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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

AG Garland, House Republicans Face Off In Hearings; Interview With Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA); Former Trump Aide Cassidy Hutchinson Claims Rudy Giuliani Groped Her On Day Of Capitol Attack; Georgia DA Lays Out Trial Strategy, Witness List In Election Interference Case; CNN NH Poll: Trump Continues To Dominate GOP Field, Leads Closest Competitor By 26 Points; World Central Kitchen Sets Up Relief Kitchen, Supplies Meals To Communities Affected By Morocco Earthquake; Laura Bray's Angels For Change On A Mission To End Drug Shortage. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired September 20, 2023 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And of course as you see, Christiane's piece tonight, you can also see all of the pieces. Don't miss the one hour "Champions for Change" special. It is Saturday night at eight here on CNN.

And thanks so much to all of you for joining us. AC 360 begins right now.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Tonight on 360, fallout from what became the first confrontation of the Biden impeachment probe, and the question that follows, did the House Republican clash with Attorney General Merrick Garland do anything at all to help them make their case?

Also tonight, stunning sexual misconduct allegations from the White House aide who saw so much on January 6 against one of the central figures of that day, Rudy Giuliani.

And later, Chef Jose Andres, whose World Central Kitchen does so much for so many in need talks to Anderson about his new cookbook and his recipe for hope.

Good evening, John Berman here, in for Anderson and today was essentially day one of House Republicans Biden's impeachment inquiry. It was also day one of many in their confrontation with Attorney General Merrick Garland over the Justice Department's handling of the Hunter Biden investigation, the Department's prosecutions of January 6 defendants including former President Trump and the alleged weaponization of the DOJ.

Republican lawmakers call what they are doing oversight and oversight is important no matter who is in charge ,though exchanges like this raise questions about their definition of that term.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you support more crime?



GARLAND: No, I don't.


BERMAN: Attorney General Garland today before the House Judiciary Committee, it was neither the only confrontation nor the sharpest. More now from CNN's Sara Murray.


REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): ... and belief so help you God.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Attorney General Merrick Garland squaring off against his toughest Republican critics on Capitol Hill today.

JORDAN: The fix is in, even with a face-saving indictment last week of Hunter Biden, everyone knows the fix is in.

GARLAND: I am not the president's lawyer. I will add, I am not Congress' prosecutor.

MURRAY (voice over): Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee hounding Garland for details about the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden after his plea deal imploded in July and he was indicted last week in connection with a 2018 gun purchase.

JORDAN: After five years, what stage are we in? We are in the beginning stage? The middle stage? The end stage? They keep hiding the ball stage. What stage are we in?

GARLAND: I am not permitted to discuss ongoing investigation.

JORDAN: Isn't that convenient? I think it's two brave whistleblowers who came forward and a judge called BS on the plea deal. You guys tried to get past them.

MURRAY (voice over): Garland rebuffing Republicans questions and deferring to Special Counsel David Weiss, who is overseeing the Hunter Biden probe.

GARLAND: I left it to Mr. Weiss, whether to bring charges or not. That would include whether to let statute of limitations expire or not, whether there was sufficient evidence to bring a case that was subject to a statute of limitations or not, whether there were better cases to bring or not.

MURRAY (voice over): The attorney general reiterating that he stayed out of the Hunter Biden investigation.

GARLAND: I promised the Senate when I came before it for confirmation that I would leave Mr. Weiss in place, and then I would not interfere with his investigation. REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Has anyone at the department told President Biden to knock it off? With Hunter?

GARLAND: No one that I know of has spoken to the White House about the Hunter Biden case.

MURRAY (voice over): And insisting no one ordered him to bring federal charges against former President Trump.

GARLAND: No one has told me to indict, and in this case, the decision to indict was made by the special counsel.

MURRAY (voice over): But the political interference accusations are sure to reemerge as the GOP-controlled House proceeds with an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction, and corruption.

MURRAY (voice over): Leaving Garland to fend off threats of being held in contempt.

REP. THOMAS MASSIE (R-KY): Aren't you in fact in contempt of Congress when you refuse to answer?

GARLAND: Congressman, I have the greatest respect for Congress.

MURRAY (voice over): And Democrats to defend Garland, pointing out Jim Jordan's refusal to comply with a January 6 committee subpoena.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): That is quite rich, because the guy who is leading the hearing room right now, Mr. Jordan, is about 500 days into evading his subpoena.

MURRAY (voice over): Garland beating back criticism of the Department and career civil servants, some of whom have been named by Republicans as they barrel ahead in their probe into alleged political bias at DOJ.

GARLAND: Singling out individual career public servants who are just doing their jobs is dangerous, particularly at a time of increased threats to the safety of public servants and their families.

We will not be intimidated.

MURRAY (voice over): Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.


BERMAN: So a quick note about the Biden at the center of all this, Hunter Biden late today we learned his arraignment on gun charges has been rescheduled for next week to October 3rd.

Also today, Ray Epps, the man at the center of right-wing conspiracy theories about January 6 pleaded guilty today to disorderly conduct that day. [20:05:05]

At the end of today's hearing, prosecutor Michael Gordon asked to make a statement and then said that Epps on January 6th "was not before, during, or after a confidential source or undercover agent for the government, the FBI, DHS or any law enforcement." That was the unfounded allegation before Epps was charged. It continues to be part of the as yet unfounded argument that the Justice Department has been weaponized by the Biden administration and that notion is motivating the impeachment probe.

Now, just before airtime, I spoke with California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu, who took part in today's Judiciary hearing.


BERMAN: Congressman Lieu, what do you think your Republican colleagues were trying to accomplish with this hearing?

REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): John, they were trying to distract from what Democrats are trying to do, which is to help American people lower everyday costs, such as drug costs and costs of insulin.

Republicans don't have a plan, and they can't even fund government right now. So they're doing these hearings where they're asking nonsensical questions of Attorney General Garland and that's what we saw today.

We saw a circus because Republicans can't move forward in governing.

BERMAN: I want to play what was part of the House Judiciary chairs Jim Jordan's -- his opening statement. Listen.

JORDAN: The fix is in, even with the face-saving indictment last week of Hunter Biden, everyone knows the fix is in.

There is one investigation protecting President Biden. There's another one attacking President Trump. Justice Department has got both sides of the equation covered.


BERMAN: What's your reaction to that?

LIEU: That is absolutely false. Attorney General Garland was very clear, the law applies equally to everyone, regardless of your party or whether you're rich or poor, or whatever race you are, the law applies equally in America. And I note that Hunter Biden has been indicted twice.

BERMAN: Congressman, you know, a CNN poll, a majority of Americans say they think that President Biden had at least some involvement in Hunter Biden's business dealings. Other polls say that nearly two- thirds of Americans believe that Hunter Biden definitely or probably did something illegal.

What, if any questions do you think are appropriate to ask about the Hunter Biden investigation in an Oversight hearing?

LIEU: The Department of Justice has the facts. They've indicted Hunter Biden in its ongoing investigation. It is completely inappropriate for members of Congress to interfere in ongoing investigations and we'll know soon enough in a court of law, what the facts are and a jury will decide whether or not Hunter Biden gets convicted. That is a process. That's how the criminal justice system works in America.

We don't have political interference from members of Congress.

BERMAN: The Attorney General pushed back hard on allegations of political bias. Do you think he pushed hard enough? What did you make of his response?

LIEU: Attorney General Garland was terrific at the hearing. He was honest, he was straightforward. He tried to answer the questions and he repeatedly said the law applies equally to everyone.

He gave full discretion to US Attorney Weiss for charging decisions with respect to Hunter Biden, and Attorney General Garland said that he did not interfere in that case and will not interfere in that case.

BERMAN: Do you support appointing David Weiss as a special counsel?

LIEU: I do and I know that David Weiss was first appointed by Donald Trump.

BERMAN: Congressman Ted Lieu, thank you so much for being with us tonight.

LIEU: Thank you.


BERMAN: Some legal and political perspective now on all this. With us, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist, Paul Begala and also CNN legal analyst, Carrie Cordero.

Paul, first to you. I mentioned this with Ted Lieu. I asked him about the tone that Merrick Garland sat there. He was more strident maybe than usual, but nothing compared to what he was facing with some of his questions from Republicans there. Would you like to have seen more from him? Maybe go full bore than his responses?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Actually, no, I thought the contrast was really marked. He's got way too low blood pressure for me, but I'm kind of a high blood pressure guy. I liked that when these people were coming after him and I think frankly, showing themselves to be extremists or fools.

He stayed calm. He stayed measured, and he stayed on message. You heard Ted Lieu, the law applies equally to everyone. I will say the one thing I would have pointed out if I were him, is there's really good news here.

The good news is the Republicans have finally found a gun purchase that they oppose. Now, it happens to be from a harmless former addict, not from like a White supremacist or Neo Nazi or somebody in a terrorist watch list, but there's one gun purchase they didn't like.

But see, that's what I would say, this might be a terrible attorney general, I thought Garland was exactly right to be measured and judicious.


BERMAN: Carrie, I know this was a political proceeding, not a legal proceeding. But if you look at the lens from somewhere in between there, was there anything that the Republicans got from Merrick Garland? Was there any gotcha moment that will truly stick?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: No, I don't think there was anything that he said that was really unexpected, or any big new revelation. I think, though, by having the hearing and by focusing the majority of the hearing on the Hunter Biden case, they really put him in a position where there was no great way for him to get through this hearing. Because the approach that he's taken is to be completely hands off of that investigation, so that there is no question that he is influencing it or making decisions in it in any way.

And so he's given the US attorney, now the special counsel in Delaware wide range to make the decisions in that case. What that means is that he's not -- the attorney general himself is not steeped in the facts of the case itself, and so he cannot answer substantive questions about it, so then he can be criticized for that.

On the other hand, had he gone in the other direction and said, yes, I'm actively managing it. I am fully briefed on it. I have consulted with the US attorney, then that, of course, would open him up to tremendous criticism.

So he got through it the best way that I think he could.

BERMAN: Paul, you've been through an impeachment or two, one with President Clinton and when one happened, it was seen as actually harming House Republicans. It certainly didn't help them in the midterm elections there. What are the risks for the Republicans holding this, doing this process, but also, what are the risks for President Biden here?

BEGALA: Well, let me start with the Republicans. This is extraordinary here. This is their agenda for real. They say they want to impeach the Democratic president, they want to remove the Republicans speaker, they want to shut down the whole government, and they want to block every appointment of every admiral and general in America, crippling our military. That's their agenda. That looks extremist.

You know, Joe Biden is weak in the polls. The country is moving in the wrong direction in the polls. Republicans should have a very strong hand, but they are killing their chances. They really are.

I'm being honest here, they are killing their chances by seeming so extremist. I did live through this with Bill Clinton. When the Republican shut down the government the year before his re-election, it took him from a guy who was trailing in the polls, to a guy who was leading in the polls and that was just one of the four things these Republicans are doing now.

It is a recipe for failure for them that Joe Biden -- look, if they keep it up, Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan have to register as a Democratic Super PAC, because they're going to save Joe Biden's fate in here.

BERMAN: Carrie, quickly, Jim Jordan wants to get Special Counsel David Weiss before his committee next month or so, how much would the special counsel be able to testify to. They'll certainly have a lot of questions for him.

CORDERO: I think it'd be really hard for him to answer any substantive questions while the case is still pending. So first, we have to see whether there's going to actually be a trial, whether there's some path that seems unlikely, but some path to renegotiating some sort of plea.

I don't see how the special counsel, the US attorney could answer substantive questions about an ongoing investigation, and not absolutely fly in the face of everything that Merrick Garland has said and everything that this Justice Department is about, which is the norms of the department historically to not talk about ongoing investigation.

BERMAN: Paul Begala, Carrie Cordero, great to see both of you. Thank you so much.

Next, Cassie Hutchinson's January 6 groping allegation against Rudy Giuliani. How he is responding to it and perspective from someone who worked with her at the White House.

And later, new developments in Georgia's RICO case against the former president and a big question, is a key player in the effort to overturn the election about to flip?



BERMAN: In a moment, we'll speak to a friend and former White House colleague of Cassidy Hutchinson who had an inside view of January 6, that's an aide to then chief-of-staff, Mark Meadows.

Her testimony before the House Select Committee was telling however, it's what she left out about that day and is alleging now that is stunning.

She says in a new book that Rudy Giuliani groped her at the rally he spoke at shortly before the attack on the Capitol and attorney John Eastman watched. Quoting now from the book now on Giuliani: "The corners of his mouth split into a Cheshire cat smile. Waving a stack of documents, he moves toward me like a wolf closing in on its prey." Her account continues: "We have the evidence. It's all here. We're going to pull this off." Rudy wraps one arm around my body closing the space that was separating us. I feel his stack of documents pressed into the small of my back. I lower my eyes and watch his free hand reach for the hand of my blazer. By the way, he says fingering the fabric, I'm loving this leather jacket on you. His hand slips under my blazer then my skirt.

She goes on. I feel his frozen fingers trail up my thigh. He tilts his chin up, the whites of his eyes look jaundiced. My eyes dart to John Eastman who flashes a leering grin.

In a statement tonight, Giuliani's political adviser, Ted Goodman calls the allegation "a disgusting lie" and says "It's fair to ask Cassidy Hutchinson, why she is just now coming out with these allegations from two-and-a-half years ago as part of the marketing campaign for her upcoming book release."

As for John Eastman, his lawyer categorically deny Cassidy Hutchinson's account and call the accusations libelous.

Joining us now former Trump deputy press secretary, Sarah Matthews, who like Cassidy Hutchinson testified before the House January 6 Committee.

Sarah, what's your reaction to this allegation from Cassidy Hutchinson?

SARAH MATTHEWS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Cassidy Hutchinson is someone that I worked with closely during my time at the White House. When I was working on the press team, she was basically the right hand of Mark Meadows. And so anytime we needed anything from the chief, she was our go-to person.

And so getting to know her really well in that role and spending time outside of the White House with her, she was someone that I knew to be someone of good character, someone of integrity, and I have no reason to be doubt her account of these events.


I fully believe that she would be in a position like that where she was in close proximity to John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani and it just tracks with the behavior that we've seen from Rudy Giuliani, where he's had a former associate come out and sue him for sexual assault and sexual harassment.

BERMAN: Have you ever heard about this specific allegation before?

MATTHEWS: This is not something that I have ever discussed with Cassidy and have not been familiar with until I heard about it.

BERMAN: Do those in the Giuliani camp, the question, why she's just going public with this now, what would you say to that?

MATTHEWS: I think, yes, I've seen a lot of speculation online and criticism, including from Giuliani's spokesperson asking why is she coming forward with it now? But I think we have to keep in mind the power dynamic that was at play here.

When this alleged incident occurred, she was 23 years old working at the White House, and was allegedly groped by then a beloved national hero, this was America's mayor.

And so I think to come forward with this kind of accusation is really scary for someone, especially of that age. But I think through the course of her testifying, and finding her voice, and being able to speak her truth, she now is in a position where she feels comfortable and can come forward with her truth on this specific matter.

And so I think it's kind of gross to shame any victim for why they come forward and when they do, but I think that that just goes to show why a lot of women don't choose to come forward with these types of allegations when their character is coming into question, rather than maybe questioning the person who's being accused of said crime.

BERMAN: I've asked you a version of this question before, but what was the view of Rudy Giuliani from inside the White House, particularly for the end of the administration?

MATTHEWS: Yes, he was someone that I personally once looked up to. I mean, I grew up, I was in the first grade when 9/11 happened and I remember distinctly looking up to him as an American hero.

And it's so crazy to think then that by the time that I was working at the White House, that he was kind of regarded as a joke in many ways.

I remember watching the press conference at the RNC with him and Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis, and making remarks to colleagues and we are kind of laughing at the situation, and talking about how it was a freak show.

And so now to see where he's at where he has lost his, you know, license to practice law. He has the sorts of allegations against him for sexual harassment and sexual assault. It's kind of sad to see his fall from grace.

But I think that clearly, when he started pushing the lies that Trump stole the election when there was absolutely no proof and there is still no proof to this day of any of the claims that they've made, he sort of lost all credibility in my eyes.

And I asked if he, with many of the folks at the White House, a lot of people were saying those things privately.

BERMAN: Sarah Matthews, we appreciate you being with us tonight. Thank you so much.

MATTHEWS: Yes, thank you.

BERMAN: Now an update from what are Keeping Them Honest segment last night dubbed "Dysfunction Junction," there are just 10 days left for the House and Senate to agree on a string of budget legislation to temporarily prevent a government shutdown.

For weeks now, the House has been unable to do it because House Republicans really haven't been able to get their act together. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was facing rebellion from his far right said tonight his members are "very close" to agreement on some kind of stop-gap measure. Any deal though, would have to be reconciled with the Senate version.

Joining us now, one of Speaker McCarthy's former conference members, CNN senior political commentator, Adam Kinzinger.

Congressman, great to be with you. The Speaker sounds optimistic tonight, that the House might be able to get something through, and by that I mean, the Republicans in the House might be able to get something through, but it would still be dead on arrival inside the Senate there.

So where is this headed? Is this still headed toward an inevitable shutdown?

ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'll tell you what, John, if I could like count the number of times I sat in this exact situation, if people would pay attention to the script, this is every year, and we're always down to the wire every year. It's always the same people holding out every year and they always end up passing something that's not going to go past the Senate every year.

Because the play here is hey, let's just get it out of the house and then we can go on TV and tell people we did our job. And now, it is the Senate's job.

Look, here's the problem. They may get something passed. I mean, it's going to be a piece of garbage that everybody knows will never become law. But you're going to see once again, this is my concern is the moderate wing of the party, the so-called moderate wing of the party is seeming to capitulate on the issue of like Ukraine funding, and that's something I don't understand. I don't know why they're doing that.

They have to start playing hardball against the freedom club as well, but look, do they end up getting something done? Maybe. It's not going anywhere and I think it's a pretty good shot we end up in a government shutdown.


BERMAN: So Matt Gaetz, you talked about moderate Democrats. Matt Gaetz said today that any moderate Republicans that work with Democrats would be, "signing their own political death warrant." So what do you make of that statement and of what Matt Gaetz is doing here?

KINZINGER: Well, you know, Matt Gaetz is Matt Gaetz. He's not a serious person. I mean, he's a good speaker, and he does well on, you know, certain TV networks, but he's not actually interested in legislating. So this is what he does, he threatens big things. So when he says, like, you know, you're going to sign your own death warrant. He's trying to put fear into moderate Republicans, so-called moderate Republicans, and say, you know, look, if you go against us, we're going to primary you.

All of this, John, by the way, and your viewers need to know this, everything that he says or that is said like, this is all about a threat of a primary. That's unfortunately what drives the House of Representatives, particularly Republicans now. It's always a concern of the threat of a primary.

Unfortunately, I think in this case, you know, the moderate Republicans are always interested in working together as a team, so they're always the first to capitulate.

We'll see if they actually hold out. But look, Gaetz has made it clear he doesn't want Ukraine money, he doesn't want any of this stuff. And so why people pay attention to him, I don't know.

BERMAN: I've got to let you run. But if it comes down to a vote for survival of Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker, do you think Democrats should step in to rescue McCarthy? Might they end up with something they like even less than him if they didn't?

KINZINGER: They could. I don't think they should, unless he basically promises he'll start passing bills with Democrats. He is going to have to play the centrist game a little bit, but I don't think you'll see Democrats coming in and rescue him.

And quite honestly, he hasn't done anything to earn that, I don't think.

BERMAN: Adam Kinzinger, great to see you, thank you so much.


BERMAN: Coming up, to help the former president in his alleged attempt to overturn the election results in Georgia, now, they're being called to testify for the prosecution, their names in a moment.

Plus, good news if you're Vivek Ramaswamy or Nikki Haley, bad news, if you're Ron DeSantis, the latest CNN poll out of New Hampshire of Republican voters next.



BERMAN: While Republicans on Capitol Hill were trying to build their case against the Attorney General and President Biden, the Georgia District Attorney who indicted the former president and allies on state RICO charges laid out her trial strategy in a new filing. Among her key witnesses are names central to the alleged plot to overturn the 2020 election results. Nick Valencia is in Atlanta with the latest here. Nick, what more can you tell us about what the D.A.'s -- what the D.A.

says and who it says is on the witness list?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, perhaps the biggest revelation of the day related to this case is on the list of state's witnesses is Lin Wood who was never officially part of Trump's legal team, but certainly did parrot a lot of things that the former president was saying. Wood was probably one of the most prominent peddlers of election conspiracy theories after Trump's 2020 election loss, he filed a series of claims which (ph) had baseless claims in it, some of them -- you know, some people even described him as being unhinged.

We reached out to Wood to get some clarity to see whether or not he's actually cooperating with the District Attorney's office. Some have even claimed that he has flipped on the former president. And Wood did not respond to us but he did deny the claims on a social media post earlier today and this is what he had to say in part. Saying, "I have no idea why I'm being asked to testify at the trial. I've had no discussions with the D.A.'s office since I testified before the Special Grand Jury several months ago."

Those special purpose grand jurors actually recommended for Wood to be charged in this indictment, but the D.A.'s office declined to do so. His name was buried in a more than 100-page filing from the D.A.' office related to conflicts of interest with six attorneys related to this case. Wood would potentially have to be cross-examined by his former attorney, who's currently representing former DOJ Official Jeffrey Clark in this case. John?

BERMAN: All right. Nick, what's going on with the fake electors who are trying to get their cases moved to federal court?

VALENCIA: So, this is a long shot and we should remind our viewers that this very same judge struck down a similar motion from the former Chief of Staff of the former president, Mark Meadows. But the case today was intended on addressing these technical motions. It turned into instead a sort of pitch battle between the District Attorney's office and defense attorneys, who claim that this was politically motivated. In fact, one of those defense attorneys said that Trump supporters who participate in the political process are at risk of being indicted by the Fulton County District Attorney's office, saying those fake electors simply were doing their civic duty to try to keep Trump's hope alive to contest this 2020 election.

The District Attorney's office, they pushed back on those claims saying that they were 100 percent inaccurate, they were borderline offensive they said. They said anyone who signed fake elector certificates, Trump supporter or not, would face similar charges. John?

BERMAN: Nick Valencia, thank you very much. Now to the current presidential race. Last night, as part of "360's All Over The Map" series, John King introduced us to Republican voters in key battleground state of New Hampshire. Just months away from the primary, many told John they still support the former president. Others in the independent mind and state (ph), however, clearly do not.

Today, new CNN poll numbers verify that divide. The former president is still with a commanding lead, he is at 39 percent. The big change since CNN's last New Hampshire poll, four candidates now poll in double-digits behind him, up from just one, Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley. They have more than doubled their 5 percent support since July. Ramaswamy is at 13 percent, Haley at 12 percent. Chris Christie, he is at 11 percent, up from 6 percent. Now, Ron DeSantis has taken a bit of a nose dive. Two months ago, he was at 23 percent. Today, he's at 10 percent. Essentially it's a four-person contest for second in New Hampshire.

John King is with us now. Let's start with the biggest mover here, and it's Ron DeSantis in the downward direction. What are New Hampshire voters seeing and saying here?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Remember, John, that's a big deal because he presented himself from the get-go as the conservative alternative to Trump. He was Trump without the baggage. Well, he's suffering right now. You know this well, New Hampshire's electorate is not as conservative as Iowa. So what happens here? DeSantis has lost mostly among moderates. Look at Christie's gain, look at Haley's gain. That is coming at DeSantis' expense. Look at Ramaswamy's game, a little bit gain, a little bit of that comes at the DeSantis' expense.

So, Trump is still a far away leader. Little deja vu all over again there, right. Trump in the mid, in this case, the high-30s. It was the mid-30s in 2016 in a crowded field. He can be beat, right? More than six in ten Republicans or people who are going vote Republican in the primary say they want someone else but DeSantis is suffering. Trump wins when you have the fractured field.

BERMAN: You mentioned independent minded voters, some people call them moderate voters. In New Hampshire, they can make a huge difference in a primary, especially if there's only one competitive race.


You know, if President Biden doesn't have a super-competitive race, there could be more people, including independents, who vote in the Republican primary. Chris Christie saw a bump there. But, are independents alone enough to make a huge difference in this field?

KING: I know. And the key question I have is how many independents are undeclared, as they're called in New Hampshire, go over to the Democratic primary because some of them who previously voted for Trump are attracted to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. That's one thing we learned in New Hampshire. But you see Christie's numbers there, no question. Look, he says I'm the fighter against Trump. I'm going to make the case that Trump cannot win.

Trump is bad for the party and he has gone up. But -- so he has raised his floor, John. He has raised his floor and he has raised it quite a bit. But he has a ceiling in this poll. Six in ten either Republicans or Republican-leaning voters who say they plan to vote in the Republican primary say they would never vote for Chris Christie. So yes, he's moving up, but he has to change that 60 percent who say never if he's going to really move up.

BERMAN: So, four people essentially tied for second in low-double digits. Who's smiling when they look at that?

KING: Nobody. I mean, Donald Trump is. None of those four -- looks


BERMAN: But why -- why is Donald -- why is that good? Why is that good for Donald Trump?

KING: Well, because as long as it's not consolidated around one other candidate, Donald Trump does what he did in 2016. Plus, the difference this year is he is also leading right now in Iowa. He came in second in Iowa last time and then New Hampshire sent him on the slingshot. The rest was history after he won New Hampshire. Now, he's leading in Iowa. That's going to get more interesting. You see DeSantis and Scott trying to make abortion, cultural conservatives, evangelicals out in Iowa. You don't find them so much in New Hampshire.

But, we are watching the candidates all heading into the second debate, trying to figure out, OK, nothing has worked or at least hasn't worked well enough so far. If we're going to change the dynamic of this race, what do we do? Because right now, Trump leading by big in Iowa, leading by big in New Hampshire, even though, again, those numbers show he can be beat. But you need one person to beat him and it's all fractured right now. Anybody but Trump has to figure out, is there some other way? Should I try something else?

BERMAN: So, at that second event, we got about 45 seconds left, John. If you're one of those tied for second, do you go after another second-place candidate, or do you go after Donald Trump?

KING: That's a great question. The chess, right? If you're going to go after Donald Trump, you have to fundamentally change what you're saying. You're going to say, he lost the popular vote twice. He lost the electoral college to Joe Biden is 2020. He lost the Republican majority in the House. Most of them -- Christie does it, Haley does it a little bit. But, most of the others have been afraid to do that because you're offending some of the Trump voters who still believe he won in 2020. That's my first question.

Does anyone make a fundamental reassessment about Trump? You are seeing it to a degree on the abortion issue, which might play in Iowa, not so much in New Hampshire. Then the other question is that they all look -- Trump won't be there. Do they look at each other and say, OK, who is going to -- is survivor second place edition, right, is that what this debate is about? Is the second debate about can somebody emerge as the number two candidate as opposed to four of them? If there are three or four of them, come January, February, Trump wins.

BERMAN: You know, as they say in Highlander, there can be only one. John King, great to see you. Thank you very much.

KING: Take care, John.

BERMAN: Next, Chef Jose Andres talks to Anderson about the continuing mission of his World Central Kitchen and a great tasty way for home cooks to help its mission.



BERMAN: On the front lines of any crisis, there's destruction, heartache, and hunger. That's why Chef Jose Andres founded World Central Kitchen to bring hot food and a side-dish of hope where it is needed most. Now, they are sharing some of their most popular recipes in "The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: Feeding Humanity, Feeding Hope." Jose Andres recently talked about this with Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: So, it's great to have you here. It's great to see you. First of all, how are things going in Morocco? I know you have teams on the ground there.

JOSE ANDRES, FOUNDER, WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN: Well, the great thing is that we have great teams that got great experience in the earthquake in Turkey a few months ago. And so, kind of, the team is recreating the same mission this time in Morocco, with a complication that is very rural, high up in the mountains.

COOPER: The Atlas Mountains is very difficult to be there (ph).

ANDRES: We had to be using the helicopters because many of the roads, they've been cut off. They've been doing even medical evacuations at the time. So, fortunately, we don't solve any major issues. We only bring food, water, some relief to people that are suffering a lot.

COOPER: The -- this brought -- you have a cookbook out there, "The World Central Kitchen Cookbook." All the author proceeds go toward World Central Kitchen for relief. What's fun about it is, it's not just really good recipes, it's also stories behind the recipes. They come from people all around the world, people you've met in the field, friends of yours. You even have, thankfully for me, Turkey Bolognese which I'm very excited about because that's my go-to. You have a very nice Turkey Bolognese recipe.

ANDRES: Everybody knows that when Anderson Cooper is on a mission, his dish to go is -- I mean, you should write about the Bologneses you ate in your lifetime


COOPER: That'll be a fascinating book.

ANDRES: travelling around the world. But yeah, this is a book that -- it's not really about the recipes. I mean, obviously, in essence, the recipes are important because tell a story of the different countries and missions that the men and women of World Central Kitchen have been operating over the last 14 years. But, behind every recipe is a story of the person that made it happen, of the group of people that under impossible circumstances were able to be feeding people six hours after a hurricane in the North Parganas (ph), there you're going to be learning, in essence, about the people that made those missions possible.

COOPER: It's also about making something just with the ingredients that you have and creating something unique from that. I mean, it's not inspiration -- that -- you're improvising. This whole book is about, sort of, improvising.

ANDRES: I think a lot of people in the essays that go alongside every recipe, they're going to be learning how World Central Kitchen keeps growing and adapting, and learning from previous experiences. A lot of people always congratulate us because they say that we cook with local ingredients and local recipes. And I kind of laugh sometimes because what I tell them is, cooking with local ingredients and local recipes is actually the only thing we can do. Why? Because the local ingredients is what is available to us.


The local people know how to cook the local ingredients, with those same ingredients. And at the end of the day, it's what makes a lot of sense. In the process, what will be easier? Cook with something like ease (ph) around the corner or trying to bring MREs, meals ready to eat, from 100 kilometers away, foods that nobody likes, that is very expensive, and that it requires a lot of infrastructure to bring from point A to point B.

COOPER: Anthony Bourdain would have loved this book.

ANDRES: Well, Anthony Bourdain, as you know, was a huge influence to not only me, but many of us, because I think he's a person that made the world smaller. A world that we all seem to be afraid of each other, he would be able to go to Iran and make you feel like they're like us. In a moment that seems we're all scared of people that don't speak like us or they're different religion than us, Anthony will then visit one that show us that we were much alike and that we didn't have to be afraid of each other anymore.

In a way, I know Tony is looking down on us, and in essence, the spirit of a person like Tony is in this book, because Tony has always been the troubadour of the people.

COOPER: The book is "The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: Feeding Humanity, Feeding Hope." Jose Andres, as always, thank you.

ANDRES: Thank you.

BERMAN: Every disaster you go to, Jose Andres is there helping. This weekend, watch more of Chef Andres when CNN presents a discovery+ original "Jose Andres And Family In Spain," Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, right here.

Just ahead, the latest in our "Champions for Change" series, Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to Laura Bray. She nearly lost her daughter due to a shortage of a life-saving drug. She's now fighting to make sure that doesn't happen to other parents.



