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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
White Supremacist Praise Of Taliban Takeover Concern U.S. Officials; State Department Says Majority Of Allied Afghans Did Not Get Out; Interview With Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). Texas Will Now Ban Abortions After Six Weeks Before Many Women Even Know They Are Pregnant; Joe Rogan Announces He Has Covid; Praises Horses Dewormer Ivermectin; Former Trump Attorney Sidney Powell Battles With The Facts In Australian TV Appearance; Remnants Of Ida Hammer Northeast. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired September 01, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Literally people have stopped me in my tracks just to say thank you and that's because of this fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: "LFG" premieres Monday night at nine. Thanks so much for joining us.
AC 360 starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Breaking news about a new concern from law enforcement. The white supremacists and violent anti-government extremists are now openly -- and this is pretty stunning -- identifying with the Taliban, and even citing them as a model for how to launch a new Civil War here in the United States.
We know this from a conference call CNN has just obtained involving a top Federal Intelligence and Homeland Security official. CNN's Evan Perez joins us now with what was on that call and what to make of this remarkable notion the Taliban is somehow figures for some Americans to admire.
So, Evan, what is the Department of Homeland Security saying about this?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR U.S. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this was a call that was done with law enforcement from the state and local governments. And John Cohen, who is the top Intelligence official at the Homeland Security Department raised the concern that there were these domestic groups, white extremists -- white supremacists, and domestic extremist groups that are anti-government, obviously, who take some inspiration from what they believe the Taliban was able to accomplish.
A small group, a much smaller group, less armed is able to defeat essentially a much better armed military, in this case, the United States.
And so they believe that this is something that perhaps U.S. extremists could do here in this country, that they could use the same model that the Taliban was able to do there here in this country to defeat the U.S. government.
COOPER: So, what level of danger law enforcement agencies actually expect then to resist -- how serious are they about this?
PEREZ: Well, you know, it is serious enough that Cohen mentioned this on a call that our Geneva Sands was able to obtain, you know, a copy of.
And look, this is something that they believe -- obviously, they've seen trend lines dating back to before January 6th. Some of these extremists obviously were present at the U.S. Capitol on that day, and they believe that this is the kind of thing that could essentially encourage some of the same activity that we saw on January 6th.
So, it's a very concerning thing that they want law enforcement to be on the lookout for.
COOPER: So, is the praise of -- or I don't know if they know this level of detail -- but is the praise they have of the Taliban it is -- I mean, is it based on their ideology at all, or is it just based on the fact that a force of some 75,000 or so Taliban was able to, you know, I mean, over the course of 20 years, once the U.S. was going to pull out defeat the Afghan government?
PEREZ: Yes, I mean, some of this is based on the monitoring of some of these forums where these people are talking about this. There is another group site intelligence, which has monitored some telegram channels that are used by Proud Boys who are praising the Taliban, for obviously, for the anti-Semitism.
But Anderson, it goes beyond that because obviously, we have tens of thousands of Afghans who are being resettled in this country as refugees. Obviously, some of these people were working with U.S. forces, and they are being settled around the country. The concern that the Homeland Security Department has, as well as the F.B.I. is that those refugees could then become targets of some of these groups.
That it's not only about being anti-government, but also anti-refugee because there's this whole -- on the right, there is a whole view of this great replacement theory, right? It's a conspiracy theory that the U.S. government has some plan to replace white citizens with people from other countries.
And you hear this not only in those channels, of course, also on FOX News. You hear a lot of this sentiment and that's the thing that you hear from law enforcement, it is very concerning.
COOPER: Evan Perez, appreciate it. Thank you.
Joining us now is Andrew McCabe, CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former Deputy Director of the F.B.I. also CNN national security analyst and former Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem.
Andrew, what do you make of this?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It's really, in some ways, Anderson, it's incredible and in other ways, I think we shouldn't be surprised by it at all.
I think that we've seen over time that the domestic extremist community, particularly the racially motivated extremists cherry pick facts from -- take them out of context, and then weave them into their grievances and conspiracy theories in order to make a point, and you have a couple of really powerful things that they are working on right now.
First, is this connection to the Taliban, which of course, they are manipulating and grossly misrepresenting what happened in Afghanistan. But they love this idea that a small band of, you know, homegrown militants can defeat a major government that resonates with their anti-government beliefs.
And also on the racist side, the impending immigration from Afghanistan is something that really rings with these people who are -- who embrace things like the great replacement theory.
