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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

DeSantis On Migrants: "There'll Likely Be More Flights;" Ukrainian Officials: Hundreds Found In Izium Site; Some Bodies Show Signs Of Torture; Trump Team Told Archives Mar-A-Lago Boxes Only Contained News Clippings; Special Master In Mar-A-Lago Documents Case Schedules Preliminary Conference For Tuesday; Queen's Funeral Will Be The Largest Global Protection Operation London's Met Police Has Ever Undertaken; Biden Meets With Families Of Griner, Whelan At WH. Aired 8-9 pm ET

Aired September 16, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: The White House says there has been movement with Russia, but not a breakthrough.

Griner has been held since February on drug charges, Whelan for three years on alleged espionage, which he denies. The White House offered to release a notorious Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout in exchange for Griner and Whelan, but there has been so far no response from Putin to that offer.

Thanks for joining us. Anderson starts now.



The very best this country can be was on display today as 50 migrants flown to Martha's Vineyard cheered a State government promising to shelter them and provide emergency services. Today, they were sent to a military base on Cape Cod after locals had donated manpower and tens of thousands of dollars to help and also greeting them.

CNN had spoken to more than a dozen of these Venezuelans, all of whom say they are fleeing repression in their home country. They're all claiming asylum and have hearings going forward in cities across the country.

The man who is taking credit for what President Biden has called playing politics with human beings, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, promised that these flights are only the beginning.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): So they've been in Texas, identifying people that are trying to come to Florida, and then offering them free transportation to sanctuary jurisdictions, and so they went from Texas to Florida, to Martha's Vineyard, with the flight. There are also going to be buses, and there will likely be more flights.

But I'll tell you this, the legislature gave me $12 million. We're going to spend every penny of that to make sure that we're protecting the people the State of Florida.


COOPER: Governor Ron DeSantis, along with the Governor of Texas are transporting migrants to well-known liberal enclaves. Critics say they are being used as props.

The Governors and their supporters say it is a protest against what they say is an inadequate Federal response to crossings on the border. But more on all the politics of this debate in a moment, first, however the people themselves. CNN's Miguel Marquez has been on Martha's Vineyard and has their story.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): After less than 48 unexpected hours in Martha's Vineyard, nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants were given a warm sendoff.

Volunteers embracing each person as they boarded buses. Then ferries and on to the next part of their long journey.

Their unannounced arrival, Wednesday, all part of a campaign by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, to send migrants to so-called sanctuary cities by surprise.

DESANTIS: All we're trying to do is offer transport to sanctuary jurisdictions, free to the alien, but certainly not mandatory, in that way they're able to go in these sanctuary jurisdictions can put their money where their mouth is.

MARQUEZ (voice over): These immigrants were picked up in Texas, some of them say they weren't taken to a hotel to wait, then boarded planes.

(YENG PALOMORA speaking in foreign language.)

MARQUEZ (voice over): "Well, we didn't know until the last minute our destinations such as New York, where our relatives reside," he says, "We came with, as I say the idea of reuniting with them."

Yeng Palomora (ph) and other immigrants we spoke to here say, they were promised all sorts of things, including jobs and housing, things that never materialized.

(YENG PALOMORA speaking in foreign language.)

MARQUEZ (voice over): "We were told it was humanitarian aid by a foundation that in this case remains unknown," he says. "They didn't tell us the benefactor. They just told us that the person wanted to help us."

While volunteers and officials in Martha's Vineyard promptly responded and cared for their unexpected guests, lawyers assisting the immigrant say the stop did nothing, but detour already desperate people. RACHEL SELF, LAWYER ASSISTING IMMIGRANTS, MARTHA'S VINEYARD: It is

sickeningly cruel, throwing obstacles in the way of people fleeing violence and oppression, some of whom walked through 10 countries in the hopes of finding safety. It is shameful and inhuman.

MARQUEZ (voice over): The incidents which Governor DeSantis proudly took credit for slammed by some Massachusetts officials.

JULIAN CYR (D), MASSACHUSETTS STATE SENATOR: If this were about sort of alleviating capacity in border towns or in helping migrants seeking a better life, you don't do it by essentially a surprise, I don't know, transport, right?

MARQUEZ (on camera): You guys obviously stepped up. But how much more complicated was it because they were sent here?

