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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Appeals Court Halts Special Master Review of Seized Mar-a-Lago Documents; Obama Rallies for Warnock Ahead of Georgia Senate Runoff; Olena Gnes On Leaving Ukraine And Life In The U.S.; Police: Six People May Have Lived In House Where University Of Idaho Students Were Killed; Lawsuits Building Around Decades-Long Contamination Of Water At Military's Camp Lejeune. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired December 01, 2022 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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AC 360 begins right now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
Tonight, two big legal setbacks for the former President: A Federal Judge ordering his White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone and his Deputy to give additional testimony to the criminal grand jury investigating the 2020 election.
Also a Federal Appeals Court flat out rejecting the need for a Special Master to review documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. The 11th Circuit appeal panel stating plainly, former President should not receive special treatment. I'm quoting from the opinion: "In considering these arguments, we are faced with a choice, apply our usual test drastically expand the availability of equitable jurisdiction for every subject of a search warrant or carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former Presidents. We choose the first option."
In other words, former President or not, the normal rules apply.
CNN's Sara Murray joins us now with more on this and the Cipollone case.
So Sara, what does this mean that the Court ruling on the Mar-a-Lago documents, what does it mean to the DOJ and their investigation?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, obviously, it's a big win for the Department of Justice who had been arguing that there shouldn't have been a Special Master in this case all along. Practically, it could mean that they will get this whole mess of documents sooner than they would have otherwise. Remember, they already have access to the roughly 100 documents that were marked classified. But there were thousands of these other documents that they want to use to try to make their case about how things were stored haphazardly at Mar-a-Lago.
So now they could get them sooner. Of course, the X factor is will Trump appeal? We have seen him, his willingness to do so in many related cases. You know, he earlier appealed something to do with this case to the Supreme Court, and he may ultimately decide to go to the Supreme Court with this question as well.
We should note, though, that this Appeals Court that ruled against the Trump team today, it is made up of three GOP appointed Judges -- Anderson.
COOPER: So if he did want to slow things down, he could try to appeal to the Supreme Court.
MURRAY: He could, yes. If he still wants to try to stall, he could go to the Supreme Court, he could ask for some intervention there. He could go back to this Court, frankly, and ask for the entire panel to hear it, so he could ask them to hear it en banc, although I'm not sure why you would do that, given the panel is of sort of sympathetic or possibly sympathetic, Republican Judges he had and you know how they very clearly ruled against him.
COOPER: We mentioned Pat Cipollone has been ordered to give additional testimony before the grand jury investigating the efforts to interfere with the election. He already appeared back in September. It was obviously before the Special Counsel, Jack Smith was appointed to oversee the DOJ criminal probe. What happens now?
MURRAY: Well, that's right. You know, what we have learned is that a Judge ruled that Cipollone as well as his deputy, Pat Philbin had to go back to the grand jury and testify.
Now, again, this is all happening behind closed doors. This is a secret Court proceeding and Trump's team had argued that because of privilege issues that they shouldn't be able to answer certain questions for the grand jury.
Now, the question is, are these guys going to get swept into the grand jury quickly? Are they going to go there and answer questions? Or will Trump's team first appeal before they go back there?
We do expect an appeal by the Trump team. So, we're going to wait and see how this plays out. Again, this is all playing out behind closed doors, and we're learning this from people who have been briefed on the matter.
COOPER: Just to be clear, this is the criminal grand jury probe for the Justice Department.
MURRAY: That's right. This is a criminal grand jury probe having to do with efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Remember, these guys were in the White House. They were around the former President. They were there when he was, you know, raising schemes about trying to go to States when he was, you know, suggesting this potential coup at the Justice Department, so they've obviously seen a lot.
COOPER: Sara Murray, appreciate it.
I want to get some perspective now, our two CNN legal analysts, Carrie Cordero and Elie Honig; also CNN political commentator, David Urban, former Trump campaign adviser.
Carrie, how helpful in your view is this ruling to the Justice Department's investigation going forward?
CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think the 11th Circuit ruling is important in the case. What it did is it basically said that the former President is not entitled to special treatment, that executing search warrants is a standard process for the Justice Department, for the FBI when they're conducting an investigation, that when that warrant is based on probable cause, and it is approved by a Judge, that there really were no strong arguments made by the former President that A Special Master should be in place, and that he should receive any special treatment.
So I think the 11th Circuit case and the opinion that was just issued really resets this case, in terms of the way things normally would work for any individual who is the subject of a search in any investigation around the country.
