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Erin Burnett Outfront

Trump-Appointed Judge Issues First Order in Docs Case; Ukraine: 6 of Putin's Most Prized Missiles Shot Down; Obama: GOP Needs an "Honest Accounting" on Race; Miami's GOP Mayor Officially Launches 2024 White House Bid. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 15, 2023 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next: The Trump appointed judge making her first ruling in the classified documents case. Is it a sign she's not stepping aside?

This is as that we have new details about Judge Aileen Cannon. The case she is working on right now could shed light on how she'll rule in Trump's case.

Plus, a story you'll see only OUTFRONT, a graveyard of Russian missiles. Ukrainians collecting downed missiles, analyzing Putin's deadliest weapons and what they found, may surprise you. A special report.

And where is Melania and Ivanka in the family? Trump's 2024 campaign is anything but a family affair.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, no recusal. Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, and is now presiding over his classified documents case, issuing her first order since Trump pleaded not guilty, a sign that she has no plans to heed the calls to recuse herself. Judge Cannon, ordering both parties to start the process of obtaining security clearances for their lawyers, by tomorrow.

It comes as there are mounting questions about Cannon's record in past cases. The judge, who was appointed by Trump in 2020, has little experience overseen criminal trials. And according to "Politico's" Kyle Cheney, who reported extensively on Cannon's record, the most common cases that that she has handled as the judge, has been for what's called re-entry of deported aliens. These are routine matters that have nearly all resulted in plead deals and sentences, ranging up to 1.5 years.

In fact, according to "The New York Times" analysis of the Bloomberg law database, of the 224 criminal cases assigned to Cannon, as we said, four of those only went to trial. And of those four, it was only 14 trial days in all. There is one fraud case, though, according to "Politico", that Cannon

has been overseeing for the past year and a half. And they are so there are significant parallels to the Trump case. So, we're going to have much more that with Kyle in just a moment.

But above all, it is Cannon's decision, of course, to side with Trump last year, in this very case. That is leading many to fear that she will be sympathetic to Trump. In September, she granted Trump's request for a special master, to review the sensitive documents seized at Trump's Mar-a-Lago home. Trump immediately posted a quote, remember, it takes courage and guts to fight a totally corrupt Department of Justice and the FBI.

The reality, of course, is that Cannon's decision was overwhelmingly derided, and quickly overruled by a conservative appeals court.

Evan Perez is OUTFRONT live in Washington, to begin our coverage tonight.

And, Evan, obviously we've got this order today from Judge Cannon. It's significant, right? She's been assigned, we've heard nothing. Today, we get an order. What is it, what does it mean for the case?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are trying to, we've been watching Erin for any sign of how this judge is going to handle this case. And look, the former president and his legal team, we expect that they are going to try to draw this out. They want to make this process, the pretrial process, go as long as possible. With this order, she seems to be trying to move things very quickly, at least for now. She ordered them to report to at least begin by tomorrow, by Friday, the process for applying for security clearance for these lawyers that are going to represent the former president.

We know that at least two lawyers who appeared with him at the arraignment, Chris Kise and Todd Blanche. They said they are going to be with this case through appeals, possibly. We do know, however, that the former president is still looking to add lawyers to his legal team. So, we know that the judge is ordering that by June 20th, which is next week, that they need to report that they've have an issue to the process to get security clearances. The Justice Department has to provide those clearances, so that these lawyers can see some of the evidence, some of these classified documents that are issued in this case.

Of course, the other thing that is pending, Erin, is that the Justice Department has to provide the former presidents legal team with a list of witnesses, that he is supposed to make sure that he doesn't discuss this case with. And we are not likely to see that list, at least not for now. But it will give the former president at least an indication of the type of witnesses, the people that the Justice Department might be trying to use when they go to trial whenever that is.

The idea, though, that the judge is hitting the ground running is quite interesting. Because again, as you pointed out, she has been quite sympathetic to the former president in the past. And we will see whether this is continued, whether the issue of moving quickly continues going forward.


BURNETT: Right, right, that's the crucial question. And we will watch and see and see what she does.

Evan, thank you very much.

And I want to go now to Kyle Cheney, senior legal affairs reporter for "Politico", along with our own Abby Philip, the anchor of "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY". And Mark Zaid, national security attorney.

So thanks very much to all of you.

Mark, let me start with you. So, just understand this as Evan is laying out. Judge Cannon, officially issuing her first order in the Trump case. They're going to fear to be any delay in that, right? But the order comes. Do you think that there is any real chance, at this point, that she recuses herself?

