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Erin Burnett Outfront
Poland: "Russian-Made Missile" Hit Polish Territory, Killing 2; Poland Says Missile Hit Soil As Ukraine Faces Attacks Across Country; Trump Expected To Announce Run For President Tonight; DeSantis Dismisses Trump Attacks As "Just Noise" As 2024 Talk Grows; Election Denier Kari Lake Has Not Conceded In Arizona Governor's Race; Biden Holds "Emergency Roundtable" With World Leaders; Artemis Hits Pre- Launch Milestone Ahead Of Overnight Launch. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 15, 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: Plus, Republicans closing in on clinching control of the House of Representatives. CNN closely watching several races at this minute. New votes expected in the next hour could tip the balance.
And Donald Trump expected to announce he's running for president just hours from now, as Ron DeSantis takes on Trump tonight.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. NATO calling an emergency meeting after NATO member Poland was hit by what Poland just moments ago confirmed was a Russian-made missile. Two people were killed.
NATO Secretary General Jan Stoltenberg, will chair the emergency gathering tomorrow morning. And President Biden, just finishing a call with the polish president, the call happening just before midnight, Warsaw time. The readout that we have showing that Biden offered full U.S. support for the investigation and reaffirmed the United States' ironclad commitment to NATO.
The situation, an urgent one. These are pictures of the missiles impact today. It left behind the crater you see here and killed two. It happened here -- I will show you on the map -- a village, just four miles from the border of Ukraine.
This is our first view that CNN filmed at the scene because our Matthew Chance is there. Where that missile hit at the site, I'm going to talk to Matthew in a moment.
The situation is moving very quickly as we speak. Poland's president, saying he may invoked article four of NATO, which allows for any NATO member to consult with the entire alliance if, and I quote, it's territorial integrity, political independence, or security has been threatened. And the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tonight sending this plea to Ukraine's allies and NATO.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Hitting a NATO territory with missiles is a Russian strike against collective security. This is a very significant escalation. We have to act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, we don't know exactly what happened yet. But it is important to remember what President Biden said to Vladimir Putin less than two months ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America is fully prepared with our NATO allies to defend every single inch of NATO territory, every single inch. So, Mr. Putin, don't misunderstand what I'm saying. Every inch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Every inch. This missile hit four miles into NATO territory. People died. The question will be if the U.S. and NATO now follow through.
We know the United States has been bulking up its presence in the region and in Poland. CBS News recently reporting that nearly 5,000 of the U.S. Army's 101st airborne division deployed to Europe for the first time in nearly 80 years. They went just miles from Ukraine's border according to report, and the United States now has about 10,000 troops stationed in Poland.
A missile hitting Polish soil, could be a major moment in this war. And if this was deliberate, article five of NATO treaty is clear. Quote, the parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.
Well, we are covering this development story tonight from all angles. Phil Mattingly is traveling with President Biden in Bali.
But I want to begin with Matthew Chance because he is in Poland at the site of where this missile had its impact.
And, Matthew, what is the latest that you are seeing and hearing on the ground?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, tonight, dramatic scenes taking place in this tiny little village. Just a few miles from the Ukrainian border here on Polish territory. It is a one street town and that streak has been sealed off by the local police. We can't get to the actual place where the explosions took place. And those two people, locals, or farmers, were killed. There are investigators on the site, literally trying to piece
together what happened to find out what kind of missile or rocket this was not caused these explosions, and who is responsible for it, who could have fired it.
Because obviously, the context of this explosion is that it took place during a ferocious bearish just across the border of Russian cruise missiles, of various targets, up to 100 missiles being fired across Ukraine. There's also lots of Ukrainian anti-aircraft fire in response, to try to incapacitate some of those missiles. So, there were a couple of different possibilities that are on the table.
Again, investigators on the scene trying literally piece together the missile to find out its origin. Also, conversations thinking place tonight, not just between the Polish and the U.S. presidents, but the Polish and the Ukrainian president as well. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is insisting that these are Russian rockets.
The Russians, for their part, are categorically denying it. The Kremlin telling me tonight, they have no information at all on any kind of missile strike on Polish soil. The Russian defense ministry putting out a statement earlier, saying that it is a provocation to suggest this was a Russian rocket.
But as we know from the Poles, two people are dead. It is a big shock to this local, small, close knit community here on the border between Poland and Ukraine. And people are terrified here tonight about what could come next.
