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Erin Burnett Outfront

Biden Repeatedly Attacks Trump By Name As He Tries To Seize Momentum; Trump Posts Nearly $92M Bond In E. Jean Carroll Case; Russia Adding Wings To Bombs To Glide Deeper Into Ukraine; "Terrible": Dems And Republicans Slam Sen. Britt's Speech. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired March 08, 2024 - 19:00   ET




Biden ramps up his attacks on Trump. The president going after him by name again and again. This as Trump rolls out the red carpet for a strongman who built a border wall, changed election laws so he could win and is calling out woke culture.

Plus, the pressure campaign to use nukes. Putin's state TV ramping up its calls for a nuclear strike on the West, as Russian forces have a new weapon in their arsenal that is already having devastating effects in Ukraine.

And a, quote, disaster, bizarre. That's how some Republicans are describing Senator Katie Britt's response to Biden's State of the Union.

Let's go OUTFRONT.


HILL: Good evening. I'm Erica Hill, in for Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, Biden, turning up the heat on Trump, riding the momentum from his State of the Union Address just moments ago, wrapping up a visit to the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, making it clear he is not afraid to take on Trump.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are trying to take away our freedoms.

Donald Trump -- he came to office, determined to overturn Roe v. Wade.

But Donald Trump announced he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Donald Trump enacted a $2 trillion tax cut when he was president, overwhelmingly benefitting the very wealthy.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HILL: The resident fired up tonight, pointing out the stark differences he sees between the two, differences that are on full display at this hour. Actually, Biden campaigning, there as Trump spent time today with Hungary's far-right authoritarian prime minister Viktor Orban, inviting the controversial leader to Mar-a-Lago for about an hour-and-a-half.

The hard-charging brash autocrat has described migrants is poison and Muslim invaders. He's railed against his country becoming one of mixed races, crackdown on LGBT content on TV and in schools, stifled the press, even changed election laws so he could win.

Now for years, Orban was shunned by both Republicans and Democrats, but increasingly, Trump and the more extreme wing of the GOP have come to embrace him.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Respected all over Europe. Probably like me, a little bit controversial, but that's okay.

Some people don't like him because he's too strong. It's nice to have a strongman running your country.


HILL: Nice to have a strongman running your country.

The former president has embraced strongmen all over the world, from Putin to Xi to Kim Jong Un.

So how is that? How that he would perhaps like to run this country?

Biden not missing a chance to slam today's meeting.


BIDEN: You know who he's meeting with today and -- down in Mar-a-Lago? Orban of Hungary who stated flatly he doesn't think democracy works. He's looking for dictatorship.


HILL: We have our team standing by. MJ Lee is with President Biden in Pennsylvania. Kristen Holmes near Mar-a-Lago with former President Trump.

MJ, let's start with you. So, you were there at that Biden campaign event just now where he came out, firing against Donald Trump by name tonight, also hitting abortion, health care, taxes. And, of course, that meeting the former president had with Viktor Orban.

Is this a reset moment for the president?

MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erica, I can tell you that last night was certainly the most energized that I have seen White House officials, campaign officials, and supporters of the president. I think for many of his supporters, they saw a performance from President Biden that they had badly wanted to see. They saw clarity and vigor and energy and they're very much hoping that the president will take that onto the road.

We obviously just saw the kickoff of his post State of the Union tour here in the suburbs of Philadelphia. And we know that in the coming days, he is going to be traveling to other important battleground states like New Hampshire, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

You know, last night, as political, as the president's remarks were, we never heard the president actually referring to his predecessor Donald Trump by name. That rule, obviously, has gone out the window. We saw, in fact, some of the most harshest and starkest criticisms of Donald Trump from President Biden to date, in these remarks. And when you listen to the president talking about Donald Trump, sometimes you almost get the sense that he is almost in disbelief about Donald Trump and sort of the country and vision that he represents.


Take a listen.


BIDEN: Did you ever think we'd been a situation where we talk each other like we talk these days, why you see things that we see that no matter how tense things where, they're really tough and other parts of our history. We arrived down the street, and there was a Trump banner with a F you on it and a little -- and a six-year-old kid putting up as middle finger. Did you ever think you could hear people talk the way they do? Look, it demeans -- it demeans who we are. That's not who America -- that's not America.


