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Erin Burnett Outfront

Report: Trump Team Looking To Avoid "Sh*tshow" At Debate; Bowman's Last Stand?; Obama's Half-Sister Tear Gassed. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 25, 2024 - 19:00   ET




The breaking news, not repeating the bleep show. New reporting tonight about what Trump is telling confidants he will not do in CNN's debate two days from now. This as we learned about one of the comebacks Biden is gearing up to deliver.

Also breaking, polls about to close in the most expensive Democratic primary ever. The biggest progressive names out in full force -- AOC, Sanders, Warren. Is it enough to save Jamaal Bowman?

And Barack Obama's half-sister tear-gassed, live on CNN. What happened? We're on the ground there.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

And OUTFRONT tonight: it's not going to be a bleep show. While that is a close confidant of the former president, a direct quote, who tells "The Bulwark's" Marc Caputo that CNN's upcoming presidential debate will not be like get the 2020 fiasco. Caputo, who has new breaking details tonight, he'll be here in just a moment, says Trump realizes the chaotic debate four years ago cost him valuable support.

Of course, here is just some of what we saw play out.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The question is -- the question is --



BIDEN: Will you shut up, man?

TRUMP: Listen, who is on your list, Joe? Who's on your list?


MODERATOR: All right. Gentlemen, I think --


BIDEN: I'm not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he's a liar --


BIDEN: But I just want to make sure --

TRUMP: You're the liar.

BIDEN: I want to make sure --

TRUMP: You graduated last in your calls --


BIDEN: I want to make sure.

MODERATOR: Mr. President, can you let him finish, sir?

BIDEN: No, he didn't know how to do that.


BURNETT: A hundred forty-five times. That is how many times Trump interrupted Biden or the moderator, 145 times.

And Caputo's reporting tonight is that maybe different this time.

Tonight, Trump telling "The Washington Examiner", quote, I was very aggressive in the first one. The second one, I was different and I got great marks on the second one.

And in the final two days before Thursday night's debate, the former president says he is not hunkering down, is not spending hours upon hours preparing, saying it's very hard to prepare. You've got to know this stuff from years of doing it. And I know all the leaders and I know what I know. It's largely based on common sense.

I think debating is an attitude more than anything else. That attitude will be put to the test as we are now learning the two podiums will be eight feet apart. Now, eight feet apart, think about that. That's not very far. It is much closer than the last Trump Biden debate during the COVID pandemic when they, when more than 12 feet apart from each other could be the closest they've ever been, maybe at inauguration, it was closer, but it's really close.

As for Biden, he is leaving nothing to chance. He is ready to push back and he is engaged in formal, traditional debate prep.

Our MJ Lee is reporting the Biden's team believes if and when foreign policy comes up, there is no starker contrast. We even know what one of Biden's comebacks might be when pressed.

And MJ is out live -- is OUTFRONT live inside the White House tonight.

And, MJ, you've got some breaking news on what Biden is doing and thinking here on some of these debate moments.

MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Erin, even though domestic issues are really top of mind for the Biden team, I am told by a source that the debate prep sessions at Camp David have also focused on foreign policy with Jake Sullivan, the president's national security adviser, taking the lead on those discussions as the president is prepared for the possibility of foreign policy issues coming up on Thursday night.

One campaign officials said that when it comes to foreign policy, really, the contrast of the president will try to draw against Donald Trump could not be more strike - stark. This is how they summed it up. They said: President Biden stands up to dictators and defends freedom. Trump is a loser who is too dangerous and reckless to ever be anywhere close to the Oval Office again.

One famous Trump line, that one source had said is likely to come up on Thursday night. It's just playing from Donald Trump recently that he would be a dictator on day one.

But, Erin, I think one thing that is important to note is that as you're talking about preparing to go up against Donald Trump on foreign policy matters, one challenge for the Biden team is that his positions have actually been quite murky and ambiguous when it comes to Gaza, for example. He hasn't actually said much when it comes to Ukraine.


He has said if he had been, President Putin wouldn't have invaded and he would have resolved the conflict in one day. But he's never elaborated.

So all of that goes into the thinking and the preparations and, of course, we've reported that mock debates have begun at Camp David. The president is using a podium as a prop, and there are different as that are playing the roles of Donald Trump, or Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, and all of that, of course, is meant to replicate the exact experience of the president could have on Thursday.

And that is really meant to test him on substance as well of stamp -- as well as stamina as well -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, which obviously is going to be crucial here.

MJ, thank you.

And more breaking news on the CNN presidential debate about Donald Trump's strategy. So let's go straight to "The Bulwark's" Marc Caputo, who broke this part of the story.

