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The Situation Room

U.S. In Crisis, Cities Rocked By 12 More Mass Shootings In Two Days; Putin Threatening New Targets After First Strikes On Kyiv In Weeks; 1/6 Panel Promises Chilling Revelations In Primetime Hearing; Gas Prices Jump To Record High $4.87 Per Gallon In U.S.; Key Baby Formula Plant Reopens As Shortages Deepen; UK PM Johnson Wins Vote Of Confidence, Will Remain Leader. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired June 06, 2022 - 18:00   ET


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thousands of workers in the United Kingdom are testing at a four day work week, three day weekend. There's still get 100 percent of their pay for working only 80 percent of their usual week. They do have to promise to maintain 100 percent of their productivity.

Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, the deadly toll from America's gun crisis keeps rising and rising with at least 13 more mass shootings over this past weekend. We are on the ground in Philadelphia where police now say multiple shooters opened fire into a crowd, including two suspects charged just a short while ago.

Also tonight, after the first attacks on Kyiv in weeks, Vladimir Putin is now threatening to destroy new targets if the U.S. supplies long- range missiles to Ukraine. This as the fierce battle for a key city in Eastern Ukraine is changing right now by the hour.

And the January 6th select committee is promising chilling, new revelations about the insurrection during its first public hearing this coming Thursday. We are getting a preview of the primetime event that is expected to include new testimony and evidence that's never been seen before.

We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

We begin with the mass shooting crisis in America, growing more urgent and deadly by the day and by the hour.

CNN's Brian Todd is in Philadelphia for us, one of the cities reeling right now from this newest round of bullets and bloodshed.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Charges filed in Philadelphia's Saturday shooting today. Include age tempted murder against one of two suspects. Two charged with attempted murder today in Philadelphia's Saturday shooting. One of them is already in custody. Authorities say a responding officer shot and injured him, also an arrest warrant issued for a third suspect.

He has not been apprehended yet?


TODD: Is he a dangerous person? Should he be apprehended?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes of course. We've request a high bail once when he is arrested.

TODD: Authorities say a physical altercation escalated into a shootout Saturday with bullets flying into the crowd in an entertainment district. When police responded --

COMMISSIONER DANIELLE OUTLAW, PHILADELPHIA POLICE: They observed several civilians suffering from gunshot wounds lying on the sidewalk and in the street.

TODD: At least four guns were used, one of them, a ghost gun, 14 shot, three killed, one a suspected gunman.

In rural South Carolina, at a graduation lawn party with 150 guests, police say at least 60 or 70 shots were fired from two cars. Eight shot, one of them killed.

MINDY KIND, DAUGHTER KILLED AT GRADUATION PARTY: I looked at my daughter on the ground. She was out. She had already stopped breathing.

TODD: In Chattanooga, Tennessee, at a night club shooting, at least 14 injured, plus three killed. Two from gun shots, one struck by a fleeing vehicle.

MAYOR TIM KELLY (I) CHATTANOOGA, TENNESEE: It is going to be a long summer and we have got to get out in front of it and put a stop it.

TODD: This weekend, at least 17 killed in 13 mass shootings nationwide from a Michigan suburb to a graduation party in Virginia, to a party at a strip mall in Phoenix.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A group of people that just started running like every different direction. And I myself was like hiding behind cars because the shots kept getting closer and closer.

TODD: The weekend's 13 mass shootings are among the 246 so far this year, more than one a day. Just since the Uvalde school shooting in Texas, there have been 33 more with 191 people shot and 34 killed.

CNN and the Gun Violence Archive define a mass shooting as one that injures or kills four or more people. Philadelphia's top prosecutor focusing on guns.

LARRY KRASNER, PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We have 120 guns for every hundred Americans, and that includes children. And so we he with find ourselves in situations where people who are simply having a fist fight can turn a street in a busy entertainment section of town into mayhem. It's disastrous.

TODD: New York's governor today signing bills, including a ban on body armor sales and raising the age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21.

GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY): When do we become a nation that reveres the right to have the ability to possess a gun over the right of a child to stay alive? When did that happen?

TODD: But in Washington, far less agreement on what to do. The mood in Philadelphia and elsewhere tonight --

MEGHAN FORD, PHILADELPHIA SHOOTING WITNESS: I don't want to feel like I can't get home from work safe.


