Return to Transcripts main page

Erin Burnett Outfront

Source: Pence Subpoenaed By Special Counsel Investigating Trump; Biden Calls Out DeSantis, Scott On Their Home Turf; U.S.: Chinese Spy Balloon Capable Of Monitoring U.S. Communications. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired February 09, 2023 - 21:00   ET




ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Pence subpoenaed, the Special Counsel, investigating Trump's efforts, to overturn the election, making a major move, tonight. Will Pence cooperate?

Plus, new reporting into OUTFRONT, this hour. Biden has a new obsession, the President zeroing in on a certain Republican, in Florida. Our Phil Mattingly, with new reporting, tonight.

And Senator John Fetterman, still hospitalized, tonight, after feeling lightheaded. It comes after Fetterman suffered a massive stroke, last year. Fellow stroke survivor, and country music superstar, Randy Travis, is OUTFRONT, tonight, to talk about his road to recovery.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. Welcome to all. This is a special edition of OUTFRONT. And I'm Erin Burnett.

New tonight, the Special Counsel, with a major move, former Vice President Mike Pence has been subpoenaed. The Special Counsel, Jack Smith, calling in Pence as part of his criminal investigation, into Trump's efforts, to overturn the 2020 election.

Now, of course, Pence was there that day and, I don't know, the days before, and after, and on that day, the mob threatened to hang him. Remember that? And he was at the heart of Trump's efforts to overturn the election.



DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope that our great Vice President - our great Vice President comes through for us. He's a great guy.

Of course, if he doesn't come through, I won't like him quite as much!


BURNETT: Of course, Pence did not come through, not before the Insurrection, and not after he was rushed to safety, because an angry mob of Trump supporters, was trying to hunt him down, and threatening to explicitly hang him.



MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Trump said I had the right to overturn the election.

But President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election.

The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. And frankly, there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.


BURNETT: Evan Perez begins our coverage, OUTFRONT live, in Washington.

And Evan, what more are you learning about the subpoena, from the Special Counsel, right? I mean, there've had been a - actually, frankly, a bit quiet, from Jack Smith, for a while. And then, coming out now with a very significant development.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. Now, this is a historic milestone, really, Erin, in this investigation that's been going on for two years, taken over by Jack Smith, back in November.

But we knew that there were negotiations going on, between the Justice Department, between the prosecutors, and Mike Pence's lawyers, to try to work out an agreement, for him to provide testimony.

Obviously, at this point, now he is under a subpoena, and he is expected to show up and provide documents, he's expected to provide testimony, to the Justice Department, as part of this investigation.

He's a very important witness, obviously, because obviously he had all these interactions, with former President Trump.


PEREZ: Both before the election, and in those key weeks after the election.

There was this December meeting that Mike Pence describes in his memoir, between him and Trump, in which Trump first suggests the idea that he's going to challenge the election results.

Of course, there were multiple meetings, at the Oval Office, in early January, before January 6. All of those things that Mike Pence detailed in his book are now fair game, for prosecutors, to ask questions about. And those are things that Mike Pence's team, were fully aware of, before the book was published.

So, you can bet that prosecutors want a lot more. But because Mike Pence is represented by Emmet Flood, who is one of the well-known lawyers, here in Washington, who is a hawk, on this issue, of executive privilege?


PEREZ: We expect that that issue is going to come up.

We'll see whether that means there are certain questions that he will refuse to answer. And then, what the Justice Department does about that? Does it go and continue fighting for additional answers all the way to the Supreme Court?

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

And my panel is here with me now.

So, let's just start where Evan finished. So Ryan Goodman, with you, on the legal side of this. He's bringing up how executive privilege is going to be core to this.

And again, we say, the context is everything. Pence did not testify in front of the January 6 Committee. He did allow Marc Short, and others to. But he didn't. So, he's going to use executive privilege.

But you don't think that that's going to slow this down or work?


There's a U.S. Supreme Court case, United States v. Nixon, it's unanimous decision, in which a sitting president is forced to turn over documents, under a subpoena, in a criminal trial.


And the court says, when it comes to a criminal trial, it's kind of game over. There's no such opinion for Congress. So, that's why Pence was able to maneuver, in that regard.

But here, it's just a done deal. The only question is how quickly it will be decided. But it's already been decided, very quickly, for his senior aides, who also tried to invoke executive privilege, but it was decided against them.

BURNETT: So, and one thing here is we bring in the political part of this. Obviously, you can't totally look in a crystal ball.

But, on timing, do we get enough information, for Jack Smith, and him to make some sort of indictment decision, on criminal liability, for Trump, in January 6, this year, I mean, right? Because, you've got him as the only declared candidate, right now, for the 2024 election.

GOODMAN: So could go by in weeks, I would think. The reason is that all of the judges will know this is a decided outcome. So, the district court judge, this is why it can happen very quickly. Wouldn't happen quickly for - with Congress. But she's already done that very quickly, with Pence's senior aides, and other.