LEE: And, Erica, last night, we saw protesters near Capitol Hill forcing the president's motorcade to actually change its route. And I just want to point out that we see that kind of with anger about the Israel war in so many other places every day all across the county. Just here coming into this event earlier today, we spoke with a protester who said she is here because she wants the president to call for a permanent ceasefire. Obviously, not a position that he has taken.

And in fact, he told reporters earlier today that he thinks its going to be tough to even get a deal for a temporary ceasefire by Ramadan -- Erica.

HILL: MJ there traveling with the president.

I want to bring now Kristen Holmes who's at Mar-a-Lago, of course, where former President Trump is hosting Viktor Orban, the authoritarian leader from Hungary.

So the two met, Kristen, for I guess about an hour and a half. What do we know about that conversation? What happened behind closed doors?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erica, we're still trying to get a readout. We were told though they were going to give us some sort of briefing on what the two talked about.

We were also told were going to get some sort of images from this meeting. So far, we have absolutely nothing. I did talk to sources who said that they were still meeting. That's why we know the length of the meeting, but so far, that content has been kept under wrap, still reaching out to sources as they kind of disperse after that meeting. Again, it was just at five, so broke up rather recently.

But the interesting contexts around this meeting, obviously, we heard Biden talking about Orban, so it's not surprising that the White House does it not issue any sort of formal invitation to Orban, but also Orban did not reach out to anyone in the White House or the Biden administration to sit down for a meeting. He is still a world leader as is the president of the United States, Joe Biden.

And yet he's here meeting with the former president. And one thing to note is that Donald Trump's not just a former president. He is also the presumptive Republican nominee, and he could be president again. And this really gives us some insight into how Donald Trump might align himself in the world stage and what leaders he might stand by.

As you noted in your intro, you talked about all of the things that Viktor Orban has said that he stands for. But one thing you didn't note is how much he praises former President Donald Trump. He has praised him on his immigration stance. He has said over and over again that Putin would not have invaded Ukraine if Trump was still in the White House.

That goes a very long way with the former president, that kind of loyalty, and that kind of praise. So when you're talking about this meeting today, that might be something that pushed it into existence because of the fact that Donald Trump takes those kind of compliments so seriously -- Erica.

HILL: Appreciate the reporting as always. Kristen, thank you.

OUTFRONT now, Astead Herndon, Basil Smikle and Stephanie Grisham.

Good to have all of you with us.

So, Astead, as we're looking at where we sit right now, last night, there's a lot of counting of my predecessor. Now, we were counting the times that Joe Biden said Donald Trump. Going after him directly, looking at what we've seen in the last not even 24 hours, how has that changed this campaign?

ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it marks a new chapter of the campaign. I think after Super Tuesday, you have the majority of delegates out. You clearly have the White House say that they can now zero in on who they know their opponents going to be, and there's a reason they're doing it at this time. Joe Biden knows that when this, when this election is about him in the

referendum on him, they're on weaker position. When it is about Donald Trump, the White House feels better about that. So I think you see both last night and today as a kind of show of the message.

But I think when the president's biggest political liability is age, the performance also matters. And what you saw yesterday was a Joe Biden that have had his Wheaties, right, have had was really kind of making a show to reassure Democrats that he has the energy to be the person leading them going forward.

But I also think it's a shot across the bow. The Republicans, and that they get the Joe Biden that they had last night in the summer and into the fall, that's going to be someone who gives the Democrats confidence. I don't think it's just about the momentum directly from last night. But if that is the person Democrats will see consistently to the summer and the fall.

HILL: So it's about the person and about the momentum together, right? And whether or not that can be sustained for the next eight months. Is this the Joe Biden that we will see for the next eight months?

BASIL SMIKLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It better be, it better be, because that's the Joe Biden that that can win and will win, and at this point, it's amazing to me yesterday using that moment to take a shot across the bow with the justices sitting in the crowd saying, you made this decision. Now you are going to understand the political and electoral power of women.


So what's -- what's important I think for Joe Biden going forward and the Democrats is not to tip tour around all of these issues that are mobilizing Democrats when they go to the polls, talk directly to them, talk about how Republicans are responsible for the abrogation of your rights and how Democrats are going to gain those back.

So I loved -- I loved the energy. I think there's a tremendous amount of momentum coming off of last night, but we've got to come continue to see it. It's got to be consistent. But I think if we see that Joe Biden in November, its a great opportunity for Democrats to win.

