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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

US Servicemember Hurt In Latest Attack On US Forces In Syria; Trump Refers To Potential Death And Destruction In Escalating Attacks On Manhattan DA; Trump Attorney Appears Before Grand Jury In Mar-A- Lago Classified Documents Probe; Trump Says Potential For "Death And Destruction" If Indicted In Hush Money Case; West Virginia Residents Without Access To Reliable Water Are Forced To Gather Rain And Creek Water; EPA Head Vows To Fix Water Issues In Small West Virginia County; Gwyneth Paltrow Testifies In Civil Trial Cover 2016 Skiing Accident; "Eva Longoria: Searching For Mexico" Premieres Sunday, 10 P.M. ET/PT. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired March 24, 2023 - 20:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And you can watch the full Mark Twain Prize ceremony this Sunday at eight o'clock Eastern and Pacific only on CNN.

Thanks so much for joining us. We hope you have a wonderful weekend.

It's time now for AC 360.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New attacks tonight on Americans in Syria.

John Berman here in for Anderson.

And it came just hours after US retaliation for a drone strike believed to be the work of Iranian affiliated groups, which killed an American contractor and wounded five servicemembers.

And now, another pair of strikes as President Biden speaks out for the first time on this situation. CNN's Oren Liebermann is at The Pentagon for us tonight.

Oren, what's the latest on casualties among US personnel there?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: John, we're looking at for attacks in a number of different locations against US personnel in Syria over the course of the past 36 hours or so.

The first of those attacks was a one-way drone attack, a suicide drone attack in Northeast Syria that left one US contractor dead and six US personnel injured. Five of those are US servicemembers. They are in stable condition at this point.

Then later on in the evening, there were 10 rockets fired at a green village site in Central or Eastern Syria, right about in that part, that led to no injuries. But when the US retaliated, we saw two more attacks over the course of the past several hours, a rocket attack at nearby Conoco Field again in Central or Eastern Syria, that left one US servicemember injured in stable condition, and another drone attack, two of which were intercepted -- two of those drones intercepted, one got through and damaged the facility there.

John, it's been a long time since we've seen attacks of this nature, and how quickly these have come in Syria.

BERMAN: You mentioned the US retaliation. Describe that in just the one attack at this point, or has the US talked about another retaliation?

LIEBERMANN: So far, we've only seen the US respond to the first attack, the drone attack that left the US contractor dead, that targeting facilities used by groups with links to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. But President Joe Biden made clear there may be more responses as the US watches this escalate. Here was Biden.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To make no mistake, the United States does not -- does not, I emphasize -- seek a conflict with Iran, but be prepared for us to act forcefully to protect our people. That's exactly what happened last night.


LIEBERMANN: The Commander of US Central Command made the same point that the US has options and capabilities to respond should this continue, and John, if you look at it right now, if you look at the past several hours, it very much is continuing.

BERMAN: Oren, there are what? Some 900 US servicemembers in Syria. How often do they come under attack?

LIEBERMANN: Far more often than you might think. General Erik Kurilla, the Commander of US Central Command testified just yesterday that since the beginning of 2021, there have been 78 attacks carried out by Iranian proxies in the region, using either rockets or drones since the beginning of 2021. That averages out to one attack nearly every 10 days against US forces there, so this happens fairly frequently.

What's not frequent is when you see US servicemembers injured and US contractors killed, and that's why it seems the US may be feel forced to respond again, after those first strikes.

BERMAN: All right, Oren Liebermann, keep us posted because there seem to be developments every hour or so here.

Joining us now, CNN military analyst and retired Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling.

General, let's start with the mere fact of this new round of strikes on US forces. What does it tell you that US troops were hit after President Biden ordered that retaliation?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: You know, John, it's fascinating because as I heard you say earlier this morning, it was surprising, I think, to a lot of your listeners, that there had been 78 attacks since January of '21. That's truthfully typical for these kinds of combat zones.

Rockets and missiles are fired arbitrarily near US bases, attempting to intimidate and harass. They very rarely hit. But in these cases, what you had is a drone. That was the first strike two nights ago, and now additional strikes that seemed to have ramped up.

So you're probably going to see a tit-for-tat between the strike that was conducted by the two US F-16s that hit -- or excuse me, F-15s that hit a munition storehouse and an Intel collection site in Northern Syria as part of a proportional response, and usually what happens after that, these Islamic militias -- Iranian militias will come back and attempt to harass some more.

If it is rocket and ballistic missile attacks, most of them do not hit anywhere near the targets. They are very poorly aimed and not very accurate. The thing that concerns me is the increasing use of these militias using drone strikes, the so-called kamikaze or suicide drones. That is more precise and they can aim them in.


