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Erin Burnett Outfront

Haley Calls Out Trump "Lies" Across New Hampshire With 4 Days Until Primary; New Inquiry Launched Into District Attorney In Georgia Trump Case; NATO: Preparing For Conflict With Russia "If They Attack Us"; What Broke The American Dream For Millennials; Alec Baldwin Indicted Again In Fatal "Rust" Shooting. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired January 19, 2024 - 19:00   ET




Nikki Haley gets personal, going after Trump like we have not seen do before. And for the first time saying VP is off the table. Will this Hail Mary work?

Plus, breaking news, the Fulton County D.A. who's investigating Trump now facing an inquiry herself, amid allegations that her lead prosecutor use public funds to pay for lavish out-of-state trips for the two of them.

And the real economy, a special series on what millennials are saying about the economy, juggling multiple jobs, still not making ends meet, regretting going to college at all.



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

OUTFRONT tonight: Off the table. Nikki Haley leaving no ambiguity over whether she will be Trump's vice president saying today, and I quote her, I've said from the very beginning, I don't play for a second. I don't want to be anybody's vice president. That is off the table.

Now, off the table, those words and that clarity on this particular issue is new. And in these final days before the win or die New Hampshire primary, Haley seems to be making it clear that there is no assuaging Trump while running any kind of a real race against him.


NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He knows I know what his lies are. That is a lie. That is a lie.


BURNETT: Haley today taking on Trump like we have never seen her do before. The question is whether it is too late and tonight, she's attacking Trump again -- by the way, what you're looking at here is her speaking at her sixth campaign event of the day. Trump himself and Ron DeSantis also are in New Hampshire tonight. They're both about to speak as well.

But the reality of it is this: Haley has the most to gain and the most to lose when New Hampshire voters hit the polls on Tuesday. A win would transform her campaign and this race, a loss could end the primary season and declare Trump the de facto nominee.

Kylie Atwood is OUTFRONT live outside the Nikki Haley event in Manchester, New Hampshire.

And, Kylie, you have been talking to voters there all day and when we talk about the stakes, they are the ones who will make this decision. What are they telling you?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, Erin, we focused in on conversations with female voters here today. They called Nikki Haley fresh and exciting, but bear in mind that we were at Haley events. So, most of them were either already supporting her or considering very seriously supporting her.

But they told us that they have groups of female friends who were also all voting for Trump. So it'll be really interesting to see how this group of the electorate, the female voting bloc breaks for these different candidates on Tuesday night.


ATWOOD (voice-over): Nikki Haley courting all New Hampshire voters, women included. Some saw it as an opportunity to take her by the hand and deliver a blunt message.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No party is going to tell me how to vote.

ATWOOD: Others, unexpectedly stumbling upon Haley's event, sat back and watched her work the room, feeling inspired to cast a ballot for the former South Carolina governor at the end of their tea, driven by a desire to move on from Trump.

PEGGY CHIDESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: I did vote for Trump. I thought he was a fresh voice. I thought he was bringing something new into government, but I also now feel like he's much too divisive.

ATWOOD: Chidester isn't the only New Hampshire woman we spoke with who's planning to shift support from Trump to Haley.


ATWOOD: Trump has been ramping up his attacks on the woman he once chose to serve in his administration. He is used well-worn tactics, calling her nicknames, using her birth name, Nimarata, to criticize her on social media, and promoting the falsehood about Haley's eligibility to serve as president, despite being born in the United States.

He's also questioned her ability to lead the Republican Party.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: He's not going to make it. She has no chance. She's got no way. MAGA is not going to be with her.

If she wins, Biden wins.

ATWOOD: New Hampshire women shrugged off those attacks, saying there really nothing new for Trump.

JENNIFER NASSOUR, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: He has a primal instinct to lash out and choose lies and promote lies. If you were a cornered animal, you would, but instead he's using words. So, whatever.

ATWOOD: Those looking to Haley just want something new, explain Lindsey Maust who came to see Haley with her mother and her two young children.

MAUST: I think it's good to bring some feminine power to our country and just a different mindset because I don't think what we have gone on is gone so well right now.


ATWOOD: While Haley speaks about being a mother and a wife on the campaign trail, she's avoided making her female identity central to her pitch.

HALEY: May the best woman win.

All kidding aside, this is not about identity politics. I don't believe in that, and I don't believe in glass ceilings either.

