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Erin Burnett Outfront

Police: Three Killed In Las Vegas Mass Shooting; Israel: Forces Surrounding Home Of Hamas Leader; Nevada Becomes 3rd State To Charge Pro-Trump Fake Electors; Senate Republicans Block Bill To Advance Ukraine Aid; Surge In Migrant Deaths Amid New Influx Crossing Rio Grande. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired December 06, 2023 - 19:00   ET




The breaking news, a mass shooting at a college campus. Police say three are dead at this hour. One person in critical condition in Las Vegas. We're going to speak to a student who was in the building where the shooting happened.

And more breaking news tonight in Israel. Fierce fighting in southern Gaza. Israel tonight saying it has surrounded the top Hamas leader's home. Are they about to find him or is he underground?

And the Republicans just voting to block a major aid package to Ukraine, to block it. Are they playing right into Putin's hands?

Let's go OUTFRONT.


BURNETT: And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, a deadly mass shooting on an American college campus. Police say three people are dead at this moment. One person is in critical condition. Gunfire breaking out at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Police saying a shooter entered a building located near the business school today, started shooting. The sound of gunfire sending students running. Others barricaded themselves in rooms.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We could hear the gun shots. So, about 200 kids all in one space. A lot of people are getting but --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We made it out alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just glad that we're out here.


(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: In a moment, I'm going to speak to a student who was there inside that building where the shooting happened. Right now though, police have not released any information about the shooter. None at all. They do say the shooter is dead but that's it.

It's unclear if it's he or she. It's unclear if this person was one of the university's 30,000 students -- students who were there preparing for final exams.

Stephanie Elam begins our coverage tonight.

And, Stephanie, police are releasing almost nothing, right? Almost nothing at this point. What have you been able to learn from your sources?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it's really been a very small trickle amount of information. Obviously, the priority right now is to ensure that the campus is safe. And so, what we understand is that, at this hour, they are still going, building by building, floor by floor, clearing out those buildings on campus to make sure that there's nobody else who may have been injured or is still sheltering in place.

Mind you, every one of the campus community was receiving messages when this happened, telling them that the they need to shelter in place, and to stay that way even after, they said, that the gun person was neutralized. So, they want to make sure that they get all those people out and get them back together with their loved ones, or are taking people off campus and taking them to the convention center, where they can reunite with the people that they have there.

But when you listen to some of the accounts of what was going on, they -- students that we have seen, saying that they were -- knowing that this was not a drill, that the indications came to them very clearly that they were to run, hide and fight -- that is what they were tweeting to the students and messaging to the students from UNLV, to let them know that they needed to do that.

Some students were hearing glass shattering. Some hearing gunfire. Many of them locking themselves in the classrooms just trying to stay safe as best they could and move to the other side of the classroom. All of that going on while it was unclear.

We do know that they started about 11:45 in the morning local time. Then, by about 45 minutes later is when we heard from local authorities telling us that they were, in fact, done with an actual threat and that they were just processing the scene. But now, getting this word now that there are three dead, and one in critical condition at a local hospital. That's where things stand right now, Erin.

BURNETT: Stephanie, thank you very much.

And OUTFRONT now, Brett Johnsen. He's a student at UNLV, who was in class, in the building where the shooting happened.

I will show you here a video that he took on his phone as an alarm started going off in the building, immediately rushing to pack up here.

Brett, as we're watching that, thank you for taking the time here to be with us. I mean, so, you are there, in class. Can you -- can you tell me what happened, when you first realized that something was very wrong?

BRETT JOHNSEN, UNLV STUDENT: Yeah. So, I was in my business law class.


My professor was going over our lecture, made the lecture. I remember we heard a loud noise. It sounded like -- it did not sound like a gunshot. It didn't have that base behind it. It wasn't that -- to me, it didn't sound like a gunshot. But I heard a loud noise.

And one of my classmates stopped the lecture. She interrupted the professor and she was like, what was that noise? And everybody was kind of wondering around.

My professor and everybody, we all agreed, we always hear a bunch of strange noises. So, he continued back to his lecture. And about five seconds in, that is when the alarm came on.

And I immediately took my phone out because, first off, I have never heard an alarm like that before. It did not sound like a fire alarm or anything. We were all pretty calm, though. We did hear that loud noise.

