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Erin Burnett Outfront

Biden, Putin Hold Dueling Speeches As Russia Fails To Make Big Gains; Polish President On Biden's Secret Trip To War Zone In Ukraine; Foreperson In Georgia Trump Probe: Jury Recommended Multiple Indictments; Santos Names New Campaign Treasurer Amid Questions About Finances. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 21, 2023 - 19:00   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Biden and Putin clash in dueling speeches. The Russian president upping the fear factor with new nuclear saber-rattling. But will he really do it?

Plus, Poland's President Duda speaks exclusively to CNN revealing what Biden's secret trip into Ukraine means for the war.

And the foreperson of the Georgia grand jury investigating Trump's actions after the 2020 election is speaking out tonight. Who could be indicted, what was it like to be in that room, and what does it mean for Donald Trump? She's our guest, tonight.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan, in for Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, preparing for more war. That is what NATO says Putin is doing tonight. But while Putin makes slight gains in Eastern Ukraine, his military is still suffering heavy losses. You can see -- we're going to show you in this new video into OUTFRONT, this is a night vision recording on an attack by Ukraine on Russian troops in Eastern Ukraine. According to Ukrainian forces, the Russian convoy unexpectedly moved in on the Ukrainian forces, and Ukraine responded.

We're going to show you the aftermath from the air, complete destruction. The turret of a combat vehicle just torn off. Then, we'll show you from the ground, Russian fighting vehicles blown to pieces, really.

This is only one part of the problem facing Putin's forces tonight. A growing divide also between Putin's official army and his private Wagner forces also impacting the fight.

Today, the Wagner chief is accusing Russia's defense ministry of, quote, treason.


YEVGENY PRIGOZHIN, WAGNER CHIEF (through translator): The chief of the general staff and the minister of defense are handing out commands right and left. That the Wagner PMC should not receive ammunition. They're also not helping with air transport.

There is direct opposition. This can be equated to high treason.


BOLDUAN: All of this as Putin and Biden both delivered major addresses today in advance of the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Biden declaring in no uncertain terms the commitment of the U.S. and NATO to help Ukraine. While Putin rattles his nuclear saber.

Biden spoke in Poland just hours after his historic visit to Kyiv.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One year ago, the world was bracing for the fall of Kyiv. Well, I've just come from a visit to Kyiv, and I can report Kyiv stands strong.


Kyiv stands proud. It stands tall. And, most important, it stands free.

President Putin's crave and lust for land and power will fail, and the Ukrainian people's love for their country will prevail. Democracy and the world will stand guard over freedom today, tomorrow, and forever.


BOLDUAN: But Putin isn't going to be giving up any time soon. Tonight he is getting support from one of his biggest and most powerful allies, China. China's top diplomat arriving in Moscow today tomorrow meetings, and according to "The Wall Street Journal", Chinese President Xi Jinping is now planning to meet with Putin in Moscow in the coming months.

We've got all of the angles covered for you tonight.

Let's start with Phil Mattingly. He's in Warsaw, that's where Biden spoke today, of course.

Phil, how closely was Biden watching Putin?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Kate, when you talk to U.S. officials, they make clear this speech was not a focal point of the president's day. Nor did it drive major edits or changes to the address he gave just a few hours later in Warsaw. Their view of President Biden's goal with the remarks today -- remarks that he had been planning and telling advisers he wanted to make for several months was to make a larger argument, paint a broader picture of the war that's ongoing, and the kind of stakes at hand for Western democracies, not just Russia, not just Ukraine.

However, the president was explicit in his rebuke of president Putin mentioning his name ten separate times attempting to put to rest the very argument president Putin made for why Russia invaded in his remarks today but also over the course of the last 11 months. That was intentional and something White House officials made clear the president wanted to do in an explicit manner.

But the broader goal of the speech laying out the dynamics here, underscored something that was very clear, and U.S. officials have seen in those hour and 45 minute remarks from Putin today, that there is no end game any time soon. There is no indication whatsoever that president Putin is going to decelerate an effort that has only been expanding over the course of the last several months. And that more than anything else has driven trying to underscore that for all of the progress, all of the ability to defend Ukraine and keep the coalition together over the course of the 11 months, there is a long and difficult path ahead, and this fight is about more than just Ukraine and Russia, something the president wanted to get across.

