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Erin Burnett Outfront

Report: Leaked Docs Reveal Putin Scrambling To Enlist More Troops; Prosecutors: Suspect In Docs Leak Wanted To Kill A "Ton Of People"; Pence Testifies For 5+ Hours Before Grand Jury In Jan. 6 Probe; DeSantis Blasts Disney Lawsuit As "Political" During Overseas Trip; New Revelations About Tucker Carlson's Pattern Of Sexist Comments; Brittney Griner Speaks Out On Surviving Russian Imprisonment; Giant Panda Ya Ya Back In China As Scientists' Push Back On Allegations U.S. Mistreated Her. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 27, 2023 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT" next, abducted. New video appears to show Russian officers dragging a young man into the back of the car, forcing him to fight Putin's war. And it comes as we learn just how many more troops Putin thinks he needs on the battlefield now.

Plus, former Vice President Mike Pence wrapping up his testimony before the grand jury investigating Trump just moments ago. What we are learning tonight about his five-plus hours behind closed doors today.

And Tucker Carlson's pattern of offensive and sexist comments about women, it's not just about calling women the c-word.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, dragged into war. New video into OUTFRONT tonight shows the violent tactics that Russia is using right now to get young known the front lines.

So, what you're seeing on this video is what's believed to be a Russian conscript, a young man, being forced into the back of a car in Moscow. The young man is resisting. The young man is screaming for help.

But he loses. He's taken away. And the person filming says a police officer is standing by doing nothing.

And it is scenes like this we have heard about in Moscow, right, go down on the subway, people there who can round people up. It's everywhere. We hear about this. It's happening across Russia and Moscow itself now.

And while Russia has been ramping up recruiting and, of course, Ukraine has as well, Russia has been going to the extreme. According to "The Washington Post," which has seen more of the leaked classified U.S. intelligence documents that were posted online by Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, Putin reportedly backed -- reportedly backed his military's proposal to quietly recruit 400,000 additional troops throughout this year for the war in Ukraine, 400,000 more.

Remember, they went in at the beginning of what was estimated to be about 150 to 190, 40,000 or so are dead. So 400,000 more this year. Now, according to the documents, there is, though a big concern that doing that could turn public opinion against Putin. And that has forced Russia, as we have seen thus far, to require or rely on prisoners and local recruitment campaigns which have been in the far reaches of Russia, right? Not in Moscow.

Well, this effort to quickly recruit men comes as Ukraine itself is gearing up for a counteroffensive. Today, we did hear reports of more major explosions in Russian-held parts of Ukraine. The attack that you see here is said to have targeted either a Russian ammunition depot or an electricity substation.

And the reason that we are mentioning these explosions today is that our Tim Lister is reporting that they are seeing a change. There's been a definite up tick in Ukrainian attacks on Russian hubs in recent days in these past couple weeks which is the same sort of activity that we saw ramping up right before that successful counteroffensive in Kherson.

Now, this all comes in the context of this incredibly massive leak from the 21-year-old Teixeira, who is accused of leaking the documents. And he appeared in court today. Prosecutors say Teixeira could still be a threat. They say he may still have more classified information which makes him a valuable asset to American adversaries, including Russia.

Now, let me show this. This is Teixeira's bedroom. This is an image from his bedroom. And on the wall, we just highlighted there in the little spotlight, you see what is a pennant. It bears the insignia of the Russian military general staff. Infer from that what you will, but this is why they're so concerned.

Oren Liebermann is OUTFRONT live at the Pentagon tonight.

And, Oren, you do have new details on the government's case against Teixeira. What are you learning tonight?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Erin, today's detention hearing gave us more background information about who Jack Teixeira was. Some red flags, threats he had made in the past, as well as an incident that kept him from getting a firearm's ID for several years but only temporarily.


LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Tonight, 21-year-old Jack Teixeira in custody after appearing in court for his detention hearing. Prosecutors portrayed the suspected leaker of classified documents as a risk to flee, incapable of trust he promised to uphold as a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.

There is no integrity in Teixeira's character because there can be none when there's a profound breach of trust, said Nadine Pellegrini, from the U.S. attorney's office. In a dumpster at Teixeira's home, authorities found a tablet, laptop and Xbox, they've all been smashed. Prosecutors said it was a way of them to stopping understanding the seriousness and scale of Teixeira's conduct.