MARK ZAID, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: It would seem unlikely, based on the fact that she has now seized the bull by its horns, and moved forward, and an act that -- good for her for issues this sort. I don't know if it was necessary to do, I would suspect that the Trump team and the Justice Department already begun these types of conversations, at least they should have been, because this is the obvious next step for the attorneys to start the clearing the process, which could, frankly, take weeks or months, though unlikely that long, depending on what each of their backgrounds.

BURNETT: Right, but obviously, she moved to do it, right, right away, so that -- I'm just saying, with alacrity, moving on that.

Kyle, you've been going through Judge Cannon's background, all right? So to try to understand, we are going through Bloomberg law analysis, right. Everything to understand more about her, that the one sort of data point now we have nationally, the ruling earlier in this case that was overturned. What have you found?

KYLE CHENEY, SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER, POLITICO: Sure, well, look, Judge Cannon is sort of a creature of the Justice Department. You know, the only thing people really know about her is that she ruled, so favorably to Trump in the civil case he brought last year. But really, she spent most of her career as a Justice Department attorney, and that she was put on the bench in late 2020. So she's done very little criminal trial experience, you know, only four trials overall that she's handled as a judge, and only four trials as an assistant U.S. attorney, by the way, as a prosecutor.

So, her resume is very thin, and now she is taking on what could be one of the most complex cases ever, and so it's really going to be quite a learning curve.

BURNETT: So, Abby, Judge Cannon was nominated by Trump. We know that, but she wasn't actually confirmed until after he lost the 2020 election. And, we should note right, reporting at the times that the Senate seem to take it easier on her, because each party was focused on other nominees at the time. So the bottom line though ends up being this. Cannon was confirmed by a bipartisan vote of 56 to 21.

Abby, does this make it harder for anyone to complain?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I don't think that people in Congress really let any facts get in the way of making these kinds of arguments.


PHILLIP: The battle of political perspective.


PHILLIP: But I do think that, yeah, when I looked at those lists of the Democrats who voted for here, it includes people like senator Chris Coons from Delaware, who is a very close ally of President Biden's, and several others, Patrick Leahy, Joe Manchin.

I think that at that time, as we all remember, there was a lot going on then. But I also think there's another reason why Democrats may want to take a beat before complaining too loudly about Judge Cannon. And one of them is that the Justice Department decided to bring this case, not only to Florida, but they checked the box on the forum that gave Judge Cannon a pretty good chance of getting the case.

She was one of just fewer than a handful of judges in the northern part of the district, that could have gotten this case. So, clearly, the Justice Department decided to do that for a strategic reason. And, I think at the end of the day, we don't know how it will turn out. But that was their decision, and they made that decision based on wanting to, needing to present a case that will actually succeed, at the end of the day.

BURNETT: So, Mark, we hear a lot about how a judge can affect the timeline of a case, which in this case could be everything right, because you're talking about an election, and possible pardons, and someone running for president or not, right? So timeline is crucial. Is that really the only way in which Judge Cannon can significantly impact the case? Or, how else would you say we should be looking to see her effect?

ZAID: Well, there are a lot of ways in which a trial judge can impact the process. One is just controlling the calendar. And, appellant courts, very rarely rein down on a district judge, as far as how they challenge that calendar. So, you could imagine many different ways, even some in the most in significant ways, having an impact.

Now, subsequently, it could range as well. I mean, I anticipate that there will be a motion to suppress certain evidence relating to Corcoran, one of Trump's lawyers who appear before the grand jury in attorney-client privilege was pierced. She can rule on that, and she may suppress some of that, somewhere all of that.

That could be appealable by the -- by the prosecutors to the 11th Circuit. She could make numerous rulings on many of the pretrial motions that would do if the classified information procedures act. Each of which can also be repealed.


So even the smallest things could hold this case, even as I suspect the Trump legal team will want past the election of 2024.

BURNETT: So, Kyle, there is a specific case I mentioned, that Judge Cannon has been overseeing, that you have been looking at in great detail, that may provide a sense of what she might do here. Tell us.

CHENEY: Right, so you mentioned her thin resume. But the one caveat is this massive health care fraud case she's been presiding over, since early of 2022, a year and a half. And this is a ten-defendant case, five have since pleaded guilty. But it's brought her into some extremely complex issues and rulings, that some of which track very closely to what we might see in the Trump litigation, including a ruling that is pending in that case over whether to pierce attorney- client privilege via the quiet crime fraud exception. That's one of the exact issues that we expect to rise in the Trump case.

