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Erin Burnett Outfront

Russian TV Offers Tucker Carlson A Job, Putin Aide Slams His Ouster; Biden Announces 2024 Reelection Bid To "Finish This Job"; Trial Begins In Civil Rape Suit Against Trump Amid Other Legal Woes; Ex-Tucker Carlson Producer: I Have 90 Audio Tapes From Time At Fox; NAACP Sues Mississippi, Says Laws Single Out Black-Majority Jackson. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 25, 2023 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Russia seizing on Tucker Carlson's exit from Fox. Why this obsession? It comes as a top Putin official tonight tells our Matthew Chance about the possibility of a prisoner swap for Americans detained in Russia.

Plus, what's old is new again. Biden's message today for re-election, eerily similar to what he said on this very day exactly four years ago. Will it work a second time?

And then a story you will see first OUTFRONT tonight. Outrage over White conservative lawmakers making decisions for a city that's overwhelmingly Black and Democratic.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, Russia is hiring as a top Putin mouthpiece offers Tucker Carlson a job with Russian state television. The most senior Russian official to visit the United States since Putin invaded Ukraine -- you heard me there -- today, said this, unprompted.


SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): Perhaps it would be useful to consider how things are with freedom of speech in the United States. I've heard that Tucker Carlson has left Fox News. It's curious news.

What is this related to? One can only guess. But, clearly, the wealth of views in the American information space has suffered as a result.


BURNETT: That's the foreign minister for Vladimir Putin, Sergey Lavrov. With all that's going on here in the United States, coming here, talking about the loss of Tucker Carlson.

It's unbelievable, right? It's incredible that he would do such a thing and weigh on this. Why is Lavrov obsessed specifically with Tucker Carlson? Well, you may ask why is that? Because in Russia, Tucker Carlson is a star for repeatedly being pro-Russian, anti- American, and anti-Ukraine.

Listen to this.


TUCKER CARLSON, FORMER FOX NEWS HOST: It might be worth asking yourself, since it is getting pretty serious, what is this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much? Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreement with him? Does he eat dogs?

These are fair questions and the answer to all of them is no. Vladimir Putin didn't do any of that. The Russians don't want American missiles on their border. They don't want a hostile government next door.

Ideologues within the Biden administration did not want a negotiated peace in Ukraine. They wanted all along, and it's a very clear now, a regime change war against Russia.


BURNETT: Maybe they just wanted no war, right? Just respect a border.

So here's the thing, since the start of the war, Russia's state media has been using things like that, Tucker Carlson, to prove and to bolster their points. The two, frankly, have been in lockstep on their spin. Watch this.


CARLSON: If there's any single American who deserves scorn, and, yes, blame, for the invasion of Ukraine, it would be Joe Biden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We need to introduce a new term, Biden's war. It's Biden's war. He's in charge.


BURNETT: Word for word.

And look at this, from reporter Julia Davis. She does incredible work monitoring Russian propaganda. She points out, look at this here, these are different pictures from Russian state television, Julia's found all of this. Tucker Carlson in every one of them at the center of Russian state television's messaging again and again and again.

I mean, look at these images of Carlson's face up on the big screen, and there are studios in Moscow, where hosts pawned over Carlson's rhetoric about Russia and Ukraine, which is why the highest-ranking Russian official to come to the United States since the war began, the foreign ministers, seizing on the fact that Tucker Carlson no longer has a megaphone, or at least for now they're offering him a job. What's even more offensive than Lavrov portraying Carlson as a symbol

of freedom of speech, though, is his government's treatment of Putin critics and journalists, including "the Wall Street Journal" report Evan Gershkovich. Today, our Matthew Chance was there with Lavrov and pressed him on a possible prisoner swap for Americans, Gershkovich as well as Paul Whelan.


LAVROV (through translator): In the Russian Federation, there are several American citizens who are serving sentences for various crimes. I refer to Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich. They were detained when they were committing a crime, receiving material that was a state secret. And the vociferous pathos-laid statements about journalists by definition not being able to commit crimes is something which we reject.


BURNETT: All right. Matthew Chance was the one who asked that question of the foreign minister. You knew him, of course. You spent so much time in Moscow as well as Ukraine during this war and he's with me here.

Matthew, I want to ask you about that exchange that you had with Lavrov because it isn't true anymore that anyone even gets to ask him questions, right? It's a very rare opportunity.


But, first, Tucker Carlson, he brings up -- Foreign Minister Lavrov brings up Tucker Carlson. And you have spent so much time there in Moscow. You know that state media there obviously has long lauded Carlson, right? He's been valuable to them.

What did you make of Lavrov bringing this up today?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it undermines how valuable he is to them and how much of a sort of voice he is on Russian state media. We saw there from the reporting that we just featured. He is a regular feature of Russian state television newscasts, and Russian anchors use his views, which are often quite extreme, in some cases, as the views of reasonable America, the reasonable West.