COOPER: Elie, how do you see the opinion?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Anderson, first of all, this opinion is all about what we call jurisdiction, meaning the Courts can't just do anything they feel like and what the Court of Appeals today said is that the District Court, in ordering the Special Master went too far. That's not a thing that Courts can do, you cannot interfere with a criminal investigation at this stage.
And as a practical matter, what this does is, it removes a roadblock or a speed bump for the Justice Department. It means that unless this case goes up to the Supreme Court and gets reversed, which I think is very, very unlikely, DOJ can now take all those documents that they seized at Mar-a-Lago and use them fully in their investigation, so it will enable DOJ to carry on with their investigation in a speedy manner.
COOPER: David, just in terms of the legal strategy, do you think it was a mistake now for the former President's legal team to go through the route of requesting a Special Master? Or if gumming up the works or slowing down the process was the goal, was that successful?
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, so Anderson, I think we've had this discussion before. I think that the President has one idea and his legal team had a separate idea, and he is the client, and I think they filed this suit, and you know, facially they had a claim, and as has been pointed out by the 11th Circuit, there's these three Judges on the 11th Circuit there, they don't really have the standing to do so for a variety of reasons, separation of powers, and others. You know, I anticipate that the President's legal team will appeal and ask to be heard en banc by the entire 11th Circuit, which the likelihood of success there seems pretty slim. And then, again they will appeal to the Supreme Court. I think that it's a tactic that we've seen before from the President's lawyers in terms of just delay, and I think that they'll continue to delay until the absolute last moment they can and Supreme Court doesn't take it up.
I don't think the Supreme Court will take it up, but you know, they'll take it to the 11th Circuit en banc and we will see what they have to say.
COOPER: And Carrie, how long could it slow things down when the ruling by the Circuit doesn't go into effect for seven days, which obviously gives the President time there?
CORDERO: Right. So, it gives him time to appeal, and so then, there'll be a determination whether or not the Justice Department can go ahead and actually look at the information. So there is, you know, some, I think, a little bit of ambiguity as to whether or not they can start looking at the information right away, or whether or not they're going to have to wait a little while.
I don't think there's any credible basis for the en banc Appellate Court or for the Supreme Court to take up the arguments in this case, and I think it's important to point out just how unusual the former President's arguments were, in this case.
The normal time that an individual would challenge the results of a search and say that their rights had been violated is when they've actually been charged with something.
And so, the former President in his legal strategy really jumped far forward here by trying to make arguments that his constitutional rights were being abused in some way, by the way that the FBI handled this search and that just is not the way that normal investigations would work in any other matter.
COOPER: Go ahead.
URBAN: I will just say, it is clearly a setback for the President in any way you look at it.
COOPER: Yes. Elie, I mean, if the former President is in fact, eventually charged with a crime, would he have another chance to challenge the search warrant then? I mean, to Carrie's point.
HONIG: Yes, he would, Anderson. That's precisely the basis for the Court's opinion today. They say, essentially, you're not special. They say, look, we have a couple of choices here. Either we could say, everybody gets a Special Master after a search, we don't want to do that. We could say nobody gets a Special Master after a search, which is the normal rule, or only former Presidents. They say we're definitely not doing that.
But the way it normally works, Anderson is if there comes a day where Donald Trump or anybody gets indicted, and they want to challenge the search warrant. At that point, the prosecutors will have to give them all the documents, all the paperwork that went to the Judge, and you can and I'm sure if this ever happens, Donald Trump will challenge the search. He will say it was unconstitutional. He'll say that the prosecutors did not establish probable cause, that the search violated his constitutional rights.
And if he wins at that point, then that evidence cannot be used against him, but that's the way this normally works.
COOPER: David, the fact that now the former President says he is running again for another term, I mean, you know, there has been a lot of talk that maybe he thinks by announcing that that might slow down some of these investigations or at least complicate them and make them look political. Do you think this ruling in any way affects his run?
URBAN: Yes, Anderson, I think it's going to be tough to make that case when you had three Republicans, the Judges that issued this, the Circuit Judges who issued these opinion are a Bush appointee and two Trump appointees, so it's pretty tough to make that case.
And then, you know, obviously, a lot of conservatives believe that this case was flawed from the beginning because of the separation of powers, you know, arguing that the judicial branch shouldn't be interfering in the executive branch's business. So, pretty tough.
COOPER:: Yes, Carrie, I've got a dumb question for you, not that all mine aren't dumb, but when the judgment of a US District Judge in this case, Aileen Cannon is completely overturned by a Federal Appeals Court, is there any career or reputational harm to the District Judge?
