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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Donald Trump Issued Subpoena; Washington Post: Some Documents Seized At Mar-A-Lago Contained Sensitive Secret About Iran And China; Zelenskyy Warns Russia Preparing To Blow Up Key Dam, Russia Calls Claim Nonsense; Surveillance Video Of Alleged Voter Intimidation In Maricopa County, AZ At Early Voting Drop Box; Herschel Walker Remembered As A Football Legend In His GA Hometown, But Not Everyone Is Cheering On His Senate Bid; Common Respiratory Virus RSV Spreading At Unusually High Levels, Overwhelming Children's Hospitals. Aired 8- 9p ET

Aired October 21, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: They're going to spend nine months studying unclassified data on UFOs and talk about how to use that data. In short, NASA says it wants to make the unexplainable explainable and that UFOs are key to national security and air safety.

They will make the findings public next year.

Thanks for joining us.

Now, it's time for Anderson.



Today, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th riots took the rare step of subpoenaing a former President of the United States, writing that the efforts to overturn the 2020 election was something that he "personally orchestrated and oversaw."

The Committee is demanding he sit for a deposition under oath, as well as provide documents and communications with more than a dozen allies and associates. The response from the President's legal team today was only to call the subpoena, "unprecedented action." Unclear what their next step will be.

But what is clear is that defying the subpoena by the Select Committee can come with consequences. Just today, the former President's on again off again close adviser, often considered the architect of the President's rise was sentenced to prison for defying the very thing that the former President was served with today.

Steve Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison, plus a fine of $6,500.00 for his refusal to comply with the House Select Committee subpoena. He remains free pending a possible appeal.

Also today, at about the same time Steve Bannon's sentence was being read, "The Washington Post" had new details about what was in those highly sensitive Intelligence documents seized by FBI agents at the former President's residence in Mar-a-Lago.

"The Post" reporting there were documents describing Iran's missile program, as well as secrets about China. We will speak with "The Washington Post" reporter who broke the story shortly.

We start right now with the House subpoena for the former President's testimony. CNN's Sara Murray has details.

So, what do we know more about this and the reaction from the former President?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a pretty wide scope in terms of the subpoena, Anderson. It is calling for the former President to hand over documents by November 4th and to testify November 14th, and when you look through the kind of documents they are asking for, I mean, they're asking not just for records of any calls that Trump may have made on January 6th, but you know, if he said, "Hey, get someone on the phone for me," or "Ask someone to reach out to someone." They want records of that.

You know, they want records of any communications involving Mike Pence for a period of time. They want records, you know, them talking about the Committee or witnesses of the Committee. They wanted any records of destruction of other materials.

So, it gives you an idea of just how broad the sort of documents they are looking for from the former President, in addition, of course, to that testimony.

Now, we have not heard directly from Trump on this, but we did hear from an attorney representing him saying the Committee was flouting norms by making this subpoena public, but saying we will review and analyze it, and we'll respond as appropriate to this unprecedented action.

So, it remains unclear what exactly that's going to mean.

COOPER: Is there any sense of what could happen if -- I don't know what his options are -- if the former President defied the subpoena, what might happen?

MURRAY: Well, look, I think it depends on what you mean by "defies." I think we saw what happened with Steve Bannon today, if you decided that you are just not going to even try to look through your documents, you're not really going to engage, you're not going to even attempt to give the Committee anything, then they pursued this criminal referral and he was convicted, and he was sentenced today.

But the former President has hired these attorneys. We could see some engagement behind the scenes. They could decide to take the Committee to court and frankly, the Committee has a limited time.

So they could battle this out in Court, and you know, even then, it is going to be up to the Justice Department to decide if they would actually want to go after the former President if he decided to just snub this subpoena. COOPER: Sara Murray, appreciate it. Thanks.

Let's get perspective now from attorneys, CNN legal analyst and former Federal prosecutor, Jennifer Rodgers, and CNN presidential historian, Tim Naftali, former director of the Nixon Presidential Library.

So Jennifer, the Committee lays out in great detail actions they allege the former President took to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and as they say, obstruct the peaceful transfer of power.

What stands out to you? And what do the Committee's -- and what is their endgame realistically here?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I understand I think their endgame is that they just want to be able to say in their report that the President did not take them up on their offer to come tell his side of the story.

There is no expectation at all that he is going to provide any documents. There is no expectation he is going to sit for testimony. If they really wanted a realistic shot at that, it would have had to happen months ago.

