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Erin Burnett Outfront

21-Year-Old Guardsman Arrested In Pentagon Docs Leak Case; Source: Trump Answered Questions Under Oath In NY Fraud Case; OutFront Obtains Audio Of Giuliani, Fox Host Discussing Dominion; Feinstein Asks For Temporary Replacement On Judiciary Committee; Violent Protests Break Out In Paris Ahead Of Major Court Ruling That Could Greenlight Plan To Raise Retirement Age. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 13, 2023 - 19:00   ET




A 21-year-old arrested, suspected of being behind the classified documents leak, taken into custody after being under FBI surveillance. This is as we're learning new details about who he was sharing those documents with online.

Plus, Trump under oath. The former president just finishing nearly seven hours of questions in another high stakes case. So, what happened?

And, caught on tape. New secret recordings from inside Fox revealing what Rudy Giuliani really thought about Dominion with the tapes. And the attorney for the woman who made those recordings is my guest.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erica Hill, in tonight for Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, arrested. The suspect in the massive leak of classified intelligence documents is now in custody. We have video for you. You see it right here. This is the 21-year-old Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira being arrested at home in Massachusetts. A massive show of force there ahead of what are expected to be very serious charges.


MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Today, the Justice Department arrested Jack Douglas Teixeira in connection with an investigation into alleged unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified national defense information.


HILL: CNN learning Teixeira led a small online chat group, which, according to "The Washington Post" was comprised of young men from across the globe, some of them just teenagers. They shared a love of guns and military gear. Members telling "The Post", Teixeira first began sharing information by typing it out from memory, but then eventually began posting photographs of the classified documents.

Photographs, which have now been widely shared, putting U.S. intel at risk, raising serious concerns as well, among allies. The documents included images of battlefield conditions in Ukraine, information about North Korea's ballistic missiles, the Chinese spy balloon. Those who knew Teixeira say he just wanted to keep his friends in the loop on current events.


MEMBER OF LEAK SUSPECT'S ONLINE GROUP: He wanted us all to be sort of super soldiers to some degree, informed, fit, with God, well-armed, stuff like that.


HILL: One of the reporters who spoke to that young man will join me in just a moment.

But, first, Kylie Atwood is OUTFRONT at the State Department.

So, Kylie, how we're officials able to identify the suspect here?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen. We knew from sources, Erica, that the FBI and the Department of Justice were moving ahead quite quickly with this criminal investigation. Of course, earlier this morning, "The New York Times" broke a story that Teixeira was the leaker of this classified information. Then later in the morning, you had President Biden saying that DOJ was getting close to identifying a suspect. And then by this afternoon, we were watching that footage of the arrests in Massachusetts actually happened.


ATWOOD (voice-over): Dramatic overhead video of a 21-year-old airman in the Massachusetts National Guard being arrested outside of his relative's home. Suspect Jack Teixeira taken into U.S. custody in connection with leaked classified documents that have recently appeared on social media sites.

GARLAND: FBI agents took Teixeira into custody earlier this afternoon without incident. He will have an initial appearance at the U.S. District Court for the district of Massachusetts.

ATWOOD: The arrest comes exactly a week after President Biden and other senior U.S. leaders, including the secretary of defense, were briefed on the leak, unleashing a fast moving search by the U.S. government to identify the culprit who was under surveillance for at least a couple of days before his arrest, according to a U.S. government source.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's a full blown investigation going on.

ATWOOD: The documents were leaked on Discord, chat and messaging platform often used by gamers. "The Washington Post" spoke with a member of the group who met the leaker online about four years ago and had seen the posted classified documents on Discord.

MEMBER OF LEAK SUSPECT'S ONLINE GROUP: There's talks of foreign intelligence agencies who's supplying what and what wars, who's funding certain things. There's talks of nuclear weaponry. I mean, that's hardly touching the iceberg. There's just stuff that if your tax dollars of funding these atrocities, then you should be able to know about it.

ATWOOD: He said the wide ranging us secrets began appearing in the chat group 6 to 8 months ago, earlier than U.S. officials have so far publicly acknowledged.

MEMBER OF LEAK SUSPECT'S ONLINE GROUP: I don't think that there was a goal, nor some sort of accomplishment that he was looking for and sharing these documents. Of course, there's some anti-government sentiment, but that's not unlike most right wingers in the modern day.