Like the next day in the Judge's chambers or the Judges' coffee break room, or the other Judges like, wow, that was lame. I mean, is there blowback?
CORDERO: Well, you know, in this case it is -- in this case, it is unusual because it involves a former President, so you know there certainly could be the coffee chatter about it. But look, Judges get overturned. I mean, that's how we have an appellate system. That's how cases end up going up to the Supreme Court.
So, in this particular case, it's very high profile, obviously. In my judgment, and obviously, in the 11th Circuit's judgment, the original Judge's opinion was not based on the law and was not well reasoned, but Judges get overturned. That's basically how the system has to work.
COOPER: You said that in a very nice way. You said that in a very nice way. The Judge's ruling was not based on the law or reason, but --
Carrie Cordero, Elie Honig, David Urban, appreciate it. Thank you.
Coming up next, the Georgia Senate runoff, Herschel Walker's new campaign challenges and what the impact could be of Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock's campaign closer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello, Atlanta. I'm back. I am back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And later, I will talk with Olena Gnes, the Ukrainian mom that we've been talking with all during the war who has now temporarily relocated to the United States.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: You're looking live at a Herschel Walker campaign event just getting underway in Woodstock, Georgia. The candidate expected to speak shortly.
With just five days to go into his Senate runoff, an upwards of 1.1 million early ballots already cast, voter interest clearly high. It only grew tonight as incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock brought in the heaviest hitter campaign hitter that his party has.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Hello, Atlanta. I'm back. I am back.
I know, I know it. Si se puede. I am back, yes, we can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Former President Obama tonight in Atlanta. His presence underscoring certainly how important controlling the Senate with 51 seats instead of 50 is to Democrats. The difference might seem small, just one seat, but of course it matters and nothing matters more to Senator Warnock right now than bringing out Black and young voters. Here is more of what President Obama had to say tonight -- former President Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I know a lot of folks have been voting early over the last few days. That is a good thing. That is an encouraging thing.
But -- you knew there was a but -- plenty of folks haven't voted yet. Tomorrow is the last day for early voting, and then we need to get people out to the polls on Tuesday, which means we've still got work to do.
On the other side, you've got Mr. Walker. Now, wait. Don't boo now. Vote.
I told you all -- I told you the last time can, they ain't nobody hear you boo, but they can hear your vote.
All right, all right, so you've got Mr. Walker -- look, I was here last time, I think I made clear my thoughts on Mr. Walker.
I had to acknowledge, and you know, some of you -- everybody here has pretty good home training. Right? And so you know, you're always reticent if you don't have something nice to say about somebody, you don't say it.
So I talked about what a good football player he is then, but I also had to acknowledge that I did not think he had either the competence, the character, and the track record of service that would justify him representing Georgia in the United States Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That event is now wrapped. The Walker event is just beginning. CNN's Dianne Gallagher is there in Woodstock, Georgia for us tonight.
So you're there at the Walker event. We saw Senator Warnock's event where former President Obama has been speaking. How different are the strategies of the two campaigns in this final stretch?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So we are seeing quite different strategies here. You can probably see behind me Representative Barry Loudermilk of Georgia speaking now trying to warm up the crowd here in Woodstock, Georgia for Republican Herschel Walker, not necessarily the heavy hitters of the party here to bring out the crowd.
We'll hear from Senator Lindsey Graham in a little bit, and then the candidate himself. We've seen an aggressive campaign from the incumbent Senator Warnock again bringing out the not so secret weapon, former President Barack Obama tonight on the eve of the final day of early voting.
Herschel Walker has taken a much more relaxed approach, if you will. We're not seeing the same level of events throughout the time. Of course, he took those five days off from public events in just a four- week run off period. So very different strategies; one very aggressive, one trying to seemingly hit as many events as he possibly can, bring out as many big name surrogates as he can.
Herschel Walker using many of the same surrogates, Lindsey Graham, a familiar face to supporters of Walker at many different events, and sort of hit one to two events a day.
We're also looking of course at the money that is being spent, $77 million total in ads, but just the stark difference. Democrats have spent two to one on this, more than that even $52.9 million to $24.2 million, and Anderson, just to crystallize that, the candidate himself, Raphael Warnock, he has spent more than all GOP spending combined to $24.8 million. So spending activities, all of that more aggressive for Democrats.
[20:20:09] COOPER: And tomorrow, as you said, it is the final day of the early voting. What are the expectations from the campaigns in terms of turnout?
