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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Paul Pelosi Out Of Surgery For Skull Fracture, Other Serious Injuries; Biden Calls Pelosi Act Despicable; Obama Hits Campaign Trail To Drive Up Dem Turnout In Key Races; Elon Musk Now Owns Twitter; Promises "Content Moderation Council With Widely Diverse Viewpoints"; San Francisco Police Update On Paul Pelosi Attack. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 28, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: We'll all be looking forward to that moment.

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AC 360 begins right now.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: The husband of the most powerful woman in government is recovering tonight from serious injuries after a potentially politically motivated attack targeting her at their home in San Francisco.

John Berman here, in for Anderson, and the first thing we should say is, thank goodness. Doctors expect 82-year-old, Paul Pelosi to make a complete recovery however, it was apparently a very near thing especially for a man of his age.

Tonight, a spokesperson for his wife, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi second in the line of presidential succession said Mr. Pelosi underwent surgery to repair a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands.

A short time ago we learned she is now at the hospital with him. This is new video just of her motorcade arriving. She was in Washington when the attack happened.

Additionally, we just learned that San Francisco's Police Chief is expected to update the public soon and we will bring you any new information as it becomes available.

This is what we know so far: Law enforcement sources tell CNN he was attacked by a hammer-wielding intruder shouting, "Where is Nancy?" And according to two sources familiar with the situation, when police got there, the suspect who is now in custody and charged with attempted murder told them he was "Waiting for Nancy."

And although police say they have not determined a motive, the suspect's Facebook page is full of memes and conspiracy theories, including about the 2020 election and January 6th, when as you know, rioters indicated they sought to capture or kill Speaker Pelosi.

And as if to underscore the kind of climate we are living in post insurrection and 11 days pre-election, Federal authorities late today put out a bulletin with the following warning. Quoting now: "Following the 2022 Midterm Election, perceptions of election related fraud and dissatisfaction with electoral outcomes likely will result in heightened threats of violence against a broad range of targets, such as ideological opponents and election workers."

Needless to say, this is not normal, or worse yet, maybe it is now. But it should certainly not be acceptable.

First, CNN's Whitney Wild with more on the attack, the suspect and how this all unfolded. Whitney, what more are you learning about what happened and the charges the suspect is now facing.

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the suspect is 42-year-old David DePape. He is now facing a list of charges after attacking Pelosi, as you said, with a hammer. Here are just a few charges from that lengthy list: First degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, battery with serious bodily injury, and attempted murder.

Sources tell CNN, the suspect entered through the back of the home and as you'd mentioned, he was shouting "Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?"

Further, sources tell CNN that the alleged attacker tried to tie up Pelosi until she came home. Sources tell my CNN colleague, John Miller, that when Pelosi called 9-1-1, he was trying to communicate with the dispatchers effectively in secret so that the assailant wouldn't figure out what he was doing.

He had the phone near him, he was basically talking in code and it was just an astute 9-1-1 dispatcher who was able to get police over there quickly.

Certainly, John, he was attempting not to get the assailant even angrier than he already was apparently, forced to talk basically in code to a 9-1-1 dispatcher.

BERMAN: Look, his quick thinking and ability to make that call and the ability of the dispatcher to act on it probably saved his life. As I mentioned, a search of the suspect's Facebook page turned up a post about January 6th, what else has been uncovered?

WILD: Well, John, a review of his social media again showed that he had memes and conspiracy theories. It was a list of different things he was attached to, conspiracy theories about COVID vaccines, conspiracies about the 2020 election, conspiracies about the January 6, 2021 attack, and an acquaintance told CNN that he just seemed out of touch with reality.

DePape posted links on his Facebook page to multiple videos produced by My Pillow CEO, Mike Lindel falsely claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, John.

BERMAN: Was the suspect known to law enforcement?

WILD: Our sources say that he was not known to law enforcement, that he was not in any of the federal databases that would have tracked threats -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Whitney Wild tracking this for us. Thank you so much for your work on this. We'll let you get back to reporting.

For more now on the criminal justice and security aspects of this, we're joined by CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe; CNN law enforcement analyst and former DC Metro Police Officer, Michael Fanone, who was badly beaten protecting Speaker Pelosi and others from the mob on January 6th. Also with us tonight, CNN special correspondent, Jamie Gangel.

Andrew, you heard the report there from Whitney Wild, some of the new details coming in. What stands out to you about this attack?


ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I mean, of course, as you said, John, how lucky we all are that Mr. Pelosi was quick thinking and cool headed as he was to get 9-1-1 on the phone, to get that alert to the police officers to respond quickly. But you know, the thing that really echoes back to me here, John is something that we've known for quite some time and it is that these dispossessed people who are motivated by anger and grievance, they react very strongly to these conspiracy theories.

You know, this is not a new thing. We saw this immediately after Donald Trump was elected and the attempted attack on the Comet Ping Pong Pizza Restaurant here in DC, when an individual following QAnon theories came up to DC and tried to shoot up the restaurant in an effort to save children. We saw it recently with that individual who tried to stage a solo attack on the FBI office in Cincinnati.

So the volatility of conspiracy theories, combined with these folks who are motivated by grievance and political ideology, makes a very, very high threat environment and that is where we currently are.

BERMAN: Michael, Speaker Pelosi is obviously second in line of succession to the presidency. She as a security detail. But as we learned today, that detail stays with her and doesn't protect her home while she is away.

So how do these assignments work? Which departments are responsible? How many officers typically make up a detail?

MICHAEL FANONE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: So that responsibility falls on the United States Capitol Police. For those of you that don't know, the United States Capitol Police is made up of about 1,800 sworn members. Of those 1,800, about 200 are assigned to the dignitary Protection Division, which is responsible for providing the protection details to the individual members.

So with those resources, only the leadership are given around-the- clock details that typically are made up of about four to eight officers. And it is only the members themselves, not their families, not their homes.

And so, you know, when they were receiving about, I think they said 2021, there were about 10,000 threats received by Members of Congress, which is up I guess, about tenfold from previous years' averages, you can see that they're incredibly understaffed and overwhelmed.

BERMAN: Jamie, I could see you nodding there because this is the reality in Washington now and yes, today did send shockwaves through the city, through the country where members are still traumatized by what happened on January 6th, but to what extent -- they've had to deal with this for some time. What's the reaction you're getting from your sources there?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So you know, Members of Congress, there is no question that there is no way to protect round- the-clock in the present circumstances, as Mike just said, all the Members of Congress.

The other side of that is, you know, Members of Congress want to be able to be somewhat accessible, but this is the new reality. I think what's important to remember here is that Nancy Pelosi was the target today, and the words that this attacker said are just eerily reminiscent of January 6, when we saw the rioters going through saying "Where is Nancy?"

I think what's most disappointing today, though, is yes, there were some Republicans who spoke out and condemned this.

Obviously, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Mitch McConnell said he was horrified and disgusted. Mike Pence spoke out and said there was no tolerance. But many Republicans have not said a word about it. Some of them have made light about in just appalling ways in social media, and Donald Trump, to the best of our knowledge to this moment has said absolutely nothing about it -- John.

BERMAN: Andrew, investigators tonight, I'm sure have their hands full. What is it that you think they are doing most, maybe looking through the alleged assailants possible motives, his digital feeds. What's going on?

MCCABE: Yes, John. So they are really trying to drill down on what this individual's motives may have been to get as much specificity on that as they can, but they are also very focused on trying to uncover whether there are other people who may have known what he was going to do, maybe like-minded individuals who could be planning similar sort of attacks.


MCCABE: That is always the first priority that law enforcement has after any sort of attack. They want to see if they can stop the next one, the second one, the follow-on attack. They are going to do that by looking at this person's network in its entirety, so all the folks that he's been contacting either on text message or telephone calls or e-mails, people that he interacts with over social media.

They of course want to look at his statements on social media and on any other electronic devices he might have. So, there's a lot of work going on right now in the San Francisco Police Department, and also in the FBI and the Capitol Police.

BERMAN: Michael, you said the Capitol Police are understaffed when it comes to the security details. Do you have a sense of how decisions are made as to how who gets protection other than the senior leadership? Is it really just about who is getting the most threats or the most serious threats?

FANONE: Well, you've got 535 Members of Congress, and like I said, about 200 DPD agents to protect them. Their resources are spread pretty thin.

In contrast, if you look at the Secret Service, they employ about 3,200 Special Agents and 1,300 members of the uniformed division. That's to protect the President, the Vice President, several dignitaries, and their families, and they receive on average about 3,000 threats a year.

