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Erin Burnett Outfront

Russian Threatens To Target U.S. Satellites Amid Aid To Ukraine; Fetterman Holds First Event Since Debate Fueled Health Concerns; Representative In Charge Of Getting Dems Elected At Risk Of Getting Ousted; Biden Turns To Trump's Pandemic Era Rule To Slow Migrant Surge; Trump's Lawyers Officially Receive January 6 Committee Subpoena; American Teacher Jailed In Russia Moved To Brutal Penal Colony. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 26, 2022 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Putin issuing a new threat directly to the United States, as new video into OUTFRONT tonight shows Russian soldiers calling Putin's invasion a, quote, absolute hell.

Also new tonight, a six-month exclusive investigation by the reporter who exposed the Russians behind Alexei Navalny's poisoning. Wait until you see what he is going to show you tonight.

Plus, he is one of the Republican's biggest targets, a top Democrat in charge of getting Democrats elected. And now he could be taken down by someone who is not a household name, yet.

And, American teacher Marc Fogel was sentenced to 14 years in Russia for marijuana possession. He's now believed to be on his way to a secret Russian penal colony where he will be subjected to hard labor. His sister Anne is my guest.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, a new and bigger threat to the United States from Putin. Top official with Russia's foreign ministry tonight warning that American commercial satellites could be a target because of America's aid for Ukraine. It is a direct threat from Russia to the United States. And this threat from one superpower to another comes as Putin's forces are reeling on the front lines.

In a video shared by Ukrainian journalists, we want to show you this. You can see what appear to be Russian soldiers complaining that they don't have the basic tools to survive. Watch it for yourself.


RUSSIAN SOLDIER (through translator): That's the front line just over there. They sent us here without any training, without anything at all. They've been taking us around constantly our division, the Kantemir Division. We don't have any training or supplies, and our guys showed up in their own uniforms paid for with their own money.

RUSSIAN SOLDIER (through translator): We have no weapons, no ammo mags, no grenades, no belt pouches, no food, no water. It's absolutely (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hell. Who the hell knows, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), long live the god damn Russian army.


BURNETT: Absolute effing hell.

I mean, look, CNN can't independently confirm this video. But we show it to you as it is consistent with everything we have heard and been sharing with you again and again night after night from Russian soldiers. You heard they are paying for their own uniforms. We continue to hear that. Not enough food, no food, no ammo, no training, in many cases not getting paid.

Well, the Kremlin in a rare admission today acknowledging some equipment issues. Putin's top spokesperson telling reporters, quote, there were issues with the equipment, but measures are being taken to eliminate these problems. Unclear what those are.

But, of course this is way bigger than equipment. There is a severe shortage of human beings. There is a severe shortage of troops. The chief of Ukraine's military intelligence telling CNN today that Putin's private army is now recruiting prisoners who have tuberculosis, hepatitis, and HIV and sending them to the front lines.

And here's what's even more bizarre and disturbing. The new soldiers are wearing colored wristbands to signify to their colleagues their disease. We're going to have more on that in just a moment.

But we also have some incredible new forensic reporting on the military unit that Putin uses to carry out some of his deadliest missile strikes on Ukraine. This is a unit that many don't even know exists, a unit that is taking out playgrounds, homes, and businesses in Ukraine.

And in a moment I'm going to speak to Christo Grozev. He's the lead Russia investigator for Bellingcat. He has spent six months investigating the secretive group and he's going to tell you what he knows. But, first, I want to get the latest on the ground.

Fred Pleitgen is OUTFRONT in Odesa.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Ukrainian forces trying to hit the Russians on all fronts. This mortar unit firing in the north of the country while in the south, Kyiv is continuing a counteroffensive trying to capture the Russian occupied city of Kherson.

We met up with an artillery unit on the battlefield.

The soldiers tell us there is firing going on here pretty much every day several times a day. The front line is not very far from where we are at all. It's a couple kilometers in that direction. And right now, there's not very much movement on that front line. But, still, the situation is very dangerous.

Ukraine's defense minister says Kyiv's counteroffensive here is complicated by wet weather in the area. But the commander says he believes in the end they will oust the Russians.