Most of these bases like RLZ and the Green Village which Oren just talked about, have good air defense capability for these kinds of things. But in the first case, what occurred the other night when that base was struck, there evidently as The Pentagon reported one of the Avenger missile systems was down for a reason and it could be mechanics, warfare is not perfect.

BERMAN: And you bring up the same point General Wesley Clark did with me this morning. The fact of the strikes isn't new, it is the precision, which seems to raise the stakes here and is worth watching.

How much communication, do you think, General occurs between Iran and these proxy groups believed to have carried out the strikes?

HERTLING: Oh, a lot. You know, and John, truthfully, I have experience with this. From our time in Iraq. My boundary of my divisional headquarters was on the border of Iran and they were constantly pushing things across the border into their militia groups.

Now they have plausible deniability done by the Iranian government, but it is certainly being done by people who are supported by the Iranian government, both with weapons and other kinds of equipment.

You can't pinpoint it, but certainly they are connected, and when you're talking about the fight in northern Syria, and the fight against the Kurds, these provincial militia or these popular front militia groups are certainly wanting to continue that fight against the Kurdish forces and of course, against the US. BERMAN: General, what's your main takeaway from President Biden's

really two-pronged response here. On the one, he did order the retaliatory strike, on the other hand, at the press conference, he emphasized that he does not seek conflict with Iran. If these attacks continue with precision, do you think the US will have to escalate its response?

HERTLING: There is going to have to be a continued proportional and escalatory response against those using the weapons, John, and it was interesting to me watching General Kurilla who is a good friend, as saying, you know, he would not implicate Iran itself into these attacks. He was talking about the militias.

So yes, it's not going to be a state versus state, even though we're going to probably continue to de-marsh and send warning signals to Iran, as the President did today, but I certainly believe that there will be proportional responses against the militia forces, and those are easy to attack.

We have had less forces in Northern Syria over the last couple of years. I think we're going to probably see more activity against the militia forces that are fighting against the Kurds.

BERMAN: General Hertling, if anyone understands the situation, it's you. Thanks so much for being with us tonight.

HERTLING: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: So now, the former President, he is once again raising the specter of violence and inciting his followers and he didn't even lose an election this time. No, this time, he was up at 1:00 AM last night attacking a local prosecutor, calling him a degenerate and figuratively unleashing the dogs of war on the entire country.

What does that suggest about how he sees his situation in the larger legal storm he is facing? Some clues to be found in what he posted at one this morning on his social network about Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg and potential charges in the Stormy Daniels hush money investigation. He asks how it can happen when: "It is known by all that no crime has been committed and also known that potential death and destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our country. Why and who would do such a thing?"

His conclusion: "Only a degenerate psychopath that truly hates the USA."

Now this comes a day after he called Bragg an animal and posted this photo of himself getting ready to swing a baseball bat next to a photo of Bragg. And just today, Bragg's office received a package containing white powder and a threatening note. Now, the powder thankfully proved to be harmless. Certainly, less toxic than some on both sides of the aisle say the rhetoric is.


REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): The twice impeached former President's rhetoric is reckless, reprehensible, and irresponsible. It's dangerous. And if he keeps it up, he's going to get someone killed.


BERMAN: That's House Minority Leader, Hakeem Jeffries. His Republican counterpart, Steve Scalise said there is no place in America for political violence of any kind, but he also echoed the former President accusing Bragg of carrying out, in his words, a political vendetta.

And Jim Jordan who chairs the House Judiciary Committee dodged the question entirely when shown the post by a correspondent for NBC, Chairman Jordan told him in the correspondent's words, he can't read well without his glasses.

Well, the former President apparently can, though, especially it seems the tea leaves because the Manhattan case is only one of many and they all seem to be coming to a head especially this week, the Federal documents investigation with his defense attorney, Evan Corcoran back before a Federal grand jury today without attorney-client privilege to shield him from potentially damaging questions.


There is that and now a ruling that all of these former close aides cannot use executive privilege to avoid testimony before the January 6 grand jury. Put it all together and there is plenty to keep anyone up at night. And tomorrow, the former President has a campaign rally in Waco, Texas as we approach the 30th Anniversary of this, the FBI raid on the Branch Davidian Compound, a time and place an incident that has become a touchstone for violent anti-government groups and individuals.

While the Trump campaign says it is a coincidence, "The Houston Chronicle" today called the choice of location not just a dog whistle but a "blaring airhorn of a Mac 18 Wheeler," to extremists.

