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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Justice Thomas Gives DOJ Deadline After Trump Asks Supreme Court To Intervene In Mar-a-Lago Documents Case; Herschel Walker Denies In Strongest Possible Terms Allegation He Paid For An Abortion; At Least 109 Now Dead Almost A Week After Hurricane Ian Made Landfall; Pennsylvania Key Battleground For Midterm Elections; Stockton Police Release New Video Of Person Of Interest In 6 Homicides; Country Music Legend Loretta Lynn Dead At 90. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 04, 2022 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Just in the past few weeks, 35 journalists detained.
Well, President Biden has spoken out saying he is gravely concerned about the violent crackdown, and today we have learned of a development. The US is expected to impose new sanctions on Iranian officials who are involved in suppressing the protesters. No word yet though, on how they would determine that or implement it.
Thanks so much for joining us. AC 360 starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
It would be almost two months since the FBI executed a lawful Court- approved search of Mar-a-Lago, which yielded more than a hundred documents marked as classified that do not belong to him. The former President has taken nearly every step possible to slow the legal process surrounding them, everything short of taking his case to the Supreme Court and now, he has done that, something most ordinary people in his situation cannot even dream of doing. And again, most people aren't ex-Presidents and most ex-Presidents are not like this ex-President.
In a moment, what our legal panel makes of the move, we will be joined as well by former Attorney General Eric Holder, but first, CNN's Justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider, on exactly what the former President's lawyers are asking for, and perhaps significantly, which justice they're asking.
Jessica, what more do we know about what the former President is seeking from the Court?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so right now, they filed this emergency request at the Court, Anderson. You know, even though they waited almost two weeks after the 11th Circuit ruled on this, and now, we're finding out that the Justice Department has one more week to file its response. So Trump's team here, they're asking for very limited relief.
Basically, what they want is the Special Master to get access to these 100 classified documents that he's been blocked from reviewing ever since the 11th Circuit ruled, and crucially here, if the Special Master regained access, that would mean that Trump's legal team would also get to see these classified documents and that is something that they've long been angling for.
And what Trump's team is arguing is they say the 11th Circuit just didn't have the jurisdiction to act when it did and now, they want the Supreme Court to step in. Notably, this request from Trump's team does go directly to Justice Clarence Thomas, but that is actually because he oversees all petitions that come in from the 11th Circuit and it is likely here that Justice Thomas will refer this to the full Court to decide this issue.
But you know, Anderson, we've seen Trump appeal to the Supreme Court several times in the last few years with little success. You know, it was just earlier this year that the Justices allowed the January 6 Select Committee to get access to Trump's White House records. Notably, Justice Thomas dissented from that.
And then back in 2020, they ruled that he couldn't block his financial documents from prosecutors in New York. So, this was filed as an emergency order. The Justices could potentially roll pretty quickly, after the DOJ response to this early next week on Tuesday.
COOPER: What does it mean for the Justice Department's investigation, the handling of the documents?
SCHNEIDER: It really won't have any effect because notably, Trump's team, they are not asking the Supreme Court to stop DOJ from using these 100 classified documents in a criminal investigation. So, DOJ's probe really should continue as normal here while the emergency request is considered, and even if DOJ were to lose this at the Supreme Court.
They really wouldn't be affected because Trump's request only goes to the Special Master getting access to these documents. So, Trump's team is really asking for very limited relief, very narrow, technical, and procedural grounds here.
But if past is prologue, it is likely the Supreme Court won't step in here, you know, just like they didn't disturb a Lower Court finding earlier this year when Trump in fact did have to hand over his White House records.
So, we'll see what happens. They could act pretty quickly.
COOPER: Jessica Schneider, thanks very much.
Joining us now CNN senior Supreme Court analyst, Joan Biskupic, also CNN contributor and former Nixon White House Counsel, John Dean, and Republican strategist and former Trump campaign adviser, David Urban, who is a CNN political commentator.
So, John, I know you've looked over this emergency application, what do you make of the Trump team legal argument?
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I didn't see much of an emergency for openers. The first opening paragraph starts out that the emergency apparently is the fact he believed that his opponent in the last election is after him now that he is out of office, and that's pretty weak.
So I think that the emergency is thin. The arguments are highly technical, and not the sort of thing the Supreme Court, I would think would want to get into given their current standing in public opinion.
COOPER: Joan, do you agree with that? I mean, if, if Clarence Thomas does send it to the rest of the Court, what how do you think they would rule?
JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SENIOR SUPREME COURT ANALYST: Well, a couple of things of the context here and exactly what John says about the time that the Court is at right now, you know, there are so many questions about its legitimacy, just coming off of a very tumultuous term where they reversed a half century of abortion rights and so many people are questioning the Justices' stature in America, but set aside those very big questions, this is actually a small sort of a granular request here you know involving a jurisdictional question on an interlocutory appeal.
I think that what is likely to happen is, you know, we'll see the Justice Department's response next week when they file and then the Justices are likely to give the Trump team another day or so to file their response to that, and then it I think, conceivably, this would be a very straightforward question for them, that's likely to face a denial.
You know, President -- former President Trump has always thought that he had the Supreme Court on his side and for many of his issues during his administration, his policy questions, the Court didn't side with his conservative stance.
But you know, when you think, Anderson about all the different cases that Donald Trump has brought to the Supreme Court, as an individual, you know, the financial documents cases that we had back in 2020, the election requests that he made, you know, at the end of 2020, and then just earlier this year, when he was trying to block documents from the Archives, he has lost all of those, and this one looks set up to also be a loser.
But I just want to caution, we just don't know and we haven't seen -- we haven't seen what will probably be several days of arguments unfolding on paper, at least.
COOPER: David, do you think this legal strategy by the former President is a delay tactic basically?
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I mean, Anderson, you know, the President is famous for the three Ds -- deny, delay, and distract, right? So, this is delay. It's a next step as the 11th Circuit ruled, and so there is only one place to go. And as John points out, this is a very, very narrow legal technical question on which his lawyers can make a straight faced argument in front of the Court without getting sanctioned, and have a leg to stand on. But at the end of the day, as Joan's points out, the Supreme Court probably is not going to rule in his favor, and, you know, it's going to -- you know, put up or shut up.
And listen, the District Court Judge, even if Trump wins, if she gets access to these documents, she may not rule in his favor. She may not like what she sees, and maybe all classified documents she sees and be very upset about it.
So it may not go in his -- it may -- even if it goes his way at the Court here, it may not go his way ultimately.
COOPER: Joan, how do you think the Justice Department is going to respond?
BISKUPIC: Well, you know, the Justice Department has dug in, it has laid out arguments over several chapters of this, including, you know, to essentially support what the 11th Circuit has done.
So I suspect what it is going to do, is going to lift key passages from the 11th Circuit's ruling saying, you know, look, this Court thought it out. We are at a stage of the litigation that this is not time for the Supreme Court to intervene, and essentially just replay its original arguments and the arguments that we saw from the 11th Circuit, which really, you know, point by point took apart key issues of the District Court Judge's decision.
But again, there were several elements to that and former President Trump is only appealing this just little narrow question. So, I think that -- I think the Justice Department will handle it pretty swiftly.
COOPER: John Dean, I mean, if the Supreme Court doesn't take it up, are there any other legal moves the Trump team, you think will make?
DEAN: I don't know if the Trump team will, but I think the Justice Department might. They actually were considering an appeal of the entire earlier ruling. So, given the passage of time, they may reassess that, but there is always that possibility that they'll want to eliminate some of this as precedent and go in and clean it out because they have the very strong backing of least a three person panel at this point.
COOPER: John Dean, Joan Biskupic, David Urban, thank you so much.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today challenging a key Section of the Voting Rights Act. The case concerns how Alabama redrew its congressional map after the 2020 census, which a Lower Court says diluted the power of Black voters in the state. And you'll recall in 2013, the Court effectively invalidated another section of the law in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, as an Eric Holder, who was Attorney General at the time and who joins us now.
He is the author of "Our Unfinished March: The Violent Past and Imperiled Future of the Vote. A History, a Crisis, a Plan."
Attorney General Holder, thanks for being with us. I want to get to this key voting rights case in just one second.
You heard the panel discuss the request from former President Trump to get the Supreme Court involved in this classified documents case. Any reaction to that?
ERIC HOLDER, FORMER US ATTORNEY GENERAL: Yes, I think it is really just a delay and distract move as was indicated. It's not a particularly substantive appeal. And I actually think that, you know, as we are focusing on this, and we're talking about this, I actually think that the Justice Department had its druthers. I mean, I understand this strategic decision they make, and only focus on those hundred classified documents.
The notion of a Special Master in this case at all is inconsistent with (AUDIO GAP) these things and so I expect the Supreme Court will give this short shrift and the delay will have occurred, the distraction will have occurred, and the Justice Department will get back to doing the very vital investigation that they need to do to do a damage assessment to see what harm has occurred to the intelligence capabilities of the United States.