UKRAINIAN SOLDIER (through translator): I know one thing for sure. We will never step back from here. We have no other choice, only forward. Ukraine has to get back all its territory and borders.

PLEITGEN: While Russia continues to mobilize hundreds of thousands for the war here, the Ukrainians say they found the Wagner private military company founded by Putin ally, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is sending Russian prisoners with diseases to the front line. The chief of Ukraine's military intelligence told CNN's Nic Robertson.

KYRYLO BUDANOV, HEAD OF UKRAINE'S DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (through translator): They put on them certain wristbands in blue, white, or red color. Every color signifies tuberculosis, hepatitis or HIV. It's happening on a mass scale. Most of them, who are taken prisoners or their dead bodies which were found in the battlefields, had those wristbands.

PLEITGEN: CNN can't independently verify those claims. As Russian forces continue to lose ground in Ukraine, the Kremlin conducting massive annual nuclear drills involving submarine launched ballistic missiles and others launched from Russia's fleet of strategic bombers.

While the Russians notified the U.S. about the drills well in advance, Russian President Vladimir Putin with a clear warning to Washington.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): What they are trying to achieve we see on the example of Ukraine, which has become an instrument of American foreign policy. The country has practically lost sovereignty and is directly controlled from the United States.

PLEITGEN: But the Ukrainians on the front line say they are fighting for their own freedom, not for anybody else.


PLEITGEN (on camera): And, you know, Erin, we did reach out to Yevgeny Prigozhin's outfit about those allegations that the Ukrainians have been making about the group allegedly sending people who are sick to fight on the front lines. So far, we've gotten no answer from Yevgeny Prigozhin's people.

However, the Ukrainians are also saying that they believe the Russians are sending newly mobilized troops here to the front line in the south as well. They say these people have absolutely no fighting experience and have described them as essentially cannon fodder. BURNETT: Incredible. Fred, thank you very much. Straight to the front

lines, and as Fred is reporting, HIV, TB, and hepatitis, prisoners who have those and being identified by wristbands that look like those old Lance Armstrong ones. You wear red for one, white for another disease.

OUTFRONT now, Christo Grozev. He's executive director and lead Russia investigator for Bellingcat. He was able to identify the Russians involved in poisoning Putin opposition leader Alexei Navalny. And he has now used those same forensic data methods to identify the secretive Russian military unit responsible for the deadly missile strikes that have been killing civilians across Ukraine.

And, Christo, thank you so much for being with me. I want to talk about your new investigation.

First, though, Fred talking about the Wagner Group sending prisoners with diseases to the front lines. I know you have been following the Wagner Group closely as well. What are you learning?

CHRISTO GROZEV, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & LEAD RUSSIA INVESTIGATOR, BELLINGCAT: Well, this sounds credible. This sounds compatible with some early reporting in the days after the initial visit by him to Russian prisons where they were recruiting people straight from prisons. And some prisoners actually reported on -- even not on opposition channels but on pro-Russia, pro-war channels, they reported that they ask, well, I'm sick, can I still be recruited into this sort of convict unit of the Wagner army. And they were told yes you will be in a separate group, you will be isolated from the others.

And therefore, what we're hearing today, what the Ukrainians have seen on the front lines in terms of this, it seems compatible.

But what is more interesting here is that of course there is a shortage of people and of talent across the board, and equipment as well. But what is interesting, from my point of view, is the new ambition that Prigozhin has obtained, in that he believes he is much better than the regular army, his people are better equipped than the regular army. He knows how to manage them and motivate them and incentivize them better.

And this has been kind of a growing competition between him and the regular army and Shoigu, the minister of defense. And I think today, just an hour ago it has kind of escalated to a point that we haven't seen before where Prigozhin in a fake response to a fake question from one of his own media said that in fact some people should get the boot. And he clearly was referring to Shoigu in this statement.

BURNETT: Which is incredible, right? Shoigu obviously, Putin's minister of defense who he just appeared with last week in a very public showing of support could be a very significant fault line here, Christo. And this comes in the context of your new reporting, which I know you have spent many months on.

You have tracked the Russian military group that has been targeting Ukraine, killing civilians, blowing up playgrounds, as we saw in Kyiv last week. [19:10:04]

And I know you used methods to track this group, that you use to track those involved in poisoning the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. How did you figure out who these people are, who are launching these missiles?