TAPPER: All right. Thank you very much, Matthew Chance, there, and actually seeing what is happening.
I should note, of course, that the Polish foreign ministry says they have confirmed that the missile was Russian made. President Biden has just tweeted out a picture of himself, speaking on the phone with the Polish President Duda. You see Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in the foreground of this picture. President Biden is in the background. Jake Sullivan is there. He says this is him speaking with the polish president, a call that happened in the wee hours of the morning in Bali, where President Biden is, and just before midnight in Warsaw, where the Polish president is tonight.
Phil Mattingly is in Bali, traveling with President Biden.
So, Phil, what more can you tell us?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Erin, it was a late night to begin with. White House national security team here in Bali, keeping a close eye on the dozens of missile strikes that happened across Ukraine. Even before news of what happened in Poland actually got to them. When that news arrived, Jake Sullivan, as you saw picture there with the president and the secretary of state, was briefed on that information. They spoke to his counterpart in Poland. And very quickly thereafter, they briefed the president directly. As you noted, just a couple of hours ago, the president spoke directly
by phone with Polish President Andrej Duda and in that phone call, the president received a briefing on the investigation up to that point from President Duda. He promised that the U.S. would give its full support and assistance for any further investigation, and also, as you noted, reiterated the ironclad commitment to NATO as it currently stands.
It is something that he did on the ground in Poland in March, where he said very unequivocally that Article Five of the commitment to NATO was something that was an unbreakable bond. The president also spoke with Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general, as you noted. On Wednesday, there will be an emergency meeting of the ambassadors to figure out the next stops.
One thing we don't have any definitive conclusion on yet from the U.S. side is what exactly happened here. Officials tell me they're being very methodical, very cautious. They understand the states. They understand just how significant this moment could be. It is, to some degree.
I want to be very careful as they move through this process. However, it is likely, you saw on that photo, the president's national security is here. Anthony Blinken, the secretary of state, the president both have events this morning. We will see what they have to say.
The president is supposed to head back to D.C. in just about four or five hours. So, if he speaks, he will need to speak before them. We will see how this plays out over the course of the next couple of hours.
BURNETT: All right. And, Phil, please check in with us as you see more, whether you see him or hear him. This is a crucial moment. Thank you very much, Phil Mattingly, reporting live from Bali.
OUTFRONT now, the Democratic Congressman Jim Himes. He is on the House Intelligence Committee. He just led a congressional delegation to Ukraine.
Also with me, Lieutenant Ben Hodges, the former commanding general for the U.S. Army Europe and the Seventh Army, joining me tonight from Romania, also, of course, bordering Ukraine.
Thank you both very much.
So, Congressman, let start with you. The context we have is that the polish foreign ministry is saying the missile was Russian made. Obviously, Ukraine also uses Russian made missiles. But, there were 100 missiles fired by Russia all across Ukraine today. That is the context. And a missile hits four miles into NATO territory.
From your briefings, what have you learned about what happened?
REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT): Well, Erin, we don't yet know. But we will now. This is for reasons that we can talk about and recent that we can talk about, not going to be terribly hard to figure out what the source of the missile was.
As you point out, is not enough to say it was Russian made. The Ukrainians have Russian made missiles. There are a lot of missiles flying around in the region.
So -- but what I can tell you is that through a variety of means, we will pretty soon know the facts of what happened. And at that point, it becomes very important, once we know those facts, for everyone, including the Russians, to be very clear and honest about what happened. Because this doesn't factor now to be the result of a Russian missile launch, it will matter. Whether that was inadvertent, not that the Russians get any credit for any other missile launches against an innocent country, but if it was inadvertent, that is very different than if this was a provocation. If it was a provocation, now we are entering a world that we were worried we might find ourselves in, where we are contemplating how to respond.
I will say to the general -- Russia cannot be allowed to escalate without a response from NATO. That will be the next up.
BURNETT: So, General Hodges, you know, again, Poland is saying this was a Russian-made missile. The context is that across Ukraine, they're about 100 missiles fired today by Russia across all of Ukraine. And that context is obviously crucial.
Do you think that the missile that landed in Poland, that hit in Poland and killed two people, came from Russia?
