Return to Transcripts main page

Erin Burnett Outfront

Proud Boys Leader Sentenced To 22 Years, Longest In January 6 Case; Awaiting Georgia Ruling That Could Have Major Implications For Trump; Ukrainian Defense Minister Officially Dismissed, Admits "Mistakes"; Kim Jong Un, Who Is Known For Using Guards As Decoys, Expected To Take Armored Train To Travel To Meet Putin; Sen. Paul Questions Cause Of McConnell's Freezing Incidents; Meta Enforcing New Mandate To Be In Office 3 Days A Week; Republican Voters In New Hampshire Split On Trump: "Time to Move On". Aired 7-8p ET

Aired September 05, 2023 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. 22 years, the longest sentence yet for a January 6th insurrectionists. The ruling coming just after key hearing for Donald Trump himself. The former Trump White House attorney Ty Cobb will be OUTFRONT.

Plus, new details about the heavily armored train Kim Jong-un will take to meet with Vladimir Putin in Russia, taking no chances with his security, Kim's own bodyguards will be serving as decoys. This is an incredible report.

And Meta and the Amazon forcing workers back into the office. Is remote work about to be a thing of the past? "Shark Tank's" Kevin O'Leary will be OUTFRONT tonight.

So, let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening to all. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. The longest sentence yet for a January 6th insurrectionists, 22 years. That is how long former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio will be in prison for his role in the riot. Twenty-two years, I mean, just think about that for a moment. Guilty and sentenced for seditious conspiracy, and leading a plot to prevent the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

Now, Tarrio's attorney pointing the finger directly at Trump. I want to read the reasons they gave for his actions. They say, quote: It was Donald Trump's words, it was his motivation, it was his anger that caused what occurred on January 6th. They want to use Enrique Tarrio as a scapegoat for Donald Trump and those in power.

And today's sentence does raise a crucial question, because while blaming someone else as a legal defense strategy, and you'd expect them to do that, it is also a fact that without Trump contesting the election, saying it was stolen and rigged, if he hadn't done any of those things, if he just graciously conceded and moved on, none of those people would have been on Capitol Hill until that day in the first place. That is a fact.

And today's sentence comes as we are just hours from his hearing in Georgia, that could determine the future of Trump himself. The Fulton County judge overseeing the 2020 election interference case will hold his first hearing, and this hearing will be televised. That's the law in Georgia, so this will be the case.

The question the judge wants prosecutors to answer is this. What is a, quote, good faith estimate for how long it would take to put all 19 defendants, which include Trump, on trial at the same time? Nineteen at the same time does seem like a lot. Trump's lawyers do not want him tried with his co-defendants.

Their argument is they say they don't have sufficient time to prepare for trial in just under seven weeks. The D.A., though, wants to try everyone together, which may give leverage to get them to turn on each other.

Now, all 19, of course, right now have pleaded not guilty. That includes Mark Meadows, whom as we speak is waiting for a decision that could make or break not only his case, but Trump himself. The Georgia judge is expected to rule at any moment on whether Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, should be allowed to move his case from Fulton County to federal court.

Now, why does this matter? Trump has a lot riding on it. That is because if Meadows is successful in getting his case moved to federal court, Trump could follow suit. And that would mean no cameras, for example, broadcasting his trial live around the globe. It also could give the former president a more favorable jury pool outside of Fulton County.

Just to give you a look at the makeup of that county. In 2020, Biden won the state -- won it with 73 percent of the vote. Four years earlier, Clinton beat Trump by more than 40 percent of the votes after winning 69 percent of the votes. So you see the situation there in Fulton County.

In federal court, though, it would be different in terms of jury pool. It would be from people across northern Georgia, which is significantly more conservative than Fulton County. As you can see, it is a sea of red.

So, in order, though, for Meadows to be victorious in what could be a crucial precedent for Trump, he needs to convince a judge that he was just carrying out his duties when he was trying to keep in Trump in power. That was all it was, nothing to see here.

I mean, remember, he was there on the phone with Trump during that infamous phone call in January 2021, between Trump and the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Meadows said he wanted to make sure that every, quote, was -- every vote was counted.


MARK MEADOWS, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: What I'm hopeful for is there's some way that we can -- we can find some kind of an agreement to look at this a little bit more fully.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.


BURNETT: All right. So there's a lot to get to tonight as we await these decisions, hearings.

I want to start with Evan Perez OUTFRONT live in Washington.


Okay. So, Evan, let's start with this Meadows ruling because I knew it really could come at any moment. And then hours away from that hugely significant hearing in the Georgia case. The Meadows ruling, though, obviously, that could be quite a significant precedent.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right, Erin. And a lot is riding on that and on the hearing that we're going to have tomorrow with the Meadows ruling, which again, could come at any moment. The judge, the federal judge there, is deciding whether to bring Meadows's case.