COOPER: So, let's talk about what was argued before the Supreme Court today, Merrill v. Milligan.
For the benefit of our audience who are not attorneys or are following this case closely. Can you just talk about what it is about and what is at stake regarding the Voting Rights Act of 1965?
HOLDER: Yes. This is about a racial gerrymandering case in Alabama that violates Section II of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. About 27 percent of the people who live in Alabama are African-American, as you look at the seven-member of delegation that they have that goes to the United States House of Representatives, and applying the applicable law, you would expect that there would be at least two opportunity districts that is two districts in which African-Americans would have the opportunity to pick a representative of their choice.
The Alabama Republican Legislature drew the lines in such a way that they cracked the African-American population and essentially put them in only one district and therefore, they only have about 14 percent of the representation that they are entitled to in Alabama.
So the Supreme Court has to decide whether or not the Lower Court, which said that what the Alabama Legislature did was in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court has to decide whether or not that Lower Court was in fact, correct.
COOPER: The case was argued by Alabama's Solicitor General. What is Alabama asking the High Court for? And do you think they're going to get what they want? HOLDER: It is not totally clear to me what they are asking for. I
suppose what they're trying to do is get the Voting Rights Act interpreted in such a way that what they did, which is inconsistent with longstanding precedent, that what they did is somehow not violative of the --
COOPER: Yes, I am afraid we lost the connection with former Attorney General Eric Holder. We will continue to try to get in touch with him. We are actually refreshing with him right now and we'll try to get him back. We're talking about a case that was argued before. We're told we can't get him back.
We'll take a short break. More news ahead.
COOPER: We are five weeks today away from midterms, so it is perhaps not surprising to see candidates doing whatever they can to appeal to their base. Case in point, Senator Ron Johnson, the Republican from Wisconsin who is once again downplaying the attack on our nation's Capitol, listen to this from today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Some protesters did teach us all how we can use flagpoles and that kind of stuff as weapons. But to call what happened on January 6th, an armed insurrection, I just think is about accurate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, his latest remarks at the Rotary Club in Milwaukee are really nothing new. In the months following the worst attack by Americans on the Federal government since the Civil War, Senator Johnson called the people marching on the Capitol, some of whom you see here, "People that love this country that truly respect law enforcement would never do anything to break the law."
And speaking to FOX he said: "The fact of the matter is even calling it insurrection, it wasn't."
Now since then, Senator Johnson has had many opportunities to become better informed. Hundreds of people have been charged including five who are on trial right now charged with seditious conspiracy. A Texas man, Guy Reffitt sentenced this summer more than seven years in prison for among other charges, illegally carrying a firearm to the Capitol, or Christopher Alberts of Maryland arrested while fleeing the Capitol with a loaded pistol or Mark Ibrahim charged with carrying a firearm on Capitol grounds.
Or perhaps Senator Johnson might have tuned into the January 6th hearings and listened to recordings from law enforcement that day talking about people in the mob, the former President incited.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That the individual's entry, maybe a white male, about six feet tall, thin build, brown hat with -- he has got blue jeans, and a blue jean jacket and underneath the jean jacket, the complainants both saw stock of an AR-15. They had Glocks now, pistols in their waistband.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eighty seven thirty six with a message of that subject, weapon on his right hip.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay. Three men walking down the street in fatigue while carry AR-15. Copy this. Fourth Street and Independence.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, these were people you'll remember whom the former President wanted to be let through the metal detectors for his speech because according to the testimony of White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, "They are not here to hurt me."
They did whoever bludgeoned and beat and pepper sprayed, Tasered, and maimed police officers, one of whom died a short time later, others who die by suicide.
Now, this is something Senator Johnson would have been able to learn in just the few hours immediately after the attack.
In a statement to CNN today, a Johnson campaign spokesperson said that the senator was comparing the methods used by racial justice protesters in the summer of 2020 with the January 6th rioters, quoting her now: "All of a sudden the types of objects they had been using all summer were now considered a part of an armed insurrection. He is in no way condoning this action, he is commenting on the hypocrisy of the situation."
Problem is, that is not what he said and it is not the first time he said it.
Next to Georgia, where the Republican Senate candidate who is running as a pro-life family values conservative is facing the allegation he has not practiced what he is preaching to voters now.
CNN Eva McKend reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERSCHEL WALKER (R), GEORGIA SENATE CANDIDATE: It is a flat out lie.