TODD (on camera): Now, authorities here in Philadelphia tell us that several businesses along this street have stepped up and given them the police surveillance footage from those moments on Saturday night and they are still combing through a lot of that footage tonight for some more information.


To give you an idea of the chaos of those initial moments here on the street in Philadelphia, officials tell us that the two men who confronted each other -- the two men who confronted each other and started this confrontation fired a total of 17 shots at each other. Wolf?

BLITZER: Brian Todd in Philadelphia for us. Brian, thank you very much.

Let's bring in our Senior Law Enforcement Analyst, the former FBI deputy director, Andrew McCabe, and the former Philadelphia police commissioner, Charles Ramsey.

Chief Ramsey, innocent people are being killed in schools, churches, grocery stores, at night clubs, graduation parties. What's your reaction to yet another deadly weekend of gun violence all over the United States?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, unfortunately, Wolf, I am not surprised at all. I mean, this isn't going to stop unless we do things to stop it. And so it's going to continue.

Right now, we are focused on mass shootings but there are shootings that take place every single day in America. People are dying. It's out of control. And that's not going to change anytime soon because not only are we not doing anything at the federal level in terms of a legislation, but even at the local level, going after these guys that are using guns to commit crime, just wildly shooting into crowds, all of them marked mentally ill. Some of these guys don't need therapy, they need to be in jail. And we have got to get tough when it comes to dealing with folks who are out here using guns to commit crime.

BLITZER: You are absolutely right. You know, Andrew, as the chief -- the police chief, Ramsey just said, the premeditated mass shootings shocked the nation, but people are dying in spontaneous acts of gun violence every single day all over the country. How does that need to factor into this conversation?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it does, Wolf. I think it was critical that you define in the piece that just ran how CNN classifies mass shootings. So, mass shootings are ones in which four or more people are killed or wounded in a single event.

When, you know, this breaks us out of the parameters the horrific attacks that we see at schools and at shopping centers and at places of worship, where many people are killed, those things are terrible. But mass shootings take place more than every single day in this country, multiple times a day as we now know from the total number that we are carrying for this year.

And as the chief mentioned, this is not going to slow down. We are into the summer months now. This is the high season for gun violence on the streets. People are back outside, late at night, consuming alcohol at parties.

This is where frustrations and fights erupt between adversarial factions and the standard way to resolve them now is people grab their guns and start shooting. That's when you have loss of life.

BLITZER: And it is so horrible. Chief Ramsey, do police officers who put themselves in harm's way to respond to these shootings want lawmakers, especially here in Washington, to give them more tools to prevent violence, like red flag laws, for example?

RAMSEY: Well, there is no question about that. I mean, universal background checks, red flag laws, I mean, legislatively that will keep guns out of the hands of people that should not have them. That's really the goal, is to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. And also some safety issues, because we also go to scenes where young children are accidentally shot because they find a firearm and they shoot a sibling.

And so, you know, there is a lot that needs to be done. There is a lot that can be done and not infringe upon the Second Amendment.

BLITZER: Chief Ramsey, thanks very much. Andrew McCabe, thanks to you as well.

In Uvalde, Texas, tonight, more young victims of the school massacre have now been laid to rest, as local officials keep dodging important questions about the police response.

CNN's Omar Jimenez is on the scene for us. Omar, two weeks after this shooting, are the people of the community, and you're there on the ground, any closer to getting real answers?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, that is the major question at this point. It has been ten days since the last official briefing to the public from the Texas Department of Public Safety. But even when we were getting regular updates, some of that information quickly began to conflict.

Now, they are punting all questions to the Uvalde County District Attorney, citing an ongoing investigation. DPS, though, did release a statement today reading in part, the Texas Ranger investigation is taking place at the request of District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee of the 38th Judicial District. As this is still very much an active and ongoing investigation, it is appropriate at this stage to refer all questions to the D.A.'s office.

So, we have but the district attorney hasn't gotten back with anything of significance, and even when approached physically, has not responded to any of CNN's questions.

Now, while we wait for updates to the investigation, families are, of course, still burying their loved ones.


Today was the funeral for Eliahna or Ellie Garcia. This past weekend was supposed to be her 10th birthday. She was killed at just nine- years-old.

For survivors of this tragedy, it is going to be a long road, as well and that is part of why we are now learning that four families of elementary schoolers that survived are now suing the estate of the Uvalde shooter here for damages, alleging, in part, he intentionally injured these young children, stole their innocence and forever changed their lives.