What's going to happen now is the lawyers will say they need more time. They want the subpoena scope to be less broad. They have privileges to assert, I mean, the Trump is the king of delay, and this is going to be delayed for the next few weeks, and then it's going to be all over.

So, I don't think they ever intended to get anything from him in the first place and at this late date, they certainly will not.

COOPER: Tim, the Committee writes that while not unprecedented, the subpoena is significant and historic. They allege the former President was "At the center of the first and only effort by any US President to overturn an election and obstruct the peaceful transfer of power," do you think there's anything in US history that does compare to this?


TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: No, because with the exception of John Tyler, who joined the Confederacy, we've not had a case where a former President has been alleged to have participated in an insurrection. So that alone makes this different.

President Trump is the fourth President to have been served a congressional subpoena. Two former Presidents said yes, and either testified in the case of John Tyler, the same John Tyler, or provided a deposition in the case of John Quincy Adams.

One President said, no. Harry Truman said no to the House Un-American Activities Committee when he was subpoenaed in 1953. He said, "I'm not going to do it." He saw it as part of the McCarthy attempt to smear his administration. He didn't do it and HUAC did not actually proceed to find him in contempt.

So you have basically two kinds of Presidents. You have some Presidents who've said yes to subpoenas and one who said no.

COOPER: Jennifer, if the former President refuses to comply or tries to drag it out, as you pointed out, what tools does the Committee have to enforce the subpoena? It doesn't seem like much.

RODGERS: Well, they don't have a lot and they certainly don't have time to use what they do have. I mean, they could go to Court and seek an order forcing him to testify, but there is not going to be time for that, because, again, there is going to be negotiations about the timing and the scope that there is just not enough runway here for that to happen, but that would be one option.

And then ultimately, of course, they could refer to DOJ for failure to comply. But again, they're not going to get the kind of black and white situation they had with Steve Bannon, where he completely thumbed his nose at them for months and months and gave up nothing.

Trump is smart enough to know to negotiate a little bit and have his lawyers do so. So there is just no question that what's going to happen here is the clock will run out without any sort of Court action, without any sort of referral.

COOPER: And Tim, what in fact, do you think the January 6 Committee's investigation in its attempt to hold the former President accountable will have on the office of the presidency as a whole? I mean, how much is at stake with this subpoena?

NAFTALI: This is hugely important, Anderson.

President Trump, when he was in office, tested the bounds of impeachment and stonewalled every request for material. We're not in an impeachment situation right now. But once again, the President sent out messages to his lieutenants to basically stonewall this very important Committee of January 6th.

It was essential for the January 6 Committee to go that extra mile to try to get every bit of information relevant to the investigation and how much more relevant could Donald Trump's e-mails and texts be? Nothing is more relevant since he is at the center of the conspiracy.

They had to do this. They really did for history and for the future of our Constitution.

MCDOWELL: Jennifer, just lastly, Senator Lindsey Graham appealed his subpoena in the Georgia election interference investigation to the Supreme Court late today. What do you think his chances are?

RODGERS: His chances are pretty much zero, Anderson. He lost in the District Court. There was a very reasonable opinion setting out exactly what testimony there could be and couldn't be pursuant to the Speech and Debate Clause. He lost unanimously in the 11th Circuit when he appealed that ruling.

Now, he is going to the Supreme Court. They will not step in here. He doesn't have a legal leg to stand on. So, I anticipate he will be testifying fairly soon. COOPER: Interesting, Jennifer Rodgers and Tim Neftali, thanks so much.

Now, the new "Washington Post" story that we mentioned earlier about the highly sensitive Intelligence the FBI seized at Mar-a-Lago, including US secrets about Iran and China. I am joined now by the reporter who broke the story, "The Washington Post's Devlin Barrett.

So, Devlin, can you walk us through the specifics of your reporting?

DEVLIN BARRETT, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Right, so obviously, one of the big questions from this investigation has been okay, so what did the FBI find at Mar-a-Lago? And we now know a little more of the answer.

One is, at least one document about the Iranian missile program, obviously, an ongoing concern of US Intelligence and the other is a number of documents about US Intelligence gathering efforts aimed at China, and obviously, the US-China Intelligence competition is very intense, and very dangerous at times. And you know, these are very, very sensitive documents.

