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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Sources: Before FBI Search, Trump Orbit Thought Probe had Stalled; Trump Ally Rep. Scott Perry Says FBI Seized His Cellphone; Sources: Before Search, Trump Orbit Thought Probe Had Stalled; Violent Rhetoric Circulates On The Pro-Trump Internet Following FBI Search; Senate Passes Landmark "Inflation Reduction Act" Along Party Lines; 8- Year-Old Boy Paralyzed In Highland Park Parade Shooting Could Soon Be Back In School. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 09, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Finally tonight, a true act of sportsmanship and it happened at a Little League Championship game in Waco, Texas.

It was the bottom of the first inning when Texas East pitcher, Caden Shelton accidentally hit Oklahoma's Isaiah Jarvis in the helmet. It was a scary scene. Jarvis was knocked to the ground.

And then moments later, there was a touching scene, Jarvis, who had been hitting the head walks over to Shelton to console him. See that.

Well, Texas went on to win the game, nine to four, perhaps we all can be heartened by the sportsmanship that some of the young in this country are displaying.

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



We begin tonight with new reporting and new details on the search of the former President's Florida mansion. New word tonight that the Secret Service was told in advance that the FBI would be going in, also what the basis for the search was, and how concerns about national security played with the decision.

So there are a lot of new details which serves as an antidote to a day's worth of speculation and partisan conspiracy theories and warnings of violence.

Let's go to our reporters, CNN's Pamela Brown and Kaitlan Collins.

So Kaitlan, what more are you learning about the type of documents that were recovered in the search and what they may have related to?

Sorry, can't get Kaitlan yet. Pamela, you've been reporting on what triggered this surge, namely, concerns about what the former President had and had not already turned over to the Federal government. The question is about the truthfulness of his representatives. What else do you know? PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Right. Remember

this investigation have been going on for more than a year and in June, the FBI met with some of Donald Trump's representatives at Mar- a-Lago, saw the room where some of these additional documents were being held, a letter after saying they should be padlocked.

The bottom line is I'm told through a source familiar is that the FBI believed that Donald Trump and his representatives hadn't turned over everything that it should have, or it was required to that belonged to the government.

We know previously, the National Archives had taken 15 boxes from Mar- a-Lago including classified information. And so in this case, the FBI executed the search warrant and told because of that fact that they believed that there were additional documents there, some classified that belong to the government, and that there were national security implications that it went beyond just concerns that some of these documents could be marked as classified, but that there could be national security implications.

I'm also told by the source that there was concern that Trump's representatives weren't completely truthful with investigators over the course of this investigation.

So there were certainly a couple of factors at play, but I do want to be transparent. While we do know some of this information that's coming out, now, what we don't know right now, Anderson is whether Donald Trump is the target investigation for mishandling classified information, whether this was simply a case of the FBI, wanted to make sure these documents went into safe hands and the government, whether it has to do with lying to the FBI, we simply don't have the answers to those questions and I can go ahead and tell you, Donald Trump's teams will be arguing that he had the authority to declassify information as President.

COOPER: Kaitlan, did people in the former President's orbit have any indication that this investigation which had been ongoing for months could be ramping up?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No, they were actually quite caught off guard on this, Anderson, based on what we've heard from sources, which is that over the last several months, they had essentially come to this belief that this investigation into whether or not the former President mishandled classified information had stalled. They have not actually seen any movement based on what we have heard from sources.

That's remarkable given, of course, we did report yesterday that two months ago was when investigators made that very rare visit to Mar-a- Lago where they met with two of Trump's attorneys. They were showing the room where these documents were being held, the ones that he had not turned over to the National Archives after they had turned over about a dozen or so boxes, Anderson, that was a room that the Justice Department asked them to further secure and they put a padlock on the door to do so. Of course, that was a padlock that was broken off when this search

warrant was carried out yesterday. And so, it's very clear that this investigation had not actually stalled. And it's not clear why they believe that, but that is what we were hearing from them.

And so that does seem to be why there is a measure of surprise in Trump's orbit over this matter.

COOPER: Pam, is it known how many boxes of documents the former President initially took with him to Mar-a-Lago?

BROWN: Well, what we can tell you is that 15 boxes went to the National Archives, and an attorney for Trump told "The Washington Post" today that FBI agents took about around a dozen boxes from Mar- a-Lago after executing the search warrant. And so this is a lot of -- these are a lot of documents that were taken from the White House.

Now, how many were actually classified? How many were -- you know, implicated national security? How many had Trump declassified when he was in the White House? I mean, these are the questions we have and we don't have answers to them and I think it is important to point out that there is still a lot that we don't know about what was in these boxes taken from Mar-a-Lago.


