Return to Transcripts main page
Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Biden Warns Democracy Is Under Assault, Calls On Americans To Stand Against Political Violence; Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT); 9-1-1 Audio Of Another Uvalde Fourth Grader Inside Classroom During School Shooting; Capitol Police Admit No One Monitoring Cameras At Time Of Pelosi Attack; Kari Lake: "Go Back And Look At The Tape"; Emails: Trump Attorney Worried About Former President's False Election Claims In Court; U.S. Officials Divided Over New Intelligence Suggesting Russian Military Discussed Nuclear Weapon Use. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 02, 2022 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JENNIFER GUTTENBERG, MOTHER OF PARKLAND SHOOTING VICTIM: Lower down in your seat, hunched over, trying to make yourself look innocent when you're not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Unclear why he took his mask off. The Guttenberg's along with other victims' families wanted the death penalty for Cruz. He will though spend the rest of his life in prison.
It's time now for AC 360.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
With just six days to go until tens of millions of Americans exercise their democratic right to vote, President Biden has just issued a warning about the fate of democracy itself. We'll get Senator Bernie Sanders' take on it shortly, but first, the President just before airtime, he began by talking about the attack on Paul Pelosi and the alleged plot to kidnap, interrogate, and maim House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
He quickly framed the issue as the shared and urgent need to fight for the survival of the American experiment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... all Americans, regardless of party to meet this moment of national and generational importance. We must vote knowing what is at stake and not just the policy of the moment, but institutions that have held us together as we sought a more perfect union are also at stake.
The extreme MAGA element of the Republican Party, which is a minority of that party as I said earlier, but is its driving force, is trying to succeed where they failed in 2020, to suppress the right of voters and subvert the electoral system itself.
That means denying your right to vote and deciding whether your vote even counts.
Instead of waiting until the election is over, they are starting well before it. They're starting now.
They've emboldened violence and intimidation of voters and election officials. It is estimated that there are more than 300 election deniers on the ballot all across America this year.
We can't ignore the impact this is having on our country.
So, we're asking you to think long and hard about the moment we're in. In a typical year, we are often not faced with questions of whether the vote we cast will preserve democracy or put us at risk. But this year, we are.
This year, I hope you'll make the future of our democracy an important part of your decision to vote and how you vote. I hope you'll ask a simple question of each candidate you might vote for: Will that person accept the legitimate will of the American people, of people voting in his district or her district? Will that person accept the outcome of the election win or lose?
The answer to that question is vital. And in my opinion, it should be decisive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Whatever you make of the substance of what the President said, the context is unavoidable. These are the final days of a deeply consequential campaign for control of both chambers of Congress. Nearly 28 million people have already voted. The big name surrogates are on the trail or about to enter the fray and new CNN polling shows what likely voters say is important to them.
By a wide margin, it is the economy; second, abortion; and third, voting rights, and election integrity which the President touched on tonight.
Joining us now "CNN This Morning," co-anchor, Kaitlan Collins who until recently he was our chief White House correspondent. Obviously, it is a critical moment for the President. Obviously, voting has already begun, does this move the needle in any way?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: I think, that's a big question. I'm not sure the White House necessarily expects it to but they felt like it was important for him to give this speech, and it's a speech he had been wanting to give for some time. And when people ask why, President Biden isn't often a mystery. You don't really have to read between the lines when it comes to him because he really does truly believe what he said tonight, that this is important, that it isn't an inflection point.
And look at what he has been doing lately, carrying around Jon Meacham's new book on Abraham Lincoln and talking about how he dealt with his own reckoning. Jon Meacham helped with this speech tonight, he helped with a similar speech that President Biden gave a few weeks ago in Philadelphia.
And so, I think he really truly does mean this, when he thinks that the nation is at this inflection point. He is deeply disturbed by obviously the Pelosi attack. And that contextualizes why he is speaking of that tonight, why he opened with that tonight.
If you are the more cynical political person looking at this and you ask the question: Is that the right closing message this close to the Midterms? Is that really what you want to be your last parting words to voters before they go to the polls as they are early voting? Because yes, if you look at polls, people do care about the health of the democracy, it does register, but it pales in comparison to inflation, to the economy.
