Return to Transcripts main page


Trump, Biden Storm Key States As First Polls Close In 48 Hours; White House Official Says, Dr. Atlas Did Not Have Clearance To Do Interview With Russian Propaganda Network, Did It On His Own; Biden Urges People To Vote In Pennsylvania, Trump Casts Doubt On Mail-in Voting; Interview With Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro About Ballot Counting; Global Conflict Watchers Warn U.S. Of Election Violence; Biden, Trump Fight For Votes In Critical Michigan In Final Days. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired November 1, 2020 - 18:00   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: After a race like no other, it all ends here. Join us for a special live coverage the way only CNN can bring it to you, from the first votes to the critical count. You can understand what is happening in your and all across the country, that is Election Night in America. Our special coverage will start Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 Eastern.

I'm Brianna Keilar and I want to thank you very much for watching. Erin Burnett picks up our coverage of the countdown to Election Day right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Special edition of OUTFRONT, next.

Two days to go, a frenzy of activity in key starts as we're learning the Trump campaign plans to be very aggressive on election night preparing to declare victory if Trump is close to 270 electoral votes but still shy.

Plus, global security experts issuing an unprecedented warning tonight about a bitterly divided America of, quote, danger in coming days, cities across this country preparing for possible unrest in the wake of the election.

And the doctor on the coronavirus task force who has the most influence over the president apologizing tonight for an interview with a Russian propaganda network. But what he said in the interview was absolutely bizarre.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett, welcome to a special edition of OUTFRONT.

Tonight, the final stretch. The campaign trail, the candidates going into the night as they close in on the finish line, Joe Biden wrapping up his second event in Pennsylvania, the president in North Carolina right now, and this is his third rally today. He still has two more to go in Georgia and Florida. These are all crucial swing states tonight. He has got to win these states.

And with just 48 hours until the first polls close, the stakes could not be higher. Here, the final argument this Sunday.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They want to close down your factories, ship your jobs to China, eliminate private health care, destroy the suburbs.

They want to abolish oil, coal, natural gas and send your state into a -- you know what's going to happen here? You'll have a depression.

The Biden/Harris agenda is a war on workers, a war on faith and a war on our police, to defend your God-given rights --


BURNETT: Abolishing the suburbs, abolishing gas and coal, war on workers, war on faith and war on our police.

Biden's message on the other hand starkly different.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We cannot afford four more years of anger, hate and division that we've seen under this president.

I'm running as a proud Democrat but I will govern as an American president for everybody. I will work as hard for those who don't support me as those who do support me. I mean it. That's the job of a president.


BURNETT: So where the candidates are spending their final hours says everything. Today, Biden going all in on Pennsylvania, even making an unplanned stop on the streets of Philadelphia just about an hour ago. It comes as CNN is learning that Trump's campaign plans to be very aggressive election night. And, frankly, they're saying are prepared to declare victory if Trump is close to 270 electoral votes but hasn't actually been confirmed or announced as the winner, which, of course, would break with all precedents.

Just a short time ago, Biden responding, quote --


BIDEN: My response is the president is not going to steal this election.


BURNETT: And we have a team of reporters on the ground and across the country. We'll be going to them over the next two hours, as we really are in these final hours. I said, 48 hours from now, polls are closing.

John King is standing by at the magic wall. I want to start though with Kaitlan Collins, who is with the president in Hickory, North Carolina. And, Kaitlan, we heard a little bit of a clip there. What was the president's closing message, as you heard it today?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's basically a distillation, Erin, of what they have been saying for weeks, laying this groundwork to cast doubt on the vote on Tuesday if it doesn't come out in the president's favor.

And so you saw the president, he just got off the plane here, as he's literally about to make his way over here in a helicopter to this rally. And he said he is not going to declare victory early, Erin, but he's making it clear he's displeased with the Supreme Court rulings about allowing those ballots that are being mailed in legitimately to be counted in the election. He talked about the Supreme Court decision.

And he said this, as soon as the election is over, they are going to go in with attorneys. So you can see the president is preparing to mount this aggressive fight to push back on what they see as an illegitimate vote, which (INAUDIBLE) though, excuse me, it is not an illegitimate vote. It is people legitimately casting ballots by mail as the mail comes in it's going to take a little bit longer, of course, because we are in a pandemic.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kaitlan.

