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Erin Burnett Outfront

Judge In Trump Docs Case Denies Trump Motion To Dismiss Charges; Michigan School Shooter's Father Guilty Of 4 Manslaughter Charges; RFK Jr. Talks To Mike Rowe About Possibly Joining Ticket; Journalist: Russian Group Claims It Attacked Ex-Navalny Aide; Russia Warns Against Protesting During Presidential Election. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired March 14, 2024 - 19:00   ET




The breaking news: the judge rules against Trump, rejecting one of his key arguments in pushing to get his classified documents case dismissed. And this comes as we are just learning that Trump's first criminal trial in New York is now facing a delay.

Plus, Mike Rowe, the TV host known for taking on dirty jobs, could his next job be RFK Jr.'s running mate? He's going to tell you about his very conversation with RFK Jr. on that topic, next.

And breaking news, new reporting tonight on who may be responsible for the vicious attack on Alexei Navalny's chief of staff. The investigative reporter, Christo Grozev, who exposed the plot to kill Navalny with Novichok, joins me now with his new reporting.


And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

And OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, Trump rejected. The judge in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case tonight denying Trump specifically, one of his key arguments pushing to dismiss the entire case. And Trump was there in person today, and the stakes were high. It's a setback for Trump from a judge that he appointed and has heavily praised.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm very proud to have appointed her. Look, she's very smart and very strong and loves our country.


BURNETT: It is unclear when you hear that and you know, of course, he did appoint her, is unclear if Judge Cannon will end up saving Trump from a trial before the election?

So many of her rulings at this case thus far have gone in his favor and she was tight-lipped today about when the trial will start. It is still officially scheduled for May 20, although she has said that date is not going to happen.

And today, they're came another delay that Trump wanted, way up north in New York, where prosecutors are now proposing to push back the start of Trump's hush money trial by up to 30 days. Now, remember, this criminal trial was first one of these that was going to happen and maybe the only one to happen in full before the election, it was set to begin in less than two weeks from tonight.

But now, the start date is up in the air, after prosecutors said they would give times team more time to review new records from federal prosecutors. Delay after delay, and what was jam-packed calendar of court dates for Trump.

Remember, it was all going to be how's going to get it all done, while he's running in the primaries? Well, the primaries would still be going on and they, of course not ended so quickly. But now, forget the primaries, his hush money trial is possibly delayed until the end of April, and that would be the first one. The federal January 6 case, that is now on hold until after the Supreme Court oral arguments.

Those aren't even scheduled until April 22nd, then you have the arguments, you have the decision. Experts don't expect that went even start until maybe the summer.

His Georgia election interference case, the D.A. Fani Willis would like to start on August 5th, but that date is totally up in the air because judges deciding whether Fani Willis will even be on the case, or whether she gets removed. And, of course, the classified documents case itself, there's still no word on when that trial will begin.

Trump arguing it should not even start until after the November election. And these delays are potentially Trump's ticket to freedom if he wins.


TRUMP: We want delays. Obviously, I'm running for election.


BURNETT: We want delays, obviously, running for election. He said it himself. And we have a team of reporters standing by tonight.

Katelyn Polantz is outside that courthouse in Florida. Evan Perez is in Washington.

Katelyn, let me start with you because Judge Cannon already rejecting one of Trump's motions. So what more can you tell us about the hearing today? That hearing where, of course, he chose to be in-person.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Erin, there was no delay today from Judge Cannon in her decision to reject one of Trumps arguments but what is happening here in this case is Trump is putting all of his defense arguments before the judge asking her to dismiss the case. She's looking at those one by one. Today, she looked at two of nine of those arguments that he and his co-defendants are making, all different arguments about why they think the case should be dismissed.

And we've gotten one ruling. That was in -- after he argued that the law was too vague around national defense secrets. She said that's not something that I'm going to decide, that might be something you may want to argue to a jury later, or we could look at later on and argue in this case.

But I'm not dismissing the case right now. They are still as another argument that was made in court today about Donald Trump keeping the records that were removed from the White House and that he took tomorrow logo and kept after he left the presidency, that those were his personal records.


Judge Aileen Cannon seemed pretty skeptical of that, but now we wait to see exactly what she will do. She's been very cautious not to tip her hand in court, though, she did a bit today. She did shed some skepticism toward Trump and his lawyers for what they were arguing today.

But everyone here in this case, it's very clear that there's a lot of work to do. There's a long road ahead of them. They've spent hours and hours in court together, Trump himself in court seems to be quite comfortable chatting with his lawyers, listening. Our reporters and some court producers in the room today, even caught some people maybe nodding off as this hearing dragged on well into the afternoon.

But there are many, many hours ahead and many ruling comment from Judge Aileen Cannon before we get to a trial.

BURNETT: Before we get to a trial or even a known trial date.

All right. Katelyn Polantz, thank you so much.

Katelyn at that courthouse today, and I want to go now to Evan Perez because he is closely following the late developments.