MCCABE: So it's a toxic mixture that I think our Intelligence and law enforcement folks really need to keep a look at.
COOPER: It's also stunning then when you think about, you know, that there is an entire kind of misinformation system, community of, you know, television networks and internet folks and conspiracy theorists who have online shows, promoting this and giving fire to it.
MCCABE: That's absolutely right, and I think that's what makes this fundamentally different now than, you know, domestic extremists who harbor racist and anti-immigrant views. We've had that in this country for decades and decades, I mean, most prominently, it came up after Vietnam with their relocation of Vietnamese refugees here in the United States.
The difference now is one, social media allows these folks to unite and spread their hatred and filth to like-minded folks to recruit others to their way of thinking. And now, we have the echoing of those conspiracy theories and this nonsense on major media outlets, and that has just kind of throwing gasoline onto this problem and really, giving the domestic extremists a leg up if you will.
COOPER: Juliette, sorry, we lost you there for a second. What about this concerns you?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I completely agree with Andrew and a couple of things. I mean, one is, I am a little bit worried about the white supremacist focus on 9/11 that they will view 9/11 as a target simply because they like certain dates. Remember, Oklahoma City was the same day as Waco and so, one thing
that the department is looking at is this period of time leading up to 9/11. You know, we used to joke in our gallows' humor, people like Andrew and I that the radicalization of the right we used to call Vanilla ISIS, right, that in other words, it was just about radicalization.
And what we have to remember is that they are really focused on an image of America that they don't like this America, the white supremacist groups and the right-wing groups. It's not America. It is this America, it is a diverse America, one in which women are equal. One in which there is diversity, this great replacement that Andrew was talking about. That sounds very similar to the Taliban.
And so there is a nexus in terms of both the international sentiment of a radicalization or a sort of fascism that we see in the terrorist groups, but that's been repeated by the Members of Congress, as we've heard recently sort of radicalizing and talking about violence, and then of course, the right-wing media machine.
So this is, you know, this is why we -- not surprising, as Andrew said, just given what their sentiment is.
COOPER: And then Andrew, obviously then, there is the concern about for refugee families who are resettling here.
COOPER: I mean, it's always, you know -- I mean, it's not new that there's been animosity toward, you know, toward refugees who have come to United States from various conflicts, but, you know, they -- let's -- Juliette, I mean, is there anything that can be done about that?
KAYYEM: Yes. Yes. Well, people would often ask me, what makes America safer? And I would say, our capacity to integrate with an open heart. That actually in our America's history, our ability, not perfectly, I'm not denying our history, but over time, our willingness to accept people who come here and to integrate them so that their mission is our mission, right, and now, their dream is the American dream, that they succeed, that their children are better than the next generation and the same things that all Americans want.
That has been so successful that if you just look at our demographics, right, we are now a country that is heading towards majority non-white citizenship, and that doesn't even include immigration that in the next two decades, that will probably occur two or three decades.
So, that's our success story. They view that of course, as a harm, and we have to remember that is America's success in terms of -- not just in terms of heart and morality, but actually in terms of our safety and security.
And so what I would just simply ask is, the more that we can actually bring people in and make them feel that their dreams are actually our dreams, and vice versa, which they are, that is the American success story. And that is also makes us more safe and more secure. And the numbers are relatively small, under 100,000 likely to come
here. We don't know the exact number that they will be integrated, I think willingly across the United States.
COOPER: You know, Andrew, what's so troubling is that it, you know, I talk about misinformation networks, but also, frankly, that it is now wrapped up sort of anti-Semitism, anti-immigrant sentiment is somehow now wrapped up in the American flag by these people. As if that -- I mean, you know, that term "patriot" which has always been a really beautiful and important term has completely been co-opted by you know a lot of kind of weekend warriors who, you know, attack the Capitol and apparently are now you know, praising the Taliban.
MCCABE: You're absolutely right. It's one of the things about this entire movement that frustrates me the most. It's that co-optation of all of the symbolism and the language of patriotism and what it means to be an American. And of course, they work that through their own views so this concept of real Americans, i.e. white people who look like them, and it's just absolutely a theft from this country and all of the people who make up this country, of our history and our shared heritage.
It is no different, Anderson, than the people who claim to back of the blue and claim to be great supporters of law enforcement who were beating the Capitol Police officers with flag poles and all sorts of implements on January 6. That's not supporting law enforcement. You're not a patriot when you attack our Nation's Capitol.
So it is these ideological in consistencies are rampant in the domestic extremist community because they pick and choose those facts, those symbols, those things that they think exalt their own presence and their own goals, and they just misuse them for their own purposes.
