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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Donald Trump Insults Officials He Once Hired, in Social Media Meltdown over Documents Case; Shooter in Deadliest Anti-Semitic Attack in US History Found Guilty, Could Get Death Sentence; Devastating Tornado Kills Three in Texas; Darfur Thrust Into Chaos In Prolonged Sudan Conflict. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 16, 2023 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: The dinosaur, by the way, is named after Professor Paul Barrett, who has worked at the museum for 20 years. He says, he is flattered, and that any physical resemblance is "purely accidental."
Still to come on CNN Republican Party chair, Ronna McDaniel joins Kaitlan Collins on "CNN Primetime" at 9:00 PM. Thank you so much for joining us. AC 360 starts now.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: He has the right to remain silent. He is also Donald Trump.
John Berman here in for Anderson.
Tonight on 360, the former president's eruption over the documents case and the special counsel's latest move aimed at keeping the defense from making potential evidence public.
Also tonight, a live report from the Texas panhandle, how people there are coping in the wake of a devastating and deadly major tornado.
Plus, it is not just Ukraine, new reporting on Russia's notorious Wagner mercenaries spreading brutality to horrific warfare elsewhere.
First up tonight, the Trump documents case in a new sign of how serious Special Counsel Jack Smith is about keeping the defense and the defendant reined in. Also, a reminder today, this defendant has no desire to be reined in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Virtually everyone is saying that the fake indictment is about election interference and should not have been brought, except Bill Barr, a disgruntled former employee and very weak person.
He knows the indictment is total [bleep]. A very stupid person named John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney who has got nothing going, absolutely nothing. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So two things to note about what you just saw. First, all three people he is talking about -- Bill Barr, John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney; his former attorney general, national security adviser, and acting White House chief-of-staff, he hired them.
Second, although there doesn't seem to be anything specifically self- incriminating in this particular video, every utterance the former president makes from here on out is potentially usable as evidence against him.
We'll talk about that aspect in a moment with former Nixon White House counsel, John Dean.
First, CNN's Paula Reid with the very latest on the case and what the special counsel did today.
Paula, what's in this filing from the team today?
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: John, today, the special counsel's office asked a judge to approve some agreed upon rules. Now, these have been stipulated between the defense counsel and prosecutors on how to protect sensitive evidence in this case. We're not talking about classified information, we will get to that in a second, but this is about the sensitive evidence in this investigation that will soon have to be handed over to defense lawyers as part of the discovery process.
Now, among the things that they have agreed on are some rules for the defendants. Former President Trump and his aide, Walt Nauta.
Now, they have agreed that the defendants should not be able to view the evidence without their lawyers. They should not be given copies. If they take notes, those notes cannot leave the room, they have to be left with counsel and securely stored.
Now, the prosecutors also say in this request that they believe that if this evidence is not protected, if it's shared with the public or improperly used, that it could impact not only this case, but other investigations, witnesses and other people who haven't been charged, and that line is raising a lot of eyebrows.
But of course we know the special counsel is also investigating the events leading up to in and around January 6th and any efforts to undermine the 2020 election and we know from our reporting, many of the witnesses who have been used in the Trump documents case have also been interviewed in the January 6th case. So there is a lot to still protect there.
When it comes to classified information though, they are not quite there. Over the past week, the judge has told attorneys look, you've got to get the process rolling because defense attorneys, John, they need active clearances to view that classified information that's alleged here to have been taken from the White House, over 30 documents and they say, both attorneys for former President Trump say, they have reached out to the Justice Department and that process is underway.
BERMAN: What is the latest on the former president's search for an attorney who can represent him in Florida?
REID: Well, right now he is represented by Todd Blanche and the former Florida solicitor general, Chris Kise. They've been in his legal circle for a little while. They told the court that they were going to be permanent counsel, but we know, they are still looking for at least one maybe more experienced Florida defense attorney to help the former president through this case. A case like this, it is the case of a lifetime, but it is also a fulltime job.
I spoke with some folks close to the president this morning, they are still talking to people. This is a process that could take days, but it could take weeks. And John, even once they get someone who is willing to take on this case, that individual then needs to get their active clearance, a process that will then take an additional few weeks.
So this is all part of how the timeline in this case is still an open question as to whether they will be able to get everything done to bring this to trial, far enough ahead of the 2024 election. It is just not clear.
