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Erin Burnett Outfront
Trump Lashes Out as He Pleads Not Guilty Twice in 24 Hours; Georgia DA Speaks Out About Threats Amid Trump Election Probe; DeSantis Appointee Claimed White People Were Slaves in U.S.; Tennessee Democratic Lawmakers Expelled by GOP Win Back Seats; Attorney: Serial Killer Suspect and Wife Have Been in Contact; Complete Chaos Erupts in NYC Over PlayStation Giveaway. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 04, 2023 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Trump unleashes a new wave of attacks, warning, quote, I'm coming after you. This as he pleads not guilty to charges in two separate DOJ cases, all in the span of 24 hours.
Plus, all eyes on Georgia. Security being heightened even further. Witnesses told, be ready to testify as early as Monday. Is D.A. Fani Willis about to make her case against Trump?
And explosive new reporting from CNN's KFILE. A Ron DeSantis appointee teaching a seminar, claiming that White people were slaves in America. And we have the audio.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, I'm Brianna Keilar, in for Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, former President Trump issues a major threat after pleading not guilty again today, that is right, twice in 24 hours. The former president pleaded not guilty to federal criminal charges. And writing on his social media, in all caps, quote: If you go after me, I'm coming after you. And that post was soon followed by a new Trump campaign ads naming and showing the prosecutors that Trump claims are trying to, quote, get him.
All of this coming shortly after we learned about Trump's latest not guilty plea. Today's plea was in response to new charges in the superseding indictment that special counsel Jack Smith brought against Trump last week in the classified documents case. Trump had originally been charged with 37 counts in that case. Three more counts were added, for allegedly attempting to delete security footage in Mar-a- Lago after receiving a grand jury subpoena for these videos.
According to the indictment, one of Trump's codefendants told another employee at Mar-a-Lago, quote, the boss wanted the video deleted.
Right now, former President Trump about to speak in Alabama, headlining a GOP dinner there tonight. He is likely hoping his supporters are not moved by the now 78 charges he is facing across three criminal indictments, despite a new poll show it more voters think the election related charges are indeed very serious, compared to his previous two indictments.
Earlier today, Trump demanding the Supreme Court intervene on his behalf. Posting on social media, quote: Crazy! My political opponent has hit me with a barrage of lawsuits including D.A., A.G. and others which require massive amounts of my time and money to adjudicate. It is election interference and the Supreme Court must intercede.
Katelyn Polantz is OUTFRONT in Washington tonight.
So, Katelyn, two not guilty pleas from the former president just 24 hours. What more are you learning?
KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Brianna, he's saying a lot out there publicly, but he actually has a lot to do in court right now. And one of those things is to continue to respond to all of the truck as we have seen in federal court over the past two weeks. So, yesterday, we should all Trump in-person, in Washington, D.C., federal court, pleading not guilty to those charges relating to January 6th.
He also had to enter his pleading in the case in Florida, because they expand the charges against him, the Justice Department filed what's called a superseding department -- indictment and we can go. Donald Trump did have to enter his not guilty plea again there. So, we had those additional charges.
The way he's doing it, in this case in Florida right now, is because he once appeared here in person, he was able to just sign a paper saying that he was pleaded not guilty to the renewed charges, or to the additional charges there. And so that paperwork is done.
But there's a lot happening in both of these cases, moving forward. There's a lot of violence in the coming week. He's not going to have to appear in person for an appearance that scheduled on Thursday, his codefendants might be there in person in Florida.
And so there's just a lot of disputes bubbling up. And a lot of work to do for he and his defense team as they are looking at these two federal criminal cases moving forward.
And, Brianna, those social media posts, that is going to be something that is going to hand over these cases for quite some time. We're not seeing the acknowledgment of these in court yet. But there is going to be an ongoing question off at what point do the things that Donald Trump says, on the Internet, do those crossed a line?
Could they cross a line for either prosecutors or even the judges?
KEILAR: Yeah, we'll see if those questions are dealt with.
I know that you also have some new reporting on a Trump ally who could have a lot of information for prosecutors in the January 6th case. POLANTZ: Yeah, Brianna, this is Bernie Kerik. He's a close associate
of Rudy Giuliani. They were both working together for Donald Trump after the 2020 election to spread disinformation about election fraud. It just wasn't there, trying to say that they had evidence of it and they didn't.
