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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Five-Thousand-Six-Hundred Plus Buildings Collapse In Turkey In Earthquake And Aftershocks; Source: First Pieces Of Chinese Spy Balloon Wreckage Arrive At FBI Lab In Quantico; Biden To Deliver State Of The Union Address To A Divided Congress; Prospective Staffer Files Complaint Accusing Santos Of Sexual Harassment; What Do Rep. George Santos' Constituents Think About Him?; Caregiver Testifies About Conversation She Says Had With Murdaugh On Night Of Double Murder That Made Her "Nervous"; Ukrainian Troops Begin Training On German Leopard 2 Tanks; 102-Year-Old Ukrainian Woman Who Survived Three Famines Now Makes Sniper Suits For Ukrainian Troops; Ukrainian Official Claims Russia Plans To Mobilize Up To Half-A-Million Extra Soldiers This Year; 9-Year-old In PA Graduates High School: "I Want To Be An Astrophysicist." Aired 8-9p ET
Aired February 06, 2023 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And the NTSB says it wasn't air traffic control that intervene to avoid the crash, it was the crew of the FedEx flight. It's pretty incredible.
The chairwoman of the NTSB praising the FedEx crew for saving over 100 lives. Pretty incredible to imagine that and think about that tragic loss of life averted by the paying attention, courageous quick thinking of a crew.
Thanks for joining us. I'll be back at nine for a Special Edition of "Out Front." AC 360 starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
We begin tonight with the search for survivors in Turkey and Northern Syria after one of the strongest earthquakes on record struck the area at the worst time imaginable, early in the morning, with most people at home.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
COOPER: Those are just two buildings, two of more than 5,600 that have collapsed in the quake, the aftershocks and the aftermath on the Turkish side.
Already in Turkey and Syria, nearly 4,000 people are known to have died according to Turkish officials and Syrian state media. The number has been climbing with each new update; nearly 19,000 more are said to be injured.
A major international aid effort is gearing up with a priority right now with search and rescue. Take a look. This is video from CNN TURK from a town close to where the quake was centered.
For the last several hours now, we have been watching crews there trying to make their way to a 14-year-old child trapped in the wreckage of a two-storey building.
They go as quickly as they can, but it is delicate and dangerous work and the team stopped at one point to try to work out how to proceed. It's unclear what the team's condition is. We do know however, this is hardly the only such scene across the area. There are many.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins us now from Istanbul.
What is the latest, Jomana?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, utter, utter devastation across what is this massive earthquake zone that stretches across 10 provinces in Southern Turkey and across the border into government-controlled parts of Syria, as well as the rebel-held northwest of the country and we are talking about a part of Syria where you find some of the country's most vulnerable, women and children who have been displaced several times over the past more than a decade of Civil War. These are people who are entirely reliant on international aid.
And this is coming at a time where they have been facing a very, very harsh winter. It couldn't have happened at a worse time for the population in Northwestern Syria as well as here in Southern Turkey as well.
As you mentioned earlier, Anderson, the death toll continuing to rise. The latest figures we have, more than 3,800 people confirmed killed in both countries and the fear right now is that casualty figures are going to rise significantly in the coming hours and days.
KARADSHEH (voice over): Flattened in seconds, moments later, two aftershocks.
A Turkish TV crew reporting live during the makings of an apocalyptic scene. The reports are grabbing a young girl as the rubble and smoke settles around them. Rescue efforts beginning immediately.
In Southern Turkey, a young man trapped, desperation in his eyes, then in the pre-dawn darkness a moment of joy.
(UNIDENTIFIED MEN speaking in foreign language.)
KARADSHEH (voice over): Hauled from the wreckage.
This was a residential building full of families asleep in their homes when the massive earthquake struck.
IHSAN CETINTAS, DIYARBAKIR RESIDENT (through translator): I was sleeping when my wife suddenly woke me up. The quake was very severe, very scary. It took almost two minutes until the shaking stopped. KARADSHEH (voice over): As the hours go by, more rescues, hospitals
also begin to overflow. Reported deaths going up by the hundreds each hour, millions impacted.
In Syria, a father cried over his baby's limp body. Many children among the killed and injured. It is unclear just how many are still trapped and how many have lost their lives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There are 12 families and no one managed to get out. They are all inside here.
KARADSHEH (voice over): The White Helmets have done this before, heroes of the Syrian Civil War now pulling people out from under a very different disaster.
So many in rebel-held Northern Syria had very little yesterday, many had already lost everything, displaced and reeling from years of war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's a disaster. All the floors crumbled into ruins. We need a month, maybe even three months to recover our dead.
KARADSHEH (voice over): A winter storm hitting the region only exacerbating the dire situation and slowing rescue efforts.
In Turkey, too, foreign help will be needed. World leaders already pledging and deploying rescue teams. The search and rescue will stretch on for days, hope remaining as long as possible.
COOPER: I mean, Jomana, you have freezing temperatures, aftershocks continuing to hit the region. I mean, how hampered are these rescue efforts right now in Turkey and Syria?
KARADSHEH: Well, they are continuing, Anderson, but as you can imagine, it is nighttime here. It's dark. This has definitely slowed down the search and rescue operations that have been ongoing now nearly for 24 hours.
Rescue workers are dealing with so many challenges. The weather, of course, it is freezing, it is snowing. Many roads are blocked, making it very difficult for them to access a lot of these areas and they have got low visibility being recorded in some areas as well.
Many, many challenges that they're facing, and one of the issues we've heard from Turkish officials, Anderson, is saying is the fact that this is such a vast area that they have to deal with.
It is not contained in one province or two, we're talking about a large area, 10 provinces, millions of people living in those areas across Southern Turkey. So a very, very complex search and rescue operation. Of course, international aid and support that Turkey has requested is
beginning to arrive, and we are hearing from aid agencies and Syrians in Northwestern Syria calling on the international community also to act urgently and do more to provide support and assistance for these parts of Syria that are in no way equipped to deal with yet another humanitarian disaster that is unfolding -- Anderson.
COOPER: Jomana Karadsheh, appreciate it, from Istanbul.
Joining us now, structural engineer Kit Miyamoto who will be heading to Turkey tomorrow to join a team from his company that is already on the ground.
Kit, I appreciate you being with us.
We are -- you know, we are watching these rescues underway. We're seeing these buildings continue to collapse with aftershocks. We understand a 14-year-old child is trapped in one of them.
Can you explain just how at this stage search and rescue teams approach this? I mean, because it seems like in a lot of places, it is not expert search and rescue teams, it's local police, it's civilians just trying to do what they can.
KIT MIYAMOTO, STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Exactly. I mean, this earthquake is a massive one. I'm talking about the ruptured length of fault line exceed 120 kilometers. It's a long area, a big area affected by it.
Estimated almost 10 million to almost up to 20 million people affected by strong motion. You're talking about the 15 to 20 percent of the country affected by this, right?
So it is definitely going to be a massive effort and you've seen the clips from the cities, but there are also the rural area where there's a lot of a smaller, like unreinforced masonry brick building exists, those are really dangerous, too.
So those extent of the damage in rural area has not been seen yet, you know, so there will be a lot more coming up there. I want to -- yes.
COOPER: When you see these buildings collapse, I mean, the only thing I have to really compare it to is the earthquake in Port-au-Prince in Haiti to some estimates as high as 200,000 people killed in that. Those structures were smaller. Obviously, a lot of poor construction there.
How do the structures here compare? And how much a part of the problem is that?
MIYAMOTO: Well, you know, Turkey does have one of the best engineers in the world, quite frankly. I mean, they are good. You know, Building Code is the same as California, that's something there.
But the older stock of buildings, the Building Code changed there in about 1997. So anything before like 2000, they don't really meet the so-called earthquake criteria. So a risk of that. And also the -- it's all not about code, right? It's about how the
contractors and masons they implement on the field, and there is definitely lack of them in many cases. So, actually you get the estimation from our engineers is one out of 10 buildings collapsed, they are actually new construction.
COOPER: So what do you expect to find in the countryside and how does -- you know, how long an effort is this to even just try to recover people?
MIYAMOTO: Well, this is going to be probably the biggest natural disaster the Turkish nation experienced in the modern times, so I think Turkey is a strong country.
You know and got a great engineers and everything, but they definitely need our support, international support that is, there is no doubt in my mind and also Syria for sure.
COOPER: Kit Miyamoto, I'm glad you're heading over there and our best to you and everybody who is trying to help. Appreciate it.
We turn now to the Chinese spy balloon. CNN's Josh Campbell reports that wreckage of it has started arriving in the FBI's lab in Quantico, Virginia and two days after an Air Force F-22 shot it out of the sky off the South Carolina coast. That is only part of the picture.
There is also The Pentagon claim that there were three others like it during the previous administration. Some things several former officials, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton disputed over the weekend.
A senior current official tells CNN that the Intelligence Community is prepared to brief key members of the former administration, several of them telling us they have yet to be contacted.
As for how those three other incidents went undiscovered until after the fact NORAD's Commanding General used a phrase you might not have heard before to explain.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GEN. GLEN VANHERCK, COMMANDER, US NORTHERN COMMAND AND NORAD: I will tell you that we did not detect those threats, and that is a Domain Awareness Gap that we have to figure out, but I don't want to go in further detail.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Further details such as exactly what a Domain Awareness Gap is, maybe akin to a foo bar gap? That's jusa guess though.
CNN's chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst, John Miller joins us now with more of what the FBI analysts could learn.
Can you walk us through like what the FBI is doing right now at Quantico?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: So when they bring these pieces and parts from 47 feet beneath the ocean surface, it goes to the Marine base at Quantico where the FBI has its Academy and its lab, but off in the corner, away from all the other buildings is a very short complex called OTD. It's the Operational Technology Division.
These are the scientists, the engineers, the special agents, the electronics whizzes who actually build the FBI's most sophisticated surveillance equipment, and what they'll do is they'll look at these parts and they'll say, this is a piece of something we recognize, this part fits with that part. This comes from something whose capability is X, but what they'll try to do is forensically put together what was on that -- on that balloon as the payload and what was it designed to do?
COOPER: The FBI has said, it's the size of a regional jet and this is a huge, huge thing.
MILLER: It is a huge payload.
COOPER: And plummeting through the sky into the ocean, the damage has got to be pretty extreme.
MILLER: Pretty extreme, but not as extreme necessarily, as it would have been if it were shot down over some vast, you know, unoccupied place in Montana. But here is where the people at OTD are going to make their money or not, or earn their money or not, is not just helping -- and they'll have help from the NRO, the National Reconnaissance Office, the NSA people, CIA, people, experts in Chinese surveillance technology, but where they really are in their money is if they're able to find that piece, where they have it intact enough or can repair it enough to download data and see what was being vacuumed up into those surveillance technologies and what was being sent back.
COOPER: I want to ask you, finally. You were on the program just -- I don't know, a couple of days ago talking about threats to the electrical grid, particularly from White supremacist groups or neo Nazi groups.
We just got news now that there's this -- there was a power plot -- a grid plot that is being described as a neo Nazi leader, I'm not sure how much of a leader he actually was and some woman from Maryland who he was linked with, were planning to attack electrical substations encircling Baltimore to: "Completely destroy the entire city." And that would spark some sort of a race war that White people would then take over according to them.
MILLER" This is literally everything we were talking about in this broadcast Friday night come to fruition. This was a real plot run by a neo Nazi leader who used to run the Atomwaffen Division, now, it has been renamed as something else.
COOPER: It sounds very large. I'm imagine it's relatively small. MILLER: Relatively small, but they operate online, so they are not
all in one place, and not all together, but they get acolytes in these chatrooms in the darkest corners of the internet. And he finds her, she finds him, they find a third individual who turns out to be an FBI source, but they are talking about hitting multiple substations, doing the kind of damage to equipment in their planning, that would take months to replace.
They are hoping to plunge Baltimore into a blackout that's going to lead to looting and riots and a race war and all of the things that come in the documents that are the playbooks for this and it has just become a theme of this kind of right-wing accelerationist neo Nazi movement online.
COOPER: It's fascinating. The timing was just incredible. John Miller, thank you so much.
Coming up next, a look ahead to tomorrow night's State of the Union speech, the accomplishments the President Biden will likely point to, which nearly two in three Americans in new polling say they just do not see.
And later, new developments in one of several investigations to Congressman George Santos just days after the latest new allegation surfaces, and the one single digit accomplishment he can point to when it comes to his job approval numbers.
COOPER: When President Biden gives his State of the Union address tomorrow night, he will no doubt mention several positive developments. He has overseen the lowest jobless rate of any President since 1969, more than half a million new jobs were created last month alone, inflation seems to be slowing, and there have been several consequential pieces of legislation passed.
But what he likely will not mention is that little seems to be registering with voters. A new Washington Post-ABC News polling shows 62 percent of Americans said the President has achieved either not very much or little or nothing in office, compared to 36 percent who said the opposite.
Joining me now, CNN political commentators from across the political spectrum, Bakari Sellers, Karen Finney, Scott Jennings, also Geoff Duncan, former Republican Lieutenant Governor of Georgia.
So Karen, what is the problem? Why is no one seeing what the President says he is doing?
KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No pressure.
Look, I think it's a couple of things. Number one, I think folks are fatigued, and a lot of the things that we, in Washington think resonate with people don't necessarily connect in their daily lives and they don't necessarily always see it right away, but that's part of why the President is going to talk about it, what we call the informed vote.
We see this in polling and focus groups. When you talk about what he's done, actually, then the numbers start to change. So that's why we're going to get a laundry list. I know you wanted a short speech, but it ain't happening.
COOPER: Do you think -- does the State of the Union change anything? I mean, does anyone remember a State of the Union except for like, focus on cable news?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, the one the one line of the State of the Union that I remember is Bill Clinton once saying the era of Big Government is over, a pivot back to the middle because they had lost in '94 and he was preparing to run for reelection, Karen was there.
And so that's what I'm waiting to see if Biden recognizes the problems that he has. Sixty percent of the American people think he has done very little, 60 percent of his own party doesn't even want him to run again. They want somebody else for the nomination.
Obviously, it's just not a failure to connect with everybody. It is a failure to connect with his own people. And so I want to see how he responds to that, because they've got serious underlying political problems that they seem to be scrambling for a way to fix.
BAKAR SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think a pivot is necessary, and I think that what you're going to see is a President who has been very successful in his first two years in office, and that success actually showed itself at the ballot box in November.
And so unlike Bill Clinton, who got Molly-whopped in Midterms or Barack Obama who got Molly-whopped, and it is funny, because the only thing I remember is "you lied" yelled by Joe Wilson. Right? That's the only -- and that wasn't even a line from a speech, that was a Member of Congress.
I do think you're going to get a laundry list.
One of the things that this White House reminds me of the Obama White House in is that, you have to do a better job of communicating your successes, and I'm not harping on the Comms Department per se, but what I am saying is that more Democrats would say, there is not a correlation between him not running for office, again, by Democrats and his successes, because there are people who don't want him to run for office who think he has been an awesome President of the United States.
But they have to get out there and share that message. I think the State of the Union, hopefully, is the beginning of a campaign, maybe not to run for office again, but it leaves us with that message. COOPER: But Lieutenant Governor, I mean, if nobody thinks -- if many
people in the country don't think he has accomplished much in the last two years, given the makeup of the House, I mean, how much is he going to be able to accomplish in the next year?
GEOFF DUNCAN, FORMER LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA: Those numbers are horrible, right? There's no way to describe those as optimistic if you're looking at them, but I think it's because there is a disconnect. Right?
It doesn't feel like Joe Biden has been successful, even though the other side of the aisle for me sees all these successes, and it is because I think America has a hard time figuring out how he actually makes his decisions.
It starts all the way with Afghanistan, right? It just seemed like a rash, isolated decision that was under informed and even as you go through this weekend watching this balloon incident, right? I don't want to Monday morning quarterback and figure out where to shoot that thing down at, but I feel like the Commander-in-Chief should have communicated to America who is wondering what in the world is going on? The Communist Chinese government has got a balloon, going uncontested across our country, and trying to figure out the rationale behind this decision making, I think is really, really plaguing him.
FINNEY: I think, he is almost in some ways, a victim of success. Like we wanted him because we wanted back the normalcy. Imagine if we had spent 24 hours of Donald Trump tweeting every 10 seconds about the balloon, we would all be at our therapist's office right now, we would be so on edge.
And I think to some degree, I mean, I spent my first Holiday with my family this year, we haven't been able to see each other because of COVID. I mean, you know, we forget what it was like when he took over and that is a good thing.
COOPER: So, if there's a lot of drama in the next few years in the House, is that actually going to help President Biden?
SELLERS: Well, I think I would underscore the fact and I think people forget this sometimes that many of his largest successes were actually bipartisan, and so I'm not as afraid of this House. I think this House is unorganized. I think Kevin McCarthy, he is yet to be proven to be a leader.
But you talk about the Inflation Reduction Act, you talk about the infrastructure bill, you talk about the things that he or just the COVID Relief packages. The things he has been able to do in a bipartisan fashion are his biggest pieces of legislation.
When people will feel it, though, that's a question for a later day.
JENNINGS: Karen, you invoked Trump -- I have a question for you. Why do you think it is that Donald Trump was beating Joe Biden in this ABC News-Washington Post poll? If everything is going great, and he is doing everything bipartisan, and everything he says is true, why do you think it is that after everything we've seen out of Trump, which admittedly, some of which is really terrible. He is beating Joe Biden right now in a head to head.
COOPER: Why do you think it is?
SELLERS: Is that a rhetorical question, Anderson?
JENNINGS: No, I want to know. I want to know. I want to know.
I mean, my views are that he got elected President because he was not Bernie Sanders, and he was not Donald Trump. His job was essentially to bridge us out of that era. And that's it.
FINNEY: Which he has done quite well.
JENNINGS: And that's it, and now, the country wants change, generational change, and they don't want him frankly. I don't think they want him or Trump to run for reelection, which also was borne out in the polling, but if it's so good, why are they pining for Trump again?
FINNEY: But here is the thing, we just had an election. We just had an opportunity for people to go to the polls and they overwhelmingly said we would like democracy, we would like freedom, we don't actually want extremism.
And the Republicans control the House by a very thin margin because a lot of districts are gerrymandered. It was not this they whopped in --
JENNINGS: They did win the national popular vote.
DUNCAN: By the Republican side, they said they didn't want Donald Trump, it was a huge mandate that we saw. But also, I think we have to talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the room.
Joe Biden is going to be 86 at the end of his second term. There is a weight to that, right? I don't think any "Fortune" 500 company looks to hire executives or leaders with that type of age, and certainly that weighs on people all across the country across both sides of the aisle.
SELLERS: The flip side of that is the frontrunner, and so you all change your party nomination process is still Donald Trump and to answer your question directly, the United States of America doesn't want Joe Biden or Donald Trump to run for office, period. I mean, that's just where we are.
I mean, people don't want two octogenarians running for President of the United States, but I think that when we're talking about tomorrow and the job of the past, from tomorrow backwards, Joe Biden has been an extremely effective President of the United States.
Now, can he sell that as somebody who is an older individual? That is a question that we will just have the answer. I would say if it's old versus new, then new will win out whether or not that new is Ron DeSantis, or whether or not that new is Kamala Harris or Gavin Newsom, whatever, whoever that new is, whatever it is, but the fact is, if it is Donald Trump versus Joe Biden, I take Donald Trump 14 out of 14 times.
DUNCAN: I think there is an interesting development starting on both sides of the aisle that these profiles of Governors are starting to pick up, right, on both sides of the aisle. You mentioned Gavin Newsom and others. Certainly, on the Republican side, you've got, you know, Ron DeSantis and Larry Hogan and Glenn Youngkin and even Brian Kemp to some respects, because they're able to put on display their conservative leadership and they're out of this fray of DC and all this chaos that goes on. They're actually crisp and clean leaders.
I think there could be some developments on both sides.
COOPER: We're going to wrap it up there. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Coming up, a lot more ahead. A serious new allegation against Congressman George Santos that goes beyond lies about his biography and questions about his finances. This, just as the House Ethics Committee appears to be gathering information about Santos and new polls reveal how unpopular he has become, ahead.
COOPER: House Ethics Committee has started interviewing staffers for Congressman George Santos. A sign it is beginning to look into one or more of the many allegations involving his biography and finances. And it comes as a prospective staffer named Derek Myers says he's filed the Ethics Committee in police reports against Santos, accusing the Long Island Republican of sexual harassment.
According to the House Ethics complaint, Myers says Santos touched his inner thigh and, quote, proceeded to touch my groin. Senior National Politics Reporter Eva McKend joins us now with the latest. So what is Santos saying about all this?
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Anderson, he's emphatically denying the allegation. Derek Myers came to Santos's office from Ohio, where he was working as a local reporter. Myers was charged with wiretapping last year after he published audio recorded by a source in a courtroom.
That case, it's still ongoing. But that is what Santos made reference to today in his denial, suggesting this is someone who is aggrieved essentially because they didn't get a job. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, can you talk to me about Derek Myers, and his alleging that you made an unwanted sexual advance toward him?
REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R), NEW YORK: It's comical.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you share if you deny the claim against you?
SANTOS: Of course, I deny the claim. Let me make it very clear, let me make it clear. If there was remote any part of that that were true, he should have led with that and not begged for a job that we decided to pull from him for being accused of doing exactly what he did to us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And just a follow-up, so you categorically deny it?
SANTOS: 100 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKEND: So Myers did, in fact, tape a conversation with Congressman Santos and provided the recordings to the news website Talking Points Memo. But that sexual harassment allegation, not in any of the published material from the site. And we here at CNN haven't been able to independently verify that recording.
Myer says, though, that he filed the police report. And Anderson, as many of our viewers know, it is illegal to file a false police report.
COOPER: So do we know if the House Ethics Committee is going to launch investigation into these new allegations?
MCKEND: You know, we don't, Anderson, not at this stage. The House Ethics Committee, they're a bipartisan group that takes their work seriously and has a long-standing policy of not commenting. I did speak with a government ethics expert earlier this evening, and he told me this is a serious allegation that he believes the committee will, in fact, investigate.
And I'm learning a little bit of how this would work. He told me that they would interview the complainant, they would interview Congressman Santos, and then they would try to interview witnesses if there were any. And then there is this separate issue of him, the complainant, working in the office for free as a volunteer under the guise of eventually getting a job.
It seemed to be that that was his understanding. Well, that ethics expert telling me it's not clear that that arrangement was above board. And that may be something that the committee has to look into as well.
COOPER: And is Congressman Santos attending the State of the Union tomorrow?
MCKEND: It sure seems that way. Congressman Santos says he's invited Michael Weinstock, a volunteer firefighter who was at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and suffers from neuropathy related to toxic exposure. You know, this would not be a head scratcher in any other case, especially for a member representing New York.
But Congressman Santos repeatedly claimed his mother was at the Twin Towers on 9/11 and that her exposure to toxins played a role in her death. CNN found that immigration records show his mother wasn't even in the country at the time. So why he would raise this issue in the context of his apparent lie on this matter about his mother, Anderson, is truly puzzling.
COOPER: Eva McKend, I appreciate it. Thank you.
I'm joined now by Harry Enten with some polling data that doesn't paint a good picture for the embattled congressman. So I don't even know people are doing polling on him --
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes.
COOPER: -- but what does it show?
ENTEN: So, you know, I have a general rule in politics that is, you could get 10 percent of Americans to agree on anything. So 10 percent of Americans think the U.S. faked the moon landing. Where's George Santos's favorite rating among his own constituents? It's 7 percent. It's 7 percent.
COOPER: That seems high to me.
ENTEN: I would see -- no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. Look, I'm just --
COOPER: I mean, who would say, like, oh, yes, no, I think he's doing a great job. I mean --
ENTEN: I'm sure you could find 7 percent of people who are pathological liars. So, no, I don't think that that's a high one. I think the fact that there are fewer constituents in New York 3 who have a favorable view of him than Americans who think we fake the moon landing is a pretty good indication that we're actually below sort of the Mendoza Line of American politics, where you can get 10 percent Americans to basically agree on any.
COOPER: So if he had a sense of shame or cared about what people in this district actually thought, he might resign looking at those poll numbers.
ENTEN: Yes. So, you know, they also asked in that particular poll, you know, do you believe that George Santos should resign? 78 percent of his constituents said that, yes, he should resign. Now, I made a historical comparison, right, of other scandal politicians and whether or not voters thought that they should resign at the time of their scandals.
And what you can see, essentially, is that Santos, at 78 percent is higher than, say, Richard Nixon was in 1974. He was in the 60s higher than Eliot Spitzer was back in his scandal back in 2008, and higher than Anthony Weiner was back in 2011.
COOPER: And what phase of the Anthony Weiner scandal was that, do you know?
ENTEN: So that was taken after we found out some initial stuff it was before he resigned. It was not, of course, during his mayoral bid. That was a bid, of course, in which he ended up in the single digits.
ENTEN: But the fact was that, you know, it's obviously, it's a scandal on a different level. The thing about the Santos scandal, of course, is every single day it just seems like there's a lie coming out, it almost seems like a lie a day.
COOPER: It's obviously a lot of focus in New York, where he's, you know, representing -- allegedly representing a district. What about the rest of the country? Is there a lot of interest in this?
ENTEN: Yes. So this to me is interesting, right? You know, we're in New York right now, and obviously Eva was in Washington, D.C. And so I was wondering, is this just sort of a Beltway story, right? But we can get a pretty good idea from Google searches where people are searching for George Santos, whether or not it's just really a New York story. And --
COOPER: That was interesting.
ENTEN: And as it turns out, 92 percent of the searches for George Santos are outside of New York State.
COOPER: That's interesting.
ENTEN: So it does give you an indication that, in fact, that there are a lot of people nationally --
COOPER: I wonder if the people -- there's only 8 percent of them are in New York. I wonder if people in New York like, enough with the Santos that we hear about them all the time. So -- but outside, maybe less so.
ENTEN: I think the fact that we just had that previous slide that showed all those scandal laid in politicians in new York, I think maybe --
COOPER: They were all New York politicians.
ENTEN: They were all New York politicians.
COOPER: Except for Nixon.
ENTEN: Exactly. And Richard Nixon did in fact end up living in New York and lived in New Jersey.
COOPER: Understood. Yes, yes. ENTEN: Yes.
COOPER: Harry Enten, always a pleasure.
ENTEN: Thank you, sir.
COOPER: Just ahead, the latest in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh. A big setback for his defense, plus testimony from the only witness who saw Murdaugh around the time of the murder. So we'll be right back.
COOPER: The judge in the double murder trial of Alex Murdaugh delivered a severe blow to his defense today. Murdaugh is a member of what was once considered a prestigious family in South Carolina, but it turns out he'd allegedly been stealing from his clients, many poor families for years.
He's on trial now, accused of killing his wife and youngest son to try to deflect attention from those alleged financial crimes. The prosecutors say were about to be revealed. His attorney said the fraud claims were irrelevant, that they shouldn't be presented to the jury, but after days of testimony, the judge disagreed.
And today, as well, key testimony from a witness who said she talked with Murdaugh on the night of the murders and that he made her, quote, nervous. CNN's Randi Kaye has more of that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it unusual to see Alex Murdaugh at that residence that time of night?
MUSHELLE "SHELLY" SMITH, ALEX MURDAUGH'S MOTHER'S AIDE: Yes, on my shift, yes.
RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This woman is the only witness who saw Alex Murdaugh around the time of the murders. Mushelle "Shelly" Smith worked as a caregiver for Alex's mother and says Alex came to his mom's home sometime after 09:00 p.m. on June 7, 2021. That would have been shortly after the state says Maggie and Paul Murdaugh's phones ceased all activity, meaning they were likely dead.
Alex's mother had Alzheimer's. Smith said his mom was sleeping that night and that it was unusual for Alex to come visit her so late. Smith recalled Alex stayed about 15 to 20 minutes. Despite that, she says he told her the next day, unsolicited that he was there much longer than that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to be clear, what was the statement you said about how long he was here?
SMITH: 30 to 40 minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But his phrase was, I was here, or, you know, I was --
SMITH: I was here 30 to 40 minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was he there 30 to 40 minutes that night?
SMITH: Not to my recall.
KAYE (voice-over): Smith cried on the stand as she shared how that conversation with Alex made her so nervous. She called her brother to tell him about it. She seemed to suggest Alex was sending her a message to say he was there longer the night of the murders. She also described for the jury how Alex seemed fidgety. The defense pushed back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is his normal behavior kind of fidgety?
KAYE (voice-over): Smith told the jury, days after the murders, Alex returned to his mother's house around 6:30 in the morning with what looked like a blue tarp.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holding something like this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what did it look like?
SMITH: Like -- a blue tar, like a tarp.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blue?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Was it vinyl?
SMITH: It was like a tarp that you put on a car. You keep your car covered up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he say anything when he walked in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did he do when he walked in?
SMITH: Went upstairs.
KAYE (voice-over): The prosecution argued in opening statements that investigators recovered a blue raincoat at Alex's mother's home which had gun residue on it. This special agent with SLED, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division told the jury she found a blue raincoat tucked away in a closet at his mother's house.
SPECIAL AGENT KRISTEN MOORE, SLED CRIME SCENE UNIT: We located a blue raincoat in the coat closet on the second floor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you found it, it was balled up like that?
MOORE: That is correct.
KAYE (voice-over): Still, the defense injected some doubt, getting Smith, the caregiver, to confirm she thought it was a tarp, not a raincoat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it was not a rain jacket, was it?
SMITH: No, it wasn't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a blue tarp?
KAYE (voice-over): The defense also pointed out the blue item, whatever it was, didn't have a gun wrapped inside it, such as a murder weapon, which would have left gunshot residue. But the caregiver noticed more about Alex the night of the murders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you observe anything about his face? Any on his face?
SMITH: I think he got a little cut or something.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, ma'am, I apologize, a little what cut?
SMITH: Like a little bruise or something.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where was it?
SMITH: Like above his forehead.
KAYE (voice-over): What she didn't see on Alex was blood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Alex have -- Alex Murdaugh Alec Murdoch have blood on his clothes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had blood on his shoes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had blood on his hair?
COOPER: Randi Kaye joins us now. So if Alex Murdaugh didn't have blood on him when he went to his mom's house, what would that mean necessarily?
KAYE: Well, Anderson, based on the timing, he likely went to his mom's house after those murders had already occurred. So it could mean if he didn't have blood on him, that he really wasn't there at the time of the murders, as he has said. Or it could mean, as the prosecutors have suggested, that he washed up and changed his clothes after allegedly killing his wife and son.
Now, we know from the caregiver at the mom's house that he was wearing shorts and a white t shirt when he showed up there, which is different than the clothing he was wearing just about an hour before the murders happen to occur on that Snapchat video that his son Paul had sent out.
So the jury will have to decide which one they believe on that. But also, Anderson, just one note on that blue raincoat. The witness who oversaw all of the testing of the gunshot residue on that raincoat, she's going to take the stand tomorrow. She will likely say that there was gunshot residue on the raincoat, as the prosecutor has already said in his opening statement.
But the trouble is, Anderson, nobody actually saw Alex Murdaugh wearing that raincoat the night of the murder. So the jury will really have to connect the dots on that one.
COOPER: Right. Randi Kaye, appreciate it. Thank you.
Up next, we take you to Ukraine for a fascinating story. You're going to see how 102-year-old great grandmother is helping Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines and report about the front lines ahead.
COOPER: As mentioned earlier, tomorrow night during the State of the Union addressed, President Biden is expected to talk about U.S. support for Ukraine with the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion about two weeks away. So far, the Biden administration has committed nearly $30 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. It includes M1 Abrams tanks which are not yet on the battlefield.
Today, Ukrainian troops began training with the German made Leopard 2 tanks, new weapons that Ukraine's President Zelenskyy has been pushing for, but he already has another powerful tool, namely the resilience and determination of Ukrainians refusing to leave the country, including 102-year-old great grandmother, who's living through war again and helping soldiers on the front lines.
CNN's Sam Kylie has her story.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At 102, Liubov's survival is extraordinary, not least because she's endured three famines over her century and all of them blamed on the Kremlin. LIUBOV YAROSH, HOLODOMOR SURVIVOR (through translation): We ate, Linden, Linden leaves and nettles. We used to grind these wild plants into flour, bake with it and eat it.
KYLIE (voice-over): At 13, she saw her older brother and sister perish in Ukraine's worst mass starvation, the Holodomor.
YAROSH (through translation): My legs were swollen. My arms were swollen. I was so sick. I thought I was going to die.
KYLIE (voice-over): In the early 1930s, on Joseph Stalin's orders, Ukraine's farmers were stripped of every grain they produced to feed Moscow's industrialization.
YAROSH (through translation): Tiny children were dying of hunger. They were taken to a truck, they dug a big hole and threw them all in.
KYLIE (voice-over): Ukraine is now 11 months into the latest Russian invasion. Three of her grandchildren are soldiers fighting Russian troops because Russia's president doesn't believe that Ukraine exists.
It should be noted that Ukraine actually never had stable traditions of real statehood, Putin claimed. Russia's assault on Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, failed last year. Many Ukrainians believe they're fighting off another attempt at genocide.
MYKHAILO KOSTIV, HEAD OF INFORMATION, HOLODOMOR-GENOCIDE MUSEUM (through translation): The leaders and organizers of the genocide sit in the same offices in the same place. At the center of these events is Moscow and the object of destruction is Ukraine as a nation.
KYLIE (voice-over): Ukraine's government says thousands of citizens have been forced into Russian territory and 14,000 children are missing.
(on-camera): How many millions of people died in the many famines brought upon by Russia in this country over the last century is a matter of debate among historians. And human rights, lawyers will debate whether or not what is happening today can be defined as a genocide. But there's no question that over the last hundred years the relationship between Moscow and Ukraine has been bleak.
YAROSH (through translation): We need to exterminate them so that not a single one is left. Only then can there be any peace.
KYLIE (voice-over): To help the war effort, she ties Burlap into netting to make sniper camouflage. But it may be her laughter that has kept her going so many years.
COOPER: Sam, it's is such a remarkable story. You're in Zaporizhzhia right now. What's the latest on the front lines?
KYLIE: Well, the front lines on this axis, as you know, run from here, basically pretty much due east. Now, they are relatively static, but there have been signs of a Russian build up. But around Bakhmut, Anderson, there is very, very intensive fighting also in the city of Vuhledar towns, I should refer to them both.
Bakhmut is on a hill, it's a city. It is going to be in the view of the Ukrainians who are already debating whether or not they should hang on to it. But they believe that they can, if they so choose. The issue will be whether or not it's worth it in terms of the cost of the Ukrainians, in terms of men and material behind that.
At the same time, the leader of Wagner Prigozhin is saying he believes the Ukrainians are going to fight to the last man. But there is going to be a debate, I think, in the coming days, as to whether or not it's really worth in military doctrine, essentially reinforcing failure from the Ukrainian point of view, or whether they fall back to their defensive positions.
But this has been a very bloody battle ahead, Anderson, of what is anticipated to be a Russian offensive somewhere along this 800 square mile -- 800-mile long front line sometime in the spring, Anderson.
COOPER: Sam Kylie, be careful. Thank you.
Coming up, something to hopefully make you smile at the end of your day. We'll be right back.
COOPER: To end tonight, a quick story about a nine-year-old who just graduated high school. That's right, you heard me right, he's nine and just graduated high school. According to our affiliate, David Balogun received his diploma from a charter school in Pennsylvania after taking classes remotely.
David gives a lot of credit to his favorite teachers. Both of David's parents have advanced degrees. But David's mom said that raising someone as gifted as David is is challenging. She says it's because he knows and understands concepts that are, quote, sometimes beyond my understanding.
And now that he's graduated, David, apparently, has his future mapped out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BALOGUN, 9-YEAR-OLD HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE: I want to be an astrophysicist, and I wanted to study black holes and supernova.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I'm not even sure what they are exactly, but I have no doubt he will do that. David's parents said they are looking at colleges right now. In the meantime, David is working on his black belt in martial arts.
We wish him the best. News continues. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.