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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
One Era Ends, A New One Begins; Interview With Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA); Interview With Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA); White House Prepares For Wave Of House Investigations; Federal, State Investigations Now Facing Trump As He Runs For President; New Audio Highlights Actions Of Texas Dept. Of Safety During Mass Shooting; Coroner Confirms Four University Of Idaho Students Were Stabbed To Death. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 17, 2022 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: I hope everyone will watch. Thanks so much for joining us. AC 360 starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
The end of one era in Washington and with our first hint of what the new one might look like, the first part is the end of an era defined by one of the most consequential leaders in the history of Congress. Agree with her politics or not, few Speakers of the House were as good at their job as Nancy Pelosi and none can make the history that she made 15 years ago when she became the first woman to hold the gavel.
Today after two terms as Speaker during which even her opponents acknowledge her accomplishments in getting major legislations passed and with Republicans set to control Congress, she turned the page and closed the book.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Scripture teaches us that for everything, there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. My friends, no matter what title, you all my colleagues have bestowed upon me, Speaker, Leader, Whip, there is no greater official honor for me than to stand on this floor and to speak for the people of San Francisco. This, I will continue to do as a Member of the House speaking for the people of San Francisco, serving the Great State of California and defending our Constitution.
And with great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Congressman Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn also announced their departures from the leadership with New York's Hakeem Jeffries seen as Speaker Pelosi's likely successor to lead a Democratic Minority along with Katherine Clark, and Pete Aguilar in the other top spots. On the Republican side, current Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is set
to become Speaker is running into opposition from his party's right wing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What are the chances of McCarthy as Speaker?
REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): He didn't have the votes.
REPORTER: Are you absolutely a no on January 3rd for Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker?
BIGGS: He doesn't have the votes.
REPORTER: Will he have your vote?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The Republican Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan, they had trouble with the far right, so this kind of dissension could be a sign of things to come. But one thing at least is certain because House Republicans said so openly today, they are committed to wide ranging investigations to the Biden administration, Cabinet members, the Justice Department, the President's son, Hunter, and the President himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): We're focused on -- you saw our report, well, maybe you didn't, I hope you take time to read it -- we're focused on how political our Justice Department has become. It is not a question of if they are political, if they. They are making decisions on a political basis, we're going to look at all of that.
REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): The more you look into Hunter Biden, the more bad things pop up. One thing that I've learned from talking to a lot of you off the thing here is that I don't think a lot of people realize the evidence that's already out there, pertaining to Hunter Biden, and I don't think anybody realized that Joe Biden is in fact involved in a lot of these. He was in fact involved in a lot of these.
So the goal for this press conference is to show you, number one, this is an investigation of Joe Biden.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Republicans also campaigned this year on inflation and gas prices, crime, and the border, something to remember for the months ahead.
There's a lot to get to in this hour. I want to check in with CNN's Manu Raju on Capitol Hill -- Manu.
RAJU: Hey, Anderson. Yes, this announcement by the Speaker was widely anticipated by
Democrats and Republicans even though she had kept her cards close to her vest, not saying exactly what she would do.
This is something that she had promised several years ago, the end of 2022 would be her last time atop the Democratic Caucus. She needed to do that to secure the votes to get the speakership. But she never formally shut the door, which is why today's announcement led to some drama and some anticipation of this long awaited move, setting up a leader of succession behind her.
So Democrats today were reacting to her historic nature atop her conference, not just barrier breaking, but also pushing through legislation like the Affordable Care Act, going toe-to-toe with George W. Bush over the Iraq War, pushing through two impeachments of Donald Trump, dealing with and surviving the January 6th insurrection and the attack on her office.
But there's also a sense, Anderson, among some Democrats, that there was some anticipation and hope that there will be a generational change and essentially, this is the time for her, the right time for her to step aside.
There was significant amount of angst among Democrats eager for the torch to be passed, so happy that she had made the decision at the right time; Republicans on their side satisfaction that she is leaving. She is someone of course they have campaigned against for years and years and years and someone who they had vilified on the campaign trail as well.