And Bernie Kerik, he spoke up in a lawsuit recently, telling some lawyers that have been suing him on behalf of Georgia election workers, that he's not willing to give over about 300 documents still to them. Because he says they still fall under attorney-client privilege, meaning that the Trump campaign very likely is the people who are saying these can't go to anyone, specifically these Georgia election workers in this lawsuit.
We don't know how that's going to affect special counsel criminal investigation. But we do know that Bernie Kerik is set to sit down with special counsel investigators in the coming days, they very likely have asked for the same sets of documents. He very lovely could be withholding them from the special counsel prosecutors as well, still. And they are still investigating, clearly, many of the aspects of what happened after the 2020 election by continuing to do interviews.
And Rudy Giuliani being one of those people who was a coconspirator in the indictment against Donald Trump the other day. And so, a lot happening there, and we will have to wait and see if Bernie Kerik does become willing to turn over these documents or if a judge surprised him open, somehow, and if the special counsel's office does get their hands on them as well -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Yeah, it is hard to keep track of it all. That is what we have you.
Katelyn Polantz, keep tracking it for us, thank you.
OUTFRONT now, Ryan Goodman, former special counsel at the Department of Defense, and Stephanie Grisham, former Trump White House press secretary.
You know, Stephanie, first, what do you think about the former president posting if you go after me I'm coming after you, and then this being followed by a campaign ad that identifies the prosecutors and these cases?
STEPHANIE GRISHAM, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think it's chilling. You know, legally, it doesn't seem like it's very smart, but how is that not intimidation? And, you know, who -- what other people are going to take a message from that? As we've seen and heard, people really believe that Donald Trump sent them to the Capitol and people really felt like, you know, hours later he said to stop, they listened.
And so, I just don't understand. Does someone have to get hurt before people take this kind of online intimidation seriously? The people -- and I know he's pointing out prosecutors, but as somebody who gets death threats every other day, it makes me nervous. It should make anybody who's ever spoken out against him nervous. That's a lot of people.
KEILAR: Yeah, I think, Ryan, that's the point. At what point is that issue dealt with? You have New York D.A. reporting threats after Trump tweeted about him. You have D.A. Fani Willis in Georgia showing us the threats that she and her staff are getting.
At what point does this behavior become a legal liability for Trump? At what point does the court deal with this?
RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: That's great question. The court could step in actually right away to at least warn the former president that if he persists in these kinds of statements, that it will get him into even greater legal jeopardy.
And I think there are at least to trigger points and a certain sense for him. One is, he could be subject to a gag order by one or more of the judges, in which they say you may no longer speak publicly about the case, and about the attorney -- about the prosecutors, and the like at all, full stop, because you have violated the guardrails that we've set up for you.
And then second, there are criminal penalties. And indeed, at the arraignment, yesterday, the judge said the specifically to former President Trump, there are criminal laws that you should not violate, including intimidating witnesses. There is another law that says you also shall do nothing to corruptly influenced or intimidate, through the use of force or not through the use of force, U.S. attorneys. So this is a very specific, criminal statute that would apply torque to somebody like him.
And admittedly, I think today's statement by him is ambiguous. But at the same time, I don't think it is ambiguous to some of his more violent supporters and I think you can only imagine that some of these prosecutors will have to increase their security detail because this kind of rhetoric leads to death threats, increase death threats against them.
And that's part of a legal test as well. Does it put an individual and reasonable fear of their safety? Anybody can't imagine being one of the prosecutors. I think to be worried, to a great degree, about your safety after statements like these.
KEILAR: It only takes one person. We have seen some of this before.
Stephanie, you have seen Trump call it now on the Supreme Court to intercede in his trial.
He is, of course, very proud of appointing three of the nine judges who currently sit on the court. Let's take a look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Oh, look at our judges.
We've got already three great justices.
Three great Supreme Court justices. That's all right.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
KEILAR: Stephanie, do you think he really thinks the court will help him, or do you think he is just sending a message to his supporters?
GRISHAM: I think it's both. I think that he knows, intelligently, they cannot do anything when there has not even been a trial yet. But I'd also believe he believes these people owe him. He thinks anybody who he's given a star burst to, owes him. So let alone putting them on the Supreme Court.
