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Erin Burnett Outfront

House Votes To Authorize Biden Impeachment Inquiry; Judge Pauses Trump Election Case, Trial May Be Delayed; Trump Campaigning In Iowa With 33 Days To GOP Caucuses; Biden Celebrates New Climate Deal: "Historic Milestone". Aired 7-8p ET

Aired December 13, 2023 - 19:00   ET




The breaking news, House Republicans just voting to begin the process of impeaching President Biden as a defiant Hunter Biden rips the GOP.

Also breaking, Trump's 2020 election interference case now on hold. So, does that mean Trump gets through the whole election without going to trial?

And together at last. Yoni Asher, his story we've all been following since the October 7th attacks. You know him. He speaks out. He's finally together with his wife and those little girls, sharing new details about what they endured in captivity.

Let's go OUTFRONT.


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

OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news the House of Representatives voting moments ago to launch an impeachment inquiry against President Biden. Every single Republican voting to authorize this inquiry despite having no direct evidence that Biden broke the law.

Just moments ago, President Biden responding in a statement saying, quote, instead of doing anything to help make Americans lives better they are focused on attacking me with lies.

Now, Republicans claimed that this inquiry gives them more power to collect testimony from witnesses like Hunter Biden who today traveled to Washington. He defied a subpoena for a closed-door deposition because he said he's ready to speak only testify publicly.

And in a rare public statement, he slammed the Republican investigation.


HUNTER BIDEN, SON OF PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I am here today to answer at a public hearing. I have been the target of the unrelenting Trump attack machine, shouting where's Hunter? I am here. There is no fairness or decency in what these Republicans are doing.

They have lied over and over about every aspect of my personal and professional life, so much so that their lives have become the false facts believed by too many people, no matter how many times it is debunked.


HUNTER: Now Hunter Biden said that his father didn't do anything wrong and that Joe Biden never benefitted financially from his business dealings.

And here's the truth -- legal scholars and even Republicans have agreed to this, they have agreed that there's been no evidence put forth by of wrongdoing by the president.


SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): The facts haven't taken me to that point where I can say that the president's guilty of anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if you're going to see high crimes or misdemeanor.

REP. MIKE MCCAUL (R-TX): We don't have the evidence now, but we may find it later.


BURNETT: So they say that they have no evidence, and yet every single Republican in the House of Representatives, 221 people, every single Republican, 221 people, without evidence, voted to launch an impeachment inquiry, an inquiry that is designed to distract for the mounting evidence in the case involving Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

In fact, tonight, we have exclusive new audio of December 2020 Oval Office meeting with then-President Trump. Pro-Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro is telling Michigan prosecutors that at the meeting he told Trump how he could still win using so-called alternate electors. Listen to this part.


KENNETH CHESEBRO, PRO-TRUMP ATTORNEY: So I ended up explaining that Arizona was still hypothetically possible because the alternate electors had voted. I explain the whole logic. Because the alternate electors had voted, we had more time to win the litigation.


BURNETT: Of course, Trump embraced Chesebro's theory, continuing to falsely claim that he won the election, even though now we know person after person of experts sat in the Oval Office and told him he had lost and that he had accepted that. Chesebro, of course, is an unindicted coconspirator in Trump's federal

case as well. We're going to get to much more of that exclusive audio in a moment but first, I want to get to Manu Raju on Capitol Hill, on the impeachment vote that just passed.

Manu, that vote just happened as I emphasized. Every single Republican supported it. You have been talking to some of them. What are they telling you?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, a lot of them supported it because they said the investigation should continue. But I pressed a number of them on whether they believed that President Biden should actually be impeached. He would be just the fourth president in American history to be charged with high crimes or misdemeanors, and critically high bar to meet.

And a lot of members I talked to are saying they have not met that bar and in fact they say the impeachment inquiry needs to gather the evidence that they are searching for, tying Joe Biden -- accusing Joe Biden of taking direct action to benefit his son's business while the president -- the president was in office as vice president.


They don't have that direct link yet but a lot of members are hoping that they can find that evidence so they can support impeachment, the impeachment ultimately.