BRIG. GEN. PATRICK RYDER, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: The department is looking not only at our intelligence processes and procedures as it relates to security or sensitive information and who has that information, but also looking at the process by which we clear and vet individuals for security clearances. And that work is ongoing.

LIEBERMANN: Authorities say he had an arsenal of weapons just feet from his bed, including rifles, AR and AK-style weapons and bazooka, his room decked out in military camo and paraphernalia.

In a recent online chat uncovered by investigators, Teixeira said he would kill a expletive ton of people calling the weak-minded and he wanted to make an assassination van. He also asked another user what type of rifle would be good to conduct a shooting in a crowded urban or suburban environment.

Teixeira's lawyers argued in court he poses no danger and is not unique in collecting weapons. Some people are car guys. Some people like boats. And some people like guns, his attorney said in court, defending his client as the Pentagon defended the process that led here.

The leaked documents exposed classified U.S. intel including about the war in Ukraine. Documents revealed the limitations of Ukraine's air defenses and manpower, while also detailing Russia's efforts to recruit more troops to plug its military's ranks, valuable info the prosecutors say other countries would covet.

And authorities warned Teixeira may still have more sensitive intelligence hidden away and could still be capable of causing extraordinary damage to U.S. national security.


LIEBERMANN (on camera): Teixeira remains in custody at this point. The judge hasn't ruled yet in his detention hearing but the judge may have given an indication which way the judge was leaning because he said the prosecution's evidence, quote, fairly compelling, Erin.

BURNETT: Yeah, certainly an indication.

OK, Oren, thank you so much.

As Oren's been reporting so many of these details, let's go now to Ian Bremmer. He is president of the Eurasia Group. And retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton, former intelligence officer, which, of course, is so crucial in this conversation.

So, Ian, let me start with you, though, on what prosecutors are arguing. They're saying that Teixeira is 21-year-old is a flight risk. They say he's an attractive candidate for foreign government to recruit.

Now, back to that spotlight because I felt like that showed so much, at least to me, there was a pennant in his room, the colors, symbol of the Russian government and military, right? The military insignia there.

When you put all this together, Ian, what do you think? Fair to say flight risk?

IAN BREMMER, EURASIA GROUP PRESIDENT & FOUNDER: Fair to say 21 years old, this is a kid -- we know pretty strongly from what he was sharing and what he was saying on his gaming group that this is a kid that was showing off. It's not a kid that had any significant level of access to decision making, but, of course, he did have -- access to real documents.

Do I think he could make a real difference in terms of sort of Russian leadership and national security? Not really. Not from what we've seen already. But I think he is a danger to the country and a danger to himself, frankly. If there's a level of concern that would keep him under lock and key for the time being, what -- given what we know he's done, I'm not -- I'm fairly sympathetic to that argument. Let's put that way.

BURNETT: All right. So, Colonel Leighton, you know, prosecutors said today that the leaked suspect does have a history of violent threats, that he had an arsenal of weapons and that he took information, this is actually one of the most stunning parts of this, that far exceeds what has been reported. So, I mean, I guess on one level this is a little stunning because you're thinking, wow, how did they not know what he got yet? I don't know, that's deeply troubling probably to many people watching, but how much does all of this concern you that he has a lot more that they haven't seen?

CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yeah, it's gravely concerning, Erin. And, you know, when you think about the bulk that Airman Teixeira may be squirreling away, it could be quite considerable. Volume is not necessarily indicative of the quality of the intelligence, but in this case, it could clearly indicate that there might be some, you know, huge issues there that could be quite exploitable by a foreign intelligence service.

BURNETT: And in all of this, Ian, you know, this expected counteroffensive, I guess I'll phrase it that way, is in the works, right, at some point? We see this reporting from this information, right, that has come out from Teixeira, the stolen information. That Putin wanted to recruit 400,000 additional people this year to fight in the war, right? So that's double what he had at the beginning of the war, more than double.

And so now we're watching this play out. That video at the top of the program that we showed that Russian conscript forced into a car as he's screaming and doesn't want to. And we're hearing a lot of other stories like this.

You know, how -- these are just -- these are just videos. They're points in time. It's impossible for us to know whether they all connect in some bigger way.

How do you see it?

BREMMER: I think the big news from this week on Russia/Ukraine is the fact that Xi Jinping had an hour-long conversation with President Zelenskyy on the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and the readout from both of those leaders was pretty positive. That's very different from anything that we've been seeing over the past year of this invasion where the couple points that you just made, which are important, don't get me wrong, but you know, we've known very well of Russian catastrophic failures on the battlefield and necessity to raise more conscripts, the difficulty of doing so. We've also known of their incredible brutality and the war crimes they've committed.