But none of us were panicking or freaking out. We just thought maybe it was a fire alarm, or maybe a false alarm or something. So, we started to pack up our things, and we're getting up nonchalantly. Like I said, none of us were panicking.

When we started walking out the class, that's when things got real. My teacher went to let us out the door, and I remember he hope and open the door. And he was calm before opening the door. And as soon as he opened it, his face -- it looked like he saw something.

He kind of turned into panic a little bit. And he immediately told us to get back, get back, lock the doors and get on the ground. That is when I started to panic a little bit, when he told us to get on the ground because, you know, if the shooter came into the building, in our classroom, we were all just basically sitting ducks. So, after about 30 seconds my teacher -- he sneakily opened the door then. And he assessed the situation. And he looked outside. And he told us to run as fast as we can.

I'm grateful for him, because if he didn't let us out, and we were stuck in that classroom, and who knows that if the shooter came in, we were all just sitting ducks. So I have full trust in my teacher when he opened the door, and he told us to run. And we had to run. That is when I ran as quick as I can. I ran down the stairs, because we were on the second level of the business building. And I ran immediately up the stairs. Iran passed the Student Union. I heard he may have potentially shot in there too. But when I went into business building there were just a bunch of

students, and everyone was telling each other run and evacuate. And that's when I ran across the street as fast as I can.

BURNETT: So, in all of this, and in this fear, and as you describe, it some moments of panic, did you or any of your friends or classmates realize, at that time, that there was an active shooter? That there was someone shooting? I guess, did you hear anything else, other than that one initial sound?

JOHNSEN: I just heard the one sound. I did talk to one of my classmates. And they said that they did hear multiple sounds. And that's why they were kind of looking around.

But personally, I only did hear one loud banging. And that is what kind of caught my attention. But none of us, like I said, we're concerned at first. We were all very calm. I packed my things up. I wasn't in a rush in packing my things up.


JOHNSEN: I thought it was just a fire alarm or something. But like I said, I see or saw him open the door, I saw his face go from calm, to panic, and that's when things got real, when he told me to get on the ground, and that's when -- that's when we all realized, like, this is serious.

BURNETT: And, Brett, have you -- have you learned anything in these past few hours about the shooter and what they were doing? Why they were there? Anything?

JOHNSEN: I ran literally across the street, to the Chipotle across the street from UNLV, and I kind of just sat in that parking lot, and waited for my mom to come. She wanted to make sure I was okay. So, she came.

But we sat there. And we just watched how many police cars and how many helicopters and how many ambulances and SWAT teams and -- like, it looked like every single cop in Las Vegas was at UNLV, and was basically out there watching what was going on.

I did not see anything, or hear anything, about the shooter. I did see they had stretchers that they were bringing into the school, oh, from a distance. It was upsetting.

BURNETT: But I am very sorry for what you have had to see. And obviously, now, this is going to be a part of what you have to deal with. But thank you very much for being with us, and for sharing this. I appreciate it.

JOHNSEN: Thank you for having me.

BURNETT: Juliette Kayyem is OUTFRONT, former assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

And, Juliette, you know, you hear Brett talking about what happened, and obviously, just, you know, a horrific thing, traumatic thing to have to go through. Thank God he is alive. His classmates are alive.

I want to ask you about how he described -- you know, they heard something that didn't seem like a gunshot, but when his professor looked out, clearly, he saw something. We don't know whether that was the shooter, or -- unclear.


But something that he knew, immediately, locked the door and lied down, right? He knew there was a shooter, from what he saw. Thirty seconds later, he sneakily opens the door again and he tells them to run. When you hear all that, what do you take away from that? Is that what should happen?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes. He did everything right. Run if you can. It's the only thing that -- get out of the line of fire, if you can. And so, I don't know what the teacher saw the first time. And maybe saw, actually, law enforcement realized this was not actually nothing, realized it was an active shooter, or something close, and then looks again and gets the kids out of there.

This is a lesson we've learned from, unfortunately, decades of active shooters, as well as those in universities, colleges and high schools. Columbine was the lesson to run. The students -- most of the students were put into the cafeteria, or the library, and that's where most of them died. If you can get out, you run. And so that's what the teacher was clearly reflecting on.

It's just remarkable that we kind of know this now. I mean, you know, teachers, administrators, everyone knows what to do at this stage because we have to know it.