In the House chamber today when she made her announcement, it was mostly Democrats in the room, some Republicans, one Republican who was not there, Anderson, Kevin McCarthy, the man who wants to be the next Speaker.
COOPER: What does the political landscape on Capitol Hill look like for this new generation of House Democratic leaders?
RAJU: Well, right now it appears that for the trio that is likely to succeed the trio that is outgoing, that is Hakeem Jeffries, Katherine Clark, and Pete Aguilar the one, two, and three in the Democratic Caucus appear to have a smooth transition at the moment to become -- to ascend in the Democratic hierarchy unless something changes in the next week and a half.
But after that, they will be the minority party in the House. They will be going up against of narrow House Republican majority, and Anderson, we are heading into a period of intense legislative gridlock, it is going to be very difficult to see any major accomplishments, any legislation really get through given the fact of the makeup, a narrow Democratic Senate, a Democrat in the White House and significantly different priorities on both sides of the aisle.
But there are some major issues that they will have to deal with in the new Congress. They'll have to raise the national debt limit to avoid a debt default. They will also have to fund the government, something that it always is a tricky issue, and already we're hearing talk among some Republicans of using those issues as leverage to try to force their way to get issues through on immigration, other issues and the like, and expect major battles to happen, a potential significant gridlock as both sides are preparing for the next two years here -- Anderson.
COOPER: Manu Raju, appreciate it. Thank you.
Joining us now, two California House members, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who presided over Speaker Pelosi's remarks today and Congressman Eric Swalwell.
Congresswoman Eshoo, appreciate you joining us.
Speaker Pelosi and you have been very close friends for decades. I believe you're the godmother of two of her grandchildren. You officiated her daughter's wedding. Can you just talk about the significance of this moment as both her friend and colleague?
REP. ANNA ESHOO (R-CA): Well, today was a day of appreciating the history that Nancy Pelosi has made.
She has an unmatched record of leading the House of Representatives as Speaker. No Speaker in the history of the country amassed the record that she has done so, you know the pride of our caucus in our Speaker, the achievements, the history that she has made, the role model that she is for so many girls and young women, and the role that she has played on the international stage where leaders of other nations have a deep, deep respect and regard for her, her intellect, and her leadership.
So it's a bittersweet day. We celebrate her and all of the accomplishments to make our country stronger and better. It's hard to see your step down. But we know what she said in Ecclesiastes, there's a season for everything.
ESHOO: And so a new team will come in and we will welcome them and work with them. I don't think we'll ever see the likes of her again.
COOPER: Yes. Congressman Swalwell, you brought your daughter to listen to the speech today. I understand you also brought her to Speaker Pelosi getting sworn in as Speaker for the second time when she was only two months old.
What do you think Speaker Pelosi represents for a little girl like your daughter? Why did you want your daughter to be there?
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Anderson, I wanted my daughter to be on the floor when Speaker Pelosi was sworn in for the second time and also today for her farewell remarks because she represents my daughter, all of the little girls who have many more opportunities in their future because people like Nancy Pelosi served and have paved the way for her.
And Anna and Speaker Pelosi have gone to great lengths also to enable the next generation, and I think the fact that there are three younger leaders who are ready to step up right now is a testament to Nancy Pelosi because I've benefited from her mentorship, and those three leaders, the fact that they're probably going to be uncontested certainly benefited from her mentorship.
So yes, she was fierce in the way she led our caucus, you know, historic in the legislation she passed. But I think an unwritten story is how many young leaders that she has reached out to and mentored along the way and that's going to bear a lot of fruit in the future for our country.
COOPER: Congresswoman Eshoo, Speaker Pelosi spoke today about how much has changed over the decades that she served in terms of women in leadership roles. I just want to play part of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: When I came to the Congress in 1987, there were 12 Democratic women. Now, there are over 90, and we want more.
When I entered leadership in 2002, there were eight of us. Today, there are 17 members of the leadership.
When I first came to the floor at six years old, never would have thought that someday I would go from homemaker to House Speaker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Congresswoman Eshoo, what do you think the next two years looks like for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, not being in a leadership position? I mean, yet with all the wisdom that she has accrued, what is her role going to be?