HILL: Looking at the other side here, the presumptive Republican nominee, Stephanie, this meeting today with Viktor Orban and Donald Trump -- I know you had been in the room, right, when Trump had meetings to strongmen like Orban. Do you think it's an exaggeration that he wants to use Orban's playbook in many ways?

STEPHANIE GRISHAM, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Absolutely not. You know, hearing Kristen say that the meeting has lasted at least an hour-and-a-half, just tells you something right there. Donald Trump has the attention span of a gnat, and the fact that he's sitting in there with a dictator shows you that this is what interests him.

I have sat in many bilateral meetings with world leaders and he always looked forward to speaking with President Erdogan of Turkey or President Xi of China, and, of course, Putin.

And you know, it's funny. You played that sound bite where Trump said that, you know, that he's such a strong man and you need a strong man leading your country. They're strong men against their own country, against them the people of their own country. I think that's something that should be thought about there.

And I think you're looking at a second Donald Trump term. In fact, in terms of he wants to be strong, that he can be tough with his own people, not be -- not be good to our allies, not be good to our people and not to defend people like in Ukraine. He wants to be a dictator.

HILL: You know, Biden was asked about today whether he was worried about Trump's meeting with Orban. He said, if I'm not, you should be.

Astead, how much of the GOP do you think would feel the same way as Joe Biden? How much is perhaps totally okay with this meeting happening at Mar-a-Lago would like to see more of it?

HERNDON: This is a legitimate split in the GOP. You do have a kind of larger wing of the party that is kind of uncomfortable with the ways that the Trump MAGA base have embraced authoritarian leaders, have rallied around figures who are not American allies. And so, I do think you're going to see Joe Biden tried to make that message as we saw in the midterm to appeal to people who would say are not MAGA Republicans, but maybe more traditional Republicans and say, you know, I'm the person who stands with allies.

I think this is also goes back to Joe Biden's point about flipping age to a positive. He's going to say that he has the experience, the know- how that he did. These are the people that he knows, and there's a way that you can trust him over Donald Trump.

But Donald Trump is not haphazard when it comes this issue. He has consistently like these type of leaders and he has promised in his policy planks for 2024 to model that kind of authoritarian -- that kind of authoritarian government.

And so, I'm saying it is not just a personal attachment between him and these authoritarians. He wants to mimic them. He is envious of that power and he has promised and his voters and policy planks to replicate that if he was to come back in a second term.

HILL: So I want to hear it again, something else that happened yesterday, sort of carrying into today and where it will go from here, as you know, the president is really struggling with a lot of younger voters in his party, or progressive voters. There's a lot of upset over how the situation in Israel is being handled. There was this moment comment last night that was actually caught.

He was speaking with a senator.

Take a listen


BIDEN: I told Bibi -- don't repeat this -- I said you and I are going to have a come to Jesus meeting.

AIDE: Sir, just, you're on a hot mic.

BIDEN: I'm on a hot mic here. Good. That was good.


HILL: So, today, Biden was asked specifically about those comments. Here's his response.


BIDEN: I didn't say that in the speech.

REPORTER: After? What about after the speech?

BIDEN: You guys eavesdropping on things.


HILL: It's the president's first rodeo.

SMIKLE: That's right. He knows there are a lot of mikes around, a lot of cameras.

Do you think he wanted that to get picked up? Did he want that out there?

SMIKLE: Well, he should have wanted it out there if he didn't because I think it shows to an extent that he's hearing from those young voters and I actually want to center those young birds because I teach a lot of them. And there are a lot of voters that say they don't want to vote in this election because of his stand with Israel and, you know, it is concerning, it should be concerning not just to Biden, but to the Democratic Party because as his country becomes more diverse, younger and younger voters are going to be much more attuned to what's happening in their home country.

So whether -- so when we don't usually vote on foreign policy, you will start to see a lot of that, a lot more of that going forward. So I do think its very important and that just a connected to the last question, I'm -- its interesting because Barack Obama in 2008 went to Berlin when he was running for office and he had this amazing speech where he talked to young people about the ways in which they push for democracy defeated communism. And were really supporting this movement that was happening internationally very different from what Donald Trump has is doing, and has been doing.


I'm not saying Joe Biden needs to go to Germany, but I am saying that he needs to find a way to connect to young voters in particular, and talk to them about how they are the future that they can take the United States in a direction that Donald Trump is solely trying to run away from. I don't know that he's been able to do that yet, but I still think there's time. HILL: All right. We got eight minutes. We'll be watching that.

