Return to Transcripts main page

Erin Burnett Outfront

Zelenskyy Weighs Massive Change in Ukraine's Leadership; Senate GOP Holding Meeting As Border Bill On Brink of Dying; King Charles Has Cancer, Steps Back From Public Duties; Storm Pounds California With Intense Rain, Flooding, Mudslides; Chinese Markets Plunge, One-Third Of Stocks Down More Than 8 Percent; Nikki Haley Requests Secret Service Protection Due To Threats. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 05, 2024 - 19:00   ET




Zelenskyy's massive military shakeup at a time when U.S. aid to Ukraine has been declared, quote, dead on arrival.

And Putin welcomes Tucker Carlson to Moscow with open arms.

Plus, a story you'll see first OUTFRONT tonight, migrant smugglers on jet skis fleeing Border Patrol agents, making a mad dash for American shores. Wait until you see this footage.

And tonight, King Charles diagnosed with cancer. Prince Harry now making plans to be at his father's side immediately. We're live in London.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, Zelensky's major move. It could be more than the military commander in chief who loses his job in a massive shakeup in Kyiv and it could happen at any moment. President Zelenskyy telling Italian broadcaster RAI, quote, a reset is necessary. I mean a replacement of a series of state leaders, not just in a single sector, like the military.

The word reset, a massive shakeup in Kyiv coming as Putin is trying to court the MAGA GOP in the United States. In fact, one of the leaders of the MAGA GOP is in Moscow tonight. It's the man you see here with the MAGA leader Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson, possibly there in Moscow to interview Putin, definitely there as a Putin-supporting celebrity.

Just listen to how Russian state media is breathlessly celebrating his visit.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Independent journalist Tucker Carlson who has flown to Russia from the U.S., via Turkey, to Vnukovo Airport.

He saw Spartacus ballet at the Bolshoi Theater, had lunch at a nice restaurant, went for a ride around town, road the subway. He charged his smartphone via a USB port and connect to do a fast and free Wi-Fi Internet.


BURNETT: He charged this phone. Although there knowing the details about the fact that it was during USB port may give him reason to think twice about all of this. But look at them talking about him like a celebrity, everything he does on camera, breathlessly repeated.

Now, it is unclear if an interview between Putin and Carlson will take place, but if it does, it gives Putin a chance to sit down with a big supporter.


TUCKER CARLSON, TV HOST: It might be worth asking yourself since it is getting pretty serious, what does this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much? Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? Does he eat dogs?

These are fair questions and the answer to all of them is no. Vladimir Putin didn't do any of that.


BURNETT: I'll actually always remember watching that clip. I was standing in Ukraine 48 hours before the war begin there. Well, Carlson then stood by Putin consistently all the way through. And that is why he can go to Moscow now without any fear of being summarily imprisoned. He's a hero.

This was Putin's mouthpiece in the United States, somebody who had turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Putin because they were happening far away. Once vibrant towns turned to ruins, mass graves with dozens of bodies in the Kyiv suburbs, a theater full of innocent women and children sheltering, bombed. Despite the giant word children written on the roof, more than 200,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed or injured.

And tonight, Putin is trying to seize on the fact that Zelenskyy is military appears to be in turmoil capitalizing on a moment of intense American political dysfunction. And intensifying strikes.

Fred Pleitgen is OUTFRONT. He is live in Odessa in Ukraine tonight.

And, Fred, what more are you learning about this possible major reset and shake up by Zelenskyy.

Hi there, Erin.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Erin. Well, one of the things that Zelenskyy also said is that he himself is actually still trying to work through the process of what exactly he wants to do. He said that government is a big machine as he put it, that it depends on not just one person, but many processes and that everything needs to be geared towards a victory.

Now, one of the things that the Ukrainians say they have realized in order to achieve that victory is that in light of overwhelming Russian firepower, they're going to have to depend a lot more on things like drones.

We managed to film with a secretive Ukrainian unit using sea drones to attack and sink a Russian warship.

Here's what they did.



PLEITGEN (voice-over): It was one of the most brazen and most successful operations by Ukraine's military intelligence service, sea drones, attacking and the Ukrainian say sinking a Russian warship inside occupied Crimea, and he was one of those involved. His call sign is 13 from the elite sea drone unit named Group 13, so secretive, we had to hide his face and change his voice.

