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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Trump Announces 2024 Presidential Bid; NATO Aircraft Tracked Missile That Landed In Poland. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired November 15, 2022 - 21:00   ET



MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Republican Party that is going on Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida. There's no question that he is a talented politician, but he is somebody who's win came against Charlie Crist who is not exactly a formidable political actor. We don't know what he is going to be like on the national stage. There's a very long history of candidates getting a lot of love from donors early on, and then when they step out into the klieg lights, it's not great. So we'll see.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Remember Mike Bloomberg, running for president just this last time? I mean --

HABERMAN: Among many others, yes.




BASH: And I will just say that I've heard you, Alyssa, say it so many times that when people are starting to use, to use your word, obituary, write Donald Trump's obituary, things change very quickly. He has a -- I don't know if it's a hold or a spell or something on a lot of these Republicans, even those who are saying, OK, but now we've lost three times and now we're going to move away from Donald Trump. I will believe it when I see it.

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, and the common wisdom is that elected Republicans want it to be DeSantis but perhaps the base wants it to be Trump. But even with elected Republicans Kevin McCarthy needs Trump to get the speaker's nomination on the floor. Now you have Rick Scott challenging Leader McConnell in the Senate. He's doing that wanting the support of Donald Trump. And of course Elise Stefanik came out and endorsed Trump.

So this notion, you know, we're reporting his demise way too quickly. This notion that he won't be a serious formidable candidate and that there's a non-zero chance he might be president again is something I think we need to realize.

COOPER: Well, also, I mean, you know, we were talking to Manu before and Manu was saying that a lot of folks on Capitol Hill are saying they're really looking forward to getting, you know, a lot of different candidates out there in the primaries. That all favors Donald Trump.

BASH: Yes.

HABERMAN: Absolutely. It's 2016 all over again.


HABERMAN: It's Trump needing basically 30 percent-ish, which is what he got last time.

COOPER: And picking them off one by one.

HABERMAN: And maybe, right, or maybe they don't all run at all. But, you know, a multicandidate field is something that Donald Trump wants if he is going to face opposition. This is not a bad thing for him. Also, for all of these Republicans on the hill who are saying, you know, I think we're going to have a big field of candidates, I can't wait to choose from them, what many of them are not saying is Donald Trump got us here, he lost, enough already.

There are people who are still sidestepping it because fighting with him is not in their interests and until there is a larger number of sitting electeds saying things like that I just don't know how this is going to go.

BASH: And remember, just what's happening right now on Capitol Hill in the House. Kevin McCarthy is trying to get enough votes, 218 -- he got enough votes within the Republican caucus today, but when the time comes in January for the entire House to vote for speaker, which needs to happen, he needs to get 218, who does he need to bring those who didn't vote for him today over the finish line for him? Donald Trump.

So that's even between now and January 3rd. One prime example of why people are not going to be running away or at least Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House, won't be.

COOPER: So what are you going to be watching for in this announcement? Because he's not going to just say I'm running for president, that's it. He's obviously going to, you know.

GRIFFIN: Well, the initial message that he's running on, is it an attack on Biden? Is it forward-looking in an agenda? That's probably asking for too much. I'm going to be paying attention for what Republicans he goes after. I would be shocked if he makes it through the night without in some way critiquing Ron DeSantis or taking credit for his success. Just knowing him, he is like pathologically incapable of doing that.

HABERMAN: We can keep talking.

COOPER: We can keep talking because he's --

(LAUGHTER) COLLINS: And also to note that he's really turned Republicans, I'll even note, in recent days are his attacks on Ron DeSantis, regardless of what their potential challenge is going to look like. Also Glenn Youngkin. People really thought that tweet was unnecessary. Even though those ardent Trump allies that I've spoken to thought that him going after him was random and they didn't understand the strategy there.

And that's -- it's kind of this point of people getting fed up with it. Whether or not it's a breaking point, who knows? A lot of Republicans in the Senate right now are focusing their ire on Mitch McConnell even though he wasn't the one who backed half the candidates who lost on Tuesday night.

HABERMAN: Or picked these candidates, which Trump did. So --

GRIFFIN: Well. and the time if there was one to abandon Donald Trump was after January 6th. There's no question that continuing to support him and empower him for the last two years cost Republicans the midterms and has us back where we are today, where he's going to be a presidential candidate.

COOPER: The playlist is the same.

BASH: Yes.

COLLINS: It's burning into my brain.

GRIFFIN: He really (INAUDIBLE) for me, that's a challenge.