COOPER: Pamela Brown, Kaitlan Collins appreciate it.

There is more breaking news: The FBI today seizing the cell phone of a Republican Congressman who is best known for pushing a bogus conspiracy theory about the 2020 election. His name is Scott Perry.

CNN's Sara Murray joins us now with more on that story. So, what is Scott Perry saying tonight?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he put out a lengthy statement describing what happened and he said: "This morning while traveling with my family, three FBI agents visited me and seized my cell phone." Now, he goes on to say this cell phone is full of information about political activities, personal and private discussions, legislative activities, things he says the government has no business looking into.

What we don't know is what the FBI is investigating that led them to Scott Perry's cell phone. We know that Perry was, you know, integral in pushing Donald Trump's claims of election fraud. We know that he actually introduced the former President to Jeffrey Clark, who was the Department of Justice official who was little known at the time who was willing to go along with Donald Trump's election fraud claims and willing to, you know, try to stage a coup essentially, at the Justice Department.

So it's not clear if it is perhaps related to that. You know, we reported earlier this summer that Jeffrey Clark's home was searched, though he's been under scrutiny from investigators. Yet, the thing we don't know about what's going on with Scott Perry's

phone is what investigators will be able to get from it. CNN previously reported that Perry had had a number of discussions with Mark Meadows, the former White House Chief of Staff. And in those discussions, they used an encrypted messaging app. So we don't know if those messages could still be on his phone.

COOPER: They use Signal, wasn't it?

MURRAY: They use Signal, right. So we don't know if those could still be on Scott Perry's phone. And again, we don't know if that is what investigators were looking for. Or if it could be something else altogether. So there are still a lot of questions, but obviously a big deal that they're coming for a sitting Congressman's cellphone.

COOPER: Yes, Sara Murray, appreciate it. Thank you.

I want to get perspective now on the legal and the political impacts of all these stories. Joining us tonight, CNN chief national correspondent and "Inside Politics," anchor John King; CNN legal analyst, Elliot Williams, who served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Obama administration; and CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

John, how significant are these new details? The search came after suspicions of withheld materials, that documents at Mar-a-Lago had national security implications?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have more of a sketch now. We still don't have key information. What do they mean by national security implications? How many documents? What do they relate to?

But we now at least have a broader sketch of the urgency that convinced the FBI and then the Justice Department all the way up to the Attorney General to take this unprecedented step, to serve a search warrant at the home of the former President of the United States. Now, there's a lot of hyperbole being thrown around.

Look, make no mistake about it, Anderson, at some point, the Justice Department will face the credibility test both in Court and in public opinion. That day should not be today. We are early in an investigation or we are at some point in an investigation where the Justice Department says it can't talk to us just yet.

But the fact that they took the extraordinary nature suggests this was a 15-month process, many communications with Trump and with his lawyers, including a meeting in June that the former President stopped in, so something happened between June and August where the FBI saw a reason, we don't know the specifics, to believe something was at risk, some document was at threat.

And just very quickly on this point that Trump has the power to declassify records. That's true. A, but there's a process; and B, even if he declassified everything, they don't belong to him. He can't take it with him. The Records Act is very clear. The documents belong to the American

people, and they go to the National Archives. Period.

COOPER: Well, it's also remarkable, John King, I mean, based on his criticism of others over the years on, you know, handling e-mails that are or, you know, alleged security violations.

KING: If you're looking for into intellectual consistency here, Anderson, you came to the wrong town, in the sense that if you listen to Donald Trump and you listen to his Republican allies, they remember. Hillary Clinton should be about six years into her prison sentence at Leavenworth, according to these Republicans, because she set up a server at home that might have sensitive information go through it, that it was possible the Chinese or the Russians could hack into.

They raised that at the point that. It was a judgment error by Secretary Clinton. I'm not here to defend Hillary Clinton's e-mail server, but Donald Trump should he run for President of the United States again. Donald Trump is innocent. The Justice Department is overstretching. This is political use of the investigative powers.

There is zero intellectual consistency in Trump's argument or that of his Republican allies at the moment.

COOPER: Elliot, from a legal perspective, what do these developments tell you?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I think the newest development today is this idea of people in Trump's orbit not being honest or candid or forthcoming with information when asked. Look, it is a crime to give a false statement to a law enforcement officer. That doesn't have to be under oath or sworn you know, when we're talking about perjury or something like that.

If an agent is trying to find out where documents are and you lie to that agent, that is a crime. In addition to that, Anderson, of course, there's the raft of possible crimes that might be investigated here involving sort of mishandling or mutilating or tearing up documents and so on.

