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Erin Burnett Outfront

Trump Endorses Fierce Loyalist Rep. Jim Jordan For Speakership; Trump Request To Stall Fraud Trial Denied As It Threatens His Business; Russian Missile Attack Kills 10-Year-Old And His Grandmother; CNN Live In Armenia As 120,000 People Flee Military Offensive. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 06, 2023 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Trump returns the favor backing Jim Jordan in the race to be the next speaker of the House. Someone who's leading the way on trying to impeach Biden and one of the biggest backers of Trump's rigged election claims.

Plus, breaking news. An appeals judge denying Trump's appeal to halt the fraud case that could end his business empire. A major witness in this case is his former fixer, Michael Cohen, he'll be OUTFRONT tonight.

And Putin's latest strike, killing a 10-year-old boy. The second day in a row targeting innocent civilians, with missiles, and tonight, a threat of war to come.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, Trump playing kingmaker. Backing Congressman Jim Jordan and his bid to become the next House speaker.

Now, Jim Jordan has a long history of doing Trumps work for him. In fact, Jordan is now one of the heads of the Biden impeachment inquiry, something that Trump, of course, made clear, absolutely had to happen.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: They should investigate the Bidens.

I call him corrupt Joe.

Crooked Joe Biden.

I believe we have a compromised president.


BURNETT: Well, Jim Jordan heard Trump loud and clear, and repeatedly. And he's taking action.


MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS HOST: There are some members of your committees that are talking about impeachment. Is that on the table?

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): It sure is.

He actually did what they impeached President Trump for.


BURNETT: Well, the impeachment inquiry that Jordan is helping lead, it's just the latest example, though of Trump, of Jordan, going full MAGA for Trump.


TRUMP: It was a rigged election. It was a -- it was really a sham.

JORDAN: I don't know how you can ever convince me that President Trump didn't actually win this thing.

TRUMP: They cheat and they cheat like crazy.

JORDAN: What are the Democrats trying to hide? Let's get to the bottom of this.

TRUMP: This election was a fraud.

JORDAN: There was fraud.

TRUMP: The Democrats are trying to steal the White House, you cannot let them.

JORDAN: Americans instinctively know there was something wrong with this election.


BURNETT: That last comment from Jordan was January 6th, 2021, as thousands of Trump supporters began clashing with police outside the Capitol.

Look, there's been no daylight between Jim Jordan and Donald Trump for a long time. I mean, Jordan attended White House and campaign meetings on overthrowing the election. Jordan defied a subpoena by the January 6th committee to testify. Jordan has put his career and his reputation on the line for Trump.

And now, Trump is endorsing him. It may well give Jordan the gavel. But he does have at least one declared rival for the speakership, Steve Scalise.

And that rivalry devolved into another example of a Republican chaos today because this morning, Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise both agree to do a debate on Fox News ahead of the speakership vote, everyone finds out about it, and the Republican uproar, to such a breach of protocol, to such a publicity stunt, was loud and clear.

One Republican, calling it a, quote, circus. Another saying it's, quote, insanity. People are pissed. And then a few hours later, after it was announced, with all the scuttlebutt of chaos going on. Suddenly, the debate was off and it's canceled.

That's just another layer and the chaos has been engulfing the Capitol since that group of eight Republicans decided to oust their own speaker against the wishes of 210 of their peers.

Melanie Zanona is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill.

And, Melanie, Trump played kingmaker with McCarthy. He got what he wanted. Now here he is. He's picking Jordan. Will this endorsement have an impact?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, Erin, I think this endorsement really cuts both ways, because, of course, this endorsement is going to help Jim Jordan with the right and with conservatives. And we did already see a number of them come out and say they are backing Jim Jordan now specifically because of Trump's endorsement.

I talked to Troy Nehls, he's a Texas congressman, last night. And he said, I'm not going to go against the former president's wishes. But on the other hand, this endorsement isn't going to do anything to win over the more moderates in the party. And they have a lot of concerns about a Jim Jordan's speaker candidacy because he's a flame thrower, because he's the face of the Biden impeachment inquiry.

And Jim Jordan knows that, but he's been trying to make his pitch to those members, arguing that he is best position to unify the party.

BURNETT: So I know you've been talking, Melanie, to your sources about the chaos surrounding that debate, right? It gets planned, then it gets suddenly canceled. What are you learning?

ZANONA: Yeah, there was a lot of whiplash today, inside the House Republican Party, again. But this all started because I'm told that Fox News reached out to the speaker candidates about doing this televised event in the Capitol on Monday. Both Scalise and Jordan agreed.

But after it was announced this morning, almost instantly, Erin, I was getting messages. My phone was blowing up from moderate Republicans who are really worried about the optics of this event.