BURNETT: So, you're saying, decision on the executive privilege would be very quickly, not necessarily an indictment?

GOODMAN: No, decision on executive privilege. So, they'll get Pence's testimony.


GOODMAN: That could be very quick, if the Supreme Court maybe doesn't even hear the case, because they're just saying, "This has already been decided by us." And then, this does seem like it's an end stage, for Jack Smith, the fact that he's doing Pence now. So, I do think that that would also mean within months, he might make the decision on indictment.

BURNETT: Which is incredible, I see, because of all the conversation, for at least a while, had been the classified documents. And then, that was open-and-shut on Trump. And then, all the sudden, there's a whole lot of mess that came around that, OK?


BURNETT: Like Biden, and Pence, and everybody else.

The January 6 part of this had been quiet. Now, you have this happening tonight, Ryan saying you could have an indictment decision, here, within months?

CUPP: Two years, after January 6, to me, this feels like what took so long? Mike Pence is so central, to what happened, on that day. As you noted, he was there, before. He was there, that day. He was there, after.

What he knows, what he experienced, in that pressuring of him, to overturn an election, I can't believe we don't know yet, from his own words, outside of his memoir, which was obviously very carefully crafted and protected.


CUPP: So, I feel like it's about time. And I think the important thing is we'll see if Mike Pence can finally break free, from Trump. He's criticized him here and there, for like the Nazi lunch, January 6, wanting to terminate the Constitution.

BURNETT: Or the Kanye West ones, yes--

CUPP: But yes. But he's also said he doesn't know if Trump is fit to be president, again. How do you not know that? He has not been able to quit him, entirely.


CUPP: And insists they're amicable! I'm sorry, when your former boss calls you a pussy, you're not amicable! You were not on his good side, anymore.

BURNETT: I mean, it is amazing, Philip, in this context. I love how the memoir always comes first.


BURNETT: Before we this--


BURNETT: "Oh, executive privilege! Oh, I can't say anything. But I got no problem putting out a memoir."

BUMP: Right, yes.

BURNETT: I mean, we see it again, and again.


BURNETT: We saw with John Bolton. We see it now with Mike Pence.

But to what S.E. was just saying?

BUMP: Right.

BURNETT: Let's just play a bit about what Pence has actually said, as he sort of started more and more to come after Trump on this issue. Here he is.

BUMP: Yes.


PENCE: But frankly, when I saw those images, and when - when I read a tweet that President Trump issued, saying that I lacked courage, in that moment? It angered me greatly.

But to be honest with you, I didn't have time for it. President had decided, in that moment, to be a part of the problem. I decided, and was determined to be part of the solution.


BURNETT: There's more where that came from.

BUMP: Sure. BURNETT: I mean, there's just sort of - maybe it's just the delivery that sort of hard, "It angered me greatly." I mean, he just doesn't - he doesn't emote, OK?

BUMP: Sure, yes.

BURNETT: But how's he going to handle this?

BUMP: Well, I think that one interesting aspect of this is that Mike Pence clearly feels frustrated by the way that Donald Trump reacted on January 6, itself. There's a lot of questions, by the way, about what Pence was privy to, prior to discussions about January 6.


BUMP: The whole fake electoral scheme, all those things, he probably had some contact with that Smith (ph) will know about.


BUMP: But this also, Mike Pence is running for president, not officially. He's running for president. He wants to, you know, he's doing all the things you do when you're running for president.

He wants to stay as much on the good side of Trump supporters as he possibly can. This subpoena makes that a lot easier. It's not him going up, and saying, "Hey, I have all sorts of things to tell you."


BUMP: It's "I was forced to do it," you have that. So, I'm sure he's practiced many times in the mirror how he's going to position this.


BUMP: But this makes it easier for him to try and at least--


BUMP: --try and thread that needle, which he's not going to be able to thread.

BURNETT: Which, to that point, though, I mean, it is amazing. People might say this, "Pence wants to stay on the good side of Trump supporters."

BUMP: Right.

BURNETT: What planet is he on?

ALLISON: Well, he has to, if he expects to get through the Republican Party. He has to be able to carve off some of those Trump supporters, in order to beat him, or beat whoever else becomes in the field.

I was thinking about this, and I was wondering, would it have been better for this to come sooner? I wonder also, why it took so long. CUPP: Yes.


ALLISON: But politically, this is actually a great moment. He's very clearly trying to be the savior of democracy. "I was the one who had to get it done." And so this timing, again, the Justice Department is requiring him to do this.

BUMP: Yes.


ALLISON: And so, now he can come, do what his legal obligation is, and then come out and say, "And this is why I still have Trump policies, but I did what the Justice Department needed me to do, and now I'm running for President, because I saved democracy."

BURNETT: Well, OK, so that all makes sense. Now, to that point, though, Ryan, does he - now that he's been subpoenaed, he can't - I mean, I guess he could just be like, "OK, it's finally my time. I'm just going to waltz on in there."


BURNETT: How much resistance, as tepid as it may be, can you put up?