COOPER: So it was about US Intelligence gathering efforts aimed at China. So, sources and methods.

BARRETT: Well, that's always at risk if and when such information could get out into the wild. You know, it is still not really clear who, if anyone, may have beside the President may have seen this stuff. And so, it is very -- you know, the risk assessment is still ongoing.

But what has been emphasized to us is, this is some of the most closely held information in the entire government and so much so that the investigators themselves, many of them were not allowed at first to read the documents.

COOPER: Do you know what level of security clearance someone would need to have access to these documents? And I mean, would they ever be permitted to be stored or viewed outside a secure facility?


BARRETT: No, I mean, these documents, the most sensitive ones are sort of by definition, meant to be kept in government facilities under lock and key in guarded buildings. That's the whole point.

And as another example, we've previously reported that, you know, for a number of these documents, the only people authorized to know about the programs were Cabinet level officials and the only people authorized to read anyone else in, to let anyone else know what was in these programs were Cabinet level officials.

COOPER: And I guess the top concern of the Intelligence Community, if foreign governments unauthorized persons were to gain access to these documents is that it will not only -- is it revealing what the US knows about them, but it is also potentially revealing the sources and methods. Right? BARRETT: Exactly. And there is another legal factor here that is really important, Anderson, and that's that when prosecutors look at mishandling classified information cases, they look for aggravating factors. And one of the potential aggravating factors is how sensitive is the information that we're talking about? And in this case, what the reporting today shows that, in fact, the information was extremely, extremely sensitive.

COOPER: You've previously reported the beginning of September that some of the documents seized during the raid involved a foreign country's military defenses, including nuclear capabilities.

Do you know or do you have any sense of if those documents are related to or even the same documents as the ones you're currently reporting on?

BARRETT: We don't know that, and that is an important point. We're getting different bits of data, different descriptions of what is in this investigation, what's at stake in this investigation, and we really don't know if that Foreign Military Defenses Intelligence is about Iran or China or some other country.

COOPER: Okay. Good to know. It is fascinating, incredible reporting. Devlin Barrett, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

perspective now from CNN senior law enforcement analyst, Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Director of the FBI; and CNN legal and national security analyst, Carrie Cordero, former counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for national security.

So Andrew, obviously, everything about this case is exceptional. We're talking about a former President. Just to give a sense, though, of how serious this is, if the FBI executed a search warrant on any other private citizen's home and found national security documents this sensitive, how much trouble would that person be?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Anderson, I'm not sure that in all of the mishandling cases that I was involved in and oversaw in my time in the FBI, I'm not sure that I ever saw one or came across a case in which an individual took documents that are at the level of sensitivity that we are talking about here.


MCCABE: This is absolutely the most exquisitely sensitive Intelligence our nation has. I can tell you, I had access to some of these compartments, you know, not all classified material is equal, right? You have different levels of classification, Top Secret being the highest.

Beyond Top Secret, you have SCI and beyond that, you have this sort of codeword protected material that you are talking about here.

I had access to some of that, when it would come to me from another agency, a special courier with access to those programs would walk it to the SCIF that I worked in. I'd have to read it in front of them and hand it back. This stuff is handled with such care, and there is a reason for that.

There is death and risk to national security involved if it's not treated that way.

COOPER: Carrie, are there any past cases that give us some insight into how the Department of Justice might choose to proceed here?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think there's a whole range of potential cases that we can look to. So on one hand, there are cases of former Intelligence community professionals, employees, contractors who brought information home, those individuals are usually prosecuted -- classified information home.

What is often the distinguishing characteristic in those types of cases is when they gave the information to someone else, either a reporter or a foreign government, and then those cases are absolutely prosecuted under the Espionage Statutes.

Where I think there's a different type of example are in the cases of former high-level senior officials, someone like former CIA Director David Petraeus, or in the 90s, the CIA Director, Deutch.

So those are examples where individuals had classified information that they should not have had in the place they had it. Petraeus was notes, Deutch was information on a computer, and then those cases ended up being misdemeanors. In one case, pled; and the other case, was pardoned. And so a much more minor type of scenario.

So there is just this wide variety of factors that into it including the sensitive nature of the information as Andrew is describing, the transmittal or potential transmittal of information to an outside party, and that is where I think this investigation has to be really active right now, it is trying to figure out if because now there is this known high sensitivity, highly classified code worded information, sensitive compartments, did it get out? And I think that will be a critical factor as the Justice Department continues to look at this investigation.