I mentioned in the Trump hush money case that first criminal case that was scheduled to start in two weeks, Evan, and now maybe not, maybe not for another 30 days?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, at least 30 days. Erin, it's almost certain that the judge is going to delay this trial because now the district attorney, Alvin Bragg, is saying that they are okay with delaying this by at least 30 days, up to 30 days.

The Trump team had asked for 90 day delay because they said of various discovery problems. This is the whole principle that the prosecution has a duty to turn over every all documents that are relevant to trial in order for the defense to be able to be able to prepare for trial, of course. So what has happened according to the district attorney, is that just

yesterday, they received about 31,000 pages of documents from the Justice Department that the defense had requested. Now, these are documents. We don't know exactly what these documents are, but we know that get rid documents at the defense said that they had requested from the Justice Department because as you know, the Justice Department had investigated this these allegations of the Trump paying hush money ahead of the 2016 election.

They had looked at it in the Trump administration and also looked at it in the Biden administration and declined to prosecute. So, those documents were under a subpoena from the defense and some of those documents only came in yesterday.

Here's the thing. According to this filing from the district attorney, there may be more documents that may be coming in. So the issue now becomes, how long does judge delays this trial, as you pointed out this was supposed to start in less than two weeks.

And so the question is, does he go with 30 days? Does he go all the way to 90 days, which is what Trump is asking or somewhere in-between? Erin?

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Evan Perez in Washington.

And OUTFRONT now, the former Trump White House lawyer, Ty Cobb.

So, Ty, obviously, every development is significant in terms of the ripple effect it could have, and Judge Cannon, Aileen Cannon, rejecting one of Trump's key motions to dismiss the case today.

But you think that it may still have been a good day for Trump. Explain how come?

TY COBB, THE FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: Because it was the day and delay is his whole objective. Every day counts.

The fact that she denied the motion is really sort of inconsequential in my view because, you know, all nine motions to dismiss or frivolous. It wouldn't take most judges a week to decisively rule on all of them. Not sure why argument is even required, the positions that Trump's lawyers have taken are so absurd.

But I think, you know, it's good that today, she came to court prepared for change. She actually issued a ruling on one of the motions that was argued, but not the other. The other motion, frankly, is an easier motion to dismiss for the court to do this and say that Trump's wrong because it's even more absurd than the one that she did dismiss today, on the vagueness issue.

So, yeah, anything that slows things down and, you know, she doesn't -- she just doesn't have this on a schedule that is likely to get the case resolved before the or even to trial before the election. And I think any trial date that she ultimately sets now, even if she goes with the defendants, suggested trial date in August over the smith trial date, month or so earlier. The reality is that date will move, too. This case is not going to go

to trial before the election, and I think everything that she has done today ensures that.

BURNETT: Which is an incredible bottom line when you think about it.


And I think the context is so important of what you're saying, that those nine motions, as you see them, are frivolous that she could rule on them. You don't need every time to have a hearing, and a date and an argument in court. And yet that is -- that is what's happened.

You know, Katelyn Polantz described Aileen Cannon as skeptical of the notion that Trump had the power to designate records as personal and take them with him to Mar-a-Lago when his presidency ended. But she did say that that could be a, quote, forceful trial defense.

So it's sort of unclear where she stood at least from that. Is there any merit to that argument?

COBB: None.

And in fact, you know, at 30,000 feet, you have to ask yourself, how would that ever get in front of the jury? The only way for that to get in front of the jury. The argument that Trump had designated the documents as personal to himself is if Trump testifies and Trump's never going to testify, I mean, he would get eviscerated.

So, you know, in the absence of any evidence that supports a legal argument you cant make the argument. The arguments have to be based on the evidence and based on the facts and based on the jury instructions, relevant to the jury instructions.

And there is no, you know, jury instruction that says under the under the PRA, the Public Records Act that, you know, a president can designate things personal to himself if he so decides. That's not -- that's not in the law, it's not in the statute, it's just sort of a silly argument and it has no, no legal support.

BURNETT: I remember the day when he's like, you know, I just have to sort of think about it and it is. So the Alvin Bragg situation, obviously, Trump's team had asked for 90 days of a delay. Alvin Bragg came out and he's agreeing in a sense that delays is necessary, right, clearly, saying 30 days, that they would go with 30 days. What does this mean?

COBB: Well, so what it means for sure is that the case will be delayed. You know, Judge Merchant is not going to risk being reversed on forcing the trial to date earlier than both the prosecution and defense agree as appropriate. I think it also means that yeah, the D.A.'s office is just as badly managed this case. These documents have been out there for two years ever since the southern district decided not to pursue charges against the former president after having prosecuted Mike Cohen. Keep in mind that both the SEC and the Southern District concluded

this case required no, no action and they both passed on it. And then Bragg's team came up with this tortured misdemeanor attached to a federal crime theory that has no precedent that supports it. And for case that, you know, even if it ever gets to trial is going to be inconsequential to Trump.