One of them, Carlos Gimenez, he's a Florida Republican, told me this is a horrible idea, and that they should not be broadcasting this very serious debate on television, especially before they've had a chance to all talk about it behind closed doors. But I think all the backlash here really speaks to the idea that there is just so much uncertainty and raw emotions in the House Republican conference right now.

They really want to get this right. They don't want to see more embarrassment or dysfunction on the House floor, like we saw this week when Kevin McCarthy was removed, or what we saw in January where it took 15 rounds for Kevin McCarthy to get that speaker's gavel.

So, at this point, it's unclear whether either Scalise or Jordan can unify the party, and that they can go to a floor vote. But next week, we'll see. They're going to have a candidate forum just amongst Republicans on Tuesday. And then they will huddle behind closed doors to elect their nominee for speaker -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much. Interesting, you know, behind closed doors they'll do that this time.

Obviously, as we said, eight took down McCarthy, the vast majority, 210, wanted him to remain.

And one of that majority is Republican Congressman Anthony D'Esposito. He's with me tonight.

And also with us is the Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu.

I do, though, want to begin with you, Congressman D'Esposito. And just to be clear for anyone watching, you were against that effort to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

So, I know that today you had a chance to speak to Jim Jordan, and also with Kevin Hern, who is considering a bid for speaker as well. You've spoken, of course, with Steve Scalise, who is declared as the candidate for speaker. Have you made your decision?

REP. ANTHONY D'ESPOSITO (R-NY): I have not. I am constantly in contact with other members for the New York delegation. Some of us have made -- for this in one unified bunch. I think that we know what's important to the New York voters. We know it's important to long island. We want to make sure that the next speaker of the House understands the unique situation that we have here.

BURNETT: So, when Trump comes out with this endorsement of Congressman Jordan and calls him a, quote, star. Does that influence your decision one way or the other?

D'ESPOSITO: It doesn't. My decision is going to be based on my feelings on who I think is the best candidate to be the next speaker of the House, who has an understanding of the issues that we're facing, who understands that there's a lot of unity -- unifying that we have to take part in over the next days and weeks. The party, and the members are angry.

BURNETT: So, Congressman, I know you --


D'ESPOSITO: -- office and they're upset. We need to do our best to unify the party and get to work, because that's what the American people sent us here to do.

BURNETT: So you signed a letter, along with 44 other House Republicans condemning the, quote, chaos caucus, for ousting McCarthy. And in that letter, there's a line, Congressman. It says, the injustice we all witnessed cannot go unaddressed.

So, you obviously are taking this with great gravity and seriousness. Matt Gaetz, who led that group of eight out to oust McCarthy mocked your letter on social media. Tonight, he wrote, quote, thoughts and prayers.

What's your response to that? To just a mocking response to something that you took so seriously.

D'ESPOSITO: Yeah, I think that Matt Gaetz has made a joke with this since day one. This has never been serious for him. This is about a personal vendetta that he had against (AUDIO GAP) in one of this nation's oldest institutions, to take out a personal vendetta.

And, quite frankly, he's an egotistical maniac. He's using his extremism to hold government. And instead of focusing on what we should be during, and that is governing and getting appropriation bills on the floor, he's concerned about getting retweets and raising money.

BURNETT: I want to ask you one other question tonight, about former President Trump. He's coming under fire for making anti-immigrant comments in an interview. Some of this comes and echoes language used by white supremacists. I want to play for you what he said.


TRUMP: Nobody has ever seen anything like we are witnessing right now. It is a very sad thing for our country. It's poisoning the blood of our country. It's so bad. And people are coming in with disease, people are coming in with every possible thing that you can have.


BURNETT: Just to be clear, Congressman, the specific reference to poisoning the blood, blood poisoning was a phrase that was used repeatedly by Hitler, very specifically, blood poisoning.

So, what's this -- what's your reaction when you hear this sort of language? What he said, altogether, from the former president?

D'ESPOSITO: Well, perhaps not the best choice of words. But, I believe that what we are seeing at the southern border is unprecedented I think that we need now seen across this country Democrats and Republicans.


I mean, look at -- look at New York, for example. I mean, the mayor has flat out said that what's happening at the southern border is going to destroy New York City.


D'ESPOSITO: The governor has said that (AUDIO GAP) it's clear that people from both sides of the aisle agree that we have a real problem at the southern border. And that's what we should be focused on right now. Not Matt Gaetz and his -- the situation that he's put us in.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Congressman, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.


BURNETT: And I want to bring in now, as promised, the Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu of California.

So, Congressman, first, your reaction to Congressman D'Esposito regarding the speakers race? He saying his mind hasn't been made up. But it was very clear that the letter he wrote, with 44 of the Republicans, that he had done so with great seriousness, saying how unacceptable the situation was, and saying that Matt Gaetz's behavior he said is that of an egotistical maniac.

REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): Let me just present a contrast. When Democrats were in control last term, we passed Inflation Reduction Act to reduce a cost of everyday things, such as insulin, capped at $35 a month. This year, when Republicans controlled, they took us to a brink of a default on our debts. They took us to a brink of a government shutdown.

So, this is just the latest example in a string of events showing that the Republicans can't govern and they have division, dysfunction, and disarray.

We support Hakeem Jeffries for speaker. We ask people to come join us.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I understand that. But, of course, they have the majority. So right, they're going to pick. Well, theoretically they're going to pick, right?

Obviously, they didn't -- they didn't stick with Kevin McCarthy. But on this front, you know Jim Jordan because you're on the House Judiciary Committee. It's chaired by Jordan. So, you know him. You see him. You see him everyday.

He told me Manu Raju today that he should be speaker because he is someone who can, quote, unite Republicans. But in the context, Congressman, of what you see, how he conducts himself, how he treats people, how he leads on your committee, what do you think of his leadership?

LIEU: Well, let me just say, again, that Jim Jordan ignored a bipartisan congressional subpoena. His unprecedented actions have damage to the rule of law, and made it harder for all congressional committees to get into formation for witnesses. That's the first thing the American people should know about Jim Jordan. He violated and totally ignored a bipartisan congressional subpoena.

Now, having said that, I'm happy to work with any Republican speaker, as long as they keep their word. And they want to help American people.

BURNETT: So, that speaker, who knows who that will be. But McCarthy had worked with you on a couple things, the government remained open, right? That last minute, there were some things that happened.

LIEU: He did not work with us. He did not work with us. He gave us -- the continuing resolution bill with little notice, called a vote immediately. And we asked, with simply 90 minutes, to read that bill, and he rejected that.

He did not work with us. He was surprised, in fact, I believe, that we voted for that bill.

BURNETT: All right, I understand what you are saying. But nonetheless, the bill passed. You all somehow kept the government open.

I've put it in this context, Congressman, because you sometimes have to -- you've got to choose from what you are given. And the conservative group Heritage Action tracks all Republican members voting records, to basically see if they're in line with the positions the group wants. So, this is conservative positions.

Jim Jordan's lifetime score is 95 percent. McCarthy's is 53 percent, right? Democrats chose not to save McCarthy. But what wouldn't Speaker Jordan be better for the house for what you believe in than Speaker McCarthy was?

LIEU: I think Speaker McCarthy could have made it in such a way that Democrats could have supported him. But this entire year, he showed that not only was he unwilling to work with Democrats, but he couldn't govern. He brought the nation to crisis after crisis, and then, he sided with extreme MAGA wing of his party.

On top of that, he's word cannot be trusted. So, I would rather deal with someone who has principles, I can work with those principles, and try to find ways to help American people.

BURNETT: Like Jim Jordan?

LIEU: Because it's going to be hard to work with someone who can't trust.

BURNETT: All right, Congressman Lieu. Thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight. I appreciate you being with us.

And next, a breaking news, a judge just rejecting Trump's a attempt to end his fraud trial. Key witness in that case to will soon testify is OUTFRONT right after this.

Plus, 120,000 people pouring into Armenia. We are live there tonight, because this growing disaster, all comes back to Vladimir Putin. And new video of the deadly car crash involving the now wife of Senator Bob Menendez.


NADINE MENENDEZ, WIFE OF SEN. MENENDEZ: He jumped on my windshield. Didn't do anything wrong.


BURNETT: Why is that crash under investigation again?


And does it have something to do with the bribery charges she and Menendez are facing?


BURNETT: Breaking news, an appeals court judge rejecting Trump's bid to pause the Trump Organization fraud trial. But the judge did agree to temporarily halt the process of breaking up Trump's businesses. This is a former top Trump Organization deputy testified to fraud on the witness stand today.

Jeff McConney is his name. He's the former controller and a codefendant, testifying that he's significantly inflated the evaluation of Trump properties. And that he did so, in what we heard today, at the direction of Eric Trump, Trump's son.

According to McConney, he was told by Eric to include the value of seven homes, when valuing a developing called Seven Springs, even though those homes were not even built.

McConney also testifying that he continued to value Trump's Briarcliff Manor Golf club at $101 million for four years. The appraisal was less than half of that value.

So why did he do it? McConney says Eric Trump told him to, quote, leave value as is.

OUTFRONT now, former lawyer for Donald Trump, Michael Cohen. He is the author of "Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the U.S. Department of Justice Against His Critics". He is also the host of the "Mea Culpa" and "Political Beatdown" podcasts.

So, Michael, I really appreciate your time. You know more about what they're talking about in this courtroom right now than anyone.