And I think one of the reasons that Lavrov is so upset that Tucker Carlson is no longer on the air at the moment, at least, is that he's such a disruptor as well, and the Russians, you know, they back disruptors, they want to disrupt themselves. And, so, this is -- he was doing a lot of the work that the Kremlin media would've loved to have done themselves.

BURNETT: Right. So, this is being said in America that all of a sudden, it gives you, bolsters that.

Now let me ask you about the exchange that you had with Lavrov because this is crucial. We've heard nothing from them. They never talk about what they would be willing to do, whether it be for Paul Whelan or Evan Gershkovich and Americans who are imprisoned there right now. You asked Lavrov if a prisoner exchange was possible. What did he tell you?

CHANCE: Well, look, there have been prisoner exchanges in the past in, the recent past. Brittney Griner was swapped (ph) for a prominent Russian (INAUDIBLE) here.


BURNETT: Absolutely, Viktor Bout.

CHANCE: And so that's the expectation. The trouble is with Viktor Bout, the most high of Russians that was in a Russian -- U.S. jail already swapped, one of the problems of having Gershkovich and Paul Whelan is got who is -- who can they be swapped with.


CHANCE: And we struggled to answer this.

And so, Sergey Lavrov, I asked him this question, what does he want in exchange for these two American citizens. Take a listen to what he had to say.


LAVROV (through translator): We have approximately 60 people who are serving sentences here. And in most cases, the accusations are dubious.


CHANCE: So, 60 people. I've not heard that number before.

BURNETT: No, I mean, that was -- you don't just put out a number by accident if you're him, right? He was prepared with a number.

CHANCE: And so, he was. And so, clearly, they have the idea that if there's going to be a prisoner swap, it is going to be these two people.

BURNETT: Sixty to two?

CHANCE: Well, I mean, let -- a chunk of people, a big group of people for what they got left.

BURNETT: Right. Well, pretty amazing, and obviously he came -- right, that that was he was going to ask that answer that had someone asked. And, of course, you were the one who asked.

Matthew Chance, thank you very much.

And now I want to go to Julia Davis. I mentioned her, a Russian media analyst. She's the creator of the Russian Media Monitor, also a columnist for "The Daily Beast". She has been sanctioned by Russia, and retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton, a former intelligence officer.

And, Julia, you know your work during all of this has just been incredible. The things that you see and find and hear on Russian media as you consume so much of what Russians are being faced with every day. So, Lavrov, brings up Tucker Carlson unsolicited today and you've been following how the Russian propaganda machine has weaponized Carlson and used him throughout the war. What impact is his firing have on that machine?

JULIA DAVIS, ANALYST OF RUSSIAN MEDIA SANCTIONED BY RUSSIA: Well they have been latched on to Tucker Carlson for years, and it really intensified after Russia invaded Ukraine. Lately, they have not had a single show where Tucker Carlson segments didn't prominently figure in them. It was constant.

And, why it works for them so well is on Russian state television. They always blame America for everything. They never criticized Putin or Russia, and neither does Tucker Carlson.

So everything he says, it sounds like it was written by the Kremlin. It's perfect for them, and they always mentioned that he had an enormous viewership. And the way they've been able to influence Americans without lifting a finger and just threw Tucker's Carlson's talking points that conveniently aligned with theirs.

BURNETT: Yeah. And you say, conveniently aligned, I mean, Colonel, the world echo is pretty incredible, right, between Tucker Carlson and other Russian propagandists that we see on state media. Let me play again this.


CARLSON: If there's any single American who deserves scorn and, yes, blame for the invasion of Ukraine, it would be Joe Biden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We need to introduce a new term, Biden's war. It's Biden's war. He's in charge.


BURNETT: Colonel, from a military standpoint, how much damage do the words of Carlson do to American goals when you look at how this is being, you know, propagated to the Russian public?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yeah, Erin. They are pretty considerable.


Indeed, this is a classic disinformation campaign. So when you look at how the Russians couch this in their media, you know, as Julia has mentioned, and it's very clear that there are certain things that they want to achieve. And one of those things is the division of our society. And I found some interesting statistics on "Defense One" where they talked about a whole where a great deal of people having a great deal or not a great deal of confidence in the military. And over the years, that number has decreased from 70 percent having a great deal of confidence in the military down to a low of 45 percent. I -- and that was just recently.

So when you look at those kinds of things, it has an absolute effect on people's perceptions and people's willingness to support bigger policies.

BURNETT: So, Julia, as you watch the many, many avenues of Russian propaganda in state media, I know one thing you've noticed is recruitment efforts and you've pulled a lot of this.

