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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

With Senate Control At Stake, Georgia Candidates Warnock And Walker Debate, Just Three Days Before Early Voting Begins; Up Close On January 6 As Congressional Leaders Weigh Holding Sessions To Certify Elections At Army Base; Pelosi, Schumer Discuss Resuming Joint Session Of Congress With Top Officials On Jan. 6 Call; Russian-Backed Officials Ordering Evacuation Of Civilians In Contested Kherson Region. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 14, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: He was an incredible actor and a lovely man. Wonderful to see that the camera doesn't lie.

Robbie Coltrane was 72 years old.

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



Tonight, we have more never before seen video from January 6th, from inside the secure location where congressional leaders were scrambling to continue the peaceful transfer of power even as the Capitol was under assault. Historic moments captured in remarkable up close, you are there detail.

We begin though tonight in Georgia where the only debate in a race that could decide which party controls the Senate has just wrapped up because it took place just three days before early voting begins. Georgians will start casting ballots with what happened tonight fresh in their minds, Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger, Herschel Walker.

Senator Warnock as you know won his seat in the 2020 election in a narrowly decided runoff. Walker is a former University of Georgia star running back with the former President firmly behind him.

Senator Warnock is a pastor, Herschel Walker, who is running on a family values platform is currently involved in a scandal over allegedly pressuring the mother of one of his children to get an abortion. Here is how the abortion issue came up tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A week before this debate, a former girlfriend made public accusations saying you paid for an abortion and that you encouraged her to have another.

In an ABC News interview this week, you said that the accusations are "all lies." For the voters watching tonight, can you explain the circumstances surrounding these claims. You have 60 seconds.

HERSCHEL WALKER (R), GEORGIA SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, as I say that's a lie and you know, most things, I put -- I put it in a book. One thing about my life it's I've been very transparent. Not like the Senator, he has hid things. But at the same time, I say that's a lie. And on abortion, you know, I'm a Christian. I believe in life.

And I tell people this, Georgia is a State that respects life and I'll be a senator that protects life. And I say that was a lie, and I'm not backing down.

And we have Senator Warnock, people that would do anything and say anything for this seat, but I'm not going to back down because this seat is too important to the Georgia people for me to back down right now.

SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): The patient's room is too narrow and small and cramped a space for a woman, her doctor, and the United States government. We are witnessing right now what happens when politicians, most of the men, pile into patient's rooms. You get what you're seeing right now.

And the women of Georgia -- the women of Georgia deserves a Senator who will stand with them. I trust women more than I trust politicians.


COOPER: Now, Herschel Walker was also given the opportunity to distance himself from the former President on election denial. Let's listen to that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did President Biden defeat former President Donald Trump in 2020?

WALKER: President Biden won and Senator Warnock won. That is the reason I decided to run because we need a change in Washington. We need leaders that is going to stand up to foreign leaders. We need people that's going to stand up for people in Georgia.


COOPER: Walker was also asked about crime, took the opportunity to make a string of claims about Senator Warnock who asked for and gave this rebuttal.


WARNOCK: We will see time and time again tonight, as we've already seen, that my opponent has a problem with the truth. And just because he says something doesn't mean it's true.

I have supported our police officers. I have called them and I prayed with their families, like those officers lost in Cobb County where they were killed doing what police officers routinely do. You can support police officers, as I've done through the COPS Program, through the Invest to Protect Program, while at the same time holding police officers like all professions accountable.

One thing I have not done, I've never pretended to be a police officer and I've never threatened a shootout with the police.

WALKER: And now I have to respond to that. No, no. I have to respond to that, and you know what's so funny? I am with many police officers and at the same time --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Walker. Mr. Walker --

WALKER: No. No. When he says I have a problem with the truth --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me, Mr. Walker. Please, out of respect, I need to let you know, Mr. Walker, very well aware of the rules tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you have a prop. That is not allowed, sir. I ask you to put that prop away.