ATWOOD: The group known as Thug Shaker Central included 20 to 30 people who bonded over military gear, guns and God, "The Washington Post" reported. And Teixeira was viewed as their strict but revered leader. The Pentagon spokesperson described the leak as a deliberate criminal act, and said steps are being taken to limit the number of people who have access to this top secret information.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We continue to review those distribution lists, update them, make sure there is a need to know.

ATWOOD: The Pentagon is also carrying out a damage assessment to determine the scope of leaks impact. And U.S. officials are seeking to quell the concerns of intelligence sharing allies. While Biden said today he's not anxious about the leak's impact on U.S. national security or operations underway --

BIDEN: I'm concerned that it happened, but there's nothing contemporaneous that I'm aware of that is of great consequence.

ATWOOD: U.S. lawmakers remain concerned about the possible implications on the battlefield in Ukraine.

REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT): I've never seen a leak like this that may -- and I do emphasize "may" -- have a real effect on the battlefield in Ukraine, if, in fact, sources and methods have been compromised. That could translate into dead Ukrainians that didn't need to be dead.


ATWOOD (on camera): Now, Erica, Teixeira joined the Air National Guard in 2019. That's before he had even graduated from high school and he went through the training to be a cyber transport specialists. What that means is essentially he was an IT specialist, making sure that the communication systems were actually up and running. And, according to a U.S. government source, the FBI was planning to arrest him when he went into work today, but when he didn't go into work, they positioned themselves outside of his home as you saw in that video and arrested him when he came out.

HILL: Kylie Atwood, appreciate it. Thank you.

Also with us, senior justice correspondent Evan Paris.

So, Evan, the suspect is due in court tomorrow. Do we know yet what these charges are expected to be?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: We only know what the attorney general outlined in his very brief statement today at the Justice Department, which is, you know, the illegal access and dissemination of classified national security information. That's a very standard charge.

Keep in mind -- everyone, every single document that he allegedly posted online, that he exposed illegally, could be a separate charge. So he's looking at some very serious charges, especially because if you consider what the -- you know, certainly what the FBI and if you hear what the Pentagon was saying today, the damage from this is very serious.

I mean, you're talking about very recent, very current U.S. intelligence on not only the situation in Ukraine, Russia, obviously, but also, you know some of our most concerning, competitors overseas. You know, North Korea, obviously. And even some of the allies who, of course, are very angry now to learn about the death of the American spying on their countries.

So there's a lot of issues that the Justice Department and the Pentagon are going to have to sort of figure out the damage of this before this case even gets to trial.

HILL: We'll be looking for all those.

Evan, appreciate it. Thank you.

OUTFRONT now, Sam Oakford, "The Washington Post" video reporter who spoke with members of that online group that the suspect allegedly leaked documents.

Retired Air Force Colonel and intelligence officer Cedric Leighton, and Robert Litt, former general counsel for the director of national intelligence, and former principal associate deputy attorney general.

Good to have all of you with us tonight.

So, Colonel, if we start here as Kylie just laid out, the official job title for the suspect is cyber transport systems journeyman. Based on that that he's an IT specialist, and even what we know about his rank at this point, does it surprise you that he would have had access to these classified documents and that was able to leak them potentially over such a long span of time?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON, AIR FORCE (RET.): Erica, sadly, it doesn't surprise me at all. It leaves people, you know, the IT specialists that, you know, Kylie pointed out are -- have access to the entire networks on their bases and the key thing here, too, is that this unit, the 102nd Air Wing -- that Air Intelligence Wing -- that is an international guard unit, but it does intelligence work, and it is 24/7/365 tied into what something that's known as the distributed ground system.

That distributed system is a feed from the drones and aircraft like the U2, which allows them to follow intelligence anywhere in the world. But boy and just so he would have had access to a lot of intelligence just based on the unit's mission, but also, of course, he was getting stuff from the Pentagon as well as we see in this document dump.

HILL: I mean, it's quite a range as you point out there. You know, Sam, some of the members that you spoke with, I was really struck by reporting and some of these descriptions here, but some also noted a change that they saw in the suspect, when he didn't feel he was getting enough attention. I want to play a little bit of that.



MEMBER OF LEAK SUSPECT'S ONLINE GROUP: It would appear as if he sort of grew angry with the fact that only one or two people were paying attention to these documents that he was pouring his heart out into, and as a sign of just anger -- he just decided to post the full documents. He was a very smart man. There's no way in any world that he would not know that he knew that these were illegal.