Now, some of those members come from swing districts, and they're indicating to me, yes they will vote now to move forward on this inquiry, but whether they vote to impeach him is another question.

BURNETT: All right. Manu --


RAJU: Are you ready to go as far as impeaching the president?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm going to let the committees continue their work, develop their articles, if they develop articles on impeachment, show their -- show their evidence, and then we'll make a separate choice there.

RAJU: How close are you to being ready to support impeachment, actual impeachment of the president?

REP. MIKE LAWLER (R-NY): Look, we're not there. We voted tonight to allow for the investigation to continue. This was a vote to authorize the investigation formally because the White House has taken the position that there was an informal inquiry and they didn't need to comply.


RAJU: And this is going to put Speaker Johnson in a bind in the weeks ahead because a number of members on his right are pushing for an impeachment of the president of the United States. But some of those swing district members who heard there are still waiting for this investigation to gather even more information to prove that Joe Biden acted corruptly. Then they can say they can charge him with those high crimes and misdemeanors. So, Erin, you can see the bind given that Mike Johnson can only afford to use only three Republican votes in any straight party vote. Whether they can get there remains a huge question.

BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you very much on Capitol Hill, of course, speaking to those congressmen.

And I want to go now to the Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California. He's on the committee that Hunter Biden defiantly refused to appear before today, right, saying that he wanted to testify publicly in front -- in front of everyone.

So, Congressman, the impeachment inquiry is now a done deal out of the committee. Are you prepared for a televised impeachment hearings? Accusations and everything else that this investigation will likely entail in an election year?

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Erin, it's very sad because the American people want us focused on the cost of living, the housing affordability crisis. It's a total distraction. I think it's going to backfire on the Republicans. You saw impeachment hearings in the past have actually benefited the person, the president. And I think this is not just a waste of time, it's politically damaging for them.

BURNETT: So your colleague, Ken Buck, the one Republican who had expressed hesitation about voting for the impeachment, he was hesitant but he ultimately did vote for it, as I said, they all did. When I spoke with him on Monday, Congressman, he criticize the White House for saying it would not handover records unless they were forced to do so by an impeachment proceeding, right? This whole point that, well, this is informal, we haven't subpoenaed, we're not going to hand over the documents.

So Hunter Biden today then, Congressman, referenced financial records in his defiance press conference, very specifically. And I wanted to play one thing that he said.


HUNTER BIDEN: James Comer, Jim Jordan, Jason Smith, and their colleagues, have distorted the facts by cherry-picking lines from a bank statement, manipulating texts I sent, editing the testimony of my friends and former business partners, and misstating personal information that was stolen from me.


BURNETT: Now, Congressman Khanna, if all of this is true as Hunter Biden lays it out, why won't the White House and Hunter Biden just hand over the records? Because, you know, so they can't just cherry- pick, right? Put them all out there if that would absolve themselves of these accusations. KHANNA: Because there's no evidence or allegation that the president

has done anything even slightly wrong in his role as president. This has been litigated for five years. And it's rich for the Republicans to be demanding all of this release of personal financial information with their leading candidate Donald Trump doesn't even release his taxes. Joe Biden has provided far more financial information than Biden has. This is a witch hunt.

And here's what I haven't heard. I haven't heard the Republicans say what has President Biden, since he's been president, done wrong? That's why you impeach someone.

BURNETT: So, Chairman Jordan, on the committee, right, or Chairman Jim Jordan, focused on something Hunter Biden said in his press conference, which is that his father wasn't, quote, financially involved in Hunter's business. I just played that part of what he said a few moments ago. But he said he wasn't financially -- that there was no -- he was not financially involved.

Jordan says that that is significant, that this shows the story shifting. He says first, President Biden no involvement at all in Hunter's business. Now it's just no financial involvement in Hunter's business.

Do you support the chairman's focus on the use of the adjective financially?


KHANNA: I just don't understand what is all this about. If they want to make this a case of a campaign, fine. Everything President Biden has done since kindergarten can be litigated in a campaign. And they've been doing this for the past five years. But you can't impeach a sitting president of the United States for conduct that was years ago.

