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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Woodward Releasing Audiobook With Eight-Plus Hours Of Trump Tapes; Jury Acquits Igor Danchenko, Primary Source For Trump-Russia Dossier, On All Charges; Record Day One Early Midterm Voting In Georgia; Ukrainian Intel Officer Shows CNN Team Downed Iranian Drone; News Anchor-Turned Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Close Race After Endorsing Trump's Election Conspiracies; Bodies Of 4 Missing Oklahoma Men Found Shot, Dismembered. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 18, 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: Two mysterious looking blue orbs in Earth's orbit.
Well, let me tell you what they are. The one on the bottom is actually a lightning strike. Now, here is something, you know, I actually never really thought about. Most of the time, the ISS does not see lightning strikes because there are clouds between the ISS and the lightning. But at this moment, there was a gap. So you've got incredible image.
And the other one on the far right was created by the moon's light hitting the Earth's atmosphere.
Thanks so much for joining us. Anderson starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
We begin tonight with a CNN exclusive: Audio recorded by investigative reporter and author, Bob Woodward of the former President. Now some of it was played on CNN earlier today, but what you'll hear tonight has never aired.
From 2016 through 2020, Woodward taped his conversations with the former President, some of which went into a second bestseller on the subject, "Rage." He'll be releasing all 20 of these conversations on the 25th of this month as an audio book titled: "The Trump Tapes," which runs for more than eight hours.
CNN has obtained a copy and what you'll hear tonight is striking. It speaks to who he was as President, who he is as a person, and how completely intertwined the personal and presidential were for him and probably still are. Something that's not just apparent in what he says, but even more so in how he says it, something the printed word just can't fully convey.
The conversations also speak directly to some of what the former President is now being investigated for, namely, how he views classified material and a President's responsibility for safeguarding some of the country's deepest secrets and that is why these conversations, which have never been heard before, are so significant.
CNN's special correspondent, Jamie Gangel has the CNN exclusive on this tonight. She joins us now with some of the audio.
What stands out to you the most?
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, as you said, it is hearing Trump say these words and you're in the room with Bob Woodward. It is Trump unvarnished, blunt, profane. It will not surprise you that he attacks people he doesn't like, and he boasts about himself over and over and over.
But what is also revealing, Anderson, is how Trump seems to need to try to impress Bob Woodward, including at times, telling him about classified information.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have built a weapon system that nobody's ever had in this country before. We have stuff that you haven't even seen or heard about. We have stuff that Putin and Xi have never heard about before.
Getting along with Russia is a good thing and a bad thing, all right, especially because they have 1,332 nuclear fucking warheads.
It's funny, the relationships I have, the tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them. You know? Explain that to be someday, okay, but maybe it's not a bad thing.
The easy ones are the ones that I maybe don't like as much or don't get along with as much.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
GANGEL: Woodward says he was never able to verify the weapon system, Anderson, but he uses it as an example of just how "casual, dangerous, cavalier" -- those are quotes from Woodward -- that Trump is about classified information.
The audio also has another recurring theme: Trump over and over and over tells Woodward just how tough he is.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP There's nobody that's tougher than me. Nobody is tougher than me. You asked me us about impeachment? I'm under impeachment, and you said, you know, you just act like you just won the fucking race. Nixon was in a corner with his thumb in his mouth. Bill Clinton took it very, very hard. I just do things, okay?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
GANGEL: It is classic Trump, Anderson, "I do what I want to do." Of course, it's also a stark reminder of the Trump presidency, as he is floating that he wants to run again in 2024. COOPER: So some of this audio we'd heard in 2020 around the publication Woodward's book, "Rage." How much of this is never before heard, not just from Donald Trump, but also from his aides?
GANGEL: Well, they're more than eight hours. So, there is a lot we've never heard before and there are absolutely new interviews with Trump's then National Security Adviser, Robert O'Brien; his Deputy, Matthew Pottinger; and throughout the recordings, you hear in the background, what I would describe as Trump's Court. These are advisers, allies, family, people who are in the room.
You hear Melania Trump, Senator Lindsey Graham, and the audio also gives an inside glimpse of Trump's inner circle. Like this exchange -- this is in 2016 when then candidate Trump was asked whether he expects government employees to sign Nondisclosure Agreements and his son, Don, Jr. chimes in.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, THEN CANDIDATE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Corey has one, Hope has one. Did you sign one?
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER OF TRUMP'S 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Steven has one.
HOPE HICKS, FORMER TRUMP POLITICAL ADVISER: Of course.
LEWANDOWSKI: Donny has one.
DONALD TRUMP, JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: I don't got one. I am in the middle of the book, baby.
LEWANDOWSKI: Donny has two.
DONALD TRUMP: I know, I forgot. He is the one I'm most worried about.
DONALD TRUMP, JR: I am not getting next week's paycheck until I sign one.
