on coronavirus aid funds, aid funds that came from President Biden.

Well, you see how DeSantis is using it. These threats do not come as Democrats and Republicans are in an all out war of words over migrants sent to Democratic cities.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: They use them as political pawns -- treated them like chattel in a cruel premeditated political stunt.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: If they will not go to the border, we're taking the border to them, so they can see the challenges they're imposing to the entire United States of America.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: What Ron DeSantis is doing is a disgrace. It's mostly monstrous, and I say that not lightly.

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): These communities are so hypocritical because they are not willing to bear the brunt of Joe Biden's immigration failures.


BURNETT: Okay, this back and forth comes as questions grow over why DeSantis flew migrants who were not in his state to begin with? So, let me just show you what we know. The migrants involved with these first two flights to Martha's Vineyard have crossed the United States border into Texas. And that is where DeSantis's two private planes pick them up.

So then, they were first flown to Florida. There was a quick stop there. We understand from the manifest. And then, one plane stopped in North Carolina. The other, in South Carolina. And finally, both went on to Martha's Vineyard.

Now, when I show this, this is what we know. We don't know the reasons, we don't know about these strange flight paths. But this political move by DeSantis shouldn't actually have been much of a surprise, because he actually has been telling people about his plan for months.

Here's DeSantis back in December talking about what he shot thought should be done with undocumented immigrants.


DESANTIS: It's somewhat tongue in cheek, but it is true. If you send to Delaware or Martha's Vineyard, or some of these places, that border would be secure the next day.


BURNETT: Martha's vineyard, or some of these places. You know, Ted Cruz tweeted about it. Look, this was -- this was coming, people.

And just this past Friday night, DeSantis again spoke of his plans to a room full of donors at the Four Seasons in Orlando. According to "The Washington Post", DeSantis said, quote, I do have this money. I want to be helpful. Maybe, we will go to Texas and to help. Maybe it will send to Chicago, Hollywood, or Martha's Vineyard, who knows?

Rosa Flores is OUTFRONT. She is in San Antonio, Texas. That is, if you remember them up I just showed you, where the flights of these migrants originated.

And, Rosa, I know you've been talking to people there, trying to unravel the mystery of how these people were selected, what they were told, why they got on these flights to Martha's Vineyard. What are you learning?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, we've also been trying to find this mystery woman by the name of Perla, who allegedly, you have all these migrants to get on these flights. So, we have retraced her steps. Let me take you through this because what do you see beyond the trees, that's the migrant resource center here in San Antonio.

And we have watched this happen all day long. Migrants cross that busy street that you see behind me. And they go to shopping centers that are all around here. Now, I have been collaborating with my colleague, because she's been getting photographs, and also, videos of this woman named Perla, and the steps that they took along the way.

Well, we've been reconnecting some of those dots, and it turns out, this is the parking lot where this woman, Perla, met with all of these migrants.


And remember, this is the woman who promised these migrants that they were going to have shelter, and also, a job, whatever they got to their final destination.

Now, right now, you don't see a lot of migrants here. But take a look at this video because we were here all day long earlier today, and it was lots of migrants here. I was able to talk to them. No one had seen Perla. No one knew about Perla.

But that makes sense this migrant center, they're only allowed to stay for three days. Again, these people are moving to other parts of the country. They don't stay here very long, so nobody had heard of Perla.

But we kept on which racing her steps. It turns out these migrants were transported about 17 miles southwest of dislocation to a hotel. We've got video this.

We asked people at this hotel what they knew about Perla. They had not. But again, we have pictures and video to prove that that is where the migrants were. The migrants stayed there for about five days. After that, they were transported about five miles east to Joint Base San Antonio, to Kelly Field. That's where that plane left to Martha's Vineyard.

So, Erin, did we find Perla? No, we did not find Perla. But as you know, Governor Ron DeSantis is taking credit for all of this. So, I asked his press secretary, I have not heard back.

The people who are talking here, Erin, are the migrants. So many migrants you talk to hear, what they say is they are angry. They are upset for what happened to these migrants, because what they told me, these migrants are just like them. They were here fleeing persecution, violence in their home countries, and they're so desperate that they trust people like Perla -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.