BERMAN: And as he told me last night, Paula, he may need to find someone who wants to be paid upfront.
REID: Yes, that's what I am told.
BERMAN: Paula Reid, thank you always for your reporting.
Perspective now from Anthony Scaramucci, who briefly served as communications director in the previous administration. He currently supports former New Jersey governor, Chris Christie in the 2024 Republican primary race; also with us, CNN political analyst and New York Times national political reporter, Astead Herndon; and CNN contributor John Dean, who knew when to remain silent and when to talk as Richard Nixon's White House counsel during Watergate.
Counselor, I do want to start with you because Paula Reid mentioned eyebrows being raised by this order from the special counsel asking for this evidence to remain secret, for the Trump team not to leak any of this information because of ongoing investigations, ongoing investigations. What does that tell you?
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it tells me it's not dissimilar from the situation that District Attorney Bragg asked for a similar motion at the state level. So, this is standard procedure with Donald Trump now, because we know he cannot keep it zipped and will chatter up and share information that should not be shared.
So this is a fairly standard protective order under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, not unusual. What's interesting, John, is the judge who issued the ruling, and that was the magistrate judge, Judge Reinhart, who is assigned with Judge Cannon, but is far more seasoned in criminal trials.
He in fact, has a criminal trial background. He was in the Department of Justice and probably knows Jack Smith.
BERMAN: Counselor, John, you know, you say the former president can't keep it zipped. What are the types of things that he could say, or would be likely to say during a political speech that could get him in trouble in a courtroom?
DEAN: Well, he has had a consistent habit of making admissions against interest. In fact, the defamation case by Jean Carroll against him was harshly based on his own admissions, both in a deposition, as well as outside the deposition. He got a subsequent action filed against him because of his inability to keep a lip closed.
So you know, who knows where he'll go, but he could give leads to others as to what the government was doing that as inevitable would be shown to him as it relates to his case, so these are the sort of things that this protective order seeks to caution and protect.
BERMAN: Anthony Scaramucci, great to see you here tonight. So, in this post we're talking about today, you saw the former president attack Bill Barr, John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney. In a separate one, he went after someone you worked with briefly in the White House, former White House chief-of-staff, John Kelly, calling Kelly "weak and ineffective, born with a very small brain."
Of course, you know, Trump hired Kelly.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: He is projecting there, but --
BERMAN: Yes, Trump hired Kelly and praised him up and down and everywhere. What did these attacks tell you about where Trump's head is?
SCARAMUCCI: Well, firstly, I would say, you know, General Kelly's first act in the White House was to fire me and so him and I went on to become very close friends. And if you ever get General Kelly sitting in a chair like this, he probably saved the country over the 18 months and you're no less than five or 10 times from near catastrophe based on decisions, recklessness, lack of intellectual curiosity from the president, lack of executive management skills.
And so General Kelly is an American hero and so when he says nonsense like that, it's really him projecting how he feels about himself.
And so Mick is a good guy. You mentioned John Bolton, also a very experienced, competent person. But all of these people are in the conundrum that President Trump puts you in, where he wants asymmetric loyalty. He wants to be reckless and do things that are borderline criminal, if not over the edge of criminal and he wants you to sit there and defend him religiously, like some of the nut cases that are still working for him.
And so if you love the country, and you love yourself, you have to speak out against this sort of stuff and you have to explain to the American people how wrong his actions are.
Now, he deserves his day in court on these allegations, for sure, but I want people to think about the totality of everything.
Governor Christie said on your network a few days ago, he can't be the unluckiest person in the world where he's involved with a sexual allegation case, a documents case, a premeditation on the J6 situation, and election interference in the state of Georgia. You know, it's not all somebody else's problem and not his problem and I think, ultimately the dam will break here, John, and the American people or the MAGA voters, hopefully they'll look for a different solution and not him.
BERMAN: You know, Astead, except for Anthony's guy, Chris Christie, most of the Republican candidates aren't out there talking about this. And by this, I mean --
SCARAMUCCI: They are afraid of him.
BERMAN: Well, what would it take for them not to be afraid of him, because it's just piling up.
ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, there is the obvious one, in which they're afraid of Donald Trump and the kind of media attention he can bring, the kind of way he can sink somebody's poll numbers with a drop of a statement or a nickname.