GROZEV: Well, it was a couple of months into the war that we started wondering in Bellingcat who are the people that are programming the flight paths of these so-called high-precision missiles. They were relatively new and first used in the Syrian war by Russia. There are three types of them.

The Kalibr that are launch from ships and submarines, the X ODH-101 type that come -- that are launched from planes, and the third one, these Iskander-M 500s that are launched from the ground.

But all of them have one thing in common. They can't just rely on satellite data for their roots because Russians have light GPS positioning data is faulty and easily jammable by NATO equipment and by the Ukrainians. So they require manual programming of the flight path.

So, we started looking at who is doing that. No military experts seem to have any input on that or to know. So first it became a priority.

And we started looking at the most likely candidates for this, people that have graduated from the missile engineering IT institutions of the army. And there are only two of these in Russia. So we started browsing and passing through yearbook photos of these people and checking out what they are doing now.

And we found that some of them actually are described by their friends in phone sharing books -- apps that are very popular in Russia as people working at the unit called GVC. The GVC in Russian transcribes as the central computation institute in Russian, which is a sort of IT support system within the ministry of defense.

But it didn't make a lot of sense that we have so many rocket scientists and missile specialists that work on IT support structure. So we have this early hypothesis that maybe they're involved in exactly this. So we obtained like we did with the Navalny investigation, we obtained a lot of phone records --

BURNETT: Phone records, yeah.

GROZEV: -- metadata from the Russian black market. And we found exactly what we expected that, there are peaks of communication between these groups of people at the time just before some of the most significant launches of missiles at Ukraine.

We needed to understand how they are doing it, so we tracked their communications for about six months now. And we were able to not only identify all of them, we believe, but also group them in specializations. Some of them are only working with the Kalibr missies, others only with the Iskander and so on and so forth. BURNETT: And, Christo, just interesting one final point here. I know

they masquerade, they will say they're a pig farmer or a florist. And one of them I know is a coin collector. And literally as missiles are launching, is texting to launch missiles while also literally trading coins.

GROZEV: Yeah. Well, first of all, we try to approach each of them and we got sort of a response only from the first one who admitted essentially that he's working at that department.

And all the other ones received apparently prefabricated lies that they were supposed to deliver to us. One of them is a pig farmer, as you said, and the other one is a florist. They claim they have never been in a military establishment despite us showing them photographs of themselves in military uniform.

But what really was shocking is that as we could see from a lot of the phone communication while at work, while targeting missiles, they are also doing extraneous things like hobbies, like collecting coins. Some of them were even on dating sites while the missiles that they had just programmed were flying in the direction of kindergartens.

BURNETT: Wow, Christo, thank you very much. Powerful reporting.

And I hope everyone will read Christo's article. He goes to each of these individuals, and you can see their faces. Christo, thank you.

And, next, Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman about to hold a major rally after last night's debate where his lingering effects from a stroke were on display. How did that debate play with voters?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think he has recovered from the stroke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's come a long way. The stroke's a hard thing to get over.


BURNETT: Plus, El Paso, Texas, was once the center of the border crisis. The city built a new migrant center to handle the influx. But now, that same center is shut down because there's no need for it. So what in the world has happened? You will find out in a story you'll see OUTFRONT only.

And Trump's attorneys now officially have the subpoena from the January 6th committee. Will Trump comply?



BURNETT: These are live pictures from Pennsylvania where we are just minutes away from Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman's first campaign event since last night's crucial debate. He will be appearing alongside musician Dave Matthews as Fetterman tries to change the subject where the effects were visible from his stroke were visible and at times difficult to watch.

Fetterman releasing this ad to focus on his opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz's position on abortion.


AD ANNOUNCER: This is who Dr. Oz wants in charge of women's health care decision.

DR. MEHMET OZ (R), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: I want women, doctors, local political leaders.

AD ANNOUNCER: Oz is too extreme for Pennsylvania.


BURNETT: Oz, for his part, barely mentioning the debate at a campaign event where he appeared with Nikki Haley, focusing instead on crime.


OZ: I vow here and now that as a U.S. senator, I'll do the right thing for our communities. Amongst them, I'm going to let police do their jobs. Just do your job.