Pretty incredible, all that reporting that Rosa and her team have done to show how they went, right? To the La Quinta Inn and then to the air base in Texas. Keep in mind, Governor Abbott said he wasn't aware of these initial flights. I put emphasis on that word initial and Ron DeSantis making it clear there's a lot more coming.

Let's go to Steve Contorno. He's our reporter covering politics in Florida, and I know you've covered this beat for many years, Steve.

So, DeSantis for five years. So, DeSantis has not made it a secret. He's brought it up again and again. And we had Ted Cruz with that tweet. Martha's Vineyard, Greenwich, Connecticut. You heard him talk about other places as well including Hollywood.

So, DeSantis was pretty clear this was coming.

STEVE CONTORNO, CNN REPORTER: That's correct, Erin. Anyone who's been following and listening to DeSantis for months knows that he has been very publicly and repeatedly threatening to send Democrats or send migrants anywhere that gives Democrats heartburn. He has thrown out President Biden's home state of Delaware, Washington, D.C. and, yes, even Martha's Vineyard.

Now, he has $12 million set aside for this, and he has said today that he will use, quote, every penny of it. The big question that still remains is, how did DeSantis get around a state law that says this money was supposed to be used to transport migrants that were in his home state of Florida? As you showed on that map, these people started in San Antonio and went all the way to Martha's Vineyard.

He was asked about that discrepancy today and he said this.


DESANTIS: So they've been in Texas identifying people that are trying to come to Florida, and then offering them free transportation to sanctuary jurisdictions. And so they went from Texas to Florida to Martha's Vineyard.


CONTORNO: Now he didn't really answer the question too well there. But that's his explanation, Erin, and he is not backing down.

BURNETT: No. Interesting explanation. Well, if they were intending to go to Florida, who knows whether that's the case or not, he was going to send them somewhere else. But nonetheless the plane did stop in Florida, both planes, which has added some confusion to this. You're right, he didn't fully answer that question at all.

All right. Steve, thank you very much.

I want to go now to Xochitl Hinojosa, who was a communications director for the DNC and has been in touch with the White House on this issue. And Mark Sanford, former Republican governor and congressman from the state of South Carolina, one of the places where the plane stopped, although, of course, I know, Governor, you don't know the details on that. I'm just pointing out that odd flight path we're aware of.

So, Xochitl, let me starts with you. Governor DeSantis making it very clear, he is going to spend every bit of his $12 million on this, and that's a lot of -- that's a lot of plane flights from Texas to places like Martha's Vineyard. Are these -- these towns and cities are obviously going to be hit by this.

Is Governor DeSantis making the point that he wants here, or the point Governor Abbott made, that if you won't come to the border, we'll bring it to you?

XOCHITL HINOJOSA, FORMER DNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, it's a political stunt. If he actually wanted to solve the problem, and he was worried about the issue of migration and these people seeking asylum, then he would work with the federal government and he would work with local jurisdictions in order to house these migrants.

He's not following a legal process. A legal process, because every migrant, if they're fleeing a dangerous condition and fear for their lives, they have a legal right to seek asylum.


Instead, they're making promises and dropping them off, not actually coordinating with the federal government, and dropping them off with no notification except for potentially Fox News. But they're not -- they're not coordinating with the federal government, which makes it hard for a government response and therefore it's causing chaos.

But, Erin, I want to point out that this is very similar -- this type of chaos is very similar to the chaos of child separation, to the chaos of the Muslim ban. These are stunts. These aren't necessarily solutions and real time solutions to help these migrants.

And it is causing fear in these communities. It is causing chaos in these cities. And the chaos is coming from Governor DeSantis. It's not coming from the White House.

The White House wants an orderly plan, and they want to work with these states like Governor DeSantis to ensure that we're doing things to house and have a process for these migrants.

BURNETT: Governor?

MARK SANFORD (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA: Uh, process? People have been waiting for a process for 20 plus years. I can't tell you how frustrated the Republican base is with the lack of progress on this, quote, process.

And so they've heard a lot of words, they've seen administrations come and go. They've seen senators and congressmen come and go without real result.