So the newest thing today by far is this allegation of dishonesty. But again all of these crimes that we're talking about possibly being investigated are incredibly serious and reason for concern and alarm.


COOPER: And Gloria, I understand you have some new reporting about how the search could be pushing the former President to speed up a 2024 announcement.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. A group of my colleagues and I are reporting this evening that some top Republicans who have spent an awful lot of time these past months trying to tell Donald Trump, don't declare for the presidency until after the midterm elections, because they were worried he was going to be a divisive figure, are now changing their minds and that even one top Republican has called him up at least one and said, you know, I'm really thinking you want to do it now.

And the reason is that the Republican Party, it seems, has been so united with him and they believe that there is another issue for them to talk about, aside from the 2020 election, which was Donald Trump's favorite issue. But now this could become his issue and he can portray himself as the victim, as the leader of people who feel victimized in this country and don't like the Deep State, and that this would give their people more momentum than in fact, the Democrats might have say, because of the Roe v. Wade decision, or they're sick of Donald Trump. So they're now changing their minds.

COOPER: John, there is new reporting from "The New York Times" tonight that you may not have seen yet that the former President dismissed a push from some of his advisers today to fly back to Mar-a- Lago and immediately announce a new presidential campaign.

KING: Look, there is this calculation. A: Do you take advantage of the outrage among your supporters to announce now? The midterm elections, Anderson are 90 days away. So I think any speculation about how this could impact 2024, let alone 2022 is premature. Three months ago, the Democrats were in a mess. Now, the Democrats are in better shape, that's just this year.

But the idea that Trump could play block out rivals in 2024, that's the thinking of some of his people. That is because they play on the power of grievance. And now they believe they have a grievance, but we have no facts on the table. So that is their political calculation. If he announces he is running for President, now it changes how he can raise money, it changes how he can move around the country.

So it gives him some benefits in claiming political grievance and claiming now, "I'm a candidate. The Justice Department shouldn't chase me down." Elliot can explain that the rules, that's not the way the rules work.

But this has been an ongoing drama in Trump land. And so today, it is, he should rush home and announce or he should rush it up before Labor Day. There'll be another story tomorrow, and eventually he'll say something and that's when we'll start the clock.

COOPER: And I mean, Elliot, is it accurate that the foreign President and his legal team would get a copy of the warrant, which he could release to the public? Isn't the warrant required to list everything they anticipate finding or can some of it be sealed?

WILLIAMS: No, no, no. The warrant is actually just administrative document that says that we believe that there's evidence of a crime here. It's got the signature on it. But the good stuff, Anderson that you're talking about is in the affidavits and applications for the warrant.

Now, look, he gets an inventory of all of the materials that were seized from his property. If he really is saying that these are declassified or unimportant documents or just, you know, mementos from his trip to Finland or whatever, then certainly, he can release that. He is going to have that information.

But all of the documentation that really digs in as to what, you know, I think what the public wants to see isn't going to be seen either until someone is charged with the crime or the basis for keeping it secret goes away, and when an investigation is closed.

COOPER: Gloria, do you believe that this will have an impact on the midterms or too soon to tell? I mean, we don't know what is to come of this.

BORGER: I think it's really -- I think it's really too soon to tell, other than when you talk to Republicans who are saying, one Republican who's very close to Donald Trump said to me today, "I have not seen the party this unified behind something in a long time. I mean, when do you see DeSantis and Pence on the same page defending Trump?" And they believe that there is enough of a lead time that this could affect and could motivate Republican voters, which they've been kind of worried about, particularly if Donald Trump were to announce because he has been so divisive.

But it's early, as John was saying, and we're just going to have to wait and see how this plays out. The advantage they have, of course, is that the Justice Department isn't going to say anything in return, so they can punch and punch and punch, and it's very likely that the Justice Department will stay silent.

COOPER: Gloria Borger, John King, Elliot Williams, thank you.

Next, a former Federal Judge who signed off on numerous search warrants during her time on the bench joins us.

And later, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the string of legislative victories for the current President now somewhat overshadowed by all the news and the former President.



COOPER: The breaking news tonight: New reporting that yesterday's search of Mar-a-Lago was motivated by the belief that the former President or his team were holding on to government documents, which according to our source on the story had national security implications.

As for the warrant itself, it pertained to the handling of classified documents, as well as the Presidential Records Act.

Now according to the source, there was also suspicion after months of discussion on the matter that the former President's representatives were not being completely truthful with investigators.