BOB WOODWARD, AUTHOR, "RAGE"): Do you think these are very tight agreements?
DONALD TRUMP: I think they are very airtight. They are very --
WOODWARD: And that no one could write a book or --
DONALD TRUMP:I think they are extremely airtight.
I don't like people to take your money and then say bad things about you. Okay?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
GANGEL: "I'm not getting next week's paycheck until I signed one." Anderson, finally, the audio book ends with Bob Woodward who does commentary throughout the eight hours, saying that his past assessments of Trump are not harsh enough.
In the epilogue, Woodward says: "Trump is an unparalleled danger. The record now shows that Trump has led and continues to lead a seditious conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election, which in effect is an effort to destroy democracy."
COOPER: Jamie Gangel, appreciate it.
Stay with us, though I want to bring in CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, also CNN political commentator and Republican strategist, David Urban, former campaign adviser to the former President.
So Gloria, the new audio obviously shed some interesting light on Trump's mindset during his presidency. I'm wondering what your biggest takeaway from what we just heard?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, let me echo something that Jamie just said, which is his total and absolute carelessness when it comes to matters of national security, talking cavalierly about how he built up our weapon systems, giving an exact number for Russia, for the number of nuclear warheads they have, which by the way, could be classified and could also not be true. We don't know the answer to that. And also, talking about how tough he is compared to these other Presidents.
The one question that I had listening to it is, okay, you're so tough, then how could you not handle losing an election? Which is exactly what happened to him, and he wasn't so tough about it.
COOPER: David, as someone who knows the former President, does his bragging about weapons systems or trying to kind of ingratiate himself to Bob Woodward by giving numbers of you know, alleged numbers of Russian nuclear capabilities, talking about, you know, how tough he is. Does it shed light on why he may have been inclined to take classified documents to Mar-a-Lago?
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Now, listen, Anderson -- and listen, I'm not surprised, right?
Remember, I participated in lots of those conversations. I've heard the President talk like that on numerous occasions...
COOPER: Are you in these tapes?
URBAN: ... with lots of people in the room. I'm not in any of those tapes, but I've talked to Bob Woodward a lot. I tell you that much.
And listen, Bob Woodward is an incredible journalist and he has a way about him to get people to talk to him. Right? Everybody knows Bob Woodward is writing a book and everything you say to Bob Woodward is on the record, but yet people open the kimono and just kind of spill their guts to Bob Woodward. So kudos to Bob Woodward for that.
But, you know, as Jamie pointed out in her piece when she was introducing this, like none of this has been verified. Bob Woodward said, you know, Trump is some hyperbole there that we've created the biggest, baddest weapon system that nobody knows about -- it might not even exist. We don't know.
Presidents -- this President is known to have a little bit of hyperbole, as you know, Anderson --
COOPER: But it is rare --
URBAN: I mean, I wouldn't take any of that to the bank.
COOPER: I mean, it is rare for a President of the United States to be the guy in the bar bragging about how big his weapon system is?
COOPER: You know? I mean, there are plenty of Presidents...
URBAN: You remember --
COOPER: ... who have the weapons system and not brag about them.
URBAN: You remember the comment -- yes, but you remember the comment to Kim Jong-un, "My button is bigger than his button." Remember that?
BORGER: Right. But that -- you know, this may shed some light on why those documents went to Mar-a-Lago? Why did he want to keep some of these things? We don't know the answer to that. We really don't.
But if you listen to these tapes, it may be one of the reasons, let's say, maybe that he just likes to brag a lot. And so he likes to pull out the letter -- the love letters from Kim Jong-un, as he did for Bob Woodward. Maybe -- maybe that's the reason. I mean, there could be more nefarious reasons, but this could be one of them.
COOPER: It is a fascinating idea, Jamie that, you know, one tries to look at sort of all the explanations for why somebody would take classified documents to Mar-a-Lago and you think, oh, you know, is he trying to -- is somebody trying to sell them? Is it for whatever -- and it might just be, he just likes to have stuff around him that he can brag about and show people his Kim Jong-un letter?
Because, Jamie, I want to play another clip where former President Trump decided to share with Bob Woodward, what is it? Is it the letter from Kim Jong-un, Jamie?
GANGEL: The letters, yes, yes.
COOPER: All right, let's play that.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP: Nobody else has them, but I want you to treat them with respect. I haven't -- with anybody.
WOODWARD: Understand. Understand.
DONALD TRUMP: And don't say I gave them to you, okay.
DONALD TRUMP: But I think it's okay. Normally I wouldn't -- I wasn't going to give them to Bob, you know. What? Did you make a Photostat of them or something?
WOODWARD: No, I dictated them into a tape recorder.
DONALD TRUMP: Really?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: I mean, okay.
GANGEL: Right. So first of all --
COOPER: "Bob, don't tell anybody."