I think that he's trying to telegraph a message to them in some way, saying, standby. You're going to owe here. And if this trial doesn't go my way, I expect you to step in.
But it's also just to send a message, as you just said, to his supporters that, you know, he's the victim and he needs people to step up and stand up for him.
KEILAR: Ryan, can the Supreme Court somehow slow this down? Stop this in any way that Trump might want to see?
GOODMAN: There is one conceivable scenario I can think of, which is I imagine his lawyers will try anything they can to raise questions that could be appealed to the Supreme Court before the trial, to put off the trial. One of those questions might be, is there a constitutional immunity because the actions he took were while he was president?
I think it's a bad argument. It's at losing argument. But that doesn't stop them from trying it. I do think it would be dispatch with very quickly within the D.C. circuit, and maybe could get to the court.
I can imagine -- as Stephanie said, trying to signal, when the issue like that does get to the court, he thinks they owe him any in a certain sense, that I think if anything at might make them more reluctant to rule in his favor because they want to show their independent. I think it's also in some sense self defeating strategy on his part.
KEILAR: We have seen the court, many times, take that sense of independents very seriously.
Ryan Goodman, Stephanie Grisham, thank you so much to both of you this evening.
And OUTFRONT next, Trump's legal team making a last-ditch effort to stop the Georgia probe by D.A. Fani Willis. This as security is being heightened around the courthouse with indictment potentially days away.
Plus, reelected. A tennis lawmaker expelled by his Republican colleagues has just been voted back into his seat in a landslide win. Justin Jones will join us ahead. And police just identifying another Gilgo Beach victim. Can her murder
be linked to alleged serial killer Rex Heuermann? His wife's attorney is my guest.
KEILAR: You're looking here at live pictures coming to us from Georgia where there is ramped up security at the Fulton County courthouse ahead of possible charges against Donald Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. This comes as District Attorney Fani Willis is speaking out again publicly, even as the former president's team plans to file a last ditch appeal to shut down her probe.
Nick Valencia is OUTFRONT.
FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We're ready.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With a half smile and a nod, Fani Willis says she's ready.
The Fulton County district attorney is leading the investigation into the former president and his allies' efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.
WILLIS: If someone broke the law in Fulton County, Georgia, a heavy duty to prosecute, and that is exactly what I plan to do.
VALENCIA: While indictments could be handed down this month, it has been more than a year since Willis launched the investigation, convening a rare special purpose grand jury with the power to subpoena. Although the special purpose grand jury cannot itself issue indictments, it handed over its recommendations in February, after interviewing more than 75 witnesses, including some of the biggest names in Trump's orbit.
Mr. Giuliani, when you met with Georgia lawmakers, did you lie to them?
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: We will not talk about this until it's over. It's a grand jury and grand juries, as I recall, are secret.
VALENCIA: Trump's former attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is among the list of Trump associates who received letters from the D.A. indicating he is a target of the investigation. In the months after Trump's loss in Georgia, Giuliani met with Georgia lawmakers at the state capitol three times, spreading conspiracy theories and election interference lies.
GEORGE CHIDI, INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST: I thought they were trying to conceal something from me. VALENCIA: Independent Atlanta-based journalist George Chidi stumbled into the 2020 meeting of fake electors in the Georgia state capital. This week, he received a subpoena to appear before the grand jury as soon as Monday. Once the grand jury hears the case, it will be in their hands to decide whether or not to issue indictments.
Is there merit to this investigation to what you've seen firsthand?
CHIDI: I think there is enough to put things in front of a grand jury. Beyond that, I will let the grand jury figure it out.
VALENCIA: It has been months of work for a sprawling investigation that could include racketeering and conspiracy charges. There are several indications it may be nearing the end.
On Friday outside the Fulton County courthouse, a heavier than normal police presence in the shadows of freshly erected police barricades. Starting Monday morning, streets around the courthouse will be closed.
And now with Trump already facing three other indictments, the big question here is will Fulton County be another place where the former president is arrested and charged?
The Fulton County sheriff telling upfront his team is prepared.
SHERRIFF PATRICK LABAT, FULTON COUNTY: We understand courthouse security and it looks like and quite simply, we are ready.
VALENCIA (on camera): There are currently two granaries seated in Fulton County. One of them is going to be tasked with hearing the Trump. Case each gradually has a total of 26 jurors, consisting of 24 jurors and two alternates. They only needed 16 for quorum, 12 of them will have to be an agreement for indictments to be leveled -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Nick Valencia, thank you.