ATWOOD: And it's an approach that has gained her respect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's been a legislator, a governor. She's been U.N. ambassador. She's an accountant. She's a mom. She's a daughter, right? She has friends, so she understands people in a different way.

ATWOOD: But so far being the only woman in the Republican race has not translated to an outsized female support. In the Iowa caucuses, CNN entrance polls showed Haley lagging far behind Trump's among women. Whether she can close the gap in New Hampshire may determine how much of a challenge you poses to Trump on Tuesday night.


ATWOOD (on camera): Now, Nikki Haley has said that she wants to do better here in New Hampshire, then she did an Iowa where were she came in third place more than 30 points behind former President Trump. And, of course, she's going to be barnstorming the state over the course of the next few days, just four days from the primary here in New Hampshire. Of course, trying to make that aspiration a reality.

BURNETT: All right. Kylie, thank you very much, in Manchester.

And I want to go now to Matthew Bartlett, Republican strategist also from New Hampshire, and Jennifer Horn, former chairwoman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, Bakari Sellers, Democratic, former South Carolina state representative, who served with Nikki Haley is going to be joining us in just a moment as well.

But, Jennifer, let me start with you. You know, obviously, Kylie making it very clear she was speaking to women near Haley rally. So these were people who were considering voting for her are already were. So she was very clear to be transparent on that.

As you look across the state, though, does Haley have a real opportunity to make inroads among women voters, to do something significant there in New Hampshire?

JENNIFER HORN, FORMER CHAIR, NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN PARTY: Well, I think she's got a number of different opportunities, but up until now, she hasn't really shown -- she hasn't really shown the willingness or, you know, just hadn't shown that she's able to take advantage of a lot of these opportunities. You know, Republican voters tend not to go for the idea of, let's vote for someone because there'll be the first woman, because there'll be the first African American. It's just not as persuasive an issue for Republicans, especially, you know, the base of the party, primary voters.

And to be honest with you, I think when you look at how -- I think that your reporter referenced the women in Iowa, when you look at how Republican women have voted consistently, when Donald Trump has been on the ballot, it is quite surprising, frankly, in face of the misogyny and chauvinist stick triggers that he brings to his language on constantly. It is surprising the degree to which Republican women continue to stay with Donald Trump.

BURNETT: It certainly is. And, Matthew, you know, you heard Kylie mentioned some of what Trump has said about Haley. You know, he calls her Nimarata, one of her birth names to, you know, make her look as if she is not American. And by the way, it's Nimarata Nikki. Nikki is also her name. Not that it would matter if it weren't, but I just unfortunately, in these situations, one has to be clear about that sort of thing.

So he's questioned whether she's even eligible to be president based on their parents weren't U.S. citizens when she was born. Of course, she was born in the United States.

And then he said things like this for her about her onstage.


TRUMP: Now, they're pushing birdbrain, you know, that is Nikki Haley.

She's not tough enough to deal with these people. I will tell you that. She's not tough enough.


BURNETT: As someone who worked in the Trump administration, you know, so you've got context on this, Matthew, are you surprised by the language Trump is using to attack Haley who served in his administration, that this is obviously gender to say the least?

MATTHEW BARTLETT, NEW HAMPSHIRE GOP STRATEGIST: No, it's not surprising. This is the MO of the former president. It's silly. It's sophomoric. It's somewhat stupid. It might resonate with some in his base.

But right now, Nikki Haley is inside right now with one of the biggest crowd she has and this state is full of independent voters, including very strong independent women. So Nikki Haley is making her case out there right now.

As Kylie said, there are three nights left. I am unsure how much Donald Trump's attacks, you know, will change people's minds right now.


BARTLETT: He has always been one to kind of lay into people. But let's remember, she's a Tea Party darling from 2010 that did so well in South Carolina, a very conservative state that he asked her to go serve at America first policy at the U.N., which she did successfully.

BURNETT: So, Bakari, you know, in this context of how well she had done in polls, you know, Manu Raju reported on Monday night, that Tim Scott was in discussions with Trump as to whether he would endorse Haley weeks from now, ahead of South Carolina, to stop her there. And then the whole thing sped up because of the momentum that Trump perceived her to have in New Hampshire.


And so now, Tim Scott, who, Nikki Haley appointed as a senator from the state of South Carolina -- of course, you know them both, you're deeply steeped in politics there. Scott coming out and doing this, what does it mean for her personally?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, personally, I know she's livid, and the fact is that she appointed Tim Scott to the position that he has right now. And so personally, I know that this does not refer (ph) the right way there.