So, for all of the talk about how little experience she has, she's actually been shepherding this other case through, that may end up giving her some seasoning and some very precise parallels to what we are going to see in the Trump litigation. So that's one to watch for sure, too.

BURNETT: All right, absolutely. Now, Abby, Trump supporters on Capitol Hill obviously are laying out their plans to undermine the case against Trump. They have been out in the airways. And here's some of what they said today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should impeach Merrick Garland. He's clearly abusing the power of this position. We want you to impeach Director Wray as well.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): Of course, Congress would like to hear from Jack Smith as to why he thinks he can bring these charges against President Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would we fund the Department of Justice, to a certain level, if what they're going to do is use that money to do political targeting? I'm not interested in that.


BURNETT: So, Abby, impeach Merrick Garland, impeach Chris Wray, call Jack Smith to testify, defund the DOJ. So, does this thing go anywhere?

PHILLIP: Probably not, I mean I think that all of those representatives understand that they get brownie points for upping the ante with the rhetoric, when it comes to former President Trump. But the reality of Congress is just totally indifferent. I mean, they have been talking.

They ran on impeaching Alejandro Mayorkas, the Department of Homeland Security secretary. And that hasn't happened, in part because it's hard to see where the votes are going to come from. I think it's going to be even harder to pursue any of those things, whether it's impeachments or defunding.

You are already hearing Democrats trying, basically turning all this talk on his face, and saying, Republicans accused us of defunding the police, and now they want to defund the Justice Department? I think, really at the end of the day, rhetoric is rhetoric, but the reality of a five-seat majority in the House of Representatives, is going to really take most of those things off the table.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. I appreciate it.

And next, Ukraine bragging about taking down Putin's prized missiles, the ones that can travel at ten times the speed of sound. We have that, and in a special report, we are going to take you to what's been called a graveyard of Russian missiles. And what's there? Our Sam Kiley found it surprising.

Plus, former President Obama calling out Republicans when it comes to race.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: There may come a time when there is somebody in the Republican Party, that is more serious about actually addressing some of the deep inequality, that still exists in our society. I haven't yet seen it.


BURNETT: And Miami's Republican mayor, who made headlines butting heads with Trump and DeSantis, now Francis Suarez wants to be the Republican nominee for president. So who is he?



BURNETT: Tonight, Ukraine downing six of Putin's prized missiles, the ones that travel at 10 times the speed of sound. A top Ukrainian military commander bragging about shutting down Russia's modern ballistic missiles, using the patriot defense system.

The intercepted Kinzhal missiles have, of course, been touted by Putin, right? They claim that they go to hypersonic speed, and that makes it extremely difficult to intercept, carry a warhead of nearly 500 kilograms.

That leaves Ukrainian success stories are far different than what Russians are hearing on state television. Now I want to begin tonight with Matthew Chance, who is OUTFRONT in Moscow tonight. And, Matthew, let's just start with this, since it's so important for

the world to understand, to understand the Russian psyche, what Russians are thinking. What is the message that is being broadcasted on Russian state television and media?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, well, Erin, that's a good question, because here in the Russian capital, you do get an extraordinary perspective on the fighting, and a very different once in the fighting that's taking place across the border, in Ukraine, where officials there, of course, are talking about progress on the battlefield. Here, it's the complete opposite, with Russian officials and Russian state media sort of playing up the progress that Russia is making, saying the counteroffensive is a failure so far.

So, you get a very different viewpoint from the Moscow perspective. Take a look at Russian state television, with both the presenter and guest on the flagship state television show. Basically talking about how disappointing Ukraine must be and its Western backers, in the battlefield progress for Ukraine so far.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Since there are no successes, Kyiv's request for more weapons are already met with, "we will see".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Their situation is completely hopeless. I can already see that many Ukrainian political analysts are shouting swear words at Zelenskyy. What are you doing, ten days of this counteroffensive, and Ukraine is already suffering irreversible damage.


CHANCE: Well, irreversible damage is what the Russians, according to this. Of course it's still very early on in the counter offensive, but as you can see, Erin, Russian media is doing everything it can to play down any reports of Ukrainian progress.