It's worth noting our colleagues Oren Liebermann and Natasha Bertrand are reporting that Russia engaged in an intercontinental ballistic missile test yesterday while President Biden was in Kyiv, according to sources, that test, U.S. officials believe, failed. It was not considered an anomaly. Nor was it considered an escalation. Something that Russia has tested before in the past. But it was expected to have been mentioned in President Putin's remarks earlier today. Had it been successful, you'll notice it was absent from those remarks. They believe it failed, Kate.

BOLDUAN: So interesting. And as Phil mentioned, Biden mentioned Putin by name ten names, Putin did not mention Biden once in his lengthy address in Moscow.

Matthew Chance is OUTFRONT.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With a fanfare, the Russian President takes to the stage for a long- awaited state of the nation address. But nearly a year since his invasion of Ukraine, no sign of remorse or regret, only bitterness towards the West.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The responsibility for fueling the Ukrainian conflict for its escalation, for the number of victims lies completely with western elites and, of course, with the current Kyiv regime for whom the Ukrainian people are essentially strangers.

CHANCE: Blaming others, the Kremlin tries to explain why its special military operation, meant to last just days or weeks, is almost in its second year, with no end in sight. Across Russia, there were even public screenings of the speech to ensure the Kremlin message is heard.

That military setbacks, failures, and bloodshed are all part of a conspiracy to bring Russia to its knees.

PUTIN: The Western elites do not conceal their goals. As they say, it's a direct quote to bring Russia a strategic defeat. What does that mean for us? It means to end us, once and for all. We understand it exactly, and we'll react to it accordingly, because this is about the very existence of our country.

CHANCE: It doesn't feel that way in Ukraine where troops are dying on bleak battlefields, defending grim front lines against the Russian foe. Ukrainian officials pouring scorn on Putin's remarks as irrelevant and confused.

There's growing criticism in Russia, too. As new images emerge of more coffins, reportedly from the front lines, one prominent Russian military blogger complained that Putin held back from officially declaring war. Not a word about failures and defeats, he writes. There's no point listening any further.

But there was one major new announcement, one escalation. To applause, Putin suspending participation in Moscow's last remaining nuclear arms treaty with the United States, and a warning that Russia may restart nuclear tests.

PUTIN: Of course, we will not do it first, but if the U.S. conducts its tests, we will do it as well. Nobody should have dangerous illusions that global strategic parity can be broken.

CHANCE: No illusion either when it comes to Russia's standoff with the West that Kremlin is even thinking about backing down.


CHANCE: Well, Kate, after hearing Putin's uncompromising speech, a source close to the Ukrainian president told me tonight that the only way there's ever going to be peace talks is if there are more Ukrainian victories on the battlefields. The sooner Ukraine gets the weapons it needs, the source told me, the sooner this war can come to an end.

BOLDUAN: And that struggle on all fronts continues. Matthew, thank you very much.

And OUTFRONT now, Boris Bondarev. He was a Russian diplomat for 20 years and resigned in protest over Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Thank you for being here.

Boris, Putin saying today that he's suspending this nuclear arms control treaty with the United States. Why do you think he chose to do this now?

BORIS BONDAREV, FORMER RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT: Well, I think it's another way of this nuclear saber-rattling which he has been doing since the beginning of this war. I think maybe he finds that his usual threats of using nuclear weapons are no longer treated with this fear and anxiety, as they used to be.

[19:10:09] So he tried to choose another way to frighten the Western public, first of all. And now, he tries to undermine the basic international law in regard of nuclear weapons.

BOLDUAN: Do you see it as an empty threat? Or do you see with this announcement that he is actually any closer to using a tactical nuclear weapon here?

BONDAREV: Actually, it doesn't say anything about whether he gets any closer to using nuclear weapons. But it is very, very bad for the future of arms control in the nuclear sphere, because with this move, any other document which should replace the one through 2026 has become totally unrealizable.

BOLDUAN: Boris, also today, Putin continued to falsely claim that he is the one who has tried to resolve this conflict with Ukraine peacefully, but he was the one that was pushed into war. Also speaking once again as if the Russian military was winning and that the cratering Russian economy was actually strong.

