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Erin Burnett Outfront

U.S. Military Releases Video Of Russian Jet Hitting U.S. Drone; Big Banks Rescue Distressed First Republic With $30 Billion Infusion; Sources: Dozens Surrounding Trump Subpoenaed In Docs Case; Coast Guard Fails To Punish Sex Assaults On Merchant Ships; Chinese Study: North Korean Missiles Could Reach U.S. In 33 Minutes. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired March 16, 2023 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, dramatic video of Ukrainian forces storming homes, searching for Russian soldiers. It comes as we have the video of Russian taking down an American drone, an Air Force lieutenant general will show you exactly what he sees in this video.

Plus, a $30 billion life line. The largest U.S. bank to be on the edge of collapse giving a mass cash infusion by other banks. In a moment, I'll speak to a Nobel Prize winner who saw the banking crisis coming and called for clearly five months ago.

And an OUTFRONT investigation tonight, CNN finding the U.S. Coast Guard failed to act after two women came forward to say they were sexually assaulted on U.S. ships. The damning report from Pamela Brown ahead.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, rooting out Russians. We're seeing for the first time how Ukrainians are storming homes in Bakhmut, homes where Russians have been hiding. And you see soldiers come in, immediately start firing.

According to the Ukrainian unit which recorded this footage, they fire, because they say, quote, they ever know for sure if there's a wounded Russian in the house who wants to take you with them. And you can see in this video how they may carefully approach another home. They go inside, you see immediately open fire as they go in.

Now, according to the battalion by time they reached the neighborhood in this video, the Russians had moved out. Not wanting to die, they say.

And you hear the shooting to imagine you know, what it would be like to be there.

This comes as the Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin gives an interview blaming Russia's military for the front line failure, saying they won't help him win in Bakhmut because they're jealous that his forces were the ones who notched Russia's win in the tiny town of Soledar.


YEVGENY PRIGOZHIN, WAGNER CHIEF: It's about the shell shortage, the flight cut-offs, the removal of these military phones. Yes, I can't call anybody and nobody can call me. Well, leave the phone, put a wire tap on it. You know what I'm talking about?

Put a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) child to bed. You can't be acting like a child. War is a very serious job.


BURNETT: Prigozhin directing those words at the Kremlin, accusing them of acting like children, and he also then went on to defend his use of prisoners despite Putin's military now blocking him from recruiting more. Listen to this.


PRIGOZHIN (through translator): There was reduced sense of self preservation, just like me. If my time comes, then so be it, you know? I just don't really give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED), that's number one.

The second is my cockiness because you won't get me the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of here. I came here and I'm staying here. That's the second thing.

And the third thing is unpretentiousness.


BURNETT: Interesting. The things he says he has in common with the convicts he's recruited he admitted only 7 percent of convicts he's recruited returned another stint. That's lower than he previously suggested.

And by the way, just to be really black and white clear about this here, they're not returning in most cases because they're dead.

Now, Prigozhin's expletive-filled rant coming on day of tension. Tonight, the United States accusing Russia of lying about taking down an American drone and we're seeing the first time the shock aerial video of that incident.

I'm going to play for you the video, you see the Russian jet swooping in behind the drone, right? Swooping in, jet appears to drop fuel on it, then you see the video glitch.

Now, we'll pause this just a second because Lieutenant General Charlie Moore will tell us this is the exact moment of impact, and he said that there's no doubt this was both aggressive and reckless, in terms of a move by an extremely maneuverable and agile Russian fighter jet. In the shot, you then will see what appears to be the damaged propeller which ultimately brought the drone down. Now, this video catching Russian in a lie, which raises the question,

whether they're telling the truth about the explosion at an FSB border patrol building in southern Russian. The FSB, of course, the intelligence for Russia. The building quickly went up in flames.

Now, obviously, Russia immediately claimed this was the result of an electrical short circuit. They didn't want their FSB to have been attacked. Of course belonging to the FSB on fire like this is raising questions and fears in Russia and there's lot to get to tonight.

I want to begin with Natasha Bertrand, who is OUTFRONT live at the Pentagon tonight.

Natasha, what more are you learning about this drone incident?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Erin, we are learning that the U.S. believes that the Russians have been able to collect some of that debris from the drone that crashed into the Black Sea.


But we're also hearing more today about why the U.S. chose to declassify the video and release it now. We are told, according to the White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby that the reason is pretty simple. They believe Russia flat out lied and they want to correct the narrative.