GALLAGHER: So the campaigns, voting rights groups, all of them expect tomorrow to be exceptionally busy, and that may be something that we've seen every single day this week because of that condensed format, only five days of mandatory early voting, which is in part why we're seeing those daily records being set.
Of course, on Monday 303,000-plus voters casting their ballots, but that also means that we're seeing long lines across the State, and people basically trying to get into vote when they can. And so, I do know that I've spoken to some Democrats who say that while those daily numbers are very impressive, they are concerned that perhaps we're not going to see the same type of overall turnout during this early voting period, because of the condensed format, this abbreviated four-week runoff period.
Though they are confident that right now, Democrats say they're seeing the good areas that they're looking for turn out to vote. Just at this event here, each one of these speakers has been encouraging these voters to get out tomorrow and vote. A lot of the people I've spoken to who are attending though, tell me they do prefer to vote on Election Day.
And I know that voting rights groups again say they expect to see very long lines on Tuesday as more people are able to get to the polls. More than 1.1 million people cast their ballots through Wednesday, and they believe they're going to see another 200,000-plus votes that were cast just today -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Dianne Gallagher, appreciate it. Thank you.
Joining us now, CNN political commentator, former special adviser to President Obama, Van Jones; also CNN senior political correspondent "Inside Politics Sunday" anchor Abby Phillip.
Abby, I mean, you look at the stark contrast between the two campaigns, even these dueling events tonight, what does it say to you about the strategies of each team?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT AND ANCHOR OF "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY": Yes, I mean, I think it tells you a lot about where the expectations are for both sides. Democrats are really hitting the gas on turnout, bringing in their biggest turnout getter, former President Obama; and Republicans are really trying to keep Herschel Walker out of sight and perhaps out of mind for some voters who are not super comfortable with him and the things that he's had to say.
I will also say the money tells a huge part of the story. You know, there has been a huge Democratic advantage in the ad spending in Georgia over the Republicans, and I think that that says a lot about the optimism that I think Democrats have that if they really give it all they have, that they have a good shot of holding on to this Senate seat. COOPER: Van, I mean, in a race like this that has been going on for so long, and so many commercials. I mean, people's minds are made up one way or the other. I assume, now it's about just getting people out there.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think that's true, but also I think tonight is sort of like, you know, the pride of the community, President Obama; and then the shame of the community when you're talking about Herschel Walker.
You talk to people at the grassroots level, you have a lot of people who are motivated to come out. They just feel embarrassed by Herschel Walker. They just think that it would be an embarrassment to Georgia, an embarrassment to Black people, it is an embarrassment to the country.
And so tonight, you've got the pride that you see the people have for President Obama, and then there's shame, and those both are going to be driving turnout for Democrats.
COOPER: Do you think it is less about Warnock himself than it is about those things?
JONES: Listen, there are people who love Warnock and you know, he has a real popular appeal. I mean, he is folksy. People love him. But it's bigger than him, it is bigger than him.
And also, as you said earlier, it matters how many votes ahead they are when it comes to the Senate. If it's Even Steven, then the committees are Even Steven. If they are head by one, the Committee structures change, it helps Democrats as well.
COOPER: Abby, what is it say to you that former President Trump is not campaigning with Walker in these final days. And, you know, it's Lindsey Graham who is out there tonight?
PHILLIP: Yes, look, it says really everything. I think the biggest problem that Herschel Walker has is that there are a lot of Georgia voters who are not particularly comfortable with former President Trump. They do not think that Trump represents them. Those are the voters -- almost 200,000 of them who voted for the Republican incumbent Governor Brian Kemp, and did not vote for Herschel Walker.
So they've got to really deal with that by keeping Trump out of the picture. And I'll say this, Trump has spent so much time telling voters basically not to trust the voting process and not to vote by mail or vote early, and the last time around, that cost Georgia Republicans their Senate races, and I think that there is a clear memory of that among Republicans and there has been a huge effort, frankly, to try to keep Trump out of this race.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, Van, if Herschel Walker is able to win, what does that mean for the Trump wing of the Republican Party?
JONES: Well, I mean, if Herschel Walker wins, that's a huge vindication for Donald Trump in that he this is a handpick Trump candidate.
There was nobody in Georgia walking around saying, we sure wish Herschel Walker would move here from Texas and run. That was Trump's idea. So if he wins, then it is a vindication for Trump.