GANGEL: "Bob, don't tell anybody." Photostat, dictating it. It's quite a scene.
But the reality is, this is a kind of incident where national security advisors to Trump, their heads were exploding. These are not letters -- letters from Heads of State should not be handed off to reporters or shown. These are letters that we know that he likes to show and everything, but it is not the way it's supposed to be done and they are classified.
And there were other things that you know, he may have shared with him. That it's just as one very high-level Intelligence official said to me, it is reckless.
COOPER: David, did he ever show you the Kim Jong-un letter?
URBAN: I can neither confirm nor deny that I've seen the Kim Jong-un letter.
BORGER: He has it framed on the wall. Yes.
COOPER: Gloria, I mean, has there been a modern President -- I mean, maybe I'm wrong -- who was so fixated on the trophies, particularly, I mean, I know Teddy Roosevelt liked to hunt, so maybe that's not a lot of trophies, but --
BORGER: Look, I can't imagine -- I mean, I only think of like, let's think of past Presidents. Jimmy Carter, when he left office went to go build houses for Habitat for Humanity. He didn't exactly go around showing off trophies or, you know, classified documents or documents that should be classified.
This is a person who has portraits of himself all over the place -- in his golf clubs, et cetera, et cetera. He is somebody who likes to show off and likes to brag. And so, it is hard to imagine any former President behaving this way, dealing with the National Archives in this way, trying to negotiate for over a year, and then claiming it, oh, I declassified all this stuff, and telling somebody apparently, who worked for him, you know, they're mine.
Former Presidents don't do that.
GANGEL: Anderson, could I just say, although we're laughing about the letters and his boasting and everything, let's not forget that he also took to Mar-a-Lago with him, such highly sensitive Top-Secret documents that the archives went to the Department of Justice, and the Department of Justice did that search.
So, there are some things that may seem light, but there were some very sensitive documents there.
URBAN: Yes. Anderson, I would say like, that's exactly -- Jamie is correct. Let's not conflate the things that he shared with Bob Woodward and what is in these tapes with what actually might have gone to Mar-a-Lago, right. Like I don't think that what Bob Woodward was told is a threat to national security, wherein some of the documents that may have gone to Mar-a-Lago, some of this TS SCI SAP, these documents may actually be pretty problems.
COOPER: Yes. David Urban, Gloria Borger, Jamie Gangel, I appreciate it. Thank you.
Also tonight, another Courtroom defeat for Special Counsel, John Durham, whose investigation of the Russia probe the former President once said would "reveal corruption on level never seen before in our country." So far, it has not done that.
CNN's Evan Perez joins us now with the latest.
So, John Durham's appointment as Special Counsel, his investigation of the Russia dossier began with a lot of high hopes for Attorney General Bill Barr, President Trump. What happened here?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, it started falling off the rails almost immediately as this trial -- as this case went to trial. It's a week-long trial.
Igor Danchenko was charged with five counts of lying to the FBI last week. The Judge threw out one of those counts, and during the trial, almost immediately, Durham himself went after some of his own witnesses after they delivered a testimony that was helpful to Danchenko.
And so it was, frankly not a surprise when we saw the jury come back and said that he was acquitted on all four remaining counts. In the end, obviously, this was a case where the jury just did not believe that Danchenko lied to the FBI.
COOPER: And Durham has now taken two cases to trial, both have ended in acquittals. Is there anything left of his investigation?
PEREZ: Well, he is wrapping up his investigation, and we expect that after the midterms, we're going to see a final report from John Durham.
And by the way, as you pointed out, two cases, both acquittals, the Federal government almost never loses cases that it takes to trial, Anderson and so it's a very unusual situation. We do know that in one case -- one part of his investigation, he did get a guilty plea from an FBI lawyer who lied on part of -- on one of the forms that was sent to the FISA Court to get a surveillance warrant.
But beyond that, we expect that from at least from what we saw in Court, we expect that John Durham is going to argue that Trump was treated unfairly by the FBI, that the investigation of Trump-Russia ties was flawed from the beginning.
So that is what we expect to see in his final report in the coming months.
COOPER: Evan Perez, appreciate it. Thank you.
Next, with midterms just three weeks away and record early voting in places, we'll look at the latest polling and our senior data reporter, Harry Enten will help walk us through what it may mean for Democrats and Republicans.
And later, the 2020 election denier who could become Governor of Arizona. We'll take a closer look at Republican Kari Lake ahead on 360.
COOPER: In Politics 360 tonight, with just three weeks until the midterms, there is already record early voting in Georgia. More than 131,000 ballots cast on day one there, up 85 percent from the last midterm election in 2018. So voter interest is high. Nationwide as well, nearly 2.5 million early ballots cast.
