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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

FOX Not Out of the Woods; FOX Faces $2.7 Billion Lawsuit after Dominion Settlement; Supreme Court Temporarily Extends Access to Abortion Drug, Sets Friday Night Deadline; People Shot Over Mistakes, Misunderstandings in Three Different States; Suspect Arrested After Shooting Two Cheerleaders in a Grocery Store Parking Lot Near Austin, Texas; Russia Batters Eastern Ukraine With Fresh Round of Strikes; Netflix Ending Its DVD-By-Mail Service After 25 Years; U.S. Government is Tracking More Than 650 Potential UFO Cases says Pentagon. Aired 8- 9p ET

Aired April 19, 2023 - 20:00   ET


BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Being comforted by their mothers, Erin, and when Kaylin's father walked in, he turned to the group of friends including her boyfriend and said, guys, you've got to trust the justice system.

The family says that they are overwhelmed by the amount of support that they've received, including a call from Vice President Kamala Harris. They said getting Kaylin's story out there and sharing her light with the world is comforting -- Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Brynn, thank you very much.

And thanks so much to all of you for being with us.

AC 360 starts now.



The shockwaves sent by the decision to the FOX Corporation to settle a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems continued today. FOX will pay Dominion a record $787.5 million. While FOX News was largely silent on the massive payout, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was not.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Rupert Murdoch's legacy is forever sealed as the network that sought to undermine American democracy one primetime segment at a time.


COOPER: And Dominion isn't done either. They have pending lawsuits against the right-wing networks AON and Newsmax, as well as against allies of the former President, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Lindell and Sidney Powell.

Now in a moment, we're going to talk to former FOX anchor, Gretchen Carlson in her first interview since the settlement. But before we do, it is worth noting that FOX's legal jeopardy is far from over.

The voting technology company, Smartmatic is suing the network for $2.7 billion for what they say were over a hundred false and misleading on air statements about them.

And FOX also faces the very real possibility of lawsuits from shareholders, which we'll explain more about in a moment.

But first, former FOX anchor, Gretchen Carlson, who reached a $20 million settlement with FOX's parent company after alleging sexual harassment and retaliation.

Thank you so much for being with us.


COOPER: Were you surprised by the settlement?



CARLSON: I was surprised that it went on as long as it did, because --

COOPER That it went up to --

CARLSON: That it went up to --

COOPER: The day of the trial.

CARLSON: Yes. I'm not a lawyer. I did take the LSATs, but I feel like I'm sort of a half lawyer after everything I've been through, and the one thing you learn is that you should never put your CEOs or C-suite executives under deposition, unless you're pretty sure that you have a solid case.

So I was really surprised that they allowed all of that information and mistruths to be able to go public.

COOPER: Why do you think they ultimately settled?

CARLSON: Because I think that they saw the writing on the wall. The Judge had several rulings during hearings that were not in their favor, and it could have also been the makeup of the jury. I mean, remember the jury was seated and maybe they didn't like what they saw, and also, I think that they obviously did not want their top hosts to be coming and be media fodder for five or six weeks under oath.

COOPER: That idea of day after day seeing Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity or whomever traipsing onto the witness stand. CARLSON: Well, exactly.

And, you know, it would be an interesting place. I'm sure media coverage would have been massive, and I'm sure all media outlets would have liked to have seen that. But you know, that would have been one of the first times that those particular hosts would have to be under oath and actually telling the truth.

COOPER: Do you think there will be -- were you disappointed that there wasn't an apology from FOX?

CARLSON: At first I was, and I think I tweeted out on Monday night --

COOPER: Yes, I saw your tweet, you said: "Please, Dominion. Do not settle with FOX. You're about to prove something very big." Why did you hope that they weren't -- that Dominion wasn't going to settle.

CARLSON: Well, as somebody who has had a very high-profile lawsuit against the former CEO and Chairman of FOX News, Roger Ailes, as somebody who's been silenced as a result of that, with being able to tell all the facts of what actually happened to me.

You know, I was vicariously living through Dominion and hoping that they would be able to get to the truth.

COOPER: I think a lot of people were -- you know, a lot of observers who are not fans of FOX were wanting that, and yes, Dominion is a corporation, they have shareholders, they have a parent company from a financial sense, that certainly makes sense.

CARLSON: It is totally different than my case. You know, I actually did get an apology, and that is something that I hold close to my heart every single day that I think about it, because so many survivors were living through me when I got that apology. It's a validation. It's holding people accountable, and it rarely happens.

And so for me, that was the most important thing that happened in my case. I think in this case, I don't think it really would have mattered to the people that were trying to reach to change their hearts and minds.

