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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Victims Families Demand Answers And Resignations; Police Make Arrests In Arizona Governor Candidate Headquarter Break-In; Security Worries Ahead Of Midterms; Putin Accuses West Of Seeking Global Domination Says World Faces Most Dangerous Decade Since WW2; Jan. 6 Rioter Who Attacked D.C. Police Officer And Yelled "I Got One", Sentenced To More Than 7 Years In Prison; Coal Miner Shows Up Covered In Soot So His Son Wouldn't Miss His First Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Game. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 27, 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: I was blown away his resilience and stamina into the night. We've already crossed the halfway point. Up we go." And we hope that they will soon reach that summit.
Thanks so much to all of you for joining us. AC 360 starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
Almost since the moment a gunman entered Rob Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and murdered 19 children and two teachers, their loved ones have endured a form of cruelty in addition to the loss they have to live with for the rest of their lives.
It is unlike just about anything that we've ever seen in the wake of any other such tragedy, never mind accountability, and many points since May 24th, these grieving families haven't even gotten the simplest answers from anyone involved in what was by any measure, in almost every imaginable way, a colossal failure. And that cruelty of officials playing keep away with the truth, it continues.
At a meeting today of the Texas Public Safety Commission, Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, was supposed to deliver what they call the director's report on Uvalde containing an updated timeline and other new information. Instead, he provided neither.
With the families of the murdered victims in the room, he did not deliver a director's report. He failed to deliver on that promise and family members in the audience responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRETT CROSS, LEGAL GUARDIAN OF UZIYAH GARCIA: You have disgraced the state, your position, and the people. The officers are still under your supervision.
Maldonado, Betancourt and Kendall (ph) have been proven to have been culpable and with new information dropping just about weekly, we know that there will be others.
Well, Steve, the time is now. If you're a man of your word, you will resign. We're not waiting any longer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: At the Red Cross, who joins us shortly he is the guardian of Uziyah Garcia, a 10-year-old boy who was murdered while nearly 400 members of law enforcement including more than 90 DPS officers stood by for 77 minutes, against all training and did nothing. That in itself is a failure of the first order.
You listen to what DPS Director McCraw said to Cross and other families today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE MCCRAW, DPS DIRECTOR: If DPS is an institution, as an institution failed the families, failed the school or failed the community of Uvalde, then absolutely I need to go. Why continue this right now? DPS as an institution, okay, right now, it did not fail the community. Plain and simple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, he also said: "One of our core values is accountability, accept responsibility, plain and simple." Well, he didn't do that today and to his claim, the DPS did not fail the community, already the Texas House Committee investigating the massacre has put out an interim report identifying: "Systemic failures and egregious poor decision making" by nearly everybody responsible, everyone responsible.
As for DPS specifically, at least seven of its officers have been or are still being investigated for their actions that day or lack of them. There is this officer who resigned and was later hired for a time by the Uvalde School System, listen to what she said just outside the school right after the massacre, right after she failed to do anything to stop it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OFFICER: Your kids okay?
CRIMSON ELIZONDO, FORMER DPS TROOPER: Yes, my son is in daycare. He's not -- he's not old enough.
OFFICER: Yes, I saw you.
ELIZONDO: Yes, I know. No. I know if my son had been in there, I would not have been outside, I promise you that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Her son was not in there, and she did nothing. She was one of the first officers on the scene. She reported to DPS Director McCraw who said they didn't fail the community. Even worse than a single officer doing nothing to help, a DPS Captain who you'll hear on the radio in the next clip, he actually ordered his officers who were about to breach the room to do nothing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OFFICER: Units making a breach, come in.
BETANCOURT OVER RADIO POLICE: Hey, this is DPS Captain Betancourt. The team that's going to make breach needs to standby. The team that's going to breach needs to stand by.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: "Standby," he twice told the breach team there. They didn't hear, and the radio communication didn't work and they did breach and it ended. "Standby" which is against all active shooter training and protocol while kids are being murdered.
That Captain reported to McGraw who today said the DPS didn't fail the community.
