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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

At Least 46 Killed in the Northeast from Ida and Floodwaters; At Least 23 Storm-Related Deaths in New Jersey; Supreme Court Allows Texas Law Banning Abortions After 6 Weeks Even In Cases Of Rape And Incest To Go Into Effect; House GOP Leader McCarthy Among Lawmakers Whose Phone Records Jan.6 Committee Wants Telecoms To Preserve. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired September 02, 2021 - 20:00   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: It's really awesome to hear from him. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. I'm Kate Bolduan. AC 360 starts now.


From Virginia up into New England, at least 46 people have now lost their lives in what was once optimistically referred to as the remnants of Hurricane Ida. We begin tonight with new video just in of what it looked like as two members the New York Police Department rescued a driver last night in Central Park.


COOPER: That's in New York's Central Park. That water rescue, one of many overnight in the city and across the region, the storm also shut down New York's subway systems and computer rail throughout the New York Tristate area.

The flooding as you see here was of a kind last scene when Super Storm Sandy hit. The rainfall set records, at least eight tornadoes struck as the storm moved north and sadly, every measure of destruction is likely to rise in the coming hours and days.

CNN's Miguel Marquez begins our coverage tonight. He joins us from New Brunswick, New Jersey -- Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just shocking how powerful this storm was.

NYPD says that it affected 69 water rescues and over 160 other rescues there. I want to show you what's happening here in New Jersey, in New Brunswick. This is a roadway next to the Raritan River. It has started to recede, but you can see the cars, the station behind it, all of that still inundated by water as authorities here are still searching for the missing.


MARQUEZ (voice over): Raging floodwaters flowing across parts of the northeast tonight where active rescues continue in the wake of Ida.

In Pennsylvania officials estimate they received calls in the thousands from people needing to be rescued from extreme flooding.

ELLIOT PALMER, BRIDGEPORT, PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT: The water was raising so high, I couldn't run straight to the street. I had run up a fire escape. I winded up on a roof where they had to get a boat to rescue me.

MARQUEZ (voice over): In New Jersey, rescue crews using boats to help people to safety.

In the northern part of the state, floodwaters left trains in Bound Brook submerged and a nearby stadium filled with water.

Nearly 30 miles northwest of there, in Elizabeth, at least four people drowned in an apartment complex. Officials say the victims all lived in garden level apartments next to the Elizabeth River, which rose more than eight feet at its peak last night.

Meanwhile, more than 90 miles away in Mullica hill, at least 25 homes were destroyed or badly damaged by a tornado.

This was the scene in many New York City subway stations last night caused by gushing floodwaters.

GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY) (via phone): Unprecedented is almost an understatement. This is the first time ever we've had a flash flood emergency declared.

Across the Northeast, the death toll continues to rise. Among the victims, a two-year-old.

DONOVAN RICHARDS, QUEENS BOROUGH PRESIDENT: This has been a Biblical storm by every means.

MARQUEZ (voice over): IN Queens, the New York Police Department Commissioner says at least eight people died in the basements of homes inundated with water.

JAMES WEST, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK (via phone): The roads everywhere I saw coming out of the airport and beyond flooded. Dozens and dozens and dozens of cars marooned and stranded.

MARQUEZ (voice over): Across the Big Apple, first responders rescued hundreds from submerged cars including commuters stuck in stopped subway trains.

JANNO LIEBER, MTA ACTING CHAIR AND CEO: Roughly between somewhere between 15 and 20 trains did get stranded and folks needed to be rescued.

MARQUEZ (voice over): In Central Park, 5.2 inches of water fell in just three hours, a one in 500 year rainfall event.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My message to everyone affected is we're all in this together. The nation is here to help.

MARQUEZ (voice over): And help is something that will be needed with officials warning things will only get worse because of climate change.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: We are in a whole new world now and this is a reality we have to face.


COOPER: Miguel, the water, I mean, I can't believe how high it is still where you are. I mean, you said it's starting to recede. What else are you seeing?

MARQUEZ: Yes, we are a couple of hours past high tide now. So, that waning tide is starting to carry all this water. We're here on South 18 as you can see. It's down about a foot and as that tide goes out, the waters -- and then out to sea, but -- water here, it's going to take a long time to not only get this water out -- because there's just -- cars and everything else they are going to have to clean up.