First of all, there's no evidence that he did anything wrong. But it's -- they're going after things that he did potentially as vice president. I mean, can you imagine if the Democrats had said we are going to impeach Donald Trump for all the bad things he did before he became president? We focused on action while he was president. And they haven't -- not even had an allegation that this president has done anything wrong since he's been in office.

BURNETT: All right. Congressman Khanna, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

KHANNA: Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. And next, the breaking news, a judge hitting pause on Trump's federal election case, and tonight, team Trump is celebrating. So what does this actually mean for the government's case whether this goes to trial before the election?

Plus, together. Yoni Asher, his story we have been following, speaks to OUTFRONT about seeing his wife Doron and his two young daughters for the first time after they were freed from being Hamas hostages in Gaza. And he opens up about what they endured in the 49 days they were held hostage.

And Tesla's reputation suffering a major blow tonight. Two million cars recalled. We'll tell you why.



BURNETT: Breaking news, Donald Trump's federal election interference case is now on hold. So the trial was scheduled to start on March 4th of next year, 2024. But federal judge overseeing it has now temporarily paused all deadlines while pretrial motion appeals play out.

Ryan Goodman is here with me.

So, Ryan, Trump's campaign is saying this decision by the judge, Tanya Chutkan, is a big win for President Trump and our rule of law, that's the quote from them. The whole point is that Trump wants to delay the case until after the election. Now, you've got a delay while all these motions play their way through the system. Is it a win? Is it a possibility that this whole thing doesn't happen until after the election?

RYAN GOODMAN, JUST SECURITY CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Yes and yes. So it is a win. It does pause the trial. It might mean the March 4th date does not get met, and it might in fact mean that the March 4th date doesn't met get met because the Supreme Court takes forever to start decide the issue when it goes to the Supreme Court and then time has run out November 2020 for his past.

That said, it's not a complete victory because it actually then incentivizes the court of appeals and Supreme Court to decide quickly. Is he or is he not immune from trial? And then let's go. And that just happened within hours of her opinion just a few minutes ago.

The court of appeals said we're going fast. We're going to decide this basically before the second week in January. It's what it looks like. So, it's not perfectly good for him because now it means also the Supreme Court might step in and say --

BURNETT: And they've already indicated they intend to go quickly, right, because they said they're going to take up -- I mean, they moved quickly, they're going to take up the decision to take it up very quickly.

GOODMAN: That's right. That's exactly right. Yeah.

BURNETT: But moving very fast.

GOODMAN: Very fast.

BURNETT: All right. So it could be a big win, but depends on what they do and they are indicating they want to go fast. GOODMAN: Yeah.

BURNETT: Also today, there was recording of Trump played at Rudy Giuliani's defamation trial. And this centered on false statements that he had made over those two poll workers in Georgia, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. Now, of course, Trump had spread conspiracy theories about these two civilian poll workers who were working at the polls, including on that famous call with the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Here's some of that call which was actually played in court today.

So, here's what they heard.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Eighteen thousand voters having to do with (AUDIO DELETED). She's a vote scammer, a professional vote scammer and hustler (AUDIO DELETED). That is -- that was the case that's been shown all over the world that makes everybody look bad. You, me, and everybody else.


BURNETT: All right, those bleeps were not swear words. Those bleeps were Freeman's name.

GOODMAN: Uh-huh.

BURNETT: So when you play this all the way out you have 18 times where Trump said her name on the call, attacking her, you know, saying these disparaging things.

So how important could she be at Trump's election trial?

GOODMAN: I think very important, and we recently got a strong signal of this. Jack smith and a recent brief for the first time for a grounded Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman and strongly suggested they will be witnesses for the prosecution in the case because President Trump was publicly and privately spreading these lies about them and they were receiving death threats.

And Jack Smith says this is him using violence to try to keep hold of power when he knows the result of his public statements against these individuals is that it puts them in harms way. They are very compelling witnesses. And that's why your tape as well, that's very compelling.

They appeared before the select committee and many people's eyes started watering when they tell what happened to them. So, imagine the jury.

BURNETT: Absolutely. All right. Ryan, thank you very much.

And, of course, Trump has made his legal travails in situations the centerpiece of his election campaign. And right now, he has just taken the stage in his campaign stop. This time it's in Iowa, rallying supporters there. Obviously, the all-important Iowa caucuses are now just about a month away.