But, there's a lot of illegal experts who believe that if you bring one case, if you bring one defendant, then you have to bring all of them. All 19 would have to be moved over to federal court.

Again, that's something that the judge may have to address in that ruling, which could come at any moment. But the other hearing that we have tomorrow is also a procedural hearing, but it is also hugely important for a number of reasons. You have certainly the total defendants who are asking to be moved, to be severed from this, to have their own cases speed it up by October, to go on trial in October. Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell say they don't want to wait, and they also want to be separated from everybody else.

Of course, Donald Trump and some of the other codefendants are not ready. They say they want to be separated for their own reasons, because they say that's way too fast. So, the -- what hangs over this hearing tomorrow, certainly for the judge, is how he is going to address that. And then the other question, of course, that he's asking the district attorney to answer, is how long do you think it's going to take to put all 19 defendants on trial.

That's a good question, and it will probably influence what decision he makes on severing those two defendants.

BURNETT: Yeah. I guess there's logistics. Think about it, Evan, you know, 19 people. It --

PEREZ: They need a stadium.

BURNETT: Right, right, I mean, it's not -- it's not just as easy as checking boxes here. Okay, all right. Evan, thank you very much.

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

And, Ty, I know, you know, we're sort of chuckling here on this, but it isn't easy to just put 19 people on trial together. It would seem in any case -- is that the case? I mean, do you think all 19 should be tried together, or do you think just from a whatever legal point of view as well as a logistical one that it would make more sense to try them separately?

TY COBB, FORMER TURUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: So, I think it makes much more sense to try them together.

BURNETT: Try them together?

COBB: I've tried cases, conspiracy, RICO, continuing criminal enterprise cases when I was a prosecutor, upwards of 28 defendants. And, that's very manageable. It requires careful attention from the judge, but it can be done.

Now, the complication here is the Georgia Speedy Trial Act, which is much stricter actually than the federal Speedy Trial Act, in terms of the defendants' rights to a speedy trial. Having -- having exercised his demand for a speedy trial, Mr. Chesebro was given on October 23rd trial date.

Sidney Powell having asked for a speedy trial, should be joined in that case. She should not get a separate trial from her coconspirator. And they will -- they will fight about that, but there really isn't a basis if they're both exercising a speedy trial demand, to separate the two with the same charges.

Now, taking those off of the other 17 --


COBB: -- there is no reason those 17 can be tried together. But the Speedy Trial Act will force a division of defendants, because, just like they have a right to a speedy trial, they also have a right to full discovery, time to digest the documents, and that's what the Trump team is arguing, which is we need time to prepare for this trial.

I'm highly confident that if people persist in their speedy trial demands, they will get separate trial. It may not be the trial that Chesebro envisioned when he first made the motion, because he's stuck with Sidney Powell now. But the other defendants, I think, will -- the other defendants I think will get -- will get tried together.

BURNETT: I like that, the right to a speedy trial or a sporadic trial, right? In the eye of the beholder.

COBB: That's fair.

BURNETT: So, let me ask about the other point that Evan was just talking about, which is Mark Meadows. We talked about the potential significance of the precedent that this could establish if he was able to move it, in terms of a different jury pool, none televising of procedures, right, those among others. Do you think that he will be successful in being -- in moving his case to federal court?


COBB: I don't -- I don't believe so. But remember, my position has always been he has the most credible case of all the potential defendants who are seeking to do this. But he did make some significant concessions with regard to his motion, he conceded that many of the activities that he participated in were political, that's outside his duties as chief of staff.

And the Hatch Act exempt -- you know, arguments that the prosecutors developed with him also demonstrates what a thin -- what a thin line he's walking, because the Hatch Act, you know, prohibits that. So that's per se illegal, so that's not within his duties either.

I think he has a tough road a hoe, but he has -- he has the only chance of anybody of moving. Now with regard to whether that will move the other defendants, the reality is there is no case under 1442, which is the speedy trial -- or, excuse me, the Supremacy Clause exercise that Meadows is engaged in, trying to receive removal.


COBB: There is no case yet that would move all the other defendants. It looks like an individual right, there is a case pending in the 11th Circuit right now, though, that poses that question that's been fully briefed, as I understand it. But not yet ruled upon.

BURNETT: All right. So, one final question, in the transcript from Meadows testimony, that he put in too further his bed to move the case, prosecutors asked why he was so concerned with coordinating the fake electors. Why he was doing that. His answer, Ty, was, well, because I knew I would get yelled at. And when he's asked by whom, he said by the president of the United States.