COOPER: We are clearly having some transmission issues with Miguel. We apologize for that. I want to go next to CNN's Pete Muntean in Philadelphia, what is not supposed to be the water's edge, but it seems tonight.

Pete, you've been in Philadelphia most of the day. What have you been seeing in terms of flooding and how much longer is that concern supposed to last?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson conditions are improving here in Philadelphia, although we are not out of the woods yet. This is maybe the most dramatic image of the day.

This is the Vine Street Expressway, Interstate 676, if you know anything about Philadelphia, it is a massive thoroughfare, straight through the heart of the city connecting 76 on the West to the Ben Franklin Bridge in Camden, New Jersey in the East. It would typically be choked with cars. Now, it's filled with mostly water.

In fact, the water is about halfway between the bottom of the 21st Street Overpass there and the bottom of the road. The water is receding a bit, but we're only scratching the surface, just how serious the flooding here is in Philadelphia.

The Schuylkill River crested just near 17 feet earlier today, and the National Weather Service says it will not be below flood stage until sometime after midnight. That is why the flood warning remains in place here in Philadelphia until seven tomorrow morning.

COOPER: And there were rescues going on in a town near Philadelphia called Bridgeport. Do we know anything about the situation there?

MUNTEAN: It's a sad situation, Anderson, because there were hundreds of calls for water rescues in neighboring Montgomery County where Bridgeport is according to Governor Tom Wolf's administration, and we know that at least one person died there.

The Mayor of Bridgeport says houses were flooded about three quarters of the way up. You know beyond the mortal toll of all of this will be a huge monetary toll. Tens, maybe hundreds of millions to clean this up, and to beef up this infrastructure from having this be less impactful on our everyday lives, a term called climate resilience and you're probably going to hear a lot more about it -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes, Pete Muntean, appreciate it.

As we said, at least eight tornadoes struck. We've just got a new video of the aftermath of one that hits Southern New Jersey, which the National Weather Service has just determined had 150 mile an hour winds. We're about to see what one resident saw as he emerged from shelter.


COOPER: Just incredible. He was lucky.

According to New Jersey's Governor, at least 23 residents of the state have lost their lives so far. This is New York Governor Kathy Hochul's first crisis in office, and we will talk to her. We're grateful she can spend some time with us tonight.

Governor, what are you able to tell us on the latest in the search and rescues that are still underway?

HOCHUL: We had our rescue teams out through the night, and we had about 100 rescues already and we are still finding people and it is devastating because in New York City, it's very densely populated. There's large communities where people have been living literally in basements, and many of them have succumbed. And this is for particularly in the area of Queens, where we found that there's people -- we are still finding people who succumb to the storm.

And it's been really very tragic. It's been a hard day for New Yorkers to not just deal with the weather, but to wake up and know that we lost some of our fellow citizens simply because they weren't able to get out of their car. They weren't able to get out of their home.

So, it's really a heartbreaking day here in the City of New York.

COOPER: Do you think state and local officials were prepared enough? I mean, some of the pictures we've seen, especially the roads and the subways in New York, it has obviously caused renewed concern about infrastructure in what it is able to withstand?

HOCHUL: Well, excellent question, and we know we talked about infrastructure, particularly after nine years ago, we had to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. And we spent billions of dollars building up resiliency, primarily along the coastlines, and we're in much better shape on our beaches that we had been in the past. What we're seeing now are cataclysmic rain events, record shattering,

where we have unprecedented amounts of water coming out of the heavens all at once. Literally from 8:51 last night to 9:51 p.m., more water came down than we'd seen in the history of New York all at once, and it shattered records, literally that had been set two weeks ago that had been broken from a hundred years ago.

So, we're in this era where we have to continue to build resiliency. And you mentioned infrastructure, critically important, something I raised on the phone with President Biden when he called today to check in and offer any assistance he could and I appreciate his outreach, but infrastructure in the short term, but long term, we have to look at our streets. It's not just the shoreline anymore, Anderson. It's what's happening in our streets.

Higher elevations because of flash floods are now becoming overrun with the water and then the water because, there's not proper drainage and sewer systems that are antiquated and need repairs, that water is overflowing literally like Niagara Falls down staircases into our subways, compromising the integrity of those systems.