Recently, the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, claimed that the spokesman for the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, that his son had served with Wagner, and it was a big claim, so that you saw this. And then a few days later, Peskov son suddenly appears in an interview with one of the stars of Russian state media, funny how that is, but let me play the exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I decided to participate.

INTERVIEWER (through translator): Was your family against it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They supported it.

INTERVIEWER (through translator): But not right away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes, not right away. They were in a bit of a shock. They were worried but respected my decision and supported it.

INTERVIEWER (through translator): That's nice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): So this tall and humble guy with a recognizable voice and recognizable eyes, is the son of Dmitry Sergeyevich. So this is not an act. Note that he did never flaunt it. He is very humble.

So, all the classes and abilities are fighting, deputies and the children of public officials, professional soldiers and simple men.


BURNETT: So, Julie, we have no idea whether Peskov's son actually served or not, right? We just know that they said he did. But you heard the key takeaway. Oh, we now know the nobility, interesting word choice. People from all levels are serving.

What are they -- what are they -- what are they showing with this?

DAVIS: Well, there are three day war has now stretched out to -- into years, and they're anticipating that it might take years more. Their recruitment efforts are now moving from impoverished regions to the biggest cities in Russia, so they have to convince those men that they should come and join in the military.

And all the while, those are the people in big cities that have questioned why the children of the public officials are not serving in the military while the children of other people are expected to die. So this is the very core of this PR effort, and for all we know, they could have filmed that interview in any warehouse in Moscow. So this is obviously part of their PR campaign to recruit more people to fight for Putin's imperial goals.

BURNETT: Thank you both so very much. I appreciate it.

And next, Biden 2024 is take two of Biden 2020. The message is eerily similar. So will it work again?

Plus, another court case against former President Trump is now underway, right? Another one actually going on now, and this one centers on a rape allegation. Trump's former White House attorney, Ty Cobb, will be with me tonight.

And a mystery on the moon. Private company trying to land a spacecraft on the moon just lost contact with the lunar lander. So what happened?



BURNETT: Tonight, deja vu. President Biden is officially running for re-election, asking voters to let him finish the job, as he puts it. He says not only does America appeared to be on track at this early stage to see another Biden-Trump matchup, Biden's message, though, today is eerily similar to what we saw four years ago, exactly four years ago to this day, in fact, in his 2020 video. Watch this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are in the battle for the soul of this nation.

When I ran for president four years ago, I said we're in a battle for the soul of America, and we still are.

Our very democracy, everything that has made America America is at stake.

Every generation has faced the moment when they have to defend democracy.

It guarantees that everyone is treated with dignity and gives hate no safe harbor.

I know we're still a country that believes in honesty and respect and treating each other with dignity, that we're a nation where we give hate no safe harbor. If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will

forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.

Around the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take on those bedrock freedoms.


BURNETT: Basil Smikle is OUTFRONT, former executive director of the New York state Democratic Party, Alyssa Farah Griffin, former communications director for then President Trump, and our own Harry Enten all join me.

So, Basil, you know, amazing, right? He wants that word echo. It wasn't accidental, right? Of course, they had chosen to do that.

Obviously, you know, the only difference is then he new his opponent was Trump, and now it's MAGA.


BURNETT: That's really pretty much the only difference other than the other was Joe Biden straight to camera and this is a lot of video people.

SMIKLE: That's right.

BURNETT: So, the question is, he is basically saying buy the same thing twice, I need more time. Does that work?

SMIKLE: I think it will because a lot of the issues are still not dealt with, and we still do -- we're still wrestling with so much it started with January. 6th in that, you know, resonates with so many Americans. It's an anti-autocracy, pro-economic development, rights restoration agenda in my view.

And then with meaning that you put into it, abortion rights, gun control voting rights, for example and book banning -- all of those things sort of come under the heading of the character that he talked about in that video. And so, I think not only have the issues remained since 2020, but in many ways, they have deepened.

BURNETT: So, Alyssa, one thing -- well, many things -- but one thing that really stood out to me this video was I saw a lot of Kamala Harris. So anybody who was sitting around saying -- well, maybe he's not that committed to her, maybe -- no, that she was front and center I think more than a dozen times, right, in a very short video.

So this was, right, to commit to her, to say she's -- I get that I'm old. She's not. She's there. Does that help?

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it was very much by design. This was no coincidence that she was featured prominently throughout, and I think it was twofold. There has been this kind of ongoing speculation about should he look for another running mate. He very much doubled down. He's committed to her. But the -- you know, the thing that you can't ignore in the Biden

Trump rematch as the age of both potential candidates -- I mean, you're talking about an 80-year-old man in the office, so I think it's to signal, look, there's somebody young and vibrant who could be the number two. But I have to note, today, there was a major misstep in the White House briefing room when the White House press secretary was basically asked directly if reelected, would Biden serve full 88 years? Has two terms.