We use ten drones in the operation, he says, six of them hit the Corvette Ivanoves.

CNN cannot independently verify that the Ivanovets was sunk. But video provided by the intelligence agency seems to show the mini sea drones evading machine gun fire from the warship, and then massive explosions.

Their weapons are not designed to deal with such small sea drones, 13 says, in most cases, they use anti-ship guns.

Ukraine barely has a functioning navy, but the Magura drones pack a massive punch, around 500 pounds of explosives.

These sea drones might not look like much and they might not go very fast. But the Ukrainian say they've been extremely effective at attacking Russia's Black Sea fleet and even sinking warships.

The main thing is to feel the drone, 13 says, not everyone can hold a firm grip if you squeeze a little, you can lose control of the drone. I would say its like working with jewelry.

Asymmetrical warfare, they call it, and the Ukrainians outmanned and outgunned, say they need to do a lot more of it.

After visiting the southern front this weekend, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy telling Italian media, he not only plans to fire his top General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, there could be a larger government shakeup.

When we talk about a reset, were talking about the reset of certain leaders of the state, not just one or another sector, because I'm thinking about reset, I'm in the process.

A front runner to become the new commander in chief, the defense intel boss, known for brazen attacks against Russian military and infrastructure targets.

The Russians are waking up at night to explosions, he says. Explosions in the air, explosions directly at the facilities. They see the real picture of war. They see burning oil depots, destroyed buildings and factories and so on. This is all beneficial. And the Ukrainians vowed to continue hunting Russian military vessels in this battle of David versus Goliath on the high seas.


PLEITGEN (on camera): You know, Erin, one of the things that we've also seen in our time here in Ukraine, is that the Ukrainians are constantly working to make systems like that more lethal and also to build more of them. They say that its absolutely key to their survival, especially in light of the fact that they don't know if and when Congress is going to okay, more military aid for Ukraine -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Fred, thank you very much, in Ukraine tonight.

And I want to go out Simon Shuster, author of "The Showman: Inside the Invasion That Shook the World and Made a Leader of Volodymyr Zelenskyy", and the retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, who was the former commanding general of the U.S. Army Europe.

And thanks so much to both of you.

Simon, since we're here together. I know you've spent a great deal of time with Zelenskyy.

Did you have conversations about a shake-up? I mean, he is now not shying away from even getting rid of his top general, but saying it could be much bigger than that in a complete reset obviously, he must have thought through the risks of doing that and even how that could weaken his position vis-a-vis U.S. aid.

SIMON SHUSTER, AUTHOR, "THE SHOWMAN," A NEW BOOK ABOUT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY: Of course, he and his team have been going back and forth about this for some months ever since it became clear that the counteroffensive of last summer and fall were not going to deliver the major breakthrough, were not going to break through substantially the Russian lines and regained a lot of occupied territory, they knew that somebody would have to take the fall for that, there will have to be accountability and someone would need to -- they would need to a major shift in strategy and new team to come in and offer something else, make people believe in Ukraine and outside Ukraine that victory is coming, that there will be some kind of breakthrough.

But they've been going back and forth because as you said, they realize how destabilizing that would be. The top general well in Ukraine is extremely popular. He's revered within the rank and file of the military, so removing him could be politically dangerous and militarily dangerous for Zelenskyy. BURNETT: And yet, it appears that he's going ahead with it, General

Hodges. Now, not only not shying away from it, but referring to it as a total reset, including much more than fire during General Zaluzhnyi. So what effect does this have in the war?

LT. GENERAL BEN HODGES (RET.), FORMER COMMANDING GENERAL, U.S. ARMY EUROPE: But you know, a soldier needs to be able to look up the chain of command and see very clearly who's in charge and in a democracy, of course, you have civilian leadership and then the military is under the civilian leadership. I think that, of course it is President Zelenskyy's prerogative to get the commander that he wants that he trust.


And no matter how good or how popular General Zaluzhnyi is, and I have been an admirer of his from the beginning, the fact is, if the president has lost confidence in his top uniformed adviser and commander then he should sack him immediately. And General Zaluzhnyi, any general once they realized that their civilian boss has lost confidence in them, they should offer their resignation immediately.