HOCHUL: So, it's been a horrific confluence of events.

COOPER: At least some of the people, as you mentioned, who died in New York City were living in illegal basement apartments, which is obviously for some, the only way they can afford to live in the city. Obviously, affordable housing is, you know, an ongoing and a huge issue in this city. What's to be done?

HOCHUL: More investments, money that could be coming out of the Federal government when Congress is able to do what the President wants to have happen. We just have to get a major infrastructure deal over the finish line. And I know this can be done and that money will go to cities all over America, but particularly older places like the northeast, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut where our systems are more compromised just because of age.

And we have no choice. We can't talk about this anymore. We need the money. We'll spend it. We know what we need to do here in the state of New York to build that resiliency. But in the meantime, it's just -- it was just a nightmare here yesterday. No one ever wants to have to go through the trauma.

And a bus driver that I spoke to today, I went out and thanked her for what she did. She literally drove her bus through four feet of water, taking people to a safe situation. But you look at the video inside her vehicle. The water was up over people's legs sitting and standing on their seats, trying to hang on to the ceiling.

It was -- it's traumatic, and I want to make sure that I can do everything in my power to get the Federal resources expended as soon as possible. We're here in partnership with local officials like Mayor de Blasio and others, and we have to get out.

We have no choice. We have to stop talking about this, and just be better prepared next time and be aggressive about that.

COOPER: Yes, we're showing the bus video right now. I mean, as a lifelong New Yorker who has ridden those buses all my life. It is -- it's insane to see that. How much warning did you have? Was there any warning that it would be this bad?

HOCHUL: We knew -- we knew from the weather reports -- and we monitored them very closely -- that we had threats of tornadoes, those warnings were going off at everyone's cell phones. And what happened was just this opening of the skies during that one particular hour, and that shattered the records or anyone's expectations.

Right now, we're still recovering individuals assessing the damage to loss of life, as well as property, businesses and homes that have been destroyed. But immediately after, once we get our F.E.M.A. assessment done, I'm going to be demanding answers.

I want to know who knew what, when, and what could have been done differently because New Yorkers deserve to know what we're doing to learn from this event and make sure that it doesn't happen again.

COOPER: Governor Hochul, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

HOCHUL: Thank you very much.

COOPER: Well, there's much more ahead tonight, including one woman's experience stranded for hours aboard a commuter train trapped in rising water. She joins us.

Also an update from Louisiana as well where the suffering continues to be immense.

Later, breaking news in the January 6 investigations. CNN has just learned that the House Select Committee looking into it is in fact taking interest in the House's top Republican.



COOPER: New Jersey was among the states hit the hardest in the wake of Hurricane Ida. Authorities, as we reported say that as of tonight, 23 people died there. Transportation basically came to a halt throughout much of the state and passengers on a New Jersey transit train were stranded for hours by floodwaters.

One of those passengers is Camilla Akbari and she joins me now.

Camilla, can you just walk us through what happened when your train stopped moving?

CAMILLA AKBARI, STRANDED ON NEW JERSEY TRANSIT TRAIN: Yes, so we stopped moving, I think about half hour into the ride around 8:15 and we were between stations. We were coming up to Newark Airport Station, and this was a train that usually runs between New York Penn and Trenton in New Jersey. So we barely started on our journey, and by the time we stopped, we

were told that there was rain coming onto the tracks. We weren't going to be able to move for a little bit. A little while later, we were told that there were mechanical issues then with the train, and they were going to have to go out and have an engineer look at it.

A little while after that, we were told that the engineer was not going to be able to fix the problems, we were going to have to wait for a rescue train. And then around midnight, the light started completely going off. The ventilation systems turned off. There was still no rescue train.

We had been told this entire time that the rescue train was on the way, they confirmed it was coming. It would be here shortly. And at that point, that communication system also shut off. So, you had to kind of search out for the conductor to be able to get update on what was happening.

And it was quite scary. It stayed like that until about 4:00 a.m., and at that point, I found one of the doors finally had been opened by the Transit Police that had arrived because a woman was having a really severe panic attack.