What we're seeing is more pressure on the Ukrainians towards negotiation. That's also true as we get closer to a Trump nomination on the GOP side, and also true because of these leaks, which showed that the Americans were concerned that Ukrainians weren't going to be able to take much land. In other words, what they were saying publicly and privately understandably a little bit different on this front.

And then you've got Macron going over and saying, I want a ceasefire fast. So, I think the net/net of the week is that Zelenskyy is feeling more pressure to get things done quickly and that time is not necessarily on his side.

BURNETT: So, Colonel, on that front, those explosions that I mentioned in Russian controlled areas of Ukraine today. You know, Tim Lister is saying they saw these sort of things, upticks before the counteroffensive in Kherson which was successful, but they're now starting to see this.

So, where do you think they are in this counteroffensive? I mean, is this the beginning of it, or not?

LEIGHTON: It could be the precursor to something like counteroffensive, Erin. You know, one of the key things here is the volume of attacks, both the Russians and the Ukrainians have actually upped the volume of attacks in recent days. So, the Russians are probably trying to respond to the Ukrainians.

But the Ukrainians, through their special forces, are doing quite a bit of work that could soften up the ground for a potential counteroffensive. And that I think we can expect at least in the South and possibly in the East.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.

And next, we have new details and these are about former Vice President Mike Pence because he testified today before that grand jury in the special counsel about Trump's efforts to overturn the election.

Plus, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., remember when he announced just days ago? Guess what, he is polling near 20 percent as he takes on President Biden. I didn't misspeak. What's going on?

And hero's welcome in China for Ya Ya, that giant panda we told you about, as rumors run rampant about her treatment in the United States.



BURNETT: New tonight, former Vice President Mike Pence testifying for more than five hours before that grand jury investigating the January 6th attack and former President Trump's role in it. Now, this is according to sources who tell CNN.

It marks the first time in modern history that a former vice president was compelled to testify about the president he served. And it comes just after Trump lost an emergency attempt to block Pence from testifying about their direct conversations leading up to the insurrection.

OUTFRONT, Ryan Goodman, former special counsel at the Department of Defense and co-editor in chief of "Just Security".

All right. So, we talked about the possibility of this day. I should be clear anything he said wasn't about the actual January 6th itself but about what was before and after because of -- he won that constitutional fight.

But, do you think this can move the needle? Even if all he did was repeat essentially what he said in interviews in his book?

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPT. OF DEFENSE: I think so. It's a missing piece so that the special prosecutor -- special counsel can now have direct evidence from Pence himself of what the president told him at the time. And doesn't have to rely on this patchwork of what others said Trump said to Pence.

And so, incriminating evidence in part because direct evidence that on January 5th in the oval office, Pence says to president Trump, I do not have the constitutional authority to try to block the certification.

And in the book, Pence says that Trump responds, you want to play by the marquee of Queensbury rules, which is a boxing rules. In other words, you don't want to -- you want to play by the rules. We're trying to break the rules, because if they break the rules, we break the rules. That's incriminating.

In other time, apparently, Trump says to him, you're too honest because Pence has said that he rejects the fringe litigation coming out of Louie Gohmert in the House saying that he is trying to litigate to block Pence from being able to certify the elections. He says he's being too honest by opposing that. BURNETT: So, you're saying that even those things existed in print,

they would not have been usable until they were under oath. Just merely getting that under oath, never mind anything additional, that would have been significant?

GOODMAN: Absolutely.

BURNETT: All right. So, now, let's get to the what more.

GOODMAN: Uh-huh.

BURNETT: More than five hours in the building. What does that say to you?

GOODMAN: It says to me that they probably walked through in painstaking detail what happened on the 5th of January, that conversation I just recounted was on the 5th. What happened on the 4th of January, when there's this major meeting between Pence and Trump and Trump's lawyer, John Eastman.

In the book, Pence says that he confronted Trump and he said, your own lawyer does not think I have the legal authority to return the electoral votes. That's important that they have it coming directly from Pence.

And then there are other things, lack of remorse on Trump's part. In his book, Pence says president did not try to reach me on January 6th nor for five days afterwards.

BURNETT: So, they can get the five days afterwards, right, nothing on January 6th.


BURNETT: But the five days afterwards.

