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Erin Burnett Outfront

Police Searched Shooter's Car, Found More Material Hale Wrote; Trump Speaks Out Tonight About Hush Money Case; Fired Producer Suing Fox News Seeks To Amend Dominion Testimony, Calls Ex-Coworkers "Activists, Not Journalists". Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 27, 2023 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Nashville have just released two photographs, one shows the front of the Covenant School, one of the glass doors shattered, they say, when the shooter opened fire, to gain access.

The other photo, they say, shows the killer's car, in the school parking lot. This is where they say they found what they described as additional material, written by the killer.

Also, just moments ago, President Biden ordered flags, at the White House, and all federal buildings, be lowered to half-staff, to honor the victims.

The news continues. ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT starts now.

ERIN BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, massacre in America. Police say they searched the shooter's parked car, and found more material, that Audrey Hale wrote, before killing six people, including three children.

And we're also on standby, for Police, to release video, from the moment the shooter was taken down.

Plus, a Trump probe mystery witness revealed. The man, who helped broker that hush money deal, with Stormy Daniels, appears again, before a New York grand jury. Did David Pecker's new testimony help her hurt the ex-President.

And she made explosive claims about Fox News, alleging she was coached to lie, in a major legal case, against the network. The network has now fired her. And the producer's lawyer is with me tonight.

Let's go OUTFRONT.


BURNETT: Good evening. I am Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight. We are getting a first look, at the car of the killer, of three children, and three adults, at Covenant School, this morning, in Nashville. Police just posting a picture of the Honda Fit that the 28-year-old shooter, Audrey Elizabeth Hale, drove to the campus, this morning, parked there. Detectives searched it, after officer shot and killed the attacker, and found material, inside, written by Hale.

Now, they have posted an image, on social media, of the glass doors that they say the attacker shot through, to enter the building, right? Didn't just open a door, actually, shot into the building. Police say there will be releasing footage, as soon as tonight, of what they encountered, and when they arrived, at the scene, this morning.

Meantime, the killer has been identified, as transgender, a person, who once attended that same private Christian school, located inside a church. And tonight, we may be learning about a possible motive.


CHIEF JOHN DRAKE, NASHVILLE POLICE: There's some belief that there was some resentment to having to go to that school, don't have all the details for that just yet, and that's why this incident occurred.


BURNETT: That was Nashville's Police Chief John Drake, speaking to NBC, earlier tonight.

And there's so much still to be investigated. But law enforcement officers are sure, this was a targeted attack. And they say that written evidence was left behind. And they also add that there was a map, a detailed map that was drawn out in advance that laid out, in some sense, how this bloodshed was going to happen.

And now, it happened. Three beautiful children are gone. Their names were Evelyn, William and Hallie. And three adults, ages 60 and 61, also, tragically murdered, on this day.

Now, we will never know how many other lives may have been saved, by the quick actions, of law enforcement, in this massacre. There were, of course, terrible scenes, little children being led out, of another crime scene, in a school, in this country.

Carlos Suarez begins our coverage, outside the school, in Nashville.

And Carlos, what more are Police saying tonight, about what they're finding, and what they know.

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, outside of the school, here, folks have started to show up, tonight, to leave behind teddy bears, as well as flowers.

And as you said, we are getting our first look, at some of the scene, outside of the school, where this shooting took place.

The authorities, out here, they released a number of photos, tonight, three of them to be exact. One of them shows that car that was driven by the shooter that was left behind. And, as you mentioned, Police were able to search that car, and they found what they are saying were statements that were left behind.

Now, the other photos show the front entrance, to the school, this private Christian school, and it shows the door, the glass that's been shot out, from one of the doors. Now, earlier today, authorities had said that that's exactly how this 28-year-old shooter was able to get inside of that building.

We know that, according to authorities, the shooter was really prepared, for a confrontation, with officers were told that that the shooter showed up, to this school, with two AR-style weapons, as well as a handgun, and that two of those weapons were legally purchased.

We're told that the shooter was armed with several rounds of ammunition, and that the shooter had detailed the plan of attack. They say that this entire thing was targeted that there were maps, where the shooter had used, to highlight the entry points, throughout this building.

As for that motive, authorities are hoping, to detail, some of that in the coming days. Right now, they are still, in the early stages, of this investigation.

But again, Erin, this community, here, in Nashville, tonight, is still trying to process all of this. They are dealing with the grief out here, and they have started to show some of that emotions, at the entrance, to where this school is located.


BURNETT: Carlos, thank you very much.


And I want to go now to Congresswoman Lucy McBath, Democratic congresswoman, from Georgia. Her 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed, in 2012, in a dispute, over loud music. And she has fought, ever since, for gun safety measures.