BURNETT: Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT tonight at the Fetterman rally.

And, Jeff, look, this was a crucial debate. How much did it impact voters?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Erin, there is no doubt, this is one of the most important Senate races. It was yesterday, it certainly is tonight. Talking to voters throughout the day here, there is no doubt it did have an impact on voters.

Fetterman supporters, of course, are going to stay with him. But I talked to one here tonight who told me it simply gives the Oz campaign more ammunition against him. But the reality here is there is still a sliver of undecided voters. So the question is, did he make the case that he's ready to serve in the Senate.

That's something that will be playing out over the next 13 days.


But take a listen to two supporters, one for Oz, one for Fetterman, how they watched the debate last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pennsylvania is in deeper trouble if they vote for Fetterman. I don't think he has recovered from the stroke. I think that he's in trouble. And I do not think he is a very healthy person. I think that his thought process is not working, and he really needs some help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Oz kind of picked on him, is how I looked at it.

ZELENY: Do you think that he's healthy enough to be a U.S. senator?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He gets healthier every day. You see that just by watching on television. He's come a long way. A stroke's a hard thing to get over.


ZELENY: So we are going to hear tonight from Fetterman for the first time, we will see if he acknowledges his debate performance last night. His advisers know it was not as strong as they had hoped it would be. But they were lowering expectations going into the debate. They certainly met those.

But, Erin, the next two weeks so critical here. Nearly 700,000 people have already voted in Pennsylvania. And, of course, more to come every day for the next two weeks -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jeff, thank you very much. Just that ending point, 700,000 people have already voted and we're two weeks away, right? And they're voting every single day. So, decisions are being made that are final every single day here.

OUTFRONT now, David Urban, Republican strategist who has worked on Pennsylvania campaigns for 25 years and is a former senior adviser to the Trump campaign. And Ashley Allison, former national coalitions director for Biden/Harris 2020 who also worked in the Obama White House.

So thanks very much to both of you.

David, obviously, you know politics inside and out. That is, you know, sort of where you've been born and bred and spent so much time in terms of your political work as of late.

So, you heard Jeff Zeleny talk about the sliver of undecided voters, and nearly a million people have already voted already in Pennsylvania. How much do you think voters were swayed by this debate, how much did it matter?

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So, Erin, thanks for having me on. Also I'll just note, I was a chief of staff to a U.S. senator for Pennsylvania for five years. So I know a little bit about the Senate and how it operates.

And I think, look, John Fetterman had a job interview last night, which he failed miserably. I'm not so sure how many run-of-the-mill voters are watching. But I know the media reports after which resonate amongst the Pennsylvania electorate were not favorable.

I heard from many Democrats last night who watched and said this is cringe-worthy. I heard from a handful of independent voters in Pennsylvania said, look, I'm not thrilled about Mehmet Oz, but I'm sure not voting for Fetterman.

So, we'll see next two weeks from now. But I do think it had a massive impact. John Fetterman's been going the wrong direction, and I think this has continued his downward slide.

BURNETT: So, Ashley, you know, last night, Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia Politics Center was saying this debate was going to be crucial in terms of where he thought this race was go. And, look, as you watched it last night, it is fair to say even supporters of Fetterman saw it was clear. He was struggling at moments. It was tough at moments to watch.

Because of moments like this one, this is where Mr. Fetterman was asked about fracking.


JOHN FETTERMAN (D), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: I've always supported fracking, and I always believe that independence with our energy is critical. We can't be held, you know, ransom to somebody like Russia.

MODERATOR: You are saying tonight that you support fracking, that you've always supported fracking. But there is that 2018 interview that you said, quote, I don't support fracking at all. So how do you square the two?

FETTERMAN: I do support fracking, and I don't -- I don't -- I support fracking, and I stand and I do support fracking.


BURNETT: Look, it's hard to watch that. So, is there anything Fetterman can do to eliminate concerns that some voters may have in such a close race after a moment like that that he is not fit to serve in the Senate?

