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Erin Burnett Outfront

Trump Says U.S. Will "Cease To Exist" If He Loses Election; Israeli Strike Kills 7 World Central Kitchen Aid Workers; Trump Posts Clip Criticizing Judge's Family Amid Gag Order. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 02, 2024 - 19:00   ET




America's demise. Trump predicting the end of the United States as we know it if he loses in November. When do we heard that sort of talk from Trump before?

Well, it comes as RFK Jr. tells me that Biden is bigger threat to democracy than Trump.

Plus, global outrage after an Israeli strike killed seven aid workers delivering food on behalf of the Chef Jose Andres's organization. How could this have happened? We're going to ask the spokeswoman for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

And did Trump already violate his gag order by re-posting an insult about a New York judge's daughter? Our legal analyst Ryan Goodman says yes and he will tell you why.

So, let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the last election we ever have in America -- Trump's words tonight is he campaigns in Michigan and Wisconsin. He's predicting the end of the United States, as we know it, if he does not win the election.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: If we don't win on November 5th, I think our country is going to cease to exist. It could be the last election we ever have. I actually mean that.


BURNETT: The last election we ever have.

Well, he then set it again to be sure he meant it.


TRUMP: If we don't win, I think this could be the last election we ever have. That's where our country is going.

I mean, this is it best of course, a dark apocalyptic view of America, of view of a rotted nation, but in the context of Trump's recent history, it also does very clearly weighs the threat of violence because we've heard this from Trump before -- obviously in those final months before the 2020 election.


TRUMP: If we don't win this election, every one of you, me, all of us, it'll never be the country. I don't think the country can ever come back to it.

If we don't win -- our country will have trouble.

You're not going to have a country, not as we know it.


BURNETT: All of those times. And then, of course, on January 6, 2021, this.


TRUMP: We can't let this stuff happen. We won't have a country if it happens.


BURNETT: And, of course, on your screen is what followed after those words, Trump supporters taking that doom, fear, apocalyptic vision literally and storming the Capitol claiming, that they were taking their country back and saving it from doom. Which is why something that presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy said to me last night is causing many people to stop in their tracks.


ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. (I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I mean, listen, I can make the argument that President Biden is a much worse threat to democracy.

And the reason for that is President Biden is the first candidate in history, the first president in history that has used the federal agencies to censor political speech, so to censor his opponent.

BURNETT: Donald Trump, of course, tried to overturn a free and fair election. He tried to overturn one, right? He's still fighting in court. KENNEDY: Yes.

BURNETT: How is that not a threat to democracy?

KENNEDY: Well, I think that is a threat to democracy if he -- him overthrowing -- trying to overthrow the election clearly is a threat to democracy. But the question was, who is the worst threat to democracy? And what I would say is, I -- I'm not going to answer that question, but I can argue that President Biden is, because the First Amendment, Erin, is the most important. But Adams and Hamilton and Madison said, we put the guarantee of freedom of expression in the First Amendment because all of our other constitutional rights depend on it.


KENNEDY: If you have a government that can silence its opponent, it has license for any atrocity.

BURNETT: So, just to be clear, you're saying you could make an argument that President Biden is a worse threat to democracy than Donald Trump?

KENNEDY: Absolutely.

BURNETT: That's what you just said.


BURNETT: Absolutely. Well, a couple of things to note here. Kennedy, in what he was saying there was referring to a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the administration's request that social media accounts be restricted because of misinformation can be tweeted, among other things, a false claim that baseball legend Hank Aaron died from complications from the COVID vaccine.

But, you know, in the context of all of this, it is very important to recognize that Kennedy is polling. He has been polling in the double digits consistently. He is trying and says that he will be successful in getting on the ballot in every state and the District of Columbia.

So, his words matter and Democrats and Republicans are worried, he is making inroads with voters.


Trump tonight holding -- holding a rally in the crucial battleground state of Wisconsin, which he won in 2016, but narrowly lost in 2020. It is a state where Jill Stein, one could very well make a case, is who determined who won that election. And were RFK Jr. could determine who wins the election.

Kristen Holmes is that that Trump rally in Green Bay.

Kristen, Trump's team knows that every single vote in a state like Wisconsin, is crucial. So what are you learning about the strategy there?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, this is an absolutely critical battleground state. One senior adviser actually calling it a must win state for Donald Trump to go back to the White House in 2024. You mentioned RFK, I will tell you. I met a voter yesterday in Green

Bay, who told me they were coming to this rally tonight, that they were supporting President Donald Trump -- former President Donald Trump but that they had been very interested in RFK.

And while overall, Donald Trump's team is not asking (INAUDIBLE) taking more from Biden, they, as you said, aware that every single vote will count. They don't want to lose any single votes to RFK.