And Congresswoman, I very much appreciate your time.

I know this is deeply personal, for you, in a way, many can only imagine and, sadly, many in this country do understand. What did you first think when you heard another deadly mass shooting, another school, and that the six victims included three 9-year-olds?

REP. LUCY MCBATH (D-GA): Well, anger, just anger, disgust, and just so much pain, for those families, because there, again, I understand exactly how they feel, and just anger, as to when is enough, enough?

What are we going to do about this horrible culture that we're living in, that our children can't even be safe, in their schools? They are traumatized again, and again, and again. Our communities are traumatized again, and again, and again. And when is it enough?

BURNETT: Congresswoman, your Republican colleague, Congressman, Andy Ogles, who represents the Nashville district, where the Covenant School is located, today said, in part, and I quote him, "My family and I are devastated by the tragedy that took place at The Covenant School in Nashville this morning. We are sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost. As a father of three, I am utterly heartbroken by this senseless act of violence."

Now, Congressman Ogles also posted a picture, in 2021, of himself, he and his family, holding rifles. And the post says "Merry Christmas," and I quote, "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."

Congresswoman, do you believe someone can genuinely believe in both of those statements?

MCBATH: No. What I do believe is that if my Republican colleagues are really going to honor the oath that they took, to protect and serve? Then those two are diametrically opposed.

You cannot continue to want to loosen gun restrictions, in this country, but at the same time, watch tragedy after tragedy, after tragedy, and say, "I sympathize with the families. My thoughts and prayers are for the families." They are diametrically opposed.

If my Republican colleagues would be willing, to work with the Democrats, in solving this extremist gun crisis, then we would not be having these kinds of stories, day in and day out.

You cannot serve your community, you cannot protect them, and serve them, at the same time, without a willingness, to do the right thing, to pass legislation, such as universal background checks, red flag laws, assault weapons ban. Those are the pieces of policy that 95 percent of Americans, in this country, and law enforcement, have said over and over again, are needed, for us, to feel safe, in our communities, and safe in America.

BURNETT: And we should point out, of course, that two of those weapons, we know, were legally obtained, right? So, to say senseless act of violence, right, it is one that was legal, in terms of the guns that were there.

A final question. Ashbey Beasley, who survived the Highland Park shooting, last July, she was in Nashville, today, on vacation, when the shooting happened. And she went to one of the Police news conferences. She spoke out. The country saw her.

Here's part of what she said.


ASHBEY BEASLEY, HIGHLAND PARK SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Aren't you guys tired of covering this? Aren't you guys tired of being here, and having to cover all of these mass shootings? How is this still happening? How are our children still dying, and why are we failing them?


BURNETT: I spoke to her earlier, Congresswoman, and she told me that she had met with over 100 lawmakers. She has now made this her life's work, since last summer, when she was in Highland Park.

Do you think that the work that she is doing, that you are doing, are we at a point where any of that is going to come to fruition, in the form of laws?

MCBATH: Absolutely, it does. Every person that is on the ground, fighting for gun safety legislation, every one of my colleagues that tirelessly fights for gun safety legislation, it does matter.

Just last summer, President Biden signed into law, the most comprehensive gun safety legislation, bipartisan gun safety legislation that we had seen in decades. In the house, we've passed an assault weapons ban. We've passed universal background checks. So yes, we are turning the tide. But it does take a lot of time, a lot of effort, to change a culture.


It is going to happen. The President, just recently, executive orders, to expand red flag laws, and background checks. So, yes, we're doing the right thing. But the culture is so expansive that it will take - I have hope, but it's going to take some time, to change this culture.

BURNETT: Yes. Well, Congresswoman McBath, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

MCBATH: Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. And, for more on this, I want to bring in clinical psychologist, Jeff Gardere.

And, Jeff, we've learned the shooter had detailed maps, of the school, mapped out the entrances, had attended there, meticulously laid out those maps. I mean, this was clearly planned, and targeted.

JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL & FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Seems absolutely like it was planned. Certainly, there was surveillance that was done, we can tell, of course, by some of the plans that had been written out.

But also, there was a manifesto that I'm sure they'll be releasing some information. And unusually, when you see that, it tells you not only was this something that was pre-planned, but something, where they saw a conclusion.

And, I think, in this case, the conclusion was it was going to be a firefight, not just taking on these poor students, and the staff, and teachers, and so on, but also taking on the Police officers.


GARDERE: And so, this appear to be something like a suicide by cop.

BURNETT: And we're getting some new pictures, Jeff, from the Nashville Police Department, of the Police car windshield. They say the shooter shot at, from the second-storey window, when officers pulled up. And that seems to fit with what you're saying that the shooter was looking for some sort of a Police shootout.