COOPER: The people who are loyal viewers of FOX who believe what Tucker Carlson, who believe what Sean Hannity are saying.

CARLSON: That's right, and even if they had to go on set and give a 20-second apology, in the era that we live in now of fake news and believing only what you want to believe, I would assume that the majority of those viewers wouldn't believe the apology anyway.

COOPER: Do you think there will be any repercussions for me -- I mean, look, there's not going to be any repercussions for Sean Hannity or for Tucker Carlson. They have very big ratings. FOX News is going to be behind them, but for you know, the more low hanging fruit of Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo?

[20:05:01] CARLSON: Well, I think Lou Dobbs already met his fate. He was since

let go.

COOPER: I am not a viewer, so you're right. Yes, I should have --

CARLSON: Well, I'm not either anymore.

COOPER: I should have realized that.

CARLSON: But yes. I have absolutely no idea. I mean, one might expect it, but then why did they allow it to go this far to begin with?

COOPER: Does -- I mean, I don't want to get you into the middle of something, but Maria Bartiromo, I mean her behavior during all of this, what she said on air, her posting of Sidney Powell is really -- I mean, just journalistically, it is shameful. Did that surprise you?

I mean, she -- I don't know her personally. I was on "Jeopardy" with her once, and --

CARLSON: Oh, my gosh.

COOPER: And she did not do well, but has she -- was she always like that?

CARLSON: Not that I recall, but I cannot comment on the people that I worked with, unfortunately, because of my nondisclosure agreement.

But as far as being surprised about it, you know, look, I think that some of the FOX hosts are a microcosm of what we're seeing in the macrocosm of viewers, which is, we watch news now in silos, and we only watch what we want to hear.

And quite honestly, I believe that that can rub off on the host as well.

COOPER: Do you foresee any changes?


COOPER: That this will make anybody for anybody?

CARLSON: I don't think that this will change the way FOX does news and therefore, I don't think it will change the way viewers view them.

I know that what I've done in my life in the last six and a half years, that my case against FOX was incredibly meaningful and I've taken full advantage of that to make my life passion meaningful now in the work that I'm doing to make workplaces safer.

And so that's what I try to focus on now is the positive and waking up every day and knowing that I'm passing bipartisan legislation not once but twice last year.

COOPER: Your organization is Lift Our Voices. CARLSON: Yes. And, you know, I had an arbitration clause in my

employment contract, which if my lawyers had not been able to strategically come up with the idea of suing Roger Ailes personally, my case would have never been public and I would have been forced into the secret chamber of arbitration where decades of cases like these have been going. It's a vicious cycle of silence.

So the mere fact that I was able to make my case public was huge, because how did I know that I was going to be instrumental in igniting an international movement? I've now taken that responsibility to make sure that millions of other Americans never have to be silenced again.

So last March 3rd, I was proud to stand with the President and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers when he signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act, meaning that you don't have to go to the secret chamber of arbitration anymore. And eight months later, we were instrumental in getting the Speak Out Act signed, which means that you can no longer force people to sign pre- dispute NDAs for sexual misconduct.

COOPER: When you saw some of those documents that through discovery, Dominion got, in which what folks were saying on air, and what they were saying, privately in text messages to each other, did that -- the difference between what was being said and what they were actually believing, Tucker Carlson saying he hated Donald Trump and clearly not saying that on air, did that surprise you?

CARLSON: No. Look, I think that even Rupert Murdoch said that it was all about making sure that they were in the green and keeping things, you know, making money for them.

Look, I think it's a travesty, because I think it's actually a threat to American democracy to promote that kind of misinformation.

Let me be clear, there is a huge difference between espousing conservative viewpoints, and having an intellectual conversation between conservatives and liberals, which I think is very important.

There is a huge difference between that and telling lies to the American public, and that is where we have now become in the evolution of FOX News, at least with regard to the 2020 election and January 6th.

COOPER: Yes. Do you think with this next election, do you think we're going to hear those same lies told again?

CARLSON: Oh, gosh. It depends on who the candidate is, I think. But I have no way of predicting that. But I would love to be able to reach out to all of those FOX News viewers and hope that somehow we could get them back into the reality of what's really going on, but I think we're so far gone in this fake news era that I'm not necessarily hopeful about that.

COOPER: Yes. Gretchen Carlson, it is great to have you on again. Thank you.

CARLSON: Thank you for having me on.

COOPER: I really appreciate it.

As we mentioned, FOX faces an even a bigger financial hurdle. Ahead, a $2.7 billion lawsuit from the different voting technology company, Smartmatic, Randi Kaye has that story tonight.