EVAN MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER (voice over): Former NFL star and Georgia Republican Senate nominee, Herschel Walker, denying a report he paid a former girlfriend to have an abortion.
WALKER: This seat is very important that they do are going to do anything to win this seat and lie --'
[20:20:01] MCKEND (voice over): His comments to FOX News come in the wake of a
"Daily Beast" story that has upended the competitive contest between Walker and incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock. The website reports Walker paid for an unnamed woman to have an abortion in 2009, writing a personal check for $700.00 and reportedly sending a get well card.
WALKER: I never asked anyone to get an abortion. I never paid for an abortion and it's a lie.
MCKEND (voice over): The story doesn't include a photo of the check. CNN has not independently verified the allegations reported by "The Daily Beast."
WALKER: I send money to a lot of people. I give money to people all the time because I'm always helping people.
MCKEND: One of Walker's sons, Christian Walker, an outspoken conservative on social media, also taking to Twitter, calling out his father leveling a series of accusations against him.
CHRISTIAN WALKER, HERSCHEL WALKER'S SON: Don't lie on me. Don't lie on the lives you've destroyed and act like you're some moral family man.
MCKEND (voice over): When asked for comment on his son's accusations, Walker's campaign pointed to a tweet the Senate candidate sent Monday night reading: "I love my son no matter what."
On the trail, Walker has expressed opposition to abortion rights, saying last month he'd support a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks. In May, he said he would support a ban --
REPORTER: Would you support a more total ban on abortion with fewer exceptions?
WALKER: There is no exception in my mind. Like I've said, I believe in life.
MCKEND (voice over): Georgia Democrats are approaching the allegations with caution. Warnock shifting the conversation back to the policy debate over abortion.
SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): I'll let the pundits decide how they think it will impact the race, but I have been consistent in my view that a patient's room is too narrow and cramped a space for a woman and her doctor and the government.
MCKEND (voice over): Conservative activists in the Peach State and the Republican establishment sticking by their candidate, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, who've pumped millions into the race, dismissing the story and the ensuing fallout as nonsense from the Democrats and the media.
RALPH REED, FAITH AND FREEDOM COALITION: It's based on an anonymous allegation that is 13 years old and it is part of an ongoing campaign based on the politics of personal destruction, being waged by Democrats and by the Warnock campaign.
COOPER: Eva McKend joins us now.
Is it clear what if any impact this could have on the outcome of the race?
MCKEND: You know, Anderson, it's not clear as yet, but what has been interesting to watch today is one by one, perhaps the most powerful leaders in the Republican Party coming forward and really rallying behind Walker and it is not only rhetoric. They are going to continue to make investments.
A key Republican group is going to spend more than $20 million in the final weeks of the campaign. Something else that I noticed though, soon after this entire debacle unfolded, Walker said that he would be filing a lawsuit against "The Daily Beast." But that has not materialized as yet. We haven't heard no more about any lawsuit from Walker or the campaign.
COOPER: And I understand Mr. Walker's campaign manager spokes to the campaign staff about this today.
MCKEND: Yes. This was interesting. It seemed like he had a very sort of serious conversation, candid conversation with aides telling them that he was hopeful that it were definitely a blow in this race, whether the campaign had also seen a surge of fundraising in the hour since.
Also, notably, he talked about the "Access Hollywood" and Donald Trump episode evoking that, saying that that surfaced just weeks before the 2016 presidential election, but Trump still made it to the White House.
That is going to be interesting to watch as well. Does Walker have that same sort of Trump effect, in which, no matter sort of what scandal Trump found himself in, he still inspired a great level of devotion from his supporters. Are we going to see conservatives in Georgia rally around Walker in that same way?
COOPER: Yes. Interesting comparison that the campaign manager would make to a statement that Donald Trump made.
Eva McKend, appreciate it. Thank you.
Coming up the rising death toll from Hurricane Ian almost a week after it made landfall. Plus, our Randi Kaye investigates whether officials in one particularly hard-hit area waited too long to issue a mandatory evacuation order.
COOPER: The death toll from Hurricane Ian has increased once again. It is now at 109 people dead, most of those in Florida where President Biden is scheduled to visit and meet with Governor Ron DeSantis tomorrow.
Now, it has been almost seven days obviously since Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida as a high-end Category 4 Storm. Search and rescue operations continue as people are still being found and identified, their bodies; also, around 400,000 people are still without power tonight.