In your view, do you think he actually believes this?

BONDAREV: Hard to say, of course. But I think there is some extent that Putin may believe in what he's saying, especially about the good state of the economy, especially -- and also about his prospects. I think he believes that he can win this war, that he is winning this war, and maybe in the near future, he will succeed in pressing Ukraine to some kind of negotiations, to negotiate peace on Putin's terms, of course.

And then he will be able to present himself to pose himself as a winner, as a great leader. And then his political future will be secured for several years. So I think that's how he sees the situation.

BOLDUAN: I did want to ask you about his future. Because one thing that Putin did acknowledge today with a moment of silence was all -- was all of the Russian soldiers so far who have been killed on the battlefield in Ukraine. Now, these deaths haven't caused him yet to change course. But as the war drags on and more of his soldiers die, does it eventually hurt him, do you think?

BONDAREV: I don't think it will ever hurt him personally because I think he sees all Russian citizens as the instruments to do whatever he wants, to achieve his own goals. And his own goals, his goals that he's trying to achieve, is to secure his everlasting grip on power in Russia, state president and dictator forever.

So he can sacrifice, you know, any number of people as long as they are willing to be sacrificed. And that's the main issue, the main question, how long Western society will stay tolerant to all these casualties and losses. And, unfortunately, today, we see that it is still tolerable. It can put up with this, yeah.

BOLDUAN: But do you think that it could get so bad, it could get to a point that all of this bloodshed, if seen -- if truly understood by the Russian public that it could cause him to lose power?

BONDAREV: Well, yeah. I think if the Russian society, majority of Russian people realized that this war is not what they are told it is, of course, they will be angered. But we are not at that point yet. The Russian propaganda is very powerful really. And the most people are not directly touched by this war, unfortunately.

So, especially in major cities, life goes on as if nothing's happening. So there is a big gap between this war in Ukraine and people in Russia. And this gap seems to be very, very, very wide. So, we are not yet at this point when this gap starts to close.

BOLDUAN: Boris Bondarev, thank you for coming in.

BONDAREV: Thank you. Bye-bye.

BOLDUAN: And OUTFRONT with me now is retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton for more on this.

Colonel, good to see you.

You heard Boris saying that Putin's announcement today on the nuclear arms treaty, the way he described it was saying it's very, very bad for the future of arms control in the nuclear sphere.

What's your take on this move by Putin?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yeah, I agree with Boris at this point, Kate, to the extent that any type of deviation from standard arms control protocols -- and we only have one that was in force until this point in time, I -- that's going to be a real problem.


There's a slight glimmer of hope that the Russians did announce after Putin made his address that they would abide by the limits for both warheads and launch vehicles. That's good, but it probably won't go far enough. And of course the prospect of Russia testing nuclear weapons once again, nuclear emissions of any type is something that is, I think, very dangerous for the whole world, for the whole nonproliferation regime. That basically is at mend right now.

BOLDUAN: Yeah. We also know that China's foreign minister is in Russia tonight for meetings and also that Chinese President Xi Jinping's expected to visit soon in the coming months.

How does this relationship that we see, you know, the timing can't be a coincidence, right, with all of this playing out at the same time -- how does this relationship complicate the war in Ukraine?

LEIGHTON: Well, I think it can complicate it in several different ways, Kate. One of the key things to realize is that China and Russia have several arrangements together where they do serve as allies. They have intelligence-sharing arrangements. They have military arrangements where they conduct exercises together. And they also share weapons designs and other weapons protocols, you know, with each other.

So, if the Chinese do get involved in the Ukraine conflict, they say that they want to do it in a peacemaking type role, but they are so aligned with Russia at this particular point in time that they really can't be trusted as honest brokers. And that really makes it hard to get to the negotiating table and to find some kind of a solution to this. I think it's going to be very difficult to end this war, especially if there is interference from the Chinese, and both China and Russia want to upend the global world order as they see it, they don't want the United States to be the preeminent power. They'll do anything in their power to stop that.

BOLDUAN: Colonel Cedric Leighton, it's always good to see you, thank you.

LEIGHTON: Thank you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT for us next, an exclusive interview with Poland's president about the significance of President Biden's trip to Ukraine.