And I want to go to Jessica Dean, she is with the Biden campaign, which means here in Philadelphia. So, Jessica, Biden going all in on Pennsylvania in the final sprint to Tuesday.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORREPSONDENT: That's exactly right, Erin. He's actually on stage right now speaking to a drive-in rally here in Philadelphia. And tomorrow, he along with Jill Biden, his running mate, Kamala Harris, and her husband, Doug Emhoff, will fan out all across the state of Pennsylvania, with one extra trip for Biden just over to Ohio in the morning.

But their focus on Pennsylvania tells you everything you need to know about where it plays into their strategy. It is absolutely critical they believe in getting 270 and even beyond. A Biden aide telling CNN that Pennsylvania is really representative of the coalition that they are seeking to build. That looks like suburban women voters, black and Latino voters, white working voters, union households. You can find all of that here in the state of Pennsylvania.

And they really want to be getting their message out to all of those voters in these closing hours as Biden is doing today here in Philadelphia. And as you mentioned, he has been around this area all day today speaking with voters here.

If you'll remember back in 2016, President Trump won the commonwealth of Pennsylvania by just some 44,000 votes. So the Biden campaign very focused on making sure that all of their voters get to the polls, Erin, make sure that their vote is counted. They are hoping here in Pennsylvania and in other states as well to not just turn out their base but to expand it.

BURNETT: Absolutely. Thank you very much, Jessica. Certainly that's the strategy there.

So let's go to John King at the magic wall. And, John, when you look at Pennsylvania, obviously, Joe Biden wants to win Pennsylvania. He would probably like to if he wins, win before Pennsylvania, even gets all its numbers together, right, which is not going to be on Election Day most likely. You've got a lot of new battleground polls out. In these key swing states, what do they show?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's walk through the polls, Erin, and then we can run through scenarios, but they do show a lot. And let's look at them in the context of the 2016 map, because that's what it's about, right? Here is how Donald Trump won. Can Joe Biden change this map enough to take the White House away?

Let's go west to east. We had a new poll out in Arizona last night, four-point Biden lead, 50 to 46. If Biden can start turning Trump states blue, then he's on a path to victory. We'll have to wait for Arizona, obviously, out west. But this is a state, suburbs, record voting turnout so far, Biden hopes so. But, look, 50-46, that's close. You're in play, right?

So let's jump back east. North Carolina got a lot of attention today. Our new poll there, again, Joe on the top, a six-point lead here, a six-point lead. That seems kind of comfortable. But, again, the Trump campaign thinks it can surge and overcome a setting like this, that's what Tuesday is about, but you see you see Biden leading there.

Just a couple more, the blue wall, right, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin. These are interesting in the sense that, in Michigan, we have Trump up double digits, 12 points. That's a blow to the president. He'll keep pushing forward. But 12 points, more importantly, Biden above 50 but Donald Trump at 41, the incumbent president at 41. Erin, you know this well, voters don't break late for an incumbent, 41 percent. We'll see if he can change that number there.

Again, the Trump campaign says it will overcome these polls. It questions them and then says it will overcome them with turnout. In Wisconsin, an eight-point lead for the president. So you just mentioned Pennsylvania.

Let me close there for now. There are other polls, as well as other competing polls in Florida, one showing Biden up by this much, the other one showing Trump up by that much. Welcome to Florida, it's always a battleground, and then Pennsylvania, new polls, out today. Washington Post/ABC poll, Biden plus seven, New York Times/Siena College poll, Biden plus six. When you average them all out in our CNN poll of polls, Biden plus six. There's a reason they are all there. We can do the math if you would like. Those 20 could be critical. Joe Biden is poised -- if you look at all these polls, he's poised for a big win. He as the opportunity for a big win. Can he close the deal? The reason he's in Pennsylvania, just in case he doesn't close the deal in North Carolina, in Arizona, in Florida, in Georgia, he doesn't close the deal there, this could well come down in Pennsylvania.