And so look at what those Democrats who are in vulnerable positions have been saying in the last few days in the campaign trail. It doesn't look like the speech tonight, but the White House still felt like it was an important speech for President Biden.
COOPER: And if you look at the numbers that we're putting up right now, economy/inflation 51 percent. The next is abortion at 15 percent. You know, that's an extraordinary focus, obviously --
COLLINS: A huge gap.
COOPER: Yes, a huge gap. It is also hard to see that this speech will be seen through any other lens than a political lens this close to an election.
COLLINS: Which is interesting, given, of course, all of the back and forth when he gave his Philadelphia speech, which was a White House event, and the White House said it was not a political speech to talk about the health of democracy, to call out the MAGA Republicans that he has been referencing.
This was an explicitly political speech tonight this close to the Midterms, a DNC event. One thing he did say tonight that I want to remind people about is when he talked about what to keep in mind when they go to the polls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I hope you'll ask a simple question of each candidate you might vote for: Will that person accept the legitimate will of the American people and people voting in his district or her district? Will that person accept the outcome of the election win or lose?
The answer to that question is vital, and in my opinion, is should be decisive.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COLLINS: That's a big question, if whether or not that is going to
be the last thing people are thinking about, you know, that CNN poll today said only 50 percent of people believe elections actually reflect the will of the people. Of course, whether or not that's what they're closing their vote on. He did prepare people for there are going to be candidates, he believes that do not accept the results of the outcome next week as legitimate and that is something he was essentially arguing that you should brace for.
COOPER: Yes, Kaitlan Collins, appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Kaitlan's new program is just launched, "CNN This Morning" starts at 6:00 AM Eastern Time, so be sure to make it part of your morning. I hope you get some sleep tonight.
Thanks for staying up with us.
Joining us now is Vermont Independent Senator and former Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders.
Senator Sanders, appreciate you joining us. You heard President Biden say democracy is on the ballot. Americans can't take democracy for granted any longer. Is he right?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Yes, he is. Look when you have a former President who went around saying that the only way he could lose an election is if there was fraud, think about what an outrageous statement that is.
You know, I've run in many elections, sometimes I've won, sometimes I've lost. People can lose elections, and clearly what Trump and the extreme right-wing are trying to do now is undermine faith in American democracy.
So the President is absolutely right. This is a major, major issue. People fought -- I don't have to explain this to anybody. People fought and died against Hitler, against the authoritarian governments in order to make sure that in this country, it is the people who determine the future of our nation, but you have people right now who are trying to undermine American democracy is really outrageous.
COOPER; We were just showing that poll of 51 percent of voters put the economy/inflation as the number one issue? Do you think the President's speech is going to change any minds ahead of this election?
SANDERS: Well, I mean, I hope it makes people understand how consequential this election is, because this election is about the future of American democracy. It's about whether or not women can control their own bodies. It's about whether we deal with the existential threat of climate change, which threatens the wellbeing of our kids, and future generations.
But of course, Anderson, it is about the economy as well. Right now, what we are seeing is some 60 percent of our people are living paycheck to paycheck. They are struggling to get by, while the billionaire class has never ever, ever had it so good, more wealth and income inequality today than any time in American history.
And when we talk about inflation, you know, what everybody should know is that the profits of the oil industry are record breaking, huge profits for ExxonMobil, and the other companies. The food industry, people can't afford to buy the groceries they need. Food industry profits are soaring. Airline industry profits are soaring.
So what has happened is that in the midst of the war in Ukraine, the breakdown in supply chains, which are important parts of why inflation is high, all over the world, Republicans forget to tell the American people, inflation is not just an American issue, 8.2 percent here, that's bad. It's worse in Europe, over 11 percent.
So yes, the economy is very, very important and we cannot do as the Republicans wanted give massive tax breaks to the rich, cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. That is not a solution to the economic problems of the country.
COOPER: Whether it's fair or not, though, as you know, Democrats are getting the blame or at least this White House is for inflation, for the economic numbers. New CNN polling shows Republicans gaining momentum. At this point, is there anything that can be done to turn that around? I know you are out there, you are in the midst of an eight-State campaign swing focused on the economic message. Is it too little too late?