COOPER: Let's listen in to the former president's announcement.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. And on behalf of Melania, myself and our entire family, I want to thank you all for being here tonight. It's a very special occasion at a very special place.

You and all of those watching are the heart and soul of this incredible movement and the greatest country in the history of the world. It's very simple.


TRUMP: There has never been anything like it, this great movement of ours. Never been anything like it and perhaps there will never be anything like it again.


There's never been anything to compete with what we have all done.


TRUMP: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, and my fellow citizens, America's comeback starts right now.


TRUMP: Two years ago when I left office the United States stood ready for its golden age. Our nation was at the pinnacle of power, prosperity and prestige, towering above all rivals, vanquishing all enemies, and striding into the future confident and so strong. In four short years everybody was doing great. Men, women, African-Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans. Everybody was thriving like never before.


TRUMP: There was never a time like there was never a time like this. We turned the page on decades of globalist sellouts and one-sided trade deals. Lifted millions out of poverty. And together we built the greatest economy in the history of the world. When the virus hit our shores, I took decisive action and saved lives and the U.S. economy. And by October of the same year America was roaring back with the number one fastest economic recovery ever recorded. How about that?


TRUMP: All of the incoming administration and all they had to do was just sit back and watch. Inflation was non-existent. Our southern border was by far the strongest ever. And because the border was so tight drugs were coming into our country at the lowest level in many, many years. Importantly, after decades of rising energy costs, the United States had finally attained the impossible dream of American energy independence which soon would have turned into energy dominance.


TRUMP: For the first time in memory, China was reeling and back on its heels. You've never seen that before. Because the United States was outdoing them on every single front and China was paying billions and billions of dollars in taxes and tariffs. The farmers know that because they got $28 billion of it. No president had ever sought or received one dollar for our country from China until I came along and we were getting hundreds of billions of dollars.

Many people think that because of this China played a very active role in the 2020 election. Just saying. Just saying. I'm sure that didn't happen. Instead of jobs and factories leaving America for China they were for the first time ever leaving China for America.


TRUMP: Businesses were pouring back because of our historic tax and regulation cuts, the biggest in both categories in history. Bigger even than what Ronald Reagan was able to produce. And he produced a lot. China, Russia, Iran and North Korea were in check and respected. They respected the United States. And quite honestly, they respected me. I knew them well. I knew them well.


TRUMP: The vicious ISIS caliphate which no president was able to conquer was decimated by me and our great warriors in less than three weeks. And al-Baghdadi, its founder, was hunted down and killed. North Korea had not launched --


TRUMP: North Korea had not launched a single long-range missile since my summit with Chairman Kim Jong-un nearly three years before we developed a relationship. And that's a good thing, not a bad thing. It's good thing. Very good thing, actually. Because look at what's happening today.

My opponents made me out to be a warmonger and just a terrible person who would immediately go into war. They said during the 2016 campaign that if he becomes president there will never be a war within weeks and we will have wars like you've never seen before. It will happen immediately. And yet I've gone decades, decades without a war, the first president to do it for that long a period.



TRUMP: The world was at peace. America was prospering. And our country was on track for an amazing future because I made big promises to the American people and unlike other presidents I kept my promises. I kept them.



TRUMP: Thank you very much. Under our leadership we were a great and glorious nation, something you haven't heard for quite a long period of time. We were a strong nation. And importantly, we were a free nation. But now we are a nation in decline. We are a failing nation. For millions of Americans the past two years under Joe Biden have been a time of pain, hardship, anxiety and despair.

As we speak, inflation is the highest in over 50 years. Gas prices have reached the highest levels in history. And expect them to go much higher now that the Strategic National Reserves, which I filled up, have been virtually drained in order to keep gasoline prices lower just prior to the election. Joe Biden has intentionally surrendered our energy independence. There's no longer even a thought of dominance, and we are now begging for energy help from foreign nations, many of whom find us detestable.

Our southern border has been erased and our country is being invaded by millions and millions of unknown people, many of whom are entering for a very bad and sinister reason. And you know what that reason is. We will be paying a big price for this invasion into our country for years to come. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of deadly drugs, including very lethal fentanyl, are flooding across the now open and totally porous southern border.

The blood-soaked streets of our once great cities are cesspools of violent crimes which are being watched all over the world as leadership of other countries explained that this is what America and democracy is really all about. How sad. The United States has been embarrassed, humiliated, and weakened for all to see. The disasters in Afghanistan, perhaps the most embarrassing moment in the history of our country, where we lost lives, left Americans behind, and surrendered $85 billion worth of the finest military equipment anywhere in the world.