Back in September when first word of that story became known, but before the tape came to light, our Shimon Prokupecz tried to get answers from Director McCraw. Here is what he got and said along with yet another promise to resign and yet another pledge of accountability.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Was there -- there is apparently footage of him inside the hallway, telling people not to breach that door. Have you heard that?
MCCRAW: You know, I've heard a lot of things so --
PROKUPECZ: But is there any credibility?
MCCRAW: I don't know if there is or not. But that's one of the reasons why we're doing the investigation, okay?
PROKUPECZ: No, I know. Okay.
MCCRAW: Listen, and we're going to be thorough --
PROKUPECZ: Let me just explain something to you. I don't want to do this, but your --
MCCRAW: Listen, I'll be the first resign, okay, I would gladly resign or tender my resignation letter to the Governor, okay, if I think there's any culpability with the Department of Public Safety. Period. Okay.
We're going to hold our officers accountable. No one gets a pass, but every officer is going to be held accountable. PROKUPECZ: But you are looking at this Captain Betancourt, for information that you have that he may have told officers not to go in the hallway?
MCCRAW: Yes, absolutely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's been a month since that encounter, more than five months since the massacre. Shimon tried again today to get answers from Steve McCraw. He joins us now from Austin.
So I want to play the moment when you tried to get an answer from McCraw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROKUPECZ: Sir, what happened to the director's report?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, there wasn't a director's report that families certainly, we're expecting. Did he have -- what did he have to say today?
PROKUPECZ: Well, he basically just sort of gave them kind of an overview of reviewing some of the information that was already known. He, at one point apologized about some of the information, but really, the answers that they were looking for, the questions that they had, what they were expecting today, they were told, specifically by DPS officials, that they were going to get an update and that didn't happen.
And many of us who were there were stunned that this didn't happen, and in fact, he almost seemed defensive again, over his agency, over what the Department of Public Safety did that day. And again, laying blame on others and saying it was more than just one person, there were several factors and mistakes that were made and that's sort of been his tone.
You know, I tried to ask him, even off camera at one point he was walking around, I went over to talk to him: "Where's the director's report?" He's like -- at one point he said, "Well, today, we wanted it to be about the families."
Well, the only reason why the families came was because they were expecting to get some kind of information from him. And you know, it's just time and time again, Anderson, we keep talking about this and I don't understand how it is that they don't understand what these families are going through and what it is that they want.
The families have been very clear about this. It's so cruel for them to -- for these families to have to sit there and explain themselves time and time again, and then wind up with nothing, they get nothing out of it. And it's just at some point enough is enough for them and you could see that today with them -- Anderson. COOPER: I mean, disrespectful is just the start of what it is. You know, these are families who are going to these meetings because nobody is coming to them with information. They're going to these meetings trying to get information wherever they can. I don't understand why it has been so long and we still don't have all the answers.
I mean, I don't understand why there isn't a public report that has already been made. McCraw even seem to push back on what he told you back in September now claiming that his agency didn't fail.
PROKUPECZ: Right. And he was kind of trying to be slick there. I mean, honestly, it was just kind of spin. Whatever word is proper in this situation, Anderson, but he knows he has a problem because of what he said to me about resigning.
So how does he get out of that? Because there are now people who were with DPS that have been fired, that have been suspended, that are under investigation for failing to do their duty, getting inside that classroom and saving those kids and so he has a problem on his hands.
And so now, what he is saying is, well, what I really meant was that I would resign if we failed as an institution, but quite frankly, the word "did not fail" and "Uvalde" should not be in the same sentence, right?
I mean, it's very clear, there were failures here all around and it was a stunning moment, it really was, to have him sit there and say this to the families.
And Anderson, as you know, and we've been doing on this show, and we've been doing this together, you know, the reporting that we're doing, continues and the things that we are learning paints even a more disturbing picture of what went on here.
And you know, when I spoke to the Mayor of Uvalde, back in July, he was the first person and I mean, I found it hard to believe this, but he was the first person to come on the record and to say that there was a cover up here. He still believes that.