So, Marc, you've got new reporting tonight that Donald Trump is -- that he gets it. It sounds like. The confidence close to him are telling you that he is directly told them that he's going to -- he's not going to repeat that chaotic debate performance in 2020.

What are you learning?

MARC CAPUTO, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE BULWARK: Yeah. Quote, it's not going to be like last time, he told one person who had spoken to me about it. It's not 2020. That's what Donald Trump is saying.

His team is saying that he learned his lesson from the rather disastrous debate in 2020. But like in 2020, his debate preparation is not being called debate prep. Don't call it debate prep. They're calling it policy refreshers.

He's having informal -- or better said, formal discussions with five top aides and some others who come in. But overall, it's not like what Joe Biden is doing.

BURNETT: Not -- not at all.

And you say, obviously, they don't want to use the word debate prep. So, you know, you also report -- you know, to the extent that he doesn't have anyone playing Biden in rehearsals, which is a crucial part of debate prep for moderators, as I can tell you, having done that or for anyone obviously preparing to debate.

So what do you know about the preparations that are taking place and what are these "policy refreshers" entail?

CAPUTO: Well, the policy refreshers entail him just having about these hour-long meetings. There's been at least six, so far. There's probably going to be at least one or two more before Thursday where Jason Miller, his top communications adviser, Stephen Miller -- no relation -- his top policy adviser, the campaign co-manager Susie Wiles, the two other top policy advisors are in these sessions every day, and then other aides sort of cycle through.

And then there are sort of special guests who come in and highlight various issues. And so, we have a little sense of the things that he's interested in talking about, or preparing to talk about.

One of them is abortion. Foreign policy is another. Immigration, obviously, another, and trade.

So what he does and how we respond to some of these other questions, like its going to be in Georgia. So he's probably going to be asked about whether he won Georgia or not, obviously, he didn't we don't know how he's going to respond, but I'm sure that they're expecting that question to be asked.

BURNETT: Right, right. And then perhaps even they will have no idea how he was responding until the moment that he does.

So, Mark, you recently, you and I were talking. You had reporting about Trump's VP shortlist that you had learned that it appeared to have been whittled down to three names. Now, you have learned that when you talk about these, you just said hour-long sessions, at least six of them that Trump has turned to two of those three to help him in these policy refreshers.

Tell me more.

CAPUTO: Right. JD Vance, the Ohio senator, is there to talk about sort of the what they called the America First movement and sort of heartland issues being from Ohio, the Midwest, the Rust Belt, being of great importance. He's sort of participated or he has participated at least one of these sessions.

And then Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been there and discussed with him foreign policy and national defense, the specialties of Rubio.

Now, I wouldn't read in to that too deeply as the fact that they might be favored or disfavored. Trump recently said that he knows who he is going to pick as his VP, that VP candidate will be at the debate. But everyone's probably going to be at the debate. So, we have no idea of who it is or when he's going to make the announcement.


All right. Marc, thank you very much, with all those new details.

CAPUTO: Thanks.

BURNETT: And now, two men who know all about preparing for a debate like this. David Polyansky, former chief of staff for Senator Ted Cruz, and former deputy campaign manager for the Ron DeSantis campaign, also the chief strategy officer of Ax Advocacy, which is ironic because David Axelrod is here, and I don't know if you have the patent --


DAVID POLYANSKY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Maybe not, maybe there will be after tonight.

Former senior adviser for President Obama, and, of course, senior political commentator.

Okay. So let's just go through some of this reporting here. Actually, it's Venn diagram, overlap on foreign policy which may not be the first place you'd expect it, but obviously they're both seem to be preparing there.

What do you understand here when you look at Biden's preparation, very traditional.


BURNETT: Prepared. There -- his -- someone close to them using the word "loser" to describe Trump, unclear whether Biden would use that word, but as he ready to play fire -- return fire with fire?

AXELROD: Well, he did four years ago. I mean, one of the things that I think really benefited him was that he was very much in the moment he pushed pushback. He had Trump on his heels at times and he didn't let Trump rattle him in those debates.

And that's even more important this time. That's the first test for him.


So I'm sure that's part of what they're drilling.

The other thing is former -- I mean, current presidents, incumbent presidents tend to stumble in that first debate because they -- they want to defend the record. They know more and they want to share all these details and so on. I'm sure they're trying to rip all that wiring out and say, here's this is how we want to handle this issue, this question, these are the lines we want to land and they're going over it again and again.

BURNETT: So, David Polyansky, when you have -- when you hear what we're learning Marc's reporting on Trump, hour-long sessions, so that is prep. I mean, it may not be standard prep, but that is -- he's memorizing things at some level, at least six of them. You've got Marco Rubio and JD Vance involved.