Joining us now, someone who saw a Trump incited mob up close on January 6, former Republican Congressman and senior political commentator for CNN, Adam Kinzinger; also CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former Deputy FBI Director, Andrew McCabe, and CNN chief correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

Kaitlan, let me start with you. How are the former President's death and destruction comments being viewed inside the Trump camp? Because just days ago, his allies and advisers were privately urging him to tone down the rhetoric.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they obviously didn't even want him to call for protest, really, in this situation. You saw people like Speaker Kevin McCarthy later saying that Trump wasn't calling for protests, even though he very explicitly did so on his own website, Truth Social. And so this is definitely an escalation saying that there could potentially be death or destruction if he is indicted, as we know, is pretty widely expected at this point, even though it's the timing of that that's unclear. And so this is certainly a cause for concern. I mean, it's been over a

week now that I've been hearing from his allies who are saying they did not want to see anything that anywhere close resembled a January 6th playing out on the streets of Manhattan, because it was a major concern of theirs, given how damaging it has been for the former President.

And so this just shows though, I think that also his post, you know, almost a week ago now, when he said he was going to be arrested on Tuesday, which obviously was not borne out, and there was no indication that that was actually ever anything that was conveyed to his campaign or to his to his world, that just shows that he is allowing it to build.

He is calling for protests. He's even kind of mocking Republicans who are saying that protest should be peaceful. He's saying they're trying to destroy our country if people are calling for these peaceful protests in the wake of that.

BERMAN: So Andrew, how much of this inflammatory rhetoric heighten the tension and security concerns of what may be possible indictment next week?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it should absolutely have heightened the security concerns of professionals who are involved in protecting not just New York City, but also Washington, DC, and anyplace else around this country where extremist supporters of the former President might gather.

I mean, look, what we're seeing here is predictable and it shouldn't surprise anyone. He is a one-note orchestra. Donald Trump appeals to the lowest common denominator, the most baser, violent instincts of his most extreme supporters. He did it on January 6th. He summoned that mob to DC that tried to, you know, obstruct the peaceful transfer of power and he is doing it now to try to get himself out of trouble. And to be clear, he is in a lot of trouble.

We all watched this morning, while his attorney in the documents investigation entered the grand jury to testify against him. I mean, that is an unprecedented thing that we're seeing, and Evan Corcoran is in a position to provide unbelievably damaging testimony against him. Presumably, that happened today. And now, eight of his closest advisers have been told they cannot rely on executive privilege and must appear as well.

So it's a very, very bad week for Trump. And predictably, he goes low, and is resorting to the one thing that he does better than anyone, and that's appealing to people's violent tendencies.

BERMAN: You know, Congressman Kinzinger, knowing everything you know about the lead up to January 6, you were on the January 6 Committee, how concerning are these comments to you? And what does it say that, you know, Chairman Jim Jordan and speaker McCarthy aren't even addressing it?

ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So I'm concerned not necessarily about what happens in the next week or two weeks, it is all this stuff that radicalizes people over time, and people may continue to grow more thinking about violence and eventually go into violence, and it takes a spark that so far, we still think, you know, Trump he would never said like, hey, come and use violence on my behalf, but he easily could, and he is putting in people's minds to use violence.

I've got to tell you, John, the thing that bothers me the most, we can talk about this, it's the silence -- the silence of my colleagues, my former colleagues. You know, every Republican who holds elected office has got to speak up, I don't even care if -- you don't have to do it on national TV, put out a statement that says there is --

The whole purpose by the way of politics is to prevent violence. That's why politics was created. The utter silence is so weak by my party that I just -- to me, that's what I can't believe even more than what Donald Trump puts out on Truth Social.

BERMAN: All right, the three of you, if you will, please stick around. We're going to take a quick break.

Next, more on Evan Corcoran's testimony today. You heard Andrew McCabe talking about it, minus the protection of attorney-client privilege.


BERMAN: Talking tonight about the many legal troubles facing the former President and his extreme rhetoric in the face of it. Back now with our panel.

Kaitlan Collins, you know, as Andrew McCabe mentioned earlier, Trump's attorney, Evan Corcoran appeared before the grand jury in the DOJ Mar- a-Lago investigation and separately, several Trump aides, including Chief-of-Staff Mark Meadows, former Chief-of-Staff have also been ordered to testify in the January 6th case.

So is it clear, Kaitlan, how all of this is being seen and viewed by the former President?

COLLINS: I mean, clearly, there is a lot going on, and he just commented on this a few moments ago, both Evan Corcoran going and testifying today without being able to cite attorney-client privilege to not answer certain questions. And also the fact that Mark Meadows, his former Chief-of-Staff and all of these other aides with varying levels of closeness to him will also have to testify without being able to rely citing executive privilege to block their testimony in the respective January 6 case.

And so it is notable, I think Evan Corcoran, though has been probably the highest on the radar for a lot of those in the former President's inner circle because he was going to testify today. He was there for about three hours. Our camera saw him going in and then leaving.