Stephanie, I'm curious, Donald Trump has now been pushing, didn't want anything to do with the base with his fellow Republicans, but has really been pushing for debate with the president.

How do you think that would play out if that were to happen?

GRISHAM: I think that Trump would, of course, make it about belittling Biden in any way he can, making fun of him, instead of talking policy. You know, I would say if I were Biden's people, I would say why, why debate and he just lies all the time.

However, I spent six years non-stop with Donald Trump and I'll tell you what? If Biden does decide to debate Trump, I would sure like to prep President Biden.

HILL: Well, we'll see if he's watching and if he takes you up on that offer.

Stephanie, Astead, Basil, good to have all of you with us tonight. Thank you.

OUTFRONT next, Trump pays up. The former president forking over nearly $100 million and he still has another massive $450 million plus judgment looming. So where's the cash going to come from?

Plus, she may be a rising star in the Republican Party, but her response to Biden's State of the Union Address isn't going over well with some of her fellow Republicans.


SEN. KATIE BRITT (R-AL): Right now, our commander in chief is not in command.


And it is ten years to the day that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished. Tonight, are we any closer to finding out what happened to that plan?



HILL: Tonight, Donald Trump pays up. The former president posting nearly $92 million bond as he appeals the judgment against him in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case. Soon, he's also going to need to come up with a whole lot more cash. In just 17 days, he has to pay the $454 million penalty and the Trump Org fraud case.

There are looming questions though tonight about whether Donald Trump even has that much money after it claimed in a deposition last year, he had some 400 million in cash on hand.

Paula Reid is OUTFRONT.

So, Paula, is there any way at all for Donald Trump to get out of putting up all this money?

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erica Trump has tried and failed to delay this massive payment, even offered up a portion of what he owed $100 million bond. But even that was rejected.

He is now appealed to a full panel of appellate judges as a last ditch attempt to delay this. But the clock is ticking and until that bond is posted, interest is accruing at a rate of nearly $115,000 a day. And look, if he does not come up with this money, the attorney general in New York has made it clear she will seize his assets.

Now it's also interesting that this money is due on March 25th because that is the same day that the first criminal trial against former President Trump gets underway in New York. And it's a reminder that in addition to these two civil judgments, he also faces mounting legal fees that he owes in these four criminal trials that he is facing.

Now one question out there is whether the RNC will help him. This week, his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, along with another Trump loyalist, both took over the RNC. Now one of the senior advisers has said they do not intend to use the RNC to help pay Trumps legal expenses. But others had expected that the committee would help him once he became the party's nominee.

Look, Erica, these money woes, they really undermine this long- projected image of a successful businessman with deep pockets who was always able to work the system, to his benefit.

HILL: Yeah, appreciate it, Paula. Thank you.

Joining me now to discuss, Ryan Goodman, OUTFRONT legal expert and Jonathan Greenberg, a longtime investigative journalist who has covered Donald Trump and his finances for decades, and says Trump lied to him when he worked at "Forbes" to get on the Forbes 400 list.

Good to have both you with us.

Ryan, as we look at this and Paul just touched on this a bit, but given the fact that they're just over two weeks for Donald Trump to pay when it comes to this $454 million penalty. And it's not clear he has the cash, what ultimately happens if he can't pay?

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: If he can't pay, then the attorney general is going to kick into action pretty swiftly and start seizing his assets. That could be properties that he owned and it could also be liquid assets that he says he has in bank accounts, and she can reach beyond New York in order to do that by going into the courts of Florida and elsewhere.

HILL: And when you say pretty quickly, how quickly do you anticipate she would act?

GOODMAN: Immediately. HILL: Okay.


HILL: So as we watch for that, Jonathan, you've actually suggested you think the AG should go directly to his real estate partners now, get the ball rolling on those assets to put Trump essentially on defense. How would that work?

JONATHAN GREENBERG, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, the concept is, Erin, is that instead of making, you know, where he does, you know what instead of playing defensively to enforce the state judgment to take the offensive and cut Trump out of the deal. The -- I believe that the art of collecting a penalty against Donald Trump is the art of cutting them out of the deal, because as long as he is part of it, even when they seize the assets, let's say, I don't believe he's going to have the money to pay the bond. Its going to be like, okay, where are the financials so that we could talk to potential buyers?

And in real estate, the best potential buyer is an existing partner in a building. And Trump has some very big -- very well -- well, deep, deep pocketed partners for not a realty trust at adding 1290 Avenue of the Americas.