SANDERS: Anderson, let me ask you in this way, you know, what Republicans are saying is, it's Democratic spending that caused inflation. That's just not true. Again, in Europe, in Germany, England, throughout Europe, inflation is high. It is a global problem.
But let me say this, Republicans say that it is Democratic spending and what they really mean by that is it was the American Rescue Plan, and I want everybody watching to go back to March 2021, when the American Rescue Plan was passed.
At that moment, 3,000 Americans were dying from COVID every single day, in the midst of the worst pandemic we have had in a hundred years. At that moment, unemployment was soaring, small businesses were going bankrupt. Hospitals were unable to continue because of so many people coming in for COVID.
Yes, we passed the American Rescue Plan, that's 1,400 bucks for every man, woman, and child, which saved many families. We put money into hospitals, so that they continue to go, we extended on employment. We did a $300.00 tax credit for parents. So, I have no apologies for doing what I could, along with the rest of the Democrats to try to save the economy and help working families.
COOPER: I do want to ask you about the attack on Paul Pelosi, the President who spoke about that tonight. Do you see any of that vitriol, danger to lawmakers and their families? Is that ever going away? I mean, will there ever be a certain level of kind of decency restored? Or is it the past the point of no return?
SANDERS: No, let's hope that it can return. You know, there is too much ugly rhetoric out there right now and this authoritarianism, these attacks on democracy, often lead (AUDIO GAP) rhetoric, and I would hope that we can calm that down.
People can disagree without being disagreeable, and certainly without talking about violence.
COOPER: Senator Sanders, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
We will go next to Arizona were former President Obama is campaigning tonight.
CNN's Kyung Lah is in Phoenix for us.
Former President Obama, Kyung, has been crisscrossing the country in the final days of the election is he still seen as an effective messenger for Democrats in Arizona?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you've talked to people here in this line, the line that just has disappeared behind me, it was wrapped all the way around for a block and a half or so and snaking through this parking lot.
These people will say he is absolutely the effective messenger, if nothing else, to try to inspire the base to turn out. People here, the Democrats in Arizona know what they need are the numbers. They need the turnout.
So they think that Obama hitting all of the battleground states is a good sign when it comes to control of Congress. The question will be is, will it really carry through enough to sort of blunt any Republican energy. What Democrats will tell you, at least here in Arizona is that they might not be exactly voting for Democrats on the ballot.
I didn't really talk to anybody here who said that they were incredibly inspired by Katie Hobbs who is running for Governor, but they are terrified of the Republicans.
This is a Trump-backed ticket. The people on the ticket are election deniers, and we've seen you know these vigilantes show up at ballot boxes with guns. And the people at this Obama rally, the ones who are lined up, many who I spoke with say that they simply do not feel that that is the fabric of the State.
COOPER: Kyung Lah, appreciate it, in Phoenix tonight. Thank you.
Next, our Shimon Prokupecz continuing his monthslong investigations to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary. He has new details tonight, and another new devastating phone call from a student trapped in a classroom that has never been released never been heard before.
And later, as members of the Pelosi family are shown video of the attack on Paul Pelosi, we learned the Capitol Police had a video feed that actually showed the break-in in San Francisco, but no one was watching it in real time.
COOPER: A viewer warning now, the next report contains some very difficult audio, so if you have young kids in the room, you might ask them to leave.
CNN has obtained, a never before released 9-1-1 calls from some of the children inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas during the massacre there. You should also know that it is the parents of the kids in this report who want this made public.
For months now, in addition to everything else, they've had to bear, they've been misled over and over again about what happened, which is why they want this audio played and this story told because if not for this and other reporting largely by CNN's Shimon Prokupecz and his team, they simply would not be getting answers. Period. That's what so many of the parents have been saying to us.
It is in that spirit, mindful of how difficult some of this new audio is to hear that we bring you the latest tonight.
Shimon Prokupecz joins us now. So, what is this?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: So, this is -- it is the same phone call where a second student, the second child gets on the phone, a little girl by the name of Miah Cerrillo. She gets on the phone. Our report last night was with Chloe Torres. Chloe hands her the phone at some point, and so Mia then takes the call and is talking to the 9-1-1 operator.
