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Erin Burnett Outfront

New Evidence May Undercut Trump Claim In Classified Docs Probe; Russia Orders Arrest Of Filmmaker Who Criticized War; Musk: People Should Get Off "Moral High Horse" With WFH "Bullsh*t"; Pence Hints At 2024 Run, Tries To Sell Himself As A Trump Alternative. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 17, 2023 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, a CNN exclusive. Multiple sources telling CNN tonight that the National Archives has proof that Trump knew the proper process to declassify documents. That proof in the form of 16 different records, which undercuts a major Trump defense.

Trump's former White House lawyer Ty Cobb will be OUTFRONT.

Plus, Putin's crackdown tonight, issuing an arrest warrant for an Oscar-nominated film producer who has spoken out against Russia's unprovoked invasion. That Russian producer is OUTFRONT.

And Elon Musk tonight ripping into people who work from home, calling it morally wrong. So what does Kevin O'Leary from the hit television show "Shark Tank" think? We'll find out.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, Trump knew. CNN reporting exclusively tonight that the National Archives is set to turn over 16 records to the special counsel and that these 16 records show Trump and his advisers were well aware of the proper process to declassify documents.

And as we know from the results of the raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago, that process was not followed. The National Archives records directly contradict Trump's main defense, which, again and again has been that he has unilateral authority to declassify documents.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN MODERATOR: One of those is the special counsel's investigation into classified documents that were found at Mar-a-Lago. Why did you take those documents with you when you left the White House?

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: I had every right to under the Presidential Records Act. You have the Presidential Records Act. I was there, and I took what I took. And it gets declassified.

COLLINS: A question for you though when it comes to documents. Do you still have any classified documents in your possession?

TRUMP: Are you ready?

COLLINS: Do you?

TRUMP: No, no, I don't have anything. I have no classified documents. And, by the way, they become automatically declassified when I took them.

COLLLINS: No, you have to declassify them.


BURNETT: The Presidential Records Act actually states clearly, quote, that presidential records automatically transfer into the legal custody of the archivist as soon as the president leaves office, right? So, this one's extremely clear.

But the reporting tonight that Trump knew is a significant development in the special counsel's investigation, which by many accounts, appears to now be wrapping up quickly.

Ty Cobb, Trump's former White House lawyer, a regular guest on OUTFRONT, and one you'll hear from in just a moment, has long said here, if you've been watching, that the special counsel's probe on classified documents could wrap as soon as May, and that Cobb expects a criminal indictment against Trump.

Now, I'm going to talk to Ty in just a moment, along with John King for the political impact of all of this.

But, first, more on this exclusive reporting from Paula Reid in Washington.

Paula, what else do you know about these records that the National Archives will turn over to the special counsel? I mean, it's incredible to take a step back here and say there are 16 documents.

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. More and more documents the special counsel is fighting to get. And according to this letter, though, that was obtained exclusively by our colleague Jamie Gangel, the archives reveals that these 16 documents, these are records documenting communication between the former president and some instances his top advisers laying out the when, why, and how you go about declassifying records.

And that is significant because we know from our reporting that the special counsel is investigating possibly charging multiple crimes including the possible mishandling of classified documents. And in order to do that, you would need to establish that someone knowingly took these materials without going through the proper authorization.

Now, the former president and his lawyers, they have put forth multiple, sometimes conflicting explanations for why he took these documents down to Mar-a-Lago. He has said that they're automatically declassified because he's a former president. He also said that he had a standing order to declassify them. His lawyers also separately argued that the problem was the process, and some of these materials were inadvertently packed up.

But, depending on what these records show, this could undermine all of those defenses if they can show that the former president was on notice of the procedure and knew that it applied to him.

Erin, the special counsel may need to wait a bit to get their hands on these documents I'm told that it is possible the former president's lawyers may appeal this decision, file for a court intervention here. They have not been very successful trying to keep this kind of evidence from the special counsel. But I'm told that they may do it anyway just to try to protect constitutional and presidential protections.

BURNETT: All right, Paula, thank you very much for all of that. I remember the one time, I don't know if everyone remembers when Trump just said I have to think about it, I just have to imagine it and they're declassified, right? I mean, you know --


REID: Not a thing.

BURNETT: Not a thing. And now, amazing as Jamie's reporting that he knew that.