BERTRAND (voice-over): This is the moment just before a Russian fighter jet collided with the U.S. drone over the Black Sea. The thick plumes of smoke jet fuel vented by the Russian SU-27 as it passes, we don't see the moment of impact but here is the propeller of MQ-9 Reaper drone undamaged and here it is later, clearly damaged.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It had to have been some kind of an impact. I don't think you know, while the fuel spill on top of the on top of the aircraft on top of the MQ-9 would have been significant. I don't think it would have caused that damage.

BERTRAND: The newly declassified footage appears to directly contradict Russia's claim that the aircraft did not make physical contact.

ANATOLY ANTONOV, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: There was no collision you saw that. The problem is we didn't to this drone.

JOHN KIRBY, NSC COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: The Russians had been just flat out lying, flat out lying, about their accounts.

BERTRAND: The U.S. not yet determined whether the pilots intended to hit the drone forcing the U.S. military to crash the drone it into the Black Sea some 80 nautical miles from land. GEN. MARK MILLEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: We know that the intercept

was intentional. We know that the aggressive behavior was intentional. We also know it's very unprofessional and unsafe. The actual contact of the fixed wing Russian fighter with our UAV, the physical contact of those two, not sure yet

BERTRAND: But CNN is learning that the Russian pilots did not go rogue. U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence say the pilots were ordered to harass the drone by senior officials in Russia's defense ministry. For now, the fate of the drone's wreckage remains unclear. The U.S. has no naval assets in the Black Sea that can readily retrieve it and the Russians already reached the crash site and recovered some small pieces of debris.

But the U.S. took steps to wipe the drone's software, officials tell CNN, making it highly unlikely that Moscow will glean anything valuable from its remnants.

MILLEY: We did take mitigating measures. So we're quite confident that whatever -- whatever was of value is no longer of value.


BERTRAND (on camera): So, we're learning tonight, Erin, as well that the U.S. is now conducting an assessment of its drone operations over the Black Sea. But we should note that does not include a complete moratorium of the drone flights over the Black Sea. Apparently, the U.S. flown another mission in the area with the same model of drone that previously collided with those Russian jets -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Natasha, thank you very much for that reporting.

And now, let's go to Andrei Soldatov, the Russian investigative journalist who's website,, has been blocked in the Russia. He's the author of "The Compatriots: The Russian Exiles Who Fought Against the Kremlin".

Also with me tonight, retired Lt. General Charlie "Tuna" Moore, former vice director for operations at NORAD.

So, thanks very much to both of you.

General Moore, I just want to start with the drone and go through this footage. When U.S. officials tell CNN the Russian pilots were ordered to harass the drone by senior Russian defense officials, it puts this in context. So, let's show the video again.

Can you tell us exactly what you're seeing and what it tells you about the Russian pilots? Here's a video.


Yeah, I draw a couple of conclusions from it. The first is the most obvious and now, we have definitive proof that we did have contact between the Sukhoi-27 flankers and MQ-9, unlike what the Russians were telling us the last 24-plus hours. So, I think that's definitive now.

The other thing that I notice in the tape as we continue to watch it through is that first we get a good look what type of weapons the SU- 27 is actually carrying. If you look underneath the wing tips, you'll see it has at least four air to air missiles. I say two radar guided missiles and two infrared guided missiles on the aircraft.

So, had they wished to actually bring this remotely piloted aircraft down, the safe thing, the most efficient and effective way to do that would have been simply to shoot it down using one of those weapons. I think it's pretty illogical to think that the plan would have been to actually remain into the MQ-9 and risk the SU-27 and the life of the pilot.

The other thing that I noticed on the tape starts at the beginning, and you have to look at the intercept geometry. What do I mean by that? If you were going to intercept an aircraft like we have in this particular incident, I'm going to set my altitude a pretty far range slightly above that of the target aircraft, in this case, the MQ-9. And as I get closer, I'm going to do fine tuning adjustments to make sure I pass as close or far away as I intend.

What you see in the video is that this SU-27 begins co-altitude, so the same altitude as the MQ- 9, as it gets closer it dumps its fuel, it drops an altitude below the MQ-9 which means late in that intercept, he's trying to climb above the MQ-9, he doesn't quite make it and clips the propeller.


All of that tells me this incidents in terms of actual collision is most likely simply due to pilot incompetence.

BURNETT: Well, it's pretty clear to use those words and pretty powerful pilot incompetence.