Joining us now, former Federal Judge Nancy Gertner. She's currently a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Law School.

Judge Gertner, great to have you on again. I understand you reviewed search warrants as part of your duties while

on the Federal bench. Can you just walk us through what standard has to be met and how that may undermine some of the accusations out there from the former President and his allies flying around today?

NANCY GERTNER, FORMER FEDERAL JUDGE: Well, there has to be a sworn document and if someone lies in the document, and there will be consequences for lying, for false statements. So the agent has to come and give you what affidavits, sometimes there could be sworn testimony, but usually it's an affidavit. And the affidavit will say "I have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. And that evidence of that crime will be found in the place that I want to search."

And then he has to show or she has to show, describe the place to be searched and the evidence to be seized. And the code word in the law is with particularity. So they can't say hey, something is wrong that is going on at Mar-a-Lago. I want to go in.

They have to describe what the crimes are that they think have taken place and they have to describe, you know, that the crimes have taken place there, and they have to describe what they're searching for and the place to be searched and the things to be seized with some specificity.

Now, a Judge relies on what the agents tell them. And you know, as we've seen in the Breonna Taylor case, the agents may not necessarily be telling the truth, but, frankly, in a case like this with the levels of review and the likely level of a Garland review, I imagine that every I has been dotted and T crossed.


COOPER: You would think that Merrick Garland himself would have looked at the application for the search warrant.

GERTNER: Not only do I think that just because it's the President involved, but from my understanding from people who are working for Garland, and from what I know of him, he's a micromanager. I mean, some of the frustration with the pace of investigations are precisely because he is a micromanager.

So it would be inconceivable that he didn't sign off on this search warrant, this affidavit, and this decision.

COOPER: And how strong a case would have had to be made to this Judge in order to get the Judge to agree?

GERTNER: Well, the Judge is just making -- the Judge has to understand that a crime -- that they're investigating a crime, right? It's not just ordinary misconduct. And here, the likely crime is the President's violations of the Presidential Records Act and inappropriate handling or retention of classified documents. So you have to know that a crime has taken place. It's not some, you know, just itinerant misconduct. And the Judge would have to know that there have to be seeing the

evidence of the probable cause to believe that a crime has taken place. What would the probable cause look like? And I'm just speculating, as we all are, right? So if the National Archives got classified document, they have page seven to page nine, and they're missing eight. On their face, the documents would make it clear that something is missing.

Then there's a story which I imagine would be in the affidavit of the FBI visit to Mar-a-Lago in June, this past June, in which they saw where the documents are kept. And the question is, did they see something at that time that made it clear that what was in there was more than just an occasional memento from Kim Jong-un and something more substantial than that.

So the Judge has to look at the evidence that's given to him to see if there was probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed. So, that's what I mean.

Obviously, you rely on the information you're given. You rely on the good faith of the people giving you the information.

COOPER: Is the warrant a sign that that a case was made, documents were at risk of being destroyed?

GERTNER: Well, that's very -- that's very interesting. I mean, clearly there could have been a subpoena to a grand jury. And where you send the subpoena to Trump, to Trump's lawyers, and you really rely and you trust them to turn over everything.

Clearly, and again, I'm speculating, something happened here that led the agents and the DOJ to believe that in the ordinary course, documents were not going to be turned over. And that therefore they had to take the step of a search warrant.

Now, they really don't have to justify going to a search warrant. Right? There's no legal justification you could send to have -- you can use a search in place of a subpoena. But I'm assuming that to take this step, there had to be some reason to believe that documents were not being preserved, or that they were not being truthful.

Let me just add one thing, because this is driving me nuts. This is not in my lane as a Federal Judge, but the notion that the DOJ, that the White House would have been involved in this makes no sense. This was a week that the Democrats were doing a victory lap and the last thing they wanted to do was to have the coverage taken over by the search of Mar-a-Lago. And that alone suggests to me that this had been an independent decision of the DOJ and an independent decision of Garland.

COOPER: Judge Nancy Gertner, really fascinating. I appreciate it.

Coming up, the historical parallels that the former President is attempting to draw between the FBI's search Mar-a-Lago and the Watergate break-in. I'll speak with CNN political analyst, Carl Bernstein, who did much of the original reporting, of course on the Watergate break-in scandal and former President Nixon's White House Counsel, John Dean joins us as well.



COOPER: Again, our breaking news.

According to a source, the search of Mar-a-Lago came after authorities believe the former President or his team failed to return materials that were government property and it was believed the documents had national security implications.

Now, the search warrant pertained to both the handling of classified documents and the Presidential Records Act. The law was established after President Nixon's Watergate scandal to ensure that presidential records are the property of the US government and not held a private property.