LT. GEN. BEN HODGES, FORMER COLMMANDER OF U.S. ARMY FORCES IN EUROPE (RET.): Erin, I think that -- I'm taking my lead from the Polish government. They have been so professional and measured and they are the ones that obviously are the victims here, so the fact that they have responded like this, I think says something. There is no doubt that this was a Russian missile, but was it intended for Poland? That's -- that's the question.
What I would imagine is more likely is that this is the results of a successful Ukrainian intercept of the muscle and so, just the physics would have taken it further into Poland. The real question is, not only why is Russia continuing to go after civilian targets in Ukraine. Why would there be so reckless as to go after one that is so close to the Polish border? A NATO country, an E.U. country, and this is why I think it is reckless when we talk about, we should negotiate with Moscow, because of things like this.
BURNETT: And, Congressman, that actually is the question here. You say there's a difference between inadvertent and purposeful and I understand that. But with the general pointing out is that if you're firing 100 missile across Ukraine, if this missile was one of them, right, and it was because of being reckless and not caring where a border was, essentially, what is that -- what is that mean? What does that have NATO doing?
HIMES: Well, yeah, it's all degrees of irresponsible and evil, right? I mean, when Putin took the decision to invade a peaceful neighbor, he gave up any claim to moral high ground. But it is worth noting that -- and, of course, it is irresponsible to be firing any missiles anywhere near a NATO country.
But again, I have some confidence that we will know, we will be able to find out overtime exactly where this muscle originated and even if the Russians don't own up to it, which I don't imagine that they will, will give us some sense of whether this was a deliberate provocation, which I think would require a different response, then wear this, as the general said, simply a matter of physics, associated with they're trying to strike a Ukrainian target. It matters whether the Kremlin was thinking that they should escalate through a deliberate attack on a NATO member or whether this was just irresponsible military operation that went badly.
BURNETT: Right, which I totally understand. Of course, there is context of, you know, well, gosh, what if it hit a community center and killed 50 people and it was inadvertent? All of that, and things change. I understand no one wants escalation, but it is difficult to fully understand where all the lines are.
General, the context here of course is reporting of 101st Airborne, you know, first time deployed there for 80 years and doing exercises, 10,000 troops, and increase in U.S. readiness, NATO readiness.
What does NATO do here IF they do confirm that this missile came from Russia?
HODGES: Well, of course, I think that the president has been very clear about defending every inch of ally territory. And no doubt, we will do that if there is an attack of some sort, those responses. There will be a wide range of potential responses. We have a lot of capability on the ground here.
This is why I just think it is so unlikely that Russia -- if they were going to attack something in Poland, they would've gone after perhaps where all the equipment is going. They would get -- I, mean it would be worthwhile. This makes no sense.
But I think this will cause the White House to reconsider what I think is the wrong policy about not providing ATACMS, for example, the 300 kilometer range that could be used against Russian bases in Crimea, from which many of these missiles are being launched.
BURNETT: And, Congressman, do you support that, providing those longer range capabilities that Ukraine has asked for? That the general is saying would be the right thing to do?
HIMES: I absolutely do and I supported it before today's events. Again, we need to get the facts about what really happen. But yes, look, the Ukrainians have been able to completely reverse the course of the war through the provisions by the West of the HIMARS weaponry. That was a successful thing that the West did to provide those. We should keep that up. And, obviously, if this turns out in fact to be a Russian missile that
inadvertent or advertent, they are going to need to learn a lesson and one of the wonderful ways to teach them that lesson would be to provide those ATACMS to give the Ukrainians more military capability.
All right. Thank you both so very much. I appreciate your perspective as this story develops, literally during our conversation. Thank you.
And next, we talk about 100 missiles today. Ukraine under heavy bombardment from Russia. The Ukrainian officials are saying it was 100 missiles fired at Ukraine so far today by Russia. We are live on the ground.
Plus, Donald Trump's announcement about unexpected run for president in 2024 is coming very shortly tonight. New details about what's happening behind the scenes in these final and furious moments before his address at Mar-a-Lago.
And Ron DeSantis tonight also in Florida, and not backing away from a fight with Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: We just tell people to go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Breaking news. We are following the breaking news in Poland as the Polish government says a missile that was likely made in Russia hit Poland and killed two people. Poland tonight increasing its military readiness as Ukraine has been under mass attack today. Explosions reported in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rih and other key cities.