ASHLEY ALLISON, FORMER NATIONAL COALITIONS DIRECTOR FOR BIDEN CAMPAIGN: Yeah, thanks for having me on as well. I think that with 13 days left to the midterm, Fetterman has to be on the campaign trail every day multiple times a day. He needs to be in front of media. He needs to be in front of voters telling the case about why he is best suited to be the senator for Pennsylvania.

He struggled last night because he had a stroke, and we know that sometimes when people have strokes, it doesn't interfere with their cognitive processing, it just sometimes takes them longer to get words out, and the delays that we saw were because he was reading the captions, which was a reasonable accommodation. And I think people have compassion. I also think it's probably why oz is not talking about the debate a lot on the campaign trail because you don't win from smacking somebody who's getting back up and still strong enough to stand up for an hour and make his case.


ALLISON: I do think, though, if you get past his verbal presentation.


Look, Oz is a TV star. So I would have been really disappointed if he fumbled and stumbled through his words. But when you look at the actual content of what their actual answers were, it was clear Oz has a very extreme view on abortion. Oz said he wouldn't even support wouldn't have voted for the Toomey bill, which was bipartisan. Oz doesn't believe in increasing minimum wage.

BURNETT: And I do want to ask about abortion because you raise a point there. But on this issue of fracking, and I don't know what was coming on the closed captioning. But this was counterfactual. He said I support fracking when he had categorically said that he did not. He said I do not support fracking at all.

So, what he said here was actually just wrong. Does that bother you?

URBAN: Erin --

ALLISON: I think people can change their opinions on issues. I think a lot of people have changed their opinions on fracking and now that's where he stands on his policy because he knows it's what's important to Pennsylvania voters. And also, gives us energy impendence, what she said on the campaign stage.

BURNETT: And, David, what about the point that Ashley raised about Dr. Oz? I played it a moment ago, as we were coming into commercial. But I don't want the federal government involved with that at all, talking about abortion. I want women, doctors, local political -- women, doctors, local, political leaders.

Is that -- how big of an issue is that? He wants political leaders involved in the abortion decision?

URBAN: So, clearly, what -- if you watched the debate like I did last night, you understand he was saying. He said I don't want a federal mandate, this is a state issue. States should be involved. And he misspoke when he said local elected officials.

He meant state elected officials. It should be done in the states just like Pennsylvania. He does not -- he does not part ways with Pennsylvania, the abortion law in Pennsylvania. He said it's up to the states. He was not going to stand in the way of the states' rights to do so.

So, Fetterman ad is a little misleading in that. And, look, Erin, you asked what could be done for John Fetterman to clear up his health issues, release -- release his health reports, right? Have his doctor sit there.

When I worked for Arlen Specter, he had a brain tumor, he had a quadruple bypass and pneumonia and cancer. But we did it with transparency and voters appreciated.

BURNETT: All right.


BURNETT: Quick final word, yes, Ashley.

ALLISON: I just want to say that he did say he wants to be a state's rights issue, but he didn't -- would not say he would not vote against a Graham bill, which is a national abortion ban. Those two points are conflicting.

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

And, next, his job is to protect vulnerable Democrats in tough races. And now, Congressman Patrick Maloney of New York is actually at risk of losing his own seat in an area that Biden won by double digits. Harry Enten is next on why he is watching this particular race so closely.

And then we're going to take you to El Paso which, of course, was once ground zero for the border crisis, but now the influx of migrants is slowing, so much so that you'll be incredibly surprised by what we found. It's a story you'll see first OUTFRONT.



BURNETT: Tonight, it could be the most symbolic defeat of the entire election. Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, whose job it is to get Democrats elected to Congress, is now fighting to keep his own seat, in an area that Biden won by double digits.

Maloney in a new interview tonight is now downplaying expectations.


REP. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY (D-NY): For folks who think it's easy for a gay guy with an interracial family to win a Trump district and then on top of that run in one where he doesn't live, I don't think you know anything about Upstate New York.


BURNETT: His opponent Mike Lawler releasing this new ad today.


MIKE LAWLER (R), NEW YORK CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Everyone around here understands the problem. It's the politics like Sean Maloney who just don't get it.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Harry Enten, our senior data reporter. So, Harry, look, Sean Patrick's job is to get Democrats re-elected,

right? So there is great irony in this current story line. We'll see how it plays out.