So the US Capitol Police, oftentimes is looking to local law enforcement to assist them, but the threats themselves outside of leadership, they are reviewed on a case by case basis. And, you know, oftentimes, they -- you know, they're looking at members that may have received several threats, dozens of threats, and unfortunately, they've got to triage and can't help them.

I know, I've spoken to many members who've become incredibly irritated in that they've had to seek protection from contractors and private sources outside of law enforcement.

BERMAN: It's an incredible statement on where we are that they even have to do that.

Jamie, the Pelosi family, you know, it's a big, close knit family. Do you have a sense of how they're doing tonight?

GANGEL: So the good news is that Nancy Pelosi is now at the hospital with her husband. I believe four of their five adult children have arrived there as well, the fifth one they've arrived by now. So they are all there at his side.

I think the good news we heard tonight, John, is that the doctors do expect a full recovery. But we can't underplay the trauma of what happened here. Fractures to the skull, his serious injuries to his right arm, to both of his hands. This is going to be quite a recovery.

I know Paul Pelosi, he is in great shape for 82, but this was a big trauma -- John.

BERMAN: And he very likely played a major role in saving his own life.

GANGEL: Absolutely. Absolutely. BERMAN: Jamie Gangel, Michael Fanone, Andrew McCabe, thank you all

tonight. Have a good safe weekend.

Next, reaction in from Congress, from lawmakers who have already seen far too much violence and received far too many threats from the people who are not content to simply let their ballots do the talking.

And with just 11 days left, Democrats turn to perhaps the best campaigner they have, former President Obama for a series of stops in a string of key States. A live report on how his first appearance in Georgia went, that's coming up.



BERMAN: We are waiting for an update from the San Francisco Police Chief. We will bring that to you when it happens live.

Former Vice President Mike Pence tonight called the attack on Paul Pelosi an outrage. He said in a tweet: "There can be no tolerance for violence against public officials or their families. This man should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." His former boss who spoke to a violent mob, which then targeted Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on January 6, had nothing to say.

President Biden spoke with Pelosi earlier today and had this to say at a fundraising dinner tonight in Philadelphia.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Enough is enough is enough. Every person of good conscience needs to clearly and unambiguously stand up against the violence in our politics regardless of what your politics are.


BERMAN: That was the President just a short time ago. This is even counting the insurrection, sadly not the only act of violence targeting Members of Congress in the last several years, and lawmakers have sadly become accustomed to a constant stream of threats as well.

CNN's Manu Raju is at the Capitol for us tonight.

Manu, what is the reaction on Capitol Hill tonight?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there has been no doubt there has been bipartisan concern, outrage and others expressing quick recovery for Paul Pelosi. We are hearing this from both sides of the aisle, on the House and the Senate.

But there has been noticeably more reaction from Democrats than Republicans and that caught the eye of Congressman Adam Kinzinger, someone who has been on the outs of his party and said this earlier tonight. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): This is the kind of stuff that every Republican needs to speak out on, just like every Democrat and Republican should speak out when Steve Scalise was shot, but to the Republicans not speaking out now, let me say this, this is going to be visited on our side, not that it should actually matter, what side you're on, but speak out now.


RAJU: And there has been a noticeable difference in reaction from the top Republicans in Congress, the Republican leader on the House side Kevin McCarthy, someone who could potentially become the House Speaker next year if the Midterms go their way issued a statement through a spokesperson. He himself has not weighed in.

He said through a spokesperson: "Leader McCarthy reached out to the Speaker to check in on Paul and said he is praying for a full recovery in is thankful they caught the assailant."


RAJU: I reached out to the office to ask whether the Republican Leader himself would react to this, I have not heard back about that question.

On the Senate side, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader had a much different reaction. He did tweet about this. He said he was "horrified and disgusted about this." Also wishing Paul Pelosi a quick recovery.

So a bit of a different reaction there, but overall, there is bipartisan concern and outrage about this horrific attack -- John.

BERMAN: Look, there should be.

Manu Raju for us on Capitol Hill, thank you very much, Manu.

With us now, CNN senior political correspondent, Abby Phillips. She also anchors "Inside Politics Sunday." The two David's here as well, David Gergen and David Axelrod, both former senior presidential advisers. David Gergen is a legendary and bipartisan one. He's a CNN senior political analyst. David Axelrod is a senior political commentator.

Ax, I want to start with you. There have been plenty of warnings, I mean plenty of warnings about the lies surrounding the 2020 election. They could lead to violence.

