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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

DHS Inspector General Meets With January 6 Committee About Secret Service Erasing Text Messages; Interview With Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA); Trump Reportedly Signals 2024 Run Not As A Matter Of If , But When; Attorney For Doctor Who Provided Abortion Services To 10-Year- Old Sends Cease And Desist To Indiana AG; Russia Targets Civilians In A Series Of Deadly Attacks In Ukraine; "Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down" In Theaters Now; Call 988 For Suicide & Mental Health Crisis Lifeline Starting Saturday. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 15, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: "The New York Times" says police were investigating whether Mrs. Trump fell down the stairs of her home in New York City yesterday. Ivana and Donald Trump met in the late 1970s, married in 1977. And of course, had three children -- Ivanka, Donald, Jr. and Eric.

Ivana Trump was 73 years old.

Thanks so much for joining us. AC 360 begins now.



A rush of new information to report tonight on the January 6th investigation starting with those missing Secret Service text messages dating from January 6th and January 5th.

Now, we've learned the January 6 Committee now wants to meet with officials from the Secret Service. Today, they were briefed by the Inspector General who oversees the agency and a source familiar with the briefing says the Inspector General made a number of allegations including, according to the source, the Inspector General told the Committee that Secret Service did not conduct its own after action review about the January 6th attack, instead, the service was relying on the work of the Inspector General's office.

Also the source says, the IG told the committee that the Secret Service has not been fully cooperative with his probe. The source of the Inspector General's description left the impression that the Secret Service had been "foot dragging."

The Inspector General told the Committee according to this source that his office is not getting full access to personnel and other records. Now, the source also said the IG told the Committee he brought the issue more than once to the Secretary of Homeland Security, whom he said told him to continue to try to get the information.

According to a CNN source, the Inspector General said that is when he decided to go to Congress because he says he was getting nowhere with his concerns.

Now, we want to point out that's just one side of the issue, the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately comment on the matter to CNN. So there's a lot we don't know, starting with the fact that a member of the January 6 Select Committee, Congressman Jamie Raskin tells CNN there are, "contradictory statements" by the Inspector General and the Secret Service, about whether the text messages are actually gone.

Also, in a statement last night, the Secret Service said the Inspector General's allegation that maliciously deleted text messages following a request is, "false" and that the allegation regarding a lack of cooperation is "neither correct nor new."

There's also word the Committee met today with one of the people actually in that bizarre White House meeting that we learned about during this week's hearing, the one where Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn and the guy, Patrick Byrne were trying to convince Donald Trump to thwart Joe Biden's victory.

The Committee today met with the Overstock guy for nearly six hours, something we just learned, which I really want to hear more about. So joining us is someone who was in all those meetings, January 6 Select Committee member, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.

Congresswoman, appreciate you being with us.

After meeting with the Inspector General today, does the explanation of the missing text messages make any more sense to you?

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Not really. But I think it's worth noting that a spokesperson for the Secret Service issued a statement last night, and they said that although some data had been lost, that all of the texts that the Inspector General was seeking were still available.

So we need to get all the texts from the 5th and the 6th over to our committee ASAP if what they've said is correct that those texts have not in fact, been deleted.

I will say that the explanation that you have a factory reset and eliminate your data without backing up your data, just seems -- I'm skeptical. I mean, I wouldn't do that on my personal iPhone. And, you know, the argument about when the request was made is largely irrelevant.

The Secret Service was aware that this was one of the signature events of our country, and that there would be a need to preserve all of the evidence because of that.

And also, there's an obligation for Federal agencies to retain records. So this is troubling, but they've said they've got the text, and the Committee intends to get them all ASAP.

COOPER: They said, I believe that they're talking about the 20 texts of individuals that were specifically asked for. Do you know if -- I mean, were -- I mean, there are missing texts. I mean, it that does seem clear to you?

LOFGREN: They said in the process of migrating their phones, which I'd like to know what the heck they were doing there. It doesn't make sends to me, "That data resident on some and phones was lost," that's an exact quote, but that none of the texts that the Inspector General was seeking had been lost.


So, we want to get the January 5th and the January 6th text.