BURNETT: And, you know, Brett also was saying that he does not know anything about the shooter. And none of us do, because, frankly police --


BURNETT: -- came out at the press conference that was four minutes long. We understand three people died. We understand someone is in critical condition. But the sheriff had said that even some of these numbers weren't firm. Four minute press conferences -- this what we should expect at this point? Obviously, this is now several hours past what happened.

KAYYEM: No, it's not. Look, I know a lot of people in law enforcement disagree with me on this. I just think that with these active shooter cases, the entire community is the victim, whether they have been shot, or ran from shooting, or not.

And I think greater transparency is necessary, especially in the early stages where, sort of, the university like this, with 30,000 students, you have got 30,000 plus guardians or parents worried about them. You have a whole city essentially under lockdown. You've got the strip closed down. The airport stopped flights. And so, you have everyone reacting. And so, I understand that they may

not know everything. But I think the American public, and certainly these communities, are mature enough, and can understand saying things like we have at least this many, or we are not concerned about this, but we are concerned about this.

Look, the police came out and said that there was no threat anymore. So, we have to assume that they knew that this was a single gunman or gunwoman, who perpetrated this. They don't know the motive. But we will figure that out relatively soon.

I know others in law enforcement, you know, say lots going on. But I think part of our training has to be the community itself is also the victim.

BURNETT: Yeah. All right. Well, Juliette, thank you very much.

Of course, we will get more information that comes out, on the number of victim's motive, and anything, we're going to be sharing it with you this hour, as we await an update from Las Vegas police.

Next, though, we do have more breaking news, and this as Israeli forces are much deeper into southern Gaza now and fierce fighting there tonight. They say they have got the home of Hamas's highest ranking leader in Gaza surrounded. But where is he?

And also breaking this hour, six Republicans, including the chair of Nevada's Republican Party, indicted for their role in trying to overturn the election, and all six now, tonight, facing felony charges.

And we are going to take you to the epicenter of the southern border crisis, where officials no longer have the capability to handle the influx of migrants trying to enter the United States.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have the manpower and I don't have the equipment.




BURNETT: Tonight, fighting is intensifying in southern Gaza as the Israeli military says that it has surrounded the home of Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's highest ranking leader. That is according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Now, the IDF says that Sinwar was not at that home when they surrounded it earlier today. They say that he was in, quote, underground. Now, that's unclear. They are not saying directly under that particular home or aware. They have not given other details. But, Israel, of course, has made the entire central point of this at this moment to get Sinwar and kill him when they find him. This as new leaked audio between freed Israeli hostages and Netanyahu reveals new details about the hostages' time in captivity, and shows just how angry they are at the Israeli government.

So, Jeremy Diamond is OUTFRONT. He is live in Ashkelon, which is right along the Gaza border.

So, Jeremy, let's just start with Sinwar, with Netanyahu coming out and saying they had surrounded his home in Gaza, and there, of course, is fierce fighting going on there in Khan Younis, where Sinwar is originally from. What more do you know about this?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, the Israeli offensive in southern Gaza is in full effect, with the Israeli military down claiming to have reached Hamas's offensive lines in the southern city of Khan Younis. They also are saying they have conducted raids of Hamas households in the center of that city. All of these as Israeli prime minister claims that Israeli forces have surrounded Sinwar's homes. He is, of course, the leader of Hamas in Gaza.

But there is no indication as of yet that Sinwar is actually there. In fact, the Israeli prime minister himself making clear that Sinwar could still escape. The Israeli military spokesman saying that Sinwar is believed to be underground. And so, an adviser to the Israeli prime minister saying that this is more of a symbolic victory akin to, for example, destroying a home of the long exiled leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, who has been living in Qatar for years now.

BURNETT: Right, right. Not even anywhere close. Of course, we don't know whether Sinwar is in Gaza or not. Obviously, we hear the explosions behind you, in these early hours of the morning, there were so much of this fighting happens, and you are very close to that border, Jeremy, so we can hear it.

You have also today had a chance today to obtain some stunning audio that actually leaked from a meeting between some of the freed hostages, the families of people who are still hostages, and Prime Minister Netanyahu himself. What did you hear there?

DIAMOND: Yeah, Erin, about a week after many of these hostages were freed from Hamas captivity, a handful of them joined dozens of family members of those still held hostage in Gaza for a meeting with the Israeli prime minister and his war cabinet.


