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Erin Burnett Outfront

Giuliani Ordered To Pay Election Workers $148M For His Lies; Israel Military Mistakenly Kills Three Hostages In Gaza; Arizona Governor Signs Executive Order Immediately Deploying National Guard Troops To Border Amid Migrant Surge. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired December 15, 2023 - 19:00   ET




The breaking news, Rudy Giuliani ordered to pay $148 million to two Georgia poll workers whom he accused of rigging the 2020 election falsely. But will Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss see any of that money? The attorney for the two women is OUTFRONT.

Also breaking, Israel killing three of its own hostages, men that the IDF believes that actually managed to escape Hamas.

And we'll talk to the father of an American hostage about whether he thinks his son may also be trying to escape.

And the Democratic governor of Arizona calling up the National Guard for help at the border. We are live in Arizona tonight to show you the migrant surge they are seeing there.

Let's go OUTFRONT.


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

OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, $148 million. That is what Rudy Giuliani has been ordered to pay Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss after accusing them of rigging the 2020 election. This was a jury verdict, jury of the peers.

It is a jaw-dropping number. It is the actual verdict form that breaks down into numbers. Let me show.

Ruby Freeman awarded $16.1 million for defamation, $20 million for emotional distress. Shaye Moss awarded $17 million and $20 million for emotional distress. And then the two women were also awarded $75 million in punitive damages.

So, when you add that all together, that's where you get the $148 million number. That's the price that Rudy Giuliani now from a group of his peers, the jurors, will pay for his loyalty to Donald Trump.

Now, Remember, Giuliani, of course, was at the forefront of Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. And he took no prisoners. He went after people pejoratively, personally, Freedom and Moss, accusing them of stealing the election from his client.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: How can they say there's no fraud? Look at that woman. Look at her taking those ballots around. Look at them scurrying around with the ballots. Nobody in the room. Hiding around.

They look like this -- they look like they're passing out dope. Not just ballots.


BURNETT: Of course, it's been debunked thoroughly again and again and again, court of law, journalism. You know, none of this is true. But even today, Giuliani is doubling down on it.


GIULIANI: I have no doubt that my comments were made and they were supportable and are supportable today. I just did not have an opportunity to present the evidence that we offered --


BURNETT: Well, Giuliani actually did have the opportunity to testify. So that's not accurate. He had an opportunity to present the evidence that he claims he has, but he backed out at the last minute.

And the reality of course is this, that his lies resulted in the two women facing years of harassment and threats, threats like this voicemail.



CALLER: Have a nice life, what's left of it you have.

CALLER: Hey, if this is Shaye, hey, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), I hope you like jail because that's where you're going on your way to hell.


BURNETT: Well, Freeman and Moss later testified before the January 6th Committee and they detailed some of what they have suffered because of those lies and threats.


RUBY FREEMAN, FORMER GEORGIA ELECTION WORKER: I've lost my name and I've lost my reputation. I've lost my sense of security.

SHAYE MOSS, FORMER GEORGIA ELECTION WORKER: This affected my life in a major way, in every way, all because of lies.


BURNETT: Those lies will now cost Rudy Giuliani $148 million according to this verdict.

So, Katelyn Polantz is OUTFRONT live outside the courthouse.

Katelyn, you have been covering in excruciating detail from the very, very beginning and this is now a staggering amount of money awarded from a jury. What happens now?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Erin, these women, Ruby Freeman, Shaye Moss and the lawyers working with them, they are going to try to collect some of this money, whatever they can get out of Rudy Giuliani. There's going to be a couple things that happen still in court. So there's something still on the table where their teams had gone to the judge and wanted a court order to order Rudy Giuliani to take down anything on his social media accounts, on websites he controlled that would repeat these sorts of false statements.

We're going to wait and see if they're going to continue asking for that.


The judge might have some sort of order like that, essentially barring Giuliani from continuing to propagate these lies and then the other thing that's going to happen is they're very likely going to be coming to court, they already indicated that they're going to come to court to try and get to those payments as quickly as possible. That they're going to want to try and get Rudy Giuliani, to put liens on things that he has and they're going to want to do that before he has the chance to get bond or an appeal. So, all of that is going to be playing out in the coming days in the court.

But a reminder, Erin, Rudy Giuliani says he is broke. He's trying to sell an apartment for about $6 million in New York that he has. It's unclear how much other money he might have. He doesn't have money to pay for lawyers or anything else. But these two women, they want to send a message. It's not just about the money. They reiterated that today.