COOPER: Yes, just seeing this video, it just -- it is just medieval and sickening to watch this again. I mean, it's -- yes, this happened. It's extraordinary.
Andrew McCabe, Juliette Kayyem, appreciate it. Thank you.
Today's America's top military commander reflected on the war in Afghanistan's aftermath. Unlike these extremists, Joint chiefs Chairman Mark Milley did not speak highly of the Taliban, he talked about the troops.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I wasn't born a four-star General. I have walked through patrols and been blown up and shot at and RPG'ed and everything else.
My pain and anger comes from the same as those grieving families, the same as those soldiers that are on the ground. Last night I visited the wounded up in Walter Reed.
This is tough stuff. War is hard.
It is vicious. It is brutal. It is unforgiving. And yes, we all have pain and anger.
And when we see what has unfolded over the last 20 years and over the last 20 days that creates pain and anger. And mine comes from 242 of my soldiers killed in action over 20 years in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So yes, I have that. But I'm a professional soldier. I'm going to contain my pain and anger and continue to execute my mission.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, with more in the pain and anger that he speaks of and has been felt through the ranks, we are joined by CNN's Oren Liebermann at the Pentagon. I am not sure the question that he was asked that prompted that, but to hear the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs speak in those terms, it's rare.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: It's incredibly rare. As he pointed out right at the end there, he is a professional soldier. He knows where his role is in the chain of command. He knows that his official sort of function is as an adviser to the President, and then he follows the orders he is given.
So, it is incredibly rare for him to talk about his emotions, what he feels, the pain and anger. He referenced that in the opening statement, what he thought about the situation he was looking at and sort of processing everything that's happened, including, of course, the terrorist bombing that killed 13 U.S. service members just a few days ago -- and that simply came out here.
HE was explaining that pain and anger in a question from my colleague, Barbara Starr, quite a stunning moment of frankness and reflection from General Mark Milley on what he feels wrapping up America's longest war.
COOPER: We've also learned tonight some disturbing news about many of the allied Afghans who work to support U.S. personnel.
LIEBERMANN: That news is that many of them according to a State Department official didn't get out, perhaps even the majority of them. And here we're talking specifically about Afghan SIV applicants, Special Immigrant Visa applicants, those who had worked as interpreters and other roles alongside U.S. troops during the course of the past two decades.
The State Department had said there were about 18,000 of them. Some of them were processed in essentially what is a very long process, but that was accelerated to try to get them out as quickly as possible. And now we're learning according to a State Department official, that many of them perhaps even the majority weren't able to get out. And that it was more Afghans at risk who were able to get out as well as, of course, U.S. citizens.
Now, if you look at the priority list for who the administration was going for, U.S. citizens, obviously at the top, then it was this group, Afghan SIVs, and then it was Afghans at risk, of which there are certainly tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.
But the SIVs, these Special Immigrant Visa applicants who would help the U.S. were high on the priority list. So it is, frankly horrible to hear that many of them are still there in country, who are trying to get out, and in the end were unable to.
It opens up a question not only about how does this administration bring out the last 100 or 200 Americans there, but there is still an obligation that President Joe Biden talked about to get out Afghan SIV applicants and that process may very well rely on the Taliban even more now than it did.
COOPER: We should just point out though that -- I am understanding that the SIVs are very high on the priority list. The prior administration, and I mean, there has been years of chances to accelerate and improve this process. That was not done. Nobody wanted to be the person signing off on having Afghans coming to the United States until suddenly, people started to, you know, wake up to the reality that the Taliban has taken over.
LIEBERMANN: You're exactly right, and this is something that was pointed out in the press briefing today with the Defense Secretary and the Joint Chiefs Chairman.
The Afghan SIV application process was never a process designed to operate within this two-week time frame of the evacuation. They sped it up as much as they possibly could to get as many people through as possible. But in the end, it wasn't just the application that was the process.
There was a dynamic fluid environment that was changing on the ground, of course, a deadly security situation there as well, and trying to move these people from wherever they were, and they were not all in Kabul, to get them through there, and then through Taliban checkpoints, it was an incredibly difficult situation.
COOPER: All right, Oren Liebermann, appreciate it. Thanks.
More breaking news. Another new step in the Republican effort to memory-hold January 6. We will speak to a member of the committee investigating the insurrection.