What's I think the fact that this has gone on for so long has actually been much more damaging than if the president had said, hey, thanks for your service. You saved Kyiv. We're going into a new phase of the war, time for new leadership.

BURNETT: Right, and, of course, the firing didn't happen immediately, and certainly the resignation did not -- did not come either.

So, Simon, look, Putin is clearly in this moment, seizing this moment, right? According to the MAGA GOP, this Tucker Carlson celebrity welcome. I mean, oh, my gosh, she charged his phone via USB port so the bill though that the MAGA GOP is shooting down, had $60 billion of Ukrainian aid in it.

How does Zelenskyy plan to handle this? I mean, no doubt he's seeing what's going on in Moscow. And this big, you know, propaganda fest?

SHUSTER: That is a big warning sign for President Zelenskyy of what is to come if President Donald Trump, former president, is reelected and returns to the White House.

You know, they've seen the writing on the walls. They see that this is a real risk for them. Donald Trump has -- has not been shy about saying what he plans to do. He's indicated quite clearly that he would cut off aid completely. And as you said, he's been encouraging his GOP allies to do that sooner rather than later.

The Ukrainians are not sitting idly by and waiting for that kind of eventuality. They are hedging against it by producing more of the drones that we saw on your reporting just now, producing other weapons, ramping up artillery production, missiles, to do more of these kinds of over-the-top attacks.

Yes. You have a static front line that doesn't seem to be moved think very much.


SHUSTER: But you can still launch attacks by sea, by air that are very dramatic and hurt the Russians to show that Ukraine is still fighting back. It's not giving up.

BURNETT: Which they certainly have been doing an aiming at Crimea, General Hodges, which I know you have said they -- that they should have been doing since the beginning had they had the right weaponry. And on this front, General, they boosted military defense production. In December, Ukrainian officials said that mortar shell production alone had increased 40 times -- 42 times. I'm sorry, over the 2022 production levels in Ukraine.

Now, obviously, it was very low to begin with, but still they've been trying to improve it. You heard Simon refer to the drone production, the Netherlands today is going ahead saying they'll send six additional F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. But still, General, amidst all of this, that's $60 billion stands out there, right? Ukraine has depended on USAID.

If that aid ends, and most of it, obviously, it's been in the form of actual weapons themselves, right? Whether it'd be tanks or anything else, that aid goes away. What actually happens, General?

HODGES: Well, the worst part about the failure of the United States to deliver what we had planned to deliver is the message that sends to the Kremlin that the United States is not going to help Ukraine. And that they can move forward with their own designs about expanding this war or they're going to prosecuted against Ukraine. That's -- that's the worst thing.

And then of course, the message it sends to others about the reliability of the United States. This -- this is very damaging. In practical terms, we don't know exactly what's already in the pipeline, how much is still to arrive? And as you point out, many European countries understand that this is about their security as well.

So even if, and if the U.S. fails, the threat to them gets even worse. So they will have to step up.

BURNETT: All right. General Hodges, Simon, thank you both very much.

And next, there's breaking news on Capitol Hill, a critical meeting on the border bill is happening right now behind closed doors about to break up. And it is crucial obviously related to this aid as well as the border. It comes as we get a firsthand look at how border agents chase after migrants smugglers on jet skis heading to American shores.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first few seven right here, right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You mean this way?



BURNETT: Plus, breaking news, a deadly and historic storm pounding California and entire months-worth of rain falling in one day. And there is more coming.

And China's economy tanking it, stock market plunging to a five-year low. But wait until you see how Beijing is spinning this.



BURNETT: Breaking news, Senate Republicans are about to wrap up a meeting about the newly released border bill that the House speaker has said is dead on arrival. This meeting comes amid mounting GOP opposition to a bipartisan bill that Republicans say is one of the toughest border security bills in decades.

Former President Trump is trying to sink the bill himself, calling it a, quote, death wish for the Republican Party.

Manu Raju is OUTFRONT live on Capitol Hill.

