Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

January 6 Committee Subpoenas Six Close Trump Allies; Interview With Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI); All Eight Victims Of Concert Tragedy Identified; State Farm Stands By NFL QB Aaron Rodgers After His Covid Comments; Says "We Respect His Right To Have His Own Personal Point Of View; Only Person Who Survived Being Shot By Rittenhouse Took Stand Today; Thousands Sign Petition Asking FL Gov. DeSantis To Launch Investigation Into Petito-Laundrie Case; 24-Year-Old Daniel Robinson Last Seen In Buckeye, Arizona On June 23; 2-Year-Old Arianna Fitts Last Seen In San Francisco Bay Area In February 2016. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired November 08, 2021 - 20:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No longer on a screen. It is going to be hugs, it's going to be in-person catching up, a lot of stories to tell.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Delta Air Lines says it has seen a 450 percent increase in international bookings in just the past few weeks.

Thanks for joining us. Anderson starts now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Six more top advisers to the former President got word late today that the House Select Committee on January 6 wants to talk with them, and as it has with so many others, the Committee isn't asking them, it is telling them.

The six all receiving subpoenas first to produce documents, then appear before the Committee. Most are pretty familiar names if you follow this sort of thing -- former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn who in December of last year reportedly took part in an Oval Office meeting during which participants discussed seizing voting machines and exercising emergency powers.

Also 2020 Campaign Manager, Bill Stepien, former senior campaign adviser Jason Miller, senior campaign official, Angela McCallum, former New York Police Commissioner and pardoned felon, Bernie Kerik, who was part of the Willard Hotel war room set up to overturn the election.

Then there's John Eastman, the President's attorney who put together that memo, which amounted to a step-by-step guide to the former Vice President sparking a coup.


ELECTION RESULTS: And all we are demanding of Vice President Pence is this afternoon at one o'clock, he let the legislators of the state look into this, so we get to the bottom of it and the American people know whether we have control of the direction of our government or not.


COOPER: There is Rudy Giuliani applauding him on. That was Eastman at the rally leading up to the insurrection laying out the essence of a memo that would only come to light months later and might never have seen the light of day had the scheme actually succeeded.

Now, the Select Committee wants to know more. The question though is, will they get it from him or any of the other five or any of the others they have subpoenaed. Tonight, it's hard to see how.

On Friday, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark whom the former President wanted to take over the Justice Department appeared before the Committee, but refused to speak until the question of executive privilege makes it through the courts.

Then there is Steve Bannon who has defied the Committee entirely and whom Congress held in contempt, referring his case to the Justice Department, that was more than two and a half weeks ago. Today, Attorney General Merrick Garland was asked to comment on it, he declined saying only quote: "We evaluate these in the normal way we do, looking at the facts and law and applying principles of prosecution."

Keeping them honest, these are certainly not normal times, nor have many of the big name subpoena recipients so far responded in any normal way other than with delay tactic stonewalling or in Bannon's case, outright contempt, an example for the latest six to follow.

Joining us now is CNN chief domestic correspondent, Jim Acosta, also Elizabeth Holtzman, who was congresswoman from New York, served on the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate.

So Jim, these six people, they are obviously staunch loyalists of the former President. Is there any reason to think that any of them would consider cooperating?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF DOMESTIC CORRESPONDENT: No, I think these six, they're all going to dig in, Anderson. You know, there have been some low level associates of the former President who have been apparently cooperating to some extent, maybe because they can afford the legal fees.

But you know, these six, they are pretty integral to what the January 6 Committee is investigating. You talk about John Eastman who wrote that infamous memo, trying to say that the President, the former President to the former Vice President, could throw out the election results from the 2020 election. You have Jason Miller who was crafting statements from the former

President at that time. We have Bill Stepien, who was the Campaign Manager of the 2020 campaign for the former President. So these are very important, influential people in that process, who are apparently involved in that infamous meeting that was going on over the Willard Hotel here in Washington.

But Anderson, I talked to former a Trump adviser earlier this evening, who said, listen, you know, it looks like what the January 6 Committee is doing and it is logical that they're going to do this is talk to every person around the former President, perhaps in the hopes of, you know, trying to get cooperation from the former President himself at some point.

And this adviser went on to say that many of them feel like it's a good thing that they were using encrypted messaging to speak with one another during this time in the run up to the January 6th insurrection. And so that gives you a sense as to how they were thinking in advance that what they were doing might not go over well from a legal standpoint.