I spoke to him today and he is saying to me that you are now seeing that. What you're seeing McCraw, do what you're seeing the Texas DPS do is a cover up. He is going to have more to say at some point, but you could clearly see this community and these families just continually getting frustrated and angry and it just sad now because the grief just does not stop. It will never stop.
But it is being made worse by the fact that these officials are bringing them in. They invited them, "Come we want you here." And then they give them nothing.
COOPER: Yes, and saying today is about the families and then giving them nothing. Shimon Prokupecz, appreciate your reporting, as always.
You heard Brett Cross at today's meeting a moment ago who is Uziyah Garcia's legal guardian. We've spoken to him a number of times before and Brett, we're glad you could join us tonight.
Again, for you to be there and not get an answer as yet again, how do you --what was your view of what happened today?
CROSS: I mean, it was -- it's ridiculous. You know, I'm upset that DPS continues to waste our time. I mean, today was another instance, you know.
I got up at five -- left Uvalde at five this morning to get there, and then for nothing, you know, they don't tell us anything.
COOPER: I want to play just a little bit more of what you have to say to Steve McCraw today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROSS: Listen. You can get irritated all you want. I lost my damn son. You're in anger is not going to outmatch my anger.
MCCRAW: But guess what? I'm not angry, I'm hurt. You know, if anything else, I am absolutely devastated with what happened to Uvalde.
CROSS: Are you a man of your word?
CROSS: Then resign.
MCCRAW: Okay. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Do you think you -- I mean, do you ever think he will resign? Do you ever think that you will get -- that there will be a comprehensive report put out by DPS or anybody about all the failures that occurred?
CROSS: No, I really don't. Because, you know, he is covering for himself and he is covering for his agents. I mean -- and he has made it clear time and time again he just refuses to do what is right and it is disgusting.
You know, how are we supposed to trust, you know, as Texans, these officers of his when he set the bar at children being murdered as not being a failure?
COOPER: What more at this point, do you want to hear from officials?
CROSS: Well, for starters, I want to hear McCraw either resign or Governor Abbott needs to fire him, but we need information we need to know.
I mean, we keep getting these little bits and it is reliving it over and over and over. And although we relive it every day, it's just -- it is always something new.
They need to come clean, tell us exactly what they did or you know, didn't do and then let's go from there.
COOPER: For you, for so many families in Uvalde, I mean, it's been five months, three days since the murders. Holidays are coming up, Halloween in a few days. Christmas, Thanksgiving. I mean, it can -- this is -- how do you get through this?
CROSS: I mean, you just -- I mean there is no like real answer. You just wake up and do the day and then and then go back to bed. I mean, there is no -- you know, Halloween is never going to be the same. Uzi loved Halloween, he loved getting dressed up, he loved you know, getting candy, I mean, just like every other child, and now, I don't get to take him to get a costume. You know, he doesn't get to come home and try it on and be excited.
You know, there is a hole in our household now that will never be fixed. You know? And Thanksgiving is after that and you know, our holidays are never going to be the same.
COOPER: Brett Cross, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
CROSS: Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up next, a live report from the Phoenix Governor's race, part of which is now the subject of a criminal investigation after one of the campaign headquarters was allegedly burglarized.
Also former presidential candidate, Howard Dean joins us in the fast changing race to control the Senate.
Later, it is more than just voters coming face-to-face with armed poll watchers, there is also concern from election workers themselves about their own security. We will talk about it with a former top Georgia election official.
COOPER: Twelve days until Midterms and there is more going on than just politicking. Police in Phoenix have arrested a man in connection with the break in at the campaign headquarters of Katie Hobbs, the Democratic candidate for Governor.
CNN's Kyung Lah is in Phoenix for us tonight where there has been a lot of finger pointing so far.