SIDNEY POWELL, ATTORNEY: We know that $400 million of money came into Smartmatic from China.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): FOX News just days after the 2020 election, spreading false claims about Smartmatic, a voting technology company used on Election Day. Many of the network's hosts and guests including Trump's former lawyers, Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, offering up outlandish allegations.

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY: Smartmatic which is a company that was founded in 2005 in Venezuela, for the specific purpose of fixing elections.

Well, that's the company that was counting and calculating on election night and they did all their old tricks. They stopped it. They also switched votes around.

POWELL: We know that one of the Smartmatic people has went to Tarrant County, Texas and turned that county blue.

And all of a sudden this one election, Tarrant County is purportedly blue. We have evidence of how they flipped the votes, how it was designed to flip the votes.

KAYE (voice over): By February 2021, after demanding FOX retract its statements, Smartmatic had had enough.

The company filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against the FOX Corporation. Hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro were also named in the suit, along with Giuliani and Powell.

Powell has since been dismissed from the case.

In the nearly 300-page complaint, Smartmatic alleges FOX News knowingly made over 100 false and misleading statements about the company.

JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: With the assistance of Smartmatic software, a backdoor is capable of flipping votes.

KAYE (voice over): In the lawsuit, Smartmatic says FOX had an obvious problem with their story. They needed a villain, they needed someone to blame. Without any true villain, defendants invented one and made Smartmatic the villain in their story.

MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK ANCHOR: There is much to understand about Smartmatic.

KAYE (voice over): Smartmatic noted in the suit that FOX's story was a lie, but it was a story that sold.

The lawsuit alleges FOX pushed the bogus claims so it wouldn't lose viewers to newer right-wing media outlets like Newsmax and One American News.

FOX denies any wrongdoing. In fact, after Smartmatic filed its lawsuit, the network said, "We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in Court."

Yet just one day after Smartmatic filed its lawsuit.

LOU DOBBS, FORMER FOX BUSINESS NETWORK HOST: This President is looking at the prospect of having this election stolen from him.

KAYE (voice over): The network suddenly dropped FOX host, Lou Dobbs, without publicly making any connection between his firing and Smartmatic's lawsuit, but the damage in Smartmatic's eyes was already done.

Despite the fact no evidence has emerged that Smartmatic flipped or rigged votes --

POWELL: We have so much evidence, I feel like it's coming in through a fire hose.

BARTIROMO: How will you prove this, Sidney?

POWELL: Well, I've got lots of ways to prove it, Maria, but I'm not going to tell on national TV what all we have.

KAYE (voice over): Randi Kaye, CNN.


COOPER: More now on FOX's legal problems. I'm joined by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies at Yale University School of Management.

I appreciate you joining us. You wrote a piece for "Time" Magazine. You say this settlement is just the beginning of FOX and Rupert Murdoch's nightmare. Why?

JEFFREY SONNENFELD, SENIOR ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR LEADERSHIP STUDIES AT YALE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT: It is the -- well, first of all, of course, they are now forever hyphenated with the highest malice case award in history -- in world history.

COOPER: Were you surprised by how much it was?

SONNENFELD: It was huge. It would be indefensible to support this level of damages. If this had gone through the Court system, the Appeals Court would have knocked it down. This is 10 times the value of the company, eight times of what their revenues were. COOPER: So, from a financial standpoint, Dominion was smart to settle

because you think the Appeals Court would have actually knocked it down.

SONNENFELD: Oh, if by chance a jury would have awarded this and we don't know they would have, it never would have survived appeal, and they get it now.

COOPER: So for FOX, if they knew that, for them the value of not having the information come out at trial, not having their anchors having to testify under oath, that was worth the price?

SONNENFELD: It is worth the price that they just basically didn't want Rupert Murdoch, the patriarch, who basically has created his own Foxenstein monster here, showing that he is out of control.

This 92-year-old, somewhat confused, self-incriminating rambling testimony that he has already put in the Court records is very damaging. They didn't want Rupert Murdoch back on the stand. He was the first witness, and the anchors, but also these Board members who have basically acknowledged negligence.

COOPER: So, you're the first person on this program who informed me about the looming threat from the shareholders now. Explain that.

SONNENFELD: We were ahead of the world, thanks to you asking the question when we were here about a month ago, and you're exactly right. Is there is a duty of care, a duty of loyalty for Directors to perform their duties diligently and we have seen they have fallen down on the very sophisticated Board members, not just Lachlan, the CEO, Rupert's son; and Rupert Murdoch himself, but Paul Ryan, former Speaker of the House.


SONNENFELD: You have people such as the former CEO of Ford Motor Company, a major law firm CEO is in there, a guy named Bill Burke, Quinn Emanuel, the managing partner. They can't plead ignorance, and they have admitted that they should have done more via then, their general counsel, their CEO has admitted, well, we knew this stuff was false.