COOPER: And how do you -- how do you assure you get them?

LOFGREN: Well, we're going to demand them from the Secret Service.

COOPER: Are they being cooperative?

LOFGREN: Well, we just had this meeting with the IG today this afternoon. We first learned about the erasing the data and the texts yesterday. So, you know, it's too soon to answer that question.

COOPER: Congressman Raskin, your colleague is saying there seems to be some, "contradictory statements" between the IG and the Secret Service. Is it clear to you how there can be such confusion over this? I mean, they either have them or they don't.

LOFGREN: I think, you know, some of it is a matter of judgment. The IG may feel frustrated, and they may be right. You could feel as an agency that you've been cooperative, but some things are not subject to ambiguity, either you erase the text or you didn't. Either you have the text or you don't. They say they have the text, we've got to get them.

COOPER: Does the Secret Service have a credibility problem now? Because not only is there these text messages, there is also this sort of drip, drip push back off the record, on the record against former White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony about the presidential motorcade on January 6th. Doesn't someone from the Secret Service need to go in front of your Committee or several people under oath and clear this up?

LOFGREN: Let me just say that we are not through investigating this matter. I don't want to say -- talk about their credibility, but obviously, many questions remain and we are going to get answers to our questions.

COOPER: Well, former Overstock CEO, Patrick Byrne, who was with Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn in that now rather infamous December 18th Oval Office meeting, which he described as, "benign," spoke to reporters at the Capitol today, before meeting with your Committee, and probably, a lot you can't say about what he said to you.

But I just want to play what he said before meeting with your Committee for our viewers.


I can -- I'm hoping that I can defuse this for the entire country. I know everything that happened, I was inside. I've actually been trying to get here for nine months. I can tell them everything.

I was in the most important -- the two most important meetings -- and I really think I can diffuse this for the whole country.

QUESTION: Why did it take nine months for you to come in?

BYRNE: You should ask that -- I've been writing and calling for nine months, you should ask them that.

QUESTION: Why do you think there's so much interest in this December 18th meeting?

BYRNE: Because it all comes down to it, the crux of history comes down to it and I'm the guy who presented --


COOPER: So he is the guy at the crux of history, did he in fact, in his words diffuse the situation?

LOFGREN: Well, as you know, our rules don't allow us to reveal the testimony. So I'm going to live by the rules.

COOPER: You've got to give us a little something about the Overstock guy.

LOFGREN: We have seen -- well, in due course, we will. Obviously, we've got ample testimony from other very credible witnesses about the unhinged nature of that meeting, the White House Counsel and others who were present. And to say it was benign, I think, would not hold water.

COOPER: Where does the Committee stand in terms of potentially asking the former Vice President and/or former President for interviews or sworn testimony?

LOFGREN: Well, everything is on the table, Anderson as you know. We've been saying that throughout, but I'm not going to make an announcement one way or the other on all of this. As you know, especially for the Vice President, we have received substantial information because his close confidantes came in and gave, you know, lengthy testimony under oath to the Committee.

That cannot be said about the former President who has fought us and tried to keep his close circle from testifying. So the two are, you know, in different postures, but I think, you know, we would like more information from both of them.

COOPER: And just finally, do you think your committee's work is actually going to end next week? I mean -- or do you see this going on through the summer? LOFGREN: Oh no. No, no, no. The investigation continues. We've got

additional witnesses coming in, other things that we are working on. We've had this set of hearings. We think that the hearing on Thursday, well, it has new information to be useful to understand the events.

There's also you know, some information that we, because of the constraints of a hearing framework, there's evidence actually we may release that was not presented from some of the prior Committee hearings, but is useful in understanding all the events. That may also happen in the coming weeks.

But you know, we've got to do a report, but we've also got to finish the investigation. That's still ongoing.

COOPER: Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, appreciate your time. Thank you.

LOFGREN: Thank you.

COOPER: Perspective now from George Conway, conservative attorney and contributing columnist for "The Washington Post."

Regarding the Secret Service thing, I mean, it's confusing to say the least, what are the main questions that you want answered?

GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE ATTORNEY: My questions are basically two. One is, what stuff was deleted? And what stuff was maintained? And then why was -- if there was anything important in the first tranche of materials that were deleted, why did that happen? And was there any -- was it just malfeasance? Was it just malfeasance? Or was it incompetence?

And those are -- we just -- they're talking past each other right now. The OIG is saying that materials from January 5th and January 6th were deleted, and the Secret Service is saying, well, we didn't do -- there is nothing that was deleted that you asked for.

So, you know, maybe those two statements can be reconciled, and maybe they don't. The only way to find out is to drill down and get the materials and it looks like that the Committee can do that.

COOPER: Do you think the Committee risk spending too much time on this? Getting sort of dragged down a rabbit hole on this and kind of --

CONWAY: It is possible, but I think the first step is to get the materials, to see what was produced and to get an explanation as to what it -- how does the Secret Service know what was deleted wasn't relevant?

I mean, I'd like to know the answer to that question, and I think they should bring those -- bring the Secret Service lawyers in and ask them, what happened?

COOPER: Do you think -- I mean, beyond the likelihood of it happening, would it be valuable to get Vice President Pence, the former President in front of that Committee? CONWAY: No, I think it would be -- I mean, I think it would be

valuable to get both their perspectives, particularly Vice President Pence. We know a lot about what Vice President Pence fought and did from the testimony of his aides, but we don't actually know what he was thinking, for example, when he was in that loading dock.

And there was also one conversation, I think, he had with President Trump where there was nobody on Mr. Pence's end to hear what Mr. Pence was saying. We'd like to know what that is. And I don't think he has any basis to resist the subpoena at this point. They should just subpoena him.

COOPER: Do you think -- I mean, again, this is getting ahead of ourselves -- but do you think Donald Trump, assuming he is going to run, it would announce before the midterms, and what impact do you think that would have?

CONWAY: Well, I think he is definitely going to announce. I think he is telegraphing that. I think he can't help himself. I think that he thinks that this is his way of undermining the investigation against him and immunizing himself against the investigation by saying, "Oh, this is all political. Look at this, they want to stop me from winning and becoming President again. And I'm going to save the country," and so on and so forth.

And I think, this is going to be -- you know, he is going to wage a campaign. It is basically going to be about himself and declaring that he has persecuted by the Democrats and by Liz Cheney.

COOPER: Do you think part of him announcing is to freeze the Republican field?

CONWAY: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think he understands that he can deter people from running and he can -- he is going to end up freezing donors from giving money to other people, probably because they don't want to -- they might think that he's probably going to win and they don't want to waste money on anybody else.

And the only way he gets beaten for the nomination is if maybe somebody is able to run a one-on-one campaign against them, probably DeSantis is probably the only --

COOPER: Do you think DeSantis would run against him?

CONWAY: I think it is quite possible and I think that's the only way that Trump doesn't get the nomination if it's one-on-one. If it's more than, you know, if it's a multi-candidate race, you know, the split -- the votes are all going to split and he is going to win. He doesn't have to win 50/50 or 60 percent. He can win with 30 or 40 percent particularly with these winner take all delegate rules, which is what basically happened in 2017.

COOPER: George Conway, appreciate it. Thank you.

CONWAY: Thank you.

COOPER: Good to talk to you. Have a good weekend.

Quick reminder to not miss a CNN Special Report on a potential witness who defied a January 6 Committee subpoena and is set to go on trial on criminal contempt charges, even as he now says he'll talk to the committee the title, "Steve Bannon: Divided we Fall." That's Sunday night 8:00 PM Eastern here on CNN.

Still to come tonight, the striking image from President Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia, a fist bump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the man the President had once called a pariah for his role in the murder of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. We have a live report from Saudi Arabia.

Plus a conversation with one of Khashoggi's colleagues at "The Washington Post."

And later, we'll talk about the devastating Russian airstrikes with someone in Ukraine who has been on this broadcast previously, Anastasia Paraskevova to share her thoughts on the personal toll this war has taken. Her father has been killed.



COOPER: Highly anticipated meeting in Saudi Arabia today between President Biden and the man he called a pariah for his role in the murder of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who produced what may be a lasting -- has produced what may be a lasting image for this President.

