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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

McCarthy Struggling To Secure Enough Votes To Become Speaker; Hearing Tomorrow For University Of Idaho Murder Suspect; Suspect In Machete Attack Near Times Square On New Year's Eve Arrested And Faces Attempted Murder Charges; Russia Acknowledges Massive Strike On Base Inside Ukraine, Says 63 Servicemen Killed; New Details On Actor Jeremy Renner's Condition After Snow Plowing Accident On New Year's Day; Prince Harry Opens Up To Anderson Cooper In "60 Minutes" Interview Ahead Of Release Of His New Book. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired January 02, 2023 - 20:00   ET


CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: This was something he was accustomed to.

So again, many questions on social media about did he fall off? Did it back over him? I'm sure we'll learn more in the coming days.

ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: Well, good to hear he has made it through those two surgeries. Really appreciate the update. And I know as you know, there is probably a lot of people pulling for him. I'm thinking of the family tonight. Thank you.

And thanks to all of you for joining us, AC 360 starts right now.



We begin tonight with a very real possibility that House Republicans tomorrow will do something that has not been done for a hundred years. It's possible perhaps even likely that when the Chamber's very first piece of business comes up, choosing the next Speaker, something necessary for anything else to proceed, they will fail to get the required number of votes to make former Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Nancy Pelosi's successor as Speaker.

And beyond the drama of the history that could be made tomorrow, if their first vote fails, and it goes to another and then as many as it takes, there is also of course, the irony.

McCarthy who wants to succeed Nancy Pelosi, a woman widely acknowledged to be one of the most successful legislative head counters and arm twisters of all time, is still trying with just hours to go to count enough heads and twist enough arms.


REPORTER: Do you have the votes for Speaker locked in tomorrow?

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I think we're going to have a good day tomorrow.


COOPER: Well, that remains to be seen, just ask a fellow Republican.

REP. BOB GOOD (R-VA): I won't be voting for Kevin McCarthy tomorrow. He's part of the problem. He's not part of the solution.


COOPER: That was Congressman Bob Good, speaking on FOX this morning. He is one of five Republicans who are hard no's, enough on their own to deny him the speakership. Nine others today said that they're not yet Ready to vote yes, specifically, they said they're not satisfied with the concessions that McCarthy has made so far to win their support, which is probably not for lack of trying on his part.

In addition to recently agreeing to a provision that could make removing him as Speaker incredibly simple and easy, he has already been contorting himself in many other ways to try to get the backing that he needs.

Consider Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, after condemning her antisemitism in May of last year, for the second time in four months, by the way, he is now promising to restore her Committee assignments without any restrictions he says on which ones, and she now says she will support him for Speaker, as is the former President who McCarthy never directly mentioned by name, after taking a week to denounce the dinner he had with the antisemite rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and White supremacist, Nick Fuentes.

Then again, that is nothing compared to other efforts to keep the man sweet on him including drumming Liz Cheney out of the party's leadership, and then out of Congress at the former President's behest.

And of course, going from this --


MCCARTHY: The President bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters.


COOPER: To this just a few weeks later, making the pilgrimage to Mar- a-Lago paying fealty to the man who used to refer to him as "My Kevin."

Now that said, for all the fealty he gets, he is not voting tomorrow, but this man is, New York Congressman-elect George Santos, the one with nearly as many lies on his resume as lines on his resume.

He lied about being Jewish later saying he only ever claimed to be Jew-ish, which was also a lie. He lied about working for Goldman Sachs. He lied about working for Citigroup. He worked for neither. He lied about his college education. He lied about the prep school he

went to. He lied about his mother's heritage when he said his grandparents were Holocaust survivors. Yes, he lied about that.

He lied about a check fraud charge he still faces apparently in Brazil. According to "The New York Times," authorities their intend to revive the case now that they know where he is, that George Santos, to this day would be Speaker McCarthy has yet to utter a word about a guy that makes the character in the movie, "The Talented Mr. Ripley" look like Honest Abe.

Because keeping them honest, he needs this guy's vote, too. It's that simple and the fact that he'll countenance a well-documented liar as a colleague says a lot about how needy he is right now.

For the latest on how his quest for votes is going we want to go to CNN's Melanie Zanona at the capitol where there have been a number of new developments throughout the evening.

So Melanie, does McCarthy have the votes? I mean, he has been meeting with House allies and critics in these final hours, what's going on behind the scenes?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, Anderson, no, he does not have the votes as of right now. And he is trying to make an 11th hour push to lock down the speakership and salvage whatever is left of his speakership bid.