This joins a series of legal efforts we have seen that have at least attempted to start the process toward some form of accountability to what happened at the federal level. Of course, we are expecting to see this week testimony in front of the House Oversight Committee from some of those affected, including here in Uvalde, all of them hoping that their stories can at least have some sort of impact on long-term change. Wolf?

BLITZER: Omar Jimenez on the scene for us in Uvalde, thank you very much, Omar.

Just ahead, after striking Kyiv for the first time in weeks, Vladimir Putin is now threatening Ukraine with new attacks if the U.S. delivers long-range weapons to Ukraine. I will discuss with the former Ukrainian prime minister right after this quick break.



BLITZER: Right now, we are following some very disturbing new threats from Vladimir Putin amid a bloody battle for a pivotal city in Eastern Ukraine. Let's get right to our Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman. He is on the ground for us. He's joining us from Kramatorsk, not far from the frontlines.

Ben, officials in one city now say the situation is, quote, changing every hour. Give us the latest.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. They are referring to the city of Severodonetsk, which is about an hour-and-a- half drive to the east of here. That city has really been the scene of intense street battles now for several weeks.

Now, at the end of last week, Ukrainian officials themselves were conceding that the Russians controlled 80 percent of Severodonetsk. Over the weekend, the Ukrainians made a counterattack and said that they were in control of 50 percent of the city. However, Monday morning, the situation changed again with the Ukrainians saying that the Russians were retaking territory in the city. So, the fighting is intense.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, when he has made that surprise overnight, secret visit to this area, conceded that those two cities are essentially -- I mean, Severodonetsk and the neighboring town of Lysychansk, he described them as dead cities. But they are not completely dead. There are still thousands of civilians stuck inside, many of them huddling in basements and bomb shelters, unable to leave as a result of the fighting.

Now, we've heard these threats by President Putin that if the United States and its other western allies supply Ukraine with long-range missiles and artillery, Russia will expand its list of targets in the country. He's made similar threats in the past when referring to western military aid and, in most cases, didn't follow up in the -- to the extent that many believed.

However, that early-morning strike on Kyiv Sunday morning does indicate that perhaps there will be an intention by the Russians to expand their list of targets if and when those long-range missiles and artillery arrive in this country. Wolf?

BLITZER: All right. Ben Wedeman, stay safe over there. We will be in touch. I appreciate it very much.

And joining us now, the former Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Prime Minister, thank you so much for joining us.

As you know, President Zelenskyy just made an unannounced trip to some of the most heavily bombarded areas in the eastern part of Ukraine. Is Ukraine on the brink of losing the last city standing in the Luhansk region? Could the entire Donbas region actually fall to the Russians?

ARSENIY YATSENYUK, FORMER UKRANIAN PRIME MINISTER: No but the situation is deteriorating and Russia made incremental gains in the east of Ukraine. Look. We are outnumbered -- we are outnumbered with the artillery 1 to 20. And it's important for us to get heavy weaponry as quick as possible. So, the situation is not an easy one, but I do believe that we have enough, both, weaponry and will and guts to deter Russian offensive. But, once again, I want to -- not to underestimate the Russian capabilities. Russia is still capable of launching an offensive against Ukraine. And that is the reason why it is so important to get as much as possible to help Ukrainian military, to deter these bloody Russians.

BLITZER: But as you know, Putin now says that any new weapons' deliveries to Ukraine from the U.S. or some of the other allies, in his words, Putin's words, only drag out the armed conflict and he is now threatening to hit new targets if the U.S. provides, for example, long-range missiles to Ukraine. How high is the risk of retaliation from the Russians?

YATSENYUK: It is another saber-rattling. He did the same with the nuclear threats. Now, he wants actually to stop the western world from supplying Ukraine the heavy weaponry.


So, this is a kind of new game that this brutal leader, Putin, started. This is who is to blink first? The west or autocratic Russia? We are not in the position to blink. We are in the position to fight.

So, my message and my appeal to the western world, please, let's do it together. Let's win this righteous war. Let's support freedom in Europe and in the world. Don't be scared of Putin because this is his regular narrative, to pull the threat, to test every single western leader and to wait until the west will back down. In this particular case, the west cannot back down. The web can only move in defending freedoms and liberties.