And Ukraine, which would have never happened if I were your president, are something --


TRUMP: And even the Democrats admit that. That's something I've seen them admit over and over again. But our enemies are speaking of us with scorn and laughter and derision because of those two events. But there are many more. Even just today a missile was sent in probably by Russia to Poland, 50 miles into Poland. And people are going absolutely wild and crazy. And they're not happy. They're very, very angry.

Now we have a president who falls asleep at global conferences.


TRUMP: Was held in contempt by the British parliament over Afghanistan. Thanks to the words of wisdom he said thank you to the wrong country for inviting him to a major summit. On the environment of all things. They fly for days to get there and then he calls the country a name that was actually a country on another continent.


TRUMP: And is leading us to the brink of nuclear war, a concept unimaginable just two short years ago. You cannot mention the nuclear word. It's too devastating. The Green New Deal and the environment which they say may affect us in 300 years is all that is talked about.


And yet nuclear weapons, which would destroy the world immediately, are never even discussed as a major threat. Can you imagine? They say the ocean will rise 1/8 of an inch over the next 200 to 300 years. But don't worry about nuclear weapons that can take out entire countries with one shot. Something is wrong with their thinking. Under Biden and the radical Democrats America has been mocked, derided, and brought to its knees perhaps like never before.

But we are here tonight to declare that it does not have to be this way. It does not have to be this way.


TRUMP: Two years ago we were a great nation and soon we will be a great nation again.


TRUMP: The decline of America is being forced upon us by Biden and the radical left lunatics running our government right into the ground. This decline is not a fate we must accept. When given the choice boldly, clearly and directly, I believe the American people will overwhelmingly reject the left's platform of national ruin and they will embrace our platform of national greatness and glory to America. Glory.


TRUMP: Exactly one week ago our citizens voted in the important midterm elections, and despite a ridiculously long and unnecessary period of waiting, far longer in fact than any third world country, just a short time ago the Republicans won back control of the House of Representatives.


TRUMP: And it was with a great Trump-endorsed candidate, Congressman- elect Kevin Kylie, who is a fantastic person. A fantastic person. And I'm very happy it was his vote that did it. But so we now won back -- this happened just an hour ago. Much criticism is being placed on the fact that the Republican Party should have done better. And frankly much of this blame is correct.

But the citizens of our country have not yet realized the full extent and gravity of the pain our nation is going through and the total effect of the suffering is just starting to take hold. They don't quite feel it yet but they will very soon. I have no doubt that by 2024 it will sadly be much worse and they will see much more clearly what happened and what is happening to our country and the voting will be much different. 2024.


TRUMP: Are you getting ready?


TRUMP: And I am too. I am too. I do want to point out that in the midterms my endorsement success rate was 232 wins and only 22 losses. You don't hear that from the media. And this is an elegant night and an elegant press -- place. And I'm not going to use the term fake news media. So we're going to keep it very elegant. But you don't hear that from the media. But I think you will because people are starting to see what happened. That's some score.

And in the primaries was 98.6 percent. But they were still trying to blame me. And the reason for the success and that unprecedented success rate is that the Trump administration changed our nation on trade, on securing the border with the strongest, safest border ever in the history of our country, on Islamic terrorism. We had practically, just about, not that I can think of, no Islamic attacks, terrorist attacks during the Trump administration. And in fact we got along very well with the various countries.


TRUMP: Including coming up with the Abraham Accords. That's a great thing. The Abraham Accords.



TRUMP: But it's because of cutting taxes and cutting regulations at the highest level ever and on building the greatest economy. Any time in the history of the world there's never been an economy like we had just two years ago. Despite the outcome in the Senate we cannot lose hope and we must all work very hard for a gentleman and a great person named Herschel Walker, a fabulous human being who loves our country and will be a great United States senator.

Herschel Walker, get out and vote for Herschel. And he deserves it. He was an incredible athlete. He'll be an even better senator. Get out and vote for Herschel Walker. We elected a group of incredibly talented America First leaders who will be stars of our party for many years to come. In the popular vote, another thing that's not discussed for the House, we must remember that Republicans won five million more votes, the largest margin in many, many years, over the Democrats.

Five million more votes. That's a big thing. Breaking the radical Democrats' grip on Congress was crucial. So in other words, because of our great congressmen and all of our great congressmen and congresswomen we've taken over Congress. Nancy Pelosi has been fired. Isn't that nice?


