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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

January 6 Committee Expected To Announce Referral Of Criminal Charges To DOJ Against Trump, Including Insurrection; Russia Launches Massive Missile Attack Knocking Out Power In Cities Across Ukraine; Appeals Court Rejects Bid By GOP-Led States to Keep Title 42 Border Policy In Force; Musk Defends Suspending Journalists Without Warning; How Britain Is Reacting To Harry And Meghan Taking On The Royals. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired December 16, 2022 - 20:00   ET


PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: At least 20 protesters are now dead.

And in the Ancient City of Machu Picchu, hundreds are stranded. The Mayor they're warning that they are now running low on food, and he is also pleading for helicopters in order to help with evacuations, because the only way in and out of the town is by train, and those services have all been suspended.

Well, thank you so much for joining us.

AC 360 starts now.



Obstruction of Congress, conspiracy to defraud the United States and insurrection, those are the three criminal charges the January 6 Committee may recommend the Justice Department to pursue against former President Trump when it meets likely for the last time on Monday, that's according to sources who spoke with CNN tonight.

Obviously, it is a big day if and when that occurs coming after almost 17 months of investigations and public testimony. The Committee as you know spent almost a-year-and-a-half compiling evidence showcasing their findings during often gripping hours-long public hearings this year. The structure of Congress always at the forefront of possible charges, much of it centered around the pressure on former Vice President Pence to overturn the election, as well as the pressure on the Justice Department.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): You also noted that Mr. Rosen said to Mr. Trump, "DOJ can't and won't snap its fingers and change the outcome of the election." How did the President respond to that, sir?

RICHARD DONOGHUE, FORMER DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: He responded very quickly and said, essentially, "That's not what I'm asking you to do. What I'm just asking you to do is just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen."


COOPER: Evidence to support the second charge, conspiracy to defraud was presented almost from the outset in the first hearing and we should warn you with some rather direct off color language, the Committee played testimony by former US Attorney General Bill Barr, who was one of many who said they repeatedly tried to tell the former President that there was no fraud in the election.

In other words, the former President knew or should have known, his allegations were untrue.


WILLIAM BARR, FORMER US ATTORNEY GENERAL: I made it clear, I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff, which I told the President was bullshit.


COOPER: As for the third charge, insurrection, the Committee sought a testimony by rally goers as well as the President's own words to establish his culpability for the riot.


ERIC BARBER, CHARGED WITH THEFT AND UNLAWFUL DEMONSTRATION IN THE CAPITOL: He personally asked for us to come to DC that and I thought, for everything he has done for us, if that is the only thing he is going to ask me, I'll do it.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to walk down to the Capitol.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You heard President Trump mentioning going to the Capitol during his speech?

BARBER: Oh, yes.


COOPER: I am joined now by CNN political correspondent, Sara Murray. What are you learning about these possible criminal referrals?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, I mean, you laid out the three potential charges that we are learning about, but that may not be all there; they maybe more than that that they refer to the Justice Department when it comes to Trump.

But what we are really looking for as a lot of the underlying evidence that they put out to support these charges, some of those you laid out there, like when we're talking about obstruction, when we're talking about conspiracy, these are the kinds of things the Justice Department has pursued when it comes to the rioters who stormed the Capitol that day. When you're talking about something like insurrection, that's a much more complicated charge. So we're going to be looking at what the Committee lays out as evidence.

What we're going to see on Monday, though, is essentially what lawmakers have been saying separately as one voice from the Committee. We've heard individually from a number of lawmakers who said they believe that Donald Trump committed a crime when it came to what happened on January 6th, they believe he was culpable, and now, this is their ability to really lay that out.

Again, this is largely symbolic. The Justice Department does not take its cues from Congress, but lawmakers have said they believe they found evidence that crimes were committed and that may not stop with just the former President and they think that they need to lay that out for the historical record and for the Justice Department.

COOPER: What do you know about what Federal investigators have gotten access to and what it might mean to the January 6 investigation?

MURRAY: Well, this is interesting, because it is from a Court filing that just became public. We're learning Federal investigators have been able to access e-mail accounts, more than 100,000 documents and a book outline, this all pertains to communications between Republican Congressman Scott Perry, former DOJ officials Jeffrey Clark and Ken Klukowski, as well as Attorney John Eastman and it gets into their discussions that they were having around the 2020 election.

You know, Jeffrey Clark was penning an outline for a book about his experiences around the 2020 election. We now know Federal investigators have this.

So this is a wealth of information. It gives you an idea of how deep Federal investigators are going into this, but the other thing that's notable is we are just learning about this now because a version of it became unsealed. But this is what prosecutors have been looking into months ago.

So, that's something else to remember as we get going Monday and as we hear what the Committee has to say. Prosecutors are already very far down this road when it comes to investigating Donald Trump, his allies and what was going on in the run up to January 6th.

COOPER: Sara Murray, appreciate it.

I'm joined now by our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger; CNN contributor, former Nixon White House Counsel, John Dean; and senior legal analyst, Elliot Williams, a former Federal prosecutor.

Gloria, how historically significant would it be for a former President of the United States to be referred to the Justice Department for criminal charges?


GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It is historically significant and meaningful, because when you take a step back and think about what these criminal referrals are, they are saying that a former President of the United States, while he was in office, was effectively trying to orchestrate a coup, trying to fraudulently change an election, so he could remain in office. It's kind of remarkable. Other charges, obstruction of Congress, of course, conspiracy to defraud the United States government.

The fact is, however, and I think Sara was clearly referring to this is that the Justice Department does not say, okay, this is what we're going to do. But this criminal referral is to say to the American public, this is what we believe after our voluminous hearings and investigations, and we are handing this material over to the Department of Justice and let the Department of Justice decide whether or if to charge the former President with any of these charges.

So I think, the Justice Department doesn't need to get up to speed. We have seen with hundreds of prosecutions of people who were storming the Capitol, they have already started in that sense, and they are clearly looking at Donald Trump and a lot of his could be co- conspirators.

COOPER: Yes. Elliot, I mean, does the Justice Department care whether or not they have a criminal referral from -- I mean, it's not an official -- it's not a real thing.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, Anderson, I'd go even further saying, and it's even about caring. I actually think a criminal referral gets in the Justice Department's way a little bit, because it politicizes the work of the Justice Department, even assuming that Congress is righteous in what they are pursuing with the criminal referral. There is still a partisan elected body, and even a bipartisan Committee of Congress is still a political body that sort of puts the thumb on the scale of the Justice Department.

So imagine if then the Justice Department proceeds with charges that they would have pursued anyway. There is at least that question that they were spurred to do what they do, what they did on account of an act by Congress.

So it doesn't matter, again, as I've said on your program before, the Justice Department will proceed regardless of what Congress does, but it does put them in a somewhat tricky position of having to at least answer the question of whether their prosecution was political.

COOPER: John, I mean, when it comes to charges being considered, obstruction of official proceeding, insurrection, conspiracy to defraud the Federal government. If the DOJ were to pursue them, how high is the bar for those in a Court of law?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, of course, it has to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in a Federal Court in a criminal proceeding like this, and that is the highest standard of proof. So unlike this Committee, which is relying on hearsay on occasions, they have to get to the source of everything.

They do have the tools at the Department of Justice to do that, something the Committee doesn't. So, naturally they do rely on hearsay because they trust the source they're getting it from.

So what what's going to happen at Justice is really much different than what's happened at the Committee. But this Committee is taking such a historic look at the presidency at such an important time that I think their work is really going to be remembered long, long, long after Monday.

COOPER: Gloria, I mean, how does this impact you think, you know, assuming the Committee makes a referral, how does it impact the former President and his alleged presidential campaign?

BORGER: Well, I think if he were out campaigning, he might be talking about it, and claiming he were the victim. But since he's not out campaigning very much, I don't know how it'll affect his campaign.

We've already seen, Anderson, in our poll this week, that six out of 10 Republicans and he is popular with Republicans, but six out of 10 Republicans are saying, you know, maybe we ought to think of someone else.

So this is just one more thing piled on top of lots of other things. The Mar-a-Lago investigation being one of them, for example, but I think Republicans are starting to kind of look for somebody else, because they're tired of this.

COOPER: Elliot, is there a sense for the Justice Department, a timeline? I mean, obviously we don't know the details of where they're at in their investigation. It seems to be, you know, ramping up. They will get all the information, I assume, once it is made public that the Select Committee has, so any sense of how long an investigation could go on for?

WILLIAMS: Well, look, the official answer is five years from the commission of the offense, typically is the statute of limitations for most crimes. So, that's how long they have legally in which to do it.

The problem is that you just run into a political calendar when things change, so for instance a new Justice Department could certainly stop or suspend any of these investigations that are ongoing now. And certainly anything is going to take at least a year to get the trial anywhere, or at least several months to get to trial.

Look, if you talk about an insurrection charge, which probably isn't happening, given how rarely it's been charged in American history, but it would take several months, if not a year to get to trial to begin with. So right there, they are up against a bit of a clock.

So I would assume if charges are coming through, they probably have to come pretty soon, because the folks working in the headquarters of the Justice Department aren't dummies and know that they aren't blessed with unlimited time.

COOPER: And John, when it comes to John Eastman's e-mails, what does the Justice Department do you think are looking for there?

DEAN: Well, apparently they are constantly are finding new ones. They're looking to see what kind of advice he was giving. Did he know that it was bogus advice? Apparently, there is some indication he did, that he knew it wouldn't survive in any court of law. So he was telling the President to do things that were not within the bounds of the law.

He was pushing examples that were really not good legal advice. He was actually a member of a conspiracy, where he was not doing anything to distance himself from those illegal activities, but rather, trying to give the President a key to push his Vice President to do what was conspicuously wrong.

COOPER: Gloria Borger, John Dean, Elliot Williams, appreciate it. Thank you.

Still to come tonight in this hour, Ukrainians trying to keep power on after a particularly brutal day of missile strikes. We're going to have a live report from Odesa in the South.

Also, a live report from the Southern US border and a firsthand look at what some migrants are dealing with once they've crossed already into the United States.



COOPER: An intense wave of missile strikes in Ukraine today, officials say that Russia launch at least 76 missiles, 60 are believed to have been intercepted, but explosions were heard in major cities across the country. Three people are dead after a missile struck an apartment building in one city.

President Zelenskyy says that all targets are civilian, particularly the power grid as temperatures dip below freezing in the country.

I'm joined now by our senior international correspondent, Will Ripley.

You're in Odesa right now, which is in the south. You were in Kyiv this morning. What has it been like today?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So we were packing up the car this morning to drive here when the air raid sirens went off, so I just had to go up and have breakfast and I'm sitting there, there's this cheerful Christmas music playing and then it was this surreal moment because you got the cheerful Christmas music, then there's this explosion, a very large explosion you can hear near the hotel. Then the lights go out, and yet, the music kept playing and people who were in the hotel working just kind of kept going on with their jobs.

It was just incredible, and it really speaks to the Ukrainian people and their resilience and also the fact that they've been living through this war for, you know, almost 10 months now.

There were 76 missiles fired by Russia, and 40 of them were aimed right at Kyiv. They shot down 37 of them. So, there were three explosions in the city, but the vast majority of the missiles were shot down and they don't even have the Patriot Missile Defense Systems yet. This is their existing, you know, older technology missile defense, it's really extraordinary.

COOPER: Is it clear where the Ukrainians think the missiles were fired from?

RIPLEY: So they detected Russian strategic bombers for the first time flying in the airspace over Belarus and Belarus is really significant. We actually traveled up there last week, because there has been a buildup of Russian troops in three different regions in Belarus and Putin is going to Belarus.

He is going to Minsk on Monday to meet with Lukashenko, his close friend and ally. They say the talks are to deepen their partnership, but in Kyiv, they are concerned and they've been speaking publicly to "The Economist" saying that they are anticipating perhaps some sort of, you know, second invasion through the Northern border at some point early next year.

Now, that comes with the caveat that both sides, Russia and Ukraine have used misinformation at times to their advantage to try to throw the other side off, but that is certainly something that we need to watch closely in the coming weeks for sure.

COOPER: What's it like in Odesa?

RIPLEY: You know, it's warmer here, so that's a bonus. But they've been battered, they got hit today with these missile strikes as well. They were without power. And one-and-a-half million people in this region were without power just last weekend, when I was here interviewing the Foreign Minister, who talked about among other things, his confidence that Patriot missile defense systems would be on the battlefield here in Ukraine.

At some point, he said, it is the next stage. Obviously, there's months of training between now and then, but for cities like this, for cities like Kyiv, where people have sometimes had to live for days on end without electricity and without water. In some cases, not even the ability to cook or to you know, to take care of their kids properly because they're just shivering in the cold.

They say they badly need every weapon they can get to fight off this constant onslaught by the Russians.

COOPER: Will Ripley, be careful. Appreciate it. Thank you.

Perspective now from retired Brigadier General Peter Zwack, former Defense Department attache to Russia. He's also the author of "Swimming the Volga: A US Army Officer's Experiences in Pre Putin Russia," and CNN national security analyst, Steve Hall, former Chief of Russia Operations for the CIA.

General Zwack, I mean, every time Russia sends a wave of guided missiles and other munitions in Ukraine, they're firing tens of millions of dollars' worth of weapons, at the same time, Ukraine state energy providers activated their emergency mode after a 50 percent deficit in power.

How much longer can Russia keep up attacks like this? And can Ukraine's power grid continue?

BRIG. GEN. PETER ZWACK (RET), FORMER US DEFENSE ATTACHE TO RUSSIA: First of all, I think that the Russians, I think, some folks are a bit surprised they keep having waves of cruise missiles and higher tech systems beyond their drones. But they've got to be wearing out, they're coming down, and when they do this, in my mind it signifies there is a -- they are worried.

They're worried -- this seems to, in their mind work, but Anderson, I go -- I went back and looked at pictures of London in 1940 during the Nazi air blitz, and while a different view, the same type of spirit and tenaciousness that we see in Ukrainian Defense, and the perseverance of the population.


The more the Russians do this, I think it just hardens the Ukrainians and the defense across the entire population, and this is something I don't think the Russians get. It's punitive.

The Russians are trying to make the Ukrainians submit -- I use that word, submit -- it is not going to happen. But it is tough and they need to be supported every way they can, the Ukrainians.

COOPER: Steve, when you see these wave of a missiles attack, what do you think?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it's clear that the Russians really don't I think, have a whole lot of military options, at least right now, besides from just using whatever weaponry remains to them, and it's a really important question as to how much they have left to just pummel the Ukrainians?

You know, I agree with Peter that what they're trying to do, of course, is they're trying to break the will of the Ukrainian people. But I also share the skepticism as to whether or not that will be enough.

But at the very least, what it is, is it is showing a domestic audience inside of Russia, that at least Russia is doing something and it's doing something destructive. And right now, that's really about all they have to offer to a domestic audience who might be very well be wondering, so what exactly is going on over there?

COOPER: Do you think there is anything that could make -- Steve, do you think there's anything that could make Putin recalculate?

HALL: Well, yes, there's a number. I mean, eventually, reality is going to set in.

I mean, for example, if he runs out of munitions, he's going to have to -- he's going to have to try to figure something else out. But I really think over the long run, and Peter might have something to say about this as well, I think over the long run, what he is hoping to do is rebuild, retrain, try to restock his troops try to get all of these conscripts, very few of whom have real experience, in some sense battle ready so that he can go back at it, hammer and tongs, either, you know, over the winter or in the spring.

COOPER:: General Zwack, do you think that's -- because, you know, weeks ago, there had been talks when there was ground fighting in the South, there had been talks about in the East of sort of waves of cannon fodder, ill-trained Russian troops just being sent out to try to overrun Ukrainian positions.

Do you think that that's what they're going to try to do again?

ZWACK: I think that it's double edged. There is certainly an aspect of it, because the word is getting out to these conscripts, these several hundreds of thousands that this is a pretty ugly show in Ukraine and it is winter, and winter is hard for anyone if you're untrained and not particularly -- or poorly trained and not particularly well supplied with supply lines that are vulnerable to partisans, they're going to have a problem.

But they're undeniably, though, there are some -- they are contract Russian soldiers that are blooded, their veterans, and some of them are out training them. They will be better, they will learn. Soviets learned in World War Two, and Ukrainians were part of that.

So there's a lot more but no, I think that they can throw the manpower, they can train them, sort of kind of, they're going to get in there and it will still be a meat grinder like we're seeing in that sort of Verdon Pass situation at Bakhmut.

COOPER: And General Zwack, I mean, are Patriot missiles, a big solution for Ukraine in any way? I mean, you know, we've had General Hertling on -- Lieutenant General Hertling on a bunch talking about how expensive they are, how expensive the missiles are, and how many months it takes just to train people to actually operate them.

ZWACK: Anderson, in isolation, maybe not, but it's part of growing an integrated air defense. They can take down short range ballistic missiles like Iskandar SS-21s or the rumor of the Iranian SRBMs coming in, so they provide that. They also can take out, if it comes down to that, they have a level of almost 75,000 feet.

If the Russians were to commit and notably they have, and their aerial assets that are firing cruise missiles, whether in Belarus or out from Black Sea or whatever, they are a real threat to the Russian high flyers, plus they can get low ground things, but yes, General Hertling is right. They are very expensive, you don't want a Patriot shooting down a drone.

COOPER: General Zwack, Steve Hall, appreciate it. Thank you.


Appreciate it. Thank you coming up, late breaking news in the immigration battle plus CNN talks to migrants who have already crossed into the US from Mexico. Former Homeland Security Secretary also joins us to look at what the White House may do next.

Be right back.


COOPER: Breaking News tonight: A Federal Appeals Court is rejecting a bid by several Republican-led States to keep the so-called Title 42 border rule in place. It's a policy created under the last President that allows for the expulsion of migrants who cross the US-Mexico border.

The ruling from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals now tees up a Supreme Court battle. Biden administration is set to stop enforcing Title 42 policy on Wednesday.

In Texas, Ed Lavandera tonight gives us a firsthand look at what some migrants are dealing with right now after just crossing into the US.



ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's 39 degrees and getting colder. This is Roberto Cordoba's first night sleeping on the El Paso streets. He says he's never experienced anything close to homelessness. He left Cuba last month and is hoping to get to Miami soon.

(On camera): He says this is the first time in his life he's ever had to spend the night on the street and he feels completely lost.

(Voice-over): A thin pair of New York giants socks and unlaced shoes won't be enough to get through the frigid night.

(On camera): Everything that he's wearing now, the jackets in the heavy clothing donated people who have dropped it off here. Roberto hopes there's something else to keep him warm. In the back of Sandragrace Martinez's car for days, she's handed out donated goods.

SANDRAGRACE MARTINEZ, VOLUNTEER: Their survival mode, it's fight or flight for them.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The long lines of migrants from what is Mexico waiting to get escorted into El Paso by border patrol agents has significantly dwindled, a sign that perhaps this latest migration surge has slowed down for now. But that could change next week. With the Title 42 Public Health rule set to expire. That order allows for the swift expulsion of migrants at the border as more migrants arrive in El Paso officials plan to bring in more buses to move migrants to their destinations in the U.S. faster, hoping to prevent a backlog of people on the streets. MARIO D'AGOSTINO, DEPUTY CITY MANAGER, EL PASO, TX: And so, with that, that might bring in transportation in forms of buses to get them to that transportation hub, whether it's Dallas or Denver or Phoenix or whatever that next large airport or bus terminal is, it's to move them on to those locations.

LAVANDERA: El Paso Emergency Management outreach teams are helping migrants find shelter space at night. But Albert Robles and his wife have been sleeping on the street buried under blankets since Monday night. Their bus ticket to Connecticut isn't good until this weekend.

(On camera): He said the first night that he was sleeping on the street, it was drizzly and cold, it was almost like a fatal feeling. But he thought, you know, he's been dreaming of this moment for so long. But there was no way he was going to turn back.


COOPER: And Ed Lavandera joins us now from El Paso. We saw these how the long lines of migrants has decreased, can you put that into context for us?

LAVANDERA: Well, you know the surge that we've been talking about for the last week, Anderson, appears to have waned, because that line that you saw -- that we've seen over the last few days, that was hundreds of yards long, quickly disappeared early this morning. But what does that mean? That means a lot of those people have been brought into the U.S., a good portion of them will have probably been processed by border patrol and allowed to stay in the U.S. And that is why here in this downtown location where we're at tonight, we've seen a significant increase in the number of people who will likely be spending the night on the streets here as they wait for bus tickets or plane rides to other parts of the country. And a lot of these people here in this line waiting for a blanket, someone has just dropped off a large batch of blankets. They're waiting in line here to give some because they are all bracing for another painfully frigid night, Anderson.

COOPER: So, I mean are -- do most of these people say that they want to apply for asylum?

LAVANDERA: It's interesting. There's a wide array and a mix of what people are requesting, there are a good number of people who are requesting asylum, depends on what country you're coming from. Central American countries are much more violent that yes, they're asking for asylum there. You have Cubans and Venezuelans who are requesting asylum for political reasons. But we also do hear that there is a large number of people that I've spoken to over the last four days that are coming here for economic reasons. So, you know, all of these different reasons, they will have to either present through the immigration process, you know, a good portion of them are being expelled immediately. And the likelihood of them winning their immigration cases is also very difficult. But many of them, all of them for one reason or another always come back to this to the same thing. They are desperately looking for a better way of life for their -- for themselves and their families. COOPER: Ed Lavandera, I appreciate it. Thank you.

Joining us now is former Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, who served under President Obama. Security Johnson, I appreciate you being with us. You know, just listen to Ed, people coming obviously for economic reasons, but that's not under immigration law. That's not a reason to claim asylum. Asylum is for persecution, escaping violence, political persecution. Nevertheless, these people are going to be here for years because the asylum claims -- the immigration claims take years to go through because the system is so overwhelmed. How does this get fixed?

JEH JOHNSON, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY UNDER PRES. OBAMA: Well, Anderson, first of all, the courts have gotten way to involved and what traditionally has been an area where the courts defer to the political branches of government to the point where our policy is muddled and confusing, one week, it's no you have to end Title 42 and other week it's, no you have to keep it, you have the MPP, you have to keep MPP, DACA, same thing.


Clearly, the state of our asylum system and our laws is one of the reasons that migrants come here. The principal reason or the push factors from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela, but the process takes years, somewhere between two to six years, the bar or getting over the initial hump to qualify for asylum by stating a claim of credible fear is relatively low, while the ultimate bar to get asylum is relatively high. But it's yours in between. And migrants know that. And I know from speaking to migrants myself from the southern border, when I had the job at DHS, that a number of them come here, knowing that they may only get to stay here for a few years and get a job, but it's better than the circumstances that they've left.

COOPER: Right.

JOHNSON: So, to fix it requires an act of Congress, in all likelihood, you could do much of this through regulation, which would then be challenged in the courts. And there are proposals pending in the legislative branch now to try to fix this. But regrettably, because immigration has become so polarized, it's impossible to get anything done there.

COOPER: So, I mean, what is the answer? I mean, is a comprehensive -- if a comprehensive immigration reform is not legislatively possible, because of the divisions in Congress, and each side has reasons to keep things polarized and use bumper sticker slogans to use his cudgels against the other side, are there piecemeal things that can be done? I mean, obviously, the DACA piece of this would be one of those there are, you know, fixing the court system that, you know, getting more judges, getting faster hearings, because it's insane that it takes four to six years for people to actually have an actual asylum claim heard?

JOHNSON: Anderson, all of the above. However, as long as we have numbers, like you see on the screen now of 200,000, 150,000 a month crossing our border, it becomes a flashpoint, it makes it impossible politically, to accomplish any form of comprehensive immigration reform. We've got to deal with the numbers. The problem is much bigger, much bigger now than it was 5, 6, 7, 8 years ago when I was dealing with it plainly, but one key to this, Illegal immigration is a very information sensitive phenomenon, reacts sharply to information about perceived changes in enforcement policy in the United States. That's one of the reasons why I continually when I was in office, I kept making the point, we will send you back consistent with our laws and values, 11 words and repeated it constantly. And showed people in Central America that we were sending people back, we were deporting people to the point where I'd actually go to Central America, greet the planes coming back, bring them the news organizations in Central America with me, so that people see that we actually are enforcing our laws, trying our best to do so in a lawful and humane manner.

So that has to be a starting point for this debate. And then you can have the debate about comprehensive immigration reform and all the things that need to be done in between, at the very least. We have to protect the DACA recipients. There are people at Yale Law School, Georgetown Law School where a DACA recipients or somebody that works at my law firm was a DACA recipient. And when they asked me, Mr. Johnson, what's my future? I can't tell them as long as DACA is in a state of limbo, and it's simply executive action.

COOPER: Secretary Johnson I appreciate your time. Thank you.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

COOPER: Up next, Elon Musk speaks up about silencing journalists on Twitter. The facts tell another story, the suspended Donie O'Sullivan joins us along with Kara Swisher, next.



COOPER: The drama at Twitter continues to grow. We told you last night that Elon Musk company suspended the counts of several journalists including CNN's Donie O'Sullivan. Donie suspension came after he reported on a college students battle with Moscow over a now suspended Twitter account that track the billionaires private jet. Despite his repeated claims of supporting the Free Press, Musk is defending his actions against the journalists.


ELON MUSK, TWITTER CEO: There's not going to be any distinction in the future between journalists, simple journalists and regular people. Everyone's going to be treated the same. You're not special because you're a journalist. You're just -- you're a Twitter, you're just you're a citizen. So, no special treatment. You doxx, you doxx, you get suspended, End of story.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: It's not really the story at all. Musk is falsely claiming the prominent journalist shared the billionaire's live location, which he described as assassination coordinates, the doxx -- they were doxxing him giving out his phone number, his home address, that did not happen. Donie O'Sullivan is back with us tonight.

Just to be clear, you did not doxx Elon Musk, you did not give his live location. You interviewed a guy whose Twitter account was suspended because he's using public information to track the plane of Elon Musk?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Correct. Yeah. And so, we reported actually, reporting throughout the week how Musk went to all these lengths to remove all trace of that account even links to that account on other platforms. I mean, it's still live on places like Facebook, but no, I or -- as far as I can see the other journalists who are suspended did not share Musk's live location.

COOPER: And at any point, his Twitter offered any explanation through to you or any of the other journalists?


O'SULLIVAN: No, I still just have when I log in, it says I'm currently suspended. Although there is a suggestion from Musk now that he might lift that after about seven days in about a week. So, I guess we'll see.

COOPER: And somebody was reinstated to Twitter today.

O'SULLIVAN: Yeah. Well, you know, the discourse. Mike Lindell, the pillow guy is back on the platform. He was suspended, of course, he's a serial election liar. And he said, I'm back. Thank you Elon Musk, and by the way, melted down the electronic voting machines and turn them into prison bars.

COOPER: He was also promoting totally phony cures for COVID as well?

O'SULLIVAN: Yes, yeah. As I believe you interviewed him at the time about.

COOPER: Yes, I did. I've interviewed him.

O'SULLIVAN: So, look, I mean, Musk is clearly comfortable with a lot of COVID misinformation. He's torn up the misinformation rulebook on COVID. He's put back very prominent, neo-Nazi white nationalist.


O'SULLIVAN: And he's also, you know, reinstated the accounts of people like Mike Lindell, all of which, by the way, he is totally entitled to do. He is the owner of this private company, but it's just a bit funny coming from a guy who says he loves free speech.

COOPER: Don, stay with me. I'm going to bring in Kara Swisher. She's the host of On with Kara Swisher podcast and the co-host of the Pivot podcast. Kara, first of all, understand you underwent a heart procedure recently.


COOPER: And I just wanted to say you look great, and I hope you are well. And my thoughts and best wishes.

SWISHER: Oh, I'm fine. It was yesterday.

COOPER: Yesterday, wow.

SWISHER: It was yesterday.

COOPER: Well, I'm glad.

SWISHER: Yeah, here I am.

COOPER: I'm glad you're back. So, what is going on with Elon Musk?

SWISHER: Medical innovation.

COOPER: I mean, you've been -- you've covered Elon Musk more than anybody. Is his free speech talk just baloney?

SWISHER: Yes, that would be correct. It's nonsense. I mean, he's just doing whatever he feels like. He's sort of -- has no impulse control. So, he does whatever he feels like at this point. And so, if you think there's a rhyme or reason to any of this, please disabuse yourself of that, because he's just doing it because he feels like it. He probably got mad at these journalists for writing about this guy who did ElonJet, even though he'd promised to leave him on the platform, that ElonJet guy, and now he's just deciding, in the moment, really, it's one person running a very large platform, just as he feels like and depending on what he eats, or drinks or whatever you might be angry or mad or sad or tired. He just does it when he feels like it.

COOPER: But I mean, Kara, I get -- I understand, you know, a billionaire who wants to, you know, they believe they're invincible, and they want to do whatever they want to do. They have so much money, and they can do much that they want to do. But why even come up with a completely BS explanation about it like that Donie and others were doxxing? Why not just say, you know what, yeah, I don't like this person. These people annoy me, I'm going to do that. That would be brave, as opposed to --

SWISHER: I guess.

COOPER: -- bending over backwards with -- I mean, this idea that there's going to enforce a rule against sharing someone's quote, real time locations if you're reporting cover -- your reporter, you're coming a politician or a sporting event, you tweet that a senator has just arrived on the floor for a vote, or that a player's arrived at the stadium, that's their real time location.

SWISHER: Yeah, it's untenable. It's ridiculous. It's made up, you know, why do it? Because he likes to lie constantly. I mean, look at what's happening. He said, he's got a moderation council, then he didn't, he said he was going to do all kinds of not misinformation. And then he puts out misinformation himself. Kanye West was going to be just fine. And then he kicked him out the next week, for good reason. But everybody knew what Kanye West was going to do.

So, I can't underscore that none of this makes any sense. And it is, you know, it's having some real time applications to his other companies, Tesla shares are down, almost, to a really scary level for him. That said, you know, he doesn't seem to care. He likes behaving like this. And I don't think any of those journalists did anything that they hadn't done before, which is called reporting, and he just doesn't like it. And I don't know why he doesn't say it. Who knows? Honestly, who knows?

COOPER: Donie, doesn't Twitter ask users to share location data with advertisers?

O'SULLIVAN: Yeah, I mean, there's even some reporting this week, which we haven't confirmed that they may make you if you if you want to stay on Twitter shares, more location data. Look, there's no rhyme or rhythm to a lot of this, as Kara pointed out, but you know, there are laws. There are laws, particularly in Europe when it comes to privacy. And we did hear as well from the European Commission in Brussels today, mentioning saying if you start kicking journalists off our platform -- off platforms in Europe, we're going to come down on us. So, you know, I think it's another one of these cases where laws and regulators might have to catch up with the pace of what Musk is doing. But he certainly could face some repercussions for what he's doing, whether it be with this data or throwing people off the platform.

COOPER: Kara, what is the end game do you think with him on Twitter?

SWISHER: I have no idea at this point. I don't -- you know, he paid too much for it. He's got to somehow make money again. He should be worked on the product and making it better. He's certainly capable of it. So, I'm not really clear what he's doing. He makes a lot of noise and I don't know if you've noticed he likes attention.


But he's not -- you know, improving the product. I don't -- not right now, he's not and helping with advertisers, no. Creating new things, no. So, I don't know what the end game is to be honest with you. I guess it's to make it better and then eventually take it public. That would be what I would think someone with a good business sense as he said, in the past would do but I don't think so. I honestly don't know, Anderson.

COOPER: Kara Swisher, Donie O'Sullivan, I appreciate it. Thank you.

Up next, how the British public is reacting to Prince Harry and Meghan Markel, taking on the Royals in the latest episode of their Netflix series.


COOPER: It's been a remarkable time for Britain's Royal Family Prince Harry and Meghan Markel are not holding back in the final three episodes of their Netflix series. They've slammed the British press and the palaces refusal to do anything to help them ultimately drove them out of the country.


They've also mentioned specific members of family, Prince Harry recalling his brother Prince William losing his temper during a crucial Summit, as they discussed the couple's long-term future. How is the British public taking all of this, with that, here's CNN's Scott McLean.


PRINCE HARRY: It was terrifying to have my brother screenshots of me and my father say things that just simply weren't true and my grandmother quietly sit there and sort of take it all in.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The final accusations made in Harry and Meghan's Netflix Docuseries have been met with silence from Buckingham Palace. As for the public, some sympathy, but also a lot of eye rolls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rachel Esco (ph), from Manchester. Hi, Rachel?

RACHEL (ph): Hi, I'm absolutely stressed and fuming and I'm here to put the side of all the people who think Harry, for God's sake, just shut up man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he should move on and not throw somebody under the bus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Same division, complete division. It's the royal family. It's about broken apart.

MCLEAN: And, of course, there's strong reaction from much of the tabloid press. The image of the Prince and Princess of Wales carrying on with royal duties was on nearly every front page, contrasted in the Daily Mail with Harry's savage onslaught. The son said he and Meghan had declared war on the royal family. Others questioned the couple's motives and their honesty.

PIERS MORGAN, HOST, "PIERS MORGAN UNCENSORED": And this was all apparently a heroic fight for family privacy. But we have to learn about that fight and $100 million reality TV show.

EMMA WEBB, DIRECTOR, COMMON SENSE SOCIETY: It looks like revenge as well, it looks like that they're being vengeful in the way that they've approached this, because they are just slinging unverifiable murdered his brother. They use particular footage of Brits that make us look like we're just an eccentric bunch of racists. But we're not racist, we are quite a centric.

MCLEAN: A poll taken between the first and second chunk of episode shows the ones wildly popular a couple of more detractors than fans in the U.K., with a net popularity rating of minus three for Harry and minus 19 for Megan, still far better than Prince Andrew. But far worse than King Charles or Harry's brother, Prince William. The same poll found almost 6 in 10 brits think that releasing the Netflix series at all was a bad idea.

(On camera): Do you think they should have made in the first place?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, if it's seeking privacy, probably not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just think if you got to run away from the press, run away from the press. You know, don't -- I'm leaving London because the press have been awful to me. But then I'm going to let Netflix into my house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think anything will ever change. Racism just can't change.

MCLEAN: But even sympathy was sometimes paired with skepticism.

SHELAGH FOGARTY, LBC RADIO HOST: I am disposed to them when it comes to the distress that was clearly part of their experience of the last four or five years. However, there were moments when I was like, oh, come on, come off it, you know, I wasn't buying chunks of it.

MEGHAN MARKEL: Kensington Palace sounds very regal. Of course, it does. It says palace in the name. But Nottingham Cottage was a small.

PRINCE HARRY: The whole things on a slight mean really low ceilings.

FOGARTY: All right, look just around the corner from Kensington Palace, there's people sleeping on the street. So, I wouldn't go too far down that route if I were you, as you know, speaking as a Duchess. It's not great look.


COOPER: And Scott McLean joins us now from London. Are there any signs this is actually hurting the monarchy?

COOPER: So, Anderson, that poll that I mentioned in the story there found that a clear majority of the British public still supports the monarchy and that hasn't really changed substantially since the spring. Now, the palace, as I said, Isn't commenting on these latest allegations made in the Netflix series. But it did put out a completely separate statement just today saying that a former aide to the Queen had gone just this morning to make an in-person apology to a black British charity boss who had accused her of racism. Recently the statement said that the apology had been accepted that the royal family continues to work on its diversity and inclusion and that both women involved hope that their story can show that a path to resolution can be found through kindness and cooperation and rejection of discrimination.

Now, of course, we're not talking about Harry and William here. But I can tell you from talking to a lot of people in this country, William that a lot of people wish that we were, wished that Harry and William and King Charles could all get in a room and try to find some kind of a way to get on that path to resolution.

COOPER: Scott McLean, I appreciate it. Thank you. Up next, more on the January 6 committee expected to announce it will refer multiple criminal charges against the former president to Department of Justice. What's the latest from Washington in our next hour.