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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Stocks And Oil Prices Fall As Moderna CEO Says Current Vaccines Will Struggle With Omicron; At Least Three Killed, Eight Injured In Michigan High School Shooting; Accuser "Jane" Testified She Was Sexually Abused By Epstein And Maxwell Starting When She Was 14. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired November 30, 2021 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And good evening.

We begin this hour with the fight against COVID, and potentially good news from Israel, potentially.

Specifically, the Israeli Health Minister, who said, quote, "Indications" show that people, who've received the Coronavirus vaccine booster are protected against the new Omicron variant.

Now, he didn't offer any specifics beyond that. The Health Minister added that he'll have more accurate information, and detailed information, about the efficacy of the vaccine in coming days.

In the U.S., the CDC is expanding surveillance, at four major airports, to keep an eye out for Omicron. And CNN has learned the Biden administration is considering requiring stricter COVID testing, for everyone, traveling to the U.S.

CNN's Senior White House Correspondent, Phil Mattingly, joins us now.

So, talk about these new measures being considered, for travelers, heading into the U.S.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson,at a moment, where I think there's peak uncertainty, inside the administration, with public health officials, in terms of what Omicron, will actually bring, to the United States, some assumptions, it's probably already here, at this point in time, is a recognition that they need to constantly be evaluating, in real-time, what precautions, they have been placed, and shift those, if they need to.

And that's the case here, tightening, likely tightening, the timeline, for all travelers, entering the United States.

As it currently stands, vaccinated travelers have to have a test, within three days, of arriving in the United States.The President, on Thursday, is likely to announce, according to sources, that timeline will be shifted down to one day, just 24 hours. And, I think what, this is a window into more than anything else, as we saw it with the travel restrictions, to eight Southern African countries, now potentially shifting the testing requirements, for those entering the United States.

It's not any sense that they can stop the Omicron variant, from arriving in the United States, if it's not already here. But what they hope to do is buy themselves time.

With so much unknown, and so much to learn, over the course of the next 10 to 14 days, the focus is trying to limit, the arrival, to the extent that they can, to give themselves time, to prepare for what may come next.

Right now, with all of these unknowns, these, administration officials believe, are the best options, they have, to try and accomplish that, Anderson.

COOPER:Obviously, it's, I mean, it's not only inbound international travelers that the administration is concerned about, in terms of spreading a new variant. Are there other precautions the Administration is considering?

MATTINGLY: When you talk to administration officials, there's obviously been a clear focus, both publicly, and in constant deliberations, going on, behind-the-scenes, about how they can increase vaccinations, how they can bump up boosters.

You think 60 percent of the U.S. public is vaccinated, only 20 percent have boosters. They obviously want to ramp that up, in the days ahead. But there's also a significant amount of contingency planning, underway, according to administration officials, particularly as it pertains to vaccines.

There are ongoing discussions, with vaccinemakers, about what a process would look like, if they need to update, or shift those vaccines, based on what they discover, from this variant. Also, how to ramp up, perhaps doing an entire rollout of new vaccines, if that becomes a necessity.Also, keep in mind, cost assessments. All of that is going into right now, what's happening behind-the-scenes.

This is a moment right now, where there's no question, everybody is hoping for the best, picking up anecdotal evidence that they've seen, from various countries, and hoping that that is borne out, in terms of what this variant would mean, across the board, but also recognizing that there has to be preparation, for the worst.

And that, more than anything else, is what we've seen administration officials focused on. And I think that is what you're going to hear, from the President, on Thursday, as he rolls out his proposals, for how to address the pandemic, in the weeks and months ahead.

Obviously, a winter season coming up, but obviously, at the top of mind, with everybody, Anderson, is this new variant.

COOPER:Yes. Phil Mattingly, appreciate it. Joining us now is the Director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins.

Dr. Collins, thanks for being with us.

First of all, what do you make out of Israel, what the Health Minister there said that there are, quote, "Indications," that show people, who've had a COVID vaccine booster are protected against the Omicron variant. Again, no real specifics.

Is that any different than what we've been hearing for last several days?

DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: Not really. I think it is very early days, Anderson. And they're trying to see the first little hints of whether vaccinated people seem to be having an easier time with Omicron than people who weren't.

But the numbers are very small. So, I would not want anybody to look at that announcement, from Israel, and say, "Well, now we know the answer."

We're going to take several more days, look at lots more cases, try to really size up, how much protection, is coming from the vaccine, and how much could come from the boosters.