So let's go now to Ty Cobb, the former Trump White House lawyer, as promised.

So, Ty, you know, you and I have talked so many times and you have been clear again and again that you believe this case is a very serious threat to Donald Trump. And we're talking specifically the Mar-a-Lago classified documents portion of the special counsel's investigation.

Just last week, you told me, I quote you, Ty, I think the Mar-a-Lago case is teed up to go almost any time, I wouldn't be surprised if it dropped later this month.

Well, this new reporting seems to be right in line with your time line.

TY COBB, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: Thank you, Erin. Always great to be with you. And congratulations to Paula and Jamie and Evan and Zach on their reporting.

This is -- this is a significant event, particularly given the fact that Trump did not go to court initially to prevent this and that the archives turned it over merely on the request of the Justice Department. This is all governed by a case called United States versus Espy. But the Espy criteria are set out in the letter that transmitted these documents, which is they're important to the grand jury, and they are not easily found elsewhere.

So, it will be not much of a legal hurdle for the special prosecutor to prevail if Trump does indeed take this to court.

On the timing, I think this is I-dotting and T-crossing.


COBB: I think that this case is ready to go. I think there is a possibility that the obstruction case may be broadened to go ahead and include the Espionage Act and counts and the possession, illegal possession of the classified documents, given the extent that, and solely because of the fact that Trump keeps lying about what the law is.

And they may -- they may decide that it's important enough for the country to fully grasp that. They don't need that to prove the obstruction. Trump could be right that he can declassify these things between foot massages, but the reality is that's just -- that's just not the truth.

The simple truth is there is a process, apparently, 16 different government officials reminded him of the process at least that impacted them. And he totally ignored that and believed that the mere fact he took them declassifies them. It's not the law.

BURNETT: What's interesting you're saying obstruction, but they could also include espionage to make the point.

COBB: Yeah --


BURNETT: So what do you think the actual charges will be, and in them, would Trump be looking at jail time?

COBB: So, I wouldn't if it was me, based on my own prosecutorial career, I would not necessarily expand the case to try to prove the Espionage Act piece of it because there's so much evidence of guilty knowledge on the espionage piece that all they really have to do is show that Trump moved these documents at various times when DOJ was either demanding them or actually present, that he filed falsely with the Justice Department, had his lawyers file falsely with the Justice Department and affidavit to the effect that not existed, which was shattered by the documents that they then discovered after the search.

And the many other misrepresentations that he and others have made on his behalf with regard to his possession of classified documents. So, I think this is -- I think this obstruction case is a tight case. And, yes, I do think he'll go to jail on it.

BURNETT: All right. Just very quickly, go to jail, could this be wrapped up before the 2024 presidential election or no?

COBB: That -- it will be -- that will be very difficult. I don't see a way that that gets wrapped up before the election. Of course, I don't see any way that Trump, not withstanding his many die hard supporters who may get him the nomination, can possibly prevail in a general election. Because independents, they may not have thought much of the events in New York with Alvin Bragg. I think some have focused in a little bit more on the Carroll case.


COBB: But everybody will be watching if the feds come after him, and the feds are coming, and I think they're coming fast.


BURNETT: All right. Ty Cobb, thank you very much. I really always appreciate it.

COBB: Thank you, Erin. I do, too.

BURNETT: I want to go now to John King.

All right. So, John -- anchor of "INSIDE POLITICS". But, you know, it's interesting when you hear Ty's analysis that Trump's looking at jail, the charges are coming. And now, of course, interesting, right, he had a take on how this would affect the race. How do you think a potential indictment of Donald Trump by the DOJ, right, where the feds are coming and they're coming fast, as Ty says, how would that affect the GOP race for 2024?

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": Well, the legal conversation is one thing. The political conversation happens, Erin, as you know, for years on a very different track.

I reached out to a handful of Republican strategists, one very close to Trump, the other people who wish Trump to varying degrees to go away, yesterday, or last month or last year or before. They all answered with the same answer. I'll read you one of them because they were all very consistent.

They don't care, all caps about these investigations, no impact. So you have the legal case just laid out clearly by Paula and by Ty Cobb. But politically, Trump has -- you've seen his poll numbers increase over the last several months as he was indicted in New York, as the E. Jean Carroll verdict came down.