And Kristen Holmes is OUTFRONT at Trump's campaign event.

Kristen, I know you've been talking to your sources on Trump's team. What is their thinking about Iowa right now, right? A place where they said I am forced to be in court all the time, so I'm not on the campaign trail. Well, he's there tonight where you are.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Erin, he is. When I talked to his team, there's increased level of confidence, particularly after that "Des Moines Register" poll which Trump just referenced himself, showing him at 51 percent to Ron DeSantis's 19 percent. The chatter on the ground here among GOP operatives, both pro and anti-Trump for months has been while the polls show Trump leading, they did not believe the margin was as big as the polls were showing.

But given "The Des Moines Register" poll with that huge margin, that has shifted. They do believe there is quite a wide margin that would be according to these operatives impossible for DeSantis to overtake Trump at this time. You can really hear that when you are talking to members of his team.


They are confident here. Now, that does not mean that they are confident completely in every early voting state? They are watching New Hampshire very closely, as well as Nikki Haley's rise. One indication of that is that he never, Trump, responded to Ron DeSantis's attacks directly from last night's CNN town hall, but it did respond to Sununu's endorsement of Nikki Haley, giving you an idea of where exactly his mind is at.

Now, Trump is ramping up his campaign schedule. He is increasing his presence on the campaign trail. After Iowa who go to New Hampshire, Nevada, and then he will back in Iowa next week. Something we're watching closely.

But, Erin, keep in mind, even with this increasing campaign stops, he is being far outpaced by his GOP rivals. However doesn't seem to be making a difference in the polls either in Iowa or nationally -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Kristen, thank you very much, live in Iowa.

And, of course, we'll hear if he does respond to DeSantis's attacks last night.

And OUTFRONT next, reunited, an incredible story. Yoni Asher, who we've been following closely OUTFRONT, talks about what it is like to be with his wife and his two toddler daughters again. It shares new details about her time as hostages of Hamas.

Plus, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Michelle Obama, and now Oprah Winfrey. Gayle King is OUTFRONT on her best friend's tremendous honor today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Tonight, President Biden meeting with the families of eight Americans still held hostage by Hamas. The meeting was held privately and was not announced ahead of time.

It comes as Israeli forces are again pumping seawater into tunnels in Gaza as they try to root out Hamas fighters.


This is a story we have been following closely. It is a very important update. Yoni Asher's family, his wife Doron, and his two little girls who are age, 2 and 4, were among the hostages for 49 days. We've been following their story.

And tonight, this is a ray of light. They are safe. They are in their home, they're laughing, they're playing, they are together. It was the same home that I visited while they were being held captive. It was fear they were dead, where Yoni showed us his daughter's toys and their little precious pink shoes.

And Yoni Asher is back with us now.

So, Yoni, this day has come and all those times we spoke amid such horror and now thank God, here you are and they are home -- Doron, Raz, Aviv, they are home. How -- can you put words on how it feels?

YONI ASHER, WIFE & TWO YOUNG DAUGHTERS FREED FROM HAMAS CAPTIVITY: It's a miracle. I am feeling like I got my life back as a gift. You know, I was like I told you many times before in hell and I got back from hell to my family and they are here and alive and they're okay so I got my life back.

BURNETT: And it's amazing how you say you've got your life back. It had been taken away from, you everything, everything in your home in your life. It was the moment that you are reunited. And I keep looking at it, Yoni, I looked at it over these recent days, just what are you hugging them. What was it like when you finally could put your arms around them?

ASHER: It was the most amazing feeling I had in my entire life. And, you know, Erin, like you mentioned, I told you that they are -- I didn't watch their videos, and to hear their voice after so much time was like hearing something strange because once you don't hear a person's voice for a long time and then you hear it, it sounds different in some way. So it was very -- to hear the sound of their voice was something that I will never forget that sound. And you saw that they were immediately started talking and saying that they dreamed of getting back home.

BURNETT: Yoni, when I was with you in your home and the girls were gone, you showed me their toys. We actually sat there and their little play area. I remember you talking about how or you would be making dinner, you and Doron, and they would sort of pretend to make a Shabbat dinner and they would pretend to serve the wine. And I wanted to play that moment to share with everyone.