So when someone who is seemingly and when someone has seemingly bought into the lies, engages in a violent act like this, should anyone be surprised?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I think, you know, when you legitimate the idea that the election has been stolen, that the fundamental tenet of American democracy has been compromised, then what we consider an act of domestic terrorism is in the minds of that person, an act of patriotism.

And this has been legitimated again and again and again from the platform of President Trump's rallies, but also by other leaders in his party. And look, there have been, you know, I remember the attack on Steve Scalise and the other Republicans on a baseball field. I mean, this has been spiraling up.

But from the highest levels of government, from the highest levels of our political leadership, you're telling people, these people are enemies of the State, they stole the election from you, of course, you're going to activate people to do things like this.

BERMAN: Abby, we had all hoped, everyone hoped on January 6, watching that happen that that would be a turning point, that would change the tenor of things to come. And then you see this happen today. You know, you would like to think this would have an impact. But if January 6th didn't, why would this today?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT AND ANCHOR OF "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY": Yes, I mean, quite the opposite. January 6th actually has turned into something that's become kind of a rallying cry of a lot of conservatives. It's kind of shocking, I think, just if you lived through January 6, if you watched what happened to understand that when you look at the grassroots of the Republican base right now, they view January 6th, its assailants as heroes.

You have a former President in Donald Trump going out on campaign rallies. When he goes out on campaign rallies right now, he talks about those January 6 defendants being political prisoners.

So this is not just something that is happening in the fringe, it is happening in the very mainstream of the Republican Party and the direction of this is moving -- it is just moving in the wrong direction. We are not getting to a place where we are rejecting this kind of political violence.

In fact, a major political party, is it even more -- has been brought even closer to this kind of violence as a result of the fact that Trump, he has made it just an article of faith among Republicans that you cannot say anything bad about January 6th. To him, this is all about the big crowds that he got.

But I think today we saw the consequences of what -- you know, all of that violence really has wrought for this country.

BERMAN: David Gergen, you worked at the White House during Watergate, and then through an assassination attempt of President Ronald Reagan, a lot of flashpoints in history. So, how would you describe how this moment compares. What is unique about where we are today?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think we have to accept the fact that for a long time, America has had a problem with violence in our political circles.

I mean, one of the most famous examples in history came just before the outbreak of the Civil War, when Senator Sumner from Massachusetts was attacked by a South Carolina Member of Congress, who came after him with a cane and almost beat him to death. You had to think about that today, as you learned about what happened to poor Paul Pelosi, and he was almost beaten to death here.

In a Civil War, pre-Civil War time, that Sumner incident actually added to the momentum for the war itself.

Now, we'll have to wait and see on this. I think Abby and David are right. We've seen too little reaction from the very people who gave us this.

I mean, there is a direct link between what happened to Paul Pelosi and January 6th. What were many of the writers chanting as they went through and marauded through the buildings on Capitol Hill: "Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?"


GERGEN: Well that's the same thing this gentleman -- if you can call him a gentleman -- was yelling as he invaded the home of the Pelosi's. So there is -- I think that what's changed, John, what's changed is it has become so mainstream and have been so much more acceptable, the violence has become so much more acceptable and it is surging as a result of all this unrest in a way it's been fanned by Donald Trump, and then people around him.

It is surging, but there's also sort of like, this is what we live with in the modern day, we just have to learn to accept it. And we never accepted this before.

You know, we always had leadership that came down hard, that came down hard.

For Donald Trump to go for a 24-plus hours without a word being said is an outrage in and of itself. This is a man who is seeking the nomination of a major political party, very likely to get it. And now look at the leadership he is showing. It's worse than it used to be. It's not better.

BERMAN: David Axelrod, Donald Trump did put out a statement today on the death of Jerry Lee Lewis. I mean, do you think he will remain silent on this attack on Paul Pelosi?

AXELROD: You know, I don't know what he's going to do, but as Abby pointed out, every time he has a rally, he puts a log on that fire.

You know, he also has promised to pardon the people who are convicted in the January 6th insurrection, including the people who assaulted police officers, one presumes.

So you know, he is on one side of this debate and most -- leaders who care about democracy are on the other side, Republicans and Democrats, but this is a problem for the Republican Party. This is a -- and let's not make any mistake about it. Liz Cheney has been very clear on it -- Kinzinger. This is a party

within the Republican -- this is a problem within the Republican Party, they have to find the strength the wherewithal to push it off.