He has, you know, 600 -- $287 million in equity, Forbes estimates, his there. Why not approach them and say, listen, we would like you to be ready on March 25th, when we officially take -- seize the assets because he hasn't paid his bond to make us an offer, to create a contract that says contingent upon the appellate court not overturning the ruling, which is by the way, pretty unlikely since it's a fairly bulletproof and well considered judgment, we would -- what will you pay us for Trumps share of the equity?

Because as long as you pay this game of Trump, if he's in control, he's going to try to provide the financials or not, he is going to contest and drag his heels every step of the way. Maybe its time that Letitia James, who I think is probably the most -- you know, the strongest prosecutor. Trump has ever faced in his life, that she turns the tables on him and negotiates around him, directly with the groups that could pay the money for the bond that needs to be enforced.

HILL: It'd be interesting to see if in fact she took that route.

When we look at all this, Ryan, would bankruptcy be an option here?

GOODMAN: Actually not. So there's an exception to the bankruptcy rules that says that it can't apply to a debt that is owed through fraud and so the judgment is all about fraud. It's like child support payments. There's also could not be discharged through bankruptcy the person would still owe them. So that's not really an option here.

HILL: And Paula noted, there these questions about the -- about the RNC and whether some of that money could be used to pay his legal fees, his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, is now the co-chair as of a few hours ago of the party had said, well, you know, we think that people would expect this, it would be, it would be okay. Now, she said she's not sure what the legal ramifications are, right? What are the regulations?

Is that ever something that could happen?

GOODMAN: Possibly. So there's been some commentary suggesting that its off-limits, that it's -- wouldn't be illegal. It's actually not so clear. It's not so clear how the RNC would operate under the Federal Election Campaign Act. And that it also explains why there was a movement inside the RNC to try to get a resolution to pass to stop the payment because obviously they think there are people inside the RNC who do not think it is illegal to do this.

HILL: Right. As we watch for all of that. You know, Jonathan, you were on the receiving end of a fairly well-known called by this point, from a John Barron years ago. Barron, of course, was Donald Trump himself posing as a publicist to falsely claim that Trump owned all of his father's assets. This was in an effort to inflate his net worth to make that Forbes 400 list.

I want to play part of that conversation.


GREENBERG: What's your first name by the way?



"JOHN BARRON": John Barron.

"JOHN BARRON": Most of the assets have been consolidated to Mr. Trump, you know, because you have down Fred Trump and I'd like to talk to you off the record if I can just to make your thing easier.

I think you can really use Donald Trump now and you can consolidate. I think last year somebody showed me the article, and I think he had 200 and 200 and really its been pretty well consolidated now for the most part.


HILL: So much of Donald Trump's image is really tied to this idea of his wealth, of his success in business. How far Jonathan do you think you could go to keep the American people from discovering that he is not as rich, as wealthy as he has claimed?

GREENBERG: I think he's far less wealthy than he has claimed. I think this is his Achilles heel. If you look at, you know, there was this -- you know, funny, Eric, he was on -- once on a Comedy Central roast of him and he said, say whatever you want about my family, say whatever you want about appears, just don't make any jokes about me being worth less than I am, because he really is worth a lot less than he has. He's worth -- he's a lot less successful than he wants the world to

be. And he has -- and his properties don't produce nearly as much income, which was why there's this cash squeeze and he's trying to negotiate $100 million when he has to come up with $450 million. How far he will go has -- I think he's going to defy the court every step of the way. It's going to be, make me do it, like the child saying, I'm not, no -- I'm not going to do it. Make me do it. You can't make me do it.

But I do believe that the -- his Hail Mary might be money from a Russian oligarch or alone from someone who he's friendly with. But the problem he has is that if he falls or goes down, any loans that he has collateralized against any of his other assets, you know, are likely to go down, too. And so, it's not a particularly wise business decision. And he doesn't have that many friends

HILL: Jonathan and Ryan, really good to have you both here tonight. Thank you.

GREENBERG: Thank you so much.

HILL: OUTFRONT next -- OUTFRONT next, Russia using a dangerous new weapon in Ukraine as Putin state, media goes all out calling for nuclear war.

And the U.S. military now making UFO detection kits after a sharp rise in this sightings of unidentified flying objects.