BLITZER: It was, I think, really significant that Russia struck Kyiv on Sunday, the first attack on the Ukrainian capital in more than a month from the Russians. What message is Putin sending with that strike on the Ukrainian capital?

YATSENYUK: Completely the same as I just told you. So, in this way, he wants actually to scare Ukrainians and he actually tries to make daylight in the western world, to show to the western world that, look, if you supply the weapon, I am going to hit the new targets. But he is doing this on the constant base.

So, the more you support Ukrainian military, the more weaponry you deliver to the Ukrainian military, the less chances Putin has to win this war, this brazen, this brutal, this unjustified war against the free Ukrainian people.

BLITZER: The former --

YATSENYUK: Don't be scared.

BLITZER: The former Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, thank you so much for joining us. Good luck to you. Good luck to all the Ukrainian people. YATSENYUK: Thank you. God save Ukraine and God save the United States.

BLITZER: Thank you.

Coming up, as mass shootings claim even more victims in this country, is the U.S. Congress any closer to agreeing to commonsense gun reform? We are going to tell you what we are learning about talks on Capitol Hill tonight. Stand by.



BLITZER: Right now, we are following the soaring casualty count from the mass shooting epidemic here in the United States. Tonight, officials here in Washington are under enormous pressure to act finally.

Let's bring in our Senior White House Correspondent Phil Mattingly. Phil, how optimistic is the White House about getting something done on what is called commonsense gun reform?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told me earlier today the White House is both optimistic and encouraged by the pace of the gun reform talks that they have seen on Capitol Hill.

Now, at the same time, the president is ensuring that he will give space to the negotiations that are currently ongoing between key senators, recognizing that it is those senators that are going to have to make a deal that would get the required ten Republicans onboard for any deal.

Now, later tonight, the key four Democrats and Republicans in that group, Chris Murphy and Kyrsten Sinema, the Democrats, John Cornyn and Thom Tillis, the two Republicans, will be meeting with Cornyn saying earlier today there's a possibility something may come out of that meeting in terms of a proposal.

But the talks remain fluid. In fact, Cornyn, who is leading Republican efforts here, he had a lengthy floor speech earlier today, laying out the most detailed of his plans up to this point, making clear that any agreement would have to be targeted, not some of the sweeping ideas Democrats have put on the table mostly targeted around things like background checks, state resources for red flag laws, mental health programs as well being the key components that are currently being discussed.

The reality is right now, Wolf, even as House Democrats move forward on their own package, the Senate is where there is a deal to be made. However, the fact there has been significant skepticism in this building, down the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue as well, and that has started to shift towards some optimism, some belief that something could happen underscores both the urgency of this moment and the very real effort to get something done. Whether or not that can reach a deal that actually gets ten Republicans and gets across the finish line still an open question. But the work, Wolf, is very much underway right now.

BLITZER: It certainly is. All right, Phil Mattingly at the White House, thank you very much.

Joining us now, key member of the Texas delegation to Congress, Democratic Representative Colin Allred. Representative, thank you so much for joining us.

As you heard, Senator Cornyn of Texas, he says this bipartisan group might actually have something after meeting tonight but he is ruling out a lot of the solutions that Democrats want to see. Do you fear anything Senate Republicans will agree on will simply be too narrow to really make a difference?

REP. COLIN ALLRED (D-TX): Well, Wolf, I think we have to do whatever we can do to save lives. And when you have an issue like this that's been stuck in such a disingenuous loop, that's been stuck -- that is unable to get anything done at all, unfreezing it a little bit, I think, would be a real accomplishment just to show the American people that we can do something on, you know, gun safety and trying to save lives.

So, yes, obviously, I would like to see Senator Cornyn, I think, pursue some other things that would help with some of the shootings, for example, that have happened here in Texas, in El Paso, (INAUDIBLE) and around really our state, but we will take whatever we can get to save lives right now.

BLITZER: As you know, as all of us now know, the country has suffered at least 13 more mass shootings over the weekend, this past weekend. Does the pressure to get something passed, Congressman, wane the more time goes on with Americans becoming numb to all this horrendous violence?

ALLRED: Well, I certainly hope not and I hope the American people understand that you have a role to play too in this, that our democracy doesn't stop just when we cast your ballots but that your representatives, your senators need to hear from you constantly.