Kyung, what is the latest about this break in?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's go over first of all, Anderson, what Phoenix Police are telling us. They say that they have indeed arrested a suspect, a 36-year-old man. His name is Daniel Mota Dos Reis. He has been booked on one count of third-degree burglary. Now, here is what the Phoenix Police did not say. They did not say that the burglary at Katie Hobbs' headquarters or campaign headquarters in Phoenix was politically motivated. It does not appear that there is any evidence that it was. This appears to be an unfortunate crime, and that is not the assumption that the Hobbs campaign was working under when they released some statements last night. And certainly we're seeing the repercussions of that today, politically -- Anderson.
COOPER: So Kari Lake held what her campaign termed an emergency press conference this evening. What did she say?
LAH: I would characterize it more as a political victory lap. So, for more -- about an hour, I would say, Kari Lake courted the local press in order to badger the press and to talk about how she felt that she was a victim of incorrect headlines and incorrect framing based on the Hobbs' statement last night.
One Phoenix political operative, a Republican told me very simply that Hobbs is the victim of a small burglary, but Lake is the winner in this story.
COOPER: Is there a sense of what voters think about this? I mean, is it a big story there? Obviously, you know, there is the economy, there are a lot of issues that voters are caring about.
LAH: Yes, you got it right on the head. It is something like this, which is really maybe a 24-hour story, a blip really for people who are really paying attention to what is happening in Arizona or maybe a look or click at a couple of sensational headlines on social media. Is this going to motivate anyone to vote? Is this going to change the way anyone is going to vote for either Katie Hobbs or Kai Lake? That's unclear.
What we do know is that voters to move based on the economy, that is what we keep hearing from voters over and over again, that they are worried about the cost of gas, the cost of the price of living. The issues of democracy.
These are some of the more substantive issues that people are really thinking about -- Anderson.
COOPER: Kyung Lah, appreciate it.
Also in Arizona, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report recently switched their rating of Republican Blake Masters' effort to unseat Senator Mark Kelly back to tossup from lean Democrat.
Here to talk about the implications, CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash, also former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.
Governor Dean, how much trouble do you think are the Democrats in if they lose the Arizona Senate seat in the midterms? HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR AND DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Look, I expect to pick up two or three seats in the Senate for the Democrats. I don't expect Mark to lose his seat.
Look, people, you know, there is -- Trump has inserted himself into this election. So if you vote for a right-wing MAGA Republican, you're basically asking for four more years of Trump and there's not a big appetite for that among the American people, so we'll see.
You know, I'm not worried about Kelly's seat. He is going to have to work hard. He's only ahead by half a point now, according to this poll. The polls have been wrong a lot. The turnout around the country and I'm not I don't know exactly what it is in Arizona, but the early turnout is much more democratic than it was in 2020 for the Democrats.
So we'll see. The answer is nobody knows and pundits make their living making pronunciations of which they know nothing and I won't pretend I'm going to be any wiser than the pundits.
COOPER: Dana, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was caught on a hot mic in New York today talking to President Biden about the Democrats' chances in the Senate. I just want to play some of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): The state where we're going downhill is Georgia. It's hard to believe that they will vote for Herschel Walker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Do you think he is right? Are Democrats in trouble in Georgia?
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR AND POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's not a pundit. He's the Senate Majority Leader. So, he knows what he is seeing in his internal polling, what he is hearing on the ground and Georgia is incredibly critical. I'll just say that I sent that hot mic moment to a senior Democrat and I got the head in hand emoji back.
So that kind of gives you everything you need to know about not just that moment, but about what it says. They're concerned -- very concerned about Georgia with all of these allegations against Herschel Walker, which of course he denies. It has not done anything to move the needle, for lots of reasons, one of which is that the Republican on the top of the ticket for Governor, Governor Kemp is popular and is doing quite well.
But there are lots of other Senate races that they are very focused on including what you were just talking about with the Governor -- Arizona. They're also starting to worry about New Hampshire where there is an incumbent Democrat there, and of course, there's Nevada, which is a place where there is an incumbent Democrat in a neck and neck race, trying to hold on to that seat and it's true across the board.