Having done this, you know, with Ron DeSantis and Ted Cruz who have been on stage -- well, one of them with Trump, what do you make of this debate prep?

POLYANSKY: You know, in debate prep, I think, look, it's a great example. Some candidates need to prep like there former litigators and Supreme Court, you know -- clerks and some need to practice in different ways, maybe in a more entertaining style. And you have to read your candidate and know how to prep them, and in this case, I don't think sitting down and mock debate sessions doesn't sound like the Trump team feels that's the way to roll.

AXELROD: I think they're trying to slip the pill in the apple sauce. They know he has to prepare, but he doesn't like to be prepared. He doesn't like to be handled.

So they are calling them, you know, whatever they're calling them, but --

BURNETT: He calls it -- Trump saying debating is an attitude. On a certain level, is he right?

AXELROD: Yes. I mean, I think people read how you handle yourself on the stage, whether you're in control of the stage and so on. But it does matter how you handle a specific questions.

And, you know, I was interested. Marc said, well, they're really eager to talk about abortion. I'm not sure they're eager to talk about abortion.

BURNETT: No, but he's got to be ready, obviously.

AXELROD: He's got -- that's going to be a major issue. So, you know, in classic preparation, the key is to anticipate as much

as you can. And when you're preparing someone for debate, you're comfortable when you hear a question and you know how your candidate is going to handle that question. I think it must be anxiety producing for both these prep teams because they're not quite sure.

BURNETT: So the distance. I was just looking at you, I was wishing I had my tape measure, so I'd say what -- I mean, from need any or say three, three-and-a-half feet. So, eight feet on some level is actually far. But for this -- for these two and in this setting its very close, right?

It's 12 feet last time. They may never have been this close together, maybe -- maybe inauguration. And yet -- so eight feet. What -- what does that do? I mean, when you think about when you're prepping before, are you -- does that distance matter and how do you play that?

POLYANSKY: Absolutely, it does, especially when you don't have an audience because it seems and feels even closer, you're in a studio.

BURNETT: Yeah, just the two of you.

POLYANSKY: Just the two of you. And clearly, there's bad blood between them. We saw that in 2020, we've seen it escalate over the last few years. But, you know, I also wanted to touch on one thing. I think campaigns are about prep and being ready to go in, but they're also about confidence going in.


POLYANSKY: And I think right now, the former president walks in with a pretty significant polling advantage. I mean, at this point of the race in 20 -- you know, on this date in '20, Joe Biden was leading nationally by 10 points. Now, you know, Donald Trumps up by 1 percent, and that holds true in a lot of the battleground states.

AXELROD: I'm not sure confidence necessarily is his friend. That's when Trump tends to get in trouble, is when he's over-confident.

But on this thing about distance, one of the reasons that incumbent presidents, and frankly, we've never had this situation before. But Trump didn't debate in the primaries. Neither of these guys are used to having someone this close in their grill, treating them without deference and challenging them.

And that's one of the -- one of the things that makes it difficult for an incumbent to prepare. Now, we have two -- an incumbent and a former incumbent.


AXELROD: We'll see how that goes.

BURNETT: And, distance, I guess it is, that kind of fixed physical proximity when you are a person who is so isolated, each in their own way. AXELROD: Yes.

BURNETT: Age is going to matter. Age is going to matter, you got 90 minutes. It's going to matter for both.

We'll see. We'll see, but certainly Biden's age is at the front of us, right? Everybody is watching to see how he is.

Back in 2019, remember that debate?


BURNETT: We asked him about it. I just want to play how we answered the question at the time. That was his pat answer, here is.


BURNETT: Vice President Biden, if you're elected, you will turn at during your first term. Last month, former President Jimmy Carter said he could not have undertaken the duties of the presidency at 80 years old. Why are you so sure that you can?

BIDEN: Because I've watched it. I know what the job is. I've been engaged.

Look, one of the reasons I am running is because of my age and my experience. With it comes wisdom. We need someone to take office this time around who on day one can stand on the world stage.


BURNETT: So how does the answer that now?


AXELROD: He's not going to answer it that way now. But what he can say is, look, this isn't about my future, or his future. We're both at the ends of our -- of our careers here.

This is about your future and the question you have to ask is, is this person going to fight for me or is this person going to fight for themselves? And that is very, very clear.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much. We will see. I'm sure these questions all will be coming up.

POLYANSKY: Can't wait. It's going to be fun.

BURNETT: All right. Next, Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon failing again to make any rulings in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. Why? Trump White House attorney Ty Cobb is next.