But besides that, there were no doors open. I, in fact, asked a conductor earlier could we open some of the windows, some of the doors just to let ventilation in. Obviously, people did not have to be vaccinated to be on the train and masks were slipping. You could smell smoke. There were people smoking on the train, still they wouldn't open it up for ventilation.

And finally, the rescue train came close to 6:00 a.m., and we finally got into Newark Airport, the station around 6:30. We were originally told the rescue train would just keep us going along the route. And instead when we got there, we waited about half an hour and then the train -- another train came and got us.

And finally, we continued on our route stopping at all the local stops. It was about a 12-hour journey that normally takes an hour.

COOPER: What a nightmare. I mean -- I mean, could you see water rising? Did it ever actually come into your car? And when the power went out, I mean, the lack of ventilation has just got to be awful.

AKBARI: Yes, so pretty early on, I was in one of the front few cars, and it's basically a double decker system. So, I was on the upper level of the seats and people in the lower levels were told when the lights were still on, the ventilation was still working, that there was water coming in.


AKBARI: And at this point, I only saw maybe an inch or so that had been coming in, but they came up to our level. And then soon after that, I guess, it started accumulating more and more, and there was a few inches at this point in the front few cars. And they told us to evacuate further back into the cars. And so I did so, everyone else did so.

When the lights went out and the ventilation went out a few hours later, I think that was when people really started to panic, because it was clear that the conductors just didn't know what was going to happen if the rescue train couldn't make it to us.

And I think New Jersey Transit said that there would be deep water vehicles or something like that, but no passengers ever saw them. I know, I didn't. No one I spoke to did. And it was quite scary for a while.

COOPER: And why wouldn't they open windows or just get a door to just get some ventilation?

AKBARI: So when I asked a conductor, I was given a very abrupt answer and just, there's water. And at this point, when I asked the rain had already stopped, the level of water was going down and we were basically one of the outermost tracks. So, on one side of the tracks, you could see out to a parking lot.

And at this point, you could see the ground of the parking lot emerging, though there was still a few feet of water on the tracks. But it didn't come up to the level of the doors. And we pretty much weren't given any other explanation for why they wouldn't open this. I think maybe they were worried about people getting out of the train and causing a liability for NJ Transit.

But, they just weren't really concerned with our health, I suppose.

COOPER: And I mean, I can't believe that this thing went on for more than 12 hours.

AKBARI: Yes, it was a really long time. I think by the end also, a lot of people take this as a commuter train, and so those people hadn't eaten since much earlier in the day. We didn't have water until the Transit Police came and dropped off a few cases.

The bathrooms were very disgusting at that point, pretty much unusable. So, for that amount of time to be trapped in that space, I know, I and many others by the time we hit around 2:00 a.m. were just getting very claustrophobic and very worried about how long were we going to be there? Did they actually even know if a rescue train was going to be able to reach us? And why there weren't more clear plans for an issue like this.

COOPER: Well, look, Camilla, I'm glad you're okay. At least I can't believe what you and the other passengers had to go through. But I'm glad you're safe. Thank you so much for talking with us. I wish you the best.

AKBARI: Thank you so much. Yes, happily everyone I know on the train got home safe. So, I hope they're doing well at home now. Thank you.

COOPER: Yes. What a journey. Wow.

As for Louisiana, where Hurricane Ida first struck over the weekend, the storm's effects will fester for the coming days and weeks. Tragically, the State Department of Health is reporting the deaths of four nursing home patients. They were evacuated ahead of the storm along with several hundred other patients from several nursing homes to a warehouse. The Department said they had, quote "deteriorating conditions."

CNN's Brian Todd now joins me. Is there any estimate that when more people will be getting power back at this point?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, they're careful not to give estimates, but there has been progress made despite this being a really slow grind. We're told by energy officials here that roughly 140,000 customers have had their power restored, that out of close to a million people, you can see them that is just not fast enough for so many people who are frustrated by it.

We're also told by Entergy Louisiana that they've restored power to at least 10 hospitals in southeastern Louisiana, they've restored power to several sewage treatment plants. So again, some progress made, but it is a slow grind and a dangerous one.