Andrei, how was this being seen in Russia, where, obviously, there was a -- there's been a basic lie about what happened, that is now contradicted by the video.

ANDREI SOLDATOV, RUSSIAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: I asked, to be honest, in military circles what was see a jubilation, actually, lots of people, they proclaim the pilot a hero. Now we have people collecting money to give him some sort of reward.

And I think the reason is simple. The Russian army is quite desperate to find some sign of victory and things in Bakhmut are not going well, we're trying to portray these incident as a victory.

BURNETT: General Moore, it's interesting when you say look what you see there is pilot incompetence and they're portraying it as victory. I mean, you know, Putin this week was on a helicopter flight simulator, pretending to be whatever area he was during a trip to an aviation plant, right? It's all part of trying to make the Russian air force look strong. So, when you see this drone video that you walked us through and talk

about pilot incompetence, what does that show you about the true training and ability of Russian pilots?

MOORE: Well, what we know is that they won't nearly get the amount of training, the flight hours that U.S. or most of our NATO pilots get, whether you look at it weekly, monthly or annually. On top, we know the type of training they conduct when they get the flight hours isn't nearly as rigorous or as complicated. So what you end is a pilot corps that simply isn't at competent as U.S. fighter pilots

BURNETT: Amazing when you see that, as you talk about it, that that -- it's incompetence. It was a mistake the way that it played out.

So, Andre, I mentioned this fire at that FSB headquarters in Roston- on-Don. The governor said it was caused by an electrical short circuit. Now, sometimes the Russians are quick to try to blame Ukrainians for those things.

This is obviously an important site. It's the FSB. So, they said it was an accident. It's unclear, right? What do you think happened?

SOLDATOV: I think the problem is that it doesn't actually matter what -- happened here is what matters is how it's seen by people in the military and in the FSB. The problem here is that Roston-on-Don is not just some regional town in Russia. It is a very important logistic hub for the Russian army and for the FSB personnel to be send to the occupied territory to do the three months tour of duty.

So, it is seen, and lots of people suspect, that it is an attack by Ukrainians in the very heart of the Russian military effort in the south.

BURENTT: And to where this war is heading at this moment as we talk about Bakhmut, two quick points.

General Moore, first to you, we have learned today that Ukraine will be getting fighter jets, specifically MiG 29s from Poland in the coming days. Obviously, they're trained on those. Will that change anything for Ukraine?

MOORE: I think it's definitely going to help the effort. You know, they have lost some aircraft during the operations over the last year. But I think the best thing about MiG 29s coming from uphold Ukrainians know how to fly and perform the maintenance on these airlines to keep them airborne and keep them in the fight.

And that's very, very important. They don't have that experience when you start talking about a lot of the Western aircraft we're talking about like F-16s or Typhoons or the like.

BURNETT: Right, right, and training required.

Now, Andrei, the sanctions obviously crucial to what sort of pressure is being put on Russia at home. You have some new reporting on that and how they're not working in a crucial area. SOLDATOV: Yes, unfortunately, what we see, the Russians cybersecurity

industry actually grew by 20 percent in 2022 mostly because this industry benefitted from the war left by the Western companies, leaving the country.

And Russian cybersecurity companies, they got contracts, but also they got brains. They got IT engineers who used to work for Western companies and now they remain in the country, and they said working for the Russian security companies.

And we all know that Russian cybersecurity companies, they are actually working really closely as the Russian military and Russian security services. So it's all actually benefits Russian military and cybersecurity efforts.

BURNETT: All right. Sobering.

Thank you both very much. Appreciate it.

MOORE: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, some of America's biggest banks pumping $30 billion into another bank that was about to collapse.


I'm going to talk to a Nobel Prize winner who saw the banking crisis coming. Is the rescue First Republic enough to stop it?

Plus, exclusive new reporting, dozens of people working at Mar-a-Lago subpoenaed in the investigation into the former president's handling of classified documents. One key staffer testifying today.

And an alarming new study that we're going to tell you more about how fast a North Korean ICBM could reach the United States mainland if America's missile defense system failed.


BURNETT: Tonight, a desperate last second move. First Republic, the latest U.S. bank teetering on the edge of collapse, just rescued for now by 11 U.S. banks, including the big unfailable four, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup.

First Republic shares rebounded on the news. They jumped more than 10 percent. But that was after the bank shares had plunged so much earlier, it was halted to prevent from it completely crashing. It's down more than 80 percent in the past week or so.