WALKER: Well, it is not a prop. This is real. He said, I have a problem, I never with law enforcement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it is considered a prop, Mr. Walker? Excuse me, sir.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're very well aware of the rules, aren't you?

WALKER: Well, he brought up the truth of this. Let's talk about the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for putting that prop away.


COOPER: CNN's Eva McKend is in Savannah, Georgia where the debate just wrapped up.

First, can you just explain what we just heard in that last clip?


EVAN MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Anderson, Senator Warnock was speaking to reports that Walker has long sort of embellished his law enforcement background and it seemed like he was prepared for that tit-for-tat there, knowing that he would get arguments that he has tried to defund the police, which he has not, and so you hear them exchanging in this.

But all jokes aside, this was a pretty substantive policy debate. You know, for the last several weeks, Walker has been dogged by these allegations that he paid for a former girlfriend's abortion, denying again those allegations tonight, but really much of this conversation was about the policy differences here.

You also had Walker trying to tie Warnock to President Biden, something Warnock rejected forcefully and you also heard Warnock really spending a lot of time trying to run on his record, and actually trying to tie himself to the Republicans in the Senate that he is willing to work with. Take a listen.


WALKER: Well, Senator Warnock says he had not stood up with Biden. If he was standing up, we wouldn't have voted with him 96 percent of the time -- it gave us an open border, which gave us high inflation, which gave us crime in the streets. And he is talking about standing up? He didn't stand up. He'd lay down every time it came around and you know this, Senator.

WARNOCK: It is evident that he has a point that he tries to make time and time again. I've stood up to the Biden administration, so they could keep open this Combat Training Readiness Center, stood with our congressional delegation to do that. I've worked across the aisle time and time to get good things done for the people of Georgia.

I worked with a senator from Texas to build I-14. I worked with a Republican Senator from Alabama to help Georgia farmers get their products to market. I will work with anyone and stand up against anybody I need to stand up against to get good things done for Georgia. I work for the people of Georgia.


MCKEND: Now, Warnock time and time again said that Walker has trouble with the truth. But that was the extent of really trying to get into a personal conflict really on that stage tonight. Again, Anderson really a substantive policy debate between the two and the only time perhaps that voters here in Georgia will have the opportunity to see the stark differences between the two on issues of great importance to them, whether that be a healthcare, the economy, or a wide-range, public safety also came up with a wide range of other local issues -- Anderson.

COOPER: Despite all of Walker's recent controversies, is there any sign that his support has decreased?

MCKEND: Well, we've been here for about a week or so, and no, not among conservatives. I mean, the true test will be among Independents, it will be among the voters that voted for President Trump and then voted for President Biden in 2020. Are those Republicans inclined to vote for Walker? And I think that's why you saw as best as he could tonight, him really engage in a serious way on matters of policy, no major gaffe from him that we've seen in the past weeks on the campaign trail.

But I think at this point, it's too soon to tell. Early indications though are that, you know, hardcore conservatives are not abandoning Walker, because of his many controversies.

COOPER: Evan McKend, appreciate it. Thanks.

Just to be clear, Walker has never had a job in law enforcement. He has publicized a card showing that he was at some point after 2004 named an honorary agent and a special Deputy Sheriff in Cobb County, Georgia, titles that do not confer arrest authority. That's according to CNN's Daniel Dale. I think that's what his badge was.

With us now, Georgia Republican Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan. He is also the author of "GOP 2.0: How the 2020 Election Can Lead A Better Way Forward For America's Conservative Party."

Lieutenant Governor Duncan, what is your reaction to the debate you saw tonight?

LT. GOV. GEOFF DUNCAN (R-GA): I think my first takeaway is what we didn't hear. Neither really responded in depth to any of the questions. I think also the dodge on the personal integrity questions on both sides still left everybody wondering what is fact and what is fiction.

It was interesting to watch them Warnock -- Senator Warnock running away from any sort of Biden attachment and Herschel Walker ran into Donald Trump's arms. I think that was interesting.