HILL: Tonight, cloudy with a chance of nukes? Russian state TV can't stop talking about using nuclear weapons against the West, even discussing the idea during a weather report.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Today, the weather is ideal for conducting nuclear strikes against NATO countries. Radioactive clouds will travel towards those countries that are sending arms and mercenaries to fight against our army.


HILL: It's somewhat unbelievable, except maybe it's not. It all comes as Russia beefs up its arsenal with bombs that can fly.

Fred Pleitgen is OUTFRONT.



FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Massive explosions as the Russians were driving Ukrainian forces out of Avdiivka on the eastern front.

After their retreat, Kyiv's ground troops saying Vladimir Putin's air force has become a lot more effective, thanks to a special weapon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The enemy used there aircraft a lot, attacking with KAB bombs. Before they advance, they clean up the area ahead of them with KAB bombs.

PLEITGEN: KAB stands for correctable air bomb, old, unguided bombs, retrofitted with wings that unfold and a precision guidance kit using Russia's version of GPS.

JUSTIN BRONK, SENIOR RESEARCH ON AIRPOWER AT ROYAL UNITED SERVICES INSTITUTE: The impact has been to give Russia additional firepower, particularly very heavy firepower. So it's a lot more explosive than an artillery shell or rocket. So, essentially, almost a kind of DIY style version of an American glide bomb kit.

PLEITGEN: You can see the bombs in flight here, their wings already extended. The wing kits allow the Russians to release the bombs further away from the front lines and out of range of Ukraine's short distance air defense systems the bombs then glide dozens of miles to their targets.

With devastating effects, the Ukrainian say, the Russians dropping large quantities of bombs weighing between 500 and 3,000 pounds, able to annihilate even hardened Ukrainian positions.

YURI IHNAT, UKRAINE AIR FORCE SPOKESMAN (through translator): Their goal is not only we to hit frontline positions, but guided glide bombs are also flying further behind our defenders to hit rear command posts, rear supplies, ammunition, and so on.

PLEITGEN: The aerial bombs are huge. This is a medium-size one that didn't explode when dropped on a house near the eastern front.

And the Russian say they're just getting started. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu saying Moscow will drastically ramp up production of the wing and guidance kits on a recent visit to the factory, making them.

BRONK: It's a form of munition that Russia has potentially very large quantities. And it enables their fighter aircraft, which so far have been fairly ineffective in the war, to contribute really heavy firepower to the ongoing Russian push against Ukrainian line.

PLEITGEN: The Ukrainian say, the only way they can stop Putin's glide bomb blitz is with more long-range air defense systems. And they hope soon with us made F-16 fighter jets that could help push Russian aircraft even further away from the front lines.


PLEITGEN (on camera): And, Erica, the Ukrainian say they have managed to actually shoot down some of those Russian jets, dropping those glide bombs, but they also say the only weapon they currently have capable of achieving that is the U.S. made Patriot surface to air missile systems.

Now, of course, they need a lot of patriot missiles to do that. But right now, getting additional missiles is a problem because the funding for that remains held up by Republican House leadership -- Erica.

HILL: Fred, appreciate the reporting as always. Thank you.

Major General Spider Marks is OUTFRONT now at the magic wall.

General, good to see you as always.

So as we saw in Fred's report there, these glider bombs, they seem like a huge boon for Russia, a major vulnerability for Ukraine.

Do you see them reshaping the war?

SPIDER MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I don't know that they're going to reshape the war. I mean, we talked a lot about these potential game changers and let's be frank with each other, each additional capability is an additive in terms of a very specific function. But until you can fight as a total force and air-land battle kind of its three-dimensional fighting force, nothing's really a game changer. So I'm not saying what it's going to change the fight. However, it's significant.

Let's go through what that looks like. This is the area that we just saw. Let me run through that video again and you can see here comes the glider bomb into the target, quite effective. The key thing there is that these bombs allow the Russians to provide additional offset if the target is in fact here in this particular video, Russians might be able to release that munitions from someplace back here. The Ukrainians currently don't have sufficient capacity to go after those either launch locations or to interdict with air defense capabilities back here from where they're going to be launched.

HILL: It's a tough picture. All of this as we know that Ukraine is revising its defense strategy. Russia's kind of gaining steam at this point, how are they revising that strategy?

MARKS: Well, very much so, the Ukrainians were incapable of really achieving some success with their -- offensive that we all talked about over the course of the last six to seven months, that did not happen to the level that everybody was anticipating, irrespective of NATO support to Ukraine.