COOPER: Governor Dean, Senator Bernie Sanders has criticized Democrats for not having enough emphasis on an economic message for working people heading into the Midterms. Do you think Democrats have talked enough about economic issues? Or are they going to take the blame for the economy no matter what?
DEAN: They are going to take the blame for the economy, no matter what, but I actually think Biden is doing a pretty good job on that. I mean, he's out there every day talking about the numbers. The problem is, the numbers are -- the lagging indicators are not the numbers, the lagging indicator is the inflation rate and the price of groceries and all this kind of stuff.
The Republicans, you know, these people -- these -- a lot of these Republicans are crazy and I put Herschel in that way. I think Blake Masters is not playing with a full deck. They are election deniers. They want to ban abortion. Masters out in Arizona was talking about banning contraception. He thought that the Court decision Griswold, which was almost a century ago -- it wasn't a century ago, 70 or 80 years ago, should have been reversed. I mean this is insane.
And I don't think at the end of the day that the public wants this kind of stuff in America. We've had four years of that with Trump.
I think Biden has been refreshing. I think the economy is doing pretty well compared to the way Trump left it and that is why I remain optimistic. I really do.
I mean, if you knew what Bolduc had to say about abortion, you couldn't vote for him in a libertarian state like New Hampshire.
COOPER: Dana, you have a special coming up on Saturday night 8:00 Eastern. I know, you sat down with Doug Emhoff, the Second Gentleman of the United States, what did he have to say?
BASH: Well, Anderson, in the series, I try to talk to people who are in the news, try to get to know them, what it's like to be them and I've been wanting to talk to Doug Emhoff for a long time, because he's writing a new playbook. There's never been a Second Gentleman because there has never been a female Vice President.
So we talked about that and kind of the gender bending idea of what he does and the idea of being a supportive male partner. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: I think there are a lot of men who intellectually want to support their female partners. And then when it gets to that point, it's hard.
DOUG EMHOFF, SECOND GENTLEMAN OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes.
BASH: It's hard on your ego. You say, you have a healthy ego. Have there been moments like that?
EMHOFF: Yes, like I said, you have to put your ego aside, though and it's not about you. And I will be on -- I will be giving speeches and one of the things I say is, "Men need to support women."
Don't just think you're being supportive. Don't just say you're being supportive, be supportive.
One, it is the right thing to do, and then, men, okay, you need to actually do it. Don't just think you're doing it. And then the women in the audience start looking around and smiling. Sometimes, it's hard. And sometimes it's not what you expect, but it's the right thing to do.
And if I can set an example doing it, I'm very grateful for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: So we talked more about that topic, Anderson about his faith. He is the first Jewish person in this role and he took us on a tour of the grounds in the Naval Observatory where he and the Vice President live.
COOPER: Looking forward to that, Dana Bash, thank you. Howard Dean, as well. Thank you so much.
Once again, you can see Dana's Special Report "Being: The Second Gentleman" this Saturday 8:00 PM Eastern Time right here on CNN.
Still to come tonight: We've been telling you about the reports of voter intimidation in Arizona, armed men monitoring ballot drop off boxes at night. Election workers are also worried they say about their safety ahead of the Midterm vote, some say not enough Federal money is being tapped to beef up security. We'll take a look at that.
And I'll talk with the former Director of Elections in Fulton County, Georgia who says he resigned last year after his staff faced months of harassment, racial slurs, and death threats.
COOPER: Earlier in the program when reporting on the Uvalde shooting, we noted that seven DPS officers have been or are still being investigated for their actions that day. When we were saying that and told you that part of the story, we showed some video of officers who were in the school. We should not have been showing video at that point because there's no indication that any of those officers are under investigation. So, we just want to clarify that.
Again 12 days to go until the midterm election day, and we've been monitoring the threats democracy the security worries we've told you about the reports of voter intimidation in Arizona. First, the Department of Justice includes armed men caught on camera watching people's they put their early voting ballots in a drop box. The local sheriff says the men are not breaking the law, but it's not sitting well with some voters. And last night Drew Griffin had a video of a voting machine breach in action, are two men last year tried to copy election data pretending they were from the Department of Defense wearing bulletproof vests and failed to justify claims of voting irregularities in the 2020 election.