HILL: What we heard him call him smart. They really looked at him as their leader, these younger members of the group.

What more can you tell us about what they revealed about the suspect's personality? What was he like? And even what they thought of him?

SAMUEL OAKFORD, REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, thank you for having me.

That video comes from an investigation that we published last night and included video interview with one of the members of this Discord server. We've been on this story all week, and it culminated in talking to him in person. And he told us about the dynamics on the server where this man who until today was referred to as OG, we now know is the suspect Jack Teixeira, was a kind of a father figure to some of these very young teenagers. He took on a role of giving them advice, sometimes castigating them and generally playing the role of an older person in their life.

Of course, all of this generally is playing out online and part of his relationship with them was providing them with information that he thought they should have. He provided them with classified information first in writing and then late last year, we were told that he started to post the full images of classified documents. HILL: It's remarkable that transition to when we look at where we

think of the documents that we know about, Bob. You know, as Evan laid out, each document could potentially have charges associated with it. What do you anticipate here? Because I would imagine that there is a message that will be sent with these charges as well.

ROBERT LITT, FORMER GENERAL COUNSEL FOR THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Yeah. I mean, I think the government needs to deter people who want to massage their ego by posting classified information on the Internet. The fact that he was arrested quite quickly is part of the deterrence there. They found him and arrested him.

But I think he's looking if he's convicted, and we don't know all the evidence yet, but I think he's looking at a fairly substantial sentence. Something like 20 years would not surprise me if he is convicted.

HILL: Wow. So, Colonel, there's been a lot of talk this afternoon about whether too many people have access to classified documents. I know you've had some concerns.

What is your biggest concern at that front based on what we learned today?

LEIGHTON: Yeah, Erica, I think that the biggest concern is that a lot of people looking at intelligence documents that do not pertain directly to their mission areas. So, while it would be difficult to turn the spigot off since a lot of classified information floating around our networks, it's very clear that it really needs to be limited to mission specific issues. And then, of course, once you get to the higher levels, then, of course, the bigger picture comes together, but it is one of those areas where I think we really need to look at our policies and figure out a better way to not only halted dissemination of non-pertinent intelligence information, also information that you know, really could be damaging as the as this information is.

HILL: It's -- there's going to be so much made of what motivated the suspect and what was in his mind.

Sam, I'm fascinated, again, the members of the group that you spoke with, as you noted, they really revered him. They called him he was the OG, but they called him their leader. We have another clip of part of that interview from one of the members of that group, talking about the last conversation that they had that he had with the suspect just a few days ago.


MEMBER OF LEAK SUSPECT'S ONLINE GROUP: He was just saying that this may be the last you ever sees of us, and he was thanking us for all the good times that we had together, and hoping that everything would blow over. He seemed a bit confused as to what to do in his scenario, which was unfit (ph) enough for him. He always seemed to have the answer to everything.


HILL: Did that young man tell you it was his sense that to share a thought authorities were closing in? Is that why he was sort of saying goodbye? Was that clear?

OAKFORD: I think once the documents started circling -- circulating more widely last week, OG Teixeira, he started to feel that that he would probably maybe be arrested at some point. But it was something that was probably hard for the other members of the server to understand, given the role of this individual has played in their lives throughout the pandemic, for instance, when they were stuck at home. They would -- they would all be on the server, gaming, trading racist memes, doing an array of things.

And so, I think that for users like the person we spoke with, they wanted to, you know, tell us what was going on. But they also were really distraught about what was happening.

HILL: So, it seems that they were worried about him. But were they worried at all about the documents that had been out there? Were they worried about the intelligence?

OAKFORD: Yeah. You have to remember these are teenagers, and I don't know if any of us when we were teenagers would have appreciated the significance of this kind of document, which really was stranger than fiction, right? It was --

These are teenagers and I don't know these are teenagers and I don't know if any of us we were teenagers would have appreciated the significance of this kind of document, which really was stranger than fiction, right? It was hundreds and hundreds of images of classified documents and dumped on a random Discord server or these people happen to all have met previously and come to.

So, for them, you know, I think there was a surrealness to it, you know? Is this real? Is it not? It turns out, it was very real.

HILL: Yeah, it certainly was. Bob, is there a comparison that you can make or does another leak that we have seen in the past? Come to mind.

