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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Carlos De Oliveira Will Enter Plea On August 10th; Poll: Trump Is In Very Strong Position To Win GOP Primary; House GOP Chairmen Announce Probe Into Hunter Biden Plea Deal; Source: Ex-Biz Partner Says Hunter Biden Sold "Illusion" Of Access To Joe Biden; Russia Launches Deadly Attacks On Zelenskyy's Hometown; Zelenskyy Says War "Returning To Russia" Following Drone Strikes In Moscow; Fmr. Russian President Threatens Nuclear Use If Ukraine "Ended Up With Part Of Our Land"; American Nurse And Her Child Kidnapped In Haiti; Paul Reubens, Best Known For Pee-Wee Herman, Dies From Cancer At Age 70. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 31, 2023 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: He was a goofy, quirky, childish character, but a sensation, a beloved one as the star of the show "Pee Wee's Playhouse," which ran for five years in the 80s and 90s.

The series was a fantastic success, earning 22 Emmy Awards during its run, and his death comes after a secret six-year battle with cancer. His illness revealed in a statement released by his representatives today in the wake of his death.

Thanks so much to all of you for joining us. AC 360 begins now.



Trump's newest alleged co-conspirator goes to court. He tells them some of the evidence, a video footage that may have led to the new charges.

Later indictments or not, new polling shows it is Trump's race for the Republican nomination and his nearest rival Ron DeSantis is at a whopping 37 points behind.

Also tonight, Haiti, months of gang violence and kidnappings have terrorized and paralyzed the country. Now, an American nurse and her child on a humanitarian mission have disappeared. The latest on the search.

Good evening.

The legal troubles for former President Donald Trump continue to grow today, a supervising judge in Georgia rejected the former president's challenge to the state's election related investigation, and today marked the official start of the time window, Georgia district attorney, Fani Willis set for announcing possible charges against him.

Tomorrow, the grand jury in Washington meets and it is possible there could be news on whether or not they will indict him on federal charges related to his attempt to overturn the election results.

In Florida, a bad day for Carlos De Oliveira, the Mar-a-Lago property manager who appeared in court for the first time since he was named a co-conspirator in the documents case against the former president.

Randi Kaye starts us off tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back up. Back up.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Mar-a-Lago property manager, Carlos De Oliveira arriving at federal court in Miami. The 56-year-old is accused of being part of a plot to delete security camera video from Mar-a-Lago after the Department of Justice subpoenaed the footage.

De Oliveira is facing four charges including conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements to the FBI.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Justice Department has unfortunately decided to bring these charges...

And now, it is time for them to put their money where their mouth is.

KAYE (voice over): According to the federal indictment, De Oliveira allegedly asked a Mar-a-Lago IT worker about how long security camera footage remains on the server and said that "the boss wanted the server deleted," an apparent reference to Donald Trump, who remains defiant on the campaign trail.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, they're not indicting me, they're indicting you. I just happen to be standing in their way. That's all it is.

KAYE (voice over): Two people close to the investigation identified the IT worker as Yuscil Taveras who told De Oliveira he didn't believe he had the right to delete the footage. That's according to the indictment, which does not indicate the footage was ever deleted.

It's unclear if Taveras is cooperating with the special counsel, but sources tell CNN that the new allegations resulted at least in part from information Taveras provided to investigators.

De Oliveira has not yet entered a plea.

We tried tracking down De Oliveira before his court date at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida about 20 minutes north of Trump's club. Nobody answered the door.

KAYE (on camera): But De Oliveira's landlord agreed to speak with me by phone, he told me he has known him 30 years and described him as a good friend and a good guy.

He also told me if De Oliveira knows anything, he said he should "come clean." KAYE (voice over): De Oliveira has worked at Mar-a-Lago for about 20

years, his landlord said, starting out as a valet, then holding various maintenance jobs before becoming the club's property manager.

This neighbor of De Oliveira has said he's known him for a few years. When asked about the federal indictment, this was his response.

RAYMOND BRION, DE OLIVEIRA'S NEIGHBOR: Anybody that gets involved with Donald Trump, he's a train wreck, and anybody that gets involved with Donald Trump ends up somewhere either in a bad place. I don't think that guy had any knowledge of what he was doing.

KAYE (voice over): Those closest to De Oliveira say that as a Portuguese immigrant unfamiliar with the US legal system, he may not have understood the consequences of what Trump allegedly told him to do.

One relative telling CNN, the family feels like he got trapped.


COOPER: Randi, why didn't he enter a plea deal or a plea today?

KAYE: Carlos De Oliveira, Anderson, didn't have a Florida-based attorney with him. He needs an attorney who is barred in Florida and can actually practice law in Florida in order to enter that plea.