LISA BELCASTRO, VOLUNTEER: My heart breaks for them, because they were not the first priority. I hope they feel exceptionally loved. They are in my heart, forever and safe.


COOPER: CNN's Miguel Marquez joins us now from the Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard.

What happens next to these people? Is it clear how long they're going to be at that military base on Cape Cod?

MARQUEZ: Well, so one thing that the people here on Martha's Vineyard and others across the country have done is raise a lot of money for these people as well. So, even though they've left the island, there is going to be money available to them. Almost $200,000.00 as of today that the people here on the Vineyard want to continue to support them.


MARQUEZ: And then now that they're on this military base, a lot of them have hearings in other cities -- Los Angeles, Washington State, Cincinnati, back in Texas, Washington, DC. So, they're going to figure out -- meet with lawyers here, try to hook him up with lawyers in other places, and then get them sort of to the place they need to go, so their asylum cases can be heard and they can remain here, legally, which is what everybody wants -- Anderson.

COOPER: And just to make clear, right now, their status. You said you've spoken to 17 of them, they all say that they are applying for asylum. That's a legal process that they declare at the border. Correct? So they are here, they are allowed to be here.

MARQUEZ: Correct.

COOPER: While that process goes through.

MARQUEZ: They are allowed to be here. They are legally here. Governor DeSantis has spoken about the repression in Venezuela, they are fleeing that repression. They've come here looking to take advantage of their asylum status and that is what they are on now track to do.

COOPER: Miguel Marquez, appreciate it. Thank you.

Perspective now on all this from the former Democratic Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick.

Governor Patrick, I appreciate you joining us tonight. What do you think about Governor DeSantis sending migrants to Martha's Vineyard? And what is your reaction to how the people on the Vineyard and the Cape have responded?

DEVAL PATRICK (D), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: Well, on the first question, Anderson, I think probably my reaction is like most Americans from either party, and no party at all.

We don't think -- most of us don't think it is right to treat human people, to treat human beings as cargo, to treat them as props in a political stunt. It's wrong.

These are folks who have come to this country seeking asylum, which is a legal process, by the way. It is not an illegal entry. And the Governor of Florida is apparently going out of his way using what money -- whose money, I don't know -- to charter a flight to go to Texas, to bring folks to Martha's Vineyard without any forewarning to local officials or preparation.

The leaders here have been the residents of Martha's Vineyard who have stepped up in marvelous ways and demonstrated what grace looks like, and I believe what patriotism looks like.

COOPER: Is this, you think from Governor DeSantis and the others that we've seen, this is just a publicity stunt ahead of the midterms? A way to get attention and, you know, poke Republicans -- poke Democrats?

PATRICK: Well, I think so. I can't think of any other reason for it. I mean, leaders ought to be about solving problems. This doesn't solve a problem. We have a serious challenge at the Southern border, as we all know, in terms of immigration. What we need are solutions. What we need are better rules.

We have rules, but we need better ones. This administration, the Biden administration is trying to develop those rules. That's leadership. The Biden administration, by the way, needs Republican partners to help develop those rules and improve them and strengthen them and make them as effective as possible. That is leadership.

What we've seen from the Governor of Florida and the Governor of Texas is not leadership, it is showmanship. And sadly, Anderson, we get a whole lot more of that in politics today than Americans deserve.

What actual solution have they offered? None. Everybody can see that. It's just another kind of chance to poke somebody else in the eye and poke each other in the ribs.

I don't know what it was -- when it is we decided to turn office over -- offices over to bullies, but that is apparently what we've done in parts of the country.

COOPER: These Governors, they've all made statements to the effect that their States are overburdened with people crossing US borders and that they're doing this to call attention to the fact that the Federal government is not doing enough to secure the borders.

Obviously, I know you don't agree with the tactics, do you think more should be done by the Federal government to assist Border States with immigration?

PATRICK: I think we have a serious immigration problem, and it requires a comprehensive solution. If there is more that the Federal government needs to do for those States to address particular issues in those States, then the Federal government should do it.

And we should acknowledge that there are people particularly in border communities, in and along our Southern border, who are anxious about this, who are worried about this; in some cases, afraid because of the surge from time to time of immigrants over the border.