Now, in the months and years to come, there will certainly be questions about whether anything could have been done differently to prevent this wide-scale misery and loss of life, particularly in hard- hit Lee County, which includes Fort Myers.
Randi Kaye from 360 joins us now with a story from there.
So, have you been able to learn about evacuation decisions that were made where you are?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, tonight, information is still pretty thin. There are a lot of finger pointing here in Lee County. Certainly, still so many questions tonight about the timing of the evacuation orders that were issued here.
Here in Florida, Anderson, Floridians have what the locals like to call hurricane amnesia. They forget how bad these storms can be if there hasn't been a strong storm in a while and that's why it is so key for these local officials to get these evacuation orders right.
Well here is how it played out here in Lee County.
KAYE (voice over): Two days before Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida's west coast, Lee County manager Roger Desjarlais suggested the storm would ultimately shift elsewhere.
ROGER DESJARLAIS, LEE COUNTY MANAGER: A couple of days ago, Fort Myers' Lee County was right in the very center of the cone of uncertainty and that's probably the best place to be.
KAYE (voice-over): He also suggested albeit gently that residents could evacuate if they were concerned.
DESJARLAIS: If you're feeling a little nervous about this storm in the effects, it's OK to go now, if you want.
KAYE (voice-over): The Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman echoed the sentiment.
BRIAN HAMMAN, LEE COUNTY COMMISSIONER: Monday afternoon, we were telling people you do not have to wait for evacuation orders to leave. You can leave now. KAYE (voice-over): But can leave and should leave are two very different things. It wasn't until Tuesday morning 7:00 a.m. that the official mandatory evacuation order for Lee County was issued less than 24 hours before Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida's coast.
(on-camera): Question is why did county officials wait. Lee County's own emergency management plan says a 10% chance of a storm surge measuring six feet or more would indicate the need for evacuations in the most vulnerable areas. On Sunday, two days before Lee County took action. The National Hurricane Center predicted a storm surge as high as seven feet. Shouldn't that have triggered Lee County's evacuation plan?
(voice-over): Here at Lee County's Emergency Operations Center, we tried to ask county manager Roger Desjarlais about the delay in ordering evacuations. No luck. So, we called him.
(on-camera): Hi, Roger. This is Randi Kaye from CNN, I was calling to see we are at the Emergency Operations Center and wanted to speak with you, give you an opportunity to speak with us regarding the questions about the timeline and the evacuation orders for Lee County. If you could give me a call at this number, I would appreciate it. Thank you.
(voice-over): A representative called me back later to say he declined our interview request. But he did tell us by phone during another attempt to reach him that he supports all the decisions that were made. We also tried to connect here with Stacy Aloisio, Lee County's emergency manager coordinator. She didn't return our call, either.
STACY ALOISIO, LEE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGER COORDINATOR: Hi, this is Stacy Alessio, I'm sorry, I missed your call. But leave me a message and I'll call you back.
KAYE (voice-over): And later declined to speak with CNN. And officials here despite their decision making say ultimately it's up to the residents.
KEVIN ANDERSON, LEE COUNTY MAYOR: Certain percentage people will not heed the warnings regardless.
UNDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot force them to leave their homes.
KAYE (voice-over): Residents CNN spoke with sounded mixed about the timing of evacuation orders.
ANNA ERICKSON, FAMILY OWNS A SHRIMPING BUSINESS: I think that this came up hot on everyone. And I don't think anybody was really prepared for anything,
MARGIE TITUS, FORY MYERS RESIDENT: even though there were warnings and there were ample warnings I feel, people didn't want to leave this is their home.
COOPER: Are there any plans for review at the state level of how the evacuation orders were handled?
KAYE: Well, Anderson, the governor here, Ron DeSantis and Lee County officials have defended their decision thus far pointing to a shift in the storm track but the governor has said that the State will review everything about this storm and that should include the timing of the Lee County evacuations. Also, Florida Senator Rick Scott said that they always reviewed the storm procedures when he was governor here. So, he expects that they will do the same. He thinks they'll do a full assessment and see if the proper procedures were followed.
But Anderson It's also worth noting that the shelters here in Lee County weren't opened until 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning after that evacuation order was put in place. So even if people chose to evacuate early, they didn't have a shelter to go to. So, it sounds like a review is a good idea before the next storm hits.
COOPER: I understand residents of one of the hardest hit areas Sanibel Island are now going to be allowed to go back to the island for the first time tomorrow.