He was here in court today with a Washington, DC based attorney, so now he will have his official arraignment next week on August 10th, where he is expected to enter a plea.

For now Anderson, he is out on this $100,000.00 bond, but it's not without restrictions. He has to turn in his passport within the next 48 hours. He also cannot discuss the case with any potential government witnesses and his travel is also restricted. He can't leave South Florida without first getting permission.

It is also, Anderson, worth noting just very quickly, that this delay in his arraignment and his plea may have an impact on the trial for Donald Trump in this case, on Donald Trump's trial. There are a lot of questions still about whether or not that trial will be able to take place before the presidential election -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Randi, thanks very much.

We mentioned at the top another late development in the case. A court filing today from special counsel, Jack Smith, indicating that video surveillance footage obtained after the initial indictment, "pertains to the new obstruction allegations," in the superseding charges involving among others, Mr. De Oliveira.

There is also the new information about the individual described in the indictment as Trump employee number four and his possible role in the case. We're going to get some perspective now from CNN senior legal analyst, Elie Honig; CNN legal analyst, Carrie Cordero; and CNN senior law enforcement analyst, Andrew McCabe. I mean, Elie, we saw Walt Nauta didn't have a Florida-based attorney.

Now, this guy doesn't. Is this a strategy to just delay wherever they can or is it legit?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It certainly seems that way to me. Now, it's not unusual, but it is also not ideal to show up for court without a barred lawyer.

The reason I say it is not unusual is he was indicted in fairness late Thursday, so that really gave him one business day, but the bigger issue here is we now have three defendants in this case, all of them have the exact same incentive to delay at every single turn.

We saw it with Walt Nauta not having a lawyer, we saw it with De Oliveira.

COOPER: We should point out by the way, De Oliveira attorney who is Washington-based is being paid for by a PAC related to the former president.

HONIG: Also very significant, which will make it much more difficult for De Oliveira to flip, not impossible, but more difficult.

Now, if you have three defendants and they're taking every opportunity a day here, a couple of days here, a week there, that's all going to add it up and make it really difficult for DOJ to get this trial done in May as it is currently scheduled.

COOPER: Andrew, I mean, if you're this new defendant, and you're now seeing the inside of a federal courtroom, are you thinking cooperating with the DOJ or has that ship already sailed?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, the ship hasn't sailed, but they're pulling up the anchor and getting ready to go.

It is not optimal to try to cooperate after you've been indicted, but it is also not impossible. What it would require is for Mr. De Oliveira to decide that he is going to part ways with the former president, and then to negotiate with DOJ to broker some sort of a deal, which would invariably require him to plead to some lesser charge or one of the charges on the indictment, and then he would have to provide witness testimony and evidence and, you know, testify at trial, those sorts of things.

Now, he has already hurt his opportunity to do that by being caught lying by the FBI so that one of the charges against him is a thousand and a one, that's a false statement to federal official. And so he's already somewhat damaged as a potential witness.

So the chances of him pulling all of this together and cooperating successfully, it is getting more remote as time goes by, but it's not quite impossible yet.

COOPER: Carrie, CNN has learned that the IT worker whom De Oliveira spoke with about deleting the footage received a target letter, but so far has not been charged. What does that indicate to you? Because it's certainly seems like, you know, there were transcripts of conversations, it seemed like that came from eyewitness number four.

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, so I would interpret that to mean that that individual is in a dialogue with the Justice Department about cooperating, about potentially entering into a plea deal, and so that individual, I would interpret has not yet made a decision not to cooperate with the department.

So that might be an ongoing conversation that that person is having, a question would be whether that person is represented by counsel, represented by independent counsel not connected to any of the other defendants at this time and if that were the case, then that might help the person's ability to negotiate with the Justice Department.

COOPER: Well, Elie, it is very easy from the outside to say, Well look, Oliveira should get his own attorney and you know, cooperate, he would lose his job, I assume at Mar-a-Lago. The former president would go after him as a rat, you know, publicly who knows what sort of public attention this guy would be getting and how that would impact the rest of his life.

HONIG: And it would be remarkably costly. I don't know that Carlos De Oliveira has enough money to go out and hire himself a private attorney, and the decision whether to cooperate or not, is one of the most important decisions any person can ever make. It is a uniquely personal decision, and it brings together financial considerations, loyalty considerations, familial considerations.

So I don't think we should ever say somebody ought to cooperate. It's really up to that individual, but I agree with Andy, all indicators here are that De Oliveira certainly has not cooperated now, and all the indicators are pointing to that being very unlikely.

COOPER: Andrew, the special counsel's team indicated in a court filing today that investigators obtained surveillance footage in recent weeks related to these obstruction charges in the superseding indictment, and it was obtained after the initial indictment was handed up.