BURNETT: And I guess -- so let me -- that's the thing, right? He's got all these other -- he's got multiple paths, right? If he wins a bunch of those states, many of which do count their ballots early, we may know the results there very early on. If you're waiting for Pennsylvania, that means a lot of those states haven't gone the way that Biden thought perhaps they would go, right? And as you say, it's an insurance policy in a sense. He's 13 events though planned there tomorrow with the Biden campaign. I mean, they are not leaving anything on the table at Pennsylvania.

KING: Yes. There' nothing subtle about that, right? They are making it crystal clear what it is, and that's the point. And the president was there for four rallies yesterday. So, both campaigns being quite open about these 20 votes.

So let's just go through again. This is the president's map from four years ago. Let's go through some of this. The opportunity for Joe Biden, right, he's leading in those polls, or at least he's close in those polls, if it breaks to the challenger at the end, and some races do, remember, 2018 broke way for the Democrats in the midterms. Presidential races as well, 2016 broke late for Trump.

If it breaks late, Joe Biden can do something that is rather spectacular, which is redo the map, flip Arizona, get the blue wall back, flip North Carolina, flip Florida, he'll probably this congressional district up in Maine as well. Most of the polls show him leading up there. You bring that up. So now you're looking at congressional district in Nebraska, he might get it. You're looking at the possibility of Joe Biden getting 330, right, that's if everything breaks his way late.


But what if it doesn't? So let's go back to where we were. What if, for example, the president holds Texas, holds Arizona, holds Iowa, holds Ohio, pulls out narrow wins in North Carolina and Florida, all within distinct possibility, right? So then what's the problem here? Joe Biden needs to pick up wins.

Well, let's assume that comfortable lead there holds. Let's assume that one holds and he gets back Michigan and he gets Wisconsin, 280- 258. So winner of Pennsylvania is then the next president of the United States. If Joe Biden can get it, he wins, if Donald Trump holds it, go back to red, got to switch here, here we go, every now and then you have to touch the right button, that's it.

So, conceivably, it could come down to Pennsylvania. Both campaigns are making that crystal clear today. Trump there four times yesterday, he's going back, Biden there a hundreds time tomorrow, trying to touch every voter if he can. BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, figuratively, of course, in the era of corona. All right, thank you very much, John.

So, John is going to be with us here for our special coverage tonight.

And next, a White House official now claiming the president's trusted coronavirus adviser was not cleared to do an interview with a Russian propaganda outlet. Hear his apology for where he said it but not what he said.

Plus, the Postal Service taking more time than usual to deliver ballots in crucial swing states, which includes Pennsylvania. Attorney general for Keystone State responds.

And an unprecedented warning from global security experts. They are, tonight, warning of, quote, unfamiliar danger in the days ahead. The former director of the CIA, John Brennan, responds.



BURNETT: Tonight, the White House claiming the president's closest coronavirus adviser, radiologist Dr. Scott Atlas, did not have clearance to do a controversial interview with the Russian propaganda media outlet R.T.

Now, putting aside the fact that this interview was with a Russian propaganda outlet, I mean, it is formally dubbed as such by the United States government, Atlas' interview was filled with statements like this.


DR. SCOTT ATLAS, ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: The lockdowns have been one of the -- it will go down as an epic failure of public policy by people who refused to accept they were wrong.

The public health leadership have failed egregiously and they are tilling people with their fear-inducing shutdown policies.


BURNETT: Up front now, David Chalian, our Political Director, Kirsten Powers, our Senior Political Analyst and USA Columnist, and William Haseltine, former professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public health, who did pioneering work on cancer and HIV/AIDS.

So, let me ask you, Professor Haseltine, you heard what Dr. Atlas said ironically to media outlet, a propaganda outlet of a country that has engaged in exactly those same shutdown policies. What's your response to what the president's chief adviser on the coronavirus is saying?

WILIAM HASELTINE, FORMER PROFESSOR, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL AND HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Well, first of all, we should criticize what he said, not only where he said it. What he said is a policy that, if carried out, it could double, triple the number of people infected every day in the United States, from now 100,000 to 200,000-plus. Ultimately, it could lead to more than a million or more Americans dying. It is a disastrous policy. And for him to criticize public health officials is really outrageous.