Now what they're doing to court voters here in Wisconsin particularly is trying to paint the status quo under President Biden as so terrible. They want to energize voters the show about the polls in November, they are very aware that in 2016, he had an energized base, Donald Trump. But in 2020, there were a number of people, Republicans, who sat out of the race because of the fact that they were really exhausted from four years of Donald Trump. They want to bring people back into the fold and make sure they're brought back to the polls in November.

And they're doing that with a message particularly on immigration. Donald Trump has been ramping up his anti-immigration rhetoric and that's really what we saw today, both in Michigan and Wisconsin, talking about how migrants are animals, linking them to violent crime.

And, Erin, as we have reported over and over again the data shows that immigrants and migrants are far less likely to commit crimes than citizens. However, there have been a number of high-profile recent cases that Donald Trump has really latched onto. You can see the key talking point for him, and it comes at a time where most Americans, according to polling, are most concerned about immigration in the 2024, November election.

So he is really hoping that that propels him back to the White House in 2024. The other part of his messaging in Michigan and Wisconsin is trying to reach those working class voters. Some of those voters that broke for him in 2016, but did not break for him in 2020, he's talking about entitlement plans. He is telling everyone there are going to be tax breaks for everybody in the crowd. He's talking about unions and working class voters and how he's going to support them.

Again, all of this messaging is driving it towards November 2024 because as you know, they know every single vote counts.

BURNETT: All right, Kristen, thank you very much at that rally in Green Bay. I want to go now to Emmy Award-winning TV host Mike Rowe, famously known for the hit show "Dirty Jobs". He was also approached by RFK Jr. about the VP slot on his ticket.

Mike, good to see you again.

So, you know, you hear Trump in Michigan. He says, and I quote him. If we don't win on November 5th, I think our country is going to cease to exist.

Now, Mike, you've been all 50 states about twice in the past year. So you've spoken to many of the people that this message is aimed at. Do you think they believe it?

MIKE ROWE, EMMY AWARD-WINNING TV HOST: You know, last time we talked, Erin, I think I said twice, I'm so worried about painting with too broad a brush and what I see happening everywhere. I look and from a lot of the people I've talked to, I think they feel the same way. I don't want to put words in their mouth people are certainly scared.

The question is, what are they most scared of? I mean, a couple of years ago, people sounded pretty certain when they said the world was coming to an end in 10 or 12 years, a lot of people still believe that.


ROWE: I think a lot of people do believe this election is going to be hugely consequential. Is it REM? Is at the end of the world as we know it? I doubt it.

I mean, as long as I've been walking around and as long as bipeds have been on the planet, there have been all sorts of prognostications, have all sorts of terrible calamities, bad things happen. I don't have a crystal ball, but I do sense it you know?

I do sense a lot of people are feeling like something -- something else needs to be on the menu, at least for now. That's my sense.

BURNETT: All right. So to that -- and to that point, Mike, you know, you were on this shortlist for RFK Jr.'s VP slot. You met with him. I know you told me, you know, your words, it became apparent you two didn't agree on everything.

But then in the context of the conversation I had with him last night when he was making the point that he could argue that Biden is bigger threat to democracy than Trump, when you hear that, does that give you pause? Do you believe that?


ROWE: I don't know. It doesn't give me real pause. These guys are all trying to get elected and they're going to ratchet the stakes up and whatever way makes most sense to their base, in my opinion.

The thing that RFK said that stuck with me was really the debt. I don't hear either the current candidates talking persuasively about the practical reality of what happens when we get to $50 trillion or $45 trillion. I don't know exactly where the math becomes truly unsustainable. But if I were making a list of the stuff that scares me the most, that would be very, very close to the top.

BURNETT: Any other country in the history of the planet where we are now would be unsustainable. I mean, we are the reserve currency, so we have a little bit of pad, but to your point, the question is how long.

ROWE: Sure. Yeah.

BURNETT: I mean, you know -- ROWE: I don't know.

So there's something else but he said last night, it separate from the debt point, which I hear you on, but he said something related to that into people's dissatisfaction that I know speaks to you in many ways. Let me just play that.


KENNEDY: There's -- the American dream when I was a kid said, if you worked hard, if you played by the rules, you could buy a house, you could finance it, you could take a summer vacation, you could raise a family, you could put something aside for retirement on one job.

My kid -- I have seven kids, Erin, and none of them believe that that promise appeals -- applies to them.


BURNETT: So I know this speaks to you and what you experience. Do you get the sense that his support because of what things that he is saying there, Mike, for example, is building at this point?

ROWE: Yeah. I do. Look, I didn't know if my first meeting was him was going to be five minutes or 15 minutes. It was three hours. And the reason was that was the very first thing we talked about and there's a survey in the journal worth looking at, came out six or seven months ago. It was a pretty extensive survey and the upshot was 64 percent of Americans today believe the American dream as they define it, as either dead or no longer applicable to them.