And, Manu, this bill could be falling apart just hours after its unveiled. I think it's fair to say that would mean most people who are shooting it down and certainly not bothered to read it. What more can you tell us?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Right now, behind closed doors, the House, the Senate GOP is meeting. I mean, growing opposition within the ranks and expectation now that the bill will not be able to clear the 60 votes needed to advance the United States Senate because of that mounting GOP opposition and some concerns and opposition from the left as well. But on the GOP side, there's also tension with the Speaker of the House Mike Johnson who has said that this bill is dead on arrival and frustration among from the top Senate GOP negotiator, James Lankford, coming in the aftermath of some comments that Johnson made, saying that they are essentially the House was in Johnson's words, essentially shut out of the talk, saying that they were not allowed to take part in these Senate negotiations.

I put that question directly to Lankford and he pushed back.


SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): The earliest days. We sat down and talk about it, told him what we were trying to be able to do. And he said, hey, this is the Senate and the White House trying to be worked out. The House has already spoken on this.


We're working on trying to be able to get everything else together. The House has spoken, the Senate needs to be able to speak and then we'll see we can actually align bill.

So we've kept them loosely informed. But from the very beginning, they said, hey, this is not our product. House has already created a product.

RAJU: Because he said yesterday that he's been shut out of these towns.

LANKFORD: Yeah. We definitely didn't shut him out. He asked him not be included from the earliest day. So we didn't shut him out in any ways, in any way that he or his team wanted to be involved in it, they could be.


RAJU: And that is much different than what the speaker said just yesterday. He said that -- he said that he would they ask to be part of it. He said the urged committee chairman in the House to be part of these talks and he was told, quote, no, no, no, let the Senate take care of it.

So you're seeing just a difference, an opinion on the among top Republicans in both chambers, but that wont change the underlying issue here. Erin, is that the votes are not? There, certainly in the House to proceed in his growing increasingly likely, not in the Senate either. This entire national security package could collapse amid GOP infighting -- Erin.

BURNETT: Manu, thank you very much.

And as Congress descends into this infighting and finger-pointing, the migrant crisis at the southern border, there's no signs of stopping. David Culver has a story that you will see first OUTFRONT on the growing trend of illegal crossings into the United States by sea.


DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hours before the suns up over San Diego, we get on board for a rare look at border security from the Pacific Ocean.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four to five foot seas out there, so we're going to -- you're getting tossed around.

CULVER: We plan for a few minutes to get set up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which way would you prefer the --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't matter --

CULVER: But off to the side, we noticed the crew already getting word of movements on the water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just give us pass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can follow them to the turnips. I could see where Megan maybe trying to apprehend --

CULVER: Something's up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a boat headed towards sunset, plus was just on the other side of this.

CULVER: Suspected migrants smugglers are about to make a drop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two hundred years I'm sure right now.

CULVER: Suddenly, we're zero to 60. On the water, that is fast and cold.

This is a side of U.S. Customs and Border Protection you don't often see, and for good reason. With Border Patrol on land, these agents handle the skies and seas. They're part of AMO, air and marine operations.

KURT NAGEL, MARINE INTERDICTION AGENT: Just going to be just off our starboard beam heading right or the beads.

CULVER: And what does it sound, like a boat or jet ski?

NAGEL: They don't have a visual of it. So all they know is that there's a radar contact eastbound right behind us back here.

CULVER: Headed our way. So they kill the lights and we wait in the dark.

NAGEL: The first suits common right to is right to us right now.

CULVER: Coming way?

NAGEL: Yeah.

CULVER: After a few minutes, still nothing. Seems the suspected smuggler on a jet ski turned back.

NAGEL: There's a lot of then coming, so we're constantly busy.

CULVER: Well, we see at the southern border on the land crossing, people got them right up to Border Patrol agents. One is to surrender themselves. You don't see that here. People are trying to get away from you as quickly as possible.

NAGEL: A lot of times, we're getting people that don't want to be caught because they carry criminal records, they're members of gang.

And then you get family units to that are the smugglers have convinced that this is safe and easy passage.

CULVER: In the past year, the agents say it's become increasingly deadly. But like drug trafficking, migrant smuggling is a business.

NAGEL: They're reckless with their lives. They're reckless with other people's lives. CULVER: Do we know, Kurt? Are they -- are they connected often two

cartels? Do we know what their background?

NAGEL: At a smaller level, yes. This is all cartel-driven.

CULVER: They often launch in the dark of night, leaving from various points along the Mexican coast. Once they crossed the maritime boundary line, the ocean's border separating the U.S. and Mexico, the smugglers, you usually had to the beaches of San Diego County where they drop off the migrants.