In general, how active is a federal investigation after an indictment. I mean, does it surprise you that they would be turning up new evidence like this?

MCCABE: It really doesn't surprise me, Anderson, because we've seen witnesses paraded into this grand jury for the weeks -- over the last several weeks even after the initial indictment. So we knew that they were pursuing something.


We also had seen several signs that indicated that the prosecutors were not comfortable with the sort of response that they had gotten for their request for the video surveillance.

We know that they had served additional subpoenas on technical companies, at least one company that was supposedly involved in potentially maintaining or backing up the servers from Mar-a-Lago, so that's indicative of a very persistent concern on their part that they didn't get everything that they had asked for, and they are going to stay on top of that until they've squeezed every possible opportunity to render the entirety of that footage in a way that they can then compare it to what they received from the Trump Organization, and that really makes the case for obstruction.

If there are differences there in what was turned over from what the original shows that can be very, very damaging to the defendant.

COOPER: Carrie, the indictment did not indicate whether the security footage in question was actually deleted. Does that actually matter when you're talking about alleged obstruction? I mean, is there a difference between destroying evidence and requesting that evidence be destroyed?

CORDERO: Well, I think evidence that was actually destroyed would only make the case stronger. However, the way that the facts have been laid out in the indictment and the superseding indictments so far, would, in my judgment, meet the elements of what the Justice Department would be needing to prove in terms of obstruction and it would match other types of cases that are based on obstruction, and presumably they wouldn't be putting all of the examples that they've given in the indictment, if they didn't think they could prove each of those in court, if they actually go to trial.

I mean, what is demonstrated is that they really do have a number of witnesses and I think part of the difference over time, maybe between the first and the second and the superseding indictment is that more information seems to be coming forward, whether it is evidentiary information or maybe it is witness testimony, or maybe it's when individuals receive a target letter, and then that is an incentive for them to engage in providing more information to the Justice Department.

COOPER: Elie, do you think -- I mean, is it possible prosecutors are sending a message to other potential witnesses with a superseding indictment?

HONIG: Sure. And I think the message is when we say our investigation is ongoing, we mean it. And look, prosecutors do give people ultimatums, essentially, and I think one was given here, either you come in and talk to us or you're going to find yourself a defendant.

And I think based on all the indicators that Carlos De Oliveira declined that and now he finds himself as a defendant and employee four took that offer, and that's, I think, why he's not charged.

COOPER: Elie Honig, thanks so much. Carrie Cordero, Andrew McCabe as well, thank you.

The former president's legal woes are not dampening his continued dominance of the Republican race. New polling today that shows his nearly three to one lead over his closest rival.

We'll talk with the New Hampshire's Republican governor, Chris Sununu ahead.

Plus in the run up to the congressional testimony today by Hunter Biden's former business partner, there were a lot of predictions about what would be revealed. Did he deliver? I'll talk to a lawmaker who was there.



COOPER: More evidence tonight that the Republican Party truly is Donald Trump's party. New Siena College/New York Times polling that shows Republican voters favoring him by 54 to 17 percent over his nearest rival, Ron DeSantis. None of the other candidates' top three percent. It is certainly striking margin and what went into it says a lot to our resident senior data reporter, Harry Enten who joins us now.

Is there any group the former president did not do well with?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes, so you know, if you look at the crosstabs, Anderson, there were 26 different demographic groups that got broken down. You know how many of those groups Donald Trump didn't lead amongst? Zero. He led in every single --

COOPER: These were just Republican voters.

ENTEN: Just Republican voters, right?

COOPER: And nationwide.

ENTEN: Correct. Nationwide, Republican voters, he led in all 26 groups, including his weakest groups. You know, we think about where Trump's base is, normally we believe it's those without a college degree. Those with a college degree still favored Trump by double digits. Those making more than $100,000.00 per year favored Trump by double digits.

There was absolutely no weakness at all that I could find in this poll, no matter what data I looked at.

COOPER: All right, you made that pretty clear now. So according to the poll, DeSantis trails the former president prison by 37. Is there any precedent for someone trailing by that much at this point in a primary season, actually catching up?

ENTEN: In a word? No, there isn't. We can go all the way back since 1972. And look at the biggest comebacks ever. They were all at about 20 points. George McGovern in '72, Jimmy Carter in '76, Barack Obama in 2008 -- all of them were down by about 20 points, a little bit less and came back and won. Right now, Ron DeSantis is trailing by over 30 points.

There is no precedent at all, for someone in DeSantis' position coming back, and there is no precedent at all for someone in Donald Trump's position not becoming the Republican nominee. COOPER: So you know, Mitt Romney, a little while ago has spoken out

about you know, at a certain point, donors should tell, you know, the lesser candidates to move aside, get out so that the field can winnow.