The other thing, Anderson, that I think needs to be said is that all of this is really in the hands of the Attorney General Merrick Garland. If he is not going to enforce the subpoena that Steve Bannon is thumbing his nose at right now, the rest of these six -- anybody else who receives a subpoena from Congress could do the exact same thing.


ACOSTA: And honestly, that's something that should just, you know, be -- you know, have every red-blooded American out there pissed as hell that the executive branch could thumb its nose at the legislative branch and the judicial branch when it comes to something as important and as insane as a coup ended over to turning the election results.


COOPER: Miss Holtzman, how crucial will the Department of Justice's decision to either prosecute or not prosecute Steve Bannon be in getting these Trump allies to cooperate with the Select Committee?

ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN (D), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I think it's vital. I think the committee has gotten a lot of information. We hear from the lower level people, the underlings who apparently cooperated or talked to them.

I mean, they say -- the Committee says they've interviewed 150 people, but these are the key people, and their testimony is vital. I don't understand how the Justice Department can be taking this kind of laid back approach.

They have two problems with that. One is the clock, which is running. It is possible that if the Republicans take over the House in the next -- in the midterm elections, we can have a very different situation. So it behooves the Attorney General to move promptly on this. But the

second thing is, as Jim said, if the Congress can subpoena information and get information, and in this case, it's not information about just anything. It's information about an attempt to overthrow a presidential election by force.

If Congress couldn't get that information, then what information can I get? I mean, during the impeachment of Nixon, we tried to get we subpoenaed information, the President stonewalled us and ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled, and that was vital in getting every single Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. And I think almost every Republican in Congress was going to vote for his removal.

We have a massive cover up going on now, and the President should be ashamed about it. But we have to call it for what it is. And the Justice Department has to be part of the solution to this problem, which is to bring the documents, bring the testimony to light.

What the truth is? We can only find out by doing that.

COOPER: Jim, obviously, the White House doesn't want to be seen as pressuring and you know, President Biden already received criticism and actually apologized for, or at least said it was the wrong thing to do when he said that he thought, you know, the Justice Department should move forward.

ACOSTA: That's right. And I think that is why you know, this is really all on the Attorney General at this point, and that's why you have so many Democrats who are just hopping mad with Merrick Garland.

I talked to a House Democrat earlier this evening, who said they want to see Trump and his associates held accountable, and if they are not going to cooperate with the January 6th Committee, that they should be prosecuted. That is a very baseline feeling among a lot of Democrats.

But listen, you know, you were talking about people like Michael Flynn who already was in trouble once before for lying to Federal investigators, received a pardon from the former President. I mean, these are the kinds of people that we're dealing with. Of course, they're not going to cooperate.

And so you know, as Elizabeth was saying, we're faced with a choice. Do congressional subpoenas from this point forward, carry the same legal weight as a Hallmark card? Pretty please, Mother, may I, will you cooperate with the January 6th Committee. We just can't have that kind of system of government country, or else, you're going to give the executive branch all the power in the world to do whatever they want from here until kingdom come.

And Anderson, the Republicans need to think about this. They very well could be in charge come next November and a year from now. Do they want to have their subpoenas essentially be declared null and void and have no legal weight whatsoever? Because that is the precedent that they're setting right now.

COOPER: Congresswoman, if you were on the Select Committee, what would you want to be hearing from the people who have been subpoenaed?

HOLTZMAN: Well, at first of all, I want to see the documents, the e- mails before I question them. But basically, I'd like to see, for example, from Michael Flynn, what he proposed about Martial Law and what President Trump said to him in response to the proposal? Was the President willing to go along with using Martial Law, with using the military to overturn an election? Where we there?

We'd like to know more about what John Eastman said to the President and what the President said to him. And so those are really critical things what the President knew, and when he knew it, the same questions that we came up in Watergate, those are exactly the same questions we need to have answered now.

COOPER: Congresswoman Holtzman and Jim Acosta, appreciate it. Thank you.

Joining us now, Michigan Congressman Fred Upton, one of just nine Republicans who voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt. Congressman, what is your reaction to this latest round of subpoenas because I know you're not on the Select Committee, but as I mentioned, you voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress.

What do you think the Committee is able to learn from this latest batch of people they're trying to get?

REP. FRED UPTON (R-MI): Well, I voted hold him in contempt for a variety of reasons. I'm the former Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee and we issued a number of subpoenas. Our big goal, of course, was to look at and go after fraud and abuse and there was not a time that we didn't work with the Democrats to try and get the truth.