Now in another historical parallel, the Mar-a-Lago search came on the 48th anniversary of Nixon's resignation. Meantime, in a statement yesterday the former President proceeded to kind of mangle Watergate history quoting now: "What is the difference?" He said, "Between this and Watergate where operatives broken to the Democratic National Committee. Here in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States."

Joining me now is journalist and co-author of "All the President's Men: The definitive Account of the Watergate Scandal," Carl Bernstein who is also a CNN political analyst; also CNN contributor, former Nixon White House Counsel, John Dean.

Carl, what is your reaction, first of all, to the search and what you're hearing from people in the former President's orbit?

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the first thing, this is a deadly serious matter, in the view of even former top officials of the Trump administration. I spoke today to one of the senior most Intelligence officials throughout the Trump presidency and the point he made without knowing what these materials are, is it is virtually impossible, in his view, that the FBI and the Justice Department would take this action without knowledge or belief that the materials contain the most sensitive national security information of real magnitude, that this could not be done unless there was reason to believe that the national security could be grievously injured if these documents got out.

It's not just in this person's view, but it's speculative that this would be about the lawyers not being totally truthful, but rather not being truthful or that there is knowledge that the government now has what is being withheld is of serious, serious importance.

COOPER: John, was this a reverse Watergate break-in as the former President was saying?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Not even close, Anderson. This was authorized -- it was an authorized Court proceeding to search and seize materials. And obviously as Carl says, they were important materials.

The Watergate was a bungled break-in by a bunch of actually, clowns in a way in their effort to get into the Democratic National Committee and repair a bug and take some photographs after having been earlier in the Democratic National Committee. Very different parallels, and Trump referring to Watergate of course focuses on the break-in and Watergate became so much more than a bungled break-in. It became a cover up. It became an abuse of power by a President.

COOPER: And Carl, how does the Department of Justice under Merrick Garland compare to what was happening in the Department of Justice during Watergate?

BERNSTEIN: I think that they're both very principled and leaders in the Justice Department after Nixon fired -- the Saturday Night Massacre -- he fired the leaders of the Justice Department and those leaders were pursuing the case against Nixon with great independence.


Similarly, Merrick Garland here is trying to follow as far as we know, where the leads go with second suggestions, and probably more than suggestions that a crime has been committed, he would never have done this, unless there were evidence of a crime having been committed, and by Donald Trump and those around him. And similarly, in Watergate, you had the situation where the officials who were fired by the President of the United States had similar beliefs about where the case was going against Richard Nixon and the cover up.

COOPER: John, do you believe that just searching for, you know, classified documents that the President may have taken from the White House when he left, that would be enough for the FBI to decide to do this?

DEAN: It depends upon the content of the documents, there could be some very serious, seriously compromisable material in national security data, blueprints, who knows what is there? But there are even documents apparently, that are so highly classified, that their classification is classified, so they can't even list some of the material that they have acquired in this search.

So yes, I think there can be stuff that can affect the United States, it can show sources and methods. National Security has long been an area of particular attention. And the National Archives since the Presidential Records Act has been very aggressive in going after former staff never to reach a president before, but former staff or people, senior, very senior political people, Sandy Berger, who was the national security adviser in the Clinton administration, General Petraeus, who was writing a book, they've all experienced what happens if you misuse classified material.

And so, this is not unprecedented. It's just never reached the President ever abusing his power and taking material like this, that we're dealing with.

COOPER: Yes, John Dean, Carl Bernstein. Thank you. Just ahead, we're going to take you to the scene outside Mar-a-Lago, our Randi Kaye, and how the former president's most ardent supporters reacted to the news the FBI search. Next.



COOPER: In before we learn more details about what might be in those boxes and materials to the FBI removed from the former president's residence, Republican officials had already rally to his defense, some demanded investigations or complained about the quote, weaponization of the Justice Department. Also speaking up with the former president's most ardent supporters who attended his rally, shared his conspiracies and generally supported him and much of what he does, as we learn in a moment from CNN's Donie O'Sullivan, some have gone on online with violent rhetoric about a civil war and, quote, lock and load have been some of the phrases used.

But first "360's" Randi Kaye joins us from outside Mar-a-Lago tonight. So, a lot of people have been gathering outside Mar-a-Lago and supported the forum president. What have you been hearing from folks there?

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a much larger group earlier today, still some of them hanging around here tonight. Almost everyone we spoke with is very angry about the fact that the FBI came here to Mar-a-Lago just yesterday. They believe they didn't say what the basis for this was, but they believe that Donald Trump has been cooperating with the Department of Justice, which is investigating the handling of presidential records and presidential documents.