I would argue that the frustration with the border issue was what ultimately fueled the Trump campaign. I mean, it has a lot to do with Trump -- again, I'm no Trump fan. I think that's been well-documented, but a lot to do with him coming to office.

So, you know, I'd separate politics from policy here. I'd say from a DeSantis standpoint, probably great politics. It plays straight to the base and the frustrations that the Republican base feels with nothing being done on immigration.

As to policy, we're talking about it. And you've got to talk about it to raise an issue hot enough so that ultimately something gets done. So, I'd say keep on doing something because we need to talk about it because meanwhile 8,000 new folks cross the border today and we've seen about 2 million folks over the last year cross the border and people are frustrated.

BURNETT: Xochitl, top Republicans are rushing to praise Governor DeSantis. Here they are.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Right now, the hypocrisy that is playing out is really quite stunning.

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): The hypocrisy of these sanctimonious liberals is just amazing.

GOV. PETE RICKETTS (R), NEBRASKA: It's just hypocrisy coming from the federal government, the Biden administration specifically, about how this is being handled.


BURNETT: Do they have a point, Xochitl?

HINOJOSA: No. What the administration wants is a process for these people to have, you know, to seek asylum.

And I want to just respond to this. Yes, there has been chaos in our immigration system, and we all can remember, and we all documented, and, Erin, you've covered it too, and part of it was dismantling the asylum system under the Trump administration. And so there was chaos and this administration is trying to rebuild that system.

And, in addition, I don't think that the president and this administration have been quiet about the fact that we need an immigration solution. We actually need to pass comprehensive immigration reform. This was a bipartisan issue, and for some reason in recent years, instead it's been about fear mongering.

And so I think the administration is working to build a plane as it's in the air at the moment. But you have leaders like Governor Abbott and Governor DeSantis that are just causing chaos instead of actually trying to work with the federal government to process asylum-seekers. BURNETT: Governor, one of the points that you got to get your head

around when you think about it on a certain level is, okay, if you are going to say Ron DeSantis has put this on the national conversation in a way it wasn't before, and you think that you have said that that is a good thing and that that is worth it. Then you have to cross the bridge of the fact that it was 50 individual human beings who were involved in getting it onto the front page.

The White House press secretary talked about that today. And here's what she said.


JEAN-PIERRE: These vulnerable migrants were reportedly misled about where they were headed, told they would be headed to Boston, misled about what they would be provided when they arrived, promised shelter, refuge, benefits and more. These are the kinds of tactics we see from smugglers in places like Mexico and Guatemala. And, for what? A photo op?


BURNETT: So, Governor, she used the word smugglers. But what do you make about her point, right, individual humans here who believed what they were told and what they were told was not true?

SANFORD: I don't know the validity to what she's claiming.


What I do know is these folks have not been put at the pasture. I mean, they've been moved now from Martha's Vineyard to a military base --

BURNETT: That's true.

SANFORD: -- on Cape Cod and they're being provided with food and shelter. So I don't think you can equate it with a smuggler who leaves somebody had to die in a desert. That's not the case here.

Is it clumsy political tool? I mean, I gladly see that point. But, again, people are frustrated, and I think it needs to be remembered here that the Biden administration changed the asylum policy.

Again, I'm not a Trump fan, but the policy during that time was you had to wait in Mexico while your asylum was being sort of evaluated. Now they changed it to, in essence, a thousand-day stay under the Biden administration, and folks literally had three years to have it figured out, and they could be wandering around the United States during that time period.

And that's created, again, a havoc on the system itself, and some of the immigration demand that we've seen. And so folks in Texas or Florida with some spillover from Venezuela or elsewhere are saying, wait, this is out of control, we have got to do something about it. So is it a clumsy political tool? Certainly. But does it make a point

of, wait a minute, you can't be sequestered in Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard or elsewhere, you know, not feeling the pain of what people are feeling in the border on South Texas. We've got to make this point real.

So I get the larger point. Is there a different way of raising it? Yes. But is it effective in having us talk about it right now? Yes.

BURNETT: OK. I'll give you the last word since Xochitl has the first.