ASHER: We do what is called Kiddush, and bless for our food. They like it so much. So, they love to pretend that they are making food and they are doing Kiddush, the wine and everything.


BURNETT: And I know, Yoni, you said you are talking about whether they would ever be able to do that again, whether you would ever experience that. Are they playing those games again? Are they doing those familiar things?

ASHER: Well, yeah, when we got back home and they saw they're home for the first time, they were very excited. They were playing and running that night past midnight. They are starting to get back to their older -- old toys and yes, they did.

They played and they were so happy. They got a lot of presence and candies. And they were truly happy. I saw that on them.

They open the closet of where we put some food. The said, look at how much food we have, because for so long they had so little food. So when they saw all the things we had on our closet, in a refrigerator, they were very excited.

BURNETT: Just for something like real food.

Yoni, are they talking at all about their time in captivity?


ASHER: Well, they have their own language because they are basically toddlers, like I mentioned many times before. And they don't know the words us adults know, like Gaza, like kidnapped, like war, captivity. They have their own language. They are describing the situation where evil people came to grandmothers' house with knives and made a mess and broke their beds and took them on a tractor.

And this is the terminology that they are using. They are saying a lot of things. Raz, the older girl, talks less, and Aviv, because she is younger, she doesn't understand the meaning, fully. So she talk more.

And I think the older girl, Raz, she understands not fully, like an adult, but she understands very well what they have been through. She experienced hard sites and things.

BURNETT: Yoni, Doron your wave has suffered greatly. She has lost her brother. She lost her mother, and this -- all of this horror. She was, of course, a captive and trying to keep your girls safe.

How is she doing, and how has she been able to share her experience with you?

ASHER: Like you said, Erin, she had to mourn her brother. The second day we got back from -- to our home, I had to tell her that her brother is not alive anymore. It was very difficult. And in addition to that, her mother is not alive and got killed basically in her arms. She is just starting now to process this horrific news and this information because she didn't have any time to process it. On captivity, she was focused on taking care of the girls. She was injured and lost a lot of blood.

BURNETT: Was Doron able to be with the girl's the whole time while she was they while they were hostages? Were they ever separated, as far as you know?

ASHER: They weren't separated. After she lost a lot of blood, she got stitched with no substance. Her wound, her injury was stitched with no substance, and she was very painful. But yet she managed to keep them together.

BURNETT: Has she been able to tell anything to you about who was holding them or wear? Anything that you're able to share? Where the girls and Doron in the dark in a tunnel for these weeks and weeks that you are separated?

ASHER: I can tell a few very important facts that they were held in some kind of structure for a few days and later they were transferred. And one of the most risk elements was the fact that if the people, the population in the first days, if the population outside will know that they are there, they are -- they can be killed by the mob.

So this was something that was very risky for them, very dangerous, and I assessed that this is one of the reasons they were transferred later, because of this risk. So you can only imagine in what kind of reality they were on and also when they were transferred they were also in big risk for that reason, for the bombing reason.


They had to be disguised. There were some situations where they were something like ten people in a private vehicle, driving in an enormous speed, including my daughters and my wife inside that vehicle. So they were very bad conditions. And it was very hard for me to hear.

BURNETT: One time when we were talking, Yoni, while they were gone, you said that if Raz and Aviv came home, you would promise them something. This is what you said.


ASHER: I believe in all my heart -- in all my heart that they will come back to me. It's hard but I've got to keep on believing. I will hug them and I promised that I will never tell them to go to their bed and not come to mind again. I will sleep with them and they can bother me to sleep as long as they are with me in my bed.


BURNETT: Yoni, have you -- have you kept that promise to them?

ASHER: Well, I did, and even more, because all the last three weeks, I was 24/7 only with them. I didn't do anything that the normal person does. I was only a father and a husband for the last three weeks. I was with them so much time.

And they are sleeping with us in our bed, but we are trying to get back to some routine, you know, because at the end those girls, they need stability. They need routine. They need to have a normal life in kindergarten.

