Return to Transcripts main page
Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
January 6 Committee To Release Full Report, Vote On Criminal Referral Next Week; DOJ Seeks Access To GOP Rep Perry's Texts In 2020 Election Probe; Border Surge; Update On Brittney Griner's Life After Return To U.S.; Parents Of U.S. College Student Who Went Missing In France Say It's Been Difficult To Get Information; Wednesday Marks 10- Year Anniversary Of Sandy Hook Shooting; FTX Founder Indicted On Eight Criminal Charges Including Fraud And Conspiracy. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired December 13, 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: It sounds like the Mandarin word for escape, which is perhaps wishful thinking by some that China can escape the illness.
The writer in the state-run "China Daily" took this on, writing: "It is suggested that canned yellow peaches be included in medical insurance. This comes from a northern superstition that may not be well understood by others."
All of this coming as Beijing is still a ghost town tonight, despite some lifted COVID restrictions, because people are still choosing now self-quarantining over fears of a COVID surge.
Thanks so much for joining us. AC 360 begins now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
After more than several months of investigations involving approximately 1,000 witness interviews, including top officials, the White House, and Department of Justice and analysis of tens of thousands of documents, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol announced today that it will deliver what is essentially its closing statement next week, a full report, as well as possible criminal referrals to the Justice Department.
The announcement comes weeks before the new Republican majority assumes control of the House. They are expected of course to dissolve the January 6 Committee, but that does not end the inquiries into what happened.
Just today the Department of Justice Special Counsel, Jack Smith issued more subpoenas for local election officials in key 2020 Battleground States asking for any and all communications with the former President, his campaign aides, and allies from more than seven- month span.
We're going to have more in the Department of Justice investigation into what happened including attempts to gain access to a Republican Congressman's text messages, plus newly revealed text messages to the former President and Chief of Staff at the time the insurrection.
We start though with what the House Select Committee may have in store next week. I'm joined now by CNN political correspondent, Sara Murray.
What do you expect? There is going to be hearing on Monday.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This is going to be, you know, a public meeting. We sort of thought this is going to happen on Wednesday, you know, but the committee is keeping things moving.
Bennie Thompson, the Chairman of the Committee said they felt like they could get, you know, the bulk of their work done sooner, and so why not share it with the public sooner. So at this meeting, we are expecting that we're going to learn a lot more, as you were saying about the criminal referrals, you know, what the names of those people are going to be, what the basis of that is going to be.
But we're also going to learn about other types of referrals that the Committee may do, substantial referrals to, for instance, the House Ethics Committee. You know, we know there are a number of Republican lawmakers who snubbed subpoenas from the Committee, so referring them to the House Ethics Committee could be one of the options.
And we're also expecting the Committee to take a vote to adopt their final report. They're going to hold back on sharing that full report, though, until Wednesday, the 21st. That's when they're going to make the whole thing available to the public.
COOPER: If there are other referrals other than to the Department of Justice, how likely will any of them go anywhere under a new Republican-controlled House?
MURRAY: You know, that's a great question. I mean, when it comes to the House Ethics Committee and these Republican lawmakers, you know, we don't know how that could potentially pan out, but some of the other potential referrals they're talking about are still referring to bodies outside of Congress.
So you know, we know there are a number of lawyers who have come under scrutiny. So, they're talking about referring them for bar discipline to certain boards. They're talking about, you know, potential campaign finance referrals. It's unclear if those would go anywhere.
But you know, what is clear is, look, this is a Committee that has really been digging in. They feel like they have uncovered some kind of evidence of wrongdoing. In some cases, that could be criminal; in some cases, that could be evidence that a lawyer is not acting in the way that they believe is appropriate in some places that, you know, it's a belief that a lawmaker has, you know, snubbed the authority of other lawmakers.
So they're trying to sort of divide these people into buckets, and refer them to the areas where they believe it's most appropriate.
COOPER: Sara Murray, appreciate it. Now the DOJ investigation, new information about a secret Court
proceeding to gain access to Republican Congressman Scott Perry's text messages, which couldn't be significant because we know Congressman Perry was in touch with then White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, about various election conspiracies.
We're joined now by our senior crime and justice reporter, Katelyn Polantz.
Katelyn, what do you know about the content of these text messages between Congressman Perry and Meadows?
KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE SENIOR REPORTER: Well, Anderson, we have seen some of the text messages before and there's new reporting out there now about what they were talking about, and really what Perry is doing in the text messages we have is he is showing concern over the election, he is expressing this skepticism that he believes that there was security breaches, and some of the things he is writing to Mark Meadows.