LITT: Well, I mean, it's similar to other leaks in the sense that it's potentially exposed and compromise sources and methods. I'm not aware of any past leak -- which wasn't motivated either by a desire to spy for another country, usually for money or to bring important matters of public policy as the leaker thought to the public.

This just seems to have been motivated by a desire to personally aggrandize himself.

HILL: Uh-huh.

LITT: And I want to just follow on one earlier point you made about access to classified information. It's important to remember that in the wake of 9/11, there was a real emphasis on increasing in facilitating the sharing of information throughout the intelligence community, and there may now be a sense that the pendulum has to swing back a little bit.

HILL: And that's part -- part of what we heard from the Pentagon today at their briefing was that they were going through these distribution list, that there was -- there were pressed several times by reporters, including our own Oren Liebermann about what specifically, that would mean, how many people could be losing access. They say that's what they're what they're working through, and we'll see if we get some more reporting on that.

Samuel Oakford, Colonel Leighton, Robert Litt, appreciate you joining us tonight. Thank you.

LITT: Thank you.

LEIGHTON: Thank you.

HILL: OUTFRONT next, new legal trouble for Trump. Two of his former top aides have just testified in the criminal investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents. So, who are they? And what do they know?

Plus, CNN obtaining new recordings of Rudy Giuliani essentially telling one Fox host heat can't prove the allegations that Trump's team was making about dominion.


MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS HOST: What about this software, this Dominion software?

RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP ATTORNEY: That's a little harder --


BARTIROMO: -- troubling.


HILL: The attorney for the former producer who made those recordings is my guest.

And San Francisco's D.A. tonight slamming Elon Musk after announcing an arrest in the death of a top tech executive.



HILL: Tonight, Donald Trump in the hot seat. The former president testifying under oath for nearly seven hours, but some breaks here in New York today. He returned to Trump Tower just minutes ago. You see him there.

This is the second deposition for the former president in the New York attorney general civil fraud case against him and the Trump Organization. It's a sharp difference from that first deposition, where he took the Fifth to avoid answering questions, which he previously said, you may recall, is something that just members of the mob do.

Sara Murray is OUTFRONT.

So, Sara, what else do we know so far about today's deposition?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you pointed out, and as my colleague Kara Scannell is reporting, Donald spent an awfully -- Trump spent an awfully long time in their answering some questions today. He was there for more than seven hours, and a person familiar with the matter tells Kara Scannell that he answered numerous questions. So that is a change from last time.

Look this is part of a civil lawsuit that has been ongoing -- ongoing, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James. You know, she's accused Donald Trump, some of his family members and the Trump Organization of being involved in this scheme of presenting false financial records to lenders and others essentially to try to enrich themselves. The Trumps have denied any wrongdoing.

But I think you know what we saw today is really Donald Trump's continuing legal problems, Erica.

HILL: Well, so there was that today we also learned today in a when we talk about ongoing legal problems with a separate legal issue to former trap Trump aides just testified in the special counsel's investigation involving Donald Trump. Who was there to testify? Is there a sense of what this testimony could mean?

MURRAY: Yeah, that's right. So we're learning that John Ratcliffe, the former director of national intelligence in the Trump administration, went into the grand jury to talk about what happened in the aftermath of the 2020 election. You know, he is someone who told Donald Trump as well as Trump allies that there was no foreign interference in the 2020 election. There was no evidence of widespread fraud.

Also today, we saw Ric Grenell, who was an acting former DNI in the Trump administration, and he was going in to talk to the Mar-a-Lago grand jury. So he was going to talk about Donald Trump's retention of classified documents.

Grenell is someone who has been, you know, a very staunch Trump ally. During the administration, he moved to declassified documents that Donald Trump thought would help delegitimize the Russia investigation. Since the administration has ended, Grenell has been very public in defending Donald Trump's sort of ability to declassify these records. We would imagine that's one of the things that prosecutors covered with him today, Erica.

HILL: Yeah, absolutely. Sara Murray, appreciate it. Thank you.

MURRAY: Thanks.

HILL: OUTFRONT next, Rudy Giuliani on tape indicating he doesn't have the goods to back up some of Trump's claims about dominion. You'll hear the new audio next.

And why are some Democrats now publicly pushing for one of their own Senator Dianne Feinstein to resign?



HILL: The trial for Dominion Voting Systems' $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News is on track to start Monday. Day one of jury selection wrapping up today. Tonight, OUTFRONT has the audio that led to Fox being sanctioned by the judge overseeing this case for potentially lying in court and withholding key evidence.