He has already made a number of concessions to his critics, which he outlined in a conference call last night. That includes making it easier to topple the sitting Speaker, but his critics are still unmoved.

And so, he is continuing the talks today and that includes a meeting in his office not long ago with some of the holdouts including Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, and Scott Perry, and they left the meeting saying it was short, but productive.

So it is unclear if McCarthy is going to have to give in to even more of their demands at this point. And meanwhile, he has also been meeting with some of his allies to try to rally support and to try to discuss a floor strategy heading into tomorrow.

And while his allies are still expressing competence that he is going to eventually get there, even they are acknowledging that they don't know how long this is going to take -- Anderson.

COOPER: Right, I mean that's the other question eventually, what does that mean? Does McCarthy have a Plan B if he can't get the votes tomorrow?


ZANONA: Well, I can tell you that he is not going down without a fight. He is vowing to go through as many rounds of voting as it takes, and if he doesn't get it on the first ballot, he has an option to either try to adjourn the proceedings or to keep voting and the allies that I've talked to think he's going to just keep voting and voting, try to wear his opponents down. Potentially, you could see some horse trading on the floor, some really last minute deals being made. Other candidates could start to jump in.

It is really uncharted territory that we're in, but there is this big question, Anderson of at what point if McCarthy keeps failing, does he decide to step aside? That is the big question that we're watching tomorrow.

COOPER: So if he did decide to step aside, who could emerge as an alternative?

ZANONA: So Steve Scalise is seen as sort of the obvious frontrunner here. He is McCarthy's top deputy. He is a popular conservative. He has experience in leadership, experience running these types of leadership campaigns.

But even with Scalise, there is a big question whether he can get 218 votes because he would be beholden to the same concessions and demands that critics are making of Kevin McCarthy, and Scalise has really not been making any moves behind the scene. He has been really frozen because he doesn't want to be seen as having his fingerprints on the dagger, so to speak.

And so Scalise himself has also said he's not willing to challenge McCarthy outright, but I do think that if McCarthy drops out, you will see a number of candidates throwing their hat into the ring.

COOPER: Melanie, stay there, I want to bring in CNN's one and only senior data reporter, Harry Enten to talk more about the numbers that are complicating McCarthy's life at the moment beyond just the raw headcount that we've all been focused on.

So why did why does McCarthy have so little room for error?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes, I mean, look historically, a potential first time Speaker, Anderson. He, right now has 222 Republican seats, right? If you look at the last few Speakers, of people who went on to be Speaker, they had a lot more seats in their majority, so they had a lot more room for error.

Kevin McCarthy can only lose, you know, four seats. You'd have to go all the way back to 1931 to find a Speaker who had less room for error, that was John Nance Garner back in 1931.

So basically, we're talking about a guy who isn't all that popular among his caucus, and then on top of that has such little room for error.

COOPER: So if you're going to lose four votes, what does the math look like?

ENTEN: Yes, so essentially, you know, we've been outlining this, right? It is all a math game and what we know right now, if you can only lose

four votes, there are five hardline Republicans who say "not a chance." We're not going for him. Then there is the other nine who say that the compromises that he has made, they're unsatisfied with those.

So at this particular point, it looks like he could be upwards of 14 seats in the hall, and he can only lose to -- only afford to lose four. I'm not that good at math. But I know that 14 is way bigger than four. So at this particular point, the question is, where does he get those votes? I don't know.

COOPER: And he's been close to the speakership before. What happened then?

ENTEN: Yes, you know, it's like the same old song over and over again. Right? So you know, you go back to 2015. Kevin McCarthy was next in line to be Speaker after John Boehner, but he had to step aside. He couldn't get the votes back then.

And keep in mind, his House majority back then was 245 seats. That's 245. Republicans in the House. Now, we are significantly less at that at 222. The question is, if he couldn't do it at 245, how is he going to do it at 222?

The one little nugget that I'll point out that we're kind of talking about is you can't beat something with nothing. There was a clear alternative back there, the popular Paul Ryan, there's no one like that today.

So it kind of -- it's a whole jumbled mess.

COOPER: Paul Ryan, too who didn't end up faring very well.

ENTEN: No, he did not.

COOPER: And so could he win with less than 218?

ENTEN: Yes. So I think one of the things we keep mentioning, now, 218 votes, he needs a majority, majority, majority. He needs a majority of the people who vote yes or no, right. There could be people who vote present, there could be people who decide to just step aside and not vote at all.

There have been a number of speaker candidates going back over the last century who have been able to win with less than 218 votes. One of them was actually Frederick Gillette, back in 1923. I know we all remember him.

And why I point him out to you is because it took nine ballots, nine ballots for him to actually reach the speakership. Could we be looking at nine ballots again? It could go on forever, baby.