But let's remember, as you pointed out, he was speaking to a country which has a universal mask mandate, where the president of that country has not seen another human being who hasn't been tested and then isolated for 14 days and only then seen very few people. It's a country where at least the leader understands what's going on and has now issued a universal mask mandate. So this is a disastrous policy.

And for the president to be following this advice, rather than the advice of his trusted advisers and the National Institutes of Health and the CDC is appalling, to say the least.

BURNETT: And, David, we get this -- Dr. Atlas comes out later and says, oh, I did not know that it was a Russian propaganda outlet, so I'm sorry, I did the interview. And, again, I want to make the distinction. No apology for anything that was said within it, right? But, oh, I didn't know. And I'm thinking, wait a minute, this is a White House that is so neurotically controlled where Dr. Fauci has appeared and where he's done interviews, but Dr. Atlas just randomly, by accident, appears on Russia Today?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, that strains credulity a little bit, no doubt. But to your point, it's what he said. When Dr. Fauci gave his interview to The Washington Post on Friday night and expressed real concern that it is Scott Atlas who was in the president's ear day in and day out, that had nothing to do -- the R.T. interview didn't exist yet. That had to do with Scott Atlas' point of view.

And, by the way, it's not terribly surprising to hear what he said to R.T., right, because it sounds very familiar if you've listened to the president over the last several months. I mean, it is clearly that this radiologist with no expertise in epidemiology is the one that has the president's ear on how to deal with the coronavirus. And I would just add I think the American people are on to it because look at how they rate the president's handling of the coronavirus.

BURNETT: And you see that. So, Kirsten, David mentions what Dr. Fauci told The Washington Post. And I think it's really important what David said, that this comment was before this interview from Russia Today even came out with those comments. But Dr. Fauci says of Dr. Atlas, quote, I have real problems with that guy. He's a smart guy who is talking about things that I believe he doesn't have any real insight or knowledge or experience in. He keeps talking about things that when you dissect it out and parse it out, it doesn't make any sense.

I mean, Kirsten, Dr. Atlas came on this program when the president was holding a live rally and said people should wear a mask if they can't social distance, but they're sitting there not social distancing, not wearing masks and he wouldn't say it was a problem. Okay, so it was moments like that and there are so many like that. [18:20:02]

But the president at this point, Kirsten, he has made his bet and there's only one other person in it with him when it comes coronavirus right now, and that's Scott Atlas.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. But I guess the question is which direction does the information flow. I think that Scott Atlas was chosen precisely because he doesn't have any expertise, because he's somebody who is a doctor, he's not the right kind of doctor, he's not the kind of doctor that would actually be an expert on the pandemic, on infectious diseases, on any of the things that he's talking about. But since he is a doctor, he'll go out and he'll basically do the bidding of the president and say what the president wants him to say. And that seems to be his role.

And so he says things that don't make any sense, that are completely at odds with the science, that concerning are, at a minimum, and I think that's by design.

BURNETT: It is pretty stunning. When you think about -- you're talking to someone who is neuroradiologist with an incredible resume to be saying some of the things he says, it defies credulity.

David, the White House now lashing out at Fauci though, right, of course, that they're going to defend Atlas at all cost. A formal statement coming of Fauci, it's unacceptable and breaking with all norms for Dr. Fauci, the senior member of the president's coronavirus task force and someone who has praised President Trump's action through this pandemic to choose three days before an election to play politics.

I guess, David, of course, I have to correct here for the facts, he has never praised President Trump's handling of the coronavirus, he has praised his own coronavirus task force, he is also not registered to a political party. But they are, nonetheless, choosing this moment right now to go all out on a guy that, by the way, the president called an idiot in the past week.

CHALIAN: Well it's the sixth time in the last six months that it's sort of have been Trump or the Trump White House versus Fauci. And that statement, I mean, it's just rather absurd on its face. But the people clearly playing politics in that statement is the White House. They are trying to politicize and put Anthony Fauci with some political frame around this long-serving medical expert and infectious diseases through many presidents of both parties. And they are trying to make him a political figure so that they have an enemy somehow, political enemy, to push against on this issue that is dominating the president's chances of reelection.

So, it's clearly not Dr. Fauci, if you read The Washington Post interview, who is playing politics. It is the White House trying to politicize Fauci in some way to try to rally their own supporters.