And this just shows again, the continued lack of response, the lack of any kind of sort of way that police forced their way into the room, the fact that they took their time. Another significant thing that happens on this audio is that there are gunshots.
We do not air those gunshots out of respect for the family, but again it all paints a picture of law enforcement that did not respond appropriately, that failed as officials there in Texas said.
PROKUPECZ: And again, this is something that the families have asked for us to play and to come forward with because they need answers and they say this will help, hopefully, bring transparency. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIAH CERRILLO, ROBB ELEMENTARY SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I'm Hello?
DISPATCHER: I'm here. I'm here. I'm here.
MIAH CERRILLO: Okay. Is the killer in the building?
DISPATCHER: I'm sorry?
MIAH CERILLO: Is the killer in the building?
DISPATCHER: Yes, he's still there in the building, so I need you to be quiet and do not open the door until we tell you to.
MIAH CERRILLO: Okay.
DISPATCHER: Everyone needs to be as quiet as possible.
MIAH CERRILLO: He's shooting.
DISPATCHER: Stay quiet. Make sure everybody stays quiet.
MIAH CERRILLO: Okay.
The officers are (INAUDIBLE).
DISPATCHER: Are there officers there?
MIAH CERRILLO: (INAUDIBLE).
DISPATCHER: Okay. Hold on. Hold on. Don't do anything.
MIAH CERRILLO: The officers are in the building.
DISPATCHER: What was that?
MIAH CERRILLO: I think the officers are in the building.
DISPATCHER: Okay, officers are in the building , but do not open the door until I tell you.
MIAH CERRILLO: Okay.
DISPATCHER: Everyone needs to stay as quiet as possible.
MIAH CERRILLO: Okay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PROKUPECZ: And Anderson, you see there, what we did is we put it side by side with as she is talking to the 9-1-1 operator, you see those officers in the hallway.
What is so striking was that when there were gunshots in the classroom, you start to see the officers advance towards the classroom, you see them there going on their bodycam footage, but yet it took nearly 30 minutes still before they went into the classroom.
COOPER: And that little girl is in -- this was a double classroom -- is in the same area with the shooter.
PROKUPECZ: She is in the same area of the shooter, at this point, it appears is in the other room. He's in the same classroom, there's a door that divides the classroom, that's open. So Room 111 and 112. He appears to be in the other room. At one point you can hear her, she
was uncertain if he was even in the room. She thought maybe he somehow was outside of the room.
COOPER: And as we heard in the phone call last night, which is part of this same phone call, there were -- there are dead people.
PROKUPECZ: There are.
COOPER: There are children in the room.
PROKUPECZ: And what we don't show, because it's just so -- it is too difficult to air, and is at some point, you stop hearing noises in the background. You stop hearing people, the kids, teachers --
COOPER: Who had been wounded.
PROKUPECZ: Of people who had been wounded and who were screaming for help at some point, you no longer hear them, and really all you hear are these two little girls and the other people in the classroom just sort of go silent.
Some of them can hear the noises outside the classroom, they could tell that there are police outside the classroom, they can hear the helicopter, they know there's activity going on. They just don't understand what's taking so long. And they don't realize that the officers are just feet from the door.
But again, even after those gunshots are fired even after the officers knew that these kids were inside the classroom alive, trapped with this gunman, with the gunshots being fired, it still took almost 30 minutes.
COOPER: I mean, it is sickening to the courage of 10-year-old children, fourth graders to call 9-1-1 and beyond the phone with a 9- 1-1 operator narrating what is happening and officers being feet away and not entering the classroom, which is the training, and officers outside at least many of them knowing that there were children alive calling 9-1-1.
I mean, there was confusion, but there was the knowledge that these kids had called.
PROKUPECZ: People in positions of power, people who should have been making the decisions, they knew, and that's the key in all of this.
COOPER: Shimon Prokupecz, thank you.
Joining us now the father of that brave girl you just heard, Miguel Cerrillo.
Miguel, I appreciate you being with us.
When you first heard that audio of your brave daughter doing this. What did you think? MIGUEL CERRILLO, FATHER OF MIA CERRILLO: I just broke down. I broke
down, heartbroken. I had a lot of emotions running in me. I didn't know what to think. I didn't know what to think. I didn't know what to say.