COOPER:Does South Africa have anything to teach us in terms of that?

Because I mean, Sanjay was showing figures, of hospitalization rates, in the province that Johannesburg is in, which show hospitalizations going up. He said he believed that the majority of those were not vaccinated, people who were not vaccinated.

I'm not sure if that's - is that your understanding?


COLLINS: Yes, I think they're still sorting that out. Frankly, South Africa has a huge amount to tell us. And we owe them a debt already, for being incredibly transparent, about this whole process.

Keep in mind, we just learned about this Omicron variant, one week ago. And already, South Africa has been on the Zoom calls, with me, at least three times, in the last three days, telling us everything they know, about what's going on.

But they're still collecting the data.Again, it's going to get better. I think what South Africa can tell us, in the coming days, may very well give us some hints, about just how much protection, from vaccination, and how severe is this particular illness anyway.

Is this mild, as some had earlier suggested? Or was that just sort of the luck of the fact that most of the people, who got it early on, were young, and relatively healthy? We don't know the answer to that one yet. COOPER: Yes. I mean, that's what makes the situation difficult right now, because, obviously, in terms of reporting on it, I always think it's important to point out what we don't know often, as sometimes as much as what we do know. And there's a lot we don't know yet.


COOPER: The CEO of Moderna was not terribly optimistic today, telling the "Financial Times," and I maybe it sounds like I'm clutching at straws, but there's so much we don't know anything that somebody says, it seems to be worth mentioning, and trying to get more information about.

So, the CEO of Moderna says he thinks there's going to be, quote, "A material drop," end quote, in the effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine, against Omicron. That shook the markets.

A, what do you - I mean, what do you make of that? How do you interpret it? Do you share that level of concern?

COLLINS: I think we're all concerned that Omicron has such a large number of mutations, more than 50 that all the things that we've done, to try to generate immunity, against this virus,this is a somewhat different animal, and we're not sure whether it's going to be as effective as we'd like or not.

But the CEO of Moderna doesn't know any more about what that answer is than I do. We're all kind of trying to guess, looking at the letters of the code, how much of a difference is that going to make, to the antibodies that the vaccine has generated.

I would say, based on what we've learned previously, about other variants, like Delta, that even when you vaccinate, against the original Wuhan strain, and especially then if you give a booster, your immune system is very clever.

It not only boosts the level of antibodies, but it boosts the breadth of coverage that they have of spike proteins that your system hasn't even seen before, but is now ready for. And it's that phenomenon, I think, that's going to help us here.

That's a reason, by the way, Anderson why, we are all pushing, as hard as we can, for people, who have gotten vaccinated, but not yet boosted, to do so. And that's a lot of people. And I think people are interested in that, but maybe delayed a little bit.

You heard clearly, from CDC, if you're 18, and over, you should get a booster now, if it's been six months or more, since you got Pfizer on Moderna, or two months, since you got J&J. This would be a great time to do that, to get us ready.

COOPER: This Omicron variant, it's just a reminder, I think, and I think it's an important reminder that no matter what we do, in this country, the weakest link, anywhere in the world, is going to affect, what happens in this country, in terms of the health of all of us. And in terms of vaccine distribution, if the world is not vaccinated, if the world is not receiving vaccines, and getting them distributed, we're vulnerable. Because what happens in rural Botswana doesn't stay in isolated geographically. It now spreads around the world very quickly.

And I'm not saying this happened in Botswana. I'm just picking that country randomly.

COLLINS: Well, you're totally right, Anderson. If we needed one more reminder that we are all one family, on this planet, here it is, and that viruses don't really care about country boundaries, and they spread rapidly.

And so yes, if we're really serious, about protecting against pandemics, we have to think about the whole world, not just our own country.

I got to say, the U.S. has done more about this than all the other countries combined. We've already shipped 275 million doses, of vaccines, to 110 countries, including a lot to Africa.

Interestingly, in South Africa, they're having the same problem we are, in the U.S. They have enough doses. They just have people, who are resistant to using them.

This is a big problem for our whole planet, that we have this difficulty with misinformation that is causing people not to take advantage of something life-saving. We've got to address that one too. And it's not just our country that seems to have the problem.

COOPER: Just lastly, this announcement of increased surveillance, taking place, atfour major U.S. airports, the CDC announced that today, as well as the news that the top government officials are considering having more testing, for international travelers, including U.S. citizens, I mean, is that - are those - is that really effective?