They don't think that it was a good idea for the FBI to come to Mar-a- Lago, especially when the former president wasn't even home. Here's what else some of his supporters told me.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don't want the truth. That's the bottom line. They don't want the truth.

KAYE (on-camera): You don't think that's why they came here to Mar-a- Lago to try and find out the truth and recover the archives?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, they are scared to death of Donald Trump.

MIKE DOMENE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: It's just a show. It this is like maybe impeachment. Number four here for Trump. That's all it is. That's what I think. I mean, they didn't get it the first time the Russian thing. They didn't get the second time right with Ukraine. They didn't get it. The third time with January 6, I think they're running. They know they're running out of time there. They raid a home, and CNN cameras are there and some of his past people. They know what's going on. It's all for a show to make Trump, so he cannot run again.

KAYE (on-camera): You don't think that there was a real reason to come to here because it's just a show?

DELIA STRIKER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: No, I don't -- it's not even think I know there's no real reason. I know, in my heart, I know what in my spirit, he has never lied about anything.


KAYE: All right. Well, we know that isn't true. And when I quickly pointed out to her just as an example, that the former president is still claiming that he won the 2020 election, she continued to say that he has never lied. But also Anderson, it's worth noting that many of the supporters were saying to me that the FBI and the Department of Justice are corrupt. I was quick to point out to them that it was Donald Trump who appointed Christopher Wray as director of the FBI, but they continued to say that he was corrupt. We also talked about Hillary Clinton's e-mails, I reminded them that it was Donald Trump who called for an investigation into her classified e-mails. But the irony was lost on them. They continue to say that he didn't do anything wrong. And she did. Anderson.

COOPER: Randi Kaye, appreciate it.

Perspective on what we just saw from CNN's Donie O'Sullivan, who has attended many of the former president's rallies and spoke with some of his most ardent supporters over the years. And CNN political commentator, Alyssa Farah Griffin, who served in the previous administration as Director of Strategic Communications.

Donie, what have you been seeing on online from the president supporters?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I want to show you Anderson what's what posted showed up on one very popular pro-Trump website last night. After that news broke. People come to lock and load. Somebody else saying I'm just going to say is Garland needs to be assassinated, simple as that. Somebody else saying kill all offense.

Now I think people will rightly ask why are we talking about some anonymous threats made on the internet. Well these are the very same forms in fact that website is one of the very same websites where many data people were talking about plans for January 6 in advance of the attack on the Capitol, people discussing how to attack police officers. And we know people who are lurking in these websites on these websites are not -- are people who sometimes go off and do these acts.


I want to show you another post. This one was come was a top comment under that lock and load post. And somebody asked, are we not in a cold Civil War at this point? Now the person who actually posted that advanced democracy, which is a nonprofit that does a lot of public service research, and was actually able to tie that person's account back to a U.S. Capitol riot or somebody who has been convicted. And even last night, they were posting this kind of talk about civil war. So you can see why this stuff matters. Of course, it is very, very difficult to tell what is a serious stress, and what is something that's.

COOPER: Alyssa, what impact do you think this raid is going to have on some of the most extreme of the former president's supporters?

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think the, you know, Donie's reporting is excellent of what some of these fringe figures who themselves could be or have been radicalized are saying, but I'd also look to the very prominent Republicans and what they've said. So Mark Levin, you know, one of the biggest right-wing talk show hosts in the country, said this was the worst attack on the Republican, his lifetime, never mind 9/11, or many other tragedies. And even elected officials across the board Republicans have come out and condemn this and this is Banana Republic kind of nonsense demonizing law enforcement in the FBI. So that trickles down to supporters of the President's to the fringe who themselves may become radicalized.

And I would note too, the Republican Study Committee, the biggest conservative bloc in the House of Representatives took a group of members up to Bedminster tonight to show their support for the former president. All while we don't even know what this warrant entailed, what the underlying potential alleged crime was, they're saying we know it's not true, the FBI was wrong, and we're in solidarity with the President. So politically, Donald Trump's actually in the probably strongest position he's been in, in some time, but the rhetoric around it is very scary.

COOPER: Donie, are federal officials other others concerned about sort of potential for --

O'SULLIVAN: Yes, our colleague --

COOPER: -- for how this what the ripple effects are (INAUDIBLE).

