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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
President Biden In Warsaw After Surprise Stop In Kyiv; Joe Biden Walks Kyiv Streets With Zelenskyy As Air-Raid Sirens Sound; Latest Polling On Ukraine Shows US Support For Involvement In The Conflict Slightly Down; Jimmy Carter, Oldest Living Former President, Receiving Hospice Care; Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake Strikes Southern Turkey Two Weeks After Massive Quaked Killed Thousands; Alex Murdaugh's Surviving Son Expected To Testify At Double Murder Trial Tomorrow; Prosecution Drops Firearm Enhancement Charge Against Alec Baldwin In "Rust" Film Set Shooting Death. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired February 20, 2023 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: The head of the EPA is headed back to East Palestine, Ohio tomorrow amid growing health concerns. This, after a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed earlier this month.
The EPA said today, water sample results show "no quality water concerns." Five hundred and thirty homes have been screened for air quality, none exceed the limits of residential air quality standards. The agency said, a health clinic operated by the State will open tomorrow.
Well, thanks for joining us. AC 360 starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
President Biden is in Poland tonight after making a surprise and history-making journey to Kyiv on this Presidents' Day. After months of secret planning and elaborate security preparations, the President of the United States met with Ukraine's President just four days short of a year since Russian forces invaded, and with reminders the continuing threat quite literally sounding all around the two leaders.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
COOPER: Many American Presidents have made dramatic trips before, Nixon to China, Kennedy and Reagan to the Berlin Wall, and Presidents have visited US troops in warzones, but never like this. This was the first trip ever by an American President into a war zone without the protection of US troops on the ground or American war planes controlling the airspace overhead. American air assets were active on Ukraine's border and Moscow was told about it in advance.
As for the President's own message, here are some of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know it was -- it was one year ago this week that we spoke on the telephone, Mr. President. It was very late at night in Washington, very early in the morning here in Kyiv.
Russian planes were in the air and tanks were rolling across your border. You told me that you could hear explosions in the background.
One year later, Kyiv stands and Ukraine stands, democracy stands. The Americans stand with you and the world stands with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, in more concrete terms, the President announced another round of military aid to Ukraine, but not the F-16 fighters, the longer range battlefield rockets that Kyiv is seeking. Still, the trip itself was meant to send a message which Mr. Biden certainly underscored.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Putin thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided. He's just been plain wrong, plain wrong. And one year later, the evidence is right here in this room.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: His journey to that room began late last year when he organized a team of White House, Pentagon, and Secret Service officials to plan for it. The actual trip started at 4:15 yesterday morning, using a smaller 757 as Air Force One instead of the larger one normally used for overseas travel.
With him, just two reporters who had to hand over electronic devices. After a fueling stop in Germany, the President continued to Poland where he boarded a train for a 10-hour overnight run to Kyiv.
This is a photo of the president National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan.
The entourage arrived to a city that had been locked down with no explanation, only hints and speculation that something important was about to happen, and it did.
A little more than five hours later, President Biden was back on the train. Then later back on the smaller Air Force One headed to Warsaw where he will meet tomorrow with the Polish President and deliver remarks on the war's anniversary and then meet with leaders from all nine members of NATO's eastern flank.
CNN's chief White House correspondent Phil Mattingly is in Warsaw for us tonight, CNN chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward is in Kyiv. Let's start with Phil and Clarissa.
So Phil, what is the White House saying tonight about the significance of this trip? PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Anderson, the symbolism was carefully calibrated for maximum effect at a critical moment and inflection point. Some White House officials have framed this moment in this war as the message that you heard from President Biden, both intentional and steadfast.
But what has been most interesting is my conversations with White House officials who have really been focused on the substance of the actual meetings between President Zelenskyy and Biden and their top advisers, underscoring that because this is such a critical moment in the war, the path ahead understanding both what Ukrainians are requesting, what they need what US officials believe the battlespace looks like in the weeks and months ahead and what they believe they and the rest of their alliances can provide was a critical discussion to have that went deep into the details.
Now, Anderson, you alluded to some of the issues that President Zelenskyy has requested in terms of defense capabilities that the US has not been willing to provide up to this point, I'm told those came up both on fighter jets and on long-range missile systems, both sides laid out their positions. No clear pathway forward.
But also I'm told, no red lines laid out underscoring just how significant this moment is in a war entering its second year.
COOPER: And Clarissa, what's the response been like from Ukrainians, not only government officials, but people on the street?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's been overwhelmingly positive, Anderson, from the moment that videos started leaking out on social media of that enormous motorcade going through the center of town, a lot of the Ukrainians were stuck in traffic for hours, some of them forced to take the subway, but they were frankly very excited to see the US President make a visit that has been a long time in the making, highly anticipated, several invitations from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Zelenskyy himself said today, this conversation brought us closer to victory.
I think he is speaking there largely in terms of the symbolism of it, the importance in this moment when Ukrainian forces have been taking a bruising in Eastern Ukraine, when the Ukrainian people have suffered a very grim and bleak winter, and to have Biden visit, to have that kind of strong signal of support, it really was a much needed boon for morale and it speaks to a future partnership that the Ukrainians, I think, understand they cannot win this war without.
COOPER: Phil, was the White House concerned about Russia's attempt to frame this conflict as a proxy war with the West?
MATTINGLY: You know, Anderson, I posed this question to a US official earlier today, right around the time we figured out what was actually happening, and the response I got was: How would this be a new development? And I think that underscores that we've talked a lot about the evolution and the progression in terms of the willingness of what the US is willing to provide in terms of weapon systems, the scale of the defense support, and how much that's ramped up over the course of the last 11 and a half months.
But so too, has the comfort level on the US side with how they're able to assess risks, how they're able to kind of walk through what they believe a Russian response will be, and how far they feel like they can push things without eliciting the kind of response that would bring this into a much, much more dangerous territory.
One thing I would note is a driving force behind that is lines of communication that have been opened up between officials and their counterparts over the course of the last several months. One of those lines was utilized when the US officials informed the Russians that the President would be making this trip several hours in advance. It was considered a deconfliction assessment, a deconfliction call, not some type of diplomatic effort.
They haven't characterized how the Russians responded, but it underscored that there is communication going back and forth, and perhaps that's giving some assurances to the US in terms of how they operate.
COOPER: It is interesting, Clarissa, because I mean, there was no real -- nothing new here. Obviously, there is a big package of more aid announced today, and yet the types of weapons, the fighter jets, you know, attack helicopters, longer range artillery, those are things the US is still unwilling to send.
WARD: Right. I think the most immediate short-term need for the Ukrainians was ammunition. I mean, according to a number of reports, including CNN's own reporting, they have been burning through ammunition faster than NATO and the US can resupply it.
So, that was a much needed sort of injection, or a shot in the arm, if you will, for the Ukrainians. But to the bigger picture, as Phil discussed, there hasn't been any kind of a concrete sort of confirmation of aid forthcoming in that way.
We did hear from President Zelenskyy's Chief-of-Staff, Andriy Yermak, who said somewhat cryptically that, you know, essentially the issues -- some of these issues had been resolved and others which had been stuck would now be sped up.
We don't know if he is precisely talking about something like the fighter jets, for example. The UK had agreed that they would start to train Ukrainian forces to use UK fighter jets then went back and qualified it saying it would take years to actually go about that training.
And so this is the frustration that Ukrainian officials have here is that once they do finally extract the promise of really substantive weaponry or aid that is so desperately needed, it then takes a much longer process to go about actually implementing that on the ground. We saw that with the Patriot missile as well.
So I think Ukrainians are hoping that we will hear more about a commitment to supply some of that heavier weaponry, but nothing concrete that we heard today.
COOPER: Clarissa Ward, Phil Mattingly, I appreciate it.
I want to go next to Moscow and CNN's Fred Pleitgen.
Fred, how is the Kremlin trying to frame the visit by Biden?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's been quite interesting because the Kremlin itself hasn't really said anything yet, and one of the reasons for that, Anderson is that Vladimir Putin, of course, in just a couple of hours, is set to give a fundamental speech here in Moscow and seemed as though Kremlin officials didn't want to take away from that.
However of course, the messaging itself is there on Kremlin-controlled media and also from some other Russian officials as well. And one of the things that they keep playing on was what Phil said, that the White House informed the Russians that President Biden would be going to Ukraine. And there are some officials who are saying, look, it shows that he had to ask Vladimir Putin for permission to come to Ukraine, that he needed security guarantees as Dimitri Medvedev, the former President of this country said.
However, there are also some very prominent military bloggers, they are very, very hard line, and they have become very, very important here in this country as this war has dragged on, who clearly see this as a sign of weakness on the part of Vladimir Putin essentially saying, look, Russia can allegedly strike Ukraine anywhere at any point, and there you have the US President, all of a sudden in Kyiv, visiting Volodymyr Zelenskyy, that certainly is something that is seen as very critical by a lot of these hardliners.
But in general, you can really see this all over the place on all Russian media throughout the entire course of the day. Obviously, the Russian is very critical of that visit -- Anderson.
COOPER: And do you know if there will be any changes made to Vladimir Putin's speech tomorrow as a result of the trip? I mean, will he talk about it?
PLEITGEN: Yes, that's the big question that a lot of people are asking, and certainly, there are some who believe that at least some of the contours might be a little bit different, or at least that Vladimir Putin was watching, it might change a few details.
One of the things that we heard from the Kremlin earlier today is that Vladimir Putin was putting the finishing touches, the final touches on that speech throughout the better part of the day. And so he will obviously have seen that President Biden was in Kyiv, but I think one of the things that the Kremlin sort of has been trying to put out there as a narrative will have been reinforced by this visit, which is that the Russians are essentially saying that they're not just fighting Ukraine, but that they're essentially fighting NATO and the United States as well.
It is something of a narrative that the Kremlin has been increasingly putting out there, especially as things have been very difficult for the Russians on the battlefield. And sort of what they're saying is, look, we're up against all of these NATO weapons that are out there.
But I think one thing that's very important for our viewers to understand from having been here on the ground from feeling the vibe, from speaking to officials also in Parliament, there is absolutely no sign that Vladimir Putin will be backing down. In fact, it seems as though Russia is gearing up for a very, very long, very bloody war in Ukraine -- Anderson.
COOPER: Fred Pleitgen, appreciate it. Thank you.
Joining us now retired Army Lieutenant General and CNN military analyst, Mark Hertling, also Jonathan Wackrow, former Secret Service agent and currently, a CNN law enforcement analyst.
Jonathan, I mean, when you were with the Secret Service, I know you prepared a lot of, you know, risky trips for a President into warzones to visit US troops. Is this unprecedented?
JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Anderson, the only way I can describe this visit is that the Secret Service and their security partners really extracted the possible from the impossible. Thousands of things could have gone wrong with this trip, but they only had one chance to get this visit right.
And as you said in the intro, it's not uncommon for Presidents to enter in hostile environments to go to warzones, we've seen it all the time. However, the manner by which this visit was planned from the very beginning and then executed earlier today appears, at least at the surface level to deviate from the standard model that the Secret Service has applied towards these trips in the past.
And what I mean by that is typically the Secret Service, when they're going to these high-risk environments, so high-risk trips, utilizes a variety of military resources, both on the ground and in the air to support that. In this case, the Secret Service did not have that, they could not rely on that military support, really making a very hard job even more difficult for the Secret Service, the White House staff, and all the supporting agencies.
COOPER: General Hertling, were you surprised that they informed Moscow in advance?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I was a bit, Anderson, but when you think about the reasons why and I'll push back a little bit on what Jonathan just said, there was some military support, but it was, let's call it over the horizon in Poland.
You can bet that they were tracking that train, they had combat air patrols up and potentially ready to go across the border, if anything would have attacked, they probably had emergency medical teams on helicopters and in aircrafts.
So I think, there was a military element of this inside of Poland. But as Jonathan said, it wasn't on the ground. There wasn't an enclosed casement, if you will, of military personnel that was protecting the President.
So I would bet that not only the Secret Service had some challenges on this, but I bet the RSO, the Regional Security Officer inside the embassy, the US Embassy in Kyiv probably had some sleepless nights, as well as the very small number of people that knew about this trip in President Zelenskyy's detail because they were contributing to the security, too.
And the more people you tell, the more risk you take. So, that circumference of people who know what's going on has to be as small as possible to mitigate the risk.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, Jonathan, there are so many vulnerable points along the way, obviously, not just being in Kyiv itself. You heard air raid sirens going off, but you know that train ride, 10 hours is a long time to be in one spot, but in one train compartment on a track that everybody knows which way it goes, and everybody knows which way you have to use to exit the country.
WACKROW: Yes, I mean, listen, from the Secret Service standpoint, like that that train is one point of the deadly diamond. Right? You know that there is one way in and one way out that you're going to bring these dignitaries.
I just want to bring up a point that the General had raised. You know, the Secret Service work with the US Intelligence and the US State Department services to coordinate support with trusted counterparts on the ground. And I think that's what's really unprecedented with this.
Typically, when we bring the President into a war zone, you know, we've seen this time and time again, our trusted partners are the US military assets on the ground, our direct counterparts. We didn't have that at this time. We had to conduct a detailed threat assessment with Ukrainian counterparts, coordinated through our diplomatic and Intelligence services, really, to prioritize and manage the risk of this visit.
But you're right, there were so many things that could have gone wrong, a 10-hour train ride, being in the middle of the nation's capital with the air-raid sirens going off. Yes, we did notify the Russians in advance, but that could have also telegraphed to other Russian proxies that this was the moment to strike.
So there were so many things that could have gone wrong. Thankfully, everything went right and it was a successful trip.
COOPER: General Hertling, you know, obviously Ukraine wants more. They want aircraft. They want attack helicopters, longer range artillery.
Without that stuff, can they continue to, at the very least defend themselves in the way they have, even if they're not taking back more territory? Especially if there is a new offensive?
HERTLING: Absolutely, yes. Anderson. You know, there's a new shiny object every day, F-16s, ATACMS, and yes, it would be great to drop all of that stuff on top of the Ukraine military. But what many people don't understand is that is part of the American way of war. It is not the Ukrainian way of war.
So when you drop something like an F-16, you're not considering what are the JTACs, the tactical air controllers on the ground? Are they trained to incorporate them in close air support? Are there jammers in the sky? Are there refuelers in the sky? Are there Intelligence factors that can feed things to those planes that have target? Are there the maintainers, and the trainers and of the things that go into that?
And truthfully, Anderson, my sources on the ground are telling me, Ukraine has been challenged with some of the equipment that we have given them. They have not set up the logistics supply and training aspects of this, even though they are fighting great.
Don't let me detract it all from the great fight that the Ukrainian soldiers are doing, but we are trying -- they are wanting us -- they are wanting to see a Desert Storm, and you're not going to get that if you're just incorporating things by throwing them into the stew and hoping they get it right.
It's a lot tougher than that, and I think that's why the President is holding back on some of these things.
COOPER: General Hertling, I appreciate it. Jonathan Wackrow, as well, thank you.
Coming up next, how Americans view the war at this stage and this country's role in it. Our senior data reporter, Harry Enten has the new numbers on that.
And later, former President Jimmy Carter, his decision to end medical treatment and enter hospice care at home with his family. The latest in his condition, and his remarkable life as history's longest living ex-President.
COOPER: We're talking tonight about President Biden's visit to Kyiv in wartime. Right now, how Americans view the war. For that, we're joined by CNN's senior data reporter, Harry Enten.
So at this stage of the war, do Americans still support it and does that -- how does that break down along political lines? HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes, they definitely still do support. They support us funding it, they support us sending military gear towards the Ukrainians, the overwhelming majority, we're talking nearly two-thirds of the country.
That being said, it's pretty clear that Democrats support it more than Republicans or Independents. You see Democrats near 80 percent support; Republicans and independents in the low to mid 50s.
So yes, there is bipartisan support, but there is very clearly some partisan lines developing, Anderson.
COOPER: It is so interesting that the Republican Party is supporting it less than the Democratic Party.
ENTEN: I mean, as somebody who grew up, you know, in the early 2000s, right, when we're used to Republicans being the ones who support war so much and supporting a broader US policy, I think it sort of flipped '22 here, it almost looks like something you'd see from the 1950s in Bob Taft.
COOPER: What's the shift been over the last 10 months or so?
ENTEN: Yes, so you know, another way we can ask this question, you know, are we supporting them the right amount? Too much or too little? On the too much score, what we see as Republicans now say, in fact, we're supporting Ukrainians a little too much. Look at that, lean GOP of 51 percent. That's a 30-point jump from where we were 10 months ago.
You see overall, that kind of mirrors what Republicans are doing, but still, only a third of Americans overall say that we're supporting the Ukrainians too much at this point.
COOPER: And what about -- is there a sort of a marker of what might make Americans turn against supplying more weapons to Ukraine?
ENTEN: You know, I think Americans like winning. That was something Donald Trump said, and that's something that we generally see in the polling as well. And what we see right now is that Americans, the majority, not an overwhelming majority, but a clear majority, 51 percent say they believe that the Ukrainians are winning the war right now. Russia, only about a third believe they are winning the war.
And what we see in the polling is there's clearly some correlation with Republicans, for example, believing that Russia by the slightest plurality believe that that Russia is winning the war right now versus Democrats, overwhelmingly, the Ukrainians are winning the war right now.
So I think if there's this sort of feeling that all is lost, then I think support for supplying more gear and supplying money to the Ukrainians would in fact, fall back.
COOPER: Interesting. Harry Enten, appreciate it.
ENTEN: Thank you, sir.
COOPER: Thank you. Much more now on what Vladimir Putin might tell Russians when he speaks tomorrow and how the visit today potentially change any perceptions in the region.
Joining us now is Norm Eisen, he is a CNN legal analyst, but was also a US Ambassador to the Czech Republic; also CNN national security analyst and former CIA Chief of Russia Operations, Steve Hall.
Steve, first of all, how -- what kind of impact do you think the President's visit to Ukraine may have on Vladimir Putin or his reaction to it?
STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I mean, first, this is a huge, huge deal for the Ukrainians. I've never served in a place where the seniors in that particular government haven't said, hey, is there any way that we can get the American President? This is political currency, it is political capital.
You know, for Ukraine, this is a little bit like if Beyonce were playing at your high school prom. It's a huge deal for them and it's a big boost and --
COOPER: It is like Beyonce can play in your high school prom if your high school prom was under attack.
HALL: Well, and that's the other side of it. I mean, so first of all, it bolsters everybody's -- the morale in Ukraine, not just the citizens, but the soldiers fighting it, and it is a huge blow to Vladimir Putin.
He's got to be pretty upset about this on the verge of a big speech that he's going to make tomorrow. So it'll be interesting to see what Putin comes out with and what he even alludes to because there are pros and cons to that as well, of course.
COOPER: Ambassador Eisen, you know the region well. What do you think the Biden visit means for the solidarity of Ukraine's Western allies?
NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's very important, Anderson. The Russian military, hollowed out by corruption has shown that it doesn't have what it takes to win this war. The greatest threat is that the NATO allies, the other Western allies, and here in the United States, morale will falter, that we won't stay the course. We know, historically, we've been successful when we do that.
So this visit, the speech tomorrow will have the effect of stiffening our spines. We already see, as you just highlighted that in polls that Republican and Independent support is softer. I'm looking for that to go up, and then of course, it gives tremendous morale boost to Ukrainians and our NATO allies in the region, including the Czechs where I served, and those countries will be meeting with Biden.
So, it is to stiffen our spines, above all, COOPER: You know, Steve, I mean, Ambassador Eisen makes the point that Russia's military has been hollowed out by decades of corruption and incompetence. That may be true, they can still throw, you know, 300,000 more bodies into the fight, and probably even more than that. There is no off ramp at this point is there, Steve, that's for you.
HALL: Sorry, you broke up there. Could you repeat the question?
COOPER: Yes, I'm just saying. I mean, there's no off ramp at this point in the war. I mean, Ambassador Eisen was saying that the Russian military has been hollowed out by corruption. But I mean, they can still throw 300,000 bodies into the fight, Russia.
HALL: And that's the way of war for Russia. I mean, you know, we've heard about the ways of wars of the United States and how the Russians do it. Or you look back to World War Two, for example, I mean, the tens of millions of Russian soldiers that the Russians -- that Stalin at the time, was willing to sacrifice. Putin is no different. It doesn't hurt him personally if he throws all of these people into the meat grinder.
You know, sanctions don't hurt him personally. The only thing he's got to be careful about is, is it going to cause enough disruption inside of Russia, that he's going to have trouble controlling his own government and his own system there? So that would be very interesting to see as well.
COOPER: Ambassador Eisen, I mean, you don't see any off ramps, do you? I mean, this can drag out for a long time, no?
EISEN: Anderson, that's right. Paradoxically, the desperation of Putin, he has thrown those bodies at the Ukrainians and it has resulted in devastating carnage for Russia. They're stalled now in Bakhmut in Eastern Ukraine.
But paradoxically, that's forced Putin to levy strikes against civilian targets -- hospitals, apartment buildings, crimes against humanity, the United States now accurately describes those efforts as being, and so that reduces the off ramp, there is little room for compromise. That is why we need to maintain our morale, our conviction, as was successful in World War Two, the Cold War, or other long-term conflicts and visits like this are so important.
COOPER: Norm Eisen, Steve Hall, thanks so much.
Coming up next, we'll talk about former President Jimmy Carter and his choice at 98 to now enter hospice care at home. Dr. Leana Wen joins us along with President Carter's chief White House speechwriter.
COOPER: During Sunday school at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia this weekend, Kim Fuller read a quotation from her Uncle Jimmy. My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, for as long as I can, with whatever I have to try to make a difference.
Her uncle Jimmy, of course, is former President Jimmy Carter, who led Sunday school classes there for decades. He is 98 years old now and in failing health. And on Saturday, the Carter Center announced he's decided to spend his remaining time under hospice care at home with his family.
CNN's Eva McKend is in Plains for us tonight. What is the mood like there now?
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Good evening, Anderson. A mix of sadness and pride falls over the town of Plains, Georgia, tonight as the residents here, about 500 in this tiny town, digest the news that the former president that they hold so dear is receiving end of life care.
You know, we began the day, Anderson, with Ms. Benita at her restaurant just down main street having some grits and eggs. And she recalled to us how just a few years ago, she took her own kids to see the former president during Sunday school. That's because up until recently, he was conducting Sunday school lessons at the church right here in this community.
Later on, we had the opportunity to meet Michael Dominic. He is a male carrier in this town and also a painter. And we saw him feverishly painting this iconic statue of a smiling peanut right at the edge of town. And he said it was so important to get this done to refurbish that peanut, because he knows that all eyes will be on this community of Plains.
That statue played an important role in the former president's 1976 presidential campaign. Take a listen to what Mr. Dominic told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL DOMINIC, RESIDENT: He don't want any recognition for any of that. And I do the same thing in my life. I just do stuff because it needs done. Just like paint the peanut, but you don't have to. He didn't want to make a big news statement about everything that he did. You know, he was just a simple man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKEND: So Anderson, the former president well known for his acts of service, including his work with Habitat from Humanity. But from Mr. Dominic there, clearly, there were some acts of surface that he did not telegraph, that were not public and broadcasted, that was just -- or just who he is rather.
COOPER: Eva McKend, appreciate it. Thank you. [20:35:12]
CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen joins us now. Also journalist and author James Fallows, who served as Chief White House Speechwriter during the Carter administration. He now writes Breaking the News on Substack.
Dr. Wen, can you just talk about a little bit about what hospice care is? My mom got hospice care the last two weeks of her life. It's really kind of an extraordinary thing. It's particularly to have it at home.
DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: That's right. My mother also had hospice care when she had end stage cancer. And so it's something that I, my family will always be thankful for. Hospice care is something that is a specialized medical care given to individuals who are near the end of their lives.
People have to have incurable medical conditions. Generally, it's end stage cancer, advanced dementia, heart failure, lung failure, et cetera. And also the anticipated life expectancy is less than six months. But the focus of this care, differently than other medical treatment, is not on the cure, but rather it's on ensuring quality of life, providing as much dignity and high quality days to the patient and the family, reducing pain and suffering and tending to the other needs that the patient and family might have, including their spiritual needs, their psychological needs.
And it's something also that a type of care that's also really underutilized. So I hope that more people will consider looking into this option if they and their family are eligible to provide again that quality of care --
WEN: -- in the last days and weeks and months of someone's life.
COOPER: James, it's great to have you on the program again. President Carter is not just the oldest living president in U.S. history. He's also, as you point out, had the longest post-presidency in history. How are you thinking about him tonight?
JAMES FALLOWS, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: So first with the rest of the world, I'm sending my best thoughts to the former president. And I think it is in keeping with his plainspokenness through his life and career that he makes sure the world knew about this, the decision that he made.
And like you, Anderson, and like Dr. Wen, I've had family members who have gone the hospice road and not and it's something that the President Carter should -- it's a good that he's making that clear. I think it is in many ways providential. He's had such a long time, 42 years as former president, 10 times as long as he was the serving president.
Most Americans today were not alive when he was in the White House. So they know him in the new role he hasn't invented for former presidents. He set a standard for what former presidents should do in the new identity he's created for himself through all the various charities and interventions he's done.
And also he has survived long enough to see reassessment of his time in office. Things like the human rights campaign around the world, the Panama Canal Treaty, bringing peace to Israel and Egypt and the Camp David Accords. And so I think it, again, it is -- I'm thinking about the way his life, the four years in office and the 42 years since then will be assessed.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, James, if anybody, you know, people may disagree with his politics or how he was as president, but, you know, just as a role model for living a decent life and a very -- the most human life you can possibly live. I mean, he is an extraordinary example of that. And certainly North Star should be for any former president about how to behave in their time after office.
FALLOWS: I agree with that. And he could not have planned on having this many years. Nobody can. He's a man of deep faith, and he knew that his life was unforeseeable one day to the next. But if he had planned it, the most valuable thing he could have done is set this marker for how people in general should serve and care.
In particular, how former presidents should comport themselves, that their role was to use the influence they had in the country and around the world and as a moral example to do what they could, to keep dealing with the challenges they dealt with in office. So we admire him. I admire him tremendously.
COOPER: Dr. Wen, in terms of hospice care, it's really up to the family or whoever the person in charge is, if it's not the patient themselves if -- but assuming he is competent and awake, he would be able to make decisions for himself. But there is somebody who is basically running the treatment, isn't there?
WEN: Right. And so this type of care, hospice care, is very much patient and family centered, and so it's based on the needs of that individual patient and their family, and that's going to differ. And so some people, for example, will prefer to be at home. Some people will prefer to be in another facility.
They're specialized hospice facilities. Also, you can get hospice care in a nursing home, in a hospital. If it's done at home and if it's done in any of these settings, there is an entire team of medical professionals who specialize in hospice and palliative care who attend to the patient. And so that would be doctors, nurses, home health aides, pharmacists, other individuals who will visit the home.
And again, will give the patient what they need. It will depend on what type of physical symptoms they may be having. A lot of it is going to be pain relief or relieving anxiety or helping someone breathe, if that's their difficulty. But it's also going to be tending to the other needs of the family. COOPER: Yes.
WEN: And often there are various needs with caregivers. And I think, again, this is the type of care that's very much centered on the individual.
COOPER: Yes. Dr. Wen, appreciate it. James Fallows as well. Thank you so much.
FALLOWS: Thank you.
COOPER: Still ahead, another major quake hits in Turkey and Syria two weeks after the devastating earthquake killed tens of thousands. We'll have the latest on that next.
TAPPER: Tonight, at least three people are dead, hundreds more injured in Turkey and Syria after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake and dozens of aftershocks struck southern Turkey today. Of course, this comes just two weeks after the massive earthquake that killed more than 46,000 people in the region.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is there now. What is the latest? I mean, it's unthinkable this happened again.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, Anderson. I mean, that 6.3 magnitude earthquake, hour aftershock hitting this area, the city of Antakya in Hatay province, in and around Antakya. And this area was absolutely devastated by that massive earthquake a couple of weeks ago. I mean, you could barely find the building here that hadn't been impacted.
So when you have this powerful aftershock tonight, several buildings, we don't know how many yet, collapsed and at least three people, as you mentioned, have been confirmed killed. Up to 300 are in hospital right now, 18 of them in serious condition.
And you have several search and rescue operations, including this one behind me, taking place. We've had rescuers working for nearly nine hours right now trying to locate three people who are trapped inside this building. There were four people when the quake hit. That was a house owner with three movers trying to get his belongings out of the house, something we have seen people doing here over the past couple of days.
That house owner was rescued alive. We don't know the condition of the three people inside, but we know their family members, Anderson, have been waiting out here. I mean, you can see the shock and the fear in their faces as they're waiting for the news of their loved ones in there. And all they can do right now is sit, wait, and pray that they make it out alive.
COOPER: And there's got to be fear about additional aftershocks, obviously.
KARADSHEH: Absolutely. I mean, the emergency services here, the government has been warning people to stay away from buildings. There have been several aftershocks. We felt several in the past few hours since we've been here.
But, I mean, Anderson, you've got hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people right now who are living out in the open. They're living in makeshift shelters, intense in the back of their cars, people who have lost their family members, their loved ones, their homes, their everything after that devastating earthquake.
And they were just starting to try and process what they have been through to try and comprehend the loss.
KARADSHEH: And this happened tonight. And, I mean, we've been speaking with people who are just absolutely terrified right now --
KARADSHEH: -- sleeping out in the open, don't know what's going to happen to them. And you can just imagine how they're reliving that trauma again, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Jomana Karadsheh, I appreciate you being there. Thank you.
Coming up, the Alex Murdaugh double murder trial. Defense will continue its case tomorrow. Our Randi Kaye looks at some of the mysteries that still remain a month into the trial. Details next.
COOPER: The double murder trial of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh is set to resume tomorrow with the defense expected to continue presenting its case. Murdaugh is accused of killing his wife and younger son in alleged attempt to cover up financial crimes.
Randi Kaye joins me now with the latest. So you have some new reporting about who we might see on the stand tomorrow?
RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. A source familiar with the case telling me that we can expect to see Buster Murdaugh take the stand first thing for the defense tomorrow morning. That, of course, is the only surviving son of Alex Murdaugh. He would be the first Murdaugh to testify at this trial.
He will very likely, of course, Anderson, speak to the family dynamic, and of course, Alex's relationship with his wife and son. I'm told by the same source that we can expect to see an accident reconstructionist following that. This would be someone who will pick apart what happened at the murder scene that night, certainly get their take on it, and we can also see how that lines up with the state investigators and what they found at the murder scene as well.
But, Anderson, we are now entering our fifth week of this trial and still so many unanswered questions.
KAYE (voice-over): This is the Snapchat video Paul Murdaugh sent to his friends less than an hour before prosecutors believe he was killed. His father, Alex Murdaugh is wearing long pants and a blue shirt. But when Alex Murdaugh called 911 at 10:06 p.m. after he says he found his wife Maggie and son Paul dead, he was wearing something else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any guns on you at all?
ALEX MURDAUGH, KILLED WIFE AND SON: No, sir. He's leading up against the side of my car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
KAYE (voice-over): Bodycam videos recorded by the first investigators on the scene show Murdaugh in shorts and a white t shirt. Question is, when did he change clothes and why? In court, prosecutors have suggested Murdaugh washed up and changed clothes after killing his wife and son.
The Murdaugh's former housekeeper described him in court as wearing pants and a collared shirt when he left for work the day of the murders. And those clothes now --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After June 7 of 2021, did you ever see that shirt again?
BIANCA SIMPSON, FORMER MURDAUGH FAMILY HOUSEKEEPER: No, sir.
KAYE (voice-over): The clothing Murdaugh was wearing in the Snapchat video was never recovered. One investigator testified she never found any bloody clothing at Murdaugh's house. And others have testified they didn't find blood in the house either. Authorities didn't immediately search Murdaugh's mother's home, where he went the night of the murders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't know what clothes he took with him, what shoes he was wearing? You have no idea, correct?
SIMPSON: That's correct.
KAYE (voice-over): Another question, where are the murder weapons? Ballistics expert Paul Greer told the jury that some of the shell casings found at the murder scene and on the property were fired from or ejected by weapons used before at Alex Murdaugh's home. Despite that, he could not say weapons seized from the home were used to kill Maggie and Paul.
PAUL GREER, BALLISTIC EXPERT: My result was inconclusive.
KAYE (voice-over): Another question, how did the gunshot residue get on the blue rain jacket found at Murdaugh's mother's house?
MEGAN FLETCHER, GUNSHOT RESIDUE EXPERT, SLED: I confirmed 38 particles. Given that it's on the inside, in order for it to be consistent with transfer, an object or objects with a high amount of gunshot primary residue on it would have had to transfer to it.
KAYE (voice-over): An object like a firearm. Prosecutors have hinted in court that perhaps Murdaugh used that rain jacket to wrap up the murder weapons and dispose of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have no idea how gunshot primary residue ended up on that garment, correct?
FLETCHER: I cannot tell you how it got there.
KAYE (voice-over): And since a rifle was used to kill Maggie and a shotgun was used to kill Paul, another question is, could two guns mean there were two shooters?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it a possibility that there are two shooters, based on the data you collected?
MELINDA WORLEY, SENIOR CRIMINOLOGIST: It just indicated there was movement to me.
KAYE (voice-over): Another unanswered question, if Alex Murdaugh touched his wife and son after he says he found them shot --
MURDAUGH: I tried to take their pulse on both of them.
KAYE (voice-over): -- why weren't any of Alex Murdaugh footprints or even knee prints found near their bodies?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see any footprints in the body?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see what appeared to be blood on Alex Murdaugh's hands?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did not.
COOPER: Are there other unanswered questions that standout to you at this point?
KAYE: I think, Anderson, the biggest unanswered question is, was Alex Murdaugh at the dog kennels at the murder scene around the time of the murders, earlier in the night? He has told investigators he wasn't there until he found his wife and son dead.
But at least eight witnesses, Anderson, have testified that they heard his voice on a recording that was extracted from his son's phone. And the timestamp on that recording is 08:44 p.m. long before he called 911, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Randi Kaye, appreciate it. Thank you.
Just ahead, big win for Alec Baldwin's defense team in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of his film "Rust". Details on that next.
COOPER: Alec Baldwin got a break today. Prosecutor is downgrading the manslaughter charges against him in the 2021 shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie "Rust". The decision, which also applies to the film's armorer, reduces the prison time that they could receive, if convicted, by five years.
The news continues. "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer starts now.