Ukrainian officials saying about 100 missiles were fired in Ukraine in the past 24 hours, with more expected. The missile attacks targeting critical energy infrastructure. Residential areas far from the front lines also hit by the barrage.
The strikes, a stunning shift just days after Putin suffered a major battlefield setback and Ukrainian troops reclaimed the crucial city of Kherson.
I want to go straight to our senior international correspondent, Sam Kiley, who was on the ground in Kryvyi Rih.
And, Sam, you know, all of that contest of what we are talking about in Poland and NATO tonight comes as where you are was under mass missile attack throughout the day. What are you seeing on the ground? SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've had
periodically very loud sirens here. We had detonations either of outgoing anti-aircraft missiles are incoming missiles. It's a very long ridden shaped city, some 50 miles long, I understand.
So, not all of the impacts are very visible or audible to us in a close sense. But across the country, it has been perhaps the heaviest level of bombardment, particularly by these cruise missiles. Long- range precision guided missiles by Russia. Possibly it has been seen throughout this war, certainly since the last round of major bombardments at the beginning of October. Some 10 million people have been rendered without electricity as a result of the bombardment, at least at the worst time. Of course, urgent repairs are ongoing. Those bombardments would come on top of, as I say, back in October, targeting critical infrastructure, which also therefore applies affects water distribution but, heat, of course, an attempt by Russia to break the civilian back of the country so that the military efforts start to fall apart.
That's because, as you rightly point out, Russians have recently lost a very significant Kherson City which was the only regional capital they captured. It also controls the headwaters of the water supply, the freshwater supply to the illegally annexed Crimea.
So, it's been a very widespread bombardment. In Kyiv, they killed two people, residential buildings were hit. And no doubt, really, in the mind of the president here, that these were Russian missiles fired into Poland.
BURNETT: So, let me ask you that. What is the Ukrainian government saying about the missile that landed in Poland, hitting that small village, killing two?
KILEY: President Zelenskyy said there were two missiles, and they were Russian and that they were fired into Poland. He may have to slightly adjust that based on any future intelligence. He also said this was inevitable. It is something the region has been worried about, the overspill from the conflict. He suggested it's a deliberate terrorist act. Excuse me.
But he also points out that Moldova has been affected by this bombardment because their electric supply has been affected also, seeing a knock-on effect there with widespread power cuts caused to Moldova, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Sam. Be well.
And next, Donald Trump expected to announce he's running for president just hours from now. We are live at Mar-a-Lago with new details on tonight's announcement, the behind the scenes, his final preparations here, as the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, today, also in Florida, speaking, asked to respond to Trump's attack on him. Hear his answer, and just imagine what this means for a presidential run of his own.
BURNETT: In just over an hour, Donald Trump is expected to announce he's running for president again. Trump is getting ready for his event from Mar-a-Lago tonight, as a growing number of Republicans publicly blame him and excoriate him for their failure to flip the Senate. As Republicans are still fighting race by race, one week after Election Day to even win control of the House, which they thought they would sweep into, right? Widespread predictions of a red wave that failed to happen.
OUTFRONT now, Jonathan Karl, chief Washington correspondent for ABC News who's interviewed Trump several times and is the author of "Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show", out today in paperback.
And Ashley Allison, the former national coalitions director for Biden's 2020 campaign.
Thanks to both.
So, Jonathan, you are there at Mar-a-Lago tonight. And, obviously, he's in his final preparations for this speech which he thought would be coming out to thunderous support and applies across the country on the back of a red wave.
What can you tell us about what went into his decision and his announcement tonight?
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It's striking, Erin, that Donald Trump was -- had some of his most longtime advisers, allies, practically pleading with him to put off this announcement. Even as recently asked today, one of his most high- profile supporters was trying to tell him, this is not the time. Don't come out and do this after the terrible midterm losses and before the election in Georgia, a special election in Georgia.
But he looked all his advisors, including people that have been working on his campaign, in the eye and said, look, I'm doing this.
So, why he's doing it? It's a mystery. You can't really see that political advantage except for to get out in front of any other potential candidate or to get out and front of any potential indictment. Remember, this comes as he's facing serious criminal investigations, obviously in New York, at the Justice Department, both for January 6th and the classified documents he took out of the White House, and the case in Georgia.
So, it's hard to say why, but he's doing it.
BURNETT: But he's doing it. I mean, it's in there, from your reporting. I mean, it is -- it is incredible to think about.