I look at this two ways. First, Tim Scott, Tim Scott is making a very strategic decision to be vice president of the United States. It's a shrewd decision. It's one that any politician probably in his position would make. It kind of eliminate some of your friends which Nikki and he are friends for the greater goal in his mind. And I think he's just reading the tea leaves like most people are, that this is Donald Trump's race to lose.

And let me just say, he'll be a formidable vice president if he is the nominee for that position. I disagree with Tim on every ounce of politics. I can't disagree with the person that he is. I tell people all the time that I would never vote for Tim Scott, but if he needed a kidney I give it him.

With Nikki, this highlights one of his -- one of her greater faults, to be completely honest with her -- with you. I mean, this just shows that the people who know Nikki best like her least, and this is a problem that she has when people get to know where it's -- it's the ability to stand for something. This is a very sharp blow, and South Carolina, this is the blow that will resonate loudest because this is something -- Tim is not somebody to rock a boat.

People may see the calculation of the vice president, but they'll also see this as an indictment of Nikki. And I -- you know, listen, what I don't want to do is be on the other end of Nikki Haley's text messages tonight but she is having a fit. She's livid, and she's going to say her minds to a bunch of her people in South Carolina about what Tim Scott did to her today.

BURNETT: So, Jennifer, in this context, one of the most notable and longtime political analysts out there, Larry Sabato tweeted something today that caught my attention. It's this: Isn't it amazing how quickly the air went out of the Nikki Haley for president balloon high-flying before Iowa. Now preparing for a crash landing in New Hampshire say all the pundits who saw a path to victory for her just a few days ago.

Look, you know, we're looking at two things. We're looking at Matthew says, you know, the biggest crowd she's had yet and also this Tim Scott blow happening, and the conversations that Larry refers to are indeed happening.

Pundits are the pundits though.

HORN: Right.

BURNETT: Do you see this in -- this is a deflating balloon or not?

HORN: I am afraid that I do. And with all due respect to Matthews experienced and his time in New Hampshire as well, I don't see Nikki Haley -- suggests she's not doing what she needs to do in order to defeat Donald Trump in New Hampshire. And you can look at the polls, you look at Marist when it came out today, the daily tracking from Suffolk, she's simply too far behind it at this point in my opinion. She's doubled down by double digits.

Last I looked at the average, I think she's still down by 14 or 15 points, and what she would need to do to overcome that would be he to do something extraordinary and bold. And she continues to run a very cautious campaign.

BURNETT: All right. So let me ask you about that, Matthew, because I don't know exactly what you're referring to and you say that Jennifer, but I can think of some things, for example, chaos follows him about Trump instead of indirectly indicting him for that chaos, right? Just examples like that.

Matthew, also on that list this flirtation with the VP. I don't want to ever be anyone's number two, but refusing to directly take it off the table and say, I will never do it until now. Do you think that it is enough that that is at this point classifying is extraordinary or not? BARTLETT: I mean, she is in a very hard position here in the Granite State. You're right. She's in number two. But more importantly, she's running against an incumbent president, so she needs to contrast with Donald Trump but in a way that gets some of his voters towards him.

So she needs to work with a magnet as opposed to a spear. If laying into Donald Trump was going to get you the nomination, Chris Christie would have had this thing wrapped up a while ago. So she needs to maintain those independent voters and also attract some of the base Republican voters, not just here in New Hampshire, but onto South Carolina and onto nationally, if she -- if this is going to be a race.

BURNETT: You know, Bakari, one thing that strikes me and this she's been consistent on every single time since the beginning, is that she does better in polling in a general election, than Trump, right? It's been away for her to say vote for her on electability without slamming him.

And yet, Bakari, in a state where that could make all the difference, right? Independents could just come over and vote for and put her over the top. It'd be very easy. The polls don't show it happening. We'll see what happens, right? We will see what happens, but it isn't clearly happening in advance of the vote. Does that surprise you?

SELLERS: Republicans don't want to be president of the United States, and that's fine with me as a Democrat. Look, I got somebody out there beating the incumbent president by 17 points, and I'm voting for somebody in a neck and neck race, that is just silly to me, but I will take silly season because that is what we're in right now.


Look, Democrats, we are just jumping are bid get a hold of Donald Trump one more time and beat him one more time and put it into the MAGA movement because we know that Joe Biden will tell the story about all the things that he's done for this country. We know that the economy is turning around, et cetera.