TRUMP: I told them, I said if you just keep a little bit lower standard you're going to have a big victory. They said let's win by 40 seats, let's win by 50. I said if you win by two seats be happy. But she's on her way to another country right now. She's been fired. But we always have known that this was not the end, it was only the beginning of our fight to rescue the American dream. And it's a word you don't use. Two words. I don't want to be Joe. It's two words. American dream. That was not good what he did. There are a lot of bad things like going to Idaho and saying welcome to the state of Florida, I really love it.

In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States president of the United States.


TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you. All of you. Thank you. So many incredible friends and family here tonight. It's such a beautiful thing. Some people say how do you speak before so many people all the time? When there's love in the room it's really easy, if you want to know the truth. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: You ought to try it sometime. Together we will be taking on the most corrupt forces and entrenched interests imaginable. Our country is in a horrible state. We're in grave trouble. This is not a task for a politician or a conventional candidate. This is a task for a great movement that embodies the courage, confidence, and the spirit of the American people.

This is a movement. This is not for any one individual. This is a job for tens of millions of proud people working together from all across the land and from all walks of life, young and old, black and white, Hispanic and Asian, many of whom we have brought together for the very, very first time. If you look at the numbers, if you look at what's happened with Hispanic, with African-American, with Asian, and just look at what's happening.

This is a party that has become much bigger, much stronger, much more powerful, can do much more good for our country. This is a job for grandmothers and construction workers, firefighters, builders, teachers, doctors and farmers who cannot stay quiet any longer. You can't stay quiet any longer. You're angry about what's happening to our country. Our country is being destroyed before your very eyes.

It's a job for every aspiring young person and every hard-working parent, for every entrepreneur and underappreciated police officer who is ready to shout for safety in America. The police are being treated so badly. These are great people.


They can straighten out the crime. They're the ones that know how to do it. We have to give them back their respect and their dignity.


TRUMP: This will not be my campaign. This will be our campaign, all together.


TRUMP: Because the only force strong enough to defeat the massive corruption we're up against is you, the American people. It's true. The American people, the greatest people on earth. We love them all. And we love both sides. We're going to bring people together. We're going to unify people. And it was happening in the previous administration, previous to the previous. And what was bringing them together was success.

Prior to COVID coming in, the people were calling me, that were calling me, you wouldn't believe it, people that were so far left I figured they'd never speak to me and I would never speak to them. But our success was so incredible --

COOPER: We're listening to the former president announcing that he is running for president again, rewriting the history most recently of the midterm elections.

Back with Dana Bash, Kaitlan Collins, Alyssa Farrah Griffin. Joining us as well is CNN presidential historian Tim Naftali.

Dana, any thoughts on what you just heard?

BASH: Well, he certainly tried to heed the warnings of those around him -- well, what they really wanted him to do was not make this announcement right now. But given the fact that he rebuffed that, in terms of the content of the speech tried to stay on policy, tried to remind people of the issues that many of the Republican supporters and some independents believed in and stay away from the grievances.

He didn't actually, you know, talk about what went wrong in 2020. He did no question mislead in a very, very big way about what happened in 2022.

COOPER: Well, he actually intimated that China controlled the election.

BASH: Well, there's that, too. OK. Fair point.

COOPER: That's just (INAUDIBLE).

BASH: Fair point. Thank you. Thank you for that.

COOPER: But clearly he had been told --

BASH: Which by the way nobody has said.

COOPER: Of course. But he'd also been clearly told not to talk about 2020.

BASH: Yes.

COOPER: He adlibbed that part and then sort of said, OK, but I know -- and moved on.

BASH: Yes. And just on -- one of the main reasons why people didn't want him to do this was because of what happened last Tuesday and in the days since then, because so many of the candidates he endorsed did not win, in the primary and then in the general election. He tried to make the point that in the House all of these candidates he endorsed won. The people he's talking about were going to win no matter what because they're in ruby red seats.

The only candidates in crossover districts, in swing districts he supported, lost. Four of them, they all lost. In the Senate, in the governor's races, Kari Lake, Blake Masters, Dr. Oz, Doug Mastriano, and the lists go on and on and on and on and on. That's the reality.

COLLINS: I want to note two things. One, there's a split screen moment where Biden is talking about what is happening in Poland. You can't really ignore that happening moments before Trump came out. Biden tweeted from his account about Trump being a failure while in office as this speech was happening. What stood out to me about Trump is, you know, he didn't really go into depth about the 2020 election but it's looming over all of this.

As he was trying to fight to stay in power caused this deadly riot that happened at the Capitol that day. I think a lot of this is driven by the investigations that are facing him. I think that has to do potentially with the timing based on the conversations that he's had. A lot of those investigations related to his fight to stay in power.