I mean, a lot of this, it is totally unfounded allegations, but he is asking Mark Meadows for help. He wants help to get in touch with different people. He wants to spread the word that Donald Trump was pushing. He is writing things like "Mark, there are instructions from the cyber forensic team. Please ensure widest dissemination and action. Please tell every State senior that they need to one, preserve the specific voting machine scanners used at the polling places where the glitch occurred, put them under lock and key. Nobody touches them."
He goes on with very similar requests to Mark Meadows in November after the election, and what he is doing there is he is basically asking the White House Chief of Staff have to pry into election administration.
And what we know, Anderson, now, what we're able to confirm is this is the sort of thing that Federal investigators, not just the House Select Committee that got these text messages already. But the Justice Department, this is the sort of thing that they would want to know about as well. And what we are reporting tonight at CNN is that there is an under-seal Court proceeding after Perry's cell phone was seized in August, a proceeding that went confidential.
We don't know how it was resolved, but it is one of those proceedings where Justice Department prosecutors continue to want to get data out of Perry.
COOPER: I was confused with these text messages. He is talking about the cyber forensics team as if it's some sort of renowned group that should be known about. Are these just conspiracy theories that he has read online, and he is just passing along to Mark Meadows? Like, you have to save the actual scanning devices? I mean, who is the cyber forensics team? POLANTZ: Yes, I mean, the cyber forensics team could be a lot of
different people. There seem to be a lot of people around that time. They're holding themselves out as people that were experts on cybersecurity and believing -- these are the sort of things that the affidavits in Court that falsely accused people of having fraud in the election, that they were using some of the -- you know, there's all kinds of people out there that held themselves out.
But you know, Perry is one of those people that was talking to a lot of important figures, not just Mark Meadows. He was in touch with Jeffrey Clark, the person at the Justice Department that Donald Trump wanted to install as the Attorney General, and he clearly was interested in talking to many, many people about this, not just Meadows, and that's one of the things that sticks out in these text messages with Meadows.
He is sharing some theories that are floating in far-right publications, but he is also trying to get in touch. He's asking Mark, give him other contacts that he can get to.
So if the Justice Department does try and get access to more text messages, that's what else they may be able to see, not just Meadows' texts, but other communications Perry had with others.
COOPER: Right. I mean, there is a secret legal fight to get Perry's text. How likely is it they're more congressional text messages than what Meadows turned over?
POLANTZ: Very likely, actually. We know that there are about 2,000 -- a little more than 2,000 text messages in the hands of the House Select Committee and that we at CNN have been able to report on, but Mark Meadows is a guy who is in touch with lots and lots of people. Even just in those 2,000 or so text messages, he was in touch with more than 40 current and former Members of Congress, largely Republicans, people that were asking him to ask the President to declare Martial Law, but also people who were on Capitol Hill during the riot asking him for help, basically saying we're under attack, the Capitol has been breached, please do something.
That's what Meadows was willing to turn over to the House Select Committee, but we do understand there probably is a lot more out there.
COOPER: All right, Katelyn Polantz, appreciate it. Thank you.
I want to spend some time now with Alexandra Pelosi. She is the daughter of the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She's also a remarkable documentary filmmaker who was with her mom on January 6th, filming what should have been an orderly transition of power in our democracy. She was there with her family.
Part of a much longer film about her mom's career has just been released, what she captured that day were some of the most powerful leaders in America dealing with a crisis like none before it. Her work will inform our understanding of January 6th for generations to come.
Here is a clip from her new film.
(BEGIN "PELOSI IN THE HOUSE" VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes, ma'am. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think I would call heads out --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to be [bleep].
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Okay. Stop the --
PELOSI: We will have totally failed.
We have got to finish the proceedings --
PELOSI: So what's the prospects? We are going to stay here all day? With the rest of our lives? Or what?
We are here until what? Until the National Guard decides to come and get rid of these people?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's extraordinary what Alexandra captured. "Pelosi in the House" debuts today on our sister network, HBO, as well as HBO Max.
Joining me now, filmmaker, Alexandra Pelosi.
Thank you so much for being with us.
ALEXANDRA PELOSI, FILMMAKER: Thank you for having me.
COOPER: I would be remiss, I wanted to start off, how is your dad doing?
PELOSI: Wait, hold on. We are talking about January 6.
COOPER: I know. But -- PELOSI: But to get there, we have to get -- we've got to go back.
Okay, let's come back to January 6th.
COOPER: Just an update, how is he doing?
PELOSI: He was at the premiere of "Pelosi in the House" last night. Standing ovation. The crowd went wild. They loved it.
But what also happened at that screening was that a lot of the staffers that you see in that film that were hiding in a desk in the Capitol that day were there.