Plus, breaking news. Polls about to close in the most expensive Democratic primary ever, one that could be crucial for November. It poses a serious threat to a top AOC ally. A new and graphic video of one of the hostages abducted by Hamas at

the music festival, the first time his family has had any proof that he is alive. Tonight, his brother is my guest.



BURNETT: Tonight, Judge Aileen Cannon failing to rule after a hearing today, Trump's lawyers won the right for a full hearing on whether the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago violated Trump's rights. Judge Aileen Cannon gave them that hearing instead of dismissing it out of hand, forcing both sides have spent a lot of time effort to prep and present their arguments.

And even as she then when hearing happened, seemed to dismiss Trumps arguments that the warrant was too broad, she said she had a, quote, hard time seeing any problems with a warrant, she still didn't actually rule on it. It comes on the third and final day of hearings that Cannon scheduled on various issues related to the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, issues that most legal experts argue have no merit other than to delay the trial. A trial which by the way has no trial date, and Cannon has delayed indefinitely at this point.

OUTFRONT now, former Trump White House attorney Ty Cobb.

So, Ty, when you look at this -- okay, so I mean, I don't know how do you see this? This is -- it's -- you give her credit for obviously seeming to not be a fan of this or she should have ruled or she never should have hearing in the first place?

TY COBB, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: She should never have had a hearing in the first place. It's hard to give her credit because we're now at the stage where Trump's lawyers have thrown so much at the wall and see what would stick. You know, they're now throwing just water at the wall, to see whether she's interested. The fact that -- in fact that she even gave him a hearing on this, highly irregular.

You know, she doesn't -- she didn't see any merit to it in the argument. Most judges didn't see any -- wouldn't have seen any merit to it on the papers, and they would have just ruled. It's a silly -- it's a silly thing to have a hearing on. In essence, it boiled down to will you let them search in every room? Well these are documents. They could be anywhere.

BURNETT: Right. Right. And so in other words, hearing itself shouldn't have happened, but so she -- now, while she appeared dismissive, but she did not actually even rule on it. And she's got more tomorrow.

This is -- there's a lot on the table here, right? There's a special counsels appointment is even constitutional. Another hearing that experts station have happened, gag order on Trump and whether to place one.

Is it possible that she doesn't rule on any of these? COBB: It's very possible she doesn't rule on these. I think, you know,

the -- she's had a hard place for herself. She either has to disappoint Trump which obviously is difficult for her, or she has to make a decision that supports Trump, but will get her removed from the case when it goes to the 11th Circuit.

So I think failing to rule following her name seems to be her new last name, Aileen Cannon failing rule. She will not rule and once she does, if you rules favorably for Trump, she's going to get reversed and spun.

BURNETT: Right. So it's inner interests not to, and I misspoke today was the final day of hearings.

COBB: Right.

BURNETT: And we don't get rulings on them.

So I saw this the other day on Twitter. I wanted to see what you thought about. This was a professor at George Washington Law School.

So he was saying that -- floating the idea that if Cannon rules that the special counsel's appointment is unconstitutional, I know you're saying she probably won't rule, but if she were to rule that, that the steps from there might be a bit counter-intuitive. He was suggesting the DOJ should not appeal, but should have the U.S. attorney in Florida refile the same charges and a new case, hope that it gets assigned to a different judge, not Cannon, a different judge. And then the special counsel prosecutors, who have already been designated as special assistant U.S. attorneys in Florida for this case, they stay on the new case and continue their prosecution because they're up to speed.

Is that a path that would work?

COBB: So I think that is a path that would work. I don't think its likely path.

BURNETT: I guess because you don't even have a ruling at the first.

COBB: Right. Well, two reasons, even, say, she didn't make the ruling and she ruled on the special counsel appointment unlawful and the Justice Department wanted to try to expedite things, you know, could take that course, but she's already done her duty to Trump by pushing this case off to the point where its not going to get tried before the election.


COBB: So the Justice Department, and the stakes would be way too high for the Justice Department not to appeal the special counsel decision if they invalidated, keep in mind and there are other special counsels out there. David Weiss is out there on the Hunter Biden case.


COBB: So, the Justice Department would probably proceed to do that. I think Randy Eliason's -- the professor.

BURNETT: That's who --

COBB: Yeah. I think it's a reasonable solution to a problem, but I don't think it's the solution the Justice Department.

BURNETT: That they would actually go with, right? I understand the precedent of it. You have to -- you have to have that formal appeal.

