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Erin Burnett Outfront
Video Appears To Show Russian Officers Waiting To Draft Men Entering And Exiting Apartment Building; Elon Musk: SpaceX Can No Longer Fund Crucial Ukraine Internet Service; DOJ Official Appeals Special Master In Mar-A-Lago Docs Case; Herschel Walker, GA Sen. Warnock Facing Off In Crucial Debate; Dems Losing Ground With Latino Voters Before Midterms; China Bans The Word "Beijing" On Social Media Amid Protests. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired October 14, 2022 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, new video coming to OUTFRONT. Russian officials appearing to stalk men coming in and out of an apartment building to draft them.
This as Elon Musk confirmed CNN's exclusive reporting that his company can no longer pay for critical satellite services in Ukraine. Musk says he's taking advice to, quote, F off when it comes to Starlink.
Plus, the Justice Department officially appealing the appointment of a special master in the Trump Mar-a-Lago documents case, but will a judge's decision come too late to make any kind of a difference?
And the calls of triple threat. Three Latino women on the ballot in Texas. They are Republicans. What they are saying about abortion, the border, and Texas even has Democrats listening.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, inside Putin's depraved draft. In a video that you will see first OUTFRONT, we are seeing just how far Russian officers are going to draft new fighters. This video is from St. Petersburg, and what you are looking at is Russian draft commissioners. They are waiting for men to exit a building.
And a woman that you hear, you just heard her voice, and you see her there, you can hear her say, who are you? Look, they've got papers. They've been standing since 7:30 in the morning. A soldier refuses to answer, only telling her not to film, asking her if she has kids.
The woman responds, why are you so shy? Why did you park yourselves here? The soldiers just telling her to calm down.
It's putting incredible, right? Just loitering in an apartment building lobby to grab men on their way out. A top U.S. official tells CNN's Kevin Liptak exclusively that things
like this draft, right? It's not just Putin running out of men, but we are finding out from this exclusive interview Kevin Liptak had is that Putin is running empty on tanks, weapons, and ammunition, too. Since the start of the war, Russia has lost more than 6000 pieces of equipment, we are told, 6,000.
That is no small thing. And because of the crushing Western sanctions, Russia cannot get the parts of crucial circuit boards, the things to replace them. And let me just show you this graph, because numbers say so much. This is a graph from the Ukrainian defense ministry, and it shows Russia's stockpile of high precision missiles.
This Iskander missile is an orange, just look at that for a second. It shows you they have 124 Iskander missiles left. They started with 900, so just to be clear, that is meaning that they have lost 86 percent of those missiles.
Now, if you add all the missiles up on the screen there, that shows you the start of the war, they had 1,844 of these conventional missiles. They now only have 609 of them.
And it gets more dire for Putin every single day. Today, Ukraine claims it took out a, quote, significant amount of Russian weapons at a Luhansk railway hub. And Russia not only losing the vital equipment, but also, the ground, right? They're trying their best, leaving equipment behind.
Let me show an image that we just got from a city near Kharkiv, that was occupied by Russian forces. That writing on the wall, refuted by Russian forces, which you know, we saw everywhere in towns after they left, it reads Putin is our president. Tonight, once again, that town is under Ukrainian control.
And yet, despite the drumbeat of setbacks for Putin, Putin is not backing down from his decision to invade Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I have no regrets. What is happening today in Ukraine is unpleasant, but this is all the same result it would've received later, only much worse conditions for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Much worse conditions for us. Words so vague that no one can truly know what he needs, but could mean a horrible turn for history. It all comes as the Pentagon is now in talks with Elon Musk's SpaceX, about a critical satellite internet terminal called Starlink.
Now, that technology is credited as it should be with changing the course of the war in Ukraine. But now, as we first reported, Musk's company is threatening to pull the rug out from underneath Ukraine's military, unless the U.S. Pentagon starts paying tens of millions of dollars per month to Musk for the service. Now, we have much more on that story coming up from our Alex Marquardt
who broke that exclusive.
But first, Fred Biden is OUTFRONT live in Kyiv. And, Fred, what is the latest on the ground there tonight?
Hi, Erin. It was so interesting to see those displayed missiles that graphic you just showed, because one of the things we're seeing on the ground here, a lot of you are struck by the Russians today here in Kyiv, and in other places as well, but of, course at the same time, on the frontline the war is still full swing.