Plus, the foreperson of a Georgia grand jury speaking out tonight about the investigation into Donald Trump's actions after the 2020 election. And she's talking to us in her first live TV interview about why she wants the D.A. to take, quote, decisive action.

And also this, Brittney Griner, imprisoned by Russia just months ago, has a message for WNBA fans as she has officially signed to play again.



BOLDUAN: Tonight, Jill Biden sharing her concerns about the president's top-secret trip to Ukraine. Listen to this.


REPORTER: Did you have any concerns about him going? The safety, the train ride?

JILL BIDEN, FIRST LADY: Of course, I did. Of course, I did. I said, what? You're going where? And you know?


BOLDUAN: The first lady answered questions in Washington after her husband's speech in Warsaw, Poland.

President Biden also met there with the Polish president who then sat down for an exclusive interview with our Christiane Amanpour. And she joins us now.

It's great to see you, Christiane.

What did the president do to tell you about this very big moment? CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, it was

incredible because the Polish people and the Polish president has been a really stalwart ally of the United States and of this effort of NATO to help defend Ukraine.

And the set piece here in Poland earlier in Warsaw, the capital, was just tremendous, where the president came out, the speech he gave. And President Duda, the Polish president, he really told me that he thought President Biden had done something incredibly courageous, not just physically, not just morally either. But he brought the full weight of the free world to bear to Kyiv to show Putin that there was no backing down when it came to defending Ukraine's right to exist.


PRES. ANDRZEJ DUDA, POLAND (through translator): So, the very thing that the president travelled to Kyiv, that he was there, it sends an incredibly powerful signal, a political and strategic signal. It is a demonstration of strength of the United States indeed. It is like saying that the American leader, who is as a matter of fact a leader of the free world, is able to travel even when war is raging, even to a place where there is potential danger. He is not afraid because the United States is strong enough to protect him. That is number one.

And, number two, he was there, and today, he is in Warsaw. He gives his speech to the whole world. And he sends a signal of the defense of the free world, the defense of NATO, of the defense of every inch of the territory as the president said today.

So to us, to Poles, this American signal, this allied signal not only within NATO, but first of all, a signal sent by the greatest superpower in the world, a signal sent by our friend and ally today is so significant.


AMANPOUR: Now, the president also reminded me and everybody that Poland has taken in at least 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees since this time last year. And they haven't gone to camps or tent cities like you might see elsewhere. They've gone into people's homes. And that is something they remain committed to.

As for the idea that Russia might somehow be victorious in Ukraine, he said that simply cannot be allowed to happen because what it would mean is that the Ukrainians and then maybe Poles and maybe others would be forced to live under the boot of today's Russia, which reminds them of yesteryear's Soviet Union.

So the East European countries are even more aware of the dangerous Russian expansionism than perhaps those further to the West. And he said they're so grateful for the continued support of the U.S. people and of course the U.S. Congress -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: It was quite a show of strength and solidarity today. It was great to see that he sat down with you, Christiane. Thanks for bringing it to us. Really appreciate it. And you can see more of Christiane's interview with the polish president on a special edition of "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer. And that's tonight at 9:00 p.m.

Still ahead for us OUTFRONT, who will be indicted in Georgia's investigation into Trump's 2020 election actions?


I'm going to ask the foreperson of the grand jury who heard all of the evidence. She's my guest in her first live TV interview.

And Republican Congressman George Santos making a big change to his campaign team as he admits, also, he's, quote, a terrible liar.


BURNETT: Tonight, the jury foreperson tasked with investigating Donald Trump is speaking out. This is the culmination of the high- profile probe in Fulton County, Georgia, into Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. That special grand jury heard from more than -- from 75 witnesses over a seven-month period plus, including from some of Trump's closest allies like Rudy Giuliani, Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

And the jury's foreperson now tells OUTFRONT that there is a list of indictments that recommended in their report. And it's not short. That jury foreperson is Emily Kohrs, and she joins me now.

Emily, thank you for coming on.

I do want to say off the top, as you and I just discussed, but for everyone to know, you are somewhat limited in what you can discuss under the judge's -- under the judge's orders as of now.


But we do know of course one of the biggest questions remaining for everyone that wasn't in that jury room with you is how many people are in trouble here.