GARDERE: Yes. And, of course, we know, these shootings, Erin, are about pure rage. And so, now we see, this isn't just about rage, but an exorbitant amount of rage, with this person, just it appeared to me felt that the only way it was going to end was with this individual being stopped.

BURNETT: So, we understand there's a manifesto. The Police have said that they do believe that the person was motivated, by resentment, possibly, about having to had to attend this school.

Now, the shooter was 28-years-old. This is a private Christian school. We've learned the shooter was transgender. And, like I said, the Police say that resentment of having to attend this school may have been part of this.

We do not know how the dots all connect yet. But what can you take away from what we do know, right now?

GARDERE: Well, there's certainly a story to be told here. The fact that there is resentment, that this person actually felt? And we see that happen, with the mass shooters, in the past, and therefore, that is part of the motivation. Time will only tell what the very specific motivations are, and how that may tie, into possibly, into that person's identity.

BURNETT: Yes. And, of course, we just don't know. We just know some data points here, and not how they connect.

Jeff, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

GARDERE: Always.

BURNETT: And next, why was the former publisher, of the National Enquirer, brought back, before the Trump hush money grand jury today? Will this be the final one, before a potential Trump indictment?

Plus, new court filings reveal what a now-fired Fox News producer, is alleging, against the network; intimidation and coercion to give misleading testimony. Her lawyer's with me with much more.

And the man, suing Gwyneth Paltrow, over a ski collision, years ago, took the stand, today, describing a "Blood curdling scream" before impact. Whose story will the jury buy?


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Tonight, a key witness, appearing before a Manhattan grand jury, hearing evidence, against Donald Trump. David Pecker, the former head of the National Enquirer, was seen leaving the grand jury building, you see him there, after about 90 minutes.

Now, back in 2018, Pecker's company admitted to participating in so- called catch-and-kill schemes. Basically, they would find, pay for, and then never publish, as in kill, unflattering stories about Trump.

OUTFRONT tonight, Ryan Goodman, Karen Agnifilo, Basil Smikle, and former Republican congressman, Adam Kinzinger.

OK, thanks to all.

So, Ryan, here we are. And you've got Pecker coming in, for the second time, inside the building, for 90 minutes, which would mean somewhat less than that in front of the grand jury, but not multiple hours, like Costello, the other day. How important could Pecker be?

RYAN GOODMAN, CO-EDITOR IN CHIEF, JUST SECURITY, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: So, I think, Pecker would be very important. In a certain sense, he can corroborate a lot of what Michael Cohen said.

The agreement that you referenced that was in the federal courts actually corroborates a lot of the understanding that Michael Cohen had, with Pecker, and the National Enquirer that this would be a scheme, to suppress stories, for the purpose of the election. So, it ties everything together.

And it also could be a very strong response, to Costello, when Costello stood outside the court, and said, "Oh, this is all Michael Cohen's idea."

That's not what the agreement States, by the AMI, by American Media Inc. It says that it was Pecker's idea, and that was in August of 2015, two months after Trump announced he was running for president. And, in fact, that Pecker has direct communications with Trump, at that very meeting.


GOODMAN: The agreement just says with one or more members of the Trump campaign.

But the Justice Department's other filing says it was Individual 1. So, he directly met with Donald Trump, at the initial meeting, to discuss the entire scheme.

BURNETT: So Karen, you worked in this D.A. office.

Now, we know Michael Cohen's former legal adviser, Bob Costello, also testified. That was a week ago. Team Trump's behest, they could have someone come in. They did. And then, we heard nothing for a week. And now, suddenly, David Pecker appears today.

So, what do you make of all this, and the timing here?

KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, FORMER CHIEF ASSISTANT MANHATTAN D.A.: I think we're at the very end. And if the grand jury didn't vote today? And we wouldn't know, because it's a secret proceeding. They're probably going to vote Wednesday or Thursday of this week. So, it's the end.

BURNETT: So, you think that we really are at the end? Because I know it's been sort of waiting and waiting.



FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO: Yes, I mean, Pecker testified, I think, it was in January, and that was a long time ago, in grand jury time.

And I think to come back and have him rebut what was said by Costello? I think that also takes out any doubt, whether or not Alvin Bragg is thinking about not asking the grand jury, to vote. I know there was that question of is he reconsidering?


FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO: The fact that he directly wanted to rebut what Costello said, shows he's, I think, he's going forward with a vote.

BURNETT: OK, which is significant.


So, Basil, as Karen says, as far as we know, there was no grand jury vote today, right? As she said, we wouldn't necessarily know.