But another key takeaway is we didn't hear anything about the economy. I mean, I certainly would have thought that everybody would have tried to pivot to the stock market being down 400 points again today, mortgage rates over seven percent. I would have thought that's where we were going to head, but we certainly didn't get there.

COOPER: We heard that Herschel Walker confirmed he believed Joe Biden won the 2020 election. Do you think that hurts him in any way among supporters of the former President?

DUNCAN: Yes, sure. I hope Donald Trump wasn't watching. He probably dropped his dinner. But no, look this is a fight over the middle, right? Both sides are going to keep their party, the left is going to vote with Senator Warnock, the right is going to vote with Herschel Walker and we've got to fight for the middle.


We've learned this over the last two years. We learned this in the presidential race and 2020. We learned this in the runoffs. We know what we have to do to win. And that's what's frustrating as a Republican, is so many folks want to try to run a primary during a General Election. It just isn't working in a State like Georgia.

COOPER: How big has -- what role has abortion -- I'm not talking about the Herschel Walker allegations, but the issue of Roe v. Wade being overturned, the issue of women's access to abortion, how much do you think that's going to drive votes at the polls?

DUNCAN: We've been having this debate in Georgia for a couple of years. We passed the Heartbeat Bill in my first year in the legislature and we had the conversation. The bill had the exceptions and we worked with as many folks as we could around that issue and we have been willing to have conversations.

But I think equally important, we spent a lot of time in Georgia working on our foster care system, our adoption system, figuring out ways to have wraparound services for that scared 15-year-old that instead of just screaming at her not to get an abortion, what we can do is wrap our arms around her and figure out a way bipartisanly to love on that individual. And to me, that's where the win is in this. It's not about yes or no pro-choice, pro-life. This is about caring and having empathy on those that are most affected.

COOPER: Governor, you actually talked a lot, not to mention written a book about whether the Republican Party or what your members should be in the post Trump-era. Right now, how would you compare the former President's hold on GOP politics as compared to 2020?

DUNCAN: Yes, I think we're headed straight down the path of a GOP 2.0. Somedays, it doesn't feel like it. Certainly, there is still chaos on the battlefield, but I think the Republican Party is seeing every day play out in front of them.

When you're not honest about the facts, the election wasn't rigged. Donald Trump has lost the right to be the President of the United States again and we need real solutions to real problems. I think a majority of Americans want conservative solutions to these problems that we're facing, how to budge in a way that doesn't run away to create runaway inflation, how to have border security that helps with human trafficking, drug flow, being willing to have conversations around mental health. Those are issues that I think even Democrats are starting to gravitate towards the GOP, and for me, that looks like a GOP 2.0 process.

COOPER: Lieutenant Governor Duncan, appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up next, more behind the scenes video from January 6th that puts you in the room as congressional leaders contemplate convening Congress at the military base where the Capitol assault forced them to flee to.

Later, a report from the frontlines as Ukrainian forces draw closer to a key objective and coming up against a Russian force that is running short of supplies, but still fighting fiercely.



COOPER: Last night, we aired exclusive video that shows as never before what congressional leaders were doing behind the scenes at Fort McNair, the Washington, DC military base where they were sheltering on January 6th.

Tonight, we have more of it for you that hasn't been seen before. While supporters the former President were destroying the Capitol while he was watching it all on TV and doing nothing to stop it, it is striking to have such up close view of history courtesy of filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, who was documenting her mom, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that day never anticipating all this would happen.

Even more striking though is how Vice President Pence sheltering at a Capitol loading dock had to become one of the few functioning pieces of a completely dysfunctional executive branch.

Tonight's first clip that's never been broadcast features a conversation between him and Speaker Pelosi, starting with the discussion of contingency plans for continuing the work of Congress from Fort McNair.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Well, we are still not safe enough for us to go back that they're even still trying to penetrate the building and it's not a safe thing, because we're trying to figure out how we can get this job done today.

We talked to Mitch about it earlier. He is not in the room right now, but he was with us earlier and said, we want to expedite this and hopefully they could confine it to just one complaint from Arizona, and then we could vote and that would be, you know, then just move forward with the rest of the state.