Trump's not going to go to jail in this case. It's $130,000 first offense under the New York guidelines. That's just not -- that's not worthy of any jail time and it'll be on appeal when he gets -- if he -- if he gets elected, it'll be on appeal during that time and it wouldn't be enforceable for, you know, four more years

So it's sort of -- it's sort of an unusual case to gum up the works and moving it back, of course, screws up other timelines like the potential for either the classified documents case or the January 6 case to get to trial.

BURNETT: All right. But, Ty Cobb, thank you very much. Always appreciate you, your point of view.

And as Ty is wrapping here, we do have some breaking news of a verdict which has been reached in the James Crumbley trial. He's the Michigan father, whose son shot and killed four of his classmates in 2021. Prosecutors painted Crumbley as a careless, negligent father, who bought his son the gun that the son used in the school shooting.

Crumbley's wife, Jennifer, has already been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, and is set to be sentenced in a few weeks.

I want to go to Whitney Wild. She's been following this trial as we are watching the jury comeback waiting of this verdict that we hope to be able to actually hear this live.

Whitney, what are we looking at? And obviously this is victims families are in this room waiting.

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: I cannot stress enough, Erin, and the significance of this moment, this is the end of this horrific more than two years saga for these families that began November 30th, 2021, and that's the 18-year-old --

BURNETT: Whitney, sorry to interrupt. But let's just listen here. I think they've just started. So we'll listen together.

JUDGE: -- to know about, and read into the record. I consulted with the attorneys who answered the question, so then I sent the question back, and they agreed on the answer.

The jury asked, please define article 16.13 for what number four, defined willfully neglected grossly negligent. The lawyers agreed to answer the question. Please see jury instructions 16.18, for the definition of gross negligence.


All other definitions are contained within jury instructions 16.13.

I also want to point out that there's a request by the media to ask the jury members if they would be going training and the courthouse and be questioned off camera because there would be a verdict and no other defendant can be in trial. I would have been willing to do that.

But the courthouse closes at 4:30, and I have continually imposed on the courthouse for the sake of this trial. And the other one, I cannot impose on the staff for the deputies and any further.

I also wanted to point to indicate that with regard to case number 22279990FH, the people versus Jennifer Crumbley, there is an order restricting pretrial publicity. It was entered in July 14th, 2022, that order will be set aside as soon as the verdict was read.

I will also be issuing an order that will obviously not be made public in the courthouse until tomorrow morning. In addition, case number 22279989FH of the people versus James Crumbley, the same thing. The order restricting pretrial publicity was entered on July 14th, 2022, and that order will also be set aside as of the reading of the verdict.

Are you ready for the jury?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All rise for the jury.

JUDGE: Good evening.

Be seated.

Ladies and gentlemen, I know you've worked very hard. We've all been awaiting your decision. I know this was a very intense decision for you all to make. I believe you've selected a foreperson. Who's the foreperson?

You're the foreperson. Could you read the verdict, please?


JUDGE: Sure.

JURY FOREPERSON: Count one, involuntary manslaughter as to Madisyn Baldwin -- guilty of involuntary manslaughter as to Madisyn Baldwin.

Count two, involuntary manslaughter as Tate Myre -- guilty of involuntary manslaughter as to Tate Myre.

Count three, involuntary manslaughter as to Hana St. Juliana -- guilty of involuntary manslaughter as Hana St. Juliana.

Count four, involuntary manslaughter as to Justin Shilling -- guilty of involuntary manslaughter as to Justin Shilling.

JUDGE: Thank you, foreperson.

I'm going to ask that Ms. Williams pull the jury, so she's going to ask you each.

MS. WILLIAMS: Jury in seat number one, was that and is that your verdict?


MS. WILLIAMS: Jury in seat number two, was that and is that your verdict?


MS. WILLIAMS: Jury in seat number three, was that and is that your verdict?

JUROR: It is.

MS. WILLIAMS: Jury in seat number four, was that and is that your verdict?

JUROR: It is.

MS. WILLIAMS: Jury in seat number six, was that and is that your verdict?

JUROR: It is.

MS. WILLIAMS: Jury in seat number seven, was that and is that your verdict?

JUROR: It is.

MS. WILLIAMS: Jury in seat number eight, was that and is that your verdict?

JUROR: It is.

MS. WILLIAMS: Jury in seat number nine, was that and is that your verdict?

JUROR: It is.


MS. WILLIAMS: Jury in seat number 11, was that and is that your verdict?

JUROR: It is.

MS. WILLIAMS: Jury in seat number 12, was that and is that your verdict?

JUROR: Yes, it is.

MS. WILLIAMS: Jury in seat number 13, was that and is that your verdict?

JUROR: It is.

MS. WILLIAMS: Jury in seat number 14, was that and is that your verdict?

JUROR: It is.