We're going to illustrate that right here. Look at this, this is in Kenner. This is a main drag where you've got downed power lines here, a transformer down over there, more down power lines and look at how they're leaning and these wires are very close to the road. I've got to say, we've been watching this for hours. This is a dangerous situation.

They are letting motorists and some pedestrians navigate around this, but they may want to rethink that because this is just a little bit too close. A lot of trucks have come by here with high clearance, and when it gets pitch black here, they could be in danger of pulling down some of these lines.

But Anderson again, a slow grind here in Louisiana. They're assuring people they're getting to this as fast as they can, but we've been chasing power crews all day long and talking to these guys on the line, restoring the poles and everything. It's tough.

They've got to like check for you know, sewage, gas, water lines, and fiber lines. Every time they try to, you know, correct a situation like this. That's what they've got to check for. So, it's very painstaking and dangerous. And again, not fast enough for people here.

COOPER: And Brian, President Biden said today he got assurances that his visit to Louisiana tomorrow wouldn't disrupt recovery efforts. What is this visit expected to entail?

TODD: Well, he is going to survey the damage in some of the hardest hit areas of Louisiana. We do know that. We do know that HE IS going to meet with local officials, Anderson, and as you mentioned, White House aides had told us that before this trip was announced, they did want to make sure that his visit would not get in the way of recovery efforts.

So, I guess that's going to be kind of a delicate dance here tomorrow. What we can tell you is, if he is going to talk to people on the ground like real people on the ground, he's going to hear a lot about how people have not heard from agencies like F.E.M.A. and other agencies and people have not, you know, had folks come and knock on their door to see if they're okay.


TODD: We've talked to many, many people here in Kenner and elsewhere who say that, look, the cavalry just hasn't come. And some of these are elderly people who can't leave their homes, they can't leave their neighborhoods. All they need is kind of a knock on the door from someone with F.E.M.A., someone with another agency just to say, hey, what do you need? Can we get you something?

One older lady in Kenner here told us they thought we were F.E.M.A. when we were pulling up.

COOPER: Brian Todd, I appreciate you being here. Thank you.

Coming up, the repercussions being felt already from the Supreme Court's decision overnight to let a Texas law take effect that could undermine abortion rights, not just there, but in states across the country.


COOPER: In the dead of night, the Supreme Court made a decision that could undermine nearly half a century of legal precedent established with the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The court just before midnight declined to block a Texas law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually about six weeks into pregnancy before many women even know they're pregnant.

The law contains no exception for rape or incest and in an effort, in the words of dissenting Justice Sonia Sotomayor to quote "evade judicial scrutiny," the law puts enforcement in the hands of private citizens not the state. It deputizes individuals to sue anyone who knowingly aid or abets an abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy.


With this does experts say is make the laws constitutionality nearly impossible to challenge in court. The vote to let the law take effect was five to four, with Justice Roberts joining the course three remaining liberal justices in the minority. Already today the repercussions are beginning. Florida Senate president saying he would take up similar legislation in the coming session with other red states expected to follow.

Then there's the political impact which could be profound, especially for Republican moderates, some of whom enable the courts conservative tilt, are publicly downplaying fears about overturning Roe. Susan Collins for one putting out a statement today, the Texas law is extreme and harmful, she says, I oppose the court's decision to allow the law to remain in effect for now while these underlying constitutional and procedural questions are litigated. It's the same Susan Collins who went out of her way to justify her support of one of the majority justices in last night's ruling on the basis of his commitment to precedent. Here she is promising the not only wouldn't Brett Kavanaugh try to overturn Roe, he wouldn't even try to undermine it, which is exactly what his vote last night did.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): There has also been considerable focus on the future of abortion rights based on the concern that Judge Kavanaugh would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. Protecting this right is important to me.

In short, his views on honoring precedent would prec -- clewed (ph) attempts to do by stealth, that which one has committed not to do over (INAUDIBLE).


COOPER: Now, agree or disagree on abortion or Roe v. Wade, this appears to be exactly what the majority did overnight

Perspective now from CNN chief legal analyst and Supreme Court historian Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeff, what is that five to four split among the justices tell you about the fate of not just this Texas law shouldn't ever wind up at the court again, but also Roe v. Wade itself?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it tells you that Clarence Thomas is really in charge of this court now. You know, the Supreme Court works by seniority and the Chief Justice is always seen you're even if there is a longer tenured justice in the minority, but he is now in the minority on abortion rights and the senior most a justice in the majority was Clarence Thomas. So, he will control the opinion, if there is a vote on the future of abortion rights, which there will certainly be more of there's a big Mississippi case coming down the pike. And it is likely that this Texas case goes back.

Clarence Thomas is committed over and over again to overturn Roe v. Wade. He is the single most dominant justice of that view. But he is joined by Samuel Alito who has also expressed the view is wrong. And Donald Trump promised to appoint justices who will appoint -- who will overturn Roe. And that's what he's done with Justice Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett and Justice Kavanaugh. So there are now five solid votes on the Supreme Court to overturn abortion rights. And Clarence Thomas is leading the charge and he's going to be the one assigning the opinion when the Mississippi case comes up later this year.

COOPER: The fact that the majority of the court conceded in their opinion that abortion providers raised quote unquote, serious constitutional question about the law. And those same justices said their order was not based on whether the law is constitutional. Does it give you any reason to think their minds are not already made up if and when they have to rule on the merits? TOOBIN: You know, the only question to me is whether they give Roe a decent burial and overturn it or they create some fiction where they uphold the Texas law which they are clearly committed to doing, but somehow say that Roe is still good law. I don't see how that's possible. I mean, a six week law it is an -- is a is a ban on abortion rights. You know, lawyers are lawyers, they can make up distinctions where none exist.

But I think you know, the die is cast here and we are now heading to a moment where abortion rights are going to be fought out state by state and Texas has been won by the anti-abortion forces.

COOPER: And Jeff, stay with us, because I want to bring in former Texas Democratic state Senator Wendy Davis, who led a marathon filibuster against abortion legislation back in 2013.

Senator Davis, I want to report of something that you tweeted earlier, you said this morning I woke up feeling more powerless and saddened than I have ever felt. Which legal path are you focused on the most right now?

WENDY DAVIS, FMR STATE SENATOR (D-TX): You know, this of course is going to proceed now on a state court legal path, Anderson. And it's still actually as a question before the Fifth Circuit as well. They made a decision simply to cancel a hearing that was set prior to this law going to, in effect. That's why so many of the providers immediately appealed to the Supreme Court and of course, got the terrible five-four decision last night that we received.


But the question is still in front of the Fifth Circuit. So it's going to proceed on parallel tracks. The problem with the state track is this the law is written in such a pernicious way that individuals who sue any person, who attempts to help another person receive an abortion after six weeks can choose any jurisdiction that they want. And in fact, the plaintiff doesn't even have to live in the state of Texas. So they're going to forum shop, they're going to look for the friendliest courts that they can find.

I can assure you that the abortion providers, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, Aaron (ph), others, are all working hard on a competing legal strategy right now. Of course, I can't share the details of that.

But in no way shape, or form are we going to give up. And as powerless as I felt yesterday morning, as deflated, as I felt, I am so encouraged by the fight that people are demonstrating right now.

TOOBIN: You know, you know, Anderson, just to talk about the political side for one moment. You know, one of the things about all the abortion restrictions that have come in since 1973, is they mostly have affected poor women. The one thing you can say about the Texas law is that it affects everybody, it affects all women, including middle class and upper middle class women in Texas. And I just wonder what it's going to be like in the suburbs of Houston, in the suburbs of Dallas, where, you know, women who may not be politically active, wake up and say, you know what, like, if my daughter gets pregnant, if I get pregnant, and I want to end it, I have to go to New York, I have to go to Los Angeles. I mean, that is something that they haven't had to think about. And they have to think about that now. And I wonder how that is going to affect the politics of Texas, and other places where these laws. Because there's no, there's no more money issue here. It's illegal for everyone. And that's a change. And I wonder what that's going to mean.

COOPER: Senator, what do you think that might mean?

DAVIS: You know, to some extent, I agree with that. But here, here's the privilege that many people will still have in our state, they can get on a plane and go to Colorado or California or New York, they can afford to put their daughters and other people that they love on a plane to access that kind of care. And so the outfall is going to continue to be felt by women who are lower income primarily falling on women of color, and continuing a systemic racism that the impacts of these abortion laws have had on Texas, since the law that I filibustered in 2013.