And she's basically said that she was unclear on that and then had to clean it up. That was a dark spot, and what I otherwise think was a pretty effective announcement day because the age issue is going to continue to be one for.

BURNETT: You know, Harry, it's interesting when you think about, is this possibly just going to take two of the same thing?


BURNETT: Other than the fact that the two players, if Trump wins the nomination, are four years older.

ENTEN: We all are.

BURNETT: Other than that, and we all are, you think there are signs it could be a very different race. How come?

ENTEN: Yeah. I mean, if you just look at the polling, right? You know, if you looked at the polling at this point four years ago, Biden had a clear advantage over Trump, right? It was in the high single digits.

If you looked pre-election day just before the election back in 2020, it was basically the same race, right, high single digit Biden had. You look now at the polling. It's a really tight race. You know, we're talking Biden by a point, maybe 2, 3 points in the best polls for him.

So at this particular point, look, Trump, maybe the weakest general election candidate the Republicans can put up, but that means -- that does not any way mean that Joe Biden is going to skate through election. At this particular point, it looks like a much tighter race than it was four years ago.

BURNETT: And probably a lot of people watching may expect.


BURNETT: Right? That these polls are the reality right now.

So, Basil, I want to play a little bit more of the campaign launched video. Here's just this one more clip.


BIDEN: Let's finish this job. I know we can. This is the United States of America. There's nothing simply nothing we cannot do for good together.


BURNETT: And so, you know, watching that I know I was. There was another reelection pitch back before the TikTok era, which this seemed targeted. Very fast, shots are moving around a lot, you know for people watch video online was Ronald Reagan. Take a look at this one.


AD ANNOUNCER: It's morning again in America. And under the leadership of President Reagan, our country is prouder and stronger and better. Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?


BURNETT: Forty years have passed. And yet other than -- I don't know, it's a little slower, right? We've all we all have --

SMIKLE: How many frames per second?

BURNETT: How many frames per second? There's a lot of similarities there. The president who wanted four more years, a president who was by the way at the time facing age concerns of his own, and the similarities are quite striking.

SMIKLE: I love the Morning in America ad. I teach it to my students all the time because of the sort of values that are inherent in it and the pacing of it, and what then the emotion that it's meant to evoke, and I believe that that is very similar for Joe Biden.

As you talked about Kamala Harris, mitigating the age issue is putting out Kamala Harris as a sort of secret weapon. I believe she was underutilized throughout these first four years. Hopefully, she becomes very useful in mobilizing voters, so that's one way to sort of -- to sort of tackled and go after those young voters.

But I would also say, I always talk about new voices and new venues.


SMIKLE: Look at the folks that are sort of now becoming the face of the party, the Justins of Tennessee, right? Wes Moore, the governor of Maryland, the secretary of state of Michigan who was going through -- undergoing death threats in her formal role in the office.

So these are now the faces of party and I think all of that together helps mitigate that age issue.

BURNETT: All right. So, in this context, you have obviously a list of the most recent polls show Trump trumping anybody, right, and DeSantis being the next closest and not even close. Now, it's early, right? So I'm just going to say that.

But if you're looking at that, DeSantis is not officially announced he's going to run. Asa Hutchinson we expect he's going to announce he's going to run tomorrow. But it appeared that DeSantis maybe was waiting. Maybe you're going to get more indictments. Maybe you're going to get -- that this will become clear for Trump. Fani Willis says she might not make a decision till the end of August on that.

So how much longer can DeSantis wait?

GRIFFIN: I really don't think any candidates can waste past the July 4th weekend, just to meet -- make the -- the fundraising goals that they have to. I think that that really puts a timeframe in place. If you want to get in May and June is a time to.

And I just want to note one thing on this. So, of course, Donald Trump looks like the front runner. If I'm betting smart money, I'm going to say he's the nominee. But it's too soon to say.

Marco Rubio was leading in 2015 at this time.

BURNETT: Fair point.

GRIFFIN: Jeb Bush was number two.

But that ad is meaningless if you take Trump and DeSantis out of the equation. If Chris Sununu is the Republican nominee, that's meaningless. He's not going after abortion rights. He's not going after voting rights. He's not made framing his own whole personality around being anti-LGBTQ.


So there's still a moment for Republicans to say, if that's what they're leaning into, we have a different alternative -- a younger, next generation kind of leader who could bring independence. I would hope would be a wake up call, but I'm not betting on it.

BURNETT: Right. Okay, but you put it out there. I mean, it would be a different world. You would be having a very different conversation. It's fair.

Harry, so you've got Asa Hutchinson formally going to announce tomorrow as we expected, as the field starts to fill up.