Later, the Texas abortion law that effectually guts Roe v. Wade. We will be joined by Texan Cecile Richards, a leading advocate for Reproductive Rights, as well as CNN's Jeffrey Toobin who has long predicted this day would come.
COOPER: Breaking news now on Republican efforts to stymie the committee investigating January 6 and punish the two G.O.P. members of the committee. CNN has learned that Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs is planning to send a letter to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy this week. It would call on him to remove Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from the Republican conference. Congressman Biggs is a loyalist, a big loyalist of the former President who worked to overturn the election.
Congressman McCarthy as you know has leveled the veiled, unspecified, but unmistakable threat against telecom and social media companies that cooperate with the committee.
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren serves on the committee. She joins us now. She also sits on the Judiciary Committee and Chairs the House Administration Committee.
Congresswoman Lofgren, thanks for being with us. So, Congressman Andy Biggs, the head of the House Freedom Caucus has sent a letter to Kevin McCarthy asking him to remove Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from the Republican conference for their roles, going as far as calling them spies for the Democrats. What do you say to that?
REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Well, it's absurd. You know, it's really astonishing that people are calling to sanction these two members of Congress who are simply doing their duty and other members of Congress who are Republicans are calling for violence -- violence, and not a word, not a peep of condemnation for that discussion. It's really very confounding.
COOPER: I mean, it makes sense that they are calling for, you know, calling for -- you know, against Cheney and Kinzinger when you consider that the Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, is threatening telecommunications companies and social media companies if they cooperate with a duly appointed committee.
LOFGREN: Well, aside from the fact that section 1505 of the Federal Criminal Code says it is a felony to threat to try and impede a congressional investigation, one would hope that the Minority Leader would want to get to the bottom of what happened here, just like the rest of America.
I would hope he would want to step forward and be a participant in getting the truth instead of trying to hide the truth.
COOPER: But you don't really think that. I mean, you know, is it motivation from McCarthy to -- is he just afraid of what may be found? Or is it to look tough to his constituents, to other Members of Congress?
LOFGREN: I have no way of knowing what is motivating his behavior. I'll just say that it's very disappointing, quite possibly not even legal, and not what I expect from one of the leaders of the nation, while we should be, all of us working to get the truth.
COOPER: We know that McCarthy spoke with the former President on the day of insurrection, as did other congressional Republicans. Are McCarthy's records or those of any other Members of Congress part of the request that the committee has made? LOFGREN: Well, we haven't requested records from the telecom
companies or the social media. We've asked that material be retained and not destroyed. And later, if we feel that is necessary to get the truth, we will, using our proper procedures, seek records.
But we didn't release the list because this is not an accusation, this is an investigation. We need to follow the facts and uncover the truth. And we didn't believe that releasing a list of names was productive towards that end.
There are a lot of reasons why phone calls or text messages with administrative officials could be relevant to the investigation, but we'll see as we move forward what we need to get, and we're not going to be deterred.
I mean, we have a mission here, which is to uncover the truth for the American people and all of us are very focused on doing that.
COOPER: Congresswoman Lofgren, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
We are going to consult with CNN legal analyst and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Elliot Williams. Elliot, do you think Minority Leader McCarthy crossed some sort of legal line? Broke the law?
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, look, yes, there's no question that he crossed the line. It was a shameful statement being made by a senior leader in Congress. Now the question is, you know, could or should you charge him with a crime for it? And I just think the answer to that, Anderson is probably no.
Look, the law is pretty clear that someone who obstructs the due administration of justice has violated the obstruction of justice statute, but a few things sort of give him something to hide behind. Number one, he is a Member of Congress shielded by what's called the speech or debate clause of the Constitution, and most of the things that come out of Members of Congress mouth are going to be protected.
Now, look, he's going to go -- if he goes into court, that's the first thing he says to the judge, and he has a decent chance of getting charges thrown out on that basis. It's just one statement. It's an ugly statement, but I just don't think you could charge him on this alone or should charge him on this.
COOPER: Yes, and even just for political reasons. I mean, you know, it ends up being very -- it's like a gunfight where everyone is pointing guns at each other. And you -- it's going to -- it would slow down getting anything actually done.
WILLIAMS: Yes, look, it's a sideshow. It's a clown show, in effect, being led by the Minority Leader. At the end of the day, the party with the power here is Congress. He doesn't have the power to number one, regardless of what he is saying about the rights that companies have to say no -- he doesn't have any power here.
And at the end of the day, Congress can subpoena him, the committee can subpoena all these telecommunications companies and so on, just ignore it move on and recognize that an individual in Kevin McCarthy, who has an interest in the proceedings is just running his mouth.