And new tonight, election workers across the country are saying they are concerned about the lack of federal spending on security ahead of midterms. Millions of dollars that could have been used to protect election workers and improve security in their offices, they say has not been tapped. One election worker in Madison, Wisconsin telling CNN quote, our security here is a joke.
Joining me now is Richard Barron, who was the Director of Elections in Fulton County, Georgia. He resigned last year after death threats were made against him and his staff.
Mr. Barron, appreciate you joining us. What is your reaction hearing that there are reportedly millions of dollars in federal aid for election security that have not gotten claimed?
RICHARD BARRON, FMR DIRECTOR OF ELECTIONS, FULTON COUNTY GA: Well, in Fulton County, I didn't know anything about Department of Homeland Security money or from the DOJ. But we went out I went out and got $10.8 million in grants in 2020. And we use that for -- 900,000 of that went towards police security throughout Fulton County. We had it at the early voting sites all the Election Day sites and we used it at some of the facilities we were we employed workers.
And the Georgia General Assembly banned that money. There were no strings attached. It was really easy to get and to use. And the Center for Tech and Civic Life made that easy for counties across Georgia to do it. And they basically -- the Assembly decided to focus on us and ban it.
COOPER: You worked in Georgia but already this election cycle we have you seen images out of other parts of the country in Arizona, for example, you got armed people watching over claiming they're watching over ballot drop boxes, others just saying they're just out there to intimidate people. It's apparently, it's not illegal, you can stand 70 or so feet away. But are you concerned that that we could be seeing more behavior like this across the country in future election?
BARRON: Well, yes, the thing that concerns me is that I think the silence of some of the elected officials that are at the county level on the state level, they don't come out and talk to the constituents about the behavior that they're engaging in. And so that silence condones the behavior and it actually approves the behavior. So that really, for me, is the concern. And I think when you have these drop boxes, we had to deal with harassment at some of our drop boxes where people would drive in the cars behind the people that would pick up the ballots, block driveways and harass them. And then some of my staff would say we're just trying to do our jobs. Why do these people keep doing this stuff to us?
COOPER: And ballot drop boxes. I mean, I keep emphasizing this, but they're under 24/7 surveillance, video surveillance. So --
BARRON: Right. COOPER: -- it's not as if these are isolated boxes that people go and, you know, breach and access and put phony ballots. You know, I mean, it's, this is stuff that is all monitored as it is by law.
BARRON: Right. The Fulton County police, we had 38 of them, we had cameras on all of them, we might -- the police department monitored those 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they were outside and camera. Now then the legislature here decided to restrict it there have to be inside a voting site. And we could only have seven in Fulton County versus the 38 we had. And we never had any security issues at any of the boxes. So, and we have Postal Service boxes all over the place. And people don't mess with those. So, I'm unsure why they decided to restrict the way voters can return ballots by getting rid of these boxes when they were secure.
COOPER: What kind of told did these death threats, slurs, you know, against your team? What kind of impact did that have on your team and on you?
BARRON: Well, it becomes demoralizing after a while when you're constantly receiving these calls, especially, you know, my staff, 99% of my staff was black, they were subjected to, you know, insidious racial slurs day after day after day. And some of those would come along with death threats. After a while you feel demoralized, and you're looking towards the leaders in your county, like some of the elected officials or at the state assembly to speak out and proactively stop this. They don't do it.
And so, when they're silent, and they let their constituents behave however they want, then what happens is these it encourages the people later on. And I think also when these complaints come in, the police need to make sure that they make contact with some of these people that that say these sickening things so that later these people are going to think twice because they know that the police have made contact with them.
COOPER: Yes. Richard Baron, I really appreciate it. Thank you, Richard.
BARRON: You're welcome.
COOPER: Coming up, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking out against the West at the same time claiming the war in Ukraine will be good for Russia in the end. Up next, I'm going to talk to a Russian college student who says he fled the country after Russian paramilitary police stormed his apartment for calling out the brutality in Ukraine.