Thank you both very much. I appreciate it.

And next, new reporting tonight, Trump's team told the National Archives that boxes at Mar-a-Lago only contained, and I quote, news clippings. Okay, that was obviously blatantly and completely untrue. So why did Mark Meadows describe them that way?

Plus, outrage from Russian politicians over set backs in Ukraine leading for calls to President Putin to go. This as more than 400 bodies are discovered in a new mass burial site, many of them with signs of torture.

And among the hundreds of thousands of people in line to bid Queen Elizabeth farewell, British football star David Beckham. He waited 12 hours, just like everybody else.



BURNETT: Just in tonight, CNN learning Trump's former White House counsel told the National Archives that there were no classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Okay, that's a very significant thing. And let me add on top of that, according to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, there were only 12 boxes of, quote, newspaper clippings.

Of course, in reality, what investigators found was much different. There were 48 boxes, 184 classified documents. That was voluntarily handed over by Trump in January.

So after all these assurances were made about newspaper clippings, we got that. And then there were 38 more turns over in June, and then, of course, 103 more classified documents seized by the FBI in their search last month of Mar-a-Lago.

Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.

So, Evan, we know what Mark Meadows said. We don't know we he said it or if he believed it. There are some questions here. But this does put the focus squarely on Mark Meadows. What more can you tell us?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right, Erin. It really puts the focus on what Mark Meadows said and where he learned that information from. What was previously reported is that Meadows was trying to get Donald Trump to turn over boxes.

What we're told is that this conversation that you just talked about is, you know, Gary Stern from the National Archives was communicating with Patrick Philbin, who's a former deputy white house counsel. And what he was passing on from Mark Meadows is that there were only about a dozen boxes and they were newspaper clippings.

What we're told, our Jamie Gangel got this reporting. She's told by sources that the national archives knew that there were records missing. So they didn't take that to be the final answer. What they understood the conversation to be is, well, you should keep looking because we know that there are records missing.

And, of course, as you pointed out from that graphic you just showed us --


PEREZ: -- there were tons of more government records, thousands of pages of government records, and of course, hundreds of pages of classified documents, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Evan, thank you very much.

So, OUTFRONT now, Ryan Goodman, co-editor in chief of Just Security, and the former special counsel to the Defense Department, along with Alyssa Farah Griffin, former Trump White House communications director.

OK, thanks to both of you.

Newspaper clippings, 12 boxes of those, that's what you would have found at my mother's house. OK, newspaper clippings is, I mean, and to be specific, 12 boxes of them or about a dozen, as Evan characterized it. So, it wasn't just newspaper clippings. It's newspaper clippings and there's about 12 boxes.

What does it tell you that Mark Meadow's description of what was actually there was so off-base? By the way, we're up to now 300 documents and -- I don't even know how many boxes, right? But he was completely wrong.

RYAN GOODMAN, CO-EDITOR IN CHIEF, JUST SECURITY: Right. He was off by a little, it might be explicable at some level, that he made a mistake, but we really are talking about dozens of boxes and over 300 classified documents and several of them with color-coded front covers that say secret, top secret and the rest of it.

So, there's a clearly false statement that he's conveying to the National Archives. I do think he faces criminal jeopardy if he did that knowingly, if he knew that what he was saying was a false statement.


GOODMAN: But we don't know where he got the information. Maybe Trump lies to him, for example, and then he conveys that to the Archives. But that's I think the issue for him. And I think that that would be something of concern for him and his lawyers.

BURNETT: So, I want to ask you about the implications would be of that. But, Alyssa, first of all, you know him. So let's talk about this. What do you think is happening here? I mean, would he really go and represent in something so important just repeating what Trump said? What happened here?

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Giving him the best degree of the benefit of the doubt I can give him is the final months of the Trump presidency were a very chaotic period. This is -- think of January 6th onto the inauguration when he had to leave the White House. It is very possible -- I don't think this is out of the realm of possibility that things were just getting thrown in boxes. I know for a fact, White House staff who I still to were there until the final days, there was no organization, there was no, you know, transitioning him out of office.