So this is something we are inspired, we want to get soon. But I can't leave them and they can't leave me for -- since they got back. We can't be separated.

BURNETT: Yoni, thank you so much for speaking to me and for sharing the miracle that is everything to you in such a small but very bright light in all of this horror that we've seen. Thank you.

ASHER: Thank you. Thank you for the support and wish you all the best.

BURNETT: Yoni Asher.

And next, a breakthrough. Nearly 200 countries have struck a deal. And we'll tell you what it's about.

Plus, Tesla recalling nearly every car it has sold in the United States. Wow. Why?



BURNETT: All right. Tonight, a, quote, historic milestone. Well, those are the words of President Biden. And the reason is that 200 countries or close to it struck a major climate deal after overtime negotiations and has sort of been in question and then there was a breakthrough, which was reached after two weeks of talks.

Bill Weir is our chief climate correspondent, has traveled the globe on this OUTFRONT.

And, Bill, okay --


BURNETT: -- so, this is -- I mean, it's a significant deal when you can get this many countries on board.

WEIR: Sure, to agree on anything.

BURNETT: Right, and it almost didn't get there. So they get it over the finish line. But, you know, when you get a deal like this, I mean, how meaningful is it? What does it mean for you, for me, for anyone's watching, for their daily lives?

WEIR: Well, that's a great question. It's only historic because it is taken humanity this long, 30 years to name the problem that's at the source of this.

BURNETT: Right. WEIR: This is the fossil fuel crisis, fuels that built our modern world and everything in it. Unfortunately, it's coming back to bite us. We are realizing that now. And so, unwinding that has been the hardest thing humanity is ever done.

It matters to people watching in ways that they can observe, both in changing weather patterns and insurance rates, depending on where they live, and food prices, supply chains get more complicated unpredictable planet, all of that. But it also just speaks to where on this little blue marble of almost 8 billion people hurtling through space and we're all connected. And some are coming at this problem economically and some are coming at it existentially, right?


WEIR: Small island nations, they weren't in the room when the gavel came down from the CEO of a major oil company announcing victory, essentially. But he's going to go back to his day job and expand oil and gas investments for Abu Dhabi to the tune of $100 billion. The United States is the biggest petro state in the world right now, leading the world in oil and gas exports right now.

But that has to change, the science tells us. And how fast that happens is going to come down to sort of this tug of war of human nature.

BURNETT: It's funny, when you are saying this little marble. You know, the Carl Sagan.

WEIR: Yeah.

BURNETT: It's all the life that you will know that you have ever known, is on that one spot.

WEIR: Exactly.

BURNETT: It's a speck, right? And that's us. You've been everywhere on that speck.


BURNETT: The magnificent that is our planet, Antarctica, where vital sea ice is melting, you've actually been there to see that, Maui after the wildfires, ravage, those Antarctica pictures, unbelievable what you filmed there.

WEIR: Yeah.

BURNETT: And North Florida's hurricane, Dahlia hit. I mean, place after place that you have been where you have seen the impacts of this. So does -- I guess it's almost impossible to tell, but does something like what happened today change that?

WEIR: You got to hope.

BURNETT: Right. WEIR: You got to hope because human action is gong to determine the fate of our children and grandchildren forever. Every tenth of a degree matters. All of this glorious planet that I have the great privilege of exploring, it evolved in a very specific goldilocks climate, you know, just the sweet spot. And we've already moved out of that.

So we really don't know what comes next as a species. We can try to hold it together, predict with computer models right now. But the Paris Accord moved the needle. It didn't stop emissions at the rate it probably should have.

But it got countries on record to say, this is a problem, we're going to do something about it. This takes the next step further. But the job is never done, really.

BURNETT: Right. No, and as you point out, the great fear here is we don't -- we don't really understand what we've unleashed.

WEIR: Exactly, exactly.


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

WEIR: Sure.

BURNETT: And Bill will keep exploring.

And next, Gayle King and Charles Barkley on Tesla's driver-less cars, Oprah's day, and the first Broadway show ever that Charles Barkley is going to see.

Plus, Alexei Navalny's team releasing a disturbing update tonight about the Putin critic safety. We've got that for you.