That is bad. And both of us agreed that as that number ticks up -- see there's no real difference between the reality of a dead dream and the perception of the reality of a dead dream. When hope and optimism start leaking out, people are going to get -- things are going to get very wobbly everywhere. And I do believe that's happened. There's a sense that something fundamental, almost primal, has shifted, and it does go into the way we define that dream. Yeah.

BURNETT: So Trump in Michigan and Wisconsin today, you know, he's there because they're swing states which have faced economic turmoil, right? Again, that, this is dissatisfaction at the heart of all of this. You've said, Mike, that in the next few years, college in America could have a major problem because people simply just are really opting out. It's not just to talk, it's not just a thing people say, but it's a thing people are doing.

What are you actually seeing and how does it impact this election?

ROWE: Well, what I saw two days ago was an article in "The Wall Street Journal" that almost made me want to take a victory lap. I mean, wow, I've been at this 16 years and I'm not anti-college as you know, but I am anti-debt and I am very much opposed to the idea that promoting one form of education at the expense of all the others has led to a great many unintended consequences. So this article actually showed up with the receipts. More and more

Gen Z are going to trade school. Fewer and fewer are buying the idea that the version of the American dream that they're being sold requires them to purchase a $200,000 receipt that they can hang on the wall. The push back is real.

And look, this is personal for me. I've been at it 16 years and it's (VIDEO GAP) a tanker turnaround but it's turning, Erin, and you can see it in virtually every metric. And the fact that Gen Z is being labeled as the tool belt generation is surprising, but not shocking because the evidence demands of verdict and they're not buying it anymore.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Mike Rowe, thank you very much. Of course, I know in your foundation, you are about to donate a million in scholarships and all related to these, these trades here over the next month. And thank you very much for your time.

OUTFRONT now, Democratic strategist Basil Smikle, and Harry Enten with us to go beyond the numbers.

Okay, you know, in the context of where Trump is today, this whole contact about democracy and doom and gloom and enter the country as we know it, it's being said because it's resonating with a lot of people.


BURNETT: Okay? That that is a reality. And Mike is pointing at perhaps some of the reasons for this. That in some states, colleges prohibitively expensive.


BURNETT: People are now not just talking about it, they are opting out. What are you finding?

ENTEN: Yeah. You know, I read that same article that Mike read, and then I had a conversation with your executive producer about it. You know, people who use their hands, those who go to vocational school, right? Those are folks who used to be in the center of the electorate. They used to be swing voters.


You go back to 1992. Bill Clinton won that group by about seven percentage points. He won nationwide by about six.


ENTEN: Look at where that group has shifted to. Now, look at "The New York Times"/Sienna College poll, aggregate all those posts. Donald Trump is winning that group, those vocational and trade school grads by 42 points over Joe Biden. This is his base, that people who work with their hands are Donald Trump's base. This used to be a group that Democrats tried to compete over. And now, more people are going to vocational schools. They're becoming

a larger part of the electorate and they are that heavily, heavily, heavily favors Donald Trump.

BURNETT: Becoming a larger part of the electorate and heavily favoring Donald Trump, certainly, by any measure, but specifically historically. That's bad for Democrats.

BASIL SMIKLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I'm a college professor, so I take all of this does resonate with me quite a bit as well.


SMIKLE: Listen, over -- as you talk about Bill Clinton, there was a time around his presidency where we started to push everybody to college because we thought about this as being the knowledge economy so it was important to push people to college, but to Mike's point and he's right, you know, you have a generation or more of individuals with increasing college debt, with burdensome college debt that can't really speak to their economic aspirations because there are so mired in that.

So, yeah, were seeing a lot more people choose vocations, but I actually think that this is an opportunity for the Biden administration. He's been courting organized labor. He has some support already. This is an opportunity for him to work with organized labor and say, look, let's talk about --

BURNETT: The management of organized labor.

SMIKLE: Yeah, but, well --

BURNETT: He needs to get out with the actual organized labor.

SMIKLE: Sure. I mean, obviously the rank-and-file is going to be really important. But even with the leadership, because its the leadership that we'll talk about and be able to expand on those apprenticeship programs that can bring on a lot of those voters.

But there -- there -- there -- there's this great statistic then, and it's a tough one that the starter home which used to be really affordable for most Americans, is practically gone. Only 10 percent of the homes that are available now, or what we used to consider startup homes. So what organized labor has historically done is move people into the middle-class, including providing opportunities for housing.

That is where I think that partnership with organized labor is really beneficial for the Biden administration.

BURNETT: If -- if you had just in a simple way contrast right now, Trump and RFK and there's lots of differences in overlaps. I'm not trying to do a full analysis here. I'm just saying, Trump talks about the end of America, the last election will ever have, RFK is identifying the same negative things, but trying to be idealistic about solutions, okay? So there's that. I suppose the -- into the emotional difference between the two. Is the interest in RFK growing? Are people responding to that?