Now, you'll remember that the Select Committee that a good number of Republicans supported, led by John Katko, said that we wanted an equal number of Republicans and Democrats to get a subpoena. You'd have to have at least one Republican and one Democrat on board. It had to be done by the end of the calendar year, so it wouldn't bleed into the election year, and it was going to move forward in the Senate, and the House passed that, the Senate didn't agree. And so we are then left with the current Select Committee, which does have a couple of Republicans.

But the bottom line is, I think exactly how you framed it. If these subpoenas are disregarded entirely, how are we going to operate in the future? And if -- the other point is that there are some members that the Select Committee has subpoenaed and they in fact are cooperating.

I mean, Mark Meadows, as I understand it, their attorneys have been communicating. There's a number of -- you know, a number of people have been interviewed, but the process is moving forward. But with Bannon, and of course, they claimed executive privilege. He was not a White House -- on the White House payroll at the time. It's going to ultimately -- Mr. Garland has as a big say here in terms of how this thing proceeds.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, some people have communicated with through attorneys, they haven't necessarily shown up yet and there is some question whether it's intact. But yes, there is communication.

UPTON: At least, there is communication. There is -- you know, the process -- the wheel, I think is moving forward, I hope.

COOPER: I want to ask you something separate, but not entirely unrelated. You were one of 13 House Republicans who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill. In the wake of that vote, you've been receiving, I understand some disturbing phone calls.

I want to play one that your office provided to us and I just want to play this for our viewers to give them a sense of what you're getting.


TEXT: Voicemail left for Rep. Fred Upton (R) Michigan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Bleep] traitor. That's what you are. You're a [bleep] piece of [bleep] traitor. I hope you die. I hope everybody in your [bleep] family dies. You [bleep] piece of trash mother [bleep] voted for [bleep] Biden. You're stupider than he is. He can't even complete a [bleep] sentence, you [bleep] traitor. Piece of [bleep] mother [bleep] piece of trash, I hope you [bleep] die. Hope your [bleep] family dies. Hope everybody in your [bleep] staff dies you piece of [bleep]. Traitor.


COOPER: We're told by your office, this was not an isolated incident. I mean, I know a lot of people, you know, get this kind of stuff. But what does it say to you -- I mean, about where we are? How concerned are you?

UPTON: You know, it's a real step back. Thank goodness it wasn't a constituent, but I have a colleague, as you know, that put out the phone numbers of 13 members who voted that way. I'd be glad to defend that vote, and we've been working really since last spring on a bipartisan bill.

This is -- I think, that call -- I think he might have been from South Carolina. His own senator, Lindsey Graham couldn't find a closer confidante of President Trump than Lindsey Graham in his four years.

Lindsey Graham voted for it, it passed 69 to 30 in the Senate. Now, we have a long history of trying to work together. This doesn't change the Tax Code, it is paid for, traditional infrastructure including broadband, roads, and highways, which is why the Farm Bureau and the Chamber, the Business Roundtable, Homebuilders are vociferously endorse this.

But I'll tell you, it's a terrible way -- you know, we've seen civility really downslide here. I'm concerned about my staff. They're taking these call. COOPER: Yes.

UPTON: There are threats to them. I mean, our offices. I mean, you know, in many cases, and you know, I started as a congressional aide at what -- age 21 or 22 years old. These are very disturbing adult language, to say the least, that truly is frightening and a real, real bad mark in terms of civility across the country as we've seen these issues like this jump.

COOPER: Yes. Well, I mean, no one should receive calls like this. And as you said, it's not just you, it's your staff who has to deal with this stuff. And obviously, you know, a lot of young people are working in your office, I'm sure and, you know, facing this kind of stuff.

Congressman Upton, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.

UPTON: You bet. Thanks.

COOPER: Coming up next, with eight lives lost, what we're learning about the tragedy in Houston, including the lack of a crowd control plan to that deadly concert and what criminal investigators are trying to find out now, Houston's Fire Chief is going to join us.

And later, even one though one of its top spokespeople, Aaron Rodgers wasn't exactly acting like a good neighbor with his misleading statements about being vaccinated -- misleading, at the very least, against COVID -- State Farm is standing by him. We will talk to Scott Galloway ahead about that.



COOPER: When this broadcast ended Friday night, a tragedy was unfolding at a concert venue in Houston. As we come to you tonight, eight people are dead and what we've learned so far surrounding rapper Travis Scott's chaotic and fateful performance of the Astroworld Festival only adds horror to what was already a tragedy.