BERMAN: Abby, you know, Glenn Youngkin is the Governor of Virginia, a Republican who has been mentioned as a possible presidential contender. He condemned the attack saying that there is no room for violence anywhere. But then he sort of made a joke, it seemed. He said that Republicans were going to send Speaker Pelosi back to California, so that she could be with her husband, seemingly suggesting that they would vote the Democrats out of power.

How did that sit, do you think?

PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, look in the Republican base, I'm sure that that sat very well, unfortunately. There is a sort of nastiness in our politics right now, a mean streak, that a lot of political figures, including Glenn Youngkin are feeding and that is a symptom of the broader problem that we face as a country.

There is not anymore an expectation of basic civility in moments like this, where we can take a step back and say, we're going to put the politics to the side and insist on people acting in a certain way.

I think right now, so many political figures, especially the most ambitious ones, they know that the Republican base wants a certain degree of what they consider to be toughness. But I think that that is contributing to the coarsening of our politics.

And this isn't about, you know, policy differences at the end of the day, John, and we're not talking about whether you want more taxes or fewer taxes. A lot of these people are motivated by unhinged lies and so the unwillingness of political figures to call that out is really extraordinary.

BERMAN: Abby Phillip, David Axelrod, David Gergen, our thanks to all of you tonight.

We are going to wait for this update from the San Francisco Police Chief. Stay with us for that.

Also ahead, President Obama is on the campaign trail for the first time for these midterms to help boost democratic voter turnout for some tight races. We're going to check in with CNN's Jeff Zeleny, who is in Atlanta following the former President, that's next.



BERMAN: We are waiting on an update from the San Francisco Police Department of the attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It is supposed to occur at any moment. And when that happens, we're going to bring it to you live.

Right now, we want to turn to the midterms. Former President Obama has cut ads and held fundraisers for Democrats this cycle but just moments ago for the first time in this election cycle, the former president returned to the campaign trail to try to help Democrats drive up turnout for a number of high-profile close races. He is in Georgia. Tonight, after that he is scheduled to appear in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and then Pennsylvania, where he is expected to appear with President Biden.

With me now is CNN's chief national affairs correspondent Jeff Zeleny, who is trailing the former president tonight in College Park, Georgia outside Atlanta.

Jeff, how critical is former President Obama in his role? And how big of a role will it play in for the Democrats in this midterm stretch?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: John, there's no doubt that the former president has one goal in mind, and that is to get Georgia voters out to the polls early voting over the next week. And to vote by election day. You can see he's actually still speaking behind me here. He says democracy is on the ballot, really a continuing theme that he's been talking about in his post presidency, worried about the rising tensions in our politics, but then he also is delivering a very sharp message against Republicans. He acknowledged that inflation is a problem in the country, but said it's a worldwide problem and said voters should stop and think what Republicans would do about inflation. And then he also laid into Herschel Walker, who of course is the Republican Senate candidate here. He praised him as a good football player. That said he simply is not up to the task of being a senator.

So, there were no niceties here tonight. The former president directly going after the Republican Party, clearly acknowledging the Democratic headwinds here of facing his own party, John.

BERMAN: Yes. Jeff Zeleny, you've covered Barack Obama since he first ran for Senate. So, I'm sure he's looking out to the audience that watching you stand there reporting, and it feels very familiar to him. Former President Obama also mentioned the attack on Paul Pelosi just moments ago in his speech. What did he say?

ZELENY: He did just in passing he said that he's saying a prayer for Paul Pelosi who is a close friend of the Obamas. Of course, he's very close to Speaker Pelosi. I'm told that he reached out to Speaker Pelosi but of course she was traveling to California and the two have not yet spoken. But he frame this in a conversation about the erosion of civility and norms in our Democratic politics. He did not cast any blame. He did not dwell on that. He said he simply said a prayer for Paul Pelosi and wished him the best.


I don't know if you could hear John, but he's going after really some old standard campaign lines here. He says, don't boo, vote. Of course, midterm elections have never been his strong suit when he was in the White House. He did not perform well in 2010 or 2014. But he is urging Democrats here to vote. Tomorrow, he goes to Michigan, Wisconsin, on to Nevada and buy Pennsylvania next weekend. BERMAN: All right, Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much.