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

And OUTFRONT now, John Langford. He is an attorney for Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss.

And, John, you know, you heard Katelyn reporting there. Your clients made it clear it's not just about the money. It's about making a point.

But, of course, when it comes to the money, Rudy Giuliani's lawyer says he's broke. He says he can't pay any of his legal bills and multiple lawsuits. He said he can't pay any of those, right? We don't know exactly what know he doesn't have enough to pay all of the things do. Will your clients see any of this money that they were awarded today by that jury?

JOHN LANGFORD, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGIA ELECTION WORKERS AWARDED $148m FROM GIULIANI: Well, thank you for having me, Erin. We are going to work very, very hard to ensure that they see every bit of money that Mr. Giuliani has available to him to pay and satisfy this judgment.

And I would like to add one point which is, we went and asked for the evidence about his net worth and about what his finances actually are. And guess who didn't produce that evidence? Rudy Giuliani. And that led to a jury instruction says you cannot assume that he is unable to satisfy a judgment.

And so I would say on whether Mr. Giuliani can satisfy this judgment, the jury is still out. We're going to do everything in our power to makes he has to pay.

BURNETT: And how quickly are you going to move? Katelyn indicating extremely fast. What does that mean for you, John?

LANGFORD: Well, I will say, I'm part of a team that represented Ruby and Shaye and our team is talented and has been thinking about this exact problem. It's not a surprise to us. And we do have plans to move as quickly as we can.

The next step here is to go to court on Monday to figure out how we're going to go forward with getting final judgment entered. Getting a final judgment entered is the document you need to go to other jurisdictions where Mr. Giuliani has assets, New York, Florida, and attach those assets to his -- attach the judgment to his assets.

He also just signed a contract with Newsmax. So we're looking at every option we have to obtain the money that he owes Ruby and Shaye.

BURNETT: And he has shown no remorse, as we made clear, John, no remorse for what he said, what he did, what he claimed which was untrue and the impact that that had on Ruby and Shaye. Here he is just a few days ago.


GIULIANI: Everything I said about them is true.

REPORTER: Do you regret what you did to Shaye and Ruby --

GIULIANI: Of course I don't regret it. I told the truth. They were engaged in changing votes.


BURNETT: Now, of course this has been factually disproven. It's not true. It did not occur. But, John, what's your reaction when you hear that? Do you think that mattered with the jury? I mean, is he just saying this because he's trying to do through an appeal? I mean, how do you even respond when you hear that? LANGFORD: Well, first of all, I find it disgusting. I mean, he walked out of the courtroom where he just heard a presentation about the ways in which his lies have upended Ruby and Shaye's lives for three years. They have courage and bravery to stand up for him. For him to walk out of that courtroom and say that on a day was disgusting.

Our client Shaye told the jury how she found out about that. Went back to a hotel, she saw on a television screen that the man who just walked out of the courtroom hearing the impact of his lies on their lives.

So it's frankly disgusting. It's -- he also in that same statement said it's unfortunate what happened to Ruby and Shaye. It's unfortunate what happened to them. Who does he think is causing this to happen to Ruby and Shaye Moss?

And I sat two feet away from his attorney in closing argument. He said, you know, the jury should send a message that we need to bring the country together. Look at what happened on January 6. Who do you think caused what happened on January 6th? What is the root -- I mean, it's -- those are two of the stupidest things I have heard in my entire life and it's disgusting.

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

LANGFORD: Thank you.

BURNETT: And now you heard from one of Ruby and Shaye's attorney, let's go to John Avlon, our senior political analyst, former chief speechwriter for then Mayor Giuliani.


So, of course, he knows him very well over the very many years.

And, Ryan Goodman, co-editor in chief of "Just Security" and the former special counsel of the Defense Department.

You know, I heard you and saw you here sort of shaking your head as we heard Rudy Giuliani speak.

RUDY GIULIANI, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, both his comments earlier -- a few days ago and tonight after the verdict.


GIULIANI: That's not defiance. That's delusion. And it's sad to see. His own lawyers presented a defense in the closing arguments that his -- comparing Rudy Giuliani to a Flat Earth Society member. Basically, it's a form of the insanity defense, I guess. He believes these things that are not true.

BURNETT: His own attorney.

GIULIANI: His own attorney. And this is somebody that compounding -- somebody who was one of the most respected prosecutors of his generation. An Italian American who helped bring down the mob in New York City, someone who turned around New York City, made it the safest largest city in America, someone who showed extraordinary leadership on 9/11.