COOPER: If Democrats wanted to, could they formally request the Justice Department open an investigation?
WILLIAMS: Yes, they can. Number one, individual Members of Congress can -- just like you or I can, you can make a referral to Congress. It's just a statement that you believe that the matter warrants the investigation of the Justice Department. Congress can go through a whole formal proceeding and refer it to the Justice Department.
But again, all that is a statement that you think that the Justice Department ought to investigate it. At the end of the day, it is the Justice Department's call and right now, it's just -- you just don't have a great basis for charging him with a crime for this.
COOPER: Yes, Elliot Williams. Appreciate it. Thank you.
WILLIAMS: Sure, Anderson.
COOPER: Next, we're going to have reaction to the controversial Texas law just enacted that bans abortion in the state before many women even know they are pregnant. Details on what maybe ahead, coming up.
COOPER: A new law in Texas just enacted effectively bans nearly all abortions across the entire state after both the Federal Appeals Court and the Supreme Court failed to rule on emergency appeals brought by abortion providers.
The legislation bans abortions after six weeks when many women do not know whether they are pregnant. President Biden immediately attacked the new law calling it quote "extreme" and a violation of the constitutional rights established under Roe v. Wade.
CNN's chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins me now. So Jeffrey, earlier today, you said this is just the beginning of the end of Roe v. Wade. Talk about what this law means and why the Supreme Court didn't actually even address it or intervene?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's really pretty straightforward. You know, Roe v. Wade was decided January 23, 1973. Through all the subsequent decisions, one thing has been clear, a state cannot ban abortion.
But as of September 1st, 2021, Texas has banned abortion in the state and the Supreme Court has done nothing about it.
That is immensely significant, mostly for the women of Texas, 29 million people in total live in Texas. But this is also a model for the anti-abortion states to follow, so that it looks like and again, without the Supreme Court stepping in, these states can start banning abortion without the interference of the United States Supreme Court.
COOPER: So, just to be clear, this law that Texas has passed, it allows private citizens to bring civil lawsuits against anyone who assists a pregnant person seeking an abortion in violation of the bans. That means not just doctors, I mean, does that include friends, relatives of the woman seeking the abortion, Uber driver who drove them to the clinic?
TOOBIN: Anderson, this law is unique, and I say that with gratitude because it is so completely bizarre.
The idea that anyone in New York, in Montana, in California can file a lawsuit in Texas and say, John Smith, an OB-GYN doctor did an abortion and I want that person stopped and I want a $10,000.00 reward for that. And I want my attorney's fees pays -- that can be done.
I know an Uber driver who drove someone to an abortion --
COOPER: Wait, under this law, you get a $10,000.00 award for identifying --
TOOBIN: Yes. You get a bounty. This is basically rewarding bounty hunters around the country who can identify people who aid and abet abortion.
Now, what that term means, aid and abet, has not been decided since this law is new. But I mean those words have fairly clear meanings.
And this is an invitation to anyone in the entire United States to you know, spy on doctors, to spy on Uber drivers, to spy on relatives of women seeking abortions and go try to pick up that money.
What's actually going to happen as a result is abortion providers will simply stop providing abortions because they don't want to be exposed to that kind of liability. And that's the point of the law banning abortion in Texas.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Was there any explanation from any justice on the court on why the court did not take this up?
TOOBIN: So this is, to me as someone who's followed the Supreme Court for a long time, perhaps the most disgraceful thing about the institution of the Supreme Court. Look, everyone knows how the Supreme Court works. The first Monday in October, they hear arguments, they decide cases by the end of June, that's how the court is supposed to work. But here on perhaps the second most important, significant case of the last 100 years, Roe v. Wade, after, you know, after only Brown v. Board of Education, they allow this case to be clearly violated. I don't think anyone denies that with no opinion.
I mean, the whole point of the Supreme Court writing opinions is at least they are obligated to explain what they do. Here, you have this enormously consequential thing. The fact that this big state no longer allows abortion, and the Supreme Court was asked about it. And they didn't say yes, they didn't say no, they just let it go. That to me is just a total dereliction of duty on the part of the justices. COOPER: So what happens now?
TOOBIN: Well, abortion is illegal in Texas, that's now the status quo. It is possible that the Supreme Court having been asked, we'll eventually get around to dealing with this case, but it certainly hasn't happened yet. And they may not issue a stay, they may simply say, well, we'll hear this in the due course. But the status quo now is abortion is illegal in Texas. The Supreme Court is also hearing a case out of Mississippi in the usual course of business, where they are -- where Mississippi, issued a similar ledger, draconian ban, and they are going to decide whether that is constitutional.