I was speechless. I was just -- I couldn't -- I couldn't say nothing. I was just mad.
I was mad because now I know why my daughter was so mad and I'm very proud of my daughter, she did what she had to do to survive, but it took them a very long time just to get not only my daughter out, but the rest of the survivors out of the classroom.
MIGUEL CERRILLO: For 77 minutes, I mean, it takes too long. It is too long. I mean, if my daughter and Chloe had the courage to take the phone away from the teacher, to call 9-1-1 to let them know that they're still alive and they need help, why not one officer jumped and said, hey, we need to go in there. They still waited outside for a very long time to get any kids or to break the door down or anything, they took too long.
I believe that students, even one of the teachers that was shot that my daughter was telling me, she would have still been alive. A lot of these kids would have still been alive if these officers would have breached that door as soon as they would have heard that phone call.
COOPER: Did you say that Chloe -- did you say that Chloe and your daughter got the phone from one of the teachers?
MIGUEL CERRILLO: Yes.
COOPER: One of the teachers who were shot and killed?
MIGUEL CERRILLO: Yes. Yes. Between my daughter and Chloe, they brainstormed and they got the phone and they called 9-1-1. My daughter told Chloe to call 9-1-1.
COOPER: They had the presence of mind. This is the first time I am learning this. They had the presence of mind to take a phone from a teacher who had been killed. They had the courage to do that and to call 9-1-1.
MIGUEL CERRILLO: Yes, sir. They had the courage to do it, but the officers didn't have the courage to go in and protect innocent kids.
COOPER: You must be so proud of her.
MIGUEL CERRILLO: I'm very proud of her. I'm speechless. I'm very proud of her.
I tell her all the time I love her and everything. I mean, we were inseparable until now, you know, now we cannot be -- we can't be around each other, but I guess since a guy, a boy did this to her, she is really angry against every man right now. I guess, I'm not sure. But lately, we've been getting closer and closer and closer. And I
love that our bond is getting back together where it was and she is trusting me even more.
COOPER: She has been changed by this experience. This is not something that she was just -- you know, people think, oh, well kids can bounce back. This is something, you see the impact on her still.
MIGUEL CERRILLO: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
Every day is a different day with her. Everyday we've got to wake up and we've got to see how she is doing. See how she slept through the night because there's night that she, you know, she doesn't sleep. She won't sleep for two, three days still.
There were several days that she wouldn't sleep and we had to stay up with her. And me and my wife had to switch spots and be like, hey, you know, you sleep for a few hours. You stay up with her and we'll switch and we'll keep switching.
COOPER: Did you ever expect -- I mean, when this happened, the horror of that day. Did you ever think that we would be here all these months later still waiting for answers? Still waiting for an actual minute by minute account and accountability?
MIGUEL CERRILLO: No. I don't -- I thought it would have took -- I thought it would have been way faster to put accountability on somebody, but it's taking way too long.
COOPER: Miguel Cerrillo, I appreciate you talking to us tonight and thank you. And I just wish your daughter and your family the best.
MIGUEL CERRILLO: Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up, we will have the latest on the investigation into the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband and the security cameras that were on, but not being recorded, or excuse me, I should say not being monitored in real time.
Plus, the comment on the attack by Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for Governor in Arizona that she says was the product of "creative editing." We are keeping them honest on that, next.
COOPER: As we mentioned earlier President Biden began his remarks tonight about the threats to democracy by drawing a line from the attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband back to the January 6 rioters chanting, where's Nancy? Short time ago we received this new video, Speaker Pelosi leaving her home in San Francisco and security presence now surrounding her.
Earlier today members of the Pelosi family gathered with police to hear the 911 call and watch body camera footage of the attack on Paul Pelosi. And this comes the same day that the Capitol Police confirmed reporting by CNN and the Washington Post that they had cameras on the Pelosi residence which caught the breaking and the police response. But the cameras were not actively monitored at the time of the attack. In other words, no one was actually watching them in real time. Source tell CNN it wasn't until about 10 minutes after the incident when an officer notice the lights and sirens in the video.
Today congressional Democrats now demanding answers from the Capitol police about security for members of Congress. Court documents filed Tuesday say that the suspect David DaPape allegedly told officers and medics at the scene that he was on a, quote suicide mission.