And he is so thoroughly debased himself and it's unfortunate, so detached from reality and -- he used to say to be locked in a partisan politics doesn't permit you to think clearly. Rudy Giuliani has not been thinking clearly since he got locked in a hyperpartisan politics. And it's tragic.

BURNETT: Yeah, Trump orbit. I mean, it's unbelievable.

Ryan, just looking at this form, you see it handwritten, 3:35 p.m. on December 15th and then there's the amounts laid out. Just actually -- human being wrote these numbers out. These numbers are enormous.

Is -- are they going to get any of this money? I mean, I know -- it's clear they don't expect to get all of this money. That's not the point of this. But how much?

RYAN GOODMAN, CO-EDITOR IN CHIEF, JUST SECURITY: Who knows? There's no way they'll collect that. I don't think they'll collect half the amount or a quarter of it, so some of the fraction. But I think they'll collect millions. It depends upon what his assets are.

And even if he were to declare bankruptcy, the judgment in all likelihood is independent of any bankruptcy. It would like alimony checks or taxes that a person owes. He'll have to pay them in any case.

So, he's in trouble and it's only a question of how many assets he has. Does he have a multimillion dollar apartment here and there and then it's about them versus maybe other creditors.

BURNETT: Right, other creditors, his own lawyers. That he hasn't paid any of those bills for him.

John, former President Trump threw a $100,000 plate dinner for Giuliani, to raise money to pay lawyers when he said he couldn't pay them. There was speculation, was he worried that Giuliani could turn against him in some way. So what happens now? We haven't heard a word from Trump since that dinner.

AVLON: No. And all of this is the downstream effect of Donald Trump, for the lies that Donald Trump was spreading, that Rudy Giuliani peddled in courts to the extent of defamation.

Look, let's we forget, Rudy Giuliani basically -- he lit his reputation on fire for Donald Trump. He wasn't paid for a lawyer. That fund raiser was after the fact and designed to shore him up. Presumably, Rudy was in the room when all of these conversations happened and perhaps thought it was being covered by attorney-client privilege.

One of the reasons he went from being worth $30 million during his divorce to very, very little now accept underlying assets is because he worked for Donald Trump effectively for free because he didn't pay his legal bills, just the expenses at the end of the day. So that's just -- that loyalty has been a one-way street. It's coming out of his hide right now. Donald Trump might be able to pay $150 million judgment, not Rudy Giuliani.

BURNETT: So, what are the implications here for Donald Trump?

GOODMAN: I think they're quite severe. In a certain sense, we just got a message from a jury that adjudicated some of the same facts that will be part of the January 6th criminal trial. The allegations in the original indictment include what Giuliani did with Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman. They're in the original indictment.

Earlier this month, Jack Smith sent in another motion to the court, and he said, the defendant continued to falsely attack two Georgia election workers despite being on notice that his claims about them in 2020 were false and has subjected them to file, racist and violent threats and harassment.

The defendant there is Donald Trump. It's an overlap with what just happened. So this means this is very strong there will be witnesses against Donald Trump in all likelihood. You can see the writing on the wall.

BURNETT: Well, which is extremely significant when you look at a jury verdict here tonight.

All right. Thank you both very much.

And next, a CNN investigation, hundreds of Palestinian boys and men identified by their relatives as civilians, blindfolded, stripped and detained by Israel.

Also breaking, Matthew Perry's cause of death just released and Dr. Sanjay Gupta is OUTFRONT to talk about those details.

And we also have remarkable images tonight of a massive solar flare that knocked out airline communications and radio signals around Earth. Former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino is OUTFRONT.



BURNETT: The breaking news, Israel accidentally killing three of its own hostages is Gaza. The spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces saying the three men, Yotam Haim, Samer Talalka, and Alon Shimriz either managed to escape or had been abandoned by Hamas and they likely believed they were on their way to freedom. And according to the IDF, they were confronted by Israeli forces, a moment they thought, finally, but the Israeli Defense Forces mistakenly viewed them as a threat and they shot and killed them.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling this a, quote, unbearable tragedy. I want to do straight to Jeremy Diamond.

And, Jeremy, the IDF is taking full responsibility tonight. There's no ambiguity about what happened here. What more are you learning?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, tonight, Erin, three Israeli civilians who were being held hostage by Hamas since October 7th are dead and they were killed by Israeli forces who believed they were Palestinian militants, killed mistakenly as those solids appeared to believe that these men were a threat.