ENTEN: Certainly since your interview last night, I went to Google searches, it's one of those things where you can really see something spike and what you see is, since your interview OUTFRONT last night, Google searches for RFK are up 149 percent. And this is something that we've been seeing over the last week as well, right? What we've seen RFK searches over the last week significantly higher than they've been basically at any point during the rest of the campaign.

And more than that, what's interesting is where those searchers are so high, right? They tend to be high in the Great Lake's battleground states. Look at Wisconsin --

BURNETT: Wisconsin and Michigan.

ENTEN: Wisconsin and Michigan, Wisconsin, second most nationwide, Michigan, 11th most nationwide, Pennsylvania, 14th most nationwide. The fact is Donald Trump is in Wisconsin night. He doesn't just have to worry about Joe Biden.

He has to worry about RFK Jr.

BURNETT: Right. And those were the states, of course, which were the deciders last time around.

All right. Thank you both very much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, Israel struggling to contain the fallout tonight. One of its strikes killing seven aid workers. A spokeswoman for the Israeli prime minister is next.

Plus, new reporting into OUTFRONT this hour, the U.S. and its allies now weighing whether to put weapons deliveries intended for Ukraine under NATO's control, so that Trump cannot keep them away from Ukraine if he wins.

And then in just moments, the Oklahoma councilmember, this one that you see in your screen, could be out of a job because of his ties to white nationalist. Voters are deciding right now, will he say, or will he go?



BURNETT: Tonight, global outrage, Israel facing condemnation from around the world after seven humanitarian aid workers were killed in an airstrike in Gaza, they were all working for World Central Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres, who tonight says he's heartbroken and is demanding Israel stop using food as a weapon.

Those killed were from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, also a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Melissa Bell is OUTFRONT.


LAIZAWMI "ZOMI" FRANKCOM, WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN AID WORKER: Hey, this is Zomi and chief (INAUDIBLE). We're at (INAUDIBLE) kitchen. And we've got the --

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Smiling in one of her final moments. Zomi Frankcom, an Australian aid worker, one of the seven World Central Kitchen employees, killed by an Israeli airstrike as they delivered to a warehouse in central Gaza.

A dual U.S.-Canada citizen, UK nationals, a Polish man and a Palestinian, also amongst those killed.

The hum of war drones drowning out the sound of ambulance sirens as their bodies were brought to a hospital after the strike, but too late, all trying to bring relief to the more than one million Gazans the U.N. says are now facing famine, all now in body bags.

The logo with the aid organization, a reminder of the lengths to charity went to, to protect its own.

Traveling as they were according to the World Central Kitchen through a deconflicted zone, whilst coordinating their movements with the IDF. The charity, which was central in getting around the blockade by getting the first maritime shipment of aid into Gaza now saying that it needs to assess its future in the strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the tragic loss of what he described as innocent lives.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Unfortunately, in the last day, there was a tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people in the Gaza Strip. It happens in war. We will investigate it right to the end.

BELL: So far, at least 196 aid workers have lost their lives in the occupied territories since the start of the war, according to the U.N. agency tasked with relief there -- the World Central Kitchen workers, just the latest. Among them, the Palestinian driver and translator Saif Isam Abu Taha (ph). His loved ones forced to say goodbye to a man who died trying to help others to survive.


BELL (on camera): Now, the IDF have just released a video, Erin, showing the chief of general staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, apologizing in English for the mistake, explaining that a preliminary investigation that they've been able to carry out shows that this was a case of misidentification. The IDF had never intended, he said, any harm to be done to the World Central Kitchen workers, also announcing that a new command center has been set up by the IDF to coordinate its work with the aid organizations in order to make sure this kind of thing never happen again, Erin.

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

And I want to go now to Tal Heinrich. She's a spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

And you are obviously here in New York. I know for a bit, Tal. What -- what's the very latest are able to tell us about the strike?

TAL HEINRICH, SPOKESPERSON FOR ISRAELI PM BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: So this is what the IDF chief of staff just came out and said in his nighttime statement that it wasn't -- it was obviously a very tragic mistake. There was no intention here of harming the aid workers that was a mistake that followed misidentification during nights. Very complex conditions of -- you know, in a battle zone, tragedies do happen during war, but we should make sure that something of this kind will never happen again during this war.

This is why the defense minister, the prime minister, as you just heard, they ordered to carry out an investigation. It will be transparent one. We will share the findings of which I believe it will take a few days or maybe a bit more -- and we will share the findings of which with the public and with the aid organizations.

You know, these are the good guys, Erin. This is one of the aid groups that was out there right after the October -- October 7 massacre on the ground helping Israeli and Palestinian civilians. We extend our condolences he says to their families, the countries from which they came.