KAYE: They are, they can go back as early as 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning it will be open to residents for the first time. We're expecting that this would be a very emotional visit for a lot of these people. They have no idea in many cases probably in most cases, what their homes look like what might have survived there if they're on the ground or if they're still standing. And of course, the main thoroughfare, the main causeway to that island is gone as a result of the storm, so the only way they can get there is boat. So, in some cases, the Coast Guard we understand is shuttling some people they're hiring private captains, we spoke to several of them tonight who are taking residents over. So we do expect it will be very emotional for a lot of these homeowners to see what happened to their homes and their island.
COOPER: Yes. Randi Kaye, thank you very much.
Just ahead, CNN John King joins us to talk about the raise in Georgia that we mentioned earlier, plus the mood of voters in a key region of Pennsylvania, place that had been reliably Democratic, but it has trended more conservative in the past few elections, how their votes may help determine election night in a state that could also determine who controls the Senate.
COOPER: Earlier we looked at the pivotal role Georgia is playing the battle to control the Senate. Another key battleground state we want to examine tonight is Pennsylvania which President Biden returned to the Democratic column in the last election. Now the state features must watch races including for Senate as well as for governor.
Joining us break it all down is our chief national correspondent John King. So, how's it looking? JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, you can look at the races. As you note Pennsylvania has a big race for governor, big race for Senate. Also has several House races that will help determine the balance of power. You look at the races. One of the things I tried to do is look at the places within the battlegrounds within the battlegrounds. In Pennsylvania, among those is Northampton County. Voted for Barack Obama twice then it flipped for Donald Trump, then it is only one of 25 counties in America that flipped back to Joe Biden. Northampton County picks winners. So we visited to get a sense of what will happen five weeks from tonight.
KING (voice-over): Becky's Drive-In is a Lehigh Valley treasure, and a throwback on this crisp fall night a short wait, and then a choice, screen one or screen two. To project its first role here 76 years ago. Back then, industrial giants Bethlehem Steel and Atlas Cement anchored the local economy and Democrats dominated local politics. Now it's highly competitive, and some here still won't accept Biden's Northampton County and national when two years ago,
DEAN DEPPE, CO-OWNER, BECKY'S DRIVE-IN: I'm sure you know, people are pretty heated.
KING (voice-over): As he helps out in the snack bar, Dean Deppe explains the family's unwritten rule against mixing popcorn and politics.
DEPPE: We try to minimize it, because you don't want to disengage half of our customer base.
KING (voice-over): The Lehigh and Delaware rivers meet here and trace America's political divide. The city of Bethlehem is deep blue, and in its suburbs, another Democratic edge, 42% of residents have a bachelor's degree or better.
REP. SUSAN WILD (D-PA): My opponent has said that she is open to a national ban of abortion. Hi everybody.
KING (voice-over): Susan Wild is the local Congresswoman but Democrat hoping the new politics of abortion outweigh voter anger over inflation.
UNDENTIFIED MALE: Biden and Pelosi's economic policies are hurting us. Susan Wild is with them.
KING (voice-over): Republican, Lisa Scheller is following a time- tested midterm script by the incumbent to a struggling President.
UNDENTIFIED MALE: The Biden Democrats are hurting Pennsylvania families with their radical agenda.
KING (voice-over): Wild knows what usually happens in the President's first midterm. She was first elected in the anti-Trump blue wave of 2018.
WILD: I know what history says this is a different kind of year.
KING (on-camera): Why?
WILD: I have to tell you, I don't think that the old rules apply anymore in politics.
KING (voice-over): Her race will test that. So, well the neighboring eighth congressional district. Matt Cartwright is the vulnerable Democrat there.
WILD: If you see on election night that Matt Cartwright and I have held our seats, that you're going to see that the Democrats hold on to their majority in the House. These are truly two of the most pivotal races in the entire country.
KING (voice-over): The Eastern Farmers Market is another Northampton County throwback predating American independence. Now Easton is the county's other deep blue slice and its most diverse area.
WILD: Don't forget to vote, November 8th.
KING (voice-over): At north from Easton and the county gets more rural, more white and more Republican by the mile. Trump got 62% of the vote in Pen Argyl two years ago.
JOHN CUONO, NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PA VOTER: He did a heck of a job. I liked what he was doing.
KING (voice-over): John Cuono is 86 and has cut hair in this tiny shop since he got out of the Navy 59 years ago. He's a registered Democrat but voted twice for Trump and plans to vote Republican for Senate this year. Cuono though still not sure about Governor or Congress.
CUOMO: (INAUDIBLE) she's a whirlwind.