JUDGE: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I know how hard this has been on all of you, just by reading your face. I know this has been a very hard decision. We appreciate your time. I'm going to ask you to return to the jury room and I'll be there. Are there with you in a few minutes, all right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All rise for the jury.

BURNETT: James Crumbley found guilty of all four counts of involuntary manslaughter. You heard each of the jurors there confirmed that was their verdict.

Whitney Wild, we were able to look at James Crumbley, the father of Ethan Crumbley, who killed four of his classmates, murdered four of his classmates. His father, James, now convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He was wearing those sort of headphones. He has a hearing impairment.

You could see him visibly shaking his head each time the word guilty was said by the foreperson of that jury.

WILD: Well, that's right, Erin, and his defense and continuously argued that he had no knowledge that his son posed any the harm to anyone else and that in fact, he had tried to keep a firearm out of Ethan Crumbley's hands by hiding it in an armoire in his -- in his bedroom, and then separating out the ammunition and hiding it underneath a pair of jeans.

And it was really these two -- these two elements that prosecutors really dug into in the case. And it was this idea that Ethan Crumbley had declining mental health and it was obvious to everyone and someone should have act specifically, his parents should have acted because there were just signs over and over and over for months leading up to the shooting that he pose a risk to those around him, as well as to himself.

So that was the first thing. And then specifically with the James Crumbley trial Erin, they really dug into the securing of the firearm. A couple of pieces of evidence that prosecutors brought forth again, was the idea that you this hand going to happen stored, but it didn't have a lock on the firearm I made it takes just seconds to lock up a firearm with a walk that is standard that comes in a kit with a handgun.

He didn't do that. That was one of the things that prosecutors really dug into. We can't know what piece of evidence it was that pushed the jury in this direction, but other pieces of evidence that they brought forth included April of 2021 text message that Ethan Crumbley sent to a friend.

And in it, he said that he had told his father that he was hearing people talk to him and seeing someone in the distance. And here's a quote from the text from Ethan to his friend. I actually asked my dad to take me to the doctor yesterday, but he just gave me some pills and told me to suck it up.

So those are some major pieces of evidence, Erin, that jurors heard throughout the trial. This trial saw 15 witnesses for prosecutor spread over five days. The defense brought just one witness.

James Crumbley's sister, Karen Crumbley, who said that she saw the family in April and then again in June 2021, and she did not see anything that seemed off, anything concerning at all. But another piece of evidence, Erin.

And just to wrap it up, that -- but prosecutors really leaned into was this idea that it was James Crumbley who brought Ethan to the gun range several times, at least six times from June 2021 through November, and that it was James Crumbley who bought the firearm, but you can eventually use to kill those four students and injure several others at his high school.

BURNETT: Whitney, thank you very much.

And it is a significant verdict of this guilty verdict for James Crumbley, the father of Ethan Crumbley. This also follows the guilty the verdict for Ethan Crumbley's mother, Jennifer Crumbley, who was tried separately and is awaiting sentencing in early April, guilty on all four counts.

Ethan Crumbley killed four of his classmates. He is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole, even though he was 15 at the time of the shooting.

Joey Jackson is with me now, criminal defense attorney, CNN legal analyst.

Joey, as you watched, the drama of this moment, a jury coming in, a jury of James Crumbley's peers, coming to this conclusion that a father is guilty and liable, responsible, involuntary manslaughter, four murders that his son committed, what is the significance of such a verdict?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST (via telephone): Yeah, Erin. I think it's just tremendously significant and so many ways. And I think were living in a new world now. And that new world is a prosecutor saying if we're not going to have legislation, if were not going to have significant protections, were going to take it upon ourselves to use the law in a way that gets accountability to everyone and anyone who could have potentially been involved.

[19:25:05] And I think from a big picture perspective, this is not only about this jurisdiction. This is about jurisdictions every part of these 50 United States that can use this tool of negligence and use it effectively, right? Negligence and foreseeability. What does that mean?

It means that if you are a parent and you're careless because you get your child a weapon and not only do you get your child a weapon, but you fail to secure that weapon, and you have or should have some sense of your child's mental health maladies and you do nothing to really oversee it or to act in a way that is appropriate, in a way that protects the public, then you could be accountable.

And this is what this prosecutor did. On the issue of foreseeability, I don't think anyone can argue with a straight face that if you make a weapon available and your child is in the condition that your child is in, that something like this is not likely to happen.

And so, from a big picture perspective, it's not a surprising verdict, but I think it's a verdict nowadays is going to be used as a tool by prosecutors and very effectively, I would think in order to deter this type of conduct moving forward.

BURNETT: So, Joey, what happens now, as I said, now that James Crumbley has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for all four murders? His wife because been found guilty.

Now, her sentencing I believe is going to be April 9 or around -- around that date.

So how long are they -- what's going to happen to them? How long are they going to go to prison? What happens here with this?