Though more recently, they've ended up cruising even farther north to play places like Malibu.

Could actually see that boat right here just sitting on the shore.

Just before 02:00 a.m. Tuesday, official say roughly two dozen migrants scattered from this boat as soon as it hit the beach. Border Patrol was able to detain 19 of them. The rest somewhere in Malibu, more than 130 miles from the southern border.

And if you look closely, you can see some of the remnants of what was a long journey. I mean, up here you've got food wrapper left behind, some cracker remnants. You've got orange and banana peels. And you've got trash bags in there. A lot of times the migrants will wrap themselves in those trash bags to keep warm, even some leftover fuel canisters.

Hours later, another beach landing, a videographer in La Jolla captures it from the surf, watch as this boat runs ashore, you see several suspected migrants, then hop off. They sprint towards the beach side homes.

CBP says they're still searching for them. The boat left stranded.

Officials tell us the number of incidents along the southwest coast is up threefold over the last five years.


And they seem migrants like these often pay tens of thousands of dollars for a one-way ticket on the open ocean.

And you'll have people, Captain, actually try to swim?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They often do it at night and under fog. And, sadly, it's tragic, some of them don't always make it.

CULVER: That's where the Coast Guard comes in. We joined them on a deterrence patrol, positioned just north of the maritime boundary line with a view of the southern border I'd never seen before.

And then right there, that's all Mexico.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very much, right in front of us. Yeah, it's Mexico. CULVER: The Coast Guard here focused primarily on keeping folks alive. To do that, you need to keep the lines of communication open.

There really are no egos amongst the different organizations. We all speak on the same frequency. So when somebody gets notified, we're all notified at the same time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officers, 350, 28 nautical miles. That's where he's at, 350.

CULVER: That frequency also shared by the CBP's air assets, watching and tracking from above.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, David, so when we do detect the target, I hook it, so the system is now tracking it. And we had we get everything down here, right? The coordinates where it's at, how fast it's going.

CULVER: That information relayed to cruise on land and sea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have to be prepared for anything on the water and you're doing that at night, pitch black, six-foot seas. It can be very challenging.

CULVER: Moments like these were boats filled with migrants rushed towards the shoreline and near nightly occurrence now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over the last three years, we've seen an exponential increase in maritime smuggling. They don't understand fully the peril that these smugglers are putting them in. It's the callous nature of their operations and how they just don't care about human life.

CULVER: We spot another team about the takeoff just as we touched down, forecasting that smugglers schedules and routes implausible, so the agents work all hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Living in the dark just kind of wear you out. So, now, it's nice to get a little son now and then.

CULVER: Physically, emotionally securing our borders, especially on the ocean, takes a toll. But there are perks like, clocking out at sunrise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I take my time at the bay.


BURNETT: It's phenomenal reporting, David. I mean, I just -- it's riveting and to look at how hard those border patrol agents are working, as you say, all hours. No sleep, the toll it takes on them physically, mentally, yet no end in sight.

This bill, which obviously doesn't look like it has a chance of passing right now. But did you get a chance to understand from those Coast Guard officers, Border Patrol officers what they think that the bill would mean if it did pass for them on the sea crossings?

CULVER: Erin, when you talk to those agents -- I mean, any sort of added resources are certainly welcomed. But what's really interesting whenever you see a potential shift in policy from the U.S. is what we see south of the border. Now, reporting in there has always shown that there is a motivation then to try to cross quicker and more efficiently if they're able to, anytime there are suggestions that its going to be tougher to get through the land crossing.

So, if it, and it is a big, if as you pointed out, and as you and Manu were talking about, this legislation comes to fruition, then, yes, that is something that could potentially help in the land crossings, but it could add more pressure to the folks who are monitoring these oceans and determination and desperation to come by sea.

BURNETT: All right. Well, it really, really incredible and a crowd what they said family units right now obviously, but also, as you were talking to some of those agents, some criminal contingent as well, taking the risky crossing by sea, because they can be more invasive that way.

All right. Thank you so much, David Culver.

And next, King Charles stepping back from his royal duties after announcing he's been diagnosed with a cancer. Prince Harry now planning to travel home in days to be by his father's side. We'll take you live outside Buckingham Palace tonight. Plus, breaking news out of Los Angeles. This hour, officials are bracing for devastating landslides, more than ten inches of rain have drenched the area and more is forecast.