The question is whether this is the beginning of the end or just a step on the way to something really bad. Is every bank about to fail getting a rescue or bail-out?

OUTFRONT, Douglas Diamond, a Nobel Prize winner in economics for research on bank runs. He predicted five months ago that the Fed's rapid interest rate hikes, right, we've seen eight in the past year, would trigger massive losses for banks. He's also a professional at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


And, Professor Diamond, I want to the get to the First Republic news in just a moment but first to take a pause here. Interest rates are going up. Five months ago, you were loud and clear and that interest rates were going to wreak havoc on these banks.

And the question is, what did you think would happen? Are you surprised by what we've seen over the past week or not?

DOUGLAS DIAMOND, WON 2022 NOBEL PRIZE IN ECONOMICS FOR RESEARCH ON BANK RUNS: I'm actually quite surprised. I realized that they could wreak havoc, and I assume that the supervisors, the Fed, FDIC, the comptroller of the currency would have carefully look at the balance sheets of all these banks and make sure -- make sure they would have been resilient, could make through the huge interest rate increase.

So, clearly, from Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic it's pretty much the interest rate increases that caused their problems. So I'm surprised that we got here and I would have thought that maybe the Fed would have slowed the interest increases a bit or even better, make sure these banks are stable so they could increase and to fight inflation.

BURNETT: Well, when you put it this way actually, it's quite concerning, because, you know, you're someone -- you won a Nobel Prize for studying bank runs. Five months ago, you're pounding the table.

Regulators should be seeing that, hearing you, and it appears that they didn't. I mean, that's actually quite concerning.

DIAMOND: I don't think it was rocket science because like the very similar thing happened in the United Kingdom, you know, six, seven months ago. They raised interest rates there and a bunch of subsidiaries of life insurance companies got into deep trouble and had to start dumping off their UK government bonds and it caused a real crisis.

Based on that, I could -- I could see this could happen here. It wasn't -- it wasn't that tricky and I'm shock that the supervisors didn't deal with this.

BURNETT: So, I guess when the solution is and I'm not trying to be cynical, when the solution being put forward is, let's add more regulation to these banks, it's sort of sounds like what you're saying is, but we didn't -- I'm not saying your against more regulation, I'm just saying, in this particular case, you're saying they didn't need that to see this? This was right there in front of them?

DIAMOND: Yeah, I'm very surprised. I mean, there are some things, there's a funny accounting things that midsize banks can do, when they don't have write down losses on bonds that go down in price or profits like that. It's like called hold majority accounting.

BURNETT: Yeah. DIAMOND: But the banks have to tell the regulators, and the regulators know what the stuff is worth.

So, I think within the existing laws, the supervisor and regulators could have done 1,000 times better.

BURNETT: Well, I think it's important for everyone to hear, you know, there's always a rush to add more regulation in a situation like this.

Are you -- in your expertise on bank runs, what do you think about what we've seen so far, right? The bail-out of two of these banks, the depositors, that is, right, to make good on them no matter what size deposits and now this basically other banks coming in and giving First Republic a whole lot of deposits to try to cushion them, are you satisfied with what you're seeing in terms of the solution or do you think we're going to see more failures?

DIAMOND: I think it will work, I think the point of having these other banks, quote, unquote, voluntarily lend money is this confidence building so they, if, you know, if JPMorgan thought they'd fail tomorrow at first republic wouldn't lend them money.

First Republic seems like a fairly simple bank that didn't have real structural problems other than this interest rate thing. So I think it will work. I can tell you though in 1984, there was a bank in Chicago called Continental Bank that had a run.

It was the biggest bank failure in history. It was the reason we have a too big to fail doctrine. It was set up during its bail-out.

And the first thing they tried was having all the other big banks lend to them. Two days later, the bank had to be guaranteed by the FDIC for all the uninsured. So, it doesn't always work.

That bank Continental had bad lending standards and fraud. I don't see any of that. First Republic looks like a fine bank that took bad interest rate bet. So, I think this should work.

If there's, you know, a whole series of bank failures of the reason we want to bail people out and stop the bank failures once everybody thinks everybody will pull their money out of every bank, then it will be system-wide chaos, and that will be a self-fulfilling prophesy. I don't think that's going to happen and I think First Republic will probably survive.

BURNETT: All right. Well, we shall see. Professor Diamond, thank you very much, and, of course, I'm sure there are many wish they heeded your calls months ago. Thanks so much.

DIAMOND: My pleasure.