It sort of struck me, Ty, when I heard that because just a moment ago, we opened our program with Enrique Tarrio's defense, right? It was Donald Trump's words, his motivation, his anger that caused what occurred on January 6th.

In an odd way, what Meadows is saying seems to be quite similar. I was just doing what I was told, or I was doing it because I was scared I get in trouble from the guy at the top.

COBB: When you serve in that office, you take a -- you take on a duty to serve and protect the Constitution. It didn't prevent Elliot Richardson or William Ruckelshaus from resigning in the face of Nixon's demands that they fire Archibald Cox. You know, they resigned.

So that's the choice you have when you have that level of responsibility. You're not obligated to break the law.

BURNETT: All right. Ty, thank you very much. Good to speak with you.

COBB: Great to see. Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, new details about the lengths that North Korea may be going to in order to keep Kim Jong Un safe. He is about to meet with Putin in Russia about a potential arms deal. If this includes the possibility of body doubles, this is the story, a reporting from our own Will Ripley that you will see first here OUTFRONT tonight.

Plus just in, a top Republican senator who's also a physician is now raising questions about what the Capitol Hill doctors says caused Mitch McConnell to freeze for the second time in two months.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): I think it's an inadequate explanation to say this is dehydration.


BURNETT: And new details tonight about one man's chilling account over the convicted killer who was on the run, after escaping from prison.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I woke up my wife, I said, hey, I think there might be somebody downstairs.




BURNETT: Ukraine claimed to gain more ground tonight after breaking through a line of Russian defenses on the southern front. Also in the south, we're going to show you some new video that we have here OUTFRONT of the Ukrainian soldier. This is some soldier taking down a Russian aircraft with a shoulder-fired missile. That's what you're actually looking at right there, and then you see the moment of impact.

It comes in the context of the Ukrainian defense minister officially being dismissed today. You're looking at him there, Oleksii Reznikov. He was a crucial part of this war, and his firing coming now at such a crucial time in the counteroffensive is part of a widening corruption probe.

More on this ahead as our Melissa Bell is OUTFRONT in Robotyne. This is a story you'll see here first OUTFRONT.


MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The flag now flies over what's left of Robotyne. Ukrainian leaders say it's the first victory in a three-month counteroffensive, a source of great pride for the men of the 47th mechanized brigade.

"KARATSUPA", BRADLEY CREW COMMANDER, 47TH MECHANIZED BRIGADE (translated): We evacuated six civilians that day. Our infantry prepared the civilians and they collected their essential belongings.

BELL: The soldiers hadn't expected to find them, but rush the handful of men and elderly women into their Bradley vehicle, before speeding away as quickly as they could.

"KARATSUPA": As soon as left, our location was shelled. The Russians don't care whether it is soldiers or civilians, they don't care, it's all the same for them. They hit just two meters from Bradley. We were lucky, thank God. And thanks to the fact that the cross-eyed Russians didn't manage to hit the vehicle directly. Bradley was on fire. Smoke everywhere -- the side was cracked but the reinforced armor held. The Bradley was stumbling but we managed to drive away.

BELL: Back in the safety of a nearby wood, the civilians are given much-needed water and phones.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): Hello, daughter. Hello, hello. Hello Doll. Daughter, we were rescued.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): I know, Mom, I know --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): Do not cry. We are home.

BELL: But for the 47th Brigade, Robotyne was just the start. And some of its heroes have since fallen.

I'd like to ask about your colleagues, the day you went into Robotyne and you took the civilians out. There was another team, but they were killed.

"PAN", BRADLEY DRIVER, 47TH MECHANIZED BRIGADE (translated): We trained with them in Germany at an American base. Believe me, it's hard to talk about it.

"TABA", BRADLEY DRIVER, 47TH MECHANIZED BRIGADE (translated): For us, it's a terrible loss. It's very hard to think about them, to talk about them. It's heartbreaking. When you live, eat and bunk with someone who is suddenly not there anymore, it's heart-wrenching.


BELL: Still, they carry on southward along a stretch of road they've nicknamed the road to hell.


BURNETT: Melissa, Ukraine's defense minister's dismissal is coming in the context of your reporting on the big movements happening on the front lines. He was a crucial face of this war, of course, right? Reznikov, anybody following this movement knew his name.

What does his dismissal now, Melissa, say about the corruption situation in Ukraine?

BELL: I think it tells us, Erin, that the leadership here in Kyiv is extremely determined to draw a line under the first 19 months of this war. There have been trials, there have been sackings, there have been arrests within the ministry of defense.