Perspective now from CNN political commentator, Scott Jennings, a former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and a longtime political adviser to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Terry McAuliffe, a former governor of Virginia and former chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Governor McAuliffe, you just heard Jeff Zeleny, you know, talk about the midterms. And if anyone knows how tough midterms can be, it's President Obama. So, what difference do you think he can make in Georgia for Raphael Warnock?

TERRY MCAULIFFE, FMR DNC CHAIRMAN: Well first of all, President Obama's a star in the Democratic Party, and what he's doing to go into these handful of states is to energize folks to come out. Democracy is on the line. So, you know, he's such a great surrogate for the Democrats to be out there energizing people. But let me say for a second, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention, Paul Pelosi has been a friend of mine, John for 40 years, literally one of the nicest people you have ever met. And I communicated with the speaker several hours ago. And to think what that family is going through today, it is just wrong. And we as a nation have got to come together, we got to go back to the United States of America. I'm on this show with Scott, he and I differ politically. But that doesn't mean Scott and I cannot be friends. In fact, Scott used to work for Mitch McConnell, when I was governor my last year, the Secretary of Transportation was Elaine Chao, who was married to Mitch McConnell at billions of dollars of infrastructure projects. I went to see her and said we need this. She didn't say, oh, Terry's a Democratic governor, I'm not going to do what she did it because it was right for Virginia and right for the country. We have got to get to a place in this nation, where the hatred and the divisiveness stops the horrible rhetoric we have, and we need to come together as a nation as the United States of America. And it will make us stronger.

And I think these are the important elements are going to be on the ballot this year and the election, people have got to go out and vote. And they have to show that we are the strongest democracy in the world. And they saw what happened today, tragic. What happened to Paul Pelosi today you saw it happen to Steve Scalise, you saw what happened to where they wanted to get the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, they wanted to kidnap her, I went through a death threat last year, state police had to protect me. We got to get away from this and get back to a place where there's common ground and we can get things done together.

And I think President Obama, that's his message tonight in Georgia and the other states that he'll be going to.

BERMAN: You know, Scott Jennings, we're watching Barack Obama finish up in Georgia now leave the stage. He seems to be enjoying the moment right now. What kind of an impact do Republicans think that Barack Obama can make? Is there something that he does that scares you?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Not in particular, before I address the politics of President Obama's campaigning, I just wanted to address what the governor said, I agree wholeheartedly with everything he said. What happened to the Pelosi household, and Mr. Pelosi is terrible, it's disgusting. And I'm very concerned, candidly in our politics, that we're starting to treat politicians like something less than human like they're, you know, they're not entities, you know, human entities like the rest of us, they're to be disrespected or even violated in this way. And it's awful. And so, I just wanted to acknowledge what the governor said, I totally agree with him. And that's a sentiment that everybody ought to be addressing tonight.

On the politics of President Obama campaigning, I think the reason he is campaigning and all these important states is because Joe Biden can't. Joe Biden is one of the biggest liabilities for Democrats in this election. And so, Barack Obama is still pretty popular guy and popular, certainly among Democrats. He can also draw a crowd, Joe Biden is also had trouble drawing crowds. So, I understand why he's out on the campaign trail, but I don't think he's going to fix inflation. In the next 10 days, I don't think he's going to fix the national crime wave in the next 10 days. I don't think he's going to fix the border in the next 10 days. And I think people who are excited to turn out if you're on, you know, from a Republican perspective, are not going to be persuaded.

Well, I'm really unhappy with the direction of the country, which 70% of people are, but because Obama asked me, I'm going to change my entire outlook on America. It doesn't bother any Republican at all. I get why he's out there. I don't think it's going to be determinative,

BERMAN: Scott Jennings, Terry McAuliffe, I want to thank both of you for being with us. And I'd have to cut this discussion short because we are waiting to hear from the San Francisco Police Chief. But thank you both for your words about coming together and changing the political discourse.


SCOTTINGS: Yes, buddy. Good to see you, Governor.

BERMAN: Well, there's beer on there. All right. Thank you both very much.

Coming up, after a long back and forth drama, Elon Musk now officially owns Twitter. We will discuss what changes may be ahead for the social media platform and whether new ownership could overturn bans on individuals like the former president.



BERMAN: We are waiting for an update from San Francisco police on the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that should come any minute now.