That seems to be the vehicle to decide the fate of Roe versus Wade once and for all. But I think it is fair to at least assume that the fact that they let this law go into effect is that there are at least five justices who think it's OK for Texas to ban abortion. We'll see.
COOPER: Jeff, thanks.
Joining me now, Cecile Richards, a Texas native, former president of Planned Parenthood.
Your reaction when this happened?
CECILE RICHARDS, FMR PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: I mean, this is a tragic day for women, not only in Texas, but across the contrary, because I think as Jeff said that this is just the tip of the iceberg once this kind of law is allowed to go into effect. And really overnight, 7 million women of childbearing age just lost a ride that they've had for, you know, almost 50 years. This is going to embolden the opponents of safe and legal abortion. And we're going to see more of this. The stories coming out of health centers today, I've been talking to folks down there are really heartbreaking. Women who showed up and found out that they'd lost their legal rights overnight.
And I think that thing, Anderson that is really so upsetting is that it's not that abortion will not exist in Texas, it's just that legal and safe abortion won't exist. And of course when Roe was decided, so many years ago, it was in large part because young, healthy women were dying in emergency rooms from botched abortions around the country. And I fear for the health and well-being of women and pregnant people in Texas and other states that are that are enacting these kinds of these kinds of laws.
COOPER: You have no doubt that women will die in Texas from underground abortions.
RICHARDS: Well, we know what happened just a few years ago, actually, when Texas passed really outrageous laws, but of course, we had no idea that there was something you know, even more draconian that could be passed. And that courts the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional. A different court, not a court with three Trump appointees on it. But that we saw at that time when clinics had to close that women started going to going across the border to Mexico, women started buying abortion pills online. You know, taking matters into their own hands. So I can't predict what what's going to happen. But for many women in the state of Texas, particularly women who live in rural areas who are low income, young women who are now going to be even fearful about asking how to access safe and legal abortion outside the state, I really fear for what is going to happen. This is Republican Party politics at its worst. And the heartlessness of this, this particular legislation, its disregard for women, their ability to make their own decisions, is I think something that's going to have political consequences.
COOPER: It also just increases inequities in certainly in Texas and in the country, wealthy people who have access, can travel go to another state. Others will don't have those options.
RICHARDS: That's exactly right, Anderson. And I think one of, you know, one of the things that is going to be interesting to see is, this law is so extreme, it affects everyone. I don't care where you live, you live in Highland Park, or you live in the Rio Grande Valley, you can't get a legal abortion anymore in Texas. And I think it's going to be a wake up call to folks who just assume that a right that women had had for, you know, almost 50 years was going to stay intact.
I mean, this is going to cause the kind of outrage that I think can affect politics in Texas and around the country. But as you say, that, you know, I'm hearing stories of women who are showing up, women who don't have the resources to leave the state to go to New Mexico, to go to another place. And I just -- I really shudder to think what will happen. Of course, one thing that's been mentioned by many people is that this law makes no exceptions for victims of rape, of incest, nothing.
RICHARDS: You can't get an abortion in Texas. And the cruelty of this legislation is really hard to describe. And it's not the Texas that we know, this is not what the voters of Texas support. This is this is a Republican Party led by Greg Abbott that is sort of, I think using his own politics at the expense of women.
COOPER: Cecile Richards, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
RICHARDS: Good to see you.
COOPER: Up next, there's a breaking news, Joe Rogan, a popular comedian and podcaster who's told his listeners the COVID vaccine is not necessarily for young people just disclose he has COVID. He also acknowledged taking controversial treatment designed for animals. That's coming up.
COOPER: More breaking news this evening, Joe Rogan, an extremely popular podcaster announced on social media today that he has COVID. Rogan that said young healthy people don't need to get vaccinated. In his statement on social media, Rogan said he has taken several therapeutics to recover.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE ROGAN, PODCASTER: Turns out I got COVID. So we immediately threw the kitchen sink at all kinds of meds, monoclonal antibodies, Ivermectin, Z-Pak, prednisone, everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: One of those drugs he mentioned Ivermectin is something more often used to deworm horses. CDC says there's no evidence that works on COVID. It's increased usage has only led to a substantial increase in overdoses after a push by some on the far right. Ceding vaccine misinformation.