O'SULLIVAN: That might translate into real violence. Our colleague, Whitney Wilde was speaking to a congressional security source. She said that shortly after that news broke last night that the U.S. Capitol Police were talking about pawns of if this could convert into violence. And as Alyssa mentioned there, look a lot of these threats, a lot of this very charged rhetoric is being made on major social media platforms. But since January 6, we have seen so many of the MAGA world moved to alternative social media platforms given that Trump and others got kicked off right after January 6. So that's another challenge as well, to monitor these threats.

COOPER: Alyssa, the -- what do you make of the reporting that some of the President's advisors wanted him to fly to Mar-a-Lago today to announce his candidacy? According the New York Times that is.

GRIFFIN: Yes, I believe that reporting to be true. There's been talking Trump role since before this rate of him announcing in August or September to get ahead of the several different investigations into him, Georgia, New York, and of course, the January 6, and DOJ investigations. There are some in his inner circle that I believe are telling him. This is the moment I mean, even other contenders for 2024, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo put out statements defending Trump after this raid took place.

So I think they want to kind of capture the moment and hone in and the thought is it kind of boxes in DOJ if he's an announced candidate. That really tests that line of well, can you indict a former president or someone who is running again for president. I think the former president yet to make a decision, but I wouldn't be shocked if he ends up announcing sooner.

COOPER: Do you think this will make it more likely he runs?

GRIFFIN: I do think so. I think so. I feel when he feels the legal walls closing in. I think that he wants that mantle of power back of being in the White House of overseeing these agencies, frankly, of carrying out you know, his retaliation for them once he's in office. You've seen rhetoric from those closely aligned to him about how they want to get the FBI, they want to get the DOJ, they want to, you know, kick out the deep state, meaning, you know, career professionals who do their jobs. So, I think he's more motivated than ever to run.

COOPER: Yes. And that is what they're calling the Deep State career professionals who want to do their jobs. Alyssa Farah Griffin, thank you, Donie O'Sullivan, as well.

Coming up, we'll be joined by Senator my Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, we'll get his reaction the latest on the FBI searched the former president's home. Plus, the recent string of legislative victories from Democrats, including a major spending bill on health care and clean energy.



COOPER: As we learn more about the details to the FBI search Mar-a- Lago, Democrats are equally focused on a string of legislative victories they hope can bolster their chances in the months leading into the midterms. Now, the most recent beings a Chips Bill signed into law today by President Biden spends hundreds of billions of dollars to compete with China in building the semiconductors that power cars and smartphones, medical equipment and more. Senate Democrats are also celebrating the passage of another major bill that's been the source of a lot of drama and trading what they called the Inflation Reduction Act. The House is expected to take it up Friday before the President can sign it. They'll touches on a wide array of democratic priorities, hundreds of billions for clean energy initiatives extension of health care subsidies, and for the first time it allows Medicare, the power to negotiate prices for certain drugs.

Want to talk about Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joins me now. Majority Leader Schumer appreciate you being with us.

I want to get to the legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act in a moment. But just a question off the beginning, we've seen a lot of your Republican colleagues calling For investigations into the DOJ, the FBI after the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago yesterday. Senator Josh Hawley even called for Attorney General Garland to quote, resign or be impeached. What do you make of the reaction of some of your fellow lawmakers?


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Look, I am not commenting until further information comes out. I think it's premature. And I think it's premature for everybody to comment. We don't exactly know what's there yet.

COOPER: On the Inflation Reduction Act, there's a lot in the bill major initiatives intended to tackle drug pricing climate inflation, if it's passed through the House and onto the President's desk, what part of this bill do you think most Americans will notice first, what would actually have an effect on their lives immediately?

SCHUMER: Well, pretty soon, for instance, the price of drugs will go will be limited. Insulin for Medicare patients will go down to $35 a month. Right now its 6, 7, $800 so many millions of senior citizens and others can't afford the insulin yet they desperately need it because they so many have diabetes. And starting next year, early next year, no one will pay more than $2,000 for prescription drugs. So many people have these illnesses, and they have these wonderful pills, but they cost $500 or $1,000 a pill and they don't know what to do, it will be now limited to 1,000 -- to $2,000 maximum payment. So those will take effect right away.

But some of the energy changes are going to take effect quite soon too. For instance, were the focus on clean energy will mean that your electric bill will go down around $1,000 by 2030. It means that appliances will cost a lot less than they have before. And immediately in 2023, the tax code will become fair, because a lot of the big corporations who paid no taxes will start paying them and individuals will finally be audited. The Trump administration did his despicable thing. They basically didn't audit anybody who made over a million dollars. And they said if you made $40,000, we're going to audit you, because there's fraud in the earned income tax credit. It was despicable.