BURNETT: And next, growing legal problems for Trump. We're now learning one of his top communications aides is met with the grand jury investigating Trump's handling of classified documents and dozens more now getting subpoenaed. Plus, a failure to act inside the U.S. Coast Guard. CNN speaking to

women saying there's no sexually assaulted on ships, yet none of the cases were prosecuted.


Why? It's an OUTFRONT investigation with our Pam Brown.



BURNETT: Tonight one of Trump up's top communications aides appearing before the grand jury investigating Trump's handling of classified documents. Margo Martin testifying today in Washington. She's one of a handful of former White House aides who moved to Trump to Florida after he lost the 2020 election.

And CNN is also exclusively learning that the special counsel Jack Smith is ramping up his efforts to obtain testimony from at least two dozen staffers at Mar-a-Lago.

Katelyn Polantz is OUTFRONT.

And, Katelyn, you got a lot of reporting here. What can you tell us about this aide specifically that you're learning about, Margo Martin, and her testimony?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Margo Martin is another person that is being called into this grand jury in Washington, D.C. to testify in this special council investigation into the handling of classified documents.

And Martin, she is one of the people that is close to Donald Trump now, she's been on his payroll since he left the presidency, working in Florida along side him quite closely. So the prosecutors could be asking her about that, what she's seeing there. But also, she's one of the few people that stayed with him who had worked in the White House with him prior to that.

And so, she was a deputy communications aide. It's quite possible she would also be asked about the packing of boxes or what she may have seen at the end of Trump presidency as well, which is a really key piece the prosecutors are probably going to want to draw lines between.

Now, that said, Erin, she was only in before the grand jury as far as we can tell for a few hours this afternoon. It wasn't a marathon day of testimony like others have had.


And it doesn't appear that she was declining to answer questions but we were able to confirm she did have testimony today.

BURNETT: So, you've also, I know, Katelyn, reported she's one of many that you're learning have been subpoenaed as this investigation -- I guess, some might think okay, they're almost done. But it appears from your reporting, it's basically still ramping up.

POLANTZ: Ramping up or winding down or there are still lots of questions that prosecutors want to ask, it's really unclear. But at this point in the game, we are able to confirm Kristen Holmes, Paula Reid, Casey Gannon (ph) and I that there have been at least two dozen people at Mar-a-Lago who have been sought out by prosecutors, that they want to ask them questions, want to get testimony from, many have been subpoenaed to the grand jury or subpoenaed for documents.

And from we can tell, the prosecutors the special counsel are scouring grounds for information, there was a source telling us today that they're casting an extremely wide annex anyone and everyone who might have seen something that is who prosecutors wants to talk to or who have -- they have already talked to. And that list is getting longer by day.

So Margo Martin add her to it today. But we also are learning that they want to talk to a housekeeper. They want to talk to restaurant servers. They want to talk to all of the people that were on security footage at Mar-a-Lago and then, of course, Donald Trump's personal attorney, Evan Corcoran, as well -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Katelyn Polantz, thank you very much.

And let's go now to Ryan Goodman, former special counsel at the Defense Department and co-editor in chief of the "Just Security" blog, of course.

So, Ryan, you know, as you hear Katelyn going through who has been before this grand jury and obviously you don't know the when of each appearance, right? So you don't know if it's ramping up finishing or where we are, as she's saying. But they've spoken to a Mar-a-Lago staff member and a Trump aide two people who are seen on security camera footage moving boxes from the storage room. Those stand out to you.

RYAN GOODMAN, CO-EDITOR IN CHIEF, JUST SECURITY BLOG: They do. So, I thought it was one of the most important parts of the reporting, one of the most crucial episodes, which is that Trump's staff apparently are moving the boxes with classified materials out of the storage room after he gets a subpoena, fact that there's two witnesses is brand new fork.

BURNETT: We thought there was one.

GOODMAN: We thought there was one, we had his name, but it was questionable whether or not he was going to fully cooperate with the special counsel, now there are -- and surveillance video, means that it vet ends the investigator's hands, decreases the incentives for them to lie, because there's another witness and surveillance video means that could be important for a juror.

BURNETT: All right. So then, in that, that unlike is crucial. Then Katelyn's reporting that there are at least two dozen witnesses. And that these witnesses include people that would have seen a lot, but that maybe Trump wouldn't have noticed. Restaurants servers, people like that.

GOODMAN: I think of it the same way. They might be invisible to him. But they are the eyes and ears and they can see things, or they can know things. It might even be somewhat rumor but then they can at least give the investigators lead so they can tell the investigators who is present in different conversations. Seems as though that's what happened with select community on January 6.