BURNETT: Absolutely. All right. So, then you also have to listen to the saber-rattling up the ante, which has really been ramping up lately, from the Russian side, the president of Belarus, Lukashenko, this week claimed his country is ready, has received tactical nuclear weapons from Moscow. Has received them, saying they're three times more powerful than those dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The head of NATO today, though, says there are no time signs that Russia has changed nuclear posture, which would seem to employ that asked false.


But, what is the storyline, as you are seeing it covered in Russia?

CHANCE: Well, I mean, it's -- the coverage of the nuclear issue, at the moment, is really front and center of lots of Russian news broadcasts, and lots of Russian media. You had Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, sort of making very thinly veiled nuclear threats once again, restating that he's about to send tactical nuclear missiles, as you just mentioned, to the neighboring country of Belarus.

Russian state television has been granted extraordinary access inside Belarus over the past couple of days, with one of its main anchors here in Russia getting a tour of the nuclear silos that are being prepared, to take the missiles, and speaking directly to Alexander Lukashenko, who is the sort of strongman pro-Kremlin hard line leader of Belarus, who has been emphasizing, on Russian state television, that the possibility of a Russian nuclear strike is very real.

Take a listen


ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO, BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT: Will they press the button or not? Hell, yes, they will press it, only in one case. If you make very dangerous movements, such as invading the territory of Russia, this will threaten the existence of Russia. If you Putin against a wall, or drive him into a corner, and there is no other way out, you can only escape a corner in one direction. And then wait for it.


CHANCE: Yeah, saber-rattling, posturing, which is very concerning given the military push that Putin and Russia is facing at the moment in Ukraine, Erin.

BURNETT: Absolutely. Matthew Chance, thank you very much, live in Moscow tonight.

And Matthew's reporting comes as Ukraine says its forces have taken over 100 square kilometers the past week, including seven settlements in one specific area.

Sam Kiley is OUTFRONT. He's been on those frontlines. He's live from Kyiv tonight.

And, Sam, what is the latest on the frontline?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, they have, this is the Ukrainians. They have pushed a significant salient of land, push the Russians back today, announcing a three kilometer advance, capturing many, many square kilometers. They are claiming 100 square kilometers have been captured, both there and on the Zaporizhzhia front in the southeast of the country.

But very importantly, I think from their perspective, have been these commitments that have come from Europe and the United States, to re-up and even increase the amount of short to medium range missiles, because that will give them the edge, or the potential of defense against the aerial dominance that the Russians enjoy, on the front line in terms of aircraft. But here, in places like Kyiv, and right across the country, the

Ukrainians have been dealing with the consequences of the immense numbers of missiles that have been fired at this country. And we took a look at a museum, and investigation into those missiles and what they can do.


KILEY (voice-over): A graveyard of Russian missiles fired at Ukraine, creating misery and mayhem. They are stored and analyzed here in Kyiv, where the authorities have determined that Russia will pay for its evil ingenuity. Here in Kryvyi Rih, the latest mass destruction by a Russian cruise missile, adding to a mounting civilian toll. This strike, the result of Russia's determination to overwhelm and distract Ukraine's defenses.

Oleksander is telling me that these two missiles, enormous and complex though they are, are actually decoys. They are used by the Russians to fire over enormous range, is trying to distract the Ukrainian air defenses, so that other more dangerous missiles can get through.

Oleksander's ministry is tracing, and cataloging, and costing the results of Russia's missile attacks. Each time I met weapon has its own local history. Like these, that carry half a ton of explosives.

OLEKSANDER, KYIV SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC EXPERTISE (translated): These munitions are designed to kill people, soldiers and lightly armored vehicles. So they knew where they were aiming for.

KILEY: This is the sort of missile that hit the Kramatorsk railway station, killing more than 50 people.

Five of the dead were children, and scores were injured while waiting for a train to escape the war. The latest official estimate suggests that Russia's destruction of Ukraine will cost $441 billion dollars. But the human cost is incalculable. Help with air defense has therefore been vital.

This is what remains of what Russia says is its most potent missile, the Kinzhal. It's supposedly a hypersonic, traveling up to ten times the speed of sound. And Oleksander is very pleased to point out that this is where it was hit by the Ukrainian countermissile battery which, was top of their list, is the U.S. made Patriot.


But among those troublesome Russian weapons, is this Iranian Shaded drone.

Look at that. That is the engine of a Shahed. Cheap, sounds like a lawnmower, because it basically is a lawnmower or something very similar.