We're at Fort McNair, which has facilities for the House and the Senate to meet as a backup plan should anything like this, but that it can happen, now we would want that. Logistically, we want to bring all the members here, House and Senate anyway. We're just making a judgment.

We'd rather go to the Capitol and do it there, but it doesn't seem to be safe. What do you think?

Have you spoken in terms of going back to the Capitol? Which is what we want to do, too, but Mitch was talking about going back to the Capitol.

We would like to go back to the -- that would be our hope as well. The security is telling us that it's going to be a while before the Capitol will be able to do that. We've been told it could take days to clear the Capitol and that we should be moving everyone here to get the job done.

Now, we may be getting different information, but that's what we're being told. Chuck Schumer is being told that.

Fort McNair. Yes, Mitch is her. We met with him earlier.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We will not get the Capitol cleared out for two to three days. We should do it here.

[20:20:00] PELOSI: I appreciate that. I appreciate that. It seems like the overriding wishes to do it at the Capitol. What we are being told very directly is it is going to take days for the Capitol to be okay again.

That would be great. Yes.

Gather together. Yes, very well. We are very well. We were unified. No partisanship. No anything. But I think --

Okay, because I think it's important for it to happen today.

A while ago, Chuck and I called upon the President to ask the people to leave the Capitol. That hasn't happened yet. I hope that it will. Clearly, there -- we are at the mercy -- we don't have that much of communication here, believe it or not. So we aren't seeing all the statements and the rest.

But I appreciate that -- will you check and see what the realistic view is of when we would be able to go back to the Capitol. Now, we have Democrats and Republicans at a location on Capitol Hill. Capitol government buildings and they are together. We're trying to say to them, we're going to finish this today.

I mean, they can't go home. I mean, they can't go outside. They can't go home. So they either have to stay down, I just have to say that we've gotten a very bad report about the condition of the House Floor, with defecation and all that kind of thing as well. I don't think that that's hard to clean up, but I do think it was more from a security standpoint of making sure that everybody is out of the building and how long does that take?

And where does disappointed that this Sec Def took so long to approve to the National Guard. But I am glad that it is moving.

Well, look, the Sec Def was saying we've got to make plans and this takes organization. We said, why don't you just put people in vehicles logistically to get there. There is leadership of the National Guard at the Capitol with the Capitol Police leadership, but they have not been given authority to be activated.

So that you know, in other words that that leadership can be taking place simultaneous on two people coming in trucks to the Capitol, but as we leave this call, you're going to find out, I hopes so.

Okay, then call us back okay. I worry about you being in that Capitol Building.


COOPER: Speaker Nancy Pelosi telling Vice President Pence she worries about him being at the Capitol while she is chewing on a Slim Jim. I've got to say it's sort of iconic.

Perspective now from CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe. So Andrew, it was the first time that we've seen that video. When you listen to that exchange between the House Speaker and the Vice President, I'm wondering what goes through your mind.

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, what impresses me, Anderson, is it is really a lesson of leadership under intense pressure of an unfolding crisis, one that was unanticipated, clearly by the Congressional leadership. And so you see Leader Pelosi really reacting the way you would hope that a leader would react under pressure.

She is concerned about the welfare and the safety of the people she is responsible for. She is concerned about the Vice President's welfare, and she is laser focused on the job that they need to get done, which is reconvening to complete the peaceful transfer of power.

COOPER: That's one --

MCCABE: Even if she is having trouble --

COOPER: Yes, that's one of the things that really struck me is we were just showing the video of her as she was going into Fort McNair, all the time, as she is being evacuated from the Capitol, she is not freaking out about what is going on. She is laser focused, as you said, on, we've got to get this job done. You know, how long is this going to take? How long -- you know, do we reconvene somewhere else? When can we get back in? It's all about making sure the transfer of power happens.