COOPER: Andrew, given what you said about -- I mean, just the sensitivity of this and this is, you know, of all the cases you've seen, these are the most highly sensitive documents you've seen being allegedly mishandled or reportedly mishandled.

I mean, how -- the idea and the argument that was made early on by some of the President's supporters that, well, he can declassify anything he wants, just by thinking about it, or as he said, or by just saying it's declassified. These are not documents that anybody would declassify lightly or with the wave of a magic wand.

MCCABE: No, it's almost unthinkable that you would actually anyone would declassify information along these lines. Now, we do know that the President has the authority to declassify anything he chooses to declassify, again, why you would choose to declassify this is beyond me.

But having that authority and executing it effectively are two totally different things. The reason you declassify documents is so that other people can treat them as no longer classified.

If you don't actually communicate that act of declassification, it never has any effect. People don't know that you do classified them, so they still handle them as classified. So, this idea that he could just think it and make it so is simply fiction.

COOPER: Yes. It's really extraordinary. Carrie Cordero, thanks so much; Andrew McCabe as well.

Next, we go live to our Clarissa Ward in Ukraine on civilians returning home in prisoner swaps. Plus, the story of one mother who like many across Ukraine has not seen her adult son since the Russians took him at the start of the war, believed to be still alive, but a world away.

Also tonight, more on a story we brought you last night, allegations of voter intimidation at ballot drop boxes in Arizona. There is new video we want to show you, plus more claims, coming up.



COOPER: Ukraine's President Zelenskyy tonight says that Russia is preparing to blow up a critical dam in the southern part of the country. An explosion of the dam might thwart the advancing Ukrainian military near there. Russia has called the claim "nonsense." The news comes the same day we learned the true cost of the war.

The UN reports more than 6,000 civilians have been killed to date and it includes at least 397 children. On Monday, Ukraine and Russian- backed authorities each freed more than a hundred prisoners in a swap.

For more on that story. I'm joined now by our chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, who filed this report from Ukraine tonight.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the Kyiv of suburb of Hostomel, normal life has started to return, but the scars of Russia's five-week occupation remain.

Olena Yusvak hasn't seen her son, Dima, a 23-year-old engineer, since Russian soldiers took him from their family home seven months ago with no explanation.

(OLENA YUSVAK speaking foreign language.)

WARD (voice over): "They took him from our front yard and he is being held in the territory of the Russian Federation," she says. "I know for sure he's alive because I received a letter from him. I demand Russia release my civilian son."

The letter sent from Russia was delivered via the Red Cross in Geneva. There are just three words, "Mama, alive, healthy."

WARD (on camera): Did you know immediately when you read it that it was from him?


(OLENA YUSVAK speaking foreign language.)

WARD (voice over): "He wrote it," she tells us. "I feel he is alive. I know he is alive. I hope."

What would you want Dima to know right now?

(OLENA YUSVAK speaking foreign language.)

"Dima should know that Mama is waiting for him," she says, "And Mama is fighting for him."

Olena is not the only mother fighting. On Monday, 108 women, including 12 civilians were released from captivity in Russia.

According to Human Rights groups, hundreds of Ukrainian civilians have been imprisoned unlawfully there. The lucky ones are used as bargaining chips in prisoner swaps.

When we first met Katerina Andryusha in April, she was desperately looking for her daughter, Victoria. The young Math teacher was taken from her home by Russian soldiers on March 25th after they found messages about Russian movements in the area on her cell phone.

She was taken to a detention center in Russia.

(KATERINA ANDRYUSHA speaking in foreign language.)

WARD (voice over): "We hope that she will get in touch," Katerina says. "Would somebody, somewhere."

Last month, Victoria was one of two civilians returned to Ukraine as part of a prisoner swap.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE speaking in foreign language.)

WARD (voice over): "It's over. Don't cry. You're home," the other woman released comforts her.

It was a moment Katerina will never forget.

KATERINA ANDRYUSHA, MOTHER OF RELEASED PRISONER FROM RUSSIA (through translator): She called me when she first crossed into Ukrainian territory. I was crying and shouting. The whole neighborhood could hear.

WARD (voice over): The family home now is a place of celebration. Victoria tries not to dwell on what she went through.

Were you ever treated badly?

VICTORIA ANDRYUSHA, RECENTLY RELEASED FROM RUSSIAN PRISON (through translator): In the beginning when I first arrived there, yes.