KING: As there -- as there have been other special counsel news in the -- in the press.

And so -- now, some of that's because Trump has dumped a ton of ads and his super PAC have dumped a ton of ads on Ron DeSantis. So, that's not the only explanation for the polls.

BURNETT: Yeah, yeah, I saw one of those a few minutes ago.

KING: But -- yeah, but he has this base in the Republican Party. And there's been this conversation since the "Access Hollywood" tape or since he said, Mexicans send their rapists. All the things he has said, the horrific things he has said about women and more.

Will there be a moment, right, a draw that breaks the camel's back and breaks his spell on the Republican base? We've had these conversations since 2016.


KING: And Republicans say it's just wishful thinking to think that's coming. They all say the one way it might come, will there be somebody credible in the Republican race who consistently makes the argument against Donald Trump? Not he's a distraction, not we need to win, but who actually raises the specifics, and no Republican yet has shown the courage to do that consistently.

BURNETT: All right. So, I just want to reference because you said his poll numbers kept going up. Let's put some hard numbers on that.

Reuters/Ipsos, okay? Mid-March, Trump's at 44 percent. So, he's 14 points ahead of his next closest competitor Ron DeSantis. It's reported he'll be indicted by Alvin Bragg, the lead doubles to 29 percentage points. Turns himself over and appears in court, goes up to 58 percent, the lead expands again, and we don't know what the impact of further things will be.

That certainly shows the nomination. It makes the point Ty was making.

What about this independents point that Ty was making about in the general?

KING: Well, again, that is -- these conversations play out almost in a parallel universe, certainly on a parallel track, because when Trump does -- when there's, quote, unquote, bad Trump news, he benefits among Republicans. And, again, part of that is how he has cynically, perhaps, but smartly politically manipulated Republicans. He's constantly under attack. This is the deep state. They keep coming at me.

He does that on a daily if not hourly basis to try to keep his people in his track. I'm not saying this has helped him among Republicans. There are a lot of Republicans who say, oh, lord, if he's the nominee again, every time there's another one of these stories, it just reinforces the E. Carroll story. Suburban women are one of the reasons Joe Biden is president and Nancy Pelosi was speaker after the 2018 midterms.

Now, that just rappels a constituency that has left the Republican Party if it's about Trump. They're not coming back, a lot of Republicans will tell you. The legal jeopardy, independents, soft Republicans, does bother them.

But core Republican base voters -- remember, Trump has redefined, repopulated almost the base of the Republican Party. They are with him unless somebody can break the spell, and the challenge is on these other Republican candidates. But they all do it indirectly so far because they're afraid of losing the voters.

BURNETT: All right. John King, thank you very much.

KING: Thank you. BURNETT: And next, Putin cracking down even more on critics. A

Russian activist says she may have been poisoned. She's actually based in the United States, and while the Kremlin has now ordered the arrest of an Oscar-nominated filmmaker. Why? Well, he's going to be my guest after this.

Plus, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan claiming they were in a, quote, near catastrophic car chase with paparazzi in New York. Is their story adding up tonight?

And just in, tensions boiling over on the steps of the Capitol. Embattled Republican Congressman George Santos being heckled by a Democratic congressman.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blame yourself, have some dignity! Have some dignity!

REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): Like I said, if I could understand you over my colleague screaming here, the reality is --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New Yorkers needs better!




BURNETT: Tonight, new satellite images obtained by CNN showing the utter devastation in Ukraine. I'm going to show you a theater and shops in Bakhmut. That's what it is, now a shell of a building surrounded by devastation. We'll show you the same location just over a year ago.

Look at it, side by side. Let's show that. It's astounding. Look at that devastation.

And now, let me show you this, here's what's left, okay? This -- I mean, it looks like you're looking at ancient Rome in ruins, right? This was a school and an apartment complex.

Let's show you that same spot one year ago, and virtually wiped off the map. It is incredible. I mean, look at that, side by side, life and death, destruction. And it is clear now how far Putin is willing to go to hide the truth from Russians about his war, now ordering the arrest of a prominent film producer Alexander Rodnyansky. He's going to be my guest coming up in just a moment.

Rodnyansky has produced Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe winning films. He was born in Kyiv and then lived in Russia for two decades. He was vocal about his opposition to the war and fled Russia when Putin invaded Ukraine. But now, Putin wants him to pay because he's saying the truth.