So, this major development in Trump's own lawsuit against you also happened today, and I do want to ask you about that.


But, first, is Eric -- what McConney said today about Eric Trump. How much trouble is Eric Trump in right now, do you think?

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP LAWYER: Well, it sounds like it could be a lot. You know, the fraud doesn't start and stop with Donald Trump. It also now, of course, goes to the children. It was Allen Weisselberg. It was also Jeff McConney.

So, yeah, I do think that the statements that were made by Jeff McConney are certainly injurious, to not just the Trump corporation, but to Eric as well. BURNETT: And, of course, you know McConney, you know all these

individuals involved. You worked with all of them. And, McConney also testified that he and Allen Weisselberg, you mentioned him, the former chief financial officer, agreed to calculate the value of apartments at Trump Park Avenue without saying that the units were rent stabilized, which, of course, significantly lowers the value. And that he calculated Mar-a-Lago's valuation, as if it could be sold as a private residence.

Meanwhile, he didn't know that Trump had dated away the right to do that, right? So they had to stay as social club. They could not have that private residence value. When you look at all this, Michael, and given what you know of every one of these individuals, and how all these things were done because you are in these rooms, is it possible Trump was in the dark for all of this?

COHEN: No. And I think that McConney also made a statement to the extent that Donald Trump had the ultimate sign off on the documents. I also believe that Donald Bender, from Mazars, stated the same exact thing.

Look, I also testified before the House Oversight Committee, and said the exact same thing as well. That everything that happens at the Trump Organization happened at the direction and with the explicit knowledge of Donald J. Trump.

BURNETT: And you are, and that's by the way, a big part of the reason why this case is happening right now, is because of what you said in that room, specifically referring to valuations and then Trump getting loans from Deutsche Bank. Attorney General Letitia James -- obviously, Trump has repeatedly attacked her as you know. But she put out a video statement late last night about the case. I want to play for you, Michael.


LETITIA JAMES (D), NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: The defendants like to act as though this case is very complicated. When in fact, the fraud they committed is simple. Donald Trump often caused his business perfect, and beautiful. But it's clear, when it comes to running a company, he doesn't care about the real numbers or the facts.


BURNETT: As I said, Michael, you are likely to be a witness here. You're on the list. They all want to hear from you. Are you confident that from what you know and saw, that you can link Donald Trump directly to this very clearly established pattern that the judge has accepted? A pattern of fraud with your testimony.

COHEN: The answer is yes. I don't want to at this point in time go into how I will have that established or the extent to which the attorney generals office will be questioning me. But I can assure you that as I had stated once again, before the House Oversight Committee, everything that happened at the Trump Organization happened with the direct knowledge and at the direction of, and ultimately signed off by Donald J. Trump. There is no way for him to escape this.

BURNETT: So you have more examples. You've got the receipts.

COHEN: Yes. Actually, the receipts are in the hands of the attorney general.

BURNETT: All right, literally, right?

We also learned late last night, I want you to mention this lawsuit against. To Donald Trump had this lawsuit against you, Michael, if you are stop, now it's $500 million he's suing you for.

He dropped it. He dropped it four days before he was scheduled to be deposed in the case. He had a claim that you bridged your obligations as his confidant and his lawyer by publishing books and, you know, with your podcast and media appearances like this one. But again, four days before his deposition, he drops his $500 million lawsuit against you. Why do you think he did that?

COHEN: Well, he is certainly demonstrated that he didn't want to be deposed by Danya Perry, my attorney, or her team. He certainly was concerned that some of the information that he may have to testify to, because it was an expensive testimony, that it could ultimately implicate him in crimes, and that he then earlier needed Chris Kise to prevent him from implicating himself, and being able to then assert the Fifth Amendment.

This is the craziest scenario. Everybody acknowledges that it was retaliatory for my participation with the Manhattan district attorney case. It was done to harass me. It was done to financially harm me.

And ultimately, what we did, is we decided that we were going to accept the complaint, and we were going to press him for his deposition.


As we expected, he certainly did not want to do that. Because the second to Donald Trump opens his mouth, he implicates himself in something. He is not a good witness, by any stretch of the imagination. And he had no interest, whatsoever, in being deposed by myself, or by my counsel.

BURNETT: All right, that lawsuit, of course, dropped. Michael, thank you very much, I appreciate it.

COHEN: It was good to see.

BURNETT: All right. You, too.

And next, Russia unleashing a second day of strikes targeting civilians. This time, killing a 10-year-old boy. And there are threats tonight of more to come.

Plus, new video of the moment police arrested a man for the murder of Tupac, decades after the shooting. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OFFICER: So what they got you for, man?

KEEFE D, SUSPECT: Just the biggest case in Las Vegas history.

OFFICER: Oh yeah?