COOPER: Not till 1923. Gosh.


COOPER: Harry Enten, thank you. Appreciate it.

ENTEN: Thank you.

COOPER: Joining Melanie Zanona and me now is former Texas Republican Congressman, Will Hurd.

Congressman, good to have you here. You served alongside Kevin McCarthy in the House for many years. Should it be this difficult for such a longtime Congressman who has been in leadership?

WILL HURD, FORMER US REPRESENTATIVE: It shouldn't be this difficult. Right? The problem that we're going to see play out tomorrow at high noon, on the House floor is a problem of leadership that goes back years, right?

The fact that the Republicans in Congress haven't been able to define what the GOP stands for, and that we only define ourselves on the things that we don't want and the things that we don't -- that we hate, that has what's caused this problem.

That's why there was no red wave which should have happened in 2022 This is why he has such a narrow margin of effort.


HURD: And let's be frank, if Kevin McCarthy is not able to pull this out tomorrow, he is not a martyr. This was his own doing and thinking that he can negotiate and cajole and sweet talk the far right.

It's just -- it's not something that can be done, and that was done many years ago.

COOPER: You said it's his own doing? How can you say that? I mean, what could he had done differently like by not sweet talking them? By not playing along?

HURD: Sure. One of the arguments that his opposition have is that playing in primaries. Well, guess what? They should have played a little bit harder. You should be working in trying to find candidates that are going to actually solve problems and do the work of the American people and not just be bomb throwers.

You've got to be willing to pick a side and potentially getting in tough races. If you would have done that in some of these races, then you're going to have people that want to actually govern and not burn the building down.

You don't negotiate and give -- make your friends and your allies hold their nose while you try to give concessions. The concessions of this arcane parliamentary procedure called the motion to vacate.

This just makes it easier to bring down the Speaker of the House. Kevin McCarthy is willing to make it easier to bring the Speaker down in order for him to be Speaker.

These are things that was a long time coming, and when you only think about the next day, and you don't think long term, this is a situation that we're getting into and trying to overcome 14 votes is really difficult. But I will also say, I've seen a lot of crazier things happen when a deadline is looming.

COOPER: Melanie, are there any -- I mean, are any of the no votes persuadable?

ZANONA: I think that's the chief question right now. And frankly, one of the chief concerns of McCarthy's allies, they're really trying to suss out who is negotiating in good faith, and who just wants to watch Kevin McCarthy crash and burn, and who just has a personal vendetta against him.

I think in that camp, you have people like Matt Gaetz, Bob Good, Andy Biggs, they are seen as never going to vote for Kevin McCarthy, but the other dozen or so are seen as potentially more gettable. That's why you have Kevin McCarthy still working as we speak to get those votes to try to potentially offer them more concessions.

What he might end up having to do is to give them even more power to depose the sitting Speaker, that motion to vacate that Congressman Hurd was talking about, but even then, Anderson, it is still unclear whether that will be enough to deliver on the votes.

COOPER: Congressman Hurd, I mean, so there is a messy Speaker vote with this fractured caucus. Is it a stain on the GOP's ability to govern? I mean, would it ultimately weaken McCarthy, whoever this Speaker turns out to be in the long term, especially with this rule, making it so easy to get rid of the Speaker?

HURD: Yes, it absolutely is. This is already a victory for Hakeem Jeffries and his time as Minority Leader hasn't even started. And this is going to -- the reason we didn't see as many Republicans win in this past election is because the American public was concerned about whether we'll be able to show that we can govern and the fact that straight out of the door, we're going to have this messy fight, that's probably going to go along and who knows.

Look, one of the things people should be watching is watching what the Dems are going to be doing tomorrow, because if all the Republicans don't show up at the time that they're supposed to show up, if people are chilling back in their office, not coming to vote because they're sick and tired of their colleagues being jerks, and there is an imbalance in the numbers, some crazy things could potentially go down tomorrow.

So, it really is going to be fascinating how this plays out.

COOPER: Yes, we'll be watching.

Congressman Hurd, appreciate it. Thank you Melanie Zanona as well.

Coming up next, the latest in tomorrow's Court hearing for the man suspected of murdering four University of Idaho students. What one of the victim's parents has to say about him and what the college town of Moscow, Idaho, is experiencing in the middle of the worst moment imaginable.

Later, new developments in the machete attack on police officers here in New York on New Year's Eve. What we're now learning about the suspect and pieces of his background that were red flags to the FBI.



COOPER: A hearing is set for tomorrow in Northeastern Pennsylvania for the man suspected of stabbing four University of Idaho students to death in November.