OUTFRONT now, Anthony Michael Kreis, he is a law professor at Georgia State University who's been following the Fulton County probe very closely.
Anthony, the D.A., you hear, she says she is ready to go. But when specifically do you think we will learn about any possible indictments? Do you see any scenario where the former president himself is not indicted?
ANTHONY MICHAEL KREIS, ASSISTANT PROFESOR OF LAW, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: Yeah, so, we have two juries, grand jury is currently operating in Fulton County.
One meets on Monday and Tuesday, another meets on Thursday and Friday's. And this is really a jury management question because Fani Willis
needs to have the same 16 jurors at least to hear all the evidence. And she probably requires at least two full days of presentations of evidence to the grand jury. So it is going to take some considerable time.
That probably means that Tuesday of next week would be the absolute earliest we would see an indictment. But most of us who are watching are expecting indictments to come the following week more likely than not. At the end of the day, I think we all expect Donald Trump to be indicted by one of the grand juries here in Fulton County, and the big question after that is, are the coconspirators, like Rudy Giuliani, perhaps, who are indicted as well?
KEILAR: Exactly, Georgia has mentioned 48 times in the federal indictment. The federal indictment, which includes six coconspirators, you mentioned, including, based on CNN's reporting, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, and others among them. How closely do you think the state case and that cast of characters involved may hue to the federal case?
KREIS: The way I see the Georgia case is a subset of the broader case that's been brought by Jack Smith and the special counsel's office. I think what we will see is a lot of similar themes. We will see a common body of evidence that is used by Jack Smith and Fani Willis. And that also means that many of the unindicted coconspirators in the federal case will be a central part of the narrative in terms of what might come here in Fulton County.
So, you very well may see those unindicted coconspirators indicted here as part of a broader RICO racketeering charge, or as a more simplistic conspiracy to solicit, or conspiracy to commit election fraud.
KEILAR: Fani Willis has spoken repeatedly about the investigation. She's talked also about threats she's faced because of it. In fact, she spoke twice in the last week. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIS: We're ready to go.
I am receiving phone calls, emails, and communications that are derogatory in nature, I've probably been called the N-word more times in the last two and a half years than most 100 people combined.
REPORTER: Are some of these menacing phone calls mentioning that Trump investigation, some of them?
WILLIS: And they certainly mention different things that would lead you to believe that maybe that is what their concern is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: So, for comparison, special counsel Jack Smith has only spoken publicly to announce in the federal indictments against Trump. Is there any risk or benefit to Willis speaking out in this case more than we are seeing from the special counsel?
KREIS: Well, there is a major difference between Fani Willis and her position and jack smith's position as special counsel. Fani Willis is directed by the people of Fulton County. And so, she has a constituency that she ultimately has to answer to. In fact, she is up for reelection next year.
And so, it's incumbent upon her to keep the public, keep her constituents informed about what is she's doing, and I think she's certainly trying to do that. At the same time, she doesn't want to do anything that would be prejudicial to her case or that would even at least, at a minimum, throw the investigation or throw the process into greater scrutiny in terms of her behavior.
What she wants, at the end of the day, I suspect, it is for this case to be about Donald Trump and his allies, to be about what they did here in Georgia, the aftermath of the 2020 election. She does not want it to be a story about her. So, I think she's trying to thread that needle. And for the most part, in the recent weeks, she's done a fairly good job balancing that.
KEILAR: Yeah, we can see it can be a pretty fine line there.
Anthony Kreis, great to have you. Thank you so much.
KREIS: Thank you.
KEILAR: OUTFRONT next, a powerful appointee of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis caught on tape claiming White people were slaves in America. And that's not all. Our KFILE has the audio.
And pure chaos in New York City. Thousands swarming the streets. Check this out. Some of them attacking police officers, all over a giveaway by an Internet star.
KEILAR: Tonight, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis saying he was unable to follow much of former President Trump's court appearance for his third indictment because he was, quote, tied up overseeing an execution in Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I saw a little bit. We unfortunately, one of the things as governor that you have to do is oversee executions. We had an execution yesterday. So I was tied up with that for most of the day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: So, that odd explanation comes as CNN's KFILE has unearthed audio of a DeSantis political appointee teaching a seminar to claim white people were also slaves in America. The appointee is one of just five people that DeSantis placed on a board overseeing Disney's special tax district. DeSantis had replaced the previous board following a contentious dispute with Disney over Florida's law barring schools from teaching about gender and sexuality.