Now, you have the Russians gaining some ground in some places in the east. But the Iranians are making a lot of headway in the south. The area around Kherson, that clearly has a lot of pro Russian officials very worried.
Here's what we're learning.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Even as Russia has been bombarding Ukraine with missiles and drones this week -- Ukrainian forces have been pushing Moscow's troops back in the south of the country, raising their flag in newly liberated areas, like this village called Arkhanhelske (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The boys worked for six, seven months on liberating Arkhanhelske. They're raising the flag of a free and united Ukraine.
PLEITGEN: The Kherson region is one of the areas recently legally annexed by Russia, but Ukraine's army is now advancing so much that Russian installed officials are asking for civilians to be evacuated to Russian territory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Because of this, the Kherson administration has decided to organize opportunities for Kherson families to travel to other regions of Russia, for leisure and study.
PLEITGEN: Kyiv denounced the move, saying Russia is deporting people, rather than saving them. Ukraine has vowed to take back all the territory Russia has seized. The country's president said at a celebration for Ukraine's defenders day on Friday.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): By defeating this enemy, we will respond to all enemies who encroached on Ukraine, on those who lived, who live, and who will live on our land. This will be a victory for all our people.
PLEITGEN: But in the east, a different story. Civilians fleeing the Russian advance on the industrial town of Bakhmut. The charge being delayed by Wagner, the private military company headed by the man known as Putin's chef, Yevgeny Prigozhin. These photos show Wagner troops on the ground in the areas surrounding
Bakhmut. On social media, Prigozhin announced Thursday that Wagner forces have taken a small town on the outskirts of the city. That Wagner Group has established complete control over Ivangrad, he said. I want to emphasize that there was not a signal single person from other units except the employees of Wagner group in Ivangrad.
Wagner has long been known for brutal tactics. CNN has unearthed evidence of that group's mercenaries committing massacres on civilians in Libya, Sudan, Mozambique, and the Central African Republic.
Recently, Wagner and Prigozhin have dropped their shadowy veil. Prigozhin himself seen recruiting convicts in prisons, admitting he owns Wagner, and even attending funerals of one of his fallen fighters. Wagner units have already been prominently involved in Russia's campaign in Ukraine. It seems there are now the spearhead of Vladimir Putin's invasion force.
PLEITGEN (on camera): And, you know, Erin, we just saw that statement by Yevgeny Prigozhin, emphasizing that it was only Wagner soldiers, or Wagner troops who were near that town of Bakhmut. There was a lot of people who believe that right now, Yevgeny Prigozhin of Wagner is trying to orchestrate a power grab in Moscow, that he's trying to help possibly as defense minister of Russia, as obviously, Russia's campaign is going very badly and himself grab power among those under Vladimir Putin, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Fred Pleitgen.
I want to go now to the former CIA Director John Brennan, author of the book, "Undaunted: My Fight Against America's Enemies at Home and Abroad.
And, Director, let me just start with Fred's reporting on the Wagner Group, that you have this power play, you're saying, with the leader there, trying to challenge Putin's defense minister, maybe get rid of Shoigu, and take over, and described as the spearhead now of the Russian war effort.
What do you read into that?
JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, Erin, as was reported, the Russians have done so poorly on the battlefield. Putin is looking for some options to be able to push the Ukrainians back, and tapping into the Wagner group, as was noted, is a very brutal organization, paramilitary, they have 10,000 or so paramilitary troops. And I do think there's some jockeying among the various senior leaders of Russia right now, trying to take command and control, and because they have done so poorly.
Just last weekend, Putin appointed the butcher of Syria, General Dvornikov, who really engaged in some brutal tactics, and massive attacks and assault inside of Syria. So, I do think that Putin's options are narrowing, and as the Russian forces are doing so poorly on the battlefield, especially in Kherson, and they've been there for about six months. That's a major specific tactic. The fact that they're not able to fortified enough, to be able to withstand the reading of all, I think is really telling just how competent they are.
BURNETT: Well, it's also, I know you've had the chance to meet with many who know Putin, or close to Putin. But when you're about a paragraph, and someone trying to get rid of his defense minister, and I mean, it does raise bigger questions. From the people that you've met and seen operate around Putin, do you think that whether it's because they want more action, or less action, that there could be a real threat to Putin himself?