And if you don't think that this is the way things have to be, and I certainly don't think it is, then contact your senators, contact your representatives, fight for the country that we know we can be. In a democracy, we are supposed to respond when a crisis like this hits, when, you know, we have families that are being torn apart, when our communities aren't safe. We can do that in this country but we have to make sure we organize around this so we keep pushing for it, that we treat it like we would any other issue. Don't let it leave the headlines. Make sure we pass something.

BLITZER: The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, has now requested what is called active shooter training to all school districts across your state. Is this too little too late after the Uvalde massacre? ALLRED: You know, both my mom and aunt were teachers in Texas' public schools and I know how difficult a job that already is. We don't pay them enough and, honestly, it is a difficult job. But asking them to also, I think, be a part of a response in terms of these active- shooter drills, you know, it's tough. It's difficult.

Certainly, we need to have a plan when this happens but we have to address the issue, which is that we have too many guns in the hands of folks who shouldn't have it. That is what is really causing these issues. Not hardening schools, not putting our kids through drills. My three-year-old is actually having to do drills now in his daycare in preparing for responding to something like this. That is not going to solve the issue but, certainly, we have to prepare for it because we know that is the reality now.

BLITZER: So heartbreaking these little kids have to go through those kinds of drills.

As you know, the lead agency investigating the Uvalde shooting in your state of Texas has now gone, for all practical purposes, silent. They have stopped giving updates or answering questions from reporters. How concerned are you about the lack of answers, what, nearly two weeks later?

ALLRED: Yes. Well, I agree that we need to have a federal investigation into this, just to give people answers and to understand exactly what happened, what the full kind of tick-tock of that day was, why certain things weren't done, and to the produce recommendation going forward so that never happens again. And having a lack of transparency around something like this is really unacceptable from a police department or any other government agency.

And so I do hope that with the help of our federal partners that we can to the bottom of this and we have full accounting of everything that happened, recommendations going forward and that we will do much better for kids, for our families next time.

BLITZER: Well said. Congressman Colin Allred, thank you very much for joining us. Good luck.

ALLRED: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: Just ahead, what Americans will learn about the January 6th insurrection during a primetime hearing that is coming up this Thursday. The January 6th select committee is going to new lengths to explain what happened and why. We'll break it down for you.



BLITZER: Members of the January 6th select committee are now urging Americans to watch the panel's first public hearing this coming Thursday. They are promising to reveal chilling new information and they are arguing that the United States' democracy is at stake. Let's go to CNN's Congressional Correspondent Ryan Nobles. He is joining us from Capitol Hill right now. Ryan, so what is the biggest challenge for this select committee heading into these public hearings and what should we expect?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You know, Wolf, the January 6th select committee is certainly concerned that a lot of Americans' opinions about what happened here on January 6th have already been decided, that there isn't a lot of convincing left to do but they still feel that they have an obligation to uncover everything that led up to that day, including all the violence and chaos that happened in this building behind me and then all of the different things that were happening leading up to January 6th that brought the big crowds here, made them angry and led to that riot.

And to that end, they believe this first hearing that will take place Thursday night, in primetime, will be covered by all the major news networks needs to be a story, a narrative that can be told through a multimedia presentation that will keep viewers' attention, allow them to see bit by bit, point by point, and connect all of these dots as to exactly what happened leading up to January 6th and on the day itself. And to that end, they have brought in a former president of ABC News to help with the production of this television and multimedia event to help meet that goal of trying to connect with the American people.

And, Wolf, they have also already announced a second hearing for the month of June that will take place on Monday of next week, a week from today, at 10:00 A.M. We do expect there to be a number of other hearings announced before the end of June, including another one at the end of the month that will, once again, be in primetime. Wolf?

BLITZER: Of course, CNN will have live coverage of all these hearings. Ryan, stay with us. I want to bring in Chief Political Correspondent and co-Anchor of CNN's State of the Union Dana Bash.

Dana, just how high is the bar for this select committee in these public hearings?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think the way to answer that is to, first, figure out what bar you're speaking of. If you are talking about what Ryan was just discussing, a bar that this committee needs to clear to convince people who are just not convincible, some of them that January 6th was a real thing, but most of them, that it is worthy of the time and commitment and energy that this committee has been focused on.

It is important to find out really what the genesis of it was. Was the former-president, the then-president, involved, in any way? Were the people around him involved in any overt way? And then all of the other questions that we have -- that everybody has been asking.