And obviously, there were major questions that we know that they wanted to talk to him about regarding his conversations with Trump on what happened as they were searching for these classified documents, as of course, when the FBI showed up at Mar-a-Lago in June before that search warrant was executed, Evan Corcoran played a role in drafting that statement about the search of classified documents. He was the one who was on the receiving end of those subpoenas that they got and was dealing with the Justice Department in that regard. So I think they have major questions on that front when it comes to this.

But then when you step back and look at it, yes, you're right, the broader context of all the level investigations into him. He is the most vocal right now about what's happening in Manhattan. But as you've heard from legal experts, they believe potentially the documents now with Evan Corcoran testifying January 6th and Georgia, or other major ones that are all you know, if they're not high on the radar, they certainly should be.

BERMAN: You know, Andrew McCabe, you mentioned, it has been a very bad week for Trump largely because of the Evan Corcoran testimony. Does it seem like the pace of the Special Counsel investigation documents and January 6 is quickening because his team is really notching some Court victories here.

MCCABE: It does John, and particularly on the documents side. So if we think about everything we learned from the search the affidavit supporting the search warrant last summer, and then what's taken place largely in sealed court hearings over the last couple of months. What we learned in this effort to pierce the attorney-client privilege between Trump and Evan Corcoran is according to Judge Howell, the Department of Justice presented enough evidence to convince her that Donald Trump had actually committed a crime or attempted to conceal a crime in his interactions with his attorney, Evan Corcoran.

So having made that sort of an evidentiary presentation to a District Court Judge, and having had her decision approved by the Circuit Court, it is almost impossible to imagine that Jack Smith's team will not indict Donald Trump, at least on the documents case. They've already presented compelling evidence in the course of this motion hearing. So we're definitely past I think, a critical stage in that investigation.

Now with the new folks, those eight close advisers who have been -- whose claims of executive privilege have been wiped aside, at least by the Trial Court level, the January 6 investigation is ready to get a surge of adrenaline as well.

BERMAN: Well, let's talk about that investigation. Let's talk about one of those potential witnesses. Congressman Kinzinger, if anyone knows Mark Meadows, it's you. You served with him, and then he became White House Chief-of-Staff. He infamously didn't testify before your House Committee, the January 6 Committee. How significant do you think his testimony would be?

KINZINGER: Oh, it'll be very significant. I mean, I consider him like the MVP of the January 6 House investigation, because initially, he turned over quite a few text messages before he became, you know, totally uncooperative. Those text messages, those were some of the things that opened up a lot of the leads we were able to chase to get to the compelling information we got.

Mark Meadows knows a lot. He knew a lot. And I've got to tell you, with all these Dan Scavino, and some of these others that have resisted coming in and testifying to the January 6 Committee know a lot more. And keep in mind, I think our Committee put forward a pretty compelling case in the first place. Now you layer on to that these folks that didn't cooperate that will cooperate because DOJ has a much better ability to force that.

If I'm the former President, I'm going to be nervous because those excuses and those lies and frankly, those misperceptions he made, those are going to come tumbling down.

BERMAN: You called Mark Meadows, the MVP. Remember, he didn't even testify to your Committee, just the documents. I suppose the question is, will he pull a Frank Thomas, would he be back-to-back MVPs with the January 6 investigation?

Adam Kinzinger, Andrew McCabe, Kaitlan Collins, thanks to all of you. Happy weekend.

Next, how the former President's Florida neighbors see this story and the man next door and the legal slippery slope that is the lawsuit and countersuit over a ski collision with Gwyneth Paltrow.



BERMAN: The former President making outlandish statements online, nothing new. What could be different this time though is how much tolerance there still is for it.

Our Randi Kaye spent today talking to people who can legitimately call him a neighbor. She joins us now.

Randi, what do you find?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, we went to Palm Beach Island where Mar-a-Lago is, so it's essentially Donald Trump's backyard and we spoke with voters about how they feel about this possibility of the former President being indicted and also about some of his language that he has been using on social media.

Here is what one Republican woman who voted for Donald Trump told me.


KAYE: What do you think about the rhetoric and the language he's using?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like I said, it's harsh. Yes.

KAYE: Is it irresponsible?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very. KAYE: Do you think Donald Trump is getting railroaded?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't think so.

KAYE: Do you think it's a fair investigation?



KAYE: Now, she did vote for Donald Trump, but she also told me that if Ron DeSantis, Florida's Governor jumps into the race in 2024, that she would be voting for Ron DeSantis.

We also spoke to one man named Herbert, who also voted for Donald Trump and here is what he had to say.


HERBERT, FLORIDA RESIDENT: I think it's horrible. Death and destruction. I think he's got a big mouth. He should keep his big mouth shut.

KAYE: Do you think he's being railroaded in New York? Or do you think it's a fair investigation of the hush money payments?

HERBERT: I think he's being railroaded. Yes, I really do.