But Democrats are now pouring $600,000 into that race to help Maloney, not something they thought they would have to do. Is he in real trouble?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yeah, he's in trouble. I thought his interview was interesting in so far as he chose this district. Mondaire Jones represented most of this district, Maloney decided in fact to run here. Jones ran down in Brooklyn and basically got blown out of the primary.

And right now, what we see is Maloney's chances seem to be going down by the day, right? If you looked a month ago, this race was rated likely Democratic. You look 15 days ago, it was lean Democratic. Today it's a tossup.

Every single day, it seems like Sean Patrick Maloney is losing a little bit of ground. And this to me is emblematic of what's going on nationwide, which is that the Republicans have been gaining momentum over the last month.

BURNETT: So, how rare is it for a high-ranking member of Congress, which Maloney is, let's be real, his title, his seniority, how long he's been around. How rare is it for someone like him to lose a general election?

ENTEN: I mean, it happens. It certainly happens. If we go back over time, we've seen Tom Daschle, who is the Senate minority leader lost in 2004.


ENTEN: We saw Tom Foley get essentially ushered out of office. He was the speaker of the house during 1994.

What's so interesting is that New York is kind of emblematic of the nation at large, right? We think, okay, New York is sort of this blue state, this blue state, nothing could really happen in New York that could be sort of representative of the nation at large.

But indeed what we've seen in New York over the last three swing cycles, 2006, 2010, 2018, is the times at which you see big waves in New York, they represent the big waves nationally. So, Sean Patrick Maloney, along with a lot of other Democrats in New York potentially being up for grabs, districts that they represent up for grabs to me is emblematically a larger problem for Democrats.

BURNETT: Right. I mean, you know, it could say a lot for the national landscape, a little flap in New York is a tsunami somewhere else.

ENTEN: I think that's exactly right. And I think you get a good idea of that by looking at the issues that matter to New Yorkers. What is the number one issue that New Yorkers think is facing statewide? You know what it is? It's crime. It's crime.

That is by far the number one issue. Inflation, in fact, ranks second.


And I think this kind of speaks to the problems that Democrats have been having nationwide and what Republicans have been running on.

They have been running on crime. They have been running on inflation. And abortion, which is something that Democrats have been running on for a long period of time, is in fact very much near the bottom of the list. And that is why I think you see Republicans sort of rising in New York, rising in the Sean Patrick Maloney race, and rising nationally because the issues are on their side.

BURNETT: Yeah, it's amazing when you look at those. You add up protecting democracy and abortion, you get 20. You add up the other two, crime and inflation, you get almost 50 percent. I mean, that -- those are where the numbers tell the story.

ENTEN: That's what it is.

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

And, you know, another issue that's playing out in New York as well as other states is immigration, certainly New York where all those migrants were being bused over the past several months. It's all been part of the story of the unprecedented influx of migrants coming across the southern border.

President Biden in recent weeks has been trying desperately to find a way to slow the influx by using a policy that Democrats demonized under then President Trump.

Rosa Flores is OUTFRONT.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's not often that President Joe Biden is likened to his predecessor. Yet, Biden's latest actions on the border has immigration advocates like Fernando Garcia saying he's just like Trump.

FERNANDO GARCIA, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, BORDER NETWORK FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: Title 42 is anti-immigrant -- it was a tool used by Trump administration to expel immigrants out of the country. This president is implementing it. It is anti-immigrant policy.

FLORES: Can you call it racist?

GARCIA: It is a racist and xenophobic policy without any doubt.

FLORES: The Biden administration is using the Trump-era public health rule known as Title 42 to return Venezuelans to Mexico. Title 42 allows for the swift expulsion of migrants who have entered the country illegally. GARCIA: We still have the same kind of policies from the Trump

administration. I mean, that is -- that is very disappointing.

FLORES: Thousands of Venezuelans have been expelled to Mexico so far, including this mom, who says, many of them are seniors and children. And this girl and others pleading with President Biden for entry into the country.

Is the honeymoon period for the Biden administration over?

GARCIA: For migration and for immigrants, that was over in 2021.

FLORES: The policy also provides a legal pathway for up to 24,000 Venezuelans with U.S.-based sponsors. But 24,000 slots is not nearly enough, say critics. Border authorities encountered more than 33,000 Venezuelans in September alone.