So there could be a level of that. But that's straining kind of -- this was the chief of staff. He was tasked to oversee the Archives. He was the assigned person representing there.


So, he should've known better. I do think what's interesting about this is it signals that Meadows is -- I think that he's probably cooperating more than we realize with the Department of Justice.

BURNETT: Okay. So, Ryan, if that's the case, that means that he is, what, maybe trying to make up for things like this or, I mean, who knows, right? Do you think it's possible that he is now cooperating a lot more maybe, in part, because of a statement like that, which was, at best, clueless and lazy and at worst a lie?

GOODMAN: I think so. And also the fact that we haven't heard him on the air waves trying to defend Trump or anything like it. And we know that Philbin who's part of this set of events is speaking to the FBI at least in spring of this year.

So the idea at least that they wouldn't have reached out to him is a stretch of the imagination. So I think they have reached out to him. And then he's either cooperating because he's a direct witness or he's cooperating because he has a certain level of criminal jeopardy.

And the implications go beyond Mar-a-Lago, because if he is cooperating and flips, that might implicate President Trump in all sorts of things with respect to January 6th, because I think he'd be a key witness against him.

BURNETT: Right, right. So, you can't open one of these boxes now without the others, right?


BURNETT: I mean, you can't keep them separate. So, Alyssa, how loyal is Mark Meadows to Trump?

GRIFFIN: I mean, I think he's very loyal. I think that's -- I think that's something that we've seen in his tenure as chief of staff. But I think that any person who has a family, wants to have a future is going to think about their legal jeopardy.

I've worked for Mark for many years. We're very close. If you have evidence that needs to be turned over, cooperate. It's never too late to do the right thing.

And one thing I want to note, the universe of who would know about these documents at Mar-a-Lago is actually fairly small, I would guess, just having been in Trump world, who both knew what was transported from the White House and then was on property there. So I wouldn't be shocked if this, you know, part of what led to the raid could've actually in fact come from Meadows.

BURNETT: Right. So that he could have realized, wait a minute, I'm going to do the right thing.

GRIFFIN: Right, that's -- that would be my best guess.

And, by the way, Pat Philbin is somebody who I work with who's a serious by-the-book attorney. And I think there's a reason he came out clearly and said I was misled on this.

BURNETT: All right. All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate it.

And, next, more Russians calling for Putin to resign over the military fiasco in Ukraine. Should he be worried about a coup?

My next guest, a longtime intelligence official with a focus on Russia says yes.

And the great flip-flop. Election deniers suddenly toning down their messages.



BURNETT: Tonight, President Biden warning Vladimir Putin against escalating the war in Ukraine by using nuclear or chemical weapons.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNTIED STATES: Don't, don't, don't. You will change the face of war unlike anything since World War II.


BURNETT: This as President Zelenskyy of Ukraine says some of the bodies found in at least 440 unmarked graves at a mass burial site in Izyum show, quote, signs of torture. This coming as Putin facing growing dissent in Russia.

Matthew Chance is OUTFRONT.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ukraine's gain here set to dramatic music by their own troops is increasing Putin's loss. Russia's stunning military setbacks stirring broad public criticism at home, which shocked military hardliners voicing anger.


CHANCE: And dozens of elected local Russian politicians too signing an official petition offered by this local chancellor demanding President Putin be impeached. Russians have offered to pay his fines for speaking out, even to hide him, he told me, if the Kremlin tries to put him in jail.

PALYUGA: Well, obviously Russian army is being destroyed right now. So, we'll lose people, we'll lose weapons, and we'll lose our ability to defend.

CHANCE: And that fact that the Russian army is suffering these setbacks, that is fueling anger, isn't it, not just amongst liberal aspects of Russian society but also amongst hard liners as well. They're furious.

PALYUGA: Yeah. Actually pro war activists now really feel betrayed. And there is a point where both liberal group of people and pro-war group of people can have the same goal.

CHANCE: And like these early antiwar protesters in Moscow back in February, hard liners complain of Russia being too soft on Ukraine and sending woefully underprepared troops into battle. But it's the heavy price Russia is paying where there may be common cause.