But at the end of the day, it's going to come down to the fact that Donald Trump is going to beat himself. And everybody watching knows that.

And Nikki Haley has a fresh face. She would be a formidable foe for the president of the United States. But Republican voters don't want Nikki Haley.

They want the same old, same one. They want the xenophobia, the chaos, the bigotry. They want the indictments. They want everything that comes with Donald Trump.

I said this before, Erin, and it bears repeating, you always want to watch the circus. You never want to be a part of the circus or join it. Republicans are joining a circus willingly. Let them have it.

BURNETT: All right. Well, we'll see what will happen in these next few days. Thank you all three very much. I appreciate it. Matthew, for standing out in cold, thank you.

And we are just four days away from voters in New Hampshire going to those polls, special live coverage of the primary starts Tuesday at 4:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

And next, the breaking news, the Fulton County D.A. investigating Trump now facing her own inquiry as we learn new details about an alleged affair with her lead prosecutor in the Trump case. The two are now accused of taking trips on taxpayers' dime.

Plus, NATO saying it's now bracing for war with Russia. We take you to the front lines to see how Putin's nonstop attacks are now eating away at Ukrainian defenses.

And actor Alec Baldwin late today, indicted, this time charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Could this mean he could be headed to jail?



BURNETT: Breaking news that could spell serious trouble for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. A county commissioner, as of tonight, has launched an inquiry into allegations that Willis misused county funds, taxpayer money, and accepted gifts and other personal benefits from Nathan Wade. Nathan Wade is the lead prosecutor that Willis hired for the case, and is allegedly having an affair with.

This is the same prosecutor accused of billing Willis and the county and therefore taxpayers for hundreds of thousands of dollars of work on the case with hours worked that right now, we still need a lot of explanations for, money that then was allegedly then used to pay for vacations that Wade and Willis took together.

This inquiry is being launched just hours after credit card statements revealed that Wade paid for at least two out-of-state trips with Willis.

Jessica Schneider begins our coverage OUTFRONT.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is now a full-on battle between Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and the wife of Willis's top prosecutor in the Georgia election case against Trump, the back-and-forth in the divorce proceedings is threatening to shake up the case.

FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The Black man I chose has been a judge more than 10 years.

SCHNEIDER: Fani Willis is facing allegations she had an affair with Nathan Wade, something she has not addressed. Instead, she has defended naming him as special prosecutor in November 2021, one day after he filed for divorce from his wife.

WILLIS: Isn't that someone never see a Black man as qualified, no matter his achievements?

SCHNEIDER: Now, there is a swirl of tension to try to get to the bottom of this alleged affair. New court filings from Wade's wife show Nathan Wade bought tickets for Willis to accompany him on at least two out-of-state trips, copies of credit card statements show Wade purchased airline tickets for himself and Willis, including for trips to Miami in October 2022 and San Francisco in April 2023.

Jocelyn Wade saying in the filing that her attorneys want to depose Willis in the divorce proceedings to determine details surrounding her romantic affair with Nathan Wade, as there appears to be no reasonable explanation for their travels apart from a romantic relationship. Willis is trying to stop the questioning, saying it's being used to harass and damage her professional reputation and is obstructing and interfering with an ongoing criminal prosecution.

This exploded in the public eye earlier this month when one of the defendants in the Georgia election subversion case, Mike Roman, a former Trump campaign official, move to disqualify Willis, alleging she had an improper relationship with Wade. Roman alleges Wade was paid more than others in Willis's office and used money he billed for his work, so far adding up to more than $650,000, to take Willis on romantic and lavish vacations.

Roman has not provided any public proof for the accusations, but Trump's lawyer says this is another reason the case should be tossed.

ALINA HABBA, TRUMP ATTORNEY: This case is tainted from the start. Never mind all the other things that were seeing come out that show absolute corruption. It's all planned. It's election interference.

SCHNEIDER: The judge overseeing the Georgia election case has now set of February 15th hearing to consider whether Willis and Wade should be disqualified from the case. Willis hence defended her prosecution team and said they have all been paid the same.

WILLIS: I appointed three special counsels. It's my right to do. Pay them all the same hourly rate. They only attack one.


SCHNEIDER: And the fallout from all of this is escalating tonight. That Fulton County commissioner sending that letter to Fani Willis, Erin, saying he is launching that inquiry into those allegations that she misused county funds. He says there's all this question about whether the money that her office paid Nathan Wade was then used for Willis's own gain, mentioning those trips that the two allegedly took together.