All right, so does this change anything to you in terms of timing? I know they had to fight to get this, right, so part of the timing of it is the fight itself. Doesn't necessarily mean this is coming in with your last thing before decision, but it could. What does this say to you about the timeline?

GOODMAN: It does -- I think if they didn't have this piece we wouldn't be able to say he could bring the case or that Mr. Smith can bring the case at any point.


It is such an important piece. It does seem to be the thing that he really needs to clear the way. The only question mark for me is that he's only recently won the ability to cross-examine a bunch of other senior White House officials. That might take a bit of time.

BURNETT: If he's going to do that. Okay.

All right. So, E. Jean Carroll, that case, the sleeper case as we call it simply because people weren't paying attention to it, and now more are, the rape case. So she returned to the stand today, cross- examination. Her lawsuit is about an alleged rape in 1996 in a dressing room at a fancy department store in New York.

Trump's attorney grilled Carroll about why she didn't scream as the alleged rape occurred. She responded today in the stand, I'm telling you he raped me, whether I screamed or not. I don't need an excuse for not screaming.

And she obviously yesterday said she never in her life -- she's now 79 years old, was intimate with anybody after this alleged rape. So do you think she's made the case?

GOODMAN: I think so. I mean, in some ways we should all remember this is not a criminal trial. So, to make the case, she needs to prove it's more likely than not it occurred, more than 50 percent. She needs unanimous jury verdict, but I think she made the case.

Now, in fact, she's going to come with two additional witnesses of people she told contemporaneously when it happened. That's big. And then we've also got from the judge, a ruling that they can enter the audio tape from the "Hollywood Access" tape where Trump is admitting this is the kind of think I do, not necessarily saying rape --

BURNETT: Yeah, the grab them, yes, right.

GOODMAN: Absolutely.

BURNETT: So, you're saying the standard is not beyond a reasoned doubt. Is it reasonable, 50 percent?

GOODMAN: Yeah, just 50 percent plus 0.1 and it's done. She wins.

BURNETT: Wow. All right. Thank you very much, Ryan Goodman.

And next, one of the most powerful Republicans now slamming Ron DeSantis' threats against Disney.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I don't think the idea of building a prison next to a place you can bring your family is the best idea.


BURNETT: Plus, newly released video capturing Tucker Carlson making offensive and sexist comments from women. New video coming out and you're going to hear what he said.



BURNETT: Tonight, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy telling Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to find way to end his battle with Disney. And that his threats against the company don't fly.


MCCARTHY: I don't think the idea of building a prison next to a place that you bring your family is the best idea. I think it would be much better if you sat down and solved the problems.


BURNETT: Well, McCarthy's comments coming just one day after Disney sued DeSantis, accusing him of a clear pattern of retaliation after the company spoke out against Florida's ban on teaching young kids about sexual orientation and gender identity, and that DeSantis's actions are violating Disney's right to free speech.

OUTFRONT now, Scott Jennings, who is the former special assistant to President George W. Bush, our legal analyst Joey Jackson and, of course, our numbers expert extraordinaire --


BURNETT: You want me to say what it says? Our numbers whiz.

ENTEN: There we go.

BURENTT: Harry Enten.

All right. Scott, you just heard Speaker McCarthy, this is a man who doesn't come out and say that without having decided he was going to say that. You know, doesn't come off in a flip, not thought out way. So, do you think DeSantis has gone too far here?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think -- wait, McCarthy also said he had advice for Disney which is maybe don't be so political. But -- so he had advice for both sides.

I think part of the DeSantis' brand is, I'm going to fight wokism in our culture, wherever it is, especially in these corporations, and I will not be distracted. I think what he is selling is, you know, Trump will occasionally complain about these things, but he gets distracted, and tomorrow, he'll forget about it because he's distracted.

I'm a dog with a bone and I will never let it go. I will start fights and I will finish them. I think that's what he's communicating here is, you know, I don't care who criticizes me. I will not let this go because it is the core of who I am.

Now, good political strategy or not -- I don't know yet, but that's the brand he's advertising.

BURNETT: So, Joey, Governor DeSantis is overseas right now. So, he was in Jerusalem when he commented about the Disney lawsuit. Right, time zones were off and so he commented today. And here is some of what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: They're upset because they're actually have to live by the same rules as everybody else. They don't want to have to pay the same taxes as everybody else. I don't think the suit has merit. I think it's political.