JACKSON: Well, quite a bit. I think what happens is that they will stay in custody. Remember that the total exposure -- by exposure, I mean, the maximum that they are facing is 15 years. I would suspect that a judge in each of their cases, each being Jennifer Crumbley, the mother, as you noted, Erin, being fence on April 9th, the sentencing date certainly to be imposed upon James Crumbley, who just now was convicted.

I would presume that both will get the maximum, and I think that when you sentence the purpose of that is punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation. What does all that mean?

Means number one, you want to punish a person for their conduct or carelessness, in this case, right? So that's number one.

When you talk about deterrence, you're looking at deterring other people for doing something like this. And on the issue of rehabilitation, I'm sure attorneys log you. Hey, it wasn't their fault, et cetera, you know, rehabilitation shouldn't apply.


JACKSON: But they think they will get the max, and I think ultimately, certainly, they will appeal and well see what the appellate courts have to say.

BURNETT: All right. Joey, thank you very much for joining us as we just got word of that momentous verdict.

And next, "Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe, he's tackled all sorts of dirty jobs. Now though, he is front and center on RFK, Jr.'s list for vice president. So what did Kennedy say to Roe when they spoke about the job, when they met? He'll reveal, next.

Plus, breaking news, new picture showing Alexei Navalny's chief of staff just days before he was attacked viciously. Investigative reporter Christo Grozev is my guest with new reporting on the attack.



BURNETT: Tonight, Vice President Mike Rowe? Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. calling Rowe to talk about the job.

The Emmy Award-winning TV host, Mike Rowe, is famously known for the hit show "Dirty Jobs", and then he tweeted from the airport, quote, boarding a flight at DFW, Dallas, just saw this on a monitor, airports are funny places and this is, of course, that CNN graphic of RFK, Jr.'s VP list.

Mike Rowe highlighted on it right now and he is OUTFRONT with me to talk about this and more.

So, all right. Mike, great to see you. Let's just start with this. Kennedy talk to you about possibly joining his ticket. What did he say?

MIKE ROWE, TV HOST: It's a weird world, man. I mean, you really like you're walking through an airport, you're minding your own business and you look up and there you are with wrestler and a motivational speaker end up star athlete.

Yeah. He called -- actually, I ran into him about six months ago in Dallas, totally serendipitously and we exchanged information, and he reached out about a month ago. We had a meeting and we talked about a bunch. Mostly, we talked about my foundation and he was very kind and it turns out this foundation I've been doing for about 16 years now --


ROWE: -- was very much on his mind. Yeah, mikeroweWORKS. So, we talked about vocational training and we've talked about ways to maybe get the educational system and our country a bit more egalitarian. We've talked about a lot of other stuff, too, that at some point, he asked me if I'd ever consider running for public office and I spent my coffee back into my cup and said, seriously? And he said, yeah.

And so for the first time on my life, I found myself having kind of a really serious conversation about what that even means. And why I had that conversation, I'm happy to talk about it if you want, but it was -- it was not expected, but ultimately really kind of gratifying.

BURNETT: And so, I mean, was he talking to you specifically about the VP role and what that meant and what that would mean to you? I mean, what can you give me more of a feel for what the conversation was about and how he behaved?

ROWE: Well, he's very gracious and he's very smart, and he's very direct. And I had no idea what I was really walking into, but his team was there and they were also super inquisitive. They listened more than they talked.

I wound up interviewing him. He interviewed me. We had a few laughs.

It was a very friendly, very casual conversation, but he is serious. And when he talks about the things he's serious about, he leans in and it's hard not to listen. He is serious about the debt. He doesn't want to see $34 trillion get 50. He believes if it does, the country can't service it, party's over.

He's serious about ending forever wars. He's serious about waging war really on chronic disease and diabetes and things like that.

We don't agree on everything. That's for sure and when that became apparent, he just laughed and said, look, I don't want to surround myself with yes men and yes women.

I want people who care about the country. I want people who tell me the truth as they see it, and let the chips fall.

He said a lot of stuff that was good to hear, frankly.

BURNETT: Did -- I mean so when you talk about things, you didn't agree with him on, I mean, is there anything you can be specific on. And did he bring up things that as you know, Mike, have been controversial. He talked about his care for health, for example, vaccines. I mean, did topics like that come up directly?

ROWE: Not really because that stuff has been so talk to death in the media that he's -- everybody kind of knows, all right, this is the rap. Is there anything you want to say about it specifically?

Honestly, Erin, yeah, we did talk about some of that stuff and I don't know that its fair for me to really walk you through a chapter and verse. I told him, for instance, look, I'm friendly with a lot of people in the fossil fuel business. That's not a secret. My foundation is supported by all sorts of people who he sued in the past.

We laughed about that and just kept coming back to look, we're living in an extraordinary time. The headlines have never been like this. The things that we seem to agree on, we appear to agree on with a certain amount of passion and then it just became personal to tell you the truth.