And the commissioner right now is demanding that Willis hand over various contracts invoices, and payments.

You know, Erin, our team has reached out to Fani Willis for comment, but we haven't heard back. Back to you.

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

Ryan Goodman is with me now, OUTFRONT legal expert.

So, look, there's been a drip, drip, drip on this, but now, you've got an inquiry from the county commissioner into this alleged affair. Again the fair fine, whether that happened or not, it is also that there would be taxpayer money that was used to employ him, whether he was the right person for it, how much money was paid than the money being used with her and him together, possibly with these vacations.

So as they investigate what happened here, what does all of it mean for Fani Willis?


RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: So I think it could mean one of two things. Now, we've got two proceedings. So, the first proceeding is in the case itself with the judge overseeing that a criminal case and he could decide to require her to recuse herself to step down from the case. That's the big kind of penalty that might be there.

And then the commissioner is a separate method. So the one that I think is actually where its more likely to something -- for something to happen, which is that if they look at her just in terms of how she's running her office separate from the case. Those are the kinds of ethical and legal rules that she has to answer to separately.

BURNETT: Right, has to answer why she picked him, qualify all those questions would go.

GOODMAN: Absolutely.

BURNETT: All right. But now let's just say she's -- something happens and she is penalized are reports to be removed. That means what? Does the -- happens to the case?

GOODMAN: I think the case goes forward. It doesn't necessarily mean the case is taken off of the docket.

BURNETT: Doesn't go away.

GOODMAN: No. There's a very strong criminal case that she herself has built against Donald Trump and the others. But if she is taken off of it, it's a huge delay in all likelihood. I do not think we see a trial in 2024, for example, if they have to find a replacement. She already had to be replaced for one of the false electors, alleged false electors. And they still haven't found a replacement. That's now months.

So I think that we would be looking at a 2025 trial and then see what happens with the election as to whether or not that it exists.

BURNETT: Right. So that would really change the timing here because then this whole question of immunity and, you know, I mean, obviously, you know, state versus federal, but I mean, it would raise real questions about whether it went forward at all, if he wins.

GOODMAN: Yeah. I think if he wins, the case at a minimum, I guess would be frozen for four years, at a minimum.

BURNETT: All right. So in the head context, we got some video today of a deposition of Donald Trump, and this is a deposition in that fraud case, in New York, the Trump Org fraud case. So, Judge Engoron overseeing.

One key exchange is Trump claiming that he was not focused on the company -- went -- after he was president, like I had nothing to do it, hands in the air. I was just too busy saving lives.

Here's the exchange from the deposition.


TRUMP: There were a lot of things that were happening in the world as you probably know, and I did a good job. I got rid of those problems. Today, those problems are very prevalent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you're too busy for the company --

TRUMP: In a way, yeah. Yeah. I think you could say it. Another way of saying, I was very busy. I was -- I consider this the most important job in the world, saving millions of lives. I think you would have had nuclear holocaust if I didn't deal with North Korea, I think you would have had a nuclear war if I weren't elective. And I think you might have a nuclear war now, if you want to know the truth.


BURNETT: Okay, so a political that in a deposition, but look, the reality of it is on the issue of fraud, that's already been determined by a judge in the way this trial was handled, was approved by both Trump and the prosecution, but does this help him at all, this defense when it comes to how this plays out that he says he had nothing to do with Trump Org, whether that's true or not being a separate issue?

GOODMAN: So, it could potentially help him in a certain sense because there's still some remaining additional charges. And those charges do depend upon his knowledge, his state of mind. So if he's actually correct that for that period of time, it was not focused on the company, you could help him, but it also can hurt him if he's not being forthcoming and candid.

So the fact finder, here's a smart judge, and then the smart judge looks at that deposition and might think to himself, that is not accurate. You are focused on many other things about yourself and your companies and their golf courses during the periods. So, the fact that you gave a false statement and a false excuse, that would maybe hurt him.

BURNETT: All right. Ryan, thank you very much. And next, the special report from Ukraine, were going to take you to

the front lines, the ground -- I found an area of littered with dead Russians, the reality of what is playing out right now there, as Ukrainian soldiers are still fighting for their survival.

Plus, our special series, the real economy. Why it's forcing millennials to juggle multiple jobs, think twice about having kids and question if college was even worth it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a communications degree, and I definitely did not need that to be successful.