WARD: In what sense? What did they do? What did they say?


VICTORIA ANDRYUSHA (through translator): Different kinds of threats about what they can do to me and how they will do it. There was physical abuse, too, but I won't say it in front of my mom. Mom doesn't have to know this.

WARD: How does that make you feel as a mother to hear what your daughter went through?

KATERINA ANDRYUSHA (through translator): It's hard, so hard.

WARD (voice over): Outside and away from her mother, Victoria tells us more about her detention.

Were you assaulted in some way when you were held captive?

VICTORIA ANDRYUSHA (through translator): Yes. I was given electric shocks. They use sticks and their hands and legs. Really, this was physical abuse. They were beating me. Psychologically, I had prepared myself for this possibility and I knew this could happen in any moment. I was probably lucky that it only happened to me once.

WARD (voice over): International law is very clear that it shouldn't happen at all.

Under the Geneva Convention, civilians are to be treated as protected persons, and the act of forcibly transferring them to another country is a war crime.

Katerina is now focused on the joy of being reunited with her daughter after months of horror. But for so many others, the nightmare continues.


COOPER: Clarissa joins us now.

Clarissa, is it common for civilians to be captured and used as bargaining chips in these exchanges?

WARD: Well, Anderson, it is really difficult to get exact numbers on this because so many of these people, these ordinary civilians are literally just disappeared. So, often families don't even know where they've been taken to.

But we've spoken to a number of Human Rights groups who are tracking this sort of stuff and it is certainly fair to say that the numbers are in the hundreds and that is in cases like the ones that you saw on this piece where they are ordinary civilians in an area occupied by the Russians, the Russians decide that they are spies or collaborators or whatever it may be, and forcibly take them and detain them in Russia.

Then you have the secondary issue, which is an even bigger one of people who are living in areas occupied by the Russians, who are then forcibly moved in or forcibly evacuated, ostensibly for their security into Russia. That also, by the way, according to Human Rights groups is a war crime and those numbers are much higher, in the tens or potentially hundreds of thousands -- Anderson.

COOPER: And what's next for Victoria and Katerina?

WARD: Victoria is going back to her job. Incredibly, she is a very strong and determined young woman. She's a Math teacher in Brovary, which is a suburb to the east of Kyiv, and Katerina is getting on with her life, too.

But the heartbreaking thing, Anderson, is that they really are some of the very few lucky ones. And there are many more like Olena, who you met at the beginning of the piece, who was looking for her son, Dima, who is lobbying from the rooftops, every international organization that she possibly can, who other than that letter, with just those three words, has not had any substantive information as to her son's wellbeing.

And they find themselves at something of a dead end. They're at the mercy of the Russian State, and as we know, Anderson, the Russian State doesn't offer and deliver mercy.

COOPER: And President Zelenskyy has been warning that the Russians could blow up or be preparing to blow up a critical dam in the Kherson region, what would be the impact of that?

WARD: I mean, the impact would be devastating. It's been a few days now, there has been this kind of he-said-she-said back and forth between the Russians and the Ukrainians about this dam. But now, the Ukrainians are coming out, an Intelligence official with the Defense Department saying today basically that the Russians mined the dam some time ago, but now they are seeing increased activity, more mining of the sluice gates.

They also talked about two tented military trucks that have been put, packed with explosives on the dam. And so, the impact, if they were to blow up that dam, would be not just massive flooding and a huge sort of fallout in terms of like water issues and water scarcity.

But also, potentially it could be devastating for the hydroelectric power plant that is sort of adjacent to the dam and the ultimate goal here, according to Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian President is to try to force Ukrainians from their homes to make it simply untenable, unsustainable to live here through the winter with all of the damage that's been done to Ukraine's civilian infrastructure -- Anderson.

COOPER: Clarissa Ward, appreciate it. Thank you. Be careful. Up next, more allegations of voter intimidation in Arizona. And tonight, we're learning all of them had been referred to the Department of Justice.

Plus, there is surveillance video in one case, we'll get the latest from Kyung Lah.

We will also take you to Herschel Walker's hometown in Georgia where he has a street and a football field named after him and not everyone there is rooting for his political campaign, but we have details ahead.