BURNETT: So, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has apologized, right, Tal. Of course, he called the strike a tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people.

But as everyone tries to understand this, even in the context of the ongoing investigation, the World Central Kitchen team was coordinating its movements with the IDF so that they would know where they were. The IDF obviously conducts precision -- precision targeting.

They put out a statement, World Central Kitchen. They said they were traveling in a deconflicted zone in two armored cars. And the World Central Kitchen logo is clearly visible.

In this context of all of this, and as I mentioned, the precision with which Israel is capable, and aims its missiles, longtime Israeli reporter Barak Ravid said this today. Here he is.


BARAK RAVID, CNN POLITICAL & FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: I think I heard a lot of Israeli officials today that were highly frustrated by the fact that somebody in the IDF, most likely a very senior officer, at least a colonel, you need at least a colonel to approve such a strike. So somebody did approve it on a quite high level in the IDF. And does a lot of frustration that such a thing happen when it's clearly, clearly against all the rules of engagement. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Tal, in that context. I'm just going to hone in on the word "unintentional". In a precision missile environment which Israel conducts, every strike is intentional, or, you know, you're aiming for something. So there was a precise aim. It would appear by any measure of rules of engagement for that particular convoy at that particular time, right?

HEINRICH: I don't want to jump into conclusions, especially sit here in New York as war is raging in my part of the world back in Israel and jumping to conclusions because I think we have -- I don't have the exact details of what transpired there, and we will have to wait for the finding of the investigation.

But what I can say and I think it's really important here is that when we make mistakes, when Israel makes mistakes, even the most tragic ones to admit, and I was here on this program before we discuss the different tragic that took place during the past six months, in which, you know, our hostages were mistakenly shot at three of our hostages. We take responses. We admit to the most painful incidents.

So we tell the truth even when it's the most inconvenient thing to stay.


BURNETT: So let me ask you about something that is a painful truth, and that is the fact that tens of thousands of Gazans have been killed since this began. And many of them are innocent people. And we can talk about what the numbers are, but that is a reality on the ground.

Just the past few days, Tal, we have all been confronted with these images from Al Shifa, right, at the hospital, and after the 14 day siege that the IDF was conducting, and they say that obviously there were Hamas operatives there, and that that's what they were targeting. The hospitals been obliterated, there are bodies everywhere. Obviously, it's no longer functional.

You say this is necessary to eradicate Hamas. But I do wonder when you talk about inconvenient truths how does Israel justify killing so many innocent people in this?

HEINRICH: First, I am glad that you said that we need to discuss these numbers because we because we have to take Hamas as numbers with a huge spoon of salt, not a grain of salt, because what I can tell you the facts and the truth according to our assessment and the facts that we have in that is that we eliminated more than 13,000 Hamas, Palestinian Islamic jihad terrorists. We took out, you know, 19 of the Hamas battalions out there.

One of the reasons why we have to operate in Rafah, for instance, the southern city in Gaza is because we need to take out the four remaining battalions. We're talking about 7,000, 8,000 terrorists there. So the reason why we have to eradicate Hamas and you also brought up this point is because you and I don't want to sit here in six months a year, two years, and have this conversation again.

BURNETT: But, Tal, are we going to be sitting here? Because a lot of the people there that are losing people in their lives are children and if they survive, they're going to grow up. And what are they going to think about Israel? What are they going to do?

I mean, how can you all actually say you're eradicating terrorism and eradicating Hamas in the context of what's actually happening in Gaza?

HEINRICH: Well, we have to look at historical example. You know, Germany after World War II, de-radicalized and you don't see, you know, Nazism. You have it as an ideology, but not with, with the grip of a country. This is exactly what we want to do with Hamas.

Yes, there will be radicals out there and you can't root out their ideology to the extent that we wish. But Israel will have to maintain some overriding security responsibility in Gaza to operate against attempts at resurgence of terrorism after and the day after Hamas, I mean, and also work on deradicalization of the Palestinian society exactly for the reason that you and I don't want to sit here again and we want to see a better future for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Tal, thank you very much. I appreciate it. I appreciate the conversation, of course, in a very somber day.

HEINRICH: Thank you.

BURNETT: And we told you about Zomi Frankcom. She was a senior manager at World Central Kitchen. OUTFRONT spoke to one of her good friends, Josh Phelps, today and he had worked with her for years. Their last conversation was two days ago. The day before she was killed said Zomi was fearless and relentless and the getting aid into Gaza and succeeding where many governments have failed was her mission.


JOSH PHELPS, FORMER DIRECTOR AT WORLD CENTER KITCHEN: Zomi was a very ambitious, sometimes stubborn, individual who knew what she wanted in life, and that was to build friendships all over the world. She deserved to be able to do more of that. It's unfortunate that she can't. It's regrettable that its not, you know, continuing because she really was somebody who was following in her dreams and we don't all have the guts to do that.