Upon arrival at the Royal Palace in Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman greeted the President, both exchanged a fist bump. In a moment we'll speak to one of Jamal Khashoggi's colleagues at "The Washington Post."

After the greeting, both sides appeared briefly before the assembled press. This was the scene.


REPORTER #1: Jamal Khashoggi -- will you apologize to his family, sir?

REPORTER #2: President Biden, is Saudi Arabia still a pariah? President Biden?


COOPER: So that didn't last long.

CNN senior White House correspondent, Phil Mattingly joins us now. He is trailing the President in Saudi Arabia.

So Phil, what did the President say about how the meeting went and how is the White House responding to all the criticism over the fist bump? [20:20:08]

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know White House officials, Anderson knew going into this meeting there would be likely a tremendous political cost and certainly significant criticism and blowback, but there was a strategic calculation that the risk was simply too great to leave the relationship with Saudi Arabia in limbo. A cold shoulder the President has given the Crown Prince over the course of his first 18 months was simply no longer sustainable, certainly because Saudi Arabia is one of the largest players in the oil markets.

Gas prices in the United States have obviously been skyrocketing for months, but also for the broader region, a dynamic region that is shifting by the day. It is something the President, when addressed with the most fierce and visceral personal criticism brought up. Take a listen.


REPORTER: Sir, two quick questions if I may. First, we just heard from Jamal Khashoggi's wife, who said, "After this visit, the blood of MBS' next victim is on your hands." What do you say to Mrs. Khashoggi?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm sorry, she feels that way. I was straightforward back then, I was straightforward today. What I've -- this is a meeting not -- I didn't come here to meet with the Crown Prince, I came here to meet with the GCC and nine nations to deal with the security and the needs of the free world, and particularly the United States, and not leave a vacuum here, which was happening as it has in other parts of the world.


MATTINGLY: That vacuum the key element the President wanted to address. Now he did directly address behind closed doors with the Crown Prince the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. He said he made clear that he believed that he was responsible, Khashoggi pushed back, said he was not Saudi officials, Anderson, described that back and forth is rather brief and then they moved on to the broader set of issues.

I would note, Saudi officials wasted no time whatsoever posting on Twitter and through video feeds that fist bump with the President, but also a little bit later on, a government agency posted another video, a video the press did not have access to of MBS fist bumping the President's entire National Security team. It wasn't just the President, it was his top advisers.

To some degree, this appears to be the cost of trying to do business once again with Saudi Arabia, again, a risk calculation the administration knew going into this meeting, obviously very clear now in the wake of it.

COOPER: Is it clear how the Saudis thought this day went?

MATTINGLY: You know, I think the biggest way to kind of view it right now is based on two different things. One, the idea that the Crown Prince in their eyes was legitimized by the meeting, no question about it. It's why the photos and videos were posted so widely, prominently, and repeatedly in the wake of the meeting itself.

But I think also they recognize that this can't be just a transactional relationship. They want more from that relationship and this was a critical first step in that relationship.

More answers are needed, according to Saudi officials I've spoken to, but this was a step forward, particularly given where they've been for the last year and a half -- Anderson.

COOPER: Phil Mattingly, thanks very much.

I'm joined now by one of Jamal Khashoggi's colleagues at "The Washington Post," columnist Karen Attiah. Karen, thanks so much for being with us tonight.

We'd seen the video of President Biden fist bumping with the Saudi Crown Prince. That's the first time I've seen this video of the Crown Prince with multiple White House officials greeting him in this way. And as we've noted, this is what the Saudi government has chosen to release. I'm wondering what goes through your mind or your head when you see this?

KAREN ATTIAH, COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Yes. Honestly, when I -- the last time, I think as I spoke with you, I had just edited Jamal's last posthumous column for "The Washington Post" where he called for more free press in the Arab world, and that was the last piece we worked on together before he died -- was murdered.