All right. So there was a late night counsel -- filing from the special counsel that we got to see some never before imaging, never- before-se en images of the actual boxes and documents at Mar-a-Lago. They're like spilled all over the floor, and they did this to show to push back on. Trump attorneys argument -- Trump's attorneys are saying, well, because the orders of the box is content, which changed, you can't build a defense about it because you don't know when stuff was put in the box.


So they're submitting this to show that while, of course, the order was changed because we did pick up all the papers off the floor. I guess it's basically part of the argument.

What -- does -- where does this go?

COBB: So I think I would refer to that as the gimme a break filing, you know? I mean, it's -- Trump's argument is so silly. You know, box- to-box, integrity should be enough, you know, for those documents, particularly the ones that were all over the floor, but, you know, the theory that it should be in the first third of the box versus the second third of the box -- I have a very hard time in my wildest imagination understanding how that could be a defense.


All right. Ty, thank you.

COBB: Great to be with you.

BURNETT: All right. And next, breaking news, polls are closing soon in the most expensive House primary ever. What happens in New York tonight could be a crucial telltale sign for November.

Plus, Trump's debate style is something we never saw from other presidential candidates.


TRUMP: You're a tough guy, Jeb.

Don't worry about it, little Marco.



BURNETT: Tonight breaking news, final votes being cast at this moment in the most expensive house primary race ever. Here's what's at stake: Progressive New York Congressman Jamaal Bowman could be just hours away from losing his seat. And if that happens, he will be the first member of the so-called squad, the group of 9 of the most left-leaning members of the House to be booted from Congress and many big name progressives senators, Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren have been pounding the table and showing up for Bowman.

I want to go to Miguel Marquez, who's outside Jamaal Bowman's headquarters right now. Final -- final votes are coming in and were going to get the results and see what happened here, could be crucial for November.

Miguel, what are hearing as polls are getting ready to close?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, we've got an hour and a half left and everything we have heard, whether its the polls or the voters that we've talked to over the last several days, or even being at a polling station today, we were Mount Vernon all day, the city hall. That should be a very, very strong Bowman precinct.

And from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. -- 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., when we left to come over here, we asked them how many voters all day they had, how many you think? Nineteen. That was the entirety of the voters that went into one precinct.

BURNETT: Are you serious?

MARQUEZ: Not very busy. It should be -- I'm absolutely serious. I was shocked. We kept going up there to talk to these folks. So it was shocking that they only -- now these are all very small precincts as well. So there's not a lot of voters in those greetings but you'd expect a much better show for Bowman in a place like that.

The energy -- look, Bowman came to this district and rode the energy and the anger over the justice -- rights and George Floyd protests and the justice movement into office. He beat Elliott Engel, who had been there for many, many years. And now, those tides have turned -- yes, there was a lot of money from AIPAC super PAC that is in this race. But those messages are resonating is a fairly small Jewish population in the district, about 7 percent, but that message is resonating.

The people who are most angry in this election and is a fairly small number that can off his Democratic primaries, they are the ones that are coming out and it doesn't look particularly good for Jamaal Bowman -- Erin.

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

That's really -- I know small precinct, but 19 voters, I'm sorry -- I'm just floored. It says a lot about just issues around this country. All right. OUTFRONT now, former Democratic congressman from New York,

director of the Cornell Institute of Politics and Global Affairs, Steve Israel, and Erick Erickson, he is host of "The Erick Erickson Show", and author of "You Shall Be as Gods".

So, Steve, you're from New York. You ran the reelection arm of the House. So, you know, this district very well. I know the precincts are small. I'm sorry, I'm just still stunned by 19 people actually carrying enough to go out.

What does this mean?

STEVE ISRAEL, FORMER US REP.: Well, first of all, 19 votes means that Congress and Bowman is drastically underperforming. Now, New Yorkers are pretty well known for commuting to New York City and voting on their way home.

So that number will come up, but it still reflects a lack of enthusiasm, a lack of energy for Congressman Bowman.

Look, there are two competitive Democratic primaries in downstate New York, both in the suburbs. Jamaal Bowman versus county executive George Latimer in Westchester. And your former CNN colleague John Avlon running against Nancy Goroff in eastern Long Island.

BURNETT: That also will see if John wins tonight as well.

ISRAEL: Both of these races will test this proposition, do Democratic voters want purity and ideology on the left? Or do they want pragmatism and winnability near the center? Both of those races will test that proposition.

BURNETT: Avlon, obviously, about pragmatism and getting it done. And Latimer has been running on that.

So, Erick, Bowman has been vocal in the Israel-Gaza war and you just heard Miguel talk about that the relevance of that in this race. And it has been. Bowman voted against military aid to Israel. He's described the Israeli invasion in Gaza as genocide.

Here are some of the things he said.


REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): There's still no evidence of beheaded babies or raped women --

Seventy-five years of military occupation.

We're going to show the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) AIPAC the power of the mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) South Bronx!


BURNETT: Erick, what will it say if Democrats in New York resoundingly reject that message in 90 minutes? [19:35:01]

ERICK ERICKSON, HOST, "THE ERICK ERICKSON SHOW": You, know I think its just very strongly that you don't have to be for Israel, per se, but to be hostilely against it into have the same rhetoric is not the people who were anti-Israel, but antisemites in this country is a bridge too far for a lot of people.

You know, Jamaal Bowman got his seat running in 2020 against the incumbent chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee saying he was two in the pocket of the Israel lobby in Washington, and I think he might have misread his election in 2020 and overplayed his hand here. People really don't like that rhetoric, particularly given the horrible antisemitism coast-to-coast in this country on both sides of the aisle right now.

BURNETT: So just talking about what this means, though, Steve, for November and for Biden and for Democrats, for enthusiasm. If Bowman loses tonight, that's the first member of the squad to lose in Congress, right? The squad that had become quite powerful for a period of time. And here's the messaging and some of the most well-known faces of that group.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Suburbs have essentially already begun pursuing a defunding of the police.

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): Not on my watch well, I not be able to humanize the impact and push back against corporate greed.

REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): When you say I'm anti-woke, when you talk about wokeness, you're saying I'm anti-Black.


BURNETT: What does Bowman's loss, if that's what we see tonight, mean for that movement, that group, right, the far left wing of your party?

ISRAEL: Well, they're going to need to reassess if Bowman loses, if the progressive candidate in New York 1 loses. They do need to reassess.

But look, every race has its own dynamic. I chaired the Democratic National Campaign Committee. No race reflects everything. They're going to say, well, it was $25 million against him. He never had a chance.

But they really need to ask this question. Every district has its own dynamic, its own center of opinion, doesn't make sense to have such a purely progressive message in electorates that prefer the center.

BURNETT: Right. And so, Erick, okay, now, on the other side, Lauren Boebert, she is has a primary tonight and she may indeed be victorious as the sixth way race in Colorado. Those polls closing soon, she barely won her seat last time, barely won, it switched districts after the video surfaced of her vaping and allegedly groping at a musical. So she switched districts.

Is it possible she wins again? And with all this, it's just keep going?

ERICKSON: It is possible that shootings tonight and this gets to the point on Bowman as well, but there are fits and bad fits for districts and to win, you need to be a fit for your district. And if she can win in this district, she was redistricting and had to move, then politically, she probably played her hand right than being where she was. But there are ideological alignments in a hard Republican and hard Democratic districts, and you need to know your district. You can only deviate from your district so far before they throw you out of office.

BURNETT: Steve, what does this mean do you think for Biden? If you do see a rejection tonight of the progressive candidates in New York, what's the message for him?

ISRAEL: Well, exactly what was just said. You need to have House Democratic candidates who are fits for their media markets, fits for their district.

Joe Biden has an entire career of trying to govern from the center. He has tried to satisfy progressives and to a great extent has done so.

But I do want -- I wanted to say this: the New York 16 race with Bowman. It's a Democratic district. That's not going to go to a Republican. New York 1 remains to be seen.

I do think it tells a story about what's happening in suburbs. So in the 3 -- 7 battleground states that Joe Biden must win, this election is in the suburbs.

BURNETT: And, Erick, you agree with that bottom line?

ERICKSON: Yeah absolutely. I mean, the suburbs are where it's going to be fought and won.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much. It's great to see you.

ISRAEL: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, Obama's sister tear-gassed live while on CNN as she spoke out amid deadly protests. What happened? We're going to show you what we saw.

And Trump not backing down on his claims Biden will be drugged up at CNN's debate, a claim he's been pushing for years.


TRUMP: They gave a big fat shot in the ass and he comes out.

And for two hours, he's better than ever before.




BURNETT: Tonight, President Obama's half sister tear-gassed amidst violent protests in Kenya. Auma Obama is in this video. It's captured live on CNN as police started firing tear gas into the streets of Nairobi.

Protesters storming the country's parliament, at least five people so far dead. The level of violence raising the alarm arm here in the U.S. with the State Department condemning the violence, urging restraint.

Larry Madowo was there. He saw some of those bodies. He is OUTFRONT tonight from Nairobi.


AUMA OBAMA, ACTIVIST AND HALF-SISTER OF FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Young Kenyans are demonstrating for their rights. They're demonstrating with flags and banners. I can't even see anymore. We've been tear-gassed.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the moment the half sister of the former U.S. President Barack Obama was tear-gassed while live on CNN.