BURNETT: And our thoughts, of course, with somebody's family and the others who were killed tonight.

Well, next tonight on this program, Trump practically daring a judge to call him out for violating gag order, using clip criticizing a New York judge's daughter. Could he actually face jail time if he defied the gag order? Plus, new video tonight of a brazen attack by Ukraine. One of Russia's biggest oil refineries has been hit and it's about 700 miles from the Ukrainian border.



BURNETT: Tonight, Donald Trump practically airing the court to find him in violation of his gag order in the Stormy Daniels hush money case. Trump posting a clip from FOX News that criticizes the daughter of Judge Marshawn, just hours after the gag order was expanded to specifically prohibit Trump from attacking the judge's family.

Trump's posts quoting law professor Jonathan Turley saying, quote, the integrity of the New York legal system is at stake here. The clip also included these comments from Fox News's Brian Kilmeade.


BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS HOST: The fact is the judge's daughter, what is an activist who worked for Kamala Harris and there were some dispute on whether she did have a picture up on a website with Donald Trump behind bars. That to me is something that -- if I'm Donald Trump I'm concerned about that the judge has a daughter who feels this way.


BURNETT: All right. So its important just to have one factual clarification here. The judges daughter posting a photo of Trump behind bars that has been debunked, did not happen.

Ryan Goodman, or OUTFRONT legal analyst, is with me.

So, Ryan so Trump gets the gag order prohibited from attacking family members of Judge Marshawn, and then retweets this particular clip. Does this violate the gag order? Or is Trump's safe because it's not him saying it, it's someone else?

RYAN GOODMAN, CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, JUST SECURITY: I think it violates the gag older. So if the very words out of Brian Kilmeade's mouth came out of Trump's mouth or out of his keyboard, if he typed those words, they would be in violation of the gag order.


That is the smear that's being repeated against the judge's daughter.

The fact that Trump is instead posting a video of somebody else saying it runs afoul of the gag order. That is him still making a statement. And I think that the judge will have to carefully look at this because if he gives it a pass, then he's really is getting a pass to it, a violation.

BURNETT: But then what happens if he says it's a violation? GOODMAN: I think that its going to be a quick ratcheting up. The judge

has already signaled that he has an intolerance for violations of his orders. And I think first step might be something that's financial. Second step might be financial, and I think third is actually potentially lowering the boom, which is he will treat Trump as you would treat any defendant and that would mean jail time if he violates a gag order multiple times.

BURNETT: So we're walking up to that line.

GOODMAN: It really looks like it.


So in Manhattan, but District Attorney Alvin Bragg is also fighting back. So he is rejecting a bid by Trump to have Judge Marshawn recuse himself, citing his daughter's political work, of working for Kamala Harris.

Now, I know you always say, Kellyanne Conway famously would say stop, and George Conway, right? Stop judging me for my spouse, right? So people have the ability to have family members have different political views and do different things.

In that context, Judge Marshawn need to recuse are not?

GOODMAN: He does not. In fact, this has come up before and the litigation with Marshawn himself and about his daughter, Trump had raised this before is an idea of recusal. And then in August of 2023, Judge Marshawn actually issues an opinion in which he says, I sought the advice of the New York states committee on judicial ethics and they told me specifically, and then a quote he has is he says, quote, we see nothing in the inquiry to suggest the outcome of the case could have any effect on the judge's relative, the relative's business or any of their interests, end quote.

Nothing has changed. These are the same kinds of allegations and nothing about his daughters business is directly tied to the case. It would have to be that she is like one of the parties, one of the witnesses are why the council is a client of hers. None of that it says.

BURNETT: All right. So I want to ask you about a brand new analysis your team has published on "Just Security" about the people currently in D.C. jail related to January 6 charges. Okay?

So you say there are 29 January 6th inmates currently being held there, 29 being held. Twenty-seven of them have been charged with the salting law enforcement officers in the capital. So that's 90 percent have had bad charge. Trump though is promoting a vigil for them. He has repeatedly said that he will free them or pardon them and he has referred to them as hostages.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You have the hostages, the J6 hostage, as I call them.

These were great patriots.

And they were unbelievable patriots


BURNETT: So 90 percent of them have been charged with assaulting law enforcement officers. Hostages and patriots, that was how he refers to that.

GOODMAN: Yeah. So the study is basically to finally pin down who exactly the people are. So if he wants to hold a vigil for the January 6 inmates in the D.C. jail --

BURNETT: Who are they, yeah.

GOODMAN: Yeah. And then he calls them political prisoners. And when he goes out onto the campaign stump, he plays the anthem by the January 6 choir, the choir is the January 6 inmates in D.C. So who are they?