Oleksander and colleagues dismantled the drones, analyzed their computers and navigation systems, and time and again, find foreign made parts inside, despite sanctions on Iran and Russia. The aircraft has 40 kilograms of high explosives on board. Down here,

at the end in Russia, there is a play on words. On one's lap it says, do not touch. But by removing one letter, translates into not brothers -- a message to the Ukrainians.

One that's often delivered loud, and all too clearly.


KILEY (on camera): Now, Erin, the messages coming from the Ukrainians to the international community, is one of things for the anti-missile missile systems that have knocked down those missiles that are being investigated and costed. And there will be reparations demanded, or there are reparations demanded by Ukraine to pay for the damage done by these missiles.

But above all, they are also saying to the international community that the efforts to stop them the components of these missiles, has to be stepped up. Sanctions have to be tightened.

BURNETT: Yeah. Sam, it's fascinating when you are showing, that that you could do not, touch remove one letter becomes not brothers. Really fascinating, just when you are with that drone.

All right, thanks so much.

And next, former President Obama gets candid about how some in his own party talk about race.


OBAMA: We have tended at times on the progressive side, to tip into kind of a scolding, social etiquette police.


BURNETT: We will hear more from that, the former president on the "Axe Files".

And the Republican mayor of Miami, jumping into the race for president, pushing himself as the next generation for the Republican Party. So, who exactly is Francis Suarez?



BURNETT: Tonight, Barack Obama taking on Republican presidential candidates for trying to downplay racial inequality in the United States. The former president calling on Republicans to present, quote, an honest accounting of our past and our present.


OBAMA: If somebody is not proposing, both acknowledging and proposing, elements that say, no we can't just ignore all of that and pretend as if everything is equal and fair. We actually have to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk. If they are not doing that, then I think people are likely skeptical.

There may come a time where there is somebody in the Republican Party, that is more serious about actually addressing some of the deep inequality, that still exists in our society that tracks race, and as a consequence of our racial history. And if that happens, I think that would be fantastic. I haven't yet seen it.


BURNETT: That was the former president, responding in an interview with David Axelrod, in "The Axe Files", to a question about comments Republican presidential candidate Senator Tim Scott has made a core part of his campaign. He said this on "The View" recently.


SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the reasons why I'm on the show is because of the comments that were made, frankly on this show that the only way for a young African American kid to be successful in this country, is to be the exception and not the rule. That is a dangerous, offensive, disgusting message to send to our young people today, that the only way to succeed, is by being the exception. I will tell you, that if my life is the exception, I can't imagine --


SCOTT: But it's not actually.


BURNETT: All right. That conversation continued.

So let's have it here. Joe Pinion is a Republican strategist, and a former U.S. Senate candidate from New York. Keisha Lance Bottoms is the former mayor of Atlanta, and a former senior adviser to President Biden.

Joe, you're here with me flooding start with you. Just to put some numbers around this. Sunny Hostin, who was there with Senator Scott, responded with numbers as well. But just take the median income for Black households in America. These are the latest numbers in the census bureau, $48, 000, just about. For white households, $74,000.

So, obviously, that's just one number right, we're not trying to answer everything with it. But while Senator Scott rightly celebrates his story, his background, are you comfortable saying that yesterday's exception is today's rule? Or does the former president have a point?

JOE PINION, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look, I think yesterday's exception is today's rule. The problem is that today's rule is still less than what people deserve, given the founding documents of this nation. And so, yes, I think what we end up having is what I call a love language disconnect in our politics, which is that you have people saying the same thing differently.

I think every Republican, including Senator Scott, would agree with the notion that there is generational look lacked that occurs in minority communities. You look right here in New York City, $40 billion behind in public housing. You look right here in New York City, we have public schools today who that are more segregated than at the height of Jim Crow.

BURNETT: Yes, yes.

PINION: Republicans call that a political systemic problem. I think Democrats call that a systemic racial problem. I think all of them are referring to the same thing.

And I think what Republicans have an issue with is the syntax around the phrase, systemic racism, which has a connotation that America in and of itself is irredeemably racist. And I think that, is what people put pushback upon, not on the actual reality that, no one should be able to deny that racism is real, that we still have work to do, and I think that is a coalition of Americans across the political spectrum that can coalesce around that point.

BURNETT: Mayor Bottoms?

KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), FORMER ATLANTA MAYOR: Yeah, and I think it's a necessary conversation. I think that when people attempt to erase history, and act as if we don't still have issues that are based in race in this country, then it is problematic no matter what your party affiliation.