Trump had said he'd be indicted, tomorrow, a week ago, OK?


BURNETT: There's other ways I could say that. A week ago, he said he'd be indicted tomorrow, right? But you get the point, a week ago.

So, does the temperature, on this, for the American public go up or down, the longer this goes on?

SMIKLE: Well, I think, and this is, it's an interesting point. With the testimony today, it's almost like they're trying to hammer home the message, and make sure they get everything, right.

Because, for the American voter, for them, they're trying to figure out what is the difference between some random person, doing this, and Donald Trump doing this? Does it rise to the level that I need to pay attention to this, as a voter? Or can I just sweep this under the rug? And I imagine that Alvin Bragg's trying to bring this all together, to make that very important point. Now, this is a guy, who was President of the United States, or about to be President of the United States. And it's important, and you should pay attention, for the purpose of accountability.

Having said that, there are a lot of voters that probably want to see him do a perp walk, in an orange jumpsuit, and have handcuffs on. And I think it's important, for all of us, to try to manage their expectations, of what--

BURNETT: That is not--

SMIKLE: --may or may not happen.

BURNETT: Right, right.

Now, Congressman Kinzinger, it's this whole point about the - you hear Pecker today.

Well, Trump just - has just come out, not in front of the grand jury, but to make his case, to the American public, in an interview, just a couple moments ago. He tried to explain, why Michael Cohen would have written a letter, saying Trump did not know about the payment. A letter, of course, Cohen wrote in 2018.

Here's what he just said.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He probably did that to ingratiate himself to me, because that would be maybe smart to do, from his standpoint. But he probably did that to ingratiate himself. But if you take a look at that letter, that's perfect.


BURNETT: So Congressman, what do you make of the fact that he's out, the night before - well, there may have been an indictment today that he could be aware of, and we're not, or it could be one, coming Wednesday. What do you make of him coming out in the court of public opinion and doing this now?

ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I think it's all bad. I think for him, it's all the court of public opinion, you know? I think it's probably a fait accompli, that he'll be indicted, but maybe, maybe not. But typically, when this goes to a grand jury, and they take a vote, it usually comes out, I think, nine times out of 10.

And so, we'll see what the indictment reads like. I mean, that's, I think, for folks that are somewhat unfamiliar, with this? When an indictment comes out? And I think it's the same in New York. You basically can see a list of what the accusations are, some of the evidence.

BURNETT: Yes. KINZINGER: And so, that'll be the moment, when Republicans defending him, will have to realize, "OK, well, maybe this is bigger than we thought," or "Maybe it's exactly what we thought."

And I think, from Donald Trump's perspective, he's looking at this, saying, "Well, what is the best thing I can do?" Well, if you look at, for instance, the Mueller investigation? They came out, a couple of weeks, before that was public, and basically set the table, for what it actually said. I think he's trying to control the narrative here.

BURNETT: So, it's interesting, Ryan, though, is one thing I'm wondering if Pecker could have resolved, or what could have resolved, is a couple of things that we know, from the fact pattern, right?

We know from reporting from the AP and The Washington Post that Stormy Daniels had originally pitched the story, to another magazine, in 2011. And there were threats, from Michael Cohen, and others, according to this reporting, basically, "If you do it, bad things are going to happen," OK? They never published it, right? So, that went away. And that was in 2011.

Michael Cohen himself told Congress that these catch-and-kill episodes, he said, existed, I'm quoting him, "Between David Pecker and Mr. Trump long before I started working for him in 2007."

So, all of that sets, the predicate for, this was the way Donald Trump did business, well before he had any sort of political motivation.

GOODMAN: Right. So, I think that's one of the big questions.

And it's a good defense, for Trump, if he wants to say, "I would have done this, in any case. This was just to create - now - I didn't want to have the public spectacle, I didn't want it to come back for my wife and my family to know about these allegations, true or false." That's the defense.

But if it can be shown that he had a mixed motive, and that part of it was also, for the election, that they were going to engage, in these kinds of acts, to suppress these stories, then it's kind of game over. That is what all the prosecution needs to prove. They don't - it's OK, if it's a mixed motive.

And that's where the Justice Department at least, for the federal government, said that the particular scheme that David Pecker came up with, two months after Trump announced that he was running for president, was the specific catch-or-kill scheme, and then that's what they implemented.

BURNETT: And so, then the question would be, obviously, if you're a candidate, and you would kill this for personal reasons, but then you're a candidate, and you're running for election, so you also have political motivations. What is the substantial political motivation, Karen?

