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Erin Burnett Outfront

Trump Attorney Fiery As He Corners Cohen On Key Call; "Trump Hurt Black People"; NATO Weighs Sending Troops Into Ukraine To Train Forces. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 16, 2024 - 19:00   ET




Fireworks. The Trump legal team tries to tear Michael Cohen story apart, casting serious out on several fronts. Did it move the jury?

Plus, Trump hurt Black people. That is the message Biden is putting out there tonight. Is it resonating? Two radio hosts who spoke to the president about this subject are OUTFRONT.

Plus, breaking news this hour, NATO now closer to sending troops to train in Ukraine, as Putin makes gains towards one of the biggest cities in Ukraine. CNN is on the ground, on the front lines.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight: Trump taking aim at Cohen. It was an explosive day in court and Trump was all in. He knew today could decide the case, as Trump's team turned up the heat on Michael Cohen.

Trump was present like he hasn't been yet for this trial the whole day, staring down the man who once said he'd take a bullet for Trump. Trump's eyes were opened. He was leaning in, he was fully engaged.

Trump insiders are telling me earlier today that Trump most likely knew what attacks were coming from his lawyer and was eagerly awaiting Cohen's reaction, and there was one big moment today. Trump's lawyers bringing up a crucial call that Cohen made just weeks before the election, a crucial one minute 36-second call that Cohen says, was when Trump had personally okayed the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.

Now, Cohen has acknowledged that this call was actually made to Keith Schiller's phone, who was, of course, Trump's bodyguard. Cohen says, well, Schiller is always with Trump and I called him and he handed the phone to Trump.

But Trump's lawyer, Todd Blanche, brought this call up with a surprising twist, casting doubt on whether Cohen actually did speak to Trump and casting doubt on the entire content of the phone conversation itself. Blanche producing texts that showed Cohen was texting Schiller about an unrelated matter, a 14 year-old who Cohen had been harassing him just before the phone call, no texts about Stormy Daniels. So, the timeline Blanche laid out, show the text was sent, the call was happened after Cohen even followed up about that 14-year-old, Blanche was trying to show that the call was actually about the kid.

And Cohen has said under oath, under direct examination that the purpose of the call was, quote, to discuss the Stormy Daniels matter and the resolution of it. He mentioned nothing about any other topic but after Blanche laid out the text messages about this 14 year-old, Cohen today acknowledged for the first time that the call wasn't only about Stormy Daniels, and that he did speak to Keith Schiller in addition to Donald Trump in a phone conversation.

He acknowledged that to Todd Blanche today, saying part of it was the 14 year-old, but I know Keith was with Mr. Trump at the time. And there was more potentially than this. Blanche responded that was a lie. You did not talk to President Trump. You talked to Keith Schiller. You can admit it.

Cohen responded, no, sir. I don't know that it's accurate. Blanche was pacing back and forth. His arms were flailing, saying a one-minute and 36 second phone call and you had enough time to update Schiller about all the problems you were having and also update President Trump about the status of the Stormy Daniels situation?

Well, this is, a crucial day and back to the timing of a minute and 36 seconds. It really does depend how the jury sees it. It's either not enough time to talk about two topics, any way, shape, or form, or it is. I mean, in television, a minute, 36 seconds is a hell of a lot of time. It's an entire reporter story. If a topic has already had a lot of back-and-forth, a minute, 36 seconds is a lot of time to resolve a payment and talk about an unrelated issue. It depends how the jury sees it.

And Blanche today told the jury that the only way to see it is that Cohen is a liar and his version of the call was a lie. In fact, Blanche repeatedly called Cohen a liar to his face, just as Trump publicly did when the trial began in violation of his gag order.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT & 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Whether they're going to look at all the lies that Cohen did in the last trial. He got caught lying in the last trial. So, he got caught lying, pure lying.

Michael Cohen is a convicted liar and he's got no credibility whatsoever.


BURNETT: The question is whether in that courtroom today, Blanche cast reasonable doubt in the mind of just one juror. That's all it takes.

Paula Reid is OUTFRONT live outside the New York courthouse where she has been from the beginning covering this trial every day.

And, Paula, a truly incredible day in court, the entire case could hang on what happened there today.

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESOPNDENT: Yeah, absolutely. As we reported exclusively last night, on OUTFRONT, defense attorneys as zeroed in on Cohen's recollection of that conversation, they came armed with receipts and let the jury with a lot to think about over the next three days.


But we've also learned that they may call Michael Cohen's former attorney, Rob Costello, to continue to pile on with their attacks on Michael Cohen's credibility.