GOODMAN: Right. It's difficult to know, because he has to just give in the appearance of resistance. But he also can say, at any point, he really could say, "Look, I'm not going to fight this, legally, because all my lawyers have told me, and I have one of the best executive privilege experts in the country."

BURNETT: Right, Emmet Flood.

GOODMAN: "This is unwinnable. So, I'm compelled to give my testimony."

BURNETT: And so, S.E., what do you think the reaction is, in Trump- World right, to this?

CUPP: Well, listen?

BURNETT: They were hoping this day would not come. It's been two years, it hadn't come.

CUPP: Yes.

BURNETT: You know, they could maybe think maybe it wasn't going to come.

CUPP: Right. Well, listen, everyone here is right. But I'm sure Mike Pence wants to stay on Trump's good side, Trump supporters' good side. But he'd have to be there in the first place. He's not on the good side of any of those people.

BURNETT: Right. CUPP: Those people wanted to hang him. He's not winning them back.

And worse, to make matters worse, for Mike Pence, he's not winning the other side of the Republican point.


CUPP: The Never-Trumpers, who thought that Mike Pence kind of sold- out.


CUPP: He was a deficit hawk, who went into the White House, and saw the deficit and debt explode. He jettisoned all the things that people, like me, liked about him, to carry Trump's water.


CUPP: So, there's no natural Mike Pence constituents to please. He should go in there, tell the truth, let the chips fall where they may.

BURNETT: Pick a lane.

All right, thank you all very much, and everyone staying with me.

Next, new reporting, from the White House, you're going to hear it first OUTFRONT. The urgent question, President Biden, asked his senior aides, this morning, as he boarded Marine One, for Florida. Very telling about his plans. Our Phil Mattingly is next, with that reporting.

Plus, Elon Musk's SpaceX, tonight, blocking Ukrainian forces, from using the critical Starlink technology, with drones against the Russians. Why?

And a new update, on the health, of Senator John Fetterman, who's been hospitalized, again, after suffering a stroke, months ago. He is still in the hospital, tonight.

Stroke survivor, and country music superstar, Randy Travis, and his wife, are OUTFRONT, to talk about the long road to recovery.



Last night, I dug your picture out from my old dresser drawer I set it on the table and I talked to it 'til four. I read some old love letters right up 'til the break of dawn.




BURNETT: All right, new tonight, Biden calling out Florida's governor, and possible 2024 rival, the Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Over 1.1 million people, in Florida, would be eligible for Medicaid, if Governor DeSantis just said, "I agree to expand it."

It's not - this - this isn't - this isn't calculus.


BURNETT: But it is another Republican, in Florida, Senator Rick Scott, who Biden is really zeroing in on.


BIDEN: The very idea that Senator from Florida wants to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every five years, I find to be somewhat outrageous, so outrageous that you might not even believe it.


BURNETT: All right, so let's go right to Phil Mattingly, at the White House.

So Phil, obviously, he's referring to Scott's proposal that every federal program is up for renewal, for five years, and he didn't put exceptions to it. So, that means Social Security.

You have new reporting on just how intensely President Biden is focused, not on DeSantis, actually, but on Scott?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And mostly on the policy, on the policy that Scott put on the table, which when Rick Scott, the Senator from Florida, put this on the table, early last year, almost immediately, according to advisers, the President locked into it, and saw it, in the words of one adviser, as a political goldmine, if only Democrats could coalesce behind the importance of battling against that plan.

If you want to know just how much the President cares about trying to get the details, right here? As he was boarding Marine One, before his trip, down to Florida, today, which I joined him on, he stopped, and he looked at one of his advisers, and said, "Do we have copies of the Scott plan, at the event?" The adviser said, "Yes, we do."

And what he's referring to is you've seen him, over the course of the last few days, he did it again today, holding up a two-page pamphlet--


MATTINGLY: --of details, that specific provision of Senator Scott's Rescue plan for America that he introduced last year.

And, in that plan, he wanted it on every single seat of the audience, at the event, today. Now, keep in mind, this is an audience that is a partisan audience. They are Democrats. They are Biden supporters. And yet, he thinks the words themselves are so critical that he wanted it out there.

And this is not a new thing. One adviser told me that last summer, late last summer, going into the midterm elections, he was driving this idea of "You need to post these words, you need to get these words, into paper copies that you can hand to people," because when they read the words, they will recognize that in his view, this is an extreme issue.

Extreme is obviously something that President focused on, throughout the midterm election campaign.


MATTINGLY: And will likely in a reelection campaign in 2024.

But you saw it again today. And I think what it underscores more than anything else is one, the recognition of the resonance of this issue. You saw how much he played up, during the State of the Union address, but also what this means, going forward. He will be focused on this, going forward. He'll be talking about this, going forward.

A reelection campaign will focus on this message as well. As one adviser said?


MATTINGLY: "He's letting them hang themselves with their own words." That is certainly the case with the pamphlet, and what you've seen the President say, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Phil Mattingly, thank you very much.