BURNETT: Tonight, Prince Harry is about to return to the U.K. to be by his father's side as Buckingham Palace announces that King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer. The palace releasing few details except to say that it is not prostate cancer.

The 75 year-old monarch canceling all public duties as he begins treatment. It comes just one week after the king left the hospital. He had gone to be treated for an enlarged prostate.

Royals correspondent Max Foster begins our coverage OUTFRONT with new details.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Buckingham Palace announcing that King Charles III has been diagnosed with form of cancer, just over a week after undergoing a corrective procedure for a benign enlarged prostate.

The palace outlining that during that procedure, a separate issue of concern was caught resulting in the diagnosis. The type of cancer hasn't been specified. But a source tells CNN that it's not prostate cancer.

The statement released by the palace revealed that the British monarch has already commenced a schedule of regular treatments, and announced that he'll postpone public facing duties as advised by his doctors.

Monday statement also saying that Charles decided to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and helps spread awareness for those affected by cancer.

The king will also continue state business and official paperwork as head of state CNN hearing that hell continue his weekly audience with the British prime minister.

CNN also understands there are no current plans to appoint counselors of state which refers to designated members of the royal family who were delegated the monarch's duties temporarily if he becomes too unwell. The public would be told if that were to change.

The diagnosis less than a year into Charles's reign, also becoming a moment of unity to the royal family.

CNN is learning that Queen Camilla is preparing to play an important role during this time, continuing her food program of public duties.

Kensington Palace also announcing earlier in the day that the prince of Wales would return to public duties this week, after taking time off to support his wife, Kate, after recovering from her recent abdominal surgery.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry sits fly back to the U.K. in the coming days to visit his father. The family, despite their fractures over the last few years, coming back together amid this crisis.


FOSTER (on camera): There has been a long running custom for royals not to reveal their private medical details and the palace protects that fiercely. But King Charles does seem to be taking a slightly different approach. She's worked with cancer charities for many years. He wants to raise awareness around what cancer sufferers go through.

I have had an indication tonight that Charles may at some point choose to reveal exactly the cancer that he does have. Right now isn't the moment.

BURNETT: All right. Max, thank you very much in London tonight.

And OUTFRONT now, Dr. James Eastham, the chief of urology at Memorial Sloan Cancer -- Kettering Cancer Center, I'm sorry. And Trisha Goddard, British journalist and talk show host, who has covered the royal family extensively.

Good to be with both of you.

Dr. Eastham, let me start with you. January 26 was when King Charles first went to the hospital about ten days ago when he was very open. It was going to be treated for an enlarged prostate. They had anticipated that would be no issues with that. Indeed, it doesn't appear that there were. He says it's not prostate cancer.

Three nights at a London Clinic, now, we are told he has cancer. What does it tell you that the cancer was detected during a procedure like this? I mean, the procedure was a large prostate, but it's not prostate cancer.

DR. JAMES EASTHAM, UROLOGY CHIEF, MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER: So it tells you that sometime during his evaluation, whether it was prior to his surgery with imaging or during the procedure when he was undergoing evaluation, primarily looking at the prostate and the bladder area, that something was identified. It seems to have been a surprise, meaning not something expected and then it's now being dealt with.

BURNETT: And so, it could be. So you think its something that would have been in that area. So who knows what it could be? It could be bladder or something else that that's what you would come into contact with, with an enlarged prostate?

EASTHAM: Correct, yes.

BURNETT: And something like that, If it is that and you detect that at this point, is there any way of determining how serious something like that could be?

EASTHAM: Well, that will be determined primarily by the pathologist and imaging studies. I'm not all cancers carry the same risk. And depending upon the type of cancer, how invasive or hopefully not invasive it is, that will guide prognosis and management.

BURNETT: So, Trisha, what are your sources telling you about how serious this may be? I mean, obviously, the world gets a signal that Prince Harry, who's estranged from the family, is now headed back to the UK in days to be by his father's side. That says something to most people.