BURNETT: Tonight, NATO bracing for all out war with Russia. In fact, a top NATO official has issued this chilling warning.


ADMIRAL ROB BAUER, CHAIR, NATO MILITARY COMMITTEE: I'm not saying it is going wrong tomorrow, but we have to realize it's not a given that we are in peace and that's why we have the plans. That's why we are preparing for a conflict with Russia and the terror groups, if it comes to it, if they attack us.


BURNETT: Well, that message comes as Ukraine's front lines remain under constant Russian assault. This new video into CNN shows what appears to be a Russian missile destroying a building near at Avdiivka. It's been the epicenter of fierce fighting and the destruction. You can see here.

Of course, so many people likening it to Bakhmut. It's devastated.

Fred Pleitgen is OUTFRONT, and I will warn you that some of the images you will see in his report tonight are disturbing.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It's a site Ukrainian troops in Avdiivka see all too often, a massive Russian armored assault force coming right at them. The Russian infantry moves with virtually no cover. The Ukrainians call these meet assaults because the Russian troops have virtually no chance of survival as Ukrainian drones hunt them down.

They assault with a large number of personnel, the head of the drone unit that filmed the videos tells me. Assault after assault, nonstop, if we kill 40 to 70 of them with drones in a day, the next day they renew their forces and continue to attack.

It's been going on for several months as Russian President Vladimir Putin seems hell-bent on taking Avdiivka. Russian vehicles under artillery fire as they get close to Ukrainian positions, the ground littered with dead and dying Russian soldiers trying to overwhelm the Ukrainian defenses here.

The Ukrainians say they're holding back most of the assaults, but are outgunned and outmanned.


We need more people, more military, more equipment. We need more ammunition, more drones, he says. Unfortunately, we don't have the amount needed to win. We need a lot.

And the Russians not facing the same shortages are dropping massive amounts of ordnance on the Ukrainians, everything from artillery to heavy guided aerial bombs. One of the key defense points, a massive Coke plant at the edge of town, and that's where these guys are setting up their defenses.

Under constant fire, elite snipers from Ukraine's omega special forces. Here, they have the cover to hit advancing Russian soldiers. Their anger visible in the hoodies they wear for our interview.

With the weapons we have, at distances up to 1,300 meters, the effectiveness of our work is 90 percent, he says. For that kind of precision, they need to keep their weapons in pristine condition all the time, they say.

At the beginning, it seemed the Russians could encircle Avdiivka very quickly, he says. But as we see, Avdiivka has been ours for three months and we're holding on.

Holding Avdiivka for now, even as assault after assault eats away at Ukrainian defenses.


BURNETT: Fred, that was incredible footage and sobering. We're watching humans die.

The reality of it is, though, is that obviously the U.S. aid that's been so crucial here, even in the form of weaponry itself, right now on hold and they've been talking about needing more and more as you report. So from what you've seen, the ammunition shortage that the Ukrainian say they have, that they -- that they seriously lack ammunition, how serious is it right now?

PLEITGEN: I think it's absolutely serious and certainly something that we've heard from those units there. And I want to give you an example, Erin. That drone unit, the commander of that unit, he told us that he believed that his small drone unit alone has destroyed between 40 and 50 Russian tanks and armored vehicles, and killed anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500 Russian soldiers, and yet they keep assaulting.

And he says that even those grenades that they dropped from their drones, those already in short supplies. He says the biggest issue right now for them, though, in the defense of Avdiivka, is the lack of 155 millimeter artillery shells. And that's something that's becoming an increasing problem as more and more Russians assault and Ukrainians are having when trouble holding the line, Erin.

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

And next, our special series, "The Real Economy", millennials speaking out, saying they now regret going to college because the debt isn't worth it, and they can't afford to have more kids.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's sad, like our family is dictated by our financials.


BURNETT: Plus, actor Alec Baldwin indicted again, charged with voluntary manslaughter for the deadly shooting on the set of his movie, "Rust". This time, could he go to jail?



BURNETT: Tonight, millennials saying no to college, telling our Alisyn Camerota that the debt isn't worth it. And even with their degrees, they can't afford to have a second child, buy a home, go out to dinner when they want. They're juggling multiple jobs that have nothing to do with their degrees. That depressing sentiment coming even as the S&P 500 hitting all time closing high today.

So, Alisyn Camerota went OUTFRONT with a special series to find out what the real economy is.