And, of course, the truth is something that Putin does not want Russians to hear.

Matthew Chance is OUTFRONT with more.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's state television, where Russia fights its information war.

The lead story, the U.S. Patriot missile battery Russia insists it destroyed in Kyiv. U.S. officials tell CNN the system remains operational, but this is too rare a victory for the pro-Kremlin media to play down.


The much-promoted Patriot was destroyed by Kinzhal, the presenter gloats. Our hypersonic missiles were so fast they cut through Ukraine's air defenses like a knife through butter, she adds.

As for the six hypersonic missiles Ukraine says it shot down, a fantasy number, the presenter says, and more than we actually fired. A senior Ukrainian official now tells CNN only minor damage was caused to the Patriot air defense system when one of them was shot down at low altitude on Tuesday morning. The official said the U.S.-made system will be repaired soon, and an investigation is now underway into how the Patriot was targeted.

Elsewhere, Ukraine says small advances have been made around Bakhmut. These night images appear to show an armored push in the fields outside.

But Russian state television is in the city, touring devastated front lines under constant fire with Wagner mercenaries who say they're confident they will prevail.

We will take Bakhmut eventually, this Wagner commander tells the Russian TV crew following him around. But at what cost? We don't know, he admits.

Another says their shelling is from afar because they can't defeat us in close combat. We're too strong, he says.

Ukrainian officials confirm fierce fighting in the city captured on this latest drone video. Areas of Bakhmut's suburbs devastated, but now being liberated, the Ukrainians say. And back on Russian TV, there's growing acceptance that what was meant as a short offensive in Ukraine has spiraled out of control, exposing weaknesses and divisions in the country.

It's not a special military operation, says this guest on state television, but a fateful war that Russians must win or face destruction. As Ukraine prepares for a counteroffensive to reclaim occupied land, it seems Russia is also bracing for a fight.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHANCE (on camera): Erin, tonight, Ukrainian officials tell me that they're expecting more Russian attacks. They say they identified at least a dozen Russian bombers already in the air.

Meanwhile in Bakhmut, the Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin saying that his fighters have made more gains in what all sides now agree including Russian state media, by the way, is an intensifying battle for that city -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Matthew Chance, thank you so much.

I want to go now, as promised, to Alexander Rodnyansky, the filmmaker who Russia is trying to arrest. He left Russia after the war began. He's repeatedly spoken out against it.

And, Alexander, I very much appreciate your time.

Let's just begin here now. Putin wants to arrest you. What was your reaction when you found out?


Nothing would shock me anymore in Russia. I believe Russia as a state is falling down. They are persecuting everyone who tries to protest, who tries to speak out against the war, who tries to say the truth. That's what's going on.

That's why I consider this arrest and criminal case against me as a badge of honor and formal recognition by the Russian state of my entire war position, that's what I believe is important for me because since this invasion started from the very beginning, I started to speak out against the war and the criminals. And I would say the military crimes perpetrated by the Russian army in my native Ukraine.

BURNETT: So, Russian activist, Alexander, who's based in the United States, she said today that she suspects that she was poisoned on a recent trip to Europe. And we know, of course, Putin has shown no fear of poisoning people on the streets of London, streets of cities in the U.K. But this is based in the American Russian activist thinks this happened to her in Europe.

Are you concerned about your safety? Obviously you're not in Russia, but do you have those fears, Alexander?


RODNYANSKY: I'm not any more in Russia, but I know how effective the Russian intelligence in following people who are protesting the Russian regime. And what's going on right now, I believe this is rather the intimidation of those one who's stayed in Russia.

So it's okay with me. I don't have a fear. Nothing would prevent me from speaking the truth about what's going on in Ukraine and with this war. Definitely I would -- and most of my friends are trying to tell me that they should be very careful, and I will be very careful. But I will do what I did.

And, most importantly, I feel very, you know, strong support of many people who are still living in Russia and trying to support me from there who called me, who texted me and tried to share the solidarity. So that arrest and this kind of criminal cases, to me and the people like me is rather addressed to those ones who are still in Russia.

BURNETT: All right, Alexander, I really appreciate your taking the time. Please stay safe. I know speaking out at all carries great risk. And I know that you know that. But thank you very much for continuing and for joining me. Thank you.