OUTFRONT now, Andrew Kaczynski, senior editor of CNN's KFILE.
Andrew, tell us about this dissent disappointing and what he said.
ANDREW KACZYNSKI, SENIOR EDITOR OF CNN'S KFILE: Yeah, that's right. Peri is a former businessman, former pastor and he now runs a Christian ministry group focused on young men. He held these classes to talk about critical race theory, that's been a huge issue for Governor Ron DeSantis in Florida. In one of those sessions, he made these completely unfounded comments about slavery.
I want to be clear, the historians we spoke to said this was made up, fabricated material, previously fabricated that he cited. Take a listen to some of those comments from Peri.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RON PERI, POLITICAL APPOINTEE OF GOV. RON DESANTIS: Look at old newspapers, as old as you can find. And you'll find that whites were also slaves in America. The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners and slaves to the new world. His proclamation of 1625, which you can go back and see, required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves.
And then there was intentional breeding. There is no better word for it than that, of Irish and African slaves.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KACZYNSKI: So, historians who spoke to CNN said that material that he cited for that was previously invented and is a historical. They said that whites were never considered slaves in America, legally or socially. 300,000 Irish were not sent to the Americas as slaves.
This English king, James II, who he cited as issuing this proclamation in 1725, he wasn't even born for eight years, he didn't take the throne until 1685. And the Irish did not breed with African slaves.
So, what they told us, is basically there is no evidence for any of what he just said.
KEILAR: And this wasn't just a onetime thing. You actually found a pattern here?
KACZYNSKI: Yeah, so, in the seminar on critical race theory, which we mentioned earlier, that is a huge issue for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, he made another comment where he attributed and data to the 1830 census to say that a significant and large number of slaves were actually owned by free Blacks. When we spoke to historians, we looked at the numbers, we crunched them. It's only 0.006 percent. They said that number was neither important or historically significant, like Peri said.
Take a listen to some of his comments there.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
PERI: The justification they have four is they claim systemic racism emanates from white ownership of slaves. Therefore, all white wealth is based on the hard work and abuse of black slaves and women. That is their justification. Well, the reality is all races owned slaves.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KACZYNSKI: So we reached out to the DeSantis administration and over this. This is one of their big appointees to the Disney board. We didn't hear back from them.
We reached out to Peri, we did get a comment from him. He didn't address what we asked him about this historical -- ahistorical, invented research that he cited. But he did give us a comment where he said slavery is a moral wrong, wherever it exists or existed, and is one of America's great historical wrongs. Similarly, racism is likewise wrong.
KEILAR: All right. Very interesting. Andrew Kaczynski, thank you for taking us through that.
Also tonight, the two Black Democratic lawmakers who were expelled by Tennessee House Republicans earlier this year have won back their seats. Our viewers will remember this moment, when thousands of protesters poured into the state capital, as the Republican controlled legislature voted to expel State Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson for a demonstration calling for stricter gun laws. A third representative, Gloria Johnson, took part in the protests, but was not expelled. She said she believes her race and age saved her.
The so-called Tennessee Three were accused of breaking decorum rules for leading chance with bullhorns on the house floor. They say Republicans have been cutting off their microphones whenever they try to raise the issue of gun violence. All of this happened just days after a mass shooting at a private elementary school in Nashville, where a shooter killed 39-year-old students and three adults.
OUTFRONT, now we have Tennessee State Rep Justin Jones joining us now.
Representative Jones, it's been about four months since you were expelled. President Biden had you to the White House in a show of support shortly after. And now, the voters in your district have spoken.
How does it feel?
JUSTIN JONES (D), EXPELLED TN LAWMAKER WHO WON BACK SEAT: Yes. Well, thank you so much, Brianna, for having me. Yesterday was a victory for democracy. Not only was the former
president indicted for his attempts to overturn democracy, but my Republican colleagues, their effort to expel democracy was rejected by the voters of my district overwhelmingly, with 75 percent of the vote. And so, once again, we see that this multiracial, multi-generational coalition we are building in Tennessee is a representation that the south is rising a new and there is a new era of politics, I call it the Find Out era of politics that we're experiencing now.