DANNY NAVARRO, 35-YEAR-OLD WORKING THREE JOBS: I see $400 going towards my student loans, and I see $445 going for HOA, and I see groceries averaging about $150 a week.

Sure. Maybe for my wife's retirement portfolio, I might be looking great, but we need to get there first, right?

On Saturday, we heard how MetLife Stadium is preparing for the World Cup final.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Danny Navarro did not plan to be a TikTok creator.

NAVARRO: If FIFA decided to sell tickets for the 2026 -- CAMEROTA: That was not his goal when he graduated with a history

degree on a scholarship from the University of Virginia and started working at a non-profit.

NAVARRO: I was at the $60,000 mark, my salary, and the only way that I was going to crack 80, 90, potentially, was to get a grad school degree.

CAMEROTA: So, Danny went back to school for a masters degree in public administration.

NAVARRO: I had to take out $70,000 in loans. And so it's almost like we were basically thrown into the hole and right -- right away, we have to start coming out of it.

CAMEROTA: So you're first-generation, and what was the dream for you? What was the dream if you went to college?

NAVARRO: We would escape poverty and, you know, for immigrants that are coming to this country, that's always the thing that they tell you.

CAMEROTA: Danny now juggles three jobs, soccer coach, tutor, and TikTok video creator.

NAVARRO: I don't have a full-time salaried job since November of 2022 and is not without trying. I've tried to -- I've actually applied to about a hundred jobs.

CAMEROTA: A hundred jobs?

NAVARRO: I would say about in the past year and change, and couple of them have gone into the final round, but just unfortunate not been selected.

RACHAEL GAMBINO, 33-YEAR-OLD PENNSYLVANIA MOM: My life is very different than when I envisioned it would be.

CAMEROTA: Rachael Gambino (ph) and Garrett Mazzeo (ph) followed the roadmap that previous generations said would spell success. Go to college, get married, work hard, buy a house, start a family.

GAMBINO: This is the American dream, but at what cost? So we have all of those things and we appreciate every single one of those things, but we think about how we can lose those things very quickly if one of us is our job, we're in a not good place.

CAMEROTA: Between their college debt and monthly mortgage payment, they feel they've slipped into a lower economic class than the one they grew up in.

Do you describe yourself as middle-class?

GARRETT MAZZEO, MILLENNIAL: I liked but think we are.

GAMBINO: I would say lower middle-class. CAMEROTA: Why?

GAMBINO: Because when I think of middle-class, I think about people who are able to just lets get up and going do things within their means and not extravagant things, but be able to get up and go to dinner whenever they want, or maybe take that trip that long weekend trip. We don't have that luxury.

CAMEROTA: Rachael works at a non-profit, Garrett as an insurance underwriter, but their paychecks barely keep pace with their $3,400 monthly mortgage payment.

Rachael's 26-year-old sister, Kristin, moved in to help offset costs for all of them. So, all of this is affecting your family planned?

GAMBINO: You know, once we started getting daycare costs, it was like, wait, we cannot afford to have another child until he's in a public schools system. I love for him to have a partner in crime, but we can't afford to give him that for at least four years.

CAMEROTA: And is that sad?

GAMBINO: I'm sad. Like our family is dictated by our financials and the I just never thought it would be that that way.

MAZZEO: Rach, we have $435 less at the end of the month.


MAZZEO: Actually until February 4th.

GAMBINO: That's even worse.

MAZZEO: I know.

CAMEROTA: So, what would they do differently if they could do it all over again? Avoid student debt, even if that means rethinking college.

GAMBINO: I think this idea of going to college is something that I don't know if Miles will do. And we have decided we're not going to push him there either. I think a lot of millennials were forced into saying like you need a four-year degree in order to be successful, and like I had communications degree and I definitely did not need that to me successful.

And so, I think it starts with when you turn 18, you're already put into a disadvantage and I think we need to like change that mindset for the next generation.

NAVARRO: Did I go to college to go to TikTok videos? No, but is that the one place right now where I can make, you know, money potentially? So let me go make my TikTok videos while I'm at it and hopefully find a new way to live the American dream.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BURNETT: I mean, its just you just want to hear more and more of them, and it's amazing that they are willing -- you know, you've got them to be able to be willing to speak, which is so hard when you're talking about money, right? And their lives.

So they're being told by a lot of them and you can look at the numbers anyway you want, but, you know, Bidenomics, things are getting better the economy things are getting better inflation is abating. How do they respond to all those messages when that's their lived experience?