More from CNN's Ed Lavandera.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Before Travis Scott took the stage at the Astroworld Festival on Friday night, the rapper and his head of security met with Houston's Police Chief. The Chief says he expressed concern about public safety and urged Scott and his team to be mindful of what they were posting on social media.

But it didn't take long for chaos to unfold.

BAHEER KASHIF, ASTROWORLD FESTIVAL ATTENDEE: We were all just doing everything we could to just -- just fight for our lives. It was a nightmare. It felt like -- it felt like hell on earth for those 15 to 20 minutes I was there. LAVANDERA (voice over): Baheer Kashif went to the show with three

friends. This video from earlier in the day captured how packed in the crowds were, it only got worse later in the night.


KASHIF: People were stepping on each other. I could feel that I probably stepped on a few people. I could feel people pinching my leg to get me off of them, and it -- we were just falling on top of each other.

As people fall, well, people were going to start getting crammed all over on top of them. And now, you're stuck at the bottom of a dog pile.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Houston Police have launched a criminal investigation into what happened at the concert that left eight people dead. As the mayhem in the crowd unfolded, the show onstage kept going.

Multiple civil lawsuits against Travis Scott and the entertainment company Live Nation have already been filed. Before the Astroworld Festival, Scott had faced criminal charges twice for inciting his concert crowd.

In 2018, according to the Arkansas "Democrat Gazette," Scott pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. Police say he encouraged the concert crowd to rush the stage in a 2017 show in Rogers, Arkansas. And in 2015, "The Chicago Tribune" reported Scott pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor reckless conduct charge for urging a Lollapalooza crowd to climb over security barricades.

In an Instagram post, Travis Scott indicated he wasn't aware of how bad the crowd situation had become in Houston.

SCOTT TRAVIS, RAPPER: Anytime I can make out, you know, anything that is going on, you know -- you know I'll stop show and you know, help them get the help they need.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Houston authorities released the names of all the victims who died in the crush of people at the concert: John Hilgert was 14 and Brianna Rodriguez was 16. The other victims were in their 20s, Danish Baig, Rodolfo Pena, Madison Dubiski, Franco Patino, Jacob Jurinek, and Axel Acosta Avila.

CNN has obtained the 56-page operation plan for the Astroworld Festival. The document does not include a specific plan for how to handle surging crowds. The plan said when dealing with large crowds, the key in properly dealing with this type of scenario is proper management of the crowd from the minute the doors open. That did not happen.

This is video of crowds pushing through a VIP entrance, bypassing the security hours before the Travis concert started.

JARED KUKER, ASTROWORLD FESTIVAL ATTENDEE: Everyone is screaming. I mean, it's like an airplane crash type of situation. You know, people are screaming like bloody murder. It was kind of just like a matter of fact, thought, it was like, okay, this is going to be it. That's going to be how I go.

Jared Kuker says everyone around him was struggling to stay on their feet and breathe. At one point, he fell down and landed on someone he thinks might be one of the victims.

KUKER: I remember looking down and the person on the bottom was just laying there, and all I could do is I just slapped their face. I think they were -- they were unconscious. They might -- they might have passed at that point.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Ed Lavandera, CNN, Houston.


COOPER: Joining us now is Houston's Fire Chief Samuel Pena. Chief Pena, I appreciate you being with us. What is the latest on the investigation into this?

CHIEF SAMUEL PENA, HOUSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT: Anderson, thank you, and first of all, I want to extend condolences to the families of the deceased and our prayers are with them and the injured that are still in the hospital.

Anderson, the investigation is still in its infancy. The Houston Police Department is going to be the primary agency that's leading that investigation, and we are contributing to those documents. As far as what our role was in providing permits for that operation, and our permits were limited to the Fire Code items.

Namely, you know, propane gas that was used for the mobile food trucks, tents, the pyrotechnics that were deployed at the concert, and maintaining the means of egress. The doors in and out of that venue.

That venue is a county facility. So it was a county sanctioned event and our role in that was to provide those items that required permits from the Fire Department.

In addition to that, we -- yes, go ahead.

COOPER: So, I mean, how does something like this happen? I mean, obviously, that was in the General Admission area, I guess, and people were surging toward the stage and those who were already up front were being crushed, probably the people surging maybe not even realized or likely didn't even realize that people a few rows in front of them were -- or you know, a few people in front of them were being crushed. Is there -- who is supposed to control that kind of thing?