Is that just making it sound like we're doing something, when there's - I mean, what does that mean, increased surveillance at four airports?

COLLINS: I think it means that we have the chance to reduce the number of instances of Omicron, or possibly other virus variants, coming to our shores. But let nobody imagine that that's failsafe, and that's going to stop the process.


It will slow it down. It'll reduce the volume of new infections that reach us. It's just good public health practice. It's something, I think, we all ought to support. If we're an international traveler, yes, welcome the chance, to get tested, and make sure you're not infected.

Because the problem with this virus is that it's so easy for people to be infected and not know it. That's why this has been such a hard pandemic to control.

The testing is our best protection against having such people, wandering around infecting other people, or infecting them, on an airplane, as I'm afraid, recently may have happened, with that planes - a couple of planes that went to the Netherlands.

COOPER: And bottom line, the longer people choose not to get vaccinated, the longer this goes on. I mean, that's the bottom line, isn't it?

COLLINS: Anderson, that's the bottom line. And if Americans are tired of this, and want to do something about it, as we are all tired of it, this is what you can do.

If you're not vaccinated yet, start tomorrow. Go to They'll tell you the place near you, where it's free. You can get started on your shots.

If you are vaccinated, and you're eligible for a booster, which is most people who are vaccinated, and you haven't done that yet, do that again, tomorrow.

We have the chance here, as a nation, to turn this around. But it's going to take all of us. And we haven't quite gotten that kind of unanimous response that this pandemic is calling us--


COLLINS: --to produce.

COOPER: Yes. I got my booster. It was easy, painless, no reaction to it.So, I recommend, and urge people to.

COLLINS: Me too.

COOPER: Dr. Francis Collins, as well, thank you so much.

More breaking news tonight, another mass school shooting in America.How many times have we said that?Three students dead, a number of others injured, untold number of families' lives changed forever.A live report with the very latest ahead, plus a witness, who was at that high school, in Michigan, when shots rang out.

Also, new developments, on the January 6 committee's probe, for answers, about what happened on that horrible day. A key Trump aide, apparently cooperating, as the panel prepares to vote, on another, in defiance, similar to Steve Bannon, ahead.



COOPER:From what we know tonight, authorities did everything, they could, as quickly as they could, to respond to the shooting today, at Oxford High School, in Oakland County, Michigan, near Detroit. That's what we're hearing from officials, and witnesses, and experts, in the field.

The response time was brief. Everyone did what they've been trained to do. And yet, those are the two status words, we know tonight. And yet.

Because we're now getting a firsthand look at what these kids, went through, as a shooter took the lives, of their classmates.

This is video, from inside one of the classrooms, that students and their teacher sheltered in place, heard a voice from the hallway, and waited a moment, uncertain whether it was a friendly or hostile voice, then fled to safety.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kids? Sheriff's office. It's safe to come out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he said it's safe to come out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we're not willing to take that risk right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't hear you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not taking that risk right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Well, then come to the door, and look at my badge, bro.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said "Bro." He said "Bro."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said "Bro." Red flag!





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slow down,you're fine.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to go grab my phone.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to drop that picture (ph) OK.


COOPER: Inside Oxford High, just a few hours, and a lifetime ago. The latest now from CNN's Josh Campbell.


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT (voice-over): Tonight, three students shot and killed, at Oxford High School, just north of Detroit.

UNDERSHERIFF MICHAEL MCCABE, OAKLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN: Around 12:51, today, we received a 9-1-1 call, of an active shooter, at the high school. Our deputies immediately responded. And we received over 100 9-1-1 calls into our dispatch.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): A 16-year-old boy, a 14-year-old girl, and 17- year-old girl, all killed.


CAMPBELL (voice-over): The suspect, a 15-year-old sophomore, at the high school, firing off, what is believed to be around 15 to 20 shots, over five minutes.

At least eight others were wounded, and taken to area hospitals.The majority are in stable condition, with two undergoing surgery.

MCCABE: We also have eight others that were shot, in various stages, at three different hospitals.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): The President weighing in from Minnesota.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: My heart goes out to the families enduring the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): According to authorities, the shooting suspect did not resist arrest, and they believe he acted alone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is every parent's worst nightmare.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): No motive has been found. And the shooting suspect's parents tonight, have invoked his right, not to speak to the police.


COOPER: Josh Campbell joins us now.

What more are you learning about the investigation into the shooter?

CAMPBELL: Well, we know from authorities that this is very much still in the early stages.