ESHOO: Well, I think I would rather concentrate on being a helper to our new leadership, she certainly will. And it would be very smart of them, to what seek her wisdom, have some good dinners together, and pick her brain.
But I think it's up to the rest of us to help this team to not only lead, but to grow. These are serious jobs. These are serious jobs.
The words that we write and pass into law walk into people's lives. So, this is not just some inner circle, who the members of the club are. This is the Congress of the United States. And if there's anything that Nancy taught us, kept saying over and over again is, we are here to protect and defend, and in a democracy, we're called to produce for the people of the country to make their lives better.
So, this is a serious job and I think that we owe it to the new leadership that is coming in to give our best, you know, shoulder to shoulder. And I think for a lot of our new members, they've never served in the minority, and I have, but they haven't. So this is going to be a real lesson for them.
COOPER: Yes, Congressman Swalwell, do you think that it is -- I mean, what do you think the next two years looks like for Democrats in Congress, not just with Nancy Pelosi no longer in a leadership position, but obviously, no longer in the majority?
SWALWELL: Certainly, as a Speaker Emeritus, whose wisdom we'll all benefit from, but we've never been more united, Anderson. And, you know, the voters rejected the vile, violent rhetoric of extremism that we've seen from the Republican Party. And so you're going to see us ready to deliver votes that keep the government open, deliver votes that pay America's bills and extend the debt ceiling and continue to fund the effort in Ukraine.
Nancy Pelosi has led with a three or four vote margin and you never would have known it was so tight. Kevin McCarthy had never demonstrated the ability to do that. So, he is going to need a unified Democratic caucus to deliver on those priorities for the American people and we will stand ready to do that.
COOPER: Congressman Swalwell, Congresswoman Eshoo, I appreciate it. Thank you.
Next, more on the next two years and the investigations the Republicans are promising of President Biden and his family, specifically how their allegations today square with facts.
Later, yet more evidence that suggest that law enforcement, in this case, the State's top agency in Texas was informed that children at Robb Elementary were trapped with a still active shooter, yet did not follow their own training and take immediate action to save those kids. New information tonight ahead.
COOPER: We're talking tonight about the plans Republican lawmakers have to investigate President Biden when they take control of the House. To be clear, they're explicit about specifically targeting the President.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): Committee Republicans have spoken with multiple whistleblowers from numerous schemes involving the Biden family, reviewed Hunter Biden's laptop, and received documents of previously unknown transactions.
What we found are business plans aimed at targets around the world based on influence peddling, including with people closely tied to foreign governments, like China and Russia.
We also found plans made to the United States where the Biden family swindled investors of hundreds of thousands of dollars, all with Joe Biden's participation and knowledge. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Congressman Comer and Congressman Jim Jordan made a lot of allegations at their press conference today. The question is what are the facts? What do we actually know at this stage?
CNN's Evan Perez joins us now along with CNN chief national affairs analyst, Kasie Hunt.
So Evan, you just heard with the House Republicans had said they found on Hunter Biden's laptop, as well as from other sources. You reported on Hunter Biden's business activities extensively.
When it comes to these allegations of influence peddling, fraud, specifically China and Russia, what are the facts?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the facts are Anderson that Hunter Biden did try to set up a deal with a Chinese energy company and that that investment plan ended up not happening, but there is a lot of questions that the Republicans are raising. They say they want bank records to try to look at where that money went. They want to see who might have benefited from those investments. And whether anybody actually got swindled, which is one of the allegations that they're making.
And most of all, they want to know whether that compromised the current President, obviously President Biden, and the relationship with China. Now, there is no evidence that they've presented so far that shows any of that, whether that has affected policy or anything like that.
But the fact is that Hunter Biden did try to set up this just business in China, and we don't know -- there is a lot of it we don't know. We know that the Justice Department has investigated some of this, including whether Hunter Biden violated any tax laws, whether he violated any lobbying laws.
But you know, there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered, and so far the Republicans really have not presented any evidence to support the idea that there was anything that affected public policy, certainly from the current administration.