Just moments ago in Florida, debate wrapped up in the battle between Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic challenger, Congresswoman Val Demings. Here is Senator Rubio answering key question for all candidates this time around.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you accept results of the 2022 election? SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): I've never denied an election, ever. I have never said that the election -- I'm not like Stacey Abrams in Georgia that denied her election. I never denied an election.
I think in Florida -- I think in Florida, we have great election laws, but I think elections have to have rules. And Congresswoman Demings supported this effort to have a Federal takeover of elections.
What would that look like? You can't ask for ID. You have to ask for ID to get into her neighborhood where she lives and now, you have every right to have that. But you can't ask for it when they vote?
Allowing people to drive around with a trunk full of absentee ballots? Allowing people to basically register an hour before -- the same day of the election, show up and vote and inject chaos.
We have to have rules and we have to have laws. And those laws have to be followed.
Florida has good election laws and we have record turnout, like they had a record turnout in Georgia, which they were out there calling some sort of segregation as Jim Crow Bill. No, these are rules. These are rules that allow people to have confidence that their vote counted and their vote mattered. They're not suppressing anyone's vote, they are rules designed to make sure the system works the way it's supposed to work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me just get you on record here that you will support the results of the 2022 election.
RUBIO: We have great laws in Florida, absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But will you?
RUBIO: Sure because I'm going to win, so I look forward to supporting that, but --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're moving on.
RUBIO: But, yes, no matter what the outcome is, I will support it, because Florida has good laws.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Again, we're now just three weeks from counting the votes.
CNN's one and only senior data reporter, Harry Enten joins us now.
So what are we seeing out of Florida with this race?
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Look, Marco Rubio is going to win. You know, I don't think there's a lot of mystery there. You know, obviously strange things can happen, but if you look at the polling, Marco Rubio is clearly ahead five to 10 points. I think we have a poll up there on the screen right now that has him up seven points. Look, it's a Red State, it's probably going to be a good year for Republicans. So, the Republican candidate, Marco Rubio is going to win.
COOPER: So Georgia record turnout. What does that indicate?
ENTEN: You know, we always talk about --
COOPER: Yes? That's your answer? Yes?
ENTEN: We always talk about early voting oh, these record numbers. Yes, turnout, interest is high. But the fact is, is that the people who turn out to vote early, the people who vote by mail are overwhelmingly Democratic. Republican voters are going to mostly or a lot of them clearly more than Democrats will wait until Election Day to count ballots. We know this from the polling. We know this through history.
So there is not a lot that I read in the early voting, other than perhaps interest is high, which we know already because record primary turnout.
COOPER: I've been seeing some polling that that there had been some hope, a lot of hope among Democrats that the kind of the pendulum was shifting toward Democrats, that that may not be the case, that it may be more toward Republicans.
ENTEN: Yes, so if we look at the trendline, right? I think this is clear. Look at the generic ballot trendline. You know, if you go back to June, you saw Republicans were ahead, then Roe v. Wade was overturned. And then by September, you saw that Democrats had actually overtaken Republicans on the generic ballot. Look where it is now: Republicans have regained that advantage.
Because Roe v. Wade kind of goes into the back burner. You see Republicans running on the economy, running on crime -- these are much better issues for them. So, you're seeing Republicans retake that lead on the generic congressional ballot. Of course, we will always show you that congressional ballot, and you go, what the heck does that mean? You know, what is a congressional ballot? A generic congressional ballot mean?
So what I've done for you, Anderson, and for the audience to make it clear, because I like making things clear as --
COOPER: I need thing clear.
ENTEN: Fantastic. I converted that into how many seats the Republican Party will actually win? And generally speaking, in the range of sort of the results that we've been seeing on the generic congressional ballot, we're looking for Republicans to get a majority, somewhere in the 230-seat range, it might be a little bit above that if that generic ballot final lead is really strong, it might be a little below that if it's a little weaker.
But generally speaking, for the House of Representatives, what we're generally looking for is Republicans to have basically anywhere between, say 226 to 227 seats, and somewhere up to perhaps 235 as a middle estimate.
COOPER: I was -- I lost -- you lost me on your actual graphic, but I hear what you're saying. You're saying --
ENTEN: I so try to make that graphic --
COOPER: It is very complicated. I don't know what's --
ENTEN: Put it back on that screen.
COOPER: What is that?
ENTEN: Estimated GOP seats won, 226 to 236, based on a final generic ballots.
COOPER: Well, it is not your fault. It is not your fault.
ENTEN: I think it's clear.
COOPER: What are the other senator races that you are watching right now.
ENTEN: Look, it's coming down to four seats. It's coming down to four seats. Democrats need to win three of these four races. Right? We're talking about Arizona, we're talking about Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada. Right now they are ahead in three of those four seats with Raphael Warnock in Georgia being that 50th seat. Of course, if he gets to 50 percent plus one in order to avoid a runoff, who knows? It could be that we're determining Senate control and runoff in Georgia in December. That's possible.