And as a matter of fact, the Judge has said as legal fact that what FOX claimed on air about election fraud was false. He said it is crystal clear, it's false. And FOX can't appeal that because this is a no contest settlement.

So they've accepted what the Judge said. So that's very damning, and all of those documents now help the next case, of course.

COOPER: So shareholders can do what?

SONNENFELD: Well, shareholders have already begun lawsuits in Delaware Chancery Court going after these Directors. They can find them as liable, as negligent, 60 percent of the ownership is not owned by the Murdoch family. Sixty percent are other shareholders, and they've already begun large class action suits.

They also have big insurance problems by the way. It isn't clear that insurance is going to cover even these damages because of this negligent behavior. Some insurance companies won't cover a Board, and what Tesla has had to do because of behavior of Elon Musk, he's had to personally insure his own Directors. So who's going to insure this company going forward?

They've got a lot of problems and advertisers dropping away. Do you know that in the last handful of years, My Pillow is almost 12,000 of their ads. That's, you know -- you can't just have a My Pillow channel here, it is becomes instead of FOX News, maybe Fo News or something like that.

COOPER: And the Smartmatic case, that's coming next, and I mean, that's another whole mishegoss for FOX.

SONNENFELD: Yes, it is fascinating. FOX is very worried about that, because the heavy lifting is now done by Dominion. All of this pretrial discovery is now available, it's public. And if this case had gone to Court, the disappointment would have been the same in that we wouldn't hear any of this on television. There wouldn't have been cameras in the Court.

But we have all those records and what Smartmatic has made a bet that they're going to have a more favorable jury in New York instead of in Delaware.

COOPER: That's where they brought the case instead of in Delaware.

SONNENFELD: Yes, it is there, because they're going to have to go for punitive, because the damages aren't as great, but they're asking for more. They're asking for $2.7 billion. They only asked for $1.6 billion in the Dominion case.

But it's a harder case to make because basically, Smartmatic, the only toehold the business is Los Angeles County, so they couldn't have had that high in damages.

COOPER: Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, thanks so much.

SONNENFELD: Thank you.

COOPER: Appreciate it. Fascinating.

Just ahead, tonight the wait for the Supreme Court to weigh in on a major abortion case was extended by 48 hours. Today, a longtime Court watcher and NPR legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg is back with us for that.

And later, we take you to Ukraine for a close call our team on the ground had today when a missile struck.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nat (ph), can you hear me? Nat (ph), can you hear me?




COOPER: A new deadline has been set for a Supreme Court decision on the most significant abortion-related case to reach the Justices since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Justice Samuel Alito extended his hold today on that Federal Appeals Court ruling that would impose restrictions on access to a widely prescribed abortion drug, mifepristone.

The new deadline is Friday by midnight. That's what he said.

This started now when a Federal District Judge in Texas revoked the FDA approval of mifepristone, which has been used by millions of women for more than 20 years.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, it stayed part of that Judge's ruling, but said that some restrictions could go into effect, including curtailing access to the drug by mail and shortening the pregnancy timeframe in which the drug could be taken.

Justice Alito's stay put all of that, as I said on hold until midnight Friday.

Joining us, longtime observer of the Supreme Court, NPR legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg.

Nina, so what do you make of the Court moving the deadline by two more days, because when we spoke last week, you told me the Court is running unusually behind schedule this term and that, as far as you can tell, the Justices are not getting along particularly well, which is fascinating.

NINA TOTENBERG, SUPREME COURT, NPR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, if they had been of one mind about how to handle this, in all likelihood, we would have gotten some sort of an order from the Court today. But of course, they've been hearing cases all week, oral arguments all week, and they have a conference, a regular conference scheduled for tomorrow. So, I would assume they'll try to hammer it out and that we will get some sort of word either late tomorrow or sometime on Friday.

You know, they are still the same options, and the most likely one, I think, is that they'll let the Fifth Circuit go ahead and formally have an expedited oral argument and issue a decision, because everything the Court did until now is preliminary.

I mean, it may feel like it's permanent, because it curtailed most of what the FDA has allowed in the last seven years or so in terms of access, and it also curtailed the period of time in which women can have abortions using mifepristone, and that's the seven weeks instead of 10 weeks, which is what the FDA has approved.

But it is still a preliminary decision, so once there is a final decision from the Fifth Circuit, then inevitably, I think, because I don't think the Fifth Circuit is going to change his mind a lot, inevitably, the Biden administration on behalf of the FDA, and the companies that make the branded generic mifepristone that's used across the country, they have a pending -- you know, they'll go back to the Supreme Court and say, hear our case now, and it could well be that the Court will do that or maybe it'll just leave in place what the Fifth Circuit does. That's always possible.