That's an issue and leaders need to show comfort and support around that. That's just not what we're getting from these Governors. I'd like them to tell us and more to the point, tell the Federal government exactly the kind of support they feel they need, because most asylum seekers as is the case here in Massachusetts are supported by volunteers, by agencies of one kind or another, sometimes by family members or distant relatives, not by government support.


PATRICK: So, if there are specific needs, sure. They know the phone number in the White House if they have to make those calls, but spending money on airplanes and other ways to convey people to distant places and lying to them in order to get them on those planes is just -- it's immoral.

COOPER: Governor Deval Patrick, appreciate it. Thank you.

PATRICK: Thank you.

COOPER: We want to take a closer look now at the two Republican Governors really behind the flights and the busing of migrants, Florida's Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott of Texas. Here is CNN's Ed Lavandera.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): While residents of Martha's Vineyard hugged and cared for a group of about 50 Venezuelan migrants sent to the island from Texas on chartered planes, courtesy of Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a group of Venezuelan and Latino activists gathered in Miami to lash out.

ADELYS FERRO, DIRECTOR, VENEZUELAN AMERICAN CAUCUS: He has to stop. We demand him to stop using our pain, our suffering, and our desperation for his political games.

JUAN-CARLOS PLANAS, FORMER FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: This was a publicity stunt that is the lowest common denominator of human decency.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Juan-Carlos Planas is the son of Cuban exiles and a former Republican State Representative from Miami. He says at this point, it's not clear yet if DeSantis has angered the reliably Republican political base of Cubans and Venezuelans in Florida.

PLANAS: From what I've heard on Cuban radio today, they haven't mentioned it, which is probably the fact that they don't know how to deal with it. So, there probably will be a negative side to this. This may be the step too far.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Governor DeSantis vows to keep as many migrants out of Florida as possible through his relocation program.

DESANTIS: I've got $12 million for us to use, and so we are going to use it, and you're going to see more and more, but I'm going to make sure that we exhaust all of those funds.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Florida is home to the largest populations of Cuban and Venezuelan immigrants fleeing socialist dictatorships, but there are deep political divisions in these communities.

PLANAS: There are, you know, Venezuelans who are hardcore Trump supporters, they're called the MAGAzuelans and basically, these are folks that that believe that there should be a hard line on everything.

LAVANDERA (voice over): For several months, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has put more than 11,000 migrants on some 250 buses, with some going to cities with Democratic leaders like Washington, DC, Chicago, and New York.

Texas Division of Emergency Management figures show, it has cost the state more than $12 million.

Abbott has repeatedly appeared on FOX News to showcase the busing program.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Most of America has not really understood the magnitude of the problem that we have on the border until we started sending these buses up to New York.

PONCHO NEVAREZ, FORMER TEXAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE: For any politician that uses this issue in the way these two gentlemen have, it is the worst kind of cynicism that we have in politics today.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Poncho Nevarez is a former Democratic State Representative from the Texas border town of Eagle Pass. His home overlooks the Rio Grande into Mexico.

Nevarez says if there is a political price to pay for these political stunts, Abbott and DeSantis haven't experienced it yet. LAVANDERA (on camera): There are a lot of people who criticize Abbott

and DeSantis and say what they're doing is inhumane and not right. But do you think for the average voter out there, it matters?

NEVAREZ: I think it may not.

LAVANDERA (voice over): A University of Texas and Texas Politics Project Poll this week found that Abbott's busing of migrants has about 52 percent support among Texas voters, including 50 percent support among Independent voters.

NEVAREZ: The response that they got was exactly what they wanted, which is what are you doing? Why are you sending them here? And it looks like the border town. That's what they wanted, and they got it.

LAVANDERA (voice over): And the Governors of Texas and Florida say they will continue to do more of the same.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.


COOPER: Well, still to come tonight, CNN's Nick Paton Walsh joins us from Ukraine, shows us some of the true horrors of war just uncovered: A mass burial site with hundreds of bodies, newly discovered.

And we have new details also about the Special Master named last night, plus more detail about the interactions between the former President's legal team and the National Archives.



COOPER: Repugnant and horrifying: Those were words used today by the White House to describe reports of a mass burial site containing hundreds of bodies located in an area of Ukraine that was recently occupied by the Russians.

Our Nick Paton Walsh was there and we want to warn, you some of the images he saw are obviously disturbing.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Here is where the horror gets names and numbers. Russia's unprovoked invasion killed many anew, but only now in liberated cities like Izium are we finding out who and how.