KAYE: Why? Why is that?

HERBERT: It is all political. I mean, what happened there? It happens all the time. I mean, not only to him, to other celebrities and so forth.


KAYE: Now remember, John, he voted for Donald Trump, and he told me that if it ends up being Biden against Trump again, in 2024, he would strongly consider voting for Joe Biden, which I thought was very interesting.

We also spoke to a Republican couple who supported Donald Trump in the past. They are still supporting Donald Trump, but they are tiring of his rhetoric. Listen.


KAYE: What do you think about that sort of language being used?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think it's not language that should be used by a former President, but I also think he has got the raw deal with everything that he is been charged, you know, and I think that it's basically politically motivated. But if he learned how to say things with a lesser tone, I think we'd be better off for him. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: That's really interesting to hear, Randi. And those were all largely Republicans. Did you speak to any Democrats?

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We spoke to a handful of Democrats, John, and they pretty much all gave us the same sentiment. They certainly are frustrated with the former president. They feel he's continuing to divide this country. Here is what one Democrat told me, and it really does sum up what the others told us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think that Mr. Trump really has a grasp on reality in terms of the big picture of the health of the country. And I don't feel that anything he's saying is helping bring us together. I don't think that calling for people to defend him and all that kind of stuff is helping heal the wounds of the last six, eight years, which this country desperately needs to do to go forward.


KAYE: And it is worth noting, John, that the Democrats and Republicans that we spoke with do agree on one thing. They all believe that Republican leadership should step in and tell Donald Trump to tamp down some of that rhetoric. John?

BERMAN: All right, all very interesting. Randi Kaye, thank you very much.

Perspective now from CNN Political Commentator and Democratic Strategist Paul Begala, and a bit to his right from CNN Political Commentator Jonah Goldberg, Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Dispatch. You know, Jonah, it's interesting because Randi also told us that she talked to a lot of people who just didn't want to talk about Trump. They were just sick of him.

So you have, you know, for a guy who craves attention, people who don't even want to think about him right now, combined with those Republicans who seemed a little sick of him, how much do you think that hurts Donald Trump?

JONAH GOLDBERG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's sort of impossible to tell. I do think over the long haul there is this building thing of it's always something with this guy. Like, you heard some of these people saying that they're sympathetic and they think he's being railroaded.

But look, I mean, like you can think somebody in the NFL was badly treated or like in the NBA was fouled and they got injured. If they're injured, you don't want them, you know, starting in the next game. Similarly, Donald Trump is really damaged goods at this point.

And I think there are a lot of Republicans who like him who think, you know, look, he's just not the winnable candidate. And some of this stuff is dragging. We now know from 2022 that he's dragging down other Republicans. Enough is enough. I just don't know if you're going to actually going to get enough of people to think that in time for it to matter in the primaries. It remains to be seen.

BERMAN: Look at the small sample size, but it did sound like there was fatigue in some of those Trump supporters' voices there. Paul, look, Donald Trump lashing out like he is. These 01:00 a.m. statements are still some media seeming to incite violence or call for it, perhaps. What does it say to you that that's how he's reacting to what is widely seen as a less serious case here in Manhattan? What does it tell you about how he might react to the more serious cases in Georgia in the federal investigation?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's a really good point. One of my old mentors and friends, the late Zell Miller, governor of Georgia, used to say, a hit dog will holler. Well, if he's this upset and this word and threatening violence, which is way across the line about a case that even a lot of Democrats think, gee, I don't know if they ought to bring it, wait until -- I just heard Andy McCabe talking about the evidence that the feds are gathering in the classified documents case -- wait until a potential case around incitement of insurrection on January 6.

Wait until perhaps the 10 or so instances of obstruction of justice that the Mueller report cites. Wait until Fani Willis, the D.A. in Fulton County in Georgia, potentially brings a case. Those are much, much more serious. But if he's starting now with the -- what for him should be, actually the easiest case and he's resorting to threats of violence, God only knows where he's going to go next.

BERMAN: You know, Jonah, Adam Kinzinger earlier expressed dismay that Republican members of Congress largely still aren't speaking out against the violence. He seemed to think they were scared to speak out. But how much of a risk do you really think there is now in speaking out, particularly if some of these Trump supporters we heard in Randi's piece right there are so exhausted with Trump?

GOLDBERG: Yes, look, I mean, this is a bind that Republicans have been in for a very, very long time. This is a very Groundhog Day kind of question. No offense to the question, but we've seen this for seven years now, and there's just essentially a calculation that says you catch a lot more grief if you say anything than if you just keep your head down.

I think it's shameful. And look, I mean, on the violence thing, I just think it's really worth pointing out. Let's credit Trump's defenders and Trump himself and say that he was absolutely right when he says he didn't mean to incite violence on January 6. That was not his intent.