All right, all back with me.

Harry Enten with me now, obviously watching, the, numbers in the polls.

So actually, it's pretty amazing that he would say that that detail, and the fact that you want those, in your church, right? Your people are coming.


BURNETT: You don't just want them to believe. You want them to evangelize.

ALLISON: That's right. He brought the receipts.


ALLISON: And he brought it for everyone sitting in the crowd.

BURNETT: Yes, yes. ALLISON: And he wants people to take photos of the receipts, and post it on social media.


ALLISON: So that people can know what Rick Scott proposed? And by Rick Scott, he is assigning him, and connecting him to the Republican Party.

And it's smart, because we are in a moment where the truth must, you know, the truth will set you free, like we need to know where these people are standing, on these important issues.

And the fact that he was in Florida, and did it, and didn't - I mean, he mentioned DeSantis.

But he went into Rick Scott's backyard, and said, "I'll show you what you said. Oh, you wanted to boo at me, on Tuesday night? Well, let me bring you what was actually in the plan. Now what do you have to say?"

BURNETT: Right. Of course, the plan does not say, "Asterisk, I give an exception for Social Security." It doesn't.


BURNETT: There's no asterisk in there.

So Harry, I suppose, I guess, we can all guess where people stand on cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

ALLISON: In Florida?


BURNETT: What are the numbers?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Oh my goodness gracious! We have a poll for you that will show you how many Americans support cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It's less than 10 percent. It's 8 percent! 79 percent oppose!

BURNETT: Give me their names. Give me their names. I want to know who they are.

ENTEN: Give me their names! Exactly! I mean, you find 8 percent supporting anything, that smaller percentage? I think that's basically equal to the George Santos' favorite rating in his own district, at this particular point. So, that's basically on the same level.

And I believe 10 percent of Americans believe we faked the moon landing. So, this is less popular than a wild conspiracy theory.

BURNETT: So, how far can he take this, S.E.?

CUPP: Oh, I mean, I think he's hoping for a very long news cycle on this. And let me tell you, the biggest trick he's pulling off here? BURNETT: Yes.

CUPP: Is that he is forcing Republicans to talk about policy.


CUPP: It's not what they want to do. They want to talk about cultural wars.


CUPP: They want to talk about Wokeism.

BURNETT: Especially DeSantis, right?


CUPP: Especially DeSantis.


CUPP: And occasionally creates policies to solve invisible imaginary problems. But he does bring policies to the table.

Other folks, like the Marjorie Taylor Greenes, and the Lauren Boeberts, they're not here to govern. They're here to get attention, and do grievance politics, and politics of revenge.

Biden is forcing Republicans to talk about policy. It's not where they win. It's where Democrats win. So, it's a really, I mean, it's a masterful thing. And if I were him, if I were Democrats, I would use this as a lesson going, for the next year and a half. Make Republicans talk about policies, because they don't want to. They want to talk about Mr. Potato Head.

BURNETT: OK. So, can - that so Nancy Mace - enter Nancy Mace, right?

CUPP: Yes.

BURNETT: The Republican congresswoman, tight reelection race, right? She wins, Philip. She comes out with the win, last night, Press Club dinner. And wow, did she bring it? OK, so I get that it's supposed to be jokes. But these are the kinds of jokes where it's like, "Oh, just kidding!"

BUMP: Yes.

BURNETT: OK, here she is.

Here she is.


REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Did you watch McCarthy during the Speaker's vote? I know many of you were in the halls of Congress, during that vote. I haven't seen someone assume that many positions, to appease the crazy Republicans, since Stormy Daniels.

We all knew that Matt Gaetz would never let the vote get to 18.

I do have a message, for Matt, this evening. He really, really wanted to be here, tonight, but he couldn't find a babysitter.

I mean, really like who lies about being a - about playing college volleyball, like who does that?


MACE: If you're going to lie, at least make it about something big, like you actually won the 2020 presidential election!


MACE: Recently, there's been a lot of talk about anti-Semitism. But since Marjorie Taylor Greene started behaving, the late - the rate of Jewish space laser attacks is now zero.

I know everyone thinks Republicans aren't funny. But if you get a bunch of us together, we can be a real riot.


BUMP: Yes!

ALLISON: Who needs Democrats!

BUMP: Yes, I mean, honestly, what I - it reminds me when Chris Sununu was doing something similar, and he referred to Trump, as crazy. And now, he tries to sort of blow it off, as "Well I was just making jokes." But yes, there is definitely an edge to that.

Nancy Macy has gone back and forth with her own caucus, in the past. I mean, there are certainly issues on--

BURNETT: Well, Trump came out against her too.

BUMP: Exactly.

BURNETT: I mean, she's - has gone back and forth. But he did come out against her. She's, I mean, seems like--

BUMP: Right.

BURNETT: --she's picking a lane.

BUMP: Yes, right, no, absolutely. And she has long been opposed to people, like Matt Gaetz. I mean, she's had him in her sights for long.