COOPER: If that scenario takes place where the Court now says, okay, Fifth Circuit, you go ahead, have the hearings, make your ruling and then the Biden administration goes to the Supreme Court about that ruling, would they put a stay on ruling before they vote?


TOTENBERG: In all probability they would. If they're going to hear it, they'll put a stay on it. The real question is, will they hear it? And where are they headed on this?

Because this case involves more than believe it or not abortion, it involves the whole regulatory structure of the Food and Drug Administration. And as far as I've been able to ascertain, no Court has ever before overruled the expert judgment of the FDA as to whether a drug should be widely available and when, and so that would be a very big deal.

COOPER: I spoke with Dr. Jane Henney, who was the FDA Commissioner when this drug was approved. She expressed concern that the Court ruling if left to stand could potentially imperil the FDA approval process writ large. Would that be something that the Supreme Court would likely take into consideration?

TOTENBERG: Well, I would presume it would think about that. And interestingly, you know, in 2020, Justice Alito, who is after all, the author of the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe in one of the pandemic cases that came up to the Court, where abortion rights groups were actually seeking to have easier access, he said, and a single Judge in Maryland had said yes, you can have increased access and Justice Alito wrote that it was his understanding how any Federal Judge could think that he could supersede his expert judgment for the FDA's.

COOPER: Interesting. We shall see. Nina Totenberg, fascinating. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

TOTENBERG: Thank you.

COOPER: Still ahead, have you ever accidentally opened the door of someone else's car thinking it was your own? I certainly have.

Now, in Texas, two cheerleaders were shot after one of them did just that. Details ahead.



ANNOUNCER: Representatives Jamaal Bowman and Byron Donalds debate on CNN Primetime. Live tonight on CNN.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST OF 'ANDERSON COOPER 360': Tonight, we're learning more about yet another shooting of someone who made a minor mistake and got shot because of it. Last week, there was 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, who was shot in the head and arm after ringing the doorbell at the wrong address. The men accused of shooting Yarl, 84- year-old Andrew Lester, shown there, appeared in court today where he pleaded not guilty. And over the weekend, 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis was shot and killed after she and three others accidentally turned into the wrong driveway while looking for a friend's house in rural upstate New York. According to the Washington County Sheriff, there was no interaction between the shooter and anyone in the car before shots were fired. And just yesterday, two teenage cheerleaders were shot in a Texas supermarket parking lot for what seems like another random accident. CNN's Ed Lavandera has that story.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's Payton Washington, practicing her high-flying acrobatics cheer routines. Three times a week, Washington and three teammates of the Woodlands Elite Cheer Company carpool from Austin to the Houston area for team practices. That's what brought them to this grocery store parking lot in Elgin, Texas, just after midnight, Tuesday morning. One of the girls in the car, Heather Roth, emotionally recounted during a vigil at the cheer team's practice facility later Tuesday, how she opened the door to a car she thought was hers when she was shocked to see a man in the passenger seat. She got back in the car with her friends when the unthinkable happened.

HEATHER ROTH, SHOOTING VICTIM: We're backing up. I see the guy get out of the passenger door and I rolled my window down, and I was trying to apologize. And then, he -- I just -- halfway my window is down, he just threw his hands up and then he pulled out a gun. And he just started shooting at all of us.

LYNNE SHEARER, MANAGING PARTNER, WOODLANDS ELITE CHEER COMPANY: As soon as they saw the gun, they said, go, and they drove and they went about two miles down the road, and that's when they realized that Payton was seriously hurt.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Lynne Shearer is the Woodlands Elite Cheer Company manager. She says Heather Roth suffered a minor leg injury, but Payton Washington was shot at least twice in the back and the leg. Elgin, Texas investigators say surveillance video at the grocery store helped them identify the shooter as 25-year-old Pedro Tello Rodriguez, Jr. Payton Washington was rushed by helicopter to a hospital. Her team manager says Washington's spleen was removed and she suffered damage to other internal organs, but she's breathing on her own again and FaceTiming with family and friends, even lamenting that she will miss a major cheer competition this weekend. SHEARER: The realization of the fact that she's not going to be competing this weekend, it was starting to set in, I think. So she was extremely, you know, up and down with her emotions.

WASHINGTON: I'm Payton Washington of Woodlands Elite Generals. Come tumbling down with us at world's best (ph) this Saturday. See you there.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Payton Washington was born without one of her lungs. But despite that, her coaches say she has reached the top of her sport. She's committed to be a member of Baylor University's Acrobatics and Tumbling Team next year. But for now, four teenagers will have to live with the horrors of surviving such a senseless attack.