We also know, as was just mentioned that the suspect's parents, went to that Sheriff station, invoking his right not to speak with authorities, which of course makes their job much more difficult. That's his right. But they also want to talk to him. They want to interview him. They want to glean important information about why he did this.We do know that they are conducting interviews of witnesses there at the school.They're also scouring this suspect's digital footprint.

Tonight, they're also at the home of the shooter. They've conducted a search warrant there, trying to glean any possible clue, they can, to get to the reason why he allegedly brought a firearm, to the school today, opening fire on his fellow students, Anderson.

COOPER: Josh Campbell, Josh, appreciate it.

Joining us now by phone, is Abbey Hodder. She's a sophomore at Oxford High.

Abbey, thank you so much, for talking with us. I cannot imagine how you are feeling tonight, after what you have been through.

I understand you were in chemistry class. You heard some glass shatter. What happened next?


ON THE PHONE: ABBEY HODDER, OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: After that, I was a little bit confused. But I was under the impression that as some glass had shattered, in the chemistry rooms, next door to us, because it's an average thing to happen.

But soon after, I heard what sounded like pop, so I was still a little confused.Then, I saw my teacher run out and see.I don't exactly know what happened. But then I heard them initiate our Nightlock system.And then next thing I knew I was helping barricading doors with our tables that we have in the rooms.



COOPER: And that's something you've had? I talked to another student, a senior, earlier this evening, who said that he'd been through multiple trainings of that. You're a sophomore. Has - you've been through these trainings as well?

HODDER: Yes, we've been. I think we've been through these trainings since around seventh or eighth grade.And that's, I didn't really comprehend what was going on.But I, once we started pushing, like tables, I kind of understood what was happening--

COOPER: Were--

HODDER: --just because of our training.

COOPER: I mean, this is a dumb question. But I mean, were you scared? It's oftentimes, a situation like this, they may - it doesn't feel real. HODDER: Yes, at first, it was a little surreal.And I just kind of prioritized the safety of me, and the 20 or so our kids, in the classroom, and I just started helping with pushing tables.

But then, once we stopped, and sat down, and there was nothing else we could do, besides like, hold things, to prepare, to throw them, we - it - then it really set in, and I really started getting scared.

COOPER: And, at some point, I understand your teacher told all the students, to escape out a window, of the classroom and run?

HODDER: Yes. Yes, he knew that one of the windows didn't have like a screen on it, just so that airflow could get in, during the hotter days. And he, from like, knowing that the shooter was close, we knew that it was a better idea.

And it was also part of the ALICE training, to evacuate, if possible. So, we all just slowly hopped out a window, one by one, and started to run towards the mire that was nearby.

COOPER: Wow! I mean, you've had a few hours now, to think back on this. How are you doing tonight?

HODDER: It's a little surreal. I'm still kind of coming to terms with all that has happened. And I don't even know most of the story.So, it's just kind of slow and surreal, at this point.

COOPER: Yes. Abbey, I appreciate you talking with us tonight. It's not easy. And I appreciate you taking the time. And I wish you the best.

HODDER: Yes, no problem.

COOPER: OK, take care.

Coming up next, we'll have more on the shooting, as it develops.

Also, more on the January 6 investigation, one high-profile possible cooperator, one high-profile non-cooperator, and a court case hanging over it all, that saw oral arguments today.



COOPER:The January 6 Select Committee spoke to one crucial witness today, and obtained the potential cooperation of a second.

The first, Georgia's Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, tells us he talked with the panel, for roughly four hours.

He's of interest, obviously, of the conversation he had, with the former president, who asked him, you'll recall, to find him enough votes, to win the state. Raffensperger refused, because there weren't.

As for the potential cooperator, former White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, he's now the highest profile member, of the former Trump inner circle, known to be working at least, in some capacity, and exactly how much cooperation he's giving, is unknown, at this point, with the committee.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson telling us that Meadows has already produced about 6,000 emails.He's scheduled, for deposition, next week.

Now, this comes, as another high profile witness, a former Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, is refusing to talk, and could be cited, for contempt, tomorrow.He's citing the former president's executive privilege case, now before a federal appeals court, which heard oral arguments today.

Now here's some of the skeptical questioning, they gave the former president's attorney, who's arguing that President Biden improperly waived privilege, over documents, now at the National Archives.


JUDGE PATRICIA MILLETT, D.C. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS: You're going to have to come up with something more powerful that's going to outweigh the incumbent President's decision to waive, right? You're going to have to change the score on that scoreboard.

JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, D.C. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS:It would seem that the current President has not only the confidentiality factor that he's thinking about, but the current duty to the interests of the United States.


COOPER:Joining us now is CNN Legal Analyst, Norm Eisen, who served as Special Counsel, of the House Democrats, in the first impeachment of the former president, as well as Ambassador to the Czech Republic, during the Obama administration.

Professor Eisen, are you surprised that Meadows has reached this deal, for initial cooperation, with the committee? And again, we don't know exactly what level of cooperation he will actually be giving.


No, I'm not surprised, because all of these events that happened today, are tied together, by the simple proposition that current presidents have the power, over executive privilege, over whether or not documents or testimony can be heard.Former presidents do not.

So, Meadows was looking at the same fate, as Trump's former adviser, Steve Bannon, who's been criminally charged with contempt, for his refusal to cooperate.He doesn't want the charges, the litigation, and the possible conviction, on his record.He knows that there's no executive privilege grounds, to withhold. So, he started cooperating.

COOPER:You've said the courts are not buying the former president's argument about executive privilege. But what if the strategy is to just keep arguing about privilege, until Congress potentially changes hands?


EISEN: Anderson, the good news, in this pattern of events, is that not only are the courts rejecting the president's legal arguments, but they're rejecting his patented delay strategies, which we saw deployed, against us, in the litigation, related to the impeachment.

This case has been moving on a rocket docket. When they heard oral argument today, it was just 21 days after the lower court also rejected Trump's claims.They were very skeptical.

In Watergate, we went from the subpoena for the Watergate tapes, to a Supreme Court decision, in a little over three months. That's possible here too. So that's very bad news for Trump.

COOPER: And you have Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger's testimony. I mean, do you believe anything about his communications, with the former president will come out of that testimony that hasn't already been reported, or detailed in, his book, or on television already?

EISEN: Anderson, the facts of the Raffensperger communication are known. We don't know exactly what questions he was asked, what documents he was shown, what new information.

One of those 6,000 Mark Meadows' emails, for example, might have some piece of information. Raffensperger's shown that document, and he says something new.

So, it's critically important because that is the avenue that is probably the single thing that Donald Trump did that is most likely to land him in criminal trouble.

You can't say, as he did, to Raffensperger, "Just find 11,780 votes" that don't exist. That's a potential Georgia criminal trial, criminal matter.And we have an aggressive and effective Georgia D.A., who's looking at it.

COOPER: And the January 6 committee is expected to begin contempt proceedings against the former DOJ official, Jeffrey Clark, tomorrow.His lawyer is claiming Clark gave former President Trump confidential legal advice a, quote, "Sacred trust," and is therefore covered by executive privilege.

EISEN: Anderson, again, as the - as the Court said, when - the trial court said, when they ruled against Trump's claims, the United States has presidents, not kings. And Donald Trump is not President.

The former president has no power to instruct Clark to do that. And in fact, the current president has said that Clark may testify. So, that argument just won't hold water.

COOPER: Norm Eisen, appreciate it. Thanks.

EISEN: Thanks, Anderson. COOPER: Ahead, the moment - that the anti-abortion movement worked decades to reach, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could effectively strip away the legal protection of Roe v. Wade.

The only abortion clinic left in one state is part of this fight as well. That clinic's owner is here to tell us what happens, if her side loses the case, next.



COOPER:In just hours, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments, what could be the most important abortion rights case, since Roe v. Wade. In fact, justices could effectively hollow out that landmark 1973 law, affirming a woman's right to end her pregnancy.

This case centers around a Mississippi law, barring most abortions, after only 15 weeks. Under Roe, abortions are protected, to the point, a fetus can live, outside the mother's womb, about 22 to 24 weeks.

Diane Derzis owns the Jackson Women's Health Organization. It's the only remaining abortion clinic, in Mississippi, and it's party to the suit.

Diane, thanks very much for joining us.

What are your hopes and expectations for how tomorrow may go?I know you can't be there in the courtroom, because of COVID precautions. But are there particular justices, whose reactions to the arguments, you'll be anxious to hear?

DIANE DERZIS, OWNER, JACKSON WOMEN'S HEALTH ORGANIZATION, OWNER OF THE ONLY REMAINING ABORTION CLINIC IN MISSISSIPPI, OWNER OF CLINIC AT CENTER OF SUPREME COURT ABORTION CASE: I think, it's definitely, Justice Roberts.But the fact still is there that we have a court that is distinctly made up of anti-choice justices. So, that's certainly our biggest fear.