The three men are all in their 20s, 28-year-old Yotam Haim and 26- year-old Alon Shimriz were both from kibbutz Kfar Aza. Twenty-five- year-old Samer Al-Talalka, he was kidnapped from kibbutz Nir Am, all of them kidnapped by Hamas on October 7th.

The Israeli military said they were on the run or abandoned by their captors. It's important to know that where they were killed has been the scene of heavy fighting over the last week.


The Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City is one of Hamas' last remaining strongholds in northern Gaza. And the Israel military has been targeting them.

Now, the Israeli prime minister for his part called this an unbearable tragedy and he said that the whole state of Israel is grieving. But tonight, Erin, dozens of Israelis are protesting, demanding that the Israeli prime minister reach a deal immediately to free the hundred- plus remaining hostages in Gaza.

BURNETT: Horrible, horrible tragedy. The IDF I know also under criticism tonight for their treatment of Palestinian men and even boys who have been identified by their relatives. They say they're civilians. These men have been blindfolded, stripped of their clothes.

What can you tell us about your investigation into what's happening here, Jeremy?

DIAMOND: Well, Erin, we've watched over the last week and a half as images have surfaced on social media of dozens of Palestinian men and boys stripped, blindfolded, hands handcuffed behind their backs detained by Israeli soldiers in northern Gaza. We were able to get firsthand testimony from ten of those men and boys who were held by the Israeli military for five days. Here's the abuse and mistreatment that they described.


DIAMOND (voice-over): Bruised, lacerated and swollen, these are the hands of Nimir Abu Raz (ph) after he was detained for five days by Israeli forces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): These are from the plastic wires. We were handcuffed behind our backs. DIAMOND: His wounds are not unique in this corner of Gaza's Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital. Here, six boys and four men, their hands numbered with red marker, were being treated hours after Israeli forces released them without charge.

Mahmoud is just 14 years old.

MAHMOUD ZENDAH, 14-YEAR-OLD DETAINED BY ISRAELI MILITARY (through translator): This is from the boots.

DIAMOND: He and his father were detained by Israeli soldiers in the Al Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City where the Israeli military has been engaged in heavy fighting.

ZENDAH: They would tie your hands behind your back. Depending on the mood of one of them, they would come quick you with their boots. I didn't do anything to him. He just decided to come and kick me.

DIAMOND: Mahmoud and his father are among hundreds of Palestinian boys and men, many of them identified by their relatives or employers as civilians, who have been blindfolded, stripped and detained in recent weeks.

MOHAMMED ODEH, 16-YEAR-OLD DETAINED BY ISRAELI MILITARY (through translator): They put us on the floor and put their feet on our heads. They would ask, are you Hamas and beat us. When we wanted to sleep, we couldn't because it was so cold. When we asked for something to wear or cover ourselves with, they would beat us.

DIAMOND: The ten boys and men who spoke to CNN described nearly identical accounts of abuse. Several said they were not allowed to go to the bathroom, made to sleep on grains of rice on the floor and given little to no food or water. A day after he arrived at the hospital, 40-year-old Mahmoud Azlin (ph) can barely stand. His relatives say he's diabetic and had no access to insulin during his five-day detention.

DR. KHALIL AL DAQRAN, SPOKESPERSON, AL-AQSA MARTYRS HOSPITAL (through translator): All arrived psychologically and physically exhausted. There were signs of torture in the arms and signs off beatings all over their bodies.

DIAMOND: In a statement, the Israeli military said it was detaining individuals expected of involvement in terrorist activity and those who are found not to be taken part in terrorist activities are released. The IDF said the individuals detained are treated in accordance with international law and it strives to treat any detainee with dignity. Any incident with which the guidelines were not followed will be looked into.

A spokesman for the Israeli military declined to address specific allegations of mistreatment, or provide an explanation for the detention of the 10 boys and men interviewed by CNN.

OMAR SHAKIR, ISRAEL AND PALESTINE DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: International law is quite clear that you can only detain civilians when absolutely necessary for imperative reasons of security. Whether the detention is of a civilian or a combatant, the law protects those in detention and custody against degrading and humiliating treatment and outrageous and personal dignity.

DIAMOND: For 14-year-old Ahmad, the trauma is not just physical.

AHMAD NIMER SAIMAN ABU RAS, 14-YEAR-OLD DETAINED BY ISRAELI MILITARY (through translator): I don't want to speak. I'm afraid.