Look, I've been doing this foundation for 16 years. At base, it's a PR campaign. At base, it's an attempt to raise awareness around a couple of things that matter to me a lot. And he was very upfront about it. He said, look, Mike, that topic, education, middle-class, vocational

development and workforce and so forth, that's the pointy part of the spear in my campaign it matters. And if you want to see your foundation go from mikeroweWORKS to macro works, I think he said, then you should think about this. You should at least consider it.

And so I did.

BURNETT: And consider it -- you mean consider the VP slot?

ROWE: Sure.

BURNETT: So I want to ask you one thing here as you talk about the seriousness with which RFK Jr. is taking the decision, but he has to make and his campaign and the people around him. On his list, you mentioned a sports star. That, of course, is the NFL quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. And I don't know if, you know this but Rodgers told two people and one of those people is CNN's Pamela Brown.

He told them about conspiracy theories about the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, including saying the shooting was a government inside job that victims, families were crisis actors.

Do you believe that that is a serious point of view, is that somebody that should be on a Kennedy ticket?

ROWE: I have no idea. I think that -- I think he has a right to articulate whatever he wants and we have a right to respond, however we want. I have no idea what the man actually said. I did see something about it today, but I don't know what qualifies or disqualifies anybody from running for anything.

You know, somebody said to me the other day, a friend of mine who saw the same graphic that you put up earlier? I think I think her exact question was how the hell are you qualified to do this? And I started to explain how she was right and how I wasn't. And she said something to me. He said there's so many skeletons in my closet. If you really open it up and give it a look. And the end, if they could all vote I'd be king of the world, which made me laugh.

You'd probably find stupid stuff that anybody has said. But what really qualifies a man or woman to run for president or vice president, I think you got to be 35. I think you need to have been born in this country. After that, I don't know about qualifications. I guess we could talk experience and judgment and temperament and all of those other things and everybody gets to weigh and measure everybody and put it all under a microscope and decide.


Personally, I stopped watching football after the Colts left Baltimore. So I don't know how much use I can be on that.

BURNETT: Oh wow, I wouldn't even think we'd have a Baltimore connection like that.

All right, thank you so much.

ROWE: They broke my heart, Erin. They broke my heart.

BURNETT: As a Marylander, I hear you.

All right. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time, Mike. And it's always great to see you.

ROWE: Shameless plug, a million bucks for work ethic scholarships available now at for anybody who's inclined.

BURNETT: You got it. And thank you

ROWE: You're welcome.

BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, breaking news, new details on who may have been behind the brutal attack on Alexei Navalny's chief of staff. Investigative reporter, Christo Grozev, who exposed the plot to kill Navalny, has new reporting.

And Elon Musk in damage control mode is Tesla stocks slide. He's in Berlin amid protests at one of his Tesla factories.


BURNETT: Breaking news, new reporting tonight about the brutal attack on Alexei Navalny's chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, who was beaten with a hammer in his home in Lithuania. Volkov left with a swollen face, his leg covered in blood.


And tonight, investigative reporter Christo Grozev, familiar to anyone -- many of you watching the show, is learning a Russian linked group is taking credit for the brutal attack.

And Christo joins me now.

So, Christo, let's start with so much of the new information that you have. You have shared new images of Volkov with us. These are images that you obtained of him from various sources. I don't know surveillance or what it was in the days before the attack.

So what are you learning?

CHRISTO GROZEV, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, first of all, let's say that the official investigation has not disclosed any details yet. The Lithuanian law enforcement are working on it and they're asking everybody to be patient.

However, in the meantime, there's this Russian extremist far-right white supremacist group, which formerly was called the male stay at the more recently, changes next to the male battalion run by an extremist called of Vladimir Proznikov (ph). They took credit for the attack, at least they claim so, and they published some previously unseen footage that this suggests that there was some surveillance of Leonid Volkov conducted by somebody.

It doesn't have to be necessarily by this group, but this group was given the footage and the footage is authenticated as real. We were able to actually geolocate the footage to the airport in Vilnius the description of the snapshot two that was posted on this telegram channels run by posting a cough suggested that it was taken five to six days before the attack while he was coming from an overseas trip and his wife was waiting at the airport and they showed actually a close-up of the light slate of his car, actually, the parking lot.

So, this was really an intelligence operation conducted on him by somebody. Now --

BURNETT: So an intelligence operation and to be clear, you're making several points here, the intelligence that he was being trailed, followed and they were they were tracking him even as he was unaware.

GROZEV: That is -- that is true. And I don't believe that this could be done by a volunteer organization, extremist as it may be, we have to bring to the attention of the viewers the fact that there's many, many cases in the last few months where we see Russian intelligence services co-opting, organized prime groups, extremist groups to actually do their bidding. And then sort of pass it on as if it's say grassroots operation. And I think this is likely to be one of these circumstances.

BURNETT: And just to make the point very clear, you're saying that FSB using some of these criminal groups to some of these cases kill people. But this is exactly what you painstakingly proved in your investigation into the murder of Alexei Navalny himself. In that case, it was you were pointing the finger directly at the FSB in it, at Russian intelligence.