COOPER:There's the dispute, obviously over the Mississippi law, than the larger question, of whether the court, if it allows that law to stand, would then take an additional step, of actually overturning Roe v. Wade? How likely do you think that is?

DERZIS: I think it's extremely likely. Upholding anything other than viability is still the standard, certainly overturns or hollows out, as you said, Roe.

COOPER: If the Mississippi law is allowed to stand, what would be the immediate impact to your clinic?

DERZIS: Well, we have, on the books, I think, 12 other states do as well,on automatic trigger, that abortion would become illegal, it's still on the books, and has been since then.So, that is - that's the immediate danger. COOPER: And if you win, and the court allows the law, to remain in effect, what do you think it means, not just for Mississippi, but for the nation?

DERZIS: Well, if Roe is still found to exist, I mean, that is certainly a major win.But you have to ask why would a court decide to hear this case, if that's what they planned on doing?

COOPER: Can you just talk about the clients that you have, what you're hearing from them, what this means, I mean, just in practical terms?

DERZIS: Anderson, since Texas, went down several months ago, we had been besieged by women, coming from other states. So, we are now open four to five days, a week, instead of our original three.They're terrified.

The fact that we are now telling a woman that she does not have this option, in her state, and that she has to travel hundreds or thousands of miles, to obtain medical care, it's unbelievable.

For women of privilege, this is not a problem. Women who have had money have always had the ability to obtain an abortion.


But you're talking of poor White women, Black women, Brown women.And you're talking about women, who have to take off work, who have to find childcare, who have to find the money, to travel distances that it's absolutely incredulous that we have reached a time, where this is reality.

COOPER: And I understand that the people work at your clinic meet regularly with members of the FBI, to discuss security concerns. The court case, has it caused increased threats?

DERZIS: I think it's certainly caused the anti-choice people to - I mean, they're on a win, on a roll here. So, they've certainly been far more aggressive than they have been in the past.While the anti-choice people are winning, however, those of us in the clinic realize that we are in a much safer position than we normally are.

COOPER: Diane Derzis, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you very much.

DERZIS: Thank you.

COOPER: Up next, a woman who says she was sexually assaulted, by Jeffrey Epstein, and Ghislaine Maxwell, takes the stand, in Maxwell's sex trafficking trial.Plus, Epstein's former pilot named some of the powerful people, who flew on his plane.



COOPER:Jeffrey Epstein's former pilot named names today, during his testimony, in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex trafficking trial.

The pilot, who was employed by Epstein, for nearly 30 years, testified he flew many famous people, including former President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Kevin Spacey, and even renowned violinist, Itzhak Perlman.

Also taking the stand today, one of Epstein and Maxwell's alleged victims, the woman identified only as "Jane," described how she met a couple, at a performing arts camp, and how they abused her, over a number of years, starting when she was only 14-years-old.

Randi Kaye joins us now.

So, what else happened in court, Randi?

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that woman, who they were calling "Jane," was just a young girl, back in 1994, Anderson, when she testified about this chance meeting really, as she put it, at this summer camp, this arts camp, in Michigan.

She says that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell came upon her, at a picnic table, with some friends. They started talking to her. And when they all realized that they were from the Palm Beach, Florida area, they asked her, for her phone number.

Now, the prosecutors said, she described them as predators, in the fact that they were asking her for her phone number.

And then, later she told the court that when she got back to Florida, that she was contacted by Maxwell and Epstein, and that Maxwell began talking to her about sex, and she was inviting her over, to Jeffrey Epstein's home, his mansion there, in Palm Beach, Florida.And she testified that Jeffrey Epstein told her that he could introduce her to talent agents.

And that then, next thing she knew, he was taking her to his pool house, where she says, that he took down his pants, and pulled her, on top of him, while he was masturbating.He also said - she also testified that she was terrified and ashamed.She had never seen anything like what she saw, on that day.

She described similar incidents as well, saying that he touched her, in her private areas, and that she was also forced to touch him.She said it included oral sex and intercourse. So obviously, Anderson, this is very disturbing.

The defense in this case, for Ghislaine Maxwell said that none of this was true. And that they said - they told the jury that they should really doubt the credibility of this woman, "Jane," Anderson.

And there was also this pilot, this former pilot, of Jeffrey Epstein, who testified he had been a pilot for Epstein, for nearly 30 years.