It stood out to me he brought up the Kim Jong-un letter while he was there. He is under investigation in part for how he handled the Kim Jong-un letter among other things that he took with him to Mar-a-Lago when he left office.

BASH: Which is where he's giving the speech.

COLLINS: And I'll just say, I've heard from multiple people in Trump's orbit that have texted me during those remarks saying it was a very different tone and kind of energy, a lot lower energy than it is when he announced and came down the escalator in 2016.

COOPER: Alyssa?

GRIFFIN: Well, and what you can't -- we're obviously still focused on the midterms because they're technically still underway and votes are still being counted. But you can't eliminate from this 2020. This is a man who after losing the election tried to overthrow the government, tried to disenfranchise 80 million voters and then incited an insurrection at the Capitol. We can't forget this is a man that in estimation is wholly unfit to ever be in office again.

And while he's trying to do, this started as like, again, sort of professional. He was sort of on script at first but then just interspersing it with just outright lies. Dabbling into conspiracy that maybe China had something to do with the midterms. Something I haven't even seen in the dark corners of the internet. Nobody in the Republican Party, no credible person in the Republican Party wanted this announcement today, but this is going to get legs.


We are going to be covering him for the next two years. And again there's a non-zero chance he could be president again.

COOPER: Tim Naftali?

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: This was teleprompter Trump. Never been the most powerful or effective spokesperson. This was Donald Trump channeling Jeb Bush. Very low energy. Very unusual presentation from Donald Trump. It surprised me. It surprised me that given the amount of time he'd been thinking about this, that this was the best product he could put out.

I listened to him in the campaign in Pennsylvania. He was full of energy. He was teasing the fact that he was going to announce. You could sense that he wanted to do it. Where was that person tonight? Something has happened. I have a feeling just watching him that the midterm is depressing him tremendously. And the fact that he said he didn't -- he told everyone you don't need to win by 40 seats, you only need to win by two, that's not true.

By the way, it wouldn't be the first time that he didn't tell the truth. But the fact of the matter is on the stump he was talking about an historic victory for Republicans. So this was a very odd presentation from somebody who wants to do something that has rarely been done in presidential history.

COOPER: In terms of presidential history, though, I mean, it has rarely been done. I mean, it's what --

NAFTALI: Well --

COOPER: Hoover -- to run non-consecutively.

NAFTALI: OK. All right. The only one, the only one who ever ran on a major party ticket again after having lost was Grover Cleveland, and he won. But in that era --

COOPER: It was 1890s.

NAFTALI: Yes, it was 1892 that he won. But in that era former presidents said nothing during midterms. He said nothing during the midterm of 1890. So we have actually no historical example of a former president who's planning to run again participating in a midterm. And for Trump his problem was midterms are supposed to catapult you forward. They're supposed to give you energy and repair or embolden your brand.

These midterms really hurt him. And so, yes, he's a candidate. Yes, he's going to be a major force. But I don't think he enters into this race as formidable for fellow Republicans.

BASH: Can I just add one thing to that? When you look at history, there is no precedent for this kind of candidate, this kind of candidacy, given what happened after the 2020 election.


BASH: There's no precedent for it. Because what we saw was a president actively undermining democracy. What we have seen since then is him continue to do that. And what we saw last Tuesday was a repudiation of that election denialism. And here he is trying to run again. There is absolutely no precedent nor -- you know, nor should there be.

GRIFFIN: Well, and this isn't the speech he wanted to be giving. He's always his own worst enemy. So he boxed himself into announcing, as Kaitlan mentioned. He wanted to do it in Ohio about a week ago and was talked out of announcing. So I think he thought he was going to be doing this in a much more celebratory environment where Republicans swept and we had the red wave. But that didn't happen.

And now he would have looked incredibly weak had he not come out. I would agree, though, that this was a very low-energy speech. I've been at more rallies with him than I'd like to count, and it didn't have that same sort of energy and like I'm the guy kind of thing that his followers look for. I don't know that this gives him any major boom right now. But he is in right now and Republicans who are considering winning -- running are thinking, is it worth getting in or just waiting it out? Especially younger people, by the way, like Ron DeSantis.

COOPER: Especially in a primary where there may be a number of candidates.

COLLINS: There's expected to be a number of candidates, though. The one candidate we're watching is Biden himself. If this drives Biden to run for re-election. Because that has been the big takeaway coming from the midterms is you've seen Democrats who were keeping Biden at arm's length now saying, oh, I think he should run in 2024. They feel more emboldened.