REID (voice-over): Michael Cohen, the only witness being called by the prosecution who can directly implicate Donald Trump in an alleged hush money scheme has crucial parts of his testimony undercut, returning to the stand for a second day of cross-examination, Trump defense attorney Todd Blanche, grueling Cohen about all the times he has lied, painting him as unreliable and out for revenge after not being given a job in the Trump White House.

You were disappointed that after all the work that you had done for President Trump for nine and a half years, nobody, including President Trump, offered you a position in the White House, Blanche asks Cohen, after showing him text messages he sent to his daughter about potentially working in the Trump administration. That's not accurate, Cohen insisted, and he began to grow agitated as Trump lean forward in his chair behind the defense table, at times staring intently at his former fixer.

The Trump defense then reached a crescendo, turning to a key moment of Cohen's testimony, a 2016 phone call, he says he had with former Trump body man, Keith Schiller, who says he then pass the phone to Trump. Cohen says he told Trump on that call how he planned to pay Stormy Daniels to keep their alleged affair quiet, but referencing phone records, Blanche asked: This is the call that you testified that on Tuesday. It was to talk to President Trump about the Stormy deal and to move forward?

Cohen was then shown a text message she sent to Schiller the same night about a 14-year-old prank caller who had been harassing him, Cohen texted Schiller, who can I speak to regarding harassing calls to my cell and office, the dope forgot to block his number. Schiller texted back soon after, call me.

Blanche, then raised his voice, asking Cohen to confirm the call was not actually a conversation with Trump about Stormy Daniels, but about the 14-year-old prankster. Cohen defended himself saying, part of it was the 14 year-old, but I know that Keith was with Mr. Trump at the time, and there was more potentially than this.

Blanche shot back: That was a lie. You did not talk to President Trump. You talked to Keith Schiller. You can admit it.

Cohen calmly responded: No, sir. I don't know that it's accurate.

Blanche responding: A one-minute and 36 second phone call and you had enough time to update Schiller about all the problems you were having and also update president Trump about the status of the Stormy Daniels situation because you had to keep him informed?

I always ran everything by the boss immediately. And in this case, it would have been saying everything had been taking care of, it's been resolved, Cohen answered, he maintained his composure. I believe I also spoke to Mr. Trump and told him everything regarding the Stormy Daniels matter.

We are not asking for your belief. This story does not want to hear what you think happened, Blanche retorted, the prosecution then objected. The judge sustained. And Michael Cohen shook his head.


REID (on camera): We got new information at the end of the day today about when the jury might get this case and begin deliberating. There's no court tomorrow and next week, Erin, it could be just a two- day week. There's court on Monday, there's court on Tuesday, but there's never any court on Wednesday and on Thursday, a juror has an appointment and there's previously no court on Friday for the Memorial Day weekend.

There's still a lot of work to do. So at this point, almost impossible to have a verdict next week, and also likely that the jury won't even begin deliberations until after Memorial Day.

BURNETT: All right. Paula, thank you very much. And just to think about how many days, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, six days away from this. And then to come back in that is something else.

All right. Our experts are with me.

So, Joey Jackson, I actually want to ask about that, but I want to start with what Paula was laying out we were going through here. This was a big day.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Beyond the big day. This was a colossal issue and a colossal mistake by the prosecution and here's why. We talked a lot about the issue of corroboration. And that is that the prosecution getting ahead of things and having everyone corroborate with Michael Cohen will say.

What they cannot corroborate is what you say on a phone call when you're not a party to the phone call, he's on the phone call. And who else is? Schiller, the body man, right, for Donald Trump and potentially Donald Trump.

Well, guess what? Donald Trump has a right not to testify. We'll see if he does. Schiller, we'll know what he says if he testifies and that is Michael Cohen never said a word about Stormy Daniels.

So what's the point? The point is that all the corroborators can get people into the room, right? Michael Cohen gets you at the table. And on this critical issue, with respect to telling your boss about something in a 96-second phone call and then you have the run-up with these tax messages, parallel to the phone call, where you're expressing a concern which is completely different is problematic.


Final point, the prosecution could have laid the foundation on this in their direct case. Sir, you made a phone call. Is that right? Right. Tell us about the phone call, but it seems to me there were text messages because you had other concerns.

What are they? This 14-year-old was harassing me, but in that phone call, this is what I'm saying in the run-up to his testimony. So the jury's condition to hear it.

Having not said that and having made the call completely about the payoff to Stormy Daniels along the timeline is troubling, problematic and puts a major hole and the case was a disaster. The fact that the prosecution did not get ahead of this, I would be very concerned about this.