All right. Next, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan say they were in what they call a near-catastrophic car chase with paparazzi. Cabdriver who was with the couple later that night tells us what he witnessed.

And Elon Musk slamming people who work from home.


ELON MUSK, TWITTER CEO: People should get off their (EXPLETIVE DELETED) moral high horse with the work-from-home bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


BURNETT: Well, Kevin O'Leary from TV "Shark Tank" doesn't mince words. He responds OUTFRONT.

He responds OUTFRONT.



BURNETT: Tonight, new details about the paparazzi car chase that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan call, quote, near catastrophic. We're hearing from the taxi driver who says he picked up the duke and duchess of Sussex from the NYPD precinct where they were sheltering from the paparazzi.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, kind of nervous getting in, you know, in stuff like that, I think they've been chasing all day long. They were not being that aggressive while they were driving behind us.


BURNETT: A law enforcement source telling CNN that while there were close calls, there were no crashes during this chase.

Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A near- catastrophic car chase with paparazzi, that's how the spokesman for the duke and duchess of Sussex described what happened to Prince Harry and the duchess of Sussex and her mother immediately after they left an event in New York City Tuesday night.

A member of the duke and duchess' security detail called the incident chaotic, telling CNN it involved a dozen vehicles including cars, motorcycles, and scooters that were jumping curbs and running red lights.

The NYPD did not report any collisions, injuries, or arrests, but a law enforcement source called the incident dangerous, and said there were several close calls between the car the duke and duchess were driving in and the car behind them, and said an NYPD protected detail following the couple had to use evasive maneuvers.

The duke and duchess released a statement that said, in part: The relentless pursuit lasting over two hours resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians, and two NYPD officers.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams questioned whether their pursuit was two hours but chastised the paparazzi.

MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D), NEW YORK CITY: You shouldn't be speeding anymore, but this is a densely populated city. I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible.

CARROLL: The couple switched cars more than once during the chase, even taking a cab at one point. The taxi driver who picked them up described them as nervous as they entered his car, but said to WNBC, the chase was not that aggressive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were just making left turns and right turns and that's it. They were not being that aggressive while they were driving behind us.

CARROLL: They took refuge at the NYPD's 19th precinct on the Upper East Side before returning to the private residence in Manhattan where they had been staying.

The incident reminiscent of the crash in Paris that killed Prince Harry's mother Princess Diana 25 years ago after a high-speed car chase and crash involving paparazzi.

The couple were married five years ago and share two children Archie and Lilibet. They moved to California in 2020, and have consistently raised concerns about their family's personal safety, particularly Prince Harry, who has been open about his trauma and grief stemming from his mother's death when he was just 12 years old, saying this to ITV in 2019.

PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: Every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every time I see a flash, it takes me straight back. So, in that respect, it's the worst reminder of her life.


CARROLL (on camera): And, Erin, if the couple wasn't already dealing with enough, according to the Santa Barbara County sheriff's office, a man was arrested outside the couple's home in Montecito, California, apparently this happened on Monday. That man arrested for prowling. We did reach out to the couple's spokesperson about that incident but did not hear back -- Erin.

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

And I want to go now to Richard Quest, anchor of CNN's "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS", and of course you understand the specifics of their situation, the challenges, the issues, and of course the broader royal family, which they opted to, you know, separate from.

So, the NYPD says this was, yes, dangerous, but there was no collision, no catastrophe.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": No, no, no, hang on, hang on. The NYPD is trying to have it both ways.


QUEST: On the one hand, they say it was a close call, but then no crashes. That's all right, we can all go home and have a cup of tea? I mean, home and dry. I mean, the reality is you had them driving on the wrong side, the paparazzi, running red lights. The couple themselves were not in danger.

BURNETT: Right, they managed to get into a taxi separately, right.

QUEST: They also had the NYPD chased cars and all that. They weren't in real danger. That would be very, very, very unlucky.


The people who were really in danger were members of the general public who could have got caught up or did get caught up in this and could've just been swiped by one of the paparazzi. And that's something that the NYPD is going to have to look at.

BURNETT: All right. So, now, we just played the sound from the taxi driver. He says he drove Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a portion of this incident. We don't know how one transferred from a car to another. But for a portion they were in a taxi.