PENA: Yes, well, Anderson, you described the issue exactly. This is an open venue event and -- but towards the front of the stage, they did have some security fencing for the security be able to get across and have access.

They also had some moats that extended perpendicular from the stage where security can walk up and down into the crowd and so that prevented the surge from pushing directly forward.


But the crowd started --the surge began, for whatever reason, as it began to move forward, it started compressing those individuals that were towards the center, and at some point, they were unable to escape that environment.

COOPER: You know, it's hard, I think for somebody who hasn't been in a crowd like this to kind of, you know, you hear about people being trampled to death or you know, can't breathe in a crowd. It is hard to kind of imagine, but you look at these images, when people are trying to pull their friends or when a security person is trying to pull somebody out of this crowd in the videos we're looking at now, in some cases, they -- I mean, it's very difficult for them to even tug somebody out of the crowd, because it's so packed together.

It's extraordinary that this can happen and people are on top of each other -- I mean, the people are crushed beneath this.

PENA: Absolutely. Look, it doesn't matter how strong you are, once you get caught in that type of environment, with that type of surge, that type of force, there is really nothing you can do. You're at the mercy of the crowd, you're at the mercy of the wave.

So the key and the goal is to stay ahead of that. You know, there were several instances of people trying to approach the security from that event to let them know that there was an issue going on, and it seems to me like the actions weren't taken quickly enough.

COOPER: Yes. The show went on. Chief Pena, I really appreciate what you're doing. I appreciate your time tonight. I know how busy you are. Thank you.

PENA: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: coming up, what State Farm has to say about its pitchman, Aaron Rodgers in his misleading comments about being vaccinated against COVID. Are they standing by him? Details on that ahead.



COOPER: State Farm is sticking with its pitchman Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers despite the COVID vaccine misinformation he's been spreading. As you likely remember last week, Rodgers tested positive for COVID and revealed he wasn't vaccinated even though he told the media he was quote immunized back in August.

While Rodgers was sidelined over the weekend with COVID there were fewer State Farm ads airing that featured the NFL star but a spokesperson for the insurance company released a statement on Rodgers day saying in part quote, we don't support some of the statements that he's made. But we respect his right to have his own personal point of view. Spokesperson added quote, we encourage vaccinations but respect everyone's right to make a choice based on their personal circumstances.

More perspective, Scott Galloway joins us he's a professor of Marketing at NYU Stern School of Business where he teaches brand strategy. He's also co-hosted the Pivot podcast.

So Scott, why do you think State Farm decided to stick with Rodgers?

SCOTT GALLOWAY, PROFESSOR, NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: Well, I hate to say this, but I think it's like most signals in America. I think they probably did an assessment of their customer base and decided that the majority of them were in small towns, rural America and probably leaned red and more sympathetic towards Aaron Rodgers.

COOPER: So fearing back fearing a backlash, but a backlash against State Farm if they had left or if they had canceled their contract with Rodgers.

GALLOWAY: Yes, I think the backlash probably they did an assessment and decided and again, there's doing the shareholder driven thing and there's doing the right thing. And I would argue sometimes those two aren't congruent. But I imagine they did the calculus and said that the blowback from who is the most one of the most popular athletes in the most popular league in the world would be greater than standing by him or her.

Although I don't think the story's over here, Anderson, I think this is going to get worse and worse or Mr. Rodgers. And I would, I would bet that State Farm rethinks its position here. Because, I mean, we are battling so much in this war in this pandemic. And to think that we're now battling the misinformation and junk science of someone who has such an incredible following. I think people are slowly but surely going to get angrier and angrier about this.

COOPER: So you think they made you think -- do you think State Farm made the right move? I mean, just from a business standpoint.

GALLOWAY: I think in the short term, yes. But look, I don't think it's ever the wrong time to do the right thing. And as I was thinking about this, when your producer called Anderson, I went online, and I looked at State Farm, they offer health insurance. If I gave misleading information, much less downright false information about my health status, in an attempt to get health insurance from State Farm. And they found out later that I had misled them about my health status, they would cancel my insurance.

And so, I think when you're a spokesperson, you know, your job is to have a pretty much a hat that starts wide every day from those who are given a lot much as expected. This is, this is a really bad luck. And I think that State Farm ultimately, is an insurance company that is built on trust, and veracity needs to hold their spokespeople to the same standard, that they would hold their customers.