BURNETT: I mean, so, you know, because all of this was available and discovery, they all had the call logs and the text messages and Cohen did say under direct that this call was about Stormy Daniels? He mentioned nothing about there were no text messages brought up. There's nothing much about 14 year-old.

And today, all of a sudden, it's, oh, yeah, it was about both things. And Keith and I did talk about this and then I handed the phone to the president.

I mean, that is a totally different story.

RYAN GOODMAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's very different. Just to look back on what happened on Monday when the prosecutors asking Michael Cohen the question. They say, do you know why you were reaching out to Mr. Schiller in the evening of October 24, 2016? Yes. Why? Because I needed to speak to Mr. Trump and I knew that Keith Schiller was with him.

Why did he need to speak to Mr. Trump at that point? To discuss Stormy Daniels. Why did you call him to discuss Stormy Daniels? Today, at a minimum, he called Schiller in order to discuss the 14-year-old.

Within 30 seconds of the phone call ending, he then, Michael Cohen texts Schiller, the phone number for the 14-year-old. The phone call was about the 14-year-old at a minimum.

BURNETT: Right. I mean, it was clear -- there was an immediate follow- up on that topic.

GOODMAN: Yes. So an answer to the question, why did you call Schiller? Answer, because of a 14-year-old. And maybe also Stormy Daniels, but that's not there and I agree with what Joey said.

BURNETT: And yet this phone call is so crucial because this is a call Michael Cohen said Trump approved payment, right? It's essential. It's essential call and that doesn't take a lot of time to do it. Maybe as I said, if there's a lot of back-and-forth, but none of this was known until today.

You're watching the jury when all this was laid out. Did this look like an aha moment to any of them?

TERRI AUSTIN, FORMER TRIAL ATTORNEY: Absolutely. That jury was focused back and forth on the questions that Blanche was asking and that Cohen was answering. And Cohen hesitated. He didn't answer definitively.

He could have said something like well, yes, it was about this 14 year-old, but it was definitely about the call with Stormy Daniels, the fact that he's authorizing this. But he didn't say that. He hesitated.

The other issue is it made it seem like the prosecution set this up. So the only reason that Cohen knew about this was because the prosecution told you the date, what Cohen should have done is said, well, yes, when they prepped me, they told me the dates. I knew the content just didn't know the exact date and he said that, but he wasn't definitive about it.

BURNETT: And that's something everyone can understand. You remember, I extend exact date of a phone call or not.

Arlo, when you look at what happened today, and of course, you worked with Todd Blanche, so you know him. Obviously, he was -- a lot of people were not impressed with his performance. The other day today though it was a very different sort of -- at least on this crucial moment, right?

He had a plan. He knew what he was doing. You know, what did you make of his performance today?

ARLO DEVLIN-BROWN, WORKED WITH TRUMP ATTY. BLANCHE: Well, I think what he did today was very significant because earlier today and Tuesday, a lot of what he did was show that Cohen had lied in the past and jurors don't really care about that. I know that seems startling, right? Because it does go to whether you should believe the person.

But jurors, just like regular people, like the idea that they can size up, if someone's looking at them in the eye, like Michael Cohen was, they can size them up. And if you as a defense lawyer, can show that a witness lied not a long time ago, but to this jury --


DEVLIN-BROWN: -- the jury fields portrayed and that witness often goes out the window.

So I don't know if that's what happened. I don't know if there's a comeback to this, but I think it appeared today he was very effective. BURNETT: And that's what he was trying to do, was to show the jury that you never mentioned the 14-year-old or the text or the purpose of the call or that you talked to. He never mentioned any of this until today.

Does that set up that moment where the jury feels betrayed?

JACKSON: I really do believe so. And then you think about this and you have to piggyback this to the ultimate issue, which is this whole campaign issue and campaign finance violation. What do they have? They have, that is the defense, right, this letter from the relating to finance campaign violations that says from Cohen that it was paid from my personal funds. It had nothing to do with Trump. It had nothing to do with the campaign.

So like this witness is lot -- what else are you lying about, right? In order to get it bumped from that misdemeanor two felony, you have to establish that that's the violation it was done because of that purpose to benefit the campaign.


And Cohen at some other time in 2018 is saying it was my money. It had nothing to do. Trump knew nothing think about it, the organization, the campaign, but now, you're on trial saying that Trump knew everything about it. It was all -- we were all involved in it.

It just looks bad. The optics are bad. Everything's bad.

BURNETT: So, on this, you've got Todd Blanche, who has said that he is going to take us through today. And he did, and he's going to start again on Monday, and then the prosecution is going to the chance for the redirect, which is going to be crucial because they got to take this moment and they got -- they got to turn it from something that can be terrible to something that does not terrible, right? Okay.