What can you tell us about how many people you recommended as a group to face indictments?

EMILY KOHRS, FOREPERSON, GA SPECIAL GRAND JURY IN TRUMP PROBE: Well, thank you for having me, first of all.

And I'm -- I'm hesitant to speak to something that the judge made a decision not to share. He -- I don't know if everyone's aware of this, but there was a hearing about what parts of the report should and should not be published in its various forms. And the list -- well, the sections that were removed were consciously chosen to be removed. And I don't want to say I have better judgment than the judge.

BOLDUAN: That's totally understandable. Is it, would you say when it comes to -- there are indictments recommended, of course. Is it 12 people, is it more than 20 people?

KOHRS: I think if you look at the page numbers of the report, there's about six pages in the middle that got cut out. Allow for spacing, it's not a short list.

BOLDUAN: Not a short list. I mean, when it comes to 75 witnesses, it's not -- I assume, of course, it's not 75 people. Would you characterize it as 20-ish people?

KOHRS: I can't say I counted.

BOLDUAN: Okay. More than a dozen, though, I think I had heard you say in another interview?

KOHRS: I believe so. That's probably a good assumption.

BOLDUAN: The name that everyone wants to know about is former President Trump.

KOHRS: Of course.

BOLDUAN: Do you recommend charges against Donald Trump?

KOHRS: I really don't want to share something that the judge made a conscious decision not to share. I will tell you that it was a process where we heard his name a lot. We definitely heard a lot about former President Trump, and we definitely discussed him a lot in the room. And I will say that when this list comes out, you wouldn't -- there are no major plot twists waiting for you.

BOLDUAN: It's interesting -- that just raises more questions.

KOHRS: I know, I know, I'm sorry.

BOLDUAN: No, no, please do not apologize. I'm very appreciative of your time. When you say there's no plot twists and people won't be shocked, people are going to -- people are going to hear that, and they're going to think that means that Donald Trump is definitely on that list.

I know it's delicate, but can you speak to that?

KOHRS: I can't. Well, I might be able to, according to instructions. But I don't want to. I don't want to speak out on something that the judge, like I said, consciously chose not to release at this point.

I don't know if I would interfere with the D.A.'s investigations. I don't know if I would interfere with procedures in some way. I very much do not want to cross that line.

BOLDUAN: But, in your view, people will not be surprised when they see the list of names to come out who you recommended to face indictment?

KOHRS: Especially if they've been following the investigation, I can't see it being a shocker. BOLDUAN: You know, Donald Trump put out a statement last week about

the partial report that the judge did release, the pages that he did. And the way that he described it is he said that, yet your report means total exoneration for him, is how he put it in his statement.

What's your reaction to that, Emily?

KOHRS: I did see that today, which was fascinating. I'm not positive he read the right document. But I will say that if what he is talking about was our statement where we indicated that there was no evidence of widespread vote fraud or -- widespread vote fraud in the Georgia 2020 election, that might've been what he meant?

Other than that, I'm not positive what he meant by that. I'd be interested to know.

BOLDUAN: I'm sure we will hear more from him after it all comes out.

You know, the portion of the final report that has been released, there's another portion. That part that you just talked about was of great interest to a lot of us. And the other portion that obviously demands a lot of attention is also the portion -- and I'll read this for everyone -- where you all wrote, a majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it.

Is perjury the crime that you all believed was -- the main crime you all believe was committed?

KOHRS: I wouldn't say that. I would say that -- I would say that it ended up included there because it was less pointed of a suggestion than some of the other things we may have written in the parts of the report the judge chose to keep confidential.


BOLDUAN: Less specific to a person?

KOHRS: Right, right. I would say that we thought it was important to keep it separate as well -- okay, I will say that I thought it was important to keep it separate as well, at least in my opinion, not anybody else's but mine, that there's a difference between the crimes we were called to investigate and crimes that were committed in the room.

BOLDUAN: How would you describe the strength of the evidence that was put before you?

KOHRS: The strength of it, um --

BOLDUAN: Was it clear-cut?

KOHRS: We heard a lot of very compelling things, like a lot of very compelling evidence. A lot of very interesting things and things that we didn't expect. We discovered a lot as we went.