But the other thing I'll note is these races are all within the margin of error. So, it's plausible that we might not even need that runoff in Georgia. Republicans could in fact gain control of the United States Senate before that December runoff, or if the Democrats win Nevada, maybe that they already get the majority themselves.
So, things are just really tight in the Senate, unlike the House where I think Republicans are in a good position.
COOPER: All right, Harry Enten, I appreciate it.
ENTEN: I'm going to try so hard on those graphics.
COOPER: No, it was fine. It is good.
ENTEN: I explained it well with my words.
COOPER: More now -- it is like poetry.
More now on how this is all playing out in the key race in a State expected to be central to winning the White House in 2024.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny has that. [20:25:00]
REP. DAN KILDEE (D-MI): To deal with inflation, you have to reduce costs for the American family, while we get through this for sure.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Congressman Dan Kildee is still talking about inflation three weeks before voters here in Michigan and across the country decide whether Democrats should retain control of Congress.
By now President Biden and his fellow Democrats hoped that high costs from the spring and summer would have eased, but the fierce economic headwinds seem as strong as ever.
KILDEE: Is it a challenge for us? Absolutely. People tend to hold the party who holds the White House responsible for everything. We just ask voters to really think carefully about what the alternatives are. Look at the current condition of the Republican Party, look at their policies --
ZELENY (voice over): Kildee is sounding the alarm about the prospects of Republicans taking the reins of the House, even as his rival, Paul Junge is trying to keep the economy and inflation at the center of their race.
PAUL JUNGE (R), MICHIGAN CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: People are really concerned about the cost of living. I mean, everywhere I go, gas prices, grocery prices -- it's really hitting their budgets.
ZELENY (voice over): The battle for control of Congress runs right through Michigan's Eighth District, which includes Saginaw County, a battleground within a battleground that voted twice for Obama once for Trump and for Biden, one of only 25 such counties in America.
This year, the verdict will be shaped by the dueling sentiments from voters like Tom Roy, a Republican who blames Democratic policies for inflation.
TOM ROY, MICHIGAN REPUBLICAN VOTER: Gas prices and the economy and inflation. I hope that things get -- we can't continue to spend, spend, spend. It's got to be -- you know, it's like a credit card. You can only tap that so long before it's over the limit.
ZELENY (voice over): And from Tracy Botticelli, a Democrat who says there is plenty of blame to go around for inflation.
TRACY BOTTICELLI, MICHIGAN DEMOCRAT VOTER: I want to scream from the mountaintops, "It's not one guy who is doing this."
ZELENY (on camera): So don't blame the Democrats, don't blame the President.
BOTTICELLI: No, blame corporations and the corporate greed and yes -- don't blame politics for every single thing that happens in our world. ZELENY (voice over): With early voting underway, campaigns are taking final shape. And in Michigan abortion is also on the ballot as voters are asked whether to enshrine the protection of abortion rights into the State Constitution.
(CROWD chanting "My Body, My Choice.)
ZELENY (voice over): Democrats believe it could motivate voters and boost Kildee and neighboring Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, both of whom have made abortion rights central to their closing arguments.
ANNOUNCER: Junge would outlaw abortion even in cases of rape, incest --
ZELENY (voice over): Two years ago, Junge narrowly lost a race to Slotkin. This year, he moved to a new district to take on Kildee.
JUNGE: Forty-six years of Kildee's in Congress comes to an end this November.
ZELENY (voice over): He said he is running to offer a check on the economic policies of the Biden administration.
JUNGE: When one party has the White House and both parts of Congress, that governance often is seen as too extreme by people and I see that as I campaign all the time.
ZELENY (voice over): Kildee, first elected to Congress a decade ago after his Uncle held the Michigan seat for 36 years, conceded that Democrats face steep challenges on the economy, but implored voters to see it as a choice.
KILDEE: I don't walk lockstep with the political party, but what's the Republican brand that we're running against? It's a party that's lost its soul, if not its mind.
COOPER: So the campaign closes with the economy as a central issue, do Democrats think they'll lose control of Congress?
ZELENY: Anderson, there is no doubt the Democrats wanted to close this campaign in the final weeks with anything, but the economy. We heard the President talk throughout the spring and the summer, they thought inflation was temporary. They thought by the fall, it would change. Of course, it's burning hot as it ever was earlier this year.
So now the bottom line, yes, there are many issues. Here in Michigan, abortion, still a huge question, crime also an issue. But closing with the economy certainly worries many Democrats.
But Congressman Kildee is wide-eyed about this. He is still trying to make it a choice between Democrats and Republicans. But Anderson, one thing is clear, three weeks from tonight, all eyes will be on here in Saginaw County. It's a classic swing area. It certainly will give an early sense of how the night will be for Democrats and Republicans alike -- Anderson.