COOPER: We're less than three weeks from the midterms. Tonight, in Arizona there are more complaints about alleged voter intimidation. We first told you about one allegation Maricopa County last night. We now have surveillance video tied to that case that was recorded on Monday. Tonight, the Arizona Secretary of State's office says that a total of at least three people have come forward with allegations of harassment at two different locations one in Mesa, the other in Phoenix as they dropped off their ballots early ahead of Election Day. All three cases have been referred to the Department of Justice.

CNN's Kyung Lah joins us now with more. So I know you've obtained closed circuit TV footage from one voters complaint. What does it show?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is essentially security camera video from a parking lot Anderson. I want you to take a look at it. And first doesn't appear to be anything unusual, it's a voter who was pulling up to drop off his early ballot at a drop box, his wife is in the vehicle. But then he pauses and he looks up and it appears he's talking to somebody off the screen. We will learn if you look at the complaint that it was eight to 10 people. Then that voter in the security camera video gets in the vehicle and backs out of the parking lot. The reason why if you read through the complaint is he wrote that the people he was engaging with were, quote, filming and photographing my wife and I, as we approached the drop box and accusing us of being a mule, more than that in a second. And that they took photographs of our license plate and of us and followed us out of the parking lot.


That mule reference, Anderson is referencing a conspiracy film that is often quoted by far-right conspiracy websites, and by some right-wing Republicans who are running for office in the state of Arizona. Anderson.

COOPER: So, what about the other allegations?

LAH: Yes, a total of three that you reference have been referred to the Department of Justice. And if you look at them, they all have the same thing in common, they're referencing these people did varying numbers at two different drop boxes in Maricopa County, people sitting in lawn chairs, and then some say they are camo clad, that they are intimidating, that they have a clear intent to intimidate.

And let's be clear about this, Anderson. There's nothing wrong with standing 75 feet away from an election drop box in the state of Arizona. It's what the press does in order to get some of those pictures of people dropping off their ballots. What is wrong is if you interfere with somebody's ability to vote. Anderson.

COOPER: And what are the candidates for governor saying about these complaints?

LAH: We're getting two very different responses. Kari Lake the Republican she was directly posed this question by our Kate Sullivan, who's the embed in Arizona and she asked her what do you think about this complaint of a voter -- saying that they were intimidated to vote. The first thing she talked about was, quote, we need to restore integrity to our elections. We need to be very clear there's no evidence of widespread election fraud, especially with a 2020 election that some candidates can't seem to let go of including Donald Trump who lost a 2020 election in the state of Arizona. And then Democrat Katie Hobbs, who was the Secretary of State had the exact opposite reaction. She says that she will defend the right to vote that she believes in early voting and that her office is prepared to push back. Should there be anyone who will dispute the results of the 2022 election, including the woman she's running against for governor, Kari Lake. Anderson.

COOPER: Kyung Lah, appreciate it. Thank you.

Now to Georgia's closely watched Senate race tonight, we took your hometown of Republican candidate Herschel Walker were decades ago he was known for greatness on the football field. Not everyone is fan when it comes to his current political ambitions.

Here's CNN's Dianne Gallagher.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even before the sunrises, the hottest topic in town comes up in conversation at the Cornbread Cafe.

CHRIS HARVES, WRIGHTSVILLE, GA RESIDENT: I like Herschel, because his own business.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): For more than 40 years, the tiny town of Wrightsville, Georgia has been talking about Herschel Walker.

UNDENTIFIED MALE: He's a local boy that's done good.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): He has a street, a park, a high school field named after him here.

UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I was number one fan when he plays football. UNDENTIFIED MALE: From the University of Georgia, Herschel Walker.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): In the self-proclaimed friendliest town in Georgia, it's easy to find support for Walker Senate campaign.

UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he's a man for the job.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Nearly 70% of Johnson County voted for Republican Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

HARVES: Herschel's not on that now. He's a fighter.

HERSCHEL WALKER (R-GA) SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I've been in a lot of places, but in Wrightsville, I learned important lessons.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): On the trail, Walker is quick to mention his Wrightsville routes.

WALKER: I'm from Wrightsville, Georgia.

JANIBETH OUTLAW, MAYOR, WRIGHTSVILLE GA: He has always participated in our famous Fourth of July parade that we have every year. He has done camps for youth here for football.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): But not everyone in this rural 3,500-person town is cheering him on.

CURTIS DIXON, HERSCHEL WALKER'S FMR HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER: He still sounds got a favorite song. But most people -- most of the people in Johnson County don't think he's the right person to be running for Senate.

UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope why not we really do.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Shreeka Johnson (ph) doesn't feel the multimillionaire former resident has done enough to help Wrightsville specifically the black community here.

UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: We see him what once a year when it comes to the parade?

UNDENTIFIED MALE: He's yet to campaign in the black community.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Curtis Dixon who was Walker's 10th grade World History teacher and a coach on a state championship high school football team described him as a good, polite kid who has given back to this community as an adult.

(on-camera): Sounds like you'd liked Herschel as a player and as a student.

DIXON: Still do. But you know this is business.


GALLAGHER (voice-over): You don't feel like he's ready? DIXON: He's not ready.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): The readiness is a concern even for those who say they'll still probably vote for Walker.

JULIAN "JUNE BUG: POPE WRIGHTSVILLE GA RESIDENT: (INAUDIBLE) he ordered just wait and look inside before run and to see whatever take.

UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: Herschel Walker paid for an abortion for his then girlfriend --

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Reports about Walker's turbulent past including newly surfaced allegations he paid for an ex-girlfriend's abortion more than a decade ago were not major topics around here. Walker has repeatedly denied the allegations. The residents we spoke with who said they know Walker did say they were surprised by his public acknowledgement in June that he had four children.

Jerry Owensby is a supporter who's already cast his ballot for Walker, but laments the cost that the campaign has taken on the candidate personally.


GALLAGHER (on-camera): Explained to me why not?

OWENSBY: Because he's too good for politics. It's hurting with his family.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Dixon says he also worries about the impact this race is having on Walker's family but struggles to reconcile the candidate he sees today with the kid he knew decades ago.

DIXON: The faces they had, a hair his dad's got a little gray area. But I sometimes wonder if that's the same person.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Dianne Gallagher, CNN, Wrightsville Georgia.


COOPER: Just ahead, children's hospitals across the country are overwhelmed with an unprecedented surge in RSV cases. CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen joins me next with details on what to look for and what we should know about this virus as it spreads.



COOPER: Across the nation cases of RSV which is a common respiratory virus are surging especially among children. The CDC says the cases have jumped nearly 500% since August has 7,300. And it's putting a strain on hospitals. Several across the country tell CNN that they've been overwhelmed at a time of year when the surge is unusual. Connecticut Children's Hospital said they may need support from the National Guard. Want to talk about Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst, also a public health professor at George Washington University and Baltimore's former health commissioner.

Dr. Wen, it's good to see you. So, I understand both of your kids are getting over a respiratory infection right now. It's not clear if it's RSV. But first of all, what is RSV? And what I mean, what's happening with this?

LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Yes, so RSV is a very common respiratory virus, it's estimated that pre prior to COVID, that every child before the age of two, or virtually every child before the age of two is going to get RSV. And so, it's very common, most of the time, it causes very mild symptoms. Now, I think that what's happening right now, when it comes to why there's so many cases is that we have this immunity gap. We have a lot of kids who were during the time of COVID were born during COVID. Like my child, like my daughter, and I know your children as well, Anderson. And so, they didn't get exposed probably to RSV.

Now there's a lot of RSV around, they're getting exposed to it now. And then you also have all those individuals who would have gotten RSV anyway. And so, you have a large number of people getting infected, which is also why we're seeing this large surge in hospitalizations as well.

COOPER: So how do you know if it's RSV? or doesn't -- I mean, does it matter?

WEN: Yes, so, you mentioned that my children -- right, exactly. So, you mentioned that both of my children have respiratory infections now, this is actually their third bout of respiratory infection since the start of this school year, it's just very common for kids to have runny nose and sneezing and coughing and so forth. For us, because they're not severely ill. There's no testing, we're not getting them tested to see if it's adenovirus, or if it's RSV or something else. If they were little babies or if they got severely ill, they would get tested, but they're not getting it now.

The key though, Anderson is to watch out for severe symptoms. And those severe symptoms would include difficulty breathing. If the child has wheezing or grunting if they're breathing really fast, if their chest is actually turning in as they're breathing. And also, they can't get enough fluids. Very important if they're newborns, and if they're premature babies in particular, because those are the categories that are the most vulnerable to severe illness due to RSV.

COOPER: So, it just sniffles something like that. I mean, so many kids right now, or, you know, have sniffles or runny noses, that that's you shouldn't freak out.