COOPER: So, it was interesting to me in Rodgers statement, you know, he talked about, you know, personal body autonomy and you know, doing what's right for his body, which I certainly understand, but in a pandemic, this really isn't about your own personal feelings or your own, you know, you're part of a larger community, whether you want to be or not. And I know the, you know, the richer you are, the more you can isolate yourself and stuff.

But, you know, he's sending out a pretty negative, a misleading message to a lot of people. And he's not really thinking about the larger community, it seems.

GALLOWAY: Yes, the key word in your statement, Anderson was autonomy. And that is there have been several players in the basketball in the NBA and the NFL who have said I don't want to get the vaccine and that's the right and they have paid a price for that. They have been forced to take mandatory leave and they are giving up salary.

Aaron Rodgers was misleading and you want to talk about autonomy. You are deciding that other people give up their autonomy not to be around you and you are five times more likely to spread COVID-19 as my understanding based on the studies I see out of Israel in the UK, and you are taking away others people's autonomy.


So it is Aaron Rodgers right to not be vaccinated. It is his right to decide if he wants to take additional risks and he's 10 times more likely to get COVID without a vaccine. It is not his right, to usurp other people's autonomy, mislead them about his status and put them in greater harm.


GALLOWAY: So we have laws that protect the usurping of the reduction of other people's autonomy. And that's what his misinformation and quite frankly, misleading behavior and downright lies. So autonomy right is the key word here. And we gave up a lot of people in the NFL and people in the locker room and on the field with him, unwillingly gave up their autonomy.

COOPER: You must have a really fun class. Like I would I wish I could take your course.

GALLOWAY: Go on Anderson.

COOPER: I do. I wish I could take your courses. I like it -- I mean, I read your book. So you're -- its fascinating. Scott Galloway, it was great talk to you as always. Thank you.

GALLOWAY: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Coming up, the only victim who survived being shot by Kyle Rittenhouse takes the stand in his trial. Dramatic testimony, next.



COOPER: The only person who survived being shot by Kyle Rittenhouse during a chaotic protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year took the stand in his homicide trial today. The witness a paramedic who was also armed that night testified he pulled out his own firearm, who said he was only trying to preserve his own life and his hands were raised would ridden how shot him.

CNN's Omar Jimenez has the latest now from the courthouse in Kenosha.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gage Groskreutz is the only survivor of those shot by Kyle Rittenhouse on August 25, 2020. A trained medic, Groskreutz went to Kenosha to provide first aid as he did at previous demonstrations. Soon, he would need his own.


JIMENEZ (voice-over): Just minutes before he heard the shots that killed Joseph Rosenbaum.


JIMENEZ (voice-over): Then saw Rittenhouse not long after.


GROSKREUTZ: Hey what are you doing? Did he shot somebody



I started hearing people saying he just shot that guy, he just shot somebody. I thought that the defendant was an active shooter.

JIMINEZ (voice-over): Groskreutz was also carrying a weapon that night for his own protection.

GROSKREUTZ: I believe in the Second Amendment and that night was no different than any other day. It's keys, phone, wallet, gun.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): He ran at Rittenhouse's direction as others began chasing alongside him. Some even confronting Rittenhouse, then gunshots.

Anthony Huber shot in the chest and Groskreutz just feet away, puts up his hands.

THOMAS BINGER, KENOSHA COUNTY ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: So after you raised your hands like this, you saw the defendant reracked the weapon?


BINGER: What did you think was going to happen? GROSKREUTZ: Reraking the weapon in my mind meant that the defendant pulled the trigger while my hands were in the air, but the gun didn't fire. So then by reraking the weapon, I inferred that the defendant wasn't accepting my surrender.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): During cross examination --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't drop your firearm, you were chasing Mr. Rittenhouse with your gun.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The defense honed in on that same moment, but going to after Groskreutz's hands were up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this point you're holding a loaded chambered Glock 27 in your right hand. Yes?

GROSKREUTZ: That is correct. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are advancing on Mr. Rittenhouse who is seated on his butt. Right?

GROSKREUTZ: That's correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're moving forward and your right hand drops down with your gun. Your hands are no longer up and now there the gun is pointed in the direction of Mr. Rittenhouse. Agree?

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The defense presses further.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you were standing three to five feet from him with your arms up in the air. He never fired. Right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It wasn't until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun, now your hands down pointed out at him that he fired. Right?


JIMENEZ: Prosecutors came back to specify with Groskreutz on the positioning of the gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you intentionally point your firearm at the defendant?

GROSKREUTZ: No, I did not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you feel there was an imminent danger that the defendant was going to kill you?