CAMEROTA: Well, that's the reason they let us in to their homes. We asked them specifically, why are you opening your spreadsheets to us? Why are you letting us see something that is clearly causing you so much anxiety and pain? And they said because we want the politicians to understand what our lives are really like, and they weren't just talking about President Biden. They want their local politicians to understand the challenges that they're facing.

And I asked them specifically, who do you blame for the situation that you find yourself in and they all gave very nuanced answers. In other words, none of them had a knee jerk --

BURNETT: Right, they don't have political bone --

CAMEROTA: No one had a political answer to that. They understand that the economy is complicated and their situation is complicated.

BURNETT: Yeah. Well, I mean, it's really incredible and really, you know, kind of, who can't be inspired by their willingness to share that.

All right. Alisyn, thank you very much. Alisyn's "Real Economy" series, of course, is going to continue.

And next, actor Alec Baldwin charged again for the deadly shooting on the set of his film, "Rust". Could he actually go to jail this time?

Plus, we've got some incredible images tonight of flames coming out of a jet. This is just after it took out off from Miami. And, of course, the NTSB is now investigating.



BURNETT: Tonight, Alec Baldwin charged again. The actor indicted today by a grand jury with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for the deadly shooting while filming the movie "Rust". Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed when the prop gun that Baldwin was holding fired a live round while rehearsing. Baldwin previously faced the same charges, but prosecutors dropped them after learning new information that needed to be investigated. So that happened. And now, nine months later, the charges are back.

Criminal defense attorney Mark O'Mara is OUTFRONT. And, Mark, lets just try to understand exactly what happened here. So this latest indictment against Baldwin, right? They dropped charges, went away, nine months here, we're back and the charges are here. Have you gone through this? I mean, are these -- is this a stronger indictment than the prior one?

MARK O'MARA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, it's, the same charges, but I think the resolve of the prosecution team is stronger because they took a grand jury. Prosecution teams do not like charging, dropping, indicting, and dropping. So I think that they believe they have a stronger case.

We know there were some investigation is done on the gun, which is the primary issue here. Did he pull that trigger or maybe did he act recklessly or without good care? And that's what they got the indictment for.

BURNETT: So, the involuntary manslaughter is charge. It's a fourth degree felony in New Mexico. It could carry an 18-month prison sentence, if convicted. How real is the possibility that Baldwin could see that, he could actually have jail time?

O'MARA: And one sense, it's quite real because he's under indictment right now. And again, we believe the states case is even stronger. On the other hand, Erin, as you know, plea negotiations were happening in this case before this most recent indictment, they happen in all cases. And probably that's going to be ongoing now that the indictment is standing, the main condition of which if I was the attorney was not to become a convicted felon and not to go to prison. So it's on the table, but I think there'll be trying to work something out.

BURNETT: And what do you think to get -- to have prison taken off the table, the possible 18 month sentence that it could carry? What could they do in exchange for that?

O'MARA: They might well want a felony conviction. That's important for the family. That's important to your prosecution team. Of course, it would be important to Mr. Baldwin, that and then the condition of five years probation or lengthy period of probation, just to keep his nose clean. That's normally what prosecutors wanted if they're taking prison off the table.

BURNETT: All right. Mark, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

And next, the terrifying images of a jet on fire shortly after takeoff from Miami.



BURNETT: Tonight, a fire in the sky. The NTSB investigating the frightening incident you're looking at on your screen. I mean, a plane flying their suffering and engine malfunction started a fire. This video was captured by an eyewitness on the ground. There are spurts of fire bursting out of the plane. A witness telling CNN, quote, it was very frightening. It wasn't ascending.

And listen to this call to air traffic control from the cockpit of this cargo plane as the incident unfolded.


CARGO PLANE: Mayday, mayday. Giant 095 heavy, engine fire. Request vectors back to the airport.

We have five souls on board, and we have about five hours of fuel on board.


BURNETT: Amazing, right, just the calm with which that pilot conveyed the situation. The plane had been in the air for 14 minutes total. The incident started three minutes into the flight, so 11 minutes of that harrowing situation according to FlightAware.

Now, by the way, we should notice, when he said they have five-hours of fuel, right? Turning around and landing was so much fuel can be, can be disastrous, and yet with all that calm, they did it. They follow procedures, they were able to land safely back in Miami. Just an incredible thing and a testament to the professionalism there.

Thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.