Chris Sununu, not full of -- formally announced yet. DeSantis announced yet. Youngkin maybe -- maybe not. Christie, I'm going all these governors and formers.

But all of them, the point Alyssa is making would appear -- appeal, I'm sorry, to moderates in a way that the Sanders and Trump simply can't and don't want to.

So, can you win the nomination without moderate voters if they sit out, and --

ENTEN: I mean, you look back through history, the last Republican who won the GOP nomination without winning moderates during the competitive part of the primary, which George W. Bush back in 2000, the fact is --

BURNETT: You say, now, now today just to be clear back then he was defined as the far right.

ENTEN: Yes. Yes.

BURNETT: Anyway, yeah.

ENTEN: He was the last one to do it without winning moderates, and it just gives you an idea that moderates tend to be the people who give folks the nomination, right? Donald Trump won them in 2016. Mitt Romney won them in 2012. John McCain won them in 2008.

And if you look right now with the pathway is to the nomination in terms of where the most voters are who aren't choosing either Trump or DeSantis, they're overwhelmingly moderate. That's where the lane is.

You know when I watch at this particular point, and you see Ron DeSantis running to the right, I just go to myself that isn't where the anti Trump vote is. It's sort of curious to me and so, I do think there's this real role for someone who wants to go after moderates to win, potentially at least be competitive for the nomination.

BURNETT: And there, you just helped make the possibility of Alyssa's case.

All right, all right. Thank you all so very much. I appreciate it.

And next, former Vice President Mike Pence saying something very revealing about whether Trump committed any crimes leading up to January 6th. Trump's former White House lawyer, Ty Cobb, is OUTFRONT next.

And the former Fox producer was suing the network says she still has close to 100 recordings from her time at the network. Still has. How worried should Fox be?



BURNETT: Tonight, the trial centered on a rape allegation against former President Donald Trump is now underway. Lawyers from magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll telling the jury during opening statements, which were today, but she was forcibly raped by Trump in the 1990s. Carroll says it happened in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman luxury department store in Manhattan. Trump's lawyer denied that allegation today, saying Carroll schemed with others to hurt Trump politically and never reported the incident to police.

The trial comes, of course, as Trump faces mounting legal troubles on multiple fronts, waiting for possible major indictments from the DOJ and in Georgia.

OUTFRONT now, Ty Cobb, former Trump lighthouse lawyer. And, Ty, I just want to start with this case, because I've sort of been calling this the sleeper case in a sense, right, that it's now happening and it could be very significant. But it isn't one people had spent a lot of time talking about until it actually started. So here we are, and, Carroll's lawyer tells the jury today that they're going to hear from two longtime friends who will corroborate her account, along with testimony from two other women who will allege Trump physically forced himself on them.

And her lawyer said in court today and I, quote, three women, one clear pattern. Pounce, kiss, grab, grope, don't wait. When you're a star, you can do anything you want, and when they speak up about what happened, attack, humiliate them. Call them liars. Call them too ugly to assault.

Now to that point, Trump has denied Carroll's allegations, saying that she is, quote, not my type. When you look at this case, Ty, do you think she has a strong case against Trump?

TY COBB, FORMER TRUMP WHTE HOUSE LAWYER: I certainly think based on the evidence that the judges agreed to let in, that her cases is quite strong. She's got the two outcry witnesses, outcry witnesses being people she talked to recently, you know, almost immediately after the event, which that that -- that buttresses her credibility substantially.

On the other hand, keep in mind. You know, this is -- this is a long, long time ago.


COBB: Almost 30 years, and those kind of gasses are difficult to prove. But the judge having agreed to let in the testimony from another alleged victim from 17 years prior to this incident, and a second one second alleged victim, you know, based on an incident 10 years after this alleged incident, you know that that definitely strengthens the case in a way that I think it would be very difficult for Trump to overcome.

You know, his attacks, you know, that, you know, that this is, you know, politically schemed, you know, emphasizing if he's allowed to put in the evidence that, you know, that her case is being funded by a left leaning billionaire, even though she testified, apparently at one point that it was a pure contingency. You know, I think that's sort of background noise. I don't think that is going to sway a lot of jurors.

And attacking her, I think is probably, you know, it may be the only strategy they have, but I'm not sure it's going to be an effective strategy. I will say on appeal, this is a difficult case.

BURNETT: So, all right, so again -- and again, I know the timing on all of this and how it goes out. I mean, you know it's not like we're going to know tomorrow, but I just think it's significant tie that you're saying that this could be something that ends up happening mattering and it wasn't something that has really been on the radar in that way. Like Georgia, like the DOJ. COBB: Right.