WEN: That's exactly right. I think a lot of parents are listening to the news about RSV thinking, oh my goodness, we've just gone through two and a half years of worrying about COVID. Now we're worrying about RSV. Well, there's nothing different about RSV. The issue is that we just have so many people getting infected with RSV. That's why our hospital systems are getting strained. But that doesn't mean that RSV is always dangerous. And in fact, in almost all the cases, it's going to be very mild. I will remind people to them, RSV is something that we have pretty limited immunity to, as in you could get RSV many times in your lifetime. And actually, older adults who are elderly, who have chronic medical issues, who are immunocompromised, they're actually also susceptible to severe effects from RSV. About 14,000 adults die every year from RSV.

And so, the key is to protect those who are vulnerable, the newborns, the premature babies and older individuals.

COOPER: So, it's only the severe cases the kids who had the breathing problems that you were saying, who should seek medical attention. How do you keep viruses from spreading, obviously, you don't want one child going to their, you know, preschool or hanging around their brother, sister?

WEN: Right. So generally, it's a good idea to practice good hand hygiene. These are viruses that are spread through direct contact, if you sneeze, cough on your hands, et cetera. You could spread it to other people also commonly touched surfaces. If by touching those surfaces, you could also transmit it to other people as well. And so generally a good idea to stay home when you're sick. Although in the case of children who are getting sick all the time in the winter, you also can't keep them out of school the entire winter.

And so, I think different schools have protocols about for example, not sending your kid to school if they have a fever. But in general, I think we need to practice good hand hygiene and protect those who are really vulnerable to severe illness.

COOPER: All right. Dr. Wen, appreciate it. Thanks very much. I hope your kids feel better.

Coming up next, we remember a man who dedicated his life to service. His name was Harold Dean Patrick, former Marine and fire chief who set the standard of how some train rescue teams today.



COOPER: Before we end the program, want to turn to a new segment, we'll be doing the end of each week where we remember the life of someone who has passed. Sometimes it'll be someone well known but more often will be someone who maybe wasn't always in the headlines but whose memory we want to honor.

Tonight, we remember Harold Dean Patrick whose life of service is still impacting others today.


UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: A man with a servant's heart. And today we honor and we remember Harold Dane Patrick. COOPER (voice-over): Harold Dean, Patrick was known as Dean by his family and by his friends and he had a lot of friends. People knew they could rely on Dean. Community was important to him and he dedicated his life to service at home and abroad. He was a Marine, who then joined the fire service in 1965. Becoming fire chief in Troutville, Virginia where he lived most of his life. In 1980 formed the heavy and tactical rescue program in the Commonwealth, it set new standards for how to train rescue teams that are said to be still in use around the world today.


JAMEY BRADS, CHIEF OF TRAINING & OPERATOR, VIRGINIA DEPT. OF FIRE PROGRAMS: He always wanted to just make it better and he wanted to surround himself with people and he just wanted to make them better at what they did and that was being better firefighters first responders.

COOPER: Dean was also on a team that responded to the September 11th attacks both at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. Wherever there was a need, Dean was willing to go. Oklahoma City bombing, Hurricane Katrina and the Mexico City earthquake just to name a few.

ZACK BECKNER, CHIEF, TROUTVILLE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT. While he was abroad and involved in a lot of things worldwide, he never forgot Troutville and he never forgot where he came from, and continued to really give back to the department well after he left as chief.

COOPER (voice-over): Dean love to hunt and fish and his faith was strong. He attended the Troutville Baptist church, and he served there as well. His barbecue was always a hit at church functions.

He lived to be 79 died of complications from cancer. He survived by his son Scott, Andy and Chad, and a whole lot of people who carry his memory with them.

Tonight, we remember Harold Dean Patrick.


COOPER: More ahead. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Six episode of my podcast All There Is, is out you. You can point your phone camera at the QR code on your screen right now for a link. It's a podcast about loss and grief. And we've had profound conversations with Stephen Colbert, Molly Shannon and others about their experiences.


This week's episode I talk with the artists, composer Laurie Anderson about the death of her husband rock legend Lou Reed, also the death of her beloved dog Lola Belle, and some of the unexpected ways she says she felt after losing both of them. It's a fascinating, a time, funny conversation. I hope you listen and I hope it's helpful. All There Is, is available on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

The news continues. "CNN TONIGHT," with Jake Tapper starts right now. Jake?