BURNETT: Tonight, recall. Tesla recalling 2 million vehicles that are on the road right now in the United States. So, the issue is Tesla's autopilot system, which has caused nearly 1,000 crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that this feature is easily misused by drivers. There are not enough safety controls.

Tesla, of course, has been promoting what it calls full self-driving vehicles in ads like the one that you're seeing next to me, which promote increases in safety and convenience. That's their words exactly.

So, how far does this setback Tesla, driver-less cars?

Gayle King and Charles Barkley, the host of his CNN's "KING CHARLES" talk to some people about this today. Found out about the recall, went out, talk to people, and here's what happened.

[19:50:05] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


GAYLE KING, CNN HOST: Would you ever ride in the driverless car?


BARKLEY: I agree with her.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would. I would not be opposed to that.


BARKLEY: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it safer than a driver.

BARKLEY: Depends on who's driving. If Gayle is driving, it's safer with her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're driving, I'm not getting in the car.

KING: If I'm driving, Chris, you'd be safe with me.


BURNETT: All right, Gayle and Charles are here.

So, you thought about it. OUTFRONT now.

So, you thought about it.



You thought about getting a Tesla.

KING: I have. Listen, Erin, my favorite daughter, Kirby, and favorite son will both have Teslas. And they are very happy with it. I have thought about getting an electric car. And I've actually thought about getting a Tesla.

But the driver-less cars still scares me. I hate to sound the old lady in the room, but they say the technology is here and we have to get on board. But I'm -- I am not there yet.

BARKLEY: Well, I'm the old man in the room, and I'm not getting a no car that's driverless. I would really like for them to be honest and see how often you guys have to test the steering wheel because I've heard, you have to really keep your hands, you can't go more than seconds or a minute with having her hand on the wheel. So, it's technically, not driverless. But there's no way in the world I would get in a driverless car.

KING: Even in a driverless car, you should be vigilant. Everybody says that.

BARKLEY: Why are you getting a driverless car then?

KING: Why are you getting a driverless car, yeah.

BURNETT: Right, and, of course, they're setting you up to literally be on your phone the whole time. And not be vigilant. People aren't really vigilant the way it is.

KING: But, Erin, you heard the statistics. They always say, if you're in a -- a driverless cars is much safer than a human driver. We've heard that time and time and time again. And, they say they have the facts and figures to back that up.

BARKLEY: Gayle --

BURNETT: They say it. They say - -

BARKLEY: You know, I always want to know who they are.

KING: Who the "they"? Yeah. Who is the "they"? Yeah.

BARKLEY: First of all, that stat, one hunted percent, cannot be true.

KING: Why?

BARKLEY: Because there's millions of people driving every day. There's very few driver-less cars. So, how would you compute those numbers?

KING: Yeah.

BARKLEY: I mean, there is not millions and millions of driver-less cars out there. We know there's millions of millions of people driving every day. So, there's no way they can justify that data.

BURNET: I'm not a Tesla person.

KING: Hey, would you?


KING: You would not.

BURNETT: My answer is no, although, you know what, I was talking to one of my kids the other day, they're little. This is another generation. Nine years old. No way would I get a driverless car.

KING: They said no way, okay.

BURNETT: They wanted the control. So maybe that's a human thing.

KING: I at least think if you are in a car, Erin, if you can either slam on brakes, you can swerve, you can speed up, you can slow down. At least think you have some modicum of control, when you're behind the wheel.

BARKLEY: But the one thing you never have.

KING: And I'm a very good driver, thank you very much. Go ahead.

BARKLEY: Well, don't hurt yourself, pat yourself on the back.

BURNETT: She says.

BARKLEY: She says.

But the number one -- the number one thing you can never control, even if you can control your own vehicle, you can't control --

KING: These other drivers.

BARKLEY: These other drivers.

KING: Yeah.

BARKLEY: And can you imagine one of those cars in New York City? I mean, when I am in a taxi here, oh, man, this is really awkward. You have to concentrate like you're driving. I just would not feel comfortable personally. So I would never get in one of those cars, personally.

KING: Can I ask you when was the last time you were in a taxi?

BARKLEY: A couple of days ago.