You know, for me, for those who worked with Jamal, for us at "The Washington Post," that fist bump was a gut punch. It was a gut punch for all of us who worked so hard to push for accountability in Jamal's murder, for those of us who wanted to push for press freedom, who wanted to push for a new and different US-Saudi relationship that wasn't based in blood, honestly.

And that fist bump, you know, frankly, also as an American, felt embarrassing. Honestly, it looks -- it felt like, you know, watching Biden renege on his campaign claims -- just, you know -- and for what? For what?

COOPER: You've heard the statement from President Biden that he discussed -- he says he discussed the murder with the Crown Prince indicated that he thought the Crown Prince was responsible. Does that make any difference?

ATTIAH: I don't think that's anything, perhaps new. I think again what we were looking for was more of a strong, you know, consequences and accountability.


For all we know, you know, he could have said that number was bad and MBS could have said, yes, I was, I was responsible, and then moved on to the next topic. But, you know, honestly, I think what Joe would have wanted to see out of this meeting, what Jamal would have wanted to hear Biden say, is to speak out for many of the prisoners who are still in prison he used to write about.

Essam al-Zamely, the cleric; Salman al-Ouda -- again, fighting for Jamal wasn't just about him. It was about these prisoners. It was also about putting a stop to US supporting the war in Yemen, and I think, you know, if Jamal was here, I know that that's what he would have wanted to hear Biden say, honestly.

COOPER: Karen Attiah, appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.

ATTIAH: Thanks.

COOPER: Coming up, the latest on a 10-year-old rape victim who had to cross state lines to get an abortion, how the political fight has become a battle between the doctor who performed the abortion in Indiana and the Indiana Attorney General.


COOPER: There are new developments to the ongoing battle to control the narrative around the tragic story of a 10-year-old Ohio girl who was raped and had to get an abortion.

The attorney for the doctor who provided the abortion is pushing back against the Indiana Attorney General who is currently investigating the doctor.

Now, a reminder, this 10-year-old girl traveled to Indiana for an abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. She could no longer get it in Ohio where she lived or where the rape took place.


360's Randi Kaye tonight has the latest.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The charge is rate, not only the first degree.

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The 27-year-old man accused of raping a 10 year old girl is under arrest. But the political fight regarding the girl's abortion has just begun.

TODD ROKITA (R) INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL: If she failed to report at Indiana it's a crime for to not report to intentionally not report.

KAYE (voice-over): That's Indiana's Republican attorney general who says he's investigating whether Dr. Caitlin Bernard who performed the abortion reported the procedure and child abuse as required by state law.

ROKITA: This girl was politicized, politicized for the gain of killing more babies. Right that was the goal. And this abortion activist is out there front and center. The lame stream media, the fake news is right behind it.

KAYE (voice-over): But according to documents obtained by CNN, Dr. Bernard did report the abortion procedure to the Indiana Department of Health on July 2nd, within three days after the abortion was performed, as required by Indiana law. And late today Dr. Bernard's lawyer, Kathleen Delaney sent a cease and desist order to the Attorney General saying in part, please cease and desist from making false and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her profession, which constitute defamation per se.

The story first appeared July 1st in the Indianapolis Star describing how a 10-year-old rape victim crossed state lines from Ohio to Indianapolis days after Roe vs. Wade was knocked down by the Supreme Court and abortions were made unavailable in Ohio after any fetal cardiac activity is detected that six weeks according to Ohio law.

Dr. Caitlin Barnard, an OB GYN is quoted as saying she was contacted by a colleague in Ohio regarding the girl's situation, the story was picked up and cited by President Biden in his speech.

JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Imagine being a little girl. Just I'm serious, just imagine being a little girl, 10 years old.

KAYE (voice-over): But that didn't stop some Republican lawmakers and right-wing media outlets from going into overdrive and casting doubt claiming the entire story was a hoax.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So Dave, have you had anybody come to you in your state to say we're looking into this police report was filed?

DAVE YOST (R) OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL: Not a whisper. I know our prosecutors and cops in this state. There's not one of them that wouldn't be turning over every rock in their jurisdiction if they had the slightest hint that this had occurred there.