Lawyers for Dominion played two previously undisclosed recordings of Fox host Maria Bartiromo discussing Dominion with Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. In one, Giuliani reveals it's been tough to prove allegations that Dominion software was used to rig the election. Here's part of that conversation.


MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS HOST: What about this software, this Dominion software?

RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP ATTORNEY: That's a little harder --


BARTIROMO: -- troubling.

GIULIANI: -- to tell you, right? It's being analyzed right now.

I mean, there are a couple of races that have been reversed because the Democrat was triple-counted, two already in Michigan.

Now whether that applies for the whole state or not, I can't tell you yet. But I can, I can tell you that we --


GIULIANI: We have more than --

BARTIROMO: Go ahead.

GIULIANI: We have more than enough unobserved ballots in Michigan area and in Pennsylvania to overthrow the election.

BARTIROMO: Okay. Perfect.

And then, this Dominion software, does Nancy Pelosi have an interest in it?

GIULIANI: Yeah. I've read that. I can't prove that.


HILL: The recordings were made by former Fox News producer Abby Grossberg and provided to CNN by her attorney. Grossberg was fired by the network after she sued Fox, alleging she was coerced into giving misleading testimony in a deposition for the Dominion case.

OUTFRONT now is Jerry Filippatos, Abby Grossberg's lawyer.

Jerry, good to have you with us tonight. So, these recordings that have now been handed over and that were then played, why did Abby record these conversations?

PARISIS "GERRY" FILIPPATOS, ATTORNEY FOR FOX NEWS PRODUCER SUING NETWORK: Hi, Erica. Thanks for having me on to really set the record straight and tell Abby's true story.

Abby kept these records in the normal course of business as the de facto executive producer for Ms. Bartiromo. She acted as Ms. Bartiromo's scribe, essentially because Ms. Bartiromo mostly did not take notes.

And so, Abby used this software which, by the way, my understanding is it's quite prevalent in and the news industry. So, for -- for Fox and Fox's attorneys to say that they weren't aware of any such thing, and it was a surprise to them, strange credulity.

HILL: So this is -- so people who aren't familiar with it. You're talking about the Otter app, correct, that you used, which would -- which essentially makes it makes an audio recording --


HILL: -- and then it can provide a quick transcription of that.


HILL: So you said Maria Bartiromo didn't take notes. It was part of her job. Abby would do this. So, Abby would then record these conversations.

That audio that we just played, this from November of 2020. Why did she hold on to those recordings?

FILIPPATOS: Well, that recording and a few others were made on her personal phone, and, therefore she held on to it, but it's important to note that Abby turned over her personal phone and her Fox News phone to the Fox attorneys who we contend we're -- we're preparing or rather aggressively to shade the truth. And who were coercing or to give testimony that was put her in a false light and ultimately caused her to defame herself through a transcript that she wasn't allowed to review.

And in any event -- she gave over those devices twice to Fox News in preparation for her deposition, and the second time she specifically -- very specifically alerted Fox News to the fact that the Otter program was on there.

So when I said I want the record -- set the record straight and a lot has been said in the last few days, for instance, yesterday, Dominion's attorneys stood up in open court and stated something that I think is demonstrably false. Let me just read it to you. It's very brief.

So this is the -- this is Fox's attorney, and he says. And so, Ms. Grossberg did not tell us that -- and so, Ms. Grossberg did not tell us that. Ms. Grossberg did not say that there were response -- responsive audio recordings from that relevant time period. And so that was not a thing that we knew to look for until the errata sheet came, which Mr. Grossberg provided on March the 20th.

So I'll tell you why that is demonstrably false, and, frankly, it's the kind of word salad that gives lawyers a bad name. It may be technically true that Ms. Grossberg did not say to the Fox attorneys when she handed over both devices twice, in preparation for her coerced testimony, that there Otter recordings here from the relevant time period of X or Y. That may be true, but Ms. Grossberg will swear under oath and will testify if so called, that she specifically said to the Fox attorneys that -- and this was in the context of them asking her, what are these apps? There was this one Signal app that she had.

HILL: So --

FILIPPATOS: She had, you know, erased for few days because she never used it, and then restored it.

So, she -- they were going through the apps on her -- on her phones. And she said, you know, we don't use Signal. Yes, I have WhatsApp. Yes, I have this, that, the other thing. We don't really use those. But I also have Otter, which I use all the time with Maria, for the reason I stated earlier.