KEILAR: I want to show our viewers a little bit more of the video of the initial protests that led to your expulsion. You are walking to the front of the House floor with a bull horn. You led chants of no justice, no peace, and gun control now.
And this was, of course, as we mentioned, just days after that horrific Covenant school shooting in Nashville.
The question I have, though, is with this up upcoming special session called by the governor to address public safety, is it going to be different? I mean, should we be expecting to see a repeat of what we saw in the spring?
JONES: I think, you know, overwhelmingly, over 70 percent of Tennesseans support common sense gun laws.
I won my election over 75 percent of the vote. I'm going there with a mandate for one of the most diverse districts. I represent a part of Nashville which was hit with this mass shooting. It's not the first mass shooting in Nashville. And unless we act, it will not be the last.
But what I'm hopeful for is that the governor is calling a special session because he has a personal connection to the covenant mass shooting, where he lost a friend. It's going to be on my Republican colleagues to put the lives of Tennessee children above the campaign contributions of the NRA and the Tennessee associations, time for them to have courage and protect our children, to protect our communities, and fight for a future in which we don't have to live in this constant terror and anxiety of mass shootings.
KEILAR: Do you think things will be different? Do you think your mics will not be cut? That you will not be resorting to using a bull horn because of that?
JONES: I can say on this interview right now, Brianna, that if they cut off our microphone, I will pull out my megaphone again. The people in my district deserve to have their voices heard.
This is a serious issue. We are facing a crisis of gun violence in this nation right, now with more mass shootings than days.
And so, the speaker should know that his attempt to expel us for speaking up for our district will not happen unchallenged. But we're not going to be afraid. We're not going to bow down. I'm entering with a mandate for my district to stand up, to speak up, to lift up the voices with a clear message and say we must protect kids and not guns.
And so, whether the speaker cuts off our microphone or not, our voices will be heard. Thousands of people took to the capitol, forced my colleagues to end session early. We're going to show up again and we're going to be bold, we're going to be clear in our call for common sense gun laws that the majority of Tennesseans and the majority of Americans support.
KEILAR: Yeah, and the nation, not just Tennessee, is going to be watching this.
Representative Jones, congratulations and thank you for being with us this evening.
JONES: Thank you so much, Brianna.
KEILAR: OUTFRONT next, the man charged with serial killings on Long Island now speaking to his wife from jail. What is being said in these conversations? The wife's attorney is going to join us next.
And absolute chaos, there is no other word for it in New York City. Police officers attacked, multiple people hurt, and dozens arrested after a video game console gave away turns violent.
KEILAR: Tonight, police identifying a new victim in the Gilgo Beach killings. Thirty-four-year-old Karen Vergata is a former escort who went missing 27 years ago. Parts of her skull discovered along Ocean Parkway near Gilgo Beach. This victim has not been linked to suspect Rex Heuermann.
It comes as Heuermann's wife, Asa Ellerup, who has filed for divorce, has spoken with her husband since he's been in jail. Her attorney, who is my guest tonight, says the couple is being advised not to discuss the case, and that Ellerup and her children are broke and sleeping on wooden chairs and beanbags.
With me now is Robert Macedonio, the attorney representing Asa Ellerup.
Bob, first off, is Asa speaking to her husband regularly?
ROBERT MACEDONIO, ATTORNEY FOR WIFE OF GILGO BEACH MURDER SUSPECT: She has spoken to him at least a few times from the correctional facility (AUDIO GAP) maintained by the (AUDIO GAP) which is 100 percent recorded. So we advised her not to discuss any of the facts of the case being reported in the media reports.
KEILAR: Why is she speaking to him? And does she plan to visit him in person?
MACEDONIO: There are no plans at this time to visit in person. Is she speaking to him? They are married. They're married for over 25, years they had a life together, they need to sort out some personal items.
They have not discussed any of the allegations (AUDIO GAP) to address any of them at this point in time.
KEILAR: So, you've spoken a lot about the state of the house, the mess that it is instance police searched for many days. I know your client is very upset about it, and no doubt this is terrible for her and the children. But does she blame police for searching the premises and leaving it in that condition? Or does she blame her husband when he is the one charged with three murders?