BOLDUAN: Like we know you all heard at least one call that Donald Trump was on during this period.


BOLDUAN: This is the infamous call that the whole world has heard as it was released when he was speaking to the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. But in terms of calls and recordings of calls, are there others of those?

KOHRS: I can tell you I heard other phone calls. I don't think I could name all of them right now if I wanted to. After 75 witnesses and eight months, it gets hard to keep all your bits straight.

BOLDUAN: Other calls that Donald Trump was on?

KOHRS: Yes. I am positive I have heard the president on the phone more than once.

BOLDUAN: Some of the big-name witnesses who came before you, they really fought against coming before you. They didn't want to testify, but they were forced to. They were told by the judge that they needed to.

Like Mark Meadows, Donald Trump's former chief of staff. What stood out to you from his testimony?

KOHRS: Mr. Meadows didn't share very much at all and was not very willing to speak on much of anything. He asserted his rights under the Fifth Amendment and under executive privilege, which he absolutely had the right to do. And that was pretty much that.

BOLDUAN: You know, this wasn't just a few days of jury duty. I've been kind of thinking about this as we were going to speak today. I mean, this was more than seven months of your life in dealing with one of the most closely scrutinized investigations in recent history.

What is your lasting impression of this, Emily?

KOHRS: I loved being a part of this process. I think it's amazing to actually be able to be a part of this process for once. I think it's a privilege to be able to actually be a part of the system for once and making it work.

This has been fascinating to get this peak into the world of, like, politics and of all these different -- of government and of all these different things. And have the curtain lifted just a little bit and let us peek in as regular people has been amazing. And I'm so glad that I did it.

BOLDUAN: And so, after that, when it's all said and done and the D.A. makes her final decision on charging, what do you say to people who question your findings or want to say that your investigation what you all were doing in that room was influenced by politics?

KOHRS: I think it's the opposite. I think that by choosing to have the grand jury, by choosing to impanel regular people, they very specifically chose to avoid politics, to take bias out of the question. Because they chose to get instead of anyone else, they chose to get 16 random people.

They could have gotten, you know, if they had wanted someone who was just going to support their opinions, they could have gone and hired a bunch of legal experts. There were all kinds of choices that could have been made there. But they chose to get a random sampling of the population of the area, and I think that speaks really strongly to them trying to avoid bias in any way in trying to avoid politics.

BOLDUAN: After everything that you've seen, what would your reaction be if the D.A. decides against bringing any charges after what you've seen?

KOHRS: I will be sad if nothing happens. Like, that's about my only request there is for something to happen.

I don't necessarily know what it is. I'm not the legal expert. I'm not the judge. I'm not the lawyers.

But I will be frustrated if nothing happens. This was too much, too much information, too much of my time, too much of everyone's time, too much of their time, too much argument in court about getting people to appear before us. There was just too much for this to just be, oh, okay, we're good, bye.

BOLDUAN: And if it was just a perjury charge or perjury charges, would that be acceptable to you?

KOHRS: That's fine. I will be happy as long as something happens.

BOLDUAN: Emily, the political environment has become more dangerous. There are so many examples of that and look no further than the violence we saw on the Capitol attack on January 6th.


Now with your name and your face out there and connected to such a high-profile investigation involving Donald Trump, are you worried about your safety?

KOHRS: I'm not. I'm cautious about my safety. I'm aware of my safety, but I'm not worried. I don't think I should be -- I don't think I did or any of the jury members did anything that says we believe one way or the other about politics, about any of these issues. I think we were impaneled to find facts, and I think we did our best to find those facts and share those facts with the district attorney and her office. And I feel like that's where it ends.

BOLDUAN: Emily Kohrs, thank you so much for coming on and speaking to me.

KOHRS: Yes, ma'am. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you very much.

OUTFRONT for us next, we're going to have more on what we've just learned from Emily Kohrs, as foreperson from the special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia. I mean, the seven, eight-month investigation, two years that people have been following this and going inside the room just a little bit with her is a fascinating moment. Our legal experts will be joining us, next.