And I thought we'd have a big friends and family screening, and then we'd have a nice party. But it turns out, they're still super traumatized by what happened that day. They're really sad and they're really broken, and they are still processing it.
So we still -- you know, we talk about it as this -- everyone is so numb to the images now, because they've seen them for so long, but we forget that these people are still hurting.
COOPER: Well, I think that's one of the things that's so powerful about this film and about the images that you captured, which are, we've never seen anything like what you captured on that day.
You went there. You brought your kids there. They were in your mom's -- in the Speaker's office watching as the mob moved toward the Capitol, as it all began.
Did you have any hesitation about continuing to roll? I mean, about continuing to film?
PELOSI: When they took Nancy Pelosi off the podium that day, she didn't even have a cell phone with her. So she had to make calls and she didn't know she was being removed from the actual building.
The security had made the decision to take her to the Army base. So she didn't have any record of what was happening. She didn't have the House clerk there to take notes about what's happening. And this is we're talking about how government is actually run.
So I thought I had a real obligation to document what was happening at that moment. And what happened, what you watch that you showed on your show already, but people don't seem to process how sort of -- this to me is news.
So you had despite what all these people say on TV now, despite what any of Republicans may be saying, what you had was you had the leaders of the House and the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans working together to certify the election results.
They were planning on bringing the entire Congress from the Capitol Hill to an Army base to do it there. That's what they're talking about. They're making phone calls. Can we get buses? Do we get 435 members of the House? Do we get a hundred Senators? They're calling Mike Pence, they're coordinating and it's all working.
COOPER: Speaker Pelosi and the leadership, they were determined to get this done on that day.
PELOSI: With the participation of the Republican leadership. So it's important to point out that government was working that day. And since then, it's all been, you know, weaponized into political speech, and you know, it's all been turned into conspiracy theories, this and that.
But on that day, that was what was happened. They were going to certify the elections, no matter what.
COOPER: The what you see, though, in your film is it's the human story. I mean, it is a historic story that is happening. It's an it's a new story, but it's also a human story about individuals in this incredible historic moment.
I mean, your mom like ripping open a Slim Jim, while she's talking to, I guess it was Pence she was talking to at the time. Did you know -- I mean, you knew the importance of what you were doing in that.
PELOSI: There were moments that were -- first of all, there was a Georgia runoff that day, I think people forget. And there was a moment when Mitch McConnell, the actual Georgia runoff race was called and Mitch McConnell walked over to Chuck Schumer said, "Congratulations."
They are humans, they still -- I know that people don't understand the difference between private and how people behave in front of a camera when they're on the couch.
COOPER: That's one of the things that fascinates you about this and fuels your work, it is that that difference between what happens on the podium and what happens in private.
PELOSI: Right, and the hypocrisy that goes with it, because Mitch McConnell did walk up to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and say, I'm going to make sure I'm going to tell Trump he's not invited to the inauguration. He is not going to be.
COOPER: He said that on January 6.
PELOSI: Yes. Now, I know everything changes after that day. You know, when you're on your best behavior, and you're performing and there are no cameras there, or you don't know that there's a camera there.
COOPER: There was in some of the shots when you're shooting, I saw McCarthy looking at the camera, or I don't know if he was looking at you or looking at the camera sort of quizzically, did they know what you were doing?
PELOSI: No, because they were running a country. So, I don't think they're thinking -- first of all, it is an iPhone. So it's hard for people to understand, like Chuck Schumer uses a flip phone. It's hard for them to kind of understand like you're filming an HBO documentary over there. Right?
You're actually filming a broadcast quality thing that can be used.
COOPER: You were shooting on an iPhone.
PELOSI: Yes. And so maybe they were -- they had bigger problems.
COOPER: I want to play another clip from film. We see your mom taking a call from Vice President Pence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Madam Speaker?
PELOSI: Good morning again, Mr. Vice President, thank you very much for being with us this morning. We look forward to --
A. PELOSI: That's the Vice President --
PELOSI: ... on how we can all work together for the good of the American people for their lives and their livelihood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's obviously not January 6. That was at home.
PELOSI: It's about time we change subjects anyway, you and I.
People were really intrigued. We've got a lot of coverage about the fact that she at home made like milk crates to do Anderson Cooper Live from her kitchen. People for some reason are intrigued by that.
They think you have like people that come in and stuff -- I thought that was funny. They're just like, you're like taking all your garbage and putting it together to build a castle while you're live on Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: There's no -- in this film, there is no sit down interviews with Nancy Pelosi. You've said something about her and I don't want to misquote you about she is not somebody --
PELOSI: She's a workhorse not a show horse. She wouldn't sit down and over emote.