COOPER: Kasie, how eager are more moderate Republicans especially ones who just got elected, you know promising to find solutions on the economy and crime to have these investigations?
KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes, it is a really interesting question, Anderson, especially because those moderate members, if they are able to find a way to stick together, as they get started in Congress could potentially have a pretty influential voice within the Republican conference.
And I think the answer is, for them, the incentives are to try and demonstrate that they are actually doing things for the country. I mean, the central argument that Republicans were making in the Midterm Elections, is that they would do a better job handling policy issues that they think Americans care about -- crime, immigration, other things along those lines. And quite frankly, these investigations do not actually accomplish that goal.
Now, I think, you know, political culture has changed over the course of the last decade in a dramatic way under Donald Trump, and there does seem to be sort of a higher tolerance for some of these exercises that are seen as political.
I mean, it's become like extraordinarily tribal from a political perspective. I do think, to Evan's point, and I think, you know, what I certainly am looking forward to learning from his and our other colleagues reporting is whether Republicans can prove that last assertion that Congressman Comer made in that press conference, where he said and Joe Biden knew about it and had influence over it, because that's the piece that, you know, extensive reporting has not been able to show.
You know, it's obviously true that Hunter Biden has come in for some serious scrutiny over his actions, but whether they can connect that back to the President is a big question both from a reporting perspective, but also from a political perspective, because they do run the risk of seeming to go too far, attacking his family.
I mean, the Biden folks have been -- they've noted that there has been a lot of criticism of, for example, of Hunter's drug use. People have tried to tie that into here. You know, there are a lot of Americans out there who have someone in their family who has gone through something similar to what the President, as a father, has gone through with his son in terms of those issues.
COOPER: Evan, now, you reported in October that Federal prosecutors believe they could charge Hunter Biden with tax crimes and making a false statement, but have not yet made a decision on whether to proceed. Are they -- any closer to a decision do we know, and how could that investigation play into these potential hearings?
PEREZ: Well, look, one of the things that the Republicans are hoping for is that they will find, Anderson, more information, certainly from the request they are making of the Treasury Department, of the administration, that could at least shed more light into whatever the FBI has been looking at. And if the FBI ends up -- and if the Justice Department ends up not charging anything related to some of these business activities, then they will obviously make that a political issue for the sitting President should he run in 2024.
But here's the deal. You know, right now, what we know, Anderson is that this is an investigation, certainly, the charges -- potential charges are centering more around his tax issues, perhaps something related to buying a gun when he was a drug addict, when he should not have been able to buy a gun, those are the things that have been the focus.
There has been some debate inside the Justice Department. Certainly, I think some investigators and at least some of the Prosecutors believe that there is enough evidence to charge. The final decision lies with David Weiss, who is a Trump appointed US attorney who was kept on to oversee this investigation.
We believe you know, that decision could come at any time, obviously, given the fact that the elections are past us. So, we are now waiting for that. And certainly, Anderson, if you see that these charges don't have anything to do with this, you can expect that the Republicans are going to still try to pursue this investigation.
COOPER: Yes, Evan Perez, Kasie Hunt, I appreciate it.
Coming up, with Donald Trump now officially running for presidency and CNN's Paula Reid has a rundown on the ongoing investigations that face him, ahead.
COOPER: More testimony today from the onetime chief financial officer of the former President's family business. It's a civil case focused on allegations of tax fraud. It also highlights a significant problem for the former President and his new bid for the presidency, namely the sheer number of Federal and State level investigations circling him.
There has been reporting that the former President may hope his candidacy helps muddy so in these investigations, CNN senior legal affairs correspondent, Paula Reid has a rundown of the legal hurdles he is now facing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm a victim, I will tell you. I'm a victim. Think of it.
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As he announced another run for the White House, former President Trump said he feels aggrieved by the multiple criminal investigations he faces, including in Georgia, where former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified Wednesday before a special grand jury hearing evidence about efforts by Trump and his associates to overturn the State's 2020 election results.
TRUMP: We want all votes counted by Election Night.