So then when decided to investigate that and the day after he announced the vigil, we have the exact list from the D.C. corrections facility and it shows 93 percent of them are charged with assaulting law enforcement officers on January 6, and it's egregious actions and the majority of them already been convicted or pleaded guilty to it. So these are the kind of the worst of the worst.

BURNETT: All right. And as you say, convicted or pleaded guilty, right?


BURNETT: So they are -- have done that.

GOODMAN: All right. Thank you, Ryan.

BURNETT: And now, incredible new video tonight of Ukrainian strike. This, strike is deep inside Russia, hundreds of miles past the Ukraine border, and it actually targets one of Putin's biggest oil refineries, as Ukrainian president is facing a crisis, taking a drastic action now to recruit more fighters.

Plus, polls about to close in an important election that could cause an Oklahoma councilmember his job. The reason is his ties to white nationalists.



BURNETT: Tonight, incredible new video into CNN. You're looking at it now. It shows the instant that a Ukrainian long-range drone hit one of Russia's biggest and most important oil refineries. And this is deep inside Russian territory, about 700 miles away from the Ukrainian border. And this actually was captured on this video. Now, we are learning that a fact that it was assembling Iranian attack

drones in the region was also targeted. This is significant for a lot of reasons, not just the target itself, but also the distance that I mentioned. It is the farthest inside Russia that Ukraine has attack that we know of since the war began. As I mentioned, it is more than 700 miles from the border.

OUTFRONT now, John Sullivan. He is a former U.S. ambassador to Russia.

And, Ambassador, it's always great to have you with us and I'm so glad that we're together tonight. So -- I mean, 700 miles deep inside Russia, the farthest they've gone, a major refinery, it does come in the context of Ukraine lowering the draft age, which has been hugely controversial and a big issue.

They've had to do that because they need fighters. They're running out of ammunition. They're running out of weapons, right? They're in dire straits.


BURNETT: Nonetheless, this is a very significant accomplishment for them. What do you read into this? They're -- you know, the fact that they were able to successfully do something like this?

SULLIVAN: Well, you're right, Erin, it's a very significant development, but it's an example of how the Ukrainians have been able to off the battlefield, off the battlefield on the ground in Ukraine, whether its the Russian Black Sea fleet, which has been driven away from Ukrainian territory, or strikes inside Russia, including drones over the Kremlin and hitting the center of Moscow.

Ukraine through ingenuity, and resistance to the Russians have been able to inflict blows on the Russians but they're stalled on the battlefield and that's a problem.


BURNETT: And they are. And, of course, the draft age now down to 27 -- I mean, to 25 from 27. I know they want to bring it down even further, but even that has been hugely difficult for them to do and perhaps the reason we've seen so much turmoil in the upper ranks there. So in this context of weapon deliveries in Ukraine, we already are seeing so many difficulties from that from the United States.

We are learning that the United States and allies are considering putting control of weapon deliveries to Ukraine --


BURNETT: -- under NATO.


BURNETT: Under NATO, and they're specifically considering doing that because they think if Donald Trump wins. And if Donald Trump wins, they don't want him to be able to stop those weapons delivery, so they're putting the weapons under the procedural control of NATO itself.

What does that say to you?

SULLIVAN: Well, a couple of things are in first of all, at the start of the war NATO, the United States or NATO las resisted having this type of involvement by NATO as an organization. NATO members, individual countries coordinated by the United States with the Poles, the Germans, et cetera at the air base in Ramstein. We didn't want us to be a NATO versus Russia conflict.

What that suggests to me now, if there, if that's under consideration is for reason, you've just said is trying to make this not the United States supporting Ukraine or the United States and our individual NATO allies, but NATO itself --


SULLIVAN: -- the concern was that it would provoke Russia. It would be NATO at war against Russia. But the risk that Ukraine isn't going to be able to survive if it doesn't get the necessary weapons and may be necessary.

BURNETT: So I want to ask you one other important question regarding Putin right now and his actions. And that is the attack on Iran's embassy in Syria, 13 people were killed there.

Obviously, Russia has huge interests in Syria. The United States said it didn't have a partner in the attack.

SULLIVAN: Correct.

BURNETT: Putin allies Dmitri Medvedev, obviously, former prime minister, says this -- said this today when he was asked what Iran's response should be. He said it would be interesting to see what would happen if Iran hypothetically attack the U.S. embassy in Israel. I see vivid fear and confusion in the eyes of Americans.

Obviously, he throws around a lot of bluster.


BURNETT: But can you tell us why he matters?

SULLIVAN: Well, he's the former president of Russia. When he was president in 2008 to 2012, we in the West thought he was a potential liberal reformer of Russia. Putin came back as president, thought that Medvedev was weak.