CNN: What are you afraid of?

ABU RAS: I'm scared of the Israelis. I don't want them to do something to us.

DIAMOND: With his father's permission, he adds his story to the allegations of abuse.


DIAMOND (on camera): And now, the State Department has said that Israeli officials have committed to returning the clothing to these detainees as soon as they are strip searched. But so many more questions still remain, Erin, about the practice of detaining these large groups of men and boys in areas of Gaza and also their treatment as we heard from them firsthand -- Erin.


BURNETT: Absolutely. Hear from so many young men and teens, Palestinians in the West Bank as well. These frustrations.

All right. Thank you very much, Jeremy.

And I want to go now to Israeli American, Jonathan Dekel-Chen. His son, 35-year-old, Sagui Dekel-Chen is still being held in Gaza. Sagui is the father of two young children.

Jonathan, I know you wait and wait and every day is that agonizing wait.

And then today, the IDF says that three hostages were killed mistakenly by IDF forces. It appears that they either tried to escape or been abandoned by Hamas. Surely, they think that this is it. And then this horrific, horrific thing happens.

I can't even imagine for you what your reaction could be when you heard this today and how terrified you must be that this happened to your son if he tried to escape or something.

JONATHAN DEKEL-CHEN, FATHER OF AMERICAN HELD HOSTAGE BY HAMAS: Well, that's -- that is certainly a thought that goes through my head and surely every other -- every other person who has a loved one in Hamas activity as far as this tragic, tragic incident. It's tragedy upon tragedy. These three young men probably did think they were on their way to freedom after 70 or so days of a living hell and having somehow survived the massacre on October 7th. It's also tragic because their families now will never see them again.

And they are victims of -- delayed, but victims of October 7th as well. And as any soldier would be able to say, I feel terrible for the soldiers themselves, the Israeli soldiers who clearly made a fatal error and they're going to have to live with that for the rest of their lives.

BURNETT: It's just -- it is just so horrible. I know you had a chance to meet with President Biden at the White House this week. Got some images of that, and I know that much of that conversation, of course, was private. It was you and other Americans, Israeli Americans who have family members who are held hostage by Hamas right now. But what can you share about that meeting?

DEKEL-CHEN: Well, it was indeed a meeting that were representatives from nine -- actually, ten of the American families who had or most of them still have hostages being held by Hamas.

We indeed met with President Biden and Secretary Blinken for about two hours in the White House. And it was really a reassuring experience. We went into it having really been in contact since shortly after the October 7th attacks with representatives of the U.S. government.

And what we heard from the president and Secretary Blinken and shortly thereafter from CIA director -- from the CIA director is a steadfast commitment to doing whatever the U.S. government can do to get all of the hostages out. Not just the remaining eight Americans, but, of course, in the end, leaders in Israel and leaders of Hamas are going to have to -- one way or another, agree to make this happen.

BURNETT: I know we could all just hope and pray that that does happen and, of course, even in the face of this, just horrible, horrible thing that happened today. Jonathan, thank you very much.

DEKEL-CHEN: Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. Next, we have some breaking news details on Matthew Perry's official cause of death. We understand it's been revealed in part of acute effects of ketamine. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is OUTFRONT next. We have more of the breaking details as we're learning them.

Plus, a binder in Trump's possession that was filled with highly classified information about Russia election meddling vanishes in the final days of the Trump administration. So, who took it? Where is it?



BURNETT: Breaking news, ketamine. We are learning tonight that the, quote, acute effects of ketamine is what led to actor Matthew Perry's death. This is according to the Los Angeles County medical examiner tonight. Other contributing factors, drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of an opioid.

The report also revealing a live-in assistant found Perry's unresponsive in his Malibu home pool. Perry was only 54 years old.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is OUTFRONT with me now.

So, okay, Sanjay, as we are learning more details here, at the time of his death in October, it was determined there were no drugs at Matthew Perry's house, yet he died of a ketamine overdose.

So, can you tell us more about this drug and the effects of this drug that could have led to his either death and then, you know, drowning effects or his drowning.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, so there were -- it was a long report, Erin. It was about 30 pages. As you point out, acute ketamine intoxication was listed as the primary cause. And what they mean by that is that Ketamine that he had taken recently. They found remnants of this trace amounts in his stomach. So, it sounds like something that he swallowed.

You can take ketamine in different ways. It can be injected, snorted, it can be swallowed. If it's swallowed, it takes usually about a half an hour or so for it to take effect.