MCCABE: That's right. And look, she is working the phones. She is calling the Vice President. She is trying -- she is reaching out to the Governors of surrounding States. She is calling -- she talked about calling the Mayor of DC.

You know none of that's in a pre-cooked plan. There is no manual that you take off the shelf that tells you how to do things.

She is just racing in her mind from one thing to the next, who can I get to help us here to make us safe and to get this job done tonight? It's really an incredibly impressive performance under pressure.


COOPER: It's also interesting because there were some Republicans who were attacking her early on suggesting perhaps that she was trying to delay a National Guard response or that she wasn't as concerned about the attack on the Capitol as it later seemed.

It certainly puts the lie to any suggestion -- I mean, she and Schumer are both calling up Governors desperately pleading, you know, essentially trying to pressure the Secretary -- the Acting Secretary of Defense who is kind of giving non-clear answers telling him, "Well, imagine this was The Pentagon. Imagine this was the White House," you know, if it was in that case, you guys would have troops there, you would have to have this taken care of.


COOPER: Pretend the Capitol is like that.

MCCABE: Yes. It is incredible. I mean, she is really pulling every string, right? She is reaching out to everyone who could possibly help and still, in the middle of this, being the Capitol is under attack by thousands of armed unruly insurrectionists and she is getting bureaucratic responses from the Acting Secretary of Defense.

COOPER: Also I should point out, Steve Scalise, Congressman Scalise, he had the audacity to I think, he gave a press conference, sort of indicating that that Speaker Pelosi didn't want the National Guard called and was trying to hold off the National Guard and he was in the freaking room listening in to her on the phone.

I mean, you see him in the video. None of the Republicans want to be on this video. It is being taken by Alexandra Pelosi, I guess they don't want their phone calls heard. God forbid. They don't want anybody to hear what they're saying.

But Steve Scalise was in the room and knew what Nancy Pelosi who she was -- saw Schumer and Pelosi trying to mobilize the National Guard resources, trying to get, you know, city police resources mobilized. I mean, that's really sleazy.

MCCABE: Yes. I mean, he and McCarthy are like hanging on the edges of that conversation. They are clearly -- they know exactly what's going on, but were, I guess paying attention to the fact that there's a video running. I mean, what a resounding refutation to all those baseless allegations they threw against her.

So, this thing really changes the official record as it were, as to what we know happened behind the scenes. It's fascinating, fascinating document, I am really glad it is out.

COOPER: Yes, it is disappointing of Steve Scalise. I'd be curious to hear his explanation you know -- I don't know, I'm sure he has something.

Andrew McCabe, appreciate it. Thank you.

MCCABE: Thanks.

COOPER: More on this never before seen video, including something that we haven't seen before where Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer , were discussing with the Secretary of the Army after rioters stormed the Capitol.



COOPER: Before the break, you saw video aired for the first time from inside the room at Fort McNair of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking with Vice President Pence, who was back at the Capitol, they talked about the possibility the entire House and Senate membership that they might have to be brought to Fort McNair to finish certify in the elections. There's never before seen clip. This next one is from a short time later. And you'll see Speaker Pelosi and the rest of the congressional leadership tried to determine how to proceed.


RYAN MCCARTHY, SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: We're planning right now for clearing operations as well as reestablish the perimeter of the Capitol.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): How long will --


SCHUMER: -- go ahead.

MCCARTHY: We're working through the timing of that, Senator. It's extremely fluid. People are moving hard (INAUDIBLE). We will get more specifics as to the timing but the pieces are coming together and we're going to get this done here very shortly.

SCHUMER: So, you think -- do you think we could get to the Capitol by 9:10 tonight and finish this?

MCCARTHY: Senator, I can't give an answer as to how long it's going to clear. I don't know how many on how many people are going to Capitol inside. So, it's a very complex operation, we're going to have to conduct. You have to do it inside (INAUDIBLE).

SCHUMER: The sooner you can get us, we have to make a decision whether to go back to the Capitol, if it's safe, which we prefer, or do it here if it's not going to be saved for a couple of days. That's what we need to make a decision about what we must finish. So, we have to -- you have to help us make that decision.