BRENNAN: Well, I think increasingly, Putin is seeing this conflict as quite existential to his political survival. I don't think there's any way that he will survive this, if he's not able to credibly claim victory in Ukraine. And the people around him, the -- Gerasimov, the head of the general staff, Shoigu, the defense ministry, as you mentioned, Bortnikov, the head of the FSB, the intelligence service. I mean, these are people that are very worried, but they know that there's also an accountability bucket.
And so, it's a question of whether or not somebody, you know, may try to make a move, somehow, against Putin. But he does have a monopoly on power. And so, therefore, I think the next several weeks and couple of months, I think, they're going to be very dynamic, and very, I think, telling about where this conflict is going to go.
BURNETT: So, I was talking about just incredible dire straits, right? It is 6 percent of its Iskander missiles are gone, right? It's conventional missiles, and obviously, there's the nuclear elephant in the room. But we are also seeing the video that I showed, draft officers waiting in a lobbyist apartment building to grab men. And when this video -- these recent recruits end up out of the building, in the field, and we're hearing from some of them.
Let me play some of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSSIAN SOLDIER (through translator): We've got this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) for training. Who knows what kind of house we're at? Three armored piercing cartridges. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) We're in (INAUDIBLE) you guys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What region? Luhansk region. We are mobilized. We don't have to be here at all. 11 days from when we were deployed. We love Moscow 11 days ago. How many times did you shoot already? Once. Three bullet cartridges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Eleven days from draft to frontline. One training, three bullet cartridges. That's what they're saying in that video. There is a lot more where that came from. Does that shock you?
BRENNAN: No, Putin says he deployed 16,000 of these conscripts in the past couple of weeks. So it's a mobilization that's gone into effect.
My understanding, a lot of the Russians we'll go into the Ukrainian, they're going to be kind of -- but the number of the surgeons really has increased, much under reported -- and that's why you think he's opting for some of these other groups, the Wagner group and others, because I think the lack of training, a lack of capabilities Russia civilians been in service I think it just demonstrates how desperate Putin to try to claim some type of progress in the battlefield.
BURNETT: Well, Director Brennan, stay with me, because I want to get your thoughts on this other major story that I mentioned about Ukraine tonight, and this is Elon Musk, and his Starlink service saying they can no longer fund the Internet services in Ukraine. These services have been crucial to Ukraine throughout the war. Alex Marquardt first reported this exclusively, and he has this for us tonight.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Elon Musk today confirming exclusive CNN reporting that his company, SpaceX, plans to stop or, significantly reduce their funding of satellite internet services in Ukraine. Which have been key to the Iranian military fight against Russia. Documents obtained by CNN show that SpaceX told the Pentagon last month that it has spent almost 600, $100 million, and quote, we're not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or funding existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.
Musk, today, highlighted costs of around $20 million per month and echoing a Ukrainian diplomat statement towards Musk to F off, Musk said, quote: We're just following his recommendation, at least how Musk sees it, to leave Ukraine.
That outburst from the Ukrainian diplomat, coming earlier this month, after Musk proposed a peace plan, which many Ukrainians saw as pro- Russian, giving Russia official control of Crimea, and encouraging new you and supervised elections that would allow annexed regions in Ukraine to join Russia.
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): This is a challenge for all of us on the administration, for everyone who wants to see Ukraine succeed, to have Elon Musk acting in somewhat mercurial way, throwing out proposals for diplomatic resolution of a brutal war, where frankly, the only acceptable outcome should be that Ukraine continues to retake its territory from Russian invaders.
MARQUARDT: Musk has denied a report that he told foreign policy expert Ian Bremmer that he's spoken directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin about Ukraine.
But concerns over Musk's support for Ukraine only grew when some Ukrainian troops reported that they couldn't access Starlink Internet as they move forward and try to recapture areas from Russia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they're very concerned to the Ukrainians. They know that it's going to make it much more difficult for them to advance without communications, with the front lines, so Starlink is a really unique capability it is incredibly helpful for the Ukrainians right now.
MARQUARDT: Ukrainian officials appearing worried, trying to play nice with Musk. One praising him as among the world's top private donor supporting Ukraine.
An aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy adding, like it or not, Elon Musk helped us survive the most critical moments of war.
MARQUARDT (on camera): The Pentagon today confirmed our reporting that they did get a letter from SpaceX about Starlink funding for Ukraine, but they decline to say where that conversation now stands. A spokesperson for the Defense Department said that there are other options beside Starlink, and the priorities is to make sure that Ukraine gets what it needs for stable communications on the battlefield -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Alex, thank you very much.