SHEARER: It makes me sad for them because I don't think they're ever going to get over this. They're going to have fears that they never thought about in their life that now they're going to think about all the time, which is unfortunate.


COOPER: And Ed Lavandera joins us now. What do we know tonight about the shooter?

LAVANDERA: Well, the suspect has been held in jail. He's held on a $500,000 bond. He's been charged with one count of deadly conduct. A search warrant affidavit also revealed that he was arrested several hours after the shooting, found at his apartment asleep. And also, other court documents revealed today, Anderson, that he was previously known to law enforcement there in the Elgin area, but that's all the documents would say. We tried to asking Elgin officials exactly what that meant or what the details of all of that are, but they refused to answer those questions today, Anderson.

COOPER: Ed Lavandera, appreciate it. More perspective now from criminal defense attorney Mark O'Mara who has successfully defended then neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman and his second-degree murder trial for the deadly shooting of Trayvon Martin. The unarmed 17-year-old was walking home from the convenience store in 2012 when he was killed.

Mark, do you believe any of these recent shootings in New York, in Texas, in Missouri are within the boundaries of reasonable self defense?

MARK O'MARA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, and that's just the thing. The only time that you're allowed to use deadly force, and that's what was used in all three of these cases, is if you are in reasonable fear of imminent great bodily injury. Layman's terms, it has to be something that could kill you and it has to be right away, right now.


And when you look at any of these three cases, it's really concerning that any of the shooters could suggest that they were in reasonable fear of any injury, not to mention great bodily injury, which is the only standard by which you can use deadly force.

COOPER: And we hear a lot about stand-your-ground laws or the castle doctrine, those was obviously very by state. But, can you just explain generally what they are and when they would apply, and when they wouldn't?

O'MARA: Sure. We all have a right to defend ourselves against a threat. And if it's a wiffle ball or bat, you can't use a gun. If it's a gun, you can use a gun. If it's a knife close to you, you can use a knife. That's traditional self defense. And what they say -- castle doctrine means when you're at the front door of your house, you don't need to retreat back in. Used to be you had to retreat, but then the castle doctrine said, it's your castle. It's your home. You can defend yourself at the doorstep.

Then stand your ground took that same protection of castle doctrine out to the street that says, if you're on the street, not in your home -- if you're on the street, and you have a right to be there, you don't have to retreat. You don't have to make one move before defending yourself. And the thought is, the reason for stand-your- ground has been passed in many states is you might put yourself at greater risk by moving or by retreating, so you don't have to if you're allowed to be there. That then has sort of been the progression of this self defense protection we all have, but it's just gotten as though people think it just means shoot and figure it out later.

COOPER: The prosecuting attorney in the Missouri shooting of Mr. Yarl said that there was a "racial component" in the case. How do prosecutors and defense attorneys try to prove or disprove what was in the shooter's mind?

O'MARA: Very difficult, but let's face the harsh reality, is that now we are finally starting to talk about. There are implicit biases that exist in all of us and when they exist in a educational occurrence, or whether you're going to get a mortgage alone, it doesn't cause death. But in the criminal justice system, we see it and it can cause death. So, somebody asked me if there was a racial component, I quickly said, yes, there is because there always is.

Does that mean the shooter is a racist? No. But unfortunately, even today, when you look at the Harvard Implicit Bias Study which all of your viewers should take, we know that people are biased against particularly young black males. It's just a harsh societal reality. So yes, I think it's something that is out there. Prosecutors and defense attorneys have a very difficult time presenting it because it's still a taboo argument. But finally, we started to talk about it.

COOPER: And in the Missouri case, there was no -- I mean, other than this elderly man seeing this 16-year-old at his front door, behind -- you know, on the other side of the door, there was no exchange. The teenager didn't even say anything to him before he was shot, reportedly. O'MARA: And that's just the thing. Where did you get the reasonable fear of imminent great bodily injury from when he touches your door? You know, that's a fear that came from inside, much more so than outside. It didn't come from the facts of the case. There was no weapon. There's no aggressive action. There was no cursing or yelling. That came from inside that shooter's mind and that's not the place where it's supposed to be.

He's got to be able to prove to a jury that his thought process was reasonable under the existing circumstances and quite honestly, without prejudging any of these cases, we try not to, that's going to be a hard row to hoe for his defense team because any other action but shooting would have been much more appropriate.

COOPER: Yeah. Mark O'Mara, appreciate it. Thank you. Meanwhile, a positive update tonight on the 16-year-old Ralph Yarl who was shot in the head and arm after ringing the doorbell. In a new photo posted by family spokesperson, Yarl was seen sitting up on a bench alongside his attorney, Lee Merritt. The family spokesperson called him a "walking miracle with a head of steel."