MCCARTHY: (INAUDIBLE). Senator, I just need a little bit of time. We just put the plan together (INAUDIBLE).

SCHUMER: Can you call us in in a half hour?

MCCARTHY: I will call you back in a half hour with a much better estimate.

SCHUMER: Great. Thank you.

REP. NANCY PELOS (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

And Mr. Secretary, I just spoke with Vice President Pence, and he was going to see because Mitch wants to do it in the Capitol. But we're being told it could take days to clean it up and make sure there are no hitting, no bombs or anything up here. But that he was going to get back to me as to his evaluations shortly as well. So just (INAUDIBLE) as well.

SCHUMER: Who's that?

PELOSI: Secretary.

MCCARTHY: Yes, Madame Speaker.


MCCARTHY: That's why I just need a little bit of time to make a better estimate.

PELOSI: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

MCCARTHY: OK. Thank you.

PELOSI: Thank you. Bye, bye.

I think Pence to have an honest estimate.


PELOSI: Now, how long will it take to set up here?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) trying to gather all of the member up. We'll do the same. Load the buses and come down to this building. At that point, we'll see if you want to continue democracy here on base and get it over with or if (INAUDIBLE).


SCHUMER: So, let's say we finish at midnight or one in the morning. How does it? You're going to bring them all back to the Capitol and let them disperse? How would we look out for their safety once we're finished?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will make sure they are safe getting back to where they need to be. We will have time as we set up this operation and move forward with this democratic process and we will adjust accordingly. But obviously the Capitol is, is in no condition to go back to.



COOPER: Joining us now CNN contributor and historian Garrett Graff whose book Raven Rock is all about contingency planning to keep the federal government functioning after almost any attack.

So, we see Speaker Pelosi, Schumer at Fort McNair, even though they were at a military installation, they're talking to officials on an iPhone and a flip phone and the communications obviously, we're not ideal as someone who knows all about contingency plans, and what I mean, is that the best there is?

GARRETT GRAFF, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, this is some incredible audio and video that we're now getting of what it was like to be in these rooms. I mean, you never see U.S. government officials talking about the so- called continuity of government and continuity of operations plans in the real world. You know, these are some plans that have been exercised only a handful of times in all of American history, you know, 9/11, most obviously. And most Americans don't realize that there is, in fact, a backup facility for the Capitol at Fort McNair. That's why Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and other congressional leaders were taken to that facility was in the wake of the anthrax attacks on Capitol Hill in the fall of 2001. Congress realized it needed to build its own backup facility, and they built out an auditorium at Fort McNair special facilities there.

And in theory, you know, these are facilities that are supposed to be, you know, highly capable, highly communicative, facilities for the highest levels of government. But you see, in these videos, and this audio, you know, the incredible reality that most times in these emergencies, the nation's highest leaders have tools that are about as good as those that the rest of us are carrying in our pockets on a daily basis.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, Congress, these are not the same contingency plans for continuity of government in case of a catastrophic event like a nuclear war terror attack, right.

GRAFF: They actually are. And one of the reasons that Fort McNair was originally designated as the backup Capitol in the wake of 9/11, in the wake of the anthrax attacks, is there are legal reasons and constitutional reasons that it is easiest for Congress to reconvene out inside the District of Columbia, it actually takes some special procedures for Congress to convene outside of Washington, D.C. itself.

And so, Fort McNair was designated and identified as a secure military base that the Congress could fall back to --

COOPER: Right.

GRAFF: -- if the Capitol was rendered inoperative by a terror attack.

COOPER: Yes, you know, t's also really interesting Garrett to see, I mean, Pelosi and Schumer, they're heads of the legislative branch, they can't deploy forces. And they're telling the, you know, acting, Secretary of Defense, you know, we'll just think of this, like it was the Pentagon or think of it like it's the White House, but it's not, it's the legislative branch. Does the federal government need to come up with some sort of plans in case something like this happens in the future if a President goes rogue or I mean, what would that even look like?