But she said she will have under an hour of redirect. Is that enough time to do it?

GOODMAN: It's surprising to me. I think that the defense counsel made so much headway today to then only try to recover for an hour and rehabilitate Michael Cohen within an hour, seems incongruous with the task at hand.

I do want to also say though there is a lot of other evidence in the case that the jury's looking at and saying what happened, like what happened in 2016. A lot of it is corroborated by David Pecker. There's the 2015 meeting with Michael Cohen. It is explicitly about trying to influence the outcome of the campaign. There are other pieces that are also explicit, including --

BURNETT: So can this get to the level it needs to without say this phone call?

GOODMAN: That's right, because we do have David Peckers saying that in November, December, Michael Cohen says to him, please tell Trump to reimburse me. That is not Michael Cohen hiding things from Trump. That is Trump being in the loop, informed about the scheme.

So there's other things there, but I think what happened today still is so devastating. They have to do something right now. If the case ended today and they were final statements, I think there will not be a conviction.

BURNETT: All right. But what well see what happens.

Okay. Now, what about Trump in the room?

AUSTIN: Yeah, Trump is paying close attention to this more than anyone. Ive seen him as far as a witness on the stand he paid attention, I think to Stormy Daniels, but he was sort of looking ahead and wanting to ignore her.

He was passing notes, I think to Bove as he was listening to Blanche and trying to figure out what exactly was coming next. I think he knew what was coming next.

I think there were a couple of other good points, too. One I'll mention, when they played the podcast, it was allowed. It was Michael Cohen and the reason I think this hit home, Michael Cohen was a totally different person on this podcast. I think it hurt his credibility because --

BURNETT: Than how he's portrayed on the stand --

AUSTIN: Exactly.

BURNETT: He's very calm.

AUSTIN: Exactly. This was a different person really saying bad things about Trump.

So I was saying that next week, if they aren't in Thursday and you could have this basically over, but not to closing statements and have six days where they go away. That -- that's not good.

But this weekend, in three days, and Blanche is going to come back and continue. Who does that benefit? Who does all this, these breaks benefit the most?

DEVLIN-BROWN: I think this one benefits Blanche because this is what the jury ends with and the prosecution does have redirect, but they've got a couple of problems. One is they can't talk Michael Cohen while he's on cross. So they can't sit there and try to figure out. Oh, could it have been this call? Did we get this wrong?

So they're going to go in there blind when they do redirect on this question on next week. And I think that's going to be very hard, more time I think it might be good to keep it short because sometimes the more time you take, the more you maybe telegraphing to the jury that you were really hurt. And so, I think they're going to want to do whatever repair they can and then sit down and stand.

BURNETT: But they couldn't talk to him today. So, in the lunch break, they weren't able to talk to him.

DEVLIN-BROWN: Yeah. You can't talk to him about the case. You can say, do you need a water, Mr. Cohen, are your hotel reservation set --

BURNETT: But not until redirect?

DEVLIN-BROWN: Yeah. And cross to redirect may go like that.

BURNETT: There is maybe no time to go through the actual timeline and the calls is what you're saying.

DEVLIN-BROWN: Absolutely.

JACKSON: Just quick point, Erin. Yes, there's this redirect rehabilitation, but then there's that re-cross, right? And so don't think that the defense doesn't get another opportunity predicated upon your redirect to establish what they want establish to.


All right. Thank you all.

And next, they were mortal enemies, but now this unlikely duo has bonded over their hatred of Trump.


MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP LAWYER: She reached out to me full of kindness and empathy.

ROSIE O'DONNELL, COMEDIAN: You have made a full turn in terms of telling the truth.


BURNETT: Plus, Biden's new message to Black voters, quote, remember who Trump is. But is that working? Two radio hosts who just spoke to Biden are OUTFRONT next.

And we'll take you to the front lines where Russians are raised seemed to take as much land as they can before American weapons start arriving again.



BURNETT: Tonight, giddy with hope and laughter.

Trump's lawyer today quoting Michael Cohen to use his own words against him. The defense attorney Todd Blanche saying, quote, you also said that you were not going to lie thinking about Donald Trump and his family sitting in Otisville prison makes you giddy with hope and laughter? Michael Cohen said, sounds correct.

Blanche continues: just to remind the jury, Otisville is a federal prison that you spent about a year at. Is that correct? Cohen: That's correct.

And it was in that prison that Cohen struck up an unlikely friendship with Rosie O'Donnell, incredibly unlikely if you remember.

Omar Jimenez is OUTFRONT.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The enemy of my enemy is a friend. And that may define the beginnings of Michael Cohen, and comedian and actress, Rosie O'Donnell.