It's not surprising. Given the opportunity to have the cover of "Oh, this is just jokes," she went for it.

BURNETT: I liked the look on your face.

CUPP: Oh, I loved it. I've been following Nancy Mace, for a little bit.

This Nancy Mace, I can get behind! I mean, calling it like it is, and not being afraid of ticking off Trump, and ticking off the rowdy, unruly wing of the Republican Party, is important. It really is important to call this stuff out, even as jokes.

BURNETT: All right, so that's - we've got Nancy Mace. Now the overall, as the field starts to shape up here, and we were just talking a moment ago, that Pence clearly wants to run.


BURNETT: That's his intended plan, right?

Trump is the only announced candidate.

Biden clearly wants to run, and he's got some wind behind his sails, right now. So, he's in Florida. If it is a Biden versus DeSantis, if it ends up there? And I mean I'm going about 50 steps ahead.


BURNETT: What does that look like?

ENTEN: I mean, look, DeSantis actually leads Biden (ph) in the polls, right now.

But the fact, the reason why he's going after DeSantis is if you look at the Republican primary polls, what you see is it's basically Donald Trump. It's Ron DeSantis. And it's everybody else. I mean, Mike Pence is at 2 percent of polling, and Nikki Haley at 1 percent, DeSantis and Trump at 33 percent.

And if you match DeSantis up against Trump, individually, what you see is DeSantis is leading, get this, 53 percent to 40 percent.

So, the idea that it's definitely going to be Donald Trump as a fantasy, it's probably going to be either Joe Biden against Donald Trump, or against Ron DeSantis, if Biden decides to run. But at this particular point?


ENTEN: Who knows?

BURNETT: Well, and Philip that also shows, when you look at that? And again, it's very early.

BUMP: Right.

BURNETT: But there's been this sort of traditional wisdom that "Oh, Donald Trump has about a third of the GOP," just his base, right?

BUMP: Yes.

[21:25:00] BURNETT: Now, whatever it is, maybe it's less than that. But if you give him that, then you still have that other third, which is theoretically getting way up into the moderate republican part--

BUMP: Right.

BURNETT: that DeSantis has?

BUMP: Yes. I mean the crosstabs of the Monmouth poll really fascinating in terms of who's supporting who. You have Independent- leaners who are backing Ron DeSantis very heavily over Donald Trump. You have Donald Trump's core base, older people, people without college degrees, they're still there.

But by a fairly narrow margin, even evangelicals prefer DeSantis to Trump, in that poll, which is bad news, for Donald Trump, especially given the point that Harry - I mean, when you look at the change, DeSantis gains 20 points, when it's one-on-one, with Trump only getting seven (ph).

BURNETT: Right, yes, the Venn diagram, he picks up a lot. The other Venn diagram (ph) going the other way, not as much.

BUMP: That's right.

BURNETT: OK, thank you all so very much.

And next, more tanks, and others, promised to come to Ukraine, but not getting there, very quickly. You're going to see what the troops are training with, right now. It is a story, you'll see first OUTFRONT from the ground.

And later, Senator John Fetterman, still in the hospital, tonight, it comes after Fetterman suffered a stroke, last year.

Fellow stroke survivor, and country music legend, Randy Travis, is OUTFRONT, with his story, an inspirational road to recovery.



So, find a drink or find the road I'm about to drop a needle on some ole No-Show You're gonna want an ashtray and a bottle.



BURNETT: The former Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, today, spoke out, saying that Russia is going to increase its production of battle tanks. And they're going to do it because of the U.S. and Germany is sending their new top-of-the-line tanks to Ukraine.

Now, it comes as the Ukrainian president, Zelenskyy, is asking the E.U., to provide more modern tanks, longer-range missiles and fighter jets.

Here's CNN Sam Kiley. He's got a closer look, at the Ukrainian arms, right now, on the front lines. Take a look at this. It is a story, you'll see first OUTFRONT.




SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Carrying weapons, designed 75 years ago, these Ukrainians are grateful that they're training with an American vehicle, even if it's from another age.

They're a mixture of combat veterans, and relatively new recruits, but all have been fighting in Ukraine's eastern front, with Russia, in the cauldrons of Bakhmut, and Soledar.

Their Commander-in-Chief, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has begged the West, for modern NATO-standard equipment. And he's been given some modern weapons, but not the strategic weapons, like long-range missiles, and jets that he says he needs.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's war is expected to intensify. And Ukrainians make do with old Soviet weapons, and workhorse hand-me-downs, like these M113s, aluminum troop carriers, which the U.S. Army started using, in 1960. About 400 have been given to Ukraine by the U.S. and others.

This has been patched up, since it took a direct hit, in Bakhmut, where the top gunner was killed.


KILEY (voice-over): "To say that it's old, well, it looks old. But it just looks battered. But it does the job a 100 percent," he tells me.

Ukraine has been given better air defenses, better artillery, better missile systems than it had before. But Zelenskyy said that's not enough in any way. It's not the best equipment, often, not even second-best.