COOPER: Jeff Zeleny, appreciate it. Thanks.
We are going live to Ukraine next. Our Clarissa Ward, with a CNN exclusive, an up close look at the attack drones Russia is using against civilians including a deadly attack in the capital, Kyiv, on Monday.
COOPER: As a top Ukrainian military official today predicted victory by next summer, the country also announced an increase in the death toll from Monday's drone attacks in the capital of Kyiv, five now dead, including an elderly woman, as well as a husband and his wife, who was six months pregnant. Friend of the wife spoke with CNN today saying that the couple was inseparable and that they'd been thinking of leaving Kyiv days before the strike that killed them.
Russia is increasing its use of these drones which are supplied by Iran and in a new development to sources familiar with U.S. intelligence say that Iran has sent military personnel to Russian occupied territory in Crimea to train and advise on the use of the drones.
Clarissa Ward is in Kyiv with us tonight. She has a CNN exclusive. What more are you learning about the drones, Clarissa?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, there's definitely a sort of glaring disparity between what we're hearing from the Iranians and what we're hearing from the Russians that what we're seeing here on the ground in Ukraine, essentially, the Russians say they're only using Russian weapons. The Iranian say they haven't been supplying the Russians with any weapons. But today, for the first time, we were taken by Ukrainian military intelligence to see a large Mohajer-6 Iranian made drone. Everybody has been talking a lot about these kamikaze drones, but they're not the only ones that are being used on the ground with devastating effect.
Take a look.
WARD (voice-over): At an undisclosed location, Ukrainian military intelligence officer Alexei takes us to see one of Russia's newest threats on the battlefield, an Iranian made drone known as the Mohajer-6.
(on-camera): It's big, (INAUDIBLE).
(voice-over): Used by the Russians for reconnaissance and bombing.
(on-camera): Yes, it was shot. I can see this is the hole from where you shot it down.
UNDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes. This is a hole from the rocket of Ukrainian forces. You can 02-2022.
WARD (on-camera): So, this is the date when it was made?
UNDENTIFIED MALE: WE think that this plane was made in this year when the Russian began to fly these drones, we have new problems on the battlefield.
WARD (voice-over): In just the last few days, more than 100 drones have been fired in Ukraine, mostly kamikaze Shahad had 136 drones, smashing civilian infrastructure and terrorizing ordinary people. The Kremlin today said only Russian equipment with Russian numbers is used in its so-called Special Operation. But Alexei says there is no doubt where this drone comes from.
(on-camera): Now, I don't see any writing in Farsi, in Iranian language. How do you know (INAUDIBLE)?
UNDENTIFIED MALE: We know that it is Iranian plane by two main things. The first thing we watched the exhibitions.
WARD (on-camera): Yes.
UNDENTIFIED MALE: Those planes in other countries, and some years ago, Iranian other companies showed this --
WARD (on-camera): This exact model?
UNDENTIFIED MALE: -- this plane. And second thing, why we think it's an Iranian plane, yes, we have one, only one right in right advisor camp.
WARD (on-camera): Can you show me?
UNDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Well.
WARD (on-camera): So that's Farsi?
UNDENTIFIED MALE: I think, yes.
WARD (on-camera): Yes.
UNDENTIFIED MALE: Your right.
WARD (on-camera): So, if I understand there, you're saying that they tried to hide the fact that this was made --
UNDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
WARD (on-camera): -- in Iran.
UNDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
WARD (voice-over): Ukraine has called for more sanctions against Iran for supplying the drones. But so far, sanctions have had little effect. The components are commercially available in a number of different countries, from Japanese batteries to an Austrian engine and American processors.
(on-camera): This is the Mohajer-6.
UNDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
WARD (on-camera): Now we're seeing these kamikaze drones, the shot head 136. And you say there's a new generation of drone coming to. The Arash-2.
UNDENTIFIED MALE: Arash-2. Yes. We worry very much from this.
COOPER: And how soon could this new generation of drones be supplied to the Russians? And how much more dangerous could it be?
WARD: Well, Anderson, you know, according to Alexei, they believe this could be happening in the next few months. And that's what really concerns it, but concerns them because this Arash-2 can carry a lot more firepower certainly then the Shahed which can take maybe 40 kilograms, so roughly 88 pounds of payload, if you will, of explosives on it, compared to the Arash, which can take about five times as much as that 200 kilograms. So well, well over 400 pounds of explosives that if it was really implemented effectively in the battlefield would have a truly devastating effect on Ukraine civilian infrastructure, but also on the lives of ordinary Ukrainians, as we've seen. And that's why I think you're hearing military intelligence officials who are normally very tight lipped about this stuff, take a more public and proactive stance and say, this is what we're up against. And this is what we need to combat this.