In El Paso, the Biden administration caught in a separate firestorm after the mayor of the city, a Democrat, said this during a public meeting about declaring a state of emergency over the border crisis.

MAYOR OSCAR LEESER, EL PASO: And the White House has asked at this point for us not to do that.

FLORES: The mayor later flat-out denied White House involvement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the White House ask you not to declare a state of emergency?

LEESER: Absolutely not.

FLORES: The White House denied it, too, saying, we did not make any such request. All this as El Paso went from being at the center of the U.S. immigration crisis with migrants sleeping on the street and at the airport, prompting the city to bus some of them to New York and opening this migrant center last month to shutting down that very same center last week when the migrant flow at the shelter hit zero, says El Paso's deputy city manager.

While Garcia says Biden's border policies are akin to Trump's, he's thankful for one thing.

GARCIA: We don't have that vitriol, that hateful narrative that we did have from the Trump administration.

FLORES: Coming from the White House.

GARCIA: From the White House.

FLORES: A low bar for the highest office in the land.

Rosa Flores, CNN, El Paso.


BURNETT: And thanks to Rosa. OUTFRONT next, served, former President Trump's lawyers officially

receiving the subpoena issued to him by the January 6th committee. They want his testimony. Will they get it?

And an update to a story that we have been following closely OUTFRONT. An American teacher being held in Russia said to be en route now to a penal colony, this is according to his sister. And you'll hear what she knows.



BURNETT: Tonight, former President Trump's newly hired lawyers officially receiving a subpoena for Trump to testify and to hand over documents to the January 6th committee. This comes as a judge is ordering Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows to appear before the Fulton County, Georgia, grand jury criminal investigation into efforts to overturn the election.

Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.

And, Evan, a lot of developments on multiple serious Trump criminal investigations today. I want to start with that subpoena from the January 6th committee. It's out. It's in hand officially of Trump's lawyers. Is there any indication of what happens now and whether Trump will comply?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: So far, Erin, Trump is not saying whether he is actually going to comply. He has a deadline of November 4th to start producing documents to the January 6th committee. And for all of his bluster, he has said repeatedly that he wants to testify.

Now that he has a subpoena in hand, we haven't heard whether he wants to comply or figure out a negotiation with the committee to provide the testimony that they have requested. And, so, now we wait to see whether he will or not.

BURNETT: So, on the criminal investigation Fulton County, Georgia, the judge telling mark meadows he must appear before the grand jury. His lawyers are signaling he'll fight that. Of course, he is absolutely central to every one of these investigations.

So, you know, what happens here for Mark Meadows?

PEREZ: Well, Mark Meadows is an important witness because he was part of that phone call. If you remember, he was on the call where Trump was pressuring Brad Raffensperger in Georgia to find exact number of votes that he needed to be able to win the state, which he, of course, did not. He also went down to Georgia to look at one of the audits that was happening there.

So, this is why Fani Willis and the D.A. down in Fulton County wants his testimony. He says, his legal team says they are studying the judge's order in South Carolina that he has to comply. But, you know, keep in mind, this -- the fact that Meadows and the Trump allies were presenting these fraud claims has already gotten a judge, a federal judge to say that they provided these statements in federal court as well as state court in Georgia, knowing that they were false.


So, this is one reason why even if he appeals, it looks like he's got a tough road ahead because the grand jury is now expecting his testimony. And this judge, at least in South Carolina, says that he has to give it.

BURNETT: This is going to be amazing to watch, because, as we know, central to absolutely everything here.

PEREZ: Absolutely.

BURNETT: Evan, thank you so much.

And, next, we're going to have an update to a story that we've been following for you. That is the story of American teacher Marc Fogel. He's been jailed in Russia and is now being moved to a hard labor penal colony. His sister is next with more on the significant development tonight.

And why did Elon Musk bring a sink to Twitter today?


BURNETT: Tonight, American teacher Marc Fogel, held in Russia for marijuana possession on his way to a secret Russian penal colony, force into hard labor. That's according to Fogel sister Anne who also tells OUTFRONT his family no longer knows exactly where he is.