You would think, given what happened on January 6, you'd be extra careful not to do it again. And yet he's going completely the other way. He knows what he's doing. It is wicked and it is profoundly dangerous.


And like, I -- the man on the street interviews are interesting, but they all say, oh, Republicans should intervene. Every Republican who's ever intervened with him has gotten their head handed to them, going back to Jeff Flake. So I'm not sure it's a strategy that a lot of Republicans want to follow.

BERMAN: You know, Paul, we got about 30 seconds left. I do understand the ground hog nature. My question is, has something changed now?

BEGALA: Right.

BERMAN: Is there now a fatigue? You advised -- have had advised almost all only Democratic candidates. Zell Miller ultimately aside, arguably, at the end there. But what would you advise someone like Ron DeSantis?

BEGALA: Hit him. Hit him as hard as you can. Beat him. If you want to beat Trump, you have to beat Trump. And I think Jonah's right. In the past, people who've taken on Trump have suffered. He has crossed a line with this violence.

By the way, set aside politics. There's a moral imperative here. There's social science research on this. There's this political scientist at Johns Hopkins, Lilliana Mason, who studied political violence, and she found when you introduce a statement from a leader to people who might be inclined toward violence, it has significant effect on diminishing the violence.

So this is really important. The political violence in this country is on the rise. Republicans have got to speak out about this or someone's going to get hurt. And I think it's going to help them politically if they do.

BERMAN: Paul Begala, Jonah Goldberg, our thanks to both of you. Have a great weekend.

BEGALA: Thanks.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

BERMAN: So a problem that might shock you by its very existence in this country. Places where clean drinking water is unavailable.



BERMAN: According to the World Economic Forum, around 2.2 million Americans are without running water or basic indoor plumbing. And more than 44 million have inadequate water systems. Sounds almost unimaginable, but it's not. As CNN's Sara Sidner find out in McDowell County, West Virginia.


SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inside this dilapidated building, where the roof is always threatening to cave in, sits one precious item. (on-camera): What in the heck is this?

RANDY WHITAKER: That is an old turbine pump.

SIDNER (voice-over): That decade old pump is the only source of reliable, clean water for about 300 residents. It's the only pump left that sends water through the pipes into their homes. Randy Whitaker does his best to help maintain it.

WHITAKER: If you look at the facility, you think no.

SIDNER (on-camera): You think no, I'm not drinking any of that.

WHITAKER: Right. But it meets all regulatory standards.

SIDNER (voice-over): We were there when the head of the Environmental Protection Agency got a tour of the place in December. Michael Regan's first initiative is to bring reliable, clean water to historically neglected communities across America.

MICHAEL REGAN, EPA ADMINISTRATOR: I walked into a building that's leaking, that has ancient technology, and people's livelihoods are dependent upon this antiquated system. This is not what we should be having in this country.

SIDNER (voice-over): The residents serviced by this pump actually have it good compared to thousands of others in the county gathering rain or creek water.

(on-camera): What is one thing you don't have in this house?


SIDNER (voice-over): Sonny Barton has lived on this remote ridge for 40 years. He says their mountain community was promised pipe water when he first got here, but it never happened. So he hauls water himself.

BARTON: I pump it on my truck bit (ph).

SIDNER (on-camera): Out of the creek?


SIDNER (on-camera): Just straight out of the creek?

BARTON: Yes, straight out of the creek.

SIDNER (on-camera): You go fill those up of the creek.

BARTON: Fill them up.

SIDNER (on-camera): OK.

BARTON: And I drop it off here.

SIDNER (voice-over): Down in the valley --

TAMMIE BAILEY, MOHAWK, WV RESIDENT: I put my ship lap up over top of my cabinets. I painted my cabinets.

SIDNER (voice-over): Tammie Bailey put some serious sweat equity into her home.

BAILEY: So one day I come home and I turned my tap on not this faucet, of course.

SIDNER (on-camera): Yes.

BAILEY: And when I turned my tap on, this is what I got. This was my water.

SIDNER (on-camera): OK. That -- you can't even see through that. What it smell like?

BAILEY: Nasty, rotten eggs.

SIDNER (voice-over): What's worse? When Bailey had her water tested, she says 14 contaminants were found.

BAILEY: You couldn't even flush a toilet. No kicking.

SIDNER (voice-over): And none of the 1,200 or so homes in her part of McDowell County are hooked up to a reliable water source.

BAILEY: We're supposed to be the best country in the world.

SIDNER (on-camera): The richest.

BAILEY: The richest country in the world.

SIDNER (voice-over): Some 100 years ago, some residents here were among the richest people in the United States by mining coal.