GROSKREUTZ: Yes, absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that the way you hold and point a gun when you're going to shoot it?



JIMENEZ: And this is likely the first time Rittenhouse and Groskreutz have been face to face since the shooting when Groskreutz walked into the courtroom before his testimony Rittenhouse looked over at him multiple times and was very attentive during the actual testimony. Moving forward, prosecutors had been expected to rest their case early this week with estimates of Tuesday. At some point after that, the defense will have their turn to present their case and then afterward, a decision will be left up to the jury. Anderson.

COOPER: Omar Jimenez, appreciate. A fascinating day in court.

Up next, an update on the Gabby Petito killing and two missing people you probably haven't heard about, but whose stories deserve to be told.



COOPER: An update tonight in the investigation of the death of Gabby Petito. Close to 4000 people have signed a petition demanding Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to start an investigation into Northport Police Department's handling the case. Petito and her fiance Brian Laundrie, gained national attention after she disappeared while they were on a cross country road trip that they documented extensively on social media. Petito's body was later found in Wyoming. Her death was ruled a homicide and a manhunt began for Laundrie who'd returned home to Florida without her. His remains were found in a Florida preserve last month and Petito's murder remains unsolved.

But sadly, not every missing person as we well know case gets the attention and Gabby Petito's did. Many cases, especially ones with black and brown victims don't get any attention at all.

CNN's Sara Sidner tonight has more.


SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the break of dawn, in the middle of the Arizona desert, a crowd of strangers meet for one purpose.

DAVID ROBINSON, FATHER OF DANIEL ROBINSON: You guys come out here to help me out. I really appreciate that from the bottom my heart.

SIDNER (voice-over): To help another stranger, a father desperately searching for his 24-year-old son, Daniel Robinson.

ROBINSON: Since he was a child, he'd like to challenge everything.

SIDNER (voice-over): He was born with a challenge.

ROBINSON: And I want to introduce him to prosthetics because he's born one hand. We quickly learned that that's something that they don't want. He let nothing stop him. He decided to be a geologist once he got into freshman year in college. He sailed that, you know, he graduated with honors.

SIDNER (voice-over): Daniel's first job is checking the viability of water wells in the Arizona desert.

ROBINSON: He loved his area of course, because of the rock form. If you geologist, this is the best place to be.

SIDNER (voice-over) But the terrain became a hellscape for his dad, when Daniel went missing back in June from his job site.

(on-camera): And what number search is this?

ROBINSON: This search number 14.

SIDNER (voice-over): Navigating the dangerous in the desert, the Army veteran knows firsthand time is the essence.

ROBINSON: When I called a book I police department, they told me that I had to wait an extra three hours because they had 12-hour I guess report time we can say a person is missing. Then I can call them back and put a missing person report. I got better word, that's when I got their word. They asked the Buckeye Police Departments who go out and search the area. They also told me that they were going to send a vehicle out there, a helicopter out the search form. I was relieved. And then they called back hour later saying, no, it wasn't, it was a no go.


I missed that. And he's my son. I've lost all sense of reality that that moment I say, you know what, they're not going to look for my son. I'm going to do it myself.

SIDNER (voice-over): Before he arrived, police did decide to search on foot and with helicopters.

(on-camera): This is the last place your son was seen?

ROBINSON: The last place.

SIDNER (on-camera): What do you think happened David?

ROBINSON: I think a lot happened here. I'm very suspicious.

SIDNER (voice-over): But he doesn't know what. A month in there's a break in the case. And police call Robinson.

ROBINSON: I got afraid actually, there's going to be some bad news. He said no, we just found his vehicle.

LARRY HALL, CHIEF, BUCKEYE ARISONA POLICE: Some ranchers found it. And then at that point, we conduct our investigation and additional searches. SIDNER (on-camera): What was the condition of the car? If it had rolled over, it sounds like it was pretty bad.

HALL: Yes, the car was on its side. The sunroof was kicked out at that point. So he might have exited through the sunroof.

SIDNER (voice-over): His wrecked car in a ravine both airbags deployed. Daniel cellphone, clothes he was wearing that day and a case of water all found at the crash site, but not Daniel.

(on-camera): People don't just disappear into thin air.

HALL: True.

SIDNER (on-camera): Does that sort of feel like what's happened to here?

HALL: Yes. Yes. It's very, very challenging case.

SIDNER (on-camera): No matter how much the family asked for this to be a criminal investigation. Can you make that happen?