BURNETT: Well, people should think about what it means, right, too, because Dr. Fauci has said for certain he doesn't care who is president, he wants to stay on and do his job. But if President Trump is re-elected, what will happen to Dr. Fauci and who will be running this in full? We can see a very significant change in the policy here.

Professor Haseltine, you have known Dr. Fauci for decades. I know he is also a close, personal friend. So what's your response to this, the way they are attacking him, but also what might happen to him?

HASELTINE: Well, the first thing I would say is I know him as a friend. For the last 35 years, we've worked together. And I know of no person who is less political than Tony Fauci. He is a servant of the American people. He has dedicated through six presidents, including the highest award that's ever given to an American, can be given the American Medal of Freedom, he has received, he is an American patriot. And more than that, he would never deviate from the science.

I want to go back to something else though that we've been talking about, which is Scott Atlas. People like President Trump pick the people who agree with their politics. It's like Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, picking an HIV denier, denying that HIV cause AIDS. This is kind of advice is not only dangerous, it's murderous. People die. In America, hundreds of thousands of Americans might tie because of this advice, just like in South Africa.

They died because Thabo Mbeki decided to pick somebody who was way out of the mainstream and believed that HIV didn't cause the disease, believing that masks don't work, believing social distancing won't work, trying to promote the idea of herd immunity is a recipe for real disaster. And that's what we're looking at if this continues.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much.

And next, voters in key states facing major delays when it comes to getting their mail-in ballots returned on time, right? And there are laws if it isn't on time in there by Election Day in some states, it doesn't count. So a mail delay can mean disenfranchisement. What is going on?

And the FBI investigating an incident where Trump supporters are accused of trying to run a Biden campaign bus off the road in Texas. Trump's response --


TRUMP: You see the way our people -- they were protecting his bus yesterday because they are nuts (ph).




BURNETT: Welcome back to a special edition of OUTFRONT.

Joe Biden just wrapping up a rally in Pennsylvania, a state that could decide who wins the White House. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and their spouses, all, every single one of them, are going to be in Pennsylvania tomorrow all in an effort to get out the vote.

Biden, moments, ago encouraging people to have their voices heard by voting just after President Trump suggested he does not believe that all ballots should count.



BIDEN: We need every single one of you to get out and vote on Tuesday. My message is simple. Pennsylvania is critical in this election.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everyone knows what happens in Philadelphia. You don't have to say it. But I've read about it for years. And I don't think it's fair that we have to wait a long period of time after the election. If people wanted to get their ballots in, they should have gotten their ballots in long before that.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OK. This comes as the U.S. Postal Service says for the third day in a row that fewer mail-in ballots are expected to be delivered to election officials on time. Only 62 percent in parts of Pennsylvania.

So let's go to Philadelphia now. Sara Murray is there.

So, Sara, are officials there concerned about the possibility that mail-in ballots may not be delivered on time, which, of course, would then mean that those people, their votes will not count?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think they are concerned about all of these potential issues about the mail delays and also, you know, the rhetoric that we have heard from the president and other Republicans about the validity of ballots that are arriving in this November 3rd to November 6th time frame. And that's also why we've heard officials in the state say over and over again that you should not be waiting to vote at this point.

If you don't have your mail-in vote and you applied for one, they're saying go to your local elections office, get it, vote on the spot. If you have a mail-in ballot, and it's sitting on your kitchen counter right now, you should turn that into a drop box. You should not be putting it in the mail and hoping it arrives by election day.

They are concerned and they are aware that there are still these, you know, outstanding legal issues about these ballots that arrive between November 3rd and November 6th and that it's always possible the Supreme Court could intervene. And they keep saying that in their press conferences. They keep saying, look, there is no reason to not just hand your ballot in now or to show up and vote on election day.

They don't want to have a huge pot of these ballots sitting around that they then have to contend with and that they know could be subject to these legal issues. It's also worth noting that they are planning on segregating out these ballots that arrive late, that arrived between the 3rd and the 6th. And I think the hope there, Erin, is that you keep the pot of ballots smaller that could potentially be, you know, contingent to some of these challenges and some of these lawsuits if more of them arise.