Breathe, relax, tell the truth. You got this. I love you, read the texts Cohen received from O'Donnell before being called to the stand earlier this week, according to the New York Times. An hour later, "The Times" reported another text from the same number. You're doing great -- to which Cohen later wrote back: Thank you and truly love you.

Those texts didn't just come out of nowhere either.

COHEN: I can't say enough about her as a person other than the woman is truly a mensch.

JIMENEZ: O'Donnell was the first guest on Michael Cohen's podcasts, "Mea Culpa" back in September 2020. Cohen, of course, pleaded guilty in 2018 to eight federal counts, including tax fraud and campaign finance violations tied to the same hush money payments Trump's charges stem from.

While Cohen was serving part of his prison sentence, O'Donnell, not only wrote to him, but ended up paying him a visit.

COHEN: He was a woman who I had helped attack and vilified on behalf of Donald J. Trump. And she reached out to me full of kindness and empathy.

O'DONNELL: I wrote you that letter and wanted you to know that there were people who were grateful that you had changed your mind, that you had turned on him.

COHEN: I finally understood even more so just how much I had helped him to hurt people yourself included going back to that massive first feud.

JIMENEZ: That massive feud goes back nearly two decades to 2006 when Donald Trump decided not to fire a Miss USA winner after revelations of drug use and more, saying he was giving her a second chance. O'Donnell, a co-host of "The View" at the time, mocked Trump.

Then there was this during a presidential debate in 2015.

MEGYN KELLY, MODERATOR: You've called a women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals. Your Twitter account -- O'DONNELL: Only Rosie O'Donnell.

KELLY: No, it wasn't.

JIMENEZ: O'Donnell later that night, responded on Twitter, try explaining that to your kids.

Fast-forward years just ahead of Cohen's testimony, he was on TikTok live streaming as he frequently does to vent as he's testified. And a familiar your face stopped by to give him a pep talk.

O'DONNELL: To not listen to all of this negative MAGA (EXPLETIVE DELETED) at you. What you lied about, what things that he made you do, and you have made a full turnaround in terms of telling the truth.

JIMENEZ: It's support that's apparently been there for years.

O'DONNELL: Take care of yourself and I'll text you next time I see on TV.


BURNETT: All right. So, Omar, I mean, its amazing to remind everybody how nasty and that Cohen was behind so many of Trump's disdain and hate for Rosie.

Is their friendship now really just that they have this similar disdain for Trump?

JIMENEZ: You know, it's interesting. I went back and obviously listened to when they spoke on that podcast, a lot of what she said was about how she saw a lot of herself in him, that he seemed like someone that she just grew up with on Long Island. So you can combine that with the disdain for Trump. And of course, boom, there, you have a match made in whatever you want to call it.

BURNETT: Podcast -- podcast heaven.


JIMENEZ: For whatever it might be and, you know, like she's obviously characterized him as someone who has come full circle in terms of telling the truth, but that's exactly the thing that Trump's defense team is trying to poke holes in, his credibility in the eyes of the jury, and we know he's going to have at least one supporter throughout all of this, Rosie O'Donnell.

BURNETT: Right, Rosie. It is -- it is amazing to see just to watch the incredible transformation of all of this. The Shakespearian nature of it.

Omar, thank you.

JIMENEZ: Of course.

And next, President Biden tonight trying to make inroads with Black voters.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The guy I'm running against has done nothing for the Africa American community, virtually nothing, except criticize it.


BURNETT: Two radio hosts who just spoke with Biden about why he is losing some of the Black vote support to Trump are OUTFRONT next.

And breaking news, NATO tonight, inching closer to putting troops in Ukraine as Russia is making gains. We'll take you to the front lines and tell you the details.



BURNETT: Tonight, President Biden doubling down on his efforts to win over Black voters, taking his message to, to radio hosts to have their fingers on the pulse of Black voters, saying remember who Trump is.


BIDEN: We understand the Black community is critical, critical, critical growth and security of the country. But the guy I'm running against has done nothing for the African-American, virtually nothing, except criticize it.

Remember who Trump is: He falsely accused the Central Park Five, he's a founder birtherism. He tried to repeal Obamacare the first time -- now he's promised to do even more damage.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, the two radio show host that President Biden was just speaking to, Sherwin Hughes, the host of "The Truth with Sherwin Hughes" in Wisconsin, and the host of the "Big Tigger Morning Show" in Georgia, Darian Big Tigger Morgan.

And I appreciate both of you being with me very much.