And Oleksii Reznikov alluded to that in his speech in front of parliament, even as he was officially dismissed today. Acknowledging that there have been issues, and yet he chose to focus of course on the successes. This was a department he said that has managed to help shepherd the country through the worst war on European soil in eight years, $100 billion worth of aid, and he said that it had in the end helped Ukraine and its people to stand and to remain upright. And for that, he got a standing ovation.

BURNETT: Interesting. Standing ovation with all of that.

All right. Melissa, thank you very much.

In Kyiv, where, of course, they're worried about where Russia may now be getting additional arms. Because the White House is warning that North Korea will, quote, pay a price if the country provides weapons to Putin. This after the U.S. government said that Kim Jong Un is expected to travel to Russia to meet Putin, to talk about a potential arms deal.

Now, Kim is expected to take this trip on his heavily fortified armored train, possibly with a body doubles, plural, in tow. This is a story you'll see first OUTFRONT, reported by our Will Ripley.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inside North Korea, one of the most secretive places on the planet, carefully guarded state secret is leader Kim Jong-un's actual location. Major events are often used as decoys, crowds could wait for hours, injuring long security lines, only to find the leader's seat empty.

Even Kim's own bodyguards can serve as decoys, best known for donning dark suits and running alongside the leader's limo during the Trump- Kim summit, projecting power and security, riding an arm or reinforced rail car to Russia, to meet with President Vladimir Putin, fellow strongman seen by some as a global pariah.

Putin and Kim both come with plenty of baggage, saddled with heavy sanctions for Kim's nuclear blistered missile programs, and Putin's brutal unprovoked war on Ukraine, not to mention the suspiciously timed plane crash, now the Russian leader is meeting another shadowy figure. Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader may not have a reason to fear Putin, but he's not taking any chances when it comes to his safety as he travels outside North Korea.

U.S. government sources believe Kim will go to Russia as Moscow looks to buy artillery and other wartime supplies from its impoverished authoritarian neighbor.

CNN contacted the Russian embassy for comment. North Korea denied previously supplying Russia with rockets and missiles to use in Ukraine. In July, Putin's defense minister Sergey Shoigu was in Pyongyang. Kim showed off his latest weapons, long-range missiles, and military drones. Shoigu said Russia may even be staging joint military drills with the North.

National security adviser John Kirby says Putin must be embarrassed, asking Kim for help.

JOHN KIRBY, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: He's going to North Korea to try to get artillery shells, and the basic materials so that he can continue to shore up his defense industrial base. There is no other way to look at that, than desperation and weakness, quite frankly.

RIPLEY: The North Korean leader has a lot to gain.

DAVID SANGER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: A large power is now dependent on him. That doesn't happen.

RIPLEY: Kim may be willing to roll the dice, risking travel outside his borders, inducing that risk on a slow moving heavily fortified train, a shade of army green on the outside, luxuriously on the inside. The train, a symbol of three generations of the Kim family dynasty, a nation some say is stuck in the past.

The need to travel over land means the meeting will likely be in Russia's far east, Vladivostok. Kim has taken his chugging locomotive there before, meeting Putin in Vladivostok in 2019. This time, Kim may hope Russia will help him with oil supplies or even technology to use in its own ambitious ballistic missile program, goals perhaps worthy of a rare venture beyond his nation's hermetically sealed borders.

Only once has Kim boarded a flight overseas. He borrowed an Air China jet from Beijing to get to his first Singapore meeting with Donald Trump. So much has changed as those bygone days of U.S. North Korea diplomacy. Now Russia is ready to make a deal, making Kim perhaps the most powerful North Korean leader ever.



RIPLEY (on camera): It really is extraordinary to see how Kim Jong-un emerged from really that humiliation in Hanoi, when President Trump walked out of talks, leaving the lunch table set and the food uneaten. Kim Jong-un had talked about this meeting with Trump to his people, that had never happened before. They talked about a meeting before actually happening -- they previewed it and said something was happening, and Kim had to go back basically with egg all over his face, Erin.

And yet, here he is with this incredibly strong partnership with Russia, potentially, you know, taking him to a level that even his grandfather, who survived that train, it's not achieved. It's quite something.

BURNETT: It's really quite something.

All right. Will, thank you so much.

And next, Mitch McConnell's office saying there's no evidence that the minority leader suffered a seizure or stroke, according to his doctor. Senator Rand Paul, who's also a doctor, is now openly speaking out. He doesn't buy it.

Plus, the owner of Facebook requiring employees to return to the office today. Is working from home not going to continue? "Shark Tank's" Kevin O'Leary will be OUTFRONT.