And with that update, Director Brennan, you know, Starlink is crucial. You hear Zelenskyy, right, crediting as crucial in this war. There is the reporting, obviously, that Musk has been in contact with Putin directly, and then subsequently the peace plan he put out mirrored much of what Putin's put out there.
What do you make, Director, of the fact that one person, happens to be the richest person in the world, but technically a nonpolitical person, is so highly involved and central here?
JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, his company, Starlink, as you point out's been absolutely essential to Ukrainian military successes on the battlefield. And I do hope it's going to be some way to figure out how to continue it. He is the world's richest person despite that. I think he looks at things from a very, very narrow, personal, financial prism. He certainly can afford this but maybe there are some countries that are going to be able to help underwrite this link.
But he's made a number of very sorry misguided, and I think harmful statements about Ukraine and Russia, as well as about China and Taiwan. And it just demonstrates the power and the influence that individuals have when they have a platform, whether it because of their financial wealth, because they are an influencer, and how that can be very disruptive. And so, again, I'm hoping we're going to be able to resolve this issue so that Starlink can continue. I do think Elon Musk needs to be very, very careful about what he's saying, because of the future of Ukraine really may hang in the balance. BURNETT: Yeah. Director Brennan, thank you very much.
BRENNAN: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, the Justice Department making a major move to end the special master's review of the classified documents seized from Trump's Mar-a-Lago.
Plus, Herschel Walker right now facing off against his Democratic opponent Raphael Warnock. The first debate since the allegations that Walker paid for an ex-girlfriend to have an abortion. We're live there.
And China going to new extremes tonight to climb down on protests and rising anger over zero COVID. Tonight, the word Beijing is banned on Chinese social media.
BURNETT: New tonight, the Justice Department officially appealing the appointment of a special master in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. The DOJ arguing that Aileen Cannon had no basis to ever grant Donald Trump's request for a special master, saying Trump, quote, failed to meet his burden in establishing any need for the seized records. Indeed, a substantial number of them are not even his, or in establishing any irreparable injury in their absence.
And that special master, Judge Raymond Dearie, has already been going through the documents for weeks now.
CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.
So, Evan, just to be specific here, Dearie started on September 15th. The next deadline in this appeals process is not until November 10th.
How does this play out in that window, could this all be moved by the time the pay case goes through the system?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It really could. And keep in mind, you know, he's going through about 21,000 pages of documents. And what the Justice Department did today's brief, Erin, is to quote from this very appeals court, the 11th Circuit, which overruled cannon at least in part earlier by allowing the Justice Department to have access to the hundred classified documents that she had earlier said they shouldn't have had access to.
And so, what they're doing now is they're saying, hey, appeals court, you ruled against her. Now you need to throughout her entire ruling. They point out that what Trump has been doing is essentially trying to delay a criminal investigation. They say this appeals court, the special master's process he should not be using this to continue to delay a criminal investigation.
For the deadlines you're talking about. November 10th, we have obviously Trump and the Justice Department due to have their reply a week later. December 18th is when the special master supposed to wrap up his entire review. So, it's very possible that we're going to get a ruling from the appeals court which, again, given the fact they've already rolled against Aileen Cannon's earlier ruling really could be that they can throughout this entire thing by that time Judge Dearie is done -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Evan.
So, let's go to Ryan Goodman, co-editor in chief of Just Security, and former special counsel at the Defense Department.
So, Ryan, what are the implications of this? Why are they choosing to do this when the way the timeline happens, it may be moot win or lose?
RYAN GOODMAN, CO-EDITOR IN CHIEF, JUST SECURITY: I think in part because Judge Cannon is a bit of an unpredictable figure. She has control over the special masters. Issues might come up. So, do they leave themselves just in her camp, in a certain sense under her control, and things can go haywire. Or do they try to get this out of her control? And also, they couldn't let her decision stand. It's such a bad president.
BURNETT: So, this is -- they want to offend the precedent basically, the whole?
GOODMAN: Yes, they just want to set it aside.
BURNETT: So, but obviously, when you look at what they're saying, and what they're saying is true, why try to prove harm or injury in any way shape or form, as you said, right, he left things blank. What they're pointing out would seem is a statement of fact.