HILL: So you're saying that cheated earlier made them aware of it.

I want to pick up on two things. We're getting a little tight on time, just to pick up on two things.

FILIPPATOS: Absolutely, sure.

HILL: You said that she would -- she would gladly testify if called. So it's my understanding that she may be called.


HILL: Do you have -- is there a timeline? We're told this could last five or six weeks trial set to kick off on Monday.

FILIPPATOS: Well, we are -- we are in the process of discussing with Dominion's attorneys a appropriate, you know, apparatus for disclosing whatever, whatever documentary evidence we have, and also for Ms. Grossberg to testify, which Dominion has indicated already that it would like her to do. HILL: You said documentary evidence. Is there other evidence that Abby Grossberg turns -- plans to turn over?

FILIPPATOS: Well, yes. Ms. Grossberg has a plethora of evidence that we intend to use in our two litigations, the one being the dominion lawsuit in Delaware, where we're alleging this widespread conspiracy for her to give essentially false testimony and the other being, of course, her case in the southern district of New York, which has to do with the horribly toxic work environment that she experienced at Fox, especially at the Tucker Carlson show, in what is, you know, a -- just a very, very bizarre set of circumstances that would exist nowadays.


I just want to say one other thing that indicates exactly -- I'll be very quick. That indicates how critical it is that that Fox attorneys start telling the truth, in a court of law.

The -- Judge Davis said yesterday, in regard to these tapes, right? Abby Grossberg is not Dominion's problem. It's not my problem. Abby Grossberg is Fox's problem.

What that means is that Abby Grossberg did exactly what she was supposed to do, and turned over this evidence. And then we firmly believe that Fox News and its attorneys and we alleged intentionally withheld that evidence for strategic advantage.

HILL: We'll be -- we'll be waiting and watching to see how this plays out. And what happens, of course, with any other potential evidence, and with her testimony.

Gerry Filippatos, thank you.

FILIPPATOS: Thanks so much.

HILL: OUTFRONT next, patience wearing thin. Why some Democrats are now calling very publicly for Dianne Feinstein to step down.

Plus, massive protests erupting across Paris protesters even taking over the headquarters of a luxury giant and tonight, fears that this isn't over.


HILL: Tonight, California Senator Dianne Feinstein is rejecting calls from fellow Democrats to step down, though she is asking to be temporarily replaced on the Judiciary Committee.


And that's important because President Biden's judicial nominees have been on hold, while the 89-year-old senator is recovering from shingles.

OUTFRONT now, Van Jones, former special adviser to President Obama. Van, California Congressman Ro Khanna was the first to publicly call for Feinstein to resign. But others in the House have joined the chorus. Do you think it's time for her to step aside?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, it's tough here in California, to such a beloved figure. She's a legend. I mean, if there was a Mount Rushmore here in California, she'd probably be at the top of it, right -- right next to the Speaker Pelosi.

I worry about her staying now because I think she may hurt that legacy. I don't want that to be the main thing that she is remembered for is what was whispers and now it's murmurs. And now, it's shouts from leaders in the state. Even "The Francisco Chronicle", the hometown paper, saying that it may be time for her to -- time for her to step aside.

HILL: So, part of the concern here is that as she's recovering from shingles, she hasn't -- she hasn't been there. So, Feinstein hasn't actually cast a vote since February. In her absence, only one of the president's judicial nominees has been approved.

Would a temporary replacement for her on judiciary solve that problem?

JONES: I think that the main issue that Democrats are having is it is so obvious right now, the important to judges. If you look at the abortion issue, you've got an Obama judge going one way, the Trump judge going the other way. The judges have now become a part of the political process. And Biden is not getting his judges.

And so, if she's able to step to one side, that I think will eliminate some of the pressure, but the Republicans have to agree to that. She's saying she wants to be replaced with Republicans may not allow her to be replaced. And so that would put more pressure.

I think the other thing is going on here in California is you do have other people say like a Barbara Lee, who loves Dianne Feinstein, who -- you know, there are from the same part of the state who could step into that role tomorrow if Gavin Newsom appointed her.

So you've got the talent here in the state that could step up to replace. You've got a legend who you don't want her to hurt her reputation. And you've got a president who can't get his judges passed. And so, that's where all the pressure is coming from.

HILL: There's certainly a lot of opinions. As you point out, some of them are louder and more public than others.