Is there any evidence that, you know, if the field were to winnow, what will the data show?

ENTEN: Yes. I think I've been using the word no a lot, right, in this segment. I don't know if you've been following like.

You know, it's awfully difficult if a guy is polling at above 50 percent to get everybody else and then somehow beat that 50 percent because it has to add up to a hundred.

So you know, if in fact you eliminated all the other candidates besides Ron DeSantis, and it is just a matchup between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, guess who wins?

COOPER: Let me guess.

ENTEN: Donald Trump. Donald Trump wins by over 30 points in that matchup. So at this particular point, you're looking at all the data, you just have to say Donald Trump has a clear favorite for the Republican nomination and this is just another data point that points in that direction.

COOPER: All right, Harry Enten, thanks very much. Thank you for being very clear.

ENTEN: Thank you.

COOPER: Ron DeSantis, meantime unveiled his economic agenda today in New Hampshire.

Joining us is New Hampshire's governor, Chris Sununu.

Governor, thanks so much for being with us.


COOPER: You've been steadfast in saying former President Trump will not be the 2024 Republican nominee. Do these poll numbers make you question that?

SUNUNU: No. No. Look, it's a national poll, so with all due respect to the Nebraskans and the Montanans and even the Texans of the world, that's not where the discussion is happening.


So where candidates are investing their money, where they're pushing their message like Iowa and New Hampshire, look at those polls.

In New Hampshire, two of the last three polls have Trump under 40, right? The RCP average in Iowa right now, I think is Trump at 42 --

COOPER: The latest --

SUNUNU: And what is happening --

COOPER: I saw numbers from the University of -- sorry, the University of New Hampshire, it showed the foreign president with a 14-point lead over DeSantis.

SUNUNU: You know, he has a lead. Of course, he has a lead, but his total, it's not what he has. You've got to look at what he doesn't have.

So in places like Iowa and New Hampshire, he doesn't have well over 50; in some polls over 60 percent of the hardcore Republican base.

So where the candidates are investing their money and where certain candidates are starting to move, and you're seeing everyone from Vivek to Doug Burgum even. Doug Burgum barely shows up in a national poll. But in Iowa and New Hampshire, he is right in those polls.

Tim Scott, really moving. Pence and Haley, not so much. So where they're investing their money and folks are really engaged in the conversation, the polls are actually very different.

So with all due respect to "The New York Times," the national polls right now just don't tell the story and here is one, we haven't even had a debate yet. We haven't seen who shines, who fails, who can stick it to him, who can't.

Of course, he's a former president. He is going to be leading in the polls. That shouldn't surprise anybody. But given all of the baggage he has, the fact that candidates really are moving, there are a lot of opportunity here for someone to really rise and shine.

And then you get down to that one-on-one race and Trump is in trouble.

COOPER: You obviously know your state very well. I mean, has history shown that the debates in the Republican primaries make a big difference in New Hampshire.

SUNUNU: Go ask Marco Rubio and Rick Perry. I mean, yes, absolutely, they matter. I mean, Herman Cain, no one even knew Herman Cain 's name at this point when he was running, by November, he was winning in four or five different national polls simply because of the debates, right?

So people do watch, not just locally, but nationally as well. And they want to see who can give a punch, who can stand on that stage, not just to be one of many, but to truly be a leader, to show the charisma, to show the inspiration and that leadership. That's exactly what folks are going to be looking for.

COOPER: Governor DeSantis who was campaigning in New Hampshire today, I want to play what he said last night to reporters there about the former president's attacks on him.


hits me with the juvenile insults, I think that helps me. I don't think voters like that. I don't think it's effective. So I actually don't mind it at all.

I think it's just a reminder why there are so many millions of voters who will never vote for him going forward.


COOPER: Do you see indication that the former president's insults somehow helped DeSantis in a meaningful way?

SUNUNU: No, I would just say this. When the former president insults you, it means he's scared of you. It means, he is recognizing you as a potential threat and I think other candidates who have kind of escaped his wrath, so to say, are going to be in that mix pretty soon.

Some of these other ones I had mentioned that are surging in polls that are investing their dollars, that are connecting with voters. Trump's real problem is he has no ability to do the retail politicking. Right? As a former president, he's got these entourages, he's only going to keep doing rallies to the same folks.

And as I've talked about a little bit before, if you look at the rallies of 16 and the rallies of 23, completely different stories. He's not bringing the energy. He's not talking about an excited future. He's not being the disrupter.