I'm joined now by CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst, John Miller.
First of all, the surveillance system the Capitol Police, no one actually watching it. Does that surprise you?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT & INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Not in the slightest bit. It's actually kind of a dumb question if people are thinking like, there's 1,800 cameras feeding into a command center in Washington, D.C., there aren't 1,800 officers each watching one of those monitors. What they're doing is they're listening to the police radio, they're watching for incidents, they're zeroing in on cameras where something's happening, they are much more attentive to the camera that's on the residence where Nancy Pelosi is actually staying in Washington that night, than a place that's 3,000 miles away where their protectee is not present.
So, it's unreasonable to think that they would have been staring at that.
COOPER: And that's literally what it is. I mean, 1,800 like a lot of --
MILLER: And I mean, you don't see all 1,800 monitors, you see lots of monitors where, you know, there's five people in that command center who are doing numbers of jobs. And if there's something in a camera where they say pull up that camera, let's see what's going on there? The simple fact that they saw police cars and lights on one of the cameras and said which camera is that let's go to that, let's figure out what's going on, shows that they are paying attention. But the NYPD and LSI we had 20,000 cameras, we couldn't watch 20,000 cameras. We were monitoring events and using the cameras to zero in on them.
COOPER: The Washington Post's also reported that Speaker Pelosi's around the clock security, including the San Francisco police cruiser that that used to sit outside her house after January 6, that that was no longer there. Is I mean, what sort of, I mean, I don't understand why there wouldn't be a burglary system or I was just surprised there wouldn't be even one officer on the scene at that house?
MILLER: Well, she wasn't there. And this may change.
COOPER: So, government protection is for the for the quote, unquote, package, not for the spouse of the package?
MILLER: If you're in the White House, it's the president, the vice president in their families, if you're in Congress, it's to protectee. Now remember, the Capitol Police is 2,000 cops who cover 2.4 square miles of Washington D.C., it sounds like a lot. But when you figure the enormity of the Capitol Complex, not just the building, all the other buildings, the checkpoints, the intelligence people, the bomb squad, the SWAT team, divide that across three shifts. It's not that big a department. And if 535 members of Congress had a security detail, they'd have to add 3,600 people even if you kept those details small.
So, a lot of that is triage. But to date, if they're going to look at people who are in the line of succession for president, they have security details. Leadership, they have security details. Family that's a question that they're going to have to go into because of this incident.
MILLER: But it's never been that way before.
COOPER: John Miller, appreciate it. Thanks so much.
On Monday night on the program, we played a video from a campaign event earlier in the day for Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for governor in Arizona. Specifically, it was her response to a question about school security. During that response, she mentioned the attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul. I want to play that exact same piece of sound again, we'll explain why afterwards.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARI LAKE (R-AZ) GOVERNOR CANDIDATE: It is not impossible to protect our kids at school. They act like it is. Nancy Pelosi, well, she's got protection when she's in D.C., apparently your house doesn't have a lot of protection. But --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So again, that is exactly what this broadcast played Monday night. Now Kari Lake is saying that what you just heard was the result of what she called, quote, creative editing.
CNN's resident fact checker Daniel Dale joins us now. So, what else is Kari Lake saying about her comments on Monday?
DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: She is claiming to reporters now that she never made light of the attack on Mr. Pelosi and that the idea that she did or that she said anything bad was solely the result of a despicable, deceptive, editing hit job by what she calls the fake news media. Listen to her comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAKE: I never made light on the attack. I was talking about our children, and why they don't have better security at school. And I said that our politicians have security. And then athletes have security and we need to have security for children. Go back and look at the tape. And don't do creative editing like the fake media tends to do, and you'll see what I was saying, despicable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
LAKE: Go back and look at the video. And a lot of creative editing was done. OK. And I think you all know what if you were there. They clipped that that clip and made it look bad. And listen, nobody's -- I didn't attack anybody. I want to provide security for our children at schools.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Wow, she's just flat out lying.