But if he loses, which, you know, that looks like where we're headed. I think it's another repudiation of the Trump wing, not just -- not necessarily Trump, who knows what he's going to do, but the Trump wing is further repudiated.
COOPER: There's also some news, Van, tonight that President Biden has formally endorsed a major overhaul of the Democratic presidential primary system. What does that mean?
Well, actually, let's take a look at this on the screen I want to put up. Basically, there'll be no caucuses at all, and for the first several primaries to reflect a more diverse electorate. They would go in order, South Carolina, then a week later in Nevada, New Hampshire, then on the same day, then Georgia the following week and a week after that, Michigan.
Now it's up to what? The DNC to ultimately decide in this. New Hampshire Democrats already blasting the idea. Is it something you think people in your party would support?
JONES: A lot of people are saying "Hallelujah," because you know, for a party that is so strongly African-American and Latino and Latina, Iowa, which is what -- 0.001 percent Black, why is Iowa first? So caucuses are -- it is so hard for working folks to go to a caucus. So, there has been a discontent inside the Democratic Party with, you've got to win in Iowa first. Now, Obama pulled it off. There is still discontent.
But for Biden to say that South Carolina should go first. South Carolina is where he won first and so, he is giving them a big, big hug and a kiss, but I think it makes sense given who the party is. Michigan, Georgia, Nevada. You know, these are States that reflect more of the base of this party, and South Carolina, obviously.
COOPER: Abby, you broke the story. I mean, this would really represent a big change in the nominating process.
PHILLIP: Yes, it represents really a huge change and one that a lot of Democrats wanted, and for all the reasons that Van described, I think Biden putting his thumb on the scale in this way, laying out a system that puts South Carolina first and followed by Nevada, a heavily Latino State really tells you everything you need to know about what is going on here.
He says very clearly in a letter to the DNC tonight that the party should never nominate someone who does not have the overwhelming support of Black and Brown Democrats, and that is what this order really represents. One note about New Hampshire, yes, South Carolina is where Biden won. New Hampshire is where Biden lost by a lot, and they are upset tonight, because they would lose their first in the nation primary status. But if you're Biden, you're saying to yourself, I won the nomination and the presidency without winning New Hampshire, really skipping the State of New Hampshire, and I think that that is what is kind of playing out partly in this order here.
They want the States to represent not just the demographics, but also the politics of the Democratic Party -- the working class voters and Black and brown voters and also slightly more conservative voters in the South as well -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Abby Phillip, Van Jones, thanks so much.
Just ahead, we got a surprise last week when we learned some news about a friend, Olena Gnes, who we've spoken to for the past nine months about living through the war in Ukraine is now in the United States with her family. I'll talk to her about the war and her family's battle here.
COOPER: With Ukraine the key topic for President Biden's White House meeting today with France's President Macron and Russian attacks continuing to knock out electricity in parts of the country. We're fortunate tonight to be able to reconnect with someone all of us have gotten to know. We met Olena Gnes near the beginning of the war, when the idea of pushing Russia out of territory to concur was more hope than reality.
She joined us on the broadcast when she -- whenever she could from a basement where she and her three children were sheltering. When I traveled to Ukraine earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to meet Olena and her adorable kids face to face. And tonight, we got surprising news, Olena, her husband and children are now residing in the United States in Georgia as refugees. She joins us now.
Olena, it is wonderful to see you and the kids again. Thank you for being here. You have been so determined to stay in Ukraine even during the darkest days of the assault on Kyiv. I can't imagine how difficult the decision to leave temporarily has been Can you just talk about that decision?
OLENA GNES, UKRAINIAN REFUGEE NOW LIVING IN THE U.S: Well, I will just tell you one thing. In September, I found gray hairs in my eight-year- old daughters head and it was something that boom. And then I took her to a doctor finally which I was supposed to do long time before and kind of was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.
COOPER: Asperger's syndrome.
GNES: (INAUDIBLE) functioning autism. Really sure mental health was becoming worse and worse. Like she started to use like animal sounds more than then like people than which. She started to pull out her eyelashes and the hair from her head. Like she was really bad. And then she was diagnosed. And then the same day, our president decided that parents of three children, like my husband, they can go home from the military. And the same day, there was a woman from Georgia who wrote me a letter and said, Olena, you can come to my home and I will take you to save to come here. And it all happened like in one day basically. You know, diagnose, my husband demobilized and made it from Georgia writing me a letter and for me it was a signal that maybe I should do this now. You know because mental health of my children.
No, I see you remember, yes, stayed there for so long time. I'm so devoted, you know, I was ready for everything, my husband went to the army but at some point we decided that the mission is done and now we have to take care of the children.