I think what President Obama said was spot on. There are issues that are based in systemic issues, whether it be generational poverty, whether it be life expectancy, whether it be a high school graduation rates, incarceration rates. There are all huge gaps between African Americans and white Americans, with that data, and it's a conversation that we all need to have, and we can have.


In Georgia, I remember Republican Governor Nathan Deal pushed forward with very progressive criminal justice reform. This was a southern Republican governor. So, it can be done, we just have to have the will. And people, no matter their party affiliation, need to know that it's good for the country, as a whole.

BURNETT: And, so, you know, yesterday's exception is today's rule. So just to make sure we get to the bottom of it, here's a stat. Black college students, lower six-year completion for any sort of degree or certificate than any other racial or ethnic group.

So, I understand the point of, it's way better than it was. Yes, but yesterday's exception being today's rule, that doesn't seem fair either.

PINION: Well, look, I think there is missing contacts from with Senator Scott was saying. And I think what ends up happening is that we layer our own prejudices on the words of others, particularly when we disagree with him politically. And so I would say, yes, we can talk with the fact that right there in Baltimore, we've got 23 different schools, and not a single Black child is proficient in math or reading. And what you can talk of the fact that all across this country, in Syracuse, New York, the epicenter for child poverty per capita in this country.

So, yes, we have real racial inequality in this country. I think, again we are really dealing with party orthodoxy. Where in the confines of a political election, we get comfort food for the masses from both political parties, they don't want to have a true reckoning with how their own policies and their own rhetoric prevents them from having the real conversation.

BURNETT: Mayor Bottoms, I want to -- to this point, I want to just talk about what has happened, obviously, on the other side of the political spectrum. Right, you heard Senator Scott oversimplifying, I don't put words in your mouth, but perhaps oversimplifying how some Republicans may see it. On the other side, it happens as well. And the former president talked about. That he criticize how some Democrats are talking about race issues, saying they are alienating some potential allies. Here's what he said.


OBAMA: We have tended at times on the progressive side, to tip into kind of a scolding, social etiquette police and virtue signaling. Our knee-jerk assumption is, if somebody didn't say something the exact right way, that we not only think it's our job to correct them and scold them, but we are making a judgment about their character and their intentions. And I think that does make people feel under assault.


BURNETT: Mayor Bottoms, Pew support -- Pew, I'm sorry, survey came out in support of Black Lives Matter, 51 percent say they support the movement. It was 67 percent in June of 2020. That's a huge plunge. Do you agree with what the former president is saying?

BOTTOMS: Well, I think that anytime you have absolutes, that there is a danger. You have to give people the opportunity to make mistakes. We are human, we will all make mistakes, and I think that's what President Obama was speaking to. It doesn't mean that you give people a license to be hateful, and to be disrespectful.

But if someone says, you know I don't understand, I want to know better, I want to do better, I want to understand more. Then I think we, it's incumbent upon all of us to give people that grace, and to be forgiving of people. I think that's what the civil rights movement was all about.

When you look at what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worked towards, it was about reconciliation and forgiveness. And I don't think that, I think there is still an opportunity for that in our country, regardless of your political affiliation. BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both, I really appreciate your


And you can listen to more of that interview with President Obama on "The Axe Files" podcast. And that is not now, to hear the full conversation.

Meantime next, Miami's Republican mayor running for the White House as Trump's historic trial takes place in his city. So, does Francis Suarez have a shot?

And Eric Trump, by his father side this week, has faced a second indictment. But, where was Melania, or Ivanka, or anyone else? More reporting, ahead.



BURNETT: Tonight, Republican Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is running, quite literally as you see there, and now for president, releasing this video hours before he makes his formal appearance at the Reagan Library in California.

Now, Suarez is relatively unknown outside of his home state. You may have seen in this week, with security preparations in Miami for the indictment. But he joins an already crowded field of Republicans who are now hoping to defeat Trump.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.


MIAMI MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America's so- called leaders confuse being loud, with actual leading. All Washington wants to do is fight with each other, instead of fighting for the people, that put them in office.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The office Mayor Frances Suarez wants next is a major step beyond the city of Miami.

SUAREZ: I'm going to run for president, I'm going to run for your children in mind.

LAH: The mayor is pitching himself as a problem solver. At age 45, representing a generational change for a party that's made inroads with Latino voters. The son of a former mayor of Miami, Suarez is a late entry into the race. He is the first major Latino candidate to enter the ever-growing Republican field, and underdog, not just among the more unknown national figures, but also against his fellow Floridians. Governor Ron DeSantis, and former President Donald Trump, all resident of nearby Palm Beach.