He was a disrupter in 2016 and Independents and folks got on board with him. He's not a disrupter. He's just kind of a whining woe is me, you know, look at my legal woes type guy. I hope you all give the billionaire some money, so I can pay up my lawyer debt.

I mean, after a while, that's going to get tired. It really is. It's still his to lose, let's not mistake. He is still very much in the lead.

But there's an absolute opportunity for candidates to surge. We've got six more months here. It's going to be a roller coaster and a fun ride.

COOPER: It is one of the incredible things out in New Hampshire and the primary there is, I mean, you go up and you know, you talk to a voter on the street, and you're like, have you ever met this candidate? They're like, oh, yes, I've met them four or five times times. And oh, yes, I know. We were at the diner get together like everybody, that retail politicking really does matter.

SUNUNU: Oh, yes, without -- you know, I've got to give it to like Doug Burgum for example. Doug got in the race very late. He's a small state governor. He grew up on a small farm in a small town. He knows exactly how to talk to people one-on-one, and these candidates are getting better about telling a little bit of their story, but allowing others to tell them their stories and that's what really connects with voters. Allowing the voter to have a voice, allowing the voter to really make

a connection with folks as opposed to I'm going to stand on the stage and give you my same old boring speech, that doesn't fly here.

You've got to be able to have our hamburger at the barbecue, but also show some competence and some inspiration to say that's someone that not just I could get behind, but my community could get behind and could make the party a little bigger and better.

So I think some candidates are really just starting to knock it out of the park and connect with folks and I have a lot of people come up and say, hey, have you met so and so? Have you met so and so?

They're getting excited about the fact that they're walking the streets and just connecting with people one-on-one.


COOPER: I mean if Trump is the nominee, would you ultimately vote for him? I know you've previously pledged to support the party's nominee.

SUNUNU: Look, I'm planning to vote for the Republican but as I said, it's not going to be Trump. And as I said before, on CNN, I don't think it's going to be Biden on the inside.

I mean, if Biden is the nominee, Anderson, and he is indicted for some type of bribery scheme or charge, are you going to support him? I think Democrats have to start looking in the mirror and kind of asking themselves the same question about what could be a really ugly ticket about a year from now.

COOPER: Governor Chris Sununu, appreciate your time. Thanks so much.

SUNUNU: You bet.

COOPER: Just ahead, testimony today by former business associate of Hunter Biden. It took place behind closed doors. We'll talk to Congressman Dan Goldman, who was there.


COOPER: As Republicans in the House talking about impeaching President Biden, three powerful Republican Committee chairman today announced a probe into the plea deal President Biden's son, Hunter had arranged with the Justice Department before a judge put on hold last week.

Also in the House today, a former business associate of Hunter Biden's testified before a closed door congressional hearing. According to a source, Devon Archer said that Hunter Biden sold the "illusion of access to his father."

The Republican head of the Oversight Committee issued this statement that reads in part: "Devon Archer's testimony today confirms Joe Biden lied to the American people when he said he had no knowledge about his son's business dealings and was not involved. Joe Biden was 'the brand' and that his son sold around the world to enrich the Biden family."

In a statement a short time ago, the White House counsel's office said the testimony appeared to debunk Republicans allegations. Democratic Congressman Dan Goldman was in the closed door hearing. He joins me now.

Congressman Goldman, appreciate you joining us. You said there was no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of President Biden. Do you think it was appropriate for Hunter Biden allegedly to be selling even an illusion of access to his father?


REP. DAN GOLDMAN (D), OVERSIGHT & ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITTEE: I don't think that's an accurate description. And I would urge Chairman Comer, rather than to continue to send out misinformation about what transpired in the transcribed interview to actually put out the transcript which he can do as soon as he wants.

Because I think anyone who reads that transcript -- and I was there, so I can tell you what happened -- would come away from that, believing that Joe Biden had nothing to do with Hunter Biden's business dealings, derive no benefit from it, received no money, and did not know about anything that Hunter Biden was doing. Nor did he ever discuss it with Hunter Biden or the business associates.

The fact that he spoke to business associates of Hunter Biden, to say hello, to have small talk, casual conversation, is not evidence that Joe Biden or Hunter Biden did anything wrong. So it is very far afield from what transpired in that conference room today to say that anything that Chairman Comer just said.

COOPER: It does, I mean, why was Hunter Biden having his dad who was a very powerful person, obviously, on speakerphone, during some business -- with business associates in the room? I mean, it could appear shady, no, at the very least.

GOLDMAN: Well, to be clear, it was social dinners, when that he was having with his business associates when he would occasionally put his dad on the phone. Now he did this about 20 times over 10 years. And this is someone who was speaking to his father every day, especially when Beau Biden, Hunter's brother and President Biden's son, was very ill with cancer and then passed away.