You mentioned Nancy Pelosi. I just want to play a little something that she said. Take a listen.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA) : I don't know what political agendas are work that are going after Senator Feinstein in that way. I've never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate in that way.


HILL: What do you make of those remarks?

JONES: Well, I think she's probably talking about the fact that John Fetterman is also a Democratic senator who is ailing and has not been able to answer the bell. I think she's concerned about possible sexism.

I would never argue with Nancy Pelosi about sexism. She knows more about that than anybody when it comes to politics. I would say, if Nancy Pelosi were in the Senate, nobody would be asking for her to step aside because she would be able to answer the bell. She's she can outwork high school football team, Nancy Pelosi.

And so, I do think that this is a very delicate issue. The question is, how are we going to get our judges across the finish line? And if we're not able to, is this the time for a legend like her to step aside? I think a lot of people in the state go with this.

HILL: Van Jones, appreciate it. Thank you.

Harry Enten also with us tonight.

So, Harry, this is -- as Van points out, this is very delicate --


HILL: -- because recovering from shingles is no joke. I can say that. My mother in law would attest to that.

There's also the reality of Dianne Feinstein has been there a long time, and we've seen a shift in the Senate. She's 89 years old. As a whole, we've seen this shift in the Senate over the last several decades.

What are we looking at in terms of the makeup because this matters to voters we're finding?

ENTEN: Yeah, the Senate has gotten significantly older, right? So take a look at the number of U.S. senators who are 70 and over. Right now, it's 34 percent, compare that to where we were 20 years ago, was 16 percent. Compare that to where we were in 1983, it was 6 percent.

So we've seen a doubling upon a doubling, right? So the United States Senate is most certainly getting older, and I think we're going to end up with situations like we have right now, especially as some of those senators get into, you know, their eighties and upwards of 90 years old where, you know, you can be good one moment and not necessarily good the next moment.

HILL: So what is -- what do voters have to say about all this?

ENTEN: Yeah. So, you know, if you look at what voters have to say, you know, in terms of age limits, the clear majority believe that they are a good idea, about 2 to 1 believe that age limits are a good idea on elected officials, and that is something that is true across the political aisle, right? It is true among Democrats. It's true among Republicans. It's true among independents.

But, of course, actually having -- you know, saying that and then actually voting it in, I'm not exactly sure how exactly would occur right? It's like one of those things where we have it oftentimes for judges on the local level, but then you know, obviously instituting it in terms of federal office. I'm not exactly sure how that would occur.

HILL: Right, It means different things to different people, right?


HILL: The way that they would answer that question.

As we look ahead to 2024 -- look, it's come up, as we know, several times at the age of the frontrunners here, for both parties.

ENTEN: Certainly come up. So, you know, it's so interesting in that one poll question, right, 2 to 1 favor, say it's a good idea to have aged limits. And look at where the two front runners are, right, in terms for the Republican nomination, for the Democratic nomination. What would be their ages on election day 2024? Near 80, one would be over 80, one would be slightly under 80 in the case of Donald Trump.

So I think this is one of those things, right, whereby we say things in the theoretical but then actually presented with the choices, we seem to continuously be, you know, nominating and potentially electing these older elected officials. But, of course, maybe that's the reason why both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are not well-liked, despite the fact that at this particular point, it looks like those are going to be the choices that voters are going to have to choose between come next November.

HILL: We will be watching. Harry, appreciate it. Thanks.

ENTEN: Thank you.

HILL: OUTFRONT next, chaos on the streets of Paris, hundreds of thousands protesting even setting off flares inside the headquarters at Louis Vuitton, and the threat of more violence not be over.

Plus, an arrest in the deadly stabbing of a top tech executive in San Francisco. What we're learning about the suspect and his connection to the victim.



HILL: Tonight, nearly 50 people arrested in Paris as police clashed with protesters on the 12th day of demonstrations against French President Emmanuel Macron's plan to raise the national retirement age. Throngs of demonstrators taking to the streets, fires ablaze at broad deadlight -- broad daylight.

The demonstrations throughout the country coming on the eve of a crucial court ruling that could green-light the controversial plan. Fred Pleitgen is OUTFRONT.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Outbursts of anger ripped across France.

I just got a full load of tear gas.

Police in Paris charging a crowd of demonstrators. Flares and sirens taking over the headquarters of luxury giant LVMH, which owns the likes of Louis Vuitton, Dior and Tiffany's.