GOODMAN: Yeah, there's actually kind of a game over at the -- one of the first pages of their document. They say that he has to prove that there was a callous disregard for on his constitutional rights.
And even Judge Cannon said he did not have a showing of that. She did something kind of unusual. She said, oh, that's not an essential condition but that 11th Circuit and what Evan just referred to, the prior decision actually says that it's indispensable. If you don't meet that, you can't proceed.
BURNETT: Oh, by the appeals court's own logic, this is an open and shut case.
All right. It comes as -- we saw the January 6 committee, you know, yesterday asking for the subpoena, to subpoena Donald Trump. He sent this letter to Bennie Thompson, chairman of the committee.
Now, I just want to ask you about this. It's a 14 page statement. It's the greatest hits of his grievances, debunked state by state, but it starts out with all caps. The presidential election of 2020 was rigged and stolen.
And then proceeds in the second paragraph to write, disposals being raided to express our anger, even though it is signed by one person, Donald Trump. And then, in part of this I say greatest hits because he includes talking about his crowd size, and how big it is, massive breaking crowds, and he attaches all these pictures of his crowds, for his rally.
What does this tell you about his state of mind, this memo?
GOODMAN: Unhinged, I would say. Rattled, it seems. Even to do the pictures and to talk about his crowd size, as if it's relevant in some way. It's almost like a caricature of him. If there was a Saturday night live skit that would have that in there, he does it himself.
And it doesn't make sense as a kind of legal strategy in the sense that, it's not well counseled by lawyers. I'd assume his lawyers would much prefer he remain quiet and not issue anything like this. He also embeds in there statements about like pre-authorized national guard. We know we have testimony from --
BURNETT: Under oath.
GOODMAN: Under oath testimony from a former acting secretary defense saying, we didn't receive such an order. So, that's a bad idea to be out there now when the Justice Department is really looking at this closely.
BURNETT: It is -- it is odd to read it, I will say, with the random capitalizations, referring to himself in the plural. It is -- it is -- it is a bit disturbing.
All right. Ryan, thank you very much.
And next, Latino voters leaving the Democratic Party. Tonight, we're going to hear from one business owner who says Democrats messaging when it comes to faith, family, and small business is why he's voting for Republicans this time. It's a story you'll see first, OUTFRONT.
Plus, an update to another story we've been following tonight, the fallout from a rare protest in China over strict COVID policies. Now, the word "Beijing", Beijing, is banned on social media.
BURNETT: Tonight, Herschel Walker again denying reports he paid an extra front to have an abortion in 2009. This time of the debate stage in Georgia, Walker and Senator Raphael Warnock are facing off for the first time since the allegations surfaced, allegations that are at the center of one of the most contentious Senate races that could determine the balance of power in the Senate.
Dianne Gallagher is OUTFRONT in Savannah, outside the debate hall.
And, Dianne, I know the debate is ongoing. It is coming at a crucial point in this race. It is a debate that many people thought would never happen, and yet here we are, it's happening. What can -- what's happened -- what's going on right now?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're right, Erin, it's a crucial time because early voting begins on Monday here in Georgia.
Currently, the two candidates are talking about the gun violence problem, in the state of Georgia. But it really has been almost a cornucopia of topics at this point, during this debate.
The allegations that you mentioned, one of the moderators did address the Republican candidate Herschel Walker, asking him to explain the circumstance around those allegations. He said, once again as he has about the past two weeks, that it was a lie, and he went on to say that he felt he could protect life as a senator referring again to his position on abortion. He's against abortion access an abortion rights, saying he supports the so-called, heartbeat bill here in the state of Georgia.
Now, look, if you were to ask if there was a third person in the room, you might -- you might think there was because Joe Biden's names have been mentioned almost as much as a Democratic incumbent, Senator Raphael Warnock who has, Erin, essentially been trying to play this as he's the only one who's prepared or ready and able to actually represent Georgians in the Senate. It's starting to play off the inexperience of Herschel Walker, and again, many of the allegations that have swirled around him from the start of his campaign.
Now, look, both candidates were asked if they would accept the results of the election, they both said, yes, they would. One more thing here, Erin, Herschel Walker was asked if Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in 2020. He responded, yes, both Biden and Warnock won their races.
BURNETT: Hmm, all right. Interesting.
Thank you very much, Dianne. I appreciate that.