That, as the witness today testified, was what these conversations and these calls were about. And on occasion, Hunter Biden would put his father on speaker to say, hello. You know, the concept that this brand is Joe Biden is false. That's not what the witness said.

I was the only member who remained in the room when the witness clarified that the brand that he was talking about is Hunter's own experience as a lobbyist and a lawyer in Washington, D.C., combined with the Biden name, which of course, is no different than the Trump name or the Clinton name or any other big political family name.

COOPER: I get what you're saying that you're saying, you know, now President Biden was not involved in business calls, whatever. It does seem just a little shady, though, you know, for Hunter Biden, who is a grown adult to be making his dad come on to speaker phone calls, even if it is a social dinner with businesses. I mean, it's a flex of power, isn't it? I mean, again, it just seems shady not --

GOLDMAN: Well --

COOPER: Maybe not illegal.

GOLDMAN: Well, let's remember what we're talking about. We're talking about a private citizen. The question here is not what Hunter Biden did. The question is what President Joe Biden did, if anything. And all of the evidence that we have gotten to date, including today is an indication that Joe Biden did nothing, nothing, not even approximating improper, much less wrong or illegal.

Hey, there is no evidence linking Joe Biden to anything related to Hunter Biden. And in fact, the evidence that we got today is confirmation, Anderson, that the only official action Joe Biden took in connection with any of -- that was connected to any of Hunter Biden's businesses was to urge the Prosecutor General to be fired from Ukraine.

And Devon Archer, the witness today said the Burisma, on whose board he sat with Hunter Biden, did not want that prosecutor general fired because he was, quote, "under their control", unquote. So the only official action here that is that issue actually went counter to what Hunter Biden's business interests might be.

COOPER: And did --

GOLDMAN: This investigation, Anderson, needs to end and it needs to end now because what we're doing is badgering a private citizen, and there's no legitimate legislative purpose at all.

COOPER: There was also had been talked by Grassley and others about a $5 million payment. Was there anything that Archer said about that today?

GOLDMAN: Yes, he said that's false. He said that there is no $5 million payment to Hunter or Joe that he knew about. He said that all of Hunter's payments from Burisma went through their joint account during the time that Devon Archer was on the board. And he said that Joe Biden received no money ever from Burisma.

COOPER: And as we mentioned, the House Republicans late today announced a probe into the plea deal that Hunter Biden got from federal prosecutors and tax and gun charges. The plea deals up in the air now, obviously, as you know, after the federal judge balked at it. Do you think the GOP investigations on that is going to go anywhere or is this just endless?


GOLDMAN: It's truly stunning to me. This is the taxpayer funded defense and political arm of Donald Trump. The fact that a three committee Congressional investigation is looking into the plea deal of a private citizen, by the way, a plea deal that was entered into by a Trump appointed U.S. attorney who President Biden kept on to ensure the independence of the investigation that they would now actually use taxpayer funds in order to investigate a plea deal is absolutely preposterous, and just demonstrates how far afield this Republican Party is from the American people and what they care about.

They don't care about Hunter Biden. They care about the cost of their groceries, they care about their health care. They care about children getting killed at school, and not about what Hunter Biden's tax plea deal is.

COOPER: Congressman Dan Goldman, appreciate your time. Thank you.

GOLDMAN: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up next, Ukraine once again takes Russia's war back to Moscow with new drone attacks in the Kremlin retaliates with missiles hitting the hometown of Ukraine's president.



COOPER: Reckless and irresponsible, that's what the White House today called comments from Russia senior defense official claim the Kremlin may be forced to use nuclear weapons if Ukraine's counteroffensive is successful. These comments came after Ukraine hit Moscow in a new drone attack and in response, Ukrainian officials say Russian missiles hit President Zelenskyy's hometown killing at least six and wounding dozens.

More from CNN's Nic Robertson.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Russia's war in Ukraine is increasingly blowing up in Moscow. This Ukrainian drone attack Sunday night bringing Russia's war hundreds of miles away into the heart of its own capitol, shocking citizens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): My friends and I rented an apartment to come here and unwind, and at some point, we heard an explosion and it was like a wave. Everyone jumped.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Attacks like this in Moscow, becoming increasingly common. Last week, another Ukrainian drone hit a Ministry of Defense building, a psychological blow for a population repeatedly told by Putin state media. They are winning the so-called special military operation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): I was asleep and woken up by an explosion. Everything started to shake and the whole building had come down.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): This weekend, Putin was keeping up the pretense, everything is OK, celebrating Navy Day. But behind the scenes, his officials appear rattled by Ukraine's refusal to be beaten.