You know, this is just at the heart of this now. I mean, Sherwin, President Biden told your listeners that Trump, he told you, quote, has done nothing for the African American community. And yet, Sherwin, obviously, you talked about the polls. Biden won 87 percent of the Black vote in 2020, the most recent poll has only getting 74 percent of that vote of people say they'll definitely, or probably vote for him. One and five Black voters who backed him in 2020 say they don't know if they will even vote at all.

Sherwin, what do you think is the biggest reason for this?

SHERWIN HUGHES, RADIO HOST: I think people need to be reminded of where we were four years ago. We were in the early stages of a COVID- 19 pandemic that we know rock the African community or unemployment rates were three the roof. We went to the grocery store, we saw bare shelves and we couldn't even get toilet paper.


I think if people are reminded of where we were four years ago, especially with a president that denied the pandemic, that did not pay much attention to the suffering of the African American community when people are reminded of how bad things were then, and then you look at some of the progress has been made the last four years, then I think some of those voters who are on the fence will ultimately come back around.

BURNETT: So, Tig, let me ask you about another slice of this, the way the vote looks right now. Harry Enten runs a lot of these numbers for us, had pointed out this, this crucial difference right now between young and old. Now we see it across many demographics, right? But in the black voting community on Biden and Trump, people who are 45 years old and older overwhelmingly support Biden over Trump. It's 75 percent to 12.

But for Black voters under 45, Tig, Biden 60 percent, Trump 32 percent. I mean, that is a totally different world.

Why do you think Trump is resonating more with younger Black voters as we see those polls?

DARIAN "BIG TIGGER" MORGAN, RADIO HOST: When you look no further than social media for the misinformation and disinformation as being put out there, lots of people in our community have this illusion that Trump gave the hood money, they believe that Trump, because he put his name when he six was the reason that money came to them and that while we were up, so to speak during that time period and, you know, like the older demographic, they don't have any problem fact checking, and they'll hear something, they'll go back though research to see if its true. Do a little research behind it.

Younger people, if it's on a gram, its probably true. It's kind of the thought process and it's rather unfortunate. You couple that with the apathy about voting in general and in our community and it could be problematic.

BURNETT: So its interesting that you point that out and just the role of social media.

Sherwin, Trump has pushed his own theory about his support of Black -- with Black voters. He talks about this a lot. He says that it is because of his multiple criminal indictments and his mug shot. Here's one way he put it.


TRUMP: A lot of people said that that's why the Black people like because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against. We've all seen the mug shot and you know who embraced it more than

anybody else, the Black population, it's incredible. You see, Black people walking around with my mug shot. They do shirts.


BURNETT: Sherwin?

HUGHES: So let me just start by saying that is so incredibly offensive. And if there are African-Americans, they can relate to the Donald Trump because of his criminal indictments, it's usually because of policies that have been implemented and supported by Republican and is looking now he's being treated while he's on trial, multiple gag orders. If it was anybody else acting the way Trump acted, we would've been thrown in jail and it's also its racist and it's stereotypical.

African-Americans are law abiding citizens and do not relate to him or gravitate toward him because of his criminal troubles. I think that is just showing exactly how outrageous Donald Trump is, and also showing he has completely out of touch with our community.

BURNETT: Tig, you were nodding as you were listening to Trump there.

MORGAN: I couldn't agree more. Black people are not monolithic in any particular way, from income, to background, to experiences, to education and for him to unilaterally assume that because we're black and we're affiliated with the criminal culture, and that's why we're resonating or he's resonating with us is absolutely ridiculous.

BURNETT: Tig, I'm curious. Do you -- when you talk about the role of social media though, do young people -- are they seeing this? They offended by this?

MORGAN: I don't know if they actually offended. You know, Trump is like when you Trump is like social media and like reality TV, if you will. It's a train wreck waiting to happen and it's hard to look away and I think that's why he gathers a lot of momentum with young people because it feels like what they've grown up watching, what they're exposed to.

I don't know if some people actually -- the people who should have been offended by that probably weren't, and that's also a problem. I just don't understand what, you know, if were if were talking about it just to switch gears was a moment.


MORGAN: You're talking about women in America and he's completely he helped take away the right to choose, how -- how is that even a someone else on the table for you as a woman that you're going to vote for somebody who took your right to choice away?

BURNETT: So, you know, that is something that the Vice President Kamala Harris, Sherwin, has talked a lot about and made it -- and made a key part of the time she's spending on the campaign trail. We haven't seen as much of her, but she has been hitting that issue.

And today, she accepted an offer for summer debate against whoever Trump picks as his running mate. Senator Tim Scott says he's ready to go and he is already proving -- previewing what his message is going to be. And we heard it even when he was running himself for the actual top slot.