REID (voice over): And two of Trump's closest allies, Senator Lindsey Graham and former Trump National Security Adviser, Mike Flynn are also expected to testify soon.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I don't see anything to prosecute him over.
REID (voice over): On Tuesday, Georgia's Governor Brian Kemp appeared. GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): The truth is ensuring the integrity of the
ballot box isn't partisan. It is about protecting the very foundation of who we are.
REID (voice over): Kemp is a central witness to the criminal investigation being run by Fulton County District Attorney, Fani Willis.
FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We are going to look at everything until that investigation is complete.
REID (voice over): The Georgia probe was prompted by an hour long January 2021 call from Trump pressing Georgia officials to find the votes to help him win.
TRUMP (via phone): I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more that we have.
REID (voice over): In New York, the Trump Organization is on trial for alleged tax fraud. Longtime executive Allen Weisselberg taking the stand this week as the prosecution's star witness, while Trump has not been charged in the case, it hits close to home, as does a $250 million civil lawsuit from the New York Attorney General alleging financial fraud by Trump, his company and some of his children.
In Washington, Trump faces two parallel investigations into his role on the attack in the Capitol. The House committee investigating January 6 subpoenaed him in October for documents and testimony.
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): We are obligated to seek answers directly from the man who set this all in motion.
REID (voice-over): Trump is not expected to appear before lawmakers he sued to block that subpoena. And the committee's work wraps up at the end of the year. But the Justice Department is also investigating his role in the attack. A grand jury in DC has heard from witnesses including Trump's former White House counsel and the former president's legal exposure expanded in August, when the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago residence and recovered documents, including some marked classified that were taken from the White House.
DONALD TRUMP (R) FMR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: They should give me immediately back everything that they've taken from because it's mine. It's mine.
REID (voice-over): Prosecutors are looking at whether Trump mishandled national secrets, or try to obstruct the investigation. Attorney General Merrick Garland has insisted his investigations are being conducted free from political influence.
MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: No person is above the law in this country. Nothing stops us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even a former president -- GARLAND: No -- I don't know how to say that, again. No person is above
the law in this country. I can't say any more clearly.
REID: Sources tell CNN the justice officials have considered appointing a special counsel to handle these investigations. Now that Trump has declared the Attorney General will need to decide if that is something he indeed wants to do. But under the regulation, a special counsel would still report to the Attorney General. So, it's unclear if a special counsel would really insulate the Justice Department from political blowback. Anderson.
COOPER: Paula, thanks so much.
Perspective from Tony Schwartz, who was the co-author of the foreign president's 1987 Best Seller Trump The Art of the Deal.
Tony is good to see you. You haven't spoken much about the former president a long time. Why now are you speaking?
TONY SCHWARTZ, CO-AUTHOR, THE ART OF THE DEAL: I guess because the election went so positively that I wanted to be part of the Democrats victory lap in a way. It has been so enjoyable the last week to watch the Republicans fumble and bumble to try to deal with what was such an overwhelming and unexpected loss.
COOPER: I want to play a little bit of his announcement from the closing, which I actually didn't see, because we didn't take the -- once he announced we stopped covering it. But there's he uses the word choice here. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I am asking for your support. And I am asking for your friendship and your prayers, this very incredible, but dangerous journey. If our movement remains united and confident that we will shatter the forces of tyranny, and we will unleash the glories of liberty for ourselves and for our children. And for generations yet to come. America's Golden Age is just ahead. And together, we will make America powerful again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Yes, what did you make of his announcement?
SCHWARTZ: It seemed like he was half asleep. And I think the reason was because he's working off a teleprompter. And he reads poorly. And he kind of loses interest. And I think what happened is he just kind of got caught in a soporific stupor, and felt like he was barely there.
COOPER: You know, there has been much debate about how much of it is he running in order to, you know, a just be in the game again, and irrelevant and have you know, remain a central power and be able to raise money and how much of it is he wants to be president and how much is fear of investigations and thinking this is helps him, you know, stop them or muddy the waters or fight back against them?