And even this rain cannot erase the smell how death haunts these pines.

WALSH (on camera): It's important to point out that this was a military position. These are tank positions around the city, presumably for the Russians when they occupied it, burying these bodies where their troops would lay to rest and defend the city. Ukrainian officials have said over 400 bodies were buried here, even

children, all showing signs of a violent death.

Through the day, they have been exhuming dozens of bodies, most individual graves, numbered and orderly, one bearing a number as high as 398, but this, we are told and can smell and see is a mass grave where 17 dead were found, a policeman here told us.


WALSH (voice over): Ukrainian officials said bodies found included the family killed in an airstrike, Ukrainian soldiers shot with their hands bound, and bodies showing signs of torture.

WALSH (on camera): Some of the graves are marked just by a number, and others have someone's full history. Zolaftarif Alexei Afasineyovich (ph), who looks like he dies, aged 82, buried here.

This investigator tells us what he found in this spot.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)

WALSH (voice over): "Here are civilian bodies, and military ones further along," he said. "Over 20 have been examined here and will be sent for further investigation."

It seems to be the horrid extension of the long-term cemetery nearby. Wreaths, coffins, candles -- some people knew who they were burying, others next to this invader's campsite, likely not.

(NADEZHDA KALINICHENKO speaking in foreign language.)

WALSH (voice over): Nadezhda said the Russians first hit the graveyard with an airstrike and then moved in.

NADEZHDA KALINICHENKO, IZIUM RESIDENT (through translator): We tried not to go out because it was scary where they brought their special machines. They dug some trenches for their vehicles. We only heard how they were destroying the forest.

When they left, I don't know if there was fighting or not. We just heard a lot of heavy trucks one night a week ago.

WALSH (voice over): We saw multiple refrigerated lorries leaving town, but we were asked not to film the contents of this one. Part of where the history of Russia's brutal occupation will be written and nothing can wash this site clean.


COOPER: Nick Paton Walsh joins us now from Kharkiv. What else can you tell us about the scale of what's happened there in the region of Izium?

WALSH: Yes, I mean, certainly this singular burial site in Israel is horrifying to observe, but it has been referred to by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy as something potentially in the same sentence as what we saw around Bucha, the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, a district near that where there were clearly it seems war crimes by Russian troops shooting civilians dead.

What seems to being unearthed slowly here in Izium may possibly end up being evidence of war crimes, but there were also two other suggestions that people may have died there of older age.

The investigators we spoke to, talked clearly about their work continuing. One said they weren't sure when the people had died, whether perhaps they had died during the Ukrainian defense of the city or the Russian occupation. So, there is work still to be continued there, but a very clear series of strident allegations from Ukrainian officials that we are seeing evidence there of atrocities by Russian troops.

But as I say, so many of the graves there yet to be exhumed. It's the early stages of this, although early stages that show clear signs of the horror, frankly that Russia has inflicted, as you point out all the deaths that occurred in this war, ultimately, you could hold Moscow responsible for -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes, Nick Paton Walsh, appreciate it. Thank you.

Just ahead, new details about what the President's legal team told the National Archives last year and the Special Master has set his first hearing for next week.



COOPER: The Justice Department is expected to file an appeal at any time after a Judge this week ruled against them, drastically slowing down their criminal probe. New revelations about what Trump's team told the National Archives when they first tried to get those boxes of documents back stored at Mar-a-Lago.

Jessica Schneider joins us now. So, first of all, what's the latest you know about this possible appeal by the Justice Department?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson. We know the DOJ really could appeal at any moment and that is because they told the Judge in this case that they plan to appeal by the end of this week. So, here we are.

And you know, of course last night, we saw the Judge issue her ruling where she said essentially, she will not back down, and she would not let the DOJ use the classified documents that they've recovered at Mar-a-Lago in continuing their criminal investigation.

So obviously, DOJ wants to appeal all of that. DOJ also has to wait until the Special Master that's been named has reviewed all the classified documents to use them.

So presumably here, there is a lot for DOJ to appeal. You know, not only did Judge Aileen Cannon say they couldn't continue their investigation, but she also cast a lot of doubt that their existence at Mar-a-Lago may have imperiled national security.

So at this point, DOJ lawyers, they are likely parsing through the issues they actually want to appeal, and could appeal really at any moment any day, any hour before the 11th Circuit here -- Anderson.