And again, we're hearing Ukrainian authorities -- Ukraine's leaders reaching out to Israel to the U.S. to NATO to whoever they can, asking for better, more sophisticated anti-aircraft defense systems, and particularly ones that are effective in defending against drone attacks, Anderson.
COOPER: And obviously one of the benefits of these drones for Russia or Iran is the relatively the low cost of them compared to obviously operating a jet fighter or cruise missile.
WARD: Some of them are low cost, relatively, the Shahads certainly are lower cost, the Mohajer-6 that we saw would be more expensive, but they kind of work in tandem with each other. The Mohajer-6 is kind of like a command and control doing a lot of the reconnaissance and then you can send out those Shahads which you sort of basically flood the zone with, Anderson they fly very low. They're not detectable on radar systems.
And so, Ukrainians are finding themselves have to use a line of sight and trying to shoot them out of the sky literally as you saw in those social media videos, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Clarissa Ward, appreciate it. Be careful. Just ahead, we're going to get back to our coverage of the midterm elections just three weeks away with the focus on a rising star in the Republican Party, Kari Lake, the party's gubernatorial candidate in Arizona. She's a former local news anchor. She's fully embraced the former president's election lies, there's an in-depth profile of her in The Washington Post. It's really interesting. The reporter on that joins us next.
COOPER: You heard our Harry Enten a short time ago speak about the midterm elections three weeks from today and how it's probably going to be a good year for Republicans in his words. And certainly, in the House. One of the more polarizing Republicans this cycle is their candidate for governor in Arizona, Kari Lake. She's a former local news anchor and candidate who's embraced the former president's election lies and become something of a national figure in Republican circles in the process.
On Sunday, she appeared with Dana Bash on "CNN STATE OF THE UNION," repeatedly Lake was asked whether she would accept the results of her own election, no matter the outcome. Repeatedly, she refused to answer directly.
Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): My question is will you accept the results of your election in November?
KARI LAKE (R-AZ) GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to win the election and I will accept that result.
BASH (on-camera): If you lose, will you accept that?
LAKE: I'm going to win the election and I will accept that result.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Kari Lake is also the subject of a fascinating profile in The Washington Post. I'm joined now by the author of that piece, Ruby Cramer. Thanks so much for being with us.
Her lighting is extraordinary. And one of the things you get out in the piece is she is constantly much she's wearing a microphone at all times, even when not on television in order to catch any question from a reporter that she will then use against the reporter and then put it online and to it's a whole other level of campaigning.
RUBY CRAMER, NATIONAL POLITICAL ENTERPRISE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Correct. I mean, I've never seen like anything like it and covering campaigns on either side of the aisle. She has a small lavalier microphone that maybe you were I would notice but who else would. And it is not connected to the mic system in a room or at an event it is connected to a has a camera that's actually operated by her husband.
COOPER: Who's a camera person from the from the station.
CRAMER: Who is a camera person from the station and owns a production company. And he's also the person who designed that home studio you just saw in the clip.
COOPER: With incredible lighting.
CRAMER: With the lighting, the sepia tones, the sort of Ghazi flatness. So, and yes, like you said, the purpose of that, in her words is to catch the media, when she calls the fake news media, when they're being misrepresented -- when they're misrepresenting her campaign. But often in practice, it's an opportunity for her to sort of tee off on reporters, and frankly, try to embarrass them.
COOPER: Right. She's also seems to like, look for opportunities to just have like snide and bitchy remarks to reporters that then she can turn and look, I'm owning the fake news media.
COOPER: And like attacking somebody's ratings, which is like a classic Trump move, thing like in like attacking the local stations ratings.
CRAMER: And her followers love it. And I think it's something that, you know, obviously, Trump showed that that could be very successful at his rallies, he liked to do a little bit of performance art at his White House press conferences. Kari Lake has taken that to a new level. Some of these interactions are private ones. I mean, the first time I met her, I went up to her and I said, hi, I'm Ruby Cramer, I'm with the Washington Post. I'm here to do a profile on you. And I'd love to spend some time with you. And she immediately cut me off and just said, who owns your paper again, you know, who are you with? And what, what's, who owns the Washington Post and just got very in my face. And I think she raised her index finger. And I said, you know, Jeff Bezos founder of Amazon owns the Washington Post. And she said, exactly, you know, you guys don't give anybody fair coverage. And this is the first time I'm meeting her.
CRAMER: And there wasn't -- there were no cameras around me and except her own. But so, I think she's just taking every opportunity to sort of like get those (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: You do talk about her and the piece is kind of a glimpse at the next generation of Trump Republicans and she already has a national profile. It doesn't seem to matter to anybody. She has no actual qualifications of having led anybody in anything other than leading a newscast, a local newscast at, I think, 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Which, you know, look on my TV I but I'm not qualified to be a governor. And she has no actual leadership experience in that sense, right.