Here he is, Sherwin.


SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): America loves President Trump because he's plain-spoken, easy to understand, and he is clear as a bell.


BURNETT: Sherwin, will Senator Scott, if he has chosen, will he help Trump?

HUGHES: No, I really don't think so, especially if he is on a debate stage with Kamala Harris. So the thing about Tim Scott is that he could have been much more helpful and much more influential on a John Lewis Voting Rights Act, nowhere to be found, on a George Floyd Justice and Policing Act, the entire world was upset by what they saw with the murder of George Floyd, Tim Scott could have been very much a part of that.

So even when Tim Scott had the opportunity to impact policies that could help the African-American community, he did not do so. And so, him being align with Donald Trump is going to really show us who Tim Scott actually is, and contrasting him with Kamala Harris. I think it would be perfect for the Biden campaign.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much. Sherwin, Tig, appreciate it.

HUGHES: Thank you.

MORGAN: Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. And next --


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: I think they can hear a drone here. So hard to tell.


BURNETT: A terrifying moments as our Nick Paton Walsh was spotted by Russian drones in Ukraine.




BURNETT: Breaking news, NATO allies tonight, inching closer to sending troops into Ukraine, "The New York Times" reporting that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff revealing, quote, will get there eventually when it comes to sending NATO forces to train Ukrainian soldiers, obviously, raising huge questions about the possibility of American troops on the ground getting drawn directly into the war.

All of this coming as Russia is making gains in the Kharkiv area, home to one of the biggest cities in Ukraine.

Nick Paton Walsh is under threat on the outskirts of Kharkiv, has a report that you will see first, OUTFRONT.


WALSH (voice-over): It's a recurring nightmare, but here, it's getting worse. The border town of Vovchansk bearing the blunt horror of Moscow's race to take as much as they can in the weeks before Ukraine starts feeling American military help again.

Every street aflame, Russians deeper inside the town.

Policeman Maxime is answering one of 35 calls from locals on Thursday to evacuate. The day before, three colleagues were injured. The shelling never stops.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quiet! Everyone get down.

WALSH: Three people still coming out. And you have to imagine quite how desperate these final people the situation must be to leave.

Mykola (ph) and his wife hiding in their basement, but despite staying through the first Russian occupation and then liberation, two years ago, they found the airstrikes last night just too much.

They're joined by Maria, their mother, who cant hear the shelling or anything too well.

Thousands evacuated since Russia invaded again around here, five days ago.

Why everyone has to leave is clear again, as we drive out, as it is with almost every part of Ukraine, Russia covered, just utter destruction, little left to rule over.

This is their first moment of calm in many days, entire lives in plastic bags.

Saying he wasn't lying last night was scary, and everyone else was talking about significant bombardment more than it was just better to get out of there, 85.

An armored ride to a new world, knowing they may never get back to their homes, tormented for days by shelling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aerial bombs, everything.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Russians are over there. On the other side of the river. And we were on this side.

WALSH: We head back in with another police unit who soon learned two of the houses, they must rescue from or impossible to reach. As we wait, we heard a buzzing noise.

I think they can hear a drone here so hard to tell with the wind in the trees and the artillery, but that's a constant threat, they call them now.

Then our security adviser spots it. They raised their weapons, but will firing make them more of a target?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if it's ours?

WALSH: Three drones, one large one that hovers, and two small ones whizzing about exposed, powerless, if we run the cover, they might come for us. All we can do is hide in trees and hope that if we are seen the Russians instead, have a better target in mind.

Then it become right overhead, that noise.

Ether the sound of death or someone deciding, you're not worth that payload.

We decided leave but again, we cannot travel fast enough to escape the drones.

Only expose ourselves and pray they lose interest, perhaps they did. We'll never know but behind us, Ukraine is aflame again because however the West's interest in this war wanes, Putin's burns brighter than ever.


WALSH (on camera): Erin, now, that intensive push north of where I'm standing is all about exerting pressure on Kharkiv city itself. And we've been seeing that tonight intense, explosions, missiles we're hearing, land drones flying overhead, anti-aircraft fire visible. We can't go into too much detail, but still a sea change in the atmosphere and clearly, Ukraine's second-largest city now feeling pressure.


It's been there over the past months, but now that you, Russia in progress to its north really being felt in the dark skies here, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Next, thank you very much in Kharkiv tonight.

And next to high school for addicts and our Dr. Sanjay Gupta speaks to the person giving these students of true second chance.


BURNETT: Tonight, an entire high school only for kids suffering from addiction. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has tonight's "Champions for Change".