Like WNBA star Brittney Griner, Fogel was arrested at an airport in Russia when he arrived with half an ounce of marijuana found at his luggage. The 61-year-old taught history at a Moscow school, who was then sentenced to 14 years in prison. Fogel has not been declared wrongfully detained by the U.S. government, and his family is trying to change that.

Sister Anne is OUTFRONT tonight.

And, Anne, I really appreciate your time. It truly is frightening for you and your brother tonight that he is on his way to a penal colony. What are you able to tell us?

ANNE FOGEL, SISTER OF MARC FOGEL, WHO IS SERVING 14 YEARS IN RUSSIA: Well, I'm able to tell you it was about September 20th or 21st he left Moscow. It took, I think, a few days for him to reach the first, like, sorting center, penal -- it wasn't a penal colony. Another pre-trial detention center in a place called -- and then we learned that he -- our lawyer has now found him, believes he is somewhere in (INAUDIBLE) --

BURNETT: Hard to say the name.

FOGEL: Which is another region northeast of Moscow.

So we're not -- we know that he is en route to an eventual penal colony, but there is no knowing how long it will take and there is no contact with him at this point in time.

BURNETT: Which is terrifying, no contact. And when you talk about penal colonies, just to be clear, what we're talking about here, and I know it's hard to hear this, but showing one on our screen right now, because this is the penal colony where Russia's most famous prisoner is being held, Alexey Navalny.

These places are brutal. Prisoners are tortured, food is withheld, forced labor, 16-hour days, single bathroom for 50 prisoners. This is back to gulag. Many of the prisoners are violent.

Do you have any sense of where? It sounds like, no, you don't know which of these places he is going.

FOGEL: We have no idea where he'll be sent. In addition to that, I guess this transition period is also -- has its own dangers because you are moving through a lot of different criminal elements and there is like a code of conduct that would probably be difficult for a native Russian speaker, but for my brother, who doesn't speak any Russian, it's especially. I would imagine it's especially difficult.

He is a very savvy person, but some of these things are -- would be hard to negotiate because there perhaps cultural or it is just the culture of the prison system.

BURNETT: So, let me ask you, because you know I know your -- you have a lawyer in Russia. What is in the code of conduct that you understand? What are they asking of your brother? I don't understand what this really means, this code of conduct.

FOGEL: Well, there is -- they talk about the hierarchy. It's very hierarchal and it's pretty much ruled by those who are biggest and strongest. There is a real slant against homosexuals.

So if you're not to really make any eye contact. You absolutely are not to touch them. If they are openly gay, you are really meant to stay away from them unless you want to be also put in that caste.

Everything from whether to pick up a piece of laundry that's on the floor to hand-washing. They are very unusual -- maybe not unusual, but detailed how it's -- for people -- and for someone who has never been in jail, I'm imagining it's going to be very difficult for him.

BURNETT: Well, I'm glad too continue making sure people are aware of what he is going through and enduring in the midst of all of this. Thank you, Anne, for taking the time.

FOGEL: Thank you. We appreciate it.

BURNETT: All right. And next, Elon Musk may just be about to own Twitter. He visited the company's headquarters today and he brought his own sink. We'll tell you about the stunt.


BURNETT: Finally, Elon Musk on again, off again Twitter takeover is -- seems to be fully on. Today, Musk seemed to unofficially begin his reign as the social media giant's new owner.

Musk tweeting a video of himself entering Twitter's headquarters holding a sink. The caption: entering Twitter HQ. Let that sink in.

Musk has to the end of the week to close the $44 billion deal to buy Twitter or face a trial. He is going ahead with it now. But, you know, this is no light joking matter. Musk is the world's richest man. His net worth estimated to be $221 billion, $100 billion more to the next person.

And he is actually influencing global war, peace and politics via Twitter. He posted a peace plan that Putin backs for Ukraine, did that on Twitter, even as he's agreed to keep his critical satellite Internet terminal called Starlink up and running to help Ukraine's military. He is also posted on Taiwan a plan that seemed very pro-Xi Jinping, also on Twitter.

CNN is learning the White House has been in talks with musk about using Starlink inside Iran. His power goes way beyond Twitter. Let that sink in.

Thanks for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.