So it's very difficult, difficult fight, but the defense can achieve some great success. So what's happening currently right now along the front is the Russians are probing in multiple locations to try to see what the weak point might be.


That's to the Ukrainian advantage, because when you move it up into a little closer area, if you look what Ukraine has done, they've backed their defensive line back to their Russians now are still trying to penetrate and multiple locations while the defense has an advantage, generally, what we saw, what we call the ratio of 3-1. And if the Russians are trying to probe and a multiple, multiple locations, Ukrainians can let them achieve some tactical success, for example, they get a little bit of a penetration here, the Russians continue to commit to this area, then the Ukrainians, if they can read it appropriately, can then cut that off with forces from either direction. That's the intent here.

HILL: That is the intent. We'll be watching.

Spider Marks, always appreciate being with us. Thank you, General.

MARKS: Thank you, Erica.

HILL: OUTFRONT next, Republican Senator Katie Britt cashing in on her rebuttal to President Biden's State of the Union Address, despite that rebuttal leaving some in her own party baffled.


BRITT: This is the United States of America, and it is past time, in my opinion, that we start acting like it.


HILL: Plus, ten years ago, tonight, we broke what would become one of aviation's, frankly, one of the world's biggest mysteries.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And we have breaking news right now. Malaysia Airlines confirms it has lost contact with the plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members.


HILL: So a decade later, what happened to MH370?



BURNETT: Tonight, Katie Britt doubling down. The senator from Alabama now closer to being a household name after her rebuttal to President Biden's State of the Union Address is fundraising off of her speech, asking donors to help her, quote, send the Biden agenda into the ash- heap of history. This has that very same speech is being panned as bizarre, a disaster, even parody level terrible.

And keep in mind those three moments I just talked about, those comments all came from fellow Republicans.

Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.


BRITT: Our commander in chief is not in command.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senator Katie Britt's State of the Union response --

BRITT: It's been a minute since Joe Biden pumped gas.

SERFATY: -- setting off a flurry of opinions, even some within her own party, saying her delivery was distracting, overshadowing the message. Critics calling it too theatrical, too dramatic.

BRITT: To think about what the American dream can do across just one generation and just one lifetime, it's truly breathtaking

SERFATY: With her kitchen location projecting the wrong optics.

TOM NICHOLS, STAFF WRITER, TEH ATLANTIC: If I may paraphrase President George W. Bush, that was some weird stuff, man. The whole kitchen setting and that kind of the very labored and breathy, you know, and quivering voice.

SERFATY: Even as some came to her defense.

SEN. TOMMY TUBERVILLE (R-AL): I thought she did very well. And, you know, she's a mom. She's a housewife. She's around people in a young age.

SERFATY: Senator Britt won office only two years ago, becoming the first woman elected to represent Alabama in the Senate.

BRITT: This race has never been about me. It is always been about Alabama.

SERFATY: She previously worked on Capitol Hill for years, rising to chief of staff for Alabama Senator Richard Shelby.

BRITT: I am a mama on a mission. And the two reasons that Wesley and I chose to jump in this race are standing right beside us.

SERFATY: Her husband is a former NFL football player, and they have two kids, a lifelong Alabamian, once Alabama's Junior Miss.

BRITT: (INAUDIBLE) and I love it.

SERFATY: The performative nature of giving the State of the Union rebuttal is notoriously tricky after the energy of the president's big speech. The immediate alternative can come off as hollow, stayed and has led to some politically devastating moments that can haunt the political futures of those politicians for years, like Senator Marco Rubio's sudden thirst and his 2013 rebuttal speech.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Nothing has frustrated me more then false choices like the one that president laid out tonight.

SERFATY: Parodied and mocked


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's never that far away, right in front of you.

SERFATY: So too was then Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

BOBBY JINDAL, FORMER LOUISIANA GOVERNOR: Good evening and happy Mardi gras.

SERFATY: Then Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius mocked for her blink stare.

Congressman Joe Kennedy for what looked like drool later had to clarify as just too much chopstick.

And Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's speech remembered for her off- putting focus off camera.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two years ago, when Barack Obama became president.


HILL: Sunlen, there has certainly been a lot of talk about Senator Britt today. Have she or her office responded to any of the criticism that's out there?