Chants from rail workers echo through the halls of the metro. Trash bins, blocking off schools and streets with garbage set ablaze.

These are the sights and sounds of rage by some protesters, stirring tensions in what was largely peaceful day of protests across the country.

French citizens, young and old, coming together for the 12th day of nationwide outrage against President Emmanuel Macron's controversial pensions bill, which would raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

FABIEN VILLEDIEU, SUD RAIL UNION REPRESENTATIVE (through translator): I would lie if I was telling you that there is no fatigue. We are tired by the mobilization. It's like a marathon. It's the last kilometers at the end that are the hardest.

PLEITGEN: While protesters say they are here for the long run, the final hurdle for the bill comes Friday at the country's constitutional council. The contested reform will either be green-lit, partly scrapped or in a highly unlikely situation, entirely thrown out.

The court's decision will bring to an end a month of deliberations. However, French unions and protesters say they are going to continue to fight the reform regardless of the ruling.


PLEITGEN (on camera): And, Erica, the latest that we're getting is the constitutional council is set to announce its decision in the late afternoon hours of tomorrow. And if it does deem the pension reform to be constitutional that's going to go into effect in September.

Now, of course, the big question then is what happens to the protest movement, and there have been a lot of people at the demonstration today who told us regardless of what the constitutional council decides, they plan on going back on the streets -- Erica.

HILL: Fred Pleitgen there for us, appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up on "AC360", an uproar in the Texas town after a library is almost closed down because of the fight over banned books. That's tonight at 8:00.

OUTFRONT next, why is the San Francisco D.A. slamming Elon Musk after arresting a suspect in the fatal stabbing of a top tech executive?



HILL: Tonight, an arrest in San Francisco. Police arresting a suspect in connection with the deadly stabbing of Cash App founder Bob Lee earlier this month. Police say the suspect knew the victim, 38-year- old Nima Momeni is charged with murder in Lee's death. That's death, of course, really shook the city, inflamed already simmering tensions over crime in the city by the bay as well.

Josh Campbell is OUTFRONT tonight.

So, Josh. the arrest was announced tonight that they know each other. What more do we know about this suspect?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Erica, well, you know, it's been nearly 10 days since the brutal murder of Cash App founder Bob Lee. And this is the first indication that we in San Francisco residents are actually getting that there's been a suspect in the crosshairs of law enforcement. But authorities announcing today that this 38-year-old man from Emeryville, California, which is just across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco, was taken into custody.

Now authorities say that the suspect and Bob Lee knew each other. Our colleague Veronica Miracle did a one-on-one interview with the police chief today and asked, did Lee, who lives in Florida, come to San Francisco to meet with the suspect? The chief said that he doesn't know. But here in this case, the motive certainly remains under investigation.

But a big development here today, Erica. Suspect they believe responsible is now under arrest.

HILL: Yes, certainly a big development.

Meantime, Lee's death, as we know, sparked a real debate when it came to the crime rate in San Francisco. Elon Musk, publicly pointing the finger at the district attorney after Bob Lee's murder. The D.A. responded to that today, Josh, directly.

CAMPBELL: She did you know, after Lee's death, we saw this outpouring of shock, of grief, of support from the tech community. But it was Elon Musk who went further and actually tweeted as you just saw on your screen that crime in San Francisco, in his word, is horrific and, of course, authorities there taking exception to that, because in this case, it doesn't appear that this was random violence.

The D.A. spoke about it earlier today. Have a listen.


BROOKE JENKINS, SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I must point out that reckless and irresponsible statements like those contained in Mr. Musk's tweet that assumed incorrect circumstances about Mr. Lee's death served to mislead the world in their perceptions of San Francisco and also negatively impact the pursuit of justice for victims of crime.


CAMPBELL: Now, we know that some crimes in San Francisco have been up. But if you look at statistics, the murder rate is actually going down. And that's what authorities are trying to say.

Obviously that no, you know, comfort to the family of Bob Lee. But this narrative that, you know, people out there walking the streets of San Francisco could be killed at any moment, authorities are certainly trying to reverse that narrative, which they don't believe was helped by a tweet, the one Elon Musk megaphone blasted out to as many millions of followers, Erica.

HILL: Yeah, certainly. Josh Campbell, appreciate the reporting tonight. Thank you.

CAMPBELL: You bet.

HILL: Thanks to all of you for joining us. I'm Erica Hill, in for Erin Burnett.

"AC360" starts right now.