It was a very tense and a very emotional meeting where some of these newly-freed hostages described their time in captivity, and pressure the Israeli government to release those still left behind.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): Give them back whoever the hell they want, give them all back: the women, the men. DIAMOND (voice-over): This is the anguish of a recently freed Israeli hostage, pleading with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): You think the men are strong? My husband would beat himself every day, punch his face until it bled because it was too much for him, and now he is alone, and God knows under what conditions.

And you want to topple the Hamas government, to show that you have bigger balls?

DIAMOND: The unidentified woman was among the handful of freed hostages, and dozens of hostage families, who met with Netanyahu and his war cabinet on Tuesday, with many urging a new deal with Hamas to free the estimated 138 remaining hostages in Gaza.

Leaked audio (AUDIO GAP) Israeli new site Ynet giving a glimpse into the tense and emotional --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): You have no information. No information.

DIAMOND: And the dangers hostages face including from Israeli fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): The fact is that we were shelled, the fact is that no one knew anything about where we were.

DIAMOND: A second former hostages describing precarious conditions for elderly Israeli hostages.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): They live on borrowed time. They are hardly functioning. All day, they lie on a mattresses, most of them need glasses and hearing aids that were taken from them when they were kidnapped, they have difficulty seeing and hearing, which affects their functioning even more.

DIAMOND: Another former hostage alleging Hamas captors were touching the girls, underscoring the urgency for the Israeli government to secure their release.

LIOR PERI, FATHER IS BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY HAMAS: Very tense and very emotional, a lot of shouting.

DIAMOND: Lior Peri, whose 79 year old father is still a hostage, left the meeting convinced that Netanyahu and his cabinet are far more focused on the war and hostage negotiations.

That you don't feel after this meeting, that getting the hostages out is the number one priority of this government?

PERI: No, not at all. I feel it's exactly like they were saying all along. They said they have two goals for the war, bringing down Hamas and the releasing of the hostages. And we always said that those two goals cannot work together because one interferes with another.

DIAMOND: The Israeli prime minister emerged from the meeting expressing sympathy for the hostages.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I heard stories that broke my heart. I heard about the thirst and hunger, about the physical and mental abuse.

DIAMOND: But he quickly bowed to press forward with Israel's offensive in southern Gaza, with the Israeli military's carrying out heavy airstrikes and pushing in ground forces.

Another pause in the fighting seems out of the question, which means the hostages will have to wait.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): They knew they must survive, but they are on the verge of losing hope.

DIAMOND: Are you worried that your father is losing hope?

PERI: Definitely, yeah. Especially even mentally, to (INAUDIBLE) the whole time, and she was released at the end of the week, (INAUDIBLE) feeling a second betrayal now. The first one on October 7th, when nobody stopped them from being abducted from their house. And the second one, now, when the ceasefire is over, and there is no more releasing of hostage, and you hear the bombing coming back.


DIAMOND: And at one point during that meeting, I am told that Netanyahu blamed Hamas for ending the truce last week, and ending, effectively, the hostage release. One person in the crowd shouted BS. That person was Lior Peri, who you just saw in the piece. He told me that he believes that while Hamas is also to blame, that the Israeli government is to blame as well, for not accepting some of Hamas's counterproposals, a very difficult, difficult situation regardless -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jeremy, thank you very much. As we said, live in Ashkelon, right along the Gaza border there.

And next, breaking news. A close Trump ally who played a key role in trying to overturn the election in Nevada, is now indicted. He is not alone. There has been a big development in these past couple of hours in Nevada. That's next.

Plus, more breaking news. Republicans just blocking billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine tonight.


How big of a win is this for Putin?


BURNETT: Breaking news, a Nevada grand jury has indicted six Republicans, including the chair of the Nevada Republican Party, who falsely pledged Nevada's electoral votes to Donald Trump in 2020 as Trump was trying to overturn the election. All the fake electors are now facing felony charges in Nevada. In

fact, it's the third state to charge Republican activists who falsely claimed to be legitimate representatives at the Electoral College.

So, let's begin here straight with Kyung Lah, who's been following this story, of course.

As our viewers know, Kyung, you had tracked down each of these electors, not on their door, asked them about these in these past days and now here we are, the grand jury has spoken. What more can you tell us about the indictment?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this all traces back, Erin, to something that was actually livestreamed video from December 14th, 2020.