KILEY (on camera): The Ukrainian military are keen to stress that they're really, really grateful for all and any help that they're given. These armored personnel carriers, from America, are better than some of what they started the war with. And they're an important part of the battlefield replacement.

They've been here since the summer. This one already needs a new engine.

KILEY (voice-over): Ukraine captures a lot of what it needs, from Russia. It's desperately cannibalizing ancient equipment, for parts, like a 20th-Century nation under siege, not a nation that's backed by America, and by NATO allies. Making do is what Ukraine has done. Privately, though, commanders here make it clear that it's going to take more than an iron will and hand- me-down weapons for them to win this war.


BURNETT: Sam, amazing when you see that you were by that armored personnel carrier that needs a new engine.

It does seem that one thing that's coming out of President Zelenskyy's talks is that more E.U. leaders are becoming open to the idea of sending fighter jets, right? The British Prime Minister, with the fighter jet helmet on, next to Zelenskyy, was a pretty clear message.

So, what's changed?

KILEY: Well, I think what is happening? And this has been the case, throughout this war, and indeed, the previous war. If you go back to 2014, when Ukraine was denied any kind of lethal aid, now it was the United Kingdom that came forward, in the end, many years later, with lethal aid.

And then, during this, we're now 11 months, nearly 12 months into this war, Erin, incrementally, NATO and other Western allies of Ukraine have been helping out. But they've been very anxious about it, worried about a nuclear threat, coming from Russia.

And I think, really, the tipping point has been the realization that war in Europe, as President Zelenskyy has been saying, is ongoing, right now. And it could spread and get worse, if Russia isn't stopped. So now, we've got the Poles, the Dutch, the British, all hinting, the French not ruling it out, all hinting that they might be prepared to send those fighter jets that he so desperately needs, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Sam Kiley, thank you so much, on the ground, in eastern Ukraine, along those front lines.

And I want to go now to retired Army Lieutenant General, Mark Hertling.

So General, as these announcements come, of more weaponry, going into Ukraine, right, the Leopard tanks, the U.S. tanks, the Abrams tanks, Russia is responding, right? Medvedev coming out, and saying, Russia is going to increase its production of battle tanks, coming out with great fanfare to say so.

But we know about the sanctions. We know about the shortages, in materials, and metals, and things needed to build those tanks. Does Russia really have the capability, to change the numbers on the ground, in terms of tanks?

LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING (RET.), FORMER ARMY COMMANDING GENERAL, EUROPE AND SEVENTH ARMY, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I don't believe they do, Erin. It would be a real push for them to do it.

The Russian tank factories are estimated to produce about 200 a year. They're very cheap tanks. They're not very good. They don't compare well to Western tanks. But even if they were to produce those 200 tanks a year, and I'm suspect of that, they don't have the crews to fill them. They've been having all kinds of problems with mobilization.

Now, what we're in, right now, in this conflict, in this phase, it's a rush between Russian mobilization of soldiers, as many as they can get, on the battlefield, and the U.S. providing the kinds of equipment that Ukraine needs, to fight them.


The winter, the rest of the winter, probably into late winter, is going to be tough. In the spring, I think you're going to see the pickup, of the Ukrainian forces, and the capability, of projecting counter-offenses, and offensive operations.

BURNETT: And yet, U.S. and German officials say those tanks, the Leopard, the Abrams, aren't going to come for another few months. Obviously, I know some of the training's starting now. But you got to train multiple people per tank, months of that. The tanks won't come for months.

Why is it taking so long, even just on the delivery front?

HERTLING: Yes, Erin, what I'd like to do is balance. Sam's report was a very good one. That M113 that he was talking about is what the U.S. Army calls a combat taxi. He's right. We have given about 400 of those.

But when you think about the other things, $30 billion that the U.S. has provided in aid to Ukraine?


HERTLING: That's about six times as much as Ukraine used, in their defense budget alone, and it's about a third, of what Russia's defense budget is.

But also, you have to include in that 31 Abrams tanks, 45 T-72 tanks, 109 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers, 250 Security vehicles, over 1,700 Humvee, 38 HIMARS, the list goes on and on.

So, anyone that's saying that the West is slow-rolling this, doesn't have a long list of the things that have been provided--

BURNETT: That they have done. And--

HERTLING: --in that $30 billion package.

BURNETT: Before you go, I want to ask you one other crucial thing. And that this is that we're reporting tonight that the President of SpaceX, which of course was founded by Elon Musk, says it is now going to prevent Ukrainian soldiers, from fully using that Starlink satellite service. HERTLING: Yes.

BURNETT: Which, you know, I was talking to adviser, to President Zelenskyy, the other day. I mean, they are very open. This has been the key to the war for them, right? They have relied on this.

What do you say, to Elon Musk, right now?

HERTLING: I think it's despicable, Erin. This is the second time Mr. Musk has threatened the restriction or the constraints on the use of the Starlink. And it is critical for Ukraine combat opportunities, not only for guided ammunition, from artillery pieces, and HIMARS, but also the guiding of their drone capability.