KAYE (voice-over): Congressman Jim Jordan in a since deleted tweet, where he called the story a lie, now dodging any responsibility or declining to offer an apology to the victim for calling this story a lie, telling CNN this.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I never doubted a child. I was responding to a headline from your profession, a news profession, which happens all the time on Twitter.

KAYE (voice-over): And on Capitol Hill, another bizarre moment during a hearing about abortion where Congressman Eric Swalwell asked questions to an anti-abortion activist.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Do you think a 10-year-old should choose to carry a baby?

CATHERINE GLENN FOSTER, PRESIDENT, AMERICANS UNITED FOR LIFE: I believe it would probably impact her life. And so therefore, it would fall under any exception and would not be an abortion.

SWALWELL: Wait. It would not be an abortion if a 10-year-old with her parents made the decision not to have a baby that was the result of a rape.

FOSTER: If a 10-year-old became pregnant as a result of rape, and it was threatening her life, then that's not an abortion. So it would not fall under any abortion restriction in our nation.


COOPER: That's obviously not true. Abortion is a procedure.

Randi Kaye joins us now. Where the woman was saying was not true. What is the doctor who performed the abortion hope to accomplish with a cease and desist letter filed today against Indiana's Attorney General?

KAYE: Well, Anderson, her lawyer spoke to CNN earlier and she basically said the point of that cease and desist letter is to stop the smear campaign. She said they're trying to get the Attorney General there in Indiana to stop smearing the reputation as she put it of the doctor who performed this abortion to stop lying about her. She said that all of this backlash from the right they're very concerned is putting the doctor's life in danger. The lawyer said that the doctor is now have to had -- had to have security at her home to make sure that she's protected. And the lawyer says that really all of this is because this attorney general in Indiana is quote whipping people up into a frenzy. That's how she's put it.

So, there are real, real consequences to what is being said about this doctor and we did reach out to the Attorney General in Indiana, Ag Rokita but we have not heard back. We were hoping to get a response from him, Anderson.


COOPER: It is startling how quick the Indiana Attorney General and the Ohio Attorney General were to give out false information and like jump onto Fox News and, you know, be incredulous and say things which turned out just not to be true, which turned out not to be accurate. I mean, I thought Attorney General they're suppose --

KAYE: And now when you're trying them to respond to that.

COOPER: Right of course, they have now, and there's no apologies. The Attorney General's are supposed to be responsible people law enforcers. Anyway.

Randi, appreciate it. Thank you.

Up next, another deadly week in Ukraine as the country gets rocked by a string of attacks against civilians. I'll speak again with a woman who we've spoken with many times on this program, she fled Kharkiv at the beginning of the war, her father has now just been killed by a Russian airstrike.


COOPER: This week Ukraine has been rocked by a number of deadly attacks on civilians, dozens of innocent people have been killed including several children.

That was a school in the southern city of Mykolaiv hit yesterday. The mayor says another 10 strikes overnight cause powerful explosions, two universities were hit. In the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, yesterday another Russian attack nearly two dozen people killed there and more than 100 injured. Three of those killed were children under the age of 10.


Last night Ukraine's President Zelenskyy called on the international community to condemn Russia.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translation): This day has once again proven that Russia must be officially recognized as a terrorist state. No other state in the world poses such a terrorist threat as Russia. No other state in the world allows itself to daily destroy peaceful cities and ordinary human life with cruise missiles and rocket artillery.


COOPER: A spokesperson for Ukraine's defense ministry today said that up to 70% of Russian military missile strikes are on peaceful cities and non-military targets. One woman we spoken to many times knows that firsthand. We first met her Anastasiya Paraskevova in the beginning of the war when she was fleeing Kharkiv where she lived.


ANASTASIYA PARASKEVOVA, FMR KHARKIV RESIDENT: Last night was probably the most terrifying night of my life. Kharkiv was terribly bombarded, airstrikes all over the city. Dozens of buildings destroyed, civilian buildings where people lived.


COOPER: We tracked her down after that ITV report began speaking and interviewing her on our program. Her father chose to remain in Khakriv throughout the war. And sadly this week, he was killed in a strike. I spoke with Anastasiya earlier.