BURNETT; So let me ask you about that because the former Vice President Mike Pence, is in Washington this week, expected to appear before the grand jury investigating January 6th soon, and he was just asked in an interview whether he saw Trump commit any crimes in the lead up to January 6th.

Now, he's talked a lot about the overall issue here, but they answered this in an important way. Here's what he said.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I just don't know, Leland, if it's criminal to take bad advice from lawyers. I saw a cast of characters, lawyers that frankly should never have been allowed on the White House grounds giving the president counsel that was just simply not grounded in history or the Constitution and the law.


BURNETT: What do you hear? I don't know, Leland, if it's criminal to take bad advice from lawyers, what do you hear there?

COBB: So what I hear is what I don't hear is no.


COBB: You know, do you think -- do you think he committed any crime?


You know, I don't hear no. You know, I think he's acknowledging that, you know, there was -- there were a lot of unsavory characters involved in this, you know, giving him bad advice. I think he's going to address that because I'm sure he had personal conversations with the president about the advice that the president was receiving.


COBB: I don't think we're going to learn a lot new however from Pence. I think you know through the cooperation that he allowed his staff to provide his book and other things. I think we know maybe 90 percent of what he's going to say, but I'm sure he's going to relay some conversations now that the court is freed him up to do so.

BURNETT: And, Ty, quickly before we go in Georgia. You and I spent a lot of time talking about that, at one point, you know you felt this was the most clear and present danger to Trump. Obviously, that's changed. But still, could be crucial what happens there right whether there's an indictment.

And, Fani Willis, that there have been expectations this would be in May. You and others felt this and now she's come out and said July 11th until the end of the summer. July 11th till the end of the summer. What do you make of that delay?

COBBB: Well, I think this goes back to, you know, keep in mind that her first press conference on this was before Trump even left office. And then, a year later, we heard the charges were imminent. We heard the charges were imminent again in January.

I think she's sort of hard to peg down. She's got a pending motion to disqualify the attorney for several of the alternate electors. And today's news sort of obscures what is an important issue in the case, which is she's facing a very important deadline next week to respond to the petition that Trump's lawyers filed to quash the report of the investigating or the grand jury that gave the findings and to -- and remove her and the judge from the case.

So I think there's a lot to play out. I don't see this happening before September, and as you and I have discussed, you know, it would be -- I don't see the justice department letting her proceed on the political front, in advance of whatever they're going to do. I think the Justice Department will act before September.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Ty, as always. We'll speak to you soon. Thank you.

And next the former Fox --

COBB: Thank you, Erin. Good to be with you.

BURNETT: All right. You, too.

And that Fox producer, I mentioned her. She still says she has close to 100 tapes from her time at -- close to 100 more tapes. So could more heads be about to roll. Are we at the beginning here?

And it's a story you'll see first OUTFRONT after that, Jackson, Mississippi, a city that's more than 80 percent Black is now essentially being run by white Republican officials. Why.



BURNETT: Tonight, more receipts. Abby Grossberg, who is the now fired Fox News producer, suing the network with allegations of a toxic work environment and accusations that she was pressured to give misleading testimony in the Dominion case. Well, she is saying tonight that she still has nearly 100 more recordings, additional recordings from her time at Fox.


ABBY GROSSBERG, EX-TUCKER CARLSON PRODUCER: I still have -- I have several recordings that I'm still going through that we've recovered from all of the phones. There are 90 that we have.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Ninety. Well, Grossberg, of course, worked on Tucker Carlson show among others, and she shed light on how he treated potential guests.


GROSSBERG: He would call and tell them that, that if you don't participate, or you don't come on the show, we will destroy you.


BURNETT: All right. This coming, though, as Carlson right now is still remaining totally silent in the wake of his abrupt firing from the network.

Our senior media reporter Oliver Darcy is OUTFRONT.

So, Oliver, nearly 90 tapes Abby says today that she still has. How worried is Fox about them?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Yes, Erin. They're not flattering tapes and keep in mind, as you said, she not only worked as a top booker for Tucker Carlson, but she was a top producer for Maria Bartiromo who was someone who factored big in this Dominion lawsuits and is also in the Smartmatic lawsuit.

So, in total, I imagine that this revelation that she has 90 tapes is probably more -- more reason for the Murdochs to settle this case with her. She's filed a lawsuit against them and not let this drag on.

BURNETT: So, in terms of what's happening at Fox, right? You've got Tucker gone, the biggest star there. How is it affecting them so far?

DARCY: Well, last night, the ratings were a lot softer than normal in the 8:00 p.m. hour, which Tucker Carlson normally hosted, and notably the ratings for the right wing channel Newsmax, which is a much smaller competitor, but they were up big last night in the ratings, two to three times the normal audience size.

And so, I think we're seeing an interesting trend, perhaps, and right wing television as a result of this firing of Tucker Carlson.