COOPER: That's not -- you're not going to get that out of her.
PELOSI: Haven't you tried to interview her?
COOPER: Yes, I have.
PELOSI: Because --
PELOSI: How has that gone for you?
COOPER: Actually, I did an interview with her. I was quite -- I thought she was great. And I thought it was really a fascinating interview, and I thought she said a lot of things that were very personal.
PELOSI: Did she strike you as an over sharer?
PELOSI: Right. See.
COOPER: Yes, she is a tough interview.
PELOSI: Oh, yes, she eats nails for breakfast. She's tough.
COOPER: She eats nails for breakfast.
PELOSI: She does.
COOPER: Has she always been that way?
PELOSI: Oh, yes.
COOPER: Growing up.
PELOSI: Oh, yes.
COOPER: Did you ever -- I mean, looking at it from the inside, did you ever want to be in politics?
PELOSI: I have the appetite for politics, but I don't have the stomach for it. I can't handle -- I don't want to be a political football. That's why I wouldn't come on your show when the January 6 footage came out in the first place, because I don't want to be used -- every word I say can and will be weaponized, and not so much today now that she stepped down. I feel like nobody cares anymore what I say.
But in the political context. After your footage aired, the way it was received by the mainstream media. I got legitimate news organizations writing to me and saying, "Hi, we're investigating claims that January 6 was staged because Nancy Pelosi brought a documentary film crew to the insurrection." And that was just mainstream media looking for clickbait.
They know January 6 wasn't staged. They had reporters there. Any reporter that wrote to me and said, "Hi, I'm investigating claims that January 6 was staged," should be disbarred.
COOPER: The line can be drawn directly from misinformation and lies to the attack on your dad.
PELOSI: Exactly. So here we are, full circle right back where we started. Because when you start to talk about decades of being demonized, and the way, the amount of hundreds of thousands of ads being made against a person, and she, my mother, had a target on her back for the past -- ever since she was in leadership. So let's call it two decades.
And the kind of hate that's been spewed and the kind of misogyny that was spewed in her direction. I think that January 6, there's an interesting connection. What you heard all the people that were saying they were coming to hang her from a lamppost, right, that's where people have been convicted in Courts for saying, people admit it that that's what they were saying. They said it live (on camera).
For people to show up and say, you know, they wanted to hang her and all that, when you take that. And then you see how my father ended up in the ICU. I mean, I see if you put the pieces together. I see it going right from --
COOPER: Why do you think it is that she is such a target? Because she's effective?
PELOSI: That's --
COOPER: Because everybody who I know who knows the former President will tell you that he respects your mom, that he knows how tough and he respects that he respects that strength.
PELOSI: You're talking about W?
COOPER: No. Donald Trump.
PELOSI: You're kidding.
COOPER: Everybody that I know who actually knows him as much as Donald Trump attacks your mom. They say that she's one of the few people he actually you know --
PELOSI: Now, that is news. You have just made the biggest news ever. I have never heard that.
COOPER: I've heard that from a number of people.
PELOSI: I cannot believe that. I always thought that the reason he had such a problem with her was because she was a woman and he wasn't used to ever have to talk to and deal with a real woman.
COOPER: Those things can -- are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Anyway, maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I --
PELOSI: You're never wrong.
COOPER: I'm always -- I can be.
PELOSI: No, that's why your name is on the wall here. You're never wrong.
COOPER: Alexandra Pelosi, thank you. Congratulations on the film.
PELOSI: Thank you for having me.
COOPER: And my best to your dad.
PELOSI: Thank you.
COOPER: Again, Alexandra's documentary will be released tonight, 9:00 PM on HBO and HBO Max. It's really fascinating. Check it out.
WE mentioned CNN and HBO are part of the same company.
More to come tonight including a live report from the West Texas border city of El Paso where migrants are crossing the border in increasing numbers as a COVID era restriction, which allow them to be sent back across the border immediately may soon end.
We'll also talk with Brittney Griner's agent about how she is adjusting to life back in the US.
COOPER: Major legal controversy over COVID era restriction that could potentially reach the Supreme Court is at the heart of a recent surge of migrants to the border. Nowhere is that more evident than in the Texas City of El Paso were about 1,200 migrants arrived on the other side of the border over the weekend.
One reason so many have now shown up is the anticipated end of a public health restriction known as Title 42 currently allows the government to expel migrants. Many migrants have already made it over the border into El Paso. Local shelters there are reportedly overwhelmed and some as you see in this video taken this morning are being kicked out of places like parking garages as near freezing temperatures settle on the West Texas border city.