GNES: And I know that there will be always someone blaming, blaming me, you know, there were people blaming me before that I sacrifice my children, and are being like selfish or something. And now there will be some other people blaming me that I'm not have enough courage or something. But I take on responsibility. I just feel that, like back then my decision, and my feeling was that they needed what I was needed in Ukraine. Now my feeling is that my kids need me to because I have responsibility.
COOPER: What has it? What's it been like? I think you've been here since mid-November. What's it been like, as a family to be here in the U.S. in Georgia?
GNES: Well, we are a very big family now. I feel now like a part of the bigger American family that has the three -- four dogs and the cats. And it feels it feels safe first of all. Well, first of all, kids started to sleep in a separate room, they even fall asleep alone, they didn't have nightmares anymore. And they got scared recently because of the thunderstorm and kind of started to pull out here, again from her head. But in general, the healing process for children has started.
So, we see that it was the very right decision. And it was taken just in time, because children are very much traumatized by the war. You know, even those who are still alive, not injured, they are all traumatized, psychologically and mentally. And this is something terrible that the war is doing with our children in Ukraine right now, you know, every day.
COOPER: And I think it's something that we don't, people have not been through it don't think about, you know, we see images of kids being on trains and frightened children on television, in war zones, but just the cumulative effect of even, you know, living in Kyiv, under bombardment, and then even Kyiv and safety and seeing everything, there are so many kids who are going through this, this trauma, I mean, it's it is one of the horrific parts of war. GNES: There are many children who say they're because their parents cannot leave, or because their parents are devoted to stay because they have some important work to do, or because they simply know is afraid of leaving, because it's a big step into the unknown, you know, many of them do not know English language, and they like try to live their normal lives. But just -- Anderson, imagine you're only making a place and any second, now a bomb can fall on your child and kill your child, and they cannot really protect your child. And you know, when a child is looking at you, and like, it's a terrible feeling.
GNES: So, days before we left Kyiv, we were hiding in the corridor, and you know, this missile, they were flying above our apartment block, and air defense system hits this missile above our apartment block. Our and the windows were shaking like this. It was very, very, very scary.
COOPER: You're being hosted by an American family. And I want to bring in Mary, who is the family who's hosting you through a program called Uniting For Ukraine. Mary, I understand you, you reach out to Olena. What made you decide to get involved?
MARY MCGEE, HOSTING OLENA GNES AND HER FAMILY IN THE U.S.: Well, I had been watching Olena since the beginning of the war on her YouTube channel, which I found out about on your program. And it was so compelling, you know, to hear several liable to see a mother facing this situation. It was very interesting. I learned a lot. And somewhere along the way, I thought, if they didn't want to leave, what would they do? And I kind of started researching, I found out about Uniting For Ukraine. And then a while later, a few months later, Olena was talking about packing a backpack. And the word evacuation came up for the first time. And I started thinking that you could do this, I mean, a little voice in my head said you could you could be part of this.
And so, when I researched the program, I wrote her an e-mail, and I sent it to myself at first, I sent it to my email, talked about it with my husband that night, and he said, send it. He said, we can do it, do it. And as you heard, it got to her right at the moment that all these things were happening. And that's how the whole journey has been. You know, we -- from that we said, yes. She said, yes, we want to do this. It was five weeks, until we pick them up in the airport in Atlanta. Worked hard, but also things fell into place. I mean, there were amazing things that happen apartment in Krakow became available through a wonderful woman that I met through my niece at University of Georgia. I mean, just these amazing things happened. And now Olena has helped with bringing one of her very good friends ever through the same program and we're using the same channel again. So, we're really excited to promote this program.
COOPER: Yes. We're going to put up information about the program on the screen it during the segment and afterward. What would -- Olena what was the first meeting like with Mary and her husband and her family? I mean, it's such a complete culture shift from war to peace.
GNES: By the time when we came here, Anderson, we will -- I already felt like Mary is my -- like my sister, because we kept in touch them much, you know. And it was like, I think it was like trust from the very first e-mail, when Mary emailed me, like, I haven't even heard about this program before, you know, and I didn't know that it was possible. I didn't know that somebody, you know, on the other side of the planet, can care for someone and you know, spend their money on someone whom they do not really know. But Mary e-mailed me and said, look, this is my house, and she just sent me videos of her house. And she said, where I can live? She said, what can what she can sponsor, as a participant, she sent me the documents for this program.