SCHUMER: We have put money in for more auditors, and only for people who make above $400,000. So a lot of these loopholes that wealthy people use lawyers and accountants to get away with paying taxes, those are going to close. So there's a lot that's going to happen soon. And then some will happen later.

COOPER: The legislation is supposed to reduce U.S. carbon emissions, I think by roughly 40% from 2005 levels --


COOPER: -- by 2030. Where will the majority those cuts come from? I mean, how will this bill actually enable the reduction. SCHUMER: Well, there's -- yes, it's across the board many different things. First, clean power will get incentives. If your electricity, which is about 30, 40%, your power of our carbon emissions will become much more focused on clean power, water, solar, wind, that will happen, electric cars will become more available. And of course, they're far less polluting our present internal combustion engines. And there will be all kinds of programs that will reduce carbon going into the atmosphere for agriculture, for big industrial factories, and many things like that. So this is amazing.

The original BVV (ph) Bill, Anderson called for 45% reduction in this bill, which of course, I had a compromise with Joe Manchin on. I still recurred, it still produces a 40% reduction far and away.


SCHUMER: The most significant thing we've done against global warming ever by legions by a whole lot.

COOPER: We've seen a lot of a lot of reporting about the red lines that Senators Manchin and Sinema had the provisions that had to be taken out or changed before they could support the bill. Did you have any red lines during negotiations? Were there any parts of this bill that had to be included --


COOPER: -- or you would lose the support of your caucus?

SCHUMER: Well, I think we had to have a program that aimed at making average people's lives better by reducing inflation and reducing their costs by making drugs cost less. But also, even though Senator Manchin added some provisions into the bill that I don't like and many of us don't like, we had a Northstar (ph), 40% reduction of carbon into the atmosphere by 2030. And we stuck with all of those.

So you know, politics is the art of getting something done. Very easy to sit there and say, let's get nothing done. That's what Leader McConnell focuses on. He's proud of a legislative graveyard. I tried to get things done, and it takes a lot of work. It takes tremendous persistence. You know, my father, who passed away in November taught me something, by example, if you persist, when you're doing the right thing and keep at it, and don't give up he would call it, God would reward you. Bottom line is that if you persist, you can get it done. Our caucus persisted. We reached many cul-de-sacs and dead ends, but we kept at it and we got a great bill, one of the most significant pieces of legislation in decades.

COOPER: You've got the Chips and Science Act just signed by the president the Inflation Reduction Act coming up in the House. The end of July pulling put President Biden's approval ratings as you know, near the lowest of his presidency. Do you think the Democrats have done what they need to do enough to convince voters you should remain in control of Congress?

[20:55:08] SCHUMER: Yes, yes. We've been gaining over the last few weeks or the last few months, Anderson because people are seeing the Republican Party's extreme. The Supreme Court decisions, of course, Dobbs on abortion, but also on guns, also on environment. The fact that the January 6 hearing showed what happened, and just the rhetoric, the kind of angry, almost anti-Democratic rhetoric that's coming out of the Republican Party, people were starting to say, I don't want them to govern. But they had a question. Could Democrats actually get something done? I think in the last six weeks, with the in IRA, with the Chips and Science Act, we put the PACT Act together the best advance in health care for veterans in 10 years. We did something on guns for the first time in 30 years that reduces the violence. We've got internet we did the NATO bill.

All of those things in six weeks was marvelous, marvelous accomplishments on various different fronts, and the people are going to see Democrats can get something done, even with a 50/50 margin in a caucus that runs from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin, not an easy job. But we did it.

COOPER: Majority Leader Schumer, I appreciate it. I'm sorry about the death of your father and what a blessing to have had him in your life for so long.

SCHUMER: Thank you.

COOPER: I wish you the best.

SCHUMER: Thank you. He's still here giving us guidance. He's still here and giving us guidance, Anderson.

COOPER: Oh, we could all use some guidance. Senator, thank you.

An update on a remarkable young man, eight-year-old Cooper Robertswho was paralyzed during the July 4th Highland Park shooting, that's next.



COOPER: A bright note to end the program, Adrienne Cooper Roberts who is paralyzed in the Highland Park mass shooting could soon be heading back to school. Cooper's currently in a rehab hospital after being moved out of pediatric ICU last week. His family says he's now doing daily physical activity to help regain strength and mobility. He'll be there for another six to 12 weeks and he's expected to join his twin brother for half days at school and do outpatient rehab.

Take a look, cooper has also been reunited with the family dog George. He's been asking for him after the shooting. Great friends reunited, we wish him the best.

The news continues. Let's hand over Sara Sidner in "CNN TONIGHT." Sara.