I mean, Lanny Davis had said, who's Michael Cohen's lawyer, "Oh, it only needs to be 1 percent." It appears it needs to be a little bit more than that. But it's not a defined thing. And you're looking at basically a scrambled egg here, for the jury.


FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO: Oh, I think the timing matters a lot here. He didn't pay her, for example, a lot earlier, when she wanted the money. It was only right after the Access Hollywood tape, and right before the election, when he really started to worry that this was going to impact the election. And I do think that timing matters a lot, in this particular - in this particular instance.

BURNETT: OK. So, in this context, Congressman Kinzinger, you're looking at the GOP primaries, Trump having his first rally, over the weekend, in Waco.

The latest poll, from Marist says that 88 percent actually, more than 88 percent of Republicans, say that Trump either did nothing wrong, or at least nothing illegal. What does that say to you?

KINZINGER: Well, I mean, look, I think, this case in and of itself is probably not going to affect Donald Trump much, within the base.

Now, I don't think there's anybody that voted for Joe Biden, a couple years ago that now will vote for Donald Trump. So, I think it will hurt him significantly, if he--


KINZINGER: --wins the nomination, and goes to the general.

But you add the potential for Georgia, and the one that I think's the big one, which is the documents, in both the January 6 case? I think, when you start piling these on top of each other, it can have a real impact, even if they don't want to believe that he did any of it.

If it's all a witch-hunt? Republicans are starting to get a little exhausted. And, I think, at some point, with all this piling on, they may get exhausted enough, to go somewhere else.

SMIKLE: I think that's absolutely right. Look, the hardest thing, for Democrats, going into 2024, is to maintain the coalition that did so well for them in 2022, those independent voters, and disaffected Republicans, all over the country.

Having said that, is this going to matter, to those voters? And, I think, it may, in a small way. But the biggest challenge - the biggest point will be, as the Congressmember said, Georgia, the Special Counsel investigation. This isn't - this is a door opening--


SMIKLE: --for anything that would come later, in terms of how Donald Trump comports himself, and how the voters respond.

BURNETT: All right.

Thank you all very much. I appreciate it. And next, the former producer, suing Fox News, has filed new allegations, against the network, in connection with one of the biggest legal cases, in the United States, right now. Was she fired as retaliation for trying to tell the truth about the network's coverage? Her lawyer is going to join us after this.

And big developments, tonight, in Israel, where we've been witnessing an extraordinary battle, for democracy, mass protests, and global implications, for what we're seeing, including in the U.S. That's next.



BURNETT: Tonight, new court filings reveal Fox News has fired the producer, who's suing the network, over her testimony, in the Dominion case.

Abby Grossberg worked with Maria Bartiromo, and Tucker Carlson. She accused Fox News lawyers, of coercing her, into giving misleading testimony. And she says that testimony gave cover, to network leaders, and talent, who knowingly pushed election lies, and conspiracy theories, about Dominion Voting Systems.

Grossberg's latest court filing amends deposition statements that she made, last year, including one, in which she had expressed trust, for Fox producers.

And she now wants to change that testimony to this. She now wants to go on the record with this. Quote, "No, I don't trust all of [the] producers at Fox. They're activists, not journalists, and [they] impose their political agendas on the programming."

Grossberg also claimed she was subjected to a toxic and sexist work environment, at Fox News.

For its part, the network denies wrongdoing, regarding Grossberg, and separately maintains, of course, that it never defamed Dominion. This is one of the biggest lawsuits going on, in the country.

And here now to respond is Abby Grossberg's lawyer, Gerry Filippatos.

And I really appreciate your taking the time here to explain this. Let's just start first with--


BURNETT: --your client goes into a deposition.


BURNETT: She gives sworn testimony. And the counsel who had advised her prior to that are Fox News counsel.


BURNETT: And she says she was forced and intimidated into giving things that were misleading, into saying things--


BURNETT: --that she didn't believe were true.

What exactly did they instruct her to do?

FILIPPATOS: So, let's just step back one step, and just talk about the fact that it wasn't just the actual deposition testimony. It was how she was prepared, for the deposition.

And I would just say that she's not changing her testimony. She's actually delivering her testimony, the way it should have been delivered, uninhibited, free of coercion, free of intimidation.

So, she, in fact, when she was first asked to appear, to perhaps give testimony, she asked in her first prep session, with the attorneys - and, by the way, it wasn't just in-house Fox counsel. It was also outside counsel as well. So, she had four attorneys, there.

BURNETT: Four attorneys prepping her?



FILIPPATOS: One's enough, usually, right?


FILIPPATOS: But, so, she started off by saying, "Do I need my own attorney?"