There are some important lower level White House staff that do give testimony for example, the person that greets Trump as he enters the White House after his ellipse speech and tells him that there's writing down at the Capitol. That's an important marker, but that was a lower level staff person he might not have noticed or thought about that conversation.

BURNETT: Right. Now, this is also in the context of a possible indictment seen as a likely indictment in New York, in the hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and campaign finance. So you were with me last night, when Joe Tacopina, Trump's attorney was on the show.

He was clearly sending a message to the Manhattan saying if you do this indictment, it is going to be great for Trump. It is going to ensure that he wins the White House again, here's how Joe Tacopina put it.


JOE TACOPINA, TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: I think it will embolden his supporters. I think it will enrage his supporters, making them feel stronger about the fact that they're politicizing the justice system. But I think a prosecutor would say, you know, he's a very Democratic prosecutor, been supported by the far left, going after perhaps the most far right guy you have out there, and I think he's thinking if I prosecute him, I take him out of candidacy.


BURNETT: Now, are you surprised to hear him making a -- the political argument?

GOODMAN: In a way, yes. I mean, he's the lawyer. He should be the trial lawyer, he's making arguments in the political register, which does seem as though he's trying to send a message to an elected official, which is -- the DA is an elected office and talking about the political ramifications for the situation, which means for him, so I do think he's trying to send a signal in this closing window before there's probably going to be an indictment, this is like the last opportunity to send that message.

BURNETT: Right, to try to get them off for political reasons. I guess you could say it is a politically elected person making that decision.

All right. Thank you very much, Ryan -- Ryan Goodman.

And, of course, it does appear Trump is determined to run for president even if he's indicted by all accounts, right?


He's made that loud and clear.

And tonight, there are some numbers that show the former president gaining in popularity with a group of highly sought after voters.

So Harry Enten is OUTFRONT with me to talk about that.

So, Harry, this is -- you know, when people try to say, well, who is the Trump base?


BURNETT: We hear about this rabid loyal base, okay?


BURNETT: But you are looking at Trump voters that some people watching may not expect, nonwhite Republican voters. That he is gaining with that group more so than anyone else in the GOP right now. Show me.

ENTEN: Yeah. So, look at the Republican primary match-up, right? Look at against Ron DeSantis who right now, the two top choices for Republicans. If you look among white voters in an average of recent polls, you see that DeSantis and Trump are basically even, if this was a match-up among white Republican voters, they'd be tying the polls but Trump is ahead by ten points. Why?

It's because Trump has a double digits advantage among Republican voters of color or nonwhite Republican voters I believe this is so interesting because when we think of Trump voter, right, we think of the white work class voter. But in fact, voters of color nonwhite Republicans are in fact a big part of Trump's base.

BURNETT: Which is very important because you're right. When you read about Trump and you hear about Trump, you hear about that white voter.

Now, obviously, that this is important in the primary. Can you contextualize it though with how big of a share of voters we're talking about?

ENTEN: Yes. So, I think what's important here. You know, when we think about the Trump base, what are we talking about? We mentioned working class voters, but if you look amongst GOP voters who make less than $50,000, what happens? What do we see?

We see that among nonwhite Republicans they make up about 45 percent. But if you look among white Republicans, they make up only less than 30 percent. So, essentially what we've been talking about right is this Trump base among working class voters, but in fact, it's working class nonwhite voters who make up a significantly larger share of the nonwhite voters in the Republican primary compared to white voters, in fact most white voters in a Republican primary make more than $50,000 a year.

BURNETT: Okay, which is this is fascinating and not what a lot of people may expect.

So, when you look at Trump's performance right now, or at least how these polls are showing, how do they compare with how he's done with minorities groups in the past?

ENTEN: Yeah. So, you know, Trump did significantly better in 2020 than he did in 2016 among nonwhite voters. He actually did worse among white voters in 2020 than 2016, which of course, is a big shock that's the reason he lost.

But I think what's so important to keep in mind is voters of color have or nonwhite voters are making up a larger share of the Republican electorate than they did eight years ago, right? We've seen a clear growth. They make up about 18 percent. Seven years ago they made up only about 13 percent.

So the fact is Trump is doing better with group of voters becoming a larger share of the Republican electorate and that's the reason why he's leading at this point.

BURNETT: It's very significant. Of course, dove tails with other stories we've been talking about Asian American voters or African- American voters that there's more of them are taking a look at the GOP than had before.