KEEFE D.: Yeah.



BURNETT: Tonight, Russia striking again, a ten year old boy and his 68-year-old woman are dead. Dozens more injured, following more Russian Michelle strikes on the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. It comes just a day after Russia launched that devastating strike on a nearby village in which at least 52 people were killed. One of the deadliest attacks on civilians since Putin's war began.

Ukraine says the Russians hit civilian sites, and Russia promises more attacks like these, claiming that they targeted Ukrainian soldiers using a hotel at their base.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): While such objects even inside the city limits are used for the needs of the Ukrainian army, they will remain the targets for our rockets.



BURNETT: Fred Pleitgen is OUTFRONT on the ground in Ukraine, at the site of that deadly strike.

And, Fred, you've been seeing these horrific images, bodies, death, suffering, since yesterday, first hand. What are you seeing?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we can really see the utter devastation, I want to get out of your way, Erin, you can see just what's left of that building that was hit by this missile here in the night into Thursday. You can see that it's basically completely razed to the ground, there's only the foundations left.

One of the interesting things about this, Erin, is that this missile is the same missile that was used on that house in Kharkiv, today. It was called the Iskander missile which is a very powerful one, with a very powerful warhead. You can see what it does to residential buildings when it hits them. The same happened in the larger city of Kharkiv.

And we did today, though, Erin, is we managed to fly a drone over this area here, and I think when you see this kind of footage from above, it really gives you an even better view of just how devastating the strike was. That, basically, people who were inside this building, we saw that firsthand when we got here, yesterday, had absolutely no chance of survival.

Now, of course, as you can imagine, all of this is causing huge agony here in this very small village. In fact, about a third of the population of this village has been wiped out. We've spoken to some people who witnessed this attack, who heard this attack, and all of them have lost loved ones. Here's what folks said to us.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My neighbors, two women and a man, a lot of our people were killed here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Maybe the Russians thought there was a military man that was being buried, and that other soldiers would gather. I don't know why they fought. Maybe they hit them on purpose to make out people angry. It's much more than that.

What kind of people should be like that? Godless. It's not Christian. It's a sin.


PLEITGEN: So, as you can see there, Erin, a lot of -- a lot of sadness, a lot of anger towards the Russians as well for this strike. Of course, we are already Saturday here in eastern Ukraine. In a couple of hours, the first burials are going to start for the many victims here of this attack. A lot of people here, obviously, are going to be putting their loved ones, laying them to rest in just a couple hours from now. Again, the agony huge, anger on part of the government in Kyiv as well -- Erin.

BURNETT: Literally, people pulverized, a third of an entire village.

Fred, thank you very much.

And as Putin tries to bring Ukraine under its control, those fighting continues on the front lines where Fred is, the Russian installed governor of Zaporizhzhia is calling for the invasion and occupation of even more territory, in this, case other countries -- Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland.


YEVGENY BALITSKY, RUSSIAN-INSTALLED GOVERNOR OF ZAPORIZHZHIA REGION (through translator): I believe we can return all of this, only by the force of Russian weapons. Bring back our people, our subjects, who previously belonged to the Russian empire.


BURNETT: Our subject to the Russian empire. It doesn't get more clear than that. This bald warmongering coming as Putin, using so-called, peacekeepers,

has done little to stop the violent military offensive by his ally, Azerbaijan, in a breakaway region called Nagorno-Karabakh. Now, that has led about to 120,000 ethnic Armenians to have to flee. It's an important story. It's an important action by Putin, because Putin himself had guaranteed that his troops would protect ethnic Armenians in their region. But now, they are not.

And it seems to be no coincidence that it comes after Armenia's prime minister began criticizing Putin's war, even sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Now, there is a crisis.

Matthew Chance is OUTFRONT on the ground in Armenia tonight. I do warn you that the images he is going to show you may be disturbing.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is where the most desperate from Nagorno-Karabakh are surviving, abandoning their livelihoods and homes, for the safety of these refugee beds. Entire families have come, like the Banyans (ph) who say their remote village was bombarded relentlessly by Azeri guns, forcing them to flee.

It was so painful to leave, especially for my children, Anaida (ph) tells me. We were farmers we have everything. But it was a massive war, and we had no choice, she says.

ARMEN AVAKLAN, BRUNTSK 2020 NGO: These people are the most vulnerable. They would be on the street or in their car if they weren't here.

CHANCE: This emergency charities cofounder from Boston has witnessed the physical and emotional impact of the evacuation firsthand.

Try and give us a sense of the trauma that people have endured?


AVAKLAN: It's mass exodus. These people, some of the people that are here, they -- third, a fourth day, they are still in shock. They don't know where they. Are there families here that are still saying I'm waiting for the bus to take me back home.