CHANCE: And why another Russian counselor called for Putin to resign. The Kremlin strongman, she told me, is depriving Russians of a future.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Russians have become poor, they are not welcome anywhere. And there is less of facilities, supplies. Russia doesn't really produce anything itself. And I don't know what future can be for the country which is isolated.

CHANCE: Can you talk to me about what impact that lack of a future is having on people that you speak to?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ah, well, it's quite depressing now, very depressing atmosphere in Russia, and the frustration feeling fear, anger, shame.

CHANCE: The Kremlin insists the mood of the people is still with the Russian president. [19:35:01]

But the growing criticism at home and abroad may at least threaten to take the swagger out of Putin's step.


CHANCE (on camera): Well, Erin, tonight, at least 70 Russian local politicians have now signed the petition for Vladimir Putin to resign, which is an extraordinarily high number in a country which never really did but certainly no longer tolerates public dissent, let alone official dissent from the Kremlin line.

The five politicians that called for his impeachment, they've been fined. But the Kremlin isn't taking really strong action against them, and I think that's really telling of the sensitivity in Russia right now, Erin.

BURNETT: Yeah, absolutely. Matthew Chance, thank you so much.

And that petition Matthew is referring to, just 72 hours ago there were 25 brave signatories, now, despite, right, those fines, 70? That says something.

And I want to bring in Steve Hall, because he's the former CIA chief of Russia operations based in Moscow.

So, Steve, you hear Matthew talk about this laying out the rise in dissent in Russia right now that is growing. So what do you see in this?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it's important to understand that the things obviously work differently in Russia than they do in a place that has a democracy like the United States or any of the European Union countries. There is no democracy in Russia. So when you have people speaking out like this, first of all, they're going to do it very carefully.

But Putin isn't particularly, I don't think, worried about them. He's got spies all around them. He's a former intelligence officer. He knows the importance of spying on dissidents and controlling their actions.

So he knows what they're up to and he's probably got them under control because he can simply throw them in jail any time he wants. That's what he does is he represses.

But there is another group of people, these are close advisers to Putin, it comes from the Russian word for power. These are like the head of the intelligence service, some seniors in the military. And when they start noticing these people speaking out in Russia, then they begin to get worried that the entire system that Putin has put together, which they benefit from, is fraying, is coming apart.

And when that happens it's those people that get worried and think I wonder if Putin is the right guy to be the president right now. BURNETT: So I spoke the other day with one of the Russian politicians

who is demanding Putin's resignation. He said that these Russian elites -- perhaps some of those you're referring to but also some of the oligarch types he was referring to, that he says Putin needs, want to go back to what they had before the war and that they are fed up with Putin. Here's what he said.


NIKITA YUFEREV, DEPUTY, SMOLNINSKYHOVE MUNICIPAL DISTRICT, ST. PETERSBURG (through translator): Putin is very dependent on the elites. He is making their lives difficult. So, one solution is to throw them under the bus to get back the lives that they were living before.


BURNETT: Throw them under the bus. Is that on the table, do you think, Steve, from what you know so well about this country, something so far as a coup?

HALL: So the Russian ecosystem is a difficult one. I mean, the political and social ecosystem. So you've got oligarchs who do play an important role. They make a lot of money not only for themselves but also for the companies and for Russia and of course importantly for Putin.

But, again, it's not the oligarchs I think that are going to rise up against Putin. They could help, they could instigate. But you'll remember Mr. Khodorkovsky, who was one of the prominent oligarchs ten years ago was thrown into jail for precisely getting into politics.

Again, it's these close advisers to him. It's people who control these security services, control the police have their hands on the lever of power and who up till now had been doing what Putin says because they're all part of the system that everybody benefits from if you're high up enough in Russia.

But, again, when things start to come apart, they're going to think back to Gorbachev in 1991 when the Soviet Union was coming apart and a coup attempt was made against him. It was unsuccessful. But there is precedent for this, and I'm sure President Putin remembers that quite clearly.

BURNETT: Well, if anyone claims to be a greater student of history as a world leader, I don't know of one -- claims being the word.

Thank you very much, I appreciate it.

And next, the great flip-flop.