(on-camera): Former President Dmitry Medvedev says if Ukraine's counteroffensive is successful, Russia will use its nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the Kremlin is dismissing the drone strikes in Moscow as an act of desperation. The defense minister calling them terrorist attacks. Reality, they've got Moscow's attention.

(voice-over): Ukraine's President is hinting more of these strikes to come.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translation): Ukraine is getting stronger. Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of Russia to its symbolic centers and military bases. This is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Zelenskyy is stating what is becoming increasingly apparent. Ukraine is ramping up drone strikes inside Russia. In recent weeks, targets just over the border in areas vital to Russia's war efforts have increased too.

The impact even breaking through on Russia's state media. What is clear, Ukraine's fight on Russian soil is having effect.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


COOPER: Some perspective now from CNN National Security Analyst Steve Hall, former CIA Chief of Russia Operations. Steve, what kind of effect do you think those kinds of attacks actually have on Russia, both the leadership and also on public opinion?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, well, obviously, the leadership, Anderson, is not going to be pleased with this whenever you get attacked. You know, that's not a good thing. From a leadership perspective, of course, as Zelenskyy himself pointed out, you know, what did they expect? They, you know, they attack a neighboring country that that neighboring country has now decided that they're going to attack back.

But I think more importantly, for the leadership inside the Kremlin is trying to calculate, OK, are we going to get a rally around the flag type of approach to this, or Russia is going to say, oh, they see this, they're going to say, we got to do something? Or are they going to say, why are we in this silly war to begin with. The Ukrainian so clearly decided that it's going to be the former not the latter, Anderson.

COOPER: It seems to me because Russia at the start of the war clearly believed, you know, that they would be able to intimidate Ukraine, you know, cause casualties bomb and that Ukraine would essentially give up and surrender. The bombings, the brutality that Ukrainians witnessed, it just hardened their resolve to fight back, I guess, I wonder long term. If this does continue in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia, does it harden the resolve of people there to actually start to, in your words, rally around the flag?

HALL: Yes, and that's a really tough equation for both sides, I think. I mean, I think on the Russian side, Putin recalls the Chechen wars, where really for one of the few times in recent Russian history, at least, the Russian people came out specifically the mothers of a lot of these slain Russian military folks came out and actually significantly protested in the streets in such a fashion that gave the Kremlin quite a bit of concern.

So that's got to be something that Putin remembers.


On the other hand, the Ukrainians have to wonder, OK, if they're doing sort of these small almost psychological impacts, the drone strikes, is that going to cause a hardening in Russia as it did in Ukraine? So right now, both sides, I think are up in the air and it made their calculations but we're just going to see how it all, you know, ends up.

COOPER: Russia's former President Dmitry Medvedev said that the Russia may be forced to use nuclear weapons if Ukrainian counteroffensive is successful and results in, quote, "part of our land being taken away". What do you make of his comments? I mean, does -- how -- I'm not sure what his track record on accurate comments lately.

HALL: Yes, not good. It's sort of one of these things where you wonder whether Dmitry Medvedev wakes up in the morning and, you know, since his barometric pressure, and it says, that's a reason for a possible nuclear attack.

Look, I think what's really going on here, the most useful thing we get out of Medvedev's comments are when he says X might cause Russia to have a nuclear response, that means that's what X is what really is troubling the Russian government and Putin and the Kremlin. And right now it's the possibility that they can lose the territory that they have already taken, you know, in the east and also in the south.

And that's the importance for me of Medvedev's comments not the actual probability which is still low, I think, of an actually -- actual use of nuclear weapons.

COOPER: Yes. Steve Hall, thank you so much, appreciate it.

A lot more heads tonight, months of gang violence and kidnappings in Haiti now in American family and humanitarian mission there is caught up in it a nurse and her child had vanished. The latest ahead.



COOPER: For months, gangs have terrorized Haiti's capital Port-au- Prince in the surrounding areas with violence and kidnappings. Police have been largely unable to stem the violence so far. This year, more than 1,000 people have been kidnapped in Haiti, mostly women and children. That now includes an American nurse and her child on a humanitarian mission.

With more on their disappearance, here's CNN's Jason Carroll.


ALIX DORSAINVIL, NURSE KIDNAPPED IN HAITI: My name is Alix. I'm a nurse from New Hampshire.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alix Dorsainvil's family and friends continue to pray for the safe return of her and her child. According to the faith-based humanitarian aid group El Roi Haiti, the two were taken by captors from the organization's campus located near Port-au-Prince. That's where she had been working as a school nurse and her husband Sandro Dorsainvil is the director.

DORSAINVIL: Sandro invited me to come to the school to do some nursing for some of the kids. He said that was a big need that they had.