Bryan Kohberger's attorney says he will waive extradition to Idaho where he faces four counts of first degree murder. This afternoon the father of one of the victims had this to say to CNN about facing the man.


STEVE GONCALVES, IDAHO MURDER VICTIM'S FATHER: We're going to definitely look at this guy and look him in his eyes. He's going to have to deal with this and he has been dealing with this for seven weeks. It's not about to end.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And if he is ultimately found guilty, would you like to see the death penalty?

GONCALVES: I would -- I would have to talk with the other families. I mean, it's not really about what I want. It's kind of we've got to do this all together.


COOPER: Two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation tells CNN and investigators focus on Kohberger in part after his DNA was matched to genetic material recovered at the home where the students were killed.

We'll talk more about that shortly with two experts, but first how the town is handling the new developments, more than that from our Gary Tuchman.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The police crime tape still remains at the house where four University of Idaho students were killed. Next door is an apartment complex where Dakota Sparks lives with his girlfriend.

He didn't know the students who died, but is grieving for them.

How do you feel now that they've caught somebody?

DAKOTA SPARKS, MOSCOW, IDAHO RESIDENT: Definitely, a lot better. I don't -- I feel like I don't have to worry as much on making sure all the doors are locked and that there is -- and being as cautious. I'm still going to be cautious because you never know any more.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Moscow, population of about 26,000 people has always been known as a very safe place to live, and even with the arrest of the suspect, the violent tragedy has dramatically affected the way people here feel about their security.

Laurie Veien and Laura Beyer are grandmother and granddaughter.

How do you feel now that a suspect has been caught?


TUCHMAN (on camera): How scary has it been for you and your family?

VANE: I've been very nervous, yes, in Moscow.

TUCHMAN: How old are you, if you don't mind me asking?


TUCHMAN: You're 19 years old, so in your previous 19 years of life, have you ever been nervous here in Moscow before for your safety?



TUCHMAN (voice over): Life has changed in Moscow.

In the small downtown, Adel Herrera is a barista at the One World Cafe.

ADEL HERRERA, BARISTA, ONE WORLD CAFE: It kind of opened my eyes a little bit. You can't be too careful anywhere you go like you can't feel too comfortable.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Andrew and Emily Sumpter are the parents of four small children with a fifth on the way.

EMILY SUMPTER, MOSCOW, IDAHO RESIDENT: I started locking my car doors.

TUCHMAN (on camera): You haven't locked your car doors?

SUMPTER: No, I don't really. I didn't really before, but when I go in the store, you know, just oh, I'm just going to lock it, you know, just to be safe.

TUCHMAN: And how do you feel now that a suspect is being held?

SUMPTER: `Yes, we're really thankful, praying that justice is served.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Jeff and Alicia Petersen are the parents of two?

JEFF PETERSEN, MOSCOW, IDAHO RESIDENT: Well, I think it really changed our lives being worried about -- being worried about the community like that, but I think for the most part, like our hearts were really broken for those families of those students.

TUCHMAN (voice over): And regarding the Moscow Police.

ALICIA PETERSEN, MOSCOW, IDAHO RESIDENT: I think we want answers right away. We're used to "CSI" where things are solved in 20 minutes, and so things get frustrating when they're not answered.

But again, we have to trust the process and know that they were doing the things correct to not jeopardize the case.

TUCHMAN (voice over): The residents of Moscow want to see justice.

Kelsey Herbert works for the Moscow School District.

KELSEY HERBERT, MOSCOW SCHOOL DISTRICT: I feel hope like in "Shawshank Redemption," he says hope is a good thing and one of the very best of things and hope never dies. And so I won't feel full relief until whoever did it is convicted fully and is behind bars.

TUCHMAN (on camera): Do you think this is the right man?

HERBERT: I feel like it would be hard to prove that he's not, but he is innocent until proven guilty.


COOPER: Gary joins us now from Moscow, Idaho.

So if the accused killer doesn't fight extradition as expected, when is he going to be flown to Idaho to appear in Court?

TUCHMAN: Well, Court authorities, Anderson in Pennsylvania and here in Idaho know, they are not telling us. They have said to us they're staying relatively quiet for security reasons.

That being said, it is conceivable that the suspect could leave Pennsylvania tomorrow after his hearing and fly here to Idaho tomorrow night, and that he could be inside this Courthouse in Idaho -- in Moscow, Idaho for his preliminary hearing as early as Wednesday.

That being said, it could still take several more days. We just don't know the answer yet -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Gary Tuchman, appreciate it. Thanks.

Perspective now from CNN's chief law enforcement intelligence analyst John Miller, former Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism Terrorism with the New York City Police Department.

Also joining us, former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole. She currently directs a forensic science program at Virginia's George Mason University.

So, John, it seems like he is not going to fight extradition tomorrow. How significant is that?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: So that is just a big jump forward in terms of time, we won't learn the facts until he lands back in Idaho and is presented to a Judge, that's when they'll unseal the complaint that has the basis for what they say is their proof that leads to him being the suspect and everybody wants to know what's in that document.

COOPER: Right, Mary Ellen, I mean, how surprised were you to learn the suspect was a PhD student in the criminal justice program at nearby Washington State University? I mean, have you ever heard of somebody studying in that field and then being accused of a heinous crime like this?

MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, actually, yes, I have. But it's still unusual. But in the case of Ted Bundy, he received his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. And of course, BTK got his bachelor's degree in criminal justice as well. And then the Unabomber, got his PhD in Mathematics.

So we do have precedent for it. But it's still, I think, unusual. And the fact that he was located so close to where the victims lived, I think is also interesting and probably goes to personality traits. That's what we look for when we're doing assessments of people is, what is their personality in their regular life, because you bring your personality to the crime scene, and that is what's helpful if we can describe for detectives, this is the personality you're seeing at this murder scene. So you can look for these traits outside --

COOPER: So you can -- I mean, if you know what you're looking for at a murder scene, you can develop ideas about the personality of the person, the potential killer?

O'TOOLE: Yes, that's the whole basis for profiling is to look for the offender's personality that's left behind at the crime scene.

So for example, if an offender goes into a scene, and treats the victims as callous, in a cold-blooded way, without any kind of empathy, those are traits that in their everyday life that they are going to have. They're going to be callous, they're going to be -- they will come across as cold blooded without empathy for people.

If there is arrogance and grandiosity at a crime scene, that's the personality traits that you will see in an offender, yes, so we make that transition.

COOPER: John, CNN is reporting the DNA evidence played a role in identifying the suspect. I mean, is it clear to you the extent to which that may have helped investigators, do we know?

MILLER: I think it's going to be a key. You've got familial DNA here, which is also controversial.


COOPER: And yes -- so explain what that means familial DNA. MILLER: So familial DNA is, you know, if I get a DNA sample from you,

and I compare it, you know, I can match it to another sample, you left somewhere else. But familial DNA gives me a partial sample, it tells me that you're with the Cooper's or you're with the Millers, because it compares it to the databases of providers that have collected DNA is and done genealogy.

COOPER: So, it is not necessarily combining it to DNA that's been found at another crime scene, it is just providing -- getting it -- combining it to DNA that's been found at --

MILLER: And that's the key, because if it was DNA that was found in another crime scene, it would be in the FBI CODIS database as an unknown contributor. You'd match it up or unknown contributor and that would give you certainty, but this puts you in the family.

And then you know, you have cases where you've got second cousins, third cousins and brothers whose samples lead to identifying people like the Zodiac Killer, the Green River Killer, the I-65 killer, all of Mary Ellen O'Tools, you know serial killer subjects that were vexing to law enforcement.

COOPER: Right.

MILLER: It is solid science, but it's controversial.

COOPER: Yes. Mary Ellen, I mean, given all the investigative details that may or may not become public as John said, in the Court appearance tomorrow, or whenever that is in Idaho, is there something specific you'd be looking for in terms of figuring out a motive?

O'TOOLE: Well, obviously any information that would come out of that affidavit, but looking at that crime scene and understanding how that crime occurred, in the middle of the night, unprovoked violence, that's called instrumental violence.

Instrumental violence is cold blooded, it's without empathy and victims are treated like objects. So the focus of those murders were not to sexually assault or rob, but to make sure that those people were killed. And we do know that there are offenders out there that can be sexually aroused by that kind of murder. We also know that there are people out there who offend, that are -- that become really aroused and satisfied, just by the act of that kind of a violent murder.

So while that may not seem like a traditional motive, I think in this case, based on the crime scene, there will be multiple motives. There is never just one motive, multiple motives, but there are offenders that will -- they will tell you, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world when I went into that house or into that building and killed all those people and their emotion, their response to it is part of their motivation.

COOPER: John, there was obviously a lot of skepticism over the progress of the police investigation. They got outside help as well, this is a small police force. Is this a normal length of time? I mean, I mean, for even getting

familial DNA? Is that a complex process? What do you make of kind of the length of the investigation?

MILLER: I say that, first of all, I think that the police department, which was challenged with a quadruple murder, they had more victims than they actually had detectives, moved immediately to bring in the State Police Homicide people, the FBI resources, which gave them not just 20 FBI agents on the ground, but FBI agents across the country, the lab and so on.

So, they did all the right things, and they are the people who knew the town, who knew that people, knew the likelihoods of different things and had the relationship to get the sourcing. So, I'm not critical at all of the police department or the way they handled it. But this is also the cadence of a major case.

When you walk into the crime scene, and it's Harry killed Sally, you still have to prove it in Court. But you have a great running start when you have a really good idea who did it. When you walk into a crime scene with four dead people, who are popular kids with no known enemies, no witnesses to the crime, no one who saw the killer and only the forensic evidence and your investigative abilities and profilers, like Mary Ellen O'Toole, to give you offender characteristics and leads, that's a challenge.

And it could take seven days, it could take, in this case, seven weeks, or it could take seven years.

COOPER: Yes, John Miller, thank you so much. Mary Ellen O'Toole, appreciate it. Always fascinating.

Just a reminder, authorities in Idaho are asking that anyone with information about the suspect and his background reach out to them immediately. We're putting the suspect's picture up there.

The number is 208-883-7180. Again, that's 208-883-7180.

Coming up, the latest investigation on the 19-year-old suspect accused of attacking police officers with a machete in New York City near Times Square on New Year's Eve including red flags raised by his family and during an interview with FBI agents.



COOPER: The 19-year-old suspect accused of attacking New York police officers with the machete near Times Square in New Year's Eve has now been formally arrested. Trevor Bickford has been in custody under police guard at Bellevue Hospital. No charges have been filed yet. Police are recommending two counts each of attempted murder of a police officer and attempted assault.

CNN senior crime and justice correspondent Shimon Prokupecz joins us now with more on the investigation. So how close was the attack to the crowds gathered for New Year's Eve?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the thing is, Anderson, that he was just a couple of blocks away from the crowds inside the Times Square, inside the security area. But it was along here on 8th Avenue, just blocks from where you were on Saturday night, where thousands of people were gathered here, walking the streets, trying to get access into Times Square. Because right here, this is where police say this happened. This is where the security checkpoint was for people to go inside Times Square. There are still signs up here, Anderson, that tell people who are trying to come inside what they can't bring in backpacks. And this is something the suspect had. And this is exactly where police say he attacked those two officers. The one officer firing at him, shooting him in the shoulder, and then the suspect dropping his knife here.




PROKUPECZ (voice-over): New information tonight about Trevor Bickford, the 19-year-old accused of attacking three NYPD officers with a machete on New Year's Eve. Multiple law enforcement sources tell CNN Bickford's mother and grandmother grew concerned after he said he was willing to die for his religion and wanted to travel overseas to help fellow Muslims. They contacted police on December 10th. The teenager was interviewed by FBI agents in mid-December, the FBI placing him on a terrorist watch list, according to sources. Investigators seeking information on his phone and online activities as well as searching his family home in Wells, Maine, on Sunday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just kind of hard to believe. I was just shocked, you know.

PROKUPECZ (voice-over): Investigators believe Bickford arrived in New York on Thursday via Amtrak. Those travels not tripping any watch list databases and checked into a hotel on Manhattan's lower east side. On Saturday, he checked out carrying a bag that authorities say he'd later discarded, containing a handwritten diary in which he expressed his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan and die as a martyr. Bickford also wrote in the diary on New Year's Eve, quote, this will likely be my last entry, and left instructions for his last will and testament. That evening, he traveled to Times Square and, according to police, approached a checkpoint where officers checked bags for weapons or suspicious items.

KEECHANT SEWEEL, COMMISSIONER NYPD: Unprovoked, a 19-year-old male approached an officer and attempted to strike him over the head with a machete. The male then struck two additional officers in the head with a machete. One of the officers fired their service weapon, striking the subject in the shoulder.

PROKUPECZ (voice-over): All three officers have been released from the hospital and are being held as heroes. MICHAEL DRISCOLL, ASST. DIRECTOR IN CHARGE, FBI NEW YORK FIELD OFFICE:

Truly impressive to see what they do every day and even more impressive to see how they respond in times of emergency.


COOPER: And Shimon, what else are law enforcement authorities learning from this guy's diary?

PROKUPECZ: Yes, they've been really going through it. And this is information that comes from our colleague John Miller. It's really this diary is painting a picture of someone that was certainly going through some issues. In the diary, according to sources who've talked to our colleague John Miller, he talks about his brother joining the U.S. military, being part of the ranks of his enemy, but he also talks about his mother and the fact that she wouldn't repent to Allah. Really, just this diary is giving authorities a window into his mind and really some of the troubles that this individual was certainly having during quite some time. Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Shimon Prokupecz, I appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up, perhaps the deadliest attack on Russian forces since the invasion of Ukraine began. We'll go to Ukraine's capital for a live report.

Also tonight, the latest on the injuries to actor Jeremy Renner after what a source tells CNN was a snow plowing accident.



COOPER: Russia has acknowledged a massive attack inside territory of controls in eastern Ukraine. Officials say that 63 servicemen were killed just after midnight New Year's Day after an apparent Ukrainian strike killed troops housed next to an ammunition cache. Ukraine has not acknowledged any role in the attack, but says the death toll could be far higher. It also says the exact number is still being clarified. CNN cannot independently verify the number of fatalities.

CNN Scott McLean is in Ukraine tonight with details.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the smoldering remains of what could be Russia's single biggest loss of life since the war began. Ukraine says hundreds of Russian troops in the occupied Donetsk region who were being housed next to an ammunition cache were killed. Officially, Russia says it lost around 60.

For Ukraine, the New Year started the way it ended, with a barrage of incoming Russian missiles and drones, ringing in 2023 with the sound of air raid sirens instead of fireworks. Thousands of Kyiv residents took cover in metro stations. Others defiantly stayed put, shouting, glory to Ukraine from balconies as blast hit the Capitol.

In spite of seemingly endless Russian strikes, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, still upbeat in his New Year's speech, underlying the sense of unity among Ukrainians and asking them to recharge and warning Russia that Moscow is fighting a losing battle. They're afraid, you can feel it, and their right to be afraid because they're losing, he says.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin ended 2022 by visiting a military base in southern Russia. He toasted with his forces, awarded the country's highest military honor to its general overseeing Moscow's war in Ukraine, and in his New Year's address said in 2022, Russia laid foundations for its true independence. It was a year of difficult, necessary decisions, he says most important steps towards gaining the full sovereignty of Russia. Last year was brutal for both sides. This year, there is still no end in sight.


COOPER: And Scott McLean joins us now from Kyiv. Why is there's discrepancy in the death toll from this weekend's attack? What's been the reaction in Russia to the reports of soldiers lost?

MCLEAN: Yes, so, Anderson, look, the reality is that the true number is almost impossible to verify at this stage of the game, but it is very likely to be substantially higher than what Russia has acknowledged thus far. That is because the former defense chief of the occupied Donetsk territory says that, look, there are still soldiers who are missing, unaccounted for, and therefore haven't been added to that official death toll.

Meanwhile, one Russian lawmaker is calling for criminal liability over this. And he's not talking about the Ukrainians. He is talking about the Russian military leaders who allowed this many Russian troops to be concentrated in such a small area, making them a very easy target. And he's not the only critic inside of Russia, or not the only Russian critic, I should say. One prominent pro-Russian military blogger said that at this stage the Russian command was sloppy. And another said that even ten months into the war, incompetence continues to be a big problem within the Russian ranks, Anderson.


COOPER: Scott McLean in Kyiv, thank you. Be careful.

Up next new details that we are just getting on actor Jeremy Renner after a devastating snow plowing accident in Nevada.

Plus, a moment from my upcoming 60 Minutes to interview with Prince Harry about the new book he has coming out next week. Full of never before heard details of his life and experiences in the British royal family.


COOPER: Just in tonight, new information about actor Jeremy Renner's condition. He was badly injured in a snow plowing accident outside Reno, Nevada.


CNN entertainment reporter, Chloe Melas is here. What have you learned?

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: So, just moments ago were able to obtain a statement from his family and they said that he suffered blunt chest trauma and orthopedic injuries. The big question, Anderson, has been what exactly happened? We don't know whether he fell off the snow plow or what happened. We know what happened yesterday morning on New Year's Day, there was unprecedented snowfall in the area. He's currently in the ICU right now. He had a second surgery today, his first immediately after, remember, he was airlifted from the area. He has this extensive property in Lake Tahoe in the Reno, Nevada area. There are reports that a neighbor came to him. Those details are still being found out. But in the statement, they thank some families and some neighbors, along with the doctors and the people taking care of him.

But like I said, you know, on Instagram, for years, Anderson, he has shared videos of himself on these snowplows.

COOPER: We're putting the statement up. It says, as of now, we can confirm Jeremy isn't critical of a stable condition with the injuries suffered after experiencing a weather-related accident while plowing snow earlier today. His family is with him. He's receiving excellent care.

MELAS: And look, this is something that for years he has been on this property. He took viewers along. He has like over 18 million followers. He showed them as he built this property, working with these machines. He has a slew of them. And so, I was asking a source earlier today what exactly happened, because there were reports about a leg injury. And this source said, listen, it's a lot more than the leg. It's very extensive. And in this new statement we know orthopedic injuries and this blunt chest trauma, you know, lucky to be alive. But like that previous statement from earlier, critical but stable condition.

COOPER: Right.

MELAS: And he's in the ICU, they say, receiving excellent care and surrounded by his family.

COOPER: All right. We wish him and his family the best, certainly. Chloe, thanks so much. Chloe Melas.

Prince Harry will start this new year with new revelations about his life in the British royal family. He has a new book coming out called Spare. I recently interviewed the Duke of Sussex for a conversation you can watch Sunday on 60 Minutes on CBS.

Here's part of a clip that CBS released.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COOPER (on-camera): Why be so public? You say you tried to do this privately.

PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: And every single time I've tried to do it privately, there have been briefings and leakings and planting of stories against me and my wife. You know, the family motto is never complained, never explain. But it's just a motto. They will feed or have a conversation with the correspondent. And that correspondent will literally be spoon-fed information and write the story. And The bottom of it, they will say that they've reached out to Buckingham Palace to comment. But the whole story is Buckingham palace commenting.


COOPER: Well, CNN royal correspondent Max Foster joins us. Max, is it clear to you how Buckingham Palace intends to deal with Prince Harry's book?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we just can go on more recent examples. So, if we look at the Netflix series, Harry and Meghan's series, they were waiting to see what was in it. I presume they haven't seen any of the book. They didn't hadn't seen any of the Netflix series, for example. They were waiting to see what was in it, but it's pretty clear they weren't going to say anything unless there was something they really needed to address. Very quickly, they said they wouldn't be commenting on it at all. After the Netflix series went out, they just carried on with their public duties and in a way, in a show of defiance. I think actually they all appeared at an event together, all the senior royals. And I think the message there was really, we're going to carry on as normal. We're not going to change the way they were acting in response to the Netflix series.

So, I suspect it's going to be very similar in relation to the book and your interview as well. They haven't seen it all. I've asked them for a comment, I haven't even heard back that they're not going to be giving a comment. So, I think it's difficult for them in the sense that they just don't know what's in it, as far as I know.

COOPER: What has the response been among the British public to the Netflix show so far? Is there anticipation of this book there? I mean I assume there is.

FOSTER: Well, again, if we look at the Netflix series before that, I would have said people aren't as interested in the story as they have been. But again, the figures came out for Netflix and a huge amount of people watched that series. I think a huge amount of people will buy this book and read it. I think what's happening is that we are hearing Harry return to some familiar themes initially set out in the Oprah interview. That big bombshell interview.

So, if he says something new, I think there'll be a huge amount of interest. I think what really is happening here is that the couple are becoming more divisive characters or the whole story is becoming more divided. So, people are either on Harry and Meghan's side or they're on the royal family side and people are becoming much more entrenched, if that makes sense. And I think over time, it's becoming perhaps Republicans are falling on Harry and Meghan's side and pro-monarchy people are more on the royal family side.


I think there is, you know, some concern here that these attacks on the Royal family are seen sometimes as or felt as being attacks on the UK, and that has created a lot more divisiveness.

COOPER: I should point out, when you use the term Republicans, you're talking about the term in the British sense. People who are not particularly fans of the monarchy.

FOSTER: Exactly, yes. So, you know, people are pro and antimonarchy here as they are around the world, and I think a lot of the anti- monarchy people look at what Meghan and Harry are saying and it really resonates with them.

COOPER: And that the -- are the plans all in place for the coronation of King Charles? And is it clear the role that Prince Harry and or the Duke and Duchess may have?

FOSTER: Well, of course, there's lots of speculation that when we watch the full interview that you've done and there's something really explosive in there, then Prince or King Charles and Prince William will decide that Harry shouldn't be invited. I don't see any evidence for that. From what I'm seeing, it's going to be all the messaging I'm receiving about the coronation is that it's going to be completely inclusive. So, you're going to see a full diversity of people and religions, for example, in the congregation.

But also, the spirit of it would not be to exclude Harry and Meghan. They haven't said that Harry and Meghan are not going to be invited, so we have to assume that they will be invited and then it'll be up to Harry and Meghan about whether or not they want to come to that occasion.

COOPER: Right. Max Foster, appreciate it. Thanks.

Coming up in the hour ahead, House Republicans still don't know for certain who's going to become a speaker as soon as tomorrow, but they do know who and what they want to begin investigating with their committees as they take control. We'll take a look at some of their top priorities and how Democrats, including the White House, are preparing.