GEN. DON BOLDUC (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATE CANDIDATE: Trump won the election and, damn it, I stand by my election.

I have come to the conclusion and I want to be definitive on this. The election was not stolen.


BURNETT: Why are Republican candidates suddenly accepting the election results?

And queuing up in a miles' long line to pay respects to the queen. Among them, British football star David Beckham. He stood in line for 12 hours to say good bye.



BURNETT: Tonight, the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor questioning the 2020 election at a rally this afternoon where he was joined by Donald Trump Jr.


DOUG MASTRIANO (R), PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR CANDIDATE: Voting integrity, wow. Oh, my goodness. I've seen better elections in Afghanistan. Not hyperbole.


BURNETT: It does come as other Republican candidates are dialing back their rhetoric ahead of the midterms.

OUTFRONT now, Chris Cillizza, CNN politics reporter and editor-at- large.

Chris, Mastriano, of course, a key player in former President Trump's efforts to oversee the election results in Pennsylvania -- to overturn, I'm sorry, the election results in Pennsylvania. He was even on January 6th at the Capitol.

He is not letting up. He is standing by when he said, you know, continuing the comment, right, better elections in Afghanistan, not hyperbole. Is it working?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Mastriano is an interesting case, Erin, because while you see a lot of Republicans trying to get away from some of these positions they take in the primary, he's leaning into it. There hasn't been a ton of polling done in the race. But I think most people agree that Josh Shapiro, who's the state attorney general, the Democratic nominee, is ahead here.

It's a real test case, because there isn't been a candidate who has not attempted even, and really Mastriano was not even attempting to appeal to the middle. He is running as though he's still running in a Republican primary even though he's running in the general election. This was the fear of many Republicans when Mastriano started to emerge as the likely nominee.

So, I'm interested to see how he does. My guess is if the election were held today, Josh Shapiro would win and might win relatively handily. Obviously we know Pennsylvania's a swing state.


CILLIZZA: They have not nominated a candidate like this in the past, though.

BURNETT: No, and here's the thing -- what he's doing is different than we're seeing elsewhere.


BURNETT: OK, enter Don Bolduc, because this is -- this is amazing. You know, in a sense you've got to give someone credit for being willing to say the sky is blue and the sky is black back-to-back and without shame and owning the flip-flop.

OK. He won his primary this week in New Hampshire. Here he is, the first sound bite is what he said when he was in the primary. And the second sound bite is what he said after he won this week and went out and did an interview.


GEN. DON BOLDUC (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATE CANDIDATE: I signed a letter with 120 other generals and admirals saying that Trump won the election, and, damn it I stand by it.

I have come to the conclusion and I want to be definitive on this. The election was not stolen.

President Biden is the legitimate president of this country.


BURNETT: Okay, I mean, but, you know what, I like the look on your face. He owns that. He owns that flip-flop. The guy isn't trying to dabble around -- no, no, no, okay.

But that stands out. Is that what Republican candidates have to do? He clearly thinks he needs to do that to win the general.

CILLIZZA: I just want to make one quick point on that for our viewers who are watching closely. August 14th was the date of that first clip you played. This wasn't six months ago that he said that about Donald Trump and the stolen election.

BURNETT: That's a good point, yeah.



CILLIZZA: This was -- this was a month ago. And then he wins the primary and all of a sudden things are different.

You know, I think in a lot of these states, we've seen it in Arizona, you're seeing it now in New Hampshire. You're seeing these candidates where they have to run to the extreme far right because that's where the base of the party is. Donald Trump controls the base of the party, and the base of the party is using election denialism as a litmus test. They have to run that base of the party.

But once they become the nominee, they know that centrist and independent voters are not motivated by that. Rarely do you see a U- turn as stark as Don Bolduc.


CILLIZZA: But you're seeing it play out in other places, again, Pennsylvania is a really notable exception where Doug Mastriano appears to be running a Republican primary throughout the general election.

BURNETT: Yeah. I mean, Bolduc, that budded sound bite, as we call it, is one of the most incredible.

CILLIZA: And it was a month apart.