And a programming note, tonight, on CNN Primetime, two lawmakers, Democrat Jamaal Bowman and Republican Byron Donalds were engage in an impromptu debate over guns and other topics on the steps of the Capitol recently. We'll continue it with Pamela Brown at the top of the hour.

Coming up on 360, a close call on the front lines in Ukraine. I'll talk to CNN's Nick Paton Walsh about how he and his team narrowly escaped a missile strike.



ANNOUNCER: Representatives Jamaal Bowman and Byron Donalds debate on CNN Primetime, live tonight on CNN.

COOPER: In Ukraine today, Moscow battered the eastern part of the country with a fresh round of strikes. According to Ukraine's military, Russia launched 60 airstrikes around the besieged city of Bakhmut and bombarded the southern city of Odesa. Officials say that Russian troop losses Bakhmut are several times higher than Ukraine's. During the strike, CNN's Nick Paton Walsh and his producer were just feet away from being hit by a missile, we're told. He and his team are thankfully safe. He joins me now. Nick, take us through what happened.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yeah, today, we were not far from where I'm standing here in Zaporizhzhia, near where many anticipate a significant Ukrainian counter-offensive, close to those already long-established front lines where we saw a missile land very close to our vehicles. Here's what happened today.


WALSH (voice-over): Close to Ukraine's imminent counter-offensive in the southeast, where Russia has long been brutalizing, pain is commonplace and the damage often everywhere and indiscriminate. The quiet is a blessing that rarely lasts. We are warned of a missile strike incoming and leave.


WALSH (voice-over): We can feel the pressure wave --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nat, can you hear me?

WALSH (voice-over): -- from the blast --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nat, can you hear me?

WALSH (voice-over): -- just behind our armored car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are right behind us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are right behind us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nat, can you hear me?

WALSH (voice-over): Natalie Gallon (ph), our producer, is in our second vehicle just past the smoke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nat, can you hear me?

WALSH (voice-over): -- with driver Igor Mudlidge (ph) and isn't answering.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nat, can you hear me?

WALSH (voice-over): The missile landed right between our cars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nat, can you hear me? Nat, can you hear me?

WALSH (voice-over): For 10 seconds, we have no idea if they are alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) just said something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nat, can you hear me?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes, I can hear you.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're fine. Just leave. Drive out the way we left.

WALSH (voice-over): We leave together. For so many, that choice of leaving is something imaginary. That happens above ground. The only power and water in town are down here.

WALSH (on camera): Life underground here has been hard for quite some time. But, it will get harder when the counter-offensive begins pushing, certainly in this direction. If there is space for laughter, it's from this, a screechy slapstick Soviet era comedy about a drunken goofball briefly bending the thick set grimaces here.




WALSH (voice-over): Guardian angels seem here to flit (ph) by in a town where 50 died in the war and 200 were injured. Safety is just a word here and rubble is a place.


COOPER: Nick, it's -- I'm so glad you and your team are OK. How are you doing? I mean, that's really unsettling.

WALSH: I mean, a brief taste for us, frankly, of what people in that town of (inaudible) enduring for months with strategic air strikes. You saw the start (ph) of the piece, the kind of craters they've been leaving. Our Producer Natalie Gallon (ph) actually could see, as we drove, the missile land between our two vehicles there, in fact, miraculously placed distant enough from both the -- both sides were OK and you can hear in the report there that gap when I couldn't tell if the other vehicle was OK.

It is frankly my fault for spending too long on the walkie-talkie, making it impossible for them to respond, but we were very keen obviously to find out if they were OK. So miraculous for us, but for so many in Orikhiv, a different story. Anderson?

COOPER: And talk about what is going on in that town and how it factors into a potential Ukrainian offensive later this year.

WALSH: Yeah, I mean, it's located between Zaporizhzhia here, a key city further north and the Azov Sea coast to the south of where I'm standing. That's basically the land corridor between other parts of occupied Ukraine and the Russian mainland, and the Crimean Peninsula, and many believe that land corridor is going to be the focus of Ukraine's counter-offensive imminent, possibly hours, days away.

We saw a slight taste in the areas around Med (ph) things may be beginning to move, exceptionally hard to tell what's to be in the back and forth of the past months continuing and what may be something new. Certainly, on the edges of Orikhiv, locals have heard small arms fire, had heard explosions over the past 24 hours that maybe a continuation of previous tensions. It may also be something new, as part of this counter-offensive. There are some signs broadly in this area of Ukrainian buildup, hubtells (ph) I say, what's real, but Orikhiv has been in the crosshairs of the Russians for some time. It seems they've been bombarding it quite hard to try and slow any Ukrainian push towards them. That maybe continuing today as well and the persistent bombardment leaves so few left in that town, and the few that are left shelving underground, startling to see the destruction. Anderson?