KING: Really?


KING: Like a yellow cab? You're out there going, taxi?


KING: Did you?

BARKLEY: Sometimes I was in a hurry. I don't want to walk.

BURNETT: I got to ask each of you about something.

KING: Yes.

BURNETT: Gayle, I want to ask you about your dear friend Oprah.

KING: Yes, this morning.

BURNETT: So, this morning.

KING: I was in D.C. this morning, Erin.

BURNETT: Natural Portrait Gallery.

KING: Yes, yes, yes.

BURNETT: I mean, it's amazing.

KING: It is amazing.

BURNETT: Michelle and Barack Obama, Harriet Tubman.

KING: Yes.

BURNETT: Abraham Lincoln.

KING: John Kennedy. I mean, she's --

BURNETT: And, Oprah Winfrey, I mean, look at that.

KING: Even she had to go, boy, my life. You know, she had -- she had a great speech as she always does. But she said, from Mississippi where she lived in a house that had an outhouse, basically.


KING: Now to Montecito, one of the most affluent communities in the country, and now she's in the National Portrait Gallery, even took her by, even she was in awe that this had happened to her today. It was a very special day for her.

BURNETT: Which I think it's amazing, for people to, think it doesn't matter when all the fame and celebrity that has come to her, there's a moment where, wow.

KING: It was like a pinch me moment for her. It's true.

BURNETT: Of course, she's in "The Color Purple". She's wearing the beautiful purple there.

So, tonight, Charles, you both are going to be speaking to Corey Hawkins, who stars in the film --


BURNETT: -- you know, sort of adaptation of 'The Color Purple".

KING: Yeah, he plays Harpo, yeah.

BURNETT: And it came up because color purple had been on Broadway.

KING: Uh-huh.

BURNETT: That you have not yet been to Broadway. I guess you're going together?

KING: No, he hasn't been to one Broadway play ever in his life. Grown- ass man has never been to Broadway.

BARKLEY: So, we made a deal.

KING: We're going to go.

BARKLEY: I play golf every day. I'm going to take her to golf, as she's going to take me to a play.

KING: And golf and so bowling.

BARKLEY: She's going to have a lot more fun playing golf that I'm going to in these boring ass place.

KING: I'm going to pick something that I think he'll enjoy. I'm already thinking, Erin, "Lion King". Let's keep it simple.

BARKLEY: Gayle, I'm not 12.

KING: Lots of colors.

BARKLEY: I'm not 12, Gayle.

KING: Lots of colors, lots of music, lots of costumes. I think you'd like that.

BARKLEY: You know I'm not a teenager, I'm 60, right?

KING: And I'm going to have something that has music. I have it all -- I have it all planned.

BARKLEY: Let's call a radio.


KING: I have it all planned.

BURNETT: So, everybody, you can get a whole lot more of this --


KING: Yes.


BURNETT: All of this at 10:00 Eastern, "KING CHARLES" tonight --

KING: That's funny, Erin.


KING: More of this.


KING: That's good. Thank you, Erin.

BARKLEY: Thanks for having us.

BURNETT: Thank you.

KING: Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. And we hope you'll be watching later on tonight.

We have an update next, though, really important one on top Putin critic, Alexey Navalny. He went missing eight days ago. We've got an update after this.


BURNETT: Finally tonight, concerns growing over the fate of top Putin critic, Alexey Navalny. His team telling us tonight that now, it's been eight days since they last had contact with the opposition leader. Navalny, we understand, had been held, of course, at one of Russia's harshest penal colonies, known as IK6. He had been supposed to be transferred to an even more dangerous facility at some point, no one was clear, though, if this was that point.

He's missing now. So they don't know. An unofficial Telegram channel with ties to Putin's security services reporting now that Navalny is in Moscow, and that investigative actions are being carried out with him.

But Navalny's team tonight saying this, today we checked most of the pretrial detention centers in Moscow. None of them had Alexey Navalny. Investigative actions are not carried out without lawyers. All investigative actions have already taken place.

According to Navalny's team, his health has been deteriorating and, in fact, last week they said he became ill in his cell, had to be hooked up to an IV. That is the last they heard from him.

Thank you so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.