If you don't recall what happened then, it was in Nevada, along with a lot of other states, where there were these official-looking ceremonies. They weren't. They're really a sham. And then these fake electors sat and signed documents.

So, if you look at this video, it looks like it is something official but, in fact, it is not. There were six individuals in the state of Nevada who are now named in this indictment, charged with felonies by this grand jury.

And this entire charade, Erin, was about trying to undermine the vote. I want you to listen to what you just referenced, that we tried to find these Republicans who have remained active in state politics. And we have tried to ask them, what exactly is your part in the state investigation?


Take a listen.


LAH: Haven't spoken that you're not going to comment on whether you spoke with anybody?

JIM HINDLE, PRO-TRUMP FAKE ELECTOR: I'm not going to comment on anything that's going on, right. So --

LAH: But you do understand it's --

HINDLE: And, please, if you would turn that off, we have nothing to talk about, really on that, yeah. I have nothing to say.

LAH: Do you still believe Trump won?

JIM DEGRAFFENREID, PRO-TRUMP FAKE ELECTOR: It's irrelevant. The Electoral College elects the president. So, the Electoral College elected Joe Biden. And so, Joe Biden is the president.

LAH: And how do you explain what happened in 2020, that ceremony you participated on, and the document you signed?

DEGRAFFENREID: Again, no comment on that.


LAH: Both those now named defendants in this indictment, still didn't have anything to say through their lawyers or when we call their offices.

Also, Erin, Jesse Law, he's another name to defendant in this indictment. He announced his run for state office today as a Republican for the state assembly. He also did not have any comment. So, you know, you can see, they are still trying to be involved in state politics, including Michael McDonald, who is the head of the Republican Party, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much.

So, the former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger is with me now, along with Ryan Goodman, of course, our legal analyst, and with "Just Security".

So, Ryan, let me start with you, because all six indicted on two felony charges in Nevada. All of them. And, by the way, you know, you got a grand jury, like this is your peers, right? This is people -- other citizens, looking at the evidence and the preponderance of the evidence and coming up with this conclusion. How significant is that?

RYAN GOODMAN, CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, JUST SECURITY: I think it's very significant that there is six individuals and it's also a signal to false electors in other states. Look at them. They have been left holding the bags. So, Donald Trump is not indicted in Nevada. They are.

And I think it means there's a lot of pressure on them. Do they want to try to cooperate? Do the folks in Georgia want to try to cooperate?

And in Nevada, there's now -- the idea behind the indictment is that they only had eight days left before the statute of limitations ran. So, we just have to watch this space. But in a week from tomorrow, could others be indicted? Could these individuals try to cooperate in order to have that happened?

BURNETT: In other words, it may not just be six?

GOODMAN: That's right.

BURNETT: OK. Which is crucial.

Congressman Kinzinger, among those six is the state Republican chair, Michael McDonald, which Kyung was just talking about.


BURNETT: Now, Michael McDonald is close to former President Trump, he's introduced him at rallies. In fact, at a recent rally, he did, right? So, he's continued to, right? This is just in October, end of October.

So, what's your reaction to an indictment like this? And what do you do to someone like McDonald? Chair of the Republican Party in a state now indicted on felony count by his peers?

KINZINGER: Yeah. I mean, look, the Republican Party structure -- and for that, in all honesty, the Democratic Party structure, too, party structures don't mean anything anymore. They really have no power.

But symbolically, that's huge. He is close to Donald Trump. He introduced him. But the cognitive dissonance that occurs in this, where he can say, for instance, well, Joe Biden is president, and, well, is Joe Biden elected president? Well, Joe Biden is president.

It's like, first off, if you believe an election was stolen, you should be yelling it from the rooftops. And if you don't just admit it and so, the problem is --

BURNETT: That's a really good point. If you still believe it, say it.

KINZINGER: Yeah. Truly, if the election was stolen -- like, if I believe the election was stolen, you would never see me acquiesced to Joe Biden is the president, even though I think the election was stolen.

So, the reality of it, and this is the important point for justice, because we have to send the message that, even though the coup failed, it was still a coup attempt. But there's so much cognitive dissonance within the base to say, like, oh, this guy is out fighting for us, even if he admits that don Trump never won.

BURNETT: And so, we talked about Kenneth Chesebro, who is the alleged architect of team Trump's fake elector plot, by the way, in multiple states, right? So, now, you know, you've got him in Georgia. And now here he is working with investigators. What is working with investigators mean? Is that cooperating?