CHANCE: Well, the road from Nagorno-Karabakh is very long. It's very mountainous and at times it's very winding as well. It's also very empty. As early settlements across the border in Azerbaijan, that we've managed to have a glimpse of, because all 120,000 people who once lived there have now evacuated those settlements. They've come to Armenia, where they are living in hotels, and refugee centers or with family.

In border towns like Doris (ph), where local authorities are distributing basic supplies to evacuees, some have spent a lifetime fighting for a homeland that is now lost. Azerbaijani government says that if you live in Nagorno-Karabakh, or

one of those villages, they will protect your rights. Do you believe them?

They will never protect us, they are lying, Susanna (ph) insists. I will never forgive them for what they did to us, she adds.

There are some with far more than emotional scars. We visited one hospital filled with victims of a makeshift gas station blast in Nagorno-Karabakh, where people have been frantically gathering fuel.


CHANCE: As the doctor described the carnage, you can hear the screams of agony from the wards.

OK, can we go and see that now? Can we go see it now?

In almost every room here, there's a horrific story of pain and loss. Twenty-five-year-old, Victor, asked us to hide the burns on his face.

It was like hell, he told me, and now I don't want anyone to see.

His friend, Mikhail, says he lost five members of his family in the chaotic evacuation from Nagorno-Karabakh. But no one seems to care, he told me, when it comes to us, I think the world must be blind.


BURNETT: Matthew, it's just so disturbing and horrific, and of course, this was Putin was the one who is going to stop this, and is now actively enabling, if not encouraging. What is this doing for the reputation of Putin and Russia right now?

CHANCE: I mean, it's devastating, really. In the sense that, look how those people have suffered.

Look at the loss that they've suffered. The territorial loss that Armenia and the ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh have suffered. Russia, as you mentioned, it was meant to be the guarantor of security in this region. He was meant to guarantee that Russia was, that as a ride-on would not take over Nagorno-Karabakh. But perhaps because Russia is distracted in Ukraine, it took the eye off the ball, and exactly that has happened. It has left Russia's reputation really in the dirt at this point in Armenia.

BURNETT: Just putting it bluntly.

All right. Matthew Chance, thank you very much in Armenia tonight.

Of course, as I mentioned, the prime minister there in Armenia, speaking out against Putin's war, fighting humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, something that cannot be ignored given Putin's actions now.

OUTFRONT next, a man struck and killed while crossing the street. The driver is now married, the woman now married to Senator Bob Menendez. Police had ruled she did nothing wrong, but, is that about to change?

Plus, CNN obtaining new documents tonight revealing what led to Las Vegas police to finally make an arrest in the murder of Tupac, 27 years later.



BURNETT: Tonight, the New Jersey attended in general is now investigating a fatal 2018 car crash in which the wife of Senator Bob Menendez, struck and killed a pedestrian. Now, this is according to a report in "The New York Times".

But this incident is coming back under scrutiny after the senator and his wife were charged with bribery offenses. Prosecutors say those brides include gold bars, have 1 million dollars in cash, a brand-new Mercedes convertible, to replace the car that was damaged in this crash.

Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.


NADINE MENENDEZ, WIFE OF SEN. MENENDEZ: I didn't do anything wrong.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This police dash camera captured Nadine Arslanian and after she hit and killed a 49 year old man on New Jersey road in 2018.

POLICE OFFICER: We can clear you from any wrongdoing, I want to get to home and comfortable, and not here anymore.

CARROLL: The Bogota, New Jersey Police Department determined the man she killed was jaywalking, and she was not at fault.

MENENDEZ: He jumped on my windshield.

CARROLL: And according to "The New York Times", she was not tested for drugs or alcohol.

POLICE OFFICER: Look, I understand. I understand.

CARROLL: The crash happened before she was married to Senator Bob Menendez, who, along with Nadine, is now accused of accepting gold bars, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, and a new Mercedes, as bribes to benefit the government of Egypt.

Now, New Jersey's attorney generals office has opened an inquiry to determine if the wreck and investigation was handled properly, according to "The Times".

Her attorney says, quote, this is a case of a tragic accident, but Nadine Menendez was not at fault. The accident has nothing to do with the allegations in the current indictment. But prosecutors say there is a connection. The federal indictment

alleges to codefendants helped buy Nadine Menendez that new Mercedes after the crash, in exchange for the senator's interference in a criminal case.


All those indicted pleaded not guilty, or denied the charges.

The latest development involving the crash, not sitting well with some New Jersey voters. Already weary of allegations surrounding the senator, and his wife.

CLARE COSSIO, NEW JERSEY RESIDENT: That looks shifty, definitely. Looks like there was some protection going on, possibly, on a part of the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How could he be possibly helping us when he's helping himself?

CARROLL: Here in Hoboken and Hudson County, which Menendez carried by 76 percent in 2018, voters like Maria Kelly (ph) who once supported him have had enough.


CARROLL: He should step down?

KELLY: Right, he's got too much going on.

ERIC CUSIMANO, NEW JERSEY RESIDENT: Trump gets his day in court, why can't he?

CARROLL: So, it sounds to me like he's going to your vote, at least for now, until you know more.

CUSIMANO: I didn't say that. I don't know if he has my vote.

CARROLL: Menendez refuses to say if he will run again when he's up for reelection in 2024.

SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D-NJ): When I make that decision, I will announce it.

CARROLL: The embattled senator not stepping down, saying in part, he was targeted because of his Latino heritage.

Trini Berchiato (ph) says she believes him. She's originally from Cuba and has called New Jersey home for decades.

You think he's being treated unfairly?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I do. Yes, I do. When they want you out, they want to out, no matter what. They always try to find something.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CARROLL (on camera): So, while it's clear Menendez does have his supporters, what's also clear is when we were out here in Hoboken, Erin, speaking to people, going up to, them saying they're doing a story on Senator Menendez, I can't tell you how many times initially we got an eye roll from voters saying what did he do now? You know, what are the allegations? Now that really speaks to how many people are feeling on the ground. They're just out of patience, Erin.

BURNETT: Yeah, out of patience, disgust. Thank you very much, Jason Carroll.

And OUTFRONT next, arrested 27 years after for the murder of Tupac. Hear with the man now charged with the rapper's murder told police after they put him in handcuffs.

And then getting dirty.


NICK OFFERMAN, PARKS AND RECREATION: Hey, down here. It's me. The ground.


BURNETT: That's Nick Offerman of "Parks and Rec" fame, he joins me next to explain.


BURNETT: Tonight, I ain't worried. That's a direct quote, that's what the man charged in the murder of Tupac Shakur told police during his arrest more than 25 years after the rap star was gunned down on the Las Vegas strip.

The new video, body cam video obtained by CNN showing the moment that Duane Davis was taken into custody.

Josh Campbell is OUTFRONT.


OFFICER: Hey, Keith, Metro Police. Come over here.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New body cam video showing the rest of the man charged with the murder of Tupac Shakur.

OFFICER: Appreciate your cooperation, okay?

CAMPBELL: Police in unmarked vehicles swarmed 68 year old, Duane Keith Davis, aka Keefe D while out for a stroll in the Las Vegas morning heat last Friday.

DUANE KEITH DAVIS, SUSPECT: I need a drink of water, man. I'm thirsty.

OFFICER: Yeah, we'll let you get a drink, man.

CAMPBELL: Almost exactly 27 years after he allegedly orchestrated the plan that gunned down the 25-year-old Shakur, one of the most influential hip-hop artists in history, near the Las Vegas Strip.

For almost three decades, the pop culture mystery has garnered global media coverage and inspired numerous documentaries.

OFFICER: Alright, going to have you face the car real quick.

CAMPBELL: Shortly after he was handcuffed, Davis was put in a police car and began chatting with an officer who appeared surprised by the man now sitting in the backseat.

OFFICER: So what do they got you for, man?

DAVIS: Biggest case in Las Vegas history.

OFFICER: Oh, yeah?

DAVIS: Yeah.

OFFICER: Like recent?

DAVIS: Yeah. September 7th, 1996.

OFFICER: Oh no shit, wow.

CAMPBELL: September 7th, 1996, the night Tupac Shakur was gunned down. Davis denying any wrongdoing.

DAVIS: You know what I'm talking about?

OFFICER: Yeah, not a detective quite yet, but should take him a while, huh?

DAVIS: I ain't worried about it. I ain't did (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

OFFICER: Well, I mean, that's what's court's for, right?

DAVIS: Yeah.

CAMPBELL: Davis indeed appeared in court this weekend was ordered to remain in custody. But many, including members of Shakur's family are questioning why it took so long to make an arrest.

MOPREME SHAKUR, STEPBROTHER OF TUPAC SHAKUR: This, guy who they just indicted, as been with him, has been telling the same story the whole time for 27 years.

CAMPBELL: During numerous interviews, Davis admitted to being a passenger in a car from where shots rang out that ultimately killed Shakur. A newly-released grand jury transcripts, a detective said police were well aware of Davis's media interviews about the murder, testifying, there's hours worth.

Detective also providing insight into why police believed David would risk publicly talking about a murder not yet solved.

Prosecutor, he decided to write his own book, and start talking on YouTube videos in an effort to gain money for the killing of Tupac. Detective, that's what I believe.

The district attorney telling CNN another key component of their case, new witnesses.

STEVE WOLFSON, CLARK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We didn't want to proceed just with his admissions. Certain witnesses came forward in the last couple of years.


CAMPBELL (on camera): Now, I spoke with a personal attorney for Davis here in Los Angeles who told me that they are working to obtain a criminal defense attorney in Nevada. Erin, it is so remarkable watching this police body camera footage. Especially considering this was the moment this decades-long investigation seemingly came to an end, this investigation that has generated countless speculation, numerous theories, numerous conspiracy theories. What started in this violent incident, a hail of bullets on the Las Vegas Strip, ending last week, peacefully, with police arresting the only living suspect as he was out taking a walk -- Erin.

BURNETT: Wow. All right. Thank you very much, Josh.

And next, the "Parks and Rec" star, Nick Offerman, on why he's literally rolling around and getting buried in the dirt.



BURNETT: Tonight, the dirt on dirt.


NICK OFFERMAN, ACTOR, "PARKS AND RECREATION": Hey, down here. It's me, the ground. Now look, I don't like to make a fuss. I've grown accustomed to people walking all over me.

Look, generations of chemicals and tilling have left to be spent and lifeless. Dried out, flaky, like a dust in the wind.

But the good news is we can change this and literally bring me back to life.

How? Planting cover crops between harvests protects the ground and helps make the soil healthy again.


BURNETT: That's Nick Offerman, best known for his role as Ron Swanson from the hit show "Parks and Recreation". Nick is also the author of "Where the Deer and the Antelope Play", and he joins me now, along with Arohi Sharma of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

So, thanks very much to both of you. So, Nick, I know it's really important, dirt. Tell me.

OFFICER: It is. The way that we farm in this country, the industrial methods we use, are very damaging to our soil. They also contribute to the problems of climate change.

And so, the things that we are promoting here, like cover crops, actually reverse that process. They hold onto carbon in the soil, they retain water. They make for healthier soil, which makes us more healthy.

BURNETT: So what's a cover-up?

AROHI SHARMA, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: So, a cover crop is a crab that's planted in between harvests. Just like the name suggests, it's meant to cover the soil and keep the soil covered. And the great thing about it is in the process of covering the soil, it adds nutrients back into the land, making soil even healthier, helps retain moisture, so imperative when farmers are experiencing unprecedented droughts and floods.

And, the kicker, it helps capture carbon from the atmosphere and keep it back in the ground.

BURNETT: So, Nick, you get in the dirt. I will say, in a certain way, right? You were raised on a farm in Illinois. You and your wife, Megan Mullally, we also know her from "Will and Grace". You spent a lot of time in an RV --

OFFERMAN: That's right.

BURNETT: -- during the COVID pandemic. Not alone in that. Pretty crowded out there.

But it is part of who you are. How much of this is sort of in your soul, for lack of a better word?

OFFERMAN: Well, I come from farming families, in Illinois. My dad is still the most prolific gardener in our little town. And I -- I mean, I support farming practices and regenerative farming, both here and in England. So, it's just something that after reading books by writers like Michael Pauline and Wendell Barry, who are agrarian thinkers, and talk to us about thinking about the health of who produces our food?

Because we don't think about our farmers anymore. We are trying to reverse that. We should take care of our farmers so they tear care of our food, which takes care of us.

BURNETT: One other thing while I have you here. You also have had a wonderful and a long marriage, with your wife Megan. I want to play a clip of you together on "Parks and Recreation", a lot of our staff remember. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OFFERMAN: You've aged horribly.

MEGAN MULLALLY, ACTRESS: You son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Oh my god. What is your problem? Nothing's changed, has it? He set the man on fire, huh?

OFFERMAN: I did. Okay, is that what you want to hear?

We are fine. Please. Please. Take it easy.


BURNETT: That's a wonderful long marriage, you've written a book together one. You love Rob Lowe together.

OFFERMAN: That's right.

BURNETT: You both kissed him. I mean, how many couples can say that.

OFFERMAN: Well, I believe 17, but still.

BURNETT: How have you done it? Twenty years in Hollywood.

OFFERMAN: Well, first and foremost, I think it's just having a sense of humor. We both have the wherewithal not to take life too seriously. A life in Hollywood is just very difficult, with a lot of rejection. So we do our best to be giving to each other.

We are kind of hopeless romantics, you know? We are very lucky that we found the right person. But we are also two people. We have to work at it. We do a lot of listening. I do the dishes as much as I can.

BURNETT: I'm sure she was happy to be the one shoveling the dirt on you, maybe at --

OFFERMAN: She would have been, yes. She would've taken delight.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you so much. Both of you.

I really appreciate it.

SHARMA: Thank you.

OFFERMAN: Thank you.

BURNETT: And by the way, quick aside, cover crops, you can plant them -- Nick was saying radishes, peas, and lentils all count.

Thanks for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.