But this seems to be a playbook, right? You track. You have photographic evidence. You track them for weeks in advance.

GROZEV: That is true. That is true. But what has changed, the only thing that has changed in the meantime is that the Russian agents security services find it hard to travel abroad than they did a few years back. There's more awareness, there's more knowledge of the trade craft they used.

And they tend to somehow use, now these days they tend to use more for outsourcing to onto organized crime groups. Very recently, you may have seen coverage of a group of about six freelance intelligence operators who were arrested in U.K. They were working for Russia's intelligence service, the FSB, the same one that poison Alexei Navalny the first time around but they will private operators.

There were recently, and this hasn't been reported yet, we will publish an investigation in in about a week on this. But there was a co-opting of an organized crime figure from Eastern Europe to attack an opposition figure of Russia living in Latin America. So this is not the first time that we see such intermingling of special services of Russia's intelligence operations and organized crime groups and I think well see more of that in the future. BURNETT: All right. So all of this is incredible and I think your

point about how its harder for them to travel overseas so that they're co-opting these groups and that that's why you're seeing this now.

You also told me, Christo, that your team has discovered a campaign against Alexei Navalny's wife, Yulia, a campaign to discredit her, but it started about ten days before Navalny's murder, with the clear implication being that they were setting it up to discredit her so that when they killed him and she inevitably tried to take the mantle, she would be diminished.

Now, there is a video of a fake BBC report that is now circulating, being shared by pro-Kremlin users on X. You are mentioned in it. And its alleging that you discovered that the former Ukrainian general, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi received a bribe, that he was paid $53 million to stay out of Ukrainian politics.

That claim is false, as we understand it, and a claim in the sense of discredit you. What do you think is happening here?

GROZEV: I think Russia's intelligence services are really panicking and they're trying to enter new territory. They're actually using people that they consider to be effective enemies of the regime of their own disinformation game and try to leverage the trust in such figures being journalists or opposition figures, and put words in their mouth, so that they never said.

In this case, they used me to actually click make allegation against Zaluzhnyi that he is corrupt, which has never been made but it did get traction. A lot of people, but you could call them useful idiots, you could call them people who ideologically aligned with the Kremlin. They believed that if this is a video but if it looks like a BBC video, it must be true.

It's completely fraudulent, is completely fake. Similar the attacks on Yulia Navalnaya. They're comprised of faked reservations. And again, because they are visual, because they're posted there, a document, a piece of a document. A lot of people who want to believe this nonsense are actually start spreading it.

BURNETT: Christo, thank you very much.

GROZEV: Thank you.

BURNETT: Sobering. And such important and crucial new reporting from Christo, all coming as Russians right now are voting in the country's presidential election.

And Matthew Chance is OUTFRONT from Moscow tonight.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In some areas, like annexed parts of Ukraine, voting in this Russian election has already begun. The outcome, say observers is inevitable.

I'm just happy Russia has accepted us, says this woman in Donetsk, and I love everyone who votes for Putin, she says.

The Kremlin leader has barely campaigned for his fifth term in what observers say is the most vacuous, empty Russian election in memory.

Putin's campaign ads simply asked voters who they trust. Eighty-six percent according to latest opinion polls, say it's him.

A sudden death in jail last month of Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin's most prominent critic, has left the Russian opposition in despair.

So, if Alexei Navalny was on the ballot, you voted for him.


CHANCE: But now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But now, maybe I write this name.

CHANCE: Politicians voicing even mild dissent from the Kremlin, like Boris Nadezhdin, you wanted to stand on an antiwar platform, has been denied registration, has candidates.

Of course, officially, there's a choice like voting for the communist party candidate Nikolai Kharitonov, and his vision, which view Russian share a return to a glorious socialist past.

Leonid Slutsky was one at the center of sexual harassment allegations. He denied any wrongdoing, later apologizing for the stress he may have caused.

Do you think you would be a better president than Putin? A better president than Vladimir Putin?

LEONID SLUTSKY, RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is decision for our population.

CHANCE: What do you think you're standing against? You don't think you're going to be better. Why would you stand against it?

SLUTSKY: For me, now, it's necessary to check, to participate in the election.

CHANCE: And participation without criticism of Putin. But he's what this entire Russian election is all about, independent election observers described Vladislav Davankov, the low key final candidate as trying not to attract undue attention.

Criticism in Russian politics, it seems, has become a thing of the past.


CHANCE (on camera): Well, Erin, tonight, the Russian authorities are warning against the tending any unsanctioned protests during the election period. This, of course, amid opposition, calls for Russians to gather at a specific time at voting stations on Sunday. The Russian prosecutor's office says that anyone attending or taking part in unsanctioned gatherings will face criminal liability, a threat essentially to crack down at the first sign of any protests.

Erin, back to you.


BURNETT: All right. Thanks so much to you, Matthew Chance.

And we'll see what happens. So many brave people went to Alexei Navalny's funeral lining the streets. We'll see what happens this weekend.