Now of course it is less than two weeks before the midterm elections, one of the prime venues for sharing news analysis results and just information in general. It's in new hands. Elon Musk now owns Twitter or as his profile now Stacy is quote, Chief Twit. It became official last night the $44 billion purchase comes after a lengthy saga that saw the company sue Musk to complete a deal, he proposed and said he wanted out of. There are a number of questions tonight about Musk's next move for instance, who will lead Twitter after he fired the company's top three executives. Also, what if any changes are coming to the company's moderation policies? And how will that affect bans on individuals such as former President Donald Trump?

I'm joined now by our new CNN media analyst Sara Fischer who also reports for Axio. Sara, great to see you.

Can you walk us through what you know so far about what Elon Musk might have planned for Twitter?

SARA FISCHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Yes, of course. So, as you mentioned, he definitely wants to roll back some of those content moderation morals he thinks that Twitter should be a place for free speech. The other thing you can expect is a lot of investment in engineering and product. Of course, Elon Musk has, you know, brought two major companies public. He also has other companies that are private, big innovator. So, I would expect him to invest in a lot of new talent. Also, he has to bring in a lot of new executives, as you noted, he fired the CEO. He's fired the General Counsel, he's fired the CFO.


And so, I'm hearing from sources that already people are being brought inside the building for PayPal executives, even some former Twitter executives, who is potentially talking to for roles. And then the last thing that Elon Musk is thinking about big picture is maybe making Twitter as super app. A super app is something like WeChat, where you can do a bunch of different things all within one app. Of course, though, John, it's an uphill battle. I mean, Twitter is going to have to go through a lot of changes to get there.

BERMAN: When will we know what happens to Donald Trump's account?

FISCHER: Good question. I mean, Elon Musk has said that anybody who is permanently banned is going to be reinstated eventually. But then today, he tweeted that there's going to be a new Content Moderation Council, and that no major decisions about reinstating accounts. What happened until that council convened. Now my guess is that Elon Musk is doing that so that he can punt the decision until after the midterms. And that's probably a wise thing for him to do. But I expect that you're going to see that decision come at least by January and the reason is this. Facebook, Meta, its parent company is supposed to make a decision about whether or not Trump's accounts are reinstated there.

And so, I think that Elon Musk is going to want to match his reinstatement with whatever they're doing or beat them to it.

BERMAN: And the betting still is that Donald Trump will end up back on the platform. Just may take some time. Sara Fischer, great to see you again today. Thank you very much.

FISCHER: Thank you.

BERMAN: Still ahead, Congressman Tom Malinowski is warning his fellow Democrats that the fate of the house could be decided in his New Jersey district and he is facing a tight race. The details ahead.



WILLIAM SCOTT, CHIEF, SAN FRANCISCO POLICE:-- is still a coordinated and collaborative effort between the San Francisco Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the U.S. Capitol Police, and our San Francisco district attorney's office led by DA Brooke Jenkins.

At this time, the San Francisco Police Department is still the lead investigation -- by lead investigating agency. Each agency is evaluating the facts that flow from this investigation and evaluating those facts within their respective authorities to take the appropriate action. First, I'd like to provide a little more detail that -- of what transpired this morning when the officers arrived at the scene. We've gotten a lot of questions. We want to clarify some things there are just a lot of theories and speculation out there. So, I will provide the detail I can, but please understand that this is an ongoing and active investigation. And there's a lot that we still need to dig into.

So, when the officers arrived and knocked on the front door of the residence this morning, the door was opened by someone inside and the officers observed through the open door, Mr. Pelosi and the suspect Mr. DePape inside the entryway of the home. At this time the officers remain outside of the threshold of the home and they observed Mr. Pelosi and Mr. DePape each with one hand on a single hammer. It was one hammer that the officer observed. Officers while still outside of the doorway threshold gave commands to both men to drop the hammer. Mr. DePape immediately pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently attacked him with the hammer. The officers immediately entered, tackled the suspect disarmed him, took the hammer away from him and took the suspect, Mr. DePape into custody. They requested emergency backup and they rendered medical aid.

I can't confirm that Mr. DePape force entry into a rear door at the rear of the Pelosi home. And I'd like to re-emphasize the quick response and actions of our officers, Officer Coby Willness (ph), Officer Cao Cagney (ph), and Sergeant (INAUDIBLE). Also, I want to re- emphasize and thank our dispatcher Heather Grimes, for her intuition for quick thinking. She had to interpret what she was being told. And based on her experience and her intuition, she basically figured out that there was something more to this incident than what she was being told. Her actions, in my opinion resulted in both a higher priority dispatch and a faster police response. I think this was lifesaving.