Perspective now from our chief media correspondent and anchor of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter. And Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst and former Baltimore Health Commissioner.
Brian, this is obviously someone who has said on his podcast that that, you know, healthy young people probably don't need to get vaccinations. What he's saying about his condition?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and he is one of the most influential figures in all of media, especially among young men. He has a podcasting deal with Spotify, where the $100 million, but in the past, he has downplayed the vaccine. And in this case, he seems to have admitted he has COVID because it's hurting him in the pocketbook. He had to -- can't he had to postpone or reschedule one of his upcoming stage shows. So you think the economic consequences might get people's attention and make people think maybe make his fans think differently about the threat of COVID.
But he is trying to portray this as if he is feeling better now. He's doing better now, because of this cocktail of drugs and medications that he has taken of course, these are some of these are under emergency use authorizations. Others have been, you know, discouraged by the CDC and the FDA.
But when you have a horse deworming medication that's discouraged by the government that actually causes some people in this crazy environment we're in to actually want to try it. That's the upside down where we're in with figures like Joe Rogan.
COOPER: So Dr. Wen, Ivermectin apparently given to deworm animals. Why are people using this? I mean, I know, you know, it's being spread online and stuff. But what is the theory that it works?
LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, I think there are some people who want to believe that there is a magic pill for a COVID, which of course, we would all want. But this is the main issue. So with Ivermectin, not only is it that we know, oh, not only are we saying that there's no evidence it works. It goes beyond that, we actually know that it doesn't work. There was a systematic review, looking at 10 randomized controlled trials that have been done, that were done in different countries looking at different doses of Ivermectin. And they found that there was no benefit for Ivermectin in reducing mortality, death to COVID-19. No reduction in symptoms or duration of symptoms for COVID-19. So it does not work.
And so when everything is risk, and there is no benefit, then this is not something that should be done. And I think the greater harm here is that it provides this false reassurance. People are now going about not getting vaccinated, saying that they can do whatever they want with the understanding that there is this magic pill to save them at the end of the day, except that it's not a magic pill that actually works.
COOPER: And can you explain the downsides of taking it?
WEN: Well, every medication has side effects. And in this case, especially because people are using doses that are totally inappropriate. I mean, Ivermectin is used in humans for things like parasites and scabies, but those are at low doses. When people are taking them at a very high doses as given for lifestyle, for horses for example, then they could get nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, severe skin rash, extremely low blood pressure and permanent liver damage. You could also die from overdoses of Ivermectin. And I hope that people realize this and heed the advice of public health experts rather than Joe Rogan.
COOPER: Dr. Leana Wen, Brian Stelter, appreciate it. Thanks.
More on the misinformation front when we continue, it's really bizarre interview when you kind of have to see to believe. From a lawyer who was a key ally of the former presidents after the election pushing the big lie, Sidney Powell, in her own words, kind of got to hear her.
COOPER: Sidney Powell, one of the former president's most ardent advocates who never proved he actually won last year's election gave what he -- what could be charitably called a bizarre interview to a reporter for Australian television.
Our Randi Kaye now with the result and how it turned into most the TV (ph).
SARAH FERGUSON, AUSTRALIAN BROADCAST CORPORATION CORRESPONDENT: Do you ever hear yourself and think that it sounds ridiculous?
SINDEY POWELL, ATTORNEY: No, I know myself very well. I've been in me a long time. I know my reputation.
RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Attorney Sidney Powell was part of this self-proclaimed Elite Strike Force a team of lawyers who made false promises about rooting out election fraud. Powell and others accused voting technology companies Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic of using an algorithm and their machines to flip votes from then President Trump to Joe Biden. There is no evidence that any voting system used in the last election
changed, deleted or lost votes.
During a tense interview, Powell was grilled about her claims and her research or lack thereof.
FERGUSON: Let's get a few simple facts straight in how many states were Smartmatic machines and software used in the 2020 election.
POWELL: I don't even know the exact numbers.
FERGUSON: A Google search will tell you, let alone anything that Smartmatic themselves have said subsequently that they were involved in one single county in LA. Are you saying you're not aware of that?
POWELL: I'm saying I think their involvements probably a lot bigger than that.
FERGUSON: What actual research or fact checking did you do at the time to find out what Smartmatic's actual involvement in the election was?
POWELL: If you work for Smartmatic.
FERGUSON: You've made an allegation against Smartmatic that they stole a presidential election. I think its incumbent on both of us to know what Smartmatics involvement was, it seems like a pretty foundational fact.