BURNETT: Right. And of course, you know, the whole country hopes whatever the victory is that the margin -- that it doesn't involve all of that because that will possibly be quite ugly.

All right, thank you very much, Sara.

Let's go now to the Democratic attorney general of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro.

So, Attorney General, so much to ask you about. But let me start with this, this issue with the Postal Service that 62 percent of mail-in ballots in central Pennsylvania are moving, quote, unquote, "on time.' It's under 90 percent for the rest of your state. So how concerning is this to you? I mean, do you have any feel right now for how many ballots may not count because of this?

JOSH SHAPIRO (D), PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, here is what I have a feel for. 3.1 million Pennsylvanians requested mail-in ballots. 2.4 million have been returned as of a couple of days ago. I think we're going to see that number grow when all of the new data is uploaded tomorrow. People are getting their ballots back. If you still have a ballot, we want you to drop it off at the drop box.

As for concern with the Postal Service, Erin, you'll recall I led the national lawsuit against the Postal Service because of the illegal changes Louis DeJoy made, which ultimately slowed down the mail. Much of those changes have been rolled back. We actually saw an independent monitor at the Postal Service actually verify the changes that were made.


SHAPIRO: We're concerned about it. But right now what we want voters to do if they still have this ballot, just make sure you drop it off in a drop box.

BURNETT: OK. So just to go through the numbers here because, I'm sure, you know, this is what you're trafficking in. I mean, the margin of victory in your state last time around in the presidential election was about 44,000 votes. So you're saying 3.1 million -- we'll see how many people vote in person on election day, right? But 3.1 million request for absentees, 2.4 returns. So that leaves you with 700,000 outstanding. 700 is a lot greater than 44.

SHAPIRO: Give or take.

BURNETT: OK. Just making the simple math here. How many do you think you're going to get after election day? I know this is -- you don't have a crystal ball. But 700 is a huge number. I would imagine you don't think it's going to be anything close to that, or do you?

SHAPIRO: Well, no, Erin, remember, the ballots from this weekend haven't been uploaded into that 2.4 number.


SHAPIRO: So you're going to have a much more accurate number tomorrow when that gets updated. And then in addition to that, ballots that are mailed prior to election day or prior to the polls closing on election day can be received up until Friday at 5:00 p.m. and they'll still be counted.

BURNETT: OK. So tell me how this counting is going to work because if this comes down to Pennsylvania, you know, there's all these details, these intricate details across the country that everyone is now going to focus on. For example, states that allow ballots -- you know, do they start counting on election day or the morning after election day? Right? These things start to make a difference.

When you start counting, how long does it take for you to count those ballots? I mean, are we really looking at days and days and days, or do you think you could know quite quickly the day after the election?


SHAPIRO: Yes. Great question. We have 67 counties. Each county is permitted to begin opening up those mail-in ballots at 7:00 in the morning on election day, on Tuesday, November 3rd. Some of them will be able to get through the count pretty quick. Others from the more populated counties, it will take that day well into the night, maybe into the next day.

Here's what you will know, though, in the early morning hours of, say, Wednesday right after the election. You're going to have all the precinct vote, which will be roughly 60 percent or so of the total votes and you're going to have a pretty good sense of the trends of where those mail-in ballots are going per county.

And so while you certainly won't have a final number until days after, which is not new, that's the way it works with military --


SHAPIRO: -- overseas ballots, what have you, you're going to have a pretty good sense of the trends where it's heading by the early morning hours of Wednesday, Erin.

SHAPIRO: OK. So that is really important. And I know that doesn't mean it's the way things will go but those trends are extremely important in light of what a senior campaign adviser tonight is telling our Jim Acosta. He says the Trump campaigns plans to be, quote, "very aggressive on election night," Attorney General, and is prepared in fact to declare a victory if the president does not yet have 270 electoral votes. They are saying if it's clear.

Now there's a lot of ways to interpret this. Some of them are pretty scary. It is, of course, unprecedented to do this in any case.

SHAPIRO: Yes. BURNETT: But what you're saying is these trends are going to be clear.

SHAPIRO: I think we're going to have a good sense of the trends. But let me come back to Jim Acosta's reporting of what the president is apparently gearing up to say.