So, you know, that race Dianne's talking about could be so crucial. And if replations -- if Republicans take control, President Biden says inflation will go up, as it already has been, of course, but he's saying just a little bit over three weeks before election day, where the economy remains the single biggest issue for voters and a big warning sign tonight, 65 percent of Latino borders, the fastest- growing demographic in the United States, disapprove of Biden's handling of the economy.
Boris Sanchez is OUTFRONT.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Running in taxes, 15th district Republican Monica De La Cruz is an entrepreneur, a mother of two, and a former Democrat.
MONICA DE LA CRUZ (R), TEXAS CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: The Democrat Party has abandoned us and taken us for granted. SANCHEZ: Part of a trio of Republican Latinas on the ballot in South
Texas, an area that's overwhelmingly Hispanic, De La Cruz is poised to redefine the region's political tradition, alongside Cassy Garcia, a former Ted Cruz outreach director, and Congresswoman Mayra Flores, the first Republican elected to Congress from the Rio Grande Valley in more than a century.
The triple threat as the GOP calls them, signaling a potential political realignment as Donald Trump made gains with Latinos in 2020.
DE LA CRUZ: My abuelita was Democratic.
SANCHEZ: De La Cruz was one over, inspire to start a new career in politics after attending her first Trump rally.
DE LA CRUZ: He didn't have a political background, he was a businessman. And his business policies, again, they made sense for people. He stood up against the establishment and he put forth policies that worked for American families.
SANCHEZ: Pro tax credits, pro border wall, and opposed to abortion rights, policies that persuaded Rodolfo Sanchez-Rendon, whose restaurant, Teresita's Kitchen, has struggled because of inflation. He says he now pays three times what he used to for a box of eggs, while faulting Democrats for undervaluing faith, family, and small businesses.
SANCHEZ: And Democrats aren't doing that?
RODOLFO SANCHEZ-RENDON, OWNER, TERESITA'S KITCHEN: They aren't doing that.
SANCHEZ-RENDON: Well, I'm not seeing it. I don't know why, but they're not.
SANCHEZ: Independent contractor Edgard Gallego says it boils down to result over rhetoric.
EDGARD GALLEGOS, INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR: I'll take a mean tweet right about now, over what we've got now, yeah.
SANCHEZ: Another former Democrat Giancarlo Sopo led Trump's Hispanic advertisement in 2020.
GIANCARLO SOPO, FOUNDER, VISTO MEDIA: So, what people have to understand, is Hispanic Americans have blue collar working class values. Who is America's blue collar billionaire? Donald Trump.
SANCHEZ: Pointing to trends over the last decade that show Latinos experiencing gains when it comes to incomes, home purchases, and starting new businesses. Sopo says many Latino voters view Trump as aspirational. SOPO: Donald Trump for them as the first has manic president. He
shares those blue collar values.
SANCHEZ: You I imagine don't agree with that?
MICHELLE VALLEJO (D), TEXAS CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: No, I do not.
SANCHEZ: Michelle Vallejo is the Democrat running in Texas 15. She's also an entrepreneur operating the Pulga Los Portales flea market her parents founded some 25 years ago.
Like her opponent, Vallejo is also a political newcomer, challenging an establishment she says has too long ignored the community's needs. But she's a progressive, pitching voters on guaranteeing abortion rights, expanding Medicaid and Medicare, and raising the minimum wage.
VALLEJO: And I'm looking forward to hopefully earning their support and their vote, even if they do support an indoor Trump. I'm fighting for all of our families here in South Texas. Whether the Republican, independent, or people who have never felt engaged by the political system before.
SANCHEZ (on camera): And, Erin, with less than a month ago on Election Day, the House Majority PAC, the top Democratic super PAC in House races actually canceled a series of ads that they plan to support Michelle Vallejo's campaign. They're now sending that money elsewhere.
Democrats I've spoken with are furious about this. They believe it's that kind of spending, that kind of investment that will help counter Republican gains with Latinos. They see this as waving the white flag, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, thank you so much for that report. Obviously, it's going to be crucial.
And next, China erasing any evidence of a protest in the capital over its zero COVID policy, going so far as to ban the word Beijing from Chinese social media. Just think about that for a moment.
And Ukrainian soldiers trading the battlefield for the baseball field.
BURNETT: Tonight, banned. China banning the use of the word Beijing on social media. It's part of it all out effort to erase any evidence of a rare protests that erupted in Beijing over China's draconian zero COVID policy.