And the taxi driver says that he picked them up at the NYPD precinct on the Upper East Side where our John Miller is reporting they were after the initial portion of the chase, that they had gone to that precinct. And he says that at that point taxi driver says when they came out that the photographers were not being that aggressive.

So, I mean, I guess, you know, it depends at what moment. But sort of the words "near catastrophe." QUEST: Well, I think that any photographer who now sees them inside a

police station and recognizes they're going to leave from a police station is not going to be quite as aggressive when you're picking them up at the award ceremony.

BURNETT: Because you know you can get it.

QUEST: You know you can get it. Here you know that the police are now on guard and are going to be far more vigilant. And you're going to have to behave by the rules.

I think the question for the Sussexes, at what point are they going to be told by organizations and by police authorities across all different jurisdictions, I'm sorry, I don't think you can do that event, we can't guarantee to get you from A to B without endangering members of the general public.

And I think that that will be something that will be very sad if and when we get to that point. But you got to ask how were you going to get them from that awards ceremony to their residence if you know the paparazzi are going to go wild?

By the way, this really wasn't -- Harry -- Harry can use this, one, two, three, four words, I told you so. So it serves his purpose. But, at the same time, there's a very strong grain of truth in what he was saying.

BURNETT: And there fairly said, serves his purpose but a strong gain of truth.

All right. Thank you very much, Richard Quest.

And next, the chaotic scene on the steps of the Capitol, as two lawmakers lose their cool over Republican George Santos.


REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): Expel him. Save the party. The party's hanging by a thread.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): We got to get rid of Biden to save this country.

BOWMAN: The party's hanging by a thread. You got to save the party.

GREENE: Impeach Biden


BURNETT: And Elon Musk railing against work-from-home saying it's a moral issue.

"Shark Tank's" Kevin O'Leary has something to say about that. He's OUTFRONT.


BURNETT: Tonight, chaos on the capitol steps. Democratic lawmakers heckling George Santos, calling on him to resign after the House voted to send his expulsion to the ethics committee. Then a screaming match ensued. Take a listen.


BOWMAN: Save the party. Save America. Save the children.

GREENE: Save the country.

BOWMAN: Do something about guns. Come on.


GREENE: Not very smart. You should pay attention.


BURNETT: Well, when you get to calling someone not very smart, there you go.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill.

Now, Manu, this was a chaotic scene. Obviously, Marjorie Taylor Greene was approached, right? It doesn't look like she initiated this.

Tell us what you actually saw.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. This was right after the House voted to refer George Santos to the House Ethics Committee. The Democrats had pushed to expel George Santos all together. The House Republicans gave Santos a bit of a life line for now to allow the ethics committee to investigate and then decide later about whether to expel him.

Santos came out to the House steps. He answered some questions from reporters including myself, and then after that is when the shouting match ensued.

Jamaal Bowman initiated it, the Democrat from New York, yelled at him to resign. Also, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did as well. That led Santos essentially walk away from the press gaggle, and then engage in a back and forth with Marjorie Taylor Greene, ultimately leading to the point where Greene said, you're not very smart, and Bowman walking away.

Just before that I had a chance to ask Santos how he can continue to credibly serve in Congress despite the fact that he's facing a federal indictment, facing House ethics investigation, and no longer serves on House committees.


RAJU: How are they better served with you being here in Congress? REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): Again, Manu, I was elected by them to come

represent them. I will continue to do that. I have not not done my job since I've gotten here.

I can chew and walk gum at the same time. I can chew gum and walk at the same time, and I'll continue to do that.

Now, your question is accusatory in its tone. I have not been -- I have been -- not been convicted of any crime. You insist in saying that. I will have my day to defend myself.


RAJU: Now, Santos is defiant, saying that he will not resign, despite calls from within his own party for him to do so. But he did say that he would accept whatever House Ethics Committee investigation, ultimately is produced here.

It is unclear when the House Ethics Committee will report its findings of its investigation into all of the allegations from Santos' past. But if they do recommend that he should be expelled, expect House Republicans including the leadership to finally get behind the calls for him to resign or to face expulsion. Because up until now, Speaker McCarthy has not gotten behind that push, saying the ethics committee should investigate first.

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

And, next, Elon Musk railing against people who want to work from home.


MUSK: The people that come fix your house, they can't work from home, but you can? Does that seem morally right?