All right. Thank you very much, Harry.

And, next, one woman breaking her silence to CNN saying she was raped on board a ship overseen by the U.S. Coast guard.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I woke up completely naked in my bed, and my room was destroyed.


BURNETT: So, what did the Coast Guard do about it?

Plus, new images tonight of North Korea launching an ICBM as we're learning just how fast that missile could reach the United States.



BURNETT: Tonight, an OUTFRONT investigation, a failure by the U.S. Coast Guard. Two women coming forward to CNN alleging they were sexually assaulted on U.S. commercial ships that are overseen by the Coast Guard. None of these cases have been prosecuted.

And Pamela Brown has this story first on OUTFRONT



PAMELA BROWN, CNN CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hope Hicks was initially excited for her so-called sea year, spending months on a commercial ship as part of her program at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, but her excitement soon turned to terror.

HICKS: It was a very hostile environment. There were comments made towards me every single day and then two weeks, the physical touching started.

BROWN: She says one night after the crew was drinking, she was raped by a superior officer.

HICKS: Ii woke up completely naked in my bed. My room was destroyed. My sheets were bloodied, I immediately knew what happened.

BROWN: In the middle of the Arabian Sea, the only woman on board, weeks away from land.

HICKS: I was scare out of my mind.

BROWN: Her safety and those of the tens of thousands of people who work on commercial ships is overseen by the U.S. Coast Guard, which approves credentials for each crew member and investigates and punishes offenses.

But a CNN investigation found the Coast Guard failed to use its power to prevent and punish sexual assault on commercial ships for decades.

HICKS: I had no idea that reporting to the Coast Guard was even an option.

BROWN: This woman who wants to stay anonymous said she was repeatedly groped and harassed by a member of her crew on board the same ship just two years later.

MIDSHIMAN Y, SEXUALLY HARRASSED DURING SEA YEAR: Every joke, every innuendo, every touch always felt like a threat.

I always slept with my knife, felt like I was constantly hunted.

BROWN: The Coast Guard has not revoked a single credential for a sexual assault at sea in the last decade. Yet it revokes credentials for other lesser offenses.

Case in point, a merchant mariner tested positive for marijuana during a random drug test. The Coast Guard acknowledged it was likely caused by CBD oil his doctor recommended for pain but permanently revoked his credential anyway.

CNN identified more than 25 mariners who held credentials even after convicted of sex crimes on land, though many have left the industry. Like Michael James Verdin, a registered sex offender who only had a

seven-month suspension and continued working on a ship for five more years, and James Ryerse who pleaded guilty to attempted sexual conduct. He was able to return to ship work after suspension of just six months.


Both men denied the allegations

MIDSHIPMAN Y: Oh, I'm pissed, I'm tired, I'm angry, and I should be. I'm angry that the system didn't protect me at all. If anything, it suppressed me.

CAPTAIN ANN SANBORN, FORMER ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, USMMA: This is something that should have stopped decades ago.

BROWN (voice-over): Captain Ann Sanborn is former associate professor at the academy and the first female captain of a commercial ship.

SANBORN: I would describe my feelings on the U.S. Coast Guard as they have been absentee, intentionally naive.

BROWN: There are no accurate numbers for how many have been sexually assaulted on commercial ships. Victims are often bullied and belittled into silence.

HICKS: He was like we really need to talk and I told him, you forced yourself on me. And he told me that mariners get lonely at sea. And if I ever wanted to report, nobody would ever believe me.

SANBORN: They're told nobody will believe you.

BROWN: Hope Hicks wrote an anonymous blog post about her attack in 2021 and that sent shock waves through the industry.

HICKS: This problem is the most under reported problem, not enough people have come forward, not enough people have talked about it.

BROWN: As for the man who allegedly attacked Hope, the Coast Guard turned over its investigation to the Department of Justice months ago but no charges have been filed. The Coast Guard renewed his credential last year.


BROWN (on camera): After Hope Hicks' blog post, there's new focus on preventing sexual misconduct. The Coast Guard told my colleagues Blake Ellis and Melanie Hickin (ph) that among changes, they made it easier for people to report incidents at sea and they're taking part in a new monitoring system with the FBI and TSA, which would alert them to mariners who have been convicted of certain crimes -- Erin.

BURNETT: Pamela, thank you very much. Incredible reporting. Makes a difference. And next, an alarming new report which suggests a North Korean

intercontinental ballistics missile could reach the United States fast. We'll tell you how fast.