Erick Erickson is coming to the conversation as well, conservative radio host of "The Erick Erickson Show".
And, Erick, you know, what John is saying is, everybody around him tried to make him not to this. We are looking at the room, everyone gathering. They said, don't do it. It comes on the heels of the candidates Trump backed did not do well in the election.
By the way we were looking at it, Erick, three of the Trump-backed candidates for governor, secretary of state, and a senator won, three, 13 lost. And ones heading for a runoff, right, that's the Georgia Senate race where you are.
So, you know, Erick, what happens? What happens here? He's ignoring all of this.
ERICK ERICKSON, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST (through telephone): Well, you know, first of all, I apologize I'm on my phone. I'm a block from CNN, and the police have blocked off the area for some reason, so I couldn't get in.
Listen, every Republican I know is deeply frustrated by the president and what he's doing. Not only are they frustrated, I really do think the reason he's doing this is because Ken Griffin, the billionaire, decided to throw his weight around DeSantis, after so many of the major donors of the party said they were going to sit it out. Suddenly, you have what happened on election night. He's trying to get out there.
The problem is, this is called panicking. And when panics in this way, it tends not to work out for him. He's going to dig himself a hole. If Walker loses in Georgia as a lot of Republicans thinking he might, that's one more thing to pit on Trump. As the Club for Growth is releasing polling showing the base of the party has moved on from Trump already.
BURNETT: All right. Now, okay, that is -- you're making this point about the base, which is significant, Erick, right, because the polling we have sort of during the midterms, okay? So, does not reflect in these horrible losses, okay? During it was Trump's favorability --
BURNETT: -- rating with Republicans was almost 80 percent.
So, you know, Ashley, you look at this as a Democrat, as someone who worked for Biden on his last campaign. Should Democrats and Republicans, frankly, be careful to not underestimate Trump again?
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. Donald Trump is not going anywhere.
And I'm not saying that in a joking way because I'm a Democrat. I don't think Donald Trump is good for our country. I didn't think he was good for our country in 2016, 2020, and definitely not in 2024.
And in this moment, I can put politics aside and say, he shouldn't run. And I hope Republicans step up and say, you know, I don't agree with Republicans on most policy issues, but I think about 70 percent of Republicans and myself can agree that Donald Trump should not be the president and should not be at the top of the GOP ticket.
But, you know, it's interesting. It's like, why is Donald Trump doing this? Because Donald Trump is about Donald Trump.
He does not care about anyone else other than himself. He doesn't care about his voters. He actually doesn't even care about this country. He cares about himself, his name, and his brand.
And that's why he's going to make his announcement tonight. And it's just a matter of who will stand up against him.
BURNETT: You know, to that point, I mean, obviously, you've got Ron DeSantis speaking at the same day, Jonathan, right, at the Republican Governors Association.
But, you know, what are -- what is your reporting, Jonathan, on where we are in terms of Trump's actual run? Who's going to -- you know, Ken Griffin and donors are -- seem to be fleeing.
Who's going to fund it? Who's going to run it? What is this going to look like? What do you know?
KARL: It's going to be a much smaller campaign than you saw in 2020, a barebones campaign. This is going to look a lot like 2015, when Trump started the run out of Trump Tower. He had a staff of really just a core of about a half dozen people.
Hillary Clinton in her headquarters in Brooklyn hut almost 200 people working. Donald Trump had this barebones staff. It was really just him going about, flying around on his plane, doing a lot of interviews. This is -- this is a barebones campaign once again.
As far as the money, he has shown a pretty remarkable ability to raise small dollar donations from all those people. You see it at his rallies, the red hats, sending in $20, $25, $50 at a time. There doesn't seem to be any limit yet to that. He can raise the money.
But this is -- this does not look like a big national, you know, campaign of a former president of the United States ready to take on the world. It looks very much like an upstart, a start-up campaign.
BURNETT: Erick, what are you hearing in terms of fund raising?
You heard what Jonathan is saying, right? He could rely on small donors, if they are still there to fund it.
ERICKSON: Well, that's part of the problem. He raised 100 million dollars with small donors, helping them take these races. And he only spent the money on himself. He's like Smaug the dragon in the Hobbit, but he wants the pile of gold and rely on other people to spend their money. This is part of the problem.