MACEDONIO: She blames the law enforcement that went in there and conducted a search. The house was in whatever condition it was in prior to July 13. There were items unnecessarily broken and destroyed and had nothing to do with extracting forensic evidence or any type of evidence they needed to treat.
Everybody understands he's a suspect, they had a search warrant and they had reasons to go in there. But you don't need to destroy collectible Dungeon and Dragons cards of your children. You don't need to destroy and break in half a PlayStation 5. You don't need to cut open beanbags and leave them there.
There are things -- they don't need to take cat litter and just strew it all over the house. There's no reason for a lot of things that were done. So, that -- she does blame the law enforcement, not her husband.
KEILAR: Looking inside a beanbag chair, I mean, is that reasonable to think maybe police were searching for something?
MACEDONIO: Then take it. You don't need to cut it open and have the little white things inside of it all throughout the house.
KEILAR: No, and look, that's the point you are making there, certainly. Where are she and the kids sleeping? Where are they living?
MACEDONIO: They are at the residence now, trying to clean up the mess there, going through and sorting through the boxes, and the file of debris that were left behind, and trying to find out what exactly they have left, what the police still have, and get an inventory of what is missing. We still can't find a few of the passports, wallets have been taken. They've taken all the cell phones, the two children's as well as Asa, personal computers of her daughter which she did graphic work on, and just items like that that people get back eventually but we're still trying to get inventory of what's missing.
KEILAR: Last you spoke to CNN, your client, who, to be clear, is not a suspect, had not been formally interviewed by authorities. Do you expect the police will be reaching out to formally interview your client? And is she willing to cooperate or do you expect that she's going to be limited by spousal privilege?
MACEDONIO: At this point, I don't think she is a suspect because they made clear, even in the D.A.'s verification, that they ruled her out from being an accomplice or any accomplices on (INAUDIBLE). They also stated on numerous occasions that he was out of the jurisdiction, out of the country or on vacation when the alleged murders took place.
So, I think they ruled her out up front. At this point, we have not been questioned, we've been asked a few questions, and we will have to cross that bridge if and when the time comes.
KEILAR: Will she -- do you expect she'll take spousal privilege?
MACEDONIO: I'm not sure she has any relevant information to the investigation. So, again, we will cross that bridge when the time comes. At this point in time, it is too hard to speculate what her actions will be and what (INAUDIBLE).
KEILAR: Bob Macedonio, thank you so much for your time tonight. We appreciate it.
MACEDONIO: Take care. Appreciate it.
KEILAR: OUTFRONT next, mayhem in New York City, a crowd of thousands, check this out, totally out of control, some attacking police officers. We are live from the scene.
And the president touting the latest jobs numbers, more than 13 million added since he took office, declaring that is Bidenomics. But is that resonating with voters?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: What does Bidenomics mean to you? Do you know that means?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I absolutely have no idea what it means.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Tonight, pure chaos unfolded earlier in the heart of New York City after a social media influencer with millions of followers promised to give away free PlayStation 5 video game consuls, computers, and other items.
Look at this. Thousands of people crammed together as far as the eye can see. Some climbing on park buildings. Others clinging to the sides and roof of a moving SUV. Police say the crowd threw bottles and rocks, attacking both police officers and members of the public.
And the mass of people growing so out of control that police declaring the highest level of disaster response to that situation.
Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT for us in Union Square, which is the site of that earlier mayhem.
What more can you tell us about this? MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, this thing
just took off. And NYPD was caught unaware, but quickly caught up with it. It just wasn't just here in union square. These crowds were everywhere. Thousands and thousands of people, they moved to other parts of the city, and then police had to move in as well.
It was -- it was a frightening moment for quite some time. Look, all of this, at the end of the day are -- was a social media influencers, somebody who should know better spreading lies online and creating a literal mob in downtown Manhattan.
We want to show you a bit of the scene here. It's basically the cleanup right now. Most of the crowds have been moved out of here. It started to feel a lot more like normal in Union Square. This subway stop, though, was under construction.
The mobs tour all this down, they were using bricks and bottles and construction materials to attack, not only police, there were a couple of police officers injured, but each other as well. There were lots and lots of young people who are injured. These are people in their teens, maybe in their twenties.
We saw one city bus police commandeered. There are 20, maybe 30 people in that bus that were under arrest.