So reading through this report sounds like what happened is that he took some ketamine, he went into the pool, the ketamine is a dissociative. It disassociates someone from their environment. It can sometimes be used even under anesthesia.

And to give you some context, when they measured the levels, they were quite high, in the 3,000 sort of range. Anesthesia levels can be 1,000 to 6,000. It was a fair amount of ketamine that he took. But it sounds like he became disassociated as a result of that, and because he was in a pool, he sort of probably kind of loss consciousness and fell into the floor or kind of put his face in the pool and that's what led to his death. It was not likely the ketamine itself that led to his death, but it made it more likely that he drowned.


GUPTA: Had he not been in the pool, it's likely he would not have died.

BURNETT: Which is incredible and it's a drug, of course, that I actually -- recently someone who was at the raid in Israel was saying.


It's more and more use of ketamine now. So a drug many might be familiar with.

His co-star Jennifer Aniston said she texted with him the day he died. Sanjay, she said he was happy, he was happy. He quit smoking and was getting in shape. He was happy. That's all I know.

And obviously we don't know much more here. We know there was an opioid in his system, another one that could be used to treat an opioid that they said in that autopsy report that you reference. Are there any medical reasons that could have explained all these

things that wouldn't have indicated some sort of a drug relapse or something?

GUPTA: Not really. It was interesting when you -- when I read the report, he was also getting ketamine infusion therapy as you may have heard, Erin, which can be useful treatment for depression and anxiety. But that infusion therapy sounds like it had nothing to do with this. Because the last time he received an infusion therapy was about a week and a half earlier. And to give you some context, typically the half life of ketamine is a few hours. Not a few days.

So it sounds like in addition to that infusion therapy, he was taking ketamine recreationally, took it into his stomach. The other drug you mentioned, that that's a synthetic opioid that can sometimes damping the hallucinogenic effects of ketamine. But we don't know what -- why he was taking it, why he was taking them in conjunction. We just know sort of what sadly ended up happening.

BURNETT: All right. Sanjay, well, thank you very much for explaining so much of that.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. And next, the binder filled with sensitive information about Russia. It disappeared in the final days of Trump's presidency and it is still missing. So, where is it?

Also breaking now, Arizona's Democratic governor sending the National Guard to the border as her state struggles to cope with the crush of migrants. We'll take you live to the border tonight.



BURNETT: Tonight, a CNN investigation has found that a binder full of highly classified information connected to the FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election of 2016 went missing in the final hours of the Trump presidency. And that information is part of the FBI so-called Crossfire Hurricane case. It was deemed so sensitive it could only be viewed at the CIA. Not even in a SCIF somewhere else, you had to go to the CIA.

And Trump himself has made no effort to hide his interest in this classified information. According to "The New York Times", he suggested in a 2021 interview about a book that his former chief of staff Mark Meadows had the binder. He said, I would let you look at them if you wanted. It's a treasure-trove.

And this is what Cassidy Hutchinson, Meadows' former aide, writes in her book.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE AIDE: I watched him climb into the limo, noticing the original Crossfire Hurricane binder tucked under his arm. I did not have time to ask what he planned to do with it as he drove away. What the hell is Mark doing with the unredacted Crossfire Hurricane binder?


BURNETT: Evan Perez was part of the team that broke this exclusive reporting.

And, Evan, so from what you're saying, the binder was last seen at the White House in Trump's final days in office. The president had ordered it brought there so he could declassify documents related to the FBI Russia investigation. It's a binder that wasn't in any normal situation was supposed to leave CIA headquarters, never mind go to some sort of special classified room and anywhere else. So what more can you tell us about the actual binder itself?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know, Erin, that this was some of the most sensitive intelligence material that the United States has, right? This is material that is related to sources and methods. It's information that is very prized not only by the United States but by NATO allies.

And the real concern is that if it gets into the wrong hands and certainly if the former president were to just release it all, that it would be damaging not only to our relationships with our allies, but it also could get people killed, right? You get sources and methods out there and it could show Russia and other countries who was providing information to us. And so that was the concern when the former president asked and Mark Meadows at his request had them bring this trove of information in the closing days -- the chaotic closing days of the Donald Trump presidency and the plan was to have this get declassified and release it first to conservative journalists and then to the world, right?

And what we know is that in those last frantic hours, Mark Meadows had a version of this that he returned back to the Justice Department. We don't know what happens to the other material that may not have been in there. So, we don't know what exactly happened after that.