In 2018, you can say, well, it was a standard midterm. That's why they lost. In 2020, he said it was stolen. In 2022, Republicans actually did pretty good in the country, unless they were tied to Donald Trump, and they all lost. And that's kind of a wake up call for a lot of people who thought
maybe 2020 was stolen. This time, the only people you can steal it from our people from that.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. I appreciate your time.
Jonathan Karl from Mar-a-Lago with his reporting there, Ashley Allison, and, of course, Erick Erickson, thank you all very.
And next, the Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, highlighting losses by Trump backed candidates in the midterms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: It was a hugely underwhelming, disappointing performance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, there you go, finally, punching back. Is this a preview of what we are about to watch for two years?
And Kari Lake leaning into election conspiracy. She has not yet conceded her Arizona governor's race. This comes as a major turning point happening for the GOP.
BURNETT: Tonight, fighting words. The Florida Governor Ron DeSantis showing he is not backing down from Donald Trump's attacks against him, as both are laying the groundwork for possible 2024 face-off.
DeSantis telling a crowd today that people only need to, quote, check out the scoreboard from Tuesday night to see who came out on top. Of course, DeSantis won reelection by one and a half million votes, while Trump backed candidates in key states were defeated one after the other, by denying the GOP red wave they hoped for.
Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.
DESANTIS: What you learned is all that is just noise.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dismissing former President Trump's new criticism.
DESANTIS: We focused on results and leadership. At the end of the day, I would just tell people to go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night.
SERFANTY: DeSantis's pointed response on the day Trump is set to make a major announcement just a preview of the two Floridians potential 2024 primary face-off. DESANTIS: It was a hugely underwhelming, disappointing performance.
SERFATY: Without naming Trump, DeSantis highlighting that Republican losses in the midterms, losses from many Trump-backed candidates.
Former President Trump has recently taken a flurry of swipes at the Florida governor, debuting and nickname typically only given to his rivals.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: There it is. Trump at 71. Ron DeSanctimonious at 10 percent.
SERFATY: Calling him average, suggesting that he knows things about DeSantis that won't be very flattering, saying of his potential run, I think the base would not like it. I don't think it would be good for the party.
Trump firing some not so subtle warning shots saying, if DeSantis does run for president, he would be making a mistake.
A cautioning echoed recently by Trump's family.
LARA TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S DAUGHTER-IN-LAW: So, it wouldn't it be nicer for him, and I think he knows this, to wait until 2028?
SERFATY: The fresh tension rising between them is in sharp contrast to their cozy relationship of years past. Trump calling DeSantis brilliant and a true fighter, endorsing his first bid for governor, and appearing with him on the campaign trail.
TRUMP: This is a nice man. You know what? They're doing a great job.
SERFATY: DeSantis has been one of Trump's most vocal supporters and allies.
DESANTIS: I'd like to thank our president for standing by me. I think we'll have a great partnership.
SERFATY: Pushing Trump's policies and rhetoric.
CASEY DESANTIS, GOV. DESANTIS' WIFE: Ron loves playing with kids.
GOV. DESANTIS: Build the wall.
SERFATY: DeSantis, just 44 years old, was first elected to Congress in 2012. He went on to become a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
DESANTIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
SERFATY: He won his bid for governor of Florida by just 32,000 votes in 2018.
DESANTIS: Thank you, Florida, for your support.
SERFATY: And elevated has national prominence through his management of the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming an outspoken proxy for Republican anger over mask mandates and school closings.
If they want to shut down businesses, I'm going to stand in the way.
DESANTIS: Not shying away from waiting into controversial culture war fights embraced by conservatives, like legislation critics have dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" law.
SERFATY: Americans oppose injecting this type of material into the classroom of young kids.
DESANTIS: A Yale and Harvard law graduate has a charismatic family with three young children. His wife is a former journalist and cancer survivor.
DeSantis huge reelection win last week, winning by 1.5 million votes, only intensifying speculations about his next political quest.
DESANTIS: I have only begun to fight. God bless you all.
BURNETT: So, Sunlen, what are you learning about the discussions in the DeSantis camp about a potential presidential campaign announcement? It's the only question they are getting from everybody right now. What are they responding to?
SERFATY: It's the only question. It's the big question for him, Erin. Sources are telling CNN that allies of Ron DeSantis are indeed huddling about this, and well even before election day, the strong since within his circles is that he will likely launch -- regardless of what Trump ends up doing, and many sources telling CNN that the argument that DeSantis is making privately to donors, of course, is about Trump's divisiveness, and how that stands in the way of conservatives making progress.