BURNETT: You know, he's got this confidence because he's got that Harvard law degree. But, you know, practicing lawyers have -- may have a different opinion. So, does the lawsuit have merit?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think Harvard law graduates will tell you that it does.


JACKSON: I will tell you that people who have not graduated from Harvard will tell you also it has a lot of merit.

And why do I say that? Because this is clearly an attack upon speech. Why do we know that? If you look at the lawsuit itself, it uses his words against him. Go woke, go broke.

It speaks about how he called and convened a special session. In that special session, he was very clear with respect to what he was doing, punishing Disney, for their views, for them not being apolitical. So it crosses the line.

And so, I think at the end of the day, not only does he lose the lawsuit, but I think he pays attorney fees, et cetera. And I think there's going to be -- there's no question that from a first amendment perspective, the causal connection between what he wanted to do punish and based upon the statements are there. And I think without question, he's in trouble.

BURNETT: And Disney makes the points actually in their argument, quite poignant, they were saying -- they're taking a stand that smaller businesses and individuals, I'm quoting them, might not be able to take when the state comes after them for expressing their own views. In America, the government cannot punish you for speaking your mind.

So, they're both saying it's free speech and they are doing this because they're big and because they're a juggernaut and to help -- when others can't.

JACKSON: Listen, I think it's been said. Scott, I know you saw this that he was outdone by Mickey Mouse. I think that is going to be really the lesson to be taught here.

I think from a perspective of having a lawsuit that has merit, that's based on the first amendment, you can't -- if you're a corporation, you're allowed to state what your views are. You're allowed to give the indication that what you're doing, Governor, are wrong.

So the legislature convenes to punish you for that. Can't do it. This is America last I --

JENNINGS: Other side of that, though, this is a more muscular brand of Republicanism. And this is what a lot of Republicans want is for -- when Republicans have the levers of power, to be unafraid to use it to go after the people who they think are harming American culture.


I don't -- I don't know where this is headed, but this is the beginnings of more muscular Republicanism. It may not be traditional conservatism.

BURNETT: Well, a different Repub -- certainly a different not traditional conservativism, but Republicanism. I get the distinction. So, Harry, to this point, because what you just hit on here, Scott, is where the heart of what you're going to talk about.

So, McCarthy is not alone. You say you're going to put a prison next to Disney, a lot of people got upset. That was enough for a lot of people, a lot of mainstream, conservative Republicans to speak out and take a stand. And here they are.



GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: It's not good for Governor DeSantis. I don't think it's good for the Republican Party. This does not help the team. And I just want the team to be able to win.

ASA HUTCHINSON (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: I think he's getting it wrong on Disney. I don't agree how Disney has handled things, but you don't use the heavy hand of government to punish a business.

NIKKI HALEY (R), FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: If Disney would like to move their hundreds of thousands of jobs to South Carolina, and bring the billions of dollars with them, I'll let them know. I'll be happy to meet them in South Carolina.


BURNETT: All right. They're all on the same page. But where are Republican voters?

ENTEN: Let me just say, I always preferred Disneyland to Disneyworld. When it comes to this particular issue on Disney, you know, Ron DeSantis pushed this fight with Disney. He pushed the six-week abortion ban.

The majority of Republican voters are with him, but only about two thirds or 60 to 66 percent are with him. There's about one third of the Republican Party who is not with him on Disney and not with him on the six-week abortion ban. So this actually splits the GOP in some sense, right? So when he has this majority and significant minority disagree. More, is this really working in his Republican primary fight against Donald Trump? And what do we see in the polling? Fox news had polled out the last three months. Go back to February, what did we have? We had Trump ahead but only ahead by about 15 points. Now you look at that lead, 30 points in March and 32 points in April. So, this fight -- these fights that he's pushing, maybe they are popular with the Republican voters, the bread that's rising, it's not rising the way he wants it to rise.

BURNETT: Joey, what's the timing on a case at this stage?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, it will take a while. There's what's called injunctive relief. What does it mean in English? It means he's looking for the courts to say that governor, you're wrong. The legislation was passed as a result of retaliation. We want things to go back to the status quo.

I think that you'll see -- that will happen pretty expeditiously. I think also they're advising that his political and perhaps his legal people to get out of this from a settlement perspective. But oftentimes, you know, Erin, it takes months and months, sometimes years, right, for a lawsuit to see its way through. I think this will be more rapid than that.

And what I wonder right now my lane, yours and yours, but the reality is from political perspective, I think he's going to take a loss after loss after loss.