BOLDUAN: So, we just spoke with the jury foreperson tasked with investigating Donald Trump in Georgia. She wouldn't tell us -- she's kind of under -- she's under restrictions from a judge in speaking to too much detail, not telling us whether or not Donald Trump is on the list of indictments recommended. But when asked about former President Trump's reaction to the initial report, the part of the report released where he posted this, claiming that the report gives him total exoneration, here's what Emily Kohrs just told us.


EMILY KOHRS, FOREPERSON, GA SPECIAL GRAND JURY IN TRUMP PROBE: I did see that today, which is fascinating I'm not positive he read the right document. But I will say that if what he's talking about was our statement where he indicated that there was no evidence of widespread fraud -- or widespread vote fraud in the Georgia 2020 election, that might've been what he meant?


BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT with me now, Evan Perez, CNN's senior justice respondent, and Ryan Goodman, co-editor in chief of "Just Security," and former special counsel at the Defense Department.

Evan, I was really fascinated by what she could speak to, and what she seemed to be suggesting kind of -- I mean, you've been following this secretive grand jury investigation in Georgia from the very beginning. What stood out to you?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, a couple of things. I mean, obviously, it's so unusual to get this window into something, a process that, you know, really is still ongoing, right, this investigation is still going, this grand jury doesn't have the power to indict anybody, but these recommendations -- what they -- was the product of their work of eight months of work.

And the stunning thing that she says is that, you know, she heard -- the grand jury heard Donald Trump's voice on multiple tapes. We know obviously the infamous tape involving Brad Raffensperger and his office, you know, where he is asking the former president is asking for 11,780 votes. And there was another call which she may be referring to, which Sharon Watson, who is also in the Georgia secretary of state's office, our Sara Murray points out that that's another call that exists. We don't know of any others. But that is a thing that stood out to me.

She also talked about that Meadows, the former chief of staff, came into the grand jury, which we learned for the first time. We had never seen him appear at the courthouse. But he did appear and asserted his right. So it appears he did not answer all the questions that were asked of him.

But this was a fascinating window that, interview you just did, into the work of this grand jury. These are regular people who are charged with this very, very important job. And she says that at the end of this, if nothing happens, she will be very, very surprised, very, very disappointed, obviously, because they believe there was a lot of evidence presented.

BOLDUAN: Yeah. And seven months, 75 witnesses, Ryan. What stood out to you now hearing from this -- hearing from this foreperson?

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPT. OF DEFENSE: Well, the fact that she's telling us that if we followed the investigation closely that they're not going to be any shockers or plot twists means to me that it has to be almost a foregone conclusion that President Trump will be indicted for those of us following the investigation, that's where all the errors lead.

And then she says, you know, more than a dozen names. I think that that would also create great concern on the part of somebody like Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani if these are the kinds of people that she told us are the names we might expect. She's not telling us who they are, so it's only inferences we can draw. But I were the two of them, I'd be definitely speaking with my defense lawyers this evening.

BOLDUAN: It's so interesting. I think we have another piece in the interview I want to play for you guys just to remind us about the possibility of charging Donald Trump. Let me play what she said.


KOHRS: A process where we heard his name a lot. We definitely heard a lot about former President Trump, and we definitely discussed him a lot in the room. And I will say that when this list comes out, you wouldn't -- there are no major plot twists waiting for you.


BOLDUAN: Yeah, and that speaks to exactly what you are getting at, Ryan. She said in another interview, nothing's really surprising.

But that really -- and, Evan, when you heard that, what did you -- what did you think?

PEREZ: Look, I certainly think that if the impression she's trying to leave is that they recommended charges against a former president, that's what we came away from. We're reading between the lines, she's not answering the question directly. But that certainly -- you know, she's done a couple of other interviews in "The New York Times" and "The Associated Press" today, so by now, certainly, she knows what the impression she's leaving and that is certainly what I took away from that conversation she had with you.


Ryan, just a final word from you and kind of what -- I mean, now it's up to the D.A. Now we wait for Fani Willis to announce -- to announce her decision.


But this is a pretty fascinating moment to be taken into that jury room.

GOODMAN: It's almost unbelievable. It's so extraordinary.

And we also have a sense of how the special grand jury may have armed Fani Willis in the sense that if she has over 12 recommended indictments, that also means she has the ability to potentially flip some of those people. And, so, this sounds like she's kind of supercharged to make a decision that she wants to make and whatever that is within her discretion.