TRISHA GODDARD, BRITISH TALK SHOW HOST & JOURNALIST: Well, I think any parent getting cancer, your children want to be there and remember, it's -- it's kind of like the last straw that broke the camel's back. Lets look at what the royal family has been going through recently. The duchess of York, first of all, had breast cancer and then discovered she had melanoma but then there was a Princess Catherine being in hospital, having an operation. And now his father, it's kind of now it's time to come home.

And I think that's natural whatever the prognosis. If you hear the words cancer, you want to be by your family member's side.

BURNETT: So, Dr. Eastman, in terms of the timing here, ten days ago, he went in and three nights at the clinic a week later, were told he is cancer and he's stopping official duties and beginning treatment, which, you know, there's no kind of pause are not talking about a surgery right there using the word treatment what does that say to you? The fact that it's immediate and does that sound like some sort of chemotherapy type of thing with the way that they're presenting it.

EASTHAM: It can be a variety of things. Cancers can be treated with radiation therapy. They can be treated with immunotherapy or chemotherapy. Not all of chemotherapies or immuno therapies are whole body treatments, if it's in the bladder, for example, it can be just a topical treatment, meaning instilled into the bladder for a period of time.

So again, there's speculation, but there's a variety of different ways in which things can be treated these days. And, Trisha, we've got two hours before this announcement about King Charles, the palace announced Prince William would return to public duties earlier than had been anticipated. And obviously, that's related to this. You know, he was taking time off because the princess of Wales, Kate, is recovering from obviously extremely serious abdominal surgery and she's expected to be out until Easter as she recovers.


We really just don't know anything about her condition or what she had at this point. What do you make about the lack of transparency about her health?

GODDARD: I think it's very different for a 75 -- a 75-year-old man and a young mother, a compare to the young mother. I think, you know, we can't draw anything from that, but we do know that she wants to protect her children. Remember, her children are still going to school and I think when you're younger, when you're a month, it's very, very different.

King Charles as well -- we don't know when they say they wanted to stop speculation his treatment, if for instance, say these chemotherapy or anything like that, they probably want to stem fears or rumors that might start with regards to his appearance, for instance.

With Catherine, we really don't know. I think you know, just think a young mom, you want to keep things quiet. You can still have to go to school.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much. We appreciate it and interesting, Max Foster is reporting that King Charles, he's getting indications that he may at some point share more about his diagnosis or given that he has been obviously fought a long time against cancer in terms of his charity work.

All right. Thank you.

And next breaking news, southern California drowning under ten inch of rain. That is a year and a day. Rivers overflowing their banks. Tonight, more forecast and landslides likely to come.

Plus, China's stock market nose diving. But the communist party doesn't want the Chinese people or the rest of the world to know that. So the numbers be damned, wait until you see what the Chinese government is doing. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BURNETT: Tonight, dramatic new video of the aftermath of a massive mudslide that crashed through a Beverly Hills neighborhood. The streets now filled with mud, cars trapped, and historic storm is pounding southern California.

The L.A. River is now raging and overflowing its banks as you can see. There's a very real risks now of more landslides, like the one that you're seeing here in the Hollywood hills. A home totally swept off its foundation.

Veronica Miracle is there OUTFRONT.


VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Catastrophic flash flooding leaving a path of destruction across many regions of California.

MAYOR KAREN BASS (D), LOS ANGELES: Let me be clear: this storm is a serious weather event. This has the potential to be a historic storm.

MIRACLE: Nearly 40 million people under flood watches as state of emergency in place for eight counties with evacuations in some areas.

On Sunday, Los Angeles experiencing its wettest day in nearly 20 years, more than a months worth of rain in 24 hours, prompting high- water rescues, three people plucked from this tree after escaping their flooded car. Vehicles stranded, some completely submerged.

And for L.A., it's nowhere near over. Parts of the area are forecast to receive close to half a year's worth of rain by Tuesday. The storm also bringing widespread hurricane force winds to parts of the state, including the central coast and Bay Area.

At least one person has died due to high winds after a tree fell on him while he tried to clear debris from his home in northern California.

In Santa Cruz, residents woke up Sunday to a mess.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't remember a storm since we've lived here where we had so many trees come down, all of the neighbors here have no power.

MIRACLE: On Monday morning, more than half a million people faced power outages. Others contending with the mud.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the foundation. This is where the house sits now. And that's the culprit.