And he said, as you mentioned, that he flew many of these celebrities onboard, the plane, including Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, before he was President, Prince Andrew, Maine Senator George Mitchell, Ohio Senator John Glenn, and also the actor, Kevin Spacey.

He said that he didn't - he never saw any type of activity, involving sex, on the airplanes, for Jeffrey Epstein. He said that he never saw any sex toys, never saw the young women on the plane, being disrobed, or anything like that.

But he also said that the pilot door was closed, a lot of the time, the cockpit door. So, it's unclear what went on, on these airplanes.

But obviously, the passenger logs, Anderson, are key to this investigation, so they can try and figure out who was on these planes, who might have been a part of this sex trafficking ring that Ghislaine Maxwell was allegedly involved, with Jeffrey Epstein.

But I should also note, Anderson that none of the high-profile passengers, who we mentioned, are alleged to have done anything wrong, or have any involvement, in this case, this ongoing trial, right now, Anderson.

COOPER:And was the pilot able to identify any of the alleged victims?

KAYE: It's interesting. He did say in court that - he testified that he flew Jeffrey Epstein, to this arts camp, in Michigan, where Epstein was apparently a benefactor.

And what's interesting is that, is, that is the very same arts camp, where this woman they're calling "Jane," who was a young girl, at the time, placed Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, saying that that's where she met the two of them, was at that very same arts camp, in Michigan.

He also said that he believed he met this woman, they're calling "Jane," on an airplane, back in the 1990s, on one of Jeffrey Epstein's airplanes. He said that Epstein introduced him to her. He wasn't clear, if she flew on the plane, but she was on the plane, at that time, before they took off, from Palm Beach, Florida, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Randi, thanks very much.

Joining us now is criminal defense attorney, Sara Azari, and CNN Senior Legal Analyst, and former federal prosecutor, Laura Coates.

So, Laura, in her testimony, "Jane," really described in detail how Maxwell and Epstein befriended, as Randi was saying, groomed her, she says, before the abuse began.How impactful are backstories like that along with the kind of details that she provided today?

I think Laura wasn't having her IFB.

Sara, let me start with you. The defense is using the fact that this accuser is an actor, to try and frame her, as someone, who's playing a role, and changed her story, because of money.


Do - I mean, is that - that's basically the strategy, to try to just hurt her credibility?

SARA AZARI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Anderson, we heard in opening statements that the defense case is going to be about money, manipulation, and memory.

And, on cross-examination, the defense went right into money,the idea that this particular accuser has recovered about $5 million, from the Epstein Victim Compensation Fund, the idea that if Maxwell is convicted, she could potentially get more money.

So, that is absolutely probably the strongest thing that the defense has, because the idea that she delayed reporting, I think they kind of went into that as well.

Delayed reporting, not having a memory of exactly how many times Maxwell touched her, the defense better not go there, Anderson, because as someone, who has tried, dozens and dozens of these cases, I can tell you that it's a big failure.

There's going to be a psychological expert, child sex abuse expert, who's going to come in, and explain why a victim of sexual abuse, especially a vulnerable minor, would wait, would fear reporting.

COOPER:And, Laura, I think we have you know.

I mean, in her testimony, "Jane" described how Maxwell and Epstein befriended her, Randi talks about that, and how kind of groomed her, before the abuse actually began.

I'm wondering what you made of her testimony?

LAURA COATES, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST, SIRIUSXM HOST, "THE LAURA COATES SHOW": Well, it was very compelling, because of course, it corroborated, in part, one of the initial witnesses, the pilot, who talkabout how Epstein was more of a benefactor. He was using that as one way to describe him.

Now, of course, he was a prosecution witness. So, you want that to essentially prove that he had this guise, his disguise, as a benefactor, in a way to try to lure, and entice people, and have this duplicitous nature.And so, her statements can support and corroborate that.

But to echo what Sara said, I have tried many delayed reporting sexual assault cases.And the idea behind them, as a prosecutor, is to make sure that the jurors understand that there are reasons, to delay.

There may be fear, there may be other aspects of it, to try to appeal to the notion that this is actually so traumatic, that the memory isn't fully intact here.

And so, every detail that she will be able to remember, there might be some that are going to be less clear than others.But they're trying to overall give a theme that this person, over a course of a period of time, was pursued, was groomed by Epstein's partner-in-crime, who is standing trial right now. COOPER:So, Sara, do you think - I mean, that's basically overall through this trial, the defense is just going to go after each of the alleged victims? Is there more to their defense?