I do want to let everyone know, though, that our abortion clinics are open. They are allowing people to come in or doing sonograms, if they're beyond the six week period of time. They are not violating the law as it stands today, but in no way does that mean they agree that the law is valid. Instead, what they're concerned about are the legal costs that they will personally bear, their doctors or other frontline health care workers. And we've set up a fund, a legal defense fund that people can contribute to at And I would just ask that we help do everything we can to indemnify the ability of our health care workers to follow Roe v. Wade, and not to follow this unconstitutional Texas law.

COOPER: Senator Wendy Davis, appreciate it. Jeff Toobin, appreciate it. Thank you.

More breaking news up next, what CNN has learned about the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 riot and Republican leader Kevin McCarthy. That's coming up, for more back.



COOPER: There's breaking news tonight on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 riot. CNN has learned that the committee is seeking to preserve the phone records of the House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.

Now earlier, CNN reported the committee had asked telecommunications companies to keep the records of an evolving list of several other lawmakers from that day. For his part, McCarthy warned those companies if they did eventually turn over those records, they would be breaking the law. And that quote, a Republican majority will not forget. CNN's Jessica Dean tonight is on Capitol Hill. So what's the latest now on this?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So the latest that we know now Anderson is that this Select Committee included Kevin McCarthy in this list of GOP lawmakers phone records that they want preserved by these telecommunications companies that we do know that when we originally reported the existence of this list, it was a draft. Kevin McCarthy's name wasn't on it at the time that was earlier this week. What we know now is that when that list got sent to these telecommunications companies that Kevin McCarthy's name was on it.

And remember, on January 6, when everything was happening here during the insurrection at the Capitol, we know that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was on the phone with then President Donald Trump and you can bet that the House Select Committee wants to learn everything they can about those communications between McCarthy and Trump as well as these other GOP lawmakers.

Now you also mentioned that once this was announced, and between we learned today that his name is on the list, that he issued this threat to these telecommunications companies saying that if any of these companies complied, that they would be breaking a law. But Anderson, we've reached out to McCarthy's office to see what law they would be breaking and also to just get his response to being on this list and so far, we've heard nothing from their office.

COOPER: Yes, part and parcel of this of course is Republican Congressman Andy Biggs is calling on Kevin McCarthy to remove Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for the Republican caucus -- from the Republican conference. But to punish them for their roles on the January 6 Select Committee, is there any indication McCarthy is going to do that?


DEAN: Well, at this point no. That at this moment in time there, it doesn't seem to be, he doesn't seem to have an appetite for that Anderson. He's certainly focused on 2022 and trying to regain the majority. But one thing to keep in mind, we did see Liz Cheney, elevated to Vice Chairman of the Select Committee today and in her statement, tellingly, she said something to the effect of we will not be deterred by any threats. So certainly, I'm making an indirect nod there to all the political things that lie ahead as they move forward with their work on this Select Committee.

COOPER: Jessica Dean, appreciate it. Thank you.

DEAN: Yes.

COOPER: Just ahead, football legend Herschel Walker just got the most important endorsement Republican get these days as he runs for Senate in Georgia. Our Drew Griffin has new information about an allegation never before heard. The latest allegation involving how this former this friend, of the former president has treated women in the past.


COOPER: Tonight, the former president has officially endorsed the man who publicly encouraged to run for the Republican nomination for Senate in Georgia, football legend Herschel Walker. Comes a week after Walker announced his candidacy and despite allegations about how Walker has treated women in the past.


Now CNN has obtained new information that reveals for the first time claimed by a woman who says she was threatened by Walker who previously has blamed his behavior on mental illness.

Drew Griffin has the details.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He is often called the greatest college football player of all time. In the state of Georgia, he is a legend. As a University of Georgia running back, Herschel Walker won the national championship and the Heisman Trophy. Now at 59 years old, Walker is running in a whole new game.

HERSCHEL WALKER, FOOTBALL LEGEND: My name is Herschel Walker, and I'm running for the United States Senate.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): As a Republican who is close friends with former President Donald Trump.