COOPER: There is also new reporting about what the former President's team told the National Archives about what he had in his possession.

SCHNEIDER: That's right, so our Jamie Gangel is getting this information and she has learned that then Deputy White House Counsel, Pat Philbin, he told the Archives in September 2021 that Trump's then Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, assured him that the boxes remaining at Mar-a-Lago only contained newspaper clippings, nothing classified. And he also said that he had been told no documents had been destroyed.

So this conversation, it came as part of what was an extensive back and forth between Trump's team and the Archives.

Remember, they were trying to get those boxes of presidential records back, of course, we know that eventually they did get 15 boxes back in January, and what we've learned from the unsealed affidavit is that it was a lot more of course than newspaper clippings. It notably contained highly sensitive classified information that includes human source information that really could put those sources in danger if it's revealed.

But really, Anderson this is, you know, another piece of information about how there was this very extensive back and forth between Trump's team and the Archives. And you know, Trump and his team, perhaps just not being completely forthright when it comes to what remained at Mar- a-Lago.

And then one last thing, Anderson, I want to mention that we have learned tonight, that when it comes to the Special Master case, and moving forward with that, there will be a hearing in Brooklyn at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, and that's because the Special Master here really has to come up with a plan in the next 10 days, because the clock is ticking.

You know, he has to review 11,000 documents and the deadline is the end of November -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Jessica Schneider, thanks so much.

Perspective now from CNN's senior legal analyst, Elie Honig, former Assistant US Attorney and CNN contributor, John Dean who famously served as White House counsel to former President Nixon.


So, Elie, what do you expect this substance of the Justice Department's appeal to be? And what will the process going forward look like? ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I understand there's three possibilities here for what we see from DOJ's appeal. One, they could appeal everything. The entire appointment of the special master, the entire process. To there could be a middle ground where they only appeal the part of the ruling that relates to the classified documents, as Jessica pointed out, those are the most sensitive documents and DOJ may say, let us have those, take those out of the purview of the special master. Or three, it's possible not likely, but possible, DOJ decides not to appeal at all. The strategic considerations here on the one hand, DOJ hates this ruling, they lost this ruling, they think the judge is wrong.

On the other hand, an appeal takes time, it takes months. And if they do appeal, they might lose. They're going to the 11th Circuit. It's a conservative circuit. And if you lose on the circuit level, it is much worse in terms of precedent than just losing on the trial court level.

COOPER: John, what would the Department of Justice be looking for when that appeal of Judge Cannon's decision?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think one of the things they'll certainly look at will be the -- where she's gone with executive privilege. She is writing law that does not exist. She's writing instructions to a special master who is going to start meeting next week that really are not clear directions. He will have no idea exactly where to do -- take this, how to schedule it. And I think some of the first things they're going to have to do is narrow down exactly what his assignment is. So, it's a very, very messy situation right now. I am convinced they're going to appeal something as Elie says we don't know exactly what.

COOPER: Elie, as you heard tonight, according to reporting by Jamie Gangel, according to a source familiar with the exchange that the Trump team told the National Archives back in 2021, that the documents Trump obtained were just newspaper clippings, if that's correct, would there be legal jeopardy for the person or people who made those claims? Mark Meadows reportedly was the person who told the attorney that?

HONIG: It all depends on who knew what, Anderson. Clearly this was a false statement, the statement to the Archives that this is only newspaper clippings, no more sensitive documents, that is false, demonstrably false. And the question is, did Mark Meadows know it was false when he made that statement? Or did somebody else perhaps knowingly make a false statement to Mark Meadows? If prosecutors can prove that somebody knowingly made a false statement, then yes, it could be the federal crime of making false statements. And that applies to statements made to the Archives just like it went to the FBI. Or it could be obstruction of justice.

COOPER: John, does it matter if the person in question did not know they were telling a falsehood. And in other words, could someone say hey, look, I was told by the foreign president, these were newspaper clippings, nothing was shredded, no reason to believe otherwise?

DEAN: It will, their criminal intent is involved if they knew they were making a false statement. That's criminal. If they did not. And they had no duty to make inquiry further than what they did. There will be no problem for them. So, it's going to -- it's the chain of information that has to get sorted out. But you can bet that they're all going to talk about where they got this information at some point.