SCHWARTZ: Well, I think all of those are factors. But I think the number one factor for Donald Trump is, if I'm not a winner, I'm a loser. And all I have done in the last several years is lose. And I barely believe I exist when I lose. And so, I think it's a grasp back at identity on his part.
COOPER: He does talk about people who are nobodies. And that that seems to him to be the worst possible thing.
SCHWARTZ: You know, it reminds me of a conversation we had back in 2016 about projection. So, when he calls people nobodies, he's projecting onto them what he feels about himself. And there is nothing deeper, more deeply true about Donald Trump than that he feels he's worthless. He doesn't even necessarily have a consciousness about it. But He has internal defense system that is raging and fighting against that awful feeling all the time.
COOPER: Did you see that when you were working with him on the book? I mean, did you see? Because I mean to ghost write a book is, you know, you have to examine the person and kind of get inside them.
SCHWARTZ: Yes, I remember thinking the phrase black hole was very alive in the period that I was writing that book in my head, that he was somebody who you kind of put stuff into. And it pumped him up very briefly, but there was a leak down there, and the air would leak out of the balloon, so he'd have to fill it up again. And he'd spent 75 years doing that or close to it.
COOPER: Do you think he can stop the grievances and the conspiracy theories and the looking backward? I mean, he could barely do it in this announcement what was on the teleprompter? Do you think he can do it on a campaign? Seems impossible to me?
SCHWARTZ: Well, that's a rhetorical question because you know the answer.
COOPER: Yes, I do.
SCHWARTZ: Not one chance in hell that this man can stop being aggrieved and feeling like a victim. That's the one thing about him that he has said about himself over and over and over again, that is true. He does genuinely feel like a victim. It's pathetic, it's ridiculous, but it's accurate. That's who we he is.
COOPER: It surprises me that he says that out loud because you would think he would not want to be perceived as a victim, but he embraces it.
SCHWARTZ: It's an instinctive to blame, and he needs to do that to keep himself afloat.
COOPER: Yes. Tony Schwartz, it's great to talk to you. Really appreciate it. Thank you. Coming up, CNN has obtained more new audio from the day of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting. It suggested the top law enforcement agency in Texas new children were alive and trapped in the room with the shooter but did not immediately act. This is new information coming out. Stay tuned.
COOPER: CNN has obtained more new audio from the day of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting in Texas, 21 people as you know were murdered that day, including 19 children. Like the audiotape we presented on Monday, suggest that one of the law enforcement agencies that responded that day in this case, the Texas Department of Safety was informed that children were alive and trapped with the shooter. That would contradict previous statements from the agency about not knowing that children were trapped inside with him. It also means that the top law enforcement agency in Texas did not respond in accordance with active shooter protocols
CNN senior crime and justice correspondent Shimon Prokupecz has the full story. We warn you what you're about to watch may be unsettling and hard to see.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Robb Elementary? Oh my God.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): New audio obtained by CNN makes clear the top law enforcement agency in the state of Texas have told of the horrors inside Robb elementary on May 24th as it was happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got shots fired.
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): Despite senior Texas Department of Public Safety or DPS officers claiming they didn't know children were trapped with a gunman. The Uvalde dispatcher relayed that critical information to someone inside DPS. It should have supercharged the DPS response at the scene to take action. That call came at about 12:18 p.m. when a Uvalde police dispatcher hears from someone who identifies herself as being with DPS at the agency's headquarters in Austin.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Uvalde Police Department.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, this is (INAUDIBLE) with DPS in Austin. We have our SWAT and (INAUDIBLE) available to you for an active shooter. Trying to find out where to go and if we have any suspect information.
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): But there are already several DPS officers on scene in Uvalde. The DPS employee says she's trying to help coordinate more tactical teams to the school. She identifies herself only by her first name, and CNN has decided not to reveal it. At the same time. 10-year-old Khloe Torres, a fourth grader trapped inside the room is on the phone with another 911 Dispatch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey hold (INAUDIBLE).
KHLOE TORRES, ROBB ELEMENTARY SHOOTING SURVIVOR: 112, 112, yes ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your name, ma'am.