Ed Lavandera has more details.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As the sun fades away over El Paso, a large group of migrants stand on the border's edge waiting to be processed by Border Patrol agents, while a few others tiptoe across a short path through the Rio Grande.
These migrants are part of a major surge of border crossings seen in El Paso in recent days and it is happening as the projected end of a Trump era. COVID restriction draws closer, ending the policy to swiftly expel migrants at US land borders.
US border authorities interacted with more than two million migrants in the last year, up from the previous year. But in recent days, an average of almost 2,500 migrants a day have been moving across this border between Mexico and the US through El Paso.
CLAUDIA RODRIGUEZ, EL PASO CITY COUNCIL MEMBER: Title 42 is only going to make that situation worse where they're going to have more apprehensions and so we're going to see a lot more releases into the community and were not prepared for it.
LAVANDERA (voice over): Just three weeks ago according to Customs and Border Protection the seven day rolling was fewer than 1,700. Thousands of migrants are now coming from Central and South America as well as Cuba, according to US Immigration officials.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am helping them get food and whatever they need. This is not even about politics. It's about humanity. These people are here and they're cold.
LAVANDERA (voice over): Some have been camping out across the border in Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, raising concerns they will cross en masse if Trump era border restrictions end in about a week.
Still others have already been boarded on the buses to be processed or turned around under the provisions of Title 42.
JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: We are taking steps to be able to manage the expiration of Title 42 and to put in place a process that will be orderly and humane, and we believe that in doing so, we can protect our national security concerns.
LAVANDERA (voice over): Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas arrived in El Paso today and says he is meeting with Customs and Border Protection, local officials, and organizations.
For now the immediate problem is housing and managing a large influx of migrants.
RUBEN GARCIA, DIRECTOR, ANNUNCIATION HOUSE: If the Court cases get resolved, and the Courts allow Title 42 to be lifted, we're going to see thousands of refugees for whom there isn't shelter.
LAVANDERA (voice over): The Director of a local El Paso shelter says Border Patrol recently dropped a busload of migrants at his doorstep and he is worried he'll soon have to turn people away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to have to say no, not because we want to the simply because we don't have space. The reality is there's just too many people.
COOPER: Ed Lavandera joins us now from El Paso. I mean, when Title 42 is lifted, how many people could potentially cross the border every day?
LAVANDERA: Well, the Biden administration is projecting that it could be as many as 9,000 to 14,000 migrants a day all along the US Southern border, Anderson, and that is roughly about double the numbers that we have been seeing over the course -- on average over the last few months.
The Department of Homeland Security, Anderson is announcing tonight that they are deploying additional agents here to the El Paso area, as well as at about a thousand border processing officers that will be able to help handle the influx of agents. It's not exactly clear how many more Border Patrol agents are coming to this specific area.
But clearly, the need will be in place here as the prospect of Title 42 being lifted here in the next week or so. So things can dramatically change. But DHS announcing tonight that additional resources are on the way. The question is will it be enough?
COOPER: Ed Lavandera, appreciate it. Thank you.
Ahead an update on WNBA star, Brittney Griner back in the US after nearly 10 months in Russian detention. How she is doing from someone close to her, her agent, next.
COOPER: After nearly 10 months of Russian imprisonment, Brittney Griner is doing really well we hear. She -- the climates (ph) back to life in the free world. The basketball stars even back to shooting hoops again so many have been pulling for her for so long. Wanted to get a more detailed update from someone in the know, someone who can speak to when the public might expect to hear from Griner. Her agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas joins us tonight.
Lindsay, thanks so much for joining us. How is Brittney doing?
LINDSAY KAGAWA COLAS, BRITTNEY GRINER'S AGENT: You're so welcome. Thanks for having me. She is doing so well. We're just thrilled. She's taking advantage of all the resources that the reintegration program has to offer. But she's doing great. The sparkles still there. She's grateful to be home. She's talking about, you know, ideas for what's next. And she's spending time sampling all over the finest fair of San Antonio.
COOPER: So, she is undergoing all the services that that the government can offer in terms of helping with somebody who has been in captivity for so long.
COLAS: It's all voluntary. But BG is very open minded. She's full of gratitude. And she's embracing the opportunity to do all the work necessary because this is hard. She has been through a lot, but she's so happy to be home.
COOPER: And she was back on the court practicing, wasn't she?
COLAS: I don't know if I would call it practicing. She was wearing Chuck Taylors.
COLAS: But she was back on the court. And you know, she had a hoop actually at her pretrial detention facility that her Russian attorneys, Maria and Alex offered to bring her a ball for and she didn't want to play.