SHAPIRO: Look, first off, we know that the president talks a lot. Right? And I think what is clear after four years is all bark and no bite. I think what is also clear from our Constitution, Erin, is that it's not the president that picks the president. It's the people that pick the president. So Donald Trump can get out there and say whatever the hell he wants on election night, but the only thing that matters is when we've counted up all the legal eligible votes here in Pennsylvania and the other states and what people have said, what the will of the people is.

And as the attorney general of Pennsylvania, I will protect the will of the people. I could care less what Donald Trump says, we will count these ballots and a proper winner to be certified.

BURNETT: All right. Attorney General Shapiro, I thank you very much for your time again tonight. Thank you so much for laying all this out. So helpful.

SHAPIRO: Good to be with you.

BURNETT: All right. And next, police preparing for violence in the way of the election as global security experts issue a warning about unrest. The former director of the CIA, John Brennan, is OUTFRONT.

And for Trump the road to the White House does run through Michigan. So who has the momentum? We'll take you there live.



BURNETT: New tonight an unprecedented warning from global security experts. The International Crisis Group releasing a new report cautioning that a deeply divided America faces, quote, "unfamiliar danger in the days ahead." The report going on to say that the American people, quote, "have not in living memory faced the realistic prospect that the incumbent may reject the outcome or that armed violence may result."

OUTFRONT now, John Brennan, former CIA director under President Obama and also the author of "Undaunted: My Fight Against America's Enemies at Home and Abroad."

Director Brennan, what's your reaction to this? Do you think this is a fair characterization of what we are, that we are now facing the realistic prospect that the incumbent might reject the outcome or that armed violence may result? JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, unfortunately, Erin, I think

both of those are accurate statements. We have never had someone in the Oval Office who has fueled this type of hatred in our country and fueled the activities that are taking place when we see the attempted kidnapping of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer as well as these aggressive actions on the roads by these Trump caravans.

And Donald Trump doesn't not only not condemn them but he also seems to be fueling that type of aggressive behavior. But also there's clear indications that he is not prepared to accept an election outcome that has Joe Biden as the victor. And so the group is exactly right. We've never had somebody in the Oval Office as the president of the United States who refuses to accept what will be I think a very free and fair and hopefully very open election.

BURNETT: So I don't know if you just heard the attorney general from Pennsylvania but he was referring to -- I talked about the president's reporting tonight that the president could be very aggressive on election night and would declare victory before reaching 270 electoral college votes if they felt confident. But obviously that's not the way this has ever gone before. Right?

They wait for the formal announcement given this election. But that may or may not come on election night. Right? It could come well after. And so his response was that this president is all bark and no bite. And that he didn't want to feel concerned about it. But when you hear that reporting, that they want to be very aggressive and declare victory before reaching 270, what do you say?

BRENNAN: Well, I am very concerned because the president has enormous powers not just in terms of what he says but also what he can do. What he can do as far as launching the Department of Justice across the country to investigate some of these things. And also, you know, what he says publicly I think has resonance in this country. So I don't agree that he's all bark and no bite because I think he does try to bite.

But I -- you know, hearing the words of Attorney General Shapiro gives me confidence that we have people like him of great integrity who is going to do everything possible to protect the will of the American people, which is to elect the person they want to be their president. And so Donald Trump I think is going to put up many challenges, legal challenges, rhetorical challenges, and he is also going to I think wield the powers of the office. But I am confident that our system is going to prevail over Donald Trump.

BURNETT: So I want to play for you a moment you referenced, which was what happened in Texas yesterday with the Joe Biden campaign bus.


And it was then surrounded by Trump supporters on a highway that were -- you know, they were saying it was an attempt to run it off the road. There was an awkward moment. People on the bus describe being quite rattled. Here is how the president described the incident earlier today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You see the way our people, you know, they were protecting his bus yesterday, because they are nice.


BURNETT: So he was playing to it and everyone there of course laughing and cheering.

BRENNAN: Well, I don't know how any American can believe what comes out of Donald Trump's mouth. It's one lie after another. And yes, there are violent activists on both ends of the political spectrum, on the right and the left, but I've never heard Joe Biden encourage that type of aggression and violence. But Donald Trump, yes. He continues to give these violent actors a pass.