BOLDUAN: Guys, thanks for jumping on. I really appreciate it. Thanks, guys.

OUTFRONT for us next, the Republican congressman who calls himself now a terrible liar, he has a new staffer, a campaign treasurer. More on that.

And also this, WNBA star Brittney Griner has a new message for fans about her return to the court.


BOLDUAN: Tonight, embattled Congressman George Santos hired a new campaign treasurer. The move comes after his old treasurer resigned amid investigations into the campaign's fundraising and finances.

This is noteworthy, of course, because Santos is facing multiple investigations about his finances and the lies he's told about his life story. Despite all of that, Santos continues to resist calls to resign and is even floating seeking reelection.


REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): I don't know if I'm going to run for reelection, I've looked inside a camera and I've said sorry, and I have no problem saying sorry and asking forgiveness from the American people watching at home and everyone abroad.


BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT now, Republican Congressman Anthony D'Esposito of New York. He was the first House Republican to call on Santos to step down.

Congressman, thanks for coming in.

You just heard --

REP. ANTHONY D'ESPOSITO (R-NY): Thanks for having me.

BOLDUAN: Of course. You just heard Santos suggest that he thinks he can repair his image,

that he can make -- he can make this all right. Do you think that's the case? Do you think he can?

D'ESPOSITO: I just don't see it happening. One of the things I think is bothering me most is George continues to say he's made up his fabrications, he's made up these lies because he wouldn't have been accepted by the party here on Long Island. I just don't understand how that makes sense.

Is it about the party? What about the lies that he created about his mom in 911 or the fact his grandparents escaped Holocaust?


You know, this is stuff that really matters to people and the lies just keep coming and he thinks that he could look into the camera and say I'm sorry to the American people and that solves all the problem

BOLDUAN: I wanted to ask you about one of the claims that he -- that just mentioned. In that interview with Piers Morgan that he did, Santos, he does confess that he's lied but he is still standing by some claims that have been contradicted by some evidence like the story of his mother dying of cancer after surviving the 911 attack.

I want to play what he said in that interview with piers


PIERS MORGAN, TV HOST: There's no record of your mother ever having worked in the Twin Towers. So was that true?

SANTOS: That's true.

MORGAN: Why is there no record of her working there?

SANTOS: I don't know where people are looking or what they're looking for. Respectfully please. I won't debate my mother's life. She's passed in 2016 and I think it's quite insensitive for everybody want to rehash my mother's legacy.


BOLDUAN: How does that sit with you? I heard that and wasn't sure what to make of it

D'ESPOSITO: I'm not sure what to make of it and I don't think the American people are sure what to make of it. I'll tell you we've heard reports, I haven't seen documents first hand, but we've heard reports from all over the nation that the mother wasn't even in the country at the time of the 9/11 attacks.

And, you know, coming from Long Island, especially me, this is personal. You know I'm a retired New York City detective, a member of the volunteer fire department here on Long Island over 20 years. I mean, my chief of staff's father died in 9/11. I mean, this is something that's important to so many people in this

district and to make a mockery out of it because he thought it would help him get on ballot is just -- it's completely insane to me.

BOLDUAN: Congressman, I really appreciate your time. Thank you very much. Thank you for your service as well in the department. It's awesome.

D'ESPOSITO: Stay safe (ph).

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

OUTFRONT for us next, Brittney Griner is speaking out about her return to the WNBA, her team made their star's -- made their star's comeback official today.


BOLDUAN: WNBA star Brittney Griner will be back on the basketball court quite soon. The Phoenix Mercury officially announced today they resigned her. Griner, of course, spent ten months in a Russian prison after found with vape containers of cannabis in her luggage at the Moscow airport. She was tried and convicted, which landed her in a Russian people colony.

She returned to the United States in December as part of a high profile prisoner swap. And then, today, Griner celebrated her return to the court on the team's Instagram page. Look at this, saying she can't wait to see the X-Factor, which are Phoenix fans, once again and celebrating how much she loves the city.

She last played with the Mercury in 2021. Griner's first home game will be in mid-May. And so many of us will be watching.

Thank you so much for watching us tonight. I'm Kate Bolduan.

"AC360" starts now.