BURNETT: Well, "Shark Tank's" Kevin O'Leary is going to respond right after this.

And then former Vice President Mike Pence laying the groundwork for an expected presidential run currently polling in the single digits far behind his former running mate. What is his path to victory?



BURNETT: Tonight, let them eat cake. Well, Elon Musk is letting loose on people who work from home, saying that they're like Maria Antoinette, and that it is morally wrong to not work in an office.


ELON MUSK, OWNER AND CEO OF TWITTER, TESLA: I kind of think that the whole notion of work-from-home is a bit like, you know, the fake Marie Antoinette quote, let them eat cake. It's like -- it's like, really, you're going to work from home and you're going to make everyone else who made your car come work in the factory? You're going to make the people who make your food that gets delivered, they can't work from home? The people who come fix your house, they can't work from home but you can? Does that seem morally right? That's messed up.

INTERVIEWER: You say this is a moral issue?

MUSK: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: I mean, I see it more --

MUSK: It's a productivity issue, but it's also a moral issue. People should get off their (EXPLETIVE DELETED) moral high horse with the work-from-home bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED) because they're asking everyone else to not work from home while they do, and it's wrong.


BURNETT: That was a great interview with my friend David Faber.

So, OUTFRONT now, Kevin O'Leary, the chairman of O'Leary Ventures and the one of the sharks on the hit television show "Shark Tank," a favorite in my home.

Okay, so, let's just start here with this moral high horse business. Is working from home morally wrong?

KEVIN O'LEARY, CHIARMAN, O'LEARY VENTURES: No, no, it's not. The world's changed, the economy's changed, the ethics of work have changed. We went through an extraordinary period during the pandemic. The idea that you split up a headquarters and you let people leave a headquarters and work from home was, you know, not even contemplated, it was considered too risky.


Now it's a proven and effective management of project management.

In Elon's case, you know, to be fair about what he's talking about, when you are in a highly engineered business like Tesla or SpaceX, I get that you want collaboration between engineers. They're sitting around trying to solve design problems or whatever. It has nothing to do with the other ten sectors of the economy, which have already made a decision.

I have 54 companies in almost every state in almost every sector. We now know what the percentage is. It's just under 40 percent are never coming back to the office.

BURNETT: So, we're not even talking about 2, 3, whatever. This is just like they aren't coming back in.

O'LEARY: Primarily in accounting, logistics, and compliance departments in various businesses where they used to work in cubicles and they had to drive an hour to the office, they found a different lifestyle, and they still get their work done.

Now, I can make them work in the office, and they'll simply say, thank you, but I'm going to work for somebody else, your competitor.


O'LEARY: So, we choose not to do that.

BURNETT: Right. And it's also the models themselves. So, "The New York Times," great analysis the other day. Enough empty office space in New York City to fill 26 1/2 Empire State Buildings. I mean, holy camoly.

O'LEARY: Well, New York's -- New York's --

BURNETT: OK. Yeah, there's a lot of issues around that.

O'LEARY: Right.

BURNETT: But I would just say then you've got Disney saying, okay, get back in four days a week. I will note, get back in four days a week is essentially giving up on a day, which is a huge shift in and of itself, right, 20 percent shift.

So, is it really here to stay for the majority of workers? I mean, is this what you're going to see? Empty buildings?

O'LEARY: Yeah, it's here to stay. The economy has changed not only domestically but globally. The way work has changed -- if you think about, say, the county department -- say you've got a compliance issue and you're saying we have to report to the regulator in financial services. I have many investments in financial services companies.

Thursday, noon, deadline, I don't care when you do it, at 2:00 in the morning or whether you get up and feed your children before they go to school. I couldn't care less as long as on the drop dead date, the work is done. That's project management.


O'LEARY: So, here's the thing that you can measure it by. Prior to the pandemic, I was very fortunate in a portfolio basis to make 15 percent free cash flow pretax. Today, that same portfolio post- pandemic with 40 percent of the staff working remotely all around the world is going to do 17.5 percent free cash. That's a 20 percent increase in free cash flow.

So, you can't tell me this doesn't work. In fact, I want to do more of this because I'm reducing my costs of real estate.

BURNETT: And one last thing here. How does this impact what you're seeing when you look at "Shark Tank"? You're about to start the 15th season.

O'LEARY: Thank you.