KING (on-camera): Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
CUONO: Well, sometimes she's all right, sometimes she's bad.
KING (voice-over): Most everyone here voted Democrat back when Cuono got started. But a lot of his customers like Trump and think he was cheated. You see that driving around too, plus this homemade antidote to high inflation.
KING: And Anderson, you see those Trump 2024 signs in a very important place like Northampton County, we may get there down the road. But the big question is five weeks from tonight, where we're counting votes from we're going county by county through America. That's where I'll be spending a lot of time early on. Remember the polls start to close eight o'clock, closing times. Can Democrats keep the House what's happening in the Senate race? What's happening in the governor's race? Will they be ticket splitting? I think that's one of the fascinating dynamics in this midterm year. So, Northampton County will be -- I'll be there a lot early on in the night and then we'll move west (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: We talked about Georgia earlier in the program, the Democrats are able to hold on to Georgia, which by no means is given. Where else will Republicans be looking to take back control of the Senate?
KING: That's where it gets fascinating in the sense that the first thing you want to do is hold your own, right. So can Republicans hold Pennsylvania? That's a Republican incumbent Pat Toomey not running for reelection. So, you have Dr. Oz versus John Fetterman. A Republicans need to hold that Democrats think they can get it. That's one. Remember 50-50. So, every time it moves, if Democrats can pick that up, you move that to 51 if you're thinking in your head. So where are Republicans going to look? Number one, they they're going to throw a lot of money into Georgia watch. They say now the money is going to stay in Georgia. It will. But watch it a week. Watch in two weeks. Watch in three weeks. If the numbers move against Herschel Walker, do they then pull that money? And if they do, where does it go? Number one, Republicans need to watch North Carolina and Wisconsin Republican held seats. Can they hold on to those? Likely yes, but still a question mark. And then more and more.
You hear Republicans talking about Nevada, they believe they have a shot against Senator Cortes Masto in Nevada. Arizona has been a harder pool. That's why Georgia was so important. Arizona has been hard. Now Georgia is hard. Republican -- they can get there, they only need one they only need a net of one. But every time you take one away, it gets more difficult.
COOPER: Yes. John King appreciate it. Thank you.
Coming up, the hunt for possible serial killer the urgent plea for help in finding whoever shot seven people six of them fatally in Stockton, California. Surveillance video just released by investigators, next.
COOPER: We have this just in, police in Stockton, California have released a surveillance video of a person of interest in six homicides saying that they have seen them on multiple videos related to several shootings. Police emphasize that this is only a person of interest. They are not seeing committing any crimes on camera. They're hoping the public can help solve this case.
More of the investigation from CNN's Josh Campbell.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Take a close look. This is a man police in California say could be linked to what some fear is a serial killer, saying it's unclear whether it's a possible witness or suspect five murders in Stockton. All shootings taking place between July 8 and September 27 in similar areas according to police. Now police say they have ballistic and video evidence that links the Stockton homicides to two early morning shootings in April of last year.
STAN MCFADDEN, CHIEF, STOCKTON POLICE: We don't know what the motive is. This person is on a mission.
CAMPBELL (voice-over): In the earlier shootings, one man died in Oakland about an hour and a half away from Stockton by car. Then another victim, a 46-year-old woman was shot in Stockton she survived and gave police details about her assailant.
MCFADDEN: To describe that person between five feet 10 and six foot, wearing all dark clothing, wear a dark clothes, a dark COVID style and mask, that was concealing his face.
CAMPBELL (voice-over): Police say analysis of the weapon used was key in their investigation.
MCFADDEN: As far as interconnecting these cases. We've done that through ballistics. We do have ballistic evidence that are linked in our cases, and accompany with some video footage as well.
CAMPBELL: Tom O'Connor is a retired senior FBI agent who worked the 2002 D.C. sniper manhunt investigation. He says ballistic analysis can often give investigators their big break.
THOMAS O'CONNOR, FMR FBI AGENT: If there is a bullet fragment or a bullet contained within a victim or recovered in the area of the shooting. That can give a class information. There's also specifics that can be gained by laboratories in looking at the different markings on that bullet itself to say this came from the exact same gun.
CAMPBELL (voice-over): As a manhunt continues, a California town now living with grief and fear.
Josh Campbell CNN, Los Angeles.
COOPER: Joining us now for more of the case, CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller, the New York Police Department's former Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism.