GRAFF: Yes, I mean, the idea that the legislative branch would need its own paramilitary forces is certainly not a sign of a healthy democracy. You know --


GRAFF: Exactly. You know, this is sort of one of those things where if this was happening in a foreign country, and you were watching, you know, foreign correspondents report on the military, deciding whether it was going to side with the Commander in Chief, or the legislative forces when the deposed President's, you know, paramilitary forces tried to storm the Capitol. You know, we would have a much better understanding of what actually took place here.

COOPER: Yes, Garrett Graff, I really appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up next, an incredible report from CNN's Nick Paton Walsh in the trenches and on the frontlines in Kherson, where Ukraine is battling to retreat, retake territory from a hardened and trench Russian force.



COOPER: A lot of important developments in Russia's war in Ukraine. Moments ago, the Biden administration announced the authorization of an additional $725 million in security assistance for Ukraine. Also, today a top U.S. official tells CNN and exclusive interview that Russia is burning through its high-tech weapons and cannot secure replacements. This the official says is affecting Russia is battlefield decisions.

In Kherson, one of the first cities to fall in the invasion. Russian backed officials are now ordering an evacuation of civilians as Ukrainian forces advance. Kyiv calls the evacuation a form of deportation saying the Russians will take the opportunity to quote, repopulate the Kherson region with zombies who are 100% loyal to Moscow. Despite this, the battle to retake the illegally annex region is meeting a strong Russian defense.

CNN International Security editor Nick Paton Walsh is on the front lines.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): Night is when the push for the South busies, Humvees speed the roads incendiary munitions light up the night. That dusk, the skies alight with air defenses around the Russian held heavily defended town of (INAUDIBLE) just three miles south of here. Is the gateway to the big price, the city of Kherson where Russia is already evacuating civilians and low on supplies.

(on-camera): They say the shelling has been noticeably less over the past month and a half. Probably because of the damage done to supply lines the Russians need to bring munitions towards the front here.

(voice-over): Radio chatter they've intercepted between Russians here is of ammo running out and conscripts fleeing.


WALSH (voice-over): In three days moving around the front lines here, it's clear Ukraine's movement forwards has met a hardened Russian defense, even if they are low on ammo. On this tree line to (INAUDIBLE) west, the Russian paratroopers are under a mile away.



WALSH (voice-over): New trenches are being dug and camouflage laid out. Nature is about to turn on both sides equally.

(on-camera): So obviously in the winter, the cover of the trees will be gone. And so, there's a race here to prepare new positions so they can't be seen by Russian drones in the winter.

(voice-over): A mix of the oldest type of warfare and oven heating bunk beds underground.

(on-camera): Place for their rifles. This for five people is where they're going to be during the winter if they're still here.

(voice-over): And the newest. This is an antenna for Starlink. Billionaire Elon Musk's satellite internet service, sending a live stream of drone footage of the artillery battle here.


WALSH (voice-over): This is where that signal is sent.


WALSH (voice-over): Meet Fugas, his nickname, a farmer turned drone warfare commander. And then the lethal impact of a billionaire's internet service and storebought drones. A hit on a Russia vehicle. The black smoke under the mouse cursor. They show us video of several impacts that day. They know that they will be hit back.


WALSH (voice-over): In the villages out east in Kherson, we see how fierce the fight for each village has been. Ukraine is slowly moving forward. But every farm is a slog. Smoke crawling over every hill, one of Russia's largest bombs hit here. Nothing left to come back for if you once lived in these homes. It is as if this wasteland is telling the Kremlin it's time to leave. But they think there's more damage left to do before the inevitable happens.


COPER: Nick Paton Walsh joins us now in Kyiv. What's Vladimir Putin saying about the attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine.