CARROLL (voice-over): In a brief statement, El Roi Haiti said the two were kidnapped Thursday saying in part, "Alix has worked tirelessly as our school and community nurse to bring relief to those who are suffering". Outpouring of support also coming from the school where she studied nursing.

ANTOINETTE HAYS, REGIS COLLEGE PRESIDENT: Alix was very compassionate and cared very much for people who had great need. She was definitely a very special young woman.

CARROLL (voice-over): Dorsainvil and her child taken in the midst of ongoing gang violence, which has overtaken much of the country and forced thousands of Haitians to flee their homes. The Biden administration says they are closely monitoring the situation.

ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET.), NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON: We don't want to do anything and say anything that would put their safe return in jeopardy.

CARROLL (voice-over): The U.S. last week ordered the departure of all non-emergency personnel from Haiti and told Americans to leave as soon as possible while trying to marshal international support.

ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: We've been very focused on trying to put in place what's necessary for a multinational force, including finding a lead nation to take this on.

CARROLL (voice-over): But the delay in creating that so-called multinational force could make matters worse.

GARRY PIERRE-PIERRE, FOUNDER AND EDITOR, THE HAITIAN TIMES: The gang leaders it feel that the days are numbered. I think now is the most dangerous time to be in Haiti because anything can happen to you.

CARROLL (voice-over): And it's innocent Haitians and people like the Dorsainvils dedicated to helping them getting caught in the crossfire.

DORSAINVIL: Haitians are such a resilient people. They're full of joy and life and love. And I'm so blessed to be able to know so many amazing Haitians.


COOPER: Jason Carroll joins us now. Is it clear what U.S. authorities may be able to do to help in this case?

CARROLL: Yes, well, Anderson, what we can tell you is that the State Department has been in contact with their Haitian counterparts behind the scenes, you know, leaning on there are contacts there in the Haitian capital, tracking and monitoring developments behind the scenes.

But what is also clear to us, and you heard a little bit of -- a little bit of it there in the piece, they have to be careful about what they say publicly, about what they know, and quite frankly, about what they may not know. Because they don't want to do anything to jeopardize whatever they've been able to learn and jeopardize whatever they've been able to do to try to find them behind the scenes. Anderson?

COOPER: Jason Carroll, appreciate it. Thank you.

Still to come, we remember comic legend Paul Reubens, the man behind Pee-Wee Herman, who died Sunday at the age of 70.



COOPER: Tonight, we remember Paul Reubens, actor and comedian, whose character Pee-Wee Herman is certainly iconic. Reubens died Sunday at the age of 70 after years of privately battling cancer. He prepared a statement to be released after his death which reads, "Please accept my apology for not going public with what I've been facing the last six years. I've always felt a huge amount of love and respect for my friends, fans and supporters. I've loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you".

Reubens was an actor from an early age, develop Pee-Wee Herman in the late 70s, the Groundlings in Los Angeles, the legendary breeding ground for many of America's best improv actors. Tim Burton, of course, directed Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. And for five years, he had the weirdest and most groundbreaking kid show on television Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

His success as Pee-Wee Herman also helped Reubens usher other actors into the spotlights their road to fame. Some of these Pee-Wee's Playhouse costar included Laurence Fishburne, Natasha Lyonne, Jimmy Smith, Sandra Bernhard and S. Epatha Merkerson, who I also loved on "Law & Order".

An arrest for indecent exposure in 1991, and a separate guilty plea on an obscenity charge in 2002 derailed his career for a time but his talent always found a home. I interviewed Pee-Wee Herman in 2011 and the next day he asked if I would appear in a digital short for Saturday Night Live, it's worth checking out online. We don't have time to play to the whole thing if you haven't seen it.

Basically Pee-Wee and Andy Samberg do shots and then eventually assault me on the street.


PEE-WEE HERMAN, COMIC FICTIONAL CHARACTER: This is the best night of my life Andy.


Hey, look. It's Anderson Cooper.



Hey. Hey, Anderson.

COOPER: Andy, how is it going?

SAMBERG: Hey, can I ask you a question? Do you know Barbara Walters?


SAMBERG: You guys ever hook up or?

COOPER: Is that a joke?

HERMAN: Oh, Anderson, here's my headline.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a bad influence on each other.

SAMBERG: We are not.

COOPER: Oh, really?

HERMAN: Hey, Anderson.

COOPER: You almost hit me in the eye. Do you know what would happen if I lost these eyes? They're a national treasure.

SAMBERG: They are.

HERMAN: You'd be blind. That's terrible.


COOPER: Every year after that, I would get the funniest and the oddest holiday cards and notes from Paul Reubens. He was a true original and a bright light in many, many people's lives. He will be missed. Paul Reubens was 70 years old.

That's it for us. The news continues. The Source with Kaitlan Collins starts now.