Ukraine's citizens are getting crushed, by Russian artillery, and Russian missiles. And they have to fire back. To strip away the capability, of giving the Ukrainian force, just a precise and precision weapons is, just despicable, on my part. If Mr. Musk is doing that he's a horrible human being, in my opinion.

BURNETT: General Hertling, thank you very much.

HERTLING: Pleasure, and thank you.

BURNETT: All right. And next, new images from the China spy balloon, showing five antennas, huge solar panels, so that China could listen to U.S. communications, pinpoint exactly where they were coming from. We're going to go live to Beijing, this hour.

And Senator John Fetterman, we can tell you, is now remaining hospitalized, tonight. He had felt lightheaded, after he suffered a stroke, last year.

Fellow stroke survivor, Randy Travis, country music legend, has a message, along with his wife, for others battling this.



I'm gonna love you forever and ever, forever and ever, amen.




BURNETT: Tonight, Senator John Fetterman, still in the hospital, undergoing tests, after a health scare.

The Senator's spokesperson says he just received the results of an MRI, showing he did not have another stroke. Fetterman was taken to the hospital, yesterday. He said he felt lightheaded. It has been just nine months, since he suffered a stroke, in the middle of his 2022 campaign. But for those, who have survived a stroke, like country music superstar, seven-time Grammy winner, Randy Travis, awareness is everything.

Travis suffered a near-fatal stroke in 2013. He was rushed to the emergency room. He was complaining of congestion. He then suffered a massive stroke that affected the whole left part of his brain. At one point, his heart completely stopped. Doctors rushed to put him on life support, and into an induced coma. He had a 1 percent chance of survival, 1 percent. But he beat the odds.

OUTFRONT now, Randy Travis, and his wife, Mary.

Now, Randy, I know it will be 10 years, this summer, since you suffered your stroke. And it's a miracle. You're here with us today. Every day has been part of your recovery.

How are you feeling now?


MARY TRAVIS, RANDY TRAVIS' WIFE: Yes, he feels good. He has a - he has a joy in his heart. And he keeps a smile on his face. And we do every day, understand how blessed we are to still be here.


M. TRAVIS: We thank God every day for being here, and for all the blessings that get in our way each day. So just - he's just been a joy to be with, and to walk through this with.


BURNETT: And I know that you, obviously Randy, you hear and you think, and it's verbally processing that can be so difficult.

And Mary, you've been there, by Randy's side, through this entire road to recovery, and that at such a crucial part. It's incredible, when we see the video that you shared with us, of Randy, in 2013, when this started, compared to obviously where you are now.

I know the verbal part, for you, Randy, is still such a challenge.

We're having this conversation, Mary. You're helping with some of the talking. What has been the hardest part of the recovery?

M. TRAVIS: I think the hardest part of the recovery is understanding what the new you is, what the new - and I hate the cliche, the new normal, because there is no normal.

But the aphasia, the aftermath, 85 percent of the people in the world, don't know what, aphasia is, which is the inability to speak.


M. TRAVIS: The pathways between the brain and the mouth has been severed. That's a hard thing to deal with, especially when you're Randy Travis--


M. TRAVIS: --who spoke to the world, through his song.

The other thing is the rehab that you go through, after stroke. It's extremely grueling, and you just have to stick to it. And you're not ever defeated until you quit. So, you just have to keep doing it day- in and day-out, and understanding that life is the best therapy that we found.



M. TRAVIS: It was just getting back to doing as many things as you did before, maybe in a different way, but continuing to move forward.

BURNETT: I know you all you go to dinner with friends, and you do all these things. And, as you say, the things you did before, but in a different way.

M. TRAVIS: Right.

BURNETT: And Randy, for you, though, so much of what you were and who you were, was public, or at least we had a view of you performing, right? You're singing, as Mary says, right, you spoke to the world through your song.


BURNETT: And this is you just a few weeks before your stroke. You were on the road that summer. You were - some of your last stops were Detroit and Chicago. And even and you look healthy, completely healthy.

I know you then started experiencing some congestion.



BURNETT: You were rushed to the hospital in critical condition. And then they had you in an induced coma, for 72 hours. You went through the surgery, to reduce the pressure on your brain, all of this.

Mary, what should people know about how suddenly this can happen?

M. TRAVIS: Well, it can happen overnight.

We, like you said, he was working out two days before we went to the hospital, I mean, the day before we went to the hospital. The day that we went to the hospital, we had had an eight-hour meeting. And he just said, "I don't feel good." And that was unusual for Randy. But what we were experiencing - what we were experiencing was the viral cardiomyopathy that had hit the heart. It had shut down - the heart was starting to shut down because it was being stressed by the lungs filling up.

So, as far as the stroke symptoms that anyone would normally see, which is that the FAST, you see the acronym FAST, for face drooping, arm weakness, speech slurred, and then of course time being the most critical issue. But we didn't experience that because he was in a coma, at the time of his stroke, probably created from when he flat- lined. And they resuscitated him, and they believe that's when the clot was down that created the stroke.