GOODMAN: Good question.


GOODMAN: So, it looks like he might have been cooperating with Nevada. And this propelled the Nevada attorney general towards indicting these six.


GOODMAN: And that on Monday of next week, this is according to "The Washington Post", going to be the attorney general of Arizona, looking to cooperate, but what does cooperation mean? He gave similar statement to the Georgia prosecutors. But when "The Washington Post" actually reported what he said, it does not look like he is being fully candid and forthcoming. So, a big question, what does cooperation mean and what is Kenneth Chesebro's definition of cooperation? Because that might change everything. If he's really going on a cooperation tour, that he's going to be able

to hand these prosecutors really important information that could lead all the way to Donald Trump. But if he's not, and he is going to obfuscate, and the like, which it seems to be what he did in Georgia, then bets are off.

BURNETT: Can they call him out on it? Can they do anything about it, if that's what he's doing? You know, calling to cooperate but not?

GOODMAN: Absolutely. I think, in fact, he might risk perjury. And if he's lying to these investigators when he is supposed to be fully forthcoming, that's a real problem for him. And it just takes the wisdom of the investigators to know their case very well. And what's alternate happening in Nevada in Arizona is that they can learn from what happened in Georgia, see how it actually did not really matchup with the full record. And then they can actually press him.


BURNETT: So, Congressman, you know, we often hear people compare Trump to a mob boss, in the sense that he doesn't have to tell people what to do, they know what to do.

KINZINGER: Yeah, totally.

BURNETT: Now, he himself is comparing himself to Al Capone.


BURNETT: OK. So, he's decided to own that one, and then saying he would act like a dictator if he's reelected president just for day one, which I guess you could look at that in any sinister way you wanted it, if it only takes a day to wipe everything out. This is what he said last night during a town hall.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: To be clear, do you, in any way, have any plans whatsoever, if we reelected president, to abuse power? To break the law? To use the government to go after people?

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: You mean like they're using right now? So --

HANNITY: Under no circumstances, you are promising America tonight, you would never of use power as retribution against anybody?

TRUMP: Except for day one.

HANNITY: Except for?

TRUMP: He's going crazy.

Except for day one.

HANNITY: Meaning? TRUMP: I want to close the border, and I want to drill, drill, drill.

HANNITY: That's not -- that's not -- that's not retribution. I got it.


TRUMP: I'm going to -- I'm going to begin -- oh, he keeps -- I love this guy. He says, you are not going to big be a dictator, are you? I say, no, no, no, other than day one. We're closing the border, and we're drilling, drilling, drilling. After that, I'm not a dictator.

HANNITY: Well, that --


BURNETT: Well, it was five minutes.


BURNETT: He never actually gave a real answer to the question.

KINZINGER: Believe him! How many times we have to go through this exercise of, Donald Trump says something, we don't take it seriously, and then he does the very thing he said?

Sean Hannity here is trying to give him on a silver plate an opportunity to try to stop all these rumors about dictatorship. Because Hannity's question was not, are you going to? Like, you are not going to, right? He just wants --

BURNETT: Right. He just wants like yeah, give me the kiss off answer and let's move along.

KINZINGER: Yeah, and all Trump can't help himself, because to him, and to his base and to that laughing, adoring crowd, answers like that are admirable. They're funny. They're great, because he's owning the libs. This is -- this is the definition of danger to democracy.

And while I can't turn the people that are probably watching him in that town hall -- they will probably vote for him no matter what. It's the people in the middle that are considering Donald Trump because of the economy or whatever, those are the people that have to recognize the serious things at stake here. Don Trump, when he says things, like, I'll be a dictator on day one, he means it. He's not joking.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.

And next, we have breaking news on a major blow to Ukraine tonight. Just moments ago, Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would provide billions of dollars in aid, military aid. And it could not come at a worse time for Ukraine.

Plus, the influx of migrants at the U.S. southern border is surging, and we're going to take you one of the most dangerous areas for migrants who are trying to enter the United States tonight.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Have you seen these many drownings in a very short period of time before?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, not like this.




BURNETT: Breaking news. Senate Republicans blocking a bill that includes billions of dollars in aid for Israel and Ukraine, despite dire warnings from the administration that U.S. funding for Ukraine will run out in a matter of weeks. President Biden tonight also warning, quote, we can't let Putin win.