HALL: We can't make up evidence. Absolutely suspicious circumstances related to the case.

SIDNER (voice-over): Frustrated and heartbroken, Robinson hired a private investigator.

(on-camera): Where are we going?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down here is where the vehicle was recovered from.

SIDNER (on-camera): Is that the glass from the car?


SIDNER (on-camera): When you look at this accident, what are the discrepancies that you noticed right away?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe it was in more than one collision.

SIDNER (on-camera): What is the data from the blackbox of the car tell you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That there was 11 additional miles on the vehicle since the airbags came out.

SIDNER (on-camera): What does that tell you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That tells me it was crashed somewhere else?

SIDNENR (on-camera): Does that sounds suspicious? What explains that?

HALL: Oh, well, we had the national expert that came in and provided us his findings. And then they ended up speaking to an expert at Jeep. And the expert says yes, sometimes that happens. And it's not unusual. SIDNER (voice-over): But the data also shows someone tried to start the car 46 times after the crash.

HALL: That's something we can't explain.

SIDNER (on-camera): It begs the question again, the family is saying it's criminal. It's got to be reason danger. Do something.

HALL: Right. Right. No, I agree. It's -- and but we need information. We need evidence.

SIDNER (on-camera): He's got a lot of theories. His words I think were I don't think they care. What do you say to that?

HALL: Can be further from the truth.

SIDNER (voice-over): Losing hope, Robinson began pleading for media coverage.

ROBINSON: It literally took three months.

SIDNER (voice-over): While Robinson searched for his son, the country became riveted by media coverage of another missing persons case, the case of Gabby Petito.

ROBINS: There must this way that people love our children less or something, or they're less important.

SIDNER (voice-over): In 2020, more than 543,000 missing persons records were filed. More than 480,000 were cleared. And 40% of the missing are people of color.

DERRICA WILSON, CO-FOUNDER & CEO, BLACK AND MISSING FOUNDATION: There are a lot of Gabby Petito's and Natalee Holloway's in the black and brown community.

SIDNER (voice-over): That's why former police officer Derrica Wilson co-founded Black and Missing Inc and says, too often their cases go untold. Eventually, local stations did stories and citizens began helping search.

(on-camera): Did you know Daniel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I just wanted to help.

SIDNER (on-camera): You're just helping a stranger on a Saturday.


SIDNER (on-camera): Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't what, I can't imagine what that man's going through.

SIDNER (voice-over): As the search for Daniel goes into its fifth month. Another family is in the midst of a terrible mystery for a fifth year. The family of Nikki and Arianna Fitts.

CONTESSA FITTS, AUNT OF ARIANNA: Arianna is very energetic, very happy.

SIDNER (voice-over): Two-year-old Arianna went missing under the most suspicious of circumstances in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2016. Her mother Nikki Fitts was found in a shallow grave in San Francisco's McLaren Park. But Ariana was gone.

FITTS: It one breaks my heart that Arianna is not with her mom. And Arianna is not with my -- with her family. But it also breaks my heart even more is that. I know that Nikki wants nothing more than Arianna to be with us, to be home.

SIDNER (voice-over): Tessa Fitts says she is convinced her niece Arianna was taken by people close to Arianna's mother.


San Francisco police search for weeks they had some leads but no arrests. A digitally altered photo was made of what she made look like now.

FITTS: And she's eight now. I don't want to see this in a picture. I want to see her face in person.

SIDNER (on-camera): Should Arianna Fitts be a household name like JonBenet Ramsey?

WILSON: Absolutely. Why is her case any different from Caylee Anthony? I can tell you, the color of their skin is the only difference.

SIDNER (voice-over): For five desperate years the family has continued searching using flyers, social media and Black And Missing Inc.

(on-camera): Do you think it has anything to do with color?

FITTS: I tried to put myself in the mindset of the race issue with media coverage. All I want is for there to be the media coverage for her. I think she deserves that.

SIDNER (voice-over): The Fitts and the Robinsons want only one thing with hugging their missing children once again. Do you think that Arianna is still alive?

FITTS: I do believe that Arianna is still alive and it would mean everything to me to know where she is and to find her. I wait for that day every single day. Believe that day will come.

SIDNER (on-camera): How long will you search?

ROBINSON: Till I find my son. I have to. I mean he's my responsibility.

SIDNER (voice-over): Sara Sidner, CNN, Buckeye, Arizona.


COOPER: We'll be right back.



COOPER: But now breaking news, it continues. Let's head over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris.