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Erin Burnett Outfront
U.S., NATO: Russia Bears "Ultimate Responsibility" For Missile Blast; CNN Projection: Republicans Win Control Of The House; Pence: "Congress Has No Right To My Testimony" In Jan. 6 Probe; CNN Projects Republicans Capture Control Of The House. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 16, 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, the U.S. and NATO say Russia is ultimately to blame after a Ukrainian defense missile likely exploded in Poland.
Tonight, Russia is fighting back, upping the ante. A major Russia ally also jumping into the fray with an ominous warning.
Plus, dropping Trump. Some of Trump's biggest allies are now turning on the former president big time publicly, including billionaires who are now saying they are going to spend their millions on other candidates. How much will it hurt Trump?
And the breaking news, Republicans now officially control the House of Representatives. What does this mean for President Biden?
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
And OUTFRONT tonight, blaming Russia. Fingers pointing at Russia for bearing ultimate responsibility for the deadly missile explosion in Poland. U.S. officials tonight say it was likely a Ukrainian defense missile trying to intercept one of what was a barrage of a hundred Russian missiles striking Ukraine yesterday. But the U.S. and NATO both making it clear that it is Russia's fault for killing two people in NATO territory and causing a crisis that could have quickly led to a major escalation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LLOYD AUSTIN, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Whatever the final conclusions may be, the world knows that Russia bears ultimate responsibility for this incident.
TOMAS SZATKOWSKI, POLISH AMBASSADOR TO NATO: The ultimate responsibility lies with Russia.
JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Let me be clear, this is not Ukraine's fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Lockstep, ultimate responsibility, you heard it from every single speaker.
Meantime, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today at first made an adamant statement claiming that it was not even a Ukrainian missile.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I don't doubt that it wasn't our missile.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But speaking again just moments ago, Zelenskyy now seemingly in line with the U.S. and NATO, more so saying this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENSKYY (through translator): The Ukrainian position is very transparent. We want to establish all of the details, every fact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And as tensions rise, moments ago, Russia upping the ante. I want to play for you what just was said by the Russian ambassador to the U.N.
Listen to him for yourself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VASILY NEBENZYA, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N. (through translator): To involve NATO, which is conducting a proxy war with Russia, the U.S. military has actively become involved in planning and de facto control over the contact of military activities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Blaming the U.S. for controlling the war.
And Russia also putting Poland on notice, warning Warsaw not to get involved. And this comes as Russia's close ally Belarus is pouring more gasoline on the issue. A senior Belarusian military official warning of Poland's, quote, preparation for war and not a defensive one.
Today, we unequivocally assess that NATO formations deployed in neighboring countries can become the basis for creating strike groups against Russia and Belarus as its closest ally. Strike groups. NATO against Russia and Belarus. These are words that now it is clear cannot be taken lightly.
This is a quickly moving story. We are covering it from all angles.
Fred Pleitgen is live in Moscow tonight. Matthew Chance is in Poland at the site of the explosion.
And I want to begin in Moscow with you, Fred. We're hearing the Russian ambassador to the U.N. speaking out, upping the ante.
What is the reaction in Russia tonight?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you know, it was so interesting, Erin, to see the U.S. and its NATO allies really there in lockstep in the lead-in that we just had there because you could really see the Russians from Moscow's perspective trying to throw a wrench into that unity.
You also had that same ambassador to the U.N. from Russia calling this a Ukrainian/polish plot that was going on, a provocation on the part of those two countries. It was quite interesting because the spokesman for the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov came out today and said it was very restrained especially because President Biden came out very early and said that the U.S. believed that possibly that missile that landed on Polish territory was launched from Ukrainian territory, even though, of course, the U.S. says that's the ultimate responsibility lies with Russia.
At the same time, the Russians ripping especially into the Poles, saying that the European allies, especially the poles, had reacted with hysteria, as they put it. The Russians then putting forward, as they said, their own defense experts who they said had looked at photos of the impact site and also determined that it was an S-300 missile launched from Ukrainian territory.
And what happened tonight, then, was that the Russians then summoned the ambassador to Moscow from Poland to the foreign ministry. It's not far from where we are right here. He was only there for about 20 minutes. But nevertheless, you can see the Russians really trying to single out all the Poles in this and place the blame on them as the Belarusians did as well.
And, finally, the Russian foreign ministry also ripping into the Ukrainians, essentially accusing the Ukrainians of trying to drag NATO into this conflict of making this a wider conflict and calling on the Poles, as they put it, not to fall for that. Of course all of this, Erin, as we, again, have to point out and we've seen really in great detail the U.S. and its allies say the ultimate responsibility lies with Russia, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, absolutely. Thank you very much, Fred Pleitgen in Moscow tonight.
So, now, let's go to Poland to that rural Polish village where the missile landed, killing two. It is about four mile as way from the Ukrainian border.
Matthew Chance is OUTFRONT there.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A Russian-made missile striking a NATO ally and setting the world on edge. But it now seems the explosion that killed two Polish farmers here was a tragic accident, not as feared ordered by the Kremlin.
JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: The incident was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missile attacks. But let me be clear. This is not Ukraine's fault.
CHANCE: Not Ukraine's fault because its military was defending against the barrage of Russian missiles, targeting essential infrastructure and killing civilians.
Among the victims on Tuesday was this 69-year-old woman. She was visiting her husband's grave in Kyiv when a piece of shrapnel tore through her body and killed her.
As winter sets in, Russia is making Ukraine's civilians suffer with reckless abandon. But what happened here in Poland shows just how dangerous that is for the whole world, too. This, while Ukrainian officials, are redoubling their request for more advanced air defense systems from the United States and Europe.
They've also committed to cooperating with an investigation into what happened here and admitted their air defenses were active in the area. But officials are clear, Russian president Vladimir Putin is responsible, dragging millions of Ukrainians and now a sleepy one- street Polish town into his war of choice.
CHANCE (on camera): Well, Erin, tonight, teams of specialists from both Poland and the United States are still in this village picking through the wreckage trying to piece it together and find out exactly what it is that's happened. But tonight, at least, those concerns are of this missile strike on a NATO-allied country. Concerns that that may spark a broader conflict are finally starting mercifully to ease -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Matthew, from Poland tonight.
OUTFRONT now, Ian Bremmer, president and founder of the Eurasia Group and author of "The Power of Crisis."
Let me just start off with where we are now. Fred talking about the Russian ambassador to the U.N. saying that it was a purposeful provocation between Poland and the U.S. to escalate this, happening during the G20.
What do you think happened here?
IAN BREMMER, EURASIA GROUP PRESIDENT & FOUNDER: Well, what happened is that the Russians have engaged in an unprecedented number of missile strikes all across the country in the middle of the G20 when the Americans and all of their allies are meeting together in Bali saying very clearly to the U.S. we don't know about your pressure, we're going to act with impunity. And, of course, some of those missile strikes literally feet away from the polish border. So the fact that this was the first time that we actually had civilians getting killed in Poland is almost a surprising issue, given how the war's been proceeding.
BURNETT: So, does the missile though, and it is a surprise, right, but does a fact that it now has hit Poland change anything in this war?
BREMMER: It changes a few things. Let's keep in mind that the Polish government has been among the hardest-lined advocates of punishing the Russians and supporting the Ukrainians, huge amount of military support. They've hosted millions of Ukrainians in their homes. And the fact that they were one of the few that was supporting a ninth round of economic sanctions in the E.U., many others didn't, there will be more pressure for that now.
We'll also see the Ukrainian contact group, dozens of countries just met earlier today. There will be a comprehensive package put together for air and missile defense for the Ukrainians greater than they otherwise would have received.
BURNETT: And this is what they've been asking for, asking and asking for, right?
BURNETT: In addition to longer-range missiles and other things.
Now, the thing is, is this is all in the context of this sort of rising discussion yet again. It kind of bubbles up at times. That it's time to have a negotiation.
And today, the Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley said this. Let me play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MARK MILLEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHIAIRMAN: Winter gets very, very cold, and the natural tendency is for tactical operations are going to naturally probably slow down. If there's a slowdown in the actual tactical fighting, if that happens, then that may become a window, possibly, it may not for a political solution or at least some beginnings of talks to initiate a political solution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is that reasonable or is that hopeful?
BREMMER: Well, it's hopeful, but I want to be very clear. The only reason that negotiations will ever have any chance is because the United States NATO allies have done so much in holding together and providing the Ukrainians the ability to change the facts on the ground, to defend themselves and to counter-attack against the Russians.
The Russian president has shown absolutely not one iota of willingness of sitting down at a negotiating table and engaging.
So if there is going to be a negotiation, it is going to have to be from a position of strength where the Ukrainians and the allies can impose minimum settlements. We aren't there yet. But over the coming weeks and months, we'll be in a better position. Ukraine will be in a better position.
I think that's what General Milley is getting at here. He's saying, not that suddenly the Ukrainians should be suing for peace and giving up territory, but rather that creating Ukraine as what will be the strongest-armed country, best trained, best defended in all of Europe, is a very different position than they were in when the Russians invaded on February 24th. And that's a position that you can have negotiations with.
BURNETT: And to be clear, as we all know, I was there on February 24th. There was no evidence of it. People didn't know, you would look up, how big was their military. Nobody expected, right, what we've seen.
BREMMER: Nobody expected, absolutely.
BURNETT: And so now, I want to ask you about something here, because you're involved in all of this. The Russian ministry of foreign affairs put out a statement on Friday about sanctions that they are sanctioning people, individuals that are, quote, involved in ratcheting up the anti-Russia campaign and supporting the regime in Kyiv.
You are on the list, number 23, Ian Arthur Bremmer.
BREMMER: It was alphabetical. I wasn't 23rd most important. It tells you a lot, you know?
BURNETT: What is your reaction to this?
BREMMER: I mean, I guess I'm honored. If I look at the other people, Jim Stavridis, who, you know, the admiral who used NATO, Ivo Daalder, my friend, was an ambassador to NATO, a lot of governors, a lot of senators, Tim Snyder, who was probably the most articulate historian of Soviet and European history in the country today.
Look, if you are in a position with a platform that is advising anyone that matters, and you are speaking truth about what's happening on the ground in Russia and Ukraine, you are considered an enemy of the Russian regime.
As someone who used to live in Russia and used to live in Ukraine, it saddens me that that's what it's coming to because I love the Russian people. I love the culture. I speak the language. But I also am not shy about telling you what I think. And the Russian government has a serious problem with that.
BURNETT: All right. Ian, thank you very much. We're glad to hear you, and glad to have this platform and to hear your views.
And next, the breaking news, Republicans have just won control of the House of Representatives. We're going to go live to Capitol Hill next.
And more breaking news this hour, the former Vice President Mike Pence is formally refusing to testify before the January 6th Committee. He says himself that Congress has no right to his testimony.
And the CNN investigation this hour. Hundreds of acres set aside for veterans is instead being used by a ritzy private school and college athletes. Tonight, veterans are fighting back.
BURNETT: Breaking news: CNN can now project the winner of the very close and closely watched race for the mayor of Los Angeles. Congresswoman Karen Bass has beaten billionaire Rick Caruso. This was the most expensive campaign in L.A. history. Bass surviving what had been a bruising race that focused on crime, homelessness, economic anxiety. Caruso spent $100 million of his personal fortune in this race. It remained too close to call for more than a week. Here we are making this call tonight.
Karen Bass, the winner of the L.A. mayor's seat, she becomes the first woman ever elected mayor of Los Angeles.
And as that news breaks, we have more breaking news, and this President Biden congratulating Republicans because they have just won control back of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Biden saying in a statement, quote, I congratulate Leader McCarthy on Republicans winning the House majority and am ready to work with House Republicans to deliver results for working families.
This CNN -- coming moments after CNN projected that Republicans have reached the 218 seats necessary to take back control of the House. This is the first time Republicans have controlled it since 2018.
Now, they're at 218 so they've got it. There are nine seats currently uncalled so they may have a few more unclear. It's going to be a very, very thin majority, whatever the final number may be.
Melanie Zanona is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill.
And, Melanie, in that context, they've got it, but it is going to be razor-thin, whatever it is. Republicans have promised again and again that controlling the house means investigations of Biden, investigations on his son, investigations on immigration, Biden coming out moments ago though and congratulating McCarthy.
Is this just going to be the beginning of investigations? MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you're
absolutely right, Erin. Look, it's a smaller margin than what Republicans would've hoped for, but it's a majority nonetheless. With it comes subpoena power. They can launch investigations, they can haul in witnesses, they can subpoena documents.
So this is going to be a huge focus of a Republican-led House. They are going to investigate everything from the origins of COVID, to the border, to Anthony Fauci, to Hunter Biden, which is President Biden's son.
They're also going to have the power to set the agenda. They can act as a firewall against the Democratic-led Senate and bring whatever bills they want to the floor. They have a whole list of things that are in their priority bucket.
But they're also going to have to deal with the basic functions of government. That includes funding the government. That includes addressing a looming debt ceiling crisis. They're going to have to raise the nation's borrowing limit, to avoid a catastrophic debt default.
ZANONA: You don't know the margins just yet, but it's going to be razor-thin and that means governing is going to be extremely difficult, especially when you have these various competing wings of the Republican Party all trying to flex their muscles. So it's going to be messy. There's going to be gridlock, and it's going to be a very, very difficult task for whoever is the speaker.
BURNETT: Okay. So and obviously that razor-thin margin means so much when it comes to governing. One thing that we know now that the GOP is at 218 is that Nancy Pelosi will not be speaker. So the big mystery tonight is, what is her future?
ZANONA: That is the question. That's been a question dominating Democratic circles for some time now. She has not said what she's going to do. She was waiting until the results of the midterms were all tallied up. But I think now that power of the house has been determined, it's going to accelerate conversations and questions about her future.
And sources told our Manu Raju that she is expected to make a decision, or Democrats expect her to make a decision and reveal that decision by some time at the end of this week. And, of course, whatever she decides has huge implications for the Democratic party because everyone's waiting in the wings to figure out what they're going to do in terms of running for leadership and who's going to replace her if she decides to leave.
BURNETT: It's going to be seismic in all regards, and I think important the news that you have, Melanie, that we anticipate to know this by the end of the week, right? It's Wednesday. We could know it at any moment.
ZANONA: A huge dynamic shift. Yeah.
BURNETT: Huge dynamic shift.
All right, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
We've got that breaking news from Melanie. And it comes as some of Trump's allies are turning on him. So they've got the House, narrowly but they got it.
And "The New York Post" today on Trump, once a Trump megaphone, buried the announcement of his presidential run. And the headline was "Been There, Done That."
And just in case you're unclear what that means, they put that on page 26 with that headline, in the article they label him a Florida retiree with a classified-documents library. Clear where they stand.
Well, Trump's former secretary of state and potential 2024 GOP primary contender, Mike Pompeo is now turning on Trump. Here's what he tweeted. Quote: We need more seriousness, less noise, and leaders who are looking forward, not staring in the rear-view mirror claiming victimhood, which, of course, Trump did again last night talking about the 2020 election.
Also tonight, Blackstone's CEO Stephen Schwarzman, he donated $33.5 million to Republicans in 2020, including Trump. He tells CNN that instead he will support, quote, one of the new generation leaders in the Republican Party and that he's going to pick someone else to sponsor in the primaries.
OUTFRONT now, Scott Jennings, former senior adviser to Senator Mitch McConnell, and Van Jones, former special adviser to then-President Obama.
All right. So, there's a lot to talk about here. We've got the House that we've just called. You got the L.A. mayor's race where you are, Van, that had been -- I mean, just unbelievable how that dragged out. Karen Bass now the winner.
And you've got, Scott, a lot of former Trump allies turning their backs on him 24 hours after, you know, what he thought was going to be his wonderful announcement that he's running for president. You've been talking to a lot of people in your party. What are they telling you?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, a lot of folks are looking for something new, or at least a minimum, they are not quite sure they want to do Donald Trump for a third time. I think the idea that he has been a weight on the Republican Party the last several cycles is sinking in. And, at the same time, they see other more exciting alternatives emerging.
I think Trump's announcement didn't scare anybody off. It was rather subdued. I don't think anybody was particularly impressed with what he did at Mar-a-Lago.
So, I'm not surprised to see Mike Pompeo and others out there circulating. But the one everyone is waiting to hear from is Ron DeSantis. I think what everybody wants to know is, is he going to seriously consider this race, and a nod from him at some point would probably bring him quite a few supporters.
BURNETT: So, Van, you know, here's the thing when it comes to Trump and all these people turning on him. We've seen it before. We've seen it before again and again and again, that they might take a stand against Trump and the Republican Party, but then they might come back, right?
Here's House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on January 6th and then one year later just to remind everybody of what we're used to. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters.
REPORTER: Do you believe that president Trump provoked it?
MCCARTHY: I don't believe he provoked it, if you listen to what he said at the rally.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BURNETT: So, Van, right, McCarthy, I give you others, too, but that just makes the point. Will it be different this time? Will the Republicans, the Mike Pompeos of the world, will they stay away from him, or will they come scurrying back?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It really depends on what base does. In other words, you know, the elite have always been trying to figure out a way to jump off the ship, but they aren't the majority of voters.
And so, I think what you're going to see in six weeks, eight weeks, if they can stick their finger up in the air and the air is still coming out of the balloon for Donald Trump in a few weeks, you'll see more people jumping off. But, in fact, as you move forward, Donald Trump is able to hold onto his base if his numbers are steady with the voters. They are going to come crawling back.
So, but I've never seen this level of disaffection with Republican -- the voters that I know on the right are very, very disappointed and they are ready to move on. We'll see if that holds.
BURNETT: We certainly will. And to Scott's point, we'll see what Ron DeSantis says, although last night at the Republican Governors Association, he did make the point, look at my record, look at who actually won Florida. So, he was unafraid to take Trump on, as directly as it gets.
So, Scott, now the breaking news just moments ago. Your party has won control of the House of Representatives. You got 218 seats. Now, you may get a few more. It's going to be razor-thin. Nine races are still not called.
So, is it going to be chaos for Kevin McCarthy, or I heard Chris Christie say the gavel's the gavel, you win, you win.
But when you win only by a few and you've got some real cats in there running around, is it going to be chaos?
JENNINGS: Well, yes. He's going to experience some chaotic moments. But I'm really hoping the gravity of the situation comes down on every single Republican in the house. Look at the situation. They are now in the majority. So it's their responsibility to stop Joe Biden's agenda.
And over in the senate, I don't know what's going to happen in the Georgia runoff. But I know this. If Democrats win that race, the filibuster, the legislative filibuster in the Senate is in jeopardy.
So when you think about what Democrats have said they want to do, from Biden to Harris on down, get rid of that filibuster, it really puts a lot of pressure on McCarthy and every single House Republican to stick together when it matters.
So a little chaos, yes. But when it counts, I think every Republican donor, grassroots supporter, you name it out there, is hoping that these Republicans understand the meaning of teamwork because we're going to need it.
BURNETT: Well, we'll see if they can demonstrate that.
And, Van, what about what Melanie says we may find out in the next hours here or by the end of the week? Nancy Pelosi, what's she going to do?
JONES: Nobody knows, I don't know. She has been a titan in this party. She's been able to hold together, and Kevin McCarthy is going to see how hard it is. She's been able to hold together a very fractious caucus and to move it forward. It's sad, listening to what Scotty was saying, you got to be able to stand together to stop Biden. I hope at some point they also stand together to work with Biden to get things done.
I mean, the reality is, if all we can -- if all we can do is fuss and fight with each other, inside the caucuses and between the caucuses, that's not good for America.
BURNETT: All right, thank you both very much.
And next, the breaking news, former vice president pence has spoken out saying he will not cooperate with the January 6th Select Committee. How big of a blow is this to the investigation? There have been a lot of hopes that he would speak. Plus, a CNN investigation. Prime real estate meant for injured
veterans is now being used by an elite private school, with an athletic track, tennis court and a swimming pool. And tonight, veterans are fighting back.
BURNETT: Breaking news: former Vice President Mike Pence just revealing that he will not testify before the January 6th Select Committee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I never stood in the way of senior members of my team cooperating with the committee, and testifying. But Congress has no right to my testimony. We have a separation of powers under the Constitution of the United States. And I believe it would establish a terrible precedent for the Congress to summon a vice president of the United States to speak about deliberations that took place at the White House.
INTERVIEWER: So you're closing the door on that entirely?
PENCE: I'm closing the door on that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I want to go straight to CNN's senior justice correspondent Evan Perez.
Evan, Pence is correct. Members of his team did cooperate with the committee. And they did testify. But the committee still wanted him under oath, right, and doing all these interviews he's done so many in the recent days. How big of a blow is it to the committee?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It was always a bit of a long shot, Erin. But they did want his testimony. There is nothing like hearing from the former vice president directly about these conversations as the former president was trying to overturn and trying to get him to overturn the election results. You can hear the disappointment from Representative Adam Kinzinger accusing the vice president of trying to have it both ways.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): First, we do have a right to your testimony if we need it. Secondly, you violated the separation of powers when your boss sent a rampaging group of people to destroy the Capitol. So, let's just stop that, you know?
So we're probably not going to talk to him, that's fine. But to say that we don't have a right is completely, completely unacceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP) PEREZ: And, Erin, the former vice president, obviously his former aides have testified to the committee. They've also now testified to the grand jury, the Justice Department's grand jury investigation. So, there's plenty of information that has come. And, of course, now, we have the benefit of what the former vice president has said in his book -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Evan, thank you.
So, now, let's go to the former White House lawyer Ty Cobb. So, Ty, I've got I want to ask you about. And now of course this just happened. So let's start with Mike Pence. Do you think he's right with his reasons for saying that he will not testify under oath before the January 6th Committee?
TY COBB, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: Thanks, Erin. Nice to be with you again. Yes, I do. The reality is Mike Pence is a constitutionalist and an institutionalist. He served in Congress, he took it seriously, whatever people may think of him because of the Republican or Democrat labels that people use to disqualify others these days.
The reality is the decision that he made, which I'm sure was consistent with the legal advice he received, it is true that there is no constitutional right and that there is a huge separation of powers issue, and that basically there is nothing -- I mean, the legal standard technically even in a grand jury would be, you know, can the government demonstrate anything they might learn from the vice president that they haven't already learned.
And, you know, as he said, his top aides have already testified, Marc Short, very serious person as well --
BURNETT: That's right.
COBB: -- was with Pence every minute of that day, and has -- and Pence did not make any assertions of privilege or otherwise attempt to preclude that testimony. And so you'd basically only be calling him up to ask him about his feelings. And he doesn't really have anything factually that would add to it.
And, more importantly, historically, all presidents and vice presidents have relied upon the so-called Harry Truman letter that first made this argument in writing, you know, over half a century ago. And since that time, almost all of them have adhered to Truman's decision not to appear.
BURNETT: All right. And of course he just wrote a book. He talked about his feelings there. He's done a lot of interviews in the recent days.
BURNETT: He's been everywhere.
This comes, though, just a day after his former running-mate, Donald Trump, announced he's running for president again. He's got obviously active Justice Department investigations. You've got criminal investigations on January 6th, Trump's handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. You got what's going on in Georgia.
How do you think Trump officially entering the race, Ty, now that that's actually happening, he's now a candidate, he's filed the paperwork. How does it impact those probes in any potential indictments?
COBB: So, as you know, over the months in which we've been discussing this, originally I had some reason to believe that Georgia would likely be the first shoe to drop. And then the district attorney's misconduct in terms of the fundraiser she had for somebody, you know, running against a fake elector got her disqualified from pursuing that gentleman. It bogged down in terms of all the obstacles thrown at it by Lindsey Graham and others that have now been adjudicated.
But it's important to remember that the grand jury that she has is not -- does not have the authority to indict. And that the report that they have that they're supposed to be writing is not now likely to come out before the end of the year, according to her. So, it is true she could bring charges in advance of that. But there's nothing that makes that appear to be likely.
BURNETT: Does the DOJ back off indicting -- does the DOJ back off indicting either the Mar-a-Lago or the January 6th?
COBB: I think that's very prescient question, Erin. And I think -- the DOJ definitely does not want the Georgia prosecutor to go first. They don't want to run the risks that her handling of witnesses and the evidence that she develops might harm their investigation. Clearly, their action on an unprecedented event in American history and a deranged president who refused to let go of power in a peaceful way. I think that's urgent, that's important, that's always been the most important thing in this whole balance for this country.
Mar-a-Lago gives the Justice Department a softball, frankly, that they could bring at any time. And I think the combination of the election and perhaps Trump's announcement may hasten the Justice Department's decision on whether or not to indict on Mar-a-Lago and perhaps go forward with that. It's an easy case to bring, the evidence is clear. You know, you don't have a right to lie to the Justice Department about whether you still have documents and you don't have a right to take classified documents in the first place.
BURNETT: Well, and it's --
COBB: So I think the reality is the Justice Department could easily move forward. They're going to want to go first. They are not going to want Georgia to go quickly. I think Georgia is not really prepared to go quickly.
But, undoubtedly, that it's been helpful to everybody that she's not allowed to collect the evidence that she has collected. And Georgia has a legitimate interest in the integrity of its elections and a very low burden in terms of proving misconduct with those elections, although I think people overrate the conversation between Trump and Raffensperger as -- in that -- in that matter.
BURNETT: All right. The 11,780 votes.
All right. Ty Cobb, thank you --
BURNETT: -- very much for weighing in on this --
COBB: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: -- most crucial question, right, of whether the DOJ will hesitate on indictment. And you heard Ty say that he thinks this would hasten their decision-making on that front.
And tonight at 9:00, don't miss the CNN town hall with former Vice President Pence. Jake Tapper will be talking to him at 9:00.
And next, more on the breaking news, Republicans win control of the House of U.S. representatives. That means that they can investigate. That means they can Biden's cabinet, even his son Hunter.
How much could that hurt Biden? Our Harry Enten breaks it down.
Plus, an update on a CNN investigation. Four hundred acres of land meant to house veterans isn't housing many veterans at all. In fact, it's being used by college athletes and an exclusive prep school.
BURNETT: Breaking news out of Washington. The major projection tonight that Republicans will win control of the House of Representatives, and not all bad news though for President Biden, because, in fact there are some things that actually look bright for him.
Let's bring in Harry Enten to explain the situation.
So, Harry, here we are. We've got the final election result in terms of who's going to control the House, obviously nine races still to call. But we get the gavel. We know he's got the Senate. What do you see?
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: I mean, the fact is the Democratic Party is going to keep their net losses in the House likely under ten seats, at this point, it looks probably the most likely. In fact we know they're not going to lose any Senate seats. They may gain one in Georgia. We'll see what happens.
And they actually had a net gain in the gubernatorial races. That's significantly better than either Donald Trump or Barack Obama who both of them had major net losses in the House of Representatives. They both had major net losses in the gubernatorial races. And so you combine it all together and you say, wow, Joe Biden did a lot better than them.
And it's not that just that Joe Biden did a lot better than them. You can go back since 1934. This is the first time since 1934 in which the president's party had a net gain in governorships, less than a net loss of ten House seats, and no net loss in the Senate races.
So this is a great midterm. And, as you sort of look far right and you say, okay, we're now past the midterm, and let's look forward to the next presidential election, look, the fact is we know that presidents, when they run, they pretty much always get renominated. I think the number is something like 96 percent of the time. And when it comes to re-election, they win a little over 60 percent of the time.
So Joe Biden right now, especially given where he's coming off of that last midterm, in my opinion, in my mind based off the stats, is sitting in a not-so-bad position.
BURNETT: All right. So, here's the thing -- Republicans aren't going to make his life easy over these next two years, okay? Now, you get the GOP control of the House. And again, this is where the gavel is a gavel. Once you got the gavel, you control the committees.
BURNETT: So, Hunter Biden's on the table, you know, that's just the tip of the iceberg, but they're going to investigate him. How much will that hurt Biden politically?
ENTEN: I don't think voters care at all. The Pew Research Center asked like a slew of different issues of what's very important to your midterm vote. Investigations into Joe Biden, you could see it up on your screen right now. It ranked 17th.
BURNETT: There were 17 to rank?
ENTEN: It was 17th to rank, 17th. There are many more issues that are much more important.
BURNETT: And let's be clear, anybody who has time to rank 17 things is really passionate.
ENTEN: Maybe they just like the Pew Research Center.
BURNETT: All right. Harry Enten, thank you very much.
ENTEN: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, to CNN investigation, veterans taking action after land given to the V.A. to house veterans was instead leased to an elite private school.
Plus, Jay Leno's doctors revealing new details about the severity of the comedian's burns after a car he was working on in his garage burst into flames.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:51:56]
BURNETT: Tonight, outrage. Nearly 400 acres of land in Los Angeles intended to house thousands of homeless veterans, but the housing was never built. Instead, it's home to a football field and swimming pool for an elite private school.