Republicans are insisting that any foreign aid to Ukraine has to be linked to major policy changes at the U.S. southern border. Even those who are for helping Ukraine right now are willing to let it go in exchange for that.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill.

So, Manu, does this really mean -- I mean, and this is a really crucial thing, we are almost two years into a war where Putin has lost hundreds of thousands. He's got casualties but the United States could be literally about to walk away from. I mean, it would be an incredibly important moment in history. Does this really mean that U.S. aid to Ukraine right now really could be over?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. In fact, that is the real fear in the Capitol right now, that there is no path to getting Ukraine aid approved and with it, Israel aid stock as well, amid this partisan battle over immigration, and issue not tied to Ukraine and Israel, but one in which Republicans are using as leverage, to try to get changes to the border policies, to tighten restrictions on how migrants can come across the southern border.

Among the -- amid the surge on the southern border and demanding these tighter border policies, Democrats say those provisions are just a step too far, far more than they are willing to accept. Republicans say they will not accept any watered down approach with dealing with immigration, an intractable issue, and one that Republicans and Democrats have failed to agree on for decades. So, the fear is that given the Republican insistence that something needs to be done on the border, that a Democratic resistance to going anywhere near where the Republicans are going, that -- this ultimately will lead to the collapse of Ukraine aid.

And complicating matters, too, is that there is just staunch demands among the new speaker of the House to ensure that there is no watered down version of the immigration policy included as part of this deal. And Johnson himself has called for each of these pieces in the emergency aid packages to Israel and Ukraine to be approved individually. Democrats and the White House wanted all to be tied together.

But first, they need to agree on the policy and they are nowhere near getting a deal on the policy, Erin. So the concern is that congress may leave for the holidays without aiding Ukraine, and even as the White House warns that it is needed now, otherwise, it will be kneecapped in its war against Russia -- Erin.

BURNETT: It's absolutely incredible development. Manu, thank you very much.

And the threat -- the threat of pulling U.S. aid to Ukraine could not come in a worse time in the war against Russia.

Fred Pleitgen is OUTFRONT.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Ukrainian forces desperately trying to hold a line against waves of Russian attacks. Avdiivka on the eastern front has become the epicenter of Vladimir Putin's brutal invasion of Ukraine.

Frontline troops speaking to CNN say they can withstand the onslaught but only if they continue to get weapons from the U.S.

Of course, we won't back down, the soldier says, but we really won't win without the support from the United States.


Gains are hard to come by in the harsh eastern European winter. Literally, all front lines are static even though tough battles are ongoing.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visiting a command post, imploring his forces to keep fighting on.

I beg you to win, to be strong, don't waste your initiatives, Zelenskyy said.

But Ukraine's president is also dealing with the increasingly grim results of Russia's attacks, visiting a children's hospital, treating amputees and a military clinic where Zelenskyy thanked battle scarred soldiers for their service on Ukraine's armed forces day.

Victory is ahead, he said, and what else? Could there be an alternative? We all know there can't.

But despite massive battlefield losses, the Russians aren't backing down. And as the U.S. tries to isolate Vladimir Putin internationally, some of America's most important allies in the Middle East are running rolling out the red carpet for the Russian leader.

Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have not sanctioned Russia over the war in Ukraine and remain important partners for the Kremlin on the world's oil and gas market. Today, thanks to your position, our relations have reached an

unprecedented high level Putin said in the UAE.

Putin's message to the U.S. and its allies, Russia will not be isolated. Even under heavy sanctions, his economy is afloat and his war chest is filled to continue his assault against Ukraine.


PLEITGEN (on camera): And, Erin, for the first time, the U.S. is now charging four Russian soldiers in absentia for war crimes against a U.S. citizen living in Ukraine. And indictment unsealed today accuses the four Russians of illegally detaining and torturing the American when they invaded the town of Mylove in southern Ukraine in April of last year -- Erin.

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

And next, as you heard Manu talked about Republicans insisting on securing the southern border, we'll show you what's happening there. We're going to take you there live, as a new and deadly surge of migrants is overwhelming American border towns in a big way. A special report only OUTFRONT next.

And an uplifting OUTFRONT debate about -- update about the family of those two little girls who were held hostage by Hamas. You remember the father Yoni opening up about his living nightmare as they were held captive.