ABBY BRADSHAW, DIG DEEP PROJECT ENGINEER: We know that historically, these coal companies and other extractive industries were the ones who paid for, operated, and maintained all of these town water systems. The communities then have to rely on infrastructure that is aging, failing, breaking down.

SIDNER (voice-over): A 100 years later, the tax base and infrastructure generations of families rely on is a shadow of itself.

EDDIE GEORGE, DIG DEEP WATER AND SANITATION TECHNICIAN: My grandmother, this is me and her, she didn't have running water until she was 70.

SIDNER (on-camera): She didn't have running water until she was 70 years old?

GEORGE: Yes, ma'am.

SIDNER (voice-over): What Eddie George does is help people all over McDowell County get water piped to their homes.

GEORGE: People, they have trucks just solely devoted to carrying water, hauling water from, you know, in spring.

SIDNER (voice-over): He works for a nonprofit organization called Dig Deep. Tammie Bailey says she would still be living without clean water if it weren't for Eddie and Dig Deep.

BAILEY: I'm a single woman, one income. So I went knocking on the doors to Dig Deep, and fortunately, they answered.

SIDNER (voice-over): The cost to fix everything that went wrong would have cost her $10,000. Statistically, that's about a third of a year's wages for most people in McDowell County. Eddie George points out the problem isn't just about how people get water, but what's in it.

GEORGE: These are what we call straight piping. It's dumping raw sewage into the stream.

SIDNER (voice-over): This lovely stream runs right through Tammie Bailey's neighborhood, but every house we see has a straight pipe straight into it. The people we heard from here desperately want to be hooked up to a water system, but have little hope it will happen anytime soon.

GEORGE: In an area like this, you're, I think, 13 to 14 miles away from any main water source.

SIDNER (voice-over): But Eddie George does see a trickle of hope, because for the first time ever, the head of the EPA came to McDowell County and pledged to help fix what has been broken for far too long.


GEORGE: If you come down some of these places, you would think he was in a third world country. Nobody should have to live like this.


SIDNER: Nobody should have to live like that. When you see what these folks go through every day just to get water into their homes, it makes you angry. But they have said to me things like, so we can get people to the moon, we can send a rover to Mars, but we can't get water to our homes. We can't have city pipes. There is a funding issue, of course.

But I think a lot of people see this and think, oh, well, that's, you know, that's part of being in rural America. No, no, the cities also have major issues. We just saw what happened in the capital of Mississippi, Jackson. We all know what happened in Flint.

The infrastructure in our country is problematic. And you couple that with climate change and this is going to get worse, according to every expert we spoke with.

BERMAN: No one should be having this problems. SIDNER: No.

BERMAN: Not in America. My soon to be co-anchor, Sara Sidner, great to have you.

SIDNER: I'd be fortunate. Thank you, John.

BERMAN: All right. Gwyneth Paltrow takes the stand. And believe it or not, it's topic A tonight for numbers guru Herrion (ph).



BERMAN: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow took the stand today in a civil trial over a 2016 ski accident in Park City, Utah. A retired optometrist says she skied right into him and is suing for about $300,000, alleging he suffered four broken ribs and brain damage. Now Paltrow says he skied into her and is countersuing.


GWYNETH PALTROW, TESTIFIED IN CIVIL SUIT OVER 2016 SKIING ACCIDENT: I was skiing, and two skis came between my skis, forcing my legs apart. And then there was a body pressing against me, and there was a very strange grunting noise. So my brain was trying to make sense of what was happening.

I thought, am I -- is this a practical joke? Is someone, like, doing something perverted? This is really, really strange. My mind was going very, very quickly, and I was trying to ascertain what was happening.


BERMAN: All right, CNN's Harry Enten joins us now. Harry, look, there's a lot going on in this trial, and the testimony back and forth is interesting, but there's also some other interest in just sort of the numbers surrounding it.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes, that's right. I mean, look, for Gwyneth Paltrow, this is not about money. This is about her reputation, right, because her group company is worth well over $200 million. The suit is for only $300,000.

Now, she's countersuing, but it's just for $1 dollar and attorney's fees. So this is more about her reputation. She wants to clear her name, and so we'll see if she's ultimately able to do that.

BERMAN: How much attention is this case getting? It's televised. You get the sense that people are interested.

ENTEN: People are really interested. So I contacted Google, and I found out that this was the day that has had the most searches for Gwyneth Paltrow in nine years. Nine years. Her Google searches today are the third highest since Google has been tracking it back in 2004. So people are really interested in this case. They were interested in seeing Gwyneth Paltrow take the stand. And again, this is about her reputation, so we'll see if the people who are so interested in it view her differently, better or for worse based upon her testimony.

BERMAN: You know, when I introduced her and we talked about her, I say actress Gwyneth Paltrow, but truth is, she's more of a business person now than an actress. I listened to an interview with her over a year ago. She says, yes, it's been a long time since I was the major name in a film.

ENTEN: Yes, I went back and I looked, and the last time she received top billing, the top billing in a film was 13 years ago. 13 years ago for a film that I honestly had never heard of. You could see on the screen, "Country Strong." I believe she --

BERMAN: Fairly not so strong.

ENTEN: Apparently not so strong. I was told the movie wasn't particularly good, but I also know that she performed at the Country Music Awards, and that was, in fact, the last time a performance of hers was something that was searched in the top five searches for Gwyneth Paltrow's name.

As you mentioned, she's really just not known for her performances anymore. She's perhaps now known more about this trial, which, again, is part of the reason why she's so eager to clear her name.

BERMAN: Very interesting. Harry Enten, great to see you. Thank you very much.

ENTEN: Thank you, sir.

BERMAN: Just ahead, a sneak peek at the premiere of a new CNN series guaranteed to leave you hungry, "Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico."



BERMAN: Sunday night, CNN premieres an exciting new original series. "Searching for Mexico" was hosted by actress, producer, and director Eva Longoria. Anderson spoke with her about it.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: What made you decide -- I mean, you're incredibly busy -- what made you want to do this?

EVA LONGORIA, HOST, "EVA LONGORIA: SEARCHING FOR MEXICO": Well, Stanley Tucci called me. You know, "Searching for Italy" was such a success for CNN and for the world. We all, you know, think we drove everybody to Italy to visit all the places he ate at. And he called me. He said, we want to do a spinoff of the "Searching for Series."

He knew I was, you know, a big foodie. I'm a big cook, not a chef. I'm a cook. And I'm Mexican-American. You know, and him being Italian- American and so tied to his Italian roots, he knew I was, you know, tied to my Mexican roots, and he thought it would be a good idea.

And once we dove into it, it was like I was like, yes. I mean, yes, because --


LONGORIA: -- Mexico is a jewel of culinary cuisine.

COOPER: Incredible. Yes.

LONGORIA: Incredible cuisine. Yes.

COOPER: I mean, you were born in Texas but have strong Mexican roots.


COOPER: So where -- this -- the episode, the first episode we're going to see is Mexico City, which is, I mean, obviously --

LONGORIA: And I live there now. I live in Mexico.

COOPER: Oh, I didn't know that.

LONGORIA: Yes, with my husband.

COOPER: I mean, Mexico City is one of the greatest cities in the world.


COOPER: It's incredible.

LONGORIA: Incredible.


LONGORIA: And gastronomically incredible. It's like one of the biggest food destinations in the world today.

COOPER: What is it about -- for somebody who hasn't been in Mexico City, what is --

LONGORIA: Well, Mexico City is way more advanced than a lot of cities here in the United States. Like, culturally, it's just -- it's so stunning, and obviously food plays a big part of that. But I think the Mexican identity is so rooted in tacos and tequila. You know, that we all think Mexico is only tacos tequila, tacos tequila, which they do very well.

And I love, like, don't get me wrong, but it's so much more. And I think Mexico City is a microcosm of that diversity. It has everything. Mexico City has great seafood, and it has, you know, great decolonized food. It has great meats. It has everything.

COOPER: And the -- I mean, the art scene there is incredible. The museums there are great. It's just such a joy to be in that city.

LONGORIA: It is a beautiful city --

COOPER: I fantasize about living in Mexico City.

LONGORIA: You do? You should come.


LONGORIA: Come and visit us.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, nice.

LONGORIA: We'll take you -- and I'll take you on my food tour. I love the Frida Kahlo house. I love --

LONGORIA: The Frida Kahlo house, the pyramids.


LONGORIA: So many varieties of corn red, blue, black, purple. They're beautiful colors. And they're all -- the species are dying because the only corn that globalization wants is white corn. And so the farmers don't really have a reason to plant the other species. And so there's a bit of a crisis there.

But it's beautiful when you see it in the Wahaca episode. Just all the variety of colors and the beauty of what the farmers can create. And then also there was a woman, a mescal maker, and they call her La Bruja, which is the witch, because she makes the best mescal and they think that she's using some sort of witchcraft because she sells the most.

COOPER: Did you sample?

LONGORIA: Of course I sampled mescal. Yes, I did. There was a whole mescal story we do in Wahaca, and it was -- that was a tough week for me. I was like, I need a detox after this.

COOPER: It's such a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you so much for being with us.

LONGORIA: Good to see you. You have to come to Mexico City and I'll take you to some of the most amazing places.

COOPER: I would love that.


BERMAN: The CNN Original Series "Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico," premieres Sunday at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN.

And right now, the CNN Primetime Special, "The Ted Lasso Phenomenon: Jason Sudeikis One-On-One."