DALE: Yes, yes, Anderson the truth. I went back and watch that full video. She insists we watch it. It changes absolutely nothing. We'll show you that clip in a moment. What happens is she's asked a question about school security. She invokes the attack on Mr. Pelosi unprompted. Much of the audience laughs, the moderator chuckle so much that he's covering his face with his notes. At no point did she say, hey, this is not a joke. I'm being serious here. It's inappropriate to laugh. Just watch the clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAKE: It is not impossible to protect our kids at school. They act like it is. Nancy Pelosi, well, she's got protection when she's in D.C. Apparently, her house doesn't have a lot of protection. But if our lawmakers have protection, if our lawmakers can have protection, if our politicians can have protection of our athletes, and certainly the most important people in our lives, our children should have protection.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DALE: Unfortunately, Anderson, this is a playbook. We've heard a lot in the last few years, you make a comment that might excite parts of the Republican base. And then when that comment gets you in trouble with some other people, you just claim you never did it at all.
COOPER: I get her doing this. I mean, this is her shtick. Who's the guy interviewing her who covers his face like this is actually something funny. I mean, when did like human beings just become -- when did we become like this? What -- how did go -- whose falling in the audience as it's actually funny? I mean I don't understand like there's just nothing funny about anybody being hurt. It's I mean I know I'm just rambling, but I just I'm shocked. I guess I don't know why I'm shocked. But I'm just -- I mean, I'm not shocked by her, because I mean, you know, she's been faking stuff for a long time, but just the reaction of these people like. Daniel, I'm sorry, I'm rambling. Thanks very much. I appreciate it.
[20:40:26] COOPER: Just ahead, newly released e-mails that demonstrate just how worried one of the former president's top lawyers was about him, making knowingly false claims in court about voter fraud. Details on that next.
COOPER: Just learned that a top former adviser to the President has been ordered to testify. Newly released e-mails indicate that a top campaign lawyer for the former president a man Liz Cheney says was one of the primary architects behind efforts to overturn the election was concerned, the former president could be prosecuted for false claims in court about voter fraud. The e-mails were written by Attorney John Eastman in December of 2020. And were among those released by a federal judge in California today.
CNN's Sara Murray joins us now with details.
So, Sara, first of all this there's breaking news now about an advisor to the former president. What is it?
SARRA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so this is Kash Patel. He's an aide to former President Trump and he has now been ordered by a judge to testify before the grand jury in the Mar-a-Lago documents in fact justification. He's been given immunity in exchange for this testimony. Look this is significant because this is someone who has been out there claiming that the former president declassified the documents, he also was sort of intimately involved in the documents at Mar-a-Lago.
So, this gives prosecutors an opportunity to get information from him, to ask him, you know, whether Trump actually did declassify the documents when he, you know, is under oath, without him, you know, facing potential legal ramifications. So, in some ways, the way from prosecutors to get his testimony, but he also gets immunity when he appears for the grand jury.
COOPER: Do we know when he will appear before the grand jury?
MURRAY: We do not know yet when he's going to be appearing.
COOPER: And what more can you tell us about what was in these Eastman e-mails?
MURRAY: Sure. So, these are e-mails from John Eastman, a former lawyer for former President Trump that have now been handed over to the January 6 select committee. And in these e-mails, you really get a sense of how uneasy lawyers are around the former president, about some of the false election fraud claims they are putting forward. You know, there's an exchange in these e-mails, where they're talking about how they now know some of the claims they were making me about, you know, felons who voted, dead people who voted, stuff that was inaccurate, they realize it's an accurate, they say that they briefed Trump on how it's inaccurate. And they're really worried he's going to sign on to a statement that have been submitted in court and then could subject him to legal jeopardy.
Here's what Eastman says in one of the e-mails, I have no doubt that an aggressive DA or U.S. Attorney someplace would go after both the President and his lawyers, once all the dust settles on this. And just to give you an idea of sort of how chaotic this was, it was December 31st. And they're trying to figure out a different way to get a notary to sort of change this document, maybe get someone to over a zoom so that Trump doesn't have to sign a document saying under the penalty of perjury.
COOPER: What about the e-mails mentioning Justice Clarence Thomas?
MURRAY: So, part of their plan was that they wanted to be able to get a case in front of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and that they were hoping that he would be able to intervene, he may be able to issue some kind of tentative order that suggested that, you know, votes in Georgia, were not valid because of election fraud. At one point, they say, their only hope is to get something like this in front of Clarence Thomas, to get him to issue an order like this. And then their belief was, if something like this was pending before the Supreme Court, you couldn't certify the election on January 6.