BURNETT: Tonight, a, quote, inadequate explanation. Republican Senator Rand Paul today expressing skepticism over why Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office says he froze while speaking to reporters twice as in as many months.


PAUL: I think it's an inadequate explanation to say this is dehydration. I practice medicine for 25 years, and it doesn't look like dehydration. To me it looks like a neurologic event.

That doesn't mean it's incapacitating, it doesn't mean he can't serve.


But it means that somebody ought to wake up and say, wow, this looks like a seizure.


BURNETT: McConnell was on the Senate floor today, passing remarks to his health. Here it is.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): One particular moment of my time back home has received its fair share of attention in the press over the past week. But I assure you, all of this was a busy and productive month for me and my staff back in the commonwealth.


BURNETT: It comes as McConnell's office shared a letter with a Capitol Hill physician stating that there's, quote, no evidence that McConnell suffered a seizure, disorder, stroke, or movement disorder like Parkinson's disease. The doctor also said McConnell can continue with his schedule.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill. So, Manu, what more are you able to tell us right now as you

understand it, about McConnell 's health and now we just heard Senator Rand Paul. How is this being received by his peers on Capitol Hill?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's still a ton of questions. In fact, conversation about this is dominant in the Capitol hallways, as the senators returned from their five-week recess, one, Senator Josh Hawley, told me that everywhere he went in Missouri over the recess, he said he was getting questions about Senator McConnell and his health, and those episodes. And they want answers.

In fact, I'm told that McConnell is expected to address the full Republican conference behind closed doors tomorrow about these episodes, and he's talked to his leadership team tonight. Now, that doesn't mean that members are not worried about him and his future, as well as him on top the Republican conference. In fact, one center I just spoke with, Senator Tommy Tuberville, someone who supported Mitch McConnell for leader, indicated that he's not sure that he would support him again for a leadership job, and was worried that Senator McConnell might not be up for the task in the aftermath of him hitting his head, having a concussion, and worried that the concussions aftereffects could still be impacting him today.


SEN. TOMMY TUBERVILLE (R-AL): There is going to be a lot of things that the leaders are going to have to really be on top of. And can you do it? It's like being that quarterback.

RAJU: But you don't know if he can do it?

TUBERVILLE: No. I'm anxious to hear him talk, and you know, I've seen him. He's struggled, and we all would. If you fall and hit your head and have a bad concussion, I've seen kids, you know, in my profession of football really struggle for a long time after a concussion. I mean, that's a reason that you don't play them after that. They don't go back into the game until you're completely well. And, it's obviously he's not completely well.


RAJU: But in releasing that no from the capitals attending physician, Brian Monahan, GOP leader McConnell wanted to alleviate the concerns among his colleagues, by saying that there is no bigger issue, no seizure, no Parkinson's disease, no stroke. But will that be enough to allay those concerns? Still uncertain.

But, Erin, I'm also told by the top three Republicans that might succeed McConnell as leader, they all say that they support him continuing to stay on the job -- Erin.

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

So, let's go now to Dr. Jonathan Reiner, our medical analyst and physician who advised the White House medical team under President George W. Bush.

So, Dr. Reiner, I want to get your reaction to the letter, the letter that we have been given, right, from McConnell's team, and his physician, right, who states that there's no evidence McConnell had a stroke or seizure or is suffering from any other diseases like Parkinson's. That's what they specify.

They say that the senator has been evaluated by four neurologists. Does all of this sound right to you?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: No. Because I think to most physicians, the two very similar episodes that Senator McConnell had about five weeks apart really are very typical of a focal seizure. And, I think you need to really read between the lines of what Dr. Monahan wrote. He wrote, you know, there is no evidence that you have a seizure disorder. The senator was administered an EEG, which is an electrical test of the brain. Think of it as a sort of EKG of the brain.


REINER: But an EEG will only be abnormal in somebody like epilepsy about half the time, because it's a snapshot of what's going on with the electoral activity of your brain at the moment the test is done. So if he's not having a seizure, it's not likely to be abnormal.

So what Dr. Monahan wrote was, there is no evidence that you have a seizure, although clinically that is what it appears to be.

BURNETT: Right, right. Okay. So, McConnell's office has attributed the episodes, their attribution is light-headedness, as in lingering symptoms from the concussion that he suffered and that fall that he had back in March. Now, when you look at it through that lens, is that reasonable?

REINER: No. And I'm not accustomed to saying that I agree with Senator Paul, but I agree with Senator Paul. I take care of plenty of folks who have light-headedness, either in the setting of dehydration from working outside in hot, you know, D.C. summer, or after an illness like influenza or even COVID.