Auma Obama, a Kenyan-British activist who lives in their Nairobi, among crowds of protesters on Tuesday. Kenya, in the grip of a, quote, total shutdown in response to a controversial finance bill, which includes proposed tax hikes on basic foods including sanitary products, amid a cost of living crisis.

AUMA OBAMA: These young people need a future. They have no jobs, 50 percent of our population under 35 have no jobs. He got -- they're taxing them without jobs.


They're taxing the jobless.

MADOWO: The protests are part of the country's quotes seven days of rage. Tuesday's event, turning deadly with policemen heading and detaining demonstrators, even resorting to live rounds to scatter those who want their voices to be heard.

The bill which sparks these protests and led to this destruction is seen as an added barrier for those already burdened by the high cost of living, The anger and tension is felt across the country with people like a woman standing up for what they see as injustice.

Auma Obama has long used her voice to protect the rights of others, building a Kenya-based foundation, Sauti Kuu, from the ground-up to help orphans and young people in poverty. Her voice became elevated after a younger half brother, who she first

connected with during her 20s was elected to the White House in 2008. She was born in Kenya, the second child in Barack Obama Sr.'s first marriage before he moved in remarried in the U.S.

Barack Obama often spoke of their close relationship, reflecting in his book about the trips that Auma thoughtfully organized for him, allowing him to introduce his daughters to his father's ancestral homelands.

Homelands that Auma also welcomed him to as president.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: It was Auma who first guided me through Kenya almost 30 years ago.

AUMA OBAMA: We have to do it for ourselves, no matter how little you have, no matter how difficult yourself and circumstances, you can still succeed.

MADOWO: Her words from nearly a decade ago translating once again into action on Tuesday.

AUMA OBAMA: Look at what's happening.

MADOWO: Her anger and determination felt by many.


MADOWO (on camera): Erin, CNN has reached out to the Kenyan police about their response to today's protests, and we have not heard back. There's been a lot of criticism from human rights bodies about the heavy-handed, overly militaristic response to largely peaceful protesters.

President William Ruto in a national address said some criminals infiltrated legitimate protesters, but that didn't go down well with mostly young protesters were out in the streets. He said they were only armed with banners and flags while the police were armed with bullets. So who are the criminals? That's the question tonight, Erin.

BURNETT: And also tonight, a top Hamas leader remaining defiant after Israel launched an airstrike on his sister's home, killing her and her family. The building reduced to rubble.

The political leader saying, quote: If Israel thinks that targeting my family and relatives will change our positions and resistance, then they are delusional.

It comes as tonight for the first time, we are seeing disturbing new video of the hostages who were taken from the Nova Music Festival on October 7th, where so many were killed, and I want to warn you that it is graphic.

This video, which was originally taken by Hamas shows three injured -- injured hostages in the back of a pickup truck. One of them is 33- year-old Or Levy. Today is his son's third birthday. And his brother, Michael, Or's brother, Michael, joins me now.

Michael, this video that we are now seeing here for the first time is the only proof that your brother survived the October 7 Hamas attack where, of course, so many including his wife, were murdered horrifically by Hamas.

What went through your mind when you saw this video and for the first time knew that he was alive?

MICHAEL LEVY, BROTHER OR LEVY HELD HOSTAGE BY HAMAS: So as you said, that was the first and only time that we saw Or alive. So for a second, it was I can say a relief to see it with our own eyes that he's actually alive. But the second after, this relief turned into horror (ph) and sadness, and all the worst feelings that you can imagine because seeing how terrified it was -- it was completely scared.

I know him his whole life. I've never seen him felt scared in his life. He was also covered in blood which was probably his wife's blood. She was murdered (INAUDIBLE) him.

What can I say? It's heart-breaking?

BURNETT: His wife, as you said, was murdered by Hamas and it cant even imagine what you're thinking and you see that blood and that he may have aid may have seen her die and then being covered in her blood, their child, your nephew, turns three 3-years-old today, 3 years old today. His mother was killed. His father is a hostage.


Gosh, how is that little boy even doing, Michael?

LEVY: It was for us -- it was the saddest birthday you can imagine. We try to put on a mask and be happy for him and show him that we love him and care. But underneath, we all cried -- how can -- how can you celebrate a birthday kid that lost his mother and he's looking for his father for almost nine months now?

BURNETT: Michael, I know you wanted people to see this video, despite obviously your brother, his fear, his pain, the blood of loss, but you want the world to see this now. Why is it so important to you to share this?