Because it so happens that Ms. Bartiromo, whose show she was on? And I'm sure we'll get later into her whole history. But it's also important to know that the deposition prep and testimony was taking place, as she was transitioning, from Ms. Bartiromo's show to Mr. Carlson's show.

So, she gets in there, first session. They tell her to come in. She comes in. And the first thing she asked is, "Do I need my own attorney? Because Maria has her own attorney. She told me so," this is Abby speaking.

And the Fox attorney said, "Oh, no, no, you don't need your own attorney. They just complicate things, and you'll be fine. I mean, you're one of the first witnesses that we're preparing. But as long as you cooperate, everything will be fine," so.

BURNETT: "As long as you cooperate."


BURNETT: So now, she's starting to set the record straight.

Now, Fox is saying that this - she's just making these claims, because she had a critical performance review.


BURNETT: That she was fired because she shared privileged information. This is their argument. Their statement is--


BURNETT: "We were clear that if she violated our instructions, Fox would take appropriate action including termination."


BURNETT: "Ms. Grossberg ignored those communications."

What's your response?

FILIPPATOS: OK. So, I mean, let's just start with the fact that those arguments have now been once voluntarily dismissed by Fox attorneys, before a judge could take a look at them, because frankly, they probably were embarrassed, to go before the judge, and make these arguments, which are absolutely frivolous.

And the second time they made the argument was in our Southern District case, where we allege hostile work environment, misogyny, chauvinism, just a toxic work environment, especially on the Tucker Carlson's show.

BURNETT: On Tucker Carlson's show--


BURNETT: --you're saying specifically?



FILIPPATOS: So, there - it is just almost unbelievable that they're taking the position that they fired her, on Friday, because she was insubordinate.

How was she insubordinate? She was insubordinate, by actually saying, "I'm the victim of discrimination. And, by the way, I don't want to - I don't want to lie anymore, or be forced to come close to lying."

BURNETT: So, the question is now, there's a text exchange that Ms. Grossberg shared. She texts Bartiromo, "To be honest, our audience doesn't want to hear about a peaceful transition. They still have hope," to which Bartiromo answers, "Yes, agree."

Now, those texts, that one exchange there?



BURNETT: It's one exchange.


BURNETT: But seems to suggest that they both knew that this was BS, and they both were just discussing, what the viewers wanted to hear, which is that this was rigged, and this was unfair. And this is in the context of Dominion.

What do you say to that?

FILIPPATOS: Well, I mean, I think we can slice and dice any particular exchange that two people have.

First of all, Ms. Bartiromo is the on-air talent. Ms. Grossberg is there to essentially make sure that that Ms. Bartiromo has what she needs. She has her own position. She has her own point of view. So, obviously, Abby is not going to exactly argue with her, if she wants to have this--

BURNETT: Over text.

FILIPPATOS: Over - well, exactly.


FILIPPATOS: So, and I think that text by itself just says kind of the truth, right, because I mean, Fox's audience, I mean, we all know, isn't interested--

BURNETT: Not what (ph) they want to hear.


BURNETT: Will Ms. Grossberg testify, on behalf of Dominion?

FILIPPATOS: Well, will she take the stand? I say, she's already made a stand, because she's already told the truth. She's already going out there, exposed herself, and taken on this gigantic network, so that she can tell the truth.

I'll tell you one thing. If she does testify, it's certainly not going to be, on behalf of Fox. And they had the audacity, this last week, to go before the judge, in Delaware, and put her on their witness list, like she's going to be their witness. That's not going to happen. If she chooses to testify, it certainly will be for Dominion.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Gerry, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

FILIPPATOS: Thank you so much.

BURNETT: All right. And next, nuclear threats, from Vladimir Putin, tonight. Is he trying to scare the world? Or is this real? We are live, in Moscow, this hour.

Plus, Gwyneth Paltrow's accuser, testifying against her, in that trial, about a ski collision, and the drama, very palpable, in court, today, and we'll show you what happened, next.



BURNETT: Tonight, ramping up the nuclear rhetoric, top Putin allies, warning Russia has the weapons, to destroy the United States, if threatened. Russia's Security Council Secretary, telling state media today that the United States shouldn't underestimate Moscow's capability.

This coming as Putin is not backing down, on plans, to put tactical nuclear weapons, in Belarus, of course, the Russian ally that shares more than 700 miles of border, with Ukraine, and from which Russian forces invaded Ukraine, a year ago.

CNN's Matthew Chance is OUTFRONT.



Even Ukrainian towns, with little strategic value, locking both sides, into a bloody, stagnant standoff. One reason the Kremlin is again, upping the ante.

It was on state television, that President Putin dropped his nuclear bombshell. "Tactical nuclear weapons will soon be deployed to neighboring Belarus," he announced, now, for decades, as Russia station these powerful battlefield weapons, outside its own borders.