But the real thing they're afraid of is the electorate that has not really rallied around Donald Trump and it has really created a difficult space for candidates to be able to attack him even on this very obvious thing.
I mean, the question really is for Republican voters. Do they see these as individual charges against Donald Trump? Or do they see these as a continuance of a federal government that has been weaponized against conservatives?
The answer that they would give you to the kind of question that Anthony is posing here, it is not that Donald Trump is unlucky, but that the federal government itself is targeting Republicans and conservatives. That's the built-in answer for a lot of Republican electorate voters. And so for them, it is very easy.
You know, I was just in Iowa this week. I was in Iowa the day the federal charges came down talking to Republican voters, people who have been open to alternatives, people like Ron DeSantis and others. If you're in the camp of being open for alternatives, I think that this has pushed you a little further to that and there are some Republicans who really are.
But if you're in the camp of folks who have supported Donald Trump, which remains a plurality in relationship to the other candidates, you're digging further in because you think this is just the biggest and deepest example of the federal government targeting Donald Trump. BERMAN: You know, Astead, Anthony, both of you weigh in here --
SCARAMUCCI: It's not though, I mean --
HERNDON: I know, I'm just doing the political fallout but to your point --
SCARAMUCCI: I understand though, but that's the insurance when you see, ultimately those people and again, I was with Mr. Trump -- President Trump on 71 campaign stops, those people are disenfranchised, those people feel left out of the system, we turned blue collar people who were once economically aspirational, that's a home I grew up in, into economically desperation.
So he is the avatar for their anger, he can do anything.
BERMAN: What I'm trying to envision is the first one or two debates. Donald Trump is not there. Let's say he's not there at these debates. How do these other candidates again, your guy aside, if he does make it to the debate stage, are they just going to let all questions about Donald Trump say, oh, nothing to see here, we are not paying attention.
HERNDON: Well, I think this is why the indictment charges being so specific and so dramatic are actually really important, because it's giving people space to be able to say, okay, even if I think this is a federal government, you saw Nikki Haley or Ron DeSantis say, I would have been court martialed if I handled documents like this. They are going to try to make an argument that this is another example of Donald Trump's unique preparedness and unfitness and they are going to try to use the substance of the case, while at the same time walking a pretty thin line.
But the problem is, this didn't just start with Donald Trump or these cases. They have been -- Republicans have been building in the argument about the federal government targeting their party and their voters for years and years leading up to this.
And so it is very hard for them to be able to make the case now because they have not tilled that ground with their voters. Their voters are actually primed on the opposite side to be able to defend that, instead of being able to really pull from their support.
SCARAMUCCI: It is a brilliant analysis. Can I just add something quickly? Someone in that candidate base should try to become an entrepreneur and go and reach out into the disenfranchised voters.
We have 140-plus million people that don't vote in the country. Many of them were formerly registered as Republicans and create a new market and go around the Donald Trump situation, as opposed to listening to their political consultants and paring to the right of Donald Trump the way Ron DeSantis is.
HERNDON: That's interesting.
BERMAN: We'll see. Counselor, if you're still with us, I do have one more legal question here, because it's notable and "The Wall Street Journal" gets into this in an article that is really interesting is that the special counsel did not push for things that he might have in a standard case, in terms of restrictions on a defendant.
He did not push for travel restrictions. He did not push for any kind of a gag order here. Why do you think did Jack Smith and his team has decided to give Donald Trump some space?
DEAN: I think they decided it was appropriate, given the high office he did come from to honor that respect the office and the man who once held it. I think there is no question that they weren't really concerned that he would disappear even though he has his own airplane, which is one of the number one concerns with flight and travel, and where is he going to go?
He's a very conspicuous person. He'd literally have to leave the country and find sanctuary in Russia or someplace where they wouldn't extradite him. So it's very unlikely that he would violate these basic norms.
BERMAN: All right, John Dean, great to see you. Anthony Scaramucci, Astead Herndon, great to have you here on studio.
SCARAMUCCI: Thank you.
BERMAN: A quick programming note, coming up on "CNN Primetime" with Kaitlan Collins, Republican Party chief, Ronna McDaniel on the growing primary slate and the legal troubles of the man at the top of it. "CNN Primetime," that's at the top of the hour.
Next for us tonight, what comes next in the case and for the community after a jury convicts the Tree of Life synagogue mass killer on all counts.