COOPER: Yeah, Nick Paton Walsh, appreciate it. Thanks so much and our best to your team.

Up next, Harry Enten joins us with some surprising news from Netflix.



ANNOUNCER: Representatives Jamaal Bowman and Byron Donalds debate on CNN Primetime, live next.

COOPER: Get ready to say goodbye to those red envelopes. Netflix has announced it will stop its DVD by mail service in September. CNN's Senior Data Reporter, Harry Enten, joins us now.

But frankly, the headline to me is that that service still existed.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yeah, I was a little surprised that still exists too. You know, it's existed over the last 25 years. They're sold or they had sent out 5.2-plus billion discs to different people, but I haven't --

COOPER: That used to be the way Netflix -- and that's all what Netflix was.

ENTEN: That was all Netflix was, right, when it first began. I do have a question for you though, two questions in one. Number one, do you happen to know the first disc sent out? And the second question is, do you know what the most popular disc they sent out was?


ENTEN: We have some clues for you.


ENTEN: If you'd like to take a guess, we have some pictures.

COOPER: OK. I can respond to pictures.

ENTEN: OK, can you see either --

COOPER: Beetlejuice.

ENTEN: That's -- that's correct. That was the first one.

COOPER: Well, something involving football?

ENTEN: Yes. COOPER: Oh, The Bright Side?

ENTEN: Ooh, close. The Blind Side.

COOPER: The Blind Side, right, yeah, yeah.

ENTEN: Yes, yes.

COOPER: Based on a book, wasn't it?

ENTEN: Yeah, I believe it was based on a true story actually.


ENTEN: Yeah.


ENTEN: So, but here's the thing I think is so interesting to me when, you know, I sort of --

COOPER: I am a big Michael Keaton fan.

ENTEN: Oh, you are! I like Michael Keaton too, though I preferred him in Batman.


ENTEN: And I always --

COOPER: He is good in just about everything he does.

ENTEN: That's true. I don't want to choose. Also --

COOPER: (Inaudible). So how people still use DVDs or Blu-rays?

ENTEN: Yeah, so I think this is interesting, you know, just take a look over the last decade. The sort of switcheroo between streaming and DVDs and Blu-rays, right? Look at this, back in 2011, it was basically, nearly 80 percent were Blu-rays. DVDs was (ph) the home entertainment market versus streaming was less than 10 percent.

Now flip forward to 2022, those numbers have completely reversed. In such a short period of time, something like this has basically gone out the window, right? People are not using these anymore. This is a taste of history from a chef, Chef Stab (ph) I believe it is.


ENTEN: I have the DVD right here.

COOPER: So what happened to VHS? When did that go away?

ENTEN: Yeah, so I've come with props tonight.

COOPER: I got a lot of VHS tapes. ENTEN: Here's what this looks like in case you forgot folks, this is what it looks like. This was a 2003 Home Depot (inaudible).

COOPER: Here you go. Yes, smells nice, doesn't it?

ENTEN: You know, DVDs and VHS, you know, basically switched places just like, you know, DVDs went out of style.


Now, you look back in the late-'90s, VHS was basically 100 percent of the home entertainment market. But less than a decade later, they were only 1 percent of the home entertainment market. So this is something we've seen over and over again, right? Where one thing seems to be in style and then poof --

COOPER: Vinyl, vinyl is coming back though.

ENTEN: Vinyl is coming back.


ENTEN: You can -- you -- it's up to nearly 10 percent of the music market at this point.

COOPER: Harry Enten, appreciate it.

ENTEN: Thank you.

COOPER: We'll be right back.


COOPER: In a Senate hearing today, the Pentagon said it's tracking more than 650 potential UFO cases. The term they actually use is Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon. That's according to Sean Kirkpatrick, the Director of the office created last year to focus on the sightings, who testified today. It's a lot more than the 350 reports referenced, unclassified intelligence report released earlier this year.

You'll likely remember this video from 2021, three Navy videos driving speculation about UFOs. The government still isn't even sure what that was. The Navy pilot saw objects that seem to defy the laws of physics. Kirkpatrick said today, they found no credible evidence yet of extraterrestrial activity. Here (ph), he is testifying about a declassified video from last year, showing a fast-moving small orb flying through the camera screen of a drone in the Middle East.


SEAN KIRKPATRICK, DIRECTOR, DOD ALL-DOMAIN ANOMALY RESOLUTION OFFICE: You'll see it come through the top of the screen. There it goes, and then the camera will slew (ph) to follow it.