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (through translator): The United States has done it for decades. They have placed their tactical nuclear weapons, in their allied countries. And we had an agreement, as allies do the same.

CHANCE (voice-over): These are the Iskander missile systems capable of delivering a nuclear payload that Putin says are already deployed in Belarus.

A silo, for their nuclear warheads, he says, will be ready by July, prompting alarm and objections from Europe.

But praise, on the streets of the Russian capital, where dissent, from the Kremlin line, is a risk.

TATIANA (ph): (FOREIGN LANGUAGE). CHANCE (voice-over): "I think NATO is to blame for all of this," says Tatiana (ph). "It is they who are marching towards us to our borders," she says.


CHANCE (voice-over): "The West thinks it can have its own way and do anything with us," says Vladimir (ph). "Now, it's time to demonstrate our capabilities, to show we too mean business."

And there are airborne delivery systems too.

These are Russian warplanes flying sorties over Ukraine.

But the Kremlin says Russian technicians have also converted 10 Belarusian aircraft to carry tactical nuclear weapons as well. It would be devastating and unstoppable.

Although the U.S. officials say there's no reason to adjust America's nuclear posture, at least not yet.

JOHN KIRBY, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESMAN: We've, in fact, seen no indication that he has any intention to use nuclear weapons, period, inside Ukraine.

CHANCE (voice-over): But Putin has every intention, of tightening his grip, on Belarus, whose own autocratic leader, is already propped up, by the Kremlin strong.

To avoid nuclear proliferation, Putin says command and control, of the tactical weapons, will be kept with Moscow.

Belarus, already a reluctant Military ally, will now host even more Russian troops, on its soil.


BURNETT: So Matthew, what does this announcement that Russia is going to station nuclear weapons, in Belarus, say about Putin, right now? I mean, is this something that is, should be perceived as something coming from strength or from weakness?

CHANCE: Well, Erin, it's got to be from weakness.

I mean, when you consider that Vladimir Putin is an isolated figure, on the international stage, these days? Just a couple of weeks ago, he was indicted by the International Criminal Court, for war crimes, in The Hague.

Got very little, out of a high-profile visit, from the Chinese leader, to Moscow, as well in terms of tangible benefits and support? Plus, the fact that, as I hinted at in that piece, his Military is stagnating, on the battlefield, even, cities like Bakhmut, Russia has not managed yet to take?

I mean, it's obviously a position of weakness, and he wants to show strength. And obviously, Putin falls back, on his nuclear arsenal, to demonstrate that.


BURNETT: Right, right, means - when put in a corner.

All right, Matthew Chance, thank you very much, live, from Moscow, tonight.

Also, this hour, Israeli officials, on high alert, for more unrest. It has been an extraordinary 24 hours, there.

The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, delaying his controversial plan, to overhaul his country's judicial system, after he fired the Defense Secretary, from his own party, for speaking out against his plan. And there were widespread protests, against the plan, and nationwide worker strike, because of the plan.

Hadas Gold is OUTFRONT.



HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A political crisis, and now, a potential security crisis, on the streets of Israel, as the country was brought to a standstill, by the largest general strike, in Israeli history.


GOLD (voice-over): Sparked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan, to weaken the Supreme Court, and its firing of the country's Defense Minister, for speaking out against the overhaul.

Fiery protests, erupted, Sunday, and grew Monday, with demonstrators descending, on Jerusalem, from all over Israel.


GOLD (voice-over): Chanting for democracy, as they gathered en masse, in front of the country's Supreme Court, and outside Israel's parliament, the Knesset nearby.

GOLD (on camera): These changes, to the judiciary, in Israel, will be the most significant, since the country's founding, in 1948. And at their core, they will give the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and therefore whatever parties and politicians are in power, more control, over the judiciary, from how, and who, the judges are, who are to be selected, to even the ability to overturn certain Supreme Court decisions.

Now, critics of these reforms fear that it would destroy the independence of the Israeli judiciary, they would hurt minority rights, and it would also hurt human rights, in Israel, from everything, from freedom of speech and expression, to freedom of religion. GOLD (voice-over): On Monday, flights were halted, and Israel ports stopped work, alongside universities, embassies abroad, malls and even McDonald's.


GOLD (voice-over): The leader of Israel's largest union demanded the historic general strike, to stop, what he called, this judicial revolution, this craziness.

It seemed to have had the intended effect.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translator): Out of the desire, to prevent a rift, in the nation, I decided to suspend the second and third reading, of the law, in this session of the Knesset, to give time, to try and reach a broad agreement.