Also tonight, the very latest from Perryton, Texas which got hit so hard by a tornado overnight.
BERMAN: Pittsburgh Squirrel Hill neighborhood tonight can finally take another step back toward being what it was once known for, and so very proud of, an openly multicultural, tolerant, gentle place, literally, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and the beating heart of the city's Jewish community. That's because tonight, the man who perpetrated the country's worst ever act of anti-Semitic mass murder, more than four- and-a-half years ago at the Tree of Life synagogue is now facing a possible death sentence after a federal jury returned its verdict earlier today.
Let's get more now from CNN's Danny Freeman.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Silence in the courtroom Friday morning as Judge Robert Colville read the verdicts: 63 federal charges guilty on all counts, 22 of those charges punishable by death.
The jury agreed with federal prosecutors that the man who killed 11 Jewish worshippers and injured six other people in October 2018 targeted them specifically because they were Jewish.
JO RECHT, PRESIDENT, DOR HADASH: I am feeling a sense of relief that after four and a half years, the world has heard again about the horrific acts on October 27, 2018 and the shooter is being held accountable for those awful acts.
FREEMAN (voice over): Throughout more than two grueling weeks of testimony, prosecutors showed how the defendant turned a sacred house of worship into a hunting ground.
Body camera video and 911 calls revealed chaos and terror. Jurors heard 84-year-old Bernice Simon's 911 call as she held a prayer shawl to her husband's bullet wounds, "We are being attacked. I'm scared to death," she cried out before she was shot and killed while hiding in a pew.
The defense did not dispute their client killed the 11 worshippers, but the shooter's attorneys tried to argue the attack was motivated by immigration related conspiracy theories, not by a hatred of Jews. Prosecutors called that argument absurd.
JEFF FINKELSTEIN, JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER PITTSBURGH: This was an anti-Semitic incident. Period. End of the statement.
FREEMAN (voice over): Community leaders in Pittsburgh say Friday's result was a victory, but the death penalty phase looms large.
FINKELSTEIN: While we're pleased with the verdict, very pleased, we know that there is still more to come. This is only the first phase.
STEVE COHEN, NEW LIFE CONGREGANT: It is difficult to say the emotions we feel right now. One of relief, obviously, that the jury returned a full verdict of guilty to all 63 counts, but there is also a degree of trepidation because this is just the first third of the trial. And in a sense, it was the least complicated part.
BERMAN: And Danny Freeman joins us now from outside the federal courthouse in downtown Pittsburgh.
Danny, you've done a wonderful job covering this very emotional case and it is not done. What happens next?
FREEMAN: Well, John, as we look ahead to this death penalty phase, one of the things we're looking to this look kind of defense will be mounted? Remember, the prosecution brought 60 witnesses to the stand during this guilt phase of the trial. The defense brought zero witnesses, but of course the differences this time, the client's attorneys, the gunman's attorneys, they are fighting to spare his life.
The jury is set to return now, June 26th -- John.
BERMAN: Danny Freeman, thank you very much.
Another community, this one in North Texas is hurting badly tonight and three people have lost their lives. Last night, in the program, we got first word and the first images of the tornado destruction in the town of Perryton.
Today, it all became that much clearer and that much worse. Here is CNN's Isabel Rosales.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A tornado just went through town.
ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Severe weather cut a deadly path across parts of Texas. The small town of Perryton, Texas devastated by a tornado. This new drone video showing the sheer destruction. Debris scattered, parts of the town leveled.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Devastated this area.
ROSALES (voice over): At least three people died including an 11-year- old boy and up to a hundred more were sent to the hospital when the storm hit the Texas panhandle community.
JAMIE JAMES, PERRYTON RESIDENT: The tornado formed and it just dropped on us. It came out of nowhere. There were no sirens. No time to get to shelter.
ROSALES (voice over): Jamie James said she was forced to ride out the storm in her truck near her home.
JAMES; And I just laid down in my seat and turned my head towards the back of my seat.
ROSALES (voice over): Her home is still standing, but other buildings destroyed.
Another man said he is just grateful his family is still alive.
VICTOR MUNOZ, PERRYTON RESIDENT: I'm just happy my boys aren't alive. I mean, I know all the property and everything, accessories can be replaced, but life can never be replaced.