Lastly, I want to thank our firefighters and paramedics from the San Francisco Fire Department also, for quick response and transporting Mr. Pelosi for medical assistance at the hospital.

Let me we've -- gotten a lot of questions about security. First of all, I want to say that the U.S. Capitol Police is responsible for protection of Speaker Pelosi and her family. The San Francisco Police Department will assist in any way we can have been in contact with Chief Tom Manger of the U.S. Capitol Police. We've been in contact with his investigators and at least one of his chiefs, and we are working collaboratively.

Any questions about the security of the Pelosi home should be referred to the U.S. Capitol Police, that is their responsibility. And I would ask that you refer any questions about security to them. I won't be able to answer any of those questions.


We also have received quite questions about how many times Mr. Pelosi was struck and there's a lot of speculation out there. What we know is he was struck at least one time. We're going through our evidence, our evidence. And when we have a definitive answer, we can release that. But right now, we don't. So, we know he was struck at least one time. And that's what we know. We also know, based on our investigation at this point, that this was not a random act, this was intentional. And is wrong.

Our elected officials are here to do the business of their cities, their counties, their states, and this nation. Their families don't sign up for this to be harmed. And it is wrong. And everybody should be disgusted about what happened this morning.

With that, we will take any questions. And we will only answer what we can answer.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Question for (INAUDIBLE) suspects who we've worked with. Can you clarify what may be going on there in terms of any search warrants or search warrants going to be put up from his phone, please update that situation?

SCOTT: Well, this investigation, there's a lot of moving parts, we are writing search warrants. And as we learn more, we may have to write more search warrants. That's about all I can say. I don't have any results. And our investigators have been on this since the wee hours of the morning, and they're still on it. So, we're going to do everything we can to uncover every piece of evidence that we can, to hold this person accountable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, they have been into the home?

SCOTT: I'm not sure that they've been into the home at this point. But I do know that we have written search warrants, and that work is ongoing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a suspect on a 5150 hold, or are he in jail?

SCOTT: Well, I can't -- the suspect is still in the hospital. Definitely I cannot release and it's not appropriate for you -- you need to release any of the suspects medical information, but the suspect is still in hospital. But let me say this. We intend to book the suspect. Whether it's in absentia or whether it's in person, he will be booked for felony charges.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you can't confirm whether or not he's under 5150 --

SCOTT: I cannot confirm anything about this person's medical condition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last question right here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You say this wasn't a random act? What can you say about you think this was politically motivated?

SCOTT: We are not at the point where we can say what the motive is publicly. But we do know this was intentional, it is not random. We know that, we know that. So.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) can you say anything about how they need to interpret the call, why she couldn't speak (INAUDIBLE)?

SCOTT: Well, what I can say is that dispatchers have to report what's being told to them. And when you have an experienced dispatcher with good instincts, they learn how to read between lines, but they have to report what's being told. They can't, you know, they can't report anything other than what's being told. She knew something more was going on just in our heart and our intuition just with her experience. And that cause for a higher priority than this type of call normally receives. This was a wellbeing check. And she just knew there was more to it.

So, she alerted our officers. She went that extra step. And because of that she actually they dispatched it at a higher priority than this type of call normally is. And that led to a quicker response.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. That's it for right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're all done. Thank you very much.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was able to call 911.

SCOTT: He was able to call 911. So, he was the caller, he was able to call 911. And dispatch kind of took it from there and read between lines. So just a road going all the way, all the way around. So.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) would know he was on the phone, is that? But essentially? SCOTT: What he said she felt that there was something more to it. But again, dispatchers have to report what they're being told. But thankfully, experience and intuition. You know, sometimes we were -- when you're in this business long enough, you kind of get a sense for things and her intuition was on point.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're done for this evening. Thank you very much.

SCOTT: OK. Thank you, all.


BERMAN: That was Chief William Scott from the San Francisco Police Department giving an update on the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He said it was not a random act. It was intentional. It was wrong. Everyone should be disgusted.

No details specifically on whether it was politically motivated, but you can expect to learn more information about perhaps was on the digital feed of the individual who was there and struck Paul Pelosi at least once with a hammer. Not much we know. We also know it was Paul Pelosi who call 911. And through that call and a dispatcher very well saved his life.


Much more information on all this coming in. The news continues. So, let's hand it over to Jake Tapper in "CNN TONIGHT."