WALSH: We've had a week of extraordinary bombardment of civilians and infrastructure that supports their lives in Ukraine Anderson, and he said today in a rare meeting of what should be allied nations in Kazakhstan, that he has no regrets about that bombing, but isn't necessarily planning to repeat it. At the same time, there have been odd signals made by Russian diplomats about talks. We know fully well that the Western Ukraine don't trust Russia in a diplomatic table. Because in the past, they've simply used talks as a pause to take their breath, regather regroup and move on to the next military objective. At the same time, I should say that on the battlefield, we are seeing Ukraine still moving forward incrementally around what we're seeing where we were around Kherson.

And importantly, Elon Musk is in use right now. Is he going to continue funding Starlink? That's a question. But on the ground, where we've been over the past month repeatedly, there are Ukrainian troops whose lives whose basic functionality every day, rely upon that system and over the past month ever we've been it's been working very well and they're very grateful for it. Anderson.

COOPER: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you.

Still ahead, we remember the life of longtime Boston Globe journalist Jack Thomas who documented his final days after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. His story, next.



COOPER: We're debuting a new segment tonight that we'll be doing at the end of each week where we remember the life of someone who recently lost sometimes there'll be someone well known but more often it will be someone who wasn't always in the headlines but whose deeds and legacy matter. Someone whose memory we want to honor.

Tonight, we remember a man named Jack Thomas, who passed away earlier this month.


JACK THOMAS, JOURNALIST: Editing the final details of one's life is like editing a story for the final time. It's the last shot your habit making corrections. The last rewrite before the roll of the presses.

COOPER (voice-over): Most of us don't know when our time will come. Life rarely gives us that. But it did for journalist Jack Thomas when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2021. Doctors told him he had time they measured not in years, but months.

THOMAS: As newspapers go, just has a full-time job. And so, like many reporters I've written a lot about it, about murders, about suicides, fatal accidents. And yet not every story about death has been depressing.

COOPER (voice-over): After his diagnosis, Thomas did what he said came naturally, he told a story about it. Writing his final piece for the Boston Globe magazine entitled I just learned I only have months to live. This is what I want to say. He narrated part of his essay for WBUR Boston.

THOMAS: As my life nears the finish line the list of things I'll miss grows. Morning hugs my wife, the laughter of my daughters and my son. There'll be no more lazy afternoons on Boston Harbor aboard my little sailboat, the Butterfly. And no more surprise telephone calls from buddies in Boston, and Buffalo and Marblehead. We'd never hang up the telephone without saying, I love your Jack.

COOPER (voice-over): Jack Tom has spent more than 60 years as a journalist, about 50 of them as a reporter, editor, columnist, TV critic and ombudsman at the Boston Globe. Though his family says he preferred the title, writer. They remember him not only for his devotion to the Globe but his love as a husband and as a father which was boundless.


THOMAS: In his final chapter of my life I feel the same uncomfortable transition that I do as a teenager packing up to go home after a grand summer camp in New Hampshire, I'm not sure what awaits me. But this has certainly been an exciting experience. I had a loving family. I had a great career in newspapers. I met fascinating people, and I saw a myriad of worldwide wonders. It's been full of fun and lots of laughter to a really good time. I just wish I could stay a little longer.

COOPER (voice-over): Thomas leaves behind his wife, Geraldine, daughter's Faith and Jennifer and his son, John. He was 83. Tonight, we remember Jack Thomas.


COOPER: We'll be right back.


COOPER: New episode of my podcast All There Is, is out. You can put your cell phone at the QR code on the screen right now for a link to it. I heard today that podcast had been downloaded some 2 million times which is really extraordinary. And I'm very thankful because especially given what it deals with which is a podcast dealing with grief and loss. It's something that's not often talked about.

This week's episode is about anticipatory grief. And in it, I tell a very personal story about my experiencing -- my experience was one of the most important people in my life struggle with dementia for 10 years before she died. Her name was May McAlinden (ph) and I haven't talked about her publicly much before but she raised me and was like mom to me.


Again, you can point your cell phone at the QR code and TV screen right now for a link to it. Or you could also find the podcasts on Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. And as always, thanks for listening.

News continues at "CNN TONIGHT," with Jake Tapper starts now.