POWELL: I mean, I'm confused right now about why you're here.
KAYE (voice-over): Correspondent Sarah Ferguson called Powell's claims patently ridiculous.
FERGUSON: Very quickly in the interview, she decided that I was somehow an envoy of the voting machine companies that she had accused of rigging the election. So it kind of went downhill from there.
KAYE (voice-over): Like when Ferguson presented Powell with the facts about Smartmatic's role.
FERGUSON: Do you accept the fact now that the company that you accused of stealing a national election only operated in one county in LA, in California, one county, one state?
POWELL: No, I'm not prepared to accept that fact. I think Smartmatic's involvement was far more significant than that.
KAYE (voice-over): And when Powell was backed into a corner, this happened.
FERGUSON: You said that Smartmatic owns Dominion? How do you justify such a basic factual error? POWELL: I'm going to stop this interview. It's wholly inappropriate in the litigation that we're in.
FERGUSON: That we're not even in the area of great dispute. These are the simple facts of who owns watching (ph).
POWELL: No, we're done.
KAYE (voice-over): After some coaxing Powell agree to continue.
POWELL: I'm highly skeptical of how long this is going to last.
KAYE (voice-over): Once again, pushing the big lie and falsely claiming she has evidence.
FERGUSON: All of the organization's who had the responsibility to check the nature of this election and to verify its results say there was no fraud.
POWELL: That's the propaganda they're putting out. I disagree with that completely. And we have and will produce additional evidence that shows otherwise.
FERGUSON: Are you saying that thousands of Americans participated in a fraud?
POWELL: I am saying that thousands of Americans had some role in it, knowingly or unknowingly. It was essentially a bloodless coup, where they took over the presidency of the United States without a single shot being fired.
KAYE (voice-over): Smartmatic and Dominion voting have both filed multibillion dollar defamation lawsuits against Powell and others. Those lawsuits are moving forward in court, despite efforts to have them dismissed. This interview with Sidney Powell's chance to save face.
FERGUSON: What do you have in your case? You have a bunch of dodgy affidavits that don't add up. You have a group of people with dubious credentials.
POWELL: That's your characterization. That's all your characterization.
FERGUSON: So far, you've provided no other --
POWELL: You might as well be working for Dominion and Smartmatic.
FERGUSON: I'm just waiting for you to provide the evidence.
POWELL: Yes. Well, we'll see it in court.
COOPER: Randi Kaye joins me now. They've been saying that, oh, you'll see it in court. I mean, they were in court. They were thrown out of every court, you know, in all the various jurisdictions that they brought this stuff to court.
KAYE: Yes, absolutely. Anderson. So where is the evidence? That's the key. But now this reporter Sarah Ferguson, she did a great job. She was expecting some pushback from Sidney Powell. But she was very surprised at the fact that Sidney Powell was totally unprepared. Those were this reporter's words, to try and support some of her baseless claims. In fact, the reporter said that her producer seems to think that Powell agreed to the interview so she could practice for her upcoming depositions given these lawsuits that she's facing.
But if you know anything about Sidney Powell, Anderson, as you know, this is the same woman who's claimed that there was video, video evidence of votes being carried across the border from Mexico to the United States for Joe Biden. We never saw that video, did we? She also claimed that Dominion Voting which is now suing her started in Venezuela to help Hugo Chavez cheat and win every election. We know that Dominion voting actually started in Toronto. So Sidney Powell certainly needs to get her facts straight, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Randi Kaye, thanks very much. Fascinating interview they did.
Coming up next, tens of millions of people in the New York metropolitan area, experience the dangers of remnants of Hurricane Ida.
COOPER: More breaking news this evening. We want to leave you with an update on the struggle to clean up after Hurricane Ida as rescue efforts continue, Louisiana's governor today said the state is still suffering from significant lack of fuel. Nearly 1 million also still without power, some will need to wait weeks for it to be restored. Residents also battling extreme heat and hundreds of thousands lack drinking water after infrastructure and treatment plants were severely damaged.
The remnants of a storm that landed as category four hurricane are being felt farther north this evening. There's tornadoes, flash floods and heavy rains battering Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and New England, up to six inches of rain and possibly more expected in some areas.
In Pennsylvania, 41 passengers including students had to be rescued from a school bus that was trapped in floodwaters.
That's it for us. The news continues. Let's hand over for Christ for "CUOMO PRIMETIME." Chris.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Lord, give me something easy. That is the collective prayer these days. Just one hard thing after another.
Anderson, thank you very much.