LEVY: I wanted the world to get another reminder of how the face of evil look like. And I think the world has to see it -- has to remember there are still 120 hostages there. A lot of them are still alive, but they are running out of time.

We call the international community to unite and put more pressure on Hamas to get a deal to release all the hostages as soon as possible.

BURNETT: Well, Michael, thank you very much for sharing all of this with us. Our thoughts are with you and your brother and your --

LEVY: Thank you so much next.

BURNETT: And next, a special report on Trump's freewheeling debate strategy, a vulgar and unique style that spares no one.


TRUMP: Such a nasty woman.

Excuse me, I've given my answer lying Ted.




BURNETT: Tonight, desperate. That's how President Biden's campaign is describing former President Trump's baseless allegations that Biden could use performance enhancing drugs at the debate. It's a familiar Trump attack. He used it in 2020, before he debated Biden the first time.


TRUMP: They gave him a big fat shot in the ass and he comes out.

And for two hours, he's better than ever before.

I'm willing to take a drug test. I think he should, too.


BURNETT: Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.


TRUMP: Look at those hands. Are they small hands?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a debate style, unlike any other.

MEGYN KELLY, DEBATE MODERATOR: You've called a women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slabs and disgusting animals. Your twitter account --

TRUMP: Only Rosie O'Donnell.

SERFATY: Donald Trump commanding the stage --

TRUMP: A lot of times --



TRUMP: Quiet.

SERFATY: His off the cuff approach --

TRUMP: Oh, you're a tough guy, Jeb.

SERFATY: -- a stark contrast to his opponents seemingly more rehearsed and carefully crafted lines.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

TRUMP: Because you'd be in jail.

MODERATOR: Secretary Clinton --

SERFATY: That freewheeling strategy --

TRUMP: I'd like to know, Anderson, why aren't you bring up the emails? I'd like to know. Why aren't you --

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: We brought up the emails.

TRUMP: No, it hasn't -- it hasn't -- it hasn't been finished at all.

COOPER: Ken Karfowitz (ph) has a question.

TRUMP: Nice, too, one on three.

SERFATY: -- has targeted the moderators --

TRUMP: Honestly, Megyn, if you don't like it, I'm sorry. I've been very nice to you, although, I could probably maybe not be based on the way you have treated me.

SERFATY: -- and his opponents alike.

CLINTON: My Social Security, payroll contribution will go up as well, Donald's, assuming he can't figure out how to get out of it. But what we want to do is to replenish the Social Security Trust fund.

TRUMP: Such a nasty woman.

SERFATY: With Trump, oftentimes successfully deflecting policy questions by causing a commotion onstage.

MODERATOR: I have a policy question afternoon for you.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Let's see if he answers it.

TRUMP: Well, don't worry about it, Marco. Don't worry about it, little Marco.

SERFATY: By leveling personal biting insults --

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): You went to Manhattan and said, I'm lying to the American people and the voters have a right to know --

TRUMP: No, you're the lying -- you're the lying guy up here. You're one of the one, you're the one.

CRUZ: Release the tape. Release the tape.


TRUMP: Now, let me just tell you, let me just tell you, excuse me, I've given my answer lying Ted.

SERFATY: Interrupting --

BIDEN: The people left behind there were heroes.

TRUMP: Really?

BIDEN: And I resent --


TRUMP: Are you talking about Hunter? Are you talking about Hunter?

BIDEN: I'm talking about my son, Beau Biden, you're talking about --

TRUMP: I don't know Beau. I know Hunter.

SERFATY: Hammering away at his opponents.

TRUMP: Every time you see him, he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from me and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen.

SERFATY: With an unrelenting cadence that oftentimes knocks even the most seasoned debater off their footing.

TRUMP: Why didn't you do it? Why didn't you do it?

CLINTON: Because I was a senator with a Republican president.

TRUMP: Oh, really?

CLINTON: I will be the president. We will get it done.

TRUMP: You could have done it. If you were an effective -- if you were in effective senator, you could have done it.

SERFATY: This chaotic approach --

TRUMP: Bill Clinton was abusive to women.

SERFATY: -- only amplified by his added theatrics.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously, four of them here tonight.


SERFATY (on camera): And one other strategy shift we've seen Trump make is for him to throw out this playbook entirely. At one of the debates against Hillary Clinton in 2016, he showed up and he was mostly discipline, more subdued, a total surprise when compared to the past and that's certainly one reason, Erin, the Biden team here, they're preparing for this eventuality that Trump could show up on Thursday night.

He could break that trend, show up more disciplined and on message, Erin.

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

And thanks to all of you. We'll see you tomorrow night with our special coverage ahead of the CNN presidential debate.

":AC360" starts now.