COOPER (on-camera): Anastasiya, I, I'm so sorry to hear about your father. Can you tell us about what happened to him?

PARASKEVOVA: So he was at the balcony, his home that many people saw in that reunion episode, and the rocket (INAUDIBLE) hit the yard, and shredded pretty much everything, including my father. He was on the balcony and he died there. There was my mother was also in the house. And she survived. She got some scratches and hearing problems, but nothing much. So he was going on the balcony to see where the smoke was or to see where the rockets hit. So this was exactly like that. And he went out and she went to the balcony also. And she told him like go back inside. It's not safe. And he waved her off. And then she just went to the house to the corridor into the room in the center of the house. And that's when the explosion went off. She then fell, and she was under rubble. And then she was trying to understand what happened. She started calling him. And well, he didn't answer. She went to the balcony and she saw what she saw what was left of him, which was not much.

COOPER (on-camera): You know, last time we had talked, you know, you had moved out of Kharkiv and you were in an area that that felt safer and I know your parents, your dad was there but your mom went back to stay with him in Kharkiv and, you know, it seemed like things were better in Kharkiv. And I think for a lot of people, they felt like, oh, a lot of people weren't there who were just been following this, you know, felt that Kharkiv but had become safer, but obviously that that has changed, as we've seen in the last many weeks.

PARASKEVOVA: Yes, when I was went back home and stayed for a bit with I also went back and forth between Poltava and Khakriv. So I stayed in my apartment, and mom and dad was staying together in the house. And at the time when this whole reunion happened, it was better for sure. So it was much less shelling and rockets, but in the last, I guess, two weeks or something like that, it has been pretty bad.

COOPER (on-camera): Part of Russia strategies, you know very well is not only to level cities to just destroy as much of Ukraine as possible. It's also designed to break the will of, of Ukrainians, of people. And I know Ukraine's foreign minister said this week that his words were there's nothing to discuss on the subject of peace talks with Russia.

Your father being killed like this do -- does it change the way you see things? Does it harden your resolve? How do you deal with this?


PARASKEVOVA: I agree 100% with what he said and everyone literally everyone I know does. So no peace talks, no, no, it's a no, it's a big now, it's a bigger no than it was before my father that. And I and many others don't want to see a single Russian flag anyway. And we are not given up and my father is dead, but he's one of many who died and many people more will die. On the -- on that day that he died 31 person died in Kharkiv.

So to stop that is to stop them. So, yes, there are no negotiations, they cannot be trusted. Also, after everything they did, it's just there is no talking, only defending ourselves as best as we can and trying to win and protect people I guess, in the future from ever suffering that what my family suffered.

COOPER (on-camera): Yes. Anastasiua, I'm so sorry that you were, that you are suffering and that 31 other families in Kharkiv on that day are suffering and have had their lives forever changed and in the days since then so many have died as well.

PARASKEVOVA: Thank you. COOPER (on-camera): Our thoughts are with you. Anastasiya Paraskevova, thank you so much.



COOPER: Coming up, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords on surviving the unimaginable a bullet wound to the head. Her fighting spirit the focus of a new documentary, "Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down." Hear from her and the two directors, next.



COOPER: As you may recall, back in January 2011, Gabby Giffords was shot in the head by a gunman while meeting with a group of constituents outside a grocery store in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona. Six people were killed in that shooting 13 others were wounded, including Congresswoman Giffords who suffered life threatening injuries. There's a new CNN film called "Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down." It's in theaters now. And it provides a look at her grueling and frankly incredible ongoing journey to recovery. And her inspiring fight to end gun violence in America.

Here's a preview.


BARACK OBAMA (D) FMR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: The same gift of connection and the same indomitable spirit that I saw in her when she was first elected to Congress. That doesn't go away. Gabby embodies this sense of the human spirit being able to overcome just about anything.

GABBY GIFFORDS (D-AZ) FMR CONGRESSWOMAN: I couldn't walk. I couldn't talk. Now I'm giving speeches again. I'm studying for my Batmitzvah. And I'm riding my bike for 25 miles in El Tour de Tucson.