COOPER: And Elie, the judge Raymond Dearie, the special master in this case, they've scheduled a preliminary conference for Tuesday. What are both sides going to want out of that? What are their objectives going into that when they show up at this hearing?

HONIG: Well, I think the judge certainly appreciates that time is of the essence here. By the way, if people are wondering why Brooklyn, right? This is all in Florida, it's because Raymond Dearie, the Special Master is also a senior judge who sits in Brooklyn.

Now, he has got to keep this thing on schedule, on track. He's been given a deadline of November 30, to get this review done. But there's a lot of work and a lot of process to be done. And he was not given, as Jessica said, any intermediate deadlines. So, I think what we're going to see on Tuesday is the judge is going to say, here's what each side has to do. Here's what I need to see you do it by. He's been a trial judge at the federal level for 36 years. He knows how to keep his courtroom in order.

COOPER: And John, think the fact that the conference was announced today and will happen on Tuesday shows an interest on the part of this judge to, as Elie said, keep the case moving along quickly?

DEAN: I started to think it does. He actually told both sides that come to him and present anything they wanted on the agenda. So, they're expected to come in on Tuesday and do that. One of the first things it's going to cut slow this down, is the Trump lawyers have to get cleared for top secret information. If that stays part of the -- the review material. If it's -- if the court appeals that or if the Justice appeals it I'll probably set that aside and go forward with the non-classified information.

COOPER: John Dean, Elie Honig, thanks so much, I appreciate it.

Up next, another night in London with 1000s of people waiting to see Queen Elizabeth lie in state. The weather's cold. The wait is long and yet they keep coming as the city prepares for Monday's funeral, bringing in some of the world's top leaders and plenty of security concerns.



COOPER: Third day in London with 1000s lined up still to pay respects to the late Queen. She lies in state in Westminster Hall. The U.K. government warning that at least -- there's at least a 25 hour wait time with cold temperatures throughout the night. They're also warning that the queue is near total capacity and asking people to not join the line. This all ahead of the Queen's funeral on Monday. It's obviously a remarkable moment in history bringing world leaders and celebrities and everyday citizens all under one roof while also posing some huge security concerns. Cities preparing by taking some pretty drastic safety measures. London's Metropolitan Police said the funeral be the largest single policing event they're calling it, they've under taken.

Ahead of Monday's events, they've already deployed more than 22 miles of barriers across central London. Joining me now with more CNN Chief Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts, John Miller.

What is -- first of all, welcome to CNN. It's great to have you here.



COOPER: Yeah, are or have you back, what is the biggest security concern in an event like this?

MILLER: Well, it's really the perfect storm if you're coming from the counterterrorism world, which is you've got a globally live televised mega event. You've got throngs of people. You've got literally every world leader on the planet, you could say that the, the leadership of 98% of the globe's population is going to be in one place at one time. You've got talking about plans of moving world leaders together in groups, which of course that's --

COOPER: That's really unusual?

MILLER: Very unusual. So, it means fewer motorcades, lower logistics, but it also means higher collateral if there's a hit.

COOPER: So, I mean, world leaders like sort of having a joint Uber, I mean, they're like multiple in like a people mover vehicle or?

MILLER: I think, I think without getting into too much detail, you're going to see something that you don't often see in terms of moving them together. So, I think, you know, from a counterterrorism standpoint, it's a giant challenge. From a policing standpoint, it's a giant challenge.

Anderson, you got to look at the Metropolitan Police. It's not a department that's been getting bigger. It's been getting smaller. I think they have about 31,000 people, but they've gone through many budget cuts, they've got terrible morale issues, because of scandals, criticisms, political buffeting. You've got a commissioner Mark Rowley, who has been there really about a week now.

COOPER: Is that right. With the Prime Minister, who has been there, you know --

MILLER: A couple of days, right. Now, on the good side, morale problems aside, this gives the mat a chance to shine, the officers are stepping up. It's a largely unarmed Police Department in a country that's not gun crazy. And you've got four years of planning that's gone into this. And Mark Rowley, the new commissioner, was the former head of counterterrorism from 2014 to '18. So, this kind of planning, knowing his way around, securing an event like this, knowing what potential adversaries are thinking, this is what he's practiced for forever.