BURNETT: I know, and I think that's really important you point out. It wasn't as if this was a year ago or, you know, new information came in.


BURNETT: All right. Thank you.

CILLIZZA: Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, soccer superstar David Beckham among the hundreds of thousands in his case waiting 12 hours. Now people are waiting a lot more, but he waited 12 hours to bid Queen Elizabeth a final farewell.

And President Biden meeting with the families of Russian detainees Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.



BURNETT: You're looking at live pictures out of London tonight. The estimated wait time right now to see the queen lying in state is nearly 20 hours. There are just about two days left until her funeral, so these are the last moments.

And right before that funeral begins, you can't go. So, this is it. People are flooding the zone.

Visuals have actually had to turn people away from joining the line at one point today because it was growing so quickly. While a lot of figures made it to Westminster hall today, in addition to the tens of thousands waiting, the New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, among them. David Beckham did too, but he did it differently. He waited for hours

overnight alongside the rest of public.


DAVID BECKHAM, SOCCER SUPERSTAR: So, by 2:00 a.m. it was going to be a little bit quieter, I was wrong. Everybody wants to be here to be part of this experience and celebrate what her majesty has done for us.


BURNETT: Richard Quest is OUTFRONT live from London.

And, Richard, David Beckham wanted to do it the way that everybody else did it, and he waited 12 hours, he ate Pringles, he drank coffee, walked for miles. He waited 12 hours, I know the estimated wait time is almost 20 hours.

What is the mood right now as we get closer to this major moment in history and the end of this line?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: There is ramping up, if you will, of tension in a gentle sort of way if that is a contradiction. You can feel the energy of the people that something's going to happen. We know a major event on Monday.

And as we get closer and closer to that, it's like a pressure cooker that slowly builds up. People are wondering what it will be like. Where will I be? What are you going to do? Where are you going to watch it? Are you going to go and see it?

And there's a camaraderie. I think it's camaraderie on the streets. Brits love to make small talk while they queue. It doesn't matter if you're at the bus stop, post office or waiting in line in state.

People make small talk, oh, that's a nice sandwich. Would you like a cup of tea? Are you are all right, love?

And there's -- that's even more elevated, oh, wasn't she wonderful a queen? So wonderful.

And that's I think is the beauty of this, Erin, as you'll see when you come here. The beauty is this is the country coming together and people being themselves.

Now, there was a powerful moment today with the new king and the rest of the queen's children, powerful moment standing around their mother's coffin for a vigil, and it was after Richard the King gave his first speech to religious leaders in London. Obviously, he's head of the Church of England which has been so important his life, but he said he'll protect the diversity of the country.

What does that tell you?

QUEST: Well, many years ago -- people have forgotten this, but many -- part of his title, his official title as king is defender of the faith. The faith being the Church of England.

However, many years ago he caused controversy when he said besides being defender of the faith I want to be defender of faith. Now, this was revolutionary 20, 30 years ago, but that is what he sets it out.


Britain is a multicultural, multi-tolerant society, and he wants to represent that in the wider sense.

By the way, Erin, when you're coming to London, do bring warm clothes. The temperature has dropped. Autumn is here.

BURNETT: All right, Richard, thank you so very much.

And I love the importance -- just everyone understand the importance of a word, just a small and powerful word, the word "the."

And a reminder I'll be in London on Monday for CNN's special coverage of Queen Elizabeth's funeral. It all that starts at 5:00 a.m.

And next, Biden vows the U.S. is not going to let up in seeking freedom for Russian detainees Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.


BURNETT: President Biden just wrapping up a meeting with the wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner who's being held in Russia.

CNN's Abby Phillip reporting that the president met with Griner's wife for more than an hour earlier today. And Biden met with the family of Paul Whelan who's also a prisoner of Russia. Two separate meetings in which Biden pledges he's not going to let up -- his words -- on getting them home.

The White House says there's been movement with Russia but not a breakthrough. Griner has been held since February on drug charges, Whelan for three years on alleged espionage, which he denies. The White House offered to release a notorious Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout, in exchange for Griner and Whelan. There's been so far no response from Putin to that offer.

Thanks for joining us.

Anderson starts now.