BURNETT: Yeah, because it's staying there, it's not like it goes away. It's not like you can quietly stop talking about it.

JENNINGS: Yeah. By the way, I don't --

BURNETT: He doesn't want to.

JENNINGS: I don't think taking up for Disney if I'm Haley or Asa -- I don't see it.

BURNETT: You talk about polls. I know that -- first o of all we know polls can be wrong. I have now given my disclaimer.

JENNINGS: There you go.

BURNETT: There is a poll on the Democratic side which posted right after Biden announced, okay. And I just want everyone to understand. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was polled. How was he going to do? He has just announced, too.

Obviously, his own family didn't show up at his announcement. He is known for being anti-vax, saying autism is caused by vaccines, among other things.

So, how is he doing? Just a fringe 1 percent sort of a guy?

ENTEN: Well, no. He is polling nearly 20 percent in the primary against Joe Biden, according to Fox News poll that came out yesterday. I'll point out that that's not the only poll that shows him up in double digits, right?

Joe Biden is still well ahead, right? You know, he's getting --

BURNETT: Right. Is there precedent for an incumbent, two or three days after your announcement and --

ENTEN: And you get this crazy guy out there getting nearly 20 percent.

BURNETT: Twenty percent.

ENTEN: I will point out, though, that if you look back and the 2012 Democratic primary, right, and go to the state of West Virginia, there was a felon, there was a convicted criminal on the ballot in Keith Judd who pulled in more than 40 percent of that primary voter.

Look, this is a protest vote going to Kennedy at this point. More than it's a name recognition thing. Oh, a Kennedy running in a Democratic primary. You don't think it's that, Scott?

JENNINGS: I don't think it's name recognition. Seventy percent of the American people don't want him to run again, according to NBC News this weekend, including 51 percent of Democrats. They think he's too old. The fact that they're willing to side in a poll with two literal crazy people -- I mean --

ENTEN: Do you think people know who Marianne Williamson --

JENNINGS: She ran before. The crystal princess? Yeah, they know who she is.

JACKSON: Age is nothing but a number. Nothing but a number.

BURNETT: Well, there is so much more to come on this. Thank you.

And next, Tucker Carlson reportedly calling a Fox executive the c-word is what sealed his fate, not any of the other stuff.


But it is far from the first time the former host made comments about women.


TUCKER CARLSON, TV HOST: I feel sorry for unattractive women. I mean, it's nothing they did, you know.


BURNETT: Plus, basketball star Brittney Griner emotional during her first press conference since being freed from Russian prison.


BRITTNEY GRINER, WNBA STAR: I'm no stranger to hard times but --

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: I'm going to speak to the sister of another American who is still being held in Russia tonight, Marc Fogel. What she wants all of us to know.


BURNETT: Tonight, Fox News offering no response to Tucker Carlson breaking his silence after his abrupt departure. Carlson in a two- minute video posted to Twitter railed against the, quote, unbelievably stupid political debates on television. But Carlson did not comment on reports that his profane and highly offensive private messages helped seal his fate including one that reportedly calls a senior Fox executive the C-word.

Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.


CARLSON: Good evening. It's Tucker Carlson.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): new revelations about Tucker Carlson's alleged pattern of offensive and sexist comments towards women.


"The New York Times" obtaining a video capturing Carlson off camera wondering if his post menopausal fans will like how he looks on the show. And in another video describing a woman as yummy.

ABBY GROSSBERG, FORMER PRODUCER, "TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT": Women were objectified. It was a game. It was a sport. Female politicians who came on the show were mocked. There were debates about who they would rather sleep with. C-word, all the time.

SERFATY: This comes as former Fox News producer Abby Grossberg has accused Carlson in a lawsuit of pervasive sexism and misogyny at his show.

GROSSBERG: There are literally pictures this big of Nancy Pelosi in a bathing suit in Europe, plastered all over.

SERFATY: Grossberg claiming Carlson encouraged a work culture that subjugates based on vile sexist stereotypes women were subjected to crude terms out in the open like discussing which female guest were f- able. The lawsuit alleges no woman whether she was a Republican politician or a female staffer at Fox News was safe from suddenly becoming the target of sexist, demeaning comments such as being called a C-word.

That offensive slur also appearing in a text revealed in Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox, showing Tucker calling then Trump lawyer Sidney Powell that C-word.

Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who in 2016 went public with sexual harassment claims against then network head Roger Ailes, saying --

GRETCHEN CARLSON, FORMER FOX NEWS HOST: Fox made a big point of saying that they had changed their culture. The Abby Grossberg lawsuit and her claims apparently prove that's not the case.

CARLSON: Bring them back.

SERFATY: Meantime, a long trail of past comments made both during and before he became an anchor at Fox, paints a similar picture, with Carlson repeatedly disparaging women.

Carlson saying of Supreme Court Justice Elena Keegan.

CARLSON: I feel sorry for unattractive women. I mean, it's nothing they did, you know?

SERFATY: Describing Hillary Clinton anti-penis.

CARLSON: If you look at Hillary and you know in your heart if she could castrate you, she would.

SERFATY: Saying of then Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard --

CARLSON: I don't know what this is really about, but I do know that according to every website on the entire internet, she's the prettiest woman in Congress.

SERFATY: Referring to Vice President Kamala Harris as --

CARLSON: The ex-girlfriend of Montel Williams and will be described that way forever after on this show.

SERFATY: And stating of feminism --

CARLSON: I don't think anything has changed our society more for the worst.


SERFATY (on camera): And Tucker Carlson has not gotten back to CNN in response to these allegations. We also did not receive a response from his lawyer on the newly uncovered video of Carlson obtained by "The New York Times".

Meantime, Fox News denied the allegations that Abby Grossberg has made in her lawsuits -- Erin.

BURNETT: Sunlen, thank you very much.

And next, basketball star Brittney Griner with a message tonight for Americans like teacher Marc Fogel who are still being held in Russia tonight.


BRITTNEY GRINER, BASKETBALL STAR: Just keep pushing because we're not going to stop. We're not going to stop fighting. We're not going to stop bringing awareness to everyone that's left behind right now.


BURNETT: Fogel's sister is OUTFRONT.

Plus, Ya Ya getting a heroes welcome in China. She's back. But for the Chinese, it's about a whole lot more than a panda.



BURNETT: New tonight, WNBA star Brittney Griner moved to tears during her first press conference since being released from Russian prison. Griner talking how she made it through the ten months she was there. She is now on the verge again of playing basketball.


BRITTNEY GRINER, WNBA PLAYER: I'm no stranger to hard times. So, you cried -- you made me cry. Just digging deep, honestly. You know, you're going to be faced with adversities throughout your life. This was a pretty big one.

Just put your head down and just keep going. Just keep moving forward. You know, you can never standstill. And that was my thing.


BURNETT: Her comments coming as "New York Times", "The Wall Street Journal" and "The Washington Post" published this pull page ad demanding the release of "The Wall Street Journal" reporter Evan Gershkovich who was arrested in Russia exactly on espionage charges. There are though other Americans currently in a Russian penal colony. One of them doing hard labor, the story strikingly similar to Griner's.

Teacher Marc Fogel was sentenced to 14 years in prison after half an ounce of marijuana was found in is luggage, medical marijuana his doctor says was prescribed for chronic pain.

Marc Fogel's sister Anne is back with me OUTFRONT.

And, Anne, I know we have talked many times about your brother. He is, of course, still in that penal colony tonight. When did you last speak with him? Do you know how he's doing right now?

ANNE FOGEL, SISTER OF MARC FOGEL, WHO IS SERVING 14 YEARS IN RUSSIA: Well, we never really know how he's doing. But he -- we did -- we spoke just this past weekend and on a couple consecutive nights, which was nice to hear from him. The conversations are pretty one sided, which -- I don't really want to talk about myself to him, but he doesn't really -- he doesn't feel comfortable saying too much to me. Unless we're talking about our mom or the boys or -- so, I don't ever get information about Marc. I do know he fell. He banged his elbow up. But when I ask about how

his elbow is, he just kind of gives some funny sounds, I guess. It's all right. He doesn't complain at all. He doesn't ever complain.

BURNETT: Right. I know you hunger for that conversation. Obviously what the significance of what it means for him, right? But he's in a penal colony. We understand the situation, of course, is dire and can only imagine what he's really enduring.


Brittney Griner today had a message to him, to your brother and the others who are still being detained.

Here's what she said.


GRINER: Stay strong. Keep fighting. Don't give up. Just keep pushing, because we're not going to stop. We're not going to stop fighting. We're not going to stop bringing awareness to everyone that's left behind right now.


BURNETT: Do those words and her stated commitment give you any more hope that your brother will one day also be released and come home?