BURNETT: Oh, my gosh.

O'LEARY: Yes, we're very proud of that.

BURNETT: As a huge fan. So, what are you saying changed?

O'LEARY: So, we have a record number of applications, and there's a single reason why. It's gone back to 2008 when we started. There is no venture capital money available right now. The entire banking system is shut down because of Silicon Valley bank and the other failures and this period of rising rates.

We are going to see incredible deal flow this year, much larger than ever before. But the terms -- I'm licking my chops. It's back to what I love. There's no free money, and you've got Mr. Wonderful, the royalty deal will rule this season.

BURNETT: This is when I look and say, oh, my gosh, can't you just celebrate this person and give him a good -- no, you guys --


BURNETT: That is why you're all --

O'LEARY: It's going to be wonderful. Wonderful. It's going to be -- listen, there's a reason they call me Mr. Wonderful. That's it.

BURNETT: All right, Kevin, it's great to see you.

O'LEARY: Good to see you, too.

BURNETT: All right.

It is always so good to see him.

All right. Coming up on "AC360," Andy Cohen, he's going to join Anderson live on set. He's going to talk about his new book about fatherhood. And, of course, from two guys together, you do not know what else will come up. So, please tune in at 8:00.

Meantime, next, Mike Pence keeping Trump at arm's length as he tries to create -- to carve out a real lane of his own. Will it work?



BURNETT: Tonight, Mike Pence's uphill battle. The former vice president in New Hampshire today laying the groundwork for a likely presidential run, doing all he can to distance himself from Trump.

Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT tonight.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Hey, thanks, everybody. Have a great day. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good luck to you, sir.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mike Pence is setting off on a tricky political path, as he inches closer to a bid for the White House. To become president, he must take on the former president, which he's starting to do ever so gently, like on the future of Social Security.

PENCE: President Joe Biden's policy is insolvency. He said we're not even going to talk about Social Security and Medicaid reform. And frankly my former running mate's policy is exactly the same, and I think -- I think they're both wrong.

ZELENY: That former running mate, of course, is Donald Trump, who Pence squarely brings up on his own, despite serving as his vice president for four years.

Instead, he drops hints.

PENCE: We need to produce leadership and be straight with the American people about the challenges we face.

ZELENY: And hopes at least some Republicans are eager to return to fiscal conservative roots.

On a two-day visit to New Hampshire, Pence is trying to start over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks again for being here, Mr. Pence, vice president.

PENCE: Mike.


ZELENY: To remind voters of his conservative record in Congress and as Indiana governor, but asking Republicans to turn back time before Trump took control of the party may be a tall order, particularly has so many see Pence as disloyal the for his role in certifying the 2020 election.

You've said that history will hold President Trump accountable, what makes you believe Republican voters will?

PENCE: I do believe that history will hold Donald Trump accountable for his actions on January 6th. I just have great confidence in Republican primary voters. I have a sense that people are looking for a new brand of leadership, at least one that has the potential of elevating the public debate back up to a threshold of civility that we had in public life not that long ago.

ZELENY: Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu whose son is the state's current governor toying with a presidential run of his own said it's a complicated balance for Pence.

His association with Trump, does it help or hurt?



SUNUNU: It really is both. If he does get in, he's got a much stronger base than people realize, I think, in the evangelical community. If he has a negative, I think a lot of people perceive him as too nice a guy.

ZELENY: Pence is becoming less shy, challenging Trump, including on abortion. Trump has side stepped questions about supporting national restrictions and has been critical of Florida's six-week abortion ban.

PENCE: For my part, I disagree with President Trump about the heart beat bill. I certainly support what Florida passed.

ZELENY: Those disagreements likely to sharpen, as Pence prepares to make his case to Republicans for a new but familiar direction.

PENCE: We're going to get it all back and then some. You just watch.


ZELENY (on camera): Now, just a few minutes ago, Erin, Pence urged Republican voters to choose a new nominee, who he says can lead the party to victory, a not so subtle point he believes a rerun of the 2020 campaign is not in the party's best interest.

Of course an open question if he would be that nominee. This campaign, I'm told, will make a decision next month -- Erin.

BURNETT: Well, we're going to really know what the field is then.

And thank you so much, Jeff.

And thanks so much to all of you for being with me.

Anderson starts now.