ROSALES (voice over): And take a look at these photos posted on the Perryton Fire Department's Facebook page. The Department said it took a direct hit, but the fire trucks and ambulances are still drivable.
They're first responders now working with federal emergency teams, as residents try to salvage their homes and businesses.
And a local high school has opened its doors to those looking for help.
COLE UNDERWOOD, ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, PERRYTON HIGH SCHOOL: We moved pretty quickly to try to make this a safe haven for people to get through here in town. The shock is still setting in, the sadness, the anger, every emotion that people can be going through, they're going through.
BERMAN: And Isabel Rosales joins us from Perryton tonight. Isabel, it was last night at this time we saw the first images of the destruction there. What are you seeing on the ground now?
ROSALES: Hey, John, it's been a flurry of activity. I've heard from the people who survived this tornado that it went by in a matter of seconds, but the rebuilding, the cleaning up, that's going to take some time.
And this is what we're seeing. Neighbors, volunteers coming out with heavy machinery working to clean up and eventually rebuilding this community.
But in terms of damage, we're hearing from the National Weather Service. The preliminary data is pointing that this was an EF2 tornado and this is what it has done especially to mobile home parks, those most vulnerable, just destroyed and left a tangled web of metal here. This is part of the roof of what used to be a body shop right over here, John.
And of course, the most important thing is the human toll, the loss of lives. Three people have been killed including an 11-year-old little boy by the name of Matthew Ramirez -- John.
BERMAN: What a loss. Isabel Rosales, thank you so much for being there for us.
Much more ahead, including author, civil rights activist, professor and now a third party, 2024 presidential candidate, Dr. Cornel West, why some Democrats with PTSD from 2016 and 2000 worry he could sink Joe Biden.
BERMAN: US presidential elections have been so close lately, a few thousand votes here, a few thousand votes there could make all the difference.
Some Democrats fear it did with Green Party candidates in 2000 and 2016. They took enough votes from the Democratic nominees they say to swing the election. So could it happen again? Just this week, Dr. Cornel West announced he is now running for the Green Party nomination. I spoke with the progressive activist, professor emeritus at Princeton University and professor of philosophy at Union Theological Seminary before airtime.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Professor West, thanks so much for joining us tonight. Tell us why you are running for president.
CAROL WEST, GREEN PARTY 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, one, thank you so very much for having me on, but I'm running for president because we're in such a deep crisis, and I think it's very important in these dim and bleak times that America be reintroduced to the best of itself, that's Martin King, that's Rabi Heschel., that's Edward Said, that's Grace Lee Boggs, that's Dorothy Day. They did not live for nothing.
And when I talk about individuals, I'm talking about the movements behind them. They put the focus on precious poor people, precious working people. And we now have two political parties so tied to Wall Street, so tied to Pentagon, so tied to the wealthy, so tied to militarism, that the plight of poor and working people is being overlooked, my brother, by both parties. Both parties are in the way. We got a corporate duopoly that needs to go.
BERMAN: You know that there are Democrats out there who, the minute you jumped in the race, said basically, remember 2000 with Ralph Nader. Remember 2016 with Jill Stein? Green Party candidates took votes, they say, that would have gone to the Democratic nominee and might very well have swung the election. What do you say to that?
WEST: No, I say the Democratic Party didn't learn the lesson. The lesson they should have learned was they need to speak to working people so that Gore would have been able to take Arkansas, take his own congressional seat. Similarly, so was Sister Hillary Clinton. She could not refuse to go to Wisconsin, call so many working folk deplorables and so forth.
Where are the high quality Democratic candidates that can speak to poor and working people? No. It's a party dominated by his corporate wing, the big money, big donors, big militarism. Look at the depth ceiling. You see my dear brother Biden expansion of military, cut back on poor people again.
No, the legacy of Martin King can't stand by. We've got to be focused on poor and working people, no matter what color, no matter what gender, no matter what sexual orientation, no matter what region. That's why I'm going straight to Trump country, and I'm going to tell submitting, my brothers and sisters who are disproportionately vanilla, don't follow a nail fascist Pie Piper. Follow a leader, a campaign that's concerned about you, that cares about you.
And when I call Trump that name, you know, I'm not saying that out of hatred. I don't hate brother Trump. I hate gangster activity. I hate neo-fascist policies. I don't hate Biden as a human being. I hate neoliberal policies that don't focus on poor and working people in militarism abroad that mistreat folk wherever they are.