BURNETT: Tonight, a deadly surge of migrants at the border in the United States, along the southern border building up once again. Eagle Pass, Texas, this is the epicenter of the crisis. This is the United States of America you're looking at, these crowds, more than 3,000 people tried to enter the United States in just 24 hours and that's just one 24-hour period.

Rosa Flores is OUTFRONT.


FLORES (voice-over): The unprecedented migrant surge on the U.S. southern border has forced thousands of migrants, including Lori Anne (ph) and her three-year-old son from Venezuela to wait outside for immigration processing into states, Texas and Arizona.

So you've been here for hours?

Federal authorities temporarily shutting down two international crossings with Mexico in the last week and redirecting port of entry personnel to process migrants.

In the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector, migrant apprehensions have exceeded 2,500 per day some days this week, according to a law enforcement source.

TOM SCHMERBER, MAVERICK COUNTY SHERIFF: We need somebody from D.C. to come over here and see this problem.

FLORES: Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber, a Democrat, says the influx puts a strain on his limited force.

SCHMERBER: I don't have the manpower and I don't have the equipment.

FLORES: His deputies respond to drownings on the Rio Grande. Scenes like these, showing an unconscious migrant mother getting CPR while her children scream have happened too often in the last month, making Maverick County the deadliest area for migrants in this 10-county border region says medical examiner, Doctor Corinne Stern.

Have you seen this many drownings in a very short period of time before?

DR. CORINNE STERN, MEDICAL EXAMINER: No, not like this and especially not at this time of the year.

FLORES: Dr. Stern says in the last week or so, six migrant children between the ages of zero and 15 have drowned in Maverick County alone.

CORINNE: It's horrible. We shouldn't be burying our children.

FLORES: Lori Anne (ph) shows us the water wasn't about any high when she carried her son across the river.

She says she gets emotional because it's just been a very tough journey.

Would you invite President Biden to come here to Maverick County?

SCHMERBER: It'd be great. It would be very, very good. I think that it would help him a lot.

FLORES: In Arizona?

SHERIFF MARK DANNELS, COCHISE COUNTY, ARIZONA: Why won't the president meet with us so we can address community concerns?

FLORES: The sheriff of Cochise County, a Republican, also calling on President Joe Biden to visit his border state.

DANNELS: This is frustrating. It's insulting and for us to try to do everything we can to protect our citizens.

FLORES: Daily migrant apprehensions in Border Patrol's Tucson sector have nearly doubled in just months, a homeland security official says. Smugglers are dropping off large groups of migrants in remote areas, creating a transportation nightmare according to CBP.

GOV. KATIE HOBBS (D), ARIZONA: We need the federal government to act.

FLORES: Arizona's Democratic governor frustrated with the Biden administration's border response.

HOBBS: We need the government to step up and do its job and secure our border.

FLORES: As for Lori Anne (ph), she is counting her blessings after surviving the journey.

Would you do it again?

No. She says that she would never do it again.

Her message for migrants: stay home.


FLORES (on camera): The Biden administration has added legal consequences to the illegal entry into this country.


It's dealing with the current surge right here in Eagle Pass, Texas, and in Lukeville, Arizona, but saying something called enhanced expedited removal. And that's when asylum officers make a determination on migrants case while they're still in custody, and if that migrant has no legal basis to stay in the United States, will, Erin, then that migrant gets deported -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Rosa, thank you very much in Eagle Pass, where this crisis is unfolding tonight.

And next, we do have an uplifting update and this is a -- remember these little girls? Yoni Asher's two young little girls, Raz and Aviv, whose story we have been falling ever since October 7th attacks.


BURNETT: And, finally, an update on an update on a family that we have been speaking with since the October 7th attacks on Israel. Yoni Asher, his wife Doron and his two little girls were recently released after being held hostage. A true miracle. And they've got a visit today from Raz and Aviv's favorite television star.

The family shared this video with us at the moment Raz and Aviv were surprised by the star in their home. It's just so amazing. Think about walking through that door, and when, we let Yoni, we weren't sure they would ever walk through it again.

They got to dance together, the actress posting on Instagram, quote, what I didn't know that moved me especially to tears. Doron told me that in captivity, they used to sing my songs to ease the pain. And what a joy for all of us to see those girls home with their parents.

Thanks for joining us. "AC360" starts now.