COLAS: And so, it was, you know, pretty inspiring to know that one of the first choices she made was just to get out there for some fun and for a dunk to be her first move. You know, as an agent, I was really glad that she didn't get injured, but she didn't warm up. She assured me that she would do that. So, I don't know, I'll let her think about that for as long as she needs and that'll be her news to share. But no matter what we were just thrilled to know that she was excited to get out there.
COOPER: We have some video Brittney with her hair cut short working in the labor camp. Has she talked at all about how she dealt with this incredibly difficult situation?
COLAS: I think with the resilient spirit that all of us who know Brittney knew was there, you know, she came home and that sparkle was still in her eye and she approaches every situation with just this boundless joy. And she talked about liking her job and just putting herself in those moments and doing her best and just being present. And I guess none of it was really that surprising if you know Brittney that she's just going to embrace and find a way to make it work and find a little bit of happiness. And now she's home and she's going to have a lot of stories to tell.
COOPER: It says a lot about her, I mean as somebody who's tries to practice being present, which is a very difficult thing, the fact that she would want to try I'd be present in a labor camp, I in a penal colony I mean, you would think perhaps someone would want to pretend to be anywhere, but it's really interesting that she chose to try to be present in those moments.
COLAS: Yes, well, I'm not sure. That means she wanted to stay. She definitely --
COOPER: Well, that's for sure. That's for damn sure. That's quite clear.
COLAS: I think probably being an elite athlete helped, right finding the routine, finding a bit of agency --
COLAS: -- making choices, you know, she decided to cut her hair because that's what was going to keep her healthy. But it was also a signal that she really didn't know when she was going to come home. But she was ready to, you know, make hard choices and do hard things, and stay committed to the plan and doing her part. I'm sure if they did a vote, she's probably the most likable prisoner ever in a Russian detention facility. But that's just that Brittney Griner joy. And anybody who's been around her knows that.
COOPER: You've said before that she wants to use her voice on this issue to help other Americans being held overseas. Do you have any sense of her plans for the future or to help others?
COLAS: Yes, well, you know, it's same Brittney and I don't see it being any different. When I talked to her last night, she talked about how she's been thinking about the types of things she wants to do and how you can be both joyous and heartbroken and she's heartbroken that Paul Whelan is not home. She's thinking about his family and talked about her intention to call them as soon as she gets home. And I mean she's really committed to telling the stories and making sure that, you know, this population of wrongfully detained Americans that people know their names.
COOPER: Yes. Lindsay Kagawa Colas, thank you so much for talking to us. I really appreciate it.
COLAS: Thanks, Anderson. Thanks for your coverage.
COOPER: Coming up, a missing American college student studying overseas. His parents are pleading for help as they feel left in the dark about the international investigation to their son's disappearance. That's next.
COOPER: More than two weeks since an American college student studying abroad in France was last heard from. Kenny DeLand Jr. was supposed to be coming home in a few days for Christmas. Now his parents are trying to find him. But they say it's been difficult to get updates from authorities in both the U.S. and overseas. And they're challenging remarks made by a French prosecutor that their son had trouble making friends and may have left the area he was living in voluntarily.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNETH DELAND, FATHER OF MISSING U.S. STUDENT STUDYING IN FRANCE: We kind of feel left in the dark. The addition of the French prosecutor story is something that was new yesterday. I just challenged that French prosecutor. He doesn't know our son. And there was statements made in his statement that, you know, I feel he's making statements based on a person who does not know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: CNN's Jason Carroll joins us now with more. So, Jason, DeLand's parents were also asked about the last time they spoke to their son, what did they say?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they've said a couple of things. Anderson, first and foremost, they've said repeatedly that nothing seemed out of the ordinary, not just with the last conversation, but with, frankly, all of the conversations that they've been having with their son. That's why they're so especially frustrated. And you heard some of it there with the French authorities who they save and keeping them in the dark, not releasing information about their son. But as you know, that's partly because of French privacy laws, which prohibit French authorities from giving out information regarding someone who is an adult, and their son is 22 years old. So, he's an adult.
So, while you have the French prosecutor giving out some information about their son, that they don't agree with, they are also talking about him. And today spoke a little bit more about the conversations that they've been having with him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DELAND: And say, it's just our normal back and forth. He's asking me how I'm doing. I'm asking him how he's doing, how he's, you know, enjoying his studies. And if he had traveled to any, you know, spot, because he had, and really enjoy the trip and taking pictures and whatnot, and any loves to be able to, you know, see France.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: So again, a little bit more context there, Anderson, by all accounts, at least their accounts, normal conversations between a father and son a lot of frustration that they're experiencing, again, because of French authorities. They're hoping that all of the international attention that this case has been receiving will ultimately help them find some of the answers that they're looking for.
COOPER: What's known about the timeline, and when was the last time they talked to him? When was the last time his cell phone pinged or where he was seen?
CARROLL: Right. Well, a couple things when it comes to that. You'll remember it was on November 27th, that's when the parents received a WhatsApp message from their son saying that he was going to be taking this train to Villans (ph), France. Then on November 29th, that's when the public prosecutor's office ended up opening a formal investigation missing persons investigation, after some of the students there say that he didn't show up for class. Then on November 30th, there was some sort of some sort of ping from his phone activities from his phone. And then finally, on December 3rd, that is the day that a surveillance camera picked him up entering a sporting goods store. This was located about three hours from where he was initially located and where he was initially studying. That's where he was wearing the gray cap and, and the red jacket and nothing since then, nothing since December 3rd. And remember, it was just this Saturday, December 17th, when he was supposed to be home for the holidays.
COOPER: All right, Jason Carroll, appreciate it.
For more on the international investigation, I want to bring in former NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism, John Miller, who's now CNN's chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst.
So, I mean, this is a complicated thing, different privacy laws. How does an investigation like this a transatlantic issue like this get dealt with?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENCFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: If you're on the parents end of it it's a mess, but the system would be. The students reported missing that goes to the French police. Local French police don't do investigation. So that goes to the French national police. The French national police opened the investigation into what happened to this young man. The parents want information, they go through the U.S. State Department that then contacts the embassy that then reaches out to the police.
COOPER: Wow. So, it's not direct with the French police to the parents.
MILLER: That's right. And you know, the State Department goes through the foreign ministry to the police, and then brings news back to the parents. That's how the system is supposed to work. In the meantime, the FBI has a team of agents in Paris that work out of the embassy, the legal attache team, that are usually working on terrorism and transnational organized crime cases. But this involves a U.S. citizen/ So they can go to the French police and get information, send that back through the State Department. So that's another way there might be a breakthrough. And the FBI just started getting into this case, probably yesterday for the first time, based on the growing concern that he's off the grid, and nobody's heard from him.
COOPER: The parents obviously said they feel left in the dark. The French privacy laws, I didn't realize that they were so strict.
MILLER: And they are that if there is a person involved in an investigation, the authorities can give information out on that person until certain charges happen. And then limited information. And then if it involves giving that information to another country, that makes it more complicated. One of the things that could have a good effect here though, is you know, the father has talking about we'd like to get Interpol involved. A lot of people think Interpol is like The Man from (INAUDIBLE), you know, they do international investigations. They don't. But what they do is they run data and they connect countries with investigative information. So, if they put out a yellow notice, red notices you're wanted by some country, blue notices that, you know, there's a investigation about you and you need to be detained. But yellow notices you're a missing person. And that means anytime you cross a border, show a passport, get on a cruise ship, try to board an airplane, whether you're in the European Union or beyond any Interpol country that yellow notice will say, let's slow this person down and find out if they're OK, because they're missing.
Last year they did 2,162 of these yellow notices for both children and adults, you know, who just went off the grid. So, if he walked away, he's probably having a personal crisis. If he walked away, that doesn't mean he didn't run into trouble. So, you hope for the idea that he just needed to clear his head for a while because the alternative is worse.
COOPER: Yes. John Miller, appreciate it. Thank you so much.
Tomorrow marks a somber 10 years since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, 10 years since 20 first graders, six staff members, including the principal were murdered. Tomorrow night at "360" will talk to four former Sandy Hook students, three second graders and one fourth grader on that day, share how it's still affecting their lives today.
Here's a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (on-camera): Do you think this has impacted an entire generation of young people? I mean, those who have grown up since Columbine to you know, or just even since Sandy Hook to now. Do you think your generation has been shaped by these shootings?
SAAHI RAY, SANDY HOOK SCHOOL SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Absolutely. I do. I do. I think I think kids everywhere are scared to an extent and wondering like what's going to happen, what's going to change? And I said this before, but I think people are wondering, like, will my community be next? And as long as these events continue to show on the news, and they need to be shown, but that also means that people are going to be afraid.
AUDREY NICHOLS, SANDY HOOK SCHOOL SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Yes, I think I agree with Saahil. It's 100% affected our generation, the fact that we've gone through so many events like Sandy Hook. I don't think we've on a single week this year without another shooting happening. And I really think that's heavily impacted. Especially, especially kids and how they look at going to school. I know there's kids that like fear just loud noises in general because of everything that has happened in this generation. And I know I personally I struggle with unannounced drills in school. I don't know about you guys. But like if there's an unannounced lockdown drill, I go into panic mode. I'm hiding in a corner like palms sweating, and I'm just kind of reliving it in my mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Four the Sandy Hook survivors tomorrow "360." Also, tomorrow night the CNN Special Report, Sandy Hook Forever Remembered airs at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
Coming up tonight, who is this guy and what did he do? Some of them are saying he tried to pull off one of the biggest financial frauds in U.S. history.
COOPER: One of the biggest financial frauds in American history. That is how the U.S. Attorney prosecuting the former CEO of the failed crypto exchange FTX described his alleged crimes today. Sam Bankman- Fried is back in jail after his first court hearing following his arrest at his home in the Bahamas yesterday. Bankman-Fried was indicted on eight criminal charges stating including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering. If convicted on all eight counts he could face up to 115 years in prison.
Now separately the SEC charged him with defrauding investors and customers. Regulators warn it could be the first of many charges he was denied bail in the Bahamas.
Our Randi Kaye looks at the rise and fall of FTX and Bankman-Fried who was known as a crypto celebrity. Here's her report.
SAM BANKMAN-FRIED, FOUNDER, FTX: At the end of the day, look, there's a question of what happened and why and who did what?
RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Questions 30- year-old Sam Bankman-Fried is going to have to answer. As the founder of the digital trading platform FTX, he was long considered a modern- day JP Morgan. A recent Fortune magazine cover asked whether the young billionaire was the next Warren Buffett, Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen jumped on board as brand ambassadors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A trade? Are you sure?
TOM BRADY, BRAND AMBASSADOR: Not a trade, trade? I'm trading crypto. FTX is the safest and easiest way to buy and sell crypto.
KAYE (voice-over): Larry David promoted FTX during the Super Bowl.
LARRY DAVID: Like I was saying it's FTX it's a safe and easy way to get into crypto. Yes, I don't think so. I'm never wrong about this stuff. Never.
KAYE (voice-over): The NBA Steph Curry announced a long-term partnership with FTX last year. Bankman-Fried even made a deal with the Miami Heat renaming their home the FTX arena. It was a stunning rise for the MIT graduate only to be followed by a spectacular collapse.
BANKMAN-FRIED: I should have been on top of this and I feel really, really bad and regretful that I wasn't and a lot of people got hurt and that that's on me.
KAYE (voice-over): A lot of people got hurt because FTX was allegedly using investors money to bail out its partner firm, Alameda Research. Bankman-Fried had started the hedge fund Alameda in November 2017. He launched FTX a couple years later, and it became a wildly popular exchange for buying and selling crypto. But when Alameda creditors came calling, federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission allege FTX used billions in investor deposits to pay those creditors. In his interview with ABCs Good Morning America, Bankman-Fried denied knowing that investors funds were allegedly being used to save his hedge fund.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you know that FTX deposits were used to pay off Alameda creditors?
BANKMAN-FRIED: I don't know if FTX deposits being used to pay off Alameda creditors. I did not know that there's any improper use of customer funds.
KAYE (voice-over): After the founder of a rival firm leaked the alleged mishandling of customer funds, investors rapidly began withdrawing billions from FTX. The trading platform filed for bankruptcy last month. And Bankman-Fried resigned. Long before that he was a major political donor, a nonpartisan group, which tracks money in politics found he donated more than $900,000 to candidates and nearly $39 million to outside groups for midterms. Most of the spending supported Democrats.
Sam Bankman-Fried grew up in Palo Alto, California. His parents work as law professors at nearby Stanford University. After graduating MIT in 2014, with a degree in physics, Bankman-Fried worked as a trader at Jane Street Capital before starting his own firm. His signature t- shirt and unkempt hair always on display. Even in the company of former President Bill Clinton during a crypto conference earlier this year in the Bahamas.
COOPER: And Randi joins me now. Is there any word on investors getting their money back?
Now I also mentioned the Miami Heat the FTX Arena, which is now the name for their home arena. They want to completely disassociate themselves with FTX, they want their name taken off that arena. They don't want to do any more business with FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried, they're looking for somebody else to name their arena. And I also reached out to the celebrities who endorsed FTX, as you saw in our story, asking them for a comment. None of them would comment on this to CNN, Anderson.
COOPER: Randi, appreciate it. Thank you.
Up next, the chairman of Fox Corporation Rupert Murdoch was expected to be deposed this morning in a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems over Fox News is unfounded claims about the 2020 election. Ahead, one-on-one with Dominion Voting Systems CEO on those baseless claims by the former president and his allies.