And I think as we get closer to Tuesday and even in the aftermath of Tuesday, you're going to hear that same type of rhetoric that is coming out of Donald Trump that really does I think incite people to take action including violent actions.

BURNETT: All right. Director Brennan, I very much appreciate your time. Thank you.

BRENNAN: Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: And next Biden trying to flip Michigan back to blue. So how confident are his supporters that it can actually be done? We're live on the ground.

Plus President Trump trying to sow more doubts about the election. I'm going to talk to a top Republican election lawyer who has said there is no evidence to support Trump's claims about voter fraud.



BURNETT: Tonight President Trump campaigning at a frenetic pace, hitting five battleground states today starting with Michigan. The president making his final case for reelection there.


TRUMP: A vote for Biden is a vote to completely eradicate -- I mean, you will eviscerate your auto industry.


BURNETT: Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT.


BIDEN: Hello, Detroit.


TRUMP: Hello, Michigan. I love Michigan.

MARQUEZ: Making their play for every vote in the Great Lake state.

BIDEN: Three days to put an end to a presidency that has divided this nation. Three days, we can put an end to a presidency that has failed to protect this nation.

MARQUEZ: In Detroit, Biden got an assist from a Motown icon.

STEVIE WONDER, MUSICIAN: We must vote justice in and injustice out.

MARQUEZ: Biden making three Michigan stops in one day with his former boss.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: This Tuesday, everything is on the line. Our jobs are on the line. Health care is on the line. Whether we get this pandemic under control is on the line.

MARQUEZ: Donald Trump won here in 2016 by 10,704 votes out of nearly five million cast. A week from election day, he's returned three times.

TRUMP: Before I became president, the great state of Michigan was hemorrhaging your car companies and your car businesses. And thanks to corrupt politicians like Joe Biden --

MARQUEZ: The president's in Michigan just as coronavirus cases hit their highest level ever. In a first, barely mentioned the pandemic. He did mock his rival, Joe Biden.

TRUMP: Sleepy Joe, you sleepy guy.

MARQUEZ: Complained bitterly about the weather.

TRUMP: Because it's freezing out here.

MARQUEZ: And made an open appeal for African-American votes.

TRUMP: To every black American, I'm asking you for your vote, I'm asking you to send a message to the corrupt Democrat establishment, and it is corrupt. We welcome you to the Republican Party.

MARQUEZ: CNN's most recent Michigan poll has Joe Biden at 53 percent, Donald Trump at 41 percent. The undecideds just 3 percent. Compare that to this time in 2016. An EPIC-MRA poll showing a tightening race, Clinton at 42 percent, Trump at 38 percent, but a huge number amount of undecided votes, 13 percent of Michiganders just days before the elections still didn't know who would get their vote.

Democrats here still shocked over 2016 put little faith in polls.

(On camera): So you think the polls are correct?

DIDI BIBI, MICHIGAN BIDEN VOTER: I hope so. I mean, I have a lot of anxiety over this. I'm hoping it is. I'm trying to keep some positive thinking and I think the turnout is definitely a lot stronger this year than last year so I'm hoping that's going to play in our favor.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Trump supporters who braved nearly freezing temperatures for hours to see the president think the polls have it wrong again.

WENDY TIBUS, MICHIGAN TRUMP VOTER: There's so much spirit behind Donald Trump and there are so many people that will not come out and talk about it and say they're supporters because they're afraid of judgment.



BURNETT: So, Miguel, how big is Michigan in Trump's strategy?

MARQUEZ: Well, it seems huge right now. He is due in Grand Rapids, in Travis City, tomorrow. This will be the fourth time he's been in the Wolverine State in the last week. And, you know, today he typically plays down the coronavirus. He didn't do much of that. So he seems to be zeroing in on Michigan and trying to sharpen up his message as we move very quickly to election day -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Miguel. Thank you.

And next, CNN learning President Trump preparing to declare victory election night, even if all of the votes have not been counted. Tonight Joe Biden responds. Plus Biden bringing in some big guns to get people to the polls in Pennsylvania.

Where does the race stand in this crucial state? John King is standing by at the magic wall.


BURNETT: I'm Erin Burnett. Welcome back to a special edition of OUTFRONT.