MIRACLE: The National Weather Service warning of numerous damaging landslides in Los Angeles County, along the Santa Monica Mountains and adjacent foothills.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were in the house, my wife and I and it was like -- like it sounded like a plane crashing or maybe of a freight train or something like that, just boulders and mud.

MIRACLE: All from an atmospheric river slamming into southern California, moving at a snails pace. Parts of San Diego reeling again after just getting back on their feet after a storm two weeks ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an all hands on deck, but we could use a break from Mother Nature.


MIRACLE (on camera): Erin, just an incredible amount of destruction here. Take a look at this car behind me, jammed up with logs and mud and rocks. Now, the neighbors and city workers have done an incredible job cleaning this area up, but take a look up there. You can see massive boulders, those came barreling through the back of this house, through that garage.

If I step back just a little bit more, you can see where this came from the top of that hillside. The threat here for all of these communities remains -- Erin.

BURNETT: Veronica, thank you very much. It's incredible footage to show.

And next, a revolt. Thousands of Chinese trying to get around communist censors. They're defying the government, which is actually right now trying to erase any evidence of a plunging stock market. Wait until you see this.

Plus, breaking news: Nikki Haley now requesting Secret Service protection because of threats.



BURNETT: Tonight, China's stock market tanking overnight, dropping to five-year lows, trillions and trillions erased in value. But you wouldn't know that from the China's state media coverage. Beijing state media publishing a headline, this saying, quote, the entire country is filled with an atmosphere of optimism and positivity. But these words are being mocked by some Chinese people there, tens of thousands flocking to the U.S. social media account in Beijing, calling out the Chinese government. But those comments were already scrubbed tonight.

I want to bring in our senior international correspondent, Will Ripley, in Taipei.

And, Will, the Chinese stock market has been plunging, massive value erased, and yet you get that headline. I'll show it again. The whole country is filled with optimism. That propaganda, though, is backfiring. What can you tell us?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that optimism certainly doesn't to be shared -- seem to be shared, Erin, by the 160,000 or so social media users who flooded that U.S. embassy Weibo post on Friday. Most of the comments, this was supposed to about protecting wild giraffes, but most of the comments had absolutely nothing to do with animal protection. They were unrelated to that. They were talking about the economy.

They were talking about their economic woes and those comments were scrubbed by censors, but not before we got a few screenshots like this one that says, who can save me? I've been unemployed for so long, and I have debts. Or another one that said, this message was directed to the U.S. government, Erin, saying, please help us run our stock market. I want to go to the U.S.

We know that Chinas in the midst of a real estate downturn, Erin, high youth unemployment, record high youth unemployment, massive deflation happening right now. So this is the whole backdrop of this stock market slump with the major indices plunging 10 percent, people seeing their life savings evaporate before their very eyes. And they're trying to call for help to the U.S. embassy on social media and having those comments erased.

BURNETT: I mean, it's incredible. And, Will, you talk about scrubbing those social media comments, that you grabbed a screenshots before -- before they did that? But were looking right now, what happened just as you and I started speaking, they censored this conversation.


So the show was being broadcast in China. It now is on bars and tone there.

It is pretty incredible to see that, right? They're watching. They see you come on and start talking about this. They go to bars and tone.

But Chinese citizens are finding ways around this, maybe not specifically here with our broadcasts, but around this to get information. How are they doing it

RIPLEY: So what people do to get information from the outside world? Some people have a VPN and so they can get around the big firewall and they can access and read news from new sources like CNN. They can even watch live feeds on the Internet, but most people in China may not have access to a VPN, but they still want to vent their frustration online.

So what they've developed over the years is basically using sarcasm and euphemisms like for example, on that Weibo posts about giraffes and protecting giraffes, they were making fun of that state media headline, Erin, saying the entire giraffe community pretty is filled with optimism. They were talking about the economy, making fun of the government.

BURNETT: Right, right, and using giraffes as the proverbial fig leaf. Incredible.

Thank you so much, Will Ripley.

And next breaking news, Nikki Haley now asking for Secret Service protection. We'll tell you why.


BURNETT: Breaking news, Nikki Haley is applying for Secret Service protection. It comes as Haley has had a heightened security presence around her for the past week. Her campaign says the request is because of threats she's receiving from taking on Trump.

Thanks for watching.

It's time for Anderson.