BURNETT: It's amazing, you're in the final hours here, this incredibly sensitive information, just floating around in certain hands, are there any clues about where it is now?

PEREZ: Well, there's a number of big concerns, certainly from the intelligence community. They were so concerned that last year they went and briefed members of the Senate intelligence -- leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee to raise concerns that this could fall into the wrong hands.

The other thing we heard there from Cassidy Hutchinson's book, she had her theory about whether it went from Mark Meadows' office somewhere else. We did reach out to Meadows' attorney and here's what he had to say. This is George Terwilliger.

He said, Mr. Meadows was keenly aware of and adhered to requirements of the proper handling of classified material and he also said that any idea -- any suggestion that Mark Meadows had anything to do with the missing binder is completely false. So at this point it remains a mystery that has not been solved.

BURNETT: All right. Evan, thank you very much. Evan breaking that inclusive reporting.

Next, more breaking news from Arizona. The Democratic governor there tearing into President Biden for failing to help the migrant surge. Next we're going to take you to the border to see that surge there up close tonight.

Plus, is there life on other planets? I'm going to talk to a former astronaut Mike Massimino who believes there is and he'll tell you why.



BURNETT: Breaking news. Arizona sending the National Guard to the border. Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs ordering the move amid a crush of migrants from Mexico and calling out President Biden for refusing her requests for help. The National Guard will head to multiple border locations including Lukeville where there's new video that shows hundreds of migrants in limbo. There's just not enough workers to process their cases.

Rosa Flores is OUTFRONT.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jason Owens, the U.S. Border Patrol chief, says his agency is overwhelmed by the unprecedented migrant surge with thousands of people entering the U.S. illegally every day. One hot spot, Lukeville, Arizona, where Maida (ph) and her three children from Ecuador waited in the cold overnight to be transported for immigration processing.

JASON OWENS, THE U.S. BORDER PATROL CHIEF: It's the border being exploited by the criminal elements, the transnational criminal organizations.

FLORES: Owens says some border patrol facilities are 200 to 300 percent overcapacity with about 20,000 migrants in custody. The federal government has temporarily closed three ports of industry -- Eagle Pass Texas, Lukeville, Arizona, and a pedestrian crossing in San Ysidro, California, interrupting lawful trade and travel.


OWENS: It's frustrating for all of us.

FLORES: Owens says several dozens employees at the crossings have been reassigned to process migrants.

GOV. KATIE HOBBS (D), ARIZONA: That's certainly not the right response.

FLORES: Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, wrote a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to use the National Guard to reopen the Lukeville crossing.

HOBBS: The tourism is being greatly impacted in Rocky Point.

FLORES: Rocky Point is a resort town on Mexico's Sea of Cortez, where many Americans own investment property like Bo Ruelcava (ph) from Utah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's only our source of income.

FLORES: He owns seven vacation properties and says he has lost $35,000 in cancelled reservations since the Lukeville crossing closed. It's how Americans access the beach town.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It makes me very upset because I feel like our leaders are failing us.

She said that it's on TikTok, that it's on Facebook, that the border is open.

Apparent misinformation fuelling the flow.

What's the backup in Lukeville?

OWENS: It's a very remote location.

FLORES: Owens says the cartels have dropped off thousands of migrants in the rugged Arizona desert, creating a logistical nightmare for agents.

OWENS: And while we're doing that, we can't be out on patrol. So, guess what the cartels and smugglers are doing? They're using that opportunity to cross other things.

FLORES: Like fentanyl, cash, and criminals, he says. Apprehensions of people on the terrorist watch list have spiked, 15 in fiscal year 2021, 169 in fiscal 2023.

OWENS: These are the things that keep us up at night. There is nothing that crosses our borders illicitly that's not in the control of TCO and the cartels.

FLORES: Scary thought.

OWENS: It's very scary.

FLORES: Owens says the only things scarier are the gotaways, the people detected on the border but not apprehended. There's been more than 1.1 million since 2019.

OWENS: They're making millions, tens of millions of dollars a week.

FLORES: A few after hours after talking to Chief Owens on this boat ramp, an apparent coyote used the same ramp to smuggle a man into Laredo, Texas.

OWENS: These folks probably are the ones that have the criminal histories, that are coming in with bad intent.


FLORES (on camera): I asked Owens what he needs to keep the border safe. Take a look at this wide shot of the scene. You see the Arizona desert, the border wall, and Mexico on the other side. Owens says he needs technology, infrastructure, more border patrol agents.