Also new tonight, Elon Musk under fire on multiple fronts tonight, Tesla shares now down 32 percent for the year. In fact, Tesla is currently the worst performer in the S&P 500. A top Tesla investors says Musk himself is to blame. And it's not the only crisis that he's facing right now.

Fred Pleitgen was with him today, OUTFRONT.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It seemed like a major win for Elon Musk. His company SpaceX managing to launch the world's most powerful rocket called Starship further than ever before, while losing both the ship and the booster rocket in a test.

But back on Earth, Elon Musk is in damage control mode, visiting his Tesla factory near Berlin, Germany after an arson attack claimed by an activist group opposed to the plant, knocked its power out for more than a week.

Musk, unwilling to speak to the press, some reporters yelling questions through a fence.

ELON MUSK, TESLA CEO: Deutschland rocks. Dig in Berlin for the win,

PLEITGEN: Near Berlin, hundreds protesting, fearing the electric vehicle production could seriously impact the entire area's drinking water supply.

Tesla's production is in a drinking water protection area, this protester says. They therefore endanger people's drinking water, not just here, but in this region and also in Berlin.

Musk is facing backlash after reported work safety issues at Tesla factories, the company rejecting such claims, saying worker health at its German plant is a top priority and the company stock taking a nosedive.

Musk also regularly faces backlash for controversial posts and re- tweets on his social media platform, X.

Woke ideology wants you to die, this one says. DEI is just another word for racism, he writes here.

While another user claims Democrats are trying to replace the U.S. electorate by allowing migrants into the country, Musk calls it crazy in a tweet.

Pressed on his views by former CNN host Don Lemon in what was supposed to be Lemon's new show on X, Musk, thin skinned.

MUSK: I don't have to answer questions from reporters. Don, the only reason I'm doing this interview is because you're on the X platform and you asked for it. Otherwise, there would not do this interview.

DON LEMON, FORMER CNN HOST: So you don't think -- you -- do you think that you wouldn't get in trouble or you wouldn't be criticized for these things?

MUSK: I'm criticized constantly. I could care less.

LEMON: The whole idea of --

PLEITGEN: X immediately axed its partnership with the show, Lemon says. Elon Musk's claims of being a champion of free speech called into question, Lemon told Erin Burnett.

LEMON: Free speech is only important when someone you don't like or I would say someone who doesn't have your same point of view are -- someone if they're allowed to speak freely, and to say their point of view.

Apparently, that doesn't matter to Elon Musk. It's just --

PLEITGEN: Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


BURNETT: And also tonight, saying goodbye to the 40-hour workweek. People perk up.

Well, that is what Bernie Sanders, Senator Bernie Sanders is proposing this. And in a very serious way, he now has a bill that would cut the standard workweek in the United States from 40 hours to 32 for the same amount of pay.

Our numbers miner, guru, you mine the numbers.

Harry Enten joins me now.

All right. So, Harry, a lot of people hear this and they scoff and they say this is ridiculous. This is -- you want to pay this people the same amount of money to work less. And when you work less, you get less and everything starts to fall down.

You've looked at the numbers where this has been tried. What happened?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yeah. There was a great global experiment that was done a few years ago on the 32-hour workweek, four-day workweek. And you know what happened to the companies that did it? The revenue actually went up. The revenue went up significantly, went up 38 percent and employers rated employee production activity on nine out of ten.

So the fact is in these companies that tried it, it actually worked out pretty gosh darn well, Erin.

BURNETT: That's pretty amazing. I've been reading some of the studies about it. I mean, the reasons why people having other things in their lives and being able to be all in at work when they're there.

That -- average American worker works more than many European workers just on the average week. How does U.S. workweek, though, stack up around the world?

ENTEN: Yeah, this is interesting, right? We like to compare ourselves for, lets say, the United Kingdom, or let's say other European countries, like France and you say, okay, France and the U.K., on average --

BURNETT: Twenty-nine.

ENTEN: Twenty-nine hours per week. This includes full-time and part- time workers. But if you look at the U.S., 35. But Israel in South Korea actually work more than the United States do.

So, yes, if we compare ourselves to the Europeans, we work a lot more. But if you compare ourselves to other industrialized countries like those in the Middle East or those in the Far East, in fact, we actually works slightly blasts.

So, will Bernie Sanders' bill pass?

ENTEN: You know what? I don't know if it will probably not, but I will say among the American public, it's actually something that's quite popular, the idea of a four-day workweek.

BURNETT: Oh, I'm sure.

ENTEN: It is quite popular.


ENTEN: But its not just two thirds of overall. It's well more than two-thirds of Democrats, but even a majority of Republicans support a four-day workweek.

So you have those Republicans in the Senate scuffing out them. But there are people that constituents are actually, you know what? This could work out pretty decent for us.

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

ENTEN: Thank you.

BURNETT: And thanks so much to all of you, as always. "AC360" starts now.