And now he's trying to prove himself, prove his meddle as a Russian nationalist. His language has been over the top for years. It's increased in bellicosity after the war started, he refers to the United States and the United Kingdom as Anglo-Saxon perverts. I mean, this guy is rhetoric is over-the-top.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Ambassador. It's very good to see you do see you are in person.

SULLIVAN: Good to see you, Erin. Thank you.

BURENTT: And next, polls are just about to close and special election that could cost a man his job after he marched alongside neo-Nazis and white nationalists. So, who he is he, and do voters care?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He does have supporters in Enid and that's the really frightening part.




BURNETT: Tonight, an Oklahoma City council member with white nationalist ties could be voted out of a job in any moment. This man, Judd Blevins, once marched with neo-Nazis and allegedly recruited for white nationalists. Now, he's facing a recall when the polls close in just moments.

Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT in Enid, Oklahoma, tonight.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When neo-Nazis and white nationalist hate groups march through Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, this man named Judd Blevins from Oklahoma was in the crowd. He says he was there to protest the removal of Confederate statues.

CROWD: Jews will not replace us!

LAVANDERA: Blevins returned to Oklahoma where the monitoring group known as Right Wing Watch later reported he worked as a recruiter for a white nationalist group and posted offensive comments in an online discussion forum. He has since said he disavows these messages.

Then last year, Blevins was elected to the city council in Enid, Oklahoma, 808 people voted, Blevins one by 36 votes. Blevins' past had mostly flown under the radar -- until a small group of progressive activists in Enid sounded the alarm about Blevins joining the Charlottesville march. They're trying to get him voted off the council.

CHRISTIE BALDWIN (ph), VOLUNTEER: It was very, very disturbing and frightening and I thought how is this still happening in this, in this year?

LAVANDERA: Christie Baldwin (ph) volunteers with the Enid social justice committee which organized a recall drive. Today, voters will decide if Blevins keeps his city council seat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to hit as many doors, as many addresses as we can efficiently and politely get everybody out to vote.

LAVANDERA: These volunteers are asking residents to vote for the other candidates on the ballot, Cheryl Patterson. But they're finding not all voters are turning against Blevins, who was a marine veteran and is fighting to keep his counsel seat.

BALDWIN: He does have supporters in Enid and that's the really frightening part.

LAVANDERA: There's real tension around this case.

BALDWIN: Yes, there really is.

JUDD BLEVINS, COUNCILMEMBER, ENID, OK: I will stand before the voters of board one, and I will defend the job I've done here.

LAVANDERA: Blevins makes it hard to know where he stands, at times apologetic and other times defiant. He denies identifying as a white nationalist or white supremacist, but has also asked for forgiveness.

BLEVINS: I am a different man today than I was yesterday and there is no hate in my heart.

LAVANDERA: That hasn't convinced the city's conservative leadership. They tried to censor him last fall for his failure to apologize and explain his connections to white nationalism, saying his statements have caused disruption and discontent in the city.

Judd Blevins declined to speak with CNN, but he's tried to distance himself from white nationalist organizations.

BLEVINS: And if I've offended anyone in here, then I ask to be forgiven.

LAVANDERA: That speech led to this extraordinary moment with the only Black city councilmember, Derwin Norwood.

DERWIN NORWOOD, COUNCILMEMBER, ENID, OK: And I want to do one thing before we quit. Can you stand up?

Do you love me?

BLEVINS: Yes, I do, as a brother in Christ.

NORWOOD: I love you, too. I'll forgive you.


NORWOOD: Up until that moment I struggled with it, but I forgave him, and I realize that in forgiving him, I freed myself from becoming what he was or still may be.

LAVANDERA: Blevins has tried to disavow his controversial history, but he's also tried to justify his past actions, raising questions about whether he's truly changed. BLEVINS: I'm not going to play this game where I take things that the

media says are problems from America's past that are no longer the problems today and pretend like there's serious issues. There are not.

LAVANDERA: When you heard that, what did you think?

NORWOOD: He doesn't understand what he's saying. Our last council meeting I looked out, I'm just like I'm looking at you and I said, man, do you realize it was a (AUDIO DELETED) that put his blood and reputation out there on the line for you?

BLEVINS: Frankly, pushing back on this anti-white hatred that is so common in media and entertainment.

LAVANDERA: If someone's like that in their private life, do they have any business serving in a government position?

NORWOOD: Absolutely not. Absolutely not because we gave an oath, we raised our right hand and we swore to the people that we serve everyone equally and rightfully.


LAVANDERA (on camera): So, polls here are closing and just about two minutes. And so we expect to add the election results later this evening.

Ironically, there's actually a city council meeting going on in the building behind me. But Judd Blevins is not here tonight, Erin.

BURNETT: Absolutely fascinating, incredible report. Thank you so much, Ed.

And thanks to all of you for being with us for that and for our show tonight.

Let's hand it off now to "AC360" with Anderson.