WALKER: I've known Donald Trump for 37 years. And I don't mean just casual ran into him from time to time. I'm talking about a deep personal friendship.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): But new allegations are surfacing about Walker's troubled past. Detailed in this police report from Irving, Texas in 2002, which CNN obtained through a records request, a woman telling police she was very frightened of Walker that he had previously been calling her, making threats to her and having her house watched. And when she saw him at a resort that day, he jumped into his vehicle and followed her all the way to her house. The woman contacted by CNN as not to be identified and said she never dated Walker, but his friends with his ex-wife.

Is the latest revelation of similar incidents involving Herschel Walker though he's never been charged with a crime.

WALKER: I was very sad, I was anger. And I didn't understand why.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Walker has previously linked his behavior to a mental illness called dissociative identity disorder. Telling CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta in 2008, that he has fragments of alternate personalities or alters that take over.

WALKER: You can get angry, but anger that you can go out and really, really hurt someone. And that's when you know you got a problem. GRIFFIN (voice-over): Walker wrote a book about it in 2008, with some chilling passages, including one where he talks about thinking of murdering a man who was late delivering a car, all I could think was how satisfying it would feel to squeeze the trigger. The visceral enjoyment I'd get from seeing the small entry wound and the spray of brain tissue and blood, like a Fourth of July fireworks exploding behind him.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): You played Russian roulette.

WALKER: I'm playing Russian roulette before and stuff. And now in more than once.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): He said he was sharing his story to remove the stigma of mental health and in a sign of support. His ex-wife joined him on media appearances for his book and confirmed she too had been a target of Walker's frightening personalities.

CINDY GROSSMAN, EX-WIF OF HERSCHEL WALKER: He to go into my temple and said he's going to blow my brains out.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): But a few years before that interview, Walker's ex-wife Cindy Grossman got a protective order against him. Her sister submitted an affidavit saying he stated unequivocally that he was going to shoot my sister Cindy and her boyfriend in the head. In another incident in 2012, a police report shows a woman who was involved in an on off, on off type relationship for decades with Walker said he told her that he was going to come and sit outside her apartment and blow her head off when she came outside. He then told he was going to blow his head off after he killed her.

In a statement, Walker's campaign said, Herschel emphatically denies these false claims about the 2012 incident and the other reported threats, Herschel has been very open about his mental health journey since getting help. Herschel has dedicated his life to helping others.


COOPER: And Drew Griffin joins us now. Has Herschel Walker been asked any of this on the campaign trail?

GRIFFIN: Well, he certainly hasn't been asked by us. He won't talk to CNN following Republican playbook. And except for a few puffball interviews on Fox, Anderson, he hasn't been on the campaign trail. In fact, one of the criticisms is he hasn't even been in Georgia, only recently moving there from here in Texas to file his candidacy for election.

COOPER: There are other Republican contenders though who would be against him in a primary. Is it right or is that still the case?

GRIFFIN: Yes, there are several Republicans running against him and all trying to delicately navigate how you attack this, this favored football Georgia, kind of star, who also Anderson quite frankly, has his biggest supporter in the resident Donald Trump. They've carefully gone after him called him a newbie in terms of politics, an outsider, but really, they're still trying to figure out how to delicately lay a glove on, on a guy that right now is still beloved in Georgia, mostly because he could run with a football.


COOPER: Drew Griffin, appreciate it. Thanks.

Just ahead, one of the more infamous figures from an infamous day in American history now, a possible conclusion to his prosecution, the details when we continue.


COOPER: The rioter responsible for one of the more indelible images from one of democracy's darkest days is said to plead guilty tomorrow. That's according to court records. Jacob Chansley is his name. He's the guy who apparently calls himself the Q-Anon showman. He obviously went viral for wearing a horned bear skin outfit during the assault on the Capitol. Neither the records nor his attorney indicate which of the charges he's expected to plead guilty too, he was charged with six crimes including Felonies for civil disorder and obstructing congressional proceedings. His lawyers wanted him released from jail where he's been held since his arrest in January.

Back in March, the judge in the case said he found quote, none of his many attempts to manipulate the evidence and minimize the seriousness of his actions persuasive. As of earlier this week, government has secured 50 guilty pleas in the insurrection on the 600 have been charged in federal court.


COOPER: News continues right now. Let's hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME."