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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Death Toll In Turkey-Syria Earthquake Surpasses 23,000; Realistic Newscasts Feature AI-Generated Anchors Disparaging The U.S., In Alignment With Chinese Messaging; Rihanna Headlines Sunday's Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show; Biden Orders Downing Of High-Altitude Object Over Alaska; FBI Yields Another Classified Document At Pence Home; Trump Team Turns Over Classified Documents, Laptop To Feds. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired February 10, 2023 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: He was admitted Wednesday after feeling lightheaded in Washington. Of course, he suffered a stroke at the height of the campaign season last year.

His Communications Director tonight says he was discharged tonight and in addition to the tests ruling out a stroke, that his EKG test results came back normal with no evidence of seizures.

Thanks so much for joining us. I'll be back at 9:00 PM.

Anderson starts now.



And this time, no one waited. Just days after a Chinese spy balloon was allowed to drift across the country until safely off the Carolina coast, another unidentified object was spotted over Alaska. In this case, though, fighter jets were scrambled to investigate and then to shoot it down. President Biden was asked about it not long after.


REPORTER: Do you have anything to say about the object shot down over Alaska, Mr. President?



COOPER: CNN's Kylie Atwood joins us now with more on how all of this played out and how the administration is handling it. So, what else has the administration said about this object?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, here is what we know, Anderson. This mysterious object is the size of a small car. It was unmanned, it didn't appear to have the capability to maneuver itself within the Windstream, and also according to a US official, it didn't appear to have surveillance equipment onboard. So those are some significant details, but we really don't know the answer to the major question here, which is who was responsible for sending this up into the sky. Listen to what the NSC's John Kirby said about that earlier today at the White House.


ADM. JOHN KIRBY (RET), COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS AT THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: We are calling this an object, because that's the best description we have right now. We do not know who owns it, whether it's a -- whether it's State-owned or corporate-owned, or privately-owned, we just don't know.


ATWOOD: Now, what he also said significantly, Anderson is that this mysterious object was traveling at about 40,000 feet above ground. Now, that is about 20,000 feet lower than the Chinese by balloon that we were all tracking just last week.

And the significance there is that it was traveling at about the same elevation as commercial aircrafts. Therefore, Pentagon and White House officials determined that it posed a threat to civilian aircraft, and that is one of the major reasons that President Biden gave the order earlier today to shoot it down.

COOPER: So this object was said to have been downed about 10 miles off the coast of Alaska. Is there a plan to recover it? Do we know is there anything left to recover?

ATWOOD: Yes. It was shot down today, around 1:45 PM and recovery is already getting underway. And the White House, the administration is really focused on recovery, because there are just still so many questions that is why recovery is going to be key here.

But it was shot down over frozen water. So what they're going to have to do is recover all of these pieces that are on ice right now, that's going to be pretty complicated.

This is Northern Command from the US military doing this. This is the Alaskan National Guard taking part in it as well, including the FAA and also the FBI. So it's all hands-on-deck to try and do this recovery effort and figure out of course, you know, what the heck this is, and where it came from.

There are some similarities to that Chinese spy balloon that we were tracking just last week, because it came into US airspace. But right now, it seems like a very different situation -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Kylie Atwood, appreciate it. Thanks.

With us now us former Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger. He is a CNN senior political commentator. And importantly, tonight, he's also a pilot in the Wisconsin Air National Guard.

So Congressman, do you think the President shooting this thing down was the right decision? What do you make of this object? As little as --

ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, it is kind of the right decision. It's a mystery. I mean, obviously, it doesn't appear to be a balloon, like we dealt with all of last week, evidently it hung around.

I've heard that it's non maneuverable. There is a lot of stuff, you know, out there on the internet, on Twitter, describing it, which I don't know if it's true, or just rumor, but it certainly to me looks like something that either China or Russia. You know, I guess it's quite possible that there could be some commercial entity that was testing something.

But given the proximity to military bases, stuff with our Defense, it's very interesting, and I think there's a lot we may not even find out, but there is a lot to be learned.

COOPER: Is there anything -- I mean, in this area, in particular, that would have been of interest to adversaries?

KINZINGER: Well, there's air defense, there's military bases, there's fighter bases, there's some energy intense stuff up there. Alaska actually plays a very important role in National Defense, particularly when you're looking at to its west, you look at Russia, and you look at around the globe to China.

So yes, I mean, it could be anything from that level. But I mean, it's really kind of an interesting mystery and I think they made the absolute right decision to shoot it down. I'm not sure if it was shot down because of, you know, commercial airline traffic, as they've said, I think that's probably the right thing to say.

But look, it's pretty sparsely populated out there, and you can always vector traffic around something, so I certainly think they saw it as a threat.


COOPER: If it does turn out to be China or another adversary like Russia, what happens then?

I mean, obviously countries probe each other all the time, looking for, you know, trying to spy on each other. Should there be other action?

KINZINGER: No, I don't think it should escalate. I mean, you know, I think if it does end up being China or Russia, we obviously should be concerned and I think we've made it clear, the President has made it clear and DoD has made it clear that we're not going to allow incursions into our airspace.

And so, you know, if China wants to put something up a balloon in some cases, or maybe possibly whatever this object was, it's going to cost them that because we will defend our airspace and I think that's the right call, because that's the way you actually stop this kind of encroachment from happening is you make it clear it would be a waste of money, because we're going to take it down.

COOPER: Do you think some -- I mean, you were sort of indicating this. You know, the argument is, well, it was ats commercial air traffic level. It does seem like some of the reaction to this may have been just based on the criticism the Biden administration have received for waiting on the Chinese spy balloon.

KINZINGER: It is certainly possible, but it is also -- you look at, you know, did they gather Intelligence when the spy balloon came over? Evidently, we did. And I think from that point, so you can allow it to traverse the country once, get whatever Intelligence you need to, but we can't allow something like that again.

So is it a response to political pressure? Possibly.

I doubt the DoD would recommend shooting something down because of the politics of it. I would think that at this point, we're making it very clear that you basically got one chance to fly something over our country and after that, you're not going to make it in.

COOPER: Yes. Congressman Kinzinger, I appreciate your time. Thanks so much.


COOPER: We want to get perspective now from James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, and currently CNN national security analyst, also William Cohen, who served as Defense Secretary during the Clinton administration.

Secretary Cohen, how much in your view was this about neutralizing a threat to civilian aircraft? And how much about sending a message to the American population and also other countries?

WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER US DEFENSE SECRETARY: I don't think the altitude was really the dispositive factor here. Let's assume that the object was flying at 50,000 feet or 60,000 feet. I think the answer would have been we would have shot it down anyway. So that may have been a factor involved, but I think that was not the dominant reason.

I think, we are sending a message to whoever sent this up, whether it was China or Russia, or some other country, if you invade in our airspace, we're going to take it out.

Now, there's a cost to it and, I'm sorry, Congressman Kinzinger just said, there is a cost to them. There is a cost to us. Those Sidewinder missiles cost about three hundred eighty, four hundred thousand dollars.

So every time they put a cheap balloon out, or some other object, we have to take it down. It's not without expense to us as well. Now, I doubt that that is the cost formula going into effect right now.


COHEN: But I think it was right to take it down and I think it was right to wait on the first Chinese balloon that went up.

COOPER: Director Clapper, I mean, the US has released very few details about the object shot down. Would they have photographed it before shooting it down? I mean, would they have actually had eyes on it, do you think?

JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I don't know. Hopefully, they did or had some indication of the nature of its payload. It would appear, though that just from its size, that it didn't represent the technology that apparently was represented on the Chinese balloon.

So I do think if I may, just a broader comment, I do think it'd be very useful as this situation evolves, if the administration could devise a protocol that could be explained to the Congress and to the public, as what the ground rules are on, when and where and under what conditions we shoot one down or all those conditions, that we would want to observe it for Intelligence purposes.

Now speaking purely as an intelligence guy, I was amused a bit by those who were complaining about the Chinese balloon being an Intelligence failure, but yet also complained because we took the time to learn something about it and it's not like we can fly over China and observe one of their balloons. So this was an opportunity to gain Intelligence. And so I think that that may have been a valid argument.

All to say, I think it would be a good thing if we had a protocol that could be explained both to the public and especially to the Congress about as the ground rules.

COOPER: So Director Clapper, one can gather -- like in the balloon incident -- you can gather Intelligence just by following the balloon, watching it reading signals off it or something?


CLAPPER: Well, yes and if you can observe it up close and personal, you can learn a lot about for example if it had antennas on it, you can do forensics on the antennas and figure out, you know that the nature of whether that might have been a transmitter or a receiver, which is very useful to know if you're going to continue to glean Intelligence on just what one of these things is doing.

So there are -- and the other part of this is there are ways to collect Intelligence on the balloon that is not directly connected physically with the balloon itself. So if we have some insight into its launch facilities, and the protocols that the Chinese use when they launch, that's all valuable stuff and particularly if you can connect that with the actual operation of the balloon as it is flying.

COOPER: Secretary Cohen, do you agree with Director Clapper that there should be some sort of publicly announced protocols or at least explained protocols?

COHEN: I think General Clapper is absolutely correct in terms of making sure that Congress is on board. One of the things that's taking place is everybody is trying to be Quick Draw McGraw coming out and saying who's got the fastest gun in the West? And I think what we have -- what we saw is this administration acting and our military acting with restraint, to first understand what the object was in the Chinese balloon, see if we get Intelligence that General Clapper was saying.

But there is something else that came out of that, we found out that we knew several years ago that they were doing it, it wasn't disclosed, because we didn't want the Chinese to know that we knew, and that is something that's important.

So bring the Congress in, the Big Eight and sit down with them and let them know what's going on in terms of how we're going to approach this in the future. You will have less people coming out and being critical and political.

COOPER: Director Clapper, US Intelligence officials indicated they don't believe that Chinese President Xi was aware of in order to send the spy balloon over the US if the latest object turns out to be China again. I mean, first of all, do you buy that that the President wouldn't have known, that President Xi wouldn't have known that?

CLAPPER: No, I don't. The Chinese setup is that there is a Polit bureau member who is the overseer -- the senior overseer on behalf of the Polit bureau for the entirety of the Intelligence and Security apparatus of China, which is mammoth, and is multi -- they have many, many organizations and agencies that are involved in this.

So it's hard for me to believe that a Polit bureau member was directly associated with President Xi would not have informed President Xi about it, so, no, I don't buy that.

COOPER: Interesting. Director Clapper, Secretary Cohen, appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up next, we have breaking news where the former President's legal team has turned over yet more classified marked documents or I should say documents marked classified to Federal prosecutors.

Also, the FBI is searching Mike Pence's home and what they found at the office where back in November he said on national television he took no classified documents with him from the White House and a report from the quake zone where survivors are still being found, but hope is losing out against time and the death toll is climbing again.



COOPER: Breaking news tonight. There is late word that the dimensions of the former President's classified documents case continues to grow. His legal team turning over yet more items to prosecutors. This came at the end of the day in which the FBI agents searched Mike Pence's Indiana home, two-and-a-half weeks after the former Vice President's attorney discovered about a dozen classified documents there. Today's search turned up another.

And just as a reminder, here is what pence told ABC's David Muir last November in that very same home.


DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS: Let me ask you as we sit here in your home office in Indiana, did you take any classified documents with you from the White House?



COOPER: Jessica Schneider joins us now with the latest on that and the breaking news. So, what do we know about these new documents and other materials that former President Trump's team has handed over the Justice Department?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we know that they were handed over from Trump's team to Federal prosecutors in December and January. Crucially, Anderson, that was months after the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago back in August and it really suggests that this effort to get classified material back, it still continues between Trump's team and the DOJ.

So our team has learned this, that the handover included more documents with classified markings, it also included an empty folder that was marked Classified Evening Briefing. It also included a laptop belonging to an aide. And the reason that that laptop was handed over is because it turns out the aide had copied some of those classified documents onto a thumb drive and the laptop not realizing that they were classified. So both of those were turned over.

And that new detail, it really creates at this point more questions and problems about who had access to this classified material as the DOJ has been working to get it all back. Did this aide have access? And does that add another wrinkle into this investigation -- Anderson.

COOPER: Do the discovery of the new documents tell us anything about the course of the investigation into the former President's handling of documents?

SCHNEIDER: I think it signals here that this investigation is still maybe in the middle of things, still very active here. This indicates that Trump's team is still on alert that maybe other documents are still at Mar-a-Lago.

You know, we are seeing the Special Counsel in this case, Jack Smith, really go full speed ahead. It was just this week that we even learned that he had subpoenaed the former National Security adviser, Robert O'Brien. O'Brien had actually asserted a lot of executive privilege here, but this investigation is still wide ranging, ongoing, and of course at the same time, that Jack Smith is investigating the classified documents at Trump's home, he is also investigating January 6th.

COOPER: We also mentioned the documents found at Vice President Mike Pence's home. What's the latest on that search? SCHNEIDER: Yes, so that FBI search was five hours today and it yielded one classified document. It also yielded six other documents that the FBI said did not contain classified markings, but that the FBI still took for further examination.

The former Vice President was not at home at the time. He was actually in California visiting family, the birth of two new grandchildren. But you know, Anderson, the fact that one classified document was found, it could actually complicate the situation for Mike Pence because the Justice Department has to decide how to proceed here.

And if there is any need to appoint yet another Special Counsel, especially since Pence is considering this run for President and DOJ is really trying to treat all of these cases equally, Trump's case, Biden's case, and what could potentially be a case against Pence.


COOPER: Jessica Schneider, appreciate it. Thanks.

This comes a day after the Special Counsel investigating the former President issued a subpoena for Pence's testimony and documents related to January 6th, and there is a lot of talk about with CNN senior legal analyst and former Federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers.

So the new classified documents from the former President were reportedly copied over to a thumb drive and a laptop. The reporting is that the person who did that was unaware they were classified. I'm not sure how they know that. But does this complicate the case for investigators in terms of who may have had access to them? Because if people were copying classified documents, isn't that a whole other level of oddness?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It is, Anderson. It potentially expands the investigation because dissemination of classified documents is a whole another criminal offense. So if these documents were improperly disseminated to the person who had the laptop, that's one potential area of offense, and then you know, what happened from there? Did this laptop actually send them elsewhere?

So I think there's both an expansion on the criminal investigation side and then of course, on the National Security side, because they need to figure out exactly what possible spillage there was of this classified information.

COOPER: President Trump claimed on social media in January that he used to take home empty folders with classified markings as "a cool keepsake." One of the items are probably turned over was an empty folder marked Classified Evening Briefing.

What is the fact that investigators are looking for empty folders mean to you or that they're finding empty folders?

RODGERS: Well, when we first saw the take from the search warrant execution there, there's (AUDIO GAP) and it raises the question of where are the documents that were inside of those folders? You know, they're not supposed to be separated. There are folders for a reason. It's to identify them as classified, and also to shield their contents from anyone who might come across them.

And so the fact that they were separated is itself mishandling of classified information. So the notion that he just kept the folders is cool things and then separated them and did something else with the classified information. You know, I don't know why he thinks that's a defense to what's going on. In fact, it's actually an admission of guilt.

COOPER: I mean, Vice President Pence has cooperated with the search of his home. does that indicate anything regarding what his cooperation may be with a subpoena he received yesterday from the Special Counsel's Office? Because he's certainly has a lot of, you know, there's some legitimate issues about executive privilege.

RODGERS: Yes, I don't think so. I mean, I think he is treating them separately. I think he wants this classified information inquiry to go away as soon as possible.

January 6, I think he wants to go away, too, in part, because we are starting the political season for 2024. But that he might actually be willing to stretch it out a bit and not be super cooperative. In other words, he might claim executive privilege and be willing to litigate that for the next few weeks, if he thinks that'll help him with potential voters.

So, you know, I don't think he's really thinking of them as in the same bucket. And honestly, DOJ isn't either. Jack Smith is pushing ahead with his investigation, and I don't think he'll give Mike Pence any credit at all for being cooperative and a totally separate investigation being done by someone else at DOJ.

COOPER: Yes. Jennifer Rodgers, appreciate it. Thanks so much.

Now to what is becoming a daily occurrence, George Santos according to a senator, telling another lie. The New York Congressman told conservative outlet, Newsmax last night that after his run in with Senator Mitt Romney at the State of the Union speech where Romney told him: "You don't belong here." Senator Kirsten Sinema offered him words of encouragement.


REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): Kyrsten Sinema as she was walking by, the Senator from Arizona, she said something to the effects of "Hang in there, buddy," or something like that. I said, Thank you. Thank you, Madam Senator. She was very polite and very kind hearted as I've learned to see her. She's a good person unlike Mr. Romney.


COOPER: Well, today, a spokeswoman for Senator Kyrsten Sinema said that did not happen quoting her spokeswoman: "That is a lie."

Now, here is footage from the moment on Tuesday night he appears to be describing, it shows Sinema walking in front of Romney, as she passes, Santos does turn to Sinema while Romney is talking and while Sinema turned in the direction of Santos, her spokeswoman says they did not actually speak.

Next for us tonight, new reporting on the staggering number of people left homeless, the search for quake survivors, which continues and one father alone in the rubble.



COOPER: We begin tonight's coverage with a desperate search for survivors in Turkey and Syria with a heartbreaking image that speaks more than any words can to the horror of what is happening.

The man in this photo is a father. His name is Mesut Hancer. He is sitting in the rubble, holding the hand of his daughter who is crushed inside it. She was sleeping on her mattress and that is where she still is beneath the bricks and the concrete. His daughter's name is Irmak. She is 15.

What do you do when the light of your life has ended? You try to hold on to it as long as you can.

This was a photo of them together before. No idea that it would one day come to this.

Around the father, out of frame, rescuers pick through the rubble, but Mesut couldn't take his hand out of hers. He couldn't let go.

The death toll from Monday's earthquake in Turkey and Syria has now climbed to more than 23,000. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates the quake may have left more than five million Syrians homeless, and our Nick Paton Walsh is in Turkey tonight.

Nick, what are you seeing around you? What have you seen today?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it has been extraordinary watching this city sort of slowly begin to fall into silence, at times desperately keeping the excavators, the crowds quiet, hoping they can hear something inside the rubble, a sign of life, and it brings an eerie ghostliness to huge areas of this town that used to be of millions, at times, during the day.

But sometimes in the case you're about to see, 109 hours after the quake, that brings out extraordinary moments of joy.



WALSH (voice-over): Over 100 hours after the worst quake in nearly 100 years, and still there were lights that won't go out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): Coming. Pull. WALSH (voice-over): Naked feet, a reminder this happened in everyone sleep. And this new dawn so welcome. No better way to show you're alive than this smile. The crowds at each site larger, louder in success. Now the number of living buried is smaller.

Timadu's (ph) husband was pulled out moments before her. They don't have to go far to be reminded how so many searches end. The preciousness of each moment of hope is most acute here where military helicopters and ambulances former stream rushing the injured to hospitals in other Turkish cities because so many here are crippled.

We see a three-year-old girl conscious. Her two months old sister the same. It is unclear if they know where their mother is. Nobody here does.

(on-camera): This just how urgent their work is. Each time they try to take off another ambulance arrives with another injured person who urgently required treatment.

Elsewhere, the olds are rushed on too, but also two so tiny, they share a stretcher. And on board must be carried in their arms. They too fly without their parents.

About 15 patients in total this morning. Remember, though, this is how most stories are ending here. Hurried graves in a cemetery dug by hand and cardboard. Even this a relative luxury in a time of nothing.

Two families of four who died in the same building. Across this city though, the task of burying so many also urgently.

Back at the same rubble site, another search has begun. This resident explains its interior.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): Where is the elevator shaft?

WALSH (voice-over): Hope now is for Yeshim's (ph) brother, mother and father, a nurse. She's been here since Tuesday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): I've been struggling for five days. Everyone has lost hope now and is sending me condolences. Officials told me they'd only find a course. And now two people have come out alive. We need professional rescuers. The fire brigade quit on us. We found those two just now with construction workers. I brought three body bags, maybe I need them and a graveyard.

WALSH (voice-over): And to dusk, the dig inches carefully forwards with no time limit or guarantee it will find anything. The city center swamped in dust and the heavy knowledge that the longer their patience and struggle, the less likely it is to be rewarded.


COOPER: And in the coming days, I mean for the people who are still there, who are still waiting, who have nowhere to go, what happens? WALSH: Yes, it's really now I think that the shift is from finding those alive inside the rubble less and less as time goes by fewer and fewer to trying to eke out a life above the rubble for the millions who seem to still be in the ruins of this once thriving, bustling city so much bigger since refugees moved here from Syria.

And we've got a sense just in the last hours, Anderson, actually of how things can deteriorate here. A false rumor started where we were but a dam nearby had broken that caused mass panic. Everybody piling into their cars, trying to drive out of here. Turned out of course to be incorrect.

And then some local men were chasing other men who they believe were thieves, who perhaps had used that brief panic to try and steal from some of the abandoned buildings here. A lot of desperation and tension I think growing. The air at night thick with smoke, food sporadic but here certainly.

But the biggest question is where do you live? Where do you sleep at night when virtually every building you see is damaged in some way if not flattened, Anderson.

COOPER: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you. Appreciate it.

Former CNN Correspondent Arwa Damon is the founder of an International Network for Aid Relief and Assistance, which works with children from conflict areas who have suffered physical and mental harm. Her team's work in the ground in Turkey. She's trying to get aid into Syria. Arwa joins us now from Istanbul.


Arwa, when you first heard about this quake, I know you actually in the United States doing work for your charity, you spent so much time in the region, what have you been seeing and hearing from from people on the ground?

ARWA DAMON, FOUNDER, INTERNATIONAL NETWORK FOR AID RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE: It serves such a scale, Anderson, that it's like this multi-headed monster that no one really knows how to describe or even how to deal with. I mean, those of us who worked in the region, my office was based in Gaziantep. You know, two of my staff were in Hatay and Antakya, where Nick was just reporting from the day that earthquake struck.

One of them, she was visiting her family. They barely got out alive. Their apartment is flattened. My country manager ran out with his children, as he said, the walls were crumbling around him. I mean, my stomach fell. I felt physically ill. And, you know, right now, we've been trying to scramble to get aid into not just that area, but also yes, as you were mentioning there, across the border, and to Syria with very little resources.

Because our organization, INARA, like so many others who would normally be responding to this using our staff on the ground, well, our staff are now, you know, survivors and victims of what has taken place. We managed to get one truck out tonight, I've got more boxes waiting to go in the next 24 hours. I'm heading down there, myself. But this is of a scale that I don't think any country or any organization is ever fully equipped to handle.

COOPER: What are some of the most immediate needs of people that you're trying to address?

DAMON: So what we're specifically doing is targeting families who, for whatever reason, are unable to access the eight distribution points, or they need specific items that aren't being distributed. So we've done calls out to our INARA families who we work with. Remember, most of the kids we work with, they, by and large, have burned injuries, and various other, you know, challenging injuries that makes these conditions very difficult to cope with.

And they were all displaced by war already. So there's this very deep trauma. And then we've been reaching out to other families as well who have very specific needs. So whether that's, you know, topical cream for their burn injuries, whether they need battery packs, because there's no power and so they're not able to stay connected with the rest of the world.

Whether they're looking for, you know, coloring books and stuff to be able to distract their children take that to -- you know, we're taking down tents and mattresses and flashlights. Again, no power candles, I mean, just about everything that you could possibly think of. The need is so vast, Anderson, that it's almost impossible to wrap your head around it.

And then when you look at the need that -- inside Syria, I mean, that's just non-existent right now.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, that was going to be my next question. We don't really know just how bad things are there. I mean, some groups are getting there now.

DAMON: Some groups are barely getting there now, Anderson. I think the U.N. sent over a handful of trucks to the one border crossing that U.N. aid can actually legally in theory go through. That border was shut down for the first few days. And it caused such fury and anguish inside Syria because people died.

And they died because they didn't have the heavy machinery they needed. They died because they didn't have the diesel to run the heavy machinery that was already in country. They died because the resources simply weren't there. That influx of international teams we saw coming into Turkey, which is extraordinary, that's not what you see inside Syria.

There you see local groups like the White Helmets and residents trying to dig through rubble with their bare hands to cope with an apocalyptic scene at this stage. And still aid is not getting across that border the way it needs to. And let's face it, every single humanitarian appeal for Syria from the day that the revolution then war broke out there, every single humanitarian appeal has never been met and that today sadly despite these circumstances, that hasn't changed.

COOPER: Yes. Arwa's group is INARA, that's I-N-A-R-A. Arwa Damon, appreciate it. Thank you.

And if you want more information about Arwa's organization, the International Network for Aid Relief and Assistance is what it's called, I-N-A-R-A. The link for you is response. That's one word,

Coming up, the newscasters that you're about to see, they're not actual newscasters, they're not even actual real human beings. So what are they, and why are they pushing China's propaganda? Details ahead.



COOPER: We are all far more aware of the misinformation out there on social media in a variety of platforms. But tonight a new way to spread falsehoods a research firm has identified realistic comparing newscasts featuring AI-generated newscasters who are disparaging the United States. They're called Deepfakes. And interestingly, the content of what they're saying is distinctly aligned with Chinese messaging.

CNN's Selina Wang has more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, everyone. This is Wolf News. I'm Alex.

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On first glance, these look like news anchors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the top leaders of China --

WANG (voice-over): On a second glance, you might notice something uncanny. And how their voices don't align with their mouth movements. That's because they aren't real people. They're Deepfake avatars made with artificial intelligence. It's unclear who's behind this. But last year, pro-China bot accounts sent them out over Twitter and Facebook.

JACK STUBBS, VP, INTELLIGENCE AT GRAPHIKA: But this is the first time we've seen footage of an entirely fictitious fake person used in a politically motivated influence operation. This particular set of videos was promoted by an operation that we call Spamouflage, which means we've been tracking since at least 2019 and routinely amplifies narratives that align with Beijing's strategic interest.


WANG (voice-over): Research firm Graphika issued a report on this broader campaign that says in part, "More videos portrayed the U.S. in a negative light than focused on any other theme, presenting it as a law breaking, hegemonistic, racked by civil strife, and failing in the fight against COVID-19." UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This meeting is of great significance.

WANG (voice-over): They push China's geopolitical agenda.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gun violence has killed nearly 40,000 people.

WANG (voice-over): And expose America's shortcomings. The U.S. National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence says, "AI is deepening the threat posed by cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns that Russia, China and others are using to infiltrate our society, steal our data and interfere in our democracy."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey there, I'm Jason.

WANG (voice-over): And these fake news anchors, they were made with technology from British artificial intelligence company, Synthesia.

(on-camera): Let me show you how easy it is to create your own Deepfake video. So I'm on the Synthesia company website. I'm clicking on Create a free AI video. And for the script, how about let's have the avatar say, hi, I'm a correspondent for CNN. They say I'll get the video in my email in just a few minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, I'm a correspondent for CNN. Thanks, Anderson for having me on your show.

WANG (voice-over): Synthesia's website shows its technology is mainly used for corporate training and marketing videos. The company said in a statement to CNN, "The recent videos that emerged are in breach of our terms of service, and we have identified and banned the user in question."

Graphika says these news anchor Deepfake videos are low quality and did not get a lot of traction on social media.


WANG (voice-over): But this technology is spreading rapidly around the world. A few years ago, a Chinese tech firm made this Deepfake video of then President Donald Trump speaking Mandarin as a demonstration to promote their company's technology at a Beijing conference.

Chinese state media has even created a whole team of AI news anchors, they're showing it off as a novel new technology that can mass produce shows with these anchors that can work 24/7. The proliferation of Deepfake videos makes it dramatically harder to combat disinformation. Experts say it's used by foreign and criminal actors will only grow bending our reality.


COOPER: And I'm joined now by an actual human Selina Wang. Selina, thanks for joining us. So the Deepfake videos you showed us the beginning of your piece, you said they didn't get much traction but the potential for this technology it's kind of mind boggling.

WANG: Yes, it really is. I mean, look, you could tell from those videos, something was off, the mouth wasn't aligning with the voice. They were low quality clumsily done. They didn't get a lot of use online according to Graphika. But what is so concerning here is how it opens the door for a whole new territory and information warfare and this technology it's only going to get better.

There are so many ways that you can see bad actors taking advantage of this. It's already been used to make it look like global leader, said things they did not. Last April a Deepfake of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appearing to tell his soldiers to surrender was widely shared online before the uploads were taken down.

And you saw there just how easy it was for me to create my own Deepfake, literally a matter of minutes. And when I spoke to Graphika, the researcher said the biggest benefit for these kinds of pro-state spam operations is its efficiency. The potential to mass produce this convincing deceptive content.

COOPER: Wow. Selina Wang, appreciate it. Thanks.

Coming up, major sporting event is happening this week and I'm told, the Super Bowl. I do know that. Our Harry Enten is here to give us some of the interesting data about the game and probably make fun of me as well for my lack of knowledge. We'll be right back.



COOPER: So unless you've been preoccupied by Chinese spy balloons, or George Santos, you may have heard that there's a major live event happening this weekend. Rihanna is performing live for the first time in about seven years. There's also the Super Bowl, it said to be popular as well, which is probably why they chose it for Rihanna's returned to the stage.

There's a lot of anticipation building for Rihanna and for the game. Here to talk about them both, our Senior Data Reporter and unofficial NFL Analyst Harry Enten. I understand you have a question for me, which is inevitably a way to mock me.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: That is correct. That's what we do here on Friday nights even though it's your show they bring me in and I mock you a little bit. So let me let me ask you.


ENTEN: Do you actually know who's playing in the game?

COOPER: I do not.

ENTEN: OK, we're going to give you --

COOPER: Not Tom Brady. ENTEN: It's not Tom Brady. It's not him. He just retired.

COOPER: I know, I'm aware of that.

ENTEN: He may be joining us on television and season or so. But we're going to give you a little clue here, we have --

COOPER: That I don't know.

ENTEN: -- we have the logos, we have the logos --


ENTEN: Does this --

COOPER: It can be City Chiefs and the Screaming Eagles.

ENTEN: Yes, the Screaming Eagles. Where did they play?

COOPER: Eagles from Philly.

ENTEN: Yes. Oh, my --

COOPER: Jake Tapper is from Philly and I know he likes the Eagles. So, yes, that's --

ENTEN: That's exactly right. Philadelphia --

COOPER: Not actually called the Screaming Eagles.

ENTEN: No, they're just a regular eagles. But I like the Screaming Eagles.

COOPER: I like the logo, it seems like a Screaming Eagles.

ENTEN: It does seem like a screaming --

COOPER: Screamin'

ENTEN: Screamin', oh with a nice apostrophe there?


ENTEN: Oh very nice, creating things on the fly. I like it.

COOPER: So when did pop stars start headlining the Super Bowl?

ENTEN: So this to me is my favorite thing, right, because you love halftime show as much more so than the actual guests.

COOPER: Because I know who the people are in the halftime show. If I knew who the people were in the game, I probably --

ENTEN: Well, that's why we're going to, you know, we're going to work on that heading in the next season, right?

COOPER: All right.

ENTEN: So the first season in which they actually sort of had pop stars was 1991 New Kids on the Block.

COOPER: Wow, that was the first 1991?

ENTEN: with the pop stars because that --

COOPER: What were they doing before?

ENTEN: OK, this is interesting. So the first Super Bowl right had basically these college marching bands. It was grambling.

COOPER: Wait. They were playing Up with People perform?

ENTEN: Do you remember Up with People?

COOPER: Of course, I did.

ENTEN: Yes. Right.

COOPER: Up with People performed four times at the Super Bowl.

ENTEN: Four time, it was like a cult --

COOPER: There's American nigh. I mean, what was America --

ENTEN: There was a lot of drug use in the 70s.

COOPER: Who was thinking that? It's crazy.

ENTEN: I -- look --

COOPER: As popular as the game is, they decided, oh, yes, let's get Up with People?


ENTEN: You know, very jolly. I listened to it earlier, you know, I just pop like it was just like a good time, you know?

COOPER: I mean why not have it like a Sid and Marty Krofft production.

ENTEN: I mean --

COOPER: Which were great, by the way.

ENTEN: They could have done a lot of different things, but they had marching bands, they had Al Hirt, they had Up with People. it was just a fun -- a gay old time is the Flintstones used to say.

COOPER: This is a Super Bowl of first, I'm told.

ENTEN: Yes, it is a Super Bowl of first. So, you know, we have two brothers facing off against each other and the Chiefs --


ENTEN: -- and on the Eagles. We have the first time that there are two black starting quarterbacks. Interestingly enough, there were no black starting quarterbacks the first year the Super Bowl anywhere in the NFL.


ENTEN: So we've really come a long way on that. And the Navy flyover is going to be completely women. So we're making some good strides --

COOPER: Now that I know the stories like the two brothers facing off, that's great. The two -- the black men starting as quarterbacks, that's fascinating. I mean, this would get me into it.

ENTEN: This is an educational experience.

COOPER: I appreciate that. Who's going to win?

ENTEN: So who is going to win? At this particular point, the Philadelphia Eagles are favored by a 1.5 over the Kansas City Chiefs.

COOPER: That sounds close.

ENTEN: It's going to be close. And the thing that I'll tell you is the Super Bowls in this century have been significantly closer than the Super Bowls in the past. So the median margin this century has been seven points. Back in the last century, it was about 15.5 points.

COOPER: My -- I went to a special placement --

ENTEN: Well, remember we do math on Friday nights. We did the lottery ones before --


ENTEN: -- and now we do Super Bowl math together.

COOPER: OK. OK. We'll see who wins.

ENTEN: Yes. We'll see.

COOPER: Harry Enten, thanks very much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

COOPER: Be honest playing. News continues. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" is next.