The demonstrations coming over a major communist party meeting this weekend, one that happens only twice a decade. And this one is crucial. President Xi Jinping is widely expected to secure what would be an unprecedented third term, as party chief and commander of the military.
Selina Wang is OUTFRONT in Hong Kong.
And, Selina, she doesn't want anything spoiling his big moment this weekend. It is -- it is a crucial moment, it can be life in power, and he's leaving nothing to chance.
SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Erin. I mean, this is a regime obsessed with social stability, which is why we saw the sensors go into overdrive to erase every trace of this protest, not just banning the word Beijing, the word for where the location was, but also banning words like courage, warrior, and brave men.
And the images of the protests you're about to see completely scrap from China's internet.
WANG (voice-over): An extraordinary sight in China's capital. Two big banners attacking China's supreme leader and its policies hung on a busy overpass. One of them reads: Go on strike, remove dictator and national traitor Xi Jinping.
A voice repeats the message on loudspeaker. Plumes of smoke billow from the bridge. The cause, unclear.
Demonstrations are rare in China, especially ones directly criticizing Xi and especially before the crowning of his unprecedented third term in office.
Another banner reads, say no to COVID test, yes to food. No to lockdown, yes to freedom. No lies, yes to dignity. No to great leader, yes to vote. Don't be a slave. Be a citizen.
Punishment for the people involved in the demonstration could be very severe, including prison time or even worse. The brazen display of defiance already scrubbed from Chinese internet. A few hours after the internet, hashtags of its location and even where the Beijing banned from Chinese social media.
China's draconian zero COVID policies have pushed many over the edge. Fights with COVID enforcers, screams for freedom from locked apartments, protests for food and supplies, resistance of snap lockdowns.
Entire cities are still being locked down over a handful of COVID cases. This woman yelling out in frustration that she's been in isolation for six months already.
But the images of anger erased from China's Internet. Just like the anti-Xi Jinping banners folded, taken away by police, the bridge sanitized and cleaned up like nothing ever happened. The party clearing a smooth road ahead for its supreme leader.
(END VIDEOTAPE) WANG (on camera): When CNN went to the scene within hours after the protest, everything was cleaned up but there was a lot of security guards and policeman coming up to our camera man, checking his passport telling him to leave.
This type of incident would be shocking at anytime, but especially when they turn Beijing into a security fortress. It's shocking showed finance, Erin, but short-lived.
BURNETT: Yeah, pretty incredible just to see it and repercussions.
Selina Wang, thank you so much for that important report.
And next, I'm going to speak to Ukrainian soldier stepping off the battlefield to play baseball for Ukraine's national team. In all, for a crucial cause.
Plus, we remember the actor who played the beloved character Hagrid in the "Harry Potter" series.
BURNETT: Tonight, President Zelenskyy commemorating Ukraine's defenders day by laying a wreath for fallen soldiers, and thanking the defenders of Ukraine for fighting against Russia.
It comes as some of the soldiers are currently in New York, given a brief break from the battlefield to play for the Ukrainian national baseball team, which is something they did for their job before the invasion. They're in New York now playing games against the city's police and fire departments to raise money for Ukrainian youth sports, which have been completely decimated by the war.
According to Ukraine sports ministry, 133 athletes and coaches have been killed in the first six months of the war.
Sergei Shtapura, the pitcher an active duty member of the Ukraine's National Guard is with the Ukrainian team in New York. He was in Germany advancing his playing career. When Putin attacked Ukraine, he chose to return home to fight. And I
spoke with him, the team's manager Oleg Boyko, and Dimitry Sagalchik who helped organize these games earlier this week.
BURNETT: It's a real pleasure to all of you here. And both of you here in New York. I know was a hard journey, Oleg, and you are on your way to New York. You said stopping over in Helsinki when you found out about all of the missile attacks.
OLEG BOYKO, MANAGER, UKRAINIAN NATIONAL BASEBALL TEAM: Yeah.
BURNETT: What was that like? BOYKO: It's horrible. We were here with a team meeting, we decided
where do we go. Because our first reaction was, let's go back. And we started to communicate with our directors. People who already sent us in support.
We said, hey, let's keep doing it. You have so many obligations, so many people involved, you couldn't throw it. We will take care of. It
BURNETT: Full steam ahead, full steam ahead to go.