TORRES: Khloe Torres. Please hurry. There's a lot of dead bodies.
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): The details of Khloe's cry for help from inside the room have already been communicated to the Uvalde Acting Chief. Now they're being relay to this DPS employee.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have several DOAs of students. We have --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you kidding me?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God. OK.
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): We don't know the caller's rank inside DPS or where else she may have communicated the information within her agency. DPS has not responded to CNNs questions about the call and what happened after it was made.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Students barricaded in the classroom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Barricaded in where?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the classrooms, in all the classrooms. We do have an active shooter.
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): If active shooter protocol had been followed, the responding officers should have used any means necessary to breach the door and kill the shooter. Some officers from the Texas DPS were told to stay out of the hallways and remain on the perimeter of the scene. As more and more tactical resources arrived and critical time to save lives went by.
Even the Texas Ranger closest to the classroom was not clued in. Ranger Christopher Ryan Condell, who has been suspended for failing to organize a response that day can be seen offering to negotiate with the shooter in clear contradiction of active shooter protocol.
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): And in an interview with investigators obtained by CNN Joe Betancourt a captain with the Texas Highway Patrol, who can be heard on body camera footage trying to delay a team from entering the classroom because he thought a better SWAT team was on its way, said he didn't know about the children in the room.
JOEL BETANCOURT, DPS CAPTAIN: -- the only thing was being reported was that it was a barricaded subject. You know, there were no shots that had been fired anymore. We didn't know that that there was any children or anybody that was injured in the building like we do now. At that time it was just a person in a room.
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): It's a communications breakdown that potentially delayed urgent action from DPS and left victims alone with an active shooter for even longer. Three of the victims who were shot survived the 77 minutes before help arrived, but later died from their wounds.
Speaking to CNN this week, the mayor of Uvalde renewed his accusations over a cover up inside the Department of Public Safety over the failed response, something the agency has repeatedly denied.
DON MCLAUGHLIN, UVALDE MAYOR: There will not officers, they're not high ranking officers there. And, you know, it just needs to come out, you know, same thing with them. They need to be accountable just like we are. And you're going to have to take your lumps in, if you had people on scene and maybe their career people or maybe they're part of the part of the good old boy system, I don't know. But you're going to have take your lumps like everybody else.
COOPER: And CNN Shimon Prokupecz joins us now. I mean, is there any indication that Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating the call, we just heard what happened after it?
PROKUPECZ: Right. So, there is an internal investigation that's been going on by the Texas Department of Public Safety, but there's also an inspector general investigation, seven of those DPS officers, but we don't really know in terms of this specific situation, whether or not anyone is investigating. I'm not sure that they even understand the significance of this. You know, this is something that we came across from our sources. And certainly, Anderson it stood out to us because it gave us indications that someone at the Department of Public Safety was given this information. What do they do with this information is still unclear?
COOPER: The acting police chief and Uvalde on the day of the shooting resigned today in the wake of your reporting on Monday, you've been talking to people on Uvalde. What's the reaction been like?
PROKUPECZ: So, you know, certainly for family members, they feel they're getting some accountability. The problem is Anderson that's not coming -- it should have come sooner for them, they feel. This information, as a referred as it has to do with this Lieutenant is someone that should -- they should have known this information sooner. And the mayor even says that and therefore he could have taken action sooner. Anderson.
COOPER: So, has he resigned from the police force, and as -- is he's also was elected as a commissioner as he's still a county commissioner? PROKUPECZ: Right now, so far, he's still a county commissioner. He was elected just last week, it's a little more complicated to try and have him removed. So that's going to require some steps. It's not clear if he's going to resign from that seat. But I can tell you, Anderson family members have told me they intend to be in those meetings at those county commissioners, when they have those meetings when they have their meetings. They intend to be there and protest and try and get him to resign.
COOPER: Yes. Shimon Prokupecz, really -- just extraordinary reporting, as always staying on the story. Thank you so much.
Coming up, new information tonight on the mysterious killings of four University of Idaho students and what a corner is saying now, about their deaths. There's still a lot we don't know, but more information has been coming in.