So, she did all this research, and she just show it to me, and I'm like, OK, and later, we were in touch, like, every day. And every day Mary was saying me, you'll still -- you'll stay alive. Your kids will come here. I see you already sitting, you know, in my living room. She puts the photographs of my children on her refrigerator on the second day. It's very, you know, it's something.
COOPER: Mary --
MCGEE: We're (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: Well, Mary, I see -- I know that Olena and her kids are wearing a traditional Ukrainian outfits. I believe you are as well now.
MCGEE: Yes, yes. This was a lovely gift that Olena brought me when she got here. And we also have the Ukrainian Trident necklaces that we wear proudly every day. So yes.
COOPER: And Olena, what's your plan in terms of do you know how long you want to stay can stay? What do you want to do while you're here, in terms of for the kids?
MCGEE: Maybe the program allows two years. So, we're just playing it by ear at this point, you know, we're hoping that soon that can go to their home and Ukraine, but we're prepared to assist them with whatever may come along, you know.
GNES: Well, my hope back to Ukraine as soon as possible. Yes. I don't feel like taking my children back to the danger because I think they've been through too much there. I want them to have their childhood and I have this chance. So, I want them to be children. But I really hope that the war will be over soon. Yes, because it's impossible that this genocide is still happening. But they're watching it, like online. And now, 90 years ago, Russia killed like millions of Ukrainians by starvation. That was a genocide, and it wasn't punished. The evil comes back. Now evil is back. And we see the genocide. It's obvious this is genocide of Ukrainian people. And Ukraine receives a lot of help, and I'm very grateful. But still, it is not enough of help, you know, for Ukrainian to defeat Russia, the terrorists state of Russia, we need airplanes, we need tanks, we need real weapon just to stop the genocide.
GNES: This is what we need, you know, and you know, all these, like engines and United For Ukraine helped refugees. This is awesome. I'm grateful. But what we really need is to stop the war now. So, people with children do not have to leave Ukraine. So, people do not have to die, to sacrifice, you know. They're not just the war has to be stop by force, because otherwise it will go on and go on. And every day, more Ukrainian lives are taken away.
COOPER: Olena and Mary, I appreciate talking to both. And we'll check in with you both. And I want our audience to know if you want to learn more about this program Uniting For Ukraine, the program that helped bring Olena and her family here to the United States as refugees, you can go to dhs.gov/Ukraine. You can see it there at the bottom of your screen dhs.gov/Ukraine.
Up next, breaking news on the investigation to the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students and what police are saying about who else may have lived in the house where the students were found.
COOPER: There's breaking news tonight in the investigations the unsolved murders of four University of Idaho students. Now Idaho Police tell CNN that there may have been another previously unknown person who lived in the house where the students were killed. No suspect though is in custody as authorities have been giving mixed messages about the attack.
CNN's Veronica Miracle has the latest.
VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time, police tell CNN there may have been six people living at the house where four University of Idaho students were killed. Until now police have only released information about five of the roommates, three of the victims and two other roommates who were not harmed. A fourth victim Ethan Chapin did not live at the home. A spokesperson for the Moscow Police Department tells CNN investigators are aware of a sixth person who could have potentially lived at the residence. That person was not at the residence on the night of the murders. An employee with a property management company for the home tells CNN that six people are listed on the lease, but they would not release the names. It remains unclear if that six-person lived at the property at any point.
(on-camera): We asked police if they have found this potential six roommates questions them and clear them as a suspect. All they could tell us is that they continue to investigate anyone who potentially has information about this case.
(voice-over): Kaylee Goncalves' mother tells CNN quote, Kaylee had never mentioned that they were looking for a sixth roommate. If there was a sixth person on that lease. I didn't know about it. But she also said she'd never been to the home and didn't know the other roommates besides Kaylee's best friend and victim Madison Mogen. The Goncalves family among those at the you University of Idaho candlelight vigil where hundreds of students came together to honor their fallen classmates.
STEVE GONCALVES, FATHER OF VICTIM KAYLEE GONCALVES: They shared everything. They eventually get into the same apartment together. And in the end that they died together in the same room in the same bed.
COOPER: And Veronica joins me now from Moscow, Idaho. So police have already cleared the other two surviving roommate. Does it tell us anything that they didn't come right out and clear this potential sixth person on the lease?
MIRACLE: Anderson, it's hard to say like so much during this investigation. The police were vague in their answer to me, but they did say this person was not home at the time of the attacks. Now we did reach out to other people connected to the home but we have not heard back, so we don't know if this person was living at the house currently, but we do know from that leasing company that there were six people on the lease. Anderson.