SERFATY: Yeah. Erica, no response yet from her, but I did ask one of her aides about all this criticism. And interestingly, they immediately juxtaposed her giving what they said was a passionate speech each with Joe Biden. Here's what they said. Quote: Joe Biden angrily screamed for an hour and was roundly praised for a fiery speech.


Katie Britt passionately made the case on the need for new direction and is being criticized by the liberal media. Color me surprised.

And it goes without saying, of course, that these are huge stakes. It's a huge stage for any newcomer who is in essence a rising star in their party to give. And the optics here, of course, really important, Erica, you know that every single mistake and misstep is usually what endures, oftentimes over the message.

HILL: Yeah, it is tough.

Sunlen, appreciate it. Thank you.


HILL: OUTFRONT next. It was ten years ago today that MH370 vanished without a trace. Now, one country says it is considering a new search.

Plus, the Pentagon out with a new one reporting a surge of UFO sightings. So, what do they uncover? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


HILL: Tonight, ten years to the day after MH370 vanished, the Malaysian government is considering starting a new search for the missing plane. Families of the missing passengers today, protesting at the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, 239 passengers and crew were onboard when that plane disappeared. And a decade later many are asking why this mystery remains so hard to solve.

Richard Quest is OUTFRONT.


BURNETT: And we have breaking news right now. Malaysia Airlines confirms it has lost contact with the plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And so began one of aviation's greatest mysteries.

NAJIB RAZAK, MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER: The plane just vanished from the radar screen. You know, we -- when -- we went totally dark.

QUEST: The Boeing 777 took off from Kuala Lumpur on its way to Beijing. It was less than an hour into the flight when the captain said --

PILOT: Good night Malaysia 370.

QUEST: Minutes later, the transponder stopped transmitting identification and position.

Military radar and data from the pilot's cell phone revealed that the plane had changed course, was now flying back across Malaysia and the satellite data revealed MH370 continued flying for around seven hours when the plane likely went down of the western coast of Australia.

RAZAK: Flight MH370 ended in a southern Indian Ocean.

QUEST: That statement extinguished whatever hope the families still had.

Those families are still hoping for closure.

When the plane went missing, planes, ships, and submarines from dozens of countries took part in the most expensive search in aviation history. And despite all these efforts, nothing was immediately found.

It would be more than a year before a piece of the wing washed up on the coast of a Union Island near Madagascar.

What happened to the plane remains unclear.

Some observers believe Captain Zaharie deliberately crashed the plane, as part of a murder suicide.

The families of the pilots harshly reject that idea. And truth is there's little hard evidence to support it.

Other nefarious theories say someone entered the cockpit and hijack the plane. Then, there are mechanical issues. All then perhaps some kind of far in the cargo hold, or a sudden decompression, that forced the pilots to change course before they were no longer able to control the plane or became unconscious.

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: At this point, the only thing we do know is that it did hit the water, that there are pieces of the airplane that washed ashore. Other than that, we have no other clues as to what actually happened.

QUEST: Now a decade on, the Malaysia government says it's considering a new surge.

An American firm Ocean Infinity says new technology may allow it to find the missing aircraft after two previous searches failed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've spent a lot of time talking to a lot of different people. It's a question that deserves to be the answer, not least just for the families, but for everybody.

QUEST: Ten years on, finding the plane remains crucial, to bringing closure to the families of the victims.

K.S NARENDRAN, HUSBAND OF PASSENGER CHANDRIKA SHARMA: I would have a sense of relief, I guess that at least we know now be found something.


QUEST (on camera): Ten years on and it's also important to you and me, part of the billions of people who fly every year. It's important they find the plane and they find the black boxes like this, though, will help them understand what finally happened to MH370 -- Erica.

HILL: Richard Quest, thank you as always.

Finally, tonight, America's X files. The Defense Department releasing its long awaited report on UFOs, which claims the feds have no evidence that any of the UFO sightings dating back to the 1940s were actually from outer space, noting that most turned out to be quote, ordinary objects and phenomena. And the result of misidentification.

That 63-page report goes on to say there's also no evidence the government possesses any alien technology though even the Pentagon acknowledging tonight that its sweeping report may do little to sway skeptics who believe the government is hiding something.

And while the government says it has no evidence of extraterrestrials, it's also not shutting the door on the possibility that there is life out there. In fact, we know now that the government is actually developing so-called UFO detection kits. These detection systems will be deployed to an area that according to the government, is known for a number of sightings.

There you go, on a Friday night.

Thanks for joining us.

"AC360" starts right now.