COOPER: During a major speech in Moscow today, Russian President Vladimir Putin took aim at Western powers accusing them of seeking global domination and blaming them for the world's conflicts including his invasion of Ukraine. Putin also said the world faces the most dangerous decades since the end of World War II. In addition, he denied any plans to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine and said the war will be better for Russia's future.
Obviously, that optimism isn't shared by all Russians including college student Mikhail Sukhoruchkin after seeing the atrocities caused by Russian forces in Bucha. He spray painted the words Putin equals war on a wall. Two days later he says police tracked him down interrogated him, beat him. Once he was released, he decided it was time to flee Russia.
Mikhail, joins us tonight from Paris.
Mikhail after you heard the knock on your door, you opened it. The police came in what happened?
MIKHAIL SUKHORUCHKIN, ESCAPED RUSSIA THROUGH POLISH BORDER: Well, it was quite simple. I was detained. I was put on the ground I was shown order the warrant for search of my flat and the search proceeded. It was quite fast and seemed like a bad dream to be fair.
COOPER: I understand they brought you to the police station and an investigator question to you. And once he was finished, then three men came into the room. What happened?
SUKHORUCHKIN: I've lost put up (ph) and in the wall. I was ordered to stand to the wall. And then I was asked questions. I was threatened. When I answered questions not in the way this man wanted me to ask -- to answer them. I was hit. I was slapped in the neck. I was hit a couple times on my -- in my shoulders. And I was threatened. The man who was doing this threatened me with beaten my fingers with a hammer and expelling me from -- in my university, which will be so which will subject me to the draft.
COOPER: What were they wanting from you? What were they wanting you to say?
SUKHORUCHKIN: I believe they wanted me to tell who they want. I believe they wanted me to tell who is behind this writing on the Wall. They didn't believe that it was my own idea. But then, when it turns out that it is indeed my own idea, they just wanted me to admit that it was wrong. And they wanted to make a video an example of me.
COOPER: And did you finally make that video under pressure?
SUKHORUCHKIN: Yes, under pressure I broke and I made the video that stated that I love Putin, that I support his actions in Ukraine, which is a lie. And under this video was made I was led to go.
COOPER: Why did you decide to spray paint Putin equals war on the wall?
SUKHORUCHKIN: Because I felt that after the massacre in Bucha, I felt that I can -- I don't have the right to be idle, that I need to do at least anything to show that I'm not complacent with this tragedy and murder. And --
COOPER: You felt like you had to say something?
SUKHORUCHKIN: -- good. Yes, this is exactly how I felt.
COOPER: So, after they released you, I know it took you three days four nights while actually walking to the border. I mean, that was incredibly difficult. Once you got there, how were you able to get across?
SUKHORUCHKIN: The border (INAUDIBLE) and I use logs that I found in the forest around this place in order to wedge a little bit of a hole in the barbed wire. And I crawled through, I still have, right there, I still have a coat that I had. And it is still torn because of because of barbed wire.
COOPER: And you spent a few weeks in two different Polish detention facilities. I know you were eventually able to make it to France, where you are today. What happens to you now and what do you think about what is happening in Russia today?
SUKHORUCHKIN: Right now, I'm awaiting the decision for the asylum from French authorities. I'm really grateful for French authorities, because they can see that my case for the transplant (ph). And right now, what happens in Russia, I'm watching closely what happens in Russia and it is to be fair, it is really hard for me because it is my home and it is it's been destroyed right now as we speak.
COOPER: Mikhail, if you don't get asylum in France, what happens?
SUKHORUCHKIN: Then I will get back to Russia and I will go to prison. It is simple.
COOPER: Mikhail, I wish you the best thank you.
SUKHORUCHKIN: Thank you very much.
COOPER: Well, coming up, the Capitol rioter who dragged then D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone into the mob where he was tasered and beaten, learns his fate today. Along he's expected to be in prison. And what Officer Fanone said to the court just before the sentencing. Will talk to Officer Fanone, next.