GOLD (voice-over): For Netanyahu, this may be more than just a political setback. Critics say the overhaul will help Netanyahu, in his ongoing corruption trial, a charge he denies.

In a Saturday evening interview, with British journalist, Piers Morgan, Netanyahu denied he was pushing for autocratic rule.

NETANYAHU: To try to paint me as some third-world autocrat is ridiculous.

I believe in the balance. I'm a classic Democrat with a small-d. I don't want to get into trouble, with my American friends! But I'm a - I'm a classic believer, in the balance between the three branches of government. That's what ensures democracy. And it's been thrown off balance, in Israel. We have to bring it back.

GOLD (voice-over): Before his speech, to the nation, on Monday, he acknowledged the precarious situation, the country is in, as some right-wing groups began calling for counter-protests, tweeting, "I call on all the demonstrators in Jerusalem, on the right and the left, to behave responsibly and not to act violently. We are brotherly people."

With the country in chaos, there are fears now that this divisiveness could still lead to bloodshed.


GOLD: And Erin, while the massive general strike was lifted, when Benjamin Netanyahu announced the suspension of legislation? And the U.S. State Department praised the move. The opposition leaders, including former Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, have been a bit more circumspect, taking more of a wait-and-see approach, because what they want are actual real negotiations, with the Israeli President, as the mediator. They are still waiting to see whether that will actually take place.

Erin? BURNETT: All right, Hadas, thank you very much, from Israel, tonight.

And coming up, next hour, Alisyn Camerota delving into the controversy, over a new Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus song, that's been banned, from a Wisconsin school concert. Is it overreach or appropriate? Stay tuned for Alisyn, and "CNN TONIGHT."

And next, who crashed into whom? The man, suing Gwyneth Paltrow, over that ski collision, taking the stand, today, delivering diametrically different testimony, from the Hollywood star. What jurors heard today? Next.



BURNETT: A "Blood curdling scream, and then a boom" that's how the man, accusing Gwyneth Paltrow, of slamming into him, on a ski slope, described what happened, to a Utah jury.

But which story will they believe? After all, the Hollywood star testified, for two hours, on Friday, and said the exact opposite. She said he plowed into her.

CNN's Veronica Miracle is OUTFRONT.


VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Actress and businesswoman, Gwyneth Paltrow, back in court, today, for a civil trial, as the man, suing her, over a 2016 skiing accident, took the stand.

TERRY SANDERSON, SUING PALTROW FOR 2016 SKI ACCIDENT: Something I've never heard, at a ski resort, and that was a blood curdling scream.

It was like somebody was out of control, and going to hit a tree, and was going to die.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Terry Sanderson insists Paltrow skied into him, on a beginners' ski slope, at a Utah ski resort, causing him severe brain damage, and other injuries.

But Paltrow vehemently denies this. She's countersuing Sanderson, and claims he crashed into her.

GWYNETH PALTROW, ACTRESS: I said, "You skied directly into my effing back."

I apologize for my bad language.

SANDERSON: I'm like living another life now. I can't ski anymore. I was told that if I did, and had another crash, that I could wind up full time, full time, in a nursing home.

MIRACLE (voice-over): Animations, produced by Paltrow's legal team, were shown to the court, to illustrate where Paltrow family Ski Instructor, Eric Christiansen, alleged the parties were, on the slope, that day.

Christiansen, who was with Paltrow's children, at the time of the accident, testified about what he heard and saw.

ERIC CHRISTIANSEN, SKI INSTRUCTOR: The first, he was apologizing.

Then, he also made a statement about "She just appeared in front of me."

MIRACLE (voice-over): Christiansen also denied Sanderson's accusation that he and Paltrow skied away without offering any assistance to Sanderson.


CHRISTIANSEN: The whole time, I'm removing skis, and getting ready, to help them up, I'm asking, "Are you OK?"

He was affirmative. He said, "Yes."

MIRACLE (voice-over): Last week, Paltrow described the crash, in an entirely different way, even recalling, she at first thought she was being sexually assaulted.

PALTROW: I was skiing, and two skis came between my skis, forcing my legs apart, and then there was a body pressing against me. And there was a very strange grunting noise.

I thought, "Am I - is this a practical joke? Is someone like doing something perverted?"


MIRACLE: Erin, this trial is running way behind.

In fact, Gwyneth Paltrow's husband and two children were supposed to testify, today. Now, the defense is saying they don't think they're going to get to her family, because they have a long list of experts, they want to put on the stand. And this all has to be wrapped up, by the end of this week.


BURNETT: All right. Veronica, thank you very much.

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

"CNN TONIGHT" with Alisyn Camerota is next.