Biden putting out this video that they had prepared for this announcement tonight talking about Trump failing America seems to be a signal as they've been prepared behind the scenes at the White House for Biden to run against Trump.

GRIFFIN: And just one other kind of backdrop of this we have to mention is of course the Fulton County investigation is ongoing. Some prominent figures from the Trump White House and associates of his are expected to testify there. He's obviously under federal investigation. He's living in fear of the Department of Justice. And just this week it was reported that he likely engaged in using the IRS to target his political opponents. This is a weakened man that's being surrounded at all corners, so he feels like he has to.

COLLINS: The investigations are driving a big part of this I think. I think that is not something to be missed today.

BASH: And the moment he filed the RNC, which had been paying a lot of his legal bills, stopped. They can no longer help him pay his legal fees.

GRIFFIN: Well, luckily he didn't spend a lot in the midterms so he's got a pretty decent war chest to spend on himself.

NAFTALI: But it's clear in the way he acted tonight that he is not 100 percent engaged.


This is a Trump -- this is a Trump we haven't really seen very much of. This reminded me of the Trump who gave the speech after Charlottesville that he didn't want to give. Almost being dragged to do it. Now of course he wanted to give a speech but not this speech and not at this time. It's a very unusual moment. And I think he's much less formidable. Much less formidable. We'll see what happens with the Republicans. What Pence says tomorrow, for example, and others. Do they start to run against him?

COOPER: The other calculus of course is Ron DeSantis watching this, you know, what does Ron DeSantis decide to do.

COLLINS: He's easing into this. I mean, you saw him today. He came out and he had not responded yet to the heavy Trump criticism of him. Trump has been putting out polls at this rallies for other Senate candidates might do, showing how he fares against Pence, against DeSantis, against these other potential candidates. DeSantis has kind of held off and I think he was thinking about how to approach this.

Today when he was asked about the Trump criticism, he made some comments and he said, look at the scoreboard from Tuesday night. To Maggie's point earlier, we don't know that Ron DeSantis is going to be the front of the Republican Party. He is not nationally tested yet but he did obviously handily win. He flipped Miami-Dade County, he defeated Charlie Crist, and he seems to be easing into the Trump aspect of this.

And of course Pence, his book comes out today, I believe. He's doing a town hall with CNN tomorrow. He's another 2024 hopeful. So.

COOPER: It's no secret during his administration the former president lied a lot. Like a lot. With that in mind, let's bring in CNN fact- checker Daniel Dale to look at his remarks tonight.

Daniel, what stood out to you?

DANIEL DALE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, that was more accurate because he was indeed on teleprompter, than much of what you'll hear from him at rallies. But it was still less accurate than anything you'll hear from basically anyone else in politics. Just wildly incorrect claims. The claim that ISIS was defeated in three weeks. That he went decades without a war. That no previous president had taken in one dollar from China. These claims are not even close to true.

Then there was a general narrative about the economy under him. He can say whatever he wants about the pre-pandemic economy but he suggested that the economy was thriving two years ago when he left office. Look, he left office with the unemployment rate about double what it is today. So the idea that the Biden administration did not have to do anything and everything would have been hunky-dory is just absurd as well.

COOPER: There's a couple I know other moments that stood out to you. I want to play one now. Let's listen.


TRUMP: The Green New Deal and the environment which they say may affect us in 300 years is all that is talked about, and yet nuclear weapons, which would destroy the world immediately, are never even discussed as a major threat. Can you imagine? They say the ocean will rise 1/8 of an inch over the next 200 to 300 years.


DALE: Anderson, Trump was inaccurate here about climate change both specifically and generally. This specific claim he said unnamed people said the oceans will rise an eighth of an inch over the next 200 or 300 years. That is totally wrong. In reality the U.S. government's National Ocean Service says this. They say sea level along the U.S. coastline is projected to rise on average 10 to 12 inches in the next 30 years, which will be as much as the rise measured over the last 100 years.

But Trump also generally suggested climate change might only affect us in some general way in 300 years. That also is not true. It's affecting us now as we know in a whole variety of serious ways. And that's not some radical left-wing view. Here's what the Pentagon, the military, said in a report last year. They said increasing temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more frequent, intense and unpredictable extreme weather conditions caused by climate change are exacerbating existing risk and creating new security challenges for U.S. interests.

And finally, Anderson, nobody is not paying attention to nuclear issues because they're focused on climate change. That's not a real choice. Again, that's absurd.

COOPER: I know there's another moment that jumped out at you. I want to play.


TRUMP: Gas prices have reached the highest levels in history, and expect them to go much higher now that the Strategic National Reserves, which I filled up, have been virtually drained in order to keep gasoline prices lower just prior to the election.