KEITH HAYES, DIRECTOR OF RECOVERY, 5280 HIGH SCHOOL: Welcome to 5280 High School. We are the largest recovery high school in the country.


We serve students who struggle with substance abuse, self-harm, eating disorders, and other destructive behavior, and we teach kids how to live without drugs and alcohol one day at a time.

I am Keith.

CLASS: Hi, Keith!

HAYES: So today's topic is about getting sober. How I got high.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was miserable and active addictions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty much every day thing -

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Every morning starts with something known as BOAT: be open and authentic together.

To sit and listen to that meeting is one of the most powerful things I think I've ever done.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember this period of time where it was like if I wasn't high, I like was going to kill myself.

GUPTA: There's this quote that said that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is human connection. And that's what, that time period really is.

Are you breaking new ground with a program like this?

HAYES: That's the hope.

I think a lot of other recovery high schools do a lot of clinical pieces. And that's cool. But I'm sorry. Another 16-year-old that looks like me, that sounds like me, that now has a year, 18 months, two years sober, sharing with me what they did to get sober is better than any doctor or clinical person can ever do to help them.

GUPTA: So how much of your own personal life experience is part of this role for you?

HAYES: I mean, its everything I started. My journey in active addiction as early as, you know, 14, 15 years old, have five felonies today -- felonies that I acquired while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and active addiction.

GUPTA: It's hard to reconcile the man that's sitting in front of me with all that.

HAYES: Yeah.

GUPTA: Are you the exception to the rule or are you the rule?

HAYES: There's a lot of us out here who have recreated our lives in recovery. But it is a part of my story, and it is very important that I share those very terrible and inhumane things that I did an active addiction. So we can give hope to others that they can recover too.

GUPTA: So what are we about to see here?

HAYES: So now were about to go into our biology, engineering, physics, chemistry woodshop class.

GUPTA: I like to biology of workshop together.


GUPTA: I could have used that.

HAYES: Yes, sir.

By doing project-based learning, it allows the kids to be able to learn 21st century skills, learn how to collaborate well with others, how to problem-solve. Also, core principles in recovery as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like an emotional outlet for me. I love to create.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You come here, you got to put in the work and the action.

HAYES: I know every single kid. I can tell you about their story. I can tell you what they've been through.

When they do make mistakes or things do happen, not beating them up about it, loving on them, supporting them, and figure out what do we need to do next to help them get to the next level.

LUCY LENFESTEY, SENIOR, 5280 HIGH SCHOOL: I started drinking and using when I was 13, by smoking crack and fentanyl and drinking and ended up getting Narcan, and was in the hospital. Keith was like a really big support through all of that and would just continuously show me that he loved me and cared about me. And I've been sober since then, and now I have 17 months.

GUPTA: Congratulations for that.

LENFESTEY: Thank you.

GUPTA: Do you dream about the future? LENFESTEY: Yeah, a few years ago, I didn't think id be alive. And so,

it was really weird turning 18 and having plans to go to college and just all of the things that I get to do now.

HAYES: At one point, I didn't know if Lucy was going to live or die. And now, I know Lucy is going to do whatever she wants to do in this world.

Every single one of these kids gives us all hope today that no matter how hard your life is, things can get better one day at a time.


BURNETT: What an incredible person and school. Sanjay, one thing though, when each of those kids that he's talking about that you were talking to, the age at which they say their addiction started is so incredibly young, barely teenagers.

I mean, what does the fact that you need to have a school like this say about the state of the drug crisis in this country.

GUPTA: Well, you know, I mean, it's a sad state of affairs. I think that that's the point. I think that were sort of hearing over and over again. It's the physical embodiment of harm reduction. So it's kind of an incredible place, but sad that it has to exist, Erin.

I would tell you this, that overall, if you look get the drug crisis in this country over the last few years, the amount of usage has actually gone down. But at the same time, drugs have become deadlier, they've become easier to obtain for people. So a lot of these kids are -- they're getting them on social media, the ordered on social media, through Venmo, the drug dealer and they'll get their drugs.

And that's why adolescent drug overdoses have doubled over the past few years. One of the things, Keith, said to me, Erin, that really stuck out because I have three teenagers as you know, he said, a lot of parents, they simply don't know for months that their kid has started using.

And I'm not saying that to scare parents, but I think it's really important that you understand that, but also that the school can be a place where kids are an active recovery, not just sporadically, but for years at a time.

BURNETT: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Thank you so much.

GUPTA: You've got it, Erin. Thank you.

BURNETT: And don't miss the "Champions for Change", one hour special, Saturday night at 9:00 Eastern.

"AC360" starts now.