COOPER: Joining us now is former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the founder of the Anti Gun Violence Organization Giffords. Also with us is, Betsy West and Julie Cohen, the directors of "Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down."

Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it. Why did you want to, to undertake this, to get involved with this?

GIFFORDS: I love the film RBG, directors Betsy and Julie do a wonderful job of celebrating women's lives. Strong woman get thing done.

COOPER: That's for damn sure. And why did you choose -- I mean, you did this documentary RBG, which is everybody knows about. Why Gabby Giffords and why now?

BETSY WEST, DIRECTOR: You know, what a remarkable comeback story, an amazing love story. And Gabby herself, I mean, here is a person who has fought back from, you know, the most unthinkable disaster personal disaster and now is fighting for safety for all of us. She -- we just couldn't resist.

COOPER: And Julie, I mean, as a producer, there obviously difficulties. Gabby has aphasia, which limits ability to speak at times. You incorporated that in the film. And I think that's one of the things that's so powerful in this film, as you really see this incredible story that you have been have been going through.

JULIE COHEN, DIRECTOR: Yes, I mean, it was definitely a question that we had going into this project, like we wanted Gabby's voice to be very much the central voice of this documentary. And it is. And our question was, like, how are we going to make a film centered on someone for whom language is such an ongoing struggle and challenge. And what we learned spending time with Gabby, is that it's actually so fascinating to see what she goes through every day. So, we kind of made that part of the process of our film.

COOPER: You know, obviously, we've seen so many horrific shootings this year Uvalde, you know, Highland Park. The list is long. There's also been legislation that has been bipartisan legislation finally, that's been passed. Are you optimistic right now about the potential for more change?

GIFFORDS: I'm optimistic. It will be a long hard haul, but I'm optimistic.

COOPER: One of the things I was reading up about aphasia is that and you see this in the documentary is singing is something that, that you do at times, and that that, I guess it's a different part of the brain.

WEST: Yes, I mean, this is what we learned in the course of making this film was pretty extraordinary. Gabby was shot in the language center, which is why she has difficulty, why she has aphasia. But it turns out that music is located not just here in the language center, but all over the brain. And so, that's one of the ways in which the speech pathologist tried to access words and language through music. And Gabby's a very musical person. She loves to sing. She loved to sing as a kid, she was in musicals.


And you can see in this extraordinary footage that her husband, Senator Mark Kelly took of Gabby's recovery, you see the role of music and how the therapist used it to help Gabby regain some of the language.

COHEN: Here she was in the early days of rehab, just learning a few words and you see her belting out.

(SINGING) COOPER: Haven't heard it for a while. But I remember well, I remember well. I mean the relationship between obviously Gabby and her husband is also central in this film.

WEST: We say that it's a feminist love story, because he became for quite a while the caretaker, the somebody who was really making sure that Gabby was going to be on the road to recovery. He believed that she could do it and he really helped her do it. And then we see the tables turn, where Mark Kelly, then an astronaut, and then he retired from an astronaut, went into politics and Gabby has really helped him in his career as he became a U.S. senator.

COOPER: What do you want people to take away from the documentary, from the film?

GIFFORDS: For me is really important to move ahead, to not look back. I hope others are inspired to keep moving forward, no matter what.

COOPER: Gabby Giffords, it's such a pleasure to get to see you.

GIFFORDS: Thank you very much.

COOPER: Thank you, I really appreciate it. Betsy West as well and Julie, Julie Cohen, thanks so much.

The film, the new CNN film "Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down." It's in theaters now. You can watch it on CNN later this fall. It is truly, truly inspiring and a great film. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

We'll be right back.



COOPER: On this Friday, we leave you with some hope, a reminder that you're not alone in these stressful times. Starting tomorrow, you can dial 988 across the country for immediate mental health counseling on everything from suicidal thoughts to substance abuse support. In part, it's a three digit shortcut to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and a lot easier to remember, those facing any mental crisis can dial 988, much like you would call 911 in a medical emergency.

Instead of a dispatcher sending police or other first responders, 988 will connect callers with trained mental health counselors 24/7.

The news continues. Want to hand it over Laura Coates in "CNN TONIGHT." Laura.