CRAMER: Yes. I think in one sense, she has no qualifications. And another it's the only qualification that matters, right? Like she's known widely across Arizona. She says that she knows Arizona well, because of her 20 plus years on the anchor desk at Fox Channel 10, which is the local affiliate in Phoenix, while also discrediting the entire industry that she came from. So, it's really this kind of interesting tightrope she's walking constantly.
COOPER: It's also fascinating piece, and there's no answer to it. But you look at sort of how she turned from one person in the newsroom for most of her career that all her colleagues knew. And then all of a sudden in around 2016, it seems like was that was that the right year? She basically kind of a light went off, and she became the person that she is now. Unclear exactly why, but it's a fascinating thing to see that transformation.
CRAMER: Yes, I spoke to a dozen of her former colleagues who said they knew her as sort of a free spirited, you know, big personality in the newsroom, but someone who was a casual Buddhist, she used to wear the Kabbala red string around her wrist. I don't know if everybody remembers that. And now she's, you know, constantly quoting Bible verses. And I think, you know, based on my reporting, it seems that after 2016, she did become enamored with Trump having previously supported Barack Obama. And I think she underwent a similar transformation that many people did on a saw and something clicked for her.
COOPER: Ruby Cramer, it's fascinating profiles in The Washington Post. Thank you so much.
CRAMER: Thank you.
COOPER: I really appreciate it.
Coming up, a gruesome discovery in an Oklahoma River. The dismembered bodies of four missing men with gunshot wounds, person of interest is being looked at the mystery of what happened, next.
COOPER: In Oklahoma, police say a four man including two brothers were shot, dismembered and dumped in a river. Tonight, investigators a person of interest is in custody in Florida on an unrelated charge. New details on the mysterious killings.
Here's CNN's Ed Lavandera.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On a Sunday night more than a week ago, these four men headed out from a home in Okmulgee, Oklahoma on a bike ride, but their families would never see them alive again. Five days later, police a parts of their bodies started emerging from this river south of Tulsa.
JOE PRENTICE, CHIEF, OKMULGEE POLICE: Each victim suffered gunshot wounds. All four bodies were dismembered before being placed in the river. And that is what caused difficulty in determining identity.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Authority say, the victims are Alex Stevens, Mike sparks and brothers Billy and Mark Chastain. Jon Chastain is an uncle of the two brothers. He says the men were good fathers who leave six children behind.
JONATHAN CHASTAIN, UNCLE OF VICTIMS MARK & BILLY CHASTAIN: We're all horribly, horribly hurt over it. I mean, it's just not something that we ever seen coming. Our family never seen them doing anything to deserve this.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): But how and why these men were killed remains a mystery. Investigators say the men's cell phones were last tracked in to salvage yards on the edge of town. Near one of those yards, investigators say they found evidence of a quote, violent event. Investigators say they interviewed the owner of the salvage yards last Friday. The man denied knowing the four victims but then he disappeared. Until Tuesday, when he was arrested in Florida for driving a stolen pickup truck with Oklahoma license plates.
PRENTICE: Joe Kennedy is considered a person of interest. But no charges have been filed. Investigators would like to speak with him again.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Investigators also say they have evidence the four victims were plotting to commit some kind of crime.
PRENTICE: That belief is based on information supplied by a witness, who reports they were invited to go with them in to, quote unquote, hit a lick, big enough for all of them. We do not know what they planned or where they plan to do it.
LAVANDERA (on-camera): Police there in Oklahoma have said that they believe these four men were planning some sort of crime. When you heard them say that, what do you think?
CHASTAIN: That was -- they were hard workers. They were hard workers. The whole family is devastated. You know. Whatever they were doing, whatever. I mean, whatever it was, they weren't going out to murder people. Whatever was going on? I don't know. But what I do know is we need some justice for this.
LAVANDERA: And Anderson, it's important to point out that this person of interest Joe Kennedy, investigators say he was cooperative during their meeting with him on Friday, it's important to point out that there has been no indication so far that he's considered a suspect in this case. But that relative of one of the victims that you heard from there say the family is simply distraught over the gruesome nature of these murders. In his words, he described the murders as quote, medieval. Anderson.
COOPER: Ed Lavandera, appreciate it. Thanks.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: A new episode of my podcast All There Is, is out tomorrow morning. All the past episodes are available now. You can point your phone camera at the QR code on the screen for link. It's a podcast about loss and grief. And we've had a series of remarkable, poignant and often profound conversations with Stephen Colbert and Molly Shannon and others.
This week's episode I talked with artists and composer Laurie Anderson, who's incredible to talk to her about the death of her husband rock legend, Lou Reed and also the death of her blood dog Lola Bell, and some of the unexpected ways she felt after their deaths. That's episode six. The podcast comes out tomorrow morning. You can find it on Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast.
The news continues. Jake Tapper in "CNN TONIGHT."