COOPER: Veronica Miracle, appreciate it. Thank you.
Coming up, a CNN investigation. Lawsuit surrounding a decade's long scandal involving an environmental disaster at a major U.S. military base.
COOPER: Now to a CNN investigation, the lawsuits building around one of the biggest ecological disasters in recent memory for the U.S. military. The contamination of the Water Camp Lejeune that took place over decades. It was so severe the Marine Corps Base in North Carolina was once named a Superfund site and in more recent years is attracting the attention of environmental activists, Erin Brockovich.
Nick Watt tonight has details.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you were stationed or working at Camp Lejeune --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You may be eligible for significant financial compensation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please give us a call. NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You've probably seen the commercials, lawyers lining up to help veterans in return for a slice of a potentially huge money pie. Huge because the water at this vast Marine Base in North Carolina was contaminated over 30 plus years by an off base dry cleaners, leaky storage tanks and chemical dumping, 1953 to 1987.
(on-camera): Potentially how big is this?
ANDREW VAN ARSDALE, AVA LAW GROUP: Over a million people were likely exposed to this toxic water during that time period. And what does that mean in terms of damages? I mean, it's off the charts.
WATT (voice-over): Greg Sexton's mom saw one of the commercials their first inkling that Camp Lejeune's water might be to blame for what happened to him.
GREG SEXTON, CAMP LEJEUNE WATER CLAIMANT: So I spent the summer there in 1977. I was eight years old. I was spending time with my father who was in the Marines. He was a sergeant in the Marines. When I was 17, I was diagnosed with what's called a Wilms tumor.
WATT (voice-over): He had kidney cancer, one of the diseases now potentially linked to those chemicals in the water on the base. A base where Ann Johnson lived with her Marine Sergeant dad where she met her future husband in high school where she gave birth in 1984.
(on-camera): They didn't bring her to you immediately. No?
ANN JOHNSON, CAMP LEJEUNE WATER CLAIMANT: They did not. I guess they were trying to prepare me for what she looked like.
WATT (voice-over): And baby Jacquetta lived just seven weeks aged 18 and forced into horrific decision to let her daughter go.
JOHNSON: I looked at my husband and he just dropped his head, not knowing what to say. And so, I looked up at the doctor and I said just, just let her go.
WATT (voice-over): Birth defects also now potentially linked to those chemicals in the water on the base. Here is the history. In 1980, tests found water is highly contaminated. In 1981, water highly contaminated with other chlorinated hydrocarbons, solvents that most contaminated wells weren't closed for four years after further testing. In February 1985, PCE dry cleaning solvent was measured at 43 times the current EPA limit for drinking water.
Here in Tarawa Terrace which houses enlisted men and their families. Two months later, the base commander sent them all a letter, two of the wells that supply Tarawa Terrace have had to be taken offline because minute trace amounts of several organic chemicals have been detected in the water. No health warning just a request to reduce domestic water use because supply was now limited. Apparently, a mass health warning didn't come until much later 14 years later.
VAN ARSDALE: Certain areas, water super contaminated other areas. It wasn't the Marine Corps barracks right, the Bachelor barracks that was in the areas where the water was tainted.
WATT (voice-over): Large sections of the base used by officers and enlisted alike were affected. Van Arsdale asked his 6,000 or so clients, what rank were you when you were exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune? 96.3% of respondents say they were enlisted, 3.7% were officers worth noting there were always more enlisted men than officers on base.
An act of congress passed in August allows Marines and their kin to file civil claims.
SEXTON: Some simple acknowledgement would be my wish for everything moving forward.
WATT (voice-over): The Navy has six months to process their claims.
VAN ARSDALE: They received almost 5,000 claims as of today. They have not yet done anything about any of them.
WATT (on-camera): Do you think any of the claims that you filed so far will actually be processed within the six-month window?
VAN ARSDALE: As of today? I do not.
WATT (voice-over): And if not, claims could end up in a courthouse in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
(on-camera): But litigation could take years to even get inside the courthouse.
VAN ARSDALE: It really could. I think that they are too worried about how to defend themselves then focus on what they should be doing. And that's to make these lives better of the men and women who are suffering today.
JOHNSON: Rather than it being me that it could have been in the water that I consume and the government could be responsible for what I went through. My ex-husband went on to remarry and have a couple of more children. And there was nothing wrong with them. Jacquetta had to be me. Because other kids were fine. So, it had to be me.