Plus, there's new video showing two of the victims that have food truck in the early morning hours. Obviously before they were attacked, offering somewhat of a new timeline of their final hours. We have a report from Idaho, coming up next.
COOPER: Tonight, an Idaho coroner confirms at four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death in their off campus home last weekend. Now the findings come after the autopsies were completed. Tonight, a suspect is still at large according to an Idaho county prosecuting attorney. Investigators are looking to all possibilities.
CNN's Veronica Miracle is in Moscow, Idaho with the latest mysterious killings.
VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Surveillance video showing two of the four victims in the hours before they were murdered in Moscow, Idaho. Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves at a food truck at 1:41 a.m. Sunday. Authorities say they're using the video to try to establish a timeline of the events that have shaken the community.
JAMES FRY, CHIEF, MOSCOW POLICE: We do not have a suspect at this time. And that individual is still out there. Before were stabbed with a knife but no weapon has been located at this time.
MIRACLE (voice-over): Ava Driftmeyer lives nearby.
AVA DRIFTMEYER, STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO: We're 100 feet away. You know how close was this person? Are they still around?
MIRACLE (voice-over): Investigators say the attacks took place in the early morning hours Sunday sometime after 1:45a.m. but they didn't find the victims, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodlem, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves until that afternoon, when a 911 caller reported an unconscious person.
CATHY MABBUT, LATAH COUNTY CORONER: There's quite a bit of blood in the apartment and you know it's a pretty traumatic scene to find four dead college students in a residence.
MIRACLE (voice-over): The prosecuting attorney telling NBC police do know who the 911 caller is but will not release their name or information they received.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The investigators are trying to ascertain why there was a delay and what actually occurred. What was heard.
MIRACLE (voice-over): Police say there were no signs of forced entry in the home.
AARON SNELL, DIRECTOR, IDAHO STATE POLICE COMMUNICATION: The evidence inside of the home leads us to believe that somebody targeted these individuals for some reason.
MIRACLE (on-camera): These murders happening just steps away from the University of Idaho campus. Many of the people that live in this neighborhood are students and they've had to walk past this crime scene on their way to class this week. Today we've seen investigators combing through evidence taking pictures inside this house as neighbors grapple with what has happened.
(voice-over): Before the assaults investigators say two of the victims attended a Campus Party. The two who visited the food truck had earlier gone to a bar in downtown Moscow. Police say the two roommates home at the time of the stabbings did not witness the attacks.
SNELL: They were not injured, and that these two roommates actually fully cooperated with detectives and have assisted in the investigation.
MIRACLE (on-camera): Are they considered suspects?
SNELL: They haven't been ruled out.
FRY: We're not just focusing just on them, we're focusing on everybody that may be coming and going from that residence.
MIRACLE (voice-over): Some family members say they are frustrated by the lack of information coming from police, leading to speculation about the murders.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ethan was just stayed the night at his girlfriend's house, who was one of five girls who lived in the home.
MIRACLE (voice-over): The camp is now virtually empty students excused from attending classes, and students also saying their sense of security has now been shattered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody kind of just went back home, because they're scared.
DRIFTMEYER: And the fact that there's no answers is like the worst feeling ever.
COOPER: Veronica Miracle joins me now. Veronica, what are the biggest questions that have yet to be answered in this investigation?
MIRACLE: Anderson, one of the biggest questions that police are not answering right now is if there were multiple suspects or one suspect, they also don't know why this happened. There is no motive that they're revealing. But what they do believe happened is that this was a targeted attack based on evidence that they found inside the home. What that piece of evidence is they will not reveal to the public. And its why so many students went home early this week is what we're told by people that we ran into on campus today. When we were walking around, it was really a ghost town. But the few stragglers that we ran into tell us that their classrooms were empty. About half of their classmates went home early this week. And the only reason they were sticking around is because they have work or school obligations and they were going to go home as quickly as possible. Anderson.
COOPER: Veronica Miracle, appreciate it. Thank you.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: The news continues. Let's hand it over Laura Coates in "CNN TONIGHT."