DALE: Now, I'll leave aside this claim about the motivation for Biden's release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But it is not true, Anderson, that President Trump filled it up. In fact, if you go to the U.S. Energy Information Administration Web site and look at the actual data, the reserve had fewer barrels of oil when Trump left office than when he took office.

Now, he did propose at one point in his administration that the reserve be filled up with tens of millions more barrels, but he never secured the funding for it from Congress. It never happened. And although Biden has indeed released a bunch of oil to help keep oil and gas prices down, it is not virtually depleted. It's not empty as he claimed in a rally in November. It is still the world's largest strategic reserve of petroleum.


COOPER: Daniel Dale, appreciate it. Fact checking. Thank you. Thanks as well to the panel, Dana Bash, Kaitlan Collins, Alyssa Farah Griffin and Tim Naftali.

Reaction next from Mick Mulvaney, acting chief of staff in the previous administration. Later a live report as President Biden and NATO allies grapple with how to respond to the deadly explosion apparently from a missile across the border in Poland.


COOPER: Moments ago the former president of the United States became the first Republican to declare his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, saying America's comeback starts right now. A historic moment in politics that comes despite multiple federal and state investigations, two impeachments, inspiring the January 6th rioters in an attempted coup and criticism over his role in Republicans' underwhelming performance in the midterms.

I'm joined now by Mick Mulvaney, who served as acting chief of staff for the former president, previously was a Republican member of Congress from South Carolina.

Mr. Mulvaney, I appreciate you being with us. I'm wondering what you thought of the president's announcement.


MICK MULVANEY, FORMER ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes, well, I think it's still going on. I stepped away to do this interview.

What struck me, Anderson, was that he stayed on script almost the entire time. Even when you folks broke off, I was watching on CNN, I went to go watch it online. He stayed on script for almost 45 minutes.

COOPER: He was ad-libbing -- I mean, he was ad-libbing even when we were on him. Don't you think?

MULVANEY: Yes, little bits and pieces. But he hadn't gotten into the part that I wanted to see, which is, was he going to speak about Ron DeSantis, was he going to speak about Glenn Youngkin, all of his potential challengers? My guess is the speech probably goes on for a while now. But that was what sort of struck me.

Trump doesn't like to stay on script. OK. He likes to have a script. What he does is he'll start on script and leave and talk about what he really wants to talk about and then come back to the script and then leave and then come back. And I didn't really see that tonight. And that's a difference.

The only time I've seen that out of him, Anderson, was a couple times at the State of the Union and in the United Nations General Assembly. So he was clearly taking this thing very seriously tonight. I just don't know if he's got the discipline to continue to do that as he moves forward.

COOPER: Does he have -- I mean, who does he have around him that's actually got a lot of experience? How do you think he's going to run?

MULVANEY: Yes, I mean, Jason Miller is there. I guess Stephen Miller is probably there. Steve Bannon is always sort of around. So I mean, it's sort of a mishmash, right? And then there are some new folks. The real question is, is the team that is with him tonight going to be the team that is with him three months from now or six months from now or a year from now? Probably not. By the way, that wouldn't be the only campaign that goes through

changes during the course of a long campaign. But certainly Trump more than many perhaps is probably interested in changing people as he goes. So the A-team is probably gone by now. It really is. The folks that helped him get in 2016, most of those folks are gone. So I don't know who the inner circle is. I don't know who's advising him.

But clearly he decided himself tonight that he was going to stick to the script. And that's a major change in the way that Donald Trump makes these sorts of announcements.

COOPER: Certainly what we have been hearing from a lot of Republicans, even the reporters we had who talked to people in the Trump camp, there weren't many people who felt he should announce right now. Do you think it was wise for him to do this?

MULVANEY: I don't think he had a choice. In his mind he didn't have a choice. Remember, he announced this, Anderson, before last Tuesday's midterms. I think it was Sunday or Monday before the midterms. So in his mind he had to do it tonight. He had committed to that. Trump doesn't reschedule. He would have perceived that as weakness if he didn't do it tonight.

Do I think it was a good idea? No. It certainly -- it has some advantages to him. Certainly when it comes to the DOJ investigation maybe he makes it look like it's more political. But I don't think that really changes many people's minds. He loses the RNC money that he's been receiving for his state lawsuits up in New York. So there's a negative there. But do I think he needed to do it tonight? No. But once he committed to doing it last week he didn't really have any choice in his own mind.

COOPER: Do you think this is good for the Republican Party?