Now, veterans are fighting to get it back.
Nick Watt is OUTFRONT.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is UCLA's manicured baseball diamond at Brentwood School's playing field.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just it's really kind of disgusting to see.
WATT: Not at all what Christine Barrie's ancestor had in mind when she donated much of this land in the late 1800s.
CHRISTINE BARRIE, RELATIVE DONATED LAND: It wasn't given to anybody but veterans for a home.
MARK ROSENBAUM, DIRECTOR, OPPORTUNITY UNDER LAW PUBLIC COUNSEL: But with Vietnam, the V.A. decided no more. And the neighboring community said, we don't want Vietnam disabled vets out here. And so, the vets were kicked out.
WATT: Four thousand vets once lived here, roughly the same number of homeless veterans in L.A. today.
Late last night, in an L.A. courthouse, a lawsuit was filed demanding that within six months, the V.A. offer housing to at least 3,500 vets on or around this land and not use this land for purposes that are not primarily related to providing housing and health care for veterans with disabilities.
So, no longer a private school's playground.
What do you want to see happening on there?
JOSHUA PETITT, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: A lot. But the base thing is housing for veterans, period.
WATT: Joshua Petitt served in Iraq, lived for a year outside the fence around this land. He's among 14 homeless veteran plaintiffs.
PETITT: (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Build this housing. But, no, they don't want us here. I get -- I mean, I get it, but I don't care. They can send us to war, we can get these problems and you're not going to deal with this? No. No.
WATT: Back in 2016 after a lawsuit and pressure from veterans and advocates, the V.A. promised to house homeless veterans here. When we visited in March, more than 700 new units should have been completed. Not one was completed, zero.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're all studio apartments.
WATT: About 180 were under construction, scheduled to open this fall. They're not open.
ROB REYNOLDS, VETERAN ADVOCATE, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: Now we're being told next year, January, February, timeframe. So, it's all delays.
WATT: Back in 2016, an act of Congress also decreed that lease holders on this land must principally benefit veterans.
REYNOLDS: What's the point of a law if our own federal government is not going to follow it? And the end result of this is people dying on it street. I mean, it's serious.
WATT: The V.A. privately signed a lease amendment with UCLA, allowing a practice field.
ROBERT MCKENRICK, FORMER MASTER PLAN EXEC. DIRECTOR, VA GREATER LOS ANGELES HEALTH CARE: If we were to say no to that, they could have gone to a judge or somewhere.
WATT: The V.A. signed an agreement with an oil drilling company and another ten-year lease with Brentwood School.
Back in March, V.A. brass told me this.
MCKENRICK: So the arrangement with the school is noncompliant. I'm sure if we terminated the lease, they would take us to court over it.
WATT: So, he agrees with one key part of this new lawsuit, Brentwood school athletic facilities should not be on this land.
And now, the V.A. is being taken to court not by the school or UCLA, but by veterans who want a home.
ROSENBAUM: How can you be the home of the brave when so many of the brave are actually homeless? Every administration has treated them as disposable, so then the hardest part of war is coming home.
WATT: Going through what you're going through now, how important is it to have your own place, your own space?
PETITT: It's -- it's everything. Stability housing and everything else falls into place, and veterans deserve it.
WATT (on camera): Now, we reached out to Brentwood School for a comment. We haven't heard back. A spokesperson for UCLA said that their lease complies with the law and an audit proves that.
Important to note it is the V.A. being sued here. And the press secretary of the V.A. said they will not rest until every veteran gets a safe, stable home. They say this year next, they're going to find 800 units across L.A., and three years from now, there will be 700 around here.
But that's not what these plaintiffs want. They want more and they want it sooner -- Erin.
BURNETT: Nick Watt, thank you very much from Los Angeles tonight.
And next details of Jay Leno's condition after he was seriously burned while working on a car in his garage.
BURNETT: And finally tonight, Jay Leno about to under go a second surgery after suffering second degree and possibly some third degree burns to his face. This is according to his doctor. He says the comedian was working underneath his car Saturday when it burst into flames.
His doctor says some of the burns to it comedian's face are a little deeper and more concerning. Doctors do say he's expected to make a full recovery. And we're all hoping that full recovery is speedy.
Thanks so much for joining us.
Anderson starts now.