FOGEL: Those words that she spoke, that's the first time I've heard them -- feel extremely soothing and wonderful coming from her, more so than the state s more so than the State Department actually. So, thank you for those words of encouragement.

BURNETT: It's been more than -- sorry. Go ahead.

FOGEL: We're just in the dark box still, not really knowing what they're trying, whether they're trying anything. Marc hasn't been designated, even though, you know, he qualifies under the Levenson Act for wrongful detainment, it's hard not to see it as that designation as favoritism. It's hard. It's hard for our family.

BURNETT: Now, I can only imagine how hard it is. And I know that that affects what the U.S. government does and how they focus on this.

Paul Whelan, of course, the former U.S. marine is also in prison, right? In confinement. More than four years. He has spent there. His sister on this show earlier this month said she's really frustrated, right? She's very frustrated that the U.S. government has not gotten him back. She was honest about that.

Here's what she said.


ELIZABETH WHELAN, SISTER OF AMERICAN DETAINED IN RUSSIA: It's so difficult because there's so many very good, and smart, and passionate people working on this case. I don't want to diminish that in any way whatsoever. But the fact is, Paul is still under Russian prison, and if we have to do more, we have to do more. He cannot stay there. We have to bring him home.


BURNETT: What more can the U.S. government do right now for your brother?

FOGEL: They can say his name for starters. That's why I so appreciate you having me on again, is that when Evan and Paul are mentioned, Marc's never mentioned. And just saying his name is critical to us.

People don't even know that he's there. He's a history teacher. He took and half an ounce of medical marijuana and he was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Some of the people that have murdered in the same penal colony have a lesser sentence and he does.

BURNETT: That's incredible.

FOGEL: (INAUDIBLE) his name.

BURNETT: Anne, thank you so much for coming on, for talking to us about Marc. Thank you.

FOGEL: Yes. Thank you.

BURENTT: And coming up, after this on AC360, a controversy in San Francisco. A homeless man attacks a resident. But was it in response to being assaulted with bear spray? That's next on "AC360".

OUTFRONT next here, China may have Ya Ya the panda back home, but this propaganda war against United States is much more broadly than a panda is just beginning.


BURNETT: Tonight, crowds of people lining up to welcome the panda Ya Ya back to China after 20 years in the United States. They lined up.

Will Ripley is OUTFRONT about why this is all about much more than a panda.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In China, a hero's welcome for Ya Ya, the panda, at the end of a 16-hour flight from Memphis to Shanghai.

Crowds gathered outside the airport, trying to catch just a glimpse of Ya Ya's crate, her first moments back on Chinese soil. She spent the next month in quarantine at the shanghai zoo, where a media frenzy is in full swing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many Chinese have been looking closely and looking forward to Ya Ya's return. RIPLEY: This geriatric giant panda is a household name in China for

all the wrong reasons.

When Ya Ya's playmate died of heart disease in February, pictures of Ya Ya with scraggly fur and sagging skin sparked online pandemonium, a Chinese social media frenzy fueled by false claims. Ramp up rumors denied by the zoo of panda abuse and neglect in the U.S., outrage amplified by anti-American sentiment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ya Ya, come back home.

RIPLEY: Bring Ya Ya home became a rallying cry for millions of Chinese. The panda's picture plastered on billboards from Beijing to the Big Apple.

It's true, Ya Ya was young and fluffy when she arrived at the Memphis zoo 20 years ago, on a long term, multimillion dollar lease from China. U.S. and Chinese scientists say she has a genetic condition affecting her skin and fur, a condition that worsens with old age. No impact on her quality of life, just her looks. They even issued a joint statement, saying, the fact is, Ya Ya had excellent care.

But facts don't always matter in a world full of fake news. Anti- American panda propaganda is filling the feet of Chinese social media users. No mention of the healthy pandas at two other American zoos, but plenty of pictures of an active and playful panda in Russia, a panda Chinese state media praises for improving bilateral ties.

Ya Ya's saga will and where it began, the Beijing zoo, where she will live out her final years. She just might be the world's most politicized panda, a beloved bear that brought the U.S. and China closer, now, being used to divide.


RIPLEY (on camera): China heavily censored social media so they allow this online backlash to happen, and yet they are accusing us, CNN, of being the dividers here. They called our reporting about the panda an arrogant distortion, saying that the Western media demonizes panda policy because they want to suppress China -- Erin.

BURNETT: Will Ripley, thank you very much for the amazing report.

And thanks for joining us all of you.

Anderson is now.