What do you make of this new video that Stockton police released? They say it's a person of interest, the guy sort of seems to have a distinctive sort of swagger to his walk?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT: Well, it's not a great video, because you see in the back of him, not the front, but they also realize that, you know, the still picture they have didn't have that gate. You know, somebody who knows, somebody will say, I know that outfit. I know those boots. I know that walk that's that guy. So, they're trying to expand their reach.
COOPER: They've said that they've linked these cases through ballistics, I thought was interesting the police officer said that the -- this person is on a mission. What does that mean?
MILLER: I think when you look at the offender characteristics here, there's no indication he knows any of these victims. There's every indication he doesn't. The killings are cold blooded, so that they're not for any reason personal, they're not robberies. This is an extension of what they call instrumental violence. It's the there's no guilt, there's no remorse, the people are just objects in his killing spree, because he's after a larger goal. In this case, the goal is probably not a specific thing. It is to feed his feeling of power, this godlike power that I can stand over these people take them by surprise and eliminate their lives.
The real question is, where did he disappear to for a year after he started with those first two shootings. So, that's when police are going to be looking for who went to jail during this period, who may have been somewhere else, who left the scene,
COOPER: Because they've done that in other cases with people where there's a big lapse between murders and that turns out, it aligns with somebody being in prison or sent away on a job (INAUDIBLE).
MILLER: That's right. And I mean, when you see the pace here, which starts, you know, kind of in June, and then July and right up through September 29, he's got a real taste for this. He's out there, he's probably out there way more than we think. I don't think that with the pattern like this, he goes out to kill on those nights that he kills. He's probably stalking in that hunting behavior is what the profilers call it, and only hitting when the circumstances are just right. And that means that person is at the wrong place, the wrong time.
COOPER: The fact that somebody got away, survived and was able to talk to police. I mean, that's obviously a huge.
MILLER: That's a big deal. Now, she tells us important things. He came into her tent, you know, to shoot her while she was resting or sleeping. She confronted him. And he did shoot her. But he was wearing a hood and a mask covering his face. It probably means if she saw him, she couldn't identify him again. But it gives us some of those behavioral characteristics. And it further implies that he is either attempting to kill homeless people or people that he sees on the street in the pre-dawn hours that he believes maybe homeless people.
COOPER: Where the police go from here? I mean, that releasing this surveillance is that a sign of desperation, is just one tool in their arsenal of trying to get information.
MILLER: It's a good idea. I think where a police go through from here is our suspect has been very cagey about striking in areas where there is almost no video surveillance. The piece they have doesn't give them much but it gives them something. I think you'll see them expanding that video canvas outward from every location to see what is still retained that might still be available, especially from the latest shootings. And I think you're going to hear from them more often saying to the public, somebody knows this person. Somebody is with somebody that they think is that guy in that video, or who's been acting strangely or who acted strangely after, you know, each one of the killings whose behavior changed.
There's somebody out there who's probably looking at somebody right now saying, I really think I should pick up the phone.
COOPER: John Miller, appreciate it. Thank you.
Up next, remembering country music legend and legendary artists Loretta Lynn.
COOPER: Loretta Lynn, the coal miner's daughter who became the queen of country music has died. According to her family, she died peacefully this morning at a ranch in Tennessee. In a career that spanned more than 60 years on stage, Lynn was a trailblazer, a singer, a songwriter. She was known for sharing your stories of heartache and hardships.
She was the first female country music singer to have a number one hit with Don't Come Home -- Don't Come Home Drinking in 1966. She ended up having 24 number one songs, imagine that. Including You Ain't Woman Enough, The Pill, and of course her signature song a Coal Miner's Daughter also the title of her first memoir, Better Life Grown Up In Kentucky, which led to an Academy Award winning movie with the same title in 1980.
She also won numerous awards including four Grammys. In 1970 she was the first woman to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music. In 1988, she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.
Loretta Lynn survived by four of her six children. She was 90 years old. What an incredible life.
Grieving the death of a loved one living without them is something we'll all face at some point. I'm exploring it in a very personal weigh in a new podcast titled All There Is. To listen just point your cell phone at the QR code on your TV screen for link to it. You can also find it on Apple podcast wherever you get your podcast. The fourth episode will be available tomorrow. I talk with actress, comedian Molly Shannon tomorrow about the devastating deaths of her mother and her little sister and her cousin in a car crash. Her father was driving the car when she was four years old that changed the course of her life. It's a powerful conversation. I hope you'll listen. I hope it helps.
The news continues. Want to hand over to Kasie Hunt in "CNN TONIGHT." Kasie?