Kai Cenat the individual who started all of this, he is also under arrest pending charges -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Tell us more about this individual. Who is this?
MARQUEZ: So he has probably around 10 million subscribers or followers across different social media, Twitch and you to mainly. He told people around 1:00 today to come down here, he would have PlayStation 5s or some sort of video game system. By 3:00 p.m., it's thronging with people, expecting to have a shot at getting a PS5. When they got nothing, apparently he had nothing with him when he showed up down here, and that's when everything just took off.
People who were lied to and then the police showed up. And it just -- it developed into a mob. It was impressive to watch NYPD being pelted with rocks and bottles and construction stuff. They were batting it away and they stayed home. Amazingly enough, no one seriously injured.
Back to you.
KEILAR: That is amazing.
Miguel Marquez, thank you for that live for us from Union Square.
OUTFRONT next, Biden praising the state of the economy, but not everyone is sold, even some in his own party.
[19:56:45] KEILAR: Tonight, fears of a U.S. recession subsiding. The top economist for JPMorgan Chase now reversing predictions, saying a recession is no longer lightly likely this year. This come as a new jobs report out today shows 187,000 jobs added last month. The unemployment rate down to 3.5 percent, a level not seen it more than 50 years.
So why do Americans still have a negative view on the economy?
Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Old Emerald Isle, heading out another Lake Michigan run. It will soon be replaced by a new ferry, one small piece of President Biden's landmark infrastructure law.
PAUL NEWMAN, MICHIGAN VOTER: This is great.
To Paul Newman (ph), it's another example of a Biden accomplishment gone unnoticed or unappreciated.
NEWMAN: I think Democrats have never done a good job selling themselves, that is one problem. I think they need to get out there, you know, like Trump did, start talking about all the things going on.
ZELENY: He and his wife Nancy or catching a ride to Beaver Island, Michigan. They believe the president has not gotten enough credit for his economic agenda and more.
From conversations on main street --
What's the move?
To the orchards here in northern Michigan, a disconnect between increasing signs of economic strength and persistent feelings of economic pessimism comes alive.
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D), MICHIGAN: We've been through a lot and people are somewhat optimistic that worried that perhaps there is a curveball coming.
ZELENY: Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she understands the lingering unease as the nation emerges from the pain of the pandemic. She conceded the Biden administration's achievement on infrastructure, lowering drug costs, and job creation are not yet fully felt or understood.
WHITMER: There's a lot more communication I think has to be done between now and next year's election without question.
ZELENY: And is that the burden of the president himself?
WHITMER: It's on all of us. It's on all of us. We all would benefit if we spend more time telling some of the great victory as we've seen over the last years.
ZELENY: Michigan is a pillar of Biden's blue wall, along with Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, they are three states Donald Trump carried in 2016. But they turned to Biden in 2020 and will be critical battlegrounds in 2024.
WHITMER: I don't think anybody should take this upcoming election for granted, regardless of what the matchup is.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Bidenomics is working.
ZELENY: As the president touts his economic policies, it's clear he still has some explaining to do.
What does Bidenomics mean to you? Do you know what that means?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I have absolutely no idea what it means. But I think it is Biden trying to put together some positive things for the economy. He has stepped across party lines to get a few things done.
ZELENY: Inside the clothing company in Charlevoix, owner Annie Oosthuizen steers clear of politics. But she says she feels a brighter mood after the pandemic.
ANNIE OOSTHUIZEN, OWNER, THE CLOTHING COMPANY: What we all went through in 2020, we are kind of still in that doom and gloom mindset. I do feel like things are improving, definitely.
ZELENY: While inflation has cooled, high interest rates and prices contribute to a mixed economic climate.
JOHN DAMOOSE (R), MICHIGAN STATE SENATE: I'm waiting for the prices to go back to normal. If they are, not at this is the new, normal it's not like salaries and wages have kept pace with that. So, people are struggling a bit.
ZELENY: Te president carried Michigan by nearly three percentage points and has visited often, including a stop at King Orchards, where the owner John King has endured high labor costs, supply chain challenges, and inflation.
He said his Republican neighbors blame Biden. He does not.
JOHN KING, OWNER, KING ORCHARDS: I'm not disappointed in the president. I just think there is so much to overcome.
ZELENY: Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Charlevoix, Michigan.
KEILAR: Thank you so much for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.