COOPER: Is there anything in the e-mails about why they're so confident in Justice Thomas?
MURRAY: You know, it is very clear that this is where they put their confidence. It's not entirely clear why they felt like this was the person to put all their eggs in that basket.
COOPER: Sara Murray, appreciate it. Thank you.
Next, NATO's former Supreme Allied Commander, retired Army General Wesley Clark joins us on the latest signals that Russia is sending. What Western intelligence is learning about Moscow? His thoughts on discussions about the possible use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
COOPER: Disturbing details and a new U.S. intelligence assessments suggesting the Russian military officials have discussed how and under what conditions Russia will use tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine. That is according to multiple sources who read the assessment. However, officials said they do not believe Vladimir Putin was involved in the discussions and have seen no signs he's decided to take the drastic step of going nuclear.
At the same time, Russia's foreign ministry today issued a statement outlining when such weapons might be used namely in response to aggression using weapons of mass destruction or conventional weapons when the existence the Russian state is in jeopardy.
Joining us retired Army General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and currently a CNN military analyst. So, General Clark, CNN is reporting indicating that there are mixed reactions to this new intelligence within the Biden administration. Some officials concerned saying these conversations reflect intensifying frustration in the Russian military that could raise a nuclear risk. Others believed the conversations may have been taken out of context. I'm wondering what your reaction is.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: My reaction is this is a useful intelligence that the military is talking about it. And that would indicate that the weapons might not be used just for political effect. So, it might not be just a demonstration, strike on in the ocean or something like this, but they might actually be used to achieve a battlefield impact.
COOPER: Both Vladimir Putin and the Russian Foreign Ministry have made recent statements indicating the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine is not necessary and does not fall under Russia's doctrine for nuclear use. Obviously, it comes after months of veiled threats from Putin on the use of these weapons. I mean do you believe -- what do you believe is Russia's goal with these kinds of conflicting messages?
CLARK: I think the goal was the conflicting messages as to confusion distract. Remember that before the 24th of February Mr. Putin, and his foreign minister said they weren't going to invade Ukraine. And so, they say a lot of things that aren't true. Now this is -- this plus the other information about the dirty bomb, the blowing up so forth, the evacuation of civilians from Kherson, it all is it adds up to a significant concern for us.
COOPER: I mean, what would what effect would a -- I mean why would Russia use a nuclear device? I mean, what military effect would it have? What would be the benefit for Russia?
CLARK: Well, I'm not sure they would use a nuclear device unless they were going to go after a specific like road junction or factory or energy plant. But if they're going after military forces, no, you wouldn't use a single nuclear device. You use multiple devices, a dozen, two dozen. And you'd wait for the Ukrainians to concentrate their forces. And then you fire a pulse of these weapons out across, you know several miles and that's where you -- that way you try to achieve a real battlefield effect.
One, no one is a warning, it's a political significance. Twenty, 30 weapons that could do serious damage to Ukrainian forces, let's say if they were mashing to make an attack.
COOPER: But if they're mashing near Russian forces, would that not also have the possibility of hurting Russian forces as well?
CLARK: Sure, but if you gave the Russian forces warning if they were dug in and defensive positions behind concrete deep in the ground, if you target the weapons successfully against Ukrainian forces, you might be able to minimize that effect on the Russian forces. On the other hand, the Russians might be willing to reach those forces to achieve a dominant battlefield effect and impact from these nuclear weapons strikes.
COOPER: Do you think this is -- I mean, we're in the realm of -- how do you -- I mean what is the danger of this do you think? Like the chances --
CLARK: Well, I think it's, it's a possibility, I think we'll get some warning of this. And then when we get the warning, we've got to step up again, the efforts to persuade the Russians not to do it. But the claiming of these four regions as part of Russia, that would fit Russian doctrine if the Ukrainians were coming in there to seize that territory and if there were successful or about to be successful in doing so.
COOPER: Wesley Clark, I appreciate it. Thank you.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: That's it for us. The news continues. Let's hand it over Jake Tapper in "CNN TONIGHT."