And, Sergei, I know you're on a short break from the front lines of the battlefield. You're a soldier, you're also a pitcher, an amazing pitcher. I understand a really good picture?
What does it mean to you to be here right now?
SERGEI SHTAPURA, PITCHER, UKRAINIAN NATIONAL BASEBALL TEAM (through interpreter): I think that this week I can do more good here to some extent than I can do in Ukraine. Here I can help more.
BURNETT: Dimitry, you've been in the U.S. for many years, even decades of building baseball, in several places including in Ukraine. It's been part of your life's work. How did you make this trip happen with so many young man like Sergei, who are part of this war?
DIMITRY SAGALCHIK, FOUNDER AND CEO, CONTINENTAL BASEBALL EUROPE: People in Ukraine, sports ministry, the Ukrainian federation, they put a lot of work to get the team out. We found financial support, moral support, the logistical support here in the United States. A lot of people answered our calls, people found us, they contributed. It became an easy task.
BURNETT: Sergei, I know your father is on the frontlines tonight. It's got to be so hard with the ramp up attacks this week. I know you will go back yourself and returned to fight. What's been the hardest part, they see are so young, you love baseball, you pay baseball but you're also putting your life on the line every day now at home?
SHTAPURA: I love the sport. It's a part of my life. But just like my father, it's my duty to protect Ukraine. So, now I'm going to have to combine the two.
BURNETT: Sergei, you're going to continue to fight. I mean, Oleg, I know you are here to raise awareness, to raise money for children. And you sports in Ukraine. I visited an area near Turkey that have been occupied by Russians, there was a group of boys, young boys, 10 or 11 years old. They were playing checkpoint. That's the game.
They were just children, joyful, yet they have their makeshift guns, checkpoints. It was heartbreaking in a certain sense.
What do children like those boys me most right now?
BOYKO: Our boys need to feel support. It's much more important than money, even thousands, maybe dollars, support, and we feel it from the first second when we landed in JFK. We feel amazing support from the U.S. citizens, it's unbelievable feeling. I don't know.
BURNETT: Sergei, how does it feel to you to know that so many young boys and Ukraine now, they're growing up, they're having some of their most formative years with the war and the horrors of the war, living in occupation in their basements for months.
I know you're fighting to give them a chance, to I guess be able to play baseball just like you did?
SHTAPURA: It's difficult. It's a terrible thing, while they're playing soccer and baseball on the playgrounds, rockets are flying over their heads. But this generation is going to be even stronger than we are right now. It's a point of pride for us to protect these children.
BURNETT: Sergei, before you go do we have a message for your friends, your colleagues who are there, it'll be there when you come back on the front lines?
SHTAPURA: Well, I would say something nice. I'm going to be joining them soon. Hang in there, guys, and see you soon. Everything will be okay.
BURNETT: Thank you all very much. Welcome and thank you.
BOYKO: Thank you very much.
BURNETT: And Ukrainian agile baseball teams playing as we speak against the NYPD. They'll head back to Ukraine Sunday.
With all the loss at home, the horrors they see in the war, the players are also inspired American kids too. They played with the empire baseball or kids were -- who shared their passion for the game. But also put a face on the war. They returned to the front leaving behind their generosity.
Well, OUTFRONT next, the actor behind this iconic line from Harry Potter has died.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBBIE COLTRANE, ACTOR: Did you ever wonder where your mom and dad learned it all?
DANIEL RADCLIFFE AS HARRY POTTER: Learned what?
COLTRANE: You're a wizard, Harry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Tonight, the actor who played the beloved half giant groundskeeper, Rubeus Hagrid, in the Harry Potter series has died. Robbie Coltrane was among the first people to appear in the films, reciting this now famous line.
(BEGIN VIDEO LICP)
POTTER: Excuse me. Who are you?
HAGRID: Rubeus Hagrid, keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts. Of course, you'll know all about Hogwarts.
POTTER: Sorry, no.
HAGRID: No? Harry, did you ever wonder where your mom and dad learned it all.
POTTER: Learned what?
HAGRID: You're a wizard, Harry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Beloved man. And tonight, the actor that played Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe, paying tribute to Coltrane. In a statement to CNN, Ratcliffe writing that Coltrane was one of the funniest people I've met. He used to he keep us laugh and constantly as kids on the set. He was an incredible actor and a lovely man, wonderful to see that the camera doesn't lie.
Robbie Coltrane was 72 years old.
Thanks so much for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.