MULVANEY: No. I don't. Because I think he's the only Republican who could lose. If he wins in 2024, now he's the candidate, he is the likely Republican nominee. Can he be beaten head to head by Ron DeSantis or Tim Scott? Sure. But it's not going to be a head-to-head race. There'll be five or six other people in the race and he'll get the 35 percent that really support him and under the winner-take-all primary system he'll be the nominee.

But that means the 2024 race is not about Joe Biden or whatever Democrat is on the ticket, not about inflation, not about world events, not about abortion. It will be about Donald Trump, the same thing we saw in 2020. No one voted for Joe Biden. Everybody voted for or against Donald Trump. It was a referendum on him. And that's what we're hurtling toward in 2024. And I don't see the outcome being any different two years from now than it was two years ago.

COOPER: I'm not sure it's true that nobody voted for Joe Biden. But the Republicans that we have seen --


COOPER: The Republicans we have seen who have been backing away from the former president just in the last couple of days since the midterms, do you believe that once again they will stop backing away and pledge loyalty?

MULVANEY: I think a lot of the folks that have backed away are folks that either were never with him in the first place or only very marginally with him. There was some folks made a big deal today about the Club for Growth coming out as supporting Ron DeSantis. Club for Growth was never with Donald Trump in the first place. They did it because it helped them raise money.

So what will change is when there's more folks like me, more folks who are 100 percent Trump, worked for him, really believed in what we're doing and now sit back and say you know what, I don't think he's the best candidate we have as a Republican. There's not that many of us out there yet. Keep an eye out for those sorts of folks.

Liz Cheney was always going to be against this. You know, Larry Hogan was always going to be against Donald Trump running. That doesn't make a difference. It doesn't move the needle. The question is, where were the folks who were with him in 2016 and with him in 2020 who are now saying you know what, it's time for generational change, it's time for the next wave of Republican leadership, and Donald Trump is not the best that we have in this party?


COOPER: Mick Mulvaney, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

MULVANEY: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: We're also closely following the breaking developments overseas. President Biden giving remarks a short while ago on the missile strike in Poland. This put the NATO alliance on alert. We're live there next.


COOPER: There's some new reporting on the missile that killed two in Poland near the border with Ukraine. A NATO official telling CNN an alliance aircraft flying above Polish airspace tracked it. According to an official now intel with the radar tracks the missiles was provided to NATO and Poland. The official did not disclose where the missile was fired from or who fired it.

Here's what President Biden said on the subject tonight at the G20 Summit in Bali.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And make sure we figure out exactly what happened. It's unlikely in the minds of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia. But we'll see.


COOPER: With that, let's go back to CNN's Phil Mattingly in Bali. Phil, any more you can tell us?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, the importance of that moment from the president is it gives a window into what we've been hearing from U.S. officials over the course of the last several hours. And it has been several hours, where they've been deeply engaged, trying to figure out the origin of the missile and who actually launched the missile that landed in Poland.

And then the president making very clear there that while he was not willing to make a definitive statement, that he did not believe it came from Russia, underscoring the reluctance to come out and say explicitly where exactly it came from.


That NATO information you were just relaying tracks from what we're hearing from U.S. officials, in the sense that they have a very good idea from their intelligence operations and the consultations they've had with allies about the general trajectory of things. And while they are not willing to lay down exactly what happened here, you get the sense that they are not willing to pin this on a specific country.

And part of the reason is because of the stakes here. Obviously, Poland is a NATO ally. Any intentional attack would likely trigger Article Five of the Collective Defense Treaty that all 30 NATO members have signed on to. That would be a major, dramatic high stakes escalation here. And that's why you're seeing the caution and you've also seen a very methodical process, not just on the U.S. side, but also the NATO side and other allies -- Anderson.

COOPER: Polish officials have said they're considering invoking Article Four of the NATO treaty. Can you talk about that?

MATTINGLY: Yes, there is always the focus on Article Five for a very good reason, given what that would actually entail. Article Four is an official consultation process. Any NATO member can bring that -- for any concerns about security, particularly in relation to their territorial integrity, and basically start a consultation with other NATO members.

Now it's worth noting, the president spoke to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier this morning. Stoltenberg called an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors. That's expected to happen on Wednesday. This is part of a process, one that will play out, we'll see, what Poland decides to do. But it's very clear they are going to work through NATO and work through that process as they figure the next steps and as world leaders continue to get a better idea about the intelligence they have -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Phil Mattingly, appreciate it.

The news continues with "CNN TONIGHT" with Laura Coates starts after a quick break.