So, ours was the viral cardiomyopathy that started the walls start to tumble down. And after that, it was then the stroke. And one thing led to another. So, it happened quickly.

BURNETT: Very quickly.

M. TRAVIS: It was pretty much an overnight thing for us.

BURNETT: And Randy, you did come back to the stage, in 2016, after your stroke, and you actually able to sing "Amazing Grace," you were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.


BURNETT: And it's got to bring a lot of joy, to so many, and inspiration, to so many, to see you able to do that. I know the support of so many, who you don't even know, but who think - feel like they know you must, mean a lot to you, after all of this.

R. TRAVIS: Yes, well, good.

BURNETT: Mary, what is your message to other stroke survivors on the road to recovery?

M. TRAVIS: Don't give up. Don't ever stop. Don't ever stop believing that - we would go through plateaus of recovery. And then we think "OK, that's it." Well, then the next thing you know, there was another little thing, and I always call them giant baby steps. Because it would be something else that would go "OK, well, that was enough to keep us going again."


M. TRAVIS: And just don't ever stop, and don't lose hope. And don't lose your joy in life. And just remain positive, and surround yourself with good and positive and faithful people that bring you joy.


M. TRAVIS: And I think that's the best medicine that there is, is just living life. I mean, none of us are given a tomorrow. And so, just to be here, is our mulligan in life.


M. TRAVIS: And we're just going to keep on, we're just going to keep shooting for the stars.

BURNETT: Well a message for everyone.

M. TRAVIS: So, I suggest that for everybody.

BURNETT: For all of us, yes, for all of us.


BURNETT: Well, thank you both so very much.


BURNETT: Mary And Randy Travis, thank you.

R. TRAVIS: Thank you.

M. TRAVIS: Thank you, Erin, for having us. God bless.

BURNETT: Well, next, the first evidence, from the spy balloon, in the hands of the FBI, tonight, as the Biden administration reveals what they have already learned, it was capable of doing. That's next.



BURNETT: CNN learning tonight, the Chinese spy balloon, shot down by the United States, was equipped with large solar panels, and multiple antennas that made it capable of listening to U.S. communications, and also geo-locating the exact specific point of the communications.

Our Selina Wang is OUTFRONT, in Beijing, tonight.

And Selina, they're getting a lot of details now, precise details. They're getting more off the floor of the ocean. And they're putting it all out there.

So, the Chinese government sort of has to respond, in some way, it would seem. What is their response to these developments?

SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin. We've really seen Chinese propaganda, now take a new strategy, which is to point the finger, the other way, and deflect.

The language has gotten a lot more aggressive as well, since the U.S. shot down the balloon. They went initially from expressing regret, to now being indignant, and blaming Democrats and Republicans, for blowing this incident, out of proportion, for political capital, to look tough on China.

For example, this was a quote, from the "Global Times." This is a nationalist state tabloid. It reads, quote, "The U.S. is the most unstable factor in international security. It is ridiculous for such a country to use a civil balloon to play up the "China threat" to the world, and its attempt to confuse the public is unlikely to succeed."

Now, we are also, Erin, seeing this contrast, between what Beijing and Washington are claiming, only getting starker. You've got China, still doubling down on its claim that this was a civilian weather balloon that took an unplanned course, out of their control.

Meanwhile, from the U.S., as you say, we've gotten a lot more details, from officials, about how this was a spy balloon, capable of monitoring U.S. communications, and how it's part of a fleet of balloons that's flown over more than 40 countries, across five continents.


We've also learned from the Pentagon that China had refused a conversation, with U.S. Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, following the downing of the balloon. China's Defense Ministry now saying they've rejected that because the conditions were not right, given the U.S.'s response - irresponsible approach.

But look, the Chinese and U.S. leadership, they both got domestic audiences to cater to. Neither side wants to look weak. Still unclear how this will impact long-term U.S.-China relations.

BURNETT: Yes. Amazing of this, Selina, because you talk about a fleet, right? And now, they're looking at this balloon. They can tell there were a lot of other balloons prior to it that flew over the U.S. And it seems to me, U.S. Intelligence that they're very sure that Chinese President Xi Jinping is very involved with this program, but may not be, we're understanding, from a classified briefing, have been aware of this specific balloon.

WANG: Yes.

And not only that Xi wasn't aware of this specific balloon, but also that the senior leadership, of the People's Liberation Army, and the Communist Party, were also not aware.

The officials, from the U.S. side, also believe that the Chinese side themselves, are still trying to figure out how all of this happened.

So, it really shows that this could have been really from a lack of communication, internally, which some experts have been telling me, from the start, Erin.

BURNETT: Yes, which of course doesn't look good, for Xi Jinping, either.

Thank you very much. Appreciate it, Selina.

And thanks so much to all of you, for joining us.

"CNN TONIGHT" with Alisyn Camerota, is next.