AZARI: Well, I think there's a few different parts to the defense here, Anderson. I think, number one, they're going to go after the accusers for the money that they recovered, as a motive, why they would fabricate or exaggerate.

They're also going to bring in Elizabeth Loftus, who I've used on a case, who is very renowned, as a memory expert. And she's going to testify about why their memory is distorted, and contaminated, over the course of decades, why their testimony is not reliable.

Now, I have to say that she has testified in a number of high-profile trials, all of which have led to convictions. But her testimony is very compelling. And of course, these allegations date back to the 90s. So, it's a long time ago.

But to Laura's point, I thought Anderson, the pilot's - that prosecution's choice, putting the pilot up first, was rather odd.I don't think it helped the prosecution. It didn't hurt them, but it certainly didn't help them.

He never saw any sexual activity. He never could identify any girls that were underage, you know? And so, as lawyers, as trial lawyers, we go by the theory of primacy and decency - primacy and recency, which means that we put our best witnesses first and last.

And I don't think the pilot quite - he was more of a foundational witness. I don't think he really helped the prosecution much.

COOPER: Laura, I mean, do you think the defense would put Maxwell on the stand?

COATES: Well, she's facing what, more than 70 years in prison?

And, of course, their whole theme, and this defense, they even made sort of a biblical reference, and said, since the time, when Eve gave Adam the apple, they've been trying to answer, for the actions of men, trying to use this as an opportunity, to suggest that she's been scapegoated.

He, of course, died in an apparent suicide, prior to her even being charged with a crime.And so, they're trying to weave this story, in this theme that says she is a victim here. She's a victim of an overzealous prosecution. They couldn't get the person that they wanted, so they're going to try to use her.

So, if she takes the stand, so sort of an air and a demeanor that conveys that level of victimization, that she was not a partner-in- crime, but her demeanor, her tone, the way, in which she relays what she knows, about the events that take place, will be so important.

[21:55:00] Because if they are going to, as prosecutors, use memory, as a way to try to buttress the credibility of their witnesses, and the defense conversely will try to undermine the memory of these witnesses, they had to be very careful about the way, in which she's able to relay, with specificity, what she does not remember, or did not know, or did not do.

And so, it can be a double-edged sword, her mere presence on that stand. But, in the courtroom, I mean, if her theme is that she is the one, having to answer, for what she did not do, taking the stand, will be one of the ways, in which she could compel and persuade this jury, to find it that same way.

COOPER: Sara, do you think she'll take the stand?

AZARI: Look, the golden rule is don't put your client up, don't put the defendant up, unless you absolutely must, and you can't make your case, otherwise.And I don't think the defense needs to make that decision now, Anderson.I think they can wait until the prosecution rests, and see how the case goes.

But it is a double-edged sword, as Laura said. One of the issues, also with Maxwell, is that there were two perjury charges, in the superseding indictment that were severed, from this trial.

But the facts are still there, that in 2016, she testified under oath, and there's allegations that she lied about knowledge of Epstein's sexual activity. So, that is sort of a concern.

COOPER: Right.

AZARI: In terms of the prosecution impeaching her.

COOPER: Yes. Sara Azari, appreciate it. Laura Coates, as always, thank you so much.

Up next, on this GivingTuesday, how you can support this year's Top 10 CNN Heroes.




COOPER:I'm Anderson Cooper.

Each of this year's Top 10 CNN Heroes proves that one person really can make a difference.And again, this year, we're making it easy for you to support, their great work.

Just go to, click Donate, beneath any 2021 Top 10 CNN Hero, to make a direct contribution, to that hero's fundraiser, on GoFundMe. You'll receive an email, confirming your donation, which is tax deductible, in the United States.

No matter the amount, you can make a big difference, in helping our heroes, continue their life-changing work.

And, right now, through January 3, your donations will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $500,000.

CNN is proud to offer you this simple way, to support each cause, and celebrate all these everyday people, changing the world.

You can donate, from your laptop, your tablet, or your phone. Just go to donation in any amount will help them help others. Thank you.


COOPER:And, of course, all our Top 10 CNN Heroes will be honored, at the 15th Annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute. I'll be hosting along with my buddy, Kelly Ripa, live, Sunday, December 12. Hope you tune in, and be inspired.

That's it for us right now. The news continues. Let's turn things over to Don and "DON LEMON TONIGHT." Don?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: All right, we have the breaking news tonight. This is "DON LEMON TONIGHT." We're going to start with our breaking news.

Three students, dead, at a school shooting, in Michigan.