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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Donald Trump Expected To Surrender In Fulton County Next Thursday Or Friday; Alleged Architect Of Fake Electors Plot Kenneth Chesebro Was On Capitol Grounds On January 6; Christie's Struggles To Break Through GOP Pack; Trump Expected To Skip Debate And Do Interview With Tucker Carlson Instead; Republican Candidates Look Ahead To GOP Debate For Break Out Moment; Maui's Emergency Management Chief Resigns, At Least 111 Dead, Possibly More Than 1,000 Unaccounted For In Wildfires; Dozens Of Trained Dogs Aiding Maui Search Effort; Hurricane Hilary Threatens Southwest With Heavy Rains, Floods; Marijuana Legalization Will On OH Nov. Ballot. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 18, 2023 - 20:00   ET



FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And Erin, the US and its allies remain extremely concerned about the situation there in Niger. A source in the French Foreign Ministry telling CNN that they consider Wagner to be an organization with an opportunistic and predatory logic and that therefore, Wagner could try to take advantage of this situation -- Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, Fred, thank you very much.

And thanks very much to all of you for being with us. AC 360 starts now.



First, a canceled press conference, now apparently a debate no show. What's behind the former president sudden attack of reticence? That and news on when he'll surrender in Georgia.

Also tonight, a CNN exclusive. Meet the Trump adviser who took the fifth when asked what he was doing January 6th. Well tonight, we know what he was doing and with whom.

And later, what Hurricane Hilary could have in store for Southern California, which is bracing for its first storm this magnitude since 1939.

Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

The former president is expected to turn himself in at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta next Thursday or Friday. That, according to a senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the surrender.

Friday is the deadline for all 19 defendants. Trump, his former chief- of-staff, several of his lawyers, a top Justice Department official and others all being booked, fingerprinted, and with probably the exception of the president, former president, photographed.

In the last two days, the former president has backed out of opportunities to be seen by millions of television viewers. Yesterday, he canceled that press conference he had announced for Monday to repeat lies about election fraud in Georgia, what he calls irrefutable evidence of fraud.

Today, we learned, he is planning, as of now, to skip next week's Republican debate on Fox in favor of a sit down with Tucker Carlson. We will talk to lawyers about the extent to which criminal defense considerations play into his decision.

We start with CNN chief correspondent, Kaitlan Collins with new reporting on the politics first and foremost driving it, she joins us along with conservative lawyer and "Washington Post" contributing columnist, George Conway; and CNN contributor, John Dean who served as White House counsel in the Nixon administration.

So what is -- do we know the reasons he's backed out?



COLLINS: The debate, press conference, everything.

COOPER: Either one.

COLLINS: He's not showing up to either.

I mean, the debate, he had kind of been keeping people on edge this week asking people should he go. A lot of people though, who he would ask that to said, you know, they don't think he was ever really considering it. He hasn't done any formal debate prep or anything like that to prepare for this.

And so they didn't expect him to show up. It would have been a big difference if he had decided to go. Obviously, Monday with the news conference, that's a legal decision, really. I don't think that's as much as what Wednesday is. I think Wednesday is a political decision not to show up to that debate, because he does feel like he doesn't really need to go and show up.

I mean, certainly everyone has tried to goad him into being there is saying that it's weak if he doesn't show up. It's disrespectful to Republican voters if he doesn't show up. None of that really has registered with him, though in a way that he cares about.

But it's surprising given, I mean, they went to great lengths to try to get him to come to this. The Republican chairwoman personally appealed to him to come, Fox executives went to Bedminster, had dinner with him trying to get him to come, believing he might actually show up. He clearly is not. COOPER: And in terms of what we know about the surrendering next week.

COLLINS: The surrendering next week, they're still negotiating the deal of what that's going to look like with Secret Service in the district attorney's office, and the judge will have to sign off on the conditions that they agree to.

The local sheriff, I mean, they've said it's going to be standard operating procedure. But obviously, this is the most high profile prosecution in the country right now and the idea that it's going to be anything standard is obviously not likely to happen when he does show up.

We're expecting Thursday or Friday right now. We'll see if that changes. That's the expectation at the moment.

The question is, does he go in and get the exact process that any other defendant would get? We don't know about a mug shot yet. We do believe he'll be fingerprinted. We don't believe he'll be handcuffed.

But they do medical screenings. They have all of these other steps that he has to go through and what -- we were reporting this out, I was thinking about how my reporting when he was in Washington being indicted there, he was so -- he'd grown irritated, essentially. It just the process of going through the standard procedure, having to wait, having to be fingerprinted, sitting in the courtroom for 20 minutes waiting on the judge to show up and it's just completely silent in the room.

Those standard things that other defendants go through. I mean, he's not a typical defendant by any means.

COOPER: George, I mean, do you think this is the right move for the former president both politically and legally? I mean, certainly not doing the press conference legally makes all the sense in the world. Not showing up at the debate?

GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE LAWYER AND WASHINGTON POST CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST: Yes, I have to say and these are words that are difficult for me to say, but I agree with Donald Trump. I think he's doing the right thing by Donald Trump. Absolutely, I don't see the upside for him to appear at this debate. All it does is give, you know his opponents a chance to take free shots at him, which I would love to see, but you know, he is doing -- you know, with his commanding lead, there really is no reason for him to show up and take the downside risk of running into the Chris Christie truck.

So I think he's doing the right thing by Donald Trump. I think the voters would love -- I think it's better for the voters to see him.


And to hear him respond to the attacks, but, you know, just looking at it from his interests, he is doing the right thing.

COOPER: John, I mean, every time he holds a rally or makes a social media post or participates, frankly, even in future debates, how much legal jeopardy does he put himself in?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, given his ability to put his foot in his mouth, Anderson, I think he does it rather regularly.

He has conceded an awful lot in public, he consistently does it. I'm sure that the prosecutors are monitoring it. They probably have staffers who do nothing but follow what he's doing and saying.

So I think it's high exposure, and it appears that somehow a lawyer got through to him or he is now -- it dawned on him that he might be in serious trouble, and so he is backing down a little bit.

COOPER: It is interesting, Kaitlan, that a guy who was once the president of the United States, is not willing, at least for this debate, to stand on a stage and take the punches and you know, show himself to the American people in a debate format. And it's not like he's staying home, he is going on, you know, Tucker Carlson, who has been, you know, slavishly supportive of him all this time.

COLLINS: Well, I think that has even less -- it's more of the idea of he is angry with Fox News who has been picked to host the debate. He thinks that they are covering his challengers in a more favorable way than they are him.

I mean, he has always kind of had this expectation that to cover him accurate -- to cover him, you know, accurately is to cover him unfairly, to actually cover what's going on or to give other people airtime is to -- it's a dig at him. That's how he views this. I mean, he thinks that they are in the pocket of Ron DeSantis. That is his view.

So I think it has multiple avenues that he wants to go down by, by sitting down with a host that they fired, having this moment. And I just think he also understands that there is a potential at that debate for someone like Chris Christie, he knows they will only be attacking him. They're going to go after him on these issues. And so in his mind, he just avoids all of that by not showing up.

I mean, it is remarkable that he is citing Reagan and other people when he's talking about not doing it, but I mean, he's doing it because of his own political will and why he doesn't want to show up and what that looks like.

COOPER: George, we haven't heard from him since the Georgia indictment. I mean, it is obviously a sweeping case for the huge RICO charge at the head of it. How strong the case do you think it is?

CONWAY: Well, I think it's a very, very strong case. I think the evidence is overwhelming against him. I think it's a more complex case, than the case the Jack Smith has decided to bring in DC and it is an interesting contrast to put the cases up against each other.

One is rather simple, straightforward, kind of like a bullet. The other one is more like an air raid, and it's just -- it is going to be more complex, it's going to take longer, but I think there's a utility to it because you get to see the scope of the damage and the harm that Trump caused.

COOPER: John, do you think many of the co-conspirators, I mean, indicted or unindicted will ultimately flip and work with the prosecution? I mean, it seems unlikely that all 19 would actually go to trial.

DEAN: It does seem unlikely, Anderson, and if they go into the jailhouse to surrender and get arraigned and get a whiff of what that place is like, or have any knowledge of what a hellhole the Georgia prisons are, I think you're going to have several who want to come forward and say, let's see if we can't work out an arrangement and so I think maybe eight or nine will fall by the wayside and plead.

COOPER: Kaitlan, have you heard of any concern among the people around the former president that, you know, left alone on the debate stage, some of these candidates may have breakout moments?

COLLINS: Maybe they will. I mean, we always kind of see that in a debate. Someone has their few moments. I mean, certainly we've seen who clearly, Governor DeSantis is worried about, Vivek Ramaswamy and others because they know that he is going to be the next person on that stage if Donald Trump is not there that they're attacking.

But I mean, okay, so the debate happens on Wednesday night, someone has a breakout moment. Trump goes on Thursday in Georgia and surrenders himself. I mean, that breakout moment has like a 24-hour lifecycle, because then it's going to be Trump showing up at the jail, which is notoriously bad, as John was just mentioning there. I mean, they've opened investigations into it.

I mean, the conditions of it are pretty horrific. And when you look at just the idea that the former president is going to be walking in there to be arrested and to be -- his arraignment, which will actually be an appearance is remarkable in and of itself.

So I think even if there is that breakout moment, I mean, we're such a bizarre point in this history of this country that 24 hours later, the former president is going to be turning himself in, so it's not clear that it would have legs.

I mean, we'll see what happens if the defense of Donald Trump --

COOPER: And is it Thursday or Friday? Or we're not sure exactly.

COLLINS: We're not sure exactly. They've said Thursday at the earliest, so Thursday or Friday. I mean who knows? It is Donald Trump everything comes to the caveat, maybe he decides to turn himself in the day of the debate. That seems unlikely at this moment.


But I mean, Governor Christie today attacking Ron DeSantis, saying, if you're going to defend Donald Trump on that stage, you should just get out of the race.

I mean, those comments will be interesting to see what that is, and obviously Trump has been very bothered by Chris Christie's criticisms and others' criticisms.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, George as you know, former Trump, White House chief-of-staff Mark Meadows is trying to move the Fulton County case to federal court and likely have a more favorable jury pool; Rudy Giuliani, former -- I mean, obviously, Trump as well are expected to do the same thing. Do you think they have a good shot?

CONWAY: No, I don't, because basically, it's no business -- essentially no business of the executive what happens when states count their votes. I mean, the Constitution provides that the federal elections are in the hands of Congress, and in the hands of the states.

And the chief-of-staff and the president has no authority to supervise the counting of votes in Fulton County or anywhere else, and the fact that Mark Meadows went down there on his behalf wasn't an exercise of presidential authority. He wasn't really exercising -- he was acting essentially as a campaign staffer, and that should not be -- that should not entitle him to move the case to federal court.

COOPER: John, the April 2026 trial date that the former president's attorneys have given to the judge in the January 6 case, I mean, almost three years from now, when do you realistically think that that would go to trial?

DEAN: She is not going to give them what they want. I think it's more likely to be somewhere between 10 months and 14 months, which is ample time and certainly well within the strictures of due process. So, it's going to be much sooner than later.

COOPER: Kaitlan, thanks so much. We'll see Kaitlan at "THE SOURCE" at the top of the next hour. George Conway, John Dean, thanks so much.

Coming up next, now, we know now exclusive video of what the lawyer who allegedly devised the former president's fake electoral strategy was doing with conspiracy pusher, Alex Jones on the day it all came to a violent head at the Capitol.

Also, the latest from Hawaii tonight, where the military has now deployed experts in identifying human remains.



COOPER: CNN exclusive tonight on one of the 18 other defendants who will be turning themselves in next week in Atlanta along with the former president. The story however, is not about where he'll be next week, it is what CNN's Shimon Prokupecz and the KFILE investigative team discovered about where he was on January 6, 2021, something he himself refused to say when asked under oath.


SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): He is one of the alleged co-conspirators in two cases against Donald Trump for 2020 election interference.

Now for the first time, CNN has identified Kenneth Chesebro outside the Capitol on January 6th, shortly before a mob stormed the east side of the building. He followed right-wing conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones for about an hour.

Chesebro is the alleged architect of a plot to use fake electors to stop the certification of Joe Biden's win.

This week, he was indicted along with Trump and 17 others in Georgia. He has also been identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the federal case against the former president.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": CNN projects Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is elected the 46th President of the United States.

PROKUPECZ (voice over): In the days after the November 2020 election, Chesebro wrote a memo to a lawyer for Donald Trump. It is among the earliest known documents outlining the legal strategy Trump would allegedly try to use.

His memo focuses on January 6 as the hard deadline with ultimate significance to determine the validity of electoral votes.

E-mails obtained by the January 6 Committee showed Chesebro later suggesting to the Trump campaign that that fear of "wild chaos" on that day could provoke the Supreme Court to take action.

ALEX JONES, HOST, INFOWARS: Go to the White House --

PROKUPECZ (voice over): At the same time, Alex Jones was helping pay for and plan the January 6 rally, urging his massive audience to gather in Washington, DC.

The night before Trump's rally, Jones would warn of a coming battle.

JONES: This will be their waterloo. This will be their destruction.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We fight. We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore.

PROKUPECZ (voice over): When the January 6 Committee asked if Chesebro was in Washington the first week of January, Chesebro pleaded the fifth.

JONES: Let's go take our country back. Trump's only minutes away. Let's start marching to the Capitol.

PROKUPECZ (voice over): But there is no question he was there. CNN has analyzed publicly available photos and videos from that day which show his movements.

In the hours before the insurrection, he was with Alex Jones and his entourage a short distance from the Capitol. Chesebro is here wearing a red Trump 2020 hat. As lawmakers prepared to certify the results of the election inside the building, Chesebro follows Alex Jones and a crowd of protesters as they walk towards the Capitol.

Chesebro has his phone out seemingly recording Jones's every move.

JONES: Let's march around to the other side and let's not fight the police and give the system what they want.

We are peaceful.

PROKUPECZ (voice over): As Jones was leading a crowd to the east side of the Capitol, the west side was breached and rioters poured in.

At one point while Chesebro was on Capitol grounds, he appears to show something on his phone to a member of Jones' security team, then Jones and Chesebro climbed the Capitol steps.


PROKUPECZ (voice over): There is no indication Chesebro enter the Capitol Building or engaged in violence, but shortly after Chesebro and Jones left the steps on the east side, the Capitol was breached again as the mob poured into the doors.

In all, more than 2,000 rioters would enter the building, vandalizing and looting, attempting to prevent a joint session of Congress from counting the Electoral College votes.

The House committee investigating January 6 would eventually call it the final step in Donald Trump's plan to try and overturn the election, a plan that started in earnest with Kenneth Chesebro.


COOPER: It's incredible reporting, Shimon. I mean, has he responded?

PROKUPECZ: No. There has been nothing, no response. His attorney did issue the KFILE team, Andrew Kaczynski, and his team a statement saying that they're going to sort of deal with this in court and they're not going to be issuing any public statement.

Now, Chesebro is supposed to be one of the guys turning himself in next week. But as throughout this entire thing, there's really been no clear understanding or explanation why a Trump campaign attorney, he was hired by the Trump campaign would be there so close to Alex Jones in the middle of this mob. There is really no, right now, there is no explanation for that.


COOPER: Shimon Prokupecz, appreciate it. Thanks so much.

Coming up, with the former president not expected in next week's Republican presidential debate, we are going to look at how that changes the strategy for the other candidates particularly for Chris Christie, who today took a shot at Ron DeSantis saying he should leave the race if the Florida governor uses the debate stage to defend the former president.


COOPER: At the CNN Town Hall I hosted with presidential candidate, Chris Christie in June, the one-time New Jersey governor suggested that the former president might skip the first Republican presidential primary debate as multiple sources now tell CNN he is planning to do.

Christie said back then that doing so would give him "a free lane" to go after the former president, that once he did that, Christie predicted the former president would be at the second debate.

The former governor is depending on a strong showing in New Hampshire to give him momentum in the race.

Our Omar Jimenez caught up with Chris Christie in Florida, who had his sights trained not only on the former president, but also on Governor Ron DeSantis.


CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do you know that you have a couple of candidates who live here. Do we want a president who is focused on your problems or do we want a president who will be spending his time trying to fend off the next criminal trial?


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Just days to debate day, Chris Christie is in Miami, in the home state of former President Donald Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis.

CHRISTIE: I'm here because we need to talk about these things and I'm not conceding that conversation to Ron DeSantis and you can be sure I'm not conceding that conversation to Donald Trump.

JIMENEZ (voice over): It's been a theme of the Christie campaign blasting Donald Trump.

CHRISTIE: The frontrunner for our party's nomination is going to be out on bail in four different jurisdictions.

JIMENEZ (voice over): But Christie also used the Florida setting to go after its governor, Ron DeSantis.

CHRISTIE: People are really beginning to wonder what the hell he stands for.

JIMENEZ (voice over): He honed in on a recent memo from a pro DeSantis super PAC floating potential debate talking points that included defend Donald Trump, though a DeSantis campaign spokesperson stressed it wasn't a campaign memo, and they were unaware of it prior.

CHRISTIE: The only way to beat someone is to beat them. If he thinks he's going to get on the stage to defend Donald Trump on Wednesday night, then he should do Donald Trump a favor and do our party a favor. Come back to Tallahassee endorse Donald Trump and get the hell out of the race.

JIMENEZ (voice over): CNN has reached out to the DeSantis campaign on Christie's latest comments, but hasn't heard back.

Recent polls have shown support for DeSantis slipping, but he's trying to project confidence going into the first debate.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm excited about doing it because most of what you do in this process is filtered through media and seldom do you get the opportunity to speak directly to this many people.

JIMENEZ (on camera): What are you hoping to accomplish with this debate that you haven't so far to this point?

CHRISTIE: It gets seen by more people. I listen to the question, I try to answer it. And if somebody else says something on the stage, I think is really stupid, I try to point it out. That's about the -- that's the depth of our strategy.

JIMENEZ (voice over): It's an authenticity that seemed to resonate with some voters who attended Friday's town hall.

PETER ENGLAND, REPUBLICAN VOTER: He does speak his mind and I find that really refreshing in a presidential candidate.

JIMENEZ (voice over): Even for some Independents who were there.

TED NIARHOS, INDEPENDENT VOTER, VOTED FOR TRUMP IN 2016: Everyone is afraid to say anything and he actually got it. He spoke his mind.

JIMENEZ (voice over): Which Christie also plans to do on the debate stage as his campaign feels momentum is on their side.

CHRISTIE: The people who are going to vote for me feel strongly about it and we're going to increase those numbers.

JIMENEZ (on camera): How is this different from 2016?

CHRISTIE: When you do stuff for a second time, at least for me, I always do it better the second time that I do it than first, and I feel really relaxed and comfortable and I know I'm speaking the truth and I think that's going to matter to people in the long run.


COOPER: Omar, how is Christie responding to the news the foreign president is likely to skip the debate?

JIMENEZ: Yes, so even when it was just a possibility, he said that doing so would be disrespectful to the GOP party that's made him their nominee twice and to Republican voters, but as sources have told CNN that he is planning to skip the debate, Chris Christie tweeted that: "Surprise, surprise. The guy who is out on bail from four jurisdictions and can't defend his reprehensible conduct is running scared and hiding from the debate stage. Trump certified loser, verified coward."

And of course, they've gone back and forth over the course of this campaign. Christie hasn't been shy about attacking Trump, Trump has called Christie a "sad, pathetic slob." We can probably expect that to continue.

But regardless of all of that, a senior adviser to the Christie campaign has told me that in these first two months, they feel that the Christie campaign has gone about as well as it could be to this point and they hope to continue that momentum and forward progress, as we of course get to debate day where Christie doesn't just plan to show up, he plans to really shine once he's on that stage, regardless of whether Trump is there or not.

COOPER: All right, Omar Jimenez, appreciate it. Thanks.

Mark McKinnon, the top adviser to both George W. Bush and John McCain presidential campaigns is now a columnist for "Vanity Fair" joins us tonight.

So you think it's wise for Trump to skip the debate, Mark?

MARK MCKINNON, TOP ADVISER TO BOTH GEORGE W. BUSH AND JOHN MCCAIN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS: I don't. You know any candidate that I've ever worked for over the course of the years, Anderson, either was anxious for a debate or wanting to avoid debate, but whenever they wanted to avoid a debate, it is because they were worried that they weren't going to do well.

And voters -- it is an expectation that voters have, but that's just the price of admission for running for president. If you want to be president, you've got to get on the stage even if you're a former president, maybe especially if you're a former president under indictment, but I think Trump will regret this decision because it's the hottest spotlight. It'll be the hottest spotlight in the world next week. All the attention will be there.

And I think he'll watch it. He'll think I could have cleaned their clocks and they probably would have had he showed up on the stage.

But it's going to be exciting to watch Chris Christie. I mean, he is a human wrecking ball and if Trump is not there, I do expect him to go after the next biggest kingpin on stage, which is probably Ron DeSantis.

And it was interesting, he talked about the power of authenticity, or your reporter did. And I think that's really important commodity in politics these days. It's very powerful when you can do anything that comes across as authentic.

And the problem for Ron DeSantis is he now has that memo out there where -- so that now anything that he does that reflects anything that was in that memo is going to look like it was scripted. And believe me, Chris Christie will point that out, just as he did against Marco Rubio in the famous debate where he put him in a microwave and melted him.

COOPER: Does it damage Christie, though, not to have Trump on that stage, to, you know, hammer directly and sort of elevate himself?

MCKINNON: I don't think so. I think Christie can just say, he's not here because he's afraid of me, because I'm the only one speaking truth to power. And that's why he hasn't shown up, because I'm taking it to him. And I think that --

COOPER: Right.

MCKINNON: I wouldn't be surprised if Christie's right, that he shows up for the second debate.

COOPER: DeSantis recently made news when he was pushed in an interview, finally said that Biden won the 2020 election. What he wasn't asked, which is probably the more important question, is if he admits the election was free and fair.

If all the candidates are asked that on the stage next week, as they should be, I think, do you think they'd dance around him? I mean, obviously not like the Will Hurd, Asa Hutchinson or Christie?

MCKINNON: Well, I think it'll be interesting, Anderson, because I think increasingly what you're going to see, Christie's certainly on it. DeSantis has started to show a little bit of leg on this notion, too, which is that Trump is a loser. Ultimately, the way that they're going to beat Trump when they know there's a lot of loyal based supporters out there to say, listen, we know you love the guy. He's our tribal chief. He did a great job.

But because of all the legal problems and everything else hanging over him, he's not the best general election candidate to go up against the Democrat next year. And increasingly, I think we'll see that between now and Iowa, that he's going to get underwater and that he's increasingly going to be seen as somebody who's going to lose a general election. So you only amplify that debate by saying he actually lost in 2020 as well. He's a loser.

COOPER: And if you're the former vice president, if you're Pence on that stage, I mean, do you try to lean into the Trump criticism, which he's kind of been doing lately, as much as Pence does, that sort of thing?

MCKINNON: I think Pence is kind of having a moment here in the last few weeks as the indictments stack up and the legal proceedings become more of a shadow blotting out Trump's son. There's more emphasis on the act that -- the constitutional act that Mike Pence did. And I think he's starting to feel that a little bit. And I think increasingly he's going to lean in on that as the legal problems get worse for Trump.

COOPER: I know you believe that, you know, once the weight of Trump's legal problems sinks in, voters will start to abandon him. He is on his fourth indictment and is still crushing the rest of the GOP field. I mean, in national polls, excuse me, he's only trailing Biden in a head to head matchup by 1 point, I think, in the latest Quinnipiac poll. When exactly do you foresee any kind of tipping point being reached?

MCKINNON: I think it's already started, Anderson. And the key is not to look at the national polls, but look at Iowa. Iowa is going to come first, and whatever happens there is going to affect the rest of the race. And if you're an incumbent president -- or if you're a former president running to get reelected again and you lose Iowa, believe me, that's going to be a huge black eye.

And it's already softening and support's already softened in the last week or two. And increasingly, as the fourth indictment has come down, it's looking that there are problems, there are problematic signs in Iowa. And listen, if Iowa goes south on Trump, then it's the man who would be king. They see the blood, they see he's mortal, and then you could see his support evaporate pretty quickly.

COOPER: So, I mean, where do you see his support softening?

MCKINNON: Well, I see it in Iowa. I mean, you've seen it in the data in the last week or two, and you see that he is now under 50 in Iowa. Ron DeSantis, you know, despite his problems, is still at 20. And Iowa voters take this very seriously and they often make their minds up at the last minute and they move quickly.

And listen, Trump's problems aren't going to get any better between now and then, so it's only going to get worse. So I suspect that things are soft in Iowa. Trump has, you know, got problems with the governor there. He's got problems with other people who are not endorsing him. And Iowans are not going to be happy about that.

And so when they look to the general, they'll be very strategic and say, this may not be the best guy to go up against the Democrat next year.

COOPER: Interesting. Mark McKinnon, great to have you on again. Thanks so much.

MCKINNON: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Coming up, the Hawaii wildfires. Maui's emergency management chief resigns, citing health reasons after defending the failure to use the island's warning sirens. Plus, our Bill Weir takes us on a search mission with trained cadaver dogs.



COOPER: 111 dead, that is the official toll right now in Hawaii after the deadly wildfires. But search and rescue teams continue to sift through rubble and ash to find the remains of others. Officials say possibly more than 1,000 people are still unaccounted for. The news today, the administrator in charge of emergency management on Maui resigned. Herman Andaya is his name. He cited health reasons. No more details were given. But his surprise resignation comes after he defended not activating the island's outdoor siren system that might have warned some residents the rapidly advancing fires.

I'm joined now by Bill Weir in Maui. What are you seeing on the ground, Bill?

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this afternoon, a bunch of local leaders from Lahaina held a press conference, basically imploring the governor to keep them in the loop, keep them at the table as they talk about when to reopen, how to rebuild. It's obvious they're working in a void of information, just a vacuum.

And we have communication back up on the island. We're actually next to a free WiFi station here, so 10 days after you would think that those thousand missing would have made first contact and proof of life. But you've got so many locals agonizing without that information.

Meanwhile, there are K-9 human cadaver remains searching dogs working feverishly. Here's a little look.


WEIR (voice-over): With noses 40 times more powerful than ours, a trained cadaver dog can smell a body buried 15 feet deep. But in Lahaina, the challenge for these good boys and girls is not depth, but breadth, as they work 3.5 square miles of ash and loss.


For their handlers, this is painstaking, heartbreaking work. For the dogs, it's hot and hazardous.


WEIR (on-camera): Who is this?

SERRANO: Over here. So this is Prentice (ph).

WEIR (on-camera): Hi, Prentice (ph). Prentice (ph) is a --

SERRANO: He's a boy.

WEIR (on-camera): -- boy.


WEIR (on-camera): Hi, bud. Hi, good boy. You hurt your foot.

(voice-over): Burn paws and clumsy booties are just two more things to overcome for search and recovery teams from 15 different states around the nation.

SERRANO: Come on, buddy.

WEIR (voice-over): Los Angeles County Fire Captain Selena Serrano has been working and living with her Labrador partner for nine years, including her state's deadliest ever campfire which laid similar waste to Paradise, California.

(on-camera): Are you also looking for bone fragments or signs or is it purely the dog triggering the search?

SERRANO: We will. We do. We have some rescue team members that are coming with us and they are also searching, see what anything is visible that they can make out.

WEIR (on-camera): Yes.

SERRANO: It is a little difficult, though, because there's some stuff that you -- it's just -- you're staring at this debris and it's starting to look like it's bone, but it really isn't. And so that's where we really rely on the dog.

STEPHEN BJUNE, FEMA URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER: So we've actually brought in about 40 different search K-9s, which is a fair amount of K-9s for this kind of project because we want to make sure that we're doing it as fast as we can while still remaining as accurate as we can. So at the end of this we've got the highest confidence. But as far as the timescale, it's really going to be about that ability to work through this kind of technical search to make sure that we bring everybody home.

WEIR (on-camera): Because you're really searching at the granular level, aren't you?

BJUNE: In lot of cases, this is a lot smaller than what we're typically dealing with. But again, we're making sure that the sensitivities and the somberness of this because this is a very special site to the people of Hawaii and certainly the fact that we're talking about homes, communities and lives that are all missing and all lost.

So this is something we take very serious. We're taking with a lot of respect and we have to make sure that everything down to the smallest thing is treated with that level of respect.

TIARE LAWRENCE, LAHAINA COMMUNITY LEADER: Not knowing where your friends and family are still missing today. A lot of people are just so hurt and in pain.

WEIR (voice-over): According to the last update from the governor, over 1,000 people remain missing. And while they understand that forensic science takes time, Lahaina survivors are agonizing over how that number remains unchanged.

(on-camera): What do you make of this number of the missing? You know, how accurate that is and whether -- LAWRENCE: I believe it. I know this because I know plenty of people

who got out, who know people were stuck. A lot of people didn't make it out. But that number is real. I hope it comes lower, but at this point, we're over eight days. We're on our 10th day. And if we haven't found them yet, everything, they're gone.


COOPER: Bill, I saw the L.A. county teams at work in Haiti. Their efforts are extraordinary in situations like that and especially with that sense of respect that the gentleman was talking about. You really see that in the field. Can you talk about what additional support is arriving to help identify, you know, I mean, as you said, you're working at the granular level here.

WEIR: Yes. We understand that the Department of Defense has sent six forensic anthropologist, specialists. These are people who specialize in POW and MIA remains of military lost overseas. So that is in addition to 50 some National Guards troops who are sifting through those remains there as well.

But even if they find something, the forensic match to the DNA samples takes time. We had a military leader of a task unit come in today and say, Anderson, this is a multiyear response effort here in Maui.

COOPER: Bill Weir, thank you so much for being there.

We're also keeping our eyes on a powerful category 4 hurricane which could potentially threaten Southern California in the Southwest. Hurricane Hilary is expected to weaken considerably over the coming days, but it could still be the first tropical storm to hit California in about 84 years, expected to dump more than a year's worth of rain in parts of California, Nevada and Arizona.

Chad Myers joins us from the CNN Weather Center in Atlanta. How dangerous could this storm be?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: For the flooding in Southern California, even parts of Nevada, Arizona deadly, without a doubt, catastrophic. Because I'm going to show you how long it rains in the same places, hours, and even in some spots, a day and a half.

There's a storm right there, 130 miles per hour, 129's cat 3. So we're just right on the edge there, between three and four. But the very first tropical storm watch, which I believe by tomorrow morning, will be upgraded to a tropical storm warning. A watch means conditions are possible in 48 hours.

A warning means that conditions will be happening in 36 hours. So we're just kind of ramping closer and closer to when that storm gets here.


The good news is that this is very cold water that this hurricane is now moving into. Hurricanes like temperatures above 80 while the temperatures in here are in the 60s. Try to go surfing in California without a wetsuit, you won't be in the water very long. That's the problem here for the hurricane.

That's the good news for the people of California and also Northern Mexico. The bad news is how much rainfall is going to fall, Anderson? We get about 4 percent of the day, so we'll call it 12 or 13 days in the entire year that we get this purple, this high risk. But 39 percent of the fatalities from flooding for the entire year are in those 4 percent, are in those 12 or 13 days.

And 87 percent of all the damage is in those 4 percent in those 12 or 13 days. So we have a lot of rain to come. It is going to be falling for hours and hours and hours in places that may get 2 to 5 inches of rain a year. They're going to get 10 in two days.

COOPER: Wow. Chad Myers, appreciate it. Thank you.

Actually, what is the timing of this? Do you know?

MYERS: Sure. This whole thing is kind of just getting rolling right now. We have flood watches that are already in effect and even some flood warnings around Vegas and also into 29 palms in the area there. This is not even part, this is not even part of Hilary at all. This is just the rainfall that would have happened anyway.

So let me move you ahead here. I'm going to move you ahead into about 3:30 or so 03:00 tomorrow. That's when it begins to rain up here in San Diego and the mountains to the east of San Diego. Notice how far the storm is still away. But this is called precursor rain. It's the humidity that's spilling out of the hurricane.

So it's going to be raining hours and hours. And just keep your eye on the same places, it's still raining 24 hours later. So this is just a long duration effect. I think we will lose infrastructure, we will lose bridges, we will lose roads.

And I just hope we don't lose people, because as long as you know it's coming and you can stay out of those low lying areas, obviously, they're already closing national parks out there. They don't want anybody out there. This is just going to be a 10-inch rainfall in places that don't have any way to handle that kind of rain.

But who does? Who can -- even Florida, you get 10 inches of rain in a place that it rains all the time. You're going to get flash flood warnings.

COOPER: Yes. Chad Myers, thank you. We'll obviously keep an eye all weekend on that.

Coming up next, new polling on Americans in marijuana, who's using it, how popular is it, and what do people think of the smell? Our Harry Enten has the 411 on 420.


[20:51:31] COOPER: Marijuana use by American adults is at an all-time high, and I apologize for the pun. That's one of the findings from a new survey and a new ballot measure is about to give people in Ohio the chance to legalize it.

Our Senior Data Reporter Harry Enten joins us now with more. So what does this new study show?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: I just want to make an admission before we start this by saying I've never done the Doobie, OK? So --

COOPER: You've never done the Doobie.

ENTEN: I'm not --

COOPER: Really?

ENTEN: I know it's a big surprise. Diet cream soda is my thing.


ENTEN: Not marijuana.

COOPER: Yes, yes, yes.

ENTEN: But a lot of Americans have, in fact, at least tried --

COOPER: Have you listened to the Doobie Brothers?

ENTEN: I have listened to the Doobie Brothers, and I like one coke over the line. That's a great song as well.


ENTEN: I was really surprised when my mother knew what that song actually meant. Anyway, the amazing thing is, now half of American adults have at least tried marijuana once in their lifetime. We have crossed the 50 percent threshold.

Look at this trend line that we see here. You know, if you look back in 1969, only 4 percent of Americans --

COOPER: Wow, that's interesting.

ENTEN: -- had ever tried marijuana. So we've seen this gradual increase and we have finally hit 50 percent. Of course, I'm not one of them, but I'm guessing that one of the people in this room probably has based upon those numbers.

COOPER: So in Ohio, this measure is now on the ballot in November. How much more popular marijuana is -- marijuana legalization today?

ENTEN: It's incredible. Again, the trend line here is just tremendous. You know, back in the late 60s, well, less than 20 percent of Americans believe that marijuana should be legal. Look at where it is now. About two-thirds of Americans believe that marijuana should in fact be legal, recreational marijuana.

And so we've just seen this tremendous trend line, you know, people using it and people believing it should be legal, which kind of makes sense that the two of those would go together, right?

COOPER: I don't know if the people who believe it should be legal are aware of the smell issue, which now in New York, everywhere you go, not only are there weed shops everywhere, but like, the smell is pretty much everywhere.

ENTEN: This stench is disgusting. It's disgusting.

COOPER: Harry is joining us from the 1950s.

ENTEN: I am joining you from the 1950s. I've never done the Doobie. I hate the smell. I'm raining on the kids parades here.


ENTEN: It stinks. And you've mentioned it these, you know, marijuana dispensary shops, you go around there, and it's, you know, not exactly the best types of behaviors. And, you know, in the New York City metropolitan area, Dobbs Ferry, which is just to the north of New York City, you may be familiar with it.


ENTEN: I believe Mark Zuckerberg is from there. And what we saw there, you're just dropping in random marijuana.

COOPER: OK, go on.

ENTEN: You know, marijuana. It's a segment of marijuana. Anyway, so what we saw there -- so we --

COOPER: Sure you're not high right now?

ENTEN: I -- you know what I'm high on life.


ENTEN: I'm high on life.

COOPER: Good, as you should be.

ENTEN: As I should be, right? I'm here with you. Why shouldn't I be high on life? And what do we see there? We saw that two-thirds of Dobbs Ferry voters actually voted down marijuana dispensaries in their town, which is quite a thing, right? Because this is a town that went for Joe Biden by nearly 50 points back in 2020.

So what we saw was a very blue area still voting down marijuana dispensaries. So it turns out that even the, quote unquote, left part of this country, some of them don't want marijuana in their town, at least, out open.

COOPER: All right, Harry Enten, appreciate it. Have a good weekend.

ENTEN: Thanks. You as well.

COOPER: We'll be right back.

ENTEN: Stay high.

COOPER: Stay high. What? We'll be right back.



COOPER: In historic week, the fourth indictment of the former president, one of 19 people charged in the Georgia 2020 election interference case. One co-defendant, his former attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Tomorrow night at 08:00 p.m. Eastern, don't miss the CNN Original Series, "Giuliani: What happened to America's Mayor?" Here's a preview.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: What happened to Rudy Giuliani?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A theme that runs through his life is that he's got to be at the center of the action. Rudy, he's got to be the star.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rudy really wanted to make big cases.

RUDY GIULIANI, MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: We sure that can deliver a message which is, you're going to go to prison.

New York has five organized crime families and they have been permitted to grow and grow and grow and grow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Giuliani was taking on the Mafia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers.

GIULIANI: There's a terrible tragedy. The best way we're going to get through this is if we remain calm.

The number of casualties will be more than any of us can bear ultimately. Those of us who are here have to defend freedom by going about our lives unafraid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He stepped forward to be a leader.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was a man meeting the moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fast forward to Giuliani becomes the story of rise and fall. GIULIANI: And we're going to fight to the very end to make sure they don't take away our free and fair vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rudy Giuliani arguing that he wasn't literally advocating for insurrection.

TAPPER: To understand the arc of Rudy Giuliani, one has to appreciate how intoxicating fame and power are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was always this tension between genuine public service and the pursuit of the glory of Giuliani.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rudy is not a guy who backs down. Rudy is a guy who doubles down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand up and be defiant. In America, that's what they love.

GIULIANI: America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Giuliani: What Happened to America's Mayor?, tomorrow at 8:00 on CNN.


COOPER: And then on Sunday night, the whole story breaks down the details of the Georgia criminal indictment of the former president. That's right here Sunday at 08:00 p.m. Eastern.

That's it for us. Have a great weekend. The news continues. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS" starts now.