COOPER: One of the things I was struck by just the other day when I was there, is it not just a big police presence? It's -- there were 1000s -- 10s of 1000s, probably of, I assume civilians in yellow vests, who were sort of crowd to interact with the crowd and sort of keep things moving along. And they were spaced along the route that the Queen's castle was going to take, I mean, every maybe five feet, you would see these people. So, it seems I mean, so when you say, the police force is only that size, they have clearly brought in a lot of civilians, just to help with crowds and the light?

MILLER: And they brought in police officers from every other police department in Great Britain and the United Kingdom. So, you know, that's 50 departments have all contributed people.

COOPER: You also have this logistical challenge of, you know, elderly people waiting in line, elderly people along the route, wanting to see everything and people, I mean, getting injured or having heart attacks or fainting. I mean, there's a lot of human concerns?

MILLER: Layers and layers and layers.


MILLER: So, you got the counterterrorism overlay that's having armed specialist teams waiting in the wings, ready as response cars, the armed response vehicles, it means having bomb squad people who are not going to block off blocks and seal off areas, but who can quickly resolve a suspicious package because you've got an event going around it, you have those minders that you were talking about who are also doing another job, which is they're looking at that crowd.

Frankly, if I was looking at it from a counterterrorism standpoint, the vulnerability isn't -- the key vulnerability isn't really the Royals or the world leaders. It's the throngs of people that in and of themselves in a country that's already seen ramming attacks, knife attacks in crowds on multiple occasions. That is probably the greatest vulnerability and that's something they're paying a great deal of attention to and planning around.

COOPER: Yeah, John Miller, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

MILLER: Thanks.

COOPER: As the world prepares to bid their final farewell to the Queen, 360's Randi Kaye takes a look at Royal funerals and some of their most memorable moments and the impacts.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Shadow of Death hovered over King George of England as these last pictures were made.

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was mid-morning on February 6, 1952 when the news came, King George VI had died in the night at the Royal estate of Sandringham from a coronary thrombosis. He was 56.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unknowingly, he was bidding a final farewell to his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip.

KAYE: Newspapers carried the story throughout London with the headline, the King is dead. His daughter 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth flew back to Britain from a royal trip to Kenya as Queen Elizabeth II. What followed was a five-hour blackout on BBC television and nine days of mourning.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All over the world flags are at half-mast for a man of quiet dignity who kept firm the bonds of empire.

KAYE: In 2002, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, widow of King George VI passed away at the age of 101. She had requested that her funeral be held at Westminster Abbey like her husband's had. Then she too, was buried at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

In 2021, Queen Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, passed away. He affectionately called his wife of 73 years Lilibeth, he was 99. Philip himself was deeply involved in the planning of his own funeral. He oversaw the process of designing his hearse, nearly two decades before his death, with the original Land Rover repainted, dark bronze green, typical of military use.

But it was the death of Princess Diana in 1997 that drew massive coverage. Her sons Prince William 15, and Harry 12 walk stoically behind their mother's horse drawn coffin, with a card reading Mommy on it. It left an indelible mark on a nation and the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No one who knew Diana will ever forget her. Millions of others who never met her, but felt they knew her will remember her.

KAYE: When Diana died, musician Elton John and his co-writer Bernie Taupin rewrote the lyrics to Candle in the Wind as a tribute to her.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her beauty, both internal and external, will never be extinguished.

KAYE: As the Queen is soon laid to rest, perhaps Her Majesty said it best, grief is the price we pay for love. And now a nation stands together to grieve, to remember and to love. Randi Kaye, CNN.


COOPER: I'll be back in London for CNN's live coverage of Queen Elizabeth state funeral on Monday. I hope you join me the rest of our team starting at 5 a.m. Eastern time.

Still to come tonight, President Biden meeting with family of WNBA Star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan both who remain in jail in Russia. What Griner's wife is saying about the meeting, next.



COOPER: At the White House tonight, President Biden met for the first time with family members and WNBA Star Brittney Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan who are both detained in Russia. Griner was detained in February for carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. She pled guilty to drug charges and faces now nine years in prison. Whelan was convicted on espionage charges that he denies. He's been in prison for more than three years and faces a total of 16 years in prison.

Tonight's meetings at the White House Griner's wife and Whelan's sister took place separately, the Biden administration has been pushing for the release of both Americans saying that they are wrongfully detained. And just days ago, CNN reported that former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and his team were in Moscow holding meetings with Russian leadership. This group worked privately on behalf of families and hostages -- of hostages and detainees.

Joining us with more on today's White House meeting is CNN Senior Political Correspondent Abby Phillip, Anchor of Inside Politics Sunday. I know you spoke with Brittney Griner's wife late this evening. What did she say about how the meeting went?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY: Yeah, Anderson just a few minutes ago, I got on the phone with Cherelle Griner for a few minutes and she was genuinely appreciative of this meeting. Remember, she's been pushing to meet with President Biden for months now since we spoke earlier this summer. She thought that a meeting with Biden would be pivotal in the process to bring Brittney Griner home and she said that she came out of this meeting, really feeling confident that the Biden ministration was doing all that they could do to bring BG home.

She said President Biden wanted to reassure her and I think the other -- the other family members of Paul Whelan, who he also met with today that he's committed to making this happen, and that he was going to put forward pretty much any effort that it took. But she acknowledged that there have been some setbacks, some roadblocks in that process, not the least of which is just the dismal state of us Russia relations right now.

COOPER: And Mrs. Griner has been pushing obviously, for face-to-face meeting for a long time. And when you spoke with her back in June, she told you about how she felt she needed to speak to the President. Does she feel like though she got what she wanted out of the meeting?

PHILLIP: She wanted to hear it obviously President Biden say that he had been able to strike a deal, but one of the reasons that she was so insistent on having this meeting is that when it came to another prisoner who had been detained in Russia, Trevor Reed, who was released earlier this year, he -- his family had met with Biden shortly before that release happened.

And so, she told me that she hopes that perhaps this meeting might proceed BG's release, but she really has no idea and did not get a sense at this meeting that any deal was imminent. She did say, though, that President Biden alluded to some of the reporting that CNN and other outlets have had that the Biden administration has discussed with Russia trading at least one prisoner here in the United States in exchange for Whelan and for Griner. He alluded to that but did not share a lot of concrete details about what the state of those negotiations are.

COOPER: And is it clear to what extent or if any extent that the fates of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan are actually linked? I mean, does Griner family feel like any deal would likely be for both of them?

PHILLIP: I think that the sense is both from what I've heard from Cherelle after her meeting with Biden and from others that there is a sense that their fates are very much linked. The Biden administration is talking to Russia about bringing both of these Americans home and offering to Russia what they think ought to be enough to bring them both home.


Paul Whelan has been detained longer than Brittney Griner. But it's been this pressure that Biden has faced publicly from Cherelle Griner and from the WNBA, the NBA and many, many others that has really brought the situation to this point.

You know, Anderson, I do want to just add, you know, one thing I did ask her if she's been talking to her wife via letters over the last several months, and she said that just in the last few weeks, those letters have really taken a very dark turn. She said her wife is really at a breaking point. She said she is losing it, partly because what comes next is an appeal process. That appeal process is not really likely to go Brittney Griner's way and if it does not, she could be sent over to a Russian labor camp.

COOPER: Abby Phillip, thanks so much.

Coming up, a very personal look at loss and grief and the impact it has on all of us. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Just quick mention about my new podcast, it's my first podcast, it's a very personal exploration of loss and grief. It's called All There Is, debuted at number one on Apple podcast, which I'm very grateful for to listen to it. You see the QR code on your screen, on your TV screen there. If you point your cell phone camera at it you get a link to the podcast. You can also find it obviously on Apple podcasts wherever you listen to podcasts.

[21:00:06] I started recording alone while back in my mom's apartment after her death. And it's a process that we'll all go through as a grief. I realized that people don't talk much about it. And that adds the loneliness of it. It certainly did for me, loss and grief are among the most universal of human experiences. There are bonds that we all share. The first episode is available now. The second one will go online next week. I hope you'll give it a listen.

That's it for us. The news continues. Let's hand over Laura Coates and CNN Tonight, Laura.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Anderson, I really loved the first episode and I hope everyone listen to. It really -- it was so it resonated. And there are moments in it that I'm so glad that you went there, that you were personal. I think everyone should really get to know you from that side as well. And thinking about I know how personable and wonderful you are. But to have that idea and know you in that dimension in a way that relates to everyone was really, really powerful. Bravo.

COOPER: Thank you, I appreciate it. Thank you.

COATES: Thank you.