BERMAN: All this week, we're bringing you amazing stories about everyday people doing the extraordinary to change our world for the better, people like Laura Bray. She fought to get a life-saving drug for her daughter and now, she's trying to ensure that no other parent has to go through what she did. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has more on this Champion for Change.


LAURA BRAY, FOUNDER, ANGELS FOR CHANGE (on camera): Four years ago, my husband Mike and I were sitting in a hospital room, when our child Abby was diagnosed with leukemia. I think anybody who has been in a life-threatening diagnosis, you know, will remember those moments. We go in, she's going to be able to have her chemo. But she is not going to have Erwinase today. How come? It's on shortage. Abby is clever. Nothing gets past her. And she just said, "What does this mean? Does this mean I die?"

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): She asked you that question?

BRAY (on camera): Yeah, it's hard enough that my nine-year-old had to contemplate her mortality when she's diagnosed with cancer and also then wonder if she was going to survive because not enough drug was made.

GUPTA (on camera): What she did next makes her a true champion for change. She put together a consortium of friends and family, and they essentially created a phone bank, calling more than 220 children's hospitals around the country and asking all of them, did they have the medication that could save Abby. Finally, someone said yes.

BRAY (on camera): It was a relief and a release of all the stress and then, I felt tremendous guilt. I was haunted by the knowledge that somewhere in the country, some other mom and child was going to be going through the same hopeless conversation. We launched "Angels for Change," and almost immediately people began to call. So, right now, we're in a 10-year high of drug shortages. There's more than 300 essential medicine shortages. There's four key reasons why there is shortage. The lower the price medicine, the more likely it is to be in shortage. The more complicated the medicine, if there's a history of a QA event, if all of it is made by one supplier or one area of the world, it's more likely to be in shortage.

GUPTA (on camera): I think we've gotten so used to thinking about things like Amazon. They can anticipate when you're running out of toilet paper, when you're running out of dog food. You think the same thing would happen with life-saving medications. But that's not the case.

BRAY (voice-over): The entire supply chain has to be engaged. BRAY (on camera): So, I thought, what would it look like to partner with a manufacturer and use prediction.

GUPTA (voice-over): She calls it "Project Protect," anticipating which drugs could go into shortage and producing them with other companies before it's too late. Their first effort, a $100,000 grant for the for-profit Stack Pharmaceuticals to manufacture two specific drugs.

BRAY (voice-over): Potassium chloride and sodium chloride, which newborns, NICU patients, PICU patients need to survive.

JERROD MILTON, CHIEF CLINICAL OFFICER, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL COLORADO: It's like salt and pepper. You never think you're going to run out of those very simple things. We don't take our supply chain for granted.

GUPTA (voice-over): Jerrod Milton oversees all pharmacy and clinical services at Children's Hospital Colorado.

GUPTA (on camera): What if Project Protect didn't exist? What would have happened in that situation?

MILTON: I shudder to think about what we would have had to do.

MILTON (voice-over): Potassium chloride, one of the first drugs

GUPTA (on camera): So, you were able to anticipate this shortage, basically at risk create the medications, and they did go into shortage?

BRAY (on camera): They did go into shortage.

GUPTA (on camera): And

BRAY (on camera): More than 700,000 treatments were accessed. And what we know

GUPTA (on camera): 700,000 treatments?

BRAY (on camera): Yeah.

GUPTA (on camera): That's incredible.

BRAY (on camera): It is incredible.

GUPTA (on camera): When you see this now, Laura, you see this coming off the lines, what's that like for you?

BRAY (on camera): What I see here is each one of those that's being filled up, seven to nine NICU babies are going to get fed today.


GUPTA (on camera): How is Abby doing it now?

BRAY (on camera): She's officially a survivor. She's doing great. She's a very normal, typical, bright, clever, fierce 13-year-old. (END VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA: You know, she saved her -- she saved her daughter's life. I mean, it's kind of incredible. Not a lot of people get to say that. But John, we report a lot on drug shortages.


GUPTA: I don't know if you caught that, but 300 drugs in shortage at the end of 2022. The average length of a shortage is a year and a half. I mean, it's hard to believe. We spend $4 trillion on health care in this country and that's what we often have to deal with. And it's a challenging problem to fix, but you get a determined mom like that and she makes a difference in the system.

BERMAN: That's what we need. It's wonderful that her daughter is doing OK, and now, she wants to spread that and keep it going for others, and making such a difference.

GUPTA: Yeah.

BERMAN: Sanjay, thank you. Great to see you.

GUPTA: You too. So, the "Champions for Change" one-hour special is Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. The news continues. "The Source" with Kaitlan Collins is next.