They could be on the West Bank. They could be in Latin America. They can be in the Caribbean. They have a dignity, just like you. And just like me, my dear brother.
BERMAN: There was a back and forth over the last several days between former President Obama and Republican presidential Candidate Senator Tim Scott. President Obama said in a podcast that there should be a, quote, "honest accounting of our past and present", end quote, when Americans talk about race.
Senator Scott today responded in part, quote, "Democrats deny our progress to protect their power". What are your thoughts on that?
WEST: No, I mean, brother Tim Scott, he's sincere in his wrong views. That is to say, he is a conservative and he's got his own plans of opportunity zones and what have you. But at the same time, Barack Obama, I mean, he, you know, love his family, but the very words that he says are very much a critique and indictment of his eight years.
That Tavis Smiley and I went around the country talking about the poverty tour, and they didn't mention the word poverty. Now he's talking about poverty. We talk about racial inequality. When are you going to hit mass incarceration? When are you going to come to terms with this?
For example, our dear brother Bennett down in Mississippi right now. Neither party has been able to speak to their plight. So Barack Obama's words, if you follow through, he said, walk the walk, talk the talk. Did our dear brother Obama walk the walk and talk the talk on issues of poverty, on issues of mass incarceration, on issues of trade unions being stronger than assets of living wage on Medicare for all, on drones dropped on innocent people?
My dear Barack, listen closely to your words and then look in the mirror.
BERMAN: Professor Cornel West, thank you so much for being with us tonight. Always interesting to talk to you.
WEST: Salute you, my brother. God bless you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Up next, the CNN exclusive investigation on the conflict in Sudan. Sudanese rights organizations say atrocities, horrible atrocities are being committed. And CNN uncovered reports of a disturbing connection between the mercenary group waging war in Ukraine.
[20:38:31] BERMAN: Since mid-April, more than 2 million people have fled the conflict in Sudan as the country's humanitarian crisis gets worse with two rival military factions fighting for control of the country. Sudanese rights organizations say atrocities are being committed in Darfur. And CNN has uncovered evidence that the private Russian mercenary group Wagner, is complicit in the violence.
In an exclusive CNN investigation, Nima Elbagir uncovered the Russian supply lines prolonging the conflict between RSF, Sudan's Rapid Support Forces and Sudan's Armed Forces Proper. The RSF denies links to Wagner in any involvement in mass rape. As part of this investigation, CNN verified and corroborated incidents of rape perpetrated by the RSF, including one which was captured on video.
We feel it is important in the face of the RSF's repeated denials to broadcast part of that video. Here is Nima's report. We do want to warn you, some of the video you are about to see is graphic and disturbing.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The fighting on the streets of Sudan is relentless. Ceasefire after ceasefire has not held. Forces previously accused of genocide returning to a well-worn playbook, terrorize expel and ethnically cleanse.
The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, RSF, are currently engaged in a fight for dominance with Sudan's Army. But years before that rivalry spilled blood in Sudan's streets, there were implicated in atrocities in Darfur.
Now, once again, Darfur, to the west of the county, is stoked by the specter of genocide. The damage wrought by these forces so extensive, you can see it from satellite images.
This is El-Geneina, West Darfur. Hundreds killed. Whole districts razed to the ground, and it is not only El-Geneina that is burning. This is Andur. And this is Kadomi (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is our livelihood. The market is destroyed.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): On the ground, it looks like this. These scenes sadly familiar in Darfur. Twenty years ago, the region descended into genocide. The same RSF leadership in place as their men killed and occupied and raped. Now, once again, women's bodies are part of the field of war.
We must warn you, what you're about to see is shocking. This video filmed at great personal risk will show a girl believed to be just 15 years old being raped.
The RSF have threatened rape survivors and denied their testimony, so we feel it necessary to broadcast a small portion of this horrific assault. You see here, a man in light colored fatigues matching those worn by the RSF. It is too awful to show in full. But when the phone pans, you see what he's guarding. A man wearing light-colored fatigues forcing himself on to the pruned girl.
CNN verified and geolocated the area where this happened. We're not revealing the exact location in Khartoum to protect our sources and the young girl. This is not an isolated incident.
We received and reviewed dozens of cases where women say they were raped by RSF soldiers. Identifying them by their light-colored fatigues and the insignia on their right shoulders. So who is complicit in this pain?