And most people with light-headedness feel light headed. They feel a little woozy. Maybe they feel they have to sit down. Patients with light-headedness don't present with this sort of staring off into the periphery, unable to speak for 10 to 30 seconds. That's very consistent with a vocal seizure.

It would be really -- it would be really better for the senator's team to just be a little bit more transparent, because that explanation is a little laughable.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Dr. Reiner.

All right. So, Harry Enten is with me to go beyond some of these numbers here, not on the medical front, but we're actually seeing here. Which I actually have been watching those on TV, it pains me to see it. I think it does for a lot of people. It comes from senator McConnell obviously specific situation, but he's not alone in one of his situations, which is his age.

The age of leaders in Washington, we're looking at the oldest Senate in history.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: We are. You know, the Senate has become significantly older over the last 40 years, used to be that the median age for a U.S. senator was in the low 50s. It's now in the upper 60s.

Half the United States Senate is a senior citizen at this particular point.


ENTEN: And this has gone just beyond, yes, the U.S. workforce has gotten older, but not at the rate that United States Senate has gotten older. And Mitch McConnell is just one of those senators who's a senior citizen.

BURNETT: I mean, and of course, it's not just the Senate, right? The two front-runners for president right now, obviously, the Democratic president, right? Octogenarian, Trump's not far behind. They are old. What age do Americans want in their ideal president?

ENTEN: Not anywhere close to where either Joe Biden or Donald Trump are at this particular point. They want their ideal age for a U.S. president somewhere in the 50s, so the 50s. We haven't had a president in the 50s in -- you know, since Barack Obama, essentially, right?

So, look, if you look at that chart, just 3 percent say 70 and older. And yet, Donald Trump is going to be in the upper 70s come Election Day, and obviously, Joe Biden's already into his 80s. So I guess this is one of those situations where the ideal is not actually meeting what we're seeing in practice.

BURNETT: Interesting, 50 to 59. That is -- you know, you'd have so many people that is clearly the largest number.

Voters judge them very differently, though. I do find this interesting, because you hear it all the time. People talk about Biden, oh, Biden is 80 years old. But Trump is barely behind him.

ENTEN: Yeah.

BURNETT: Trump is 77 years old.

But why do voters seem to see that differently? Or do they?

ENTEN: Yeah, you know, as you mentioned, Joe Biden is just 3 to 4 years older than Donald Trump's. Yet on the question of is this candidate too old to serve as president, what we see is the vast majority, nearly three quarters of Americans, say that Joe Biden is too old to effectively serve as president, while Donald Trump basically has the -- 47 percent to 45 percent.

Now, you know, that's still --

BURNETT: What it just showing you it's not about age.

ENTEN: Maybe not. Maybe it's the way that they're acting.

BURNETT: Perception, or --

ENTEN: Perception, that's what politics is, right? It's perception. In this case, the perception isn't great for Joe Biden.

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

ENTEN: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, Facebook now wants to see employees back in the office. And Amazon, now can tell you tonight is tracking its employee badge swipes to make sure they show up.

"Shark Tank's" Kevin O'Leary is next.

Plus, we're going to take you inside the debate that is now dividing the Republican Party in a crucial state.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To catch up to Trump, it's a big climb.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's time to move on.




BURNETT: Tonight, is working from home tonight is working from home about to be a thing of the past?

Starting today, Meta is requiring employees to work in the office three days a week. Now, this is a reversal they've been fully out. CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the work from home as allowing his employees to -- as good as working full-time in the office, saying good work can get done anywhere. Well, he's certainly changed his tune.

And it's not just Zuckerberg, Amazon is tracking employee badge swipes to see who is following their three day a week in office policy. The company CEO saying if employees don't like coming to the office that much, then they should find work somewhere else.

Kevin O'Leary is OUTFRONT, the chairman of O'Leary Ventures, and, of course, one of the sharks on the hit television show "Shark Tank", about to go into season 15, Kevin.

So, the last time we spoke, you know, we were here together and we were talking about work from home. It's something you felt strongly about, you felt that it wasn't going anywhere and you've been saying this is someone investing in companies and saying how they work.

But now, you see these companies, I get it. They were like fully out and now they're saying come back to three days a week, right? But they're being pretty dramatic about it, tracking badges and stuff like that.

Do you think we're going to go back to five days a week again? Back to the pre-COVID normal, is that where this is going?

KEVIN O'LEARY, CHAIRMAN, O'LEARY VENTURES: No. We're never going back there. Fortunately, for these companies that are trying to mandate this back to the cubicles, the genie is out of the bottle. There's a whole cohort, a whole generation of employees that have proven over a three-year period they can work functionally, very well, not in the office.

And so, you really have to ask yourself, where is the empirical data that says productivity drops if you're not in an office? And that's the challenge, because we're still at full employment in America. Anything under 4 percent unemployment is full employment.

So if you're a highly prized engineer, software coder, and you do just fine working anywhere in the world you want to be, you're not going to go back to a cubicle. Not now, not ever.

BURNETT: So, you know, it's interesting when you mention the employment rate, because obviously, I know you kind of feel that's obviously crucially linked to a company's ability to mandate a return to the office, right? When an employment goes up, companies get more power. They can force issues like this.

And we have, Kevin, seeing some troubling numbers lately, right? I know you and I both see it. There are two sides of the coin, but the negative side is pretty scary right now. Mortgage rates in August, the highest level in more than 20 years. Credit card debt in the United States, at an all-time record, a trillion dollars. The U.S. Treasury yield curve, the interest rate the government pays on debt, just saw its deepest inversion since 1981.

And if I recall, from economics, 1981 was a pretty horrific time, right?


And I could go on and on. There's a lot of other things of these types of numbers.

Are you really worried about them? Do you think that we're about to see something bad, economically?

O'LEARY: I am worried about 60 percent of the economy, which is small businesses in America. Those are companies between five and 500 employees. They're the ones under stress, because regional banks are becoming less and less liquid, due to the changes regulators are proposing on them, because of recent failures.

But the S&P 500, which has now been given two new prints of free money, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, that's two trillion dollars distributed to them. But we have nothing for the small business, of which the service industry is massive.

And so, you've got this -- you've raised a really important point. You've got a situation where we're putting stress on where 60 percent of the jobs are created, and there's absolutely no problem for S&P 500, who have total access to capital anytime they want, including free money about to be printed.

And so, where it's manifesting itself for the first time in America in over 50 years, is the rate of change of blue collar workers, in terms of increase to their salary is going up faster than white collar because there's certain aspects of the economy, like the service industry, let's just talk restaurants, where millions of people are employed, you can't work from home. You've got to show up. You can't fax it in.


O'LEARY: And in order to do that, used to be able to pay them $18 an hour. Now it's $26 here in California. Some are getting $30. That's much more in terms of rate increase than any white collar workers getting.

BURNETT: All right. So, you know, you talk about small business. And that is an area where you know so much. I mean, really, micro business, right, when it comes to "Shark Tank". And we all watch so avidly.

So, your fellow shark Mark Cuban, as I said, you're about to get ready for your 15th season. He said something recently that I -- just caught my attention. I saw it on Twitter. He said that as of last year, he has a net loss on the nearly $20 million that he's invested in 84 companies on "Shark Tank".

And I get it depends on where you are in an investment process, but at that moment that's what he said. You know, I know Mark and obviously you sit with him all the time.

Is your track record better than his right now?

O'LEARY: That stat -- great question. Let me tell you the stats for venture investing. These are massive businesses, highly risky, and since 1954, that's almost 70 years ago, the tracking looks like this and it hasn't changed an iota. You invest in ten companies, you will lose your money in eight, and you will make all your returns in two.

And those returns are sometimes 1,000X. And we've seen this over 15 years at "Shark Tank". Every year, let's say Mark does 15 or 20 deals, I do 15 or 20 deals. And we think we know what we're doing, that we have some idea that 3 to 5 years later, we pick the winners. That never, ever happens. It's complete serendipitous outcome. Last year, Basepaws, which was

cat DNA testing, which I thought was a joke, was a huge thousand X winner for me and paid for all my mistakes. I have no idea in season 15 what's going to work. But we all make money.

BURNETT: Cat DNA? Dear God.

O'LEARY: Because we get two out of 10 monster hits.

BURNETT: Okay, but so answer the question, would you answer it the way Mark is, that you had a net loss? Or no? You wouldn't?

O'LEARY: I've lost millions of dollars. But I've also made millions of dollars. I can't guess Mark's returns. We don't know each other's, but over the last 15 years, it's varied from between 11 to 17 and in some years 20 percent on average.

That's pretty good. It's not the highest venture capital, but "Shark Tank's" secret sauce --

BURNETT: That's pretty damned good. Can I ask you one question? What's the name of that cat --

O'LEARY: It is. But "Shark Tank" gets you 100 million eyeballs.

BURNETT: Yeah, right. What's the name of that cat DNA again?

O'LEARY: Basepaws.

BURNETT: Basepaws.

O'LEARY: Zoetis now owns it, a giant pharmaceutical pet care company. Who knew, Erin? Cat DNA.

BURNETT: Well, I've -- you went -- here's what all say about that. If you're going to go of whose videos are the most popular, then you would get that one right, because cat videos are incredibly popular. I say this as someone who got my dog's DNA done. And if I to cat, I will do the same.

Thank you, Kevin.

O'LEARY: Thank you. Take care.

BURNETT: All right. And next, we're going to take you to a key swing state, where a number of voters are now looking to a future without Donald Trump. But will they find this future?

And one man who came face to face with a convicted murderer on the run is revealing what the killer took after he broke into his home.



BURNETT: Tonight, a one man race. A new CNN poll shows Donald Trump expanding his lead of the GOP primary gain Republican support since being indicted four times. His lead over his closest opponent is now at 34 points, that's Ron DeSantis, and that lead was only 21 back in June.

Not everyone though is convinced at the crucial straight of New Hampshire, where Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.


BOB TILTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: To catch up to Trump, it's a big climb.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bob Tilton has a front row seat to the Republican presidential contest. He likes a few options, but he loves former President Donald Trump. His wife Crystal does not.

CRYSTAL TILTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: I think he's had his time, and there was enough controversy over it, and it's time to move on.

ZELENY: Their disagreement brings to life a monumental divide inside the Republican Party.

B. TILTON: They were attacking him constantly. How can anybody do a good job? I mean, he did. But he was constantly attacked.

ZELENY: Here in New Hampshire, home to the first in the nation primary -- a summertime campaign has given way to a full fight for survival, in a race dominated by signs of Trump strength.

Republican Governor Chris Sununu insists the GOP contest is still competitive.

You don't believe that this primary is affectively over?

GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: God no. Not even close. Was it over when Clinton was leading Barack Obama by 20 points at this point back in 2008? Nobody could beat the Clinton machine, remember? No, not at all.

ZELENY: Sununu believes Trump will be unable to win back the White House for Republicans. He points to the general election in New Hampshire, where in 2016, Trump fell short to Hillary Clinton by fewer than 3,000 votes.


But four years later, he lost to Joe Biden by nearly 60,000. A big reason key believes is independent voters turned away from Trump.

SUNUNU: Here in New Hampshire, though, I think they play a big role. I think a lot of independents will come out and vote in the Republican primary.

ZELENY: A campaign stop for former Vice President Mike Pence, Larry Rocha introduced himself as one of those independents. LARRY ROCHA, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: I was Republican from the first day I could vote. Many, many years later, I went independent.

ZELENY: He later told us he's looking for a candidate who can turn the page from Trump.

ROCHA: I'm just waiting for someone to step up, so I can feel comfortable voting for someone, not against someone.

ZELENY: Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is taking his candidacy entirely on New Hampshire.

CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the state in the country that can get it rolling.

ZELENY: His Republican challengers are also urging New Hampshire voters to keep their minds open. Today, Pence had this quip at the ready.

MIKE PENCE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What did Indiana Jones say? Never tell me the odds.

ZELENY: Linda Russell is sizing up the Republican field, in hopes of finding a fresh face.

LINDA RUSSELL, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: You like the thought of either DeSantis or Vivek, someone that's younger. We definitely need younger --

ZELENY: Trump's not your first choice at this point?

RUSSELL: He's not. I mean, I like -- I think everything was great when he was here, but there's just so much baggage with him, and people are going to vote for Biden just because they don't like Trump. And I don't -- we don't need that again.


ZELENY (on camera): And some Republicans we talked to echoed that very same sentiment. At a town hall that just ended a few moments ago, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley drew a large crowd here. Several of them, Erin, said they were drawn to her because of her debate performance. That's one reminder that this race is a dynamic one, and in the minds of many, it is not a one man race.

BURNETT: All right, Jeff. Thank you very much. And, of course, what they think in New Hampshire obviously matters so much.

All right. Well, next, we're learning about a frightening encounter that one man had with that killer on the run. We until you hear this. It's next.


BURNETT: Tonight, police in Pennsylvania expanding their search for an escaped prisoner, after he was seen on security cameras at a popular tourist destination. Danelo Cavalcante sentenced to life without parole for killing his former girlfriend, seen here in surveillance photos from Longwood Gardens. Two school districts both within ten miles of the prison closed today as the search radius shifted, the committee was shaken, because Cavalcante remained at large for nearly a week. And a man who lives near the president says he saw Cavalcante in his home.


RYAN DRUMMOND, SAYS HE SAW INMATE IN HIS HOUSE: I woke up my wife, I said, hey, I think there might be somebody downstairs. What I decided to do was flip the light switch on and off, you know, three or four, five times. Pause, and then he flipped the light switch from downstairs, three or four times, which was the moment of, like, oh my God. This guy is down there.


BURNETT: And, he also said that apples, peaches, and snap peas were missing from his kitchen after Cavalcante left.

Thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.