This will certainly be quite the primary ballot, Erin, if he decides to run.
BURNETT: Absolutely. Sunlen, thank you so much. Such a crucial part of the story, as Trump prepares his announcement tonight.
Well, next, Kari Lake taking a page out of Trump's playbook, I'm sorry. Not conceding the Arizona governor's race.
And NASA gearing up in just hours to take humans to the moon for the first time in 50 years, as we understand President Biden is about to have a roundtable with world leaders on the back of the missile hit in Poland today.
BURNETT: Tonight, Kari Lake, the Arizona Republican candidate for governor, is still not conceding to her Democratic opponent Katie Hobbs nearly 24 hours after CNN projected Hobbs is the winner. Lake only tweeting, quote: Arizonans know BS when they see it.
This as Lake repeatedly cast doubt on the election during the campaign, signaling she would not accept the results if she lost.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARI LAKE (R), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE FOR ARIZONA: I'm afraid that it probably is not going to be completely fair. I wish I could sit here and say I have complete faith in the system. I don't have faith in the system.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Will you accept the results of your election in November?
LAKE: I'm going to win the election and I will accept that result.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, retiring Republican Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan. He is one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach then- President Trump.
Congressman, Kari Lake has questioned the legitimacy of this election, right? Every time you asked her question, she would talk about how 2020 was rigged and this one would be, too, if she didn't win it. She has not conceded 24 hours after the race was called.
Are you worried that she isn't going to let this go?
REP. FRED UPTON (R-MI): Well, I don't know. I'm not from Arizona. I'm from Michigan.
But she seems to be perpetrating the continued myth of losers when they -- when they lose.
You know, if you lose, you say congrats to the winner and you move on. And maybe you fight another day. But this attitude of denying the real election results -- in Michigan, there was 154,000 votes. There was no shred of evidence the election could have been overturned because of fraud or abuse or whatever, you know, excuse that they could possibly find. And here we are.
So our top of the ticket in Michigan last week, they were all election deniers. And you know what? They all got beat badly. Voters are tired.
UPTON: Let's move forward.
BURNETT: And, of course, Tudor Dixon, who was an election denier backed by Trump, conceded, right? Did concede and stepped up --
UPTON: She did. BURNETT: -- and conceded to Gretchen Whitmer, which is significant and obviously not what we're seeing from Kari Lake.
But this comes in the context of a full room in Mar-a-Lago tonight, Congressman, and Trump going ahead with what he thought was going to be coming in like a king to victory, but is very different in terms of the feel. He's widely expected in that room to announce his third presidential run tonight, at a time when he has been weakened by bad midterm results. I mean, they were bad.
Some Republicans, many Republicans, in fact, are saying it's time for the party to move on.
But you said, Congressman, over the summer, not only that you thought Trump would run again, but that he'd be hard to stop. Do you feel that way now?
UPTON: I feel that. I said he would run again. So at least I'm already 50 percent.
And the more -- the more that get in, the better it is for him. Remember, he had 17 Republicans run against him in 2016. And I think that the field will broaden. I -- you know, it's -- I think that he feels the early bird gets the worm.
But frankly, with last week's elections, it was clear to me, that particularly among independents, and they make up the balance; they decide the winners in a lot of these elections. They saw his speech last Monday night in Ohio. They witnessed a good number of the candidates that he supported around the country. They got a lot of attention. Many of them were deniers. They didn't win.
And I think there were a lot of independents that said, I don't really want to go down that path again. He's hurting the party. He's going to be a significant player whether he's in or out. That's for sure. He's raised a ton of money already.
And he really does feel that the early bird gets the worm, and that's one of the reasons why he's I think going to probably announce tonight to try to get at the forefront and just, you know, send the first shot across the bow.
BURNETT: Well, so, you know, here's the thing, though. It comes on the -- you know, he is doing it in Florida, right, where Ron DeSantis had the only magnificent victory that Republicans had, right? Ron DeSantis, right, won -- won and flipped Miami-Dade County. He's also speaking tonight at the Republican governor's association saying, oh, talk about Trump. Who won last week? Who was the winner?
The Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis was asked by "Politico" whether she'd support Trump in 2024, her reply was, the question is: who's the current leader of the Republican Party? Oh, I know who it is: Ron DeSantis.
Do you agree with her?
UPTON: Well, Ron DeSantis is a very heavyweight player for the Republicans. He has done an excellent job as governor of Florida.
I served with him in the House for a couple of terms. He's widely respected. People think that he can raise the money.
He is the counterpunch certainly to Donald Trump, which is why he start -- Trump is starting to slam him with the, you know, innuendos and, you know, name-calling, that type of thing, something that Trump has a history of doing.
But the problem that DeSantis will have should he get in is that there may be other candidates that get in as well. You know, Trump has his base. He has at least a 30 or 35 percent hard-core following that are not going to leave him under any circumstance.
UPTON: And the more Republicans that get in, the easier it will be for him to win the field, as he did back in 2016 when there were 17 Republicans running, including the governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, a good number of solid Republicans that were in the race. And Trump came out of nowhere because of his strong base.
He can do it again. You can't discount where he is, like it or not.
BURNETT: Well, it's going to be -- it's going to be incredible to see what exactly -- what actually does transpire here.
Thank you so much, Congressman. I appreciate your time tonight.
UPTON: You bet.
BURNETT: All right, next. We are awaiting President Biden. He says he is going to be hosting an emergency round table with world leaders in Bali where they've been discussing the missile hit in Poland today, NATO territory, that Poland said is likely Russian made.
OUTFRONT next also, NASA set to launch the most powerful rocket ever built.
BURNETT: All right. I want to take you to a room in Bali. President Biden holding what the White House calls an emergency roundtable with world leaders. This is after Poland -- sorry. I'll just tell you what it is here, obviously going to bars.
You just saw the room. It's in Bali, just hours before President Biden is slated to get on a plane and return back to the United States. An emergency round table they're calling at the White House with other world leaders after Poland says a Russian-made missile hit on its soil, killing two people just four miles from the Ukraine border.
We'll just get an update here on whether -- all right. We're trying to figure out whether we can get that back. The very latest we have from the polish foreign ministry is they believe this is a Russian-made missile. And it did hit Polish territory. There is no question about that, about four miles from the Ukraine border.
There were two people killed. The big question, of course, is whether this was fired by Russia. Russia today firing about 100 or so missiles across all of Ukraine. That's the context in which this missile hit, leaving a crater.
Our Matthew Chance is there on the scene and has told us obviously that it is completely locked off right now by Polish authorities.
So we're awaiting President Biden. The minute that that round table comes to us, I'm going bring it to you.
I want to give you the other story I promised, though, which is about NASA and that rocket Artemis. It's been so, so long delayed, now fueling up right now, and it is set to launch in a matter of hours. Let me just show you that.
The tanking operations loading liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen pellets into the rocket. It is the most powerful rocket ever built. And it's been a lot of delays and it's finally getting ready to go.
The uncrewed mission is going to be 26 days. It's going to go around the moon. We're going to see it flying farther than any spacecraft built to carry humans has ever flown. The Artemis team has overcome so many of those delays. They've had temperature sensor issue, leak issues, and then weather issues.
Right now, though, they are all a go. The weather is 80 percent favorable as we understand it right now. If successful, this mission would be a major milestone for NASA, because really, it's a test mission. And the aim is to take humans back to the moon for the first time in 50 years.
There are several more steps in the coming hours before NASA declares Artemis a go. So we'll see whether it really goes. I'm sorry?
Okay. All right. So, two things -- two things happening right now. You're watching live television. The first is we're awaiting that round table out of Bali with President Biden, obviously having some transmission issues on that. But they hadn't yet started speaking.
Very crucial to see whether obviously Poland is going to invoke Article 4 of consult with NATO or Article 5, which would require all of NATO to respond. That would possibly be the polish request on the back of this missile hit.
The context here in the U.S. is what you're looking at on your screen, Mar-a-Lago, the former President Trump is slated in the next hour or so to give an address, which he had expected to be a major victory speech announcing his reelection campaign. But it is, of course, anything but that. But we do understand that he still plans to go ahead with that announcement that he will be running for president, again in 2024.
We're monitoring both those stories. As soon as that round table begins you'll see it here on CNN from Bali.
In the meantime, thanks so much for joining us. Don't forget you can watch the show any time on CNN Go.
And let's hand it off now to "AC360."