And we're learning how close two passenger jets came to colliding on a runway in Florida seconds.



BURNETT: Tonight, less than 2,000 seconds. That's how quickly a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile could reach the United States center of the mainland, if the U.S. missile defense systems fail. This is according to new study by Chinese defense researchers, and the warning comes as North Korea launch yet another long rang ballistic missile, its fourth ICBM launch already this year.

These images released by state at first showing Kim Jong-un overseeing with the child thought to be his daughter, widely thought to be his anticipated successor.

Will Ripley is OUTFRONT.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the skies near Japan, F15 on the hunt for a suspected North Korean intercontinental ballistics missile capturing what could be last seconds in flight. This rare video released by Japan's military, experts say the burning object resemble as ballistic missile boost rocket reentering the atmosphere flying about an hour at hypersonic speeds.

TIANRAN XU, ANALYST, OPEN NUCLEAR NETWORK: If there's no interception, or if the interception fails, an ICBM launched from North Korea would take a little bit more than 30 minutes to reach the homeland U.S. and also becoming -- if it's the west coast, or the east -- the east coast will take slightly more time.

RIPLEY: Chinese scientists simulated a North Korean nuclear attack. According to "The South China Morning Post", the simulation shows 33 minutes from the time of launch until the time of impact, if U.S. missile defenses fail to shoot down the ICBM.

MIKE PENCE, FOMER VICE PRESIDENT: Missile defense begins mere.

RIPLEY: For years, U.S. leaders have reassured the public.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nation should be very confident

RIPLEY: And America's allies

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Easily shoot them out of the sky.

RIPLEY: Missile defense systems can keep them safe. But virtually, all ballistics missiles travel at more than five times the speed of sound, sometimes faster.

LAURA GREGO, SENIOR SCIENTIST AND RESEARCH DIRECTOR, GLOBAL SECURITY PROGRAM: It's been described as hitting a bullet with bullet, trying to hit a warhead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one -- ignition.

RIPLEY: A report last year finding America's missile defense system the nation's best perhaps only line of defense only succeeds about half the time.

FREDERICK K. LAMB, PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN: If North Korea were to fire a nuclear armed ICBMs at the United States, we could not essential our defense system would prevent it.

RIPLEY: A U.S. Missile Defense Agency report last year said the missile defense system demonstrated a measured capability to defend the United States deployed forces and allies from a rogue nation's missile attack.

That rogue nation has a fast growing arsenal. Kim Jong-un's military is mass producing ICBMs. He knows a barrage of ballistic missiles could be too much for the U.S. to shoot down.


BURNETT: Well, it's pretty sobering reporting, especially considering so many of these missile defense tests, missile defense shield tests have not gone well for the United States. You're talking about North Korea specifically with these missiles, what about missiles that would start from China or Russia?

RIPLEY: Well, this is the scary thing that a lot of people probably don't know. Yes, you know, the U.S. missile defense system might be able to defend against an attack from a rogue state like North Korea as long as their program doesn't get too big, maybe Iran, but China, Russia, the size of their arsenal if they launched nuclear missiles at the U.S., just like if the U.S. launched nuclear missiles a them, there would be no way to shoot anything close to all of them down. It would be -- essentially, this is the definition of to mutually assured destruction.

North Korea is trying to get there, too. They're trying to the point that U.S. wouldn't be able to shoot their missiles down then they become a nuclear power, which is what Kim Jong-un has always wanted.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Will Ripley, from Taipei tonight.


And, next, a new report revealing just how close two passenger jets came to colliding in Florida.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Tonight, 14 seconds, that is how close two passenger jets came to colliding on a runway in Sarasota, Florida. This is according to preliminary report that just come out from the NTSB.

This animation revealing what happened last month. Air traffic control gives the Air Canada jet, that's the one in red, the all clear to take off. At the same time, an American Airlines jet that's the blue was three miles away. Obviously, traveling in the air, and prepared to land on the same runway.

The American Airlines jet thank goodness saw visually the Air Canada starting to take off, aborted, thank goodness. But the jets ultimately came within .6 miles of each other, think about speeds we're talking about here, only 14 seconds separated the two.

Terrifying to think about no word as to what was the reason, who was at fault. This is one now of seven close calls we know about at American airports this year.

And tonight, don't miss a special report on America's aviation problems. That's tonight at 9:00. Thanks so much for joining us.

It's time now for "AC360".