But don't immediately discount Miami's mayor, says Republican Scott Jennings. SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Who was Pete

Buttigieg before launching, you know, a long shot campaign for president? Virtually nobody knew who the guy was. And now, he's kind of a household name. You've got to see that kind of talent in Suarez.

SUAREZ: I will continue to follow Department of Health protocol, and remain isolated while I lead our government remotely.

LAH: Suarez has managed to snack national attention before, publicly tracking his COVID diagnosis in the early days of the pandemic on social media and cable news.

BURNETT: Thank you, Mayor Suarez.

LAH: He's also butted heads at times with DeSantis and Trump.

Asked this morning about Trump's indictment.

SUAREZ: Yeah, look, it's not what I would have done. I would've turned over the documents.

LAH: Suarez repeatedly evaded the question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it was reckless? Do you think it was legal?

SUAREZ: Like I said before, you know, I'm not a, you know, an expert on these kinds of matters. But I do want to say this, that this conversation is not a healthy conversation for the country. We should be talking about the issues that Americans care about. We shouldn't be talking about candidates being indicted.

LAH: As a national candidate, Jennings says Suarez will have to talk about Trump, the pace setter in the primary.


JENNINGS: You know, a large field benefits Donald Trump, if all the players stay in through all of the voting. So if you go to Iowa and New Hampshire in South Carolina, and everybody is in the race and nobody blinks or nobody wants to get out, that benefits Donald Trump because he's got the highest floor right now of anybody in the race.


LAH: In just about one hour, Suarez is scheduled to deliver his remarks. Just right behind me, the campaign says he's going to the kind of Republican who does not shout.

There are a couple problems in this, Erin. Number one, does the Republican Party want that? And number two, the clock is ticking in order for Suarez to qualify for that August debate stage -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kyung.

And OUTFRONT now, Marc Caputo, national political reporter for "The Messenger", extensively covering Florida politics.

So, Mark, you know Mayor Suarez, you covered him in Florida. You know, I, you know, remember meeting him remotely, when he had COVID. He was talking about how he quarantined, and told everyone around him that he did it, and he did the testing and followed all the protocols. Some may have thought he was a Democratic mayor given that at the time.

What kind of reputation does he have in Miami?

MARC CAPUTO, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE MESSENGER: Well, no one in Miami, really, except for some of the people around Mayor Suarez, who are g going to work on his campaign or super PAC, are saying, hey, what we really need for the race for president, is a third Florida man to throw his hat in the ring. I haven't really heard that.

In fact, one of his sort of longtime political foes in the Republican Party here in Miami-Dade County, former Miami-Dade County mayor and current Congressman Carlos Jimenez, really just roasted him, when Francis Suarez got in the race.

There are a lot of critics in city hall, or around city hall. The city of Miami residents say look, we like the message that Francis Suarez is saying in that video you just got, an optimistic message, talking about fighting for the little guy. But, they are not saying that his record meets his rhetoric.

BURNETT: All right. So, what's interesting here, I mentioned him during COVID when he was on the national stage, and open about it, and following all the protocols. He voted for, I know from your reporting, he's voted both sides right? I mean, he's not like a die hard Republican, from his voting record, is he?

CAPUTO: Yeah, he is not, I think he announced that he voted for Hillary Clinton. He had voted for Andrew Gillum in 2018, the very progressive candidate who ran against Ron DeSantis that year. And if I'm not mistaken, he also voted for Joe Biden, or at least didn't say he voted for Trump in 2020.

Jimenez, who I just referenced, had mentioned that as well.

BURNETT: So, obviously, he is the mayor in the same city where Trump is facing criminal charges. So if you didn't see him during COVID on the national stage, you saw him the other day right. He was talking about the preparations the city of Miami had made on that indictment on the security front.

Is he going to do anything to directly take Trump on?

CAPUTO: Well, I have no idea. I mean, one of the things that, one of the reasons that he doesn't really want to talk about Trump's indictment, is Francis Suarez himself might be on a federal investigation as well. There is a developer in Miami, who needed permitting help, and he was paying the mayor as much as $170,000, as much as $10,000 a month. And the mayor's office helped clear up some of its permitting problems. This is one of the kind of many questions, and many problems that

Mayor Suarez is going to have any answers questions about his record. Okay, you want to be a leader, what's your record of leadership here in Miami?