COOPER: Federal judge has sentenced the January 6 rioter dragged D.C. police officer Michael Fanone into the Capitol mob to seven and a half years in prison. It is the longest sentence for any rioter who pleaded guilty so far Albuquerque Head is his name. Investigators use several videos to make their case including this one in which he was seen battling with several officers including Officer Fanone. The officers and pushed the rioters out of a tunnel that is when Head convinces Fanone that he's trying to help them but then dragged him directly to the mob. He's caught on video yelling, I got one as he delivered Fanone into the mob that brutally beat him knocked him unconscious.
Fanone's body cam footage shows how he tried to fight back, he was being tasered repeatedly. He also suffered a heart attack. The injuries have led him to retire. He's now a CNN contributor who writes about his ordeal and fascinating new book Hold The Line, The Insurrection In One Cops Battle For America's Soul. Michael Fanone joins us now.
You talk to the judge today about mercy for your attacker. What did you say?
MICHAEL FANONE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Last Judge Amy Berman Jackson to show Albuquerque Head the same amount of mercy that he showed me on January 6, which for those of you who have been living under a rock was none.
COOPER: As we mentioned that the judge sentenced this person to seven and a half years in prison, just shy of the eight-year maximum. Is that enough in your view?
FANONE: Listen, I don't typically comment on the sentences that these judges hand down. That being said I do feel it was appropriate. I think that Amy Berman Jackson was thoughtful in her sentencing. And I accept it.
COOPER: Did you get a sense that this person this attacker, this person who did this to you has any remorse for what he did to you that day? Because in court he reportedly shook his head stared straight ahead when the sentence was announced and one point grinned at his fiancee apparently, she wept?
FANONE: Yes, I mean, I don't know to be completely honest with you. The only person that knows if Albuquerque Head is remorseful is Albuquerque Head. That being said, I mean, I will talk about the family's reactions to the past several sentencings when I was at Carl Jung (ph) sentencing, you know, immediately after the judge handed down, I believe it was a seven-year sentence. His mother called me a piece of shit. There was an outburst in the courtroom. And in this particular sentencing, I thought it was interesting that Albuquerque Head chose not to address me, chose not to apologize. And I mean, it was pretty clear from the family's reaction and body language, that they also did not feel like Albuquerque Head was responsible for his actions.
FANONE: Or that they were wrong.
COOPER: That's incredible. This is the second longest sentence have been handed down the longest one first one pleading guilty. Do you think sentences like these will -- or do you think this has a deterrent effect, I mean, on anybody?
FANONE: So, I mean, listen to it. In my capacity as a law enforcement officer, former law enforcement officer, I would traditionally say yes, but I mean, these aren't traditional crimes. These are politically inspired attacks on law enforcement and in our democracy, and unfortunately, you still have individuals of former President many of his allies that continue to spouse the same lies that motivated these attacks.
And so, while I think that they may prevent many Americans from participating in something similar to January 6, I think it's also inspiring many Americans to fight harder and to be more violent.
COOPER: Michael Fanone, appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
FANONE: Yes, thanks for having me, Anderson.
COOPER: Still had something we brings a smile tonight. The special outing for this coal miner and his son. Details, next.
COOPER: Sweet story to end the program tonight. The University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball coach shared this new -- of this new viral photo of a coal miner at a game with his son of the weekend. Michael Maguire rushed to the arena from work with his heavy boots work uniform, body covered and black coal dust because he wanted to make sure that his son Easton could get to see his first basketball game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MCGUIRE, KENTUCKY COAL MINER: He had a blast. And he was dancing. And every time they would slam bucket he would he would go crazy. I was really excited to make all those memories with my kids and my wife. It has pretty much either come straight there or miss half the game going home to take a shower.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The Wildcats coach also invited McGuire and his family to game at Rupp Arena in Lexington Home the University of Kentucky basketball team. McGuire says he and Easton are looking forward to the visit. Quite making new memories as a family.
The news continues. Jake Tapper on "CNN TONIGHT" starts now.