In the past few days, there's been a steady stream of migrants walking down this path. Let me show you how they get in. Smugglers on the Mexican side cut the wall. On the U.S. side, you can see these are markings when the border wall has been repaired. I want to leave you with this because this is a freshly cut border wall. You can see that it was cut and it was repaired just last week -- Erin.

BURNETT: Wow. That is incredible just to see that.

And also, Rosa, every single one, cut, cut, cut. They're all marked, so many around where you're standing.

All right. Thank you very much. Just incredible, in Arizona tonight where Rosa is live.

And next the images of a massive solar flare that has knocked out communications around the world. We'll be back.



BURNETT: Tonight, incredible new images of a massive solar flare that actually knocked out radio signals and airline communications on earth. This image of the solar flare -- it's like you're looking at sci-fi. But this actually happened today, and it was captured by a NAS telescope.

OUTFRONT now, a former NASA astronaut, Mike Massimino, the author of the new book, "Moon Shot: NASA Astronaut's Guide to Achieving the Impossible."

So, Mike, okay, I knew we were going to be talking today about your book. But that amazing image, I mean, it's really incredible how fragile, a solar flare, just the sun doing its business every day, and knocks out airline communication, radio signals in various places around the world.

MIKE MASSIMINO, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: No, it's very interesting. It's alive, our sun. We think of it -- we see it as a big object in the sky, a star in the black sky, but it's very active. And those flares come.

And we're heading into a period of more solar activity. The solar cycle is going to reach its peak, they think, between January and October. So, we can expect more of these interruptions to radio communications.

But also more looks at the aurora, the northern lights, which I think will be very interesting as well.

BURNETT: I get nervous when it's airline communications being knocked out.

MASSIMINO: It's usually not very long. They can anticipate it. I think we'll work around it. It doesn't really pose much of a harm to us. The magnetic field of the earth absorbs a lot of it.

Astronauts in space are even protected. I'm going to be curious when we're sending people to the moon maybe later this year of how --

BURNETT: Which, of course will be incredible. You go to the moon and you've got to reconquer the moon and maybe Mars.

Congress passed a law this week demanding make records of UFOs public, of any UFOs within 25 years. And I don't know what you believe about UFOs, but you are confident about life being out there.

MASSIMINO: I think so. As far as life goes, if you think of the Hubble space telescope has shown us and James Webb telescope has shown us, there are billions of galaxies and billions of stars in each of those galaxies. Most of those stars have multiple planets orbiting around them.

To think we're the only place there is life is so unlikely. I think we are seeing the building blocks of life even in our own solar system. They're starting to detect some of the moons out by Jupiter -- we thought were just frozen blocks of ice. But what they're finding is they're warmer than we expected and there might be oceans underneath that layer of ice.

So, who knows what we'll find out there. I don't think there's life out there anywhere close, but I think we'll find them.

BURNETT: The mathematical arrogance.


BURNETT: Oh, we're special.

MASSIMINO: There's a lot of opportunity.

BURNETT: So, your new book is about your experiences in NASA and how what you learned there you can apply to others. You wrote, life is hard but it gets easier when you have a lifeline. Never be afraid to reach out to a friend or coworker and say, Houston, I have a problem. But you don't have to call them Houston if that doesn't fit from where you are.

But you talk about relying on your team and literally life and death for you, every instant in what you went through. But in a time where so many people are struggling, you think what you experienced can apply more broadly? MASSIMINO: Absolutely. And for us, it was we had to operate that way.

It wasn't just life or death. It was also being successful in our missions, when we would make mistakes or have problems, or things didn't appear the way they were supposed to when you got to space. Everything was a little bit different. So, you would reach out and get that help and they were a world away.

And what I found is that the same rules apply on earth. We have to operate that way to be successful, but it's a good way to operate as well in our professional lives and personal lives. I understand that help -- I think a lot of that came up with the pandemic as well, when we were away from each other, but we were still there. We just had to reach out.

BURNETT: Yeah. Well, I think a lot of people could realize now this seems to be -- I don't know, the pandemic over and still an epidemic maybe worse than ever of loneliness.

MASSIMINO: But everyone is still there. Reach out to mission control.

BURNETT: All right, Mike. Great to see you. Thank you.

MASSIMINO: Oh, thanks for having me on.

BURNETT: Have a wonderful weekend. I hope you all will as well.

It's time now for "AC360".