And we have what's called a weak mayor system in the city of Miami. However, you do have an opportunity to be symbolic. You do have an opportunity to speak up, you don't have to be loud and shout.

And under Mayor Suarez, the city code enforcement department has been weaponized. There is an owner of a very popular bar, here that fell afoul of a city commissioner, who then directed law enforcement against him. And that guy lost a $63 billion lawsuit, and Suarez said nothing about the way the city code enforcement was weaponized against this man's business.

BURNETT: All right. Mark, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

And next, Trump missing a major celebration for Ivanka's daughter, as Ivanka is no longer seen by his father's side, as he is running for president facing multiple indictments, and new images from space. Two astronauts embarked in a risky mission to keep the International Space Station functioning.


BURNETT: So, tonight, where is Melania or Ivanka, or even Don Jr.? Well, Donald Trump running for president for a first time. He's been indicted for a second time, and his family is -- well, it seems they are missing.

Kristen Holmes is OUTFRONT.


KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eight years ago this week, Donald Trump began his ascent to the leader of the Republican Party, with the ride down the escalator at Trump tower, the kick off to a campaign that was a family affair.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP: I have the honor, of introducing a man, who needs no introduction.

HOLMES: Seeking a return to a White House, and facing two indictments, Trump's 2024 bid looks much different. As Trump travel to Miami this week for his second arraignment, his wife Melania didn't join him. She was also not in attendance later that night, for his remarks at his New Jersey golf club.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Today, we witness the most evil and heinous abuse of power in the history of our country.

HOLMES: Instead, she was in New York City, for what Trump advisers say was a preplanned visit, offering support for her husband with multiple phone calls on Monday and Tuesday. Days earlier, Trump praising his wife in an interview. TRUMP: She's a terrific person, she's a very beautiful person, as you

know. She's got a tremendous heart.

HOLMES: Melania was also notably absent from Trump's New York court appearance in April, and a speech later that evening at Mar-a-Lago.

TRUMP: This is a persecution, not an investigation.

HOLMES: One source close to the former president says, his wife does not want to get close quote, messed up in all his legal issues, and the media coverage.

Melania Trump has rarely been seen at the former president's campaign events. Only attending his announcement speech at Mar-a-Lago last November. Amid questions about her interest in being part of the campaign, she told Fox News last month, quote, he has my support. And we look forward to restoring hope for the future and leading America with love and strength.

Asked for the rest of Trump's family, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, who both served in the Trump administration as advisers, have stepped back from politics.


After Trump announced his third presidential bid last year, Ivanka Trump provided a statement to CNN, saying, quote, I love my father very much. This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children, and the private life we are creating as a family. I do not plan to be involved in politics.

For their part, Trump's eldest sons, Don Jr. and Eric, have floated in and out of the campaign. Eric traveled with his father to Miami for us his second arraignment, and attended his Tuesday evening event at his New Jersey golf club. Sources tell CNN, Melania Trump was back with her husband in Bedminster Wednesday, to celebrate his 77th birthday, and is expected to stay there for the rest of the summer.


HOLMES (on camera): Amid Donald Trump's mounting legal issues, Ivanka Trump, his daughter, celebrated her daughter's bar mitzvah. Notably missing though was the former president. Now, some advisers suggested that he had a scheduling conflict, it was the weekend before he went down to Miami for that arraignment. And he was speaking instead about his political issues, and these legal issues at two events, campaign events both in Georgia and North Carolina.

Back to you.

BURNETT: All right. Kristen, thank you very much, and coming up on "AC360". 42 percent of CEOs think A.I. as the potential to destroy humanity in the next 5 to 10 years. Remember, we were top of that number last night.

So, next, you're to see the story behind those numbers, why they feel that way coming up at 8:00.

And next, powering up. Two NASA astronauts completing a five and half hours spacewalk to power the International Space Station.


BURNETT: Tonight, a space walk. NASA astronauts Woody Hoburg and Steve Bowen walking in space today to install new sets of solar panels to generate power for the International Space Station. Their spacewalk took over just five and half hours, and they did all that work successfully, installing a whole new solar panels you see there. Sixty feet long by 20 feet wide.

NASA says that will increase the space stations power by 30 percent. So, it made a huge difference. These are experienced guys, but of course you risk your life when you do this. It was the second walk for Hoburg, the tenth for Bowen, which ties him for the most spacewalks by an American astronaut.

Thanks much joining us.

"AC360" starts now.