If the bar, though -- if the bar is that, then they are probably not going to clear it because we know, what the political situation is and has been over the past year-plus, you know, 500 days, really. But if it is finding out for history's sake what happened, putting it on the historical record, if it is, perhaps, getting information to aid in any Justice Department investigation, even prosecution, that might be a bar that they could potentially reach.

BLITZER: You know, Ryan, as you point out, these hearings are coming up very, very soon, this coming Thursday, but has the committee already nailed down the witnesses who will testify?

NOBLES: No, they haven't, Wolf. They haven't revealed who these witnesses will be publicly. There is still outreach ongoing right now. We do believe that there will be members of former Vice President Mike Pence's staff that could be called to testify, other advisers of pence that were helping him during that period of time where he was deciding how to deal with that pressure campaign from Donald Trump and his allies.

But it's important to point out, Wolf, that these will not be traditional congressional hearings, where you have one side ask questions, another side ask questions. While there are Republicans and Democrats on this committee, they are in lockstep with their goals.

So, therefore, don't expect these situations to be very confrontational, even if it might be a witness that could be potentially hostile. This will largely be scripted events and the committee will not be in a situation we are normally accustomed to when it comes to hearings like this.

BLITZER: As you know, Dana, the former president, Trump, he wants his allies out there during these hearings defending him. Will he try to turn this into yet another loyalty test?

BASH: Absolutely. He already is. Ryan has some great reporting on with some of our other colleagues about the fact that the former president and the people in his inner circle are already coordinating with allies on Capitol Hill and elsewhere to try to get them out there to defend the former president.

Ironically, one of the people that he is really hoping is going to be out there the most from Congress is not just Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader, but Elise Stefanik, who is the conference chair. She is in charge of communications for the House Republicans and she took Liz Cheney's job after Liz Cheney was booted out of that job because she came out and said January 6th was wrong and she supported the former president's impeachment.

So, there is no question that that is a very important aspect of the Trump loyalty test but that is definitely at odds with another important dynamic for Republicans, as they want to take over the House in November. And the people who are running in swing districts, they want to focus on issues of the economy and other sort ever of bread and butter issues, not necessarily the big lie that the former president wants to talk about.

BLITZER: Dana Bash and Ryan Nobles, guys, thanks very, very much.

Coming up, the price of gas hitting yet another record high here in the United States. Is there any relief in sight? Stand by.



BLITZER: Now to the sky-rocketing gas prices impacting Americans across the country. The national average -- the national average jumping 25 cents in just the last week, alone and now sitting at $4.87 a gallon.

CNN's Matt Egan is joining us from a gas station in New York City, what, where it's around $6 a gallon right now, Matt? The question everyone is asking right now -- is there any relief -- real relief on the way?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well unfortunately, Wolf, this price spike might get worse before it gets better and it's already pretty bad. The national average has hit a record high in 27 of the last 28 days. The latest record: $4.87 a gallon. That is up almost 60 cents in the past month.

There are now ten states where the average is $5 or higher. The latest, being Michigan, and Indiana, Washington, D.C. is also above $5 a gallon. Then, you look at Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, they are all just pennies away from the five-dollar level. And, unfortunately, we could see prices go even higher.

Veteran oil analyst Andy Lebow thinks the national average is going up to $5.05 a gallon in the next ten days. And here in Manhattan, at this gas station, prices already at $6 a gallon and people are understandably frustrated. I talked to an MTA subway conductor and he told me these price hikes are driving him crazy but there is nothing he can do about it because you have to put gasoline in your car.

Wolf, that has been a common refrain today. Disbelief and a sense there is no way to escape these price spikes.

BLITZER: Matt, why do these gas prices continue to go up and up and up?

EGAN: Well, it is all about supply and demand. Demand is strong, right now for energy because people are driving more, they are flying more after two years of COVID. Supply is not strong. United States is producing less oil than it did before COVID. OPEC is ramping up production but not by enough to cool off oil prices and the war in Ukraine has caused all of this chaos. Wolf, it is 38 percent more expensive to fill up your tank today than it was the day before Russia invaded Ukraine.


BLITZER: Matt Egan in New York for us, Matt, thank you very, very much.

Let's get an update right now on the baby formula crisis here in the United States. A key manufacturing plant in Michigan just restarted production, that's a hopeful sign as many shelves remain empty across the country.

CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is joining us right now.

Elizabeth, what kinds of formula are on the way to stores and when to we expect them to actually get there?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Wolf, actually, a wide variety of formulas are on their way to U.S. parents. Let's take a look.

So on, May 28th, through 29th, so in the past, 38,000 cans of Gerber Good Start, a Nestle product, was sent to a major retailer. This one a bit of a mystery, Wolf, no one can point to where that formula is or say where the retailer is, but we're told those cans were sent out.

Now, in the future, EleCare, which is a hypo allergenic formula, is expected to release to consumers around June 20th. Now that's not for every child, that's for children with specific diagnoses. Similac, which is a more general formula, and other similar products, will take longer to come out of that Abbott plant. Shipments of formula from abroad, from the UK, from Germany, from Australia, are expected this week.

I think the bottom line, Wolf, for parents is that they're probably not going to see much of a difference this week, next week, the week after. It is going to take a little while before all of this makes a difference -- Wolf.

BLITZER: So, Elizabeth, if a parent is actually looking to find formula right now, just how low is the current supply?

COHEN: It's quite low, and you can see that in the pictures that you see online or that are on I mean, it's empty shelf after empty shelf after semi-empty shelf.

So let's take a look at the data from Data Assembly. What they say is that in the week ending May 22nd, 74 percent of formula products were out of stock at some point. It doesn't mean they were out of stock all the time, but at some point, 74 percent of formula products were out of stock. Just to give you a feeling for how high that is, a year ago, during normal times, it's 6 percent and now it's 74 percent.

And, Wolf, 74 percent is higher than it was the week before that or the week before that or the week before that -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Elizabeth Cohen with the latest, thank you very, very much.

We'll have more news just ahead, including the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson escaping a no-confidence vote, keeping his job despite months of controversy over his behavior during the COVID lockdowns. We'll have an update live from London when we come back.


[18:57:18] BLITZER: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson just survived no confidence vote from his fellow conservatives that threatened to remove him from office.

CNN's Bianca Nobilo is joining us from London with an update right now.

Bianca, the prime minister managed to keep his job but what does vote this tell us about his own current standing both within his own party as well as prime minister.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Boris Johnson, Wolf, as you know is no stranger to controversy or close political calls, but this tonight was his most acute moment of political peril he is ever been in.

And yes, he managed to survive by 211-148 votes but had 32, just 32 of his lawmakers voted in a different direction he would no longer be prime minister of the United Kingdom going forward. So it's really a small margin we're talking about and it's not a victory for any sitting prime minister to face the vote of confidence in them is simply not a success, even if they manage to win that, they are irreparably politically damaged.

You wouldn't know that, however, from hearing what the prime minister had to say tonight. He was unbowed. Let's take a listen.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: A very good result for politics and see for the country, it's just -- I do, just in this set, I think it's a convincing result, a decisive result. And what it means is that as a -- as a government, we can move on and focus on the stuff that I think really matters.


NOBILO: Now it's been to some of the prime minister's own MPs tonight, Wolf, who said, OK, I voted against him but we need to move on, we need to try and repair the party brand, but I've spoken to others who've actually said that we need a spell in opposition because the party's in such a mess. Can you imagine, Wolf, that's the equivalent of the Democrats saying "we need the Republicans to take over for a while because our party is in such a state"?

So they are in a form of existential crisis and next thing what we need to look out in terms of Johnson's ability to continue in his post is there are two key elections happening in the United Kingdom on the 23rd of June, both of them because the prime minister's own mps have to stand down from their seats, one, because he was found to be watching pornography in the House of Commons chamber. He said that he was looking for farming equipment and the other convicted of molesting a 15-year-old boy. So both really tarnishing the party's reputation and both expected seat to see go to other parties in the United Kingdom.

If that happens, Wolf, the prime minister will once again be in very deep political trouble.

BLITZER: Bianca Nobilo in London, thank you very, very much.

Finally tonight, we want to take a moment to recognize the 78th anniversary of D-Day when Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in northern France and turned the tide of World War II. June 6, 1944 was the beginning of the end for Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, thousands more would die in the bloody slog across the continent but the allies would ultimately liberate Europe from the grips of fascism less than one year later.

To all who fought and died for freedom, thank you, thank you, thank you.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.