BURNETT: And perhaps a changing of the media landscape, as many of us grew up knowing it.

Thank you very much, Oliver.

So I want to go now to Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies at Yale School of Management, has done extensive work over the years right on Rupert Murdoch on the family on Fox News.

So when you hear Abby Grossberg saying 90 more tapes that we have not yet heard, what do you hear when you hear that?

JEFFREY SONNENFELD, SENIOR ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR LEADERSHIP STUDIES, YALE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT: It's pretty alarming. And as Oliver Darcy just said, in his excellent coverage, upfront that it's not all Tucker Carlson. It seems like quite a bit of it, as she admitted, I saw that full interview myself this afternoon that she was spying on our old friend Maria Bartiromo, who, of course, compromise yourself sadly in some ways, and so she's got a lot to go. That spreads around the place beyond just Tucker Carlson.

She's not giving us a lot in terms of specific teaser, so we don't know how much substance there is, but she's got a lot to embarrass them.

BURNETT: So, you know, Tucker Carlson obviously was implicated in the Dominion filings that became public. That at least was not the time frame under which he was let go, right? He was let go when it was, well, there's a lot of redacted stuff that's really bad, because I guess that stuff was okay. At least that's the implication of where we are right now.

But do you think more -- more top anchors will be fired?

SONNENFELD: Well, as we mentioned, Maria Bartiromo is in a very thin ice, and I think Laura Ingraham, of course, is in thin ice and Sean Hannity.

But none of them did as much as where this show opened today, and I have to compliment you on the opening of the show.


It's so fresh looking at the parallels with what Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister, said today. It was, you know, almost word for word scripts with Tucker Carlson. Nobody else at Fox had gone down that line, doing the Russian disinformation.

So he was so far over that I don't think they bear the same risk but some risk. I do think, though, that the leadership there is some of the next heads to roll. Suzanne Scott was shown in these sworn depositions and the emails to have been coercing people do not tell the truth to not do fact checking and Viet Dinh, their general counsel, is it's really shameful. He didn't do his job, and he admitted he knew about this misconduct, too.

BURNETT: So, all this starts to happen, and maybe it's sort of, you know, we heard all that. And you thought it was a tree falling in the forest. Nothing happened. But now maybe there's a snowball starting down the mountain. Maybe.

But what Oliver was also reporting last night? It's one night, but you see, OAN, right, leaning competitor further right than Fox, the numbers surgery to clock. So is this -- is this the beginning, possibly the very of a significant change that could be very relevant coming into the political cycle where in America?

SONNENFELD: Well, the only thing that Oliver didn't put out their charitably is what's a big night for right now, I think for some of those networks, in particular, I mean, looking at 100,000 viewers going up to 150,000. There, the peak that we saw for Newsmax when Murdoch was panicked in 2020 was around 200,000 viewers. That's not a big audience.

So yes, it's gone up a lot from a low base, but still we don't -- I don't think we see a lot there. We do see the stock prices dropping and advertisers there are -- you know, a couple of dozen major advertisers pulled away from Tucker Carlson a while ago. He had 12,000 ads of MyPillow, you know, Mike Lindell. That could put anybody to sleep quick.

BURNETT: And a quick final question, how much of this is still Rupert Murdoch?

SONNENFELD: It's a definitely is a -- it is a Fox and steam monster he's created is that he's lost control of this, and he's obviously very we worried. The Smartmatic case, which is coming up, the shareholder lawsuits that are coming up, we're going to put him very much on the hot seat. So he's going to want to settle, even though the damage is that Smartmatic and others might not be so high in terms of actual damages.

What they have is the fear factor that they don't want the humiliation so they're going to pay high like they just did with Dominion. They easily could wipe out all their profits or halfway right out their profits this year.

BURNETT: I mean, it's incredible, right. You already set a record, 787.5.

SONNENFELD: I don't see they can get insurance anymore. As a matter of fact, even Elon Musk can insure Tesla anymore. He asked to self insure his own board directors.

If he does, certainly, Rupert Murdoch's going to figure out he's going to have trouble ensuring his directors who also faced liability.

BURNETT: Yeah. Well, that -- and that's very significant, to have people like Paul Ryan on that board.

Thank you very much, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld.

And next, the city divided, mostly white conservatives, now being accused of essentially trying to take over a city in America that is more than 80 percent black and mostly Democratic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We see this as an assault on Black elected leadership.


BURNETT: That is a report that you will see first OUTFRONT.

Plus, lost in space. A private company trying to make history by landing a spacecraft on the moon is now lost contact. As of this moment, still don't know where it is.



BURNETT: Tonight, the NAACP suing the state of Mississippi. This comes after the governor signed legislation essentially allowing a state takeover of the city of Jackson, which is facing a staggering increase in crime.

Critics say that this means state officials, who are mostly white and conservative, have decided who controls the state's largest city, which is 80 percent Black and overwhelmingly Democratic.

Omar Jimenez went to Jackson for this story that you will see first OUTFRONT.


FELICIA BRISCOE, BUSINESS OWNER: We don't want the city to be taken over, but we're kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Felicia Briscoe (ph) has owned this beauty salon in north Jackson, Mississippi, for more than two decades.

BRISCOE: Beauty salons used to be open door where you could just walk in, but we can't allow that anymore.

JIMENEZ: Just 10 years ago , there were 50 homicides in Jackson a year. In 2021,m that number jumped to more than 150 with the murder rate more than 12 times the national average.

Now, a new pair of laws meant to help fix the issue are creating a deep divide between the city and state, by the laws partly having state law enforcement patrol all of Jackson and state leaders, appointing some judges and prosecutors, but also, the state legislature is majority Republican and majority White. They approved these laws that affect the city of Jackson, which is majority Democratic, and more than 80 percent Black.

What kind of message do you think this sends to your residents?

MAYOR CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA (D), JACKSON, MS: It says that we don't value your voice that we don't believe that Black leadership is capable of moving forward for itself.

JIMENEZ: This road that includes schools, churches and homes will soon become the new edge of the so called Capitol Complex Improvement District. Now, under the old rules, the edge of the district would mean the edge of capitol police's jurisdiction. Now, it will extend beyond those boundaries, into the Greater Jackson, giving the state run police jurisdiction citywide.

In theory, to work with an understaffed city police department --

POLICE OFFICER: You look at carjacking and you look at murders and saying, oh, that's crime problem. No, brother. There is a symptom of people not valuing each other and not valuing themselves.

JIMENEZ: And for Captain Vance, the key to the success of any added officers goes beyond numbers.

POLICE OFFICER: You have to go out your way to know these people have a relationship with them because policing without a relationship is occupation.

JIMENEZ: Both laws were introduced as bills by legislators who represent districts outside of Jackson.

STATE SENATOR JOHN HORHN (D), MISSISSIPPI: They just cannot help themselves.

JIMENEZ: Democratic State Senator John Horhn has represented parts of Jackson for more than 30 years.

We see this as an assault on Black elected leadership, because we have political differences with our colleagues and because they have the political power and the will to bring about these changes, but the changes are coming.

GOV. TATE REEVES (R), MISSISSIPPI: We need Jackson to prosper.


We as a state need a downtown area that is attracting young people to it.

JIMENEZ: Regardless of the representation issues, this bill seems to be providing some help. What do you say to folks who argue that?

LUMUMBA: In any moment where you find yourself in a crisis, what you don't want to do is reach for a solution that places you in a worse position than you already find yourself.

JIMENEZ: Outside of politics, some residents say any change is going to start on the ground.

Invest, you mean something different.

POLICE OFFICER: If you take the time out to value this place and see it for what it is, man, we might well be first (INAUDIBLE).

JIMENEZ: Back in the salon, Briscoe knows the laws aren't perfect, but she also knows something has to change.

What do you think you're going to need to unlock your doors again?

BRISCOE: It's going to take a lot for people to feel comfortable again.


JIMENEZ (on camera): Now given the disagreements between local and state leaders, I asked the governor how he envisions the implementation of these changes going, and he told me that part of his job is to manage expectations and that this smooth -- the idea of a smooth implementation does not typically happen, and he doesn't expect this to be any different.

And meanwhile, we've already seen a lawsuit by the NAACP.


JIMENEZ: They've argued in part that that the civil liberties of residents are being eroded because the powers of local judges and other local effect elected officials are being essentially replaced by those of state appointed officials.

BURNETT: It's incredible story and just to think about it, and just to see those crime numbers that have gone. I mean, there's the really incredible sort of thing for all Americans to know.

Thank you so much, Omar.

And coming up on "AC360", seven were arrested last night in protest supporting transgender Montana Legislator Zooey Zephyr who has refused the right to speak by her colleagues. Representative Zephyr will join Anderson tonight.

Meanwhile, next year mission not accomplished ever or yet? So what happened to that private spacecraft that was going to land on the moon today? It's missing.


BURNETT: Tonight, lost in space. A Japanese company attempting the first moon landing by a private company says it has lost contact with its lunar lander. It was supposed to land on the moon after a three month journey today, and mission control expected their communications to go dark just for a little bit.

But then 20 minutes after it was supposed to be land, they still had nothing. They still didn't know if it was there. Here's the last sighting, as of now, this incredible photo taken about 60 miles from the surface of the moon. We'll see if it shows up.

Thanks for watching.

Anderson is now.