The RSF key ally, the notorious Russian mercenary group Wagner, has been sustaining their fight and providing the impetus to slaughter innocent people by supplying arms. We're going to show you how.
This is an Ilyushin 76 cargo plane operated by Wagner sitting at a Libyan air base. A previous investigation exposed how this Russian cargo plane was providing the RSF with deadly arms from a Russian naval base in Latakia, Syria, via Wagner controlled bases in Libya.
This person (ph) starts just days before the war begins in Sudan. Libya, Syria and back. And it picks up pace. What's interesting is the new focus on the city where it goes next. Bangui, the capital of the Central Africa Republic. After our exposure of the Libya route, a route from the central Africa republic into Darfur, became crucial for the RSF.
Eyewitnesses at key transit points and intelligence active in the region tell CNN arms and supplies from this Ilyushin transported over land using the truck captured here and others like it. First to a Wagner base in Birao and then into South Darfur. So, an RSF base in Um Dafuq.
Wagner putting their thumb on the scales here, to secure access to Sudan's resources through Darfur, creating chaos and terror, helping tip the balance of power in their war in Ukraine, whatever the cost.
BERMAN: And Nima Elbagir joins us now. Nima, this is horrifying and infuriating. Is there anything that outside groups like the United Nations or International Criminal Court could be doing to help victims like the girl we saw in your report?
ELBAGIR: Well, there doesn't seem to be much that they are doing. There is a lot they could be doing, but it's really indicative of the broader failure of international will and international consensus that we're now over two months into the fighting in Sudan.
The supply lines sustaining it from Wagner, the Russian mercenary group, continue to arrive and the atrocities only seem to escalate. And as you saw in our investigation there, these are many of the same forces previously implicated. BERMAN: The Wagner group has been designated as a transnational criminal organization by the United States. So what are the U.S. and its allies doing to try to stem the flow of weapons into Sudan?
ELBAGIR: Well, I think that's where Sudan really is. If you widen the aperture from Sudan, you can see that all the lost opportunities that the U.S. and the U.S.'s allies had, it was very clear very early on into the war in Ukraine that the sanctions evasion mechanism was going via Sudan.
In fact, we did an investigation around this time last year on the way that Sudanese gold was sustaining the war in Ukraine, and that opportunity to stop that, to stop Wagner and their foothold in Sudan, was missed time and time again.
BERMAN: Nima Elbagir, an extraordinary report on the border of Sudan tonight. You and your team, please stay safe.
ELBAGIR: Thank you, John.
BERMAN: Next, a truly welcome and badly needed change with pace. Father's Day by the numbers, according to the man who has everything, our number cruncher, Harry Enten.
BERMAN: This Sunday, we honor the dads and any father figures in our lives. I'm lucky enough to have a father who is almost definitely watching me on TV tonight. Hey, Gerry.
I also have two sons who I'm pretty sure never watch. And then there's CNN Senior Data Reporter Harry Enten, who joins me now. Great to have you here, my friend. So what do the numbers say about this day?
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: So, you know, there was a great question that CBS news asked last decade, which is if you were forced to choose, which is more important to you, Mother's Day or Father's Day? And I'm sorry to say John, I'm sorry to say 72 percent chose Mother's Day. Just 13 percent chose Father's Day.
And that even got beaten out by I couldn't choose, which came in at 14 percent. But I'm sure your sons think of you as a very important part of their lives.
BERMAN: I'm not even sure they know it's Father's Day on Sunday. It's not even in the race.
ENTEN: You're not even close, man. You're not even close. You're like the 62 Mets.
BERMAN: So for people who do celebrate --
BERMAN: What do they do? What are popular things to do or buy on this day?
ENTEN: Yes. So, you know, what are the popular things to buy? Let's keep it simple. Number one, buy a greeting card. That's tops, all right. Clothing comes in at number two. But perhaps my personal favorite is just a meal or an outing. You know, I love food. That's something I would enjoy very much if I was a father.
But let me tell you what to stay away from, OK? What do fathers definitely -- what do they don't want? Do not get them a tie, OK? You have enough ties already. Your tie looks fantastic. Just 5 percent of fathers say that the thing that they want most is a tie. And I don't think you need any more ties.
BERMAN: Yes. I think you've worn some of my ties.
BERMAN: Well. No, it was my pants. You actually went into my office --
ENTEN: That's right. I remember that.
BERMAN: You actually went into my office and took my pants and wore them.
BERMAN: All right, this is a day where we often talk about TV dads.
BERMAN: You have some favorites.
ENTEN: Yes. So America has some favorites, right? I think the father on Happy Days is one of those favorites.
BERMAN: Howard Cunningham?
ENTEN: Yes, correct. "Fathers Knows Best". How about "Leave It to Beaver." That's another one of America's favorites. Mine, Carl Winslow, Carl Winslow. How about you?
BERMAN: Mine is up there right now. It's Mike Brady from the "Brady Bunch". But it's a very specific Mike Brady. It's Mike Brady with the perm. Because that Mike Brady is groovy. I like the groovy swinging Mike Brady.
ENTEN: And I want to be clear. I heard you, I texted you earlier today. You said the perm. And I made sure that we got a picture of Mr. Brady with that perm because I love you, John.
BERMAN: Thank you, but happy Father's Day to you, Harry.
ENTEN: To you as well. BERMAN: Great to see you, my friend.
Up next, a trip into the mind altering world of psychedelics. We don't need them here tonight. And how they can be potentially beneficial to your health.
BERMAN: Research into psychedelics is advancing in new and many people think, exciting ways. Psilocybin, which you may know as magic mushrooms, are being studied for their potential therapeutic effects for conditions including depression and anxiety and substance abuse.
This year, Oregon became the first state to legalize magic mushrooms for therapeutic use. And in countries where it is already legal, some are turning to psilocybin wellness retreats. For this weekend's, the whole story, CNN's David Culver went on a mind-altering journey to Oregon and Jamaica to see what happens at these getaways. Here's a preview.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Embarking on a psychedelic trip --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
CULVER: -- requires a willingness to be vulnerable. To hold nothing back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This wasn't easy, I imagine for any of you, to just say, yes, let me jump in. And you're here for a reason.
CULVER (voice-over): Documenting it with cameras, for a story to be shared with the world? Well, that suggests a near total surrender to the unknown.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let go. Let go with it and just go with the flow.
CULVER (voice-over): The experiences you're about to witness, they're intimate. They're exhilarating and exhausting. After taking a dose of psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, you wait.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Psilocybin bring you what you need, not what you want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: And David Culver is with me now. So, David, you went to a psilocybin wellness center in Jamaica --
BERMAN: -- as a reporter but also as a participant. CULVER: Right.
CULVER: So this is not a when or, you know, an if so much, but it's already happening, right? You said that it's coming out in Oregon, so I wanted to see what exactly plays out with this. And what's happening in Jamaica, where it's legal to grow and consume, is coming in some fashion to Oregon in the next few weeks or months. So it is rolling out as we speak.
But for the folks who we were going down there with, this is so personal, John. It's really an intimate, private journey for them, for them to feel comfortable, to divulge, the folks who run the retreat. And the other participants said, we don't want somebody who's going to be an outsider just looking in. If you're with us, you're with us. So I went with them.
BERMAN: I get that. I get that from their perspective. I'm not some animal on a zoo here. If you're going to be here --
CULVER: Yes, exactly.
BERMAN: -- you know, get involved. You've been here all day walking around the mirror.
BERMAN: And I'm -- the first question everyone has been asking you is, you know, what did it feel like?
CULVER: We took two doses, and basically they call them ceremonies, and that's over the course of five days. The first one, frankly, I didn't feel anything. I felt just exhausted. I didn't really have any of the visual distortions you hear about. Nothing really profound. The second one took me places. That was a trip.
And it put me in a space of -- and this sounds very out there when I describe it, but feeling a lot of energy from folks who have passed, loved ones who, you know, I was in China for two and a half years, not able to leave with all the COVID restrictions. So I lost loved ones in the midst of that. A lot of folks lost people in COVID and couldn't really properly mourn.
That came to me in a very unexpected way. But more than that, it was the folks that we were with, who had these incredible transformations that I'm excited to really share this Sunday.
BERMAN: David Culver, you're a terrific reporter. You've been to a lot of places. This place, I think a new one for you in some ways inside your own mind.
BERMAN: Thank you so much. Can